Jack Black is Jan Lewan in The Polka King. (Netflix image)

Reel Reviews: Netflix flicks

We ask, "Why don't you have Netflix? It's good."

Bright stars Will Smith as Ward, a human cop partnered with Jakoby, (Joel Edgerton) the first Orc to become a police officer. A powerful magic wand has been stolen from an Elf and everyone wants to get their hands on it. Having to deal with racism, internal corruption and forces more powerful than they are, Ward and Jakoby must learn to trust one another, working together to save the day.


The Polka King tells the true story of Jan Lewan, (Jack Black) who built a polka empire in Pennsylvania during the ’90s. Unfortunately, despite a crowd-pleasing Polka band fronted by Nicky Pizzaz (Jason Schwartzman) and producing quality, Grammy-nominated music, Lewan became most famous for getting rich via a ponzi scheme. Using money invested by fans, promising a twelve percent return, Lewan pulled outrageous stunts, such as a private meeting with the Pope before being charged and jailed.


The Vault is about a bank heist gone wrong with horrifying results. When four bank robbers decide to steal six million from an old safe in the bank’s basement they uncover a spooky secret.


We ask, “Why don’t you have Netflix? It’s good.”

TAYLOR: Netflix produces original content, in series, specials and movies. Bright and The Polka King and The Vault are three recent releases. Bright is a fantasy, sci-fi movie where the world is just like it is, except we share it with Fairies, Elves, Orcs and magic. However, this is not a film for kids. Bright is dark and gritty, a “realistic” depiction of modern Los Angeles. The things I enjoyed about Bright include that realism and working from within it, Will Smith. Smith is a capable actor, but he usually doesn’t play crude or base characters. In Bright, Smith seems out of place, but perhaps that is fitting for an officer caught in the middle. Bright is still just an “odd-couple” movie, but with an agenda addressing racism. There was a lot of shooting, it really wanted to be an action film, but I enjoyed the expressions of cooperation more than the competition.

HOWE: The Vault is one of the scarier movies that I have seen in a fair while. The jumps are all in the right places, the atmosphere is creepier than most horror flicks and the soundtrack just adds to it. It reminds me of certain video games and gave me a few goosebumps along the way. The acting is very good by most of its cast, James Franco and Taryn Manning being the main two. The only thing to let The Vault down is about three quarters of the way through it I was able to figure out what was going on, but this is worth the watch, better than some of the dross that Hollywood seems to think we want to see on the big screen.

TAYLOR: Jack Black is not a good actor. There I said it. I still love him and he has been great in many films I’ve enjoyed, but he’s just always Jack Black. He overacts, he hams it up. Fortunately in The Polka King Jan Lewan is a larger than life character known for hamming it up. Black manages to make Lewan sympathetic and likeable. The Polka King is funny and interesting, even a little exciting as Lewan keeps digging himself into a deeper hole. There is drama and danger in his crazy escapades and the results of them. I enjoyed my time with The Polka King much more than I did with Bright.

Taylor gives Bright 3 face tattoos out of 5.

Howe gives The Vault 3 carbon drill bits out of 5.

Taylor gives The Polka King 3.5 dance contests out of 5.

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