Back to the Future
Netflix’s wholesome documentary series from 2019 returns, and in many ways surpasses the quality of the first season. Whether it be the numerous production woes over at Forrest Gump or the crazy success of Pretty Woman, The Movies That Made Us is as surprising as it is entertaining.
The four movies chosen this time around just so happen to include some of this reviewer’s favourite movies, including Jurassic Park which is up there as one of the greatest blockbusters of all time. It’s also one of the rare movies that actually surpasses the book – even if Crichton’s novel included rocket launchers and a bird cage!
Much like the first season though, each episode breaks down the synopsis of the film’s plot and its origins from a lowly script or conceptual idea. From there, the studios greenlighting each film is then met with a wealth of studio push-backs, budget headaches and logistical filming nightmares.
While the first season tackled movies from the 80’s, this second season inches forward through history to the late 80’s and mid 90’s. Whether intentional or not, it’s a stroke of genius to show the evolution of film in this way. Hopefully this series is greenlit for many, many seasons to come.
As a binge-watch it would undoubtedly be fascinating to see how filmmaking has evolved over time up to the recent trend of lazy remakes and sequels. But that’s a rant for another time!
These four episodes really showcase the quality of filmmaking back in the day and shed light on the passion and dedication these men and women had to their projects. From Spielberg juggling Schindler’s List and Jurassic Park at the same time to Tom Hanks and Bob Zemeckis coughing up funds to help with financial woes on Forrest Gump, there are a wealth of interesting tidbits throughout the series.
The quirky tone and narration returns again, but this time there’s some really well-worked recurring jokes thrown in. The Forrest Gump episode in particular riffs on Forrest saying “Alabama.”
This is just one example though and each of these chapters have their own jokes peppered throughout, joined by the usual cutaways to the movie itself. Of course, this will be make or break for some people but those who were taken to the style in season 1 will find a lot to like here too.
If you’re a movie buff or are intrigued over how big films are made, The Movies That Made Us is essential viewing. This second season is arguably better than the first too, with a much more confident tone and some genuine laugh out loud jokes. There’s an absolute gold-mine of knowledge in this too, making Netflix’s series very easy to pick up and very difficult to put down.
Verdict - 8/10