The Movies That Made Us is the brand new docuseries from American film and television producer Brian Volk-Weiss. Using pretty much exactly the same format as his previous Netflix original The Toys That Made Us, he takes us on a sentimental journey back to iconic movies from our childhood. However, the choices made will only be nostalgic for a certain age group.
It's fair to say that the release just before Christmas may have had some influence on the choice of movies used in this season. Titles like Home Alone, Die Hard, Ghostbusters and Dirty Dancing have been a staple diet for many on Christmas Day. But to be fair, this does add to its appeal because undoubtedly we will all end up watching at least one of these over the holidays.
One thing that does stand out, is the trashy style of presentation that Brian Volk-Weiss goes for. That also includes the highly irritating narration. So, you are either going to love this or hate it. But if you can get passed this, the actual content takes over and you genuinely get some enlightening information.
The bottom line is, the blend of the interviewee allows for an open view. Yes, if you are a super fan of any of these movies there may not be anything new here. But the switch from the view of the writer to the producer or cast member does give a varied mix. There are some interesting responses from the studio that funded Dirty Dancing for instance. Whilst having great pride in being a part of it all, there is clear tension regarding where all the money ended up. Another revealing thing was the tensions between the writers behind Die Hard. And I never knew it was written with Frank Sinatra to play the lead role – well that would have been different.
At first glance, I was going to handpick the episodes that interested me. However, I ended up watching each episode back to back. For me, Ghostbusters and Die Hard generated much more interest than Home Alone or Dirty Dancing. But even if you are not a massive fan of these, there is enough to keep your attention.
All in all, The Movies That Made Us is like going to eat at McDonald's. Yes, it's trashy, it's fast and easy to digest but there are better things to eat. It is a bit of fun and makes you remember being a kid again. If you were growing up in the '80s, chances are you are going to love it. Plus, with each episode averaging around 45 minutes, it is totally binge-worthy.