Friday, November 26, 2021

A Castle for Christmas: Movie Review

Stripped of all humour, charm and common-sense.
Netflix original romances and Christmas movies don't have a good rap in the first place, but A Castle for Christmas is quite possibly the worst one yet. It's illogical, unromantic, not funny and boring. Famous author Sophie Brown (Brooke Shields) travels to Scotland on a whim, buys a castle on a whim, and falls in love, also on a whim since there's really no logic employed here.   2021

Directed by: Mary Lambert

Screenplay by: Kim Breyer-Johnson, Ally Carter, and Neal H. Dobrofsky

Starring: Brooke Shields, Cary Elwes

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Black Friday: Movie Review

Funny, disgusting and entertaining.
How has there not been a Black Friday set horror movie until now? After Halloween, it is the ideal holiday tailor-made for the genre, and yet nobody has pulled it off. Luckily our first foray into the Thanksgiving-to-Christmas shopping day is a bloody entertaining horror-comedy romp. It’s Thanksgiving night at a Toys R Us type store with a dozen employees on the inside and a couple hundred shoppers on the outside.   2021

Directed by: Casey Tebo

Screenplay by: Andy Greskoviak

Starring: Bruce Campbell, Devon Sawa,
Ivana Baquero and Ryan Lee

Saturday, November 20, 2021

See You Next Christmas: Movie Review

Premise that eventually really works.
See You Next Christmas is an indie romantic comedy. Set in Annie and Tom’s apartment, you can feel the low budget. The dialogue has some awkward delivery which limits the comedy, and it takes awhile to be interested in the characters. The romance is a very slow burn. However, the concept of seeing the same people one day each year really works. A snapshot of your life each Christmas as you grow into adulthood.   2021

Directed by: Christine Weatherup

Screenplay by: Christine Weatherup

Starring: Elizabeth Guest, AJ Meijer,
Christine Weatherup and Vin Vescio

Friday, November 19, 2021

Heart of Champions: Movie Review

Overly dramatic but it has bite (and Michael Shannon).
Heart of Champions (also known as Swing which is perhaps a better name given that it’s less cloying and has relevance to the movie) opens with a men’s eight rowing team at a fictional ivy league university losing to Harvard. These over-privileged, rich, white college boys proceed to throw a hissy fit and point fingers at their teammates. Not an inspiring way to start an underdog sports story, but then in walks Michael Shannon.   2021

Directed by: Michael Mailer

Screenplay by: Vojin Gjaja

Starring: Michael Shannon, Alexander Ludwig

Saturday, November 13, 2021

Soulmates: Movie Review

Sweet romance with a lot of immaturity.
Soulmates is comedy first, which is a necessity given the storyline is from a Hallmark made-for-TV movie. Two rural Vermonters Jess (Stephanie Lynn) and Sam (Alexandra Case) have been best friends since childhood and have stayed in the small town with Jess taking care of her father’s farm, but then an evil corporation threatens to buy-up family farms and destroy Vermont, but Jess falls for the handsome evil-doer and Sam has to save their friendship.   2021

Directed by: Timothy Armstrong

Screenplay by: Alexandra Case, Stephanie Lynn

Starring: Alexandra Case and Stepahnie Lynn

Friday, November 12, 2021

Spencer: Movie Review

A captivating dark fantasy with some incongruent moments of positivity.
Pablo Larrain opens Spencer with the title card “a fable from a true tragedy”; inviting the audience to forget their biographical notions and watch a very dark fantasy about the legend that Diana became, as opposed to the real person Diana was. It’s a royal family Christmas where no one is happy, especially Diana, and they are going to torture her until she breaks.   2021

Directed by: Pablo Larrain

Screenplay by: Steven Knight

Starring: Kristen Stewart

Friday, November 5, 2021

Love Hard: Movie Review

Some bad writing, but funny characters deliver a mostly entertaining rom-com.
There’s a lot of bad writing at the beginning to get past, but eventually Love Hard delivers a reasonably funny and entertaining rom-com. It starts with our lead character, Natalie (Nina Dobrev), narrating her life. She’s a successful writer of a ‘bad at love’ blog (which gives some scary Sex and the City flashbacks) and she then turns to online dating because there are just no good men in Los Angeles.   2021

Directed by: Hernan Jimenez

Screenplay by: Daniel Mackey, Rebecca Ewing

Starring: Nina Dobrev and Jimmy O. Yang

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Christmas on the Carousel: Movie Review

An indie romance with well written characters.
Writer and director Erik Bloomquist has been busy with Christmas at the Carousel his third movie released this year after Weekenders and Night at the Eagle Inn. He also stars as Greyson, one of four friends who have made the trip back home for the Christmas holidays during their final year at college. It’s time to grapple with their relationships, their future, their past and what home ultimately means.   2021

Directed by: Erik Bloomquist

Screenplay by: Erik Bloomquist, Taylor Turner

Starring: Erik Bloomquist, Madeleine Dauer, Taylor Turner and Rachel Oremland

Monday, November 1, 2021

Later Days: Movie Review

An 80s throwback minus the comedy and music.

A throwback 80s party held by characters who graduated from high school in the mid-to-late 90s. Later Days filmmakers seem to have gotten their decades confused, and the film doesn’t have much else going for it. David Walton has probably gotten used to be the best of the cast with a career of short-lived sitcoms and a handful of Hollywood comedies, and occasionally getting guest-actor credits for better TV comedies.   2021

Directed by: Brad Riddell, Sanford Sternshein

Screenplay by: Brad Riddell, Sanford Sternshein

Starring: David Walton, Majandra Delfino