Saturday, July 30, 2022

The Moderator: Movie Review

Random violence, disorienting action, no clear direction.

In my fairest guess, The Moderator is half a movie, and the second half of a movie after things would have been explained and people introduced so all we have is action. Mya (Irma Lake) is a Russian blogger – actually I should back up, we don’t really know that until much later – at the beginning, she’s a hot woman presumably from somewhere in Europe. Her friends in Morocco have been killed so she’s going to avenge their deaths.   2022

Directed by: Zhor Fassi-Fihri

Screenplay by: Hicham Hajji, Jonathan McConnell

Starring: Irma Lake

The Entitled: Movie Review

Predictable and immature, but an enjoyable family friendly Filipino film.
Netflix has very few family-friendly foreign films, and for that reason The Entitled deserves its spot on the platform. The humour is immature but pre-teens should find it very enjoyable. Like a Filipino version of What a Girl Wants, Belinda (Alex Gonzaga) is reunited with her long-lost father who is a rich business mogul and she then joins the ranks of the super wealthy and privileged.   2022

Directed by: Theodore Boborol

Screenplay by: Alex Gonzaga, Theodore Boborol, Noreen Capili

Starring: Alex Gonzaga, JC De Vera

Friday, July 29, 2022

Purple Hearts: Movie Review

A tear-jerker romantic drama on the political spectrum.
Purple Hearts is an opposites-attract, tear-jerker romantic drama. It’s definitely carving its own place within the genre since the characters aren’t cookie-cutter, and their current world views have been accurately created out of their upbringing. But at the same time, their world views very much echo the prototypical left-leaning and right-leaning Twitter Gen Zs, such that their nonstop antagonistic lingo feels manufactured and not real.   2022

Directed by: Elizabeth Allen Rosenbaum

Screenplay by: Liz W. Garcia, Kyle Jarrow

Starring: Sofia Carson, Nicholas Galitzine

Vengeance: Movie Review

Sharply written, hilariously astute and thoroughly entertaining.
Vengeance is a story about vengeance that very quickly gets turned on its head because it’s about so much more. The opening is pure comedy, B.J. Novak at his sit-com best. Ben (B.J. Novak) and a friend are chatting at a New York party about life, girls, podcasts, more girls, and more theorizing about life. Don’t worry you’re not supposed to like him; he’s a not bad guy but he does represent what everyone hates about New York writers – they think they’re better than everyone else. Especially Texans   2022

Directed by: B.J. Novak

Screenplay by: B.J. Novak

Starring: B.J. Novak, Issa Rae, Boyd Holbrook, Ashton Kutcher, J. Smith Cameron, Lio Tipton

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Pipa: Movie Review

Long, drawn out crime drama with lack of interest and lack of justice.
Pipa is a frustrating film. The movie wants to give the audience as little information as possible and as much irrelevant information as possible, just so we’re convinced that interesting things are going to happen soon. Also, in the as little information as possible category, Netflix fails to mention anywhere in the description that this is the third film in an Argentinian trilogy about the main character Pipa.   2022

Directed by: Alejandro Montiel

Screenplay by: Florencia Etcheves, Alejandro Montiel, Mili Roque Pitt

Starring: Luisana Lopilato

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Goodbye, Petrushka: Movie Review

Off-kilter indie rom-com lacking comedy and relatability.

Goodbye, Petrushka is a low-budget indie romantic dramedy. It has some witty comedy that immediately elevates it well above something like Emily in Paris that shares an almost identical premise and plot description. Claire (Lizzie Kehoe) is an American girl ready to change her life so she moves to Paris, works as a nanny, and falls in and out of love.   2022

Directed by: Nicola Rose

Screenplay by: Nicola Rose

Starring: Lizzie Kehoe, Vieljeux

Friday, July 22, 2022

Bundles: Movie Review

Revenge with style, hair style.
Bundles starts with the tone of a dark comedy but moves into more of a crime drama. A little hard to peg down because it’s a story you’ve never seen quite like this. And that’s a good thing. Morgan (Yavonna Harris) is a dark-skinned Black girl getting bullied at school. When she’s finally had enough, she enlists the help of her sister Jackey and two friends Vick and Tiff.   2022

Directed by: Ryan Jordan, Jeffrey Leslie

Screenplay by: Maurice Hill

Starring: Yavonna Harris, Tanisha Cardwell, Naysa Young, and Alexis Jacqueline Smith

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

A Stand of a Worthy Man: Movie Review

A comedy built on misogyny with zero laughs.

There appears to be two different English translations of the title, A Stand of a Worthy Man and A Stand Worthy of Men. I hope A Stand of a Worthy Men is meant to be the more accurate title, since it’s the one that tries to minimize the misogyny you’re about to experience. The “worthy man” in this case is Adel, a man who spent every minute possible by his wife’s hospital bed before she passed away.   2022

Directed by: Ahmed El Gendy

Screenplay by: Haitham Dabbour

Starring: Sayed Ragab, Maged El-Kidwani, Bayoumi Fouad, and Sherief El Dasouky

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Diamond in the Rough: Movie Review

Simple, but fun and flirty, funny and fresh.

Gen X-ers have a whole host of 80s movies where a group of poor kids join a ski club and the rich locals harass them until they win a ski competition and save the club. That’s what Diamond in the Rough is for Gen Z, except at a golf club instead. It’s very predictable with a theme that has played out many times before, but it’s still a fast, fun, romp around a golf course.   2022

Directed by: Jeannette Godoy

Screenplay by: Grace Church, Crystal Ferreiro, James Sommers

Starring: Samantha Boscarino, Griffin Johnson

Friday, July 15, 2022

Love Accidentally: Movie Review

A lazy rom-com.

The world doesn’t need another streaming service, but like the name suggests, Freevee is a free, ad-supported platform under the Amazon banner (and the ads are very minimal). The world also doesn’t need more low-quality romantic comedies, and yet here we are, with Love Accidentally a Freevee Original. Love anonymously as done in You’ve Got Mail but now in text form.   2022

Directed by: Pete Sullivan

Screenplay by: Robert Dean Klein

Starring: Brenda Song, Aaron O'Connell

Thursday, July 14, 2022

Under the Amalfi Sun: Movie Review

Very pretty movie about very little.
The Amalfi coast is famous for its beautiful vacation destination and that’s what’s on display here. People frolicking in the sun, the rest of their lives barely put on hold. I say “barely” because I think some of these people are perpetually on vacation, the others are trying to figure out the next step in life. Under the Amalfi Sun is a pleasant but minimal slice of romantic life.   2022

Directed by: Martina Pastori

Screenplay by: Enrico Vanzina, Catarina Salvadori, and Ciro Zecca

Starring: Lorenzo Zurzulo, Ludovica Martino

Monday, July 11, 2022

Love You Anyway: Movie Review

Unique and inventive, a powerful and beautiful tale of love and depression.
A character study slash romantic drama told in a format that shouldn’t work, but surprisingly does. Love You Anyway is an inventive indie drama and romance, told only through the eyes of home video (not real home videos, all fictional). If you’re like me, you’re immediately fearing a disconnected movie with hand-held footage, choppy editing and random vignettes of a young woman’s life.   2022

Directed by: Anna Matz

Screenplay by: Anna Matz

Starring: Reign Edwards, Charlie Gillespie

Friday, July 8, 2022

Dangerous Liaisons: Movie Review

A stylish but messy mash-up.
With a plot similar to She’s All That, Dangerous Liaisons is centered on Célène (Paola Locatelli) a teen girl new to the rich elite of Biarritz, France – a very wealthy coastal town in Southwestern France on the Bay of Biscay. A world where rich teen socialite social media influencers rule the town and play games where the queen bee bets the surf champion Tristan (Simon Rérolle) that he can get Célène to fall in love with him and then destroy her life just for the fun of it.   2022

Directed by: Rachel Suissa

Screenplay by: Rachel Suissa
Based on the novel by Choderlos de Laclos

Starring: Paola Locatelli, Simon Rérolle

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Hello, Goodbye and Everything in Between: Movie Review

A relationship that falls flat.
Clare and Aidan’s meet cute is directly out of an unrealistic movie. Aidan is dressed in a white t-shirt and vest and Clare immediately recognizes it as a Ferris Bueller costume. A girl born almost 20 years after the movie came out and has no social circle, and they instantly connect with witty repartee while Jordan assumes the confidence and bravado of Ferris.   2022

Directed by: Michael Lewen

Screenplay by: Amy Reed, Ben York Jones
Based on the book by Jennifer E. Smith

Starring: Talia Ryder, Jordan Fisher

Monday, July 4, 2022

The Black Phone: Movie Review

Scary, engaging, tense and heartwarming.
Denver, 1978. Boys are playing baseball, girls are cheering them on. Finney (Mason Thames) is pitching but gives up a game-winning home run, opposing player Bruce gives him some encouraging words. Bruce is riding his bike home, then black balloons float up above the hydro lines. We know what’s happened because the set-up for The Black Phone is so efficient, so crisp and clear. The Grabber has kidnapped Bruce, a kind-hearted boy.   2021

Directed by: Scott Derrickson

Screenplay by: C. Robert Cargill
Based on the short story by Joe Hill

Starring: Mason Thames, Ethan Hawke