Friday, June 23, 2023

Make Me Believe: Movie Review

Sen Inandir the Turkish rom-com that translates to Make Me Believe is surprisingly sweet and funny as it successfully balances the core pillars of a romantic comedy. While it does have the enemies to friends to lovers trope, it also has meddling grannies. Grandmothers tend to know who their grandkids are meant to be with and that holds true here as the two grannies make the most of the limited screen-time reuniting old bickering frenemies and then lets love take over.   2023

Directed by: Evren Karabiyik Günaydin, and Murat Saraçoglu

Screenplay by: Selen Bagci

Starring: Ayça Aysin Turan, Ekin Koç

Maximum Truth: Movie Review

A funny premise that wears thin quickly.
Maximum Truth is a political satire, but even that phrase makes it sound wittier than it is. The lead character, Rick Klingman (Ike Barinholtz) is a right-wing grafter. His primary purpose in life is to become rich and/or famous by taking down those he disagrees with politically. This is a character born out of social media, and the entire movie is him chasing clout and “exposing truth” also known as “making shit up”. If it sounds like a thin premise, that’s because it is.   2023

Directed by: David Stassen

Screenplay by: Ike Barinholtz, David Stassen

Starring: Ike Barinholtz, Dylan O'Brien

An Unforgettable Year: Ranking and Comparison

 The stand-alone four film series about teen romance based on the Brazilian book series. As each film is its own story, you can watch one of them or all of them and in any order. 


  1. Autumn - A little more mature, and the nice music really elevates it into an enjoyable watch.
  2. Summer - The most mainstream entry of the series, a very easy watch.
  3. Winter - Goes for a more ethereal style, with less comedy and more tragedy.
  4. Spring - Poorest written of the series. Protagonist is devoid of logic which hampers the comedy and romance.
All of the movies are well produced and well cast, but Autumn is a clear step up. Autumn is also the only one with a protagonist not in the creative arts; she's a law student, whereas Winter features a writer, Summer a fashion designer and Spring an artist. In Autumn, the film better balances a serious protagonist with music all around her.

Natural Order (Chronological with a natural progression)

  1. Winter - Mabel is on winter break during her senior year and meets a week-long romantic fling.
  2. Spring - Jasmine is finishing senior year and graduating and has a love interest heading in a different direction.
  3. Summer - Summer after graduating high school, Inha is applying to fashion school for college but meets a love interest that makes her re-think her future.
  4. Autumn - Anna is in her first semester of a law program in college and falls in love in a relationship that can actually last.
On paper, that order makes the most sense, but after finishing the entire series, Amazon's order is best from a business and marketing stand-point.

Amazon Prime Release Order
  1. Summer - The easiest watch, most middle-of-the-road movie of the series. It's fun, colourful and energetic. The most likely of the four to not turn off potential viewers.
  2. Autumn - The best movie of the series. The one with a romance most likely to last. The perfect second movie to build up an audience.
  3. Winter - It's a lot slower and more dramatic than Summer and Autumn, and with a more artistic style it'd be a hard movie to use to keep building an audience.
  4. Spring - Also a middle-of-the-road movie, but it's not as well written and not nearly as fun as Summer.
In the end, I have to recommend Amazon's order for any one looking to watch the entire series.

Reviews of all four movies:

  An Unforgettable Year: Summer

  An Unforgettable Year: Autumn

  An Unforgettable Year: Winter

  An Unforgettable Year: Spring

(P.S. If you liked what you read, please consider clicking on an ad. It will cost you nothing, but will force the advertisers to pay me something.)

An Unforgettable Year: Spring: Movie Review

A teen romance that forgets logic.
(See An Unforgettable Year series ranking and comparison)

An Unforgettable Year: Spring ends the Unforgettable Year series with a whimper amongst the spring flowers. For those new, this is a stand-alone series where each movie (season) tells its own story of teen romance with a new protagonist. Unlike the other entries, Spring does not have a significant setting. It looks like an average, but beautiful, Brazil city. And our protagonist, Jasmine (Livia Silva) is ready to graduate high school, if she can pass math first.   2023

Directed by: Bruno Garotti, Jamile Marinho

Screenplay by: Vince Marcello, Maira Oliveira, and Ana Pacheco

Starring: Livia Silva, Ronald Sotto

Thursday, June 22, 2023

Through My Window Across the Sea: Movie Review

More of the same bad relationship.
Through My Window: Across the Sea reunites young lovers Raquel and Ares. Ares has returned home from university in Stockholm for the summer, so the ‘Across the Sea’ component is resolved within the opening minutes and we’re back to just ‘Through My Window’, which is fitting because it’s basically the same movie; same relationship and most of the same relationship problems.   2023

Directed by: Marçal Forés

Screenplay by: Ariana Godoy, Eduard Sola

Starring: Clara Galle, Julio Peña

Friday, June 16, 2023

An Unforgettable Year: Winter: Movie Review

Slow and thoughtful teen romance.
(See An Unforgettable Year series ranking and comparison)

For those new, An Unforgettable Year is a four-film (and book) stand-alone series of teen romance. The Amazon Prime releases started with Summer, then Autumn, and now we’re at Winter. I’ll have more to say about the order and progression of the series when Spring is released next week (link added above). But for now, we’re headed to the mountains in Chile with soon-to-be-high-school-graduate Mabel (Maitê Padilha).   2023

Directed by: Caroline Fioratti

Screenplay by: Angela Hirata Fabri
Based on the short story by Paula Pimenta

Starring: Maitê Padilha, Michel Joelsas

Thursday, June 15, 2023

The Blackening: Movie Review

Seven Black friends have gathered for a weekend reunion of games and fun at a remote cabin in the woods (at the end of the street on the left (I’m joking)). You know what happens next. Except you don’t because if we go by almost every horror movie ever made, the Black character dies first, but they can’t all die first. The Blackening’s promotional tag line and premise is fantastic. The humour and the main plot line are well established.   2023

Directed by: Tim Story

Screenplay by: Tracy Oliver, Dewayne Perkins

Starring: Antoinette Robertson, Grace Byers, Dewayne Perkins

Monday, June 12, 2023

Not Your Romeo & Juliet: Movie Review

Short and sweet.
Not Your Romeo & Juliet is a university produced indie romantic comedy. Taking place entirely within the university campus, the minimal budget is obvious, but the film also doesn’t try do anything beyond its means. Coming in at a very brisk 70 minutes, the simple story is told in a very refreshing straight-forward and efficient way. The rom-com plot is very predictable, but the characters are well crafted.   2023

Directed by: Matthew Kistenmacher

Screenplay by: Sean Gaffney

Starring: Ashley Butler, Ben Jeffers

Saturday, June 10, 2023

An Unforgettable Year: Autumn: Movie Review

A creatively constructed and engaging teen rom-com.
(See An Unforgettable Year series ranking and comparison)

An Unforgettable Year: Autumn is the second in the teen romance series. It’s a stand-alone story so there’s no need to have seen An Unforgettable Year: Summer, but the similarities in themes certainly suggest that fans of one are going to want to stick around for all four films. Autumn is also a better constructed film than Summer so the series is trending upwards.   2023

Directed by: Lazaro Ramos

Screenplay by: Keka Reis, Caroline Fioratti
Based on the short story by Babi Dewet

Starring: Gabz, Lucas Leto

Friday, June 9, 2023

97 Minutes: Movie Review

Even if there’s an interesting idea buried somewhere within this premise, 97 Minutes has no clue how to mine it. The movie is 93 minutes worth of terrible dialogue, cliché terrorists, action sequences that don’t come from the most recent plot turn, a plane full of stupid people, and nothing that is interesting or fun. The action effects are bad and combining that with mostly bad actors delivering nonsense dialogue, it’s impossible to find any positives in this.   2023

Directed by: Timo Vuorensola

Screenplay by: Pavan Grover

Starring: Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Alec Baldwin

Friday, June 2, 2023

An Unforgettable Year: Summer: Movie Review

A messy teen rom-com that can still showcase Carnaval in all its glorious colours and music.
(See An Unforgettable Year series ranking and comparison)

An Unforgettable Year: Summer is a Brazilian romantic dramedy set during none other than Carnaval. As suggested by the title, it is indeed part of a 4-film series. Autumn, Winter and Spring will be released in consecutive weeks on Amazon Prime. Based on the Portuguese book series, they are unconnected short stories with one simple theme in common: teens finding themselves and falling in love, and an interesting trend: each one has a specific South American location.   2023

Directed by: Cris d'Amato

Screenplay by: Bruno Garotti, Sylvio Gonçalves, Maira Oliveira
Based on the short story by Thalita Rebouças

Starring: Livia Inhudes

Thursday, June 1, 2023

A Beautiful Life: Movie Review

A simple story with lovely music.
A Beautiful Life is a leisurely and enjoyable Danish romantic drama about music and life in general. That’s really all it’s about. There are overall themes about loss and moving on in life, but it focuses on the music, which is lovely and is the exact right focus for a movie of this ilk. If you came for a predictably sweet, simple movie with some nice pop songs (which are in English), you’re in luck.   2023

Directed by: Mehdi Avaz

Screenplay by: Stefan Jaworski

Starring: Christopher, Inga Ibsdotter Lilleaas