Saturday, July 29, 2023

Aloha Heart: Movie Review

Slow, minimal but lovely romance.

Sarah (Taylor Cole) is a workaholic who loves her job as a water conservationist and begrudgingly takes a week off for her best friend’s wedding in Hawaii. More on her later since she’s a much better character than expected based on that opening. Manu (Kanoa Goo) is a newly-promoted hotel manager working for his out-of-touch parents at a beautiful Hawaiian resort, where Sarah and the bride and groom are about to land.   2023

Directed by: Seth Jarrett

Screenplay by: Nicole Baxter

Starring: Taylor Cole, Kanoa Goo

Friday, July 28, 2023

Sons of Summer: Movie Review

A group of four men get caught up in a drug deal gone bad. Now it’s 30 years later and their four sons bonded by surfing and their fathers and decide it’s also time to get caught up in a drug deal gone bad. It’s now 30 years after the release of Point Break and Australia decided it needed to make its own Point Break, just cheaper and significantly worse.   2023

Directed by: Clive Fleury

Screenplay by: Phillip Avalon, Greg Clayton

Starring: Joe Davidson, Isabel Lucas

The Slumber Party: Movie Review

Disney’s The Slumber Party is The Hangover except change to teen girls, minus the drugs, and swap out the general R-rated raunchiness for PG misadventures. It manages to still be fun and perfectly tailored to its audience. This is a wholesome, progressive teen girl adventure comedy that focuses on fun. The overall themes about friendship and family are kept to a minimum. The girls just get to have fun instead of delivering virtuous messages.   2023

Directed by: Veronica Rodriguez

Screenplay by: Eydie Faye, Jen Malone

Starring: Darby Camp, Emmy Liu-Wang and Alex Coopher Cohen

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

See You on Venus: Movie Review

A light-weight tragi-comedy fizzles out into a confused romantic drama.
A girl with a secret makes a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Spain. She also manages to convince an almost stranger recovering from a tragedy to join her. Mia (Virginia Gardner) can steal hearts from the beginning; she’s a kind-hearted, street-smart girl who loves photography and grew up in the foster system. It’s clear she’s seen things in her past but has found a way to continually embrace positivity.   2023

Directed by: Joaquin Llamas

Screenplay by: Victoria Vinuesa

Starring: Virginia Gardner, Alex Aiono

Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Happiness for Beginners: Movie Review

A light-weight romantic dramedy with a lovely tranquil and serene atmosphere.
Happiness for Beginners gets off on the right foot. Ellie Kemper’s Helen is funny and Luke Grimes’ Jake is sweet. Helen is a little miss perfectionist, plans things to the detail and expects everyone else to just follow her lead. That type of character can get annoying but Kemper provides her with enough humanity that audiences are most likely to be sympathetic to her rather than frustrated by her.   2023

Directed by: Vicky Wight

Screenplay by: Vicky Wight, Katherine Center

Starring: Ellie Kemper, Luke Grimes

Friday, July 21, 2023

Oppenheimer: Movie Review

Complexity of a tortured genius.
Oppenheimer tells a complicated portrait of a complicated by man by weaving in the science, the politics, and his fame. The first act is primarily Robert Oppenheimer as the physicist – an impulsive and smart young man, who studied in Europe and learned the languages and cultures around him. It also starts introducing the political trials that will surround him in later years.   2023

Directed by: Christopher Nolan

Screenplay by: Christopher Nolan, Kai Bird, Martin Sherwin

Starring: Cillian Murphy, Robert Downey Jr.

Barbie: Movie Review

A funny and smart synopsis of Barbie in the real world vs Barbieland.
Barbie is book-ended with a history of Barbie and Mattel. Within the opening minute it gives a concise breakdown of why Barbie exists and why it become so popular: because Barbie represented a world of possibilities, girls could play pretend as anything they wanted, they were no longer confined to playing house. Over in Barbieland, all the Barbies are living their best life. Their best plastic life.   2023

Directed by: Greta Gerwig

Screenplay by: Greta Gerwig, Noah Baumbach

Starring: Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling

Thursday, July 20, 2023

What's My Name Again?: Movie Review

What’s My Name Again? Is about Bo Baxter (Ryan Winn) except he soon finds out that Baxter isn’t really his last name. His birth father Robert Olaffson has been mostly out of the picture since he was born, his first step-father Scott Baxter was supposed to adopt him (and as far as everyone knows, he did adopt him) except his mother never filed the adoption papers, so his name isn’t really his name.   2023

Directed by: Spencer Zender

Screenplay by: Spencer Zender

Starring: Ryan Winn, Allison Byrnes, Nick Schultz, and Talia Mychael Blaney

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Summer at Charlotte's: Movie Review

Very predictable, laid-back romance.

Summer at Charlotte’s is literally big city girl goes to her small hometown and rediscovers what she wants in life while falling back in love with her childhood sweetheart. As every good romance cinephile knows, that is the plot description of most Hallmark movies. The main problem with Summer at Charlotte’s is the genericness of it. So few specifics are given to the character or her life that the movie has no identity.   2023

Directed by: Avi Federgreen

Screenplay by: Kaisha Bicknell, Style Dayne

Starring: Lucy Hill, Patch May

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

Time's Up: Movie Review

It’s New Year’s Eve in a cold, small town. A high school student has recently committed suicide; the teachers are having a party. Some of them, namely Jacqui (Hannah Fierman), are very concerned about how it happened, how it could have been prevented, and what role they each played in that student’s life to make him end it. The rest of the teachers don’t care, they repeat the platitudes like “nobody could have seen this coming” and “he’s in a better place now”.   2022

Directed by: L.C. Holt

Screenplay by: L.C. Holt

Starring: Damian Maffei, Hannah Fierman

Friday, July 14, 2023

Fourth Grade: Movie Review

A good premise completely wasted.
Enter the pristine halls of a private elementary school for the kids of rich parents. Parents of the fourth grade theater class have been told to meet after school for an emergency meeting. They don’t know why they’ve been summoned, but assume it has to do with casting the school play and they quickly start bickering about whose kid is the most talented. Turns out a brick of weed was found in the classroom.   2021

Directed by: Marcelo Galvão

Screenplay by: Marcelo Galvão

Starring: Teri Polo, Ben Begley

Thursday, July 6, 2023

Gold Brick (AKA: Cash): Movie Review

Some dumb criminals in an entertaining movie.
Gold Brick is a French heist comedy, a tale of capitalism turning into greed. Set in a blue-collar town, Daniel (Raphaël Quenard) has had his share of wealthy families running unscrupulous companies stealing job opportunities from those who just want to work. So Daniel fights back, gets a job with the evil Breuil perfume company, and steals from within   2023

Directed by: Jérémie Rozan

Screenplay by: Jérémie Rozan

Starring: Raphaël Quenard, Antoine Gouy

Tuesday, July 4, 2023

Chevalier: Movie Review

A tale of opera, racism, forbidden love and the French revolution.
A film about a man almost forgotten by history is about to be completely ignored by the movie-going public. On one hand, an operatic biopic about a violinist from the 18th century is never going to be an easy sell; but on the other hand, this should have easily been able to ride the popularity of Bridgerton, the popularity of stars Kelvin Harrison Jr and Samara Weaving and the intrigue in the French monarchy and Queen Marie Antoinette.   2022

Directed by: Stephen Williams

Screenplay by: Stefani Robinson

Starring: Kelvin Harrison, Jr., Samara Weaving

Sunday, July 2, 2023

The Unseen: Movie Review

The Unseen is an indie horror. This is a difficult movie to get into with a very minimal production budget and effects that (purposely?) mimic 1950s horror stuff; it looks amateur-ish and is probably only meant for the most forgiving horror fans. Presumably the world it presents is supposed to be a normal family in a normal city, and then start the creepy hints that things aren’t right.   2023

Directed by: Vincent Shade

Screenplay by: Jennifer A. Goodman

Starring: RJ Mitte, Kimberly Michelle Vaughn