Thursday, August 31, 2023

Choose Love: Movie Review

A minimal rom-com with no right or wrong choice.
A choose your own adventure romantic comedy. You finally have your choice of the stable boyfriend, the international long lost love or a rock star. Sorry, not your choice, you get to pick for Cami. Cami (Laura Marano) is an LA music producer who opens the movie by visiting a psychic. The psychic frames the movie perfectly, but Cami is a very flighty girl who can’t make up her mind about anything.   2023

Directed by: Stuart McDonald

Screenplay by: Josann McGibbon

Starring: Laura Marano, Scott Michael Foster, Jordi Webber and Avan Jogia

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Deltopia: Movie Review

A day in the life of high school seniors attending an end of school year epic party. Deltopia is named after the real-life California beach party called Deltopia, and indeed the film opens with a ‘based on true events’ label. The problem with such a label is you’re expecting something interesting or significant to happen, but it looks a lot like every other movie about teens partying, except even harder to get into.   2023

Directed by: Michael Easterling, Jaala Ruffman

Screenplay by: Michael Easterling, Jaala Ruffman

Starring: Luna Blaise, Madison Pettis,
Charlie Gillespie, and Hart Denton

Friday, August 25, 2023

Vacation Friends 2: Movie Review

The original friends are in over their heads.

The vacation friends are back on vacation. Ron (John Cena) & Kyla (Meredith Hagner) and Marcus (Lil Rel Howery & Emily (Yvonne Orji) are in the Caribbean on Marcus’ generosity – or more accurately, on the generosity of an Asian hotel group that Marcus’s company is trying to get into business with, and of course Marcus didn’t tell Ron and Kyla since they can be, you know, embarrassing.   2023

Directed by: Clay Tarver

Screenplay by: Clay Tarver

Starring: John Cena, Lil Rel Howery, Meredith Hagner, and Yvonne Orji

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

The List: Movie Review

Fun premise and delivers expected comedy.
Abby (Halston Sage) and Matt (Jonah Platt) are celebrating their engagement when in walks (fictional) celebrity Kenzie Scott. Matt and Abby’s formerly imagined celebrity free pass list becomes a reality officially written down and Matt is “free” to pursue the hot and famous movie star. The first part of The List mostly plays out as it would in real life complete with lies and jealousy and no actual freedom.   2023

Directed by: Melissa Miller Costanzo

Screenplay by: Rob Lederer, Steve Vitolo

Starring: Halston Sage, Christian Navarro

Friday, August 18, 2023

It Only Takes a Night: Movie Review

A romantic comedy with a bit of a bad girls twist.
It Only Takes a Night is marketed as a ‘women behaving badly’ type of movie but it plays out more like a romantic comedy; however, the end twist is a good joke so its easy to let any misdirection in the genre slide. It opens with Ruby (Eliza Taylor) being interrogated in the morning after a night that clearly went badly. Rewind to three months earlier and Ruby is preparing herself for her boyfriend proposing is instead dumped.   2023

Directed by: Callan Durlik

Screenplay by: Callan Durlik

Starring: Eliza Taylor, Arielle Carver O'Neill, Sana'a Shaik, 'Ana Ika, and George Pullar

Puppy Love: Movie Review

Jokes fly as two dogs and their owners fall in love.

Nicole (Lucy Hale) lives her life sloppily. She’s messy, over-sleeps her alarm, works for a house-staging company with rich clients – a job she doesn’t care about; getting drunk and yelling at strangers is easier than meeting somebody she actually likes. Max (Grant Gustin) does not like people; he’s asocial, has panic attacks at the mere thought of going to work and interacting with anybody will often lead to him throwing up.   2023

Directed by: Nick Fabiano, Richard Alan Reid

Screenplay by: Greg Glienna, Peter Stass,
and Kirsten Guenther

Starring: Lucy Hale, Grant Gustin

Friday, August 11, 2023

Match Me If You Can: Movie Review

Cute and sweet rom-com.
Kip (Georgina Reilly) is a nerdy computer programmer who signs up for a dating website during a drunken night of self pity only to receive an email the next day saying she's unmatchable. What follows is a sweet and funny rom-com about an introverted girl thrust into a public spotlight after the company decides to sue her for libel. It's a movie about celebrating the weird and standing up for yourself.   2023

Directed by: Marian Yeager

Screenplay by: Betsy Morris

Starring: Georgina Reilly, Wilson Bethel

Thursday, August 10, 2023

Red, White & Royal Blue: Movie Review

Annoying premise but good relationship saga.
The premise of Red, White & Royal Blue can be very difficult to accept, and it’s hard to see this as anything but a cash grab to try to steal off the recent popularity of the British Royals with King Charles’ coronation and Megan and Prince Harry’s tell-alls. In this version of reality, there’s a King James III who is the grandfather of Prince Philip (a clear parallel to William), Prince Henry (a partial parallel to Harry) and Princess Beatrice.   2023

Directed by: Matthew Lopez

Screenplay by: Matthew Lopez, Ted Malawar
Based on the novel by Casey McQuiston

Starring: Taylor Zakhar Perez, Nicholas Galitzine

Sunday, August 6, 2023

Making Waves: Movie Review

A lightweight romance with bland storylines.

Amelia (Holland Roden) is an over-worked music producer at a record label in Nashville, who would love her job if her boss actually listened to her occasionally. Her boss reluctantly approves a trip to the Outer Banks Music Festival to try and sign a new indie band. This happens to be her hometown, her high school boyfriend and childhood best friend still live there, and of course the ex is secretly the lead singer of Figure 8’s.   2023

Directed by: Terry Ingram

Screenplay by: Kate Schriver, Laura Streicher

Starring: Holland Roden, Corey Cott

Thursday, August 3, 2023

North of Normal: Movie Review

A prudent tale of life finding its way back to normal.
Cea knows her life is far from normal, but she also doesn’t really know what normal is or where to find it. As a young child her single mother opted out of society and raised Cea first in a cult in the wilderness and then with her grandparents in the Yukon. North of Normal starts with young Cea continually confused and frustrated by the weird cult but then abandoned by her mother.   2022

Directed by: Carly Stone

Screenplay by: Alexandra Weir
Based on the memoir by Cea Sunrise Person

Starring: Amanda Fix, Sarah Gadon

Tuesday, August 1, 2023

River Wild: Movie Review

A thriller with the right amount of action, suspense and atmosphere.
Joey (Leighton Meester) goes with her brother, Gray (Taran Killam), on a whitewater rafting and camping trip. Joining them are new friends, Van (Eve Connelly) and Karissa (Olivia Swann), and an old childhood friend Trevor (Adam Brody). Gray is the experienced rafter the others are up for the adventure. It’s just the five of them versus the elements but turns out it’s not going to be that simple.   2023

Directed by: Ben Ketai

Screenplay by: Ben Ketai, Mike Nguyen Le

Starring: Leighton Meester, Taran Killam,  and Adam Brody