Quick Reviews: Look Both Ways and Movers Ultimate (2022)

On the eve of her college graduation, Natalie’s life diverges into two parallel realities: one in which she becomes pregnant and must navigate motherhood in her Texas hometown, the other in which she moves to Los Angeles to pursue her career.

Look Both Ways is a movie that is clearly trying to talk about a heavy subject (abortion) but for whatever reason doesn’t discuss it further and can’t even say the word abortion. Lil Reinhart gives a solid performance despite a script that really does not go in much depth outside of a few moments that work decently, the major problem as said before is how the movie doesn’t want to fully commit to discussing it’s heavy subject. It feels like a cop out not talking about the option of an abortion, if you are going to talk about abortion or any other heavy subject commit to it and don’t cop out, at that point why even bother?

Look Both Ways is available on Netflix.

3/10 D-

Two best bros must get off work in time to make it to their 10 year high school reunion and reconnect with the girls that got away.

Attempts to capture that early 2000s comedy classic feel but misses it’s mark. There’s a few moments that are pretty okay but a lot of it is either not funny or doesn’t use it’s premise to it’s full potential. The acting isn’t the worst and it does seem like the cast had a blast making the movie so that’s something at least, but a lot of it is largely forgettable unfortunately.

Movers Ultimate releases tomorrow on all VOD Platforms.

3/10 D-

2022 Movie Catchup: Hypochondriac, 13: The Musical, Alone Together and Cave Rescue.

Will has a loving boyfriend and a good life, but when his mentally ill mother reemerges after a 10-year absence, he descends into a dark spiral of madness, haunted by the manifestation of his childhood trauma.

Hypochondriac had everything it needed to be a solid movie it’s the way it was executed that really held it back. There was some genuinely decent moments that actually tackled mental illness in a surprisingly realistic way during the first half of the movie. It did a genuinely good job of building Zach Villa’s character and brought many ideas to the table that I was very interested to see how the movie would develop them during the rest of the movie. Unfortunately the rest of the movie completely abandons the realistic approach to mental illness and instead trades in for a very over the top cliched way that a lot of movies commonly do, a lot of the story is replaced with trying to be a slow burn that uses trippy visuals which I don’t have an issue with the idea itself. The problem is it has to at least make some sort of sense and can’t just come right out of nowhere and sadly that’s the case here, heck the trippy visuals didn’t even look that great so the payoff was really not worth it in this case. It’s a shame because the acting was pretty decent and there were a handful of moments from the writing that really delivered, if you really fixed up the second half of the movie and put it more in line with the first half. You would have a very strong movie that could be seen as a hidden gem, but as it stands Hypochondriac is unfortunately a huge missed opportunity.

Hypochondriac is available on all VOD Platforms.

5/10 C

After moving from New York City to Indiana, a 12-year-old navigates his parents’ divorce, his impending bar mitzvah and his new school’s social circles.

From what I’ve read about 13: The Musical it absolutely butchers the Broadway musical it’s based on, cutting several songs and replacing them with new ones is one of the main criticisms I’ve seen. Which at that point why make the movie in the first place? But that’s honestly the least of this movie’s issues because some of the songs here aren’t bad, a lot of them sound the exact same unfortunately but I don’t think any of them are terrible. Mainly due to the cast having great singing voices and definitely try to give it their all, the main issues here are mostly the story being the most below average coming of age story you could think of. And the style of the movie that just comes off as an old navy commercial (particularly a back to school commercial) the choreography is great and as I said the cast truly tries to make the film work but they just aren’t given a lot to really work with. Outside of a few moments that are genuinely touching the movie’s themes go about as deep as a bad Disney Channel Original movie.

13: The Musical is available on Netflix!

3/10 D-

Two strangers wind up double-booked in the same upstate New York rental during the start of COVID-19. Exasperating the situation, the lockdown forces them both to stay and confront the unexpected feelings that develop between them.

Oh joy another COVID-19 related movie, I was honestly considering skipping on this one but Katie Holmes in the director’s chair caught my eye. Talk about tone-deaf and self centered, the movie attempts to show two strangers bonding and slowly having romantic feelings for each other during the pandemic. While having this state of ignorant bliss when the rest of the world was suffering, with Language Lessons and 7 Days were aware what they were talking about, they were actual great films and the movie wasn’t just about the main character’s issues. With Alone Together you get nothing but the main characters constantly being ignorant about the rest of the world while acting like they have it the absolute worst, Katie Holmes, Jim Sturgess and Derek Luke do a fine enough job here but there really isn’t anything to get excited over. It’s emotionally hollow and very dull in it’s execution, there’s a couple moments with Melissa Leo which are genuinely sweet. But it’s not enough to save this movie from being a huge mess.

Alone Together is available on all VOD Platforms.

2/10 F

Twelve boys and their football coach become trapped in a northern Thailand cave by flood waters, and an international team of rescue workers scramble to save them.

Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe there has never been a two movies that have been released on the same day that are about the exact same thing in recent years at least (it probably has happened before I just can’t recall it ever happening). Thirteen Lives (which I already reviewed) and Cave Rescue are about the exact same thing which is about the Tham Lung cave rescue, Cave Rescue is the definitely the weaker of the two it does have great filming and there are some claustrophobic moments that are done pretty well. But a lot of this movie feels like a much weaker version of Ron Howard’s version, the acting is not as good and the writing is just not there when it comes to powerful moments. It’s just more of the same thing as Thirteen Lives only worse.

Cave Rescue Is available on all VOD Platforms.

3/10 D-

2022 Movie Catchup: Hypochondriac, 13: The Musical, Alone Together and Cave Rescue.

Will has a loving boyfriend and a good life, but when his mentally ill mother reemerges after a 10-year absence, he descends into a dark spiral of madness, haunted by the manifestation of his childhood trauma.

Hypochondriac had everything it needed to be a solid movie it’s the way it was executed that really held it back. There was some genuinely decent moments that actually tackled mental illness in a surprisingly realistic way during the first half of the movie. It did a genuinely good job of building Zach Villa’s character and brought many ideas to the table that I was very interested to see how the movie would develop them during the rest of the movie. Unfortunately the rest of the movie completely abandons the realistic approach to mental illness and instead trades in for a very over the top cliched way that a lot of movies commonly do, a lot of the story is replaced with trying to be a slow burn that uses trippy visuals which I don’t have an issue with the idea itself. The problem is it has to at least make some sort of sense and can’t just come right out of nowhere and sadly that’s the case here, heck the trippy visuals didn’t even look that great so the payoff was really not worth it in this case. It’s a shame because the acting was pretty decent and there were a handful of moments from the writing that really delivered, if you really fixed up the second half of the movie and put it more in line with the first half. You would have a very strong movie that could be seen as a hidden gem, but as it stands Hypochondriac is unfortunately a huge missed opportunity.

Hypochondriac is available on all VOD Platforms.

5/10 C

After moving from New York City to Indiana, a 12-year-old navigates his parents’ divorce, his impending bar mitzvah and his new school’s social circles.

From what I’ve read about 13: The Musical it absolutely butchers the Broadway musical it’s based on, cutting several songs and replacing them with new ones is one of the main criticisms I’ve seen. Which at that point why make the movie in the first place? But that’s honestly the least of this movie’s issues because some of the songs here aren’t bad, a lot of them sound the exact same unfortunately but I don’t think any of them are terrible. Mainly due to the cast having great singing voices and definitely try to give it their all, the main issues here are mostly the story being the most below average coming of age story you could think of. And the style of the movie that just comes off as an old navy commercial (particularly a back to school commercial) the choreography is great and as I said the cast truly tries to make the film work but they just aren’t given a lot to really work with. Outside of a few moments that are genuinely touching the movie’s themes go about as deep as a bad Disney Channel Original movie.

13: The Musical is available on Netflix!

3/10 D-

Two strangers wind up double-booked in the same upstate New York rental during the start of COVID-19. Exasperating the situation, the lockdown forces them both to stay and confront the unexpected feelings that develop between them.

Oh joy another COVID-19 related movie, I was honestly considering skipping on this one but Katie Holmes in the director’s chair caught my eye. Talk about tone-deaf and self centered, the movie attempts to show two strangers bonding and slowly having romantic feelings for each other during the pandemic. While having this state of ignorant bliss when the rest of the world was suffering, with Language Lessons and 7 Days were aware what they were talking about, they were actual great films and the movie wasn’t just about the main character’s issues. With Alone Together you get nothing but the main characters constantly being ignorant about the rest of the world while acting like they have it the absolute worst, Katie Holmes, Jim Sturgess and Derek Luke do a fine enough job here but there really isn’t anything to get excited over. It’s emotionally hollow and very dull in it’s execution, there’s a couple moments with Melissa Leo which are genuinely sweet. But it’s not enough to save this movie from being a huge mess.

Alone Together is available on all VOD Platforms.

2/10 F

Twelve boys and their football coach become trapped in a northern Thailand cave by flood waters, and an international team of rescue workers scramble to save them.

Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe there has never been a two movies that have been released on the same day that are about the exact same thing in recent years at least (it probably has happened before I just can’t recall it ever happening). Thirteen Lives (which I already reviewed) and Cave Rescue are about the exact same thing which is about the Tham Lung cave rescue, Cave Rescue is the definitely the weaker of the two it does have great filming and there are some claustrophobic moments that are done pretty well. But a lot of this movie feels like a much weaker version of Ron Howard’s version, the acting is not as good and the writing is just not there when it comes to powerful moments. It’s just more of the same thing as Thirteen Lives only worse.

Cave Rescue Is available on all VOD Platforms.

3/10 D-

Thirteen Lives captures claustrophobia expertly.

A rescue mission is assembled in Thailand where a group of young boys and their soccer coach are trapped in a system of underground caves that are flooding.

Thirteen Lives is based on the Tham Luang cave rescue which occurred in June and July 2018 where twelve members of junior association football team and their coach were trapped. If you recall last year a documentary called The Rescue was about this very subject (highly recommend checking that out) so seeing this movie release not even less then a year after The Rescue came out is actually a huge risk, luckily Thirteen Lives has a lot going for it. The cast in particular do a really great job here Colin Farrell, Viggo Mortensen and Joel Edgerton in particular hit it out of the park really well and give some pretty raw performances. The claustrophobic feel during the diving scenes as well as the cave scenes are very effective due to the atmosphere and Ron Howard’s direction he does such an excellent job of capturing claustrophobia and how it really feels. We get to hear different perspectives from the many people involved which is quite great, the main criticism mostly comes from wanting to see more of the football team and their coach. Expand on how they were feeling during all of this and more of the families as well, but overall Thirteen Lives is very solid! You will definitely get more out of The Rescue but if you are still interested in the story itself I do recommend checking this one out.

Thirteen Lives is available on Amazon Prime Video.

7/10 B

Mrs. Harris Goes To Paris is a charming little movie.

In 1950s London, a widowed cleaning lady falls madly in love with a couture Dior dress, deciding she must have one of her own. After working to raise the funds to pursue her dream, she embarks on an adventure to Paris that will change not only her own outlook — but the very future of the House of Dior.

Mrs. Harris Goes To Paris is simplistic yet still really interesting and quite great at the same time, it’s a super sweet and wholesome movie that establishes it’s goal right from the start that being to fall in love with the film. Lesley Manville in the leading role is spectacular, she’s very fitting in her role and truly knocks it out of the park as the leading role. Isabelle Huppert is also quite fantastic here as well, like Manville she completely steals every scene she’s in and truly goes all out in the role. The writing is simple yet very charming, the film really shows the beauty of being simplistic it particularly works here mainly due to the cast and the film itself coming together to create something wholesome. The costume design combined with the cinematography has a lot to look at that really captures the viewer’s eye and it’s the little details that make the film go the extra mile as well. Mrs. Harris Goes To Paris might not break any new ground but it doesn’t have to, it’s a simple and easy watch that’s genuinely charming.

Mrs. Harris Goes To Paris is available on all VOD Platforms.

7/10 B

Mr. Malcolm’s List is a decent period drama

In 19th-century England, a wealthy, young lady named Julia engages in courtship with Mr. Malcolm, a mysterious, wealthy suitor, unaware that he has a list of qualities required of a future wife.

Mr. Malcolm’s List is about what you expect from a lot of period drama movies, there are at least a few things that make this one at least worthwhile though. Such as the costumes being actually pretty well done, the performances all around are decent enough and there’s some strong writing moments that definitely give the movie something to work with. The diverse cast actually really does a good job of working together to create some fascinating moments that are at least a few steps up from other period drama movies, what is lacking however is mostly the script which as I said before does have it’s strong moments but for the most part it feels more less the same thing as a lot of other period drama movies. If you are a fan of period dramas you will probably like this one.

Mr. Malcolm’s List available on all VOD Platforms.

6/10 C+

Quick Review: Bliss (2022)

In a world where their femininity is considered a commodity, two sex workers fall in love with each other.

I’m actually genuinely confused on this one, mainly due to the narrative being a complete and total mess. I guess the acting was pretty okay and there were some decent moments here when the characters would connect to one another, but most of it is very dull with a lot of scenes that really don’t give enough for the viewer to work with.

Bliss is available in theaters and will be released on all VOD Platforms August 16th.

4/10 D+

No Okay is a smart commentary about social media with brilliant performances.

A misguided young woman who is desperate for friends and fame fakes a trip to Paris to update her social media presence. A terrifying incident takes place in the real world, which becomes a part of the imaginary trip and offers all she wants.

Not Okay is a really solid film that’s a commentary about social media, such as activism and how being held accountable is actually pretty important. The film is mostly strong the performances department with Zoey Deutch who gives a well done performance that is both charming and quite hilarious as well. Mia Isaac (who was in Don’t Make Me Go) steals every single scene she’s in, there’s particular moments here that she really shows her talent and actually give the viewer some goosebumps, when Deutch and Isaac are on screen together it’s truly amazing. The combination of both talents takes the film to a new level and truly captures a range of emotions as well, the direction from Quinn Shephard is truly well done. It’s energetic, raw and actually sums up what a lot of people on social media act like (and to this day still do). Although there’s some parts the movie could have elaborated a bit more on, for a majority of the movie it was very well written, acted and directed!

Not Okay is available on Hulu!

8/10 B+

Purple Hearts is a mixed bag romance movie.

Despite their differences and against all odds, an aspiring singer-songwriter and a soldier fall hopelessly in love.

Part of the reason why it’s so hard to review these types of Netflix movies is because they all start to blend in with one another. Purple Hearts is no exception, outside of Sofia Carson who is really trying with such a limited script to make this work, a few of the songs she sings which I have to say are pretty decent and a few moments that actually are strong enough to stand on their own. The movie feels like an extended Nicholas Sparks movie despite not being one, I have no idea why this is 2 hours and 2 minutes long because a lot of these scenes could have easily been trimmed down. The writing starts out as a trainwreck throwing a bunch of liberal and conservative stereotypes that at one point become unintentionally funny, the writing definitely gets a lot better as it goes on and actually explores Cassie’s (Sofia Carson) and Luke’s (Nicholas Galitzine) relationship. The plot goes exactly how you think it’s going to go, it’s pretty much everything you have seen before in a very mixed bag of a movie.

Purple Hearts is available on Netflix.

5/10 C

RRR the most chaotic 3 hours in all the right ways put into film.

A tale of two legendary revolutionaries and their journey far away from home. After their journey they return home to start fighting back against British colonialists in the 1920s.

Before I start I want say flat out that I’m not very knowledgeable about Indian cinema, so I may miss some important themes here but let it be known that I absolutely love this movie and everything about it.

RRR I heard from word of mouth, and was very excited based on what I heard. Simply put RRR is the most insane three hours I have seen from a film in a long time, there’s so much to this film to the point where every shot has at least so many different types of elements. The film is the story of actual Indian freedom fighters Alluri Sitarama Raju and Komaram Bheem, the film makes it into a what if story. It’s a fictionalized account of both these men and what they could have accomplish had they met. Taking a concept as big as that is very hard to get right but the cast and crew do it effortlessly here, for starters Ram Charan and N.T. Rama Rao Jr. are absolutely fantastic in the leading roles. Both have incredible chemistry between another and absolutely steal each and every scene they are in, the film is such a huge spectacle as well. As I said earlier there’s so much going on in each and every scene to the point where every scene feels like a huge spectacle to the eye, especially when combined with Charan and Rao Jr’s performances (which are some of my favorite of the year) but what really makes this film extraordinary is the balance of entertainment, humor and dramatic moments one doesn’t out do the other it all blends so well together. Two scenes in particular standout of being some of the best scenes I’ve seen in a film this year…The Naacho Naacho dance scene a truly huge blast of entertainment that really shows the main leads talent and the Tiger scene which is just pure and utter chaos that is truly top notch. The Tiger scene really shows what I love about film so much creativity combined with going all out and that’s what RRR did. Overall RRR is truly an incredible experience that I highly recommend giving a watch!!

RRR is available on Netflix!

10/10 A+