Quick Reviews: The Lost Girls and First Love (2022)

Four generations of Darling women deal with the aftermath of their adventures with Peter Pan in Neverland. Like her grandmother and her mother Jane before her, Wendy must escape Pan’s hold on her and the promise he desperately wants her to keep. As her daughter, Berry, comes into Peter’s orbit, Wendy must fight to save her relationship with her daughter while reconciling her legacy.

For a movie that’s supposedly inspired by Peter Pan you would think this would get far more advertising but instead it very quietly gets put on to VOD platforms and I can see why. I honestly couldn’t tell you what exactly happens during the movie because it’s a huge mess filled with bad writing, a horribly constructed story and very poor acting outside of Iain Glen and Louis Partridge (which I’m questioning how on earth they got him to be in this). The main issue that hurts The Lost Girls basically sums up to “seen that and it’s been done way better before” you are better off watching any other Peter Pan related movie or just watch an actual adaption.

The Lost Girls is available on all VOD Platforms.

1/10 F

The story is described as a poignant look at a young man’s difficult entry into adulthood.

If you went by the poster you would probably expect another teen romance movie, that isn’t what this movie is luckily. Instead it’s more about bonding with family, Hero Finneas Tiffin is actually not that bad here (miles better than he was in After movies) Sydney Park is also pretty solid here as well. There’s a lot of touching moments that work mainly due to the cast having decent chemistry between one another, what sort of stops this movie from being even better is there are moments where the pacing feels way too long and also rushed at the same time. The movie starts to lose focus towards the end and just crashes before it can finish with it’s ideas. Overall not exactly bad just not enough meat on it’s bones to make it worth while.

First Love is available on all VOD Platforms.

5/10 C

Strawberry Mansion is a bizarre sci-fi experience!

In a future where the government records dreams and taxes them, a dream auditor gets caught up in an ageing eccentric’s dreams.

Strawberry Mansion is definitely something…and I mean that in the best possible way. Without giving anything away the film is a very trippy and bizarre film that keeps surprising you with a lot of stunning visuals and it’s own world. It takes the sci-fi genre and completely flips it upside down, the filming has this style to it that creates this atmosphere that adds so much to the film. The style it goes for is dreamlike with surreal visuals which builds the film’s world quite well and makes the film standout, the writing is really well done with some interesting dialogue between the characters and builds up moments that will make you question “what am I watching?” The final act unfortunately does lose a bit of steam and definitely feels weaker than the rest of the film, however the rest of the film is absolutely well done and takes you for a one of a kind experience!

Strawberry Mansion is available on all VOD Platforms.

8/10 B+

Big Gold Brick is a messy movie that has no idea what it wants to be.

An enigmatic, middle-aged father of two enlists the help of fledgling writer Samuel Liston to pen his biography. The circumstances leading up to the arrangement are astonishing, and efforts to write the biography are quickly stymied by ensuing chaos.

The major problem with Big Gold Brick is that it’s so uninteresting, this is the very definition of a movie saying or showing so much but saying and showing so little. There was some interesting stylistic choices at times and there’s a few moments that did get a laugh out of me due to how bad they were, but that was not worth enduring 2 hours and 12 minutes of complete and total nonsense, what baffles me is how Megan Fox, Oscar Isaac (although he’s really not in it that long it’s a cameo.) and Lucy Hale are in this. Megan Fox definitely tries her best with what she’s given but the problem is her character is very flat and has no personality, but the same can be said for the rest of the characters. I completely understand the type of comedy Big Gold Brick was trying to go for but it completely misses it’s mark. Lastly there’s the running time which has absolutely no reason to be 2 hours and 12 minutes long, there is so much here that could have been cut and the movie would not have changed at all. Overall Big Gold Brick is a terrible movie that feels like you just wasted your time.

Big Gold Brick is available on all VOD Platforms.

2/10 F

All The Moons is a very different vampire film!

During the final throes of the last Carlist war, a little girl is rescued from an orphanage by a mysterious woman who lives deep inside the forest.

All The Moons is a very different take on the vampire genre, it takes a lot of fantasy elements as well as some vampire elements we are use to and blends them into one beautiful piece. The horror elements are not very present here as the movie focuses on character moments and a deep dive into the main character and her experiences, there’s a lot of emotional moments that really caught me off guard as well. The acting and writing truly make this film worth the watch, there’s a lot of emotion put into the roles which adds so much to the characters. The filming is beautifully done and completely matches the atmosphere the film is going for, All The Moons is definitely something to check out if you are seeking for a very different vampire film.

All The Moons is available on Shudder!

8/10 B+

The King’s Daughter is a baffling poorly edited disaster.

Hoping to achieve immortality, King Louis XIV (Pierce Brosnan) captures a mermaid and steals her life force, but a discovery by his illegitimate daughter threatens to ruin the king’s plans.

The King’s Daughter was shelved for 7 years but finally released in 2022 and it’s very easy to see why that’s the case. For starters the major part that completely breaks this movie is the editing…now I know I reference the editing from Taken 3 a lot because it really is that bad, not only is it that bad but it feels like it’s edited like as if Stan Twitter edited a film. Except with Stan Twitter they aren’t trying to edit a full length movie they make/edit short fancams and so on of their favorite celebrity and that’s it. It’s honestly just baffling to see how broken a movie can really get because of how horrendous the editing really is, it moves so quickly from plot point to plot point giving the viewer no time at all to breath and analyze what happened, everything else in the movie doesn’t help at all either. The acting is horrendous, the writing feels incredibly rushed and fails to explain why we should care what’s going on or why we should care about the characters. Despite taking place in France there isn’t a single French actor (it happens in other films too it just adds to the trainwreck), the lighting looks fake and gives the movie such an ugly look to it. It’s so clearly green-screened with very shoddy CGI that looks very incomplete, lastly there’s the soundtrack that uses a ton of modern music that doesn’t fit at all to the scenes they are used. It’s incredible to me how bad someone can mess up a adventure fantasy movie, this is honestly quite the accomplishment meanwhile being the biggest embarrassment I’ve seen in quite awhile.

The King’s Daughter is available in theaters.

Disgrace To Cinema F

Swan Song is a interesting and thought provoking Sci-Fi film!

When a loving husband and father is diagnosed with a terminal illness, he’s presented with a controversial alternative solution to shield his family from his loss – replace himself with a carbon copy clone.

Swan Song was definitely a surprise, it’s a different type of Sci-Fi film than the genre is use to. It’s a film that explores the inner thoughts of humans as well as emotions, Mahershala Ali continues to show that he knows how to lead a movie. Ali in the leading role gives this film so much strength and character, It’s a very deep and almost feels personal type of performance that really sticks with you. The writing is really strong here, this is the type of writing where things could have easily gone horribly wrong and we would have been left with a very mediocre movie, luckily that’s not the case here because the writing Is very emotional and sticks with you. It examines how we feel or what we feel during situations it’s a special type of study about yourself. I do feel some of the other performances such as Awkwafina are on the weaker side, they most certainly aren’t bad at all, just nowhere near the level of Mahershala Ali. But really that’s not much of a huge issue because Swan Song is an incredibly solid film that I highly recommend giving a go!

Swan Song is available on Apple TV+

8/10 B+

Mother/Android is a disappointing robot apocalypse movie.

Georgia and Sam flee their country as the world battles artificial intelligence.

Mother/Android sounded really interesting on paper but execution wise…what happened here? I’m not exactly sure how you can make a robot apocalypse movie uninteresting and dull but somehow they did managed to do it here. Chloe Grace Moretz does a decent job in her role, the filming is actually not too bad and has some decent shots. The atmosphere is definitely there it’s just the use of it is not good, a lot of it falls into predictable territory combined with a very messy third act that is ridiculous in the worst way possible. The pacing is a drag as well, it doesn’t help that the movie focuses on scenes where it explains way too much to the audience. Which already makes the terrible twist even worse, the movie pretty much gives it away to you when Raúl Castillo’s character shows up. The writing outside of the third act was fine enough but it needed to be a lot stronger. Especially with trying to make audiences feel for the characters, because that just didn’t happen here unfortunately. Overall Mother/Android has it’s moments but is a huge misfire in the end.

Mother/Android is available on Hulu

4/10 D+

Lamb is bizarre film that is the very definition of strange!

In rural Iceland, a childless couple discover a strange and unnatural newborn in their sheep barn. They decide to raise her as their own, but sinister forces are determined to return the creature to the wilderness that birthed her.

Looks like the Barnyard Animal Cinematic Universe is growing (First Cow, Pig and now Lamb) all joking aside Lamb is a very interesting little movie. One thing I want to make clear is that if your going into Lamb expecting full on horror film you are going to be massively disappointed. While yes there’s some disturbing imagery and it does have it’s horror elements, it’s not the next Hereditary, Midsommar or The Lighthouse the trailers would have you believe it’s a much different type of horror film. With that out of the way let’s talk about the film itself, first off the acting is quite fantastic! Noomi Rapace gives one of the best performances in her career, she gives this type of raw performance that really captures what the film is going for. Everyone else does a very solid job in their roles as well, what really makes the film itself successful is the combination of the folklore and the setting, it gives off a very haunting vibe (which is largely where the horror elements come in) and it really has you at the edge of your seat wondering what will happen next? The direction is quite fantastic Valdimar Jóhannsson does a really great job of leaving a lot of scenes up to interpretation for the audience, the cinematography combined with his direction is beautiful and creates a folklore that is storytelling at it’s best. The Lamb itself is adorable but at the same time really creeps you as the viewer out, it’s mostly due to the uncanny valley type look that is happening. Lamb does have it’s flaws, at times there’s some ideas especially towards the end that feel incredibly rushed. They aren’t given enough time to explore the said ideas or fully develop them, it’s frustrating because had they given a bit more time to do so they could have been a lot more. I do like the bizarreness of Lamb, which I feel is what makes it stand out the most! Overall Lamb is a very solid film, Lamb is most definitely not going to be for everyone some people will absolutely love this film and it’s many different allegories, others aren’t going to like this film which is completely understandable. Heck the main reason why it took me so long to finally sit down a review this film is because I had no idea what to think of it. My best advice is to go in knowing absolutely nothing about Lamb, it makes the experience all the more better!

Lamb is currently in theaters!

8/10 B+

Cinderella (2021) fails at being a good adaption and fails at being a decent movie.

A modern movie musical with a bold take on the classic fairy tale. Our ambitious heroine has big dreams and with the help of her fab Godmother, she perseveres to make them come true.

Cinderella (2021) did manage to do one thing…unite all sides or Twitter to absolutely destroy it, that aside this new adaption of Cinderella truly feels like a complete waste of time. Billy Porter (who is barely in the movie) and Idina Menzel (at times) are the only two positives I can give this movie, the rest of it is a huge mess. First off Camila Cabello’s performance is one of the most nothing special about it performances I’ve seen so far this year, I just didn’t buy Camila as Cinderella had this been some other performance than maybe. Almost all of the songs were covers….bad covers, trying to combine songs like Rhythm Nation into a Cinderella story just feels way too out of place and completely takes you out of the movie. Don’t even get me started on the jokes, if I have to hear James Corden talking about how proud he is of his “front tail” ever again I swear I’m going to quit reviewing films. The jokes in this movie are some of the most unfunny and painful I’ve listened to in recent memory, which only shocks me because Kay Cannon who directed Blockers is the director. While I’m not one of those people who found Blockers hysterical i at least found it to be one of the better modern comedies. Then there’s the whole look of the movie, it feels very cheaply made (the CGI on the mice look like they are from a very early PS2 game). I appreciate at times the movie was trying to do something a little bit different but the problem is the movie fails at that as well, this version of Cinderella also tries to shoehorn this whole “girlboss” narrative into it but that falls flat as well. There’s no build up, no character development or any really growth. Overall Cinderella (2021) completely misses it fails as an adaption of Cinderella (can we please stop with Cinderella adaptions?) and it fails at being an actual decent movie. You are better off watching any other Cinderella story that came before this one.

Cinderella is now available on Amazon Prime Video!

1/10 F

The Green Knight (2021) Movie Review!

King Arthur’s headstrong nephew embarks on a daring quest to confront the Green Knight, a mysterious giant who appears at Camelot. Risking his head, he sets off on an epic adventure to prove himself before his family and court.

It took me awhile to review The Green Knight mainly due to how much I had to think about the film and I mean that in the best way possible. David Lowery is at his best when he does independent films or art house films take A Ghost Story (2017) for example (which was one of my favorite films of the 2010s) so when I heard that he was directing The Green Knight I got really excited and I’m seriously glad this didn’t disappoint! It should be noted that if you are going into this film expecting a Lord Of The Rings type adventure with a bunch of action scenes you are going to be very disappointed. Because that’s just simply not what the film is, first let’s get the obvious out of the way the cinematography is absolutely beautiful. It’s some of the absolute best so far this year, it completely takes you into the film’s world and presents itself like you are actually there. The color palette really matches the tone of the film with each scene it sets the tone of the tale that’s being told, the performances are all fantastic but the two that stood out to me the most were Dev Patel and Alicia Vikander, Vikander having a smaller role yet when she’s on screen delivers such a fantastic performance that is at the same time surprisingly haunting at the same time! Dev Patel does such an incredible job as the lead, it truly shows how talented Patel is as an actor his performance is raw into which he shows a ton of emotions on how he feels about his journey. Which leads into my next point the character development, Patel’s character Gawain isn’t your typical super powerful Knight sure he’s had some experience but inside and out he’s a young man who slowly realizes the truth of what made a knight during the time a true hero which makes his character all the more interesting and realistic it’s a very clever plot point that David Lowery did such a fantastic job with. The writing is fantastic there’s a lot of symbolism in the film that’s written and shown in a very clever way, plus it all comes together at the end of the film as well! The direction from David Lowery is absolutely outstanding, he takes an adaption of Sir Gawain and The Green Knight and completely makes it his own, his direction is truly unique and really delivers on every single level, he creates an atmosphere that puts you into the film and it also makes you feel that anything can happen at any given moment. The Green Knight highlights why I love film so much, it shows so much creativity, storytelling through symbolism and atmosphere, incredible character development attached to a raw and interesting character. Overall The Green Knight is incredible and definitely a film I highly recommend, it’s certainly not going to be for everyone but if you are fan of anything that I talked about you will most certainly love this film, oh and technically this is a Christmas movie so watch this during December too!!

The Green Knight is now available in Theaters!

10/10 A+