Moonage Daydream is yet another beautiful documentary that’s entirely made up of archival footage, this year has already had a decent amount of those including The Princess (Princess Diana documentary), Fire Of Love and Riotsville USA. The documentary shows a lot of concerts from David Bowie as well as some very interesting interviews that the film goes over in great detail, the editing combined with the film’s style is truly fantastic. It completely matches David Bowie’s style and what made him so recognizable what’s even better is despite simply showing archival footage the documentary still has a large goal, which is to give compelling insight in Bowie’s career what he thought of certain times of his career, and his path as an artist. David Bowie was a major influence to several people and film is very aware of that, Bowie share’s his experiences through his career as well as his goals. The music is fantastic as always reminding us of Bowie’s talent which really dives head first into entertaining the viewer, Brett Morgan does a fantastic job creating a journal like film for David Bowie. It’s one of those documentaries where it’s a lot more personal, like David Bowie’s narration at times feels like he’s having a direct conversation with you. It’s truly a beautiful showcase of never before seen footage combined with excellent visuals both of which blend so well together to create a stunning portrait.
I’ll give credit where credit is due, they actually casted an autistic actor (Leo Long) Long does quite a great job here and is definitely what holds the movie together, Ed Skrein isn’t too bad either. The rest of the movie is a very simplistic feel good story that you could guess how it will play out within the first 15 minutes, there really isn’t anything bad here a lot of it is just very okay writing that is surface level at best. There’s a handful of heartfelt moments that you can’t help but smile at, the rest of the performances are quite great and actually give some raw moments. Although the writing is surface level at least the movie knows what it’s trying to accomplish and for what the movie is it did that pretty okay, sure it’s predictable but it’s decently inspiring story that is a quick and easy watch!
Neptune Frost is quite an interesting little movie, it combines many different type of genres and makes them it’s own. Combining Sci-Fi with musical elements is something you don’t see everyday and the movie did a pretty good job of showing that concept, the music in particular is quite great especially powerful singing voices that really capture the atmosphere well. Speaking of which the atmosphere combined with the filming leads to truly beautiful results, especially with the setting it’s done in so much detail from beginning to end. The costumes are wonderfully detailed and the acting is quite raw as well, a lot of the storytelling is done through the actions of the characters and the cinematography rather than the writing. But that definitely works in the film’s favor especially when the film gives the viewer so much to explore, Neptune Frost is not going to be for everyone but I do highly recommend checking this one out if it interests you!
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.
I guess one of the more interesting things about Zombies 3 is that it got the Disney+ upgrade treatment, for those that don’t know the previous two movies Zombies and Zombies 2 were Disney Channel Original Movies. And while the movie at times does seem like it still has a made for TV aura to it, there definitely is the noticeable upgrade changes (mostly the songs that were surprisingly catchy). However like the two previous movies unless you are a die hard fan this is going to be more or less be the same thing, the characters are still not investing and the jokes are just not funny, as I said earlier the only fun moments are the songs which even then are something I will probably never look back at.
I very much agree with what Beauty is trying to say and it’s message, being that the music industry can treat singers horribly and some experiences are flat out terrible. The issue is how the movie goes about telling the viewer about it, Niecy Nash and the cast are great in their roles but none of the characters are given any interesting character growth. Leading to writing which is very minimal and not much to work with, the family drama bit while well acted is very by the numbers we have seen before in other success stories, you have the dad who wants to use his daughter and the mother who’s hard their daughter but is still caring. Even the main character played by Niecy Nash isn’t given any development at all, plus there’s a lot of editing decisions that come completely out of left field and don’t match the tone of the movie at all. Overall there’s definitely some good ideas in Beauty it’s just not happening unfortunately.
Baz Luhrman definitely does his thing with Elvis and it really works here, for starters let’s start with elephant in the room Austin Butler as Elvis was an incredible casting decision that led to incredible results. From the way he talked, moved and sung Butler completely transforms into Elvis to the point where it almost felt like you were watching Elvis. Butler does this at the age of 30 taking on such a huge role of being a highly regarded singer and masterfully perfecting the role is truly fantastic, the amount of styles Baz Luhrman includes is pretty insane but a very nice welcome as well, he does tend to do this with most of his films and while I do understand the argument how it can be annoying or sometimes breaks the movie. In this case it was very necessary when you make a film about Elvis you should definitely try to make something interesting and capture the spirit of his legacy. That’s what Luhrman did here, from the performances and dancing he really paints an interesting picture. There’s a lot of fast editing that makes a scene where it focuses on Elvis’s sex appeal really standout mostly due to how insane it really is, there’s plenty of more scenes like that as well! The supporting cast such as Kodi Smit-McPhee, Kelvin Harrison Jr and Helen Thomson were also pretty solid! There’s only two major flaws with the film the first one being the 2 hour and 39 minute running time, while I do get it was trying to tell as much about Elvis as possible, there is some stuff in here that was admittedly extra fluff that didn’t need to be included. But at the very least the movie does keep things entertaining and the running time does go by relatively quickly. The second flaw being mostly Tom Hanks, I’m not entirely sure if Tom Parker being used as the narrative device was very successful (Hank’s accent is very very strange). Luhrman makes sure to lay it on you of how scummy of a person Parker was and he’s pretty successful at doing that, overall Elvis is a really solid film that definitely strays far away from the usual biopic film, mostly due to just how transformative Austin Butler’s performance is and Baz Luhrman’s stylistic choices!
Hollywood Stargirl is sequel to Stargirl (2020), Stargirl (2020) was a decent enough but it did feel like a Disney channel original movie. However Hollywood Stargirl is a huge improvement sure there isn’t anything that drastically changes but it’s the little things that really help this movie. For one thing Grace Vanderhaal’s performance this time around is an improvement, while I definitely think she wasn’t bad in the previous movie she wasn’t given enough to work with due to the script. Luckily here she’s given a lot more breathing room and is able to show a lot more of her talent, Tyler Jackson Williams gives a strong performance plus the rest of the cast do a great job as well (always great seeing Uma Thurman). A lot of the Disney channel original movie feel from the first movie is gone in this movie, sure there’s a few moments that do feel like it but those are very far and few in between. Once again Vanderhaal sings beautiful and truly shows her talent with her powerful singing voice, the story is charming and actually pretty relaxing as well. It’s a sweet little movie that knows what it wants to be, it’s a very likable movie that has a wonderful cast and a lot of strong writing bits that work quite well. Overall Hollywood Stargirl might not have too much meat on it’s bones, but it’s enough to bring interest from the viewer and entertain an audience with some great acting, music and writing.
Torn Hearts mostly works due to the cast that are genuinely really great Katey Sagal, Abby Quinn and Alexxis Lemire all give performances that are far better than you would expect. Plus the idea of a country horror/thriller movie is a pretty interesting one, as far as execution it doesn’t quite reach it’s full potential. The music is quite great and matches the tone of the movie quite well, but the script leaves a lot more to be desired as it does end up being fairly predictable and holds back a bit. Luckily it does remain entertaining especially with Bea Grant’s direction that is definitely a huge step up from “12 Hour Shift”.
Torn Hearts is available on all VOD Platforms.
This is the third movie this year to feature a dog that was once an ex military/police service dog or tries to become a military/police dog. And it’s the weakest one, at least Dog and Rescued By Ruby had some charm to them at times and some decent acting (for the most part) to back them up, Dakota however does not have any memorable performances that stick out. The writing is pretty much a beat by beat story of these types of movies and the direction has no substance to it at all, there’s a couple cute moments with the dog and Lola Sultan is very charming but that’s not nearly enough to save this movie from being disposable.
I’ll give Sneakerella this it wasn’t AS bad as I expected but that doesn’t make it a good movie (far from it), but the positives are mostly the acting from Chosen Jacobs, Lexi Underwood and Juan Chioran (who gets underutilized), the singing voices are pretty strong particularly the 3 I just mentioned have great singing voices and the choreography is actually pretty well done. There’s some genuine good moments during the singing segments as well as dancing segments that are touching. What completely hurts this movie however is the fact it’s a Cinderella story, this is the type of movie that did not need to be a Cinderella story. I think this would have largely benefited if it was it’s own thing and it did some changing around, granted they did change a few things from the typical Cinderella story but it wasn’t enough to warrant doing another one. Especially when we just had James Corden as a mouse last year, as far as the rest of the movie goes if you have seen Cinderella before you have already seen this one. Once again Sneakerella is yet another Disney+ movie that feels like a Disney Channel Original Movie except with a slightly higher budget, had Sneakerella been a dance movie something similar to Step Up for example and changed the plot around as well as the writing. This could have been something at least passable but as it stands it’s yet another Cinderella Story that will be quickly forgotten about. Sneakerella isn’t horrendous it’s just very forgettable, it might be a good watch for kids but for everyone else don’t bother.