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+

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

Anything‘s Possible is a genuinely sweet directorial debut from Billy Porter!

A high school student with a crush summons the courage to ask a transsexual teen out on a date, knowing the drama it could cause.

Anything’s Possible is directed by Billy Porter and wow this was a surprise, from the trailers it looked like this was going to be another high school comedy. While it does follow beat by beat plot points what makes this one standout is mainly the cast and that it is a genuinely lovable film, for starters credit must be given for casting Eva Reign a trans woman to play a trans woman. Reign’s performance is truly fantastic here it comes off as very raw and really captures the high school like feel that a lot of other high school movies have failed to do. In the fact the movie itself does a really good job in that aspect, the writing is actually really well done here and gives Kelsa (Reign) and Khal (Ali) some really strong character development. Speaking of which the chemistry between Eva Reign and Abubakr Ali (who is also quite great) is really strong and feels really natural, it’s such a sweet and lovable bond that really gives the movie a sense of realism. The movie does have a few jumping the shark moments, I truly don’t think the movie needed a mean girl type character Courtnee Carter is decent in the role but the whole subplot didn’t need to be there. Outside of that the rest of the movie is very lovable and really feels very down to earth, it’s a fun movie that shows a lot of talent from Billy Porter as a director and Eva Reign (who I cannot wait to see more from) plus Abubakr Ali as actors!

Anything’s Possible is available on Amazon Prime Video!

8/10 B+

Persuasion is a lesson on when ignoring the source material goes horribly wrong.

When Frederick Wentworth — the one who got away — crashes back into Anne Elliot’s life, she must choose between putting the past behind her or listening to her heart when it comes to second chances.

Not going to go on about Persuasion for that long, because I’m not going to pretend like I’m some Jane Austin enthusiast, but what I do know is this was a very poor attempt of modernizing an adaption that didn’t need to be modernized. This is the complete opposite of what Emma (2020) was where Emma (2020) respected the source material , Persuasion attempts to try and add this whole “girlboss/tumblr dialogue” to it. The only positives here is some of the filming where it does take advantage of the setting in some cases and the performances Dakota Johnson, Henry Golding and Cosmo Jarvis are clearly trying their best but the script is just not giving them enough room to breathe at all, it’s very cluttered with so many modernized lines that make little to no sense in context of the story. I’m not exactly sure what they were going for here but whatever it was this was a huge misfire, especially when you combine it with the dreadful pacing that completely stops the movie in it’s tracks. While Persuasion might not be one of the absolute worst movies of the year, it sure is one of the most dull and uninteresting ones.

Persuasion is available on Netflix.

3/10 D-

Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between is a by the numbers romantic comedy.

Claire and Aidan make a pact to break up before college with no regrets and no broken hearts. However, one epic goodbye date may offer them a last chance at love.

Hello, Goodbye, and Everything In Between is yet another addition to the long line of Netflix original romantic comedies. While this one isn’t as bad as some of the recent ones, it still suffers from the exact same problems as a lot of them. Talia Ryder and Jordan Fisher are solid enough as the leads and both have decent chemistry between one another but it’s not enough to spark a huge fire, everything else is very by the numbers. The writing falls flat after the movie loses it’s charm, the comedy is a hit or miss and while there are some genuine raw moments that do help the movie it’s not enough to completely save it from being very below average. At the very least this one was competently made and there was definitely some level of effort to make this work, it just needed to stand out far more.

Hello, Goodbye, and Everything In Between is available on Netflix.

4/10 D+

Quick Reviews: Father Of The Bride (2022), Press Play and Love & Gelato.

A father must come to grips with his daughter’s upcoming wedding and handle multiple relationships within his sprawling Cuban American family.

Father Of The Bride (2022) is the third film adaption of the novel of the same name, the other two being a 1950 film and a 1991 film. I’m not going to pretend I’m a super fan of either of the movies, for what they are they are solid comedy/romantic films that do a pretty decent job of entertaining the viewer. This version falls short mostly due to it overstaying it’s welcome, is a 1 hour and 58 minute movie that has horrendous pacing. It begins to feel like a chore to sit through unfortunately mostly due to not a whole lot happening, the performances are at least decent enough Chloe Fineman being the standout who’s genuinely hilarious in her delivery. Everything else just fine I guess, the writing really doesn’t do much to engage the viewer, the direction doesn’t really do anything offensive but nothing investing. It’s the type of movie where you would only watch unless there was absolutely nothing else.

Father Of The Bride is available on HBO Max.

5/10 C

Laura and Harrison have the picture-perfect romance built on the foundation of a shared love of music. After a deadly accident, Laura gets the chance to save the love of her life when she discovers that their mixtape can transport her back in time.

There’s a good idea somewhere in Press Play, it’s just sadly not fully realized. The acting is not too bad here the leads Lewis Pullman and Clara Rugaard-Larsen are both solid and Danny Glover in a supporting role isn’t too bad either. The main problem with this movie is it really doesn’t have anything going for it, everything is kept at a bare minimum level and introduces the concept of the movie but never goes further with it. Or at least doesn’t do anything noteworthy with it. It just ends up being a very safe romantic drama that surprisingly struggles with it’s more emotional moments, which is mainly due to the movie not knowing how to make the characters react to said moments. At the very least it didn’t over stay it’s welcome.

Press Play is available on all VOD platforms.

4/10 D+

Lina, a high school graduate, would rather spend her summer preparing for college than fly to Rome to fulfill her mother’s last wish. Once she decides to go, she finds herself immersed in new experiences.

I’m going to be real quick with this one because to be completely honest here…I’m not exactly sure what the whole purpose of this was. From what I could gather this movie is nothing like the book and in fact doesn’t even follow it well at all, but okay that doesn’t automatically mean it’s bad right? Well In this case it does, from the acting to the writing and the pacing it’s a complete and total mess on every single level. It’s a very lifeless movie that is the very definition of release date fodder, it’s just there so Netflix can say they released something. If you have seen any of Netflix’s terrible romantic comedies before then you have already seen this one.

Love & Gelato is available on Netflix!

Disgrace To Cinema F

My Fake Boyfriend is a Buzzfeed article if it were a movie.

Andrew has a major problem: he can’t stay away from the toxic boyfriend who just dumped him. His meddling friends decide to help him by creating Cristiano, a perfect fake boyfriend on social media.

My Fake Boyfriend is yet another movie produced by Buzzfeed Studios where the whole idea is to see how they can shove as many “relatable” and unfunny moments as possible, the cast at least tries their best with what they are given. But it’s nowhere near enough due to the writing being a complete and total dumpster fire, a lot of the jokes here strangely feel very dated and is the equivalent of a Buzzfeed article. As far as the plot goes there is honestly not a whole to say here, it uses an absurd idea that at first sounds really interesting and makes you wonder what they are actually going to do with it. Instead it ends up being very formulaic like a lot of romantic comedies and never does anything notable with it’s premise, it also doesn’t help that the writing feels like none of the writers have actually talked to an actual person. Which is to be expected from Buzzfeed since that’s the main criticism a lot of people use and rightfully so, finally it’s great that there is diversity but this is the type of movie where it comes off as studios wanting to sell a product rather than genuinely wanting to put diversity in their film. When you compare Fire Island a film that came out earlier this month which had gay representation to My Fake Boyfriend, the difference sticks out like a sore thumb. You have Fire Island a film that is really strong, feels like it was made with passion and not as a product while the other one is My Fake Boyfriend.

My Fake Boyfriend is available on Amazon Prime Video.

1/10 F

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

Downton Abbey: A New Era pleases long time fans and is great for newcomers!

The Crawley family goes on a grand journey to the South of France to uncover the mystery of the dowager countess’s newly inherited villa.

Like I did with my review for the first film I’m going to keep this short since I haven’t seen the series, but for a quick recap I found the first film to be a great introduction for anyone who wants to get into the series. Since it does introduce each character pretty well and gives each of the characters a moment to shine, my same feelings for the first movie can be applied to A New Era. In terms of quality it’s about the same which is a good thing in this case (probably has to do with the same writer Julian Fellowes who wrote the first movie returning), the acting is once again very solid as well as the writing. Giving each character a moment or two to shine, some of the humor is genuinely funny with some clever jokes written in as well. There’s a lot here that even people who want to get into the series would enjoy!

Downton Abbey: A New Era is available on all VOD Platforms.

8/10 B+