Disconnect: The Wedding Planner is a not very well planned wedding

After falling victim to a scam, a desperate man races against the clock as he attempts to plan a luxurious destination wedding for an important investor.

I’m going to start out by saying I had no idea that Disconnect: The Wedding Planner was a sequel, apparently the first movie came out in 2018 but I never saw it (shocking I know) heck I hadn’t even heard of it. So I went in thinking this was just another random Netflix original but I guess it’s a sequel. 

As for the movie itself…what is there exactly to say here? The cast at least seems like they are having fun which is great, but the characters themselves are just not very well written they range from being terrible to very forgettable. The plot goes exactly how you would expect it to…well almost the story takes a very puzzling turn that quite frankly does not fit the movie at all. It switches back and forth between a drama and a comedy, the characters make some very ridiculous decisions that honestly they have no rhyme or reason to make. I do think there is some level of great quality when it comes to showing off the Mombasa backdrop as there are some beautiful shots here, it’s just such a shame it’s in a very forgettable movie. 

Overall Disconnect: The Wedding Planner sort of exists, it’s by no means the worst Netflix original out there and at the very least the technical elements of the film are pretty decent, but that’s really about where the movie ends. 

Disconnect: The Wedding Planner is available on Netflix. 

3/10 D-

Decision To Leave is a unexpectedly romantic film.

A detective investigating a man’s death in the mountains ends up meeting and developing feelings for the dead man’s mysterious wife in the course of his dogged sleuthing.

Decision To Leave has been on my radar for awhile, I finally got around to watching it and it most certainly didn’t disappoint. This is Park Chan-wook’s first film since 2016 (Handmaiden), I’ve talked before how Oldboy (2003) is one of my favorite films of all time, part of why I love Chan-wook so much is how different his films are from one another. One moment he will create something truly brutal and quite disturbing and in another he will create something genuinely really sweet and charming. Decision To Leave is actually pretty romantic in ways you wouldn’t really expect, that’s mainly due to the performances from Tang Wei and Hae il Park who almost immediately have fantastic chemistry between one another, there’s so much emotion and power put into the performances that are just charming, the writing is very raw and allows the characters to understand each other and build their connection even further. Heck there’s even some dark humor that discusses death that is a little twisted but at the same time it really works, outside of performances and writing the film itself has this natural look to it. The filming is very well done with tons of shots that add depth to the characters and the current scene taking place, overall Decision To Leave is truly fantastic and is definitely one of the best films of 2022.

Decision To Leave is available on all VOD platforms.

10/10 A+

Streaming Reviews: it’s A Wonderful Binge and Something From Tiffany’s

Many years after their first Binge, Hags, Andrew, Sarah, and Kimi face the realities of adulthood as the annual Binge Day is moved to Christmas Eve. Amidst the chaos, Hags plans a proposal to Sarah, and Andrew deals with his rocky relationships.

The Binge: It’s A Wonderful Binge is a sequel to The Binge which came out in 2020, it was a terrible comedy that really tried to be like a sex comedy from the early 2000s except with drugs and alcohol. It’s A Wonderful Binge is basically the same idea but it’s Christmas themed….and it’s somehow better. There’s definitely better jokes this time around and I do think that the whole Christmas theme opens the door for some entertaining shenanigans to take place, Danny Trejo is pretty funny and the rest of the cast this time around are actually a lot better than they were in the first movie. With that said the movie kind of falls in the same sort of problems that a lot of sequels do and that’s being more less the same thing as their predecessor. As I said before this is just basically The Binge but Christmas, which honestly makes it more like a Christmas special rather than an sequel. Which isn’t entirely a bad thing it’s just something worth pointing out, it still has a lot of jokes that fall flat and once again doesn’t really use it’s own premise to it’s full potential. But at the very least you can say this time around that there was an attempt.

It’s A Wonderful Binge is available on Hulu.

4/10 D+

A woman gets up-ended when an engagement ring that was for someone else leads her to the person she’s meant to be with.

Something From Tiffany’s is what happens when you make an actual decent and far more competent Hallmark Christmas movie, while it’s very flawed and shares a lot of the exact same problems a lot of Christmas movies do. It’s mainly the cast who are truly charming that gives the movie the extra push it needs, Zoey Deutch is pretty decent here and really works her magic well here. She easily connects with everyone else and it’s the many bonds she has that really makes the movie work, Kendrick Sampson and Leah Jeffries in particular are very fun and give some genuine performances. As far as everything else goes it’s nothing too crazy, the writing is about how you would expect and the movie does play out in a very predictable way. But at the very least it has the charm going for it and there was some genuine love put into this one, definitely not the perfect Christmas movie but at the very least a decent one.

Something From Tiffany’s is available on Amazon Prime Video.

6/10 C+

Bones and all is a beautifully haunting love story.

Maren, a young woman, learns how to survive on the margins of society.

Luca Guadagnino is one of the best and most interesting directors working today, A Bigger Splash and I Am Love were really great, Call Me By Your Name was incredibly raw and Suspiria (2018) was an example of how incredible a modern remake can really be plus it was my favorite film of the 2010s. Bones And All is a very different film that Guadagnino’s previous films, it’s a cannibal love story that takes a lot of horror, romance and drama elements, blends them all together and creates something completely unique. First off right from the beginning the film has this very old low budget atmosphere to it that makes the film much more haunting but beautiful at the same time. There’s a huge sense of beauty within the filmmaking, it’s sort of similar to the atmosphere Suspiria had only that Bones And All goes for a more realistic approach. Taylor Russell gives one of the best performances of the year hands down, there’s so much passion, emotion and realism to her performance that truly gives the viewer goosebumps. There’s so much to her performance that adds to her character Maren, her interactions with the other characters is really striking, how she slowly finds out about her family is really investing and her mannerisms are just absolutely perfect. Timothée Chalamet gives his most interesting performance yet, it’s far different than anything he’s done before and I’ll even go far as to say this is one of his best. He’s fantastic here and his chemistry with Taylor Russell is incredibly natural and quite beautiful as well. Lastly there’s Mark Rylance as Sully and he’s quite possibly one of the most creepiest characters I’ve seen In a film this year, every single time the guy appears on screen he makes the viewer’s skin crawl. He’s very intimidating but also quite fantastic as well there’s truly a “low budget horror film villain” type feel to his character but that honestly matches the film quite well. The music is incredibly well done and really compliments the film’s themes and settings flawlessly, despite the film taking place in many different areas there’s this sense of abandonment. Sure there might be a lot of people around but the atmosphere still captures the feeling that you are alone with the film and Maren, the many shots in the film that show a lot of natural dirt roads, hills, forests, lakes ect are truly beautiful and only add to the film’s beauty. Overall Bones And All is one of the best films of the year, it’s a beautifully haunting film that will definitely stick with you especially with Taylor Russell’s unforgettable performance.

Bones and All is currently in theaters.

10/10 A+

Lady Chatterley’s Lover is well crafted but lacking in strength.

After falling out of love with her husband following a war injury, Lady Chatterley pursues a torrid affair with the gamekeeper on their estate and begins to uncover her own internal biases.

I think I respect Lady Chatterley’s Lover when it comes to the craftsmanship more than I do when it comes to parts like the writing, the film has some strong performances from Emma Corrin and Jack O’Connell who actually have very strong chemistry between one another. The costumes are very well detailed, the filming is quite beautiful and the direction from Laura de Clermont-Tonnerre (director of The Mustang) is very well done with really strong craftsmanship and a lot of attention to detail in a lot of scenes as well. Unfortunately what bogs this down is the script being on the weaker side, there’s just not enough strength in certain scenes that really could have used the extra push.

Lady Chatterley’s Lover is available on Netflix.

6/10 C+

Christmas Streaming Movie double feature: Scrooge: A Christmas Carol and A Hollywood Christmas.

On Christmas Eve miserly businessman Ebenezer Scrooge is visited by the ghost of his former business partner, Jacob Marley and the spirits of Christmas past, present and future in the hope that he will learn the error of his ways.

Scrooge: A Christmas Carol is exactly what you expect it to be, it’s basically yet another take on the classic story by Charles Dickens. And it pretty much plays out all of the events of the story you expect to, only this one is a musical. The songs are surprisingly very charming and are by far some of the best parts of the movie, there’s a ton of energy to them and the singing voices are quite great as well, unfortunately what does bog the movie down is the character designs. Which really looks like those mobile game ads you commonly see, the three ghosts are exempt from this which they actually have some pretty neat designs and are voice very well! Olivia Colman voices Ghost of Christmas Past while Trevor Dion Nicholas voices Ghost of Christmas Present, both do a really solid job and bring so much charm to their roles, plus the two are actually pretty funny. Luke Evans as Scrooge is fine enough, he gets the job done but it’s nothing really to write home about. As I said before the story plays out exactly how you expect it to and if you can past the character designs you will find a genuinely fun movie here. It’s probably not something that you will ever revisit but for what it is it’s not half bad.

Scrooge: A Christmas Carol is available on Netflix.

6/10 C+

A successful Christmas movie director begins living her own Christmas movie when a handsome network exec shows up threatening to halt production on her latest film.

A Hollywood Christmas is HBO Max Christmas movie number four (not even halfway through December yet). This is not as bad as expected but good lord is this the definition of bland, it’s essentially about a movie director who wants to make a Christmas movie and wants to keep the Christmas formula until some network executive threatens to halt production. The premise itself actually leads to a couple moments that got a laugh out of me and I’ll give the movie credit it actually tried to use it’s premise in a interesting way. Well at least at first…it slowly but surely starts to evolve into the bad Christmas type of movie we all know and it does very little to recover. The writing is very forgettable, the characters aren’t anything to write home about and the rest of the movie is sort of a mess. A Hollywood Christmas isn’t offensive or anything, it’s just another very forgettable Christmas movie that after the credits roll you won’t ever come back to.

A Hollywood Christmas is available on HBO Max.

4/10 D+

Ticket To Paradise is a fun throwback to the early 2000s romcom era.

A man and his ex-wife race to Bali, Indonesia, to stop their daughter from marrying a seaweed farmer. As they desperately try to sabotage the wedding, the bickering duo soon find themselves rekindling old feelings that once made them happy together.

Ticket To Paradise is a throwback to the early 2000s romcom era and in the best ways possible. Julia Roberts and George Clooney have excellent chemistry here that completely sell this movie, even if the script feels a bit too redundant or empty at times they still work with it and actually turn it into something very entertaining, Kaitlyn Dever and Billie Lourd are both fantastic here as well! Lourd once again gives a decently hilarious performance as a side character (she was fantastic in Booksmart) and has one scene in particular that is actually quite strong. It’s a small moment but it does show Lourd’s acting talent decently well, the chemistry between Kaitlyn Dever and Maxime Bouttier is really solid here. There’s tons of cute moments between the two that truly standout and are just generally really fun, not every single joke in the movie lands and there are definitely areas where the humor could have been so much better. However the humor for the most part works which is mainly due to the film capturing the spirit of early 2000s romcoms, the story is predictable yet it’s still very charming and fun to watch unfold. Is Ticket to Paradise going to break any ground? Definitely not but it is a very fun time and a step in the right direction for romcoms.

Ticket To Paradise is available on all VOD platforms.

7/10 B

Falling For Christmas a solid return for Lindsay Lohan.

A young, newly engaged heiress has a skiing accident in the days before Christmas. After she is diagnosed with amnesia, she finds herself in the care of the handsome cabin owner and his daughter.

After a weird and quite terrible small return back in 2019 which was Among The Shadows, Lindsay Lohan makes her true return with Falling For Christmas. Something that falls more in line with her previous work and captures the best parts about her as an actress, while admittedly the movie has a lot of that hallmark channel spirit and the movie is filled to the brim with cliches. There’s something about this movie that actually makes this one standout, it’s mainly due to the cast connecting with each other pretty well and there is a genuine heart put into this one. Which is very rare for a lot of these Christmas Netflix movies, as mentioned before Lindsay Lohan is truly great here, sure it might not be a groundbreaking performance but this is the type of performance that got everyone to love Lohan in the first place. There’s a huge amount of charm that goes into the chemistry between Lindsay Lohan and Chord Overstreet as well, overall while Falling For Christmas is most certainly not going to break any new ground and it is heavily flawed it’s still a genuinely fun ride. It’s a welcome return for Lindsay Lohan and this is definitely something to watch to get you into the Christmas spirit.

Falling For Christmas is available on Netflix.

6/10 C+

My Policeman falls short.

Tom, a policeman in 1950s Britain, falls in love with a schoolteacher on the Brighton coast. However, he soon begins a passionate same-sex affair with a museum curator, in spite of homosexuality being illegal.

The unfortunate thing about My Policeman is that there is a good movie here the issue is a lot of the decision making that went into it, I like the idea of switching back and forth between the younger and older versions of the characters especially given the subject matter it could lead into something very touching and memorable. One of the biggest issues with My Policeman is how very uneven it really is, while the older cast such as Linus Roache, Rupert Everett and Gina McKee are really solid and deliver some very touching moments the younger side completely fails to leave an impression on the viewer Emma Corrin and David Dawson aren’t particularly bad but the writing just does not give them anywhere near the amount of power as the older cast. Harry Styles is just not great here, the chemistry between him and Dawson isn’t anything special the same can be said with the chemistry between Styles and Corrin it’s charming at first but as the movie goes on it starts to really lose it’s charm due to repetition. Another main issue is the movie really doesn’t allow the viewer to think of how they feel, it’s sort of like a set of cue cards the movie tells the audience to feel depressed when sad music plus more darker filming is shown rather than let the audience digest a scene by it’s own. There’s some decent moments here particularly with Linus Roache, Rupert Everett and Gina McKee but a lot of this is just very forgettable that doesn’t fully dive into a lot of themes that would have been very interesting.

My Policeman is available on Amazon Prime Video.

4/10 D+

Bros is a charming enough romantic comedy.

Bobby is a neurotic podcast host who’s happy to go on Tinder dates and content not to have a serious relationship. That all changes when he meets Aaron, an equally detached lawyer who likes to play the field. Repeatedly drawn to each other, both men begin to show their vulnerable sides as their undeniable attraction turns into something resembling a commitment.

Bros is completely fine for what it is, despite many flaws that stick out like a sore thumb the good parts really help the movie stand. There’s some genuinely funny jokes here that actually work surprisingly well, the cameo from Debra Messing in particular is quite great and I do have to hand it to Luke Macfarlane who gives both a quite funny yet very charming performance that actually had some emotional bits to it that I didn’t see coming, the same can’t really be said for Billy Eichner unfortunately. While there are times he does a decent job particularly a mini monologue scene that actually gives his character Bobby a bit more depth than the rest of the movie did, a lot of the time his performance feels like it’s from a completely different movie. The strange part here is as far as the writing goes Billy Eichner actually did a really solid job it’s just the way he executes his lines is what the issue is. While the movie does have a lot of representation from a lot of races and sexualities and it’s a great thing to see, a lot of the side characters just don’t get a whole lot to do and are mainly pushed aside. Which I do get they are side characters, but here they are given so little to do outside of appearing in a few scenes every once and awhile. The movie doesn’t take full advantage of the rest of the cast it could have and you can’t help but feel some scenes should have given the other characters something to do. Despite that problems however Bros is not a bad movie, it hits a lot of beats that make a good romantic comedy and there’s plenty of entertainment to get out of this one. This might not be something I’ll ever come back to but it was a decent watch.

Bros is available on all VOD platforms.

6/10 C+