Hidden Orchard Mysteries: The Case of the Air B & B Robbery (2020) Movie Review

Director: Brian Shackelford

Writer: Brian Shackelford (Screenplay) Joyce Fitzpatrick (Story)

Starring: Gabriella Pastore, Ja’ness Tate, Carlos Coleman, Diane D Carter, Kim Akia, Donovan Williams, Orlando Cortez, Tim Davidson, Davey Moore

Plot: Two teenage girls of color named Gabby and Lulu, become amateur detectives in their small town of Hidden Orchard, when a new Air B and B in their neighborhood gets robbed. Everyone in town is a suspect, and these young sleuths are determined to find out who did it and why.

Runtime: 1 Hour 25 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Fun Family Film

Story: Hidden Orchard Mysteries: The Case of the Air B & B Robbery starts as we meet the two best friends, Gabby (Pastore) and Lulu (Tate) who know their neighbourhood like the back of their hands, which sees them getting an increased number of Air B & B properties in the area.

The two girls decide to start their own investigation into the robberies in the neighbourhood, involving the number of Air B & Bs, this will see them talking to everyone in the neighbourhood and learning more about the residents, things they didn’t know before.

Thoughts on Hidden Orchard Mysteries: The Case of the Air B & B Robbery

Characters – Gabby is dealing with adapting with a new stepmom in her life, she has a photographic memory which helps in how the two are investigating the case. Lulu is the best friend of Gabby, she wants to lead the investigation into the robberies, pushing Gabby into using her skills more often than not. The two best friends have excellent chemistry and have worked together for most of their young lives. We do meet a host of residents of Hidden Orchards, everyone is a potential suspect, with the girls knowing details about them all, needing to get to know more as they look to solve the crime.

PerformancesJa’ness Tate and Gabriella Pastore are great together, they make us believe they are best friends, with every interaction between the two feeling natural. The rest of the cast are strong through the film, bringing their characters to life with ease.

StoryThe story here follows two girls that decides to work together to solve a spring of robberies in the area, which sees them putting together the clues, looking into the suspects from their neighbourhood. This does play into the amateur sleuth detective movies, with kids wanting to solve the crimes in the neighbourhood, we rely on the chemistry of the two leads to carry the story, with their determination being the reason everything could get solved. We might not get too involved with the crimes happening, but we are also focusing on friendship over anything else here.

SettingsThe film uses the setting to show us how the neighbourhood is close and still manages to have secrets.

Scene of the Movie – Tanisha and Tyrique Watson are scene stealers in the film.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – We could have seen more of the crimes.

Final Thoughts This is an enjoyable family film that shows the importance of friends, while trying to solve a neighbourhood crime, with excellent chemistry from the two leads.

Overall: Enjoyable Family Film.

Adam Sandler Weekend – You Don’t Mess with the Zohan (2008) Movie Review

Director: Dennis Dugan

Writer: Adam Sandler, Robert Smigel, Judd Apatow (Screenplay)

Starring: Adam Sandler, John Turturro, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Nick Swardson, Lainie Kazan, Ido Mosseri, Rob Schneider

Plot: An Israeli Special Forces Soldier fakes his death so he can re-emerge in New York City as a hair stylist.

Tagline – He’ll blow you away

Runtime: 1 Hour 53 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Insulting

Story: You Don’t Mess with the Zohan starts when Israeli Special Forces Soldier Zohan (Sandler) is getting tired of the same old battles where he captures the terrorist only to see the government to trade them, when his greatest enemy Phantom (Turturro) has been released he uses the encounter to fake his death and follow his dream.

Zohan travels to New York to become a hairdresser using the name Scrappy Coco he wants to work in the biggest salon in the city, but gets laughed out, now he needs to bring his style to the city and learning about his people’s own problems.

Thoughts on You Don’t Mess with the Zohan

Characters – Zohan was once the top agent in the Israeli Special Forces he has always captured the terrorist even after the country has released them after he caught them. He does dream of being a hairdresser which his family sees as a disgrace, he fakes his death so he can head to New York to start a fresh as a hairdresser, where he saves a small business with his true style. Phantom is the greatest enemy of Zohan who always gets traded and always plans his next action, which sees him claiming his fame after Zohan faking his death. Dalia is trying to keep her small salon open and once she gives Scrappy a chance her business booms cleaning her debts out. Michael is the first person that helps Zohan in America and offers him a place to stay.

PerformancesAdam Sandler does hit what seems like an almost insulting in the leading role, just playing into the stereotypes of any Israeli person. John Turturro is the same even if his role is smaller, while Emmanuelle Chriqui doesn’t help herself standout in the supporting role. Most of the cast is terrible through the film never hitting the heights of their roles.

StoryThe story here follows an Israeli soldier that wants to hairdresser meaning he will need to leave his home and start in a new life in America, where his past comes back to haunt him. This is by far one of the most insulting stories you will ever see, it tries to play along the lines of the American dream is available for anybody. We get plenty of awful racist stereotypes being played out towards anybody from Israel which is used more often or not for political gain rather than actually story. This is typical awful Sandler story.

ComedyThe comedy is in the middle of the racist and insulting towards the Israeli people that should never have gotten any laughs.

SettingsThe film is in New York where we see how small communities are trying to make a living, despite having disagreements behind them.

Scene of the Movie – End credits because it was over.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Everything else.

Final Thoughts This is a pure insult to comedy and cinema that should never have even been made.

Overall: Awful from Start to Finish.

Slow West (2015) Movie Review

Director: John Maclean

Writer: John Maclean (Screenplay)

Starring: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Michael Fassbender, Ben Mendelsohn, Caren Pistorius, Brooke Williams

Plot: A young Scottish man travels across America in pursuit of the woman he loves, attracting the attention of an outlaw who is willing to serve as a guide.

Tagline – Love and death are universal.

Runtime: 1 Hour 24 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Just Slow All Around

Story: Slow West starts as Scottish young man Jay Cavendish (Smit-McPhee) heads to America, to travel across country to the west to be with his lose Rose (Pistroius), in the 1800s, he is travelling alone, which has made him a target, with drifter Silas Selleck (Fassbender) seeing him in need of aid, he offers to escort him across country for a fee.

Along the way Jay learns the harsh reality of travelling the open lands, with only Silas helping fix any of the problems he comes into contact with, learning just what happened in his memories of Rose, while Silas keeps his secrets for helping to himself.

Thoughts on Slow West

Characters – Jay is a naïve young man travelling from Scotland to the West Coast of America in search of his lost love, his nature wants to befriend everyone, even though not everyone is friendly, he sees this as the land of opportunity, instead of being prepared for the worst. Silas is a drifter and former bounty hunter that offers to help Jay across the country, knowing how to survive the environment, he does his own agenda for being so helpful, which becomes clear to see, though he doesn’t know how to avoid the troubles that they could face. Payne is the leader of a former gang that Silas was once apart of, which sees him following his old friend on this latest journey. Rose is the woman that Jay is travelling to see, she has left Scotland with her father to start a new life.

PerformancesMichael Fassbender and Kodi Smit-McPhee do everything they can in the leading role, they show they are from two different worlds that together can show each other the better sides of life, the performance reflect what the characters are trying to get across. The supporting performances are all solid enough, though most barely get screen time.

StoryThe story follows a young man trying to travel across America in the 18 hundreds where he meets a drifter to help him get past some of the troubles along the way, as he looks to get to his lost love. This story is a very slow moving one, we do get to see the scale of the journey by seeing just how much time to two must spend together, with different problems they would be facing, only for none of the problems feeling like they are as deadly as the film wants them too be. By making the journey lack perilous moments, it just doesn’t get to the moment that makes you want to sit back and enjoy.

WesternThis film does us the western themes to show the journey the two must go on, which does help us understand the era we are witnessing.

SettingsThe film keeps us in the open plains of America as the journey keeps us wondering just how far they have got on their journey.

Scene of the Movie – The arrival.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The pacing is too slow.

Final Thoughts This is a slow-moving western that just never gets going to the full levels it could, only for it to just plod along throughout the film, never getting going.

Overall: Slow moving, not slow west.