To the Stars (2019)

Director: Martha Stephens

Writer: Shannon Bradley-Colleary (Screenplay)

Starring: Kara Hayward, Jordana Spiro, Tina Parker, Shea Whigham, Lucas Jade Zumann, Quinn Gasaway, Liana Liberato, Malin Akerman, Tony Hale

Plot: Under small town scrutiny, a withdrawn farmer’s daughter forges an intimate friendship with a worldly but reckless new girl in 1960s Oklahoma.

Runtime: 1 Hour 49 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Easy Watch Coming of Age

Story: To the Stars starts as we meet the shy high school girl Iris (Hayward) whose father Hank (Whigham) is very controlling, with the school bullies seeing her as an easy target, this changes when new girl Maggie (Liberato) arrives in town, she is filled with confidence, even though she has her own problems as home.

As the two girls become friends, they learn they have finally found someone they can reveal the secrets they have been hiding in life and set out on their own adventure to discover who they really are.

Thoughts on To the Stars

Final Thoughts This is a coming of age tale told in the 1960’s with the setting being Oklahoma, it shows us a certain way of life the girls have been trapped in, with them both needing a friend that will help them out of their problems and set them on their way to a brighter future, the fact both the girls react differently works well, showing us how opposites can learn to work together. The cast all give strong performances through the film, with Kara Haywood and Liana Liberato standing out from the rest of the cast. The film does give us everything you would imagine from a coming of age movie, without being on the peak of the genre, leaving it with a sweet feeling by the end.

Overall: Coming of Age 101.

ABC Film Challenge – World Cinema – Y – The Blind Spot (2017)

This movie is under Y because of the directors surname.

Director: Nabil Ben Yadir

Writer: Nabil Ben Yadir, Laurent Brandenbourger (Screenplay)

Starring: Peter Van den Begin, Soufiane Chilah, Jan Decleir, David Murgia, Ruth Becquart, Jurgen Delnaet, Bert Haelvoet


Plot: Dode Hoek (Blind Spot) is the story of Jan Verbeeck, the uncompromising commissioner of the Antwerp drug squad. Known as Mr. Zero Tolerance, he is hugely popular with the people and the media. The country is thrown into commotion when he announces that he is leaving the police force just before the elections to join the extreme right party, VPV. On his last day as a policeman, he leads an investigation that takes him to Charleroi where a raid on a drug lab sets in motion a series of unforeseeable and fatal events.


Runtime: 1 Hour 45 Minutes


There may be spoilers in the rest of the review


Verdict: Slow-Burn Thriller


Story: Blind Spot starts as police chief Jan Verbeeck (Begin) is about to step down from the force to lead a political career, he is known for his zero-tolerance approach to fighting crime. On his final night one of the detectives Dries (Chilah) approaches him about a potential bust of a massive drug case, which sees him take the front line on the bust.

When something goes wrong with the bust, Jan, no longer on the police force looks to clean up what happened, which sees him falling on the wrong side of the law, the events of that night might become fatal to his political career if he can’t figure out the truth.


Thoughts on Blind Spot


Characters – Jan Verbeeck is the zero-tolerance police chief that is stepping down and moving into a political career, before he leaves, he goes for one more bust, which sees something go wrong, leading to Jan needing to figure out how to cover up before his political career gets ruined. Dries is one of the most trust police officers under Jan, he will get the job done and it is his informant that the case is built on, he will need to decide where he stands after everything unfolds though. Axel is one of the prime suspects in the case, his true identity is a secret and uncovered through the film.

PerformancesPeter Van den Begin and Soufiane Chilah are both the highlights of the performances, they show how desperate the characters are and how they want to stay ahead of the game.

StoryThe story follows a police chief entering a political career where he needs to figure what went wrong with his final bust, which has put his future in danger. This is a story that shows how different career can see you life get turned on its head before you even get started. We are kept guessing to just where things will go and it will leave you wondering just where Jan stand on the moral compass. We do get to see how the Belgium cities are living with crime rate too.

Action/CrimeThe action comes from the police work going on, with the tactical bust going on through the events, which plays in the hands of the crime world that is trying to be cleaned up.

SettingsThe film is set in a couple of different cities in Belgium which shows how different groups can be located and operating within the city.

Scene of the Movie –
Final press conference.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Slightly too much going on.

Final ThoughtsThis is a thriller on how to cover up mistakes that could change a career forever and keeps us guessing to just what happened.


Overall: Thriller that keeps you guessing.