Homewrecker (2019) Movie Review

Director: Zach Gayne

Writer: Precious Chong, Alex Essoe, Zach Gayne (Screenplay)

Starring: Precious Chong, Alex Essoe, Tony Matthews, Kris Siddiqi

Plot: Two women befriend each other, but one becomes obsessed with the other.

Runtime: 1 Hour 16 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Lots of Screaming

Story: Homewrecker starts when Linda (Chong) and Michelle (Essoe) meet at a dance class, before trying to hit it off, with Linda getting involved in Michelle’s life, including her new marriage, while she is looking to start her own family.

What starts out as a friendly drink and social, soon turns sour, when Linda isn’t willing to let Michelle get on with her day, showing a more sinister side to wanting to keep her around.

Thoughts on Homewrecker

Characters – Linda is a lonely middle-aged woman that is desperately seeking friendship which sees her making the rash decision with Michelle, she doesn’t want to let her leave, wanting to recapture her youth, she does show an unstable side to herself with the more time the two spend together. Michelle is a young married woman that is looking to start a family, she reluctantly agrees to be friends with Linda, which sees her trapped in the house, forced into the games.

PerformancesWhile we can’t fault either of the actresses for their performances, we get the unstable from Previous Chong, which does feel uneasy through the film and Alex Essoe does make us believe she is a family person.

StoryThe story here follows a woman that befriends another one, hoping to trick her into coming back to her home for her own twisted game. This is a story that shows how an unstable person will go to extreme lengths to get the life they want from someone they are jealous off. The story will show the uncomfortable situation Michelle finds herself in and how she looks to try and get out of the world, while facing her own problems in her life.

Comedy/HorrorThe comedy comes from the different levels, with seeing just how the Linda acts, which is awkward for the most part, with the horror sides coming from the different extremes Linda will go to, only most horrific moments are off camera.

SettingsThe film is mostly set in one location, the homes of Linda, where everything unfolds, filled with clues and memories.

Scene of the Movie – Party Hunk game.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Not as strong as things want to be.

Final Thoughts This is a horror comedy that doesn’t hit the heights it could, getting caught up in the middle trying to be quirky, as sadistic, without hitting either on the length it could do for an impact.

Overall: Mostly screaming.

ABC Film Challenge – Sci-Fi – N – How To Talk To Girls At Parties (2017) Movie Review

This is under N because of Nicole Kidman role in the film.

Director: John Cameron Mitchell

Writer: Philippa Goslett, John Cameron Mitchell (Screenplay) Neil Gaiman (Short Story)

Starring: Elle Fanning, Alex Sharp, Nicole Kidman, Matt Lucas, Ruth Wilson, Abraham Lewis, Ethan Lawrence

Plot: An alien touring the galaxy breaks away from her group and meets two young inhabitants of the most dangerous place in the universe: the London suburb of Croydon.

Tagline – Talk to the Girl. Save the World.

Runtime: 1 Hour 42 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Punk Love Story

Story: How To Talk To Girls At Parties starts as we meet three punks Enn (Sharp), Vic (Lewis) and John (Lawrence) who are rebelling agains the establishment in the 1970s, when they look to go to an after party for a bad, only to end up at a strange party. Enn meets Zan (Fanning) one of the aliens at the party, one who wants to break the strict rules of her people.

The two go in search of discovery, while Zan is being tracked by her species who have been getting worried about what has been happening to her. With a forbidden romance being the new important relationship, which could save the world.

Thoughts on How To Talk To Girls At Parties

Characters – Zan is one of the aliens visiting Croydon, she is starting to question the ideas of her species, which sees her breaking their traditions to learn about Punk, a mission of self-discovery and research for her people, she does come off like most aliens, who don’t understand how to have a normal conversation, with most of her conversations involving her learning rather than communicating. Enn is a punk rock loving young man, he is in a little group, though he doesn’t seem to be completely behind breaking the establishment. He meets Zan to show her about the world of punk, he starts to learn about the bigger picture, experiencing love for the first time. Boadicea runs a punk club, she has always given bands a chance and knows how to read the each person claiming to be a punk. We do get a host of different leadership figures from the alien side of things, each one has a different plan for Zan.

PerformancesElle Fanning is great to watch in this leading role, she does show us a different side to her that needs to look distant, while acting completely interested. Alex Sharp is wonderful to watch to, as he continues to show he is a young actor that is going to be a big name. Nicole Kidman brings the star power to the movie, looking like she truly is enjoying herself, while the rest of the cast are all great to create the world we enter.

StoryThe story here follows a punk who falls in love with a visiting alien, where both the younger generations want to fight back against the establishment that has been built up for them to follow. This is dubbed ‘Romeo & Juliet with Punks and Aliens’ that sums this film up correctly, we do have a forbidden love, with two characters from different backgrounds who are looking to stop a battle between the sides, even if the battle is more about aliens needing to learn from the end. Seeing the discovery of punk music is nice to see, it is something we have seen before, with the idea of an alien finding something worth saving that is against what they have been taught. We get plenty of scenes that would never imagine with punks and aliens fighting for the planet.

Comedy/Romance/Sci-FiThe comedy isn’t the strongest part of the film, but when it needs to get a laugh we can, we spend a lot more time focusing of the romance of what could be the most important part of the film, seeing a human and alien fall in love, which does help us dive into the sci-fi side of the film, which sees an alien cult look to learn from the Earth.

SettingsThe film is set in Croydon, we get the punk clubs, full of noise and chaos, while the aliens live in a house, which lets them design it in their own style, which makes them see just how big the universe could be.

Scene of the Movie – Zan sings.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The comedy isn’t the strongest.

Final Thoughts This is a fun romance story that shows us just how the eyes of people can be opened from a chance meeting, we have great performances from Elle Fanning and Alex Sharp along with a love story that lives through the ages.

Overall: Enjoyable.

ABC Film Challenge – Sci-Fi – H – The Hollow One (2015) Movie Review

Director: Nathan Hendrickson

Writer: Nathan Hendrickson (Screenplay)

Starring: Kate Alden, Jesse James, Chelsea Farthing, Tony Doupe, Tonya M Skoog, Simon Hamlin, Dawson Doupe

Plot: While searching for her missing father, an emotionally damaged woman confronts her tragic past and a shadowy figure with sinister intentions.

Tagline – What it wants…is inside you.

Runtime: 1 Hour 35 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Too Chaotic

Story: The Hollow One starts when a normal looking family with a mystery about the mother Linda (Skoog) get a sudden visit from something from her childhood, take her and changing Michael (Doupe) the father, two years later the daughters Rachel (Alden) and Anna (Farthing) are trying to move on with their lives.

When Matt is released from prison after the accident, Rachel and Anna get drawn back, only to find their father and the other locals acting very differently than normal, leading them to investigate more about the past of their mother.

Thoughts on The Hollow One

Characters – Rachel is the oldest daughter of the family, on the verge of adulthood, she works when the first incident happens, this sees her move away with her sister, trying to get over the trauma of that night, which still haunts her, when she returns she starts getting message which lead her down a darker path of confronting what happened and learning the truth about her mother. Matt was the boyfriend of Rachel’s who was driving when the accident happened, he served his time in jail and now wants to make up the best way possible, he notices his own father is now acting strange as he helps look for answers. Anna is the youngest daughter and had been working with her father to learn about her mother’s past, she understands the clues better than the rest of the characters involved here. Michael is the father that had been working on learning about his wife, what he discovers only makes things get out of hand.

PerformancesThe performances in this film are not the strongest, mostly because the characters just don’t get enough time to develop through the chaos we are seeing. It isn’t so much that the actors are bad, they just don’t get anything to work with.

StoryThe story here follows siblings that return home a couple of years after a tragic event, only to learn there is a more sinister force behind what happened all those years ago. The story has one major problem to start with, we have a big time jump to open, which is fine, only to introduce us and play out another ten or so minutes before another time jump forward, it just doesn’t give us enough time to get invested in the character we have been following from that moment, not understanding certain decisions. The story does try to have an interesting horror side to everything which does seem very interesting, only it just doesn’t unfold anything in an interesting way, nothing get solved in the way that makes it clear to the audience and we are left wondering just what could have been by the end.

Horror/Sci-FiThe horror does come from the force that is trying to communicate with the people, they stay in the shadows, which only adds to their mystery. We get to see the sci-fi elements of the film by seeing just what is haunting the family and area, never over committing to whether it is from this world or another.

SettingsThe film is set in a farming community, which sees how close the family are and how distant they become after the incident in the film.

Special EffectsThe effects are used to create the mystery behind the creatures, they do come off well for the most part of the film, with the camerawork being used to add to the mystery involved.

Scene of the Movie – Shadowy figures.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The time jumps.

Final Thoughts This is a sci-fi horror that does everything it needs to without getting to the level of intensity it could have, it struggles to let the characters develop properly, which just doesn’t help along the way.

Overall: This is a simple sci-fi horror film.

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.

Horse Camp: A Love Tail (2020) Movie Review

Director: Joel Paul Reisig

Writer: George Saunders (Screenplay)

Starring: Richard Karn, Jason London, Jo Ambrosia, Kristin Mellian, Teri Lee, Kristen Ryda, Rachel Sowers

Plot: It’s a new year at summer horse-riding camp but everything is different this time—a new head counselor, new friends to make, and to spice things up, the ranch hand (Richard Karn) has a crush on the head riding instructor (Terri Lee)! When he is too nervous to reveal his feelings, the campers put competition aside and rally together to help him win over her heart while building friendships that will last a lifetime.

Runtime: 1 Hour 21

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Coming-of-Age 101

Story: Horse Camp: A Love Tail starts as we see Kimberly (Ambrosia) return to a horse camp Black River Ranch, one of the most prestigious ones for young women. She wants to reconnect with the old friends, only they barely remember her, to add to the drama the head rider Stacy (Ryda) finds herself replaced by Bonnie Lightyear (Lee) a rider with a huge amount of experience.

As the summer continues, the girls get to learn the valuable life experiences they needed to learn about at the life as they look to step into adulthood.

Thoughts on Horse Camp: A Love Tail

Characters – Kimberly is returning to horse camp for the first time in years, she wants the friendship to once had with the other girls and doesn’t take long to fit back in. Riley is the popular one who believes she is better than the rest of the girls, she learns quickly how to enjoy herself with the other campers. Jerry works on the camp and falls for the new experience trainer and needs the campers to help him make his move, Bonnie is the experience rider that is one of the best in the world, she is her to teach not only the instructors but the campers, while catching the eye of Jerry. Stacy is the social media celebrity that has been waiting for the chance to be head rider, not happy about it, but learns from Bonnie through the summer. One of the few weaknesses of this film is the pure number of characters we do meet, we have too much going on with the different characters certain characters don’t get to see the growth they require.

PerformancesWe have a big cast in this movie, nobody stands out above the rest of the cast, while nobody looks out of place, everybody in the film is good through the film and showing us the different problems they are facing and chemistry they have between themselves.

StoryThe story here follows the members of a prestigious horse camp, from the owner, counselors, instructors down to the campers as they spend the summer here learning about life and finding directions in their own lives. This is a nice tale about learning who you are in a location that encourages people to come together in life, through summer camps. We do have a lot going on with the pure number of characters we have, which doesn’t always give all the characters enough time to shine. We do get the overall lesson about doing the right things in life, learning to better themselves for the future.

SettingsThe film is set entirely on the horse camp, it shows the location everyone will be spending the summer away from the busy life.

Scene of the Movie – Learning the lessons.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – We do have too many characters who could get lost in the shuffle of the story.

Final Thoughts This is a good coming of age movie, it does show us just how important life can be for everyone around you, even if we do end up with a couple too many characters.

Overall: Enjoyable coming of age story.