Christmas at the Ranch (2021) Movie Review ‘Sweet Christmas Love Story’

Christmas at the Ranch – Sweet Christmas Love Story

 

Director: Christin Baker

Writer: Julie Anton, Christin Baker (Screenplay)

Starring: Amanda Righetti, Lindsay Wagner, Laur Allen, Archie Kao, Dia Frampton, Aaron Branch

Plot: When Haley Hollis returns to her family ranch to try and save it from closure, she wasn’t banking on spending so much time with ranch hand Kate – or falling for her.

Runtime: 1 Hour 31 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Christmas at the Ranch starts when city career driven woman Haley (Allen) is facing her biggest career project, when her brother Charles (Kao) calls her home to help with the family ranch, which has been losing money against the competition.

Haley does come back with her business mind on, she is looking to quickly sell and move on, but when she meets the ranch hand Kate (Righetti), she starts to remember what the ranch meant to her and her family.

Thoughts on Christmas at the Ranch

Characters & Performances – Haley is a workaholic in the big city, she has been given her biggest project yet for her company, while trying to find love in the big city. Her work has come at a price though, as she has been stepping away from help her family ranch and now a trip back there will change how she wants to look at life and give her a chance at finding love, breaking her away from the business driven mind that she has been operating with. Laur Allen is great in this leading role, showing the ruthless side of her career, but the damaged side from her personal life. Kate is the ranch hand who finds herself isolated in her work, spending her time either talking to the animals or talking to herself, she has given plenty of her time to help the ranch remain successful, which will see her clash with Haley on why things aren’t going to plan, but after their awkward first encounter, they both sense a good in each other that will find a solution to the problems. Amanda Righetti does a great job at bringing to life someone who is different to Haley, someone who seems wiser to what is important in life. When it comes to the supporting cast, we have Charles the brother who needs support, as well as Meemaw who has always looked out for her grandchildren on the ranch, wanting to keep it for them.

StoryThe story here follows a workaholic social media manager living in the big city who needs to travel back to her home ranch to help them decide what to do in the future after a bad year in business, leaving her in a position where she can do the quick solution, only to find herself remembering how special the place is to her, while falling in love once again. This is a story that will have the deeper meaning of needing to support your family and that money isn’t going to be the answer for everything in life. The story will take us down memory lane for Haley, proving that you will never forget where you came from. This will also play into the idea that Christmas will make people change for the better.

ThemesChristmas at the Ranch is a romance movie set at Christmas where the loneliness people search for love and will find it in the place, they are least likely to look for it. The film will use the two main settings to show the different lives Haley could have, with the big city overworked location against the more relax ranch life, where you can get a chance to breath.

Final Thoughts Christmas at the Ranch is a Christmas film that is filled with the romance of the magical time of the year.

God’s Own Country (2017) Movie Review

Director: Francis Lee

Writer: Francis Lee (Screenplay)

Starring: Josh O’Connor, Gemma Jones, Harry Lister Smith, Ian Hart, Alex Secareanu, Melanie Kilburn

Plot: Spring. Yorkshire. Young farmer Johnny Saxby numbs his daily frustrations with binge drinking and casual sex, until the arrival of a Romanian migrant worker for lambing season ignites an intense relationship that sets Johnny on a new path.

Runtime: 1 Hour 44 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Powerhouse Performances

Story: God’s Own Country starts a we meet frustrated young farmer Johnny Saxby (O’Connor) who to cover up his own pain of his life drinks and has casual sex with any young man in the farming world, he is jealous of his old friends that went off to college and the big city, leaving him alone in the life he can’t stand.

When a Romanian Gheorghe Ionescu (Secareanu) applies for a job, he is given the job, he works harder than Johnny, knowing this is a huge chance in a new country and when the two are forced to work together, than finally put their differences aside and become lovers too.

Thoughts on God’s Own Country

Characters – Johnny Saxby is a young man that has found himself trapped in a farming life, he has seen his friends achieve a lot more from their lives, leaving him behind, in a routine he can’t handle, turning to alcohol to try and get through each night, hoping to find a quick sexual encounter with a stranger to fix his needs. He starts to learn more about enjoying the smaller things in life when he starts working with Gheorghe. Gheorghe Ionescu is a Romanian coming to England in search of work, he will take any farm work that comes his way, he accept minor abuse from Johnny before stepping up to defend himself, he will do the more difficult work and once he learns about Johnny, the starts to show him how big the world can be. Deirdre and Martin are the grandmother and father Johnny is working for, they are the only ones that would give him a chance and things aren’t looking for on the farm for them.

PerformancesJosh O’Connor and Alec Secareanu are both fantastic in the leading roles, they bring the chemistry required, while also showing how they are seen as outsiders in the world. With the more experienced stars Gemma Jones and Ian Hart add to the supporting roles in the film.

StoryThe story here shows a young man that has been struggling with the everyday life of farm work for his family until a stranger starts work on the farm, the young man must face the reality of taking life more seriously in work and relationship wise. This does show us how difficult the farming life can be in the more modern world where people are moving a lot faster, with them feeling left behind, while also showing us how people could give someone hope, despite the struggles they will have been through themselves. We have a love story that shows us just what it is to be important to someone, no matter what people might think of the relationship you have.

RomanceThe romance in the film shows the relationship build between the two men and how things can go through the troubles of one’s natural behaviour.

SettingsThe film uses the Yorkshire farm backdrop to show us just how difficult the job and area will be, how isolated it will be from the rest of the world.


Scene of the Movie – Searching.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Some of the animals scenes are too much.

Final Thoughts This is a powerful look at relationships by the using the environment of farming backdrop to show how life itself can be difficult, with two brilliant performances from the leads.

Overall: Brilliant.

Christmas Crush (2020) Movie Review ‘Christmas Comes Early with This Film’

Christmas Crush – Christmas Comes Early with This Film

 

Director: Dale Fabrigar

Writer: Tricia Aurand, Suzanne DeLaurentiis (Screenplay)

Starring: Michael Pare, Nancy Valen, Michael Varde, Eileen Davidson, Kennedy Tucker, Trevor Stines, Tim Abell, Paul Fox, Anzu Lawson

Plot: In a small town, high-school dean Alana and her vivacious teenage daughter Samantha plan a holiday concert to save the school with the help of the new maintenance man, Army veteran Johnny, and his quiet son Max. But when a car accident lands Sam in a life-threatening condition, Alana turns to Johnny for support, and Max makes a desperate decision that will forever bond their families together. All four must question their values about sacrifice, family, and love – and what it means to be thankful for another Christmas.

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Christmas Crush starts when transfer student Max (Varde) and his father Johnny (Pare) start in a new school under principal Alana D’Angelo (Davidson) whose daughter Samantha (Tucker) also attends the school, preparing for the holiday concert.

Alana turns to Johnny to help prepare the holiday concert, with Max taking on a role in the show and Samantha going on to help her friend Tasha (Haynes) prepare the dancers in the show, but an accident will change the direction of their lives forever.

Thoughts on Christmas Crush

ThoughtsChristmas Crush is Christmas movie based on two different generations meeting in a new encounter, where they will all learn a valuable lesson about doing the right thing, standing up against the authority figures in their lives. This will start out with the typical type of meet cute between the school age characters, along with the parental figures looking back on their own lives with heartache. This will get turned on its head with an accident that will put even more on the line for the people involved. The story doesn’t go harder enough into the asshole boyfriend figure, which has a teasing, but in the end, they show he wants what is best. This will try to tug on the heartstrings when it comes to the peril involved about what might be happening, but in the end will dive into the idea that you will do the right thing for the person you love. This is everything you would expect from the Christmas movies we see on a yearly base, using it more as the backdrop for a serious emotional rollercoaster for the characters.

Signature Entertainment presents Christmas Crush on Digital Platforms 1st November

Final Thoughts Christmas Crush is the early by the books Christmas Movie you can enjoy.

I Love Us (2021) Movie Review

I Love Us – Great Spin on Escaping Criminal World

 

Director: Danny A Abeckaser

Writer: Kosta Kondilopoulos (Screenplay)

Starring: Danny A Abeckaser, Katie Cassidy, David James Elliott, Jackie Cruz, Robert Davi, Greg Finley, James Madio, Jasper Polish, Courtney Lopez

Plot: Sammy Silver struggle to trade his criminal ways for a married life after he falls in love with a single mother.

Runtime: 1 Hour 36 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: I Love Us starts as we meet small time crook Sammy Silver (Abeckaser) who has been doing small time jobs, making him enjoy each day of his life, this changes when he meets Laura (Cassidy) on a bus, leading to a whirlwind romance, learning she has two teenage daughter Rachel and Aubrey.

When the couple eventually get married, what looked like a great future, takes a dramatic turn, leading to Sammy needing to win over the girls and take the straight and narrow.

Thoughts on I Love Us

ThoughtsI Love Us is a romantic crime thriller showing us how on man must decide on whether to continue his criminal life after falling in love with a widowed mother. We get to see the attempt to escape the criminal life and how it doesn’t go to plan, because of the mixed added responsibilities and boss who wants him to clear his debts. It will highlight how life can throw curveballs at you, leaving you needing to make major changes in life. Writer, director and star Danny A Abeckaser does a solid job with the concept idea, bringing a new approach to a typical crime drama. While the idea is very interesting, the acting isn’t the strongest, as you feel certain scenes feel like they could have had a bigger emotional impact towards what was happening. This is still a great spin and idea on taking the escaping the criminal world in a brand-new direction.

Final Thoughts I Love Us is a bright idea in an overly compacted escape the criminal world, we see too often.

Dirt Music (2019) Movie Review

Dirt Music – Nice Romance

Director: Gregor Jordan

Writer: Jack Thorne (Screenplay) Tim Winton (Novel)

Starring: Kelly Macdonald, Garrett Hedlund, David Wenham, Aaron Pedersen, Dan Wyllie, Chris Haywood

Plot: The stunning landscape of Western Australia is the backdrop for an impassioned tale of love and grief in Gregor Jordan’s adaptation of the acclaimed novel by Tim Winton.

Runtime: 1 Hour 45 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Dirt Music starts as we meet lonely former nurse and housewife Georgie (Macdonald) who is known for going off from her fisherman husband Jim (Wenham), this time she meets Lu Fox (Hedlund) a poacher who fishes the same waters as Jim.

As Georgie starts to get closer to Lu, she starts to think of another life, while Lu is filled with his own haunting memories of a family he once had.

Thoughts on Dirt Music

Characters & Performances – Georgie is a housewife that sees her life feeling empty and routine, needing to find something new, she gets caught up in the attention of a poacher who she sees something fresh in, wanting to spend time with him, putting her own marriage on the line for a guy she barely knows. Kelly Macdonald does give us a grounded performance, which will show us just how difficult certain stages of life can be. Lu Fox is the man Georgie meets, he is poacher off the shore of her home and the two strike up a connection, he does have a dark past, one which will see him filled with regret, pain and loneliness. He does need to find himself before he can move on with his life, something Georige offers him, if he lets her in. Garrett Hedlund is great in his role here, he shows how his character wants to move into the isolation from the world and just how important it is for his character. Jim is the husband of Georgie who is a fisherman that has seen her have her own times away from him before, he is calm about it, knowing she will come back no matter what, he ends up helping her in the search for him.

StoryThe story here follows a housewife that is finding her life feeling empty which will see her turn to a stranger who is lost in his own life, giving the pair a chance for something new in life, whatever the risk might be. This is a story that will show just how difficult life will become for people and sometimes you can meet people someone that will change everything. We do get everything you would expect to push the people to each of these limits, personal tragedy that needs healing. We do have to say the film does feel slightly longer than it needs to with how it handles certain aspects of the story being dragged out more than they need to.

ThemesDirt Music is a romance movie that uses the ideas of finding a new person in life can help turn life around, with the beauty of the Australian backdrop for the film adding everything to a dream world.

Dirt Music will be available on Digital Download from 19th July

Final Thoughts Dirt Music is a nice enjoyable romance movie.