The Thanksgiving House (2013) Rated TV-G

A lawyer inherits a house in Plymouth only to discover that it may be a historical treasure. Starring Emily Rose, Justin Bruening, and Julia Jones.

This is one of those Hallmark films that is just another predictable romantic movie. The actors do a good job of bringing the characters to life. I especially enjoy watching Emily Rose playing the role of the lawyer who inherits the house. The basis of the film – that the house sits on the site of the first Thanksgiving – is preposterous, and the filmmakers don’t do a good job making it plausible. While Hallmark isn’t known for making sure the setting is cohesive to the overall story and scenes, this film’s production is one of the worst I’ve seen from them. I wish there were more films out there about Thanksgiving. This one certainly isn’t one of the best movies about the holiday. It’s unfortunate that it wasn’t better, and sadly, this one’s not worth a watch.

Posted in 2013, Drama, family, films, hallmark movies, Movie reviews, movies, Rated TV-G, reviews, Romance | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wrong Man (STARz) Rated TV-MA

A docuseries investigates three prisoners who claim they have wrongful convictions. Starring Ronald Kuby, Sue-Ann Robinson, Joe Kennedy, and Ira Todd.

The Wrong Man follows investigators as they reexamine criminal cases of inmates who claim their innocence after years of incarceration. They uncover new theories, additional suspects, and further evidence. The first episode presents evidence that creates reasonable doubt as to the convictions.  The show brings forth new information on the cases, but it also highlights the problem of time. We don’t always remember what we saw, and time can make our memories fade. Although the evidence allows for reasonable doubt, it remains to be seen whether or not it’s enough to overturn the convictions. This is a wonderful series, but it’s not new. There are a number of TV series that investigate similar cases to see if new evidence exists that would ensure the correct person is convicted. This show is just one among hundreds, and it doesn’t stand out from the others in any particular way. Even though it is interesting, it’s not worth a watch.

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New This Week in Theaters, June 21, 2018

 Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (PG-13)
Opens on Friday, June 22
Starring: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Rafe Spall, Justice Smith

When the island’s dormant volcano begins roaring to life, Owen and Claire mount a campaign to rescue the remaining dinosaurs from this extinction-level event.

 The King (R)
Opens on Friday, June 22
Starring: Alec Baldwin, Tony Brown, James Carville, Chuck D

Forty years after the death of Elvis Presley, a musical road trip across America in his 1963 Rolls Royce explores how a country boy lost his authenticity and became a king while his country lost her democracy and became an empire.

 Damsel (R)
Opens on Friday, June 22
Starring: Robert Pattinson, Mia Wasikowska, David Zellner, Nathan Zellner

It’s the Wild West, circa 1870. Samuel Alabaster, an affluent pioneer, ventures across the American frontier to marry the love of his life, Penelope. As his group traverses the west, the once-simple journey grows treacherous, blurring the lines between hero, villain and damsel.

 Boundaries (R)
Opens on Friday, June 22
Starring: Vera Farmiga, Christopher Plummer, Lewis MacDougall, Christopher Lloyd

Laura and her son Henry are forced to drive her estranged, pot-dealing, carefree father Jack across country after being kicked out of a nursing home.

 Izzy Gets the F*ck Across Town (NR)
Opens on Friday, June 22
Starring:  Haley Joel Osment, Mackenzie Davis, Sarah Goldberg, Lauren Miller Rogen

A woman at rock bottom must find her way across Los Angeles in order to crash her ex-boyfriend’s engagement party.

 Spiral (NR)
Opens on Friday, June 22
Starring: Dieudonné, Richard Spencer

A look at the rise of anti-Semitism and assaults against Jews in present-day France.

Synopsis by IMDB.

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Malaya (1949) Rated NR

A newspaperman convinces the government to steal rubber from the Japanese. Starring Spencer Tracy, James Stewart, and Valentina Cortese.

This is a compelling story of a disreputable man who says that he can smuggle rubber out of British Malaya. Although it’s a joy to watch Spencer Tracy, James Stewart, and Lionel Barrymore, by the end of the film the performances become stagnant. The film’s plot hinges on the need for rubber – a wartime necessity – which modern viewers may find hilarious. I also thought that the film’s premise of rubber was hilarious. Of course, it all has to do with context. In this day and age, frustration over a lack of rubber is obscure. Although compelling, the film lacks excitement and suspense. While it may have been more engaging to its original audience on the heels of WWII, the film still isn’t worth a watch.

Posted in 1949, Adventure, Drama, Film-Noir, films, Movie reviews, movies, Rated NR, reviews, war | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Annihilation (2018) Rated R

A biologist heads off on a secret expedition where the laws of nature don’t apply. Based on the book series, The Southern Reach, by Jeff VanderMeer. Starring Natalie Portman, Benedict Wong, and Sonoya Mizuno.

The film has fantastic cinematography; its visual beauty is stunning. While the actors are all amazing in their performances, the film has many plot holes throughout. There are no answers for any of the questions put forth. It begins well, but as it unfolds, the film gets weirder and weirder without much explanation as to the reason why. It’s not a complicated or intelligent film; it’s just a watered down version of a great sci-fi novel. The film isn’t worth a watch.

Posted in 2018, Adventure, British Films, Drama, films, horror, Movie reviews, movies, Mysteries, Rated R, reviews, Sci-fi, Thrillers | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Split (2018) Rated TV-MA

A family of female lawyers must face their past when their dad, who has been absent for thirty years, comes back. Starring Afolabi Alli, Barry Atsma, and Fiona Button.

The premise of this show starts intriguingly as each sister seems to have secrets and struggles with the past. However, as the story unfolds, it’s too predictable. The affairs and the characters’ downfalls just don’t fit the bill for a show I’d want to watch. I was really hoping that Nina and her husband would act as the moral compass of the story, but sadly, I don’t believe they are – especially when everyone else seems to be losing it. This show isn’t worth a watch.

Posted in 2018, British Films, Drama, films, Miniseries, Movie reviews, movies, Rated TV-MA, reviews, Tv shows | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New This Week on DVD, June 19, 2018

  Pacific Rim Uprising (PG-13)

Jake Pentecost, son of Stacker Pentecost, reunites with Mako Mori to lead a new generation of Jaeger pilots, including rival Lambert and 15-year-old hacker Amara, against a new Kaiju threat. Starring John Boyega, Scott Eastwood, Cailee Spaeny

 Paul, Apostle of Christ (PG-13)

The story covers Paul going from the most infamous persecutor of Christians to Jesus Christ’s most influential apostle. Starring Jim Caviezel, James Faulkner, Olivier Martinez


 Unsane (R)

A young woman is involuntarily committed to a mental institution, where she is confronted by her greatest fear–but is it real or a product of her delusion? Starring Joshua Leonard, Claire Foy, Sarah Stiles


  Midnight Sun (PG-13)

A 17-year-old girl suffers from a condition that prevents her from being out in the sunlight. Starring Bella Thorne, Patrick Schwarzenegger, Rob Riggle


 Flower (R)

A sexually curious teen forms an unorthodox kinship with her mentally unstable stepbrother. Starring Zoey Deutch, Kathryn Hahn, Adam Scott


 Wetlands (NR)

A man attempts to make a new start in Atlantic City with the help of his daughter and a new business partner. Starring Heather Graham, Jennifer Ehle, Anthony Mackie


 Masterpiece Theater: Man in an Orange Shirt (NC-17)

Tales of love across two films highlighting the very different challenges that face the couples, With Michael and Thomas just after WWII, and Adam and Steve in the present day. Starring Julian Morris, Vanessa Redgrave, Oliver Jackson-Cohen

 Snowfall: Season One (TV-MA)

A look at the early days of the crack cocaine epidemic in Los Angeles during the beginning of the 1980s. Starring  Damson Idris, Isaiah John, Amin Joseph

Synopsis by IMDB.

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Dracula (NBC) Rated TV-14

Dracula travels back to London to extract revenge against those who hurt him years ago. Along the way, he falls in love with a woman who reminds him of his first love. Starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Jessica De Gouw, and Thomas Kretschmann.

This is a dark show, and I don’t just mean the theme. The show’s lighting is so dim that it’s hard to watch – literally. I get that because it’s Dracula you have mostly night shoots, but it doesn’t help the storyline when viewers aren’t sure of what they’re seeing. As the story continues, the show builds in intrigue. It’s an imagining of the Dracula tale with a unique and interesting take. Jonathan Rhys Meyers makes a good Dracula, and Jessica De Gouw as his love interest is just as intriguing. By the end of the show’s only season, I was surprised that it had been canceled, but it was still worth a watch.

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Everything Will Be Fine (2015) Rated NR

While mindlessly driving around town, a writer accidentally hits and kills a child. Starring James Franco, Peter Miller, and Gilbert Wahiakeron.

This film really delves into forgiveness and guilt. Franco plays the writer brilliantly as he struggles with the consequences of his actions. I thought this was one of Franco’s best performances. We also see the tragedy from the family’s point of view as they struggle with the loss in their home. The film is beautifully shot with great cinematography. It shows how each character’s life is affected by the tragedy.  The ending is fitting with the mood of the film, perhaps because you know that the two families will always be entwined with one another. This film is worth a watch.


Posted in 2015, Drama, films, German Film, Movie reviews, movies, Rated NR, reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Betrayal (ABC) Rated TV-14

Sara, an unhappily married woman, has an affair with a lawyer from a powerful family. Starring Hannah Ware, Henry Thomas, and Wendy Moniz.

This show isn’t fun to watch; the characters hurt others because of the hurt they feel themselves. Their pain acts as an excuse for their actions, which, in turn, cause others to suffer. There isn’t a hero or even an anti-hero to root for or care for in this show. It’s difficult to connect with the characters or care about their stories because they are selfish and hurtful. They don’t seem to care about the ramifications of their actions or the damage caused by following their own selfish desires. The show has no redemptive qualities, and it’s not worth a watch.

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