Hey everyone! I hope you are doing well. I have a bunch of catch-up to do today so I hope you will all bear with me and enjoy another one of my mini-review posts. This includes some reviews from Tribeca that I never got to log. Here goes!
Lady Boss: The Jackie Collins Story
This is a documentary I saw at the Tribeca Film Festival about novelist Jackie Collins. My grandma used to read her books so I was interested to learn more about her. Of course, she not only is an author but is movie star Joan Collins’ little sister.
I wish the movie had gone more into her writing and how she came up with ideas. Instead it is mostly about her personal life and loves. Fortunately she had a pretty exciting personal life so it still works. It is neat to see how a strong woman who wrote strong female characters was treated during the 80s and 90s. Plus, I like these type of human interest biodocs so I still enjoyed it but it could have been better.
6.5 out of 10
This film has some good moments and I loved the Christmas setting but it struggles to keep the main characters likable or provide anyone you can root for. I like both Colin Froeber and Nicole Rodenburg in the leads and her direction has promise. I’d see something from her again.
If you’ve ever been a freelancer you can relate to some of what the characters are going through. Your work is constantly changing and evolving and that’s part of what makes it great but also scary.
In the end, it’s always nice to have a sweet story about platonic friendship so a mild recommendation.
5.5 out of 10
12 Mighty Orphans
When I first saw this at Tribeca I was pretty disappointed. It’s hard to not be with such a great cast with Luke Wilson, Martin Sheen, Robert Duvall and more. However, looking back on it it’s a harmless well-mean sports movie.
It tells the story of a football team in the Great Depression Texas comprised of all orphans that went on to win the state championship. They are led by a new coach Rusty Russell played by Wilson.
The script is frustratingly pedestrian especially when you consider the quality of the cast, but the story is so inspirational it overcomes the problems. It also looks good with nice cinematography and production design. If you need some inspiration give it a watch.
5.5 out of 10
India Sweets and Spices’
This is another movie that could have been much better with a stronger script. It tells the story of an Indian-American family that puts on parties to impress their local community and relatives. Think Monsoon Wedding but in America and just parties not a wedding.
Sophie Ali shines as the teen daughter who is trying to both support and rebel from her parents and she had great chemistry with convenience store shop owner’s son played by Rish Shah. I wish the movie had just been about them and their romance.
Most of the stuff about Ali’s parents is less interesting. It’s too melodramatic and tedious. However, I still think there is enough to enjoy to recommend here. It just could have been much better.
6.5 out of 10
America: the Motion Picture
I normally am not the biggest fan of raunchy comedies but the history angle of this film had me intrigued. Unfortunately I should have gone with my initial instinct. I can see what the maker’s of this film were trying to do but it all landed very flat for me.
This film felt like you got a group of the stupidest college frat guys together and had them write the script. The jokes are very raunchy but the problem is they aren’t the least bit funny. The few that are funny are repeated to the point of exhaustion. There is nothing that feels insightful, evocative or worst of all funny. Just watch Hamilton or even 1776 instead. Those are far better than this disaster of a film.
1 out of 10
Sometimes it is refreshing to watch a film that knows what it is and doesn’t try to be anything more. Trust is such a film. It knows it’s melodramatic soap opera and that’s what it is. If you like spicy romantic films like the kind of they have on Lifetime Channel than you will enjoy this- only Trust has better acting than you will see on Lifetime.
Victoria Justice and Matthew Daddario star as a couple who are struggling to connect with the stress of their jobs and trying to become pregnant. Katherine McNamara is the vixen who tempts Daddario and Lucien Laviscount has his eye on Justice. It’s predictable but I had fun watching it.
It helps that Daddario and Justice have great chemistry and their scenes together sizzle.
6 out of 10
I have mixed feelings about Witnesses. On one hand it is impressive how the film embraces the messiness of the story of the 3 witnesses to the Book of Mormon. They all separated from Joseph Smith and the movie doesn’t shy away from that. The acting and production values are all also impressive with a Joseph Smith that looks a lot like a young James Marsden.
The problem is the narrative gets muddy and confusing and I can’t imagine anyone outside the church understanding what is happening or caring. Big things happen spiritually that don’t have the gravitas they should have especially when they are the subject of such persecution later.
I recommend it for members of the church that want to learn more about these key players in church history but that’s about it.
5.5 out of 10
Smile Worthy (Barely)
So there you have it. That’s what I have been watching lately (along with the full reviews I’ve done and a whole bunch of TV I will recap later).
What about you? What have you been watching? Did any of you get to go to the virtual Tribeca Film Festival?