5 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Reviews

Little Women (1949) Review


It’s time to look at the next adaption of the classic Little Women story. While it will feel very familiar to the last one as they mainly tackle the same events, I’d say that it is executed better. Personally I found this one to be quite a bit more enjoyable than the last version. Some of the plots still aren’t the best and the final romance feels rushed but at least the film tries to address this since there are technically a few time skips. I’ll give the film some points for effort there even if ultimately it didn’t work.

The film follows a group of sisters who are currently having fun times. Their father has went off to war and so the family isn’t doing particularly well financially but they have each other which has always been enough for them. Jo is the main character and she is an aspiring writer. One day she aims to be featured in the papers and to have her books published. In the meantime she writes plays for the family to perform. One day a boy moves in next day and they hit it off but Jo is determined to stay as friends. She believes that none of the main characters should fall in love because then the dynamic will change. She’s not wrong, but can you actually say no to romance in a movie?

Jo’s idea isn’t all that bad. The idea of having a friend is a good one. You shouldn’t always feel pressured to take that to the next step. It’s not really her place to hold any of the other sisters back though. It may be a shame that the dynamic has to change but ultimately that was bound to happen one way or the other. Time is not stagnant and so eventually every dynamic ends up crumbling. You either adapt with it or you’ll spend your time relying too much on your memories of the past. The film’s pretty predictable on if Jo ends up succumbing to romance or not so be prepared for that.

There are quite a few subplot though as each sister gets her own plot. They meet people, one of them grows sick, etc. The film isn’t afraid to tackle some tough themes as well with one character dying. Each character has their own burden to bear whether it be physical or emotional. Part of what hurt in the previous version was that it was really hard to care much about the story. It was all just way too old and the writing came across as rather sluggish. This one does a better job with the writing and streamlining the plot. There also appeared to be a significant age gap in the final romance in the last film which is corrected here. It’s hard to see an age gap of more than 10 which I tend to consider as the cut off. Even that is already on the wider side.

Jo’s definitely the most entertaining character of the group. She’s got a lot of energy and tends to dismiss formalities and just be herself. It’s something that was quite rare back in the day so it really makes her stand out from the rest. Meg, Amy, and Beth are reasonable characters as well although there is less notable about them. While Beth is a lot younger than the others she always composes herself well with solid dignity. Meg and Amy mainly follow the standard path of falling in love right away. They’re solid characters even if one of them does end up rebounding with someone who liked Jo at one point which is a bit sketchy. You’d think that if someone likes the sister you would definitely not start a relationship there. It seems a bit like a betrayal even if the relationship was over. I just don’t think that’s something you should ever do.

There’s not a whole lot more to say that I didn’t already say in the first film. It’s pretty much the same movie only this one is newer. Due to the nature of the movie it’s also not like a whole lot happens. The runtime is fairly long though. I’d say that the writing is fine. It may not be winning any awards anytime soon, but it does the job and everyone feels like a real character which is important. It’s all fairly realistic for its time. That’s why I’d like the next Little Women adaption to get a little more out there. Have it take place in the future or something. I think that would end up being quite excellent as a change of scenery would end up helping quite a lot. It’s exactly the surge of new energy that the film could use and I think it would end up taking it quite far.

Overall, Little Women seems to be pretty faithful to the book based on how similar it is to the last one. It’s a classic slice of life story and if anything may be one of the most fitting installments in the genre. This is exactly what you would expect out of a slice of life if you ask me. There may not be any danger or villains but you do get to see the characters live out their lives and change as time goes on. It’s all quite dramatic in a social way. If this kind of plot really interests you then you should check it out. Personally I think slice of life films need a bit more comedy to really hit it home for me. If you play it too serious then it becomes a bit too close to real life and so I don’t really see the point of the film. A good film needs to be highly entertaining. This film isn’t, but it’s not boring either which is why I place it squarely in the middle. It’s not a bad film but I couldn’t imagine watching it a second time.

Overall 5/10

6 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

The Thrill of It All Review


It’s time to look at a pretty old rom-com with Doris Day. This is a film with a pretty fun plot although the ending doesn’t really work so well. I’d say the main character ended up making the wrong call. Still, the writing is pretty strong as always and the humor is consistent. It’s a film that you’ll have a fun time watching even if it doesn’t end up being one of the all time greats or anything like that.

The movie starts with introducing us to Gerald who delivers a lot of babies. It’s pretty fun work and he’s really well known in the neighborhood. People just like the guy. Meanwhile his wife Beverly runs the home and does a good job of looking after their two kids who are always getting into mischief. Well, one day the two of them attend a little gathering and watch a commercial for a new soap. Beverly ends up telling a story about how she used the soap and the boss of the company immediately wants her to do the commercials. Beverly is reluctant at first but they will offer her a ton of money so she accepts. Beverly quickly becomes a sensation and now the company’s products are all flying off the shelves.

The family is doing really well financially but it’s having a social toll. Beverly and Gerald both work rather difficult hours now so they are never home. Gerald starts to become jealous at this point and realizes that he will have to find a way for Beverly to leave her job. He tries quite a lot of tricks to get her out. Will Beverly be able to keep her job or will she ultimately need to go back to being a housewife and leaving this wealth on the table?

This film came out quite a long time ago, but even so it’s hard to really sympathize with Gerald all that much. He gets on her case about this almost right away so at that point the hours and such hadn’t been an issue yet. He just didn’t want her to leave the house for a job and seemed pretty proud of it. What hurt his case right out of the gate was when Beverly produced an article he wrote about how women should explore career opportunities to find fulfillment. He quickly says that it didn’t apply to her which isn’t really much of a counter argument. He really tries every trick in the book to get her back so Gerald looks bad throughout the whole movie. Particularly as a lot of the things he would get upset about weren’t even directly Beverly’s fault. The studio had a tendency to take things into their own hands which would ultimately backfire.

Gerald’s tricks could also get a bit dirty at times like pretending that he was cheating on Beverly. That’s certainly not something to do lightly and just makes him look pretty bad. Beverly was never doing anything like that. As a main character she’s pretty solid. The fame never even remotely goes to her head and she handles all of this like a class act. She still has to work with the kids throughout this at times so she’s busier than ever. Beverly may not always be able to make the times work for everyone but at least she tries. It’s also pretty honest work. It’s not like there’s anything remotely sketchy about her line of business. It’s advertising for a very reputable company.

The company also desperately needed Beverly. Their current commercials were really using quite desperate measures to try and sell the soap which would not work on most of the viewers. After all, the guys who would fall for these tactics aren’t likely to buy soap. It’s worth noting that this is another scene that makes Gerald look quite bad. Come to think of it, the guy definitely has a lot of unfortunate mishaps throughout which make me root for Beverly even further. I think the main things he could reasonably get upset about was the studio taking over his home and the big swimming pool destroying the backyard so he can’t golf anymore. Those are pretty sudden and hard to adapt too.

As this encompasses the main plot , Gerald’s jealousy is the only thing that holds the film back. From the start you already know how this is going to end which is unfortunate. The film could have definitely have had a better ending. It’s not an ending that wrecks the film though. Either way I thought it was pretty fun and the writing is on point as always. The cast of characters are fun and even if Gerald is on the wrong side, he has a lot of fun moments as well. The Thrill of It All as a very quick pace about it so something is always happening during the movie. That’s always been an important aspect for any film.

Overall, The Thrill of It All may be dated in many respects, but it’s a movie that is worth watching. It tackles some nice topics like how people are still quick to buy things if they see it in a commercial. For me commercials are mostly pointless for products but if it’s a food commercial then I’m in. I think everyone has something that they are willing to look into further if it’s on a commercial. The film also pokes fun at how some shows would use the same plots over and over again and the audience doesn’t catch on. It’s pretty exaggerated but definitely fun to see. I’m always up for a few good natured shots thrown in. If you’re up for a fun little film about getting rich overnight then this is a solid one to check out. Who hasn’t thought about suddenly being on TV like this?

Overall 6/10

3 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Days of Heaven Review


It’s time to look at a film about the olden days. It’s filled with deceit and drama as the characters keep making tricky choices. Unfortunately the film doesn’t do much to pique your interest and the narrator’s emotionless delivery doesn’t help matters. This film ultimately fails at being entertaining and ends up dragging itself out quite a bit.

The movie starts with the main character (Bill) murdering his boss so he is forced to flee his job along with his wife Abby and sister Linda. The three of them join a roaming group who go around and pick wheat during the harvesting season. Bill quickly grows bored of this as well though and decides he wants to be rich. He convinces his wife to have an affair with the land owner since Bill found out that the guy is expected to die soon. There are many ways this can and will backfire so you just have to try and predict which way will present itself.

Really the main character traded his morals here for some quick funds. It’s definitely a bad choice all the way around particularly because Bill is asking Abby to do the hard parts. If you’re going to do something risky then it should be something that you are doing on your own. When you put the burden on someone else just so you can feel better then that’s really not a good look. From this point on it’s just hard to sympathize with the guy at all.

It’s pretty much inevitable that Abby and the rich guy hit it off after that. Bill can’t bear to watch this but since Abby and the guy are married Bill should have known this was coming. So the main plot is definitely no fun and in a way the rich guy is really getting the short end of the stick because from his point of view he didn’t do anything crazy. He just had to learn one day that his wife was cheating on him.

Meanwhile you have Linda who doesn’t talk a whole lot in the movie. She is the narrator though so in that role she easily gets the most lines. The film would have done well without a narrator though. Pretty much all of the dialogue told through this doesn’t actually amount to anything and it really drags on.

The whole movie suffers from this though. It takes ages for things to happen in this movie and without any likable characters the film can’t survive by being a slow burner. It’s not a technique that just any film can use. I’m also not a fan of the general setting, I much prefer films that take place in more of a city environment. This is more like the Wild West or the prairies and it doesn’t make for great backgrounds or scenery.

The Locusts are pretty intense though. They definitely know how to take a whole field down in one crispy combo. That said, the extended scenes of everyone trying to swat them away get dull rather quickly. While you know that’s what they are going to have to do, this is where a quick montage does wonders of a brief time skip to the fire since we need to see the next confrontation. It still doesn’t help the movie get nearly as intense as it tries to be though. Even the climax which is a chase scene through the forest with a ton of guys in pursuit with guns can’t make the film all that exciting. The film just didn’t have heart.

The ending’s also more of a shake your head kind of moment. The characters all move on in their own ways. One heads underground, another boards a train, and one decides to escape school. I can understand the first option because that’s just how it goes and the second at least makes some sense to try and give back to the world. The final option just seems a little forced. Finally this character is in a good environment and won’t have to worry about finding enough to eat anymore. It’s all looking pretty good but now it’s back to the road? She’s also with a pretty bad role model so that doesn’t seem very promising either.

Overall, Days to Heaven is definitely not a film that I would recommend. There just aren’t any real positives or incentives to watch this movie. The characters aren’t particularly likable and the story is fairly boring. There aren’t any real exciting scenes or big moments that will have you on the edge of your seat. Some witty dialogue could have helped to bump this up but the movie doesn’t have any of that either. It is very serious from start to finish with everyone typically mumbling or not speaking unless they have to. If you want to watch more of a standard drama like this you’ve definitely got better options out there. You just gotta go and find them.

Overall 3/10

4 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Only You Review


It’s time to look at an old school romance drama. Unfortunately this one is really not that good. The main characters are all pretty terrible which makes it hard to sympathize with any of them. Some of the scenes can be tragically funny in a way but you still have to shake your head for most of it. My hot take here is that the film should have focused more on the search for Damon Bradley and less on finding him so many times. That would have worked out a lot better if you ask me, but that’s just a theory.

So the film’s present timeline starts out with Faith getting ready to be married to her fiance. I forget the guy’s name and it really doesn’t matter since he’s only in it for a few scenes. He tries to mess with Faith’s hair and also promises on her behalf that she will wear an ancient wedding dress to her own wedding. Faith feels like her life is crumbling apart and she has fallen away from her destiny. See, as a kid she always knew that the guy she would need to marry was Damon Bradley because that guy was going to be her dream partner according to an occult board game and a fortune teller. That’s not how the dice worked out though but then she gets a call from Damon Bradley. He says that he is a friend of her fiancee’s and then hangs up. Faith was able to get some info out of him though and knows that Venice is where she needs to be.

Faith packs some stuff and quickly heads to Venice along with her sister-in law Kate. They now have to search the whole country for him. Getting in their way is a guy named Peter who suckers Faith into having a one night stand with him by pretending to be Damon but then decides to atone by helping her find him. The problem is that along the way he keeps tricking her over and over again. Will Faith give up on her whole Destiny angle or will she just keep on finding various Damons to get past the friend zone with until it’s the right one? It’s going to definitely be a long day for her.

This film has quite a lot of issues so it’s always hard to know where to start. I suppose I would start off with the fact that Faith is just not a very likable character. From the start she is not portrayed all that well as she is instantly ready to throw her fiance away when she hears the name Damon. It’s fine if she didn’t really like him to call things off, but why wait til the last second? She doesn’t even tell him where she is going, she just vanishes. I mean, the guy never even notices which is pretty insane but that’s just the way it is. Now, if she still had some morals about it that would be one thing, but she acts incredibly desperate each time.

She is basically throwing herself at anyone who claims to be Damon Bradley and really seems to have no shame. The whole affair with Peter really tells you all you need to know about her. She was about to call off the wedding after just meeting him until Peter made a rookie mistake and left his identity out. Faith never gets better from here and you’d think after such a humiliating scene she wouldn’t fall for these tricks again…but she still does.

Meanwhile this doesn’t let Peter off the hook either. He lies to Faith a whole lot. It’s supposed to be endearing or even funny based on how the film presents it, but it’s pretty tragic if you think about it. He was really just taking advantage of Faith and you can’t feel bad for him when he gets emotional because the whole thing really is his fault. Just because Faith is super easy doesn’t mean it’s right to still be tricking her the whole time.

Then we have Kate who is another poor character. She is actually married already and decides to have an affair with a random guy anyway. She keeps telling herself that he knows she is married and won’t try anything but they both keep giving each other hints so of course an affair was going to happen. The film paints her husband Larry as a guy who’s not exactly the most charming and does call her telling her to go make a sandwich. It’s obvious that he’s not supposed to be a very likable character either but Kate is the one who comes across as more petty. She thinks he is cheating on her with no evidence and naturally it turns out to not be true. While Larry was not the nicest guy, at least he wasn’t cheating on her.

These various plotlines just really don’t work wonders for the film. By the end of it the general morale is that none of these relationships are likely to last for very long. Kate’s not trust worthy and the same is true for both Faith and Peter. Faith won’t forget that Peter lies to her face quite a bit and he won’t forget that she came close to having 3 different affairs in the span of a week. The odds of them managing to pull through this in one piece are pretty slim.

At least the backdrops are pretty fun. It’s always nice to see Venice. I wouldn’t want to live there because that’s just way too much water for me, but the scenery is good. The film also does have some fun moments like the contrast it shows between New York and Italy. In New York there was no way they were going to let the main heroine on the plane without a ticket but in Italy since they were helping her get the guy they stop the plane and let her on. It’s a pretty stark contrast and it was naturally a blast to see New York looking so good. We definitely don’t let people randomly get on trains. The film also has some good meme material with how everyone is constantly clapping at the heroes making up with each other. You don’t see the reactions you’d expect like people being upset that their flight is being held. It’s all wholesome to these guys.

Overall, Only You is a film that’s definitely not very realistic. The writing could use some work and the characters just are not likable. You can definitely have some fun with this film as it goes on but the whole thing just doesn’t make a lot of sense most of the time. I’m still surprised that Faith’s fiance never got to appear at the end. Kate should also remember that Faith was very quick to ignore her current plight. Kate was literally in tears asking Faith for help and our nice heroine brushed her off to take a phone call and starting celebrating when it was Damon. Keep in mind that Kate is still in a mess on the floor next to her. The film definitely makes sure that you are unsure if we are supposed to root for the main character or not and that is an original approach. You can do better with a different rom-com.

Overall 4/10

4 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Two Weeks in Another Town Review


It’s time to look at another film about a celebrity ruining his career and then seeing if he can make a comeback. It seems to be a bit of a classic plotline over the years. Unfortunately this one isn’t quite able to handle it. The film’s reasonably entertaining the whole time, but the ending is pretty sketchy and the romance plot here is also not one of the better ones. Jack definitely makes the most of his two weeks though and after lighting up the towns he should be tired enough to stay ready this time.

The movie opens up with Jack finally finished with his restoration after being a drunk for a while. His old pal Kruger the director has mailed him asking if Jack would like a big part in his new movie. When Jack gets there Kruger admits that it was all a scam and the psychiatrist asked him to write, but he’ll at least let Jack do the dubbing. Jack never lets an opportunity to make a quick buck slip away so he demands a raise and then takes the job. The tough part is he has to deal with the main actor Davie who really doesn’t care about the project at all. The guy is just here for the check and spends his days as drunk as can be. Jack doesn’t like this but there’s not much he can do about it either. At least there’s the heroine Veronica here. She’s currently in an abusive relationship with Davie so Jack decides to be her rebound guy. Can this possibly end well?

The film sets Davie up to be so antagonistic that there’s no way for you to buy into his redemption arc by the end. Veronica even gets a black eye at one point which shows just how bad Davie was. The film doesn’t get into it much deeper than that but tells you all you need to know about the guy. Davie also waves a knife around at Jack before getting subdued. Jack’s way too lenient at the guy and the way the romance plot ends is also not very satisfying. Davie’s just a pretty terrible character.

Unfortunately I can’t say that I liked Jack and Veronica very much either. Veronica seemed to rebound way too quickly. She got together with Jack with no real effort but ultimately went back to Davie very quickly. She seemed to be someone who was always trying to get some action so I don’t see their relationship being great long term. Jack’s no better though as he goes from Veronica to Carlotta with ease. Considering how tough he talked about not falling for Carlotta again he sure fell pretty easily. This is where the closing act just didn’t work for me. After he is betrayed, Jack takes it very hard and falls back into literally every single one of his old vices. He gets super drunk, he has an affair with Carlotta, and then he loses his mind and starts driving like a maniac. That scene’s definitely pretty terrible as the guy undoes all of his progress from the last few months.

The film quickly spins this into a happy ending after that somehow. With all the fights and property damage he caused the guy will probably get arrested the next week though. The only character here who seemed reasonable at first was Kruger. Then slowly but surely the film begins to break him down piece by piece until he’s just as bad as the others. First off, he cheats on his wife consistently. The film plays this off as a comedic subplot but it’s all pretty tragic. He also does this very openly so everyone in Hollywood knows about this which is even more humiliating to her. Kruger is only interested in making films and getting famous and it shows at the end when he decides to back stab Jack. I think Jack should have suspected as much since he seemed pretty cynical about showbiz at the start. I think he just allowed himself to get a little too hopeful and it’s a shame that doing so would get him in trouble.

So there are quite a few negatives I’ve got in the bag here like characters and romance, but one positive the film does have is the writing. I always enjoy the scripts from this era. Everyone just sounds very regal and the dialogue allows for good back and forth discussions with the characters. They’re all professional and make reasonable sounding arguments even if they’re actually crazy when you think about it. There’s always a lot of passive aggressive comments here as people rarely say what they actually mean. It’s really something to think about how people would actually speak like that back in the day because it’s certainly nothing like that in the modern day.

I’d also say that the pacing is good. The film will hold your interest as it’s going on and it never drags on. Each scene serves some kind of purpose so I wouldn’t say that there was any real filler here. Even if you don’t like the characters they still manage to be compelling which is important. It was nice to see Jack work as a director for a bit even if it didn’t ultimately work out. One character I did like was Kruger’s boss. That guy seemed very practical. He may not have said the things Kruger was hoping to hear but the guy clearly runs a tight ship and that’s important for a director.

Overall, Two Weeks in Another Town is a film with an idea that’s been tried in the past and it has been done more successfully. The problem here is that while the film does succeed in showing a cynical Hollywood where everyone is out to get you, it’s done without likable characters. All of the characters lose their morals when they need too. The film can be quite mean spirited. Basically this amounts to Jack going to another town and for two weeks making as much of a mess as he wants and then getting out quickly. While the ending suddenly tries to be a happy one it’s almost more of a grim ending since Jack ended up cracking once again. I’d say to skip it this time and you could watch almost any of Kirk Douglas’ other films and you’ll have a better time.

Overall 4/10

3 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

The Strange Love of Martha Ivers Review


It’s time to take a look at a classic Noir film. It’s a tale of deception and blackmail with the villains thinking a little too highly of the lead which gets them into trouble. It’s a pretty engaging film for most of its run but by the end the drama ramps up a bit too much at the expense of Sam’s character. The ending may play out as a happy one but Sam made far too many mistakes. The plot still gives you enough twists and turns to stay engaging though.

The film starts off with Martha and Sam running from home yet again. Sam is a pretty down to Earth guy who likes being a rebel while Martha is getting ready to inherit a ton of money but doesn’t like her aunt. Unfortunately for Martha the aunt has a lot of power so these attempts never work out. Well, one day Martha murders the aunt and is finally out of the woods. The thing is, Walter and his father saw this so they help her cover it up, but this does lead to Walter becoming the district attorney and the two characters get married. Martha still doesn’t like Walter all these years later but that’s just how it is.

Meanwhile Sam passes through town and figures he’ll look his old friends up. He was friends with Martha at least, he never got along with Walter as much. He meets up with a girl named Toni though and the two of them become good friends. The problem is that Toni is breaking parole by hanging out with Sam and not going home. Ultimately she is picked up and so Sam decides to ask Walter to help him get her off the charge. Walter thinks Sam is here to blackmail him for the murder all those years ago but Sam doesn’t actually know about it. If Walter keeps hinting at it though, he ultimately may help Sam find out.

It’s always interesting when the villains actually overestimate the heroes because it’s so rare. One other case is in RWBY as Salem tells Cinder and the others to be very careful since Ruby has Silver Eyes, but little did they know that Oz had never shown her how to master it yet. That’s a similar case to how it’s all playing out here. Sam really had no way to suspect any of this since he had put the town on high alert. Honestly he probably wouldn’t have had a whole lot of swing with Walter otherwise though.

This does lead to Sam getting beat up at one point though and a lot of back and forth with the characters. Sam can fight pretty well so he doesn’t get intimidated easily. He trades a lot of barbs with Walter. Despite Sam calling him scared all the time Walter does hold his ground. Perhaps being constantly drunk and working for the government helped him get a little braver. It’s definitely a pretty interesting dynamic. Sam was a solid character for most of the film, but where he ultimately faltered was in how he handled the second half.

He definitely did like Martha once upon a time but she is married now and he likes Toni. That should absolutely be the end of it right? Unfortunately that is not the case and he falls for the grass is always greener approach. He betrays Toni pretty late in the game for what amounts to a pretty meaningless affair with Martha. It really takes away from his character because that’s absolutely the last thing he should be doing right now. He’s already been in so much trouble in this town as it is you’d think he would just get out quick. Unfortunately he got a bit greedy by the end. Once he actually did have the blackmail he quickly used it just like Walter thought he would. In a way Walter was right from the start, he was just too early.

So I couldn’t come to like Sam. Martha isn’t really any better. She seemed pretty spoiled right from the start of the film. The intro was brief but it didn’t really set up Martha as a sympathetic character. Then we have Walter who is at the very least still complicit in everything that went on. He clearly knew Martha didn’t like him but got married anyway so it’s hard to sympathize with him either. The only good character here was Toni and she definitely shouldn’t have stuck with Sam. After being betrayed like that I would have split town and then that would be it. If Sam can fall away so easily once then it will happen again.

Finally, the film also fumbled the ball early on with some animal violence. Why did we need the aunt to murder the cat at the beginning of the film? All that does it give the film a bit of a mean edge from the start. You can’t really recover from that. I suppose an amazing film could try to make a comeback I suppose, but it’s very difficult and you are starting from a disadvantage. I’m guessing the film couldn’t find any other way to make the Aunt look bad because otherwise she hadn’t been nearly as sinister as Martha would suggest. It’s an easy out, but one that did not do the film any favors.

Overall, This was a pretty interesting film. It unfortunately just lasted too long by watering down Sam’s character at the end and I definitely could have done without the animal violence. Those are the two elements that really drag the film down. The writing is on point as with most classic Noir films and otherwise the pacing is good. As I said at the beginning of the review, this is a pretty engaging film. Usually that goes hand in hand with being a good film but unfortunately that was not true in this case. As far as the recent Noir films I’ve seen go this would have to be one of the weaker ones.

Overall 3/10

7 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

A Letter to Three Wives Review


It’s time to take a look at a retro movie with a moral about trust and understanding. With the basic premise at hand the film gives you all you need in order to crack the case of what’s going on here. I dare say that it starts to become apparent after the first story but even then you can still make cases for exactly what Addie’s plans were. You could make her out to be the hero or villain depending on how you look at it. I’m in the former’s side.

The movie starts with Addie explaining to the viewers that she’s the best person who ever lived and holds the moral high ground. The 3 main heroines are all pretty jealous of her because Addie seems to be the perfect person. As the ladies husbands would say, she always knows to do the right thing at the right time. As a result the ladies never liked Addie much although they wouldn’t say that to her face. Well, Addie has sent them a note saying that she has run off with one of their husbands. The 3 wives are trapped on a cruise and can’t get back home but they are all worried that their man has left. Each of them has a flashback to a memorable day in their relationship and wonder if it could possibly be true.

In a way the story is an anthology as each story takes up a good amount of time so we don’t see the present much. The first story is about Brad and Deborah. Deb is feeling a lot of pressure because she thinks that she can’t keep up with Brad’s city friends. She grew up as a country girl and isn’t very confident in her appearance and mannerisms. This ends up getting worse as she gets super drunk before the meetup and also has a mild costume malfunction. She misses enough of the party to where Addie ends up chatting with Brad instead.

It’s a pretty solid first story and underscores that Brad is a really nice guy. He’s pretty understanding of Deborah’s worries the whole time. We also get to see his two friends who will star in the second story and they’re very nice as well. They do everything they can to cheer Deborah up and I dare say that they easily have the best dynamic of the 3. Deborah’s lack of confidence can be a bit iffy at times especially with how much she drinks. It also turns into her not trusting Brad as much as she should because she does think he would trade up to Addie if possible.

Next up is George and Rita. Rita is determined to impress her boss by hosting a very fancy dinner party while George isn’t a fan of the idea because he doesn’t like having a false pretense. I do agree with him here as I never believed in making the place really fancy when guests were coming over either. In modern times this has slowly stopped being a thing, but there are still many cases where you do a huge cleaning and re-stocking before someone comes over. In a way the best way to handle this is to have the guest see the place as it usually is. George does his best to work around this but the guests are quite rude and even break his personal record. It turned into a pretty trying day for him and Rita even forgot his Birthday. Fortunately Addie didn’t so she sent him a priceless record with a reference to their youth although this makes Rita jealous as well.

While Rita definitely went through a difficult day there, she is still a pretty likable character throughout the movie. She’s a very supportive friend and I do think she and George got along quite well whenever we saw them. George is a fun character who always sees the glass as half full. Despite all the crazy stuff that happens to him, he keeps up a smile throughout. From the 3 guys he was definitely the best one.

Then we have the third story about Lora and Porter. Lora is pretty poor at the moment so she decides to land the boss of her company after he reaches out to her with obvious goals in mind. She plays hard to get in order to win him over and get married. It works in a very transactional way. Both of them are too proud to admit to the other that the feeling is genuine. Partially they are also afraid to say this in case the other were to laugh so as a result their marriage isn’t a very happy one. Throughout the film they’re constantly trading a lot of barbs. In particular Porter is often pretty disrespectful. Lora’s a strong woman so she doesn’t lose her confidence despite this but it’s a pretty unhealthy dynamic.

The film works to give them some development here but even by the end the pairing was the weakest. Porter is a pretty fun character when outside of the marriage but with Lora most of his scenes are pretty mean spirited. Meanwhile Lora is the most fun member of the 3 wives. In some respects she is one of the scarier people to run into with how manipulative she is. If she didn’t like Porter then she could have put her plan into action pretty easily by marrying him and then running off. If you’re rich you always got to be careful when getting into a relationship. Of course, Lora actually wasn’t mean spirited like that and is just a very independent character.

One thing that’s pretty telling in the film is that none of the 3 characters trusted their husbands as much as you would expect. They had a lot of doubts the whole time so their relationships clearly weren’t all that strong. The film gives them development there but even to the end two of them are absolutely certain on the fact that their husbands ran away. You can’t have a good relationship without trust so that’s something for them to work towards. On the other side George and Brad seem like very reasonable and forgiving characters. They’re pretty down to Earth and don’t let things get to them. Part of why the writing in the film is so good is because most of the characters are pretty reasonable.

So I won’t spoil who left off with Addie. I can say that we never actually see her though as the film keeps her intentionally out of sight. I was expecting that pretty early on though because it just feels like the kind of thing the film would do. In a sense, seeing her would be difficult for the audience to see what all the fuss was about. This way she keeps her mystery. Now, why do I think she was more of a good guy? Well, she’s clearly the nicest and most respectable member of the group. Unlike the various gossipers in town she has no time for that and is always doing nice things for everyone. She remembers birthdays, doesn’t have any drama, and is very respectable. I believe that she saw things weren’t going super well for the 3 couples and decided to do something that would shake things up in their lives.

Nobody holds onto something tighter than when it’s about to be taken away. I don’t typically order desserts at Popeyes because their chicken is fantastic and I can always bake some cookies at home. However, when I heard that Fried Oreos were only going to be around for a few weeks I bought a bunch of them. It’s the same concept here more or less. Now that Addie is threatening to take the guys away the 3 main characters may look at things in a different light. The only threat to this is a proclamation from one of the guys near the end. My answer to that? The guy’s definitely lying. Either he helped cook up the scheme with Addie or he just said what he said to make someone feel better. I just don’t think his event actually happened. In short, that’s why Addie was the hero of this story and also the best character in the film.

In general I’m also against the notion that you can’t have a female friend. By making Addie into someone who ended up wanting something more then that’s a shame. Especially with a lot of these old films being about cheating it seems like that is the inevitable outcome if you’re friends with someone who is single but it’s a dangerous rhetoric. That’s why it’s good to have Addie here to put a stop to all this nonsense.

Overall, A Letter to Three Wives is a pretty solid film. The movie’s pretty fun and all of the stories were solid although the third one is the weakest by far. It makes sense though because that plot seemed to be pretty weak from the jump as well. Still, the rest of the movie keeps the adventure up at a high level. If you’re looking for a classic mystery that actually isn’t a murder mystery then this is one of the rare ones to check out. It’s just a solid all around film with good writing and pacing.

Overall 7/10

4 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Little Women Review


It’s time to look at a pretty old film from the 30s. I’m sure just about everyone has heard of this film though because it has gotten several remakes over the years. I can’t say I had high expectations for the film, but it still managed to underwhelm me after watching. It feels like not a lot happens in the movie and you may grow bored by the end. I think a few plots could have been cut out, particularly some of the romance and backstabbing going on.

The film is focused on the 4 main girls who are trying to lead fulfilling lives. Jo is the main character and she’s always been a tom boy much to the embarrassment of her sisters who feel this puts them in an awkward spot at social gatherings. Jo meets up with the next door neighbor Laurie and they hit it off. The thing is, she just wants to be friends while he isn’t looking for that kind of thing. Jo just wants everything to stay the same but gradually her sisters begin to get romantically involved as well. Can she really prolong the status quo?

One thing in life that always rings true is that the status quo can never stay the same forever. Even if you choose to stay single that doesn’t mean everyone else will. You also have to account for World War III, Quarantines, Natural Disasters, and many other events that would make normal life impossible. The best thing to do is enjoy the time you have now and make the most of it so you have no regrets. Jo ends up missing her chance as a result, but at least she wrote a book right? She’s an okay character I guess, but I can’t say that I particularly liked any of the characters in the movie much. Laurie’s grandfather would be the best character for me since he seemed like a nice old man. Jo’s Mom and the maid also seemed like nice characters as well.

Amy is easily the weakest of the sisters though as she helps Laurie rebound from Joe’s rejection pretty quickly. Now, Jo and Laurie were thoroughly done so it’s not cheating, but it’s still pretty iffy to go after someone like that. If you’ve got family who just had a relationship not work out, you’re not going to quickly jump in right? It makes it seem like Amy was waiting for this opportunity and that Laurie must never have been all that serious about Jo. I’ve always got to assume that the romance was not all that real if you can bounce back from it with someone else so soon. So I have to blame both Laurie and Amy here. In particular with Amy it feels like a betrayal. They’re sisters so that makes it especially personal.

Meg doesn’t get nearly as much of a role. She was the first to get into romance I suppose, but that’s about it. The main stories were still mainly about Jo. Unfortunately that did not work in the film’s favor either as her rebound plot wasn’t any good either. She ends up falling for her writing tutor and it’s hard to ignore the fact that there appears to be a significant age gap there. It could just be the actors appearing that way I suppose but since we can only judge from the visuals it is a bit dicey. I don’t think there’s necessarily a problem with an age gap within reasonable limits (both are over 18) but you can’t go too far. Ideally you should be within 2-3 years and maybe at most you can go up to 10 but even that seems a little wide to me. Regardless this romance plot comes about very quickly and nothing about it seems very natural.

The writing is also not that good which is surprising from such an old film. The movie’s never engaging and that’s due in large part to the characters not being interesting. They tend to talk about a lot of things that don’t really matter all that much and certainly don’t hold your attention. You can have a good slice of life film but this movie is missing a key ingredient. It’s missing humor and banter. There is no witty dialogue to be found here or even any scenes that will have you crack a grin. It’s not as if this is a dark or grim film. It’s fairly upbeat and all, but it’s played incredibly serious the whole time and that doesn’t do wonders for the movie. I dare say that humor is absolutely necessary in a film like this. It could be in part due to the age of the film so the humor attempts don’t really resonate but again, I’ve seen plenty of old films with snappy dialogue and solid characters. This one just isn’t one of them.

Overall, Little Women is a movie that has not withstood the test of time. I saw a film similar to this one a while back that was also not very good. The premise just needs something to give it an extra boost that this one didn’t have. If you’re going to check this film out then just be ready for a fairly uneventful experience. If you want a film with a little more excitement then you should check out the original Ghost Rider instead. Of course, that movie is very different right from the start. If you want more of a slice of life adventure then check out the original Odd Couple film. That one’s got a lot more interesting moments to it.

Overall 4/10

6 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Blind Date Review


It’s time to take a look at a rom-com from a while back. It definitely gets quite crazy and is at its best when the film is being as nuts as possible. The very premise does hurt a bit though as Walter is not a character you can really sympathize with from the start and Nadia also looks pretty bad in not going with her instincts. All in all, everyone comes out of this film pretty messy, but it is an entertaining movie with a fun guard dog.

The movie starts off with Walter getting ready to head to a party, but he doesn’t have a date. He’s desperate enough to ask his brother Ted for help despite being burned on many occasions. Ted sets him up with a character named Nadia. The only warning Walter needs to abide by is that she really can’t handle having any alcohol. Walter realizes that he has a very prestigious party to go to with Nadia. His job is on the line here to land this big investor and he would never want to do anything to ruin that. So…with a heavy heart and a clear mind Walter buys Nadia the biggest bottle of alcohol he can find and pressures her into drinking it. She does and proceeds to go nuts on his party. Maybe this wasn’t exactly his best idea?

Walter’s one of the biggest fools I’ve seen in a while and no matter how much he blows up at Nadia later on you have to pin 100% of the blame on him. None of this would be happening if he had just not given her the drink. I’m going to give Nadia some grief for this later on as well, but Walter’s got to know better. This was a serious party with people he knew and not respecting Nadia’s wishes to avoid the drink is pretty bad as well. He also tries to take revenge on Nadia by messing up her party but he’s not even drunk so he has no excuse. It’s just petty revenge at that point and makes him look terrible. At the end of the day a blind date is always going to be risky because you don’t know the person. The whole concept of a blind date is a little suspect if you ask me.

As for Nadia, if she knows that she can’t have alcohol then she should really just put her foot down. As someone who doesn’t drink alcohol myself, people naturally offer me to have some quite frequently. There’s always a lot of pressure to drink, but as long as you’re comfortable in the fact that this isn’t who you are, it should be easy to turn it aside. I’m not going to say that peer pressure is underrated because a lot of people have trouble with it, but one surefire way to block it out is to fully accept yourself. That’s something Nadia hasn’t quite done yet. She has the drink and then goes crazy. Now, we know that when you’re drunk you still wouldn’t do anything that you at least didn’t think about while sober. Nadia doesn’t do anything super out of character and if anything she does help some people out. It just comes at the expense of dignity and Walter’s job.

While it’s played off as a bad thing, she did help one lady get a bunch of money by suing her husband so that part worked out. Unfortunately the film does try to still give us the romance plot between Walter and Nadia which really doesn’t make any sense here. The two can’t stand each other from start to finish so it’s a little hard to buy into the ending. Nadia is also way too quick to give a deal to David that she will marry him if he helps out Walter. That’s just not a deal that you can make. She should have tried just about anything else, but basically selling yourself away forever is not the thing to do. Particularly not to someone that bad.

David’s the worst character in the film. He’s a super violent ex of Nadia’s and it’s easy to see why the two aren’t together when the film starts up. He’s constantly trying to murder Walter and gets pretty crazy about it. The film makes it a point to say what a bad guy he is. The fact that his Dad is a judge just makes for a lucky break for him since he gets away with a whole lot more than he would otherwise. The court scene is fun as always though. I always like a court room setting whether it is played seriously or for laughs. In this film’s case it was definitely the latter but it worked well. I liked the judge, the guy made for a charismatic character. He may allow family to get in the way of justice, but at least we can assume that he is able to handle most cases in a fair manner.

The climax involves a long espionage sequence as Walter tries to break in the building, but must get past the guard dog. One mistake that most owners make in this film is that they always tell the dog to quiet down when he’s trying to alert them to danger. Isn’t the whole point of having a guard dog hoping that he will bark if a stranger is near? I mean…this isn’t exactly rocket science people. If the dog is barking and he never does that then something is wrong. All of the characters act like he’s never barked before so that should warrant a full examination of the grounds. This is a comedy, but I bring it up because it happens in serious films too. It’s always a shame for the dog who is just trying to do his best.

At times the film goes pretty far with its slapstick humor to the point where the characters will likely never regain their reputation. How do you bounce back from all of this? The most tragic part of the film is when Walter gets his car stolen by a gang of thieves and even gets held at knife point. He was a few inches from death which has definitely got to be traumatic. The scene is pretty crazy because these guys even kidnap the entire house somehow. I figured it was a movie set at first but surprisingly the film didn’t seem to go that way.

Overall, Blind Date is a fun film. The romance is very weak and just seems to be there to fulfill the cliches. The film is at its best when the characters are ruining each other’s lives or the climax at the end which is a lot of fun. It may go on for a little too long, but I liked seeing the guard dog chase everyone around. It’s always nice to see everyone trying to sneak around in such a large mansion. While this film won’t quite have enough replay value or high points for me to make it a high recommendation, it’s still a solid comedy film if you haven’t checked it out yet.

Overall 6/10

6 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

With Six You Get Eggroll Review


It’s time to look at a rom com from a while back. This one gives us a fairly standard plot but with more moving pieces than usual. Even if you already know how the entire film is going to play out it’s a pretty reasonable watch. I’ve seen better in the genre, but that doesn’t take away from this one still being an entertaining watch. You’ll have a good time here and ultimately you’ll probably be rooting for the cafe chef.

The movie starts by introducing us to Abby who is currently a widow. After her husband died she has been raising the 3 kids by herself. Her sister believes that it’s time to get a new husband and so she calls up Abby’s old friend Jake and basically forces Abby to ask him out. While their initial meeting does not go well they quickly get together. The problem is that Abby’s 3 kids are not approving of this and neither is Jake’s daughter. Can this extended family learn to work together or is this relationship just doomed to not work out?

In these kinds of films the kids definitely do their best to really get in the way. I don’t really blame the kids as you never want to see the rebound occur. At least in this film it’s been a few years for each of the main characters so that helps but it’s still pretty soon. So I was rooting for the kids as they kept going with their sabotage attempts. They did a good job and at least got to have some satisfying revenge with the bumper cars. After a while though it’s impossible for the kids to ignore the fact that Abby and Jake seem like good people. At the very least Abby is consistently solid while Jake has a few slip ups.

The humor is pretty good which helps the pacing of the film. Quite a lot happens here and the humor helps to mix up the usual story beats. One good example of this is the cafe chef I mentioned earlier. He’s always looking out for Abby and his first scene is a real stand out. You feel bad for the guy because he’s just trying to make sure that his shop stays as a reputable movie spot. The guy has to deal with a whole lot and in the end he still does go out of his way to help Jake. He was my favorite character in the film.

The writing is pretty solid although that goes without question. While the boys don’t really get along with Jake until the literal ending of the film, Abby does a good job of getting through to Stacey. That plot was handled a lot more maturely than I expected. Abby got Stacey to appreciate what a tough job it is to run a home of 6 people and then showed her gratitude by letting Stacey go back to her usual days of having fun. It actually worked out well and would have been just the start of the families getting together until Jake blew things out of proportion.

I actually wasn’t a fan of Jake in this film. He started with a bad impression as he lied to Abby about having to leave the party early to catch a plane. If you’re going to leave early you need to be upfront about it. Lying just for the sake of it is always a terrible move and there is simply no excuse for it. Then if you’re going to lie about it you can at least have the self-respect to stay indoors and not go shopping that night. That’s an easy way to get your cover blown…especially in a small town. Then he is vague about why he has to cancel their next date which results in more drama. Jake just couldn’t make the right moves at the right times. He also blows up at Abby several times as he tells her to be quiet and doesn’t listen to reason. I think Abby probably should have given up at that point.

Meanwhile Abby stays strong throughout the movie. She has a much tougher time of it than Jake but still keeps her cool. Unlike Jake she did make progress with the opposite family’s kid. Abby also has a very successful wood cutting business and I wouldn’t have minded seeing more of that. One part of the film’s message that is always dicey is how the characters need to find someone because you can’t possibly be happy by yourself. It’s certainly not a mindset that you see as much anymore because it’s just not accurate.

The romance wasn’t terrible, but it’s still pretty cheesy. I was definitely hoping the characters would ultimately stay as just friends to defy the tropes. If you think about it, they get together awfully quick which makes the whole thing feel even more like a rebound. There’s also a random neighbor who tries to stir up some drama, but she never really becomes a big factor so her inclusion is just to add a scene or two. I was glad that both families had a dog though. It’s always good to see a pet having fun and the film stays classy so we don’t get any random scenes that would hurt the picture. Having a dog appear in a movie is always pretty risky after all.

This is one film where the kids had some good points as well. Why should they have to sleep on the floor or in the kitchen when the characters literally have a second home? It’s not exactly the most enjoyable thing to do and the characters should have worked things out a little better. I understand why they all wanted to be in the same apartment, but that would just increase the resentment. It’s hard to go from having your own room to not even being in a room. At least in the end they get a bigger house because that was just not going to work.

Overall, With Six You Get Eggroll is definitely a unique title. I doubt any other film would ever have a name even close to this. It really had nothing to do with the film, but maybe having a nonsensical title like this helps to make you memorable sometimes. At the end of the day this isn’t the kind of film where the title would probably have much of an effect on the box office. If you’re in the mood for a good romantic comedy then this is a solid film to check out. I didn’t really have any problems with it. It’s pretty cheesy but the writing and pacing are both on point so it’s considerably better than a lot of other films in the genre. At times the film will stretch your disbelief with how some of the setups work, but usually this results in a good joke which balances things out.

Overall 6/10