phd_travel

IMDb member since December 2009
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Reviews

Greta
(2018)

Two watchable Actresses help the only okay story
As far as stalker movies are concerned this one has a different tone with a classical piano soundtrack and a continental feel with Isabel Huppert. It's not fast moving but it keeps one interested. Chloe Grace Moretz plays a young waitress who returns a handbag left on the subway to an older French lady who plays the piano and they become friends. But the older lady becomes obsessive. It's a dynamic not exactly that familiar so it's intriguing for a while. But some ludicrous parts spoil the latter half. Stephen Rea's character was handled so stereotypically.

Liked the last part. At least the friend was no cliched victim.

Gloria Bell
(2018)

Not enough story plus she's too beautiful to be treated like that
There isn't much of a story but the lovely Julianne Moore makes it watchable. You want to see what happens to her a lonely divorcee with her ex Husband remarried and her children grown. She meets a man played by Jon Turturro freshly divorced. Quite and unlikely couple. He has trouble dealing with the new relationship. He behaves strangely walking out on a meeting with her kids and then abandoning her in Vegas when she suggests taking a trip to Europe. It's quite funny when she gets her own back at the end but just can't buy it that such a beautiful woman could be treated like that.

Aladdin
(2019)

Flawed not as good as the Broadway show
There are many disappointing things about this movie. The tone is too sombre like a serious action movie with a message of female equality instead of comic musical. The songs aren't nicely handled. The melodies are lost in the distracting sounds and things going on. The lead actor isn't charming or cheeky enough. Too serious looking. The lead actress is ok but her voice isn't great. In fact both their voices aren't great. The sets are overcrowded, less is more sometimes. Will Smith is wrong should have been a jolly fat older guy.

Tempting Fate
(2019)

What a fantasy!
A me me me bratty wife with two teenage daughters and a loving husband gripes he had a vasectomy without her consent. She has a one night stand with a younger man who isn't really serious. She gets knocked up. The blow up of her marriage is quite watchable - you want to see how things are going to work out or not. But the fairy tale ending from the woman's point of view is just laugh out loud funny. Totally a 2019 kind of ending.

Alyssa Milano looks pretty here - fresher than she did in Mistresses. Steve Kazee acts well as the cuckolded husband.

What a fantasy, what a message. A woman can totally have her cake and eat it!

From Friend to Fiancé
(2019)

Nice cast and surprisingly good story
Sometimes Hallmark casts actors that are well paired looks wise but here they got it right. Jocelyn Hudon and Ryan Paevey look good together. She is pretty and has a Rachel Bilson like charm.

The story is quite watchable and avoids cliches in the way things unfold and how the characters behave and talk especially the mean girl. This is hard to do in Hallmark romances which often go over familiar territory. A lot of other romances in Hallmark have been a little predictable but this one you want to see how things unfold.

It's a more realistic version of My Best Friends Wedding with a well written ending.

Worth watching.

The Hot Zone
(2019)

Enough to make you hypochondriac
The real story that inspired Outbreak is worth telling and scary because it's true. Also Ebola keeps breaking out every year so it's relevant.

Juliana Margulies is convincing as she always is playing a lawyer or nurse.

The flashbacks about Zaire are interesting but should have been concluded earlier in the series - lost track after a while because of the fragmented story.

Some of the in between drama feels played up to create a story. Maybe three episodes would have been better.

Very Valentine
(2019)

Ok story but the actress isn't appealing enough
Fairly watchable story about a shoe designer. She starts a romance with a chef but while on a trip to Italy she almost finds romance there too. It's interesting to see them make shoes. The scenery is pretty but the lead actress Kelen Coleman and her beaus are not quite appealing enough for a romance movie. Jacqueline Bisset as grandma is nice to watch an actress her age who hasn't done plastic surgery. Her Italian accent is a little hard to swallow.

I Almost Married a Serial Killer
(2019)

Ludicrous
The premise is impossible to accept even by Lifetime thriller standards. A woman almost marries a man when she finds out he is a serial killer. She moves away he escapes from prison and has plastic surgery but Guess what she falls for him again!

As if she wouldn't recognise his build or voice or eyes or something about the way he talks or behaves.

Don't bother.

Mad Mom
(2019)

A Baby Jane take on In laws
A woman who is a nurse is jealous of her daughter's wealthy mother in law who seems to be taking over her Daughter. The psycho attacks her and after the injury a Baby Jane scenario ensues. It's amusing and entertaining in a horror manner.

Worth a watch. Quite scary.

My Mom's Letter from Heaven
(2019)

Not enough story for a movie
This is more a Hallmark type movie. It's slow and unrealistic. An unappealing and rebellious teen girl acts out and gets knocked up. Her widowed Dad is hapless as she runs away. The teenaged girl is irritating. Doesn't she know about the facts of life? Now the father has to support the grand kid too. Not enough happens. The letter is too little too late. Boring and slow. Don't bother.

Homekilling Queen
(2019)

It runs in the family
Instead of 1 psycho there are 3 generations of of wack jobs in this story about battle for Homecoming Queen. It's quite interesting to see how the good girl fights back against the psycho and her psycho mom and grandma.

Scare BNB
(2019)

Not enough substance even for Lifetime
The story is straightforward to the point there isn't enough for a movie. It's a terrible idea to stay in a vacation rental with the host there so it's not surprising things go south quickly. A group of girlfriends does this in a modern house with a pool and always present host. They ignore warnings of the neighbor and the main character's suspicions. Rather abruptly he exposes his hand and takes them all hostage. Trafficking so many ladies with so many witnesses doesn't make much sense. Of course they dispatch him but it all seems lacking in cleverness or originality. Don't bother with this weak movie.

Psycho Granny
(2019)

OK but not as good as "Killer Grandma"
Older ladies behaving badly is a fun and entertaining trend. This one is quite over the top with the body count quite high. A woman pretends to be the grandma of a woman who lost her mom recently. Friends and loved ones are sceptical. It's quite fun as she insinuates herself into her victims life. Not a lot of explanation for the psycho behaviour though. The other recent similar Lifetime thriller "Killer Grandma" was slightly better.

Harry & Meghan: Becoming Royal
(2019)

Still fascinating but some miscasting
Fascinating how Meghan deals with all the problems with fitting in, her family and criticism by the press.

Tiffany Smith who plays Meghan looks like her sometimes though she isn't as pretty as the real Meghan or the actress in the first Lifetime movie.

Some parts are quite moving like her nightmare of a father and haters. A good amount of the dialogue is unlikely and sounds like platitudes. The quarrel is contrived.

William looks like the real one but the actress who plays the Queen is too big and doesn't act like the Queen. The worst casting is the actor who plays Harry doesn't look like Harry at all. The one in the previous movie was a better fit.

Worth a watch.

Killer in Law
(2018)

Go grandma!
This week's wacko is an insane woman who lost her young daughter and went mad. Years later she wants her grand daughter for herself. She reconnects with her estranged son and starts to help look after her grand daughter. Her clueless daughter in law is occupied with starting her business and is grateful for the assistance.

The actress Nana Visitor who plays grandma is pretty good and one efficient killer. Great idea having older lady psychos. Brings to mind Bette Davis and Joan Crawford in those 60s horror movies.

The house is pretty by the way.

Worth a watch.

Stripped
(2019)

Better than expected
It may sound like an exploitative Lifetime movie but this thriller has quite a well constructed story. A stripper at a bachelorette party obsesses over a bride to be. The cast is believable and well cast.

Entertaining watch.

Kidnapped: The Hannah Anderson Story
(2015)

Should have been told in a chronological way
I understand they showed the rescue and aftermath before the kidnaping to show people not to judge victims by their reactions. But this non linear format made it less dramatic and lessened the impact of the story. Still the story is worth watching. The actress acts a bit stone faced at first but that's the way teens act so it's realistic.

Worth a watch

Student Seduction
(2003)

Quite well done
Quite good. A new attractive chemistry teacher starts tutoring her student. He develops a crush and assaults her. But she is the one defending herself.

The acting is believable and the actors are well cast. Elizabeth Berkeley is sympathetic as the teacher. Corey Sevier plays the student well.

A Star Is Born
(2018)

Medium acting and okay but not great singing
Bradley acts addicted but he looks too healthy. Lady Gaga shouts her songs a bit too much - does every note seem the same loudness? Her acting isn't that great because her face isn't very expressive.

The formula is depressing - why is he so self destructive?

Wildlife
(2018)

The collapse of a marriage.
The disintegration of a marriage seen by a 14 year old boy is quite involving. Acting is above average. Both parents are at fault in how they handled things. Carey is good at playing the mom who is initially supportive then freaks out and has an affair and leaves. Jake is alright as the stubborn Father who brings his family to rural Montana then leaves to fight fires. Good acting by the boy too who is the most level headed of the three.

The faults are a lack of resolution at the end and some unlikely dialog.

A Rose for Christmas
(2017)

Not much romance but the floats are nice
He needs a float for his company she is the maker. They bicker and bicker then suddenly there is romance.

The float prep is interesting. Marc Bendavid and Rachel Boston are the couple.

Not quite enough for a romance movie.

The Perfect Teacher
(2010)

Megan Park is good as a student obsessed with teacher
The sweet wholesome Megan Park of Secret Life makes a good wacko obsessed with her new teacher played by David Charvet. He's divorced and going through a crisis about moving to be with his ex wife's new job. Things progress plausibly and the wacko stuff she does is possible. Liked way the fantasy and the reality are shown. One of the better obsession type Lifetime thrillers.

The Upside
(2017)

Funny and enjoyable
Given the story it's as funny and well made as it can be. Some parts are obviously formula. But it's very enjoyable. The class and culture differences make for some laugh out loud jokes. The music differences are cute. The modern art thing is really funny. Some semi serious moments.

Nicole looks very slim and young in her nerdy get up. Bryan does a sympathetic job. Kevin Hart does great delivery it could have been corny but with him it's right like Oda Mae. Julianna Margulies looks different from before here.

Worth a watch.

Viper Club
(2018)

Interesting perspective
A look at kidnaping of a journalists in Middle East war zone. Interesting to see things from the family perspective the stubbornness anger at them and ultimately uselessness of any effort to free them.

Bad camera work and directing in the earlier part. Susan Sarandon is moving.

A Brush with Love
(2019)

An anti romance
An artist meets a nice guy. Later she doesn't feel a spark. Her bestie's brother always had a torch for her.

Arielle Kebbel looks nicer than in TVD. Nick Bateman plays her love interest but he is a little plastic.

A lukewarm delclaration of love is followed by a mediocre crisis.

Not enough substance for a romance movie.

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