ALMOST LOVE (2019): The Thing I LIked…

Almost Love (2019), Kate Walsh, Scott Evans, Vertical Entertainment
Almost Love (2019), Kate Walsh, Scott Evans, Vertical Entertainment

Almost Love, a comedy / drama about a group of friends in New York City who are navigating love and romance in the smartphone era is not quite what I expected.

Written and directed by Mike Doyle, my reasons for wanting to see this one include how such an intriguing premise would be executed and some of the key actors whose works I’ve enjoyed in the past. Namely Michelle Buteau, Kate Walsh and Patricia Clarkson. Additionally, as a fan of Chris ‘Captain America’ Evans, I felt it time to satisfy myself curiosity about the talents of his sibling Scott Evans.

There are indeed some amusing moments in Doyles movie and good performances too, especially by Evans, Walsh, and Clarkson. What didn’t prove too great is unfortunately the story edit. As Almost Love follows the evolution of four romantic relationships; for me personally, only one of them proved adequately interesting. The other stories didn’t appeal so much because of their cliched reality and also because I found elements of the execution annoying. 

The thing that confirmed my ‘it’s not so great’ feelings about Doyle’s movie is the ending. I did not in any way buy how two of the love stories were concluded. Part of this may be because I don’t agree with at least one of the decisions but even still, it seemed as though Doyle was running out of time and decided to just wrap things up whether it made sense or not. In this way, perhaps the meaning behind the film’s title ‘Almost Love’ is really about couples deliberately choosing to settle. If that were true, I’d still have preferred for all the relationships to be more interesting and engaging. Part of the problem is that four is simply too many relationship stories to tell well in just one hour thirty for minutes.

Besides the beautiful song that plays before the credits role, another highlight of Doyles’s film is the perfect delivery of the line: ‘He’s eating dairy? Poor thing.’ 

If you’re especially curious, perhaps give it a chance. 

Happy Film Loving

G

EXTRACTION (2020): New Trailer From Chris Hemsworth, David Harbour, Golshifteh Farahani, Derek Luke…

Extraction (2020), Chris Hemsworth, Netflix
Extraction (2020), Chris Hemsworth, Netflix

In new action / drama Extraction, Chris Hemsworth is Tyler Rake, a fearless black market mercenary who embarks on the most deadly extraction of his career.

Directed by Sam Hargrave, David Harbour, Derek Luke and Golshifteh Farahani are among the key cast.

At more than three minutes this trailer feels a tad too long but I’ll still be watching for the suspenseful action, Hemsworth and for the India setting.

Pankaj Tripathi, Randeep Hooda, Marc Donato, Chris Jai Alex, Geetanjali Thapa, Rudhraksh Jaiswal, Mir Sarwar, Hays Wellford, Prashant Narayanan, Shataf Figar and Priyanshu Painyuli also star.

Extraction Release Dates: April 24th, 2020 (US) / Netflix…

Happy Film Loving

G

SELAH AND THE SPADES (2019): New Traler Starring Lovie Simone, Jharrell Jerome, Celeste O’Connor…

Selah And The Spades (2019), Lovie Simone, Prime Video
Selah And The Spades (2019), Lovie Simone, Prime Video

Haldwell, an an elite Pennsylvania boarding school is the setting of Selah And The Spades, a comedy / crime movie about the head of the most powerful of Haldwell’s five factions, The Spades.

Catering to the most classic of vices and supplying students with coveted, illegal alcohol and pills, seventeen year old Selah must walk the fine line between being feared and loved as tensions begin to escalate.

Witten / directed by  Tayarisha Poe, Selah And The Spades stars Lovie Simone, Jharrel Jerome and Celeste O’Connor.

I’m intrigued by the filming style and very curious about Simone’s performance and how things turn out for young Selah.

I remember being far too much of a ‘goody-two-shoes’ to give any real thought to what the ‘less good’ students were getting involved in.

Henry Hunter Hall, Francesca Noel, Nekhebet Kum Juch, Jesse Williams, Ana Mulvoy Ten, Benjamin Breault, Greyson Cage and Jessie Cannizzaro also star.

Selah And The Spades Release Dates: April 17th, 2020 (US) / Internet…

Happy Film Loving

G

TO THE STARS (2019): New Trailer Starring Liana Liberato, Kara Hayward, Malin Akerman, Tony Hale…

To The Stars (2019), Liana Liberato. Kara Hayward
To The Stars (2019), Liana Liberato. Kara Hayward

Liana Liberato and Kara Hayward star as two friends in 1960s Oklahoma small small town. One a worldly but reckless new girl and the other a withdrawn farmer’s daughter.

Directed by Martha Stephens Malin Akerman and Tony Hale are among the key cast.

The friendship, kindness and costumes. These are the reasons for my interest. Kate Winslet and Liam Hemsworth’s rather fun The Dressmaker (2015) also came to mind as this trailer played.

Jordana Spiro, Shea Whigham, Lucas Jade Zumann, Adelaide Clemens, Madisen Beaty, Tina Parker, Farah White, Natalie Canerday and Quinn Gasaway also star.

To The Stars Release Dates: April 24th, 2020 (US)…

Happy Film Loving

G

THE POSTCARD KILLINGS (2020): The Thing I Liked…

The Postcard Killings (2020), Jeffrey Dean Morgan
The Postcard Killings (2020), Jeffrey Dean Morgan

‘Overall, it’s watchable’ is really the best I can say about Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Famke Janssen, Cush Jumbo and Naomi Battrick’s latest crime / mystery, The Postcard Killings.

Based on a book by Liza Marklund and James Patterson, I was hoping for a truly thrilling serial killer movie experience. What director Danis Tanovic delivers instead is a story where the killer is not quite what one might expect, which ordinarily would have been a great thing. Only I really didn’t quite buy into the story of the killer, their motivations, let alone completely believe that they were even fully capable of the crimes in question.

Part of the problem is that the film’s edit didn’t serve the story well overall. For example, there are one or two moments in Tanovic’s film that could have been truly memorable in a good way. Particularly in terms of the shock and surprise they could have induced. Except the way these moments were captured just made it all fall almost completely flat .

There was admittedly one or two suspenseful moments where I held my breath in anticipation. Nevertheless, The Postcard Killings is still not a movie I’d insist you watch unless you absolutely must. Some of acting was OK at best but had the story edit, casting and direction been even better, one can only imagine. 

Lastly, it’s really got to be time for me to re-watch Se7en. That film really is serial killer movie excellence.

Happy Film Loving 

G

TRAIN TO BUSAN PRESENTS – PENINSULA (2020): New Trailer From Sang-ho Yeon and Starring Dong-won Gang, Jung-hyun Lee…

Dong-won Gang, Jung-hyun Lee
Train To Busan Presents – Peninsula (2020)

Dong-won Gang and Jung-hyun Lee are the stars of Peninsula, the sequel to director Sang-ho Yeon’s well received zombie thriller Train To Busan (2016).

Set four years after the zombie outbreak, the Korean peninsula is devastated and Jung-seok, a former soldier who escaped overseas is given a mission to go back. To his surprise he finds survivors.

Train To Busan has been on my list of movies I should probably watch for a while now. It’s just that I’m not generally drawn to zombie films . However, due in part to me not wanting to miss out and after the brilliance of the first Korean movie I ever watched (Parasite (2019), I really should make time.

It’ll probably be nice to spend a little time reminiscing about that one time in 2012 when I was there. Not Busan, but Itaewon, South Korea.

Train To Busan – Peninsula Release Dates

Happy Film Loving

G

LOVE. WEDDING. REPEAT. (2020): New Trailer Starring Sam Claflin, Olivia Munn, Freida Pinto…

Love Wedding Repeat (2020), Sam Claflin, Netflix
Love Wedding Repeat (2020), Eleanor Tomlinson, Sam Claflin, Netflix

Directed and co-written by  Dean Craig; Sam Claflin, Olivia Munn, and Freida Pinto’s latest comedy, Love Wedding Repeat tells the story of Jack; a young man trying to make sure his sister’s wedding goes smoothly.

Only, this task includes having to manage a small list of unexpected outcomes; namely the presence of an angry ex girlfriend and ‘the one that got away,’ a misplaced sedative in alternate versions of the same day.

I’m definitely ready for all the humour and wedding season high jinks. Also glad to see Munn in a new movie.

Eleanor Tomlinson, Joel Fry, Aisling Bea, Jack Farthing, Tim Key, Allan Mustafa, Alexander Forsyth and Stefano Patti also star.

Love Wedding Repeat Release Dates: April 10th, 2020 (US & UK)…

Happy Film Loving

G

HORSE GIRL (2020): The Things I Liked…

Horse Girl (2020), Alison Brie, Netflix
Horse Girl (2020), Alison Brie, Netflix

Knowing at the start that Horse Girl is the story of a single woman losing her grip on reality, as soon as I saw and heard Allision Brie’s sweet and innocent looking character Sarah, one thing became clear right way. ‘Comfortable’ definitely isn’t the word to best describe the viewing experience of director Jeff Baena’s latest drama.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t make time for Baena’s film. For Horse Girl is an intimate and certainly notable depiction of the unfairness and tragedy of mental illness close up. 

Watching Horse Girl means finding yourself at the centre of very awkward situations, as experienced by its vulnerable protagonist. Yet it’s worth it for Brie’s memorable performance. As uncomfortable as I found myself watching Sarah’s life unfold, I knew it was’t anything compared to the experience of those who love her. 

My overall favourite thing about Horse Girl is of course Brie’s performance. Another highlight is the smart editing and the humour at Sarah’s impromptu birthday party of four. A memorable mini festival of harmless discomfort that will put several smiles on your face. 

As for the ending… it’s not my favourite part and I have a question or two. Nonetheless, watch Horse Girl if you’re curious – but especially because Brie is great.

Happy Film Loving 

G

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