Monday, March 28, 2016

Tiger Eyes (2012)

Number Rolled: 53
Movie Name/Year: Tiger Eyes (2012)
Tagline: Loss Love Hope
Genre: Drama
Length: 92 minutes
Rating: PG-13
Production Companies: Tashmoo Productions, Amber Entertainment, Belladonna Productions
Producer: Judy Blume, Lawrence Blume, George Cooper, Lawrence Elman, Jane Fleming, Ileen Maisel, Linda Moran, Mark Ordesky, Ruth Pomerance
Director: Lawrence Blume
Writer: Judy Blume, Lawrence Blume
Actors: Willa Holland, Amy Jo Johnson, Tatanka Means, Elise Eberle, Cynthia Stevenson, Lucien Dale, Forrest Fyre, Russell Means, Michael Sheets

Blurb from Netflix: Based on the acclaimed novel by Judy Blume. Following her father’s murder, a teenager goes to stay with relatives in New Mexico and falls in love.

Selina’s Point of View:
Normally, this kind of drama really isn’t my thing. There’s a lot of inner reflection for the main character and, at times, there almost seems to be nothing going on. Still, I found I was never bored while watching.

In fact, I really liked this film. It’s been a long time since I’ve read a Judy Blume (Fudge, Forever, Makers: Women Who Make America) book, but I still remember her basic style of writing and I feel like the movie stayed true to it. Whether it was because she was a producer on the film or because her son, Lawrence Blume (Martin & Orloff, To Walk a City’s Street, On Wings of Eagles), directed and co-wrote the screenplay, doesn’t matter. Either way, the film really benefitted from staying true to the source material.

Many of the scenes were visually spectacular. I wanted to watch them, even when it was just the main character on screen.

My interest wasn’t only due to the settings, the acting was great as well.

Willa Holland (Middle of Nowhere, The O.C., Chasing 3000) played the main character and she had a big job to do. A lot of the main character’s time on screen involved inward thought that had to be expressed by a look or a movement. Holland took her performance to the next level. Tatanka Means (Hybrids, Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, A Million Ways to Die in the West) also did a great job portraying the wise Wolf character.

Cynthia Stevenson (Killing Daddy, Jennifer’s Body, Case 39), however, distracted me. It wasn’t her fault. She just looks and sounds and has mannerisms exactly like a friend of mine and I was completely thrown. I seriously had to do a double take.

My final thought is that I would watch this film again. When it involves the drama genre, that’s a high compliment coming from me.

Cat’s Point of View:
I hadn’t heard of this film before; though, I am familiar with (and a fan of) Judy Blume (Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, Superfudge, Blubber). (She actually has a cameo in this movie as a Christmas Party attendee.) Naturally, that set the bar fairly high.

I’ve got to say that not only did this movie reach that bar, but it also packed an emotional wallop.

Willa Holland’s (Legion, Straw Dogs, Arrow) performance was heartbreakingly good – though, I didn’t expect any less from her. She continues to impress me week in and week out in one of my favorite superhero shows. She cried. I cried.

Tatanka Means (Sedona, The Host, Burning Bodhi) was an excellent cast for ‘Wolf.’ I think it was also really special that he got to play this role alongside his father, the late Russell Means (Last of the Mohicans, Pocahontas, Pathfinder). It felt like Tatanka really found the heart of ‘Wolf’ and the quiet kinship he shared with Willa’s character.

There were some familiar faces in this movie that I couldn’t initially place as I watched – but then face-palmed later. Hours of watching the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (1993-1995) with my step-brother apparently ingrained Amy Jo Johnson (Summer Song, Flashpoint, The Space Between) in my mind. Willa’s mom in this movie was the original Pink Ranger.

Another familiar face was Elise Eberle (The Astronaut Farmer, Lemonade Mouth, Chasing the Devil). Of course, I saw it nearly immediately with her picture with shorter hair on IMDb – she’s currently playing Mercy on the show Salem (2014-), which actually films not that far from where I live. I enjoyed her performance here in Tiger Eyes. She plays the smile to hide the pain crossed with a little mania in her roles very well.

The movie might move a little slow for some, and there were some scenes that felt a little stilted in places – but otherwise it was excellent.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 66%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 53%

Netflix’s Prediction for Selina – 4/5
Selina’s Trust-the-Dice Score5/5

Netflix’s Prediction for Cat – 5/5
Cat’s Trust-the-Dice Score4.5/5

P.S. Based on a book of the same name by Judy Blume.

Movie Trailer: 

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