Friday, June 7, 2019

The Last Summer (2019)

Movie Name/Year: The Last Summer (2019)
Genre: Comedy
Length: 109 minutes
Rating: TV-14
Production/Distribution: Gulfstream Pictures, Netflix
Director: William Bindley
Writer: Scott Bindley, William Bindley
Actors: K.J. Apa, Maia Mitchell, Norman Johnson Jr., Jacob Latimore, Wolfgang Novogratz, Sosie Bacon, Mario Revolori, Jacob McCarthy, Halston Sage, Tyler Posey, Gage Golightly, Nicole Forester, Audrey Grace Marshall, Valerie Jane Parker, Sameera Rock, Ed Quinn, Gabrielle Anwar, Heidi Johanningmeier, Jackie Sandler, Brenna Sherman, Greer Grammer

Blurb from IMDb: A group of young people in Chicago come together during the summer before they head off to college.

Selina’s Point of View:
I didn’t love this one. It was very basic.

Aside from a few relatively quotable lines, I really don’t think I’ll remember much about The Last Summer. Either that, or I’ll mix it up with one of about a hundred other films.

I don’t have anything really bad to say about it. Sure, there were a few needless scenes and some very unwanted cringe (at least for me), but for the most part it was just mediocre. It’s every teen coming-of-age, going-to-college, movie all wrapped up into one.

They kind of overdosed on the tropes.

If anything, it’s like they couldn’t decided what kind of movie to make, so they made them all and smushed them together with no rhyme or reason.

I just can’t recommend this one.

Cat’s Point of View:
At the outset, I wanted to like this movie. I really did. It just never really clicked for me.

There were moments that I certainly enjoyed, but I felt like I wasn’t seeing anything new. There wasn’t anything that blew my mind. Most of the film was pretty much a cut and paste teen drama. I also had a hard time buying in on some of the storylines. Some were too perfect and predictable, and others just failed to suspend my disbelief.

The soundtrack, however, was interesting. I even found myself fishing out my phone to identify a few songs on Soundhound.

Don’t get me wrong. The Last Summer was cute. It just won’t be making my list of favorites. I wouldn’t steer anyone looking for a teen drama away from it, but I likely wouldn’t watch it again by choice unless it was just something playing as background noise.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – None
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – None
Metascore – None
Metacritic User Score – 6/10
IMDB Score – 5.6/10
CinemaScore – None

Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating2/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating2.5/5

P.S. Outtakes during the beginning of the credits.

Movie Trailer:

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

The Perfection (2019)

Movie Name/Year: The Perfection (2019)
Genre: Thriller, Horror, Drama
Length: 90 Minutes
Rating: TV-MA
Production/Distribution: Netflix, Capstone Film Group
Director: Richard Shepard
Writers: Eric C. Charmelo, Richard Shepard, Nicole Snyder
Actors: Allison Williams, Logan Browning, Steven Weber, Alaina Huffman, Graeme Duffy, Mark Kandborg

Blurb from IMDb: When troubled musical prodigy Charlotte (Allison Williams) seeks out Elizabeth (Logan Browning), the new star pupil of her former school, the encounter sends both musicians down a sinister path with shocking consequences.

Cat’s Point of View:

I’ve been waffling a bit regarding how I feel about this movie. I should, however, clarify that I generally enjoyed it. The degree of such is really where my doubt lies.

Looking back at my Top 20 list for May 2019, I had this film listed as my #19. I suspected that the movie would be ‘bonkers and entertaining’ as it explored the dark side of cellists or chamber music. I wasn’t too far off-base there. It certainly was bonkers, and I was entertained. The plot takes some twists and turns along the way towards the ending I didn’t see coming. For a little while, I thought I’d even gotten the wrong initial impression from the trailer.

The mixed reviews by critics and audience alike are understandable. There are plenty of tidbits through the movie that could trigger quite a few people. I think this is one of those films that you either like, or you don’t. Even the middle of the road is going to likely be heavily slanted either one way or another.

I’m not sure I’m a huge fan of the rewind and replay storytelling method here, but I did appreciate seeing events unfold from a different perspective. There were some flashes that I wasn’t entirely fond of, but I understand their relevance to the movie.

Logan Browning (Breaking at the Edge, Hit the Floor, Powers) and Allison Williams (Peter Pan Live!, Get Out, Girls) are stellar in their respective roles here. Steven Weber (Son of Morning, Helix, 13 Reasons Why) is also notable for his performance here. The rest of the cast, with the exception of a literal busload of people, faded un-remarkably into the background. I know that sounds like a harsh negative, but I think it just served to highlight the stand-out performances of Browning and Williams.
The Perfection isn’t a movie for the squeamish – but then, what horror movie really is? While this movie might not be everyone’s cup of tea, I definitely wouldn’t steer anyone away from it. 

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score75%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience ScoreNone
Metascore 60/100
Metacritic User Score 5.1/10
IMDB Score 6.2/10
CinemaScore None

Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating 3.5/5

Trust-the-Dice’s Parental Advisory Rating: R

Movie Trailer:

Monday, June 3, 2019

Rim of the World (2019)

Movie Name/Year: Rim of the World (2019)
Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy
Length: 98 minutes
Rating: TV-14
Production/Distribution: Netflix, Wonderland Sound and Vision
Director: McG
Writer: Zack Stentz
Actors: Jack Gore, Miya Cech, Benjamin Flores Jr., Alessio Scalzotto, Andrew Bachelor, Annabeth Gish, Scott MacArthur, Dean Jagger, Michael Beach, Lynn Collins, David Theune, Tony Cavalero, Carl McDowell, Punam Patel, Chris Wylde, Rudy Mancuso, Amanda Cerny, Richard Gore, Peter Parros

Blurb from IMDb: Four misfit teenagers join forces to save the world when an alien invasion interrupts their summer camp.

Selina’s Point of View:
Rim of the World was interesting.

It started out as a completely expected kids-at-camp movie. The characters all seemed like your basic paint-by-number young-teen characters: the nerd, the rebel, the jerk, etc. It was like I had stepped into an homage of all summer-teen 80s movies – of any genre.

Needless to say, my expectations dropped a bit.

Here’s the thing, though, I really like it when genres mix. A young-adult sci-fi film really wouldn’t normally be a fusion of genres, but because they went SO hard on that summer-teen bullshit, it made everything all-the-more shocking when the aliens showed up. Not just because they were aliens, but because they were violent aliens.

There’s simply no way to expect that level of violence in the kind of movie that Rim of the World seemed like it was going to be. They were not the kind of extraterrestrials you expect from a YA flick. It caught me right off-guard, and I personally think it worked well.

The graphics left a little to be desired and the script could get a bit cheesy, but I’d be lying if I said there weren’t some gold one-liners. A lot of the time, those one-liners happened in passing and it took me a moment to process what I heard.

I don’t think I’m the target demographic of the film, but I was still highly entertained.

I’d recommend this one for a family movie night. Though I’d suggest steering clear if you have easily scared young ones. There’s not a lot of blood shown, but there is death and some very violent scenes.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 29%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 100%
Metascore – 25/100
Metacritic User Score – 3.4/10
IMDB Score – 5.1/10
CinemaScore – None

Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating3/5

Movie Trailer: