Showing posts with label movie review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label movie review. Show all posts

Saturday, June 24, 2023

Movie Review: The Shrimp on the Barbie... Have Shrimp? Will Travel

Australians will tell anyone that shrimp in Australia are called prawns and barbie is slang for barbecue. So, for American audiences, the title of the film became “The Shrimp on the Barbie.” Except in Europe, where the title was changed, since Mattel owns the brand: Barbie. If you want to sound cosmopolitan, be sure to say when visiting Australia to "throw another prawn on the barbie."

In this movie, the shrimp, or prawn, on the barbie is Carlos, an American transplant in Australia, who jumps from one fire to another in this romantic comedy.


*****

The Shrimp on the Barbie

Down on his luck and working in a Mexican restaurant in Australia, an American tourist is hired by an icy heiress to pose as an obnoxious new boyfriend in an attempt to make her father accept her current boyfriend.


IMDB

*****Spoiler Time*****

The Breakdown

Poor Carlos (played by Cheech Marin), he moves from America to Australia to hit it big: financially. His girlfriend stayed behind as he chased his dreams to become stable and secure, in order to marry her. After he flies Downunder, he discovers that his prospects go from bad to worse. Not only is the mansion that was supposed to be awaiting him a bust, but so is the Mexican restaurant he is employed at as a waiter. Soon, he receives a Dear John letter from his girlfriend, who is set to marry his best friend. To top it all off, he screws up a high-profile birthday at the restaurant.

Depressed, Carlos is desperate to help his boss save the restaurant from foreclosure, he ends up taking a deal from Alexandra Hobart (played by Emma Samms), a rich, entitled woman whose only goal is to marry Bruce. Her father sees that her taste in men has declined, but drives a hard bargain with Alexandra: give up Bruce and the next boyfriend, no matter how terrible, he will approve. This sets into motion Alexandra recruiting the bad waiter, Carlos, from her father’s birthday party for assistance for the sum of five thousand dollars.

Carlos sees a way to save the restaurant. Alexandra sees a way to beat her father at his own game. On the periphery, her father (played by Terrence Cooper) overhears a conversation between Carlos and Alexandra about their deal, and sets them up as well as Bruce.

In the end, Alexandra realizes that the sensitive Carlos has more redeeming qualities as a man than the exuberant and crude Bruce. With her new perspective, she admits to her father what she had done. He in turn hands her the photographs that show the real Bruce in action: sleeping with her best friend and beating up Carlos.

After showing their mutual friends the photos at Bruce’s birthday party, Alexandra rushed to the Mexican restaurant to apologize to Carlos. Unfortunately, Carlos packed his things and bought a return ticket to American. Alexandra rushes to the airport, but the plane has already taxied out. Her father calls the president of the company and has Carlos escorted to the terminal.

The pair is reunited. With the help of her father’s investment in the Mexican restaurant, it is saved. Carlos sees his dreams of helping his friend, gaining financial improvement, and finding love come true.


*****
The Review

Carlos: Who died and made you Darth Vader, huh?

The Shrimp on the Barbie is an underrated and understated film. It will never win an Academy Award, but this 90s film has its merits. The characters grow and change into better people, except for the two antagonists, of course.

The protagonists come to some personal revelations. Carlos learns that with perseverance he can achieve his goals. Alexandra learns that not everything that glitters is gold. Diamonds in the rough can be more precious. Her father learns that his daughter is a grown woman who may need guidance, but not his manipulation, and refried beans are good!

And, watch out for Joeys! They pack a mean punch.



Purchased from Prime Video.

Note: This film was released at 86 minutes with a PG-13 rating. The video version features a minute of additional footage (including nudity) and is rated R.

*****

The Tally

My review will be posted on Prime as well as IMDB.

Prime... 4.5 (4) out of 5 stars

IMDB... 8.5 (8) out of 10 stars

Have a great and wonderful day.

 _____

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Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Movie Review: Atonement, but What Are We Being Redeemed For? Human Frailty?

Atonement is a mystery that unfolds first in a child's mind and as the story progresses the audience learns the truth about what actually occurred all those years ago. 

What would happen if you had a chance to right a mistake? Would you do it as soon as you discovered your error? Or, would you wait decades after everyone is dead to confess? 

These questions are what people should ask themselves.

*****

Atonement

IMDB

*****Spoiler Time*****  

The Breakdown

When a series of misinterpretations of a young girl puts her sister's love for a servant's son in jeopardy, what will she do to right a wrong she caused?

Briony Tallis, played by Saoirse Ronan, is a brat of a child who mistakes adult behaviors as ones of depravity instead of what actually happened. She goes on to accuse Robbie of rape, when the real rapist is a friend of the family.

Cecelia Tallis, played by Keira Knightley, is in love with Robbie Turner. Her world is destroyed when her sister, Briony, lies about Robbie. Her family disintegrates because of that lie.

Robbie Turner, played by James McAvoy, is a servant's son and accused of raping a child that he did not. This lie by Briony led him to be convicted and later conscripted into the British military during World War II. Because the young Briony mistook his infatuation and love for her sister out of context.

Atonement is the search for redemption. After 21 novels, the writer, Briony Tallis, is decades older and has now brain disease, she writes her last novel giving her sister and lover the life they both deserved: a long and happy love affair. In all those years, Briony had never forgiven herself for being a headstrong and envious child, but she did nothing to correct her error when it mattered the most: when both Robbie and Cecilia were still alive.


This film has been rated: 7.8/10 Stars on IMDB.

*****

The Review

Older Briony: So, my sister and Robbie were never able to have the time together they both so longed for... and deserved. Which ever since I've... ever since I've always felt I prevented. But what sense of hope or satisfaction could a reader derive from an ending like that? So in the book, I wanted to give Robbie and Cecilia what they lost out on in life. I'd like to think this isn't weakness or... evasion... but a final act of kindness. I gave them their happiness.
This movie is a beautiful visual masterpiece. There is no argument there. If the audience takes the story on face value, then the narrative is a 10 out of 10 stars all the way. 

Unfortunately, the story has some issues. The conviction of Robbie Turner of rape, would he be eligible for military service, even in wartime? Then there are the timing issues of world events, Dunkirk for instance, that do not match up with what the story shows. There are more discrepancies than these. 

What felt disjointed at the end was an older Briony trying to make up for her lies with rewriting history in a fiction novel that is more autobiographical in nature. Instead of being contrite, she is matter of fact about the whole situation. The interview scene seems off. The editing jumped from here to there. Sometimes the viewer did not know where the story was headed or had been as a matter of the timeline. So when the interview with the older Briony was introduced, the scene felt odd at first.
 
The principle acting is superb. The visual photography and effects are fantastic. The narrative is emotionally gripping. However, the facts of the story, from a historical perspective, and editing appear to need some assistance.

For all the awards this film was nominated for and won, Atonement has its flaws.


Watched free on Prime Video.

*****

The Tally 

My review will be posted on Prime as well as IMDB. 

Prime... 4 out of 5 stars

IMDB... 8 out of 10 stars 

*****

The Writer's Workshop

Movies for Writers: Atonement is a period piece that tells an endearing love story but also a narrative of anger, jealousy, and regret.

*****

For more Movie Reviews, check out Undawnted's Critiques and Reviews page as well as her IMDB and Amazon Prime profiles.


Have a great and wonderful day.

 

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Movie Review: Georgia Rule Because Without Rules Children Become Sexually Exploited and Rebel in Frustration

Georgia Rule is an emotive and provocative film about the consequences of alcoholism and sexual exploitation of a minor. The low rating on this movie is not a wonder given the topic. Most people shy away from such serious matters, but reality is reality.

Child rape/molestation is a problem. An issue society refuses to discuss unless there is an arrest of a sexual predator and the story is newsworthy. That needs to be corrected.

This film discusses the issue with drama, as well as humor, but also with maturity and grace. Sometimes people have to lose their way in order to realize what is most important to them. Georgia Rule is about those hapless wanderers who finally understand the meaning they have lacked, but finally discover for themselves as a cohesive bond to each other.  

*****

Georgia Rule
 
Rachel comes to stay with her Grandmother Georgia for the summer, leaving some obvious problems behind at home. Her alcoholic mother doesn't even stay the night before rushing back out to California to be with her husband. Rachel shakes up the town, a beautiful girl in the boring Mormon country. Then she reveals her deepest secret to one of her new friends, and her mother comes rushing back to find out if its true. In the midst of this crisis the three woman become closer than ever and start to understand each other more.

IMDB

*****Spoiler Time*****  

The Breakdown

What would you do with an out of control teenager? Well, send her to grandma's house of course. That is where the story begins. 

Rachel, played by Lindsey Lohan, is a troubled young woman. After her father's death, her mother, Lily, played by Felicity Huffman, remarries. Unfortunately Rachel's mother is an alcoholic just like her father and leaves her daughter to the appetites of her second husband, Arnold, played by Cary Elwes. Rachel is rape/molested by her stepfather and when she ends the affair, the stepfather tries to bribe and manipulate her to begin the tryst again now that she is over the age of consent. 

Lily, played by Felicity Huffman, is a mother whose childhood haunts her. Guilt and resentment lead her to follow in her father's footsteps into her own addiction to alcohol. 

Georgia, played by Jane Fonda, is the mother of Lily and grandmother of Rachel. In order to feel some control of her life, Georgia controls everything else, including strict adherence to eating schedules or taking the lord's name in vain. 

When combined, these three characters show that their negative behaviors feed off one another. The consequences of being self-indulgent and self-centered comes to a head when the secret is discovered about Rachel's stepfather sexually abusing her from a young age. 

In the search for the clarity, as Rachel and Arnold both deny the affair, but Lily and Georgia know the truth, the three women come to terms with their own destructive and aloof behaviors.


This film has been rated: 5.9/10 Stars on IMDB.

*****

The Review

Rachel: Okay, see, I tried to be nice, but let me put this a different way because you're not really getting it right now. If you call me a name, if you throw something at me- ever again!- if I see you talking to Harlan, yelling at Harlan, having anything AT ALL to do with Harlan, I will find all of your boyfriends and I will fuck them stupid. Okay? Get it? Thanks guys.

Witty humor helps keep this story from going too far into the darkness that this topic creates. A few comedic situations arise from Rachel's bawdy behavior, especially with Harlan.

Through the course of the story, Rachel begins to let her secret slip out until her mother and grandmother figure out the truth from her lies. The characters disintegrate, shedding their own defensive walls and finding solace in the love and camaraderie with each other. 

The men in their lives, Harlan and Simon, see the meltdown and do what they can to support the truth that will eventually set the grandmother, mother, and daughter free from their destructive behaviors.

Thank you, Lindsey Lohan, cast and crew, for taking on a controversial story like this one, so we can have a frank discussion about this important topic. Too often is this subject treated as a taboo and thus allowing sexual predators to hide their evil acts against minors with the cover of darkness. 

The only tragedy exposed by this film is society's inability to protect their children from sexual predators.

Watched free on Prime Video. 

*****

The Tally 

My review will be posted on Prime as well as IMDB. 

Prime... 4 out of 5 stars

IMDB... 8 out of 10 stars 

*****

The Writer's Workshop

Movies for Writers: Georgia Rule is a story that gives writers a chance to shed light on the sexual exploitation of a minor, including rape, incest, and molestation.

 
*****

For more Movie Reviews, check out Undawnted's Critiques and Reviews page as well as her IMDB and Amazon Prime profiles.


 
Have a great and wonderful day.

Monday, October 18, 2021

Movie Review: Cowboys & Aliens is a Ride like No Other, So Saddle Up and Be a Man

Cowboys & Aliens is a movie with one big problem: its audience. The cross-genre romp combines cowboys on the range with aliens in spaceships. What is there not to like? There is action, romance, emotional resonance, explosions, gun slinging, and aliens.

This movie is fun. 

Loosen your inner snoot. 

The film will not garner an Academy Award nomination, but that does not mean Cowboys & Aliens is a Razzie Award winner either. Just the opposite. Good acting, plot, characterization are pivotal to this good old-fashion western.

*****

Cowboys & Aliens
 
The Old West… where a lone cowboy leads an uprising against a terror from beyond our world. 1873. New Mexico Territory. A stranger with no memory of his past stumbles into the hard desert town of Absolution. The only hint to his history is a mysterious shackle that encircles one wrist. What he discovers is that the people of Absolution don't welcome strangers, and nobody makes a move on its streets unless ordered to do so by the iron-fisted Colonel Dolarhyde (Ford). It's a town that lives in fear. But Absolution is about to experience fear it can scarcely comprehend as the desolate city is attacked by marauders from the sky. Screaming down with breathtaking velocity and blinding lights to abduct the helpless one by one, these monsters challenge everything the residents have ever known. Now, the stranger they rejected is their only hope for salvation. As this gunslinger slowly starts to remember who he is and where he's been, he realizes he holds a secret that could give the town a fighting chance against the alien force. With the help of the elusive traveler Ella (Olivia Wilde), he pulls together a posse comprised of former opponents-townsfolk, Dolarhyde and his boys, outlaws and Apache warriors-all in danger of annihilation. United against a common enemy, they will prepare for an epic showdown for survival.

IMDB

*****Spoiler Time*****  

The Breakdown

Jake Lonergan, played by Daniel Craig, cannot remember who he is. He wakes up with a weird metal cuff on his arm and no recollection of how he acquired it, where he has been, or how he ended up in the middle of the desert. Once he makes his way in town to the local saloon, he is met by others who do know him and want him in jail. He is an outlaw.

Woodrow Dolarhyde, played by Harrision Ford, is a cattle rancher. His business is the only thing to keep the small community from becoming a ghost town. He has an ungrateful son, but the loyalty of his men.

Ella Swenson, played by Olivia Wilde, is an alien with one quest: to end the dominate alien's genocide and theft. Her people were exterminated by this alien race, and she has plans to stop them from doing that exact conduct on Earth. 

The destructive aliens only want gold. Gold fuels their spacecrafts, but the metal is scarce, leading them to murder and plunder other worlds that possess it.

Together these three characters bring several groups of people to their banner: law men, outlaws, and Native Americans alike to end the terror from the alien assailants.


This film has been rated: 6.0/10 Stars on IMDB.

*****

The Review

Woodrow Dolarhyde
: Look. When I was just a little bit older than you are now, all this was Mexico. Word came that the Apaches was riding towards a settlement called Arivaca. My father wanted me to be a man, so made me ride out with the garrison, banging on a drum. Boy, was I scared. Well, we got there, it was too late. They were all dead and the whole place was burnt down. This settler fella came crawling out of a burning cabin. He was bad. He knew he was gonna die. Burnt bad. He rolled over, looked up into my eyes, and he said "Kill me."

A movie where aliens meet revolvers. 

This film has heart and soul. Two facets many action-adventure movies are missing today. The Entertainment Industry is too obsessed with technology to realize CGI is not the story or the answer, people are. When optics rules your film and the technology becomes a character, then how do the humans compete with shiny objects, explosions, and visual illusions?  

Humans end up on the editing room floor. 

Cowboys & Aliens is the right balance of human interactions and technology. The audience is allowed to feel for the characters and understand the odds against them. There are some hard lessons the characters learn about themselves and how they interact with one another. The audience witnesses a man teaching a boy what hard choices lie ahead of him: "Be a man," Woodrow Dolarhyde says. 

Such honesty and complexity is devoid from movies these days. 

It seems as if moviemakers are more concerned with politics and social engineering, then to realize the human story is what matters. What drives the human condition is what makes the audience want to watch. The father-son interactions with Woodrow Dolarhyde are great. I wish there were more movies about these divine masculine rites of passage and relationships instead of name-calling (toxic masculinity). The only behavior that is toxic is the presence of man-haters. 

Westerns are usually a man's fare, but this film allows the audience the chance to see a woman in an action as well as romantic role, men coming into their own power through courage and tests, and enemies becoming allies to fight for something bigger than themselves. All in all, a pretty well-made film.

But have audiences been so jaded by political correctness that they are unable to see a great movie when one present[s] itself to them? By the low rating of this movie, that would be an affirmative.

Take off your postmodern, dystopic glasses, Cowboys & Aliens is a film connoisseur's treat. 


Watched free on Prime Video. 

*****

The Tally 

My review will be posted on Prime as well as IMDB. 

Prime... 4 out of 5 stars

IMDB... 8 out of 10 stars 

*****

The Writer's Workshop

Movies for Writers: Cowboys & Aliens is how two genres can be combined to entertain with an old-fashion story in a nontraditional way.

*****

For more Movie Reviews, check out Undawnted's Critiques and Reviews page as well as her IMDB and Amazon Prime profiles.

 

Have a great and wonderful day. 

 

 

Friday, October 15, 2021

Movie Review: Submergence is a Modern Retelling of Romeo and Juliet with an Equally Modern Message

Granted, there are no feuding families over the characters Danny Flinders and James More, but the star-crossed lovers are still archetypes of this romance-tragedy genre. 

Contrary to popular belief, the genre was not begun by William Shakespeare. These stories persisted over centuries before he wrote his play and culminated in tales such as the Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet by Arthur Brooke (1562) as well as Palace of Pleasure by William Painter (1567). Decades later, Shakespeare restructured these narratives into his famous poetic play. 

*****

Submergence

In a room with no windows on the eastern coast of Africa, a Scotsman, James More, is held captive by jihadist fighters. Thousands of miles away in the Greenland Sea, Danielle Flinders prepares to dive in a submersible to the ocean floor. In their confines they are drawn back to the Christmas of the previous year, where a chance encounter on a beach in France led to an intense and enduring romance. 

IMDB

 *****Spoiler Time***** 

The Breakdown

Submergence is about a man and woman who meet on vacation in France. Both waiting to go on their own professional adventures. Both unknowing of the consequence to ensue.

James More, played by James McAvoy, is a British intelligence operative. He has discovered a link between Kismayo, Somalia and an operational bomb unit in Europe. He makes the decision to return to the area under his water engineer alias. As soon as he arrives, he is taken hostage and tortured as a CIA/MI6 spy. Later, as the movie progresses, James More discovers that a couple of militant leaders of jihadists have taken command and control of the operation. In order to save his love and homeland, James activates a location device hidden in a tooth (bridge). An American strike team is sent to eliminate the threat. James dies at the scene. 

Danielle "Danny" Flinders is a bio-mathmetician, played by Alicia Vikander, who gathers samples from the Hadal layer of the mantel near the bottom of the ocean. She has trained to ride in a submersible for a chance of a lifetime: go to the depths for herself. She knows the risks yet is spurred on by the fact that her hypothesis of life being from the scum of the ocean floor has merit and must be taken seriously. However, the submersible has mechanical and technical issues, leaving the crew and herself stranded. With only five days of oxygen for them to breathe, the hope of a rescue is shattered as Danny is in the only one found in Europe. She dies of suffocation.

*****

The Review

James More: "Death. It gets very real when you're watching somebody die in front of you. You're thinking, is this all I am? Is this all I added up to? And all the clich├ęs are true. You're thinking, why now? Why did it have to be... this happen, before I realize what life truly is? It's direct, it's immediate, and it's their whole life exposed to you."

This movie allows the characters in their most vulnerable and desperate hours to console themselves with the love the two of them shared and continue to lament. The story is a cautionary tale to those people who watch and understand the message: life is too short; take love when you can get it and never let it go. 

James More and Danny Flinders allowed their compulsion to work at any cost to cost them their enduring love to one another and also their lives. 

Was their sacrifices worth it in the end? 

Is this not a modern conundrum? Work to get ahead but to do so is to miss out on living a good life? 

There are some good points the characters make while falling in love with each other. What is death? Is this life of what we become the only thing we have amounted to? What is the life you want to live? Then why aren't you living your best life? 

To sacrifice yourself in the name of service or profession, is that not a disservice to humanity? To yourself? What is too much to ask of someone?

This film has been rated: 5.4/10 Stars on IMDB. 

The one consolation that the audience is given is after James More's death in the ocean, Danny Flinders is there to greet him on the other side. Star-crossed, yes, these two characters are, but James and Danny are afforded an ending Romeo and Juliet never received: an eternity in love with one another. 

What could any hopeless romantic ask for?  

Watched free on IMDB.

*****

The Tally 

My review will be posted on Prime as well as IMDB. 

Prime... 4 out of 5 stars

IMDB... 8 out of 10 stars

Submergence gives us many questions to ponder about the balance in our lives and the worth we place on every waking hour. Is love or work more important? Maybe we should ask ourselves these types of questions. 

If we want a better world, then isn't it up to every single individual to live a better life that creates a better outcome than violence, hate, and criminality? 

The hero's journey... be on it. 

Let love guide your path. 

*****

The Writer's Workshop

Movies for Writers: Submergence the classic retelling of the Greek myth of a mortal man falling in love with a sea goddess. 

*****

For more Movie Reviews, check out Undawnted's Critiques and Reviews page as well as her IMDB and Amazon Prime profiles. 


Have a great and wonderful day.