Tag Archives: Odeya Rush

Let it Snow (2019) Movie Review By Peter Pluymers

 

Let it Snow Review

Director: Luke Snellin
Writers: Laura Solon (screenplay by), Victoria Strouse (screenplay by)
Stars: Isabela Merced, Shameik Moore, Odeya Rush

Christmas. The period everyone is jolly again. Family reunions. A brown-baked turkey with a tasty filling that was squeezed through its smallest hole. Christmas trees full of sparkling baubles, angel hair and soft-yellow LED lights. Every few moments a Christmas song is being heard on the radio. Christmas presents are piling up. And everyone hopes that on this Christian holiday the sky will be filled with pregnant snow clouds that’ll cover the surface of the earth with a soft, downy snow carpet. Sigh, I’m getting lyrical. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case everywhere. If you have a moderate maritime climate, such as in Belgium, it’ll be drizzly and autumnal. And an additional phenomenon during these holidays is the broadcasting of well-known Christmas movies. And yes, on Twitter the annually recurring question “What’s the ultimate Christmas film?“, appears again. Unfortunately, “Let it snow” won’t be mentioned often, I guess.

If, like me, you dislike “Love actually“, I would definitely advise you to avoid this youthly version. “Love actually” is a typical film that is shown on different television channels during the Christmas season. Perhaps the film adds that extra magic for some of us, during these winter holidays. For me, it causes an extreme form of explosive diarrhea every time I see the grin of Hugh Grant on the screen. And “Let it snow” uses the same concept as “Love actually“. An entanglement of different storylines that come together in an ecstatic crescendo. Only now, the protagonists are all teenagers.

Each with their own love-life-related-issues. Understandable because the film is based on the eponymous popular winter book, in which three authors bring a short story.
Unfortunately, after a few minutes, I realized that I’m not really part of the target audience. Not that I was bored to death. The stories eventually follow the pattern of a trillion other rom-com stories. They all walk the famous proverbial path of love, full of pitfalls, stumbling blocks, and obstacles. And at the finish, everything is peaches and cream. And peace and light. The feeling of love rises by a few degrees Celsius. In short, it’s as predictable as a story from Vicky the Viking. An ultimate feel-good film so teenage girls will sigh and moan empathetically while they watch at the screen with big cow eyes and see those romantic couples hugging each other. Well, my teenage period is far behind me. Hence the “Not being part of the target audience” feeling.

The most positive in this film are the participating actors. I didn’t know them all, because I’m not a fan of the Netflix series. Only Julie (Isabela Merced) I recognized immediately (Yes, I recently watched “Dora and the Lost City of Gold” with my two kids). She happens to have the most beautiful and convincing role. The way in which she presents responsible Julie is admirable. It’s the most endearing and sad part of the entire film. I even appreciated the pop idol Stuart (Shameik Moore). He fits wonderfully with the lovely, cuddly Julie. He’s a lonely, fame-ridden singer who spends Christmas all alone in a hotel room. Ultra sad. Even though he will wallow in all the luxury that he can afford. I also thought the role of Tobin (For me, the unknown Mitchell Hope) was successful. But only because of his humour and timid attitude that fitted perfectly in this syrupy film. And here too, they found the perfect companion in the form of The Duke (Kiernan “The Silence” Shipka). The funniest character was that of Jacob “Spider-man: Homecoming & Far from home” Batalon as the hyperkinetic Keon.

Add a lesbian girl with love troubles and her girlfriend who doesn’t have her best day, and you have all the cliché types that a movie like “Let it snow” needs. After that, let everyone wrestle the whole movie with his or her emotions and finally knit a happy ending to it. It’s not my taste, but who am I to complain about that. After all, it’s a Christmas movie. And shouldn’t a Christmas film be about happiness and love? Even though the corniness drips from it and it is so sugar-sweet that a spontaneous stomach cramp comes up. I want romantic souls to have it. So couples of this earth, unite and go and watch this film en masse. Oh well, next Movie!

Goosebumps (2015) Movie Review by Darrin Gauthier

GOOSEBUMPS

Director: Rob Letterman
Writers: Darren Lemke (screenplay), Scott Alexander (story)
Stars: Jack Black, Dylan Minnette, Odeya Rush

Plot:  A teenager teams up with the daughter of young adult horror author R. L. Stine after the writer’s imaginary demons are set free on the town of Madison, Delaware.
Running Time: 1 hour 45 Minutes
Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics 76%    Audience 62%

Why I Watched It: There was good buzz behind the film and the trailers looked fun, so I was hopeful.

Random Thoughts: This was a bit of a comeback for Jack Black, he got stuck in a rut, playing the same guy making good money but his films under preformed, going to a youth friendly film could be the kiss of death just ask Eddie Murphy.  I thought it was a smart change of pace give him a different character to play. The other thing about this movie that might confuse people R.L. Stine is a hugely successful author but this movie is not based on one of his many books, and here he’s a character in it.

What I liked: This film reminded me a lot of the first Jumanji, which is not a bad thing, the thing that the film nails is tone, it’s not too scary and it’s not to kiddie it hits middle ground pretty well.
The anchor of the film is Jack Black he doesn’t overplay, he’s not over the top and dare I say he’s understated, he doesn’t force it and he does play R.L. Stine different that most of his other film characters.  In a film like this all the characters are there to keep the plot moving cause this film is about all the creatures and monsters.  With that being said this is a very good cast.  There’s no big standout but all help keep the film going.

The best part of the film is the idea, and it’s a different one that R.L Stine has created all these monsters and he keeps them locked up so they won’t do harm.  It’s a clever idea about imagination and also keeping the monster at bay, every horror film has to toe that line, they have to convince you monsters are real but always have a way to defeat them and the key to this story is have it scary but not to make it too dark. I also liked the character played by Odeya Rush, it was different and I didn’t see it coming and I think her character shows that the filmmakers might have made a formula film but it wasn’t weighed down by using all the standard cliches they bought in different takes and breathed fresh air into the story.

What I Didn’t Like: It was too bad that they had to rely on CGI so much, it would have been nice if they honoured the stories by going old school.  Now some worked but some kind of took you out of the film.
Also though the film was a little long as it did drag at the beginning it’s the only part of the story that seemed forced, they pushed the neighbours together to get the plot going now once R.L. Stone is introduced then the film flows better. I mentioned the cast and they’re good but Amy Ryan has nothing to do and Jillian Bell could have been used better.

Final Thoughts: I liked it and it’s one of those films that even though it’s not great you really appreciate the fact that it’s not nearly as bad as it could of been or you feared it was going to be.  It was a nice surprise.

Rating: 7/10

The Hunter’s Prayer (2017) Movie Review By Darrin Gauthier

THE HUNTER_S PRAYER

Director: Jonathan Mostow
Writers: John Brancato (screenplay by), Michael Ferris (screenplay by)
Stars: Sam Worthington, Odeya Rush, Allen Leech

Plot:  An assassin helps a young woman avenge the death of her family.
Running Time: 91 Minutes
IMDB Score: 5.5

Why I Watched It: I hadn’t heard of this film but saw it on Netflix, now I do say I liked director Mostow and the plot seem alright and I gave it a go.

Random Thoughts: Mostow has made some good films and of course he made Terminator 3 which was flawed to say the least but he hasn’t done much lately which is a shame. Let’s touch on Sam Worthington who was in a Terminator film that was more than flawed.  He gets a lot of crap cause he’s bland but I will say this he’s not a bad actor, he’s more of a presence that an actor force. Also a nitpick with the plot description, he doesn’t really go out to help the girl avenge her family’s death as he tries to keep her from getting killed.

What I Liked: As the plot tells you it’s a fairly simple story and at times I like simple and to be fair I guess it’s more straight forward than simple.  An assassin is told to kill a teenage girl and he doesn’t.  One thing I really liked is the main character played by Worthington is a bit of a mystery we don’t know much about him and we don’t know why he doesn’t go through with the contract.  Now the film unfolds and we learn things but the first half we as the audience are pretty much in the dark.  I give director Mostow credit here for not throwing all the plot and all the character’s backstory at us all at once we learn things and it was done very well.

This is a pretty lean film at 91 minutes but we do flesh out not only Worthington’s character  but also the girl he’s helping played by Odeya Rush, now it’s funny I hadn’t seen Rush before last week and I saw her twice in this and Goosebumps, yes two very different films, I think she has a future, I like her look and she carries herself very well for a young actress. Worthington and Rush work well together, what I liked is there’s no sexual tension stuff at all it’s played kind of like father and daughter but not heavy handed. The action was fine lots of shot outs and car chases.  Worthington is more than capable of pulling off the action stuff and the thing here is Worthington doesn’t really talk that much, he’s good here cause he has to carry a lot of baggage, maybe too much for one character in a 91 minute movie but he’s very flawed and he’s worn down.

What I Didn’t Like: The story is paper thin and the weak part is the main villain and the secondary villains, all the villains are boring.  The main one is just the standard rich asshole, he gets more time than you would think but it the character is not memorable at all he played by Allen Leach and he’s not bad just doesn’t stand out, this movie needed a good bad guy.  Martin Compston is another hitman, the bad one and he’s just a plot point a walking cliche.

The other point that kind of bugs me is we learn things about Worthington’s character but never passed a superficial level.  We get bullet points but never any real answers, we assume he doesn’t kill the girl cause he has a daughter, he never learn how he went from being in the army to being a hitman.  The main bad guy threatens to kill his family but we’re never told their relationship, is he a hitman for hire or does he just work for this guy.  The details would have helped shape his character more and also given us more information and we would have gotten to know him more. The ending was a little weak not badly done but very by the numbers,  I will say it moved quick enough but I would have liked it to at least do something a bit different.

Final Thoughts: Not a bad movie, it was not a flashy action film and I liked it for that and both leads were good and it was well directed.

Rating: 6/10