Tag: movie reviews

Movie Review: Hollywood Dirt

Posted October 20, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Starring: Emma Rigby, Johann Urb, Marco Dapper, Mindy Cohn, Feraz Ozel
Director: Tosca Musk
Release Date: September 20, 2017
Category: Romance

Hollywood arrives en force to Quincy, the small town where the secret Crown Cola billionaires live. They want to film about the billionaires and how they made their fortunes.. Summer Jenkins, who was the town pariah, joins forces with the scout, Ben, and finds filming locations, extras, liasons with the town officials and house owners, etc. When Cole Masten arrives, they hate each other, but sparks fly. Cole is running from a nasty divorce, yet is captivated by Summer. Summer is dying to leave town to get away from the gossip. This is a great story about Southern customs, a Southern girl, and a Hollywood star who finds his lady.

When we first found out that Passionflix was becoming a thing and that they were turning our favorite romance novels into movies, Holly and I became founding members. We paid our $100 for a 2 year membership because we’re nosy and wanted to know everything there was to know about what the plan was and we wanted the exclusive behind the scenes scoops. I was pretty excited before I found out that the first movie they were working on was a book that I actually read not too long ago. It was also a book that I enjoyed so woo hoo for me.

I followed along with Alessandra Torre on Instagram as she posted about their progression on the set and I was thrilled with the casting for both Cole and Summer even though I hadn’t a clue who they were.

When September 20th hit, it took me a couple of days before I could muster enough courage to watch the movie. Even though I had high hopes, a little part of me was expecting another Rose Hill and you guys….Hollywood Dirt is no Rose Hill. It’s way better. You can read my thoughts on the book here.

So this movie is about Cole Masters. The A-list actor who finds his wife cheating on him. To get through the hurt and divorce proceedings, Cole throws himself into the movie that is supposed to be all his but of course, his wife wants in on that action too. Cole heads to Quincy to get as far away from L.A. as he can and there he meets the girl who will become his female lead and the girl that will claw her way into Cole’s heart…the heart that Cole has no plans of ever feeling again.

Summer Jenkins has no plans of falling in love again after the last time. She lives in a town where she doesn’t have any friends and where she’s whispered about everywhere she goes. When Ben comes into town to scout possible film locations for Cole’s film, Summer becomes Ben’s hometown helper and they become friends and before Summer knows what’s what, her southern charm has wormed its way to Cole Masters and he approaches her about starring alongside him in the film.

Cole and Summer are like oil and water at first. They do not get along. Cole is an entitled dickhead to Summer and Summer is having none of it. Seeing them fall in love on the screen of my iPhone 7 was fun though I wish I could have watched the movie on my TV via my Amazon Fire Stick or even just on my smart TV. I’ve got my fingers crossed that we’ll get that soon but anyway, back to the movie review.

Watching the movie was like reading the book. Everything that I remember from the book happened in the movie. So that part of the whole books to movie bit was pretty spot on, for me. I thought the tone of the movie was the same as the tone from the book so I was a happy camper where that was concerned.

The acting on this movie was good. There were some characters where I thought the delivery of their lines were a bit cheesy (Ben is one, off the top of my head) but for the most part, I enjoyed every one.

The guy that played Cole looked the part but his American accent wasn’t completely believable. I could tell straight off that he worked to sound like an American. It was in the way that he delivered some of his lines. It was, I don’t know, too slow? I’m from California and we talk really fast and Cole…didn’t. A lot of lines from the book were delivered at a much faster pace in my head while I was reading it then when Cole was saying them in the movie. That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy what he brought to Cole’s character on the small screen.

Then there was Summer. The girl that played Summer was gorgeous. She totally pulled off Summer’s look with ease. She looked like a Southern belle but holy cow, she sounded like she was on the verge of orgasm every time she opened her mouth to deliver a line. About halfway through the movie, I was like, dude, knock it off! Haha. Aside from that, I really had no gripes about her portrayal of Summer Jenkins. She did good.

This movie was reminiscent of a Hallmark movie with bad words and sex scenes. That completely worked for me because I love Hallmark movies, bad words and sex scenes. I can really get behind watching more of these as Passionflix releases them.

I’m glad that I read the book and watched the movie. It was a great effort for a first movie though I did notice that they spelled Alessandra Torre’s name wrong in the movie. It’s spelled with two L’s instead of the 1 L that’s on all of her books. It’s not a big deal, I guess but if I wrote a book and it was turned into a movie, I would be annoyed that my name is wrong.

So I’ve got one movie down and am anxiously waiting for the release of the next one. Keep up the good work, Passionflix.

Grade: 4 out of 5

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Movie Review: The Fault in Our Stars

Posted May 19, 2015 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Fault_in_our_starsRowena’s review of The Fault in Our Stars.

Hazel and Augustus are two teenagers who share an acerbic wit, a disdain for the conventional, and a love that sweeps them on a journey. Their relationship is all the more miraculous, given that Hazel’s other constant companion is an oxygen tank, Gus jokes about his prosthetic leg, and they meet and fall in love at a cancer support group.

After reading and loving Divergent, I knew that I was going to read this book in preparation of the movie’s release and I’m not sorry that I did because I cried just as much while watching the movie as I did when I read the book.

This movie was good. There were some differences between the book and the movie but they were good changes, changes that made sense for the movie and changes that I thought worked well.

The casting was fantastic. I thought Ansel Elgort was the perfect Augustus Waters and Shailene Woodley brought Hazel Grace’s character to life wonderfully. I also thought that Nat Wolff made a fantastic Isaac.

Seeing the scenes from the book come to life made me enjoy the movie so much more, and my friend Mulu agreed with me on this because she read the book right before we went to see it and got a lot more out of the movie than she would have, had she not read the book. The whole support group set? Yeah, that was EXACTLY how I pictured it and Patrick? He was exactly how I pictured Patrick to be.

The story of Hazel and Augustus was a beautiful one. A sad one as well but it was beautiful all the same. They’re both victims of cancer, Hazel is on going while Augustus was in remission for a year and a half. They become friends and Augustus makes it clear from the beginning that he likes Hazel. The things that he said to her and the things that he did for her were completely swoon-worthy and Ansel did a wonderful job of delivering each and every scene.

I didn’t make the connection while reading and watching the movie but one thing that my sister Delene brought up was how my sister Helen handled herself like a champ while watching the movie. I mean, it had to have hit home for her since just a few years ago, RJ had osteosarcoma (which was the same thing that Augustus had) and just a few months ago, Kaleo amputated both of his legs (Augustus only got one leg amputated) so she had first hand experience with everything that Augustus went through. And then for the movie/book to end the way that it did? Holy cow. Helen reaches new depths of awesome-ness every day.

There are a whole lot of things that I loved about this movie and not a thing that I can remember not liking so do I recommend this movie? Definitely.

Grade: 5 out of 5

This movie is available from Fox 2000 Pictures, Temple Hill Entertainment and TSG Entertainment. I bought this DVD (and saw it in the theaters on my own dime too).

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Movie Review: Divergent

Posted May 14, 2015 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Rowena’s review of Divergent.

Set in a futuristic dystopia where society is divided into five factions that each represent a different virtue, teenagers have to decide if they want to stay in their faction or switch to another – for the rest of their lives. Tris Prior makes a choice that surprises everyone. Then Tris and her fellow faction-members have to live through a highly competitive initiation process to live out the choice they have made. They must undergo extreme physical and intense psychological tests, that transform them all. But Tris has a secret that she is Divergent, which means she doesn’t fit into any one group. If anyone knew, it would mean a certain death. As she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly peaceful society, this secret might help her save the people she loves… or it might destroy her. Written by anonymous

I was super excited to watch this movie because I finished my read of the book a couple of days before seeing the movie so everything was fresh in my mind.

Did the movie follow everything from the book, exactly? Nope. Did I care? Hell no.

I loved the movie. I thought the changes from the book made sense for the movie. I also thought that the casting for this movie was heaps better than both Hunger Games and Twilight. I’m not going to lie, a whole lot of why I liked the movie had to do with this one:

I enjoyed seeing everyone come to life through the movie and though some of my favorite scenes from the book didn’t make it to the movie, it was still a very enjoyable movie. There’s action, there’s an actual story line and guys?!! There’s no love triangle. Woot for that!

So this movie is about Tris’ journey through the Dauntless initiation process. The movie takes place in Dystopian Chicago society. There was a huge war that caused the higher ups to build a wall around Chicago and they divided the society up into five different factions. Abnegation, Amity, Candor, Dauntless and Erudite. Abnegation peeps are selfless, they live to serve others. They’re trusted to run the government. The Amity faction is all about peace. They’re the hippies who do the farming and what not. Candor faction tell the truth. Erudite’s are smart. They’re the brainiacs, the ones who thirst for knowledge. So they’re the teachers, inventors and what not. Dauntless are the protectors. They’re the cops, the military and all of that other stuff. Tris was born into the Abnegation faction and her test results were inconclusive but on her choosing day (when you’re 16, you get tested to show which faction you should choose and then on choosing day, you can either choose the faction you already belong to and tested for or you can make an entirely different choice. It’s up to you), she opts out of Abnegation and goes to Dauntless.

While initiating for Dauntless, you can see the change come over Tris. She goes from selfless weakling to total bad ass. A lot of that had to do with her training from Four. Holy crap was Four amazing. So freaking hawt! I thought both Shailene and Theo portrayed their characters extremely well. Four is exactly how I pictured him, in both looks and character. I pictured Tris as smaller, more frail but Shailene portrayed her character well.

Divergents can’t be controlled. They’re the only ones that go under simulations and know that they’re in a simulation. Normal people go under simulations and everything is real to them. Their fears control them and it takes them a long time to get out from under a simulations. This works in favor of the bad guys who are trying to build an army to overthrow a whole faction. Divergents are a threat to them so the bad guys are hunting Divergents and killing them.

There’s a whole lot more to the movie so you’ll have to watch it to see what I mean. If you liked the book, I’m thinking you’ll like the movie. Even Holly enjoyed it and she’s hard to please so go watch this movie!

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

This movie is available from Summit and Red Wagon Entertainment. I purchased this DVD and my ticket to movie.

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Movie Review: If I Stay

Posted May 4, 2015 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

If_I_Stay_posterRowena’s review of If I Stay.

Mia Hall thought the hardest decision she would ever face would be whether to pursue her musical dreams at Juilliard or follow a different path to be with the love of her life, Adam. But what should have been a carefree family drive changes everything in an instant, and now her own life hangs in the balance. Caught between life and death for one revealing day, Mia has only one decision left, which will not only decide her future but her ultimate fate.

It’s been so long since I read this book that I thought seeing the movie was going to be a new experience but that’s not what happened. As soon as the movie started, the book came back to me.

Mia Hall is a gifted musician with hippie parents and a pretty great little brother. She’s close with her family even though she’s completely different from them. Her parents are free spirits who are spontaneous, outwardly happy and into rock music but Mia is more reserved and into classical musical and playing her cello. She’s a deep thinker and if there was a black sheep in her family, she’d be it. Her family is too close and they love each other too much for black sheeps though. I thought her parents were lovely people and Teddy was a complete delight.

When Mia meets Adam, the popular boy from school who is into rock music (just like her parents), she wasn’t expecting the relationship that would blossom between them. She wasn’t expecting to be so intensely in love with him at such a young age but she was. Adam and Mia were dynamite together and the love that they had for each other was great to witness on the big screen. Their love was pure and lovely and complicated as time pulls them apart. Adam graduates from high school (he’s a year ahead of Mia) and his band starts playing gigs all over the place while Mia is left behind, still in school, trying to figure out what she’s going to do after she graduates.

Adam and Mia made plans for after graduation but Mia starts hoping for different things. Things that weren’t part of the plans she made with Adam and when Adam finds out, he’s salty as shit and they fight and then drift…and even though they still love each other, there’s still hurt feelings and unsure thoughts and when Mia’s entire family (her included) is in a fatal car accident, Mia who is hovering between the after life and coming back to Earth has some decisions to make.

Should she go or should she stay?

This whole movie is a cry-fest. The minute that the accident happens on the big screen, my heart was crying all over the place. Mia is trying to deal with the fact that she’s losing her family fast and trying to figure out what kind of life she’d be staying for and holy cow, the emotions game in this movie was too strong.

I liked the casting of the characters in this movie. From Mia to Adam (who wasn’t my first choice but he totally grew on me as I watched the movie – by the end, I LOVED him!) to Mia’s family, her grandparents, Adam’s band mates and Mia’s best friend. I loved everyone.

There were parts of the movie that dragged a bit in the middle, some parts of Adam and Mia’s relationship that I felt weren’t needed but in the end, I still enjoyed the movie heaps that I bought the DVD the day that it came out. I thought it was a great chick flick and fans of the book will enjoy this one. I know I did.

Grade: 4 out of 5

This movie is available from MGM Studios. I purchased my own ticket and bought the DVD too.

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Movie Review: The DUFF

Posted March 3, 2015 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Rowena’s review of The DUFF, the Movie.

Bianca is a content high school senior whose world is shattered when she learns the student body knows her as ‘The DUFF’ (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) to her prettier, more popular friends. Now, despite the words of caution from her favorite teacher, she puts aside the potential distraction of her crush, Toby, and enlists Wesley, a slick but charming jock, to help reinvent herself. To save her senior year from turning into a total disaster, Bianca must find the confidence to overthrow the school’s ruthless label maker Madison and remind everyone that no matter what people look or act like, we are all someone’s DUFF.

After discussing movie reviews with Holly, we decided that we’re going to start reviewing the books that were turned into movies here on Book Binge and this is the very first movie review that I’m going to write.

Over the weekend I took my niece Makaela out for her birthday and she wanted to see this so I rallied up the troops and we made the 4:40 showing at our local theater. I thought the theater would be a lot more crowded than it was and that surprised me because the other teeny bopper books turned movies had bigger crowds than this movie did.

I read the book before watching the movie so I already knew that the movie was going to be different (you can tell from the movie trailer just how different the book was from the movie) so I wasn’t expecting to like the movie as much as I did the book but I did.

Bianca has two gorgeous and popular best friends in Jess and Casey. They’re into fashion and they’re hot stuff but they love Bianca so she never really paid much attention to how much more gorgeous they are than she is until her next door neighbor, Wesley Rush calls her their D.U.F.F.

DUFF stands for Designated Ugly Fat Friend and Bianca isn’t at all happy that Wes has enlightened her on her DUFF status. This status bothers her so much that she obsesses over it and she goes through the five stages of grief throughout the movie. You know, denial and sadness and anger and well, you get the idea. The only way that she thinks she could get over her obsession is to reinvent herself and who does she go to for help?

Wesley Rush, of course.

Wesley needs help passing science so they agree on a swap (after Bianca asks in Monster voice, ha!) of services and the movie really takes off.

I really enjoyed the movie. I thought it was cute and fun and every single kid that I took to see this movie agreed with me. They loved it. They thought it was hilarious and immediately after the movie, they were trying to figure out who the DUFFs were in their circle of friends. They all wanted to be the DUFFs too, which I thought was funny.

The casting of the characters was pretty great, IMO. I adored Robbie Amell as Wesley Rush (and so did every single girl that went to see the movie with me) and I thought that Mae Whitman was a great Bianca. Madison was a new character (not from the book) and she was a great villain because I wanted to punch her every time she released a video that embarrassed Bianca and I wanted Bianca to punch her every ten minutes (at least). Ken Jeong and Romany Malco had me cracking up every time they came on screen and overall, it was just a fun movie.

My favorite scene in the movie was probably the scene where Bianca shows Wes her Think Rock. That whole scene had me cracking up because, well it’s a good scene. You’ll just have to take my word for it..until you watch the movie yourself. 🙂

I will definitely be getting this movie on DVD and I’ll probably watch this one every time it comes on cable.

Grade 4 out of 5

Movie Trailer

This movie was released by CBS Films. I bought my own ticket to see this movie in the theater with my kids.

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