Jillian & Christa's Great Blog Collab 2018, The Movies

Sierra Burgess is a Loser (Film) Review

Netflix is currently in the throes of a rom-com renaissance. Finally giving us smart new romantic movies, directed mostly by women, we’ve been spoilt lately with the mighty To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (2018) and to a lesser extent Claire Scanlon’s Set It Up (2018). Both movies are better than most films of this nature and I am loving it. So when I heard about Sierra Burgess starring my one true love Shannon Purser I got super excited.

SBIAL is not directed by a female director though and it’s also sadly not nearly as good. Are the two connected?

Sierra Burgess is a Loser (2018)

IMDB Synopsis

A case of mistaken identity results in unexpected romance when the most popular girl in high school and the biggest loser must come together to win over their crushes.

*Minor spoilers*

My Review

Sierra Burgess sets itself up in the usual way, establishing roles early on and leaving us in no doubt of who’s who in the social hierachy. Sierra (Purser) is the daughter of a famous literary father and a self-help guru mother (Alan Ruck and Lea Thompson) and ‘isn’t like other girls’ – or at least she prides herself on being one of the only girls who doesn’t care about her appearance. She’s smart basically and not distracted by such trivial things. (Yes there’s a slightly superior air to her but why not when she’s treated like literal dog shit by some of her peers?).

Veronica (Kristine Froseth) by contrast is a stone cold fox but a shitty person. She’s super mean to anyone ‘less’ and pretty horrid to her friends too. She absolutely has her sights set on humiliating Sierra just for the pure fun of it – which is how this whole tale begins.

Barb wire

Let me tell you that I will always root for the underdog. Sierra isn’t always likable but she is motherfucking Barb from Stranger Things and therefore, I’m her homegirl for life. She isn’t ugly by any stretch but I get that we’re supposed to consider her the lowest of the low on the looks and body beautiful scale (e.g. she’s completely normal). When Veronica pinches some of Sierra’s tutoring flyers and gives out her number to a hottie Jamey (Noah Centineo) who believes it’s Veronica’s – well, you’ve got yourself a modern-day retelling of Cyrano.

You didn’t think Sierra could pull this off on her own with her hideous ginger face and oafish stature did ya?

Sierra starts romancing Jamey by text very quickly but soon hits a wall when he asks her to face time. Being the resourceful brainiac that she is, she quickly sees a window of opportunity and goes for it. Veronica, you see is trying to impress a college boy who thinks she’s a dummy. If only someone were on hand to school her in the ways of the ancient philosphers in exchange for a borrow of her face and body for a couple of hours?

So our unlikely duo team up to pull the wool over the eyes of their boy crushes – and fall in love with each other instead. Well, sort of, unfortunately not in the way I was cheering for – but in the friendship sense. For me this is the most important relationship to come out of the film, who needs boys?

Bitch Force Three

Sierra quickly learns that Veronica’s picture perfect life is very far from it (her mother, played by Chrissy Metz, is bitter, miserable and extremely hard on Veronica) which doesn’t excuse her behaviour but does explain some of it. Meanwhile, Sierra suffers for the pressure placed upon her by a brilliant and famous dad. She’s also just found out that she can’t just walk into her chosen college with straight As – she needs to stand out.

As the girls scheme and Jamey falls deeper and deeper for the Veronica/Sierra hybrid, things get increasingly elaborate (and stupid) – and Sierra’s friend Dan (RJ Cyler) implores her to come clean. Look, I don’t buy most of this and although I want to believe that the geek can get the hot guy (because I know it happens), this set up just doesn’t ring realistic at all. The cat fishing is creepy and nobody is as good and pure as Jamey is. We’re supposed to examine teen stereotypes here and realise that that’s all they are but surely the dishonesty would render forgiveness impossible – or at least never as quickly as it pans out onscreen? I know that’s a boring take but sue me.

Anyway, there’s a bit where Sierra pretends to be deaf and it’s really stupid. Then she does something horrible to Veronica proving that she’s no better than the school mean girls. The film is not terrible but it just isn’t in the same league as To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and I resent it for that.

The final prom scene is very much a homage to John Hughes’ Pretty in Pink, down to the music and Sierra’s frock but it’s still not a good enough vehicle for my babe Shannon.

Justice for Barb (still)!

My Rating

3.5/5.

What does my girl think of this one? Would she catfish the fudge out of it or remain honest and true throughout? Find out here.

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Jillian & Christa's Great Blog Collab 2018, The Movies

Hurricane Bianca: From Russia With Hate (Film) Review

Bianca is back and she’s better than ever – is she though? Has this thinly worn narrative hit rock bottom now? I mean let’s face it, the first movie although kind of cute in places, wasn’t a game changer. And apart from the heavenly one-liner: “I’m fuckin’ this cat. You just hold the legs”, I don’t recall that much. Although I do know I had fun – can this deliver at least a little bit of same LOL action?

Hurricane Biance: From Russia With Hate (2018)

IMDB Synopsis

Sequel to the 2016 comedy ‘Hurricane Bianca’.

My Review

This time round our Bianca is tucked safely behind closet doors and Richard (Roy Haylock) is getting on just fine without her. Still teaching in Texas that is and maybe life is a little drab but it’s fine. Things are not going quite so well for Bianca’s arch nemesis Deborah Ward (Rachel Dratch) who has just served hard time for the seduction of half her student class.

She just about to get out of jail and you best believe she’s bitter about how everything went down. Comforted by murderous daydreams about Bianca, Deborah is ready to get out in the world and on with realising her ultimate revenge.

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The Edward Scissorhands re-imagining looked very interesting…

When Stephen (D.J. ‘Shangela’ Pierce) rocks up to visit with their friend Rex (Doug Plaut) in tow, Richard’s life suddenly becomes a lot more dramatic, especially when the duo trick him into bringing Bianca out to play. And when he then gets an invitation to receive a Teacher of the Year award in Russia (as Bianca), what’s a girl to do? Pack up Rex and get her booty to Moscow, I guess.

Will Deborah get even – and will her dippy daughter Carly (Molly Ryman) get the replacement boobs she’s been promised for going along with the frankly ridonculous plan? Well you could say there’s a lot of adventure in store for our enemies, as both sides find themselves on the wrong side of the law and Svetlana Zlopasnost (Dot-Marie Jones) herself, the new Minister of Homosexual Propaganda for Russia.

Will they come together when it matters to save their loved ones from being banished to Siberia? And will they find LGBT+ back up in the most unlikely of places? Sure they will!

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Same, Katya. Hard same.

This film is a goddamn trash heap but it’s still fine by me. This time around we get more Queens for our buck as we enjoy cameos from The Lady Bunny, Mrs. Kasha Davis and Darienne Lake. Not to mention the truly divine Katya Zamolodchikova who’s actually lovely and not too shocking in front of the camera. Shangela seems more relaxed this time around, while Bianca is still the Queen of acerbic wit.

The character of Rex starts off incredibly tiresome but actually grew on me through his interaction with Carly. When Carly starts to get to know Rex, she starts to question why she’s expected to hate the gays and starts pushing back at her mother as a result. I know this is a stupid film but the message is buried in there somewhere and it’s nice to know.

Look, HBFRWH is not likely to find itself on any Best Films of 2018 lists or stick in your memory for long – and it’s rarely funny – but I’ll probably still be first in line for the third installment should we be gifted with one so I say: bring it on.

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Old Spice up your life

My Rating

2/5.

What does my prison bitch think of this one? Would she gladly share a cell with it or throw away the key forever? Find out here.

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Jillian & Christa's Great Blog Collab 2018, The Movies

Selfie from Hell (Film) Review

Nope

We’re doing a free for all this month after a brief hiatus while Jill has done some exciting things and I have generally been a lazy toad.

We start September with a new horror currently featured on Netflix. It tackles one of the most prolific afflictions (?) of our generation (as I type that I realise that we’re not actually talking about MY generation but the one beneath it, maybe even further down that that. God, I’m ancient).

*Spoilers*

Selfie from Hell (2018)

IMDB Synopsis

After her cousin comes to visit and falls ill, a woman starts to receive strange cell phone messages.

My Review

We all know that selfies are bad and anyone who partakes might as well be murdered horribly as punishment, right? I think we can all agree. Obviously that isn’t the message here and I jest but one of my pet peeves is people who hate on social media even though its all part of evolution and the world we live in – and is generally a positive thing, sue me.

Anyway, this film doesn’t really do anything by way of a message which might be where it falls down. Perhaps if it had been making a comment on social media on the whole it would have been stronger but the result is all just very… so?

Hannah (Alyson Walker) is a good girl because she’s clean and pretty and conscientious. When her cousin Julia (Meelah Adams) comes to stay it is immediately apparent that something is majorly off about her. She looks dog rough for a start and this isn’t being mean, it’s the truth – the girl is clearly not well.

On arriving at Hannah’s, she soon falls into a stupor which leads her cousin on a dubious mission to find out just what the fuck is actually going on.

I might be a little hazy on the order of the day here as I was distracted (by social media, go figure) but Julia is from Germany and has traveled to the US to visit her cousin, Hannah. Back in her home country, Julia is a vlogger (popular enough to have a couple of conspiracy theories about her posted on the web but she’s no Zoella).

Before we even meet Hannah I believe there’s a spooky selfie taking sequence that reveals a nasty surprise for Julia – whenever she snaps a cheeky duck face, it is revealed that she is not alone. Fuck that, honestly – that would probably be the only way to deter me from taking pictures of my own beautiful face.

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“Please stop sending me Farmville requests. PLEASE!”

Back in the US with Julia in a catatonic fug, Hannah is desperately worried and determined to figure shit out. She first of all starts digging around Julia’s laptop which clues her in on some of her cousin’s recent vlogs. Or one, namely Selfies from Hell, Part 1. But where is part 2…? Ooooh.

Watching Part 1 doesn’t answer any of the questions Hannah has so she does what any sensible heroine would, she googles how to access The Dark Web. Is it that easy honestly? She also recruits her cyber/Skype love interest Trevor (Tony Giroux) who is a dab hand with a hard drive (pnar) who gives her just one piece of advice: don’t give out any personal information on The Dark Web. So she doesn’t and everything works out just fine. SYKE.

Obviously she gives out her personal email address within 17 seconds of speaking to someone – Trevor’s big plan is to go onto TDW and ask anyone if they know anything about these mysterious 13 selfies Julia’s been banging on about (apparently it’s a video which is kind of confusing and not what a selfie is but NVM. If you watch all 13 selfies then you’re basically in BIG TROUBLE).

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At least something was

Hannah gives her deets to user F34R3473R (fuck typing that more than once), gets sent first a nasty message, then receives several pervy phone calls. Who knew? During her Nancy Drew investigations, Hannah also uncovers multiple articles surrounding Julia’s mysterious death – but hang on a minute, she’s asleep upstairs in the spare room, non?

From here we loose grip on the narrative as Hannah finds herself in a sticky situation with the pervert stalking her, Trevor watches the 13 selfies (duh) and the evil entity reveals him/itself. I can’t really remember what happens at the end except to say there’s no happy ending for anybody concerned.

One interesting thing about Selfie from Hell is that main actress Meelah Adams produced a short by the same name (which then became this film) as part of her bachelor thesis on the effects of viral videos. I want to like it more for that reason alone. Unfortunately, it’s not very good beyond the deeply relateable premise.

It isn’t horrible, apart from not making the most sense, it’s just instantly forgettable. And let’s face it, there can’t be a more interesting playground to explore that The Dark Web so how is it so boring? I mean, apparently you can buy a raccoon on there – what’s not to love?

Performances aren’t great, the production values are not great and it isn’t that scary – however, the selfie scenes are creepy, I’ll give them that.

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“Keep searching, it’s a raccoon or nothing…”

My Rating

2/5.

What does my girl think of this one? Would she add it to her Instagram story or delete that shit forever? Find out here.

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Stuff I Dig, The Movies

Zac’s Appeal

Don’t ask me why (The Greatest Showman) but I’m currently enjoying a Zac Efron renaissance. Not that I ever went off him but I’m Stanning my boy big time at the moment and I’m not sorry at all. Over the last couple of days I’ve watched a handful of Efron-heavy flicks which I will share below:

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17 Again (2009)

I’d never seen this one before this week and it’s cute. Cute in a Big/Vice Versa body swap comedy way but also, it has A MESSAGE. Appreciate what you have… and try not to fuck it up.

Matthew Perry is Mike O’Donnell, a former high school basketball star who gave it all up when his first love Scarlet got pregnant when they were 17. Fast forward 18 years and their marriage is on the ropes, both Mike’s children hate him and he’s a miserable man, full of regret and lament for the life he could of had.

One night everything changes (creepy school janitor, bridge, river and a swirling vortex) and Mike gets the chance to do it all again for he wakes up in his 17 year old, nubile Zac Efron body. With the help of life-long friend Ned, Mike goes back to school but instead of grabbing his second life by the balls he winds up looking out for his kids, who go to the same school that he and Scarlet attended.

In terms of perving, this is not a good one. Zac is too young and goofy (with terrible hair) but like I say if you like those old school feel good movies then you could do worse. Also, Leslie Mann is an absolute darling as the grown up Scarlet.

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We Are Your Friends (2015)

This movie makes me feel a bit funny because Zac is very much not too young to perv on. As films go it’s pretty standard but he is so pretty I really don’t care. Add into the mix the woman on Instagram than makes me feel worst about myself, Emily Ratajkowski and you’ve got a super fly cast.

Zac is Cole, an aspiring DJ who falls in with James (Wes Bentley), a wekl-known music producer. James sees something in Cole and promises to take him places but when Cole falls in lust (or is it more?) with James’ girlfriend Sophie, things start to fall apart. Ultimately this is a tale about dreams and friendship, as Cole is forced to reassess his life in the valley and his relationship with his best friends while reaching for the stars.

There’s a weird sex face he does at one point that makes this a stand out in my book but that’s just a personal observation and I’m very easily pleased.

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That Awkward Moment (2014)

As with the sex face above, in one scene our boy goes for a wee having taken Viagra and the image is (bizarrely) a keeper. The film again is sweet enough but also mostly forgettable, even if it does boast Michael B. Jordan in a towel and the mighty Mackenzie Davis.

Jason (ZE) is a playa and so is his friend Daniel (Miles Teller). When their other friend Mikey (MBJ) gets dumped by his wife, the trio make a pact to stay single together for as long as possible. There’s lots of talk about sexual rosters and humping like there’s no tomorrow but our boys aren’t as shameless as they’d have us believe, and each of them proves this arrangement isn’t as easy as they first thought.

Basically, that ol’ devil called love is always on hand to screw things up. Again, not a game changer but my boy is an angel.

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Baywatch (2017)

ZE’s overdeveloped body in this is not my cup of tea at all but I still enjoyed the movie, which doesn’t take itself too seriously and also features the lovely Dwayne Johnson.

ZE is Matt Brody, a shamed Olympic swimmer drafted in as a new recruit on the ‘watch. The Rock is Mitch Buchannon (obviously), lifeguard hero and reluctant mentor to the arrogant man-child Brody. It is what it is but there’s lots of half-naked flesh and girl, that’s what I’m here for. It’s also equal opportunity perving, don’t worry – nobody leaves disappointed.

Hopefully.

~

So that’s what I’ve been doing. I’ve no regrets.

How are you?

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Jillian & Christa's Great Blog Collab 2018, The Movies

How to Talk to Girls at Parties (Film) Review

Welcome to Alien August! Jill and I have decided to explore the genre of science fiction, starting with this bat-shit but charming adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s short story of the same name.

Who knows where the month will take us?

*Spoilers*

How to Talk to Girls at Parties (2017)

IMDB Synopsis

An alien touring the galaxy breaks away from her group and meets two young inhabitants of the most dangerous place in the universe: the London suburb of Croydon.

My Review

It’s 1977 and Enn (Alex Sharp) and his pals are into punk and girls. When they find out from Croydon’s punk matriarch, Queen Boadicea (Nicole Kidman) that there’s a secret house party going on at a local address, the boys are determined to crash it and soak up as much life experience as they can.

And boy, do they get more then they bargain for.

Accidentally gatecrashing the wrong house and the wrong party, Enn meets beautiful and mysterious Zan (Elle Fanning) while his friends are soon otherwise engaged (sex tour/dance party), and thus begins a wonderfully weird love affair that will span the universe. Sort of.

Aliens are slightly better looking than Spielberg portrays them

What Enn is quick to realise is that Zan isn’t like other girls. In the literal sense because she is very much not human and part of a cannibal/child eating commune of alien life forms currently touring Earth. Zan is a rebel at heart though which might be why she takes to punk culture like a duck to water.

She seems to be the only member of her group to vocalise her concerns that they all act like tourists but fail to experience real life like the locals do. When she meets Enn she decides to take a chance and let him teach her more about the ways of Punk for the remaining 48 hours she has on Earth.

While the young lovers experience all the planet has to offer, Zan’s alien crew tsk and tut about all the rules she’s breaking. But they follow her anyway in a bid to make sure she doesn’t miss her ticket off Earth. This leads them all into hilarious japes as Zan meets Boudicea, becomes a punk star and picks up her own on-board passenger along the way.

There’s also some dubious sexual assault by alien (it’s meant to be light-hearted but made me feel icky), the convoluted cannibal story-line and a hard decision for Zan to make about her future and the future of… well, you’ll see.

Will Enn end up heartbroken or does this relationship have legs? Also, are Punks harder than aliens in a fight?

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My Thoughts

If truth be told I wasn’t as focused as I could of been on this. It was fun fluffy goodness with a wonderfully bonkers premise and I enjoyed it. I didn’t really follow a lot of the alien philosophy, something about the fathers eating their children but it doesn’t matter – it’s one long getting-to-know-you montage and I’m here for that. I’m also extremely here for Nicole Kidman as a punk Queen and would like to move into her artists’ loft STAT.

Elle Fanning is a dreamy one and her chemistry with Alex Sharp was believable. I enjoyed Enn’s friends, John (Ethan Lawrence) and Vic (Abraham Lewis), the latter of whom is anally probed against his will. This later happens to another character too. This shit didn’t happen down the bus stop in Bexhill town, let me tell you. Although, I would like to go to that weird arse house party.

So yeah, it was fun and nice and looked good with attractive cast members – but I haven’t really thought of it since and the pregnancy story-line is a little cheesy. The very ending is cute though, when we meet a grown up Enn in the nineties.

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My Rating

3/5.

What does ma girl Jill think of this psychedelic love fest? Does she think it’s out of this work or would she eat it for dinner? Find out here.

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Jillian & Christa's Great Blog Collab, Shark Movies, The Movies

This Post Has Teeth – a Look Back on Our Best & Worst Shark Movies 🦈

sharks attack

Late last night (of course) I got inspired to look back on the shark movies Jill and I have reviewed for the blog. It was a lot of fun so I thought, in honour of undoubtedly the best movie of the year opening this weekend, I would revisit them properly in a post.

That movie, to be clear, is The Meg and I’ll be there on Friday clutching my popcorn with the biggest grin on my stupid face. I’ll also be wishing Meghan Lightle was with me because this is a movie ripped straight from our minds, frankly.

Anyway, to the sharks. It’s hard to sort these into order of preference because there’s love in my heart for each of them, no matter how ridiculous.

Planet of the Sharks – 1.5/5

The planet is now mostly ocean and it’s full of angry mutant sharks. It’s a very bad scene, man. Survivors are living on makeshift rigs in the middle of open water just trying to dodge a bloody fate and while it’s far from ideal, some self-made tribes are getting on just fine.

Help might just be at hand when a bunch of plucky scientists rock up but at what cost really? AT WHAT COST?!

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Spears for Fears

Ghost Shark – 3/5

A favourite of mine, Ghost Shark is the tale of a wronged Great White who exacts glorious, witty revenge on the small beach town that let her* down. This might sound familiar but, wait – Ghost Shark is special because she has the power to manifest in any body of water – with hilarious consequences.

An absolute highlight. *I like to think of her as ‘she’.

Sharknado – 2.5/5

I’ve never ventured beyond the first Sharknado but this was a lot of fun to rip apart. Plus, apparently I have a thing for Ian Ziering, who knew?

You probably don’t need me to give you a synopsis on this one, given that it’s one of the most well-known modern shark B-movies but there’s a hurricane heading towards LA and the tornado at the centre of it is spitting out killer sharks. Luckily, sex pot Fin Shepard (geddit) is on hand to save the world and look damn fine while doing it.

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Hey bae (I think this might be from Sharknado 2 but oh well)

Mega Shark Vs. Mecha Shark – 3.5/5

Sometimes there’s only one way to deal with a problem and that’s to build an identical steel version of that problem – and have both versions fight it out to the death. Throw in a kick-arse central character and you’ve got yourself quite the treat.

I’m not even being insincere when I say this one was pretty okay.

3-Headed Shark Attack – Priceless

What’s better than a shark movie starring Jason Statham? That’s right, a 3-headed shark movie starring DANNY FREAKIN’ TREJO, King of my Heart.

This film has a lot to say about the environmental impact of all that plastic in the ocean and I appreciate it honestly because you don’t always get a message from your straight-to-DVD titles. Triple the heads = triple the fun.

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The announcement of the new Bond received mixed reviews

12 Days of Terror – 3/5

A shark (or two) terrorises the beach one hazy summer while the Jersey Shore tourist board turns a blind eye to the carnage because tourism, yo.

Hot lifeguard Alex isn’t about to let this slide though – and if all this sounds familiar it’s because 12DOT is based on the TRUE STORY that also inspired the Rolls Royce of Shark movies, Jaws. So not bad for a TV movie and it might also be thanks to salty sea dog, Captain (John Rhys-Davies).

~

I’m quite sure there will be many more shark movies in our future but until now, enjoy these gems.

What, you’re not already on your way to pick up all these titles now? What’re you waiting for? 🦈🦈🦈

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Jillian & Christa's Great Blog Collab 2018, The Movies

Beach Rats (Film) Review

I’m beginning to think I should be banned from picking movies for the The Blog Collab because my last few have been ambulating snoozefests with a puffed up sense of their own importance. This week is no exception and even though you might be able to argue that it’s art, it’s not the kind of art I want any part in.

Gay July has been good in many ways but this is a wet fart of a swan song and I’m sorry, Jill.

Beach Rats (2017)

IMDB Synopsis

A Brooklyn teenager spends his days experimenting with drugs and looking online for older men to meet with.

My Review

If your bag is watching wayward teens wandering up and down the boulevard with their tops off then this is the movie for you. Unfortunately, these adolescents don’t get into enough japes to be interesting, instead they smoke weed and gawp at girls as they walk by and sometimes rib each other.

Frankie (Harris Dickinson) is one of the boys, a hot piece popular within a peer group that seems to look to him for leadership. By night he trawls gay chat rooms where he talks to older men. At first he says he doesn’t do any meeting up but this changes later in the movie.

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One evening on the boardwalk, Frankie meets Simone (Madeline Weinstein) who is only too eager to make him her guy. Things are very awkward between them from the start and he continually lets her down. To the men on the internet he is a guy who ‘has sex with men’, not bi-sexual or gay – but his family, friends and Simone have no inkling of his secret life.

Frankie prefers to keep the having sex with men part of his life separate from everything else and chooses older men so they are less likely to move in the same circles as his friends. As his ability to hide this part of himself starts to become increasingly difficult, his two worlds collide in a surprisingly lackluster but horrible way.

And… that’s about it.

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There’s not that much to say. The performances are fine, it looks nice with a pleasing aesthetic that focuses a lot of time grazing over the bodies of our teen cast. The ending is a little bit shocking and maybe on reflection more shocking because it’s so mundane in its execution. The only, and I pretty much mean the only part I thought was even mildly touching was the bit where Frankie’s mum begs him to tell her what’s going on after the ‘horrible act’ has happened.

There are shades of Harmony Korine (especially Kids) which I think are very deliberate but not much effort been made to make us like any of the characters. I simply didn’t care about Frankie and his struggles. I was bored silly.

Roll on August!

My Rating

2/5.

What does my love think of this one? Would she mug it for weed or take it for a moonlight stroll? Find out here.

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