Christmas in July 2020 Blogathon Reminder 2

Hello, friends!

The submission date Christmas in July Blogathon 2020 entries is just around the corner! Entries are due this Sunday, July 12. Send your entries to me at drewt510@gmail.com. There are still several spots open if you want to join in but haven’t said anything yet so don’t be shy about joining in on the fun. If you want to participate but need more time, please let me know and we can work it out. You can find all the information on the blogathon by clicking here. I can’t wait to read everyone’s submissions. 🙂

Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga Review

The deadline for submitting entries for this year’s Christmas in July Blogathon is fast approaching! There are still several spots left for the blogathon and if you’re interested in joining in, check out this post.


Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga movie posterSynopsis
Lars (Will Farrell) and Sigrit (Rachel McAdams), better known as the Icelandic singing duo Fire Saga, are given the opportunity to represent their country of Iceland at Eurovision.

Review
After my experience paying full price for the rental of You Should Have Left, I am skeptical of paying for on-demand film releases. Thankfully, Netflix is still releasing films on its streaming service and their latest release, Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga, came at the perfect time for me. Written by Will Ferrell and Andrew Steele, this movie is cut from the same cloth as Ferrell’s similar films like Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy and Blades of Glory. So if you aren’t a fan of Ferrell then this might not be the movie for you. For me, I do like Ferrell’s films and his brand of humor so I did enjoy this movie.

The core of Eurovision Song Contest is a feel-good story focused around the characters Lars (Ferrell) and Sigrit (Rachel McAdams), who are very easy to get behind and root for. From a story perspective, it hits all the beats you would expect but that doesn’t mean it also isn’t enjoyable. Rachel McAdams is an absolute sweetheart and a great actress to carry the story since, in my opinion, her character’s arc is more interesting than Ferrell’s character’s. However, the stand out performance is easily Dan Stevens as Alexander Lemtov, the singer representing Russia at the song competition. He serves as a foil for Lars and a love interest for Sigrit. Stevens is clearly having a good time on screen and that in turn makes the film more enjoyable for the audience.

I thought Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga was GOOD 🙂 It’s a pretty generic film and I contemplated giving it a lower score but honestly, I’m a sucker for feel-good stories (and Rachel McAdams). Maybe I would have gotten more out of it if I was more familiar with Eurovision but I will admit that I had fun watching this. The songs written for the film are also good and catchy, nothing like the soundtrack of The High Note, but like the rest of the film, they are still fun. A lot of your opinion of this film is going to fall on your opinion of Will Ferrell and his other films; It is exactly what you expect from a Ferrell movie. It’s not the best movie out there but it is a good holdover movie while we wait for theaters to reopen.

Trailer

Cast & Crew
David Dobkin – Director
Will Ferrell – Writer
Andrew Steele – Writer
Atli Orvarsson – Composer

Will Ferrell – Lars Erickssong
Rachel McAdams – Sigrit Ericksdottir
Pierce Brosnan – Erick Erickssong
Dan Stevens – Alexander Lemtov
Melissanthi Mahut – Mita Xenakis
Mikael Persbrandt – Victor Karlosson
Ólafur Darri Ólafsson – Neils Brongus
Graham Norton – Himself

Christmas in July 2020 Blogathon Reminder

Hello, friends!

Don’t forget that entries for the Christmas in July Blogathon 2020 are due on Sunday, July 12, about two weeks away. Send your entries to me at drewt510@gmail.com. If you want to participate but need more time, please let me know and we can work it out. If you haven’t told me you are participating but want to, there is still plenty of time for you to join in. You can find all the information on the blogathon by clicking here. I can’t wait to read everyone’s submissions. 🙂

Trailer Round-Up – 6/29/20

There are still several spots left for this year’s Christmas in July Blogathon. If you’re interested in joining in, check out this post.


The Broken Hearts Gallery

Waiting for the Barbarians

Antebellum international trailer

Ava

Greenland

Animal Crackers


Which of these films are you excited to see?

You Should Have Left Review

There are still several spots left for this year’s Christmas in July Blogathon. If you’re interested in joining in, check out this post.


You Should Have Left movie posterSynopsis
Theo (Kevin Bacon), his wife Susanna (Amanda Seyfried), and their daughter Ella (Avery Essex), take a trip in the Welsh countryside where their vacation house is not as it seems on the outside.

Review
For a long time I stayed away from any film in the horror genre. However, over the years I have found that supernatural horror is a niche that I do enjoy. When the trailer for You Should Have Left dropped just two weeks ago, it seemed like a film right up my narrow horror film alley. According to the trailer it had supernatural elements, some thriller pieces, and Kevin Bacon. Those are ll things that I enjoy in a film, so I gave it a chance. I was right that is was the kind of film I would enjoy, unfortunately it was better on paper than it was on screen.

Everything about You Should Have Left falls way short of being bearable. Firstly, the characters have little to no actual development. Theo, Kevin Bacon’s character, is completely defined by the death of his ex-wife. He does not go through any kind of growth as the film goes on, nor is his ex-wife’s death really expanded on. By the way, he was tried for and found innocent of his ex-wife’s death. You would think that would be a larger part of the Theo’s character but it hardly registers throughout most of the film. Susanna, Amanda Seyfried’s character and Theo’s much younger wife, also gets minimal development in the film. To be honest, other than Susanna is an actress, I could not tell you anything about her. Bacon and Seyfried, two great actors, are truly wasted in this film.

It doesn’t help either that two-thirds of this movie is used to set up this big mystery about the house Theo, Susanna, and their daughter Ella (Avery Essex), are staying in while on vacation. An attempt is made to create a mystery about the house, at the same time the film is also trying to build up the “troubled past” of Theo mind you, but like the human characters, building the mystery around the house simply falls flat. Even as the credits roll, little explanation is provided about the place, other than some vague remarks by a local shopkeeper (Colin Blumenau). It’s not until the final thirty minutes or so before the mystery is even begun to be explored. With little time left, the film feels like it is sprinting towards the end, finding a way to wrap up the “arc” for the characters and gets lost along the way.

For a film billed as a supernatural horror and thriller, You Should Have Left has very little of any of those elements. The scare attempts are amateurish at best; the supernatural is a little science-fiction-ish but with little explanation it’s hard to even determine which one it is; and the thriller is completely reliant on the mystery element and since that falls short, so too does the thriller aspect. I am honestly surprised a film this abysmal was made by a filmmaker with such a storied history as David Koepp.

I thought You Should Have Left was BAD 😦 I am usually fairly optimistic when it comes to reviewing films. Even in widely panned movies like the recent Artemis Fowl I can often manage to uncover some sort of redeeming quality buried within the mound of bad. Regrettably, I can’t find anything in this film that I really enjoyed. The characters were flat, the set-up took too much time, the mystery wasn’t that gripping, the reveal wasn’t even that good either, and the payoff simply didn’t exist. In a perfect world I would not have taken the time to watch this at all. The next best scenario is I would have seen this in theaters rather than on-demand because there is no price worth the admission for this film but at least in the theater, I would have payed less for such a poor experience.

Trailer

Cast & Crew
David Koepp – Director / Screenplay
Geoff Zanelli – Composer

Kevin Bacon – Theo
Amanda Seyfried – Susanna
Avery Essex – Ella
Colin Blumenau – Shopkeeper
Lown Ann Richards – Welsh Woman
Joshua C. Jackson – Production Assistant – Susanna’s Movie
Eli Powers – Susanna’s Assistant