Author Archives: Steven Fritchie

StevenF Review of The Veil

The film The Veil was released on April 15, 2017. On a war-torn world, a warrior is betrayed by his people but is saved by a tribe that believes he was prophecized to help them. This is a fantasy movie that was plagued with bad editing and a weak story.

The acting was decent and there was a good amount of action. It was also hard to sympathize with a lot of the characters. It didn’t help that most of the characters were not referred to by name. There were a good amount of child actors used in the film, even if their parts were minor or as corpses. Although there were some good fight scenes, the editor tried to be a bit artsy and failed. This, for the most part, caused a 90-minute film to seem like a 2 1/2 hour saga.

The acting and the action scenes were the two aspects of this film that saved this from being labeled a Bad Movie. If the story line had been worked on a little more, this has potential. For now though I give it 3 stars out of 5.

StevenF Review of Girls with Balls

The French film Girls with Balls was released on July 26, 2019. A women’s volleyball team and their coach get lost on their way to a game. They find themselves among a group of psychotic hunters, i.e. French hillbillies who have a taste for human flesh.

There is nothing positive that I can really say about this movie. The acting wasn’t too bad but who cares? The story line was ridiculous. There was plenty of bloody scenes but the blood looked more like defrosted Jello. The dubbing was decent, but the swear words were used too much.

So far, this has to be rated as the worst movie I have seen. If I could, I would give it a negative rating, but since I can’t I’ll give it 1 star out of five. A total waste of time.

StevenF Review of Mission of Honor

The film Mission of Honor was released on March 15, 2019. It is based on a true story concerning the 303 Squadron RAF which was composed of Polish pilots. This squadron helped win the Battle of Britain by downing the most German planes during the war.

I have never heard this story before and I thought it was fairly well done. There were plenty of aerial battles which kept my interest. I am not knowledgeable about aircraft but apparently there were some misrepresentations about British planes capabilities. The acting was fairly decent. The CGI was adequate as well as the directing. Sadly, the Polish pilots were portrayed as a bunch of drunken louts and not well received by British pilots. Both, from what I read, were not true.

It is sad when a true story of other’s bravery is portrayed in this manner. I blame the director and the scriptwriters for these fictional aspects. Iwan Rheon and Stephanie Martini were the main characters of the film and they were excellent. There are some subtitles for Polish, French, and German scenes but most of the film was in English. I give this 4 out of 5 stars.

StevenF Review of Two Graves

The British crime movie Two Graves was released on May 3, 2019. Margaret (Cathy Tyson) is a pathologist who is determined to find out who killed her son. She enlists the aid of Zoe (Katie Jarvis) an ex-junkie to help her kidnap a man Margaret is sure committed the murder. Finn (Neal Ward) is the suspect and he is also a local crime boss’ son.

First off, the acting was decent but the two women’s relationship was, at best, dubious. The directing was confusing in the beginning and the story line needed improvement. There was blood and action, but it’s pacing was too slow. There really was no one character that was sympathetic. There also was a lot of foul language and sexual situations.

This apparently was produced with a small budget which may explain a few things. I wouldn’t watch it again for the reasons stated above. I give this 2 stars out of 5.

StevenF Review of Shazam!

The DC comic film Shazam! was released on April 5, 2019. Billie Batson (Asher Angel) has been through dozens of foster homes because he has been searching for his mother. At the latest home, he meets Freddie (Jack Dylan Grazer) a handicapped boy who becomes his friend. One day, while escaping some bullies the subway car he is on is transported to a mysterious cavern. There he meets a dying wizard (Djimon Hounsou) who gives him his powers by saying the wizard’s name, Shazam!

All of the actors, both kids and adults, did an excellent job. The story line kept me involved and there was plenty of self-deprecating humor directed at Shazam and other DC superheroes. There was even a funny physical parody on the giant keyboard from the film Big. Asher and Jack had good chemistry between them. Mark Strong portrayed Dr. Sivana who, as a boy was given a chance to get the wizard’s powers but failed.

The main difference between a Marvel film and a DC film is that Marvel tends to be darker in tone. Shazam is the type of film that children can enjoy and understand. Movies, however, based on comic books have almost been done to death, though. The writing can seem to be lazy. I give this 4 stars out of 5.

StevenF Review of American Hangman

The film American Hangman was released on January 4, 2019. This movie covers several aspects concerning our justice system. When a retired judge (Donald Sutherland) who presided over a case is kidnapped by a man (Vincent Kartheiser) who claims the judge sentenced the wrong man to death, things get intense. Henry David Cole (Kartheiser) decides he is putting the judge on trial via social media.

This is an excellent psychological thriller with an excellent cast. The storyline was almost flawless. The directing, photography and musical score were all well done. There really wasn’t much I could criticize this film for. I was transfixed from the very beginning. There was a subplot concerning the relationships between various police officials which was useful in breaking the tension between the main characters.

I really liked this movie and I think that everyone who watches it will be impressed. It richly deserves 5 stars out of 5 in my book. Well worth watching again.

StevenF Review of Soul to Keep

The horror film Soul to Keep was released in the US on April 2, 2019. A brother and sister inherit their creepy uncle ‘s farm. They invite some friends to spend some time there, but things get strange when they find a grimoire in the basement.

This is your basic demon possession story with a bit of a twist to it. The story was decent, but the director could have shortened the drunken party scene. By the time they get to the demonic stuff, a good forty-five minutes has passed. There was plenty of moments that could have been decent jump scare scenes but by the time they came, I was disinterested. The acting was decent as well as the CGI. One of the characters played a deaf mute, so there were lots of subtitles throughout the movie. These subtitles were well done because there were legible and stayed on screen long enough to read.

This was a disappointment as far as horror movies go. The ending was predictable and the demons were humdrum. The best I can give this movie is 3 stars out of 5

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StevenF Review of Dolphin Kick

The film Dolphin Kick was released on January 22, 2019. After his mother’s death, Luke(Axle McCoy) quits the swim team in depression. When his father( Travis McCoy) takes him and his sister Skyler (Tyler Nixon) on a tropical island vacation, Luke befriends a lost dolphin.

This is classified as a family film and there is no blood shed. There is a little violence when a local bully accuses his fellow fishermen of cutting his lines. Mr. McCoy, both senior and junior, along with Ms. Nixon were decent enough actors. The dolphin, who Luke names Echo, was well trained and fun. There was an opportunity to make this seem like an ecological “save the environment” film but they managed to avoid this for the most part.

The director did a fair job but the storyline needed to be written better. Normally, I don’t notice inconsistencies during scenes but there were so many that they were hard to ignore. As much as I like dolphins, this film served no “porpoise”. I rate it 3 stars out of 5.

StevenF Review of Recall

The Canadian film Recall was released on June 25, 2019. Mikey (Michael James Regan) talks his stepbrother Dale (Tommy James Murphy) into pulling one last hit. Unfortunately, Mikey is a cocaine addict and their target is the Mafia. There is a backstory about Dale’s girlfriend’s murder which doesn’t do much for the story.

The acting was fairly decent, but everything else was bad. I have a theory: if the lead actor(s) in a movie is/are also a producer, executive producer, writer, editor, and director of a film then I have low expectations for the film. This mainly is true if the actor and/or director are not well known. There are a few, I admit, that does not follow this premise. This film was, thankfully, only 72 minutes long, but it took 25 minutes to get to the crime scene. There were some good action scenes but there was also foul language.

I would not recommend this film to anyone. It needed a lot of work. Some of the actors were good, i.e. the actor who played the Mafia Don was very good. I have to give this only 2 stars out of 5.

StevenF Review of Staged Killer

The TV-movie Staged Killer was released on June 25, 2019. Jake Everett and Naomi Spencer had a college talk show which ended when Jake is accused of murdering a football player. Ten years later, Naomi is married and has a different co-host on a podcast. Jake returns and befriends Naomi, her husband, and the show’s producer. Unfortunately, not everything goes well.

The acting was good for the most part. The actress playing Naomi was not very good. The storyline could have done with some improvement, but I tend to blame the director for these faults. The main problem seemed to be that it was obvious who was going to be killed, it was a matter of how. Also, when they die, I didn’t really feel any sympathy for them. The photography also made the film seem more like the style of a soap opera.

Over all, this just barely made it from being a terrible movie to a decent movie. I give it 3 stars out of 5. I wouldn’t watch it again, though.