Tag: 2 out of 4

Totally Killer

This is a review for Totally Killer, out on Prime Video on October 6, 2023.

Oh Jinkies! Living in the year 2022 is so swell. Even for the people in the relatively small community. You know when it wasn’t swell? In 1987, when a masked individual, dubbed the “Sweet 16 Killer” terrorized and killed three sixteen year old ladies! That was totally uncool, and also fun fact, he was never caught.

For Jamie Hughes (Kiernan Shipka), she doesn’t care that much about it. How could it affect her life that much? Well her mother (Julie Bowen) for one. Because those three girls were her best friends, and she has been frightened ever sense. Sure, she has a nice supportive family now, and a protective husband (Lochlyn Munro), but that makes her mom overprotective of HER so Jamie can’t have any fun.

Anyways, SURPRISINGLY, the killer comes back, and comes for her mom. That is totally not cool. 35 years? What the hell dude. Because of plot reasons, Jamie actually ends up going BACK IN TIME, to 1987, a few days before the murders happen. Seems like she knows what to do, stop the killer before he can start! And thankfully, this was after Back to the Future came out, so she can reference that movie and maybe people will just totally get it.

Also starring a lot of people, some of them playing the same character in two timelines! Woo time travel! We have Olivia Holt, Charlie Gillespie, Troy Leigh-Anne Johnson, Liana Liberato, Kelcey Mawema, Ella Choi, Stephi Chin-Salvo, Anna Diaz, Jeremy Monn-Djasgnar, Nathaniel Appiah, Randall Park, Jonathan Potts, Zachary Gibson, Kimberly Huie, and Nicholas Lloyd.

I forget she did Sabrina and can still only think of Mad Men

Hey kids? Do you like Freaky? And Happy Death Day? Because this is definitely the movies they want you to compare it too, very much going for fun and death at the same time. Maybe some gnarly deaths, maybe some quirky references. The director, Nahnatchka Khan, is known for comedies, and not her horror, so you can tell that is clearly the bigger focus here. Always Be My Maybe was a wonderful, beautiful, and funny film.

But this is a movie that seems to just completely drop the ball on the scares aspect.

I think the only kill and chase that was only exciting was the first one in the film, when Bowen was attacked. She seemed legitimately afraid for the character. Everything else after that was just a disappointment. Even the final climatic potential scene, where our hero is trying to return to her time finally, with a killer coming towards her. It just felt bloated and didn’t actually live up to its location, where it could have been amazing.

Totally Killer is a GREAT idea for a horror/comedy. And it has the nostalgia element. The film itself looks nice, it just didn’t offer amazing kills, nor did it go beyond the low hanging fruits in terms of joke quality. It is certainly a movie, and you might still like it if you liked the other recent horror comedies. But I don’t think anyone will walk away saying its better than them, which is a shame.

2 out of 4.

Your Lucky Day

Your Lucky Day was watched as part of Fantastic Fest 2023!

Winning the lottery is no joke! Just ask this guy (Spencer Garrett), as he finds out his ticket has some match of the numbers. Not just the numbers. A big chunk of the numbers. ALL OF THE NUMBERS. Oh my goodness. A Christmas eve miracle!

Now, this bodega is bustling. You got the shop worker (Mousa Hussein Kraish), who is surprised, a young pregnant couple (Elliot Knight, Jessica Garza) who are just waiting to get home, and a dude who just doesn’t think this is fair (Angus Cloud). And so what does he do? He decides to rob the old guy. He is already rich anyways. He hasn’t seen struggles! So why not dawn a stupid mask, and threaten to take it at gunpoint.

Unfortunately for everyone involved, a cop (Sterling Beaumon), happens to be in the back and jumps in when things are heightened. And some people die. But this robbery can’t really work well. The store has cameras. The ticket was scanned. What is going to happen to these bodies? There are a lot things that need to be figured out, and fast, with apparently more and more people getting involved. Who knows will happen to the ticket by the end of the night?

Also starring Jason O’Mara.

“Maybe if we take off their clothes people will assume they were just horny?”

First notable and sad fact. The lead(ish) character is played by Angus McCloud, who passed away only last month, from a drug overdose. I saw the reports, about a Euphoria actor, but I did not know him from anything, so was pretty shocked to see his IMDB page say 2023.

Now in terms of a “bottle movie” of sorts, since I would say over 80% takes place in and around the store, this has an interesting scenario. Not that I fully understand and know all the intricacies of what happens when one wins the lottery, and what happens to the store. But what they say seems legit and its easy enough to follow.

One of the stylistic choices for this film is just how rough it all looks. It adds another element of believability to the situation. It isn’t made with the most hi-tech cameras. The characters act realistic, they act scared. Heck, look at our main characters quick mask he made to commit the robbery. That looked so stupid, it had to be realistic.

Your Lucky Day offers up some of my favorite things in films, ethical dilemmas! A lot of money really puts things into perspective. Never know what you will do until you are in a situation. The film is a good thriller when it needs to be at the same time.

However, at the same time, during the more action heavy elements, I get a bit lost about what’s going on. There is a team of individuals who join in the movie later, and honestly, it detracts a lot of the movie from what I was expecting and made me lose a bit of interest in what was the original premise. Your Lucky Day is still more fun than what I normally get when I go to the convenience store.

2 out of 4.


SPOOKTACULAR! was watched as part of Fantastic Fest 2023!

In for a scare? Enter if you dare….

To the first ever Halloween themed Theme Park! Not just a haunted house, but a whole place with rides, events, songs, shows, booths, merchandise, actors, the whole shebang.

This one started in New Jersey, and for whatever reason, Hay Rides were super popular. So they decided to make a hay ride. But you know, maybe have it themed with a nice vampire, Frankenstein’s monster, all of that. They bought some farm land, made a track, had a few helpers, and it worked! And got immediately, super popular. Overnight success! Cars lined up the highway, people turned away because not enough space. Shit. A victim to their own success.

And with that, they got expansion. More buildings, more things to do for the residents of the area. They got celebrities, like Alice Cooper, Linda Blair, and more to come for autographs. And for some reason, a really big amount of time focused on Tiny Tim?

Either way, the rise of a business model, and eventually the fall of that business model. Of which has been replicated many times since then as well.

“Maybe if we take off their clothes people will assume they were just horny?”

SPOOKTACULAR! is an interesting documentary. Because it certainly is about a place and concept I had never heard of before, but one that seemed to touch a lot of people around the country, at a certain age. For example, they showcase John Krasinski telling a story about it on a late night show once.

While this place is a staple in the history of haunted theme parks I guess, or places that were more than just haunted houses. The documentary itself is one that is pretty much a standard fare. It has interviews from a lot of the people involved in its initial success, some celebrities who went there and just a retelling of what helped and what lead to their shutdown. Again, It didn’t seem to have that much material either, because of how much time was devoted to them securing Tiny Tim to play at their park, and getting his wedding there. It also gave us Bill Maher acting like an asshole, which I am used to at this point.

The rating reflects that at least the topic is a bit of an interesting reason for a documentary, whereas the actual documentary itself could have used a bit more polish and work.

2 out of 4.

A Million Miles Away

The circumference of the earth is less than, but close to, 25,000 miles. That is the biggest circle you can get on our Earth! So if you followed that line, you’d travel a shit ton. But that isn’t a MILLION Miles. Which apparently a large enough number to be impressive.

A Million Miles Away, how far away is that? In this movie, we are talking about someone going to the International Space Station. How far away is that? Well, apparently the giant space station that orbits our planet is only 254 miles away. Heck, outer space is only 62 miles away.

A million is a lot more than that. So maybe the moon is a million miles away? I don’t know, I don’t know space. Another quick google search is telling me the moon is 238,900 miles away. That…that’s is not even 1/4 of a million miles. You could go to the moon and back and the moon and back, and you’d still be rounding up to a million and not surpassing it. What the hell.

Basically, if you want to go a million miles away, you are going to go somewhere past the moon and just in empty space. Venus and Mars are both many many millions of miles away. I guess that is all I am getting at. What the hell is this title? No one in this movie goes that far. No one ever has. Damn metaphors.

I just feel so lied to! And about numbers, the most sacred type of character.
Looks like we have a biographical film here, about José M. Hernández! Who is that? Well, I guess that is one reason for the movie.

Jose (Michael Peña) grew up a kid always on the move. Born in California, his parents were migrant workers, who had to work many farms to pick food that people need to eat. And that included the kids as well. This affected education! Different schools, showing up late, and more. But the good news is, Jose was smart, real smart, and he excelled despite it. He wasn’t ashamed of his life, but the lack of opportunities sure did suck. He wanted to do great things. He wanted to go to outer space.

And sure enough, that is what he did. He got a job as an engineer, he had people assume he was a janitor, and he found issues that could help save lives. And despite not making it the first, second, or third time. He applied over and over again, to get on that NASA astronaut training program, with the help of his wife (Rosa Salazar) who supported his dreams, no matter how stupid everyone else thought they were.

Was that a spoiler? Nah, this is a real dude. I literally linked to his Wikipedia page earlier.

Also starring Julio Cesar Cedillo and Veronica Falcón.

“Taking pride in your work” is one of 2023’s “Best Advice from Boomers” nominations.

I prefer my biographical films to be about people I don’t know anything about, or at least, know little about. But we have two main types now. One that tries to tell the whole story, with some struggles, but rushes through it all. Or the kind that focuses on a pivotal or narrow moment in the life, their greatest achievement.

This is certainly the former. A mostly by the books story, meant to inspire some kids to join NASA or at least join the space program. Honestly, thinking about it. This is a movie coming out on Amazon Prime. Amazon Prime also had Troop Zero a few years ago. A lot of movies meant to inspire people about outer space. Amazon also is of course Blue Origin, and has their own space program thing going on. Sounds like we got some corporate synergy going on here, of very different branches, to get some people who want to join Blue Origin in the future. Sure the movies are pro NASA, but NASA had no competition until recently.

Back to the film, Peña plays this character really straight, with charm, and its not a comedy film. He isn’t sarcastic. He is hopeful and inspirational. (Little did he know he’d get to go to space again after The Martian). This is a really good role for him, the problem is, the movie is just so standard. Reading the Wiki article, I can already see the movie implied different things from the reality, which is disappointing, but doesn’t really affect my rating. I also really liked Salazar in here. It is frustrating when you watch movies about people trying to achieve great things, and then the spouse role is regulated to someone who doesn’t support them, or nags, or doesn’t get it. (That is one of my issues with Miracle, it felt so unnecessary). Just like. Support your loved ones people.

With A Million Miles Away, you are going to get a movie exactly as you expect it from the description. Unless of course you expect someone to actually travel a million miles away, but I already went over that.

2 out of 4.

Dark Windows

Check out my interview with director Alex Herron here!

Did you know that every week of the year, all 52, there is likely one or two horror movies coming out?

It’s honestly kind of wild. If one wanted, they could dedicate their entire website to reviewing horror films, from festivals, random streaming services, and VOD releases, and probably easily fill out 20 plus a month. Everyone is making horror films, because its a lot easier to be scary, than funny.

Is that why Alex Herron is releasing Dark Windows, his second horror film, after doing more than 100 Music Videos before that? Probably not, but the introduction sounded nice enough for a film I would know one else involved in. So I am going to make my pictures lyrics from music videos he directed instead.

“Shining through the city with a little funk and soul
So I’ma light it up like dynamite, whoa oh oh” 

Tilly (Anna Bullard) is sad. Sad might not be enough. She is downright devastated. Her friend Ali just died. Unfortunately, it seems to have been from a car accident, when things got out of control one night. And Tilly was driving the car.

So she feels like all of her friends and Ali’s family blame her. Thankfully, two of her friends, Monica (Annie Hamilton) and Peter (Rory Alexander) have a getaway planned. Not a cabin in the woods, but certainly a big house in the countryside that they are able to stay in. To swim and be with nature and grieve and hopefully move on.

Things get a little bit uncomfortable right away, when Monica invites Andrew, the boyfriend of Ali who does not like Tilly right now. Then alcohol gets bought. Then the Wi-Fi goes out. And sure enough, a masked person is terrorizing the house.

Also starring Morten Holst, Rachel Fowler, Jóel Sæmundsson, Vanessa Borgli in various roles, and Grace Binford Sheene as Ali.

“All I ever wantedWas to see you smiling (smiling) “

One of the best parts of Dark Windows is its very limited cast. Outside of a few characters introduced in the earlier funeral scene, that give you enough to guess who might be terrorizing our older teens, its really just about these three individuals after their friend died. It really gives you time to learn not just more about them, but of course, why they all suck.

I mean that in the nicest way. But through some flashbacks, we do get to see that they all had some part in leading up to their friend’s death, and hey, sort of, maybe, kind of, deserve to be fucked around with from it. Since they lied about the events to everyone else and the authorities. I am not saying anyone DESERVES to die, or be stalked, but hey, no one is an Angel here either.

The movie benefits from a shorter run time, because honestly, once they are in the cabin, it takes awhile for anything to happen. Sure we get some glances of someone in the background occasionally, and every once in awhile a new realization about their past, but most of the frights and/or intense moments are saved for an avalanche at the end. Without the ending that we got, this movie would be certifiable dud. So I guess, saving it all for the end is a boon. I love the acting at the end, and I can’t namedrop who is involved for obvious reasons, but they deserve a lot of props for the emotion in that scene, and it really just elevated everything. For reasons I can’t say, I personally felt connected on a similar level almost. No, don’t worry, I am not going to murder or attempt to murder anyone.

Overall, the Windows in Dark Windows I found to be mostly normal colored. I liked the ending reveal and consequences the most, and I think it can be worth it on a slower evening.

2 out of 4.

The Beanie Bubble

Holy shit, why are there so many brand movies this year?

Air Jordan, the movie. Tetris, the movie. Barbie, the movie. Blackberry, the movie. And now a movie about Beanie Babies?

More importantly, why are so many of those movies on that list like, really, really good movies? Is it nostalgia and brand awareness? Or is it something greater. Each great one is great for different reasons. But let’s see about The Beanie Bubble, and watch it burst in real time.

I would burst with excitement if I got to look so stylish. 

This movie is so specifically about the characters, that I need to describe the plot through their lens.
We have Ty Warner (Zach Galifianakis), CEO of this TY Warner company, who made toys, and would eventually make beanie babies, and make a shit ton of money!

But then we have the women who helped him get there.

Robbie (Elizabeth Banks), one of Ty’s girlfriends, who helped him get sales on other products, increasing the wealth of his company, and helping expand it overseas.

Sheila (Sarah Snook), a later girlfriend and single mother, whose kids and her helped come up with backstories and names for very popular beanie babies at the start.

And Maya (Geraldine Viswanathan), an hourly employee who helped connect their company to the internet, the first corporation to do so with their product, and track ebay sales, and figure out how to work with the secondary market, instead of against it.

The women who made the Beanie Babies take off, and the man, who treated them like shit along the way.

“What the fuck is the internet?”

Unfortunately for my list of brands above, The Beanie Bubble is the only one I didn’t feel deserved a 3 or 4! Just an okay 2. And that is a shame, because the story of how Beanie Babies got popular, got super popular, and then became worthless, is an interesting one. A nice microcosm of society and wealth in that story, on artificial supply and demand, and on how you can get too much of a good thing (one that is ruined by greed).

Its just the story is told sloppily, and I hate when it really takes to get to the point. The goal of the movie is to talk about these three women and hype them up, so we get three different stories. And it keeps transferring between the stories. But we got things taking places in the 80’s, and the 90’s. Despite the fact that this movie has a large YEAR shown on the screen and shows it changing when we switch, it still isn’t inherently helpful. Generally, one would see the year and assume its just going forward in time, not backwards, and forward, by a decade, back and forth.

Sure, we can see that Ty is being a sleazeball, but he isn’t the biggest sleazeball in all three stories until around the same time in the movie. So we get an avalanche of sleaze, with a confusing time span because of it. I wouldn’t say this is the sort of movie that needs to be told chronologically, but it would have probably been better.

For example, Ty continually gets mad about Great Britain and sales at many points throughout the film, but we don’t know why in particular, until the end of Banks’ plotline. And that is not the sort of thing that needed to be a “ah ha!” moment in the story. I don’t feel like the movie was better by keeping that a secret for so long, it didn’t have to keep hyping her ending of the storyline for a payoff.

I do think Galifianakis was unrecognizable on the promotions for this film. Something was done with his face, a fake nose? I am not sure. But you can tell it in the voice. I loved in particular Viswanathan’s plot in this movie. It is the easiest to follow, the easiest to see why she was screwed over, and the only one who has her own Wikipedia page to see what she did after the fact. Unfortunately, the other two involve relationships, and a lot of time is spent focusing on that aspect, with less on the actual company commitments, it just makes him feel more like a bad boyfriend than the scummy businessman he happens to also be.

2 out of 4.

Love to Love You, Donna Summer

This film was watched as a part of the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF).

Oooooh. Love to Love You, Donna Summer. Donna Summer is one of those names I know and recognize, but if you asked me on the spot to name her songs, I would struggle. I just can’t remember them. I could tell you she is a Disco Queen, and not much more after that.

But I certainly knew the “Love to Love You, Baby” song. I knew that was Donna Summer. And sure enough, this documentary told me a lot more that I did not expect.

For example. That song was her first US hit, after being around in Europe for a good time, including Germany in their musical scene. The version of Donna Summer that sang that song was like a character she was playing, as someone who never really considered herself as sexy. But most importantly about that song, is I never knew it was over 15 minutes long, released as a single that way, and got popular that way. Holy shit, that is a long song.

The sexiness and moans of the song really just build up over time, and it makes sense that it became a SENSEation. The live versions played at the time, even longer and sexier, led to people ripping off their clothes and touching themselves in concerts? And it became a huge gay anthem and skyrocketed her to fame? And this was the main START of her career? Holy shit, what a boost.

In fact, I’d say more people have heard any of her released songs than have read any one of my reviews. Donna Summers is certainly more successful than me. 

But Dunna Summer performed for a long time. She had a lot of hits. Last Dance, Hot Stuff, She Works Hard for the Money, This Time I Know It’s For Real, I feel Love, Bad Girls, and of course MacArthur Park, which got its own Weird Al parody. Disco was dead after the 70’s, but She Works Hard for the Money came out in 1983, and she was still producing similar sounds and hits. Nevertheless, she persisted.

Now, the only other point I will talk about briefly, to not spoil, is her decline from fame. When her fans turned on her, based on comments she allegedly said in an interview. Based on when her music became more faith based music, versus what she was known for. And honestly, from my outsider perspective, I understand completely the hate she received from her fanbase from it. She never recovered from it in terms of success again, and it makes sense. I don’t fully believe it was a misquote. A tragic fall, that makes sense, from a formerly loved individual.

Now despite it being full of nice sick beats, and even interviews with Giorgio Moroder, which is always a nice surprise to see him pop up. But it is STILL just a documentary about a famous person, with an edge of “but you didn’t know the real person beneath the celebrity,” which at this point is basically a trope. Of course we don’t know Donna Summer the mom, or the college girl, or the grandmother.

And frankly, this documentary brought it up because it is being made by one of her daughters, but it isn’t an interesting part of her personality. I learned she is decently funny and an actress at the same time, but other than that, she was great at singing, and had a lot of backing, and got famous, and then lived the rest of her life in the background until she passed.

So once again, I rate a documentary on a celebrity as okay. If you want to learn about her, it is perfect for you. But nothing groundbreaking in this documentary, nothing unusual in its style. Not a must watch unless you want to watch.

2 out of 4.

Being Mary Tyler Moore

This film was watched as a part of the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF).

Who is Mary Tyler Moore? I mean that seriously. It is a name I recognize, and I know she did a lot in TV, but honestly, I know nothing about her. I didn’t know what show she was in before she was in the show with her name. I don’t know anything else she did. I know jack, about Mary.

And honestly, that is me missing out.

She was cast as the “wife” in the Dick Van Dyke Show, completely unknown woman at the time. This started a few years after I Love Lucy was going. And she wasn’t the main character, like Lucy was. But she was eventually given more personality, and given some humor for her character, and she was seen as a great, woman and sure, house wife. But her character was more than just a housewife, she had some independence. But everyone did love her.

And unfortunately, all shows must end at some point. It is what she does with her time after, that matters even more.

If I was Mary Tyler Moore, people would probably know who I was.

You see, for the next few years, it didn’t go well. But, she did eventually get to star in her own show. The Mary Tyler Moore Show. And what is wild about this show is that she wasn’t married. It wasn’t about her finding love. And it was just about her being a single woman, in the work world, and making a path for herself. Relatively unheard of for media at the time. And it was very successful and long running and led to her doing even more projects, in theater and in film. Hell, she earned 75% of an EGOT, the damn Oscar being the one just out of her reach (but she was nominated).

Mary did a whole lot, and was a strong feminist icon, without even attempting to be one. She just wanted to be as real as she could.

Mary is a hero.

And I think this is a fine, relatively standard, look at her career, and life. Including with interviews she gave in the past during this time. However, it is relatively normal and basic of a documentary. Just because she is an icon, does not immediately make it a must watch or anything. I don’t think it did much unique with the story. It was very by the books, and hey, that is fine. There isn’t anything wrong with it. It is just standard.

This is a documentary for people who want to learn more about Mary Tyler Moore and it does that job perfectly fine.

2 out of 4.

Year of the Fox

This film was watched as a part of the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF). Year of the Fox has its World Premier on Saturday, May 13 2023.

One might wonder what the Year of the Fox refers to. I of course naturally assumed this was Chinese Zodiac reference. And no matter how many times I have seen those episodes of Jackie Chan Adventures, where they had the amulets based on the zodiac, I gradually accepted yes, there is probably a year of the fox. But I was wrong! No fox at all!

Pretty wild, but also, not wild in the sense that its a wild animal. Nah, they got a rooster though.

Year of the Fox was a film that stood out to me when looking for movies to watch for the festival. Something about the plot or the name just drew me to it. Hope it was justified!

Dang, those flowers should be put in the grass. They can’t grow on these tiles. 

Ivy (Sarah Jeffery) was adopted at one point. From two straight up white, rich parents. Is it the dream? Well, only if wealth is the dream. Because now she is 17 and her parents are going through a divorce. She doesn’t love her mom as much as her dad. Her dad is fun! He takes her on trips. He shows her the world!

So when given the chance, she decides to go live with him, and she can still hang out with her friends. Now these parties are wild. They are doing coke in the bathrooms. And don’t care about underage drinking. Is this something she wants to be doing with her life?

Unfortunately, it turns out that the social and wealthy elite aren’t always sunshine and lollipops. People get taken advantage of. People get led astray. And these relationships might not be ones that Ivy would like to grow.

Also starring Jane Adams, Arden Myrin, Balthazar Getty, Lexi Simonsen, and Jake Weber.

I have two rules: Don’t touch my Percocet, and do you have any Percocet?

Year of the Fox was one of the first films I was able to see during the festival. And I can certainly say it has very gorgeous scenes and interesting situations for some of the characters. But in all honesty, it doesn’t ramp up until the very end. I would say it takes awhile to get going, but in reality, the main going is just the climax of the film.

Year of the Fox is certainly a good idea for a story. It is just a bit boring along the way. Which is a shame, because I think Jeffery did a fine job in the lead, and so did the actor playing her father. You could tell he was a sleazeball, we just didn’t know his levels of sleaze.

Year of the Fox isn’t a bad film, it is just too long for the effort I believe. Because again, it has some nicely shot areas for a few of the scenes, and I enjoyed the first and final party scene. But I am having a huge problem remembering anything else about the film, and it isn’t just because I watched a lot of movies this festival already. I watch a lot of movies all of the time. It just doesn’t have a lot for me to remember after the fact.

2 out of 4.

The Mattachine Family

This film was watched as a part of the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF). The Mattachine Family has its world premier on Friday, May 12, 2023. You can see my interview with the director here!

Without a doubt, I think if I just saw the name of this film, I wouldn’t have given it a second thought. The Mattachine Family? That is a real fancy sounding word that I don’t understand, being the illiterate adult that I am. Turns out, Mattachine isn’t really an adjective to describe the type of family, but it can be a reference to many things.

Personally, I think that it mostly would refer to The Mattachine Society, which ended up being an early organization that came about for gay rights. Huh, look at that, I am learning already.

And before I get further, it is most important to point out that this film with many producers, also has Zach Braff attached as the executive producer. Which means he is putting that Scrubs money to good use. Diverse films!

If you look closely, those steps are The Mattachine Steps. Damn, I was wrong!

This is a story about family, which you probably got from the title.

Specifically, it is about Thomas (Nico Tortorella) and Oscar (Juan Pablo Di Pace). Thomas and Oscar are not only in a relationship, they were foster parents for a little kid! Wait, let’s back up a little bit.

Oscar used to be an actor! He was a child star, on sitcoms, got really famous and was himself a foster kid. So it makes sense for him to want to do the same. Things came crashing down when it came out that he was out.

Thomas and Oscar met at one point, and the rest is history! Just kidding, it has its ups and downs as well. In fact, Thomas is a photographer and is struggling to figure out what it means to have a family as an adult gay man. But fostering a kid is certainly one way.

But then, well, his mother is better, and takes him back, after a year in their life. And it turns out, Oscars career is finally starting to pick back up. So he is going to be away filming. And their kid is gone. So what is Thomas to do? He is alone, not sure where to go on in life. Should he try for adoption? Should he ignore kids completely and just focus on living his life with his friends? Being an adult is hard, and it turns out, so is making a family.

Also starring Garret Clayton, Khalilah Joi, Jake Choi, Heather Matarazzo, Emily Hampshire, Colleen Foy, and Annie Funke.

What is love if it is not holding someone from behind in your arms?
Let’s go back to that “What is Mattachine” introduction I gave. Well, from the screenshot, you can see that there are Mattachine steps. These steps are known as outdoor workout stairs. Oh, so like, designed actually to be used for exercise? Maybe the real Mattachine family is the one that you need to put work into, and hopefully in the end, it will work out.

But if you dig deeper…you find out that they were outside of the home of Harry Hay…the founder of the Mattachine Society. Oh good, we are back to that, and it looks like I was right! But hey, the metaphor works nicely as well.

Anyways, this is a very unique film I would say. It isn’t really a standard family film, it isn’t a romcom for the leads. It is almost like dealing with a middle age crisis on what to do for the rest of your life, if you want a family but can’t seem to have one. Obviously the goal here is to define families in a more broad sense, for the friends and people you have in your life and choose to spend your time with. But it is certainly in the drama film, if not loosely, barely, in the romance genre side of things.

I think all of the leads did a fantastic job. They felt believable and were fully fleshed out characters. At the same time, this film had so many ideas floating in it, with the side characters and subplots. I wasn’t sure what the film was meant to be about, until we really got to the final scenes and conclusions began. In my mind, it felt like that this film was maybe first envisioned as a pilot for a television show, that can continue to tell the story of these friends and characters as they continue on for life, but somewhere it pivoted into what we have. I know it isn’t true, but it is the feeling I get from the film, with how disjointed some moments are from scene to scene.

Again, well acted, and honestly, a beautifully shot film. And if the “driveway fall” doesn’t suck you in early on, I am not sure if movies are meant for you.

2 out of 4.