Tag: Molly Ringwald

The Kissing Booth 3

Here we go, here we go, here we go.

First of all, I apologize for never writing out my review of The Kissing Booth 2. I had a lot to rant about and did it live in person a few times, but never got it all down on a review, and that made it worse since it made my worst film of the year last year.

So I knew with the final (better be) film I would make sure to jot it all down. The Kissing Booth 3, a movie that seemingly exists just to make it a trilogy, because they damn well could have finished the storylines established at the end of the 2nd film, but left it with a cliffhanger because they think resolving any aspect of a movie is pointless, I guess.

I am mostly fine with cliffhanger endings in general, in a planned series, but I also would demand that the film tells a complete story. Avengers: Infinity War ends with a sour note, kind of a cliffhanger (because the bad guy wins?) but it also tells a complete story and no one should leave unfulfilled. The second movie ended with a single decision to make and just suddenly decides to not do it.

Fuck that.

Fuck this.
As you know, of course, the last time we left off, Elle (Joey King) not knowing where to go college. Harvard, or Berkeley. Because of course if she goes to Berkeley, which she has talked to going for years with her best friend Lee (Joel Courtney) and was their dream. But her boyfriend, Lee’s older brother, Noah (Jacob Elordi) is a year older and in Harvard. If she chooses to go there, she will pick her love life, her future, and you know, it is Harvard. Should she care about a promise to a best friend? Well, she is already lying to both of them saying she is wait listed on both, so she can take her time.

After a few weeks of travel with them and Lee’s girlfriend (Meganne Young), they still have a lot of summer left, and decide to go to Lee and Noah’s family beach house. But oh no! Their parents (Molly Ringwald, Morné Visser ) are going to sell the place after this summer! The kids somehow convince the parents to just let them live there the rest of the summer then, and they promise to clean it up and get it ready for the market. This is where Elle finds an old Beach Bucket list that she made with Lee. They decide to make it the best summer ever, especially since Elle has decided to go to Harvard.

But that isn’t all the plot! For example, her dad (Stephen Jennings) is maybe finding love after all these years, someone to help raise the much younger son (Carson White). And Elle hates it.

But that isn’t all the plot! Marco (Taylor Zakhar Perez) is still around, making Lee jealous. And Chloe (Maisie Richardson-Sellers) is still around, not making Elle jealous. Also Lee has to deal with the fact that he will be in a long term relationship with a girl he already has problems remembering, because he is a goddamn man-child. And Elle has to come to terms with the fact that she is in a relationship with Noah, who keeps having emotional bursts of jealousy (usually for good reasons), but also because he is a goddamn man-child. And Elle has to come to terms with her own shiftiness, because she is a goddamn womanchild.

Wow, good pristine condition after 8-10 years. 

How does one start to talk about a movie, nay, a franchise, like The Kissing Booth. Something written by a teenager, and every aspect of that fact is obvious through every scene, decision, and dialogue choice.

The fact that it is called The Kissing Booth isn’t even an issue. It is, for all intents and purposes, a minor part of the first film and still fine to be a dialogue. The dialogue choices from the narrator to overhype the minor part, and constantly try to bring it back through relevance, is really what hurts. Because in the second movie, it has even less of a point on the plot, and of course, in the last movie, is just once again unnecessarily brought back up in the epilogue, six years in the future, because apparently that is where several characters need to meet up at and pretend they never really stayed in communication the times before that.  This aspect of the movie makes more sense if the movie was set in the 1920’s, where maybe there was never a kissing booth beside it, because then we could all understand the strange hype and obsession with it.

The main character Elle is a terrible person. And role model, in case anyone looks up to her for that. You can have movies about bad people, but usually those people have some sort of consequence for their action, or a really hard choice that they will live with for regret to get to their power. Important things to show that those who hurt are hurt in return. But Elle? The girl who actively cheated on her boyfriend while he was away at college, both physically and mentally, and kissed another boy publicly. The one who demanded all the free time of her best friend so much that he literally forgot about her girlfriend who for some reason stuck it with him.

So what does she do this movie? Well, she is more trusting of her boyfriend that he won’t cheat on her, which is great, because he never did. And she decides that means she can hang out and plan things with someone she did cheat on him with, who made it obvious he wants to still win her over? She also decides to get upset with her best friend who wants to do so many things with her, when it was both her idea to make him feel better for it (after lying for over a month) and she did the same thing last year with no care for repercussions?

Let’s be clear on the things that happen to Elle negatively this film. One, her dad is dating a woman and Elle gets mad at her, and lashes out cause of her other shit, over one of the worst board games ever made (Monopoly), and still doesn’t care, until her dad calls her out on her bullshit and makes her feel bad. Second bad thing that happens to her is her boyfriend broke up with her over her bullshit.

Wow. Well let us make it obvious. She has a lot of bullshit and keeps making mistakes and never learning from them. He should have never been with her over the events of The Kissing Booth 2.  But even more importantly, SHE SHOULD HAVE NEVER BEEN WITH HIM DUE TO THE EVENTS OF THE MOVIE THE KISSING BOOTH. Where he was shown to be emotionally abusive, and threatened other guys to leave her alone for years while he was on his own path of getting experience before trying out her. He is shown to not handle any really conversation or argument well time and time again, which is why he runs off and does dumb shit all the time. And so does she. They are both really bad people, which doesn’t make it a good fit for them. Nor does it warrant spending three movies to talk about this relationship.

The problem with this movie is the impressions it leaves on people. Since there is almost no real consequences for any of the characters being terrible, it just helps reinforce that being terrible is a great thing for people to be. After all, look at all the fun they are having. Did you see those costumes? [Editor’s Important Note: Why the fuck does the go-kart track at a water park have stands for people to watch. Do people just sit there all day and look for exciting basic races? It was more than just a parent sitting area.]

I could talk so much about the other technical problems with the movie. Like how all over the place it is in time. When was it set? When did they make the beach bucket list? Why is going to Berkeley on a beach bucket list? Why would they hide it in a hidden time box if the goal was to actually complete it, and they went to the beach every summer? Why does the box have a Super Nintendo Mario Kart design, as if it was set in the 90’s? That goes with my earlier question about time. Because things on the list don’t make sense for various age groups they would have written it.

This is a trilogy that trivializes high school, relationships, proper communication, and the ability to fucking apologize.

0 out of 4.

Jem and the Holograms

I expected to hate Jem and Jem and the Holograms going into the screening. That is why I picked it! I make an end of the year worst movies list, and based on the trailers alone, this one seemed like it could maybe even contend for the number one spot. Those trailers were awful. I didn’t even watch the cartoon show of the same name, but I could tell it was nothing like the cartoon.

It looked like it wanted to be a made for TV movie on ABC Family, only a step above a Lifetime original film.

So yeah, the film had a lot of work in front of it before it even began, which is a shame. But hey, maybe Jon M. Chu, famed director of such film classics like, Justin Beiber: Never Say Never, Justin Bieber’s Believe, G.I. Joe: Retailiation, and some shitty Step Up movies could be its saving grace.

Don’t look at me with those disbelieving eyes.

Jerrica (Aubrey Peeples) is your average 18 year old girl. About to finish high school, living with her aunt (Molly Ringwald), sister Kimber (Stefanie Scott), and two foster sisters, Shana (Aurora Perrineau) and Aja (Hayley Kiyoko). Okay, so she isn’t normal. But they all like to sing and play music so that is something fun. To bad Jerrica is super shy and would never do anything about it.

Until, you know, she does. After getting all emotional about the fact that they may lose their home, Jerrica puts on make up, a wig, and writes a song about loneliness under the stage name Jem. Her sister tricks her and uploads the performance to the YouTubes and somehow it goes viral. It goes so viral that Erica Raymond (Juliette Lewis), CEO of a made up big record company is offering her a small contract to play a few shows. She is super interested in her mysteriousness and plans to exploit it for maximum monetary viral wealth!

The girls are fine with it, transporting them all the way to LA where they have to learn how to be “rock stars”. It is important to note that their dad (Barnaby Carpenter) died when Jerrica was around 7 or 8. He was working on building a robot called 51N3RG.Y (pronounced Synergy), and he left it unfinished due to his sudden death. She likes to carry it around and stuff.

We need more dudes in this movie, which is why we have Ryan Guzman playing their “caretaker” and watcher to make sure they don’t get into trouble while in LA, Nathan Moore as a driver/bodyguard like person, and Ryan Hansen as a cameo as a security guard.

I have been told that Woody Allen cameo’s as the keytar.

Jem and the Holograms was not the worst movie of the year. Was it bad? Certifiably in every way. But it wasn’t a full on 100% cringefest.

First of all, the movie had no idea what it wanted to be. It goes from teenage sudden stardom film, to a long scene involving the Synergy, looking like it was taken directly from Earth To Echo. The scenes with the robot become a strange Sci-Fi Mystery throughout LA. Other parts of the movie literally seem to be almost identical to Justin Bieber: Never Say Never. I of course recognize that because I actually saw that concert doc. The plot is like a bad mash up of Hannah Montana and Josie and the Pussycats. Lewis overacted and was playing a non funny Parker Posey in that film I just mentioned.

That’s not all. It awkwardly referred to the band as a rock band, but they only sang pop songs. The song that went viral had absolutely no reason to go viral, realistically it would have never happened. They should have made it a much bigger deal. The fans she gained from the song would have hated every other thing she did, because the few songs after were nothing a like and very fake feeling.

A character says he hates newer bands because they are all auto tuned crap. The response? They sing a song a capella, but it also is processed and you can tell it doesn’t sound remotely real. Literally this happens right after the complaint about that. How can they do that to us? Related, another moment during the movie in a song, they lose power and finish it again, without instruments. The awkward echo during the song is still somehow apparent, although it doesn’t make sense to be sung.

Here is a picture of an attractive male to break up my bitchin’.

One more major annoyance, this one is a SPOILER. Part of the plot to get out of the bad contract that breaks up the friends involves a will a character never knew existed. They steal the will and when it becomes apparent, without even showing it, they just mention part of it, and suddenly everyone changes what they were doing and they win the day. Not actually proving anything, just saying vague things. The bad character says something like, “You don’t even have the will, only I do!” The whole movie (and for years) it was in a safe, but for some reason she was randomly carrying the packet in her hands at that moment? Similarly, the dialogue was generally always terrible.

But it DID have some moments. Miraculously, out of no where, I found myself crying at a beautiful moment. I blame my newborn baby on that. Every time recently a film has had any sort of emotional “Father Daughter” moment, it affects me deeply. Also, there were some good songs. “Way I Was” was pretty damn good and the only thing similar to the original viral hit.

This movie is objectively bad. But, damn it, it has its moments.

1 out of 4.