IT ALL COMES DOWN TO the packaging. The other culprit would be the marketing side. From the movie trailers I saw, the entire time I thought this film was another one based on a Nicholas Sparks’ novel. It had all the trappings of being one with its love being lost then found again, adding in a crisis or a child; they all seem to follow a formula at least in their movie versions. Let me say I have not read any of his books so I do not know how they compare to the movies. Imagine my surprise after sitting through this picture to discover it was not one of his stories. The entire time I sat in my seat I could have sworn the story came from Nicholas. Oh, the other thing I want to mention is that I am not knocking down Nicholas’ ability as a writer; it is just the recent movies of his books have not been entertaining or well done in my opinion. To this day I think the most successful of the films has been The Notebook and wasn’t that back around 2004? I CANNOT SAY I WAS DISAPPOINTED when I found out the story was not associated with Nicholas Sparks, simply because I had low expectations when I walked into the theater. It would be akin to me being offered a tater tot and discovering they were made with shredded cauliflower instead of potato. If you happened to have seen the trailer for this film the film clips were precisely the kind the movie studios use to market a new Nicholas Sparks movie. I have noticed his films all seem to be the same story or at least idea now. From my experiences each of his pictures must have a scene that will make the audience members tear up. As far as I am concerned just because a script can make you feel sad doesn’t mean it is a wonderful, entertaining movie. Adding a sad scene into a story is like adding butter onto your oatmeal; it helps make it more palatable for the eater. In the case of this movie the oatmeal was at least 2 days old. WHEN COUNTRY MUSIC STAR LIAM Page, played by Alex Roe (The 5th Wave, Hot Summer Nights), returned home after being away for almost a decade; he had to come face to face with the woman he left at the altar. She did not come alone. This dramatic, musical romance also starred Jessica Rothe (Happy Death Day, La La Land) as Josie, John Benjamin Hickey (The Taking of Pelham 123, The Bone Collector) as Pastor Brian, Abby Ryder Fortson (Ant-Man, Rated) as Billy and Tyler Riggs (Angels in Stardust, Boomtown) as Jake. The only positive things I can say about this film are I enjoyed the songs and this story would appeal to a narrow group of fans within the romance novel genre. The acting was almost non-existent though the character Billy was cute. I felt the directing and editing were poorly done; there really was not anything in this script that would come across as a surprise to anyone who ever saw a romance picture in their life. This was such a boring movie that I actually had a hard time keeping my eyes open. Honestly everything about this film made it seem as if it was made for a 2nd tier cable movie station; I could not get over how lifeless the characters were as if there was not a director on set to direct them to act. If you feel you are missing a dose of Nicholas Sparks’ words then maybe this film would satisfy your needs. I recommend you take your money instead and buy yourself a new romance novel.
1 ½ stars
SCOURING the shelves in search of something that no longer is being made can be an exhausting process. He went from resale shops to charity stores looking for a VCR. For those of you not familiar with the term it was an abbreviation for “videocassette recorder.” Prior to streaming and DVDs, the first time we were able to watch a television program at a time that was convenient for us was on the videocassette tapes these machines used to record on. The poor man had a collection of movies and shows that had been recorded and his recorder had broken. Going to an electronics store he found out they no longer make such machines, so he had to seek out a used one. As technology gets more advanced it seems as if more things become obsolete quicker. Do not even get me started about the financial cost to keep up with all of it. In addition, think about all the waste for example when one upgrades to a new technology. As an example going from VHS to DVD; what does one do with all the things they have on the tapes? HAVING said that I have recently noticed things that were considered old are becoming new; an example would be vinyl records. Talk about one heck of a technical journey from vinyl to 8 track tape to cassette tape to DVD to digital; I am sure music aficionados were having a nightmare over all the changes taking place with their equipment so they could continue listening to their music. I remember when I was converting my music library to a new format; there were songs that I used to play that over time I lost interest in as my tastes evolved. My decision was to leave that music and not spend any time or money to establish them into my new listening devices. I can honestly say I felt the same way about this dramatic horror sequel. AFTER several years, an old video resurfaced that had deathly consequences to those who watched it. When her boyfriend Holt, played by Alex Roe (The 5th Wave, The Fugitives-TV), was not responding to her messages Julia, played by Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz (Summertime, L’Universale), decided to travel to his college to find out what happened. For the life of me (no pun intended) I cannot understand what the point was for the movie studio to dig up this film franchise and do such a poor job of a sequel. The script was utterly void of originality and used the familiar scare tactics of quick cut away scenes and sudden loud noises to try and scare the viewing audience. I was bored throughout the picture. Seeing Johnny Galecki (The Big Bang Theory-TV, In Time) as Gabriel and Vincent D’Ononfrio (The Magnificent Seven, Pele: Birth of a Legend), as Burke was simply embarrassing; what in the world were the two of them thinking to take such a role? It made me wonder if they even read the script before accepting the job. There might be a chance those who were fans of the original films may find a couple of redeeming qualities with this latest installment; but in my opinion, this is one film that needed to stay buried in the past.
1 ½ stars