Author: Cassie

Mrs. Winterbourne (1996)

Mrs. Winterbourne (1996)

Director:

Richard Benjamin

Writers:

Phoef Sutton

Lisa-Maria Radano

Starring:

Shirley MacLaine

Ricki Lake

Brendan Fraser

Blurb:

Connie, unwed and pregnant, is heading to Boston by train when she meets wealthy newlyweds Hugh and Patricia. The train crashes, and when Connie comes to in the hospital, she is mistaken for Patricia, who died in the crash with Hugh.

Review:

With Brendan Fraser.

Sorry, I had to. When I found this movie, Starz ended the description that way, and it struck me as hilarious, so everything in our house has been with Brendan Fraser.

Anyway, Mrs. Winterbourne was a perfect adaption of a romance novel. I haven’t read the book it’s based on, but it hits all the marks you would expect from that type of book. We have mistaken identity, an instant dislike by one of the protagonists, and then falling helplessly in love. Someone is blackmailed, there’s a murder, and rich bitches get told off. It’s all perfectly over the top.

My only complaints are that Brendan Fraser’s feelings and personality changed without much reason. Also, I’m not much of a fan of Ricki Lake. Other than those two things, the movie was pretty solid. Not something I need to own, but I’d watch it again.

3/5

Return to Snowy River (1988)

The Great Movie Re-Watch

Return to Snowy River (1988)

Director:

Geoff Burrows

Writers:

John Dixon

Geoff Burrows

Starring:

Tom Burlinson

Sigrid Thornton

Brian Dennehy

Nicholas Eadie

Blurb:

Young Jim Craig returns to his home in the Australian high country. He finds that things are not as he left them – his girlfriend is being pursued by another man, and her father doesn’t want Jim back into her life.

Thoughts:

My favorite part of Return to Snowy River is near the beginning. Where Jim is going to get into a fistfight but is told there are better ways to prove his point, so he completely shows up the asshole. It’s one of those moments where I have a stupid grin on my face while watching. I love it.

I like the rest of the movie, a lot actually, but I never get that feeling again with it. Jim and his whole “I’ve got a start for us” to Jessica is annoying. He didn’t even talk to her before disappearing. It was presumptuous on his part to expect her to wait for him, in my opinion—fairly old school man. Still, you can’t beat the romance. Easily top then in that category.

There’s not much to say about the filming. There didn’t appear to be any drama behind the scenes. A horse died, sadly, but that’s about it. Michael Douglas didn’t reprise his role, but honestly, Brian Dennehy did a great job, and Douglas wasn’t missed. Oh, and it appears as though the actual title is Return to Snowy River II, though that’s not on my DVD copy. Seriously, I wish they’d release a Blu-ray or add it to Disney+ in HD.

Bad Trip (2020)

Bad Trip (2020)

Netflix Movie

Director:

Kitao Sakurai

Writers:

Eric André

Kitao Sakurai

Andrew Barchilon

Dan Curry

Starring:

Eric André

Tiffany Haddish

Lil Rel Howery

Michaela Conlin

Blurb:

This mix of a scripted buddy comedy road movie and a real hidden camera prank show follows the outrageous misadventures of two buds stuck in a rut who embark on a cross-country road trip to NYC. The storyline sets up shocking real pranks.

Review:

I never really got into the Jackass movies or TV show and I only kind of like Sacha Baron Cohen stuff. I’ve seen them, but it wasn’t for me. Bad Trip, on the other hand, was freaking hilarious. It had enough of those types of gags, without going too far, and there was a “story.” They weren’t mean to people with their pranks. Well, mostly not mean.

I’m a fan of Tiffany Haddish after watching Girl Trip, and I absolutely loved her parts of the movie. Watching a clip where she escaped from prison is what brought Bad Trip to my attention. I laughed through this movie. There were a few moments when I was afraid that the people in the South would play into stereotypes, but for the most part, they didn’t. I was happy about that, and I don’t want to know if it took multiple takes to get there.

There was only one skit that I rolled my eyes at, but it was amusing enough not to be a deal-breaker. It was more of a there is no way anyone thought that was real sort of thing.

All in all, I really liked it.

4/5

First Comes Like (Modern Love #3)

First Comes Like (Modern Love #3)

By:

Alisha Rai

Blurb:

Beauty expert and influencer Jia Ahmed has her eye on the prize: conquering the internet today, the entire makeup industry tomorrow, and finally, finally proving herself to her big opinionated family. She has little time for love, and even less time for the men in her private messages—until the day a certain international superstar slides into her DMs, and she falls hard and fast.

There’s just one wrinkle: he has no idea who she is.

The son of a powerful Bollywood family, soap opera star Dev Dixit is used to drama, but a strange woman who accuses him of wooing her online, well, that’s a new one. As much as he’d like to focus on his Hollywood fresh start, he can’t get Jia out of his head. Especially once he starts to suspect who might have used his famous name to catfish her…

When paparazzi blast their private business into the public eye, Dev is happy to engage in some friendly fake dating to calm the gossips and to dazzle her family. But as the whole world swoons over their relationship, Jia can’t help but wonder: Can an online romance-turned-offline-fauxmance ever become love in real life?

Review:

First Comes Life is the third book in the Modern Love series, and the books have remained consistent. I wouldn’t say I love the series, but I do like it. The problem I have is with the endings. They don’t fulfill the need I have with these kinds of books, though, First Comes Like did better than Girl Gone Viral. I wasn’t missing out on revenge; I missed out on what comes after the happy ending.

Jia is an influencer, a career that a lot of people get flack for. Some of them rightfully so, but I feel the career as a whole is panned because it’s a female-led industry. Women make up most influencers, and they’re often made fun of for being vapid and manipulative, among other things. Jia is older at twenty-nine, and her popularity is starting to decline.

Meanwhile, Dev is trying to make the move from Bollywood to Hollywood. He’s suffered two losses in his life when family members he has complicated relationships died. He’s now raising his niece and doing everything he can to be a good parent. He’s sweet if not kind of boring.

The catfishing only plays the part of getting the couple together and starting the fake dating relationship. It’s clear from the beginning, though, that it’s not really fake. They’re both attracted to each other, but lack of clear communication and understanding has things taking a little longer. Jia often acts younger than she is, in my opinion. She’s never had a romantic relationship, so I guess I should give her a pass, but it was sometimes hard to remember that she was almost thirty.

Their relationship developed quickly, quicker than most books, but it never progressed to anything physical until the end. They didn’t even kiss, which was a bit too chaste for me, but understandable considering Jia’s religious beliefs and Dev’s general conservativeness.

There were parts of First Comes Like that I enjoyed and parts I didn’t. It was a solid three-star book. If there’s another installment in the series, I’ll read it, but I’ll stick with getting it from the library.

3/5

Night Shit Dragons (DFZ #3)

Night Shit Dragons (DFZ #3)

By:

Rachel Aaron

Blurb:

They say family always sticks together, but when you’re your dad’s only lifeline and the whole world—humans, dragons, and gods—wants you dead, “family bonding” takes on a whole new meaning.

My name is Opal Yong-ae, and I’m in way over my head. I thought getting rid of my dad’s bad luck curse would put things back to normal. Instead, I’m stuck playing caretaker to the Great Dragon of Korea. That wouldn’t be so bad if he wasn’t such a jerk, or if every dragon on the planet wasn’t out to kill him, or if he was my only problem.

Turns out, things can always get worse in the DFZ. When a rival spirit attacks my god/boss with the aim of turning the famously safety-optional city into a literal death arena with Nik as his bloody champion, I’m thrust onto the front lines and way out of my comfort zone. When gods fight, mortals don’t usually survive, but I’m not alone this time. Even proud old dragons can learn new tricks, and with everything I love falling to pieces, the father I’ve always run from might just be the only force in the universe stubborn enough to pull us back together.

Review:

Night Shift Dragons is the conclusion of the DFZ trilogy. We get a resolution to everything, which was exactly what I wanted. The ending was properly climactic as well. I was happy with this story.

So, when last we saw Opal, she had saved her father and been eaten by the DFZ. When we join her, it’s been two months, and during that time she’s been training to be a shaman while her father remains unconscious. She’s afraid to make herself a target, so she’s let the DMZ hide her, which means Nik has no idea where she is or if she’s safe. I wasn’t a fan of that. It came off as very selfish on her part, making her feelings for him seem less.

Like the previous book, I felt for Nik. He made a really bad decision based on his infatuation for Opal and ended up paying a huge price. However, I like that this story revolved around Opal saving him. He finally got the attention he deserved from her.

Opal’s relationship with her father has been a significant driver of the series, and we finally get a resolution. I loved how this was worked out. These are two incredibly stubborn characters, and neither was able to see things from the others side. I thought how Aaron resolved things worked beautifully.

My only complaint is that I wish the series was longer. I wanted more. I was delighted to read the author’s note at the end that said Aaron would be writing more books set in that universe. I have no idea when the next one will come out, but I’m looking forward to it.

4/5