Blast From The Past, Summer Movie Watching Program

Camp Rock Duology

I was so excited for this movie! When it first premiered, it aired on 3 different channels. We didn’t have Disney channel, but we did have ABC. I able to watch it the night it premiered.

Shy singer/songwriter Mitchie (Demi Lovato) wants to go to Camp Rock, but her parents can’t afford it. All hope is lost, until her mom gets hired as the camp cook.

Shane Gray (Joe Jonas) is serving time at his uncle’s camp after letting the fame of being the lead singer of Connect 3 go to his head. While on the run from obsessed fans, Shane overhears Mitchie singing, but doesn’t know it’s her. He becomes obsessed with finding the person the voice belongs to, but Mitchie’s lies about who she really is might keep him from finding out!

So how well does Camp Rock hold up from 12 to 26?

It was more enjoyable for me to rewatch than High School Musical. The acting was more natural. Since it’s set at a music camp, all of the songs are performed during classes and talent showcases which makes more sense than bursting into a song and dance number in the middle of the cafeteria. But then Camp Rock was always my favorite because I was obsessed with the Jonas Brothers. I’d choose to rewatch this over the original HSM. You can stream it now on Disney Plus.

Shane (Joe Jonas) and Mitchie (Demi Lovato) and the rest of the campers are back for another Summer at Camp Rock, but things are different than last year. Camp Star, a flashier career minded camp owned by Brown’s rival, Axel Turner, has moved in across the lake. Camp Star is determined drive Camp Rock out of business. Things become so competitive between the camps that a Camp Wars is held to determine the winner. Mitchie becomes so laser focused she forgets that the real reason for Summer camp is to have fun.

I enjoyed the sequel just as much as the first. It has some great, and Nick and Kevin get bigger roles this time around. The story doesn’t end like you expect it will, and that’s what I like best about this movie. A good lesson on even if things don’t go the way you want them to, things can still end well or in some cases better than originally planned. Stream it now on Disney Plus.

2¢ Valentines

Netflix Romcoms Vol. 3

Another Valentines Day themed event, another Netflix romantic comedy.

Noah Centineo and Laura Moreno star as Brooks Rattigan and Celia Lieberman in a Netflix Original that’s actually pretty good.

After a semi-successful stand-in date with bratty Celia and desperate to make money for college, Brooks teams up with his best friend to create a dating app where he acts as a stand-in for girls in need of a date. Part of his services include transforming himself into whatever the girls could ever want or desire via costumes and personalities to match. After fake dating for a while to make their dream significant others jealous, romantic feelings became involved complicating Brooks and Celia’s original plan.

This movie was really fun and enjoyable. Super formulaic, but still fun to watch. I loved seeing Laura Moreno play a bratty and unlikable (at first) character that was different from her goody two shoes types she played on the Disney Channel.

Netflix loves casting Noah Centino in their romantic comedies. He’s basically giving a copy and paste performance in these movies except there’s a very slight difference from his other characters: He’s a jerk to his dad. Ooh. Major deviation from the usual. Makes this movie so different from the others. (If you can’t tell this is sarcasm). Dear Netflix, while I’m not up to date on young actors, I’m sure there are other attractive young actors out there. Find them. Cast them. I’m begging you. Seeing Noah play the same type of character is boring. Find something new for him to play or MOVE ON!

This movie is rated TV-14, the equivalent of a PG-13. The off-color language is frequent enough to earn it its rating, and makes The Perfect Date a little less perfect. It’s a cute movie worth seeing once.

The last summer before Elle (Joey King) heads off to college. It’s a summer of bittersweet endings including the last friend list for Lee (Joel Courtney) and Elle to complete and the last time at the Flynn’s beach house. In an effort to make this the best summer ever, Elle stretches herself to thin and risks losing everyone and everything she cares about including her relationship with Noah (Jacob Elrodi 😍😍😍)Not every story has a happy ending. Or does it?

The third act was hard to sit through. The writers screwed around with my Happy Ending. I didn’t appreciate it!

This was an almost perfect ending to the Kissing Booth trilogy. I’ve got mixed feelings about how the movie ended. It kinda ends well. Not a huge fan of the big time skip at the end especially not after what could’ve been an emotional ending. I mean if you’re gonna make it heartbreaking, at least have the decency to stick with it to the end. And this is just nitpicking, but I didn’t like Elle’s short hair in that last scene. She looked better with long hair. And if they were gonna end the movie with a time skip, they could’ve at least ended it with them kissing, but no!

I have mixed feelings about this trilogy as a whole. They’re not the best movies. The first one especially was a trashy-lite teen flick, but they’re not the worst movies either. And they did get better as they went along. These movies are kinda like sugar. It’s not the best thing for you, but it won’t kill you either. These were fun to watch. Steam them all on Netflix.

Salon owner Izzy (Laura Marano) and her fellow stylists get the chance to go to Lavania and be put in charge of hair and makeup for Prince Thomas’s (Mena Massoud) wedding. The prince is being forced into an arranged marriage, but ends up falling for Izzy instead. It’s a battle between Royal duty and true love. Which will win?

This movie gave me Princess Diaries vibes. I LOVED IT! It was cute. It was actually funny (which is rare for a Netflix romcom). It was really sweet. Izzy’s two friends, Destiny and Lola, were so funny! It’s easily my favorite Netflix Original.

So far I’m the only one who gave The Royal Treatment 5 stars on Letterboxd. I loved it and thought it was cute. My unpopular opinion strikes again! As it so often does. Oh well! I’m a sucker for sweet romances with happy endings. I haven’t had this much fun watching a movie in a while. It’s perfect for the entire family. Stream now on Netflix.

I’m thinking about adding exclusive manga reviews for series like Fairy Tail, Bleach, and Black Clover to the site, but I’m not sure yet.


Ice Age and Peter Rabbit 2

With The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild right around the corner, I decided to rewatch the original Ice Age. In part in preparation for yet another unnecessary sequel but also to remind myself of the time when the now stale franchise was fresh and actually good.

The animals are in a rush to migrate before the Ice Age hits. Unfortunately for Sid the sloth (John Leguizamo), his family has left him behind. After being rescued from two angry rhinos by Manny the Mammoth (Ray Romano), the two become unlikely travel buddies and friends. They save a human baby from drowning and are determined to reunite him his herd. The unlikely duo becomes an even more unlikely trio when scheming sabertooth tiger Diego (Denis Leary) joins the pack with only one thing on his mind: bring the baby and Manny home for dinner!

The original movie is still great. It’s funny, emotional, and heartwarming in all the right places, but shows its age when it comes to the animation. It feels like you’re watching an old computer game. Animation has advanced spectacularly since 2002! And who can forget that wacky squirrel Scrat? Any scene involving him is hysterical. Will he ever get his precious acorn? Maybe if does, they can stop making sequels!! Please?! Disney, it’s time to move on!

Stream Ice Age now on Disney Plus.

🎵Here comes the completely unnecessary sequel to Peter Rabbit hopping down the bunny trail.🎵🎤 Oops! That’s not how the song goes!

Bea (Rose Byrne) and Thomas (Domhnall Gleason) are married and Peter (James Cordon), his sister, and cousin complete their family. Bea’s best selling book centered on Peter and his family has chance of being a full blown franchise, but a greedy publishing executive wants to change everything about Bea’s charming little story, including marketing Peter as the “bad seed,” to appeal to a wider audience. Peter decides to embrace his bad bunny persona and runs away. He joins forces with a shady gang of characters who wind up putting him and his family in danger. In order to save them, Peter must decide what kind of rabbit he’s going to be.

This sequel pales in comparison to the original. While it has its comedic moments, it’s not as funny as the original. The soundtrack feels over-dramatic and more angsty than a movie about CGI rabbits calls for. (Boulevard of Broken Dreams by Green Day?! Why?! I like the song, but it feels like a bit much!) And why doesn’t Thomas remember Peter talking to him the first time around? That didn’t make sense!

Despite it not being as good as it’s predecessor, and being a completely unnecessary sequel (Really, who asked for this?!) it still manages to be fun to watch. But please, for the love of carrots, don’t let there be a Peter Rabbit 3! Just because it was successful the first time, it doesn’t mean you have to do it again.

COMING SOON: 2¢ Valentines Romcoms and Fairy tales. YES! My favorite event. Hopefully i can do all 14 days this time!

2¢ Christmas

Elf and The Grinch

Buddy the Elf (Will Ferrell) discovers that he’s actually human and travels from the North Pole to New York City to track down his birth father, bringing along some much needed Christmas spirit along with him.
“The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.” – Buddy

One of the best Christmas movies EVER! And one of the only family friendly movies Will Ferrell has EVER made! This father/son centric story is funny and heartwarming in all the right places. I also really enjoy the romantic sparks between Buddy and Jovie.

Director John Favreau definitely accomplished what he set out to do: Make a classic holiday film.

The familiar story about a Grinch whose heart is three sizes too small, who by stealing all the presents, ends up reminding the Whos what Christmas is really about.

“The nerve of those Whos. Inviting me down there – on such short notice! Even if I wanted to go my schedule wouldn’t allow it. 4:00, wallow in self-pity; 4:30, stare into the abyss; 5:00, solve world hunger, tell no one; 5:30, jazzercize; 6:30, dinner with me – I can’t cancel that again; 7:00, wrestle with my self-loathing… I’m booked. Of course, if I bump the loathing to 9, I could still be done in time to lay in bed, stare at the ceiling and slip slowly into madness. But what would I wear?”

There are some roles actors are born to play, and Jim Carrey was born to play the Grinch! He plays him perfectly especially the sarcastic and over-the-top comedy he’s known for.

I also liked that Anthony Hopkins did the narration.

Other than the original Chuck Jones animated version, this is the best adaptation of The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. (Sorry to Benedict Cumberbatch and Illumination.)

This movie is great for the family particularly families with older kids as there is a lot of adult humor that hopefully flies over young viewers’ heads.


Jurassic World and Of Silver and Secrets

Twenty-Two years after the original Jurassic Park failed, some idiots decided to build Jurassic World, a dinosaur theme park, on top of the ruins. Jurassic World also doesn’t know how to leave well enough alone, and creates a hybrid dinosaur, Indominus Rex, more monster than dino who eats everyone in her way. She escapes containment and wreaks terror on the theme park. It’s up to Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) and Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) to evacuate the island and and Claire’s nephews before Indominus Rex finds them first!

I enjoy this movie. Chris Pratt being the lead might have a bit to do with that. (OK. Fine. He has everything to with that!) I usually don’t go for dinosaur movies, but this is the exception. It’s fun and has a lot of good action, and the score is fantastic. Plus Chris Pratt. You can’t go wrong with Chris Pratt. 😍(At least not yet. There’s still a chance with Mario and Garfield.)

Young witch and Dreamwalker-in-training Farryn has been pining after her best friend Kellam for five years. He promised he’d write her every day while at University, but he never followed through on his promise.

She becomes an apprentice under Mother Ulla whose idea of an apprentice is doing the household chores.

Farryn wanders off into the Whispering Wood to practice magic on her own and stumbles into more danger than she bargained when a fae steals her away and tasks her with removing a demon from his head.

Kellam has to save Farryn from the awful fate that awaits her. Will he make it to her in time?

A witch-in-training, the Mage who loves her, and an evil fae standing in the way of true love are the ingredients for this original take on Rumpelstiltskin.

I LOVED it!!! Sylvie Mercedes is one of the best out there when it comes to fairy-tale retellings, and Of Silver and Secrets is no exception! A sweet best friends romance. Available on Amazon and free on Kindle Unlimited. Download today! Your kindle will thank you.


Detective Pikachu and 2¢ 2022 Plans

Tim Goodman (Justice Smith) and aPikachu (Ryan Reynolds) who’s an aspiring detective team up to look for Tim’s father, Harry, and to discover the reason for Pikachu’s amnesia.

Ryan Reynolds rocks as Pikachu! Think of it as Deadpool-lite for the kids. It’s funny and enjoyable even if you’ve never been involved with anything Pokémon related before. Heavy on the fun and action. Light on the language and adult humor. “I can can feel it in my jellies” that this a good flick. I’m definitely looking forward to the sequel.
PS. One year later: Are we ever getting a sequel?

Despite how difficult this year has been, some good things did happen:

  1. Designed and launched
  2. Reviewed a movie for an up and coming Hollywood film director (Seriously. I’m still reeling from this one.)
  3. Read and reviewed Advanced Reading Copies from two of my all-time favorite authors Jenny B. Jones and Sylvia Mercedes, and I proofread for Sylvia.
  4. Got my first job as a book reviewer for Clean Reads Magazine.
  5. Participated in multiple book cover reveals.
  6. Got invited to guest on a Christian animation podcast, politely refused due to my laptop being crap, but offer is still on the table.
  7. Met a bunch of wonderful people who made my 2021 survivable.

Happy New Year! 🎉 Below are a few goals for the site in 2022:

The 2¢ Adventures in Odyssey Project. I’ve always wanted to listen to Adventures in Odyssey from beginning to end. I‘m going to attempt just that in 2022.

12 movie reviews a month minimum.

The return of 2¢ 31 Days of Halloween, 2¢ 25 Days of Christmas, and 2¢ Valentines.

May the Force be with you Star Wars Event in May.

More animated movie reviews.

Review one movie in a genre I don’t usually watch.

Watch as many new family friendly releases as possible.

TV Show reviews

Book and Manga Reviews

Personal Goals:

Write a short story for publication in an anthology.

Write a book or screenplay, or both.

Start laying the groundwork for several future projects.

Write a short Christmas story.

Longterm goals:

Earn press credentials

Get screeners

Attend a movie festival even if it’s only virtual.

Build a space to uplift and spotlight disabled critics and creatives.

Make as many connections in the film community as possible.

Start a youtube channel.

What are some of your 2022 goals?

~ Bree