Lisa Marie’s Week In Review: 12/19/22 — 12/25/22

Merry Christmas!

Only one more week of 2022 to go!

Films I Watched:

  1. 3 Musketeers (2011)
  2. After Ever Happy (2022)
  3. All Through The House (2015)
  4. Carol For Another Christmas (1964)
  5. Christmas Apparition (2018)
  6. A Christmas Story (1983)
  7. Christmas Twister (2012)
  8. Die Hard (1988)
  9. Die Hard 2 (1990)
  10. It Happened One Christmas (1977)
  11. It’s A Wonderful Life (1946)
  12. The Last Boy Scout (1991)
  13. Rush Hour 3 (2009)
  14. Santa Claus Conquers The Martians (1964)
  15. Shock of the Future (2020)
  16. The Wizard Of Oz (1939)
  17. Zoolander (2001)

Television Shows I Watched:

  1. A Charlie Brown Christmas
  2. Community
  3. King of the Hill
  4. Mystery Science Theater 3000
  5. The Office
  6. Upstart Crow

Books I Read:

  1. The Book of Broadway Musical Debates, Disputes, and Disagreements (2022) by Peter Filichia
  2. The Office BFFs (2022) by Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey
  3. What If? 2 (2022) by Randall Munroe

Music To Which I Listened:

  1. Ariana Grande
  2. Big Time Rush
  3. Bob Dylan
  4. Britney Spears
  5. Carrie Underwood
  6. The Chemical Brothers
  7. Disco Mistletoe Band
  8. Katy Perry
  9. Kelly Clarkson
  10. The Killers
  11. Lindsey Stirling
  12. Miley Cyrus
  13. Saint Motel
  14. She & Him
  15. Spice Girls
  16. Taylor Swift
  17. Trisha Paytas 

Holiday Spirit:

  1. Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny
  2. Beyond Tomorrow
  3. An American Christmas Carol
  4. Santa Claus
  5. A Mom For Christmas
  6. Santa Claus Conquers The Martians
  7. Treevenge 

Live Tweets:

  1. 3 Musketeers
  2. Rush Hour 3
  3. Zoolander
  4. All Through The House

Awards Season:

  1. The Oscar Shortlists
  2. St. Louis Films Critics Association Winners
  3. Indiana Film Journalists Association Winners
  4. DFW Film Critics Association Winners
  5. Phoenix Film Critics Society Winners
  6. The Women Film Critics Circle Winners
  7. Online Association of Female Film Critics Winners
  8. Nevada Film Critics Society Winners
  9. North Texas Film Critics Association Winners
  10. Society of Composers and Lyricists Nominations
  11. North Carolina Film Critics Association Nominations
  12. Florida Films Critics Circle Winners
  13. Black Film Critics Circle Winners
  14. Greater Western New York Film Critics Association Nominations

News From Last Week:

  1. Actress Diane McBain Dies At 81
  2. General Hospital’s Sonya Eddy Dies at 55
  3. Memphis Rapper Big Scarr Is Dead

Links From Last Week:

  1. Secrets Of “Love Actually”! Kelly Clarkson Sings “Sisters” From “White Christmas!” Happy Holidays Y’All!
  2. Over at The World’s Common Tater shares his favorite television and movies of 2022!

Links From The Site:

  1. Doc wished everyone a Merry Christmas!
  2. Jeff wishes everyone a Happy Festivus!
  3. Erin shared Merry Christmas, Welcome to Christmas, Paris Nights, Silk Stocking Stories, Untamed Female, A Talent For Love, and Blackmail Inc.
  4. I shared music videos from The Killers, Big Time Rush, She & Him, Ariana Grande, Trisha Paytas, Miley Cyrus, and Bob Dylan!
  5. I reviewed After Ever Happy, Gidget’s Summer Reunion, I Believe in Santa Claus, Christmas Twister, Christmas Apparition, It Happened One Christmas, Carol For Another Christmas, Die Hard, Die Hard 2, The Last Boy Scout, Jack Frost, To All A Goodnight, and Christmas Evil!
  6. I reviewed Hang Time, Fantasy Island, The Love Boat, City Guys, One World, and California Dreams!
  7. I shared my week in television!

More From Us:

  1. At her photography site, Erin shared Merry Christmas, Happy Christmas Eve, Christmas Tree, Holiday Welcome, Christmas 2013, Nativity, and Christmas Trees Behind Plastic!
  2. At my music site, I shared songs from Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, and three from The Mistletoe Disco Band!

Want to see what I did last week?  Click here!

Film Review: After Ever Happy (dir by Castille Landon)

The fourth installment in the After franchise, After Ever Happy picks up where After We Fell ended.

The world’s most boring couple, Tessa Young (Josephine Langford) and Hardin Scott (Hero Fiennes Tiffin), are in London to attend Hardin’s mother’s latest wedding.  Unfortunately, Christian Vance (Stephen Moyer) takes this opportunity to reveal that he is actually Hardin’s father which leads to Hardin storming off and grabbing a bottle of whiskey.  If you’ve seen the previous three After films, then you know that’s a big problem because Hardin is a recovering alcoholic who turns into an asshole when he’s drunk.  Of course, Hardin’s usually an asshole when he’s sober as well.

Because Tessa really doesn’t have any life beyond chasing after Harin and trying to keep him from being self-destructive, Tessa chases after him and tries to keep him from doing anything self-destructive.  Unfortunately, since Harden’s already drunk, he decides that he might as well burn down his mother’s house and that’s exactly what Hardin does.  In most movies, this would be treated as Hardin going off the deep end and as evidence that Tessa should get a thousand miles away from him.  In the After films, every stupid, impulsive, and destructive thing that Hardin does is just an excuse for Tessa to comfort him by having soft-focus sex in a car.  In the world of the After films, every toxic relationship is a Dior commercial.

Not now, Natalie!

Anyway, After Ever Happy pretty much follows the exact same pattern as the previous three films.  After Tessa’s father dies, she moves to New York in order to heal and Hardin loses it.  Hardin follows her to New York.  Tessa takes him back.  Hardin explodes over some trivial issue.  Tessa forgives him.  Tessa tries to do something for herself.  Hardin gets mad.  Tessa forgives him.  Hardin tries to be a better person, which in this case means that he gives his scarf to an old homeless man whom Tessa has been giving food.  (Tessa explains that giving the homeless man food makes her feel better about losing her dad, which is another way of saying that she’s only helping him to make herself feel good.  If her Dad was still alive, the homeless man would probably end up freezing to death while Tessa and Hardin debated whether Fitzgerland was a better writer than Hemingway.  Maybe one of those schmucks could try to help the old homeless man find shelter or something.  That scarf’s only going to do so much.)  Hardin turns his journals into a novel, which is somehow published.  Tessa is angered that Hardin wrote about her without asking her permission and she leaves him.  Hardin’s book is acclaimed, despite the fact that the excerpt we hear sound terrible.  Hardin becomes an amateur boxer or something.  I’m not really sure what was up with that scene.  “To be continued….,” the title card announces, so maybe the next movie will feature more action in the ring.

A few questions sprang to mind as I watched After Ever Happy:

Why, after four movies, does Hardin still only have one facial expression?

See?  Just one.

What was going on with Tessa’s hair during the second half of the movie?

Seriously, Tessa’s hair was one of the few things that she had going for her and this movie took that away from her.

Finally, how is it that, after four films, the lead performers still have next to zero romantic chemistry?  You would think that, after three years of playing these people, Hero Fiennes Tiffin and Josephine Langford would at least have a little bit of a spark to their interactions but instead, they still come across as being friendly acquaintances as opposed to lovers.  There’s nothing about their performances that suggest that they know each other in a way that only two people who are deeply in love could know each other.  There’s none of the little details that one immediately spots between people who have shared trauma and found love.  Instead, every emotion and thought is on the surface.  There’s no depth to the relationship.  Hardin is toxic and whiney.  Tessa is the doormat that other doormats walk over.

Typically, with a film like this, critics will say that the cast does their best with the material they’ve been given but, in this case, everyone’s just as lousy as the material.  Say what you will about the 50 Shades Films, at least Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson appeared to be having fun.  The cast of After Ever Happy, from the stars on down, just seem to be hoping that it will soon all be over with.

Retro Television Reviews: Gidget’s Summer Reunion (dir by Bruce Bilson)

Welcome to Retro Television Reviews, a feature where we review some of our favorite and least favorite shows of the past!  On Sundays, I will be reviewing the made-for-television movies that used to be a primetime mainstay.  Today’s film is 1985’s Gidget’s Summer Reunion!  It  can be viewed on Tubi!

Back in the 1970s, when the rest of the country was worrying about political corruption, inflation, and an out-of-touch president with an embarrassing family, Gidget, Jeff, and their friends were carefree California teenagers who spent all of their time either hanging out on the beach or running into the ocean with a surfboard.  It was a time when they had not a care in the world and, obviously, it couldn’t last forever.

Nearly 10 years later, Gidget (Caryn Richman) and Jeff (Dean Butler) are now married and their surfboards have been safely stored away in the garage.  Jeff works as an architect and it’s obvious that his new boss, Anne (Mary Frann), wants to make their professional relationship into something personal.  Gidget, meanwhile, owns her own travel agency and, apparently, it’s a success even though Gidget rarely seems to spend much time at the office.  Gidget is hyperactive and a bit self-absorbed and, as such, she usually only shows up at work long enough to tell her employees about her latest problems before then running out of the office in an impulsive attempt to fix everything.

What problems do Gidget and Jeff have?  Well, for one thing, they live in a giant house despite the fact that they’re nearly broke.  They’re both workaholics and, as a result, they don’t spend as much time together as they used to.  They got married and then they became strangers.  It’s been years since they last went down to the beach.  When Gidget’s niece, Kim (Allison Barron), wants to learn how to surf, it doesn’t even occur to her to ask her aunt or her uncle.  Instead, she ends up hanging out with a sleazy, beer-drinking surfer named Mickey (Vincent Van Patten).  

Fear not!  Gidget has a plan!  Jeff’s birthday is coming up and Gidget decides that it would be a great idea to use her travel agent powers to get the entire gang back together again.  She wants to bring all of the old surfers back to help celebrate Jeff’s big day.  The only problem is that the old gang isn’t entirely easy to find.  Plus, one of Gidget’s tour guides has to drop out of leading a tour in Hawaii.  Gidget is forced to go in his place.  Can she get back from Hawaii in time to save Jeff from Anne and  Kim from Mickey?  And even more importantly, will she ever be able to track down the old gang?  Will the movie end with a bunch of balding guys surfing while the Beach Boys play on the soundtrack?  Can you guess the answer?  

The best thing that can be said about Gidget’s Summer Reunion is that the beach looked nice and the Hawaii scenes reminded me of the wonderful summer that my family and I spent in Hawaii.  And the film is correct when it points out that adulthood is never as easy as we expected it to be when we were teenagers.  However, the film suffers from the fact that a lot of Gidget’s problems could have been solved by Gidget actually taking a few minutes to think before acting.  It’s one thing to be free-spirited and impulsive.  It’s another thing to totally lack common sense.  For instance, Gidget and Jeff’s old surfboards are stolen out of the back of Gidget’s convertible and, while you can certainly feel bad for Gidget’s loss, you do have to wonder what she was expecting when she basically just left them out in the open, where anyone could get their hands on them.  Jeff isn’t off the hook either, as it was pretty much obvious to everyone but him that Anne was trying to get him to cheat on his wife.  Gidget and Jeff are a cute couple but they don’t seem to have a brain cell between them.

Oh well.  At least the beach looked nice!

Celebrate Christmas With Treevenge!

Hi!  We hope you’re having a wonderful holiday!

Here at the Shattered Lens, we have a Christmas tradition, one that was started way back in 2009 by site founder Arleigh Sandoc.  And that tradition is …. TREEVENGE!

Celebrate Christmas with the greatest haunted Christmas tree movie ever!

Enjoy and …. wait, what?  Uh-oh!  The video is age-restricted so you’ll have to click on the watch on YouTube link!