Film Review: La Ragazza del Lago (The Girl by the Lake) — 2 stars

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-7sIWNu4F4

ONE WORD REVIEW: Disappointing

SUMMARY: The body of a woman who everyone knew is discovered near an Italian lake and the small town investigator must determine who is guilty of the crime… but no one is talking.

DETAILS: Alright, let it be known that the only reason I watched this film is because I wanted to see Toni Servillo’s performance. I had enjoyed his acting in La Grande Bellezza and wanted to see some of his other films, but La Ragazza del Lago (The Girl by the Lake) left me disappointed on several levels. It’s the story of a woman’s body who is discovered naked, covered with a coat, by the lake in a small town in the Italian alps. The film begins with mystery and intrigue and the web is spun, but by the story’s end, you realize that most of the web was irrelevant. It just didn’t come together like it could have. Servillo’s performance is not up to his screen presence in La Grande Bellezza, but ultimately, this story just falls flat. Spend your 95 minutes on something more worthwhile.

WATCH THE TRAILER
SCORE: 2 out of 5 stars
RELEASE: 2007
RATING: NR
FOREIGN FILM: Italian

Film Review: Finding Normal — 2 stars

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hBJajC-crsQ

ONE WORD REVIEW: Sappy

SUMMARY: A big city doctor is required to perform community service in the small country town of Normal… and of course, she’ll fall in love and stay.

DETAILS: Big city doctor Lisa Leland (Candace Cameron Bure) is caught speeding through a small country town of Normal on her way to meet her boyfriend in the Hamptons. Due to her abundance of unpaid parking tickets she is arrested and ushered before the small town’s Judge/Doctor/Pastor (Lou Beatty, Jr.) for a hearing. She has no cash to pay her fines, they don’t take credit, so the only option is community service where she must take care of the town’s patients. Along the way we learn that the Judge has been praying for a replacement doctor and he hopes Lisa will be the one… and of course there’s a handsome single man in town (Trevor St. John) that catches her eye and eventually her heart. If the story sounds familiar, it’s because it is. In 1991 Michael J. Fox made this film (though not the “christian” version) which was called Doc Hollywood. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen Doc Hollywood, but I definitely remember liking it more than I liked this film. There were plenty of good moments in Finding Normal (I liked Lou Beatty’s character), and it’s not “too Christian” for a broad audience, but in the end I just couldn’t get over it’s sappiness. To me it ended up being a lower quality, sap-filled, “Christian ripoff” of a big Hollywood film… but like I said, it has it’s moments, so you might want to check it out… especially if you’re not familiar with the Michael J. Fox version of the story.

WATCH THE TRAILER
SCORE: 2.0 out of 5 stars
RELEASE: 2013
RATING: NR

Elf — 2 out of 5 stars

ONE WORD REVIEW: Ho-Ho-Hum

SUMMARY: Raised by Santa’s Elves, Buddy the Elf learns he’s a human and sets out to meet the father he’s never known. Pseudo-hilarity ensues.

DETAILS: Will Ferrell plays Buddy the Elf who was raised among elves in Santa’s Workshop at the North Pole. But the day comes when Buddy learns he’s a human and that his real father lives in New York City. So Buddy leaves on a journey to meet the man he’s never known. He gets a job in a department store’s Christmas department, falls in love with a co-worker, and destroys his dad’s career, but along the way he helps restore the Christmas spirit that’s long been lost. A Christmas comedy it is, but it’s funny moments are only so funny, and in the end, Elf just can’t compete with the Mother of all Christmas Comedy’s… A Christmas Story.

SCORE: 2 out of 5

RELEASE: 2003
RATING: PG
COMEDY