Sneakerella, Firestarter, Senior Year, On the Count of Three | ABC4 Friday Films May 13th 2022

Sneakerella (Disney+)

Rated: Rated N/A

Synopsis: A modern twist on Cinderella set in New York City’s Sneaker Culture.

Review: A retelling of the classic Cinderella story but with a twist. Loved the music, and the dancing, and our main character are very compelling and charismatic. The switch in the character dynamics feels refreshing and worth a watch! The runtime is quite extensive, and there may be more than one creative inspiration from Lin-Manual Miranda’s body of work, so if you have any younger kids I would say this is going to be a hit in your home. 

See it or Skip it: See It!

Firestarter (Universal, Blumhouse)

Rated: Rated R for violent content

Synopsis: A young girl tries to understand how she mysteriously gained the power to set things on fire with her mind.

Review: Stephen King adaptations can be hit or miss, and Firestarter failed to generate a spark for me. Sure, this isn’t the worst of the Stephen King film adaptations we’ve seen, but the best thing you could say about Firestarter is that it’s just ‘fine’. Zac Efron limits his charisma for a more toned-down character that ends up being blander because of it. Supporting characters are about the same energy. 

There are some decent moments of suspense and you can’t discredit the amazing score from legendary director/composer John Carpenter. But overall this is a quick and painless watch that you may forget about the next day.

See it or Skip it: Skip It

Senior Year (Paramount, Netflix)

Rated: Rated R for sexual material, language and brief teen drinking/drug use

Synopsis: A cheerleading stunt gone wrong landed her in a 20-year coma. Now she’s 37, newly awake and ready to live out her high school dream: becoming prom queen.

Review: Rebel Wilson is still charming, funny, and delightful to watch. While I love seeing her in different projects and certainly as a leading role, ‘Senior Year’ much like Wilson’s character, seems stifled and held back from the potential hit it could be. There’s a lot of themes we’ve seen in other high school flicks, with 90’s/00’s nostalgia that work for the most part. The supporting characters feel underwritten and though I love these performers in them, the film failed to give them enough to really expand their characters.

Overall, It’s a bit of a mixed bag. You might wind up enjoying it with lowered expectations, so I will say try it this weekend on Netflix.

See it or Skip it: Try It

On the Count of Three (Orion Pictures)

Rated: Rated R for violence, suicide, pervasive language and some sexual references

Synopsis: Jerrod Carmichael makes his directorial debut and stars in On the Count of Three, a darkly comic feature about two best friends, Val (Carmichael) and Kevin (Christopher Abbott), on the last day of their lives.

Review: This is a great film. I had the pleasure of seeing it during the 2021 Sundance film festival and it hasn’t left me since. Jerrod and Christopher both have incredible chemistry together and you really feel their bond as friends. In the end this may be a film that delves into darker themes, but it does so with heart and humor. The Supporting cast are all great, and the directing by Jerrod is on the same levels as other directorial debuts like Bo Burnham, or John Krazinski.  

This being Mental Health Awareness month, This is a film I would definitely recommend. Remember, you can always seek help and there are resources there for you. 

The number for The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 800-273-8255
See it or Skip it: See It!

Patrick Beatty
Patrick Beatty

Patrick Beatty is a film critic and creator of and the Gaggle of Geeks Podcast network. Watch him Friday’s on ABC4 Good Things Utah talk about movies and follow all his work in the link below.

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