BARE BONES: UNPREGNANT (2020)

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UNPREGNANT (2020)

17 year-old Veronica Clarke (Haley Lu Richardson) is a high school girl with big plans for her future…big plans that come to a screeching halt when she finds herself pregnant. Veronica makes a decision, but the only place the Missouri teen can get an abortion without parental consent is Albuquerque, New Mexico. Veronica turns to her one time best friend, nerdy Bailey Butler (Barbie Ferreira) to take her on a road trip to get the procedure without her mother, or her popular new friends finding out. Obviously, the road trip does not go as planned.

Movie is based on the book of the same name by Ted Caplan and Jenni Hendricks. It’s directed very well by Rachel Lee Goldenberg from her script with the book’s authors, along with Jennifer Kaytin Robinson and William Parker. It’s a bit daring to make a road trip, drama/comedy based around such a hot topic, but the film doesn’t preach either way and both points of view get made, though the film does lean more towards a woman making her own choices. And that’s what makes this sometimes very poignant and funny flick interesting, is that, in a way, it’s not about Veronica’s abortion, but a young woman coming of age and making her own choices in her own life. Choices she feels are the right choices and right for her, as Veronica rediscovers the friend in Bailey and that her boyfriend Kevin (Alex MacNicoll) may not be the guy for her, despite his wanting to take responsibility for her pregnancy and marry her. The flick has a good cast, with Haley Lu Richardson once again proving she is a star in the making and Barbie Ferreira displaying a dynamic young actress to keep an eye with her eccentric and energetic, nerd Bailey. An enjoyable and sometimes thought provoking comedy/drama. Also stars Breckin Meyer and Sugar Lyn Beard as a well-intended, but overzealous religious couple and Giancarlo Esposito as a very strange limo driver named Bob. Film is a an HBO Max original.

-MonsterZero NJ

3 star rating

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BARE BONES: STAG NIGHT (2008)

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STAG NIGHT (2008)

Stag Night finds a group of bachelor partiers and a couple of strippers in NYC running afoul of a tribe of vicious, cannibalistic homeless people in the subways after hours. Flick is written and directed by Peter A. Dowling and has a group of young antagonists who aren’t particularly likable and therefor we really don’t care what happens to them. Their pursuers are generic snarling savages and don’t have enough of a persona to really generate fear or dread. So, we have a basic by-the-numbers gory horror that fails to generate any thrills, because there is nothing given us to get thrilled about. Many of today’s filmmakers miss the point, horror needs to evoke emotions in it’s audience, just as much as any other type of film. Fear is an emotion and if we care about characters, we are afraid when they are. Flicks like this also need a strong villain to evoke that fear. Gore and mood lighting do not a horror film make. Production value is decent and the locations and gore FX are effective, but that’s about it. Very routine despite an amusing premise. Stars Kip Pardue, Vinessa Shaw, Sarah Barrand, Breckin Meyer, Karl Geary and martial artist/actor Scott Adkins.

-MonsterZero NJ

2 and 1-2 star rating

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