Posts Tagged ‘Portia Doubleday’

ISOLATION PODCAST: What to watch when you’ve already watched everything!

What to watch when you’ve already watched everything. Binge worthy, not cringe worthy recommendations. It’s a long title, I know but in self isolation I have more time on my hands than usual. Here are three movies you may not have seen that are available to rent or buy on VOD and streaming services that can help pass the minutes, hours, weeks… whatever, until we are allowed to touch our faces again.

Listen to the whole thing HERE!

AFTER THE BALL: 2 STARS. “aren’t many surprises in this fluffy commercial tale.”

Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 4.50.22 PMLike the love child of “The Devil Wears Prada,” “Twelfth Night” and “Cinderella”—I know that doesn’t make sense, but either does much of this movie—“After the Ball” is a modern day fairy tale set against the backdrop of the fashion industry.

Portia Doubleday stars as fashion grad Kate Kassel. From the outside she seems to have it all, talent, drive and a father (Chris Noth) who is the CEO of a fashion line. Trouble is, the family name has been sullied in recent years and no one will hire her. Fashionable hat in hand she begs for a job at the family business, now being run by her evil stepmother (Lauren Holly) and talentless, vindictive stepsisters (Natalie Krill and Anna Hopkins). Her obvious talent doesn’t endear her to the sisters and soon she is framed for fashion theft and fired. Determined to set things right, and save the business, she dons a disguise—she’s now Nate—and returns to the fold.

The movie’s influences are beyond obvious—Kate is the princess, get it?—and there aren’t many surprises in the retelling of this light and fluffy commercial tale and while it is a movie probably best suited to the small screen VOD experience that doesn’t negate its modest charms.

“After the Ball” tries a bit too hard to please, but Doubleday has good chemistry with love interest/prince charming Marc-André Grondin and Holly has some one-dimensional fun as the villainous stepmother. Carlo Rota’s Stanley Tucci impression, however, brings us back to earth, reminding us we’re watching a copy of the kind of top-of-the-line rom coms that feature aerial views of Manhattan in their opening moments.

Carrie review: No reason to toy with a classic. Metro – Canada Reel Guys Oct. 18, 2013

00_18_scene_reelguys_md_lizSYNOPSIS: The third adaptation of Stephen King’s 1974 novel stars Chloë Grace Moretz as Maine high school outcast Carrie White, a lonely girl teased by classmates and abused by her deeply religious mother (Julianne Moore). Despite the best efforts of gym teacher Miss Desjardin (Judy Greer) to help Carrie fit in, a clique of mean girls led by Chris (Portia Doubleday) make it their mission to ensure that Carrie has a rough time at school. After being humiliated at her senior prom—pig’s blood will really ruin a taffeta dress apparently—she unleashes a terrible telekinetic vengeance on those who wronged her.


Richard: 2 ½ Stars

Mark: 2 Stars

Richard: Mark, people have been asking me about this movie for months. But they haven’t been asking, ‘Is it good?’ They’ve been asking me why anyone would remake the 1976 classic. After seeing it, I’m not sure. The new version is a perfectly serviceable adaptation of Stephen King’s famous book but it doesn’t have the vulnerability or frailty that made Sissy Spacek so memorable in the title role. First off, what did you think of Chloë Grace Moretz?

Mark: Richard, she’s the strongest thing in the movie. Although no one can compare to Sissy Spacek, she did an admirable job. The question isn’t whether this is a good film; it’s whether this is a necessary film. When I heard Kimberly Pierce would be directing this remake, I hoped she would bring some kind of post-feminist twist to it. But no, she didn’t direct the remake; she just colored within the lines.

RC: Agreed, but there are some good moments within those lines. There is a sweetness to Carrie, particularly in the prom scenes (pre pig’s blood) that makes the anticipation of what is to come all the more tense and I liked Julianne Moore’s head thumping self-punishment scenes. It works in those moments, but there’s too much CGI—the floating books are silly—and since when can Carrie fly?

MB: She can now! It’s just another example how everything in the movie is less subtle than in the DePalma version. The themes of religious and sexual repression-so shocking in 1976-seem overcooked now. But let’s pretend we know nothing of the original. Does the movie work? Sure, to an extent. The performances are good, the last third is exciting and full of blood and revenge, but it still feels a bit superficial and detached. None of my fingernails were harmed in the viewing of this production.

RC: Mine either, although a mother and daughter knife battle made me shift to the front of my seat mostly because it felt more organic and less computer generated than some of the other displays of Carrie’s mad telekinetic skillz. It felt dangerous in a way that the rest of the violence didn’t.

MB: And Julianne Moore does crazy very well, doesn’t she? Still, the script gave her some passages so clunky that even real-life maniac mamas would have demanded another draft


youth-in-revolt-photoYouth in Revolt is the new Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. It’s a film about the benefits of behaving badly and like the famous 1986 John Hughes movie it is headlined by an actor who brings charm and wit to the role of the rebel.

Hoodie heartthrob Michael Cera plays fourteen-year-old Nick Twisp, a mild mannered collection of raging hormones and quirky personality traits. He loves Sinatra and foreign films. When his family relocates to a Christian trailer park he meets his dream girl, Sheeni Saunders (Portia Doubleday), a similarly anachronistic teenager with a taste for anything French and a dream of being swept off her feet by a bad boy named Francois. When circumstance steps in to keep them apart he (with the help of an imaginary friend named Francois Dillinger) reverses his goody-two-shoes image and becomes a rebel with a cause—he wants to impress her.

Cera has a corner on the awkward by coming-of-age movie, and as Twisp he doesn’t do anything he didn’t do in Juno or Superbad, but he’s charming and easy to watch. His work takes on a different dimension, however, when he slips into alter ego mode. As the mustachioed Francois he’s a refugee from a Belmondo film, equipped with a cigarette, and too tight white trousers. It’s not often that an actor gets to show his range playing two characters in one film, but this is a step forward for Cera, who has been locked into the wisecracking virgin stereotype since he left the small screen’s Arrested Development, grew some peach fuzz and started chasing girls on the big screen. It’s not exactly his first adult part but it shows he can do something other than act like an awkward teen while delivering funny lines with pitch perfect timing.

The supporting cast, made up of reliable old pros like Jean Smart, M. Emmet Walsh, Fred Willard and Steve Buscemi, do good work, but the movie wouldn’t work if Sheeni wasn’t the kind of girl worth throwing your life away for, but in the excellently named Portia Doubleday Youth in Revolt finds a newcomer with charisma to burn.

Youth in Revolt is a funny, delightful movie but its main strengths are its actors—Cera who expands his range and Doubleday who debuts hers.