Lifetime Review: 'Sisters for Life'
Synopsis: At Beta Delta Chi, Jana Spicer (Maddison Bullock) is excited for the new semester and the new crop of pledges looking to join her sorority. Among those pledges is transfer student Bailee Adams (Briana Femia), a girl Jana quickly clicks with as Bailee reminds her of how she was when she first joined Beta Delta Chi. But it doesn't take long before Bailee's adoration goes from awkwardly sweet to full-on unsettling. It's not enough for Bailee to have Jana as her "big sister" within the sorority; she wants to be Jana's new best friend and spend every waking second with her. As the semester goes on, alarming events rock Beta Delta Chi and Jana finds her personal and academic lives coming undone. Is it all a coincidence? Or is Bailee prepared to do anything to make sure Jana remains her sister for life?
The cabin in the woods had been abandoned for years, but one night, a candle burned in the window. Hello, my child... That unexpected bit of light was what first drew Allie to the dilapidated structure. The bright flame stood out against the faded wood, the crumbling architecture, and the broken window that the candle was displayed through.
Film Review: 'Hollywood Stargirl'
Synopsis: Stargirl Caraway's (Grace VanderWaal) time in Mica, Arizona has come to an end. Her mother Ana (Judy Greer) found a new job in Los Angeles designing costumes for a movie, with Ana promising Stargirl that L.A. will be the place where she finishes high school. So before her senior year begins, Stargirl explores her new home in search of a summer adventure. She finds it in her new neighbor Evan (Elijah Richardson), a teen who's making a movie with his brother Terrell (Tyrel Jackson Williams). After being captivated by Stargirl's singing, Evan and Terrell convince Stargirl to join their movie as the female lead. As Stargirl bonds with Evan and falls in love with the art of filmmaking, she also makes some more unexpected friends and begins to feel at home in her new city. But when unexpected complications arise, will her California dreams be shattered?
Short Film Reviews: 4-Letter Titles
Andy: The first 4-letter word on this list refers to Andy (Brendan Meyer), a high school senior stuck dealing with bullies and an arrogant teacher terrorizing him. And as if things couldn't get worse, an incident at a party held by classmate Lia Richards (Madison Iseman) earns him a visit from the police. Now it's up to Andy to find a way to show everyone the truth. While identified as a drama on IMDb, Andy is more of a lightweight coming-of-age picture. The script touches on a lot of hot button issues, but handles them in a relatively breezy way. The story's pacing and plotting are handled well, starting from Andy's encounter with the detectives and going back to show the events that led to Andy being accused of a heinous crime. But again, don't go into Andy expecting a mood akin to that of the average Law & Order: SVU episode.
Lifetime Review: 'Happily Never After'
Synopsis: Laura Davis (Erinn Fredin) and her boyfriend Pete Wynn (Rich Holton) have been together for six years and Laura has finally convinced Pete that it's time for them to tie the knot. So after she wins a contest to have her wedding put together for free by esteemed "Wedding Whisperer" Faith Irwin (Alexis Allotta), Laura is over the moon. But after meeting their wedding planner, Pete is much less excited. The reason? Faith is the woman he spent a passionate weekend with during a time when he and Laura were having problems. Desperate not to lose Laura, Pete begs Faith not to tell her about his indiscretion and Faith agrees to keep the secret and remain professional. But as the wedding planning begins, it becomes clear that Faith has no intention of letting Pete reject her again. Instead of giving Laura her dream wedding, Faith is going to do whatever it takes to keep her and Pete from walking down the aisle...
Film Review: 'The Wise Kids'
Synopsis: In Charleston, South Carolina resides three churchgoing best friends: Brea (Molly Kunz), Laura (Alison Torem), and Tim (Tyler Ross). With high school coming to an end and college on the horizon, all three teens are going through some big changes--some scarier and more unexpected than others. Despite being a pastor's daughter, Brea finds herself questioning the faith she once followed without question. Tim remains a believer, but struggles to reconcile his beliefs with his homosexuality. Laura is a devout Christian and frets about the spiritual futures of her friends. Over the course of a few months, these young adults are going to learn a lot about themselves before leaving the bubble of their small town. Who will they be once the summer ends?
Lifetime Review: 'Here Kills the Bride'
Synopsis: Ever since a traumatic childhood accident, Jasmine Lopez (Erin Pineda) has been a bit overprotective of her brother Carlos (Fernando Belo). So when she learns that he's planning to marry the girlfriend he's only known for a few months, she has more than a few reservations about it. Carlos and her parents assure Jasmine that Grace (Ashlee Füss ) is a lovely woman and that she has nothing to worry about. Little do they know that Grace has a dark past and a psychotic desire to have the man of her dreams--even if she has to kill to get him. Will Jasmine be able to expose Grace and open her family's eyes to the truth before it's too late to stop the wedding?
Short Film Reviews: Fantasy
The Wretched Prologue: It only makes sense to start this list with a movie that's one word away from sharing a title with the Vocal challenge behind the list's creation. Set in 395 A.D., Roman Centurion Markus Valerus (Nicolas Charles) leads his soldiers in a battle against the ruthless barbarians that wish to lay siege on the Roman Empire. But they're in for a much greater fight when a horrific virus strikes the barbarians and turns them into bloodthirsty cannibals. Having been made to spark interest in a feature script simply entitled The Wretched, this film certainly lives up to the "prologue" part of its title. If it weren't for the credits that follow the ending title card, a casual viewer could think they've just watched the opening sequence of a period zombie thriller.
Short Film Reviews: Mothers
Mother of the Year: Sam (Elle Shaw) is a single mother with a lot on her plate. In addition to juggling all the responsibilities of raising two kids on her own, she also has to contend with the neighborhood moms clique run by snobby neighbor Maura (Bibi Tanya Basha). After an embarrassing mix-up at a birthday party, Sam takes up her mother's suggestion that she start using cocaine to get the "extra boost" she needs to get her life in order. But what will happen when her neighbors find out? If you take away the cocaine element, Mother of the Year's plot could easily be reworked into an episode of a Disney sitcom. Any mother watching is bound to relate to Sam's maternal struggles and sympathize with her when her mistakes are met with mockery from Maura and anger from her son.
Hallmark Review: 'Love Locks'
Synopsis: 20 years ago, Lindsey Wilson (Rebecca Romijn) was an aspiring artist experiencing first love in Paris. Now, she's the head of a New York-based art magazine traveling back to Paris with her daughter Alexa (Jocelyn Hudon) for a weeklong vacation before Alexa begins her semester studying art at The Sorbonne. But it's not long into their stay that Lindsey gets thrown a curveball: her first love Jack Burrow (Jerry O'Connell) is not only in Paris too, but he's the owner of the hotel she and Alexa are staying in! Given the way their relationship ended, things are initially awkward between Lindsey and Jack. But as the week goes on, the two former sweethearts spend more time together and rekindle their lost bond. But between Lindsey's fear of change and the attention she's receiving from a New York business associate, will this chance reunion be enough to bring her and Jack back together?
Lifetime Review: 'Malicious Motives'
Synopsis: Katie Weber (Juliana Destefano) has a much different life than her classmate Ashley Sheperd (Revell Carpenter). While Ashley is popular and lives in a stable home with her loving parents, Katie is an outcast living under the guardianship of her cruel sister Sasha (Briana Femia). So when Katie learns that Ashley is in dire need of a partial liver transplant and that she has the same rare blood type as hers, she decides to become Ashley's donor, forging her sister's signature on the necessary forms. This quickly endears Katie to Ashley and her parents, Rena and Dan (Carrie Schroeder and Michael Woulters). But Katie's plans are jeopardized when Sasha finds out and threatens to expose her sister's lie to the Sheperds. What lengths is Katie willing to go to for a new life?
Lifetime Review: 'Stolen in Her Sleep'
Synopsis: With her daughter Ava having needed a heart transplant when she was born, Hallie Reynolds (Morgan Bradley) is understandably protective of her baby. Between taking care of Ava, trying to get her art career started up again, and her husband James (Connor Floyd) being away for work so often, Hallie's feeling the pressure. At first, things seem to be looking up with the arrival of two new people in her life: art PR agent Megan Devereaux (Alicia Leigh Willis) and James' mother Lynne (Meredith Thomas). But soon, Hallie's stress goes from bad to worse as alarming events push her closer to the edge. Is the maternal anxiety causing Hallie to lose her mind? Or is someone close to her intent on getting her out of the way so they can have Ava all to themselves?