“Table 19” (2017)
The former maid of honor Eloise McGarry (Anna Kendrick) attends the wedding and assigned table 19 (the “random” table), alongside Bina and Jerry Kepp (Lisa Kudrow and Craig Robinson), Jo Flanagan (June Squibb), Rezno Eckberg (Tony Revolori), and Walter Thimple (Stephen Merchant). Ms. McGarry was ditched by the best man Teddy (Wyatt Russell) prior to the wedding. “Table 19” eliminates all the fun out of attending the wedding – tedious and awkwardly quirky. Meanwhile, attempts to be the unconventional independent and/or mainstream film (could not tell which one). Not even the delightful cast could rescue the special occasion. Just reply “Declines with Regret” on the invitation. C
“Before I Fall” (2017)
Based on the novel of the same name by Lauren Oliver, “Before I Fall” chronicles Samantha Kingston (the mediocre Zoey Deutch) repeatedly reliving February 12. The initial sequence is repeated numerous times and thus, you do not miss much until the final twenty minutes. The extreme redundancy may allow a few catnaps during the film. Perhaps “Before I Fall” was attempting to be the Young Adult version of “The Age of Adaline” (2015)? If anything, “Before I Fall” provides the most wonderful catnap ever. C-
“The Shack” (2017)
Based on the novel of the same name by William P. Young, Missy Phillips (Amelie Eve) is kidnapped and abducted during the family camping trip. The mourning Mackenzie “Mack” Phillips” (Sam Worthington) receives the personal invitation to meet with God “Papa” (Octavia Spencer), Sarayu (Sumire Matsubara), and Jesus (Avraham Aviv Alush) at the Shack. The wife Nan (Radha Mitchell) and the children Kate and Josh (Megan Charpentier and Gage Munroe) mourn and support the husband and the father, respectively. The rather underwhelming performances and predictable screenplay are easy to ignore. Whereas PureFlix films are usually manipulative, “The Shack” provides the fresh and thought provoking perspective to the Christian audience – rarely calculating to the point where you question your faith. God finds the good in the evil and always comforts you in ways you couldn’t imagine. B
Review Structure Key
Regular reviews ~ Word count varies.
Mini reviews ~ Positives and negatives (+/-) analysis.
Brief reviews ~ One hundred words, more or less.