“The King’s Daughter” (Adventure/Fantasy: 1h38)
With: Pierce Brosnan, Kaya Scodelario and William Hurt
Director: Sean McNamara
Rated: PG (Violence, suggestive material and thematic elements)
Movie Review: Vonda N. McIntyre’s novel “The Moon and the Sun” is the basis for this capricious storyline with poor visual effects. While the cast consists of several big names, they can do little to help with the technical aspects of this fantasy. “The King’s Daughter” is interesting without being a good movie.
King Louis XIV’s (Brosnan) quest for immortality leads him to a mermaid. The mythical creature possesses a life force that could bestow immortality on the King of France. He has several of his subjects capture a mermaid (Fan Bingbing) and imprison them. Louis’ plan becomes complicated when his illegitimate daughter, Marie-Josèphe (Kaya Scodelario), discovers the creature and fights for her freedom.
Sean McNamara (“Mighty Oak”, 2020) is directing this film. The producers did it more than five years ago but have held on so far. After seeing this, one will understand the delay.
The story is interesting at times. Pierce Brosnan’s King Louis is intriguing, especially his relationship with Father La Chaise, seriously played by William Hurt. The two men are different but friends. King Louis is a womanizer and Father La Chaise de Hurt is a priest, a holy man who reminds his king that his God is the true king.
Also of interest is Kaya Scodelario playing the King’s Daughter. Her relationship with her father could be a worthwhile drama in itself. Instead, this storyline focuses on her love interest, Captain Yves (Benjamin Walker) and her other suitors.
As all of these relationships occur, the film’s main story is that of a mermaid in captivity. The problem is that the mermaid part of this story is annoyingly weak. The special effects are equally mixed.
Grade: C- (The French would say “No!”)
“Redeeming Love” (Drama/Romance: 2 hours, 14 minutes)
With: Abigail Cowen, Tom Lewis, Logan Marshall-Green and Eric Dane
Director: DJ Caruso
Rated: PG-13 (adult themed content, language, sexual content, partial nudity and strong violent content)
Film Review: When it comes to love, there is a second chance, and then sheer stupidity exists. This is the case of this film based on the novel by Francine Rivers titled the same. The basis of the story is the Old Testament scripture about the prophet Hosea and his wife, Gomer, a prostitute.
During the California Gold Rush of 1850, Angel (Cowan) became part of a prostitution organization as a child, sold after the death of her mother. Angel only knows a life of hardship and betrayal. That changes when she meets Michael Hosea (Tom Lewis). Michael believes that God wants him to marry Angel, so he begins to visit her. Very slowly, their love for each other changes Angel’s life.
Francine Rivers wrote this screenplay, which DJ Caruso (“Disturbia”, 2007) is directing. This movie has an interesting setting. It takes place in the Wild West. It is also a film about faith. He holds his interests while being equally irritating.
Angel and Michael’s recurring relationship plays best as a soap opera. A good man who loves a woman dearly and is the epitome of a gentleman must pursue her when she continually ruins his life.
Michael is a man of faith and he has the patience of Job. Why he wants Angel is a matter of destined love. However, the attractive couple’s relationship of tribulation is unconvincing by the way this photoplay executes its narrative.
Grade: C+ (Redemption fluctuates entertainingly and infuriatingly)
Play at Valdosta Stadium Cinemas
“The Tiger Rising” (Drama/Family: 1h38)
Starring: Dennis Quaid, Queen Latifah, Christian Convery as Rob Horton and Madalen Mills
Director: Ray Giarratana
Rated: PG (Thematic elements including bullying, language and violence)
Movie Review: Something sweet exists in this coming-of-age tale. It feels like one of those extracurricular TV movies of yesteryear. In that same tradition, it also has a heartfelt story. However, he never really finds an upper edge, despite his likeable cast.
Rob Horton (Convery), 12, still mourns the loss of his recently deceased mother. Rob’s life and imagination change after discovering a caged tiger in the forest near the hotel where he and his father, Robert Horton Sr. (Trammell), live. With the help of Willie May (Latifah), the hotel maid and only confidant, Rob’s life changes for the better. This is especially true when he meets another tween, a very outspoken Sistine Bailey (Mills) who passionately hates the South.
Some good times do exist, but overact or underact by the night cast. Plus, the hesitant consistency of the characters distracts from this otherwise enjoyable family tale based on Kate DiCamillo’s book.
Ray Giarratana (“The Artist’s Journey: Funk Blast”, 2000) makes an enjoyable, easy-going film that’s suitable for all ages. He slips on the youthful feeling. Its sweet charm matches its naive simplicity of script.
Grade: C (An enjoyable film that never peaks effectively.)
Adann-Kennn Alexxandar has been writing film reviews for over 20 years for the Valdosta Daily Times.