A Taste of the Heights

Colin O'Donoghue as Rogers and Robert Carlyle as Weaver Once Upon a Time Season 7 Episode 12 A Taste of the Heights picture image

Colin O’Donoghue as Rogers and Robert Carlyle as Weaver

This episode is all over the place. We have the A plot which is involves more food truck shenanigans. Sabine wants to take part in a neighborhood food truck festival, is that a thing that happens? She meets up with an old guy friend from culinary school, Drew, who is really Naveen and he in the pocket of Dr.Facilier  for reasons. The Flashback part also revolves around these three and Dr.Facilier is the best part.

The B plots are Lucy is now the blocker since Henry will die from death by plot resolution should he kiss Jacinda even though romantic love is seldom the way the these OUAT curses get broken. And the other B plot is we’re still on the case with Rumple and Nook as they investigate the coven, Eloise, the death of Dr.Sage, Victoria’s death and whatever else they find along the way.  

The C plot ties into the A plot, it’s basically about how Regina had an affair with Dr.Facilier. When did that happen, show? It was when she was still “The Evil Queen,”  but when? Was it during her tryst with Huntsmen? Or After? Or Before? It’s not much of retcon but it’s just a weird development. Though Facilier and Regina have better chemistry than Jacinda and Henry BUT then again Henry has more chemistry with the mixtapes, so moot point.  

Also I do wonder if we will still learn the identities of Dr. Sage and Hilda the creepy blind baker. Because it seems like we are not going to learn who the coven members were outside of their Hyperion Height personas, which isn’t cool OUAT! You could have had Mad Madam Mim!

This episode was very middle of the road. It wasn’t god-awful but it was great either. It felt too long, like it kept going and going and  going.

I read on reddit a really great guess for how the show will end  and I hope it will come down to it. It would wrap things up very nicely. The guess who also tie into something from season 2 that should’ve been a bigger deal but there was Pan to deal with. Anyway I hope the  reddit user’s guess is right.


Colin O'Donoghue as Wish-Hook, Rebecca Mader as Zelena and Tiera Skovbye as Robin Once Upon a Time Season 7 Episode 11 Secret Garden picture image

 Colin O’Donoghue as Wish-Hook, Rebecca Mader as Zelena and Tiera Skovbye as Robin

I guess I was off on the episode count, oops. Anyway, Once is back and I didn’t notice, oops. While the show was on hiatus it was announced that this is the final season, which isn’t really that surprising but it does seem unlikely that Hunchback will ever enter into the narrative. Though the way the show films its season as it being aired who knows. It’s very doubtful but the upshot is the season will at least have a conclusion since the producers knew the cancellation could happen and will give the longtime fans the resolution they deserve.  

So how was the episode? It was pretty good.  Aside from the Lucy, Henry and Jacinda scenes, the episode advanced the plot and characters. We learned how Zelena got her groove back. We also learn how Robin and Zelena were in the Enchanted Forest 2.0 in the first place. Though I really can’t see Zelena being into the whole dive aesthetic  

The central theme of this episode is the length of maternal love. Zelena nearly dies for Robin and Victoria/Rapunzel does die to save Ivy/Druzilla. It was rather touching in the end to have Victoria/Rapunzel die for her  Ivy/Druzilla. I will miss Victoria/Rapunzel though.

But on the upside I did like the interaction Zelena had with the other characters this episode, especially with Nook (Hook or wish-Hook or Rogers.) Seriously  the realm doesn’t get a name but everyone else gets half-dozen names. Also glad to see gal-pal Regina back.

I feel like I  should be a little annoyed that one of the supposed big bads of the season seems to be Madame Leota from the Haunted Mansion ride but I’m not. So long as it’s fit into the overall convoluted narrative, whatever.  I wonder if, in theory, Esmeralda COULD be one of the Coven members. It would make her evil but she was nearly burned for being a witch, so maybe? Doubtful but I wouldn’t mind.

Anyway, it was a pretty good episode.  

Tony Caunter as Clopin 1977 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Tony Caunter as Clopin

There is a Clopin in this version and he is very forgettable. Sure, he does all the things Book Clopin does as the leader of the Court of Miracles but there is nothing intense or charming about him that makes him stand out.

He just a guy who shouts all his lines. Maybe this is the fault of the book as Clopin doesn’t have much of a role but the whole King of Slang made his at least interesting.

Here are some gowns from the 2018 Academy Award Red Carpet that are are vaguely reminiscent of the costumes of Esmeralda and Fleur de Lys. There was a dire of gowns that were like anything that Esmeralda or Fleur de Lys were in any version, so I had to kinda broaden the scope of similar elements.


Salma Hayek in Gucci Oscars 2018 picture image

Salma Hayek in Gucci, Oscars 2018

Of course Salma Hayek has a advantage for being reminiscent of Esmeralda because she played Esmeralda in the 1997 version but that is not why this Gucci gown is here. First the color, the light purple is one point with Disney’s Esmeralda main costume but there is also the tier layers which also invokes the Disney costume.


Laura Dern in Calvin Klein Oscars 2018 picture image

Laura Dern in Calvin Klein, Oscars 2018

I suppose I’m predisposed to be reminded of Esmeralda’s prisoner costume for Notre Dame de Paris anytime I see a white sheath dress with flutter  sleeves and an emphasized neckline.  This gown by Calvin Klein worn by Laura Dern would fit in well on stage for a Notre Dame de Paris production.  The asymmetry of the sleeves also echoes the sleeves in Esmeralda’s green costume.


Leslie Mann Zac Posen Oscars 2018 picture image

Leslie Mann in Zac Posen, Oscars 2018

So now you have to broaden the scope a little. While this gown by Zac Posen worn by Leslie Mann doesn’t completely shout Esmeralda there is something about that harkens back to Disney’s Esmeralda’s red dress. Of course the color helps but it’s the overlay and the fluidity of the layers that make it similar to Esmeralda’s costume.


Zoey Deutch Elie Saab Oscars 2018 picture image

Zoey Deutch in Elie Saab, Oscars 2018

This gown by Elie Saab and worn by Zoey Deutch doesn’t really reflect any costume of Esmeralda’s but there is something to the tiers and the embellishments that makes it elegant and bohemian that you could see it applied to an Esmeralda costume.


Fleur de Lys

Viola Davis in Michael Kors Oscars 2018 picture image

Viola Davis in Michael Kors, Oscars 2018

This gown by Michael Kors and worn by Viola Davis just screams Fleur de Lys’ Notre Dame de Paris costume. It’s nearly on the money from the color to the silhouette  to the use of sequin, even though Fleur de Lys’ costume has beading sometimes. If this gown was used in a production it would fit in so well amongst the other versions of the costume, even without the odd hemline.


Mirai Nagasu in Tadashi Shoji Oscars 2018 picture image

Mirai Nagasu in Tadashi Shoji Oscars 2018

I guess I have the 1977 version of my mind so this gown worn by Mirai Nagasu by Tadashi Shoji has a lot of similarities to the costumes Fleur de Lys wears in that version. For starters the color, that soft light blue was in all of the 1977 Fleur’s costume aside from her wedding gown. The deep v-neckline and the long sleeves are reminders to Fleur’s costume aswell.


Emily Blunt in Schiaprelli Oscars 2018 picture image

Emily Blunt in Schiaprelli, Oscars 2018

Again broaden the scope. This gown by Schiaprelli worn by Emily Blunt doesn’t really communicate a Fleur de Lys costume. There is however something about  soft gray-blue color  with its soft and prim feeling with a hit of edge that echoes Fleur de Lys’ character.

Jessica Szohr picture image

Jessica Szohr


This suggestion came off a  ideas wiki list but that list has since changed but we’re still going to go through them. Jessica Szhor is one of those actresses whom I have heard of but I have never actually seen in anything. She is most known for playing Vanessa Abrams on Gossip Girl and  playing Nessa on Shameless. Otherwise she has not been  in that much of note unless you like Piranha 3D, maybe it’s amazing but somehow I  very much doubt it. 


Jessica Szohr picture image

Jessica Szohr

As the link is for a Disney remark, Szhor is being suggested as a Disney Esmeralda and I can see why. For starters her overall look is great for Esmeralda. She part Hungarian and African-American. Her eyes are also blue. All around she looks the part. 


Jessica Szohr as Nessa from Shameless picture image

Jessica Szohr as Nessa from Shameless

Given the actors who appeared on the suggestion list, it seemed the idea was to go for a more comedic tone rather than a dramatic one, in this capacity Szhor could work in the role. She doesn’t seem like a dramatically driven actress. Given the right direction she could play the role effectively. 


Jessica Szohr picture image

Jessica Szohr

Jessica Szhor would not be my top choice to play Esmeralda but it’s understandable why someone would want her to play her in a Disney remake.

The final random pick is To and From New York. Its runtime of 80 minutes gives me pause but it’s at least short.


To and From New York picture image

To and From New York


Of all the movies I could have randomly gotten, I got this, a low budget independent  movie that is not as bad as The Room but not as enjoyable either.

The plot is an engaged woman named Lydia, goes to New York City for an article. One  night she goes with a college friend to speed dating. She meets a guy who works in a museum and through some series of events she become friends with him. However the plot is she finds a lead between two missing woman and using her new artist friend and another  friend who is a matchmarker/ hosted the speed date, she finds out what happen to these two women and it’s really anticlimactic.   But the good news is that Lydia breaks up with her fiancee and moves to New York. Though we never meet her fiancee or see the break-up.

That is pretty much the movie.

To and From New York is not good by any means. In an objective grading score it would get no high marks. The  most you can say is that at least the person who wrote, directed and produced  the movie, tried to bring his dream to life and that is worth something. Though it was misguided with too many weird chocker shots and odd edits.

It’s just better to go after a soulless studio cash grabs than a low budget independent movie where art and dating try and save the day in the end. It’s the difference between going after an establish author versus someone who self-publishes on kindle or a fanfic writer. Some people are just better but you can’t be too harsh on the work for being amateurish and unpolished.

If you truly have nothing better to do with your 80 minutes sure you could watch it but there is no reason to seek this movie out unless you want to watch every movie that The Cures’ music has been in because this movie has a The Cure song.

Hetty Baynes as Fleur de Lys 1977 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Hetty Baynes as Fleur de Lys

Fleur de Lys’s most interesting function in Hunchback is to act of Esmeralda’s foil. If Esmeralda is dreamy and romantic towards Phoebus then Fleur de Lys  has knowledge of his tendencies for wantonness.


Hetty Baynes as Fleur de Lys & Richard Morant as Phoebus de Chateaupers 1977 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Hetty Baynes as Fleur de Lys & Richard Morant as Phoebus de Chateaupers

In this version’s case the Esmeralda is earthy yet childish. Many people call her “girl” and Phoebus calls her “child.”  So this Fleur de Lys is prim and for lack of a better word, an unfeeling bitch.  She also seems very sexually overt, like she always ready for Phoebus.  It just makes her more interesting than a straight depiction of the character.


Hetty Baynes as Fleur de Lys 1977 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Hetty Baynes as Fleur de Lys

I want to mention really quickly that the juxtaposition between Fleur de Lys and Esmeralda leads to a really great edit, and this many be the only time I mention the editing in this version because there is not much to discuss.

As Esmeralda torture is going on the movie cuts to Fleur de Lys and Phoebus. Phoebus is feeding her grapes. This is symbolic of pleasure.  Fleur de Lys’ mother enters the scene and tells Phoebus his name has been brought up in a witchcraft case. Fleur de Lys questions how can that be and  he makes an excuse saying it was nothing. He then rests his hands near Fleur de Lys’ mouth and she bites his fingers. It then cuts to Esmeralda screaming as she being torture. Esmeralda’s  scream starts over the Fleur de Lys’ scene before it cuts away, or a sound bridge.


Hetty Baynes as Fleur de Lys 1977 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Hetty Baynes as Fleur de Lys

Fleur de Lys is one of the few highlights of this version. Her bitchiness is just so refreshing in an otherwise soulless adaptation.   

The third random pick is Tamanchey. I have many bad feelings about this one.


Tamanchey picture image


Tamanchey means a pistol, often one built locally with not so high quality materials, so it’s the perfect metaphor for this movie’s execution. This movie is a load of hot rotten garbage from start to finish. It just took my low expectations and really ran with them.    

Nikhil Dwivedi as Munna & Richa Chadda as Babu Tamanchey picture image

Nikhil Dwivedi as Munna & Richa Chadda as Babu

The plot is  two criminals, a gal and a dude are both captured and both of their police vehicle go off a cliff and somehow only them and one cob survive, this leads to nothing. The lady is named Babu and she is a drug ring and seems to really like her work and the guy, Munna, does something with threats. Anyway they fall in love sort of. Munna is into the crass Babu despite saying he likes the demure type.  They have train sex which is on a bed of tomatoes so I guess it’s love on his end. The next day Babu peaces out and returns to her gang and lover/boss. Munna follows and they have an affair. Violence ensues and in the end they both die even though they were turning themselves  in for their crimes.

One of the biggest issues with this movie is the characters, they are vastly unlikable. Munna is a blithering idiot even though it’s reveled at the end that he was some kind of mastermind to keep the boss in the cuckold position. Though in all likelihood the movie was trying to make him naive in matters of love. Babu on the other-hand is crass, overtly sexual and seems to enjoy her life of drug selling and somehow she is boring, not sure how the movie pulled that off but they did.

With the character being unlikable and just not caring it took scenes that are being played as tense into a farcical direction. Though to be fair during a bank robbery the two leads are grinding on each other while they steal from safety despot boxes so maybe it is all a farce. Another indicator that this movie could be a farce is it take the two leads a long time to get the idea to kill the boss so they can be together, two criminals with no real moral compass take over an hour to come to the easiest conclusion.      

Nikhil Dwivedi as Munna & Richa Chadda as Babu Tamanchey picture image

Nikhil Dwivedi as Munna & Richa Chadda as Babu

Typically there is usually something that distracts from the terrible character and lack of story like costumes, or scene framing, or the lightning or music score or with Bollywood the music numbers however this movie has nothing. It goes the extra mile in mediocrity. There is one thing that was distracting though, the sound mixing and by distracting I mean it was bad. I recall from a commentary from a better Bollywood movie that Bollywood are dub over with ADR and with this movie you can REALLY tell, it was that bad.  None of the lines sounded naturally recorded from the actors.       

There is nothing good to say about Tamanchey it was a boring movie with terrible characters and sloppy execution.    

The second random selection is…

A Cinderella Story; Once Upon a Song. Help me.

A Cinderella Story Once Upon a Song picture image

A Cinderella Story Once Upon a Song

Good news is this movie is mercifully short however I didn’t hate it. Granted I set the bar really low at the onset but it’s really just a dumb and silly movie with a Cinderella plot thrown in and  set in  a music school.


Megan Park as Lucy Hale as Katie and Matthew Lintz as Victor A Cinderella Story Once Upon a Song picture image

Megan Park as Lucy Hale as Katie and Matthew Lintz as Victor

The plot is Katie, our cinderella character, is the step-daughter of this shallow bitch name Gail who is the dean of a music school because she couldn’t hack it as a country singer. Gail has a daughter Bev, who can’t sing and a hellion genius of a son Victor. She also has a spiritual guru named Ravi who isn’t what he appears to be.

The Prince is this British guy named Luke. Luke’s father is a big shot music producer who loves money, because of course he does. Luke however just wants to sing and write music. Katie and Luke bond a little and when Katie turns up at a Bollywood themed dance to sing for Luke because she like-like him he falls for her. However he thinks it’s really Bev because of this  whole plot surrounding Katie singing vocals for Bev in a student showcase or Gail is going to take all Katie’s money her father left her.  Also Katie acts as the Cyrano de Bergerac to Bev’s Christian to woo Luke.


Lucy Hale as Katie and Freddie Stroma as Luke A Cinderella Story Once Upon a Song picture image

Lucy Hale as Katie and Freddie Stroma as Luke

Honestly this whole plot could have been avoided if Luke had just remember the color of Katie’s eyes. What is with Prince’s in Cinderella movies not recalling even one aspect of her appearance? It makes it worst since Katie’s eyes were the only thing Luke mentions about her other than her singing and he had meet two times prior to the dance.    

One good aspect was the movie did showcase the friendships between Katie and her best friend Angie and Luke and Mike. It’s just nice to see good representations of friendships with little or no drama.

Once big issue with the movie is that romance was lacking. Katie and Luke do bond over music, singing and guitars brands and there is a mutual attraction but it all feels very much like an after-thought to the larger lip-syncing plot-line. It wouldn’t be a big deal if wasn’t for the Cinderella aspect of the plot.   

The treatment of Bev was also problematic. It would have been one thing if the movie didn’t go out of its way to give her a moment of depth and vulnerability before it ends with her being throughly embarrassed on stage. It was off-putting.


Missi Pyle as Gail, Manu Narayan as Ravi and Matthew Lintz as Victor A Cinderella Story Once Upon a Song picture image

Missi Pyle as Gail, Manu Narayan as Ravi and Matthew Lintz as Victor

Since this movie is a musical I mention the songs. They are ok for the most part. They are by no means amazing but they suit the tone and style of the movie, bland and unassuming. The ONLY memorable part with regards to the music is the chainsaw. One of the random bands uses a chainsaw in their music and yes, it’s great. Also to the movie’s credit they did have a original Bollywood-like song made for the movie and not just a sample.    

Oddly I had a feeling I would get a Bollywood movie, like I was listening to Bollywood music right before this was randomly picked and in way perverse way I got one.

I wish this movie had a bigger budget because they had a chance for an awesome joke. At the end of the movie Gail says that she will have her ‘Nirvana moment’ and then it cuts for her singing a country version of one of the movie’s songs. It would have been much funnier  if she was singing a bad country-cover of a Nirvana song.


Lucy Hale as Katie and Freddie Stroma as Luke A Cinderella Story Once Upon a Song picture image

Lucy Hale as Katie and Freddie Stroma as Luke

A Cinderella Story; Once Upon a Song is a silly inoffensive movie. It’s not amazing but it’s not a total a waste of time. I would say watch it once and get a minor chuckle.

Last February I looked at four romantic period movies, this year I thought I would try something I have been watching to try for a while. I’m going to randomly pick a “romance” movie or TV show  and review it. I’m going to this four time so one post a week.  The selection is through https://reelgood.com/roulette/netflix with only the genre romance picked.  There will be no re-rolls, you have my word.

A few guidelines;

  • If I get a show I will only watch/review the first episode.
  • I reserve the right to stop watching the movie/show at least the 30 minute mark. It does take me a lot to quit a movie but I don’t want to waste my worthless time either.
  • If I have seen the movie before I will still review it but in the event that I get a movie I have already reviewed before I reserve the right to re-roll but I shall make a note in the post of that even.  The odds of very low of though so I don’t imagine that will happen.

So guide me oh Netflix gods… What is your first pick?!

The First pick is Red Carpet. Could have guessed that from the subject line though.

Red Carpet 2014 Korean Movie picture image

Red Carpet 2014

Red Carpet is a 2014 Korean Rom-com drama about a porn director, Jung-Woo who dreams of being actual film director. He also falls in love with a former child actress and encourages her to go on auction and she makes it big as an actress and she encourage him to make his movies. Oddly I figured was going to get something from Korea but I figured it would be a K-drama, which I have seen a few, not many but a handful. I just didn’t think it would be the first one but here we are. Wonder if I will get another before the month is done?


Jun-hee Ko as Eun-Su and Dal-hwan Jo as Jung-Soo Red Carpet 2014 Korean Movie picture image

Jun-hee Ko as Eun-Su and Dal-hwan Jo as Jung-Soo Red Carpet 2014

I wouldn’t say this was a bad movie but it had many issues. The biggest one was just have contrived it was. The two leads meet because the some apartment mix-up where Eun-Su  moves into Jung-Woo’s apartment. Not sure how that housing thing makes any sense other than in device to the plot. Then the encourage each other and fall in love and hook up then the plot misunderstand occurs. You see Eun-Su doesn’t know Jung-Woo works in pornography so she think he hooking-up with someone else and thus they part ways. He tries to make up with her and eventually he does. They film his legit movie but then scandal because he was  porn director and she is a top actress but it all works out in the end. It’s just all very contrived.

Then there is the humor. I didn’t get it. It might be that I either don’t resonate with Korean humor or I just didn’t work for me. It was all very awkward. Like sure the horse isn heat on the highway part was funny but it’s require so many mental loops to get there. Like the horse was used in a film production, so how does the production even allow for the horse to get off the set and on the highway and the horse was in heat. Do productions even cast horses in heat?   Is that a question I have to ask?


 Red Carpet 2014 Korean Movie picture image

Red Carpet, 2014

Also the passing was an issue. Most of the movie seemed like porn based comedic vignette than plot than more comedy till like the end. It made the movie  hard to get into and pay attention to and it wasn’t long movie, just two hours.    

It wasn’t a wholly bad movie, it had it’s moments but it’s very,contrived and not all the comedy lands. Plus as a movie about Pornography, it’s very tame and naive.    


The Hunchback of Notre Dame reference in Red Carpet 2014 Korean Movie picture image

The Hunchback of Notre Dame reference in Red Carpet

This movie oddly has a Hunchback of Notre Dame reference in it, what are the odds? One of their porno scripts or movies is called, according to the subtitles “The Hunchback of Notre Dick.”  What luck finding a Hunchback reference in a random Korean movie.