All Together Now (2020)

All Together Now
Director: Brett Haley
Writer: Matthew Quick, Brett Haley, Marc Basch
Based on: Matthew Quick‘s novel Sorta Like a Rockstar
Cast: Auli’i Cravalho, Rhenzy Feliz, Justina Machado, Judy Reyes, Anthony Jacques, Gerald Isaac Waters, Taylor Richardson, Fred Armisen, Carol Burnett
Seen on: 2.4.2021

Content Note: ableism

Plot:
Amber (Auli’i Cravalho) is a friendly teenager who always looks at the bright side, even though her mother Becky (Justina Machado) fell on hard times and they are currently homeless, sleeping in the school bus Becky drives. Nevertheless, Amber still finds the time to work in a senior residence, give pay-as-you-wish English lessons and helps take care of a neurodiverse teen who is one of her best friends, Ricky (Anthony Jacques). Ricky, Ty (Rhenzy Feliz), Chad (Gerald Isaac Waters) and Jordan (Taylor Richardson) are Amber’s social net, but they don’t know how difficult things are for her at the moment because Amber has a hard time accepting help. When things get even worse, though, and it looks like Amber may have to give up on her dream of going to Carnegie Mellon, something has to give.

All Together Now is incredibly cheesy and Auli’i Cravalho is almost the only thing that makes all that cheese bearable.

The film poster showing Amber (Auli'i Cravalho) in a van surrounded by her friends. All are laughing.
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The Purge: Anarchy (2014)

The Purge: Anarchy
Director: James DeMonaco
Writer: James DeMonaco
Sequel to: The Purge
Cast: Frank Grillo, Carmen Ejogo, Zach Gilford, Kiele Sanchez, Zoë Soul, Justina Machado, Michael K. Williams, Edwin Hodge, John Beasley

Plot:
It’s Purge Night: For one night every year, all crime is legal. In the poorest parts of Los Angeles this means that all hell breaks loose as the rich descend on the poor to prey on them. One man (Frank Grillo) wants to use the Purge Night for revenge, while others just get caught in the middle – like Cali (Zoë Soul) and Eva (Carmen Ejogo) who are attacked in their own home and have to flee or Shane (Zach Gilford) and Liz (Kiele Sanchez) whose car breaks down. By chance, the five of them find each other and try to survive the night together.

The Purge: Anarchy is a lot better than the first Purge film, but since that was abysmal that isn’t saying much. While at least we get to see a bit more of the interesting stuff in this film, it still suffers from a big lack of coherence.

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