• A Review Page For Those Movies You Watch At Home!

    Couch Potato Movie Reviews is, obviously, a blog that exclusively reviews movies. What makes this blog different is the fact that all of the films we are reviewing are all movies that are available on home movie rental companies such as Redbox, Netflix, Blockbuster, and your quickly disappearing neighborhood rental store. This blog is designed to take a more detailed look at those movies that either were sent straight to DVD, received a very limited release in the theaters, or were distributed through the art house or film festival circuit. We will also review those big Hollywood films, but only after they are available for home viewing.

    All the reviews are written by fans of the great art of film making rather than some newspaper reviewer or stuffy film student. We don’t know everything about film but we do know what we like, and we are more than happy to share our opinions with you. What you do with those opinions are totally up to you, although comments are welcome and encouraged.

    Each film review has a one to five star rating at the end of the critique. Here is what those star ratings mean for you couch potatoes:

    * * * * * : Five stars: go and buy this one, don’t just rent it!

    * * * * : Four stars: put this at the top of your rental list.

    * * * : Three stars: average, not bad just not great either.

    * * : Two stars: only rent if you have to see everything.

    * : One star: don’t waste your time with this.

Summer’s Moon

TITLE: Summer’s Moon

YEAR: 2009

GENRE: Horror

AKA: Summer’s Blood

One trick that can bring fans to see an independent film project is to hire a second-tier actress from a major franchise, place her as the star of the production, and promote that person’s involvement as much as humanly possible. This is the case with the film Summer’s Moon: Twilight series regular Ashley Greene is the star and center of the marketing universe for this low budget Canadian horror offering. The technical end of the film is fairly well done, but the lukewarm script and storyline of Summer’s Moon makes for a less than exciting offering that will only appeal to the tweener girls that enjoy the Twilight movies.

Summer Matthews (Greene) discovers from her alcoholic mother Twila (Teri Loretto) that her absent father is alive and well, and the insubordinate teenager decides to hitchhike to the small town where he is reported to be living. While on the way Summer is caught shoplifting by a local sheriff (Paul Whitney), but a local named Tom Hoxey (Peter Mooney) helps her escape. To reward Tom for his assistance, Summer has a one night stand with the young man but ends up as a prisoner in his house with his overbearing and psychotic mother Gaia (Barbara Niven). Tom ties Summer inside a box filled with potting soil along with another woman Amber (Danielle Kind) who is sitting in a chair. Things are about to get worse when Tom’s father Gant (Stephen McHattie) is released from prison and he returns home. The horror continues when Summer learns of her true lineage which is more frightening than she can image.

One aspect that Summer’s Moon does have in its favor is the fact that it is a nicely produced independent horror film. The cinematography is more than acceptable, the sound and lighting are professional, and the editing is smooth and has a great flow. The acting is fair to midland, but McHattie stands out as the systematically insane father. The problem with the movie is that the storyline by Travis Stevens is way too tepid of an affair and does not deliver the true horror that one would expect when a runaway is abducted by a crazed family with homicidal tendencies. The violence is minimal and with the exception of one shotgun blast it all happens either off-screen or in a PG-13 way. The suspense build-up in scenes is virtually non-existent and the final project offers virtually no edge of one’s seat moments. We also have some conversations between Summer and her captor which at times are almost touching and dare I say romantic which were portrayed that way to keep the young Twilight crowd interested, plus our captor is almost too handsome for his own good which is another trait of the vampire franchise. Naming the mother Twila (short for twilight) and adding  the word moon into the title when The Twilight Saga: New Moon was released the same year was also intentional which shows the lack of confidence the film makers had in their finished product standing on its own two feet.

It is disappointing how unenthusiastic Summer’s Moon delivered in the storyline department considering director Lee Demarbre has several progressive titles under his belt including the award winning film Harry Knuckles And The Pearl Necklace and indie cult hit Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter. Despite Demarbre’s reputation as a quality cult film maker, Summer’s Moon pales in comparison to his earlier work like a blood sucker in sunlight and delivers a less than inspired story despite the technical aspects all being above board. Summer’s Moon looks great but lacks the quality storyline to carry the film above the hordes of independent horror offerings littering Netflix queues today.

* *

–Mark

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