Romance in the Outfield: Double Play (Movie Review)

Review: Utah-made 'Romance in the Outfield: Double Play' strikes out in the  rom-com department — The Movie Cricket

Plot Summary

Kenzie and Tyler used to be in love, but after their falling out, they haven’t spoken for years. However, a string of coincidences has now thrown them back together, and they’ll have to decide what they’re going to do about it. Also, Tyler’s sister has her own relationship issues to sort out.

Production Quality (1.5 points)

For the most part, this film’s production is acceptable, including fine camera work and good video quality. Lighting is okay throughout, but there are some background echoes along with an inconsistent soundtrack. Sets, locations, and props are somewhat limited in scope, but the editing is at least average. As a result, these factors produce a run-of-the-mill score for this section.

Plot and Storyline Quality (0 points)

As a sequel to a movie that no one can remember, Romance in the Outfield: Double Play expects the viewers to understand what’s already happened in this narrative. However, this is poorly communicated, leaving the plot purposeless. It feels like every scene is constructed to happen just because the writers want them to, therefore producing blank characters with vanilla and cardboard dialogue. Lots of time is wasted on long and meaningless sequences that use the characters as pawns in a stupid romance agenda. Ridiculously fake conflicts fuel the romantic tug-of-war, and extremely convenient situations force strangers into baseless relationships with each other. The most absurd romance tropes are presented in the most infantile ways until the story mercifully ends, leaving the audience without anything substantial or useful. Thus, no points can be awarded here.

Acting Quality (1 point)

On the whole, the acting in this screenplay seems unsure although it’s not all bad. Oftentimes, line delivery is too muted, and the emotions are quite mechanical. With nothing truly dynamic yet some potential, only a point is warranted in this section.

Conclusion

Romance in the Outfield: Double Play is essentially a follow-up just for the sake of it. There was nothing in Pitching Love and Catching Faith that justified a sequel, especially when the sequel just rehashed the same narrative while still somehow leaving the audience mostly in the dark as to what the first installment was about. This failure was difficult to pull off, but this creative team did it effortlessly. In the end, a lack of effort is this film’s biggest downfall and the reason why it didn’t need to exist.

Final Rating: 2.5 out of 10 points

Our Rose Garden (Movie Review)

Our Rose Garden - BMG-Global | Bridgestone Multimedia Group | Movie & TV  Distribution

Plot Summary

A married couple is struggling due to the wife’s psychosis, which makes their lives unpredictable. However, despite his son’s desire to place his mother in a mental health facility, the husband wants to remain faithful to his wife because she was there for him when he was unfaithful to her.

Production Quality (2.5 points)

Because this production stays within its financial and logistical boundaries, it is very professional. Video quality, camera work, and audio quality are all on point, and the soundtrack is quite good. Sets, locations, and props are all well-utilized. The only slight concerns relate to some choppy editing and awkward transitions, but these aren’t enough to prevent his section from receiving a high score.

Plot and Storyline Quality (1 point)

Our Rose Garden uses a very creative story presentation that mixes past and present subplots to develop character motive. It’s an authentic look at realistic problems that many people face even if the dialogue is a little thin and under-developed. It was better to make a short film rather than long and drawn out movie with no meaning, but this didn’t leave much time to completely develop the characters to their fullest potentials. Also, the narrative could have had a stronger premise rather than a vague one as well as more concrete messaging. Throughout the screenplay, some scenes oddly mix with each other and cut off as another invades, which confuses the audience. The story concludes with a somewhat abrupt ending that seems to easily fix the problems at hand. Nonetheless, there was a enough potential in this plot to justify a meager rating.

Acting Quality (2 points)

The cast of Our Rose Garden definitely showed that they were trying hard in their performances as they acted in meaningful ways. Despite some very small moments of robotic emotions and line delivery, these cast members demonstrated good skills. Another drawback of this section was beyond their control: the fact that the past and present cast members didn’t really look like each other. However, as a whole, this area was above average, which rounds out a good effort.

Conclusion

This creative team obviously has tons of potential for the future due their knack for analyzing people without creating stereotypes or being too heavy-handed with message-pushing. They also avoid wasting resources on an unnecessarily long film. With a little more character and narrative depth, as well as slight acting upgrades, these creators will be well on their way to greater things.

Final Rating: 5.5 out of 10 points

The Defense of New Haven (Movie Review)

The Defense of New Haven (2016) | Trailer | Amelia Steege

Plot Summary

The Raiders constantly attack the city of New Haven, trying to take more victims. Alec is just a regular citizen trying to make his way in the world, but he get accidentally caught in the conflict and wants to join the New Haven Defense army. However, they are skeptical of his abilities due to his handicap but give him a shot. Together, will the team be able to stave off the coming Raider onslaught?

Production Quality (2 points)

This production is fairly good overall despite a few concerns. One of these is a soundtrack that sometimes overpowers other sounds, but most of the audio is acceptable. Video quality and camera work are professional. Sets, locations, and props, though they are limited in scope, are well-utilized. Some of the editing is a bit choppy at times, but all production elements improve with time. Thus, an above-average score is warranted here.

Plot and Storyline Quality (1.5 points)

Much like The Runner From Ravenshead, The Defense of New Haven crafts an intriguing world for its story and creatively applies a parable/allegory to the narrative. A major drawback, however, is the characters could have been better developed. As they are, the characters have some believable motivations and slightly developed personalities but lack true arcs and feel one-dimensional due to some unsubstantial dialogue. Surprisingly, the plot is fairly complex due to the well-developed premise and advanced spiritual lessons. Nonetheless, this complexity is also a negative as there’s too much content, which leads to a very rushed conclusion after some time is wasted in the film’s first half. The writers try to use off-screen content to make up for lost time, but it’s not enough to keep the ending from being abrupt and crammed. Moreover, the storyline scores enough wins to be rated average.

Acting Quality (1.5 points)

Just as The Runner from Ravenshead had a cast composed entirely of kids, The Defense of New Haven follows the same model. This makes the performances hard to quantify, but most of the time, they seem to be on point with line delivery and emotions. Some of the cast member reuse can be redundant, and this overuse can cause smaller roles to suffer in quality. Nonetheless, this section is at least average.

Conclusion

This creative team is definitely doing the best that they can do with what they have. Now that they’ve made two movies using a similar formula, it’s likely time to step out and try something more ambitious. At the very least, they could provide valuable screenwriting skills to a field that’s starving for substantial narratives. It will be interesting to see what they can come up with next.

Final Rating: 5 out of 10 points

The Runner from Ravenshead (Movie Review)

The Runner From Ravenshead (2010) | Full Movie | Addison Steege | Amelia  Steege | Brendan Steege - YouTube

Plot Summary

Sam has been sentenced to serve time in the impenetrable Ravenshead Prison. However, she desperately wants to be free. Thankfully, the City of Refuge Watch regularly springs prisoners from the bulwark, but in Sam’s case, a rookie is forced to do the job. Can they escape to the City of Refuge before the wardens catch them?

Production Quality (2 points)

Despite being a low budget production, this section is actually pretty good. This is evident in the video quality and camera work. Audio quality is fine although the soundtrack is a bit loud at times, and there are some dumb sound effects used throughout. Special effects are also poor, but sets, locations, and props are fine. Editing is professional, so this rounds out an above-average score.

Plot and Storyline Quality (1 point)

The parable premise of this film is quite creative, and it’s encouraging that an intriguing world was built in this narrative without being too heavy-handed with Christian messaging. Nonetheless, the lesson is clearly there with its implied allegorical parallels. However, it feels like the plot could go further than it does even though it was good to try a unique storyline with the limited scope that was available. It’s unfortunate that the characters are only average due to underwhelming dialogue. There’s also some forced comedy and silly coincidences, and a few sequences go too long and only extend the runtime for no reason. More substantial conversations would have fixed both of these problems by building character personality and improving the use of time. Doing this would have also provided better opportunities to explain the narrative’s world. Moreover, there’s enough good here to warrant a small rating.

Acting Quality (1.5 points)

While it’s hard to quantify all-child cast, it was efficient to reuse of cast members even though it can become repetitive. Nonetheless, in The Runner from Ravenshead, it was clear that the creators were doing the best they could with what they had, which is all we ever ask from entertainment makers. In this movie, emotions and line delivery are mostly average, which leads to this final score.

Conclusion

Screenplays like this one are certainly unique, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. They showcase what the creative team could do with more funding and maximize what’s right in front of them. While films like The Runner from Ravenshead have a low ceiling of potential, finding this maximum is the best way to show what can be done in future projects.

Final Rating: 4.5 out of 10 points