#RoadTripHostage, #HiddenMurderIsland, and More – TV Reviews

Table of Reviews

Road Trip Hostage – Review

Road Trip Hostage – Lifetime – 2 hours and 0 minutes

After numerous callbacks, Emma gets her dream job dancing in a theater. She tells her mom, Hillary, about the opportunity and demanding schedule. Emma wants to take a semester off college to work and sharpen her craft. Hillary gives Emma an ultimatum. If Emma leaves school, she has to leave Hillary’s home. Emma calls Hillary’s bluff, moves in with Katy, and drops out of school for the semester. As Emma moves into the building, Katy and Emma run into the landlord’s son, Rick. They both think he’s attractive.

Rick goes to the home of his dad, Charles, to understand what happened to his credit cards. Rick tried to pay his tab, but his card didn’t go through the night before. Charles cut him off because Rick isn’t motivated to work. Rick pleads his case, but Charles’s frustration grows. He tells Rick’s stepmother, Linda, to call the lawyer and cut Rick’s trust. After a few choice words, Rick hits Charles in the head with an object and kills Charles. Linda witnesses the assault and runs upstairs for safety. She locks herself in a bathroom and calls the police for help. Rick overhears the call, takes money out of the safe, and cash out of Charles’s wallet. He runs home to grab a few items and calls a rideshare. Rick’s car takes too long, and Rick spots Emma in her car crying. He asks Emma to drive him to the airport because he is in a jam due to his rideshare cancellation. Emma agrees to take Rick to the airport. This decision will lead Emma on a highway to hell as Rick’s hostage.

Inspired by actual events, this movie starts with a plausible setup. A naive person does a favor for someone she reasonably knows. A ride to the airport is an easy favor depending on where you reside. Also, Emma wants to talk about her rough day with someone and can’t talk to Hillary. Rick doesn’t snap until his aunt Mary tells him the police are on his tail. Then he freaks out and pulls out a knife. Rick’s choices continue to go downhill. Not surprising because he has a clear case of affluenza. Emma does try to use psychology and drugs to run, but Rick doesn’t fall for it. Viewers’ annoyance will exponentially increase as Rick uses a knife to subdue Emma and others. Also, there are several failed attempts to save her by bystanders. The detectives help from the beginning and don’t give up on Emma. This film is for you if you like yelling at the screen. Otherwise, you may want to skip it if bad choices make you angry.

I give it 3 out of 5 stars

Then why don’t you trust me to make my own decisions – Emma

I’m glad your mother isn’t here to see what you have turned into – Charles

It was an accident – Rick

I know where they are. And if you think I’m not going with you, you are sorely mistaken – Hillary

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Hidden Murder Island – Review

Hidden Murder Island – LMN – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Fey survived two days in the woods alone with a head wound after her friend, Maddie, committed suicide. Curt, a newcomer to the island, rescued Fey, who suffers from amnesia. Fey’s parents, Beth and Frank, invite Curt over every night for dinner. Fey’s family is famous on their tiny island because her family helped build it and donated money to many of its organizations. Frank continues this legacy with his real estate empire. However, Fey wishes to leave the remote island for college in New York but hasn’t gotten her acceptance letter.

After another family dinner with Curt, Fey washed dishes with Beth. Curt fires his new gun outside, and Fey has a panic attack with a seizure. She has visions of Maddie and red sand. Frank calls Dr. Dean to assess Fey. He believes Fey has PTSD, and her mind wants to fill in the gaps. He previously asked Frank to send Fey to a therapist, but Frank refused because people talk. Instead, Frank wants the doctor to give Fey drugs, but the doctor says no. Fey tells her family about the red sand, but no one believes her.

Fey and Frank go to the community college. Frank wants Fey to sign up for early courses while in high school, but she missed the deadline. As Frank uses his influence to enroll Fey, Fey leaves in disgust. Ali approaches Fey and asks to draw Fey for art class. They get to know each other, but a car backfiring causes Fey to have another panic attack. Frank and Beth are there when Fey’s panic eases. And they take her home. Fey texts Ali to join her at the Historical Society to find an old map and locate red sand. However, Sherriff Joe, Maddie’s father, catches Fey and Ali breaking in and returns Fey home. Frank is furious. He takes Fey’s phone away and refuses to let her be friends with Ali.

Fey escapes to the family’s old boat in the driveway. Beth suggests some retail therapy. During their shopping trip, Beth spies a woman, Chey, in the distance. Beth remembers Chey entering the family’s business, wanting to see Frank. Beth confronts Chey in the store and asks her if she is having an affair with Frank. Chey laughs and tells Beth that Beth is the cheater. Chey tells Beth that Frank better pay if he wants Chey to go away. Beth takes Fey for ice cream and explains that she cheated on Frank but returned after Fey’s accident. Fey knew about the affair and forgave her mom. Beth breathes a sigh of relief and offers to help Fey find the red sand.

After searching for hours, Fey and Beth find the red sand beach with footprints. Fey remembers someone attacking Maddie and doesn’t believe Maddie killed herself. She has another panic attack and wakes up at home. Fey tells her story to her parents and the doctor, but Frank tells Fey to let it go. He wants to run for office, and Fey’s behavior will jeopardize his future campaign. Fey runs to Joe’s home with her new information. He doesn’t believe her until he sees a button in her hand. Fey says it came from Maddie’s jacket the day she died. Joe pulls it out of the closet and shows Fey it’s not missing a button. He believes it came from a 3rd party. Fey won’t stop until she uncovers what happened to Maddie.

Lifetimers, be prepared. This movie takes the scenic route to the point. And the final ten minutes give you the motive, perpetrator, and crime. It’s a lot to unpack and will make you rewind. Viewers will miss critical moments if they look away from the TV. Also, this film has text on the screen. So have your remote in hand in case you need to pause. The plot does drag, but you will have a searing hatred for one person at the end. That person is an egotistical, controlling, homophobic gaslighter that got off easy at the end.

I give it 3 out of 5 stars

This island is a hotel painting – Fey

No, you do. You like me. You just don’t know it yet – Curt

She will be fine. This will pass – Frank

The guy? That was just a match in a room full of gasoline building up for a long time – Beth

What’s wrong with you – Dr. Dean

Tell me where the beach is – Joe

I just remember feeling so helpless. Helpless and scared – Ali

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Breaking Girl Code – Review

Breaking Girl Code – Lifetime – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Andi fails another job interview after moving from New York to Boston to be with her boyfriend, Sean, a police officer. She wants to spend more time with Sean, but they work different schedules. Andi goes on an app, BeFriends, to find women with common interests in her area. She matches with Farrah, and they decide to meet for coffee.

Farrah and Andi get along swimmingly and plan to meet at an exclusive club later. They take a few selfies, and Andi returns home. Farrah sends the photos to her boyfriend, Ethan, and Ethan thinks Andi is perfect for his friends. Farrah and Andi meet Farrah’s other friends – Miranda, Kayla, and Holly – at the club. Then Ethan enters with a few of his friends. One of Ethan’s friends, Jason, becomes aggressive with Andi, and she leaves.

Andi meets with Sean a few days later, and he breaks up with her. Now, she is in a new town with no boyfriend. Heartbroken, Andi calls Farrah for support. She feels like an idiot for uprooting her life for Sean, but Farrah doesn’t judge Andi. They decide to go to the club again, but Andi notices Kayla is missing from the group. Unbeknownst to Andi, Farrah is ignoring Kayla’s calls because Jason drugged and sexually assaulted her after their first night at the club. And Farrah helped Ethan set the whole thing up for Jason. When Kayla tracks Farrah and Ethan down, she threatens to go to the police. But Ethan shows Kayla compromising photos of herself. If she reports him, Ethan will release the photos to Kayla’s boss, friends, and family. Kayla leaves but vows to make them pay. Now Ethan is laser-focused on Andi because his friends think she is feisty. Andi must save herself after Farrah breaks the Girl Code.

Andi has tremendous growth throughout this movie. First, Andi follows Sean until he breaks up with her. Andi acknowledges her mistakes and doesn’t play the victim. Then, Andi befriends Farrah until she sees something is wrong with her. Andi tries to help Farrah escape Ethan when she believes he is another controlling boyfriend. Next, Andi stands up for herself and others at the club. Andi sees Miranda & Holly are under the influence with a guy leading them out the door. She outsmarts him and gets them to safety. Finally, Andi teaches the audience compassion. While most may not agree with her decision, it’s Andi’s to make. Nevertheless, all viewers will agree with her final relationship status. Viewers can use this movie to start a complex, uncomfortable, yet needed conversation.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars

Are you doubting my BFF? – Andi

I like her. She’s feisty – Ethan

Some of the time is better than nothing – Farrah

Ethan has a way of knowing everyone’s business – Charlie

What is wrong with you – Kayla

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A Pinch of Portugal – Review

A Pinch of Portugal – Hallmark – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Anna is a prep cook for Dining with Dean. It’s a traveling cooking show that features recipes inspired by the local culture. Anna knows she is on thin ice because Dean fired his last prep cook, Millie, midseason for adding salt to his dish. The producer, Hope, catches Anna at her desk and tells Anna the next stop for the show is Portugal. However, Dean won’t be coming. He is negotiating his contract and playing hardball. Hope wants to shoot some B-roll and splice Dean in later. The show’s makeup artist, Brooklyn, and cameraman, Russ, come with Hope and Anna. 

After landing in Portugal, Anna decides to go to the local farmer’s market and meet its manager, Lucas. Lucas mistakes Anna for a customer but invites her through the loading area to meet the merchants. Anna samples cheese, tomatoes, and carcaças. Lucas is dismayed that Dean isn’t there, but Anna informs Lucas that Dean stays in the kitchen for interviews. She is the one who scouts the markets. 

Hope continues to call Dean at the hotel, but his voicemail is full. Russ can see the worry on her face. If Dean doesn’t return, the executives will cancel the show. Russ trusts that Anna can carry the show without Dean, and Hope agrees. Russ shoots Anna in the kitchen on the first day and sees Anna’s nerves getting the best of her. Russ assures Anna that it’s just day-one jitters. Anna looks through her photos and sees the market made her relax. She convinces the team to shoot day two there, and it works. Anna convinces the production team that on-location is best for her. 

Anna starts to get close to Lucas during filming, and Russ can see it through his lens. Anna had a crush on Russ in the past and asked him out. However, he turned her down, but they continue to be friends today. Russ can’t ignore Anna’s beauty as he watches her find her groove. The crew points out Russ’s change to Anna, but she doesn’t believe them. As Anna walks a razor’s edge between her feelings for Russ in the past and for Lucas now, can Anna handle Dean returning? What will Anna do with the three leading men in her life?

Unlike most Hallmark movies, this love triangle feels plausible. The audience will wonder who she will choose or if either man deserves her. Anna and Lucas share a passion for food and culture. However, her life is in America. The intensity between Anna and Russ still exists. But his previous rejection humiliated her. Let’s not forget that Anna worries about losing her job if and when Dean returns to the show. Dean could be upset that the show continued without him or that she tampered with his vision. Anna has a lot of stress in a beautiful location. Her lavender rack of lamb will fill her table, but her journey of self-discovery will fill your heart.

I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars

Are they squeezable – Anna

We need vegetables, not variables – Hope

Olives are evil – Russ

For you, I’ll find one – Lucas

This feels intense – Brooklyn

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