07 August 2015

Movie Review: "Garage Sale Mystery"

Rated: TV-PG for violence
Starring: Lori Loughlin, Rick Ravanello, and Andrew Dunbar
Released: September 14, 2013
Synopsis: Jennifer Shannon (Lori Loughlin, Full House) has a knack for finding good buys at garage sales.  After attending one held by an old friend, she hears of a string of burglaries happening at homes that have held yard sales.  When Jennifer visits that friend, she finds her dead at the bottom of her stairs, and a priceless statue of hers gone.  At first, all signs point to an accident...but Jennifer's investigation shows evidence of foul play.  It's up to her and her detective friend to find the figurine...and the perpetrator.

The Good: The content of this film was rather clean; about the only objectionable thing was one misuse of God's name.  It's also great to see a movie that features garage sales; too many people ignore them, not realizing how much you can find at just one.  I liked the way the camera work showed how a "savvy shopper" spots a bargain.

The Bad: Three complaints, and rather big ones at that.  First off: While the movie appears to be based around garage sales, the actual murder could just as easily be in any episode of Monk or Murder, She Wrote; saying more than that could spoil the ending.  Second off: The plot thread of the detective dating Jennifer's daughter was unnecessary, and added nothing to the plot; did the writers just feel the need to add some romance? Lastly, a lack of closed captioning or English subtitles made some dialogue hard for me to understand, due to the ever-present congestion in my ears.  Deaf or hard-of hearing viewers will want to take note of that.

Content Concerns:
  • Sex: One or two kisses; a husband and wife cuddling in bed. 4/5
  • Nudity: None. 5/5
  • Language: One misuse of God's name. 4/5
  • Violence: A woman is murdered; another woman is shot at, but not killed; a guy falls through a roof and sustains serious injuries.  None of it is bloody or graphic, though. 4/5
  • Drugs: None. 5/5
  • Frightening/Intense Sequences: Along with the violence, seeing a woman lying there dead could be freaky for some viewers. 3/5
  • Other: Buddha is referenced throughout. 4/5
Conclusion: Do I like garage sales? Yes.  Did I like this movie? Not so much.  Though the theme is great, mystery fans can do much better than this.  While it has its moments, this is definitely not what I was expecting.

Score: 2/5

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