Hello my fellow movie fans! I recently had the opportunity to check out a new film written by Greg Sestero, author of The Disaster Artist, from Sestero Pictures, titled BEST F(R)IENDS. The film follows a drifter who encounters a quirky mortician resulting in a friendship where both learn a lesson about friendship and loyalty.
RED SPARROW, the latest film from director Francis Lawrence (The Hunger Games series), is much more than just an action flick and more about how women use what they have to survive against the male patriarchy. The film stars Jennifer Lawrence (Mother!), Joel Edgerton (It Comes at Night), Matthias Schoenaerts (Rust and Bone), and Jeremy Irons (Dead Ringers).
Western thrillers have made a spectacular comeback in recent years, with films such as Hell or High Water garnering both critical and financial success. The newest genre entry, LAST RAMPAGE, comes to us from director Dwight H. Little (Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers) and follows the true events of Gary Tison’s infamous prison break in the summer of 1978.
Starring veteran talent like Josh Charles (TV's "The Good Wife"), Julia Stiles (THE BOURNE IDENTITY), Tracie Thomas (DEATHPROOF) and rising actor Avan Jogia (TUT), comes the latest film from director Bette Gordon since 2009's drama HANDSOME HARRY entitled THE DROWNING. Based on the novel by Pat Barker and written for the screen by Stephen Molton and Frank Pugliese, Gordon orchestrates a growing tension filled expression that slowly wraps and tightens around your heart, soul and insecurities.
It's hard to avoid politics from discussion nowadays as our current president is literally a TV personality and continues to make headlines on a daily basis, mostly for non-political reasons. One hot topic as of late is for businesses to refuse service based on religious beliefs. There are plenty of legal ramifications that come with this, but one could argue this promotes discrimination while another could say this allows government to say what's okay when it comes to religious beliefs. As an openly gay Mexican-American, this obviously makes me extremely uncomfortable and I do my best to avoid conversations like these as I always get nervous that someone is going to say something outrageously offensive. Hulu has found great success in their new series "The Handmaid's Tale", set in a future where women's rights are taken from them and serve only to reproduce. There's a flashback to when this movement started and two women are attempting to make a purchase at a coffee shop and the barista kicks them out while yelling obscenities. Both the women and viewers are furious watching this, but for that barista and other customers in the show, this is just another day and it's completely acceptable behavior. When I saw that scene, all I could think was "This is the shit I'm afraid of."
I love disaster movies. I don't know if it's because even though they can be far-fetched at times, there is still a realistic nature to them. Disaster movies tend to scare me more than modern day horror films, to the point where I find myself incredibly stressed out and anxious over whatever intense, over-the-top calamity is unfolding. When I had the chance to review TUNNEL, which finds our main character trapped after a poorly constructed tunnel collapses, I couldn't pass up the opportunity.
New Orleans-based congressional candidate, Jake Simon (Cary Elwes), rests at the center of a political scandal, but no one suspects that his wife, Veronica (Mira Sorvino), is guilty of having an affair. Veronica's subsequent attempts to free herself from the grip of her unstable lover, Victor Bernard (Christopher Backus), is the driving force behind writer/director John Stewart Muller's INDISCRETION. Split between recollections shared by Veronica (Sorvino) in a talkshow interview and dramatic flashbacks on her various indiscretions, the film gestures toward a complex pathos. Nonetheless, INDISCRETION is well within the canon of weekday afternoon Lifetime movies.
Good evening fiends of fright! Tonight we explore a genre film that's a bit different than what we usually review, legendary director and producer Walter Hill's THE ASSIGNMENT, which stars Michelle Rodriguez, Sigourney Weaver, Tony Shaloub and Caitlin Gerard. Rarely do I get my hands on a film to review that is this star studded and stuffed with action, so needless to say, I was thrilled to jump into my assignment (pun intended). For an overview of the synopsis, I'll be turning to the pro's at IMDB for their breakdown:
"After waking up and discovering that he has undergone gender reassignment surgery, an assassin seeks to find the doctor responsible."
Welcome witches and warlocks,
Today I will be reviewing the psychological drama INFLAME by writer/director Ceylan Ozgun Ozcelik. To best describe the story I will use my own plot summary:
"A news editor has nightmares that begin to convince her that her parents might have died under political circumstances that have been covered up."
Welcome witches and warlocks,
Today I will be reviewing the dark comedy GORAN by director Nevio Marasovic. To best describe the story I will use my own plot summary:
"A simple taxi driver named Goran begins to see his life spin violently out of control soon after he discovers that his wife is probably having an affair."
Welcome witches and warlocks,
Today I will be reviewing the dark comedy 68 KILL by writer/director Trent Haaga. To best describe the story I will turn to my own plot summary:
"Liza talks her boyfriend Chip into helping her rob her sugar-daddy of $68,000. When Liza shows her unstable side during the robbery, Chip goes on the run with the money and a kidnapped hostage."
With the beginning of 2017 bearing new movie arrivals for the year, I am excited to say that I have already had the opportunity of viewing a fair amount. Every film that's come out of the woodwork has been unique, with each one differing in theme, approach, and technical proficiency. The most recent and interesting film viewed was the action/comedy GET THE GIRL.
I find myself repeatedly saying that I'm not a fan of Westerns, but in the last year or so, there have been a slew of Western films within the horror genre that I have enjoyed immensely. The first to breakthrough that stubborn exterior of mine was 2015's BONE TOMAHAWK, but in my mind I thought that film was just a flash in the pan, something that would rarely be recreated so perfectly again. Then came the announcement that director Ti West, known for such horror films as THE HOUSE OF THE DEVIL (2009) and THE INNKEEPERS (2011), would be tackling the Western genre with his latest film IN A VALLEY OF VIOLENCE. After hemming and hawing about it, I decided to give the film a chance, because as a fan of Ti's work, I wanted to see if he could translate his style of stylized horror into a Western thriller. I'm happy to report that he can.
ANONYMOUS follows Alex (Callan McAuliffe) - a disenfranchised young man who seeks to help his parents save their home from the evil, money-hungry banks. Growing up as a poor immigrant in Canada with a lot of alone time, he teaches himself coding and becomes drawn to an anonymous hacking group that operates through a website known as "Dark Web". He's recruited and flown to New York City where he meets Sye (Daniel Eric Gold), a local street-hustler and con-artist, who shows him the ropes and helps him go about completing tasks that will ultimately result in the destabilization of the world stock market.
THE HOLLOW is a southern-fried crime tale from writer/producer/director/star Miles Doleac, and is billed as a hybrid between the Coen brothers' BLOOD SIMPLE and Lynch's TWIN PEAKS, however, I'd be inclined to say it more closely follows in the footsteps of "True Detective"'s first season if it must be grouped in with something of its ilk.
I have always been enamored of Aokigahara forest. There’s something about a place nicknamed “The Suicide Forest” that is morbidly intriguing to me. A place where people are drawn to spend their last hours on this planet, alone with their thoughts and emotions among the sea of trees, as it’s also known. It’s aptly named and is dense with forest in all directions making it an environment perfect for solitude.
There seems to be an unwritten rule, or some sort of tradition, surrounding the treatment of video games when it comes to their portrayal onscreen. Invariably, filmmakers get everything wrong, and anyone with even a basic knowledge of gaming is left either nonplussed, giggling to themselves about the inaccuracies, or flat-out facepalming. BETA TEST - with all its good intentions - adheres to the tradition of glaring inaccuracy, but that's not necessarily a deal breaker.
What exactly is one's identify? What defines us, makes us who we are and allows others to ultimately define us? Is it the color of our skin, or is it the way that we carry ourselves, dress and speak? 1993's neo-noir film SUTURE explores all of these questions in a crime thriller told through the story of Clay Arlington, a simple man from a simple town who seeks to reunite with his long lost family following the murder of his father.
Welcome witches and warlocks,
Today I will be reviewing the crime/drama A MONSTER WITH A THOUSAND HEADS by director Rodrigo Pla. For a general plot description I will turn to the one provided by IMDB:
When her insurance refuses to approve the treatment her husband needs to survive, a woman takes things into her own hands. Up against an unyielding bureaucracy and disinterested workers, she is pushed to her breaking point: with her son in tow, she attempts to fight the system.