Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Unboxing: Possessor Uncut 4K UltraHD and Blu-Ray Unboxing, Andrea Riseborough, Christopher Abbott Horror SciFi

Thanks to our friends at Well Go USA, we have a special unboxing video for you of Possessor Uncut!  We unbox the 4K UltraHD version, showing you what you get in this package.  Check out the fantastic packaging, beautiful disc, and the great design of the 4K UltraHD disc pack!

Synopsis:
From the visionary mind of writer/director Brandon Cronenberg, POSSESSOR is a sci-fi thriller about elite, corporate assassin Tasya Vos (Riseborough). Using brain-implant technology, Vos takes control of other people’s bodies to execute high profile targets. As she sinks deeper into her latest assignment Vos becomes trapped inside a mind that threatens to obliterate her.

Starring: Andrea Riseborough, Christopher Abbott, Rossif Sutherland, Tuppence Middleton, Sean Bean, Jennifer Jason Leigh

Written and Directed By: Brandon Cronenberg

This video will show you what you get from the 4K UltraHD and Blu-Ray combo pack.

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Sweet Parents Review: A Sweet and Bitter Comedy Drama That Will Leave You Fulfilled

Leah Rudick	...	Gabby David Bly	David Bly	...	Will Casey Biggs	Casey Biggs	...	Oscar Barbara Weetman	Barbara Weetman	...	Guylaine Chris Roberti	Chris Roberti	...	Josh Sunita Mani	Sunita Mani	...	Claire Willie C. Carpenter	Willie C. Carpenter	...	Gérard Katie Hartman	Katie Hartman	...	Christine Daniel Marin	Daniel Marin	...	Alberto Jacob Mondry	Jacob Mondry	...	Pierce Daniel Pettrow	Daniel Pettrow	...	Neil Amy Jackson Lewis	Amy Jackson Lewis	...	Stefania Evan Kaufman	Evan Kaufman	...	Yakov Rachel Jordan Brown	Rachel Jordan Brown	...	Jordan / 1st Gallery Assistant Jessica Mendez Siqueiros	Jessica Mendez Siqueiros	...	Zelda / 2nd Gallery Assistant (as Jessica Afton)

Release date: November 24, 2020 (Digital)
Running time: 112 minutes
Starring: Leah Rudick, David Bly, Casey Biggs, Barbara Weetman
Directed By: David Bly
Written By: David Bly, Leah Rudick

The relationship between an aspiring sculptor Gabby (Rudick) and a struggling chef Will (Bly) in New York is tested when they become entangled with wealthy older benefactors, or "Sweet Parents", to further their careers.

Directed by  David Bly	Writing Credits (in alphabetical order)   David Bly	...	(writer) David Bly	 Leah Rudick	...	(writer)   Produced by  Josh Itzkowitz	...	producer Stephanie Marin	...	producer Matthew Smaglik	...	producer
Sweet Parents is a complicated, layered movie that goes through many phases.  Initially, the movie has a fantastic dry sense of humor that is perfectly showcased in the couple's apartment search.  There are some wonderful jokes and unspoken funny parts that really set the stage for this movie.  And early on, the film highlights the two main characters and their troubles.  Writers and stars Leah Rudick and David Bly (who also directed) are transformative as Gabby and Will, two talented but struggling young people in the midst of their required penance in New York hoping to make it in traditionally difficult careers: Gabby as an artist and Will as a chef.  Rudick and Bly know these characters and completely personify the two individuals.  You can tell that there is some personal struggle infused into this film as it effortlesslhy and poignantly comes through in the story.  And hopefully, whatever struggles that Rudick and Bly have already endured in making this movie pay off because Sweet Parents is a wonderful gem.  Like their on screen counterparts, Bly and Rudick are very talented and showcase their talents for all to see.  The writing is clever and tight, with plenty told to the viewer but enough left unspoken that the pair are not spoon feeding their audience.  Like a wonderful meal, everything is presented for the audience to taste and savor throughout the film. 

Sweet Parents is much better than I ever expected it to be, and much more nuanced and complex of a story than I initially thought it would have.  The movie deals in gray areas, and tries to find some of the space between black and white, right and wrong.  But it also highlights something that is a common theme of discussion in our world today: how hard it is for young people to succeed when it often seems that life is has already priced them out and written them off long before.  The film explores the depths that one can go to to succeed; how far you would go to pursue your drams, and at what cost.  And it also highlights a way to redistribute wealth from a generation that valued work and success over love and family.  It is a lesson that only really hits you later in the movie, but it is a powerful one to include in this drama comedy.

And although the movie starts off as a comedy, it definitely shifts into a drama as the themes in the film become more serious and slightly darker.  Like a good meal that starts off with a light appetizer before moving to the heavy course, or a sculptor that chips away large chunks at first to then focus on the details, the movie has a subtle shift that sneaks up on you but has you wholly engrossed when you finally notice it.  And this includes some very awkward scenes in the middle and a relatively abrupt character shift in one of them part way through.  But after all of this you will leave fulfilled after a meal that effortlessly mixes sweet and bitter.

Sweet Parents will start you off with its sweet comedy, before moving onto a darker, meatier drama that tackles relevant themes and showcases two very talented actors and writers. 

Watch it.

Coming of Age Drama Comedy New York Artist Struggle Struggling Chef Sculptor
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Sweet Parents is available digitally and on demand November 24, 2020.

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Screening: Half Brothers (Starring Luis Gerardo Méndez and Connor Del Rio) Virtual Screening - Wednesday, December 2nd

We have screening passes for the hilarious new road trip / buddy cop-style / family craziness movie Half Brothers from Focus Features. The film stars Luis Gerardo Méndez and Connor Del Reio. It debuts in theaters December 4th, but you can see it EARLY AND FREE by entering for the virtual screening below.

Synopsis:

Renato, a successful Mexican aviation executive, is shocked to discover he has an American half brother he never knew about, the free-spirited Asher. The two very different half brothers are forced on a road journey together masterminded by their ailing father, tracing the path their father took as an immigrant from Mexico to the US.

SCREENING INFO

Half Brothers
Wednesday, December 2nd
7:30 PM EST
Virtual!
Check out the Trailer!

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Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Unboxing: Song Without A Name DVD and Raining in the Mountain Blu-Ray

Unboxing two fantastic films sent to me by my friends at Film Movement: the DVD release of Song Without A Name and the Blu-Ray release of Raining in the Mountain. Song Without A Name is a fantastic, powerful film that was recently selected for Peru's submission to the Oscars for best international film. And Raining in the Mountain is a classic that is being offered for the first time on Blu-Ray in North America. Check out the video to see what you get in each of these physical releases! 

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Song Without a Name:
Based on harrowing true events, SONG WITHOUT A NAME tells the story of Georgina, an indigenous Andean woman whose newborn baby is whisked away moments after its birth in a downtown Lima clinic - and never returned. Stonewalled by a byzantine and indifferent legal system, Georgina approaches journalist Pedro Campas, who uncovers a web of fake clinics and abductions - suggesting a rotting corruption deep within Peruvian society. Set in 1988, in a Peru wracked by political violence and turmoil, Melina León’s heart-wrenching first feature renders Georgina's story in gorgeous, shadowy black-and-white cinematography, "styled like the most beautiful of bad dreams" (Variety). SONG WITHOUT A NAME is a "Kafkaesque thriller" (The Hollywood Reporter) that unflinchingly depicts real-life, stranger-than fiction tragedies with poetic beauty.
Director: Melina Leon Starring: Pamela Mendoza, Tommy Párraga, Lucio Rojas

Raining in the Mountain:
During the Ming Dynasty, a Buddhist abbot charged with protecting the sacred scroll of Tripitaka prepares to name his successor. An aristocrat and a general arrive at his secluded mountaintop monastery promising to help in his search, but are in fact scheming to secure the scroll for themselves. As they set about recommending corrupt successors, rival bands of martial artists lie in wait to steal the precious artifact. Soon, the monastery is transformed into an epic battleground for the scroll, with each player caught in a web of betrayal. Called a "remarkably photographed caper heist [featuring] intriguing battles of wits and minds" (Far East Film Festival), RAINING IN THE MOUNTAIN is also the peak of legendary director King Hu's (A TOUCH OF ZEN) infusion of Buddhist spiritual principles into the legacy of martial arts cinema.
Director: King Hu
Starring: Feng Hsu, Yueh Sun, Chun Shih, Feng Tien

Porno Review: Plenty of Classic References, Camp, and Style

Release date: November 24, 2020
Running time: 95 minutes
Starring Robbie Tann, Katelyn Pearce, Evan Daves, Larry Saperstein (High School Musical: The Musical series), Jillian Mueller (The Last O.G.), Glen Stott (The Good Fight)
Directed by Keola Racela (Above the Sea)

A SHUDDER EXCLUSIVE.  When five repressed teen employees at a local movie theatre in a small Christian town discover a mysterious old film hidden in its basement, they unleash an alluring demon that is determined to give them a sex education . . . written in blood. 

Porno has a fun, low budget but classic feel to it.  It actually reminded me of an adult Are You Afraid of the Dark, with some cheesy dialog, themes, and a slightly corny style.  The story of kids in over their heads facing off against adult-themed enemies is a perfect template for that classic series, minus all the sex, gore, and nudity.  But overall the film has a humorous, ridiculous overall look and feel.  And the style of this film is very good, with a movie set in a 90s cineplex with authentic touches throughout.  I loved the classic movies that were being shown, and the movie paraphernalia that was present in the theater.  And there were lots of classic Easter eggs in the movie, of both the horror, classic movie, and pornographic variety.  I noticed a picture from a prominent horror film, plenty of references to 90s movies, and the movie posters for the pornographic films seemed legit, though I couldn't tell if they were real movies or homages to classics.  In any event, you can tell that this film was made by some true cinephiles, and it definitely felt that way.  This was punctuated by occasionally film elements introduced, such as film grain and cuts to 8 mm style shots. 

And the namesake film in this movie, the actual porno, was well done and creepy.  It had an unsettling style that felt like it could have been a 1970s underground movie.  It was also fun to remember a time before the internet made porn available to everyone at the click of a button.  After the kids saw this grotesque film for the first time, one asks if that is what all porn is like, a subtle but very funny line that  reminded me of a time without infinite information, when pornography was a secret, inaccessible thing.  And as you would expect with a horror film titled Porno, there is plenty of gore and nudity.  Sometimes it feels like a little much, and the squeamish will probably have to turn their heads at several times during the movie.  I actually thought it was a bit too much, with some unnecessary scenes and dismemberments (emphasis on the member).  And just like a porno, the story in this movie is nicely paced that builds to an ultimately quick, and slightly unfulfilling ending.  It is an enjoyable journey, and the start of the movie is definitely a highlight, but the movie escalates into an orgy of activity that resolves itself in a confusing manner.  The climax of the film is epic and involved, but it also seems like a conveniently fast one after so much build up.

Porno is an adult Are You Afraid of the Dark, set in a 90s theater with plenty of classic movie references, gore and nudity, and a slow build up to an epic climax.

Rent it.

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Porno is available to stream on Shudder starting November 24, 2020. 

Screening: Sound of Metal (Starring Riz Ahmed and Olivia Cooke) Virtual Screening - Monday, November 30th

We have screening passes for the new movie Sound of Metal from Amazon Screenings. The film stars Riz Ahmed and Olivia Cooke. It debuts on Amazon Prime Video on December 4th, but you can see it EARLY AND FREE by entering for the virtual screening below.

Synopsis:

During a series of adrenaline-fueled one-night gigs, itinerant punk-metal drummer Ruben (Riz Ahmed) begins to experience intermittent hearing loss. When a specialist tells him his condition will rapidly worsen, he thinks his music career — and with it his life — is over. His bandmate and girlfriend Lou (Olivia Cooke) checks the recovering heroin addict into a secluded sober house for the deaf in hopes it will prevent a relapse and help him learn to adapt to his new situation. But after being welcomed into a community that accepts him just as he is, Ruben has to choose between his equilibrium and the drive to reclaim the life he once knew. Utilizing startling, innovative sound design techniques, director Darius Marder takes audiences inside Ruben’s experience to vividly recreate his journey into a rarely examined world.

SCREENING INFO

Sound of Metal
Monday November 30th
7:00 PM EST
Virtual!
Check out the Trailer!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, November 23, 2020

Corinth Films Unboxing - Habermann, My German Friend, and Where I Belong DVD Unboxing Video

Unboxing a package of German arthouse / independent movies I received from my friends at Corinth Films. I did not know what to expect, and was pleasantly surprised to find Habermann, My German Friend, and Where I Belong, arthouse international dramas that deal with an interesting, controversial time period.   

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Habermann Habermann is a stimulating film that raises awareness of a post World War II event that must never be forgotten – the brutal and horrific expulsion of ethnic Germans from the Sudetenland and other parts of Eastern Europe. A result of the resentment against Germans as Nazi sympathizers that are responsible for the war, millions of Germans that had been peacefully co-existing alongside Czechs were stripped of their land and possessions and forced in mass exodus back to German soil. Most of them were tortured, many were murdered; whether they had anything to do with the Nazis or not. Based on the true story of August Habermann, a wealthy mill owner interested in neither politics nor ideology, the film portrays a brave man in his attempt to hold together his family and community as he is manipulated by malicious forces beyond his comprehension. CAST: Mark Waschke, Hannah Herzsprung, Karel Roden, Ben Becker, Wilson Gonzalez Ochsenknecht, Franziska Weisz, Radek Holub, Zuzana Krónerová, Jan Hrusínský My German Friend After the war, Nazis and Jews alike fled to Argentina to escape war crime tribunals and the horrendous persecution of the past, respectively. Each brings with them an intense dislike of the other, trying their best to begin new lives, but the ghosts of the past sometimes never let go. Two families, one Jewish, and one German, live side by side. Sulamit, the pretty and energetic young daughter of a wealthy Jewish Marzipan factory owner, meets the young son, Friedrich, of the German family next door and takes a liking to him. The two become close friends, and Friedrich demonstrates his loyalty to Sulamit early on. As time goes by, Sulamit’s family is struck by tragedy at the same time Argentina is engulfed in a coup d’état as Juan Perón is sent into exile. Sulamit, stricken by grief and confusion, finds solace in the arms of Friedrich, and Friedrich’s family accepts her as one of their own. CAST: Max Riemelt, Celeste Cid, Benjamin Sadler, Noemi Frenkel, Jean-Pierre Noher, Katja Alemann, Carlos Kaspar, Daniel Fanego, Julieta Vetrano, Juan Francisco Rey, Adriana Aizenberg Where I Belong The politics of the Third Reich drove thousands into exile. For many, England was the first safe haven. When the war came to an end the world as they knew it had changed forever. Many of them would not return to their homeland. CAST: Natalie Press, Johannes Krisch, Matthias Habich, Katy Bartrop, Charis-Elisabeth Deighton, Karl Fischer, Priscilla Gray, Gerald Home, Linda Large, Catherine McDonough, Christopher Whitlow

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