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

The Croods: A New Age Review: Some Great New Characters, Same Beautiful Animation, and Lots of Silliness

Nicolas Cage	Nicolas Cage	...	Grug (voice) Emma Stone	Emma Stone	...	Eep (voice) Ryan Reynolds	Ryan Reynolds	...	Guy (voice) Catherine Keener	Catherine Keener	...	Ugga (voice) Cloris Leachman	Cloris Leachman	...	Gran (voice) Clark Duke	Clark Duke	...	Thunk (voice) Leslie Mann	Leslie Mann	...	Hope Betterman (voice) Peter Dinklage	Peter Dinklage	...	Phil Betterman (voice) Kelly Marie Tran	Kelly Marie Tran	...	Dawn Betterman (voice) Kailey Crawford	Kailey Crawford	...	Sandy (voice) Chris Sanders	Chris Sanders	...	Belt (voice) (as Christopher Sanders) James Ryan	James Ryan	...	Sash (voice) Gabriel Jack	Gabriel Jack	...	Young Guy (voice) Melissa Disney	Melissa Disney	...	Guy's Mother (voice) Joel Crawford	Joel Crawford	...	Guy's Father (voice)

Release date: November 25, 2020
Running time: 95 minutes
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds, 
Catherine Keener, Cloris LeachmanClark DukeLeslie MannPeter DinklageKelly Marie Tran
Directed By: 
Joel Crawford

The prehistoric family the Croods are challenged by a rival family the Bettermans, who claim to be better and more evolved.  In this follow up to the prehistoric family hit, the Croods discover a new member of the pack and try to find a new home.  However, when they find some place that seems like paradise, they learn that maybe this might not be all that it is cracked up to be.

The Croods: A New Age continues the same trend of the first movie with some amazingly beautiful animation.  The film, like the previous one, starts in a desert but eventually moves into a more lush environment that really showcases what this film has to offer.  The New Age also adds some new characters, and they are all good additions.  The original Croods voice cast was surprisingly good with Nic Cage and Emma Stone being the standouts.  This movie adds characters voiced by Ryan Reynolds, Peter Dinklage, Leslie Mann, and Kelly Marie Tran.  I really liked Ryan Reynolds's character, and the other new characters are well voiced, despite me not loving their overall demeaner.  But overall, the voice acting is convincing and entertaining.

Directed by  Joel Crawford	...	(directed by)Writing Credits   Kevin Hageman	...	(screenplay by) & Dan Hageman	...	(screenplay by) and Paul Fisher	...	(screenplay by) & Bob Logan	...	(screenplay by)   Kirk DeMicco	...	(story by) & Chris Sanders	...	(story by)     Produced by  Mark Swift	...	producer (produced by) (p.g.a.)
And the story of the Croods: A New Age has an interesting dynamic between prehistoric times and more modern times.  It is fun to see the Croods contend with modern technology and interact with it.  Some of the changes are funny to see, like how one of the children becomes obsessed with screens.  But what characterizes this story the most is the utter silliness of it all.  The movie has some very random aspects, such as animals that communicate only in punches, strange mash up creatures, and some odd fruits and vegetables. They are all very colorful and should be very entertaining for kids and adults.  

The story of the film has a modern technology versus old ways push and pull, and a lot more family drama than I thought it would have. But don't worry about these somewhat heavy story points, the movie itself is very silly.  There is a really funny 80s / KISS type call out towards the end that is really entertaining.  And the whole film seems to be characterized by a lot of random and ridiculous scenes.  And this silliness is something that made my kids laugh out loud.  Your kids will love it and there is enough in here for adults to enjoy as well.

The Croods: A New Age adds some great new characters and plenty of silliness in this prehistoric family animated adventure.

Rent it.

Family Prehistoric Croods Animated Animation Modern
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The Croods: A New Age is available in theaters on November 25.  
For showtimes, click here.

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Uncle Frank Review: A Coming of Age Film With An All Star Cast and Painful, Heartfelt Story

Paul Bettany	...	Frank Bledsoe Sophia Lillis	Sophia Lillis	...	Beth Bledsoe Peter Macdissi	Peter Macdissi	...	Walid 'Wally' Steve Zahn	Steve Zahn	...	Mike Bledsoe Judy Greer	Judy Greer	...	Kitty Bledsoe Margo Martindale	Margo Martindale	...	Mammaw Bledsoe Stephen Root	Stephen Root	...	Daddy Mac Lois Smith	Lois Smith	...	Aunt Butch Jane McNeill	Jane McNeill	...	Neva Caity Brewer	Caity Brewer	...	Marcia Hannah Black	Hannah Black	...	Janis Bledsoe Michael Banks Repeta	Michael Banks Repeta	...	11-Year-Old Bullet (as Banks Repeta) Isabella Pambianchi	Isabella Pambianchi	...	8-Year-Old Mae Ray Burgess Jenkins	Burgess Jenkins	...	Beau Zach Strum	Zach Strum	...	Tee Dub

Release date: November 25, 2020
Running time: 95 minutes
Starring: 
Paul Bettany, Sophia Lillis, Peter Macdissi, Steve Zahn, Judy Greer, Margo Martindale
Director: Alan Ball

In 1973, when Frank Bledsoe (Bettany) and his 18-year-old niece Beth (Lillis) take a road trip from Manhattan to Creekville, South Carolina for the family patriarch's funeral, they're unexpectedly joined by Frank's lover Wally (Macdissi).

Director: Alan Ball Writer: Alan Ball    Produced by  Alan Ball	...	producer Bill Block	...	producer Michael Costigan	...	producer Isaac Ericson	...	executive producer Andrew Golov	...	executive producer Peter Macdissi	...	producer Stephanie Meurer	...	producer Bob Osher	...	executive producer Josh Peters	...	executive producer Christopher Tricarico	...	executive producer Jay Van Hoy	...	producer
Uncle Frank mainly revolves around a small town South Carolina family, despite having detours in New York.  And the family is perfectly set up by the all star cast.  It really draws you into the whole dynamic with the way that everyone interacts.  And the standout of this family is Frank (Bettany), who definitely feels like a different character compared to the rest of the group; he stands out but you are not sure why at the beginning.  He is reserved but charismatic, someone that you want to know more about but who might not let you learn any more.  And his interactions with his niece Beth (Lillis) form a large part of the film.  As Frank and Beth grow closer and more trusting of each other, you gain a deeper understanding of both of their characters.  And the friendship between Frank and Wally (Macdissi) is also wonderful.  It is layered and nuanced, with Wally being the more caring and outgoing of the two and Frank the more cautious and quiet.  But Macdissi is wonderful as Wally, adding so much heart and emotion to this otherwise fairly reserved film.  

As you would expect with a movie about family, there is plenty of heart, love, and drama.  And this movie is first and foremost a drama; it is front and center during the film despite there being snippets of heartfelt and humorous parts.  The movie is broken into a few parts, with an introduction, some time in New York, and a road trip ultimately ending up back in South Carolina.  And through this all you learn more about the characters and their background.  This is helped along by some really fantastic writing.  It is tight and definitive, nothing is wasted in this film.  Each line gives you a new dimension to the characters and their relationships.    

And this movie is an interesting coming of age film, but not like you would expect it to be.  In this film, you have multiple characters coming into their own as they test themselves and their relationships with their family.  The journey is both entertaining and painful to watch, but it is one that will captivate you from the start.  And the cinematography throughout this journey is really wonderful, with plenty of thoughtful, understated shots.  The film is set in some very beautiful areas and the camera makes that clear from the beginning.  And on top of that, the movie has a wonderful soundtrack to effectively amplify the drama.   

Uncle Frank is a wonderful, period coming of age with an all star cast, fantastic writing, and a painful family story filled with heart, humor, and drama. 

Watch it.

Coming of Age South South Carolina New York Family Drama Queer LBGTQ Gay Relationship Humor Comedy Road Trip Love
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Uncle Frank will be released on Amazon Prime Video on November 25, 2020.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Sword of God Unboxing Video Thanks To Film Movement

Unboxing video for the DVD version of Sword of God thanks to our friends at Film Movement. Details of the film below.

Sword of God:

Two men in the early Middle Ages come to a pagan land: one to bring Christianity, the other to find his way of living. They choose two different ways of reaching the pagans. Their conflicting approaches cause issues between themselves and their new flock, and might result in consequences that neither of them anticipated. Cast: Krzysztof Pieczynski, Karol Bernacki, Wiktoria Gorodecka, Jacek Koman Director: Bartosz Konopka Writers: Bartosz Konopka, Przemyslaw Nowakowski, Anna Wydra

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Carmilla Unboxing Video Thanks To Film Movement

Unboxing video for the DVD version of Carmilla thanks to our friends at Film Movement. Details of the film below.

Carmilla:

An atmospheric, coming-of-age love story steeped in eerie mystery and inspired by the gothic novel of the same name. Cast: Tobias Menzies, Jessica Raine, Greg Wise, Hannah Rae, Daniel Tuite, Devrim Lingnau, Colin Blumenau, Lorna Gayle Director: Emily Harris Writers: Emily Harris, Sheridan Le Fanu

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Friday, November 20, 2020

What to Watch This Weekend: Orange Years, Higher Love, Run, Leap of Faith, Last Vermeer, Dating Amber, Over the Moon, The Secret

For That 90s Nostalgia - The Orange Years: The Nickelodeon Story (Digital)
The Orange Years: The Nickelodeon Story had me revisiting my childhood, with plenty of clips, insights, information, and enough slime to remind me why this network played such an important part of my young life!  For more information, check out the review!

For A Window Into Addiction - Higher Love (Digital)
Higher Love is an unfiltered, raw, and emotional look at the effect of drugs and addiction on an American family and all the highs and lows that come from that.  For more information, check out our review!

For The Thriller Fans - Run (Hulu)
Run has some fantastic performances by Paulson and Allen in a tense, psychological thriller that will have you holding your breath and your heart rate running.   For more information, check out our review!

For The Horror Fans - Leap of Faith (Shudder)
Leap of Faith is a fascinating and frank dialog about one of the most influential films ever made, with wonderful insights and amazingly honest critiques from the director.  For more information, check out our review!

For The History Buffs - The Last Vermeer (Theaters)
The Last Vermeer is a work of historical art, with meticulously crafted characters, an attention to historical detail, and a mystery that slowly reveals itself with each story brushstroke.  For more information, check out our review!

For Those Looking For Identity - Dating Amber (Digital)
Dating Amber is a quirky, funny, and heartfelt story of love, sexuality, and identity that puts a new twist on the queer coming of age tale.  For more information, check out our review!

For the Kids - Over the Moon (Netflix)
Over the Moon is out of this world amazing, with beautiful animation, classic Disney influences, catchy musical numbers, and a lunar adventure that kids and adults will learn from and love.  For more information, check out our review!

For The Romantics - The Secret: Dare to Dream (Redbox)
The movie that stars Katie Holmes and follows a woman looking to follow their dreams, this film has a very high viewer score and is now available at Redbox!

Higher Love Review: A Raw, Unfiltered, and Emotional Look at Addiction in America

Release date: November 3, 2020
Running time: 78 minutes

A blue collar worker tries to rescue his pregnant, heroin-addicted girlfriend from the notorious streets of Camden, NJ and her close-knit group of drug users. Once their son is born, he forces her to choose between her life with her drug "family" and one with him and their child.

Higher Love is a painful documentary to watch, with a story that is probably all too common in America today.  A family is torn apart by drugs, and the film follows the drug addict's attempts to kick the habit.  Despite knowing everything that the drugs are doing and how it is affecting their lives, the drugs or the lifestyle always call them back.  And the film documents this in painful detail, showing both parties and their lives in stark, real situations.  You see how it affects them day to day, and the barriers that they put up for recovery.  The film mainly focuses on the family, but it also brings in stories from other individuals affected by drugs.  From recovering people, to those who are on and off the wagon, the movie follows a variety of stories that coincide and interact with the main family.  And it also includes interviews with those individuals, allowing them to speak freely and honestly about the drug habits and what that does to them and those around them.  It paints a very real, very painful, and ultimately unfiltered picture of drugs and addiction in America.

And what this movie does so beautifully and sadly is that it tells these stories carefully and honestly, with no prejudgment or influence by the film.  The actions of the individuals involved are shown with care and clarity, leaving the viewer to take it in.  Judgment might be made, but it is not the filmmakers who are trying to force those.  And the story of the film is a slow one, but that just lets you experience this little slice of life to the fullest.  There are some time jumps, but generally the movie shows day to day life for those experiencing and living with addiction.  And it follows them for enough time that you really see the effects that drugs can have on a family, and what that means for more of America.  It is an unfiltered look into what is happening all over the country, and might give you an appreciation of just how bad this crisis is.  And in that unfiltered look you see some frank conversations and some very emotional moments.  

Higher Love is an unfiltered, raw, and emotional look at the effect of drugs and addiction on an American family and all the highs and lows that come from that.  

Watch it.
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Higher Love is available digitally and on demand November 3, 2020.

For additional information about the film and to rent / buy it, check it out at the links below.

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Thursday, November 19, 2020

My Summer As A Goth: A Quirky Coming of Age Comedy

Mike Vaughn	Mike Vaughn	...	Additional voices Natalie Shershow	Natalie Shershow	...	Joey Javitts Rachelle Henry	Rachelle Henry	...	Molly Natasha Duvall	Natasha Duvall	...	Shelley Tristan Decker	Tristan Decker	...	Aaron Eduardo Reyes	Eduardo Reyes	...	Antonio Jack Levis	Jack Levis	...	Victor Ireland Parker Green	Parker Green	...	Additional voices Connor Muhl	Connor Muhl	...	Iggy (Industrial Goth Guy) Neil Green	Neil Green	...	Additional voices Jonah Kersey	Jonah Kersey	...	Additional Voices (voice) Kristin Taylor	Kristin Taylor	...	Additional voices Carson Verity	Carson Verity	...	Additional voices Kyle Stoltz	Kyle Stoltz	...	Cafe Patron / Club Medusa Dancer / 40th Anniversary Guest Carter Allen	Carter Allen	...	Cob

Release date: November 11, 2020
Running time: 104 minutes
Starring: Natalie Shershow, Jack Levis, Fayra Teeters, Jonas Israel, Jenny White, Carter Allen, Eduardo Reyes, Rachelle Henry, Lorraine Bahr, Michael Biesanz, Sophie Giberson and Sarah Overman.
Director: Tara Johnson-Medinger
Writers: Brandon Lee Roberts, Tara Johnson-Medinger

From director Tara Johnson-Medinger, and starring award-winning actor Natalie Shershow (“Leverage”, “American Vandal”), My Summer as a Goth is a coming-of-age story about the sometimes painful—often entertaining—search for identity and love in adolescence.  After the sudden death of her father, 16-year-old, Joey Javitts is sent to stay with her eccentric grandparents while her author mother promotes her latest novel. Joey promptly falls for the beguiling Goth boy next door, Victor, and is transformed by him and his merry band of misfits in black.  Set in present-day Portland, My Summer as a Goth navigates Joey’s relationships with her new friends, her family and herself, and will resonate with anyone who survived the social alienation of adolescence—and that first summer heartbreak.

Directed by  Tara Johnson-Medinger	Writing Credits (in alphabetical order)   Tara Johnson-Medinger	 Brandon Lee Roberts	...	(as Brandt Dureau)Cast     Megan Clare Foster	...	producer (as Megan Clare Johnson) Kymberley J. Franklin	...	line producer Tara Johnson-Medinger	...	producer Gary Nolton	...	producer Brandon Lee Roberts	...	producer (as Brandt Dureau)
The film has an interesting premise.  Joey is trying to deal with her own dark thoughts so decides to begin hanging out with a group that she thinks understands this part of her.  And as she gets more into goth culture, she begins to question how much she actually wants to change.  The film has a fun cast of characters, including the various goth kids and Joey's grandparents, who are much more hip and understanding than most grandparents would be given Joey's change.  The grandparents are pretty funny and do have some fun little quips here and there.  And Victor is an odd kid, but he also is generally funny.  The film has a lot of quirky little comedic moments that will make you chuckle as you remember how difficult it was to navigate growing up.  Overall, this comedy will give you something a little more quirky to enjoy as you reminisce about your teenage years.  And as you would expect from a movie about goth culture, the music is very good.  It's more like techno-light Marilyn Manson, and a fitting, very listenable goth-style soundtrack.

However, like adolescence and growing up, the film does have some rough patches.  First, the voice acting and general acting feel stiff at the start.  It begins to get better as the film progresses but it still also feels a little unnatural at times.  And Joey begins the film as not likeable or sympathetic, but that does change.  Additionally, the goth characters generally seem less goth and more like drama kids (which I understand probably often include goths).  However, the film's characters just seem like odd ducks and less like dedicated goths.  Maybe that is just how modern goths are.  And Joey's transformation into a goth happens very quickly; I would have liked for a more nuanced change to occur rather than a full on redo.  And the film also has a good number of scenes that feel heavy handed.  But those are equally balanced by some genuinely fun scenes and some dramatic moments and scenes with real emotion.

My Summer As A Goth is a quirky comedy with some fun characters and emotional scenes that will remind you of how awkward growing up and coming into your own can be.  

Rent it.

Coming of Age Goth Goth Culture Goth Rave Darkness Dark Make up drama rebellion rebel growing up growth
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My Summer As A Goth is available to rent or buy on November 11, 2020. 

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Run Review: A Tense Thriller With Some Standout Performances

The film stars Sarah Paulson and newcomer Kiera Allen.

Release date: November 20, 2020
Running time: 89 minutes
Starring: Sarah Paulson, Kiera Allen
Directed by: Aneesh Chaganty
Written by: Aneesh Chaganty, Sev Ohanian

They say you can never escape a mother’s love... but for Chloe, that’s not a comfort — it’s a threat. There’s something unnatural, even sinister about the relationship between Chloe (newcomer Kiera Allen) and her mom, Diane (Sarah Paulson). Diane has raised her daughter in total isolation, controlling every move she’s made since birth, and there are secrets that Chloe's only beginning to grasp. From the visionary writers, producers and director of the breakout film Searching, comes a suspense thriller that shows that when mom gets a little too close, you need to RUN.

RUN is directed by Aneesh Chaganty and written by Aneesh Chaganty and Sev Ohanian. The film is produced by Natalie Qasabian, p.g.a. and Sev Ohanian, p.g.a. The film will make its debut on Hulu later this year.
Run is a lot more of a thriller than I anticipated.  The story starts off normal enough, then builds slowly as more and more uncertainty and tension are added.  Like a fire, it starts off relatively small but keeps growing and growing as more information is revealed.  I love how little bits of uncertainty are introduced throughout.  The audience has a little inkling at the start, but everything generally appears to be normal.  However, as the tension builds, you quickly learn that something is not right here.  And once that switch flips, it starts to turn into an exciting thriller.  And this is all helped along by some good, atmospheric music that does a great job increasing the tension when needed.  There isn't a ton of music in this film, but when it is included it does a wonderful job of setting the ton and amplifying the emotions and excitement.

But a lot of the excitement comes from the great performances in Run.  Both Sarah Paulson and newcomer Kiera Allen are fantastic in this film, giving believable, and when needed emotional, performances that really help to sell this.  There aren't that many characters in Run, but the ones we do have are perfectly cast and acted.  And the subtle push and pull between mother (Paulson) and daughter (Allen) is really fun to watch.  And as their relationship changes, there are more subtle and not so subtle hints introduced to the film that affect their dynamic.  The push and pull exists throughout this movie, and it makes for some very exciting moments.

As mentioned, Run is a lot more psychological and thriller than I expected.  The story is well done with a few surprise twists that might catch you off guard.  The film does a great job of seeding some doubt without actually giving away the reveal.  It's not an overly long or complex story, but it is one that is exiting to watch and will keep you engaged as you learn more and more about Diane and Chloe.  And this story is all capped off by a satisfying ending to the whole thing.

Run has some fantastic performances by Paulson and Allen in a tense, psychological thriller that will have you holding your breath and your heart rate running

Watch it.

Run Thriller Runfilm Horror Paulson Allen tension tense disabled disability child mother college
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Run is available to stream on Hulu starting November 20, 2020.

Fireball: Visitors From Darker Worlds Review: A Documentary About Out of This World Objects

Release date: November 13, 2020
Running time: 100 minutes

Following their Academy Award-nominated work on “Encounters at the End of the World” and Emmy-nominated “Into the Inferno,” Werner Herzog and Clive Oppenheimer’s new film “Fireball: Visitors From Darker Worlds” takes viewers on an extraordinary journey to discover how shooting stars, meteorites and deep impacts have focused the human imagination on other realms and worlds, and on our past and our future.

Fireball explores meteorites and other objects that come from space and looks at how people find them, what those objects look like, and also the historical perspective of how those objects have affected people and cultures.  The historical aspect is very interesting, looking at how objects from space have been noticed by cultures and developed into myths for generations.  And the filmmakers really explore these, going to many different locales in their search for more and more history.  And they're not just looking for historical examples, but also go all over the world in their search for out of this world objects.  If you want to see some really interesting places and footage from all over, this is a great way to do it.  And I also enjoyed how the filmmakers spoke to various interstellar object hunters and looked into how they go about locating their objects and some of their best finds.  I really liked a clever individual who found the most likely place for space material to hit and goes there regularly trying to find anything that might have accumulated there.  

However, Fireball--while being an interesting and insightful documentary--is relatively slow paced.  It goes to a lot of places but sometimes it seems like it lingers a little too long on points.  And this is just a personal opinion, but the narration felt a little too serious at times.  It made it hard to really get invested in the film and also made the sections that lingered on feel that much longer.  It is probably just me personally, but if it is something that did affect my overall enjoyment of the documentary.

Fireball: Visitors From Darker Worlds travels all over the world looking for out of this world objects and the myths and effect that those have on our world.

Rent it.
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Bruce Springsteen: Letter to You is available to stream on Apple TV+ starting November 13.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

The Killing Floor and Hero On The Front Unboxing Video Thanks To Film Movement

Unboxing video for both Hero On the Front and The Killing Floor. Details of the films below.

Hero On The Front Details: An Allied soldier, stranded behind enemy lines during the La Lys battle in 1918 during World War I, struggles by himself through dozens of German offensives so he can guarantee the safety of his companions. Based on the true story of Private Milhões. Starring: João Arrais, Lúcia Moniz, Miguel Borges, Ivo Canelas The Killing Floor Details: Praised by The New Yorker as "a revelatory historical drama" and by The Village Voice as the most “clear-eyed account of union organizing on film,” THE KILLING FLOOR (1984/1985) is the first feature film directed by Bill Duke and explores a little-known true story of an African American migrant in his struggle to help build an interracial union in the Chicago Stockyards. The screenplay by Obie Award-winner Leslie Lee is from an original story by producer Elsa Rassbach and is based on actual characters and events, tracing ethnic and class conflicts seething in the city’s giant slaughterhouses, when management efforts to divide the workforce fuel racial tensions that erupt in the deadly Chicago Race Riot of 1919. Director: Bill Duke Starring: Damien Leake, Alfre Woodard, Moses Gunn, Clarence Felder

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Dirty God Review: An Emotional Story With An Amazing Debut By Knight

Vicky Knight	...	Jade Katherine Kelly	Katherine Kelly	...	Lisa Eliza Brady-Girard	Eliza Brady-Girard	...	Rae Rebecca Stone	Rebecca Stone	...	Shami Bluey Robinson	Bluey Robinson	...	Naz Dana Marineci	Dana Marineci	...	Flavia Tachia Newall	Tachia Newall	...	Kieran Frieda Thiel	Frieda Thiel	...	Ronit Shystie	Shystie	...	Tal (as Chanelle Calica) Karl Jackson	Karl Jackson	...	Eli Alys Metcalf	Alys Metcalf	...	Daisy Wendy Albiston	Wendy Albiston	...	Pat Malique Warner	Malique Warner	...	Damo Jake Wheeldon	Jake Wheeldon	...	David Rosie Akerman	Rosie Akerman	...	Stacey

Release date: November 13, 2020
Running time: 104 minutes
Starring: Vicky Knight, Katherine Kelly, Eliza Brady-Girard 
Director: Sacha Polak
Writers: Sacha Polak, Susie Farrell 

A young British mother struggles to reclaim her life after a brutal acid attack leaves her severely scarred. Jade (Knight) is still recovering from a terrible acid attack that has scarred her face, body, and her spirit.  She attempts to rebuild her life, but the constant ridicule and pain are tough for her to take, and life begins to slowly bear down on her.  How she deals with this unique and painful situation forms the main crux of the film, and gives dirty god much of its inherent heart.  

EN Director: Sacha Polak Writers: Sacha Polak, Susie Farrell (as Susanne Farrell)     Isabel Davis	...	executive producer Clea De Koning	...	executive producer Michael Elliott	...	producer Celine Haddad	...	executive producer Chris Jorna	...	line producer Frank Klein	...	executive producer Donna Mabey	...	line producer Dries Phlypo	...	co-producer Marleen Slot	...	producer Eva Yates	...	executive producer
This movie is the acting debut of Vicky Knight and what a debut it is.  Knight gives a powerful, difficult performance.  A burn victim herself from her childhood, Knight added some additional scars for this role but approaches it with an understanding and care that you expect from this situation.  Her performance and gait are realistic, because they are.  She walks with a little bit of a hitch that looks realistic.  Her performance touches on some very real emotions because they are likely hers.  And this film is the perfect film to showcase her talents.  The story is heartfelt, chronicling a recently injured mother coping with the cruel, disfiguring injury and her new reality.  Jade goes through physical and emotional turmoil as she tries to cope with what happened and rebuild her life.  And this emotional story is accompanied by some great music that helps to set the mood and increase the drama.

However, the film itself, while emotional and well put together, is very slow and sometimes doesn't seem to have a purpose.  The film at times feels like a chronicle of her life, rather than a journey of what is happening.  Bits and pieces of what occurred are revealed throughout the film, but you really don't get a full picture until the end of the movie.  But before that, you are left with a story that feels slow if realistic.  And I also found it difficult to tell what was going on at times, partially because I did not have the backstory.  Not all movies need to be emotional roller coasters, but this one felt like it could have done with a bit more exposition and adventure.  

Dirty God is an emotional journey of abuse and reconstruction, with a powerful acting debut by Vicky Knight.  

Rent it.

Drama Movie Burn Victim Love Family Sadness Rebirth Rebuild Abuse
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Dirty God is available on November 13, 2020. 

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