Tuesday, October 20, 2020

When the Streetlights Go On Review: A Coming of Age Drama With An Amazing 90s Soundtrack

Chosen Jacobs	...	 Charlie Chambers10 episodes, 2020  Sophie Thatcher	Sophie Thatcher	...	 Becky Monroe10 episodes, 2020  Ben Ahlers	Ben Ahlers	...	 Brad Kirchoff10 episodes, 2020  Nnamdi Asomugha	Nnamdi Asomugha	...	 Adult Charlie Chambers10 episodes, 2020  Mark Duplass	Mark Duplass	...	 Mr. Carpenter10 episodes, 2020  Kristine Froseth	Kristine Froseth	...	 Chrissy Monroe10 episodes, 2020  Tony Hale	Tony Hale	...	 Mr. Bouque10 episodes, 2020  Sam Strike	Sam Strike	...	 Casper Tatum10 episodes, 2020  Queen Latifah	Queen Latifah	...	 Detective Grasso10 episodes, 2020  Julia Sarah Stone	Julia Sarah Stone	...	 Berlice Beaman8 episodes, 2020  Cameron Bancroft	Cameron Bancroft	...	 Mr. Monroe5 episodes, 2020  Eliza Norbury	Eliza Norbury	...	 Mrs. Monroe5 episodes, 2020  Justin Derickson	Justin Derickson	...	 Scott Anderson

Release date: April 6, 2020
Running time: 10 minute episodes
Starring:  Chosen Jacobs, Sophie Thatcher, Ben Ahlers, Mark Duplass, Kristine Froseth

The residents of a small town grapple with the ruthless killing of a young girl and a teacher.  When Chrissy (Froseth) and her teacher Mr. Carpenter (Duplass) are killed and left in the woods, the whole town grapples with this event.  People, including students, are suspected and Chrissy's sister Becky (Thatcher) is thrust from relative anonymity into the spotlight.  This brings some unwanted attention from her fellow students who deal with this in their own way.  

Chosen Jacobs	...	 Charlie Chambers10 episodes, 2020  Sophie Thatcher	Sophie Thatcher	...	 Becky Monroe10 episodes, 2020  Ben Ahlers	Ben Ahlers	...	 Brad Kirchoff10 episodes, 2020  Nnamdi Asomugha	Nnamdi Asomugha	...	 Adult Charlie Chambers10 episodes, 2020  Mark Duplass	Mark Duplass	...	 Mr. Carpenter10 episodes, 2020  Kristine Froseth	Kristine Froseth	...	 Chrissy Monroe10 episodes, 2020  Tony Hale	Tony Hale	...	 Mr. Bouque10 episodes, 2020  Sam Strike	Sam Strike	...	 Casper Tatum10 episodes, 2020  Queen Latifah	Queen Latifah	...	 Detective Grasso10 episodes, 2020  Julia Sarah Stone	Julia Sarah Stone	...	 Berlice Beaman8 episodes, 2020  Cameron Bancroft	Cameron Bancroft	...	 Mr. Monroe5 episodes, 2020  Eliza Norbury	Eliza Norbury	...	 Mrs. Monroe5 episodes, 2020  Justin Derickson	Justin Derickson	...	 Scott Anderson
When the Streetlights Go Out starts off with the brutal crime itself.  It is a way to instantly draw you in and shock you, making you want to watch more.  And this works; I was intrigued to find out more about the crime, the victim, and more importantly the perpetrator.  And that is where this film really starts to shine.  After the crime, the film switches to more of a drama highlighting the interactions between the various characters in the small town.  It has shades of something like Twin Peaks, where it starts off with a horrible event and then focuses more on the people and consequences of the event.  It wasn't what I expected but When the Streetlights Go On does such a good job creating this small town feel that I didn't mind at all.  There a whole cast of interesting characters to meet and watch as they all deal with the death in their own way.  Most interesting is Becky, who has a complicated set of emotions to go through.  She was close with her sister but also seemed like there was plenty of friction between the two.  Prime suspect Casper (Sam Strike) is an interesting rebel, who is much deeper than his hard exterior lets on.  And the narrator Charlie (Jacobs) is an introspective narrator who leads us through some of the ups and downs that occurred after the brutal crime.  I really liked all the characters, though some seemed to be a little over the top, but nothing that was too distracting.  Also, some of the dialog definitely reminded me of random dumb things my friends and I said in the 90s when we were trying to grow up too fast and act more mature than we were.

And speaking of the 90s, this film is set in the 90s with a lot of amazing references.  The music definitely took me back and had a hit list of 90s songs that were instantly recognizable.  And there were a lot of throwbacks to technology and references I remember from back then.  The fashion looked perfect for the time.  And although there were a few minor hiccups (one person had a laptop before I think laptops were common at all, and they used a Mountain Dew throwback can that I think was made after the 90s referencing a can from well before the 90s), overall the film had a great sense of time and place.  And the story of this film really feels more like a teenage drama than a true crime epic, but that is fine.  The drama is mostly well done, with a few over the top scenes, but enough to keep you engaged and entertained.  And with this being a Quibi film, it is broken into 10 minute chunks with each segment ending in a cliffhanger.  Although this isn't my favorite way to watch a movie, it does make for a very exciting setup.  Each 10 minutes has a big revelation or important point, and keeps you engaged and on your toes.  But it does make some of the scenes feel overdramatic as they are building for that big finale.  

When the Streetlights Go On is an interesting and entertaining period drama with some complicated characters and small town intrigue surrounding a horrible crime.

Watch it.

Quibi Coming of Age Teen Drama Twin Peaks Stranger Things Teens Growing Up Murder Serial Killer Queen Latifah
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Haunt Review: An Unsettling Haunted House You Will Want To Explore

Katie Stevens	...	Harper Will Brittain	Will Brittain	...	Nathan Lauryn Alisa McClain	Lauryn Alisa McClain	...	Bailey Andrew Lewis Caldwell	Andrew Lewis Caldwell	...	Evan (as Andrew Caldwell) Shazi Raja	Shazi Raja	...	Angela Schuyler Helford	Schuyler Helford	...	Mallory Phillip Johnson Richardson	Phillip Johnson Richardson	...	Ty Hoffman (as Phillip Johnson-Richardson) Chaney Morrow	Chaney Morrow	...	Ghost Justin Marxen	Justin Marxen	...	Clown Terri Partyka	Terri Partyka	...	Witch Justin Rose	Justin Rose	...	Vampire Damian Maffei	Damian Maffei	...	Devil Schuyler White	Schuyler White	...	Zombie Samuel Hunt	Samuel Hunt	...	Sam

Release date: October 22, 2020 (single disc and collector's edition Blu-ray releases)
Running time: 92 minutes
Starring: Katie Stevens, Will Brittain, Andrew Lewis Caldwell, Lauryn Alisa McClain, Schuyler Helford, Justin Marxen, Chaney Morrow
Written and Directed by: Scott Beck and Bryan Woods

On Halloween, a group of friends encounter an "extreme" haunted house that promises to feed on their darkest fears.  The night turns deadly as they come to the horrifying realization that some nightmares are very real.  As they make their way deeper into the haunted house, they encounter all sorts of real and perceived dangers, and get separated from each other.  But trying to escape this haunted house will be a nightmare all on its own.

Haunt is a very solid horror film that does almost everything right.  The writers were the ones behind the Quiet Place (and the delayed Quiet Place Part II) and you can easily see that influence in this film. The sound design is solid, with an expert use of both quiet and loud audio to keep you on your toes.  And the sounds are really impactful: smashes, crunches, creepy sounds, they all are used with great effect.  And often times, the lack of sound is what strikes you as you wait for that big jump scare or loud boom.  It is a tense movie and it uses jump scares effectively, but it doesn't rely on them.  

Katie Stevens	...	Harper Will Brittain	Will Brittain	...	Nathan Lauryn Alisa McClain	Lauryn Alisa McClain	...	Bailey Andrew Lewis Caldwell	Andrew Lewis Caldwell	...	Evan (as Andrew Caldwell) Shazi Raja	Shazi Raja	...	Angela Schuyler Helford	Schuyler Helford	...	Mallory Phillip Johnson Richardson	Phillip Johnson Richardson	...	Ty Hoffman (as Phillip Johnson-Richardson) Chaney Morrow	Chaney Morrow	...	Ghost Justin Marxen	Justin Marxen	...	Clown Terri Partyka	Terri Partyka	...	Witch Justin Rose	Justin Rose	...	Vampire Damian Maffei	Damian Maffei	...	Devil Schuyler White	Schuyler White	...	Zombie Samuel Hunt	Samuel Hunt	...	Sam
And the characters, while being somewhat horror tropes, are all enjoyable together as they try to get through this haunted house.  Each has a different personality and although only one of the character's backstory is explored, the group as a whole is a good cohesive unit.  Their interactions, both helpful and harmful, really help to keep you engaged and rooting for the friends.  And the masked haunted house occupants are just fantastic.  The masks are so incredibly creepy and the use of the characters is just perfect.  They don't feel overly strong, but they just show up at the right places and are ruthless when they need to be.  But they also up the creepiness by being mostly silent, giving you little insight into who they are and why they are doing this.  

And the unsettling aspects spill over into the film itself.  There are several scenes that are violent and painful to watch, but Haunt has the right balance of gore and discretion.  It never feels like you are watching torture porn; rather the film has just enough violent, gruesome aspects to give you an idea of the consequences involved, but not so much that the film feels gratuitous.  And the film has just as many gruesome moments as unsettling, tense moments where nothing happens.  It feels like its playing with the viewers; there were many scenes when I waited for something to pop out and jump scare only to have nothing happen.  It is a masterful balance.  If there are criticisms with the film, it is that some of the character's dialog isn't as sharp and there is one scene where a character seems to go through an important character change only to then revert back moments later.  But Haunt is a solid horror film that does pretty much everything right.  And it concludes with a fulfilling ending and an end credits song that is simply phenomenal.  

Haunt's combination of atmospheric, impactful sound, tense and gruesome horror, and unsettling villains makes this a haunted house you will want to explore.

Watch it.

Horror Thriller Tension Suspense Gore Gruesome Murder Death Haunted House Halloween Spooky Unsettling Movie Movies Shudder
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Haunt is available on disc, digital, and on demand October 22.  The film is being released on blu ray in both a one disc set and a collectors edition, that includes a ton of great content.  Specifically, the collectors edition includes the commemorative 2 disc set will treat fans to the Original CD Soundtrack by tomandandy, four 16” x 20” movie poster reproductions, a 16” x 20” reproduction of the haunt map, six enamel pins featuring the eerie costume masks worn by the villains in the film, four 2” x 3 ½” replica VHS box-style magnets, and over 5 hours of special features including a NEW To Escape the Haunt: The Making of HAUNT featurette. 

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

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Monday, October 19, 2020

Screening: Watch Borat Subsequent Movie Film Early And Enjoy Glorious Q&A And Powerful Dance Party

Join the Global Watch Party for Borat Subsequent Moviefilm on Thursday, October 22, 2020 at 6pm PDT

Followed by first ever live Q&A and Dance Party with Borat

RSVP for Borat Subsequent Moviefilm Global Watch Party Here!



White Riot Review: A Sadly Timely Documentary About Standing Against Hate

Red Saunders	...	Self Dennis Bovell	Dennis Bovell	...	Self Mykaell Riley	Mykaell Riley	...	Self Rest of cast listed alphabetically: Pervez Bilgrami	Pervez Bilgrami	...	Self Pauline Black	Pauline Black	...	Self Ruth Gregory	Ruth Gregory	...	Self Stuart Hall	Stuart Hall	...	Self - Sociologist (archive footage) Topper Headon	Topper Headon	...	Self David Hinds	David Hinds	...	Self Roger Huddle	Roger Huddle	...	Self Mick Jones	Mick Jones	...	Self Misty In Roots	Misty In Roots	...	Themselves (archive footage) Joe Pearce	Joe Pearce	...	Self - Young Member of the National Front (archive footage) Enoch Powell	Enoch Powell	...	Self - Politician (archive footage) Colin Prescod	Colin Prescod	...	Self (archive footage)

Release date: October 16, 2020
Running time: 80 minutes
Starring: Red Saunders, Dennis Bovell, Mykaell Riley 

White Riot chronicles the Rock Against Racism organization, which was formed in 1976 in response to some racially charged comments made by Eric Clapton.  But the organization and its message of unification for rock quickly found a need to grow as the anti-immigrant National Front in Britain espoused its own racist and anti-immigration messages.  The campaign grew from Hoxton fanzine roots to 1978's huge antifascist carnival in Victoria Park, featuring X-Ray Spex, Steel Pulse, and of course The Clash, whose rock star charisma and gale-force conviction took RAR's message to the masses.  White Riot blends fresh interviews with archive footage to recreate a hostile environment of anti-immigrant hysteria and National Front marches.  

Red Saunders	...	Self Dennis Bovell	Dennis Bovell	...	Self Mykaell Riley	Mykaell Riley	...	Self Rest of cast listed alphabetically: Pervez Bilgrami	Pervez Bilgrami	...	Self Pauline Black	Pauline Black	...	Self Ruth Gregory	Ruth Gregory	...	Self Stuart Hall	Stuart Hall	...	Self - Sociologist (archive footage) Topper Headon	Topper Headon	...	Self David Hinds	David Hinds	...	Self Roger Huddle	Roger Huddle	...	Self Mick Jones	Mick Jones	...	Self Misty In Roots	Misty In Roots	...	Themselves (archive footage) Joe Pearce	Joe Pearce	...	Self - Young Member of the National Front (archive footage) Enoch Powell	Enoch Powell	...	Self - Politician (archive footage) Colin Prescod	Colin Prescod	...	Self (archive footage)
This film highlights an important time in British history and for rock / punk music.  The National Front preached a hateful, close minded message and this film showcases how a few angry individuals who didn't like the views espoused by that party started a national movement.  The founders of Rock Against Racism channeled their anger to effect real change, and gathered like-minded musicians and sympathetic Brits to help defeat this message.  It really showcases how music can be a force for good in this world and how people can come together to change the narrative.  It also showcases a pivotal time in punk music when the culture could have gone either way, embracing either equality or racism.  And thanks to the efforts of Rock Against Racism, it formed a rebellion against hate.  

And as you would expect from a movie about punk music the film has a great soundtrack.  It really highlights some good bands and some influential lyrics.  I really liked how it would relate those lyrics to the greater movement at the time, and the soundtrack to the film is one of rebellion and love.  It really puts into context some of these great songs.  And unfortunately, despite this movie being set 50 years ago, the message it has is sadly timely.  It feels like a lot of the lessons and fight that occurred back then are still happening today.  Even though we as a society and a world should have moved past all of this, hate still happens and is becoming more blatant and outspoken.  White Riot is an important and timely reminder that if you want to stop hate, you have to take an active role.  You can't just hope that it will go away, you must be the voice for what you want to see happen.

White Riot is a sadly timely movie that showcases how music can be a force for good with a rebellious soundtrack and cast of characters.

Watch it.

Punk Rock Classic Rock British Britain Racism Racist National Front Rock AgainSt Racism
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On The Rocks Review: A Different Kind of Relationship Drama Movie

Bill Murray	...	Felix Rashida Jones	Rashida Jones	...	Laura Marlon Wayans	Marlon Wayans	...	Dean Jenny Slate	Jenny Slate	...	Vanessa Jessica Henwick	Jessica Henwick	...	Fiona Barbara Bain	Barbara Bain	...	Gran Nadia Dajani	Nadia Dajani	...	Kelly Musto Pelinkovicci	Musto Pelinkovicci	...	Musto Jules Willcox	Jules Willcox	...	Mom Alexandra Mary Reimer	Alexandra Mary Reimer	...	Theo Evangeline Young	Evangeline Young	...	Miss Mindy Ximena Lamadrid	Ximena Lamadrid	...	Mandy Grayson Eddey	Grayson Eddey	...	Vanessa's Son Mike Keller	Mike Keller	...	Officer O'Callaghan Chase Sui Wonders	Chase Sui Wonders	...	Chase

Release date: October 23, 2020
Running time: 100 minutes
Starring: Bill Murray, Rashida Jones, Marlon Wayans
Written and Directed by: Sofia Coppola

Laura (Rashida Jones) thinks she’s happily hitched, but when her husband Dean (Marlon Wayans) starts logging late hours at the office with a new co-worker, Laura begins to fear the worst. She turns to the one man she suspects may have insight: her charming, impulsive father Felix (Bill Murray), who insists they investigate the situation. As the two begin prowling New York at night, careening from uptown parties to downtown hotspots, they discover at the heart of their journey lies their own relationship.

Bill Murray	...	Felix Rashida Jones	Rashida Jones	...	Laura Marlon Wayans	Marlon Wayans	...	Dean Jenny Slate	Jenny Slate	...	Vanessa Jessica Henwick	Jessica Henwick	...	Fiona Barbara Bain	Barbara Bain	...	Gran Nadia Dajani	Nadia Dajani	...	Kelly Musto Pelinkovicci	Musto Pelinkovicci	...	Musto Jules Willcox	Jules Willcox	...	Mom Alexandra Mary Reimer	Alexandra Mary Reimer	...	Theo Evangeline Young	Evangeline Young	...	Miss Mindy Ximena Lamadrid	Ximena Lamadrid	...	Mandy Grayson Eddey	Grayson Eddey	...	Vanessa's Son Mike Keller	Mike Keller	...	Officer O'Callaghan Chase Sui Wonders	Chase Sui Wonders	...	Chase
On The Rocks feels like a very different movie because it is very different.  There is a focus on feelings and an openness to conversation that you normally do not see.  The film has an excellent cast in Jones, Wayans, and Murray.  Surprisingly, Murray feels like the weakest actor of the three, which we will get to later.  Jones and Wayans are fantastic as a married couple who are overwhelmed with work and children.  Jones pulls it off particularly well, looking noticeably tired and overburdened as she tries to care for her kids while also having a career.  And Wayans does a great job as a hard working dreamer hoping to build and row his business.  And the two have great chemistry together.  The story of this film is a slow to develop one, but it works for this movie.  Nothing is spoon fed to the viewer and there is a lot that is left unknown for the viewer to draw their own conclusions from.  This is a film that has mastered hinting at things without outright saying it, which makes the viewers feel like they are investigating the relationship along with Jones and Murray. 

But although this film does a lot right, it does have a few issues.  For one, Bill Murray is fun as a free spirited, ever flirtatious grandpa, but some of his lines and dialog feel very forced.  This happens a few times for Jones as well, but Murray is the biggest culprit.  Sometimes it feels like he is reading a script rather than performing, which I was shocked to hear.  Now, when he is on, he is perfect in this film, but it definitely felt like he was not showing his best a few times during this movie.  And the film also cast Jenny Slate but then didn't use her at all.  Her character just shows up occasionally as a stressed friend; a shame given how funny she can be.  And although the story develops slowly and leaves a lot of questions, the film does have some crazy sequences.  And although these can be fun, they also feel a little over the top and generally out of character for this film.  At some point I expected Jones to pull the rip cord but it didn't really happen.  And although the film does have a nice, unconventional ending and overall it does reverse a lot of the tropes with this genre, it feels like it could have been so much more.  It has great bones but just didn't fill out as well as I had hoped.

On The Rocks takes many of the tropes of this genre and turns them on their head, with an unconventional story, Bill Murray craziness, and great chemistry between Jones and Wayans. 

Rent it.

Drama Comedy relationship love family heist detective entertainment movie movies appleTV
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Bruce Springsteen: Letter to You is available to stream on Apple TV+ starting October 23.

Cut Throat City Blu Ray Unboxing - Heist Film by RZA starring Ethan Hawke, Shameik Moore, T.I.

Thanks to our friends at Well Go USA, we have a special unboxing video for you of Cut Throat City, featuring an all star cast!  From director RZA comes the explosive CUT THROAT CITY, the story of four boyhood friends from New Orleans' Lower Ninth Ward who return after Hurricane Katrina to decimated homes, no jobs, and no help from FEMA. Out of options, they reluctantly turn to a local gangster, who offers them one shot at turning their situations around—by pulling off a dangerous heist in the heart of the city. When the job goes bad, the friends find themselves on the run, hunted by two relentless detectives and a neighborhood warlord who thinks they stole the heist money.

Directed by RZA (The Man with the Iron Fists) and written by P.G. Cuschieri (“The Undercovers”), CUT THROAT CITY features a powerhouse cast, including Shameik Moore (Dope, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse), Tip “T.I.” Harris (Ant-Man franchise), Demetrius Shipp Jr. (All American) and Kat Graham (“The Vampire Diaries”), along with Wesley Snipes (Blade, New Jack City), Academy Award® nominee Terrence Howard (Best Actor, Hustle & Flow, 2005), Eiza Gonzalez (Baby Driver) and four-time Oscar® nominee Ethan Hawke (Best Supporting Actor: Training Day, 2001, Boyhood, 2014; Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay: Before Sunset, 2004, Before Midnight, 2013). Denzel Whitaker (Black Panther), Keean Johnson (Midway) and Isaiah Washington (“The 100”) also play supporting roles.

This video will show you what you get from the Blu-Ray copy of this movie.

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Interview: Scott Beck and Bryan Woods, Writers and Directors of Haunt w/ Katie Stevens, Will Britta

Scott Beck	 Bryan Woods	Writing Credits (WGA)   Scott Beck	...	(written by) & Bryan Woods	...	(written by)Cast (in credits order) complete, awaiting verification   Katie Stevens	Katie Stevens	...	Harper Will Brittain	Will Brittain	...	Nathan Lauryn Alisa McClain	Lauryn Alisa McClain	...	Bailey Andrew Lewis Caldwell	Andrew Lewis Caldwell	...	Evan (as Andrew Caldwell) Shazi Raja	Shazi Raja	...	Angela Schuyler Helford	Schuyler Helford	...	Mallory Phillip Johnson Richardson	Phillip Johnson Richardson	...	Ty Hoffman (as Phillip Johnson-Richardson) Chaney Morrow	Chaney Morrow	...	Ghost Justin Marxen	Justin Marxen	...	Clown Terri Partyka	Terri Partyka	...	Witch Justin Rose	Justin Rose	...	Vampire Damian Maffei	Damian Maffei	...	Devil Schuyler White	Schuyler White	...	Zombie Samuel Hunt	Samuel Hunt	...	Sam Karra Rae Robinson	Karra Rae Robinson	...	Young Woman (as Karra Robinson) Brent Geisler	Brent Geisler	...	DJ Poltergeis Karli Hall	Karli Hall	...	Nurse Briana Tedesco	Briana Tedesco	...	Young Harper Katy Durham	Katy Durham	...	Harper's Mom (as Katy Arnold) William Arnold	William Arnold	...	Harper's Dad Lynnanne Zager	Lynnanne Zager	...	Witch (voice) Rest of cast listed alphabetically: Grace Balbo	Grace Balbo	...	Party Guest (uncredited) Angela Coburn	Angela Coburn	...	Halloween Costume Party Attendee (uncredited) Bobby Easley	Bobby Easley	...	Paramedic (uncredited) Sammy Geroulis	Sammy Geroulis	...	College Student (uncredited) Rajiim A. Gross	Rajiim A. Gross	...	Bouncer (uncredited) Calvin David Jones III	Calvin David Jones III	...	Halloween Party Goer (uncredited) Gregory M. Knight	Gregory M. Knight	...	EMT (uncredited) Kenny Lykins	Kenny Lykins	...	Party Guest (uncredited) Harry McCane	Harry McCane	...	Party Guest (uncredited) Kurt Oberhaus	Kurt Oberhaus	...	Paul (uncredited) Natasha Renee	Natasha Renee	...	Party Guest (uncredited) Produced by  Mark Fasano	...	producer (produced by) Todd Garner	...	producer (produced by) Josie Liang	...	executive producer Nick Meyer	...	executive producer Sean Robins	...	executive producer Eli Roth	...	producer (produced by) Ankur Rungta	...	producer (produced by) Vishal Rungta	...	producer (produced by) Marc Schaberg	...	executive producer Jeremy Stein	...	executive producer Jon D. Wagner	...	executive producer (as Jon Wagner) Tobias Weymar	...	executive producer

Scott Beck and Bryan Woods, the directors and writers of Haunt, join for an insightful interview.  Haunt is an amazingly well done horror feature that takes the traditional haunted house movie and flips it on its head.  It has some really beautiful camera work and impactful, visceral sound.  We discuss the inspiration for this film, how they filmed this masterpiece on a tight budget, how they constructed the haunted house, and how they created their villains.  We also discuss some of the best and worst haunted houses they have been to.

So give it a watch and make sure to check out Haunt, available on single disc and bluray collectors editions on October 22. 

Starring: Katie Stevens, Will Brittain, Andrew Lewis Caldwell, Lauryn Alisa McClain, Schuyler Helford, Justin Marxen, Chaney Morrow Written and Directed by: Scott Beck and Bryan Woods Produced by: Eli Roth

Synopsis: On Halloween, a group of friends encounter an "extreme" haunted house that promises to feed on their darkest fears.  The night turns deadly as they come to the horrifying realization that some nightmares are very real.  As they make their way deeper into the haunted house, they encounter all sorts of real and perceived dangers, and get separated from each other.  But trying to escape this haunted house will be a nightmare all on its own.

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Memories of Murder Review: Boon Joon Ho's Classic Film Gets A Deserved Remaster

Kang-ho Song	Kang-ho Song	...	Detective Park Doo-man Sang-kyung Kim	Sang-kyung Kim	...	Detective Seo Tae-yoon Roe-ha Kim	Roe-ha Kim	...	Detective Cho Yong-koo Jae-ho Song	Jae-ho Song	...	Sergeant Shin Dong-chul Hee-Bong Byun	Hee-Bong Byun	...	Sergeant Koo Hee-bong (as Hie-bong Byeon) Seo-hie Ko	Seo-hie Ko	...	Officer Kwon Kwi-ok Tae-ho Ryu	Tae-ho Ryu	...	Jo Byeong-soon No-shik Park	No-shik Park	...	Baek Gwang-ho Hae-il Park	Hae-il Park	...	Park Hyeon-gyu Mi-seon Jeon	Mi-seon Jeon	...	Kwok Seol-yung Young-hwa Seo	Young-hwa Seo	...	Eon Deok-nyeo Woo Go-na	Woo Go-na	...	Kim So-hyeon Ok-joo Lee	Ok-joo Lee	...	Oh Nam-joo Jong-ryol Choi	Jong-ryol Choi	...	Gwang-ho's father Seung-mok Yoo	Seung-mok Yoo	...	Journalist

Release date: October 19, 2020 (American Remaster Release)
Running time: 132 minutes
Starring: Kang-ho Song, Sang-kyung Kim, Roe-ha Kim 

Memories of Murder tells the harrowing true story of the hunt for a sadistic serial rapist and murderer terrorizing a small province in 1980s South Korea. Marking the first of many successful collaborations between four-time Oscar winner Bong Joon Ho and leading man Song Kang Ho, the film follows the paths of three increasingly desperate detectives as they attempt to decipher the violent mind of a killer in a futile effort to solve the case. Now, seventeen years after its initial release, and a year after the real culprit of the crimes that inspired this film was identified, this cult classic takes its place as a modern masterpiece.

Bong Joon Ho has been making films for a while, and some of his past work are indeed cult classics, but after Parasite he shot onto the American radar.  His work mixes social commentary, dark humor, serious scenes, and overall fantastic composition to tell some truly unique stories.  His work is tough to categorize because it blends into multiple genres, but it is always interesting, entertaining, and riveting.  Memories of a Murder is no exception.  The film is classic Bong Joon Ho (literally and figuratively) with the story of a small town detective in over his head trying to solve a gruesome string of murders.  And Parasite fans will recognize his lead actor Song Kang Ho, who also played the main role in the Academy Award Winner.  Ho is a similar character and just as enjoyable to watch, juggling a complex set of emotions and influences to portray a detective that is one part cunning and at the same time bumbling.  Memories of Murder has an extensive cast that fills out this world.  The two small detectives, the more seasoned detective from Seoul, the villagers, everyone works effortlessly and persistently to build this world.

Kang-ho Song	Kang-ho Song	...	Detective Park Doo-man Sang-kyung Kim	Sang-kyung Kim	...	Detective Seo Tae-yoon Roe-ha Kim	Roe-ha Kim	...	Detective Cho Yong-koo Jae-ho Song	Jae-ho Song	...	Sergeant Shin Dong-chul Hee-Bong Byun	Hee-Bong Byun	...	Sergeant Koo Hee-bong (as Hie-bong Byeon) Seo-hie Ko	Seo-hie Ko	...	Officer Kwon Kwi-ok Tae-ho Ryu	Tae-ho Ryu	...	Jo Byeong-soon No-shik Park	No-shik Park	...	Baek Gwang-ho Hae-il Park	Hae-il Park	...	Park Hyeon-gyu Mi-seon Jeon	Mi-seon Jeon	...	Kwok Seol-yung Young-hwa Seo	Young-hwa Seo	...	Eon Deok-nyeo Woo Go-na	Woo Go-na	...	Kim So-hyeon Ok-joo Lee	Ok-joo Lee	...	Oh Nam-joo Jong-ryol Choi	Jong-ryol Choi	...	Gwang-ho's father Seung-mok Yoo	Seung-mok Yoo	...	Journalist
The story of this film fits Bong Joon Ho's style, with comical, serious, and socially important aspects.  A main crux of this film is depicting South Korea in a simpler time, before forensics took over and when police worked on instinct.  It depicts the lengths that the cops will go to solve this case and the circus that developed around it.  Crime scenes were not preserved, evidence was lost, all harkening back to a time before modern police methods.  And sometimes, suspects were interrogated, tortured, and answers literally beaten out of them.  But what this also depicts is that despite society's desire to sometimes reminisce about a simpler time before technology, some individuals were just as sinister then as now.  There is no silver lining here, no rose colored glasses.  The crimes and suffering that the victims endured is raw and scary to see, and the more serious scenes are dripping with dread and tension.  

Memories of Murder is being remastered and re-released for the western market, and the remaster is a beautiful sight to behold.  The film looks clean and modern.  Although you can tell it is an old film from some small touches, nothing in it screams that it is dated.  The colors are vibrant, the night scenes are inky dark; the film just looks beautiful.  It is accompanied by an equally impressive soundtrack that is especially well done during the dark scenes.  The audio accompanying the stalking and eventual murders is unsettling, and it causes the viewer to jump at every small pop.  If you liked Parasite or true crime in general, then you should definitely check this film out.

Memories of Murder's remaster modernizes this classic Bong Joon Ho film with stunning visuals to add to the amazing sense of tension and the director's style of mixing dark comedy, social commentary, and serious subject matter.

Watch it.

Murder Serial Killer true crime parasite commentary social commentary dark humor dark comedy korea korean south korea police police procedural detective

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following us on our various social media platforms: FacebookTwitterInstagramYoutube  The digitally remastered version of Memories of Murder will be in theaters nationwide October 19th and October 20th for a two night limited theatrical engagement in partnership with Fathom Events.  The special presentation of the film will include exclusive content plus a post-screening conversation with Bong Joon Ho and celebrated filmmaker Edgar Wright (Baby Driver, Scott Pilgrim vs the World, Hot Fuzz).  For tickets visit Fathom Events or check the links below.

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Friday, October 16, 2020

Don't Look Back Review: A Final Destination Type Movie With Moral Lessons

Kourtney Bell	...	Caitlin Kramer Will Stout	Will Stout	...	Lucas Helton Skyler Hart	Skyler Hart	...	Josh Bowman Jeremy Holm	Jeremy Holm	...	Detective Boyd Jaqueline Fleming	Jaqueline Fleming	...	Althea Minnis Amanda Grace Benitez	Amanda Grace Benitez	...	Maria Sanchez Damon Lipari	Damon Lipari	...	Curt Miley Han Soto	Han Soto	...	Tony Cusumano Dean J. West	Dean J. West	...	Douglas Helton Stephen Twardokus	Stephen Twardokus	...	Nathan Rome Bryan Batt	Bryan Batt	...	Reverend Farmer Rest of cast listed alphabetically: Katelyn Pearce	Katelyn Pearce	...	Dr. Bolin Ashton Leigh	Ashton Leigh	...	Wendy Kelly Lind	Kelly Lind	...	Betty Sharon Blynn	Sharon Blynn	...	Caller #1

Release date: October 16, 2020
Running time: 90 minutes
Starring: Kourtney Bell, Will Stout, Skyler Hart
Written and Directed by: Jeffrey Reddick

When Caitlin (Bell), a young woman overcoming her traumatic past is among several witnesses who see a man fatally assaulted and don't intervene, they find themselves targeted by someone, or something, out for revenge.  As more and more start to end up dead, they wonder who or what is out to get them.  Caitlin takes it upon herself to investigate, leading to danger for her and those around her. 

Kourtney Bell	...	Caitlin Kramer Will Stout	Will Stout	...	Lucas Helton Skyler Hart	Skyler Hart	...	Josh Bowman Jeremy Holm	Jeremy Holm	...	Detective Boyd Jaqueline Fleming	Jaqueline Fleming	...	Althea Minnis Amanda Grace Benitez	Amanda Grace Benitez	...	Maria Sanchez Damon Lipari	Damon Lipari	...	Curt Miley Han Soto	Han Soto	...	Tony Cusumano Dean J. West	Dean J. West	...	Douglas Helton Stephen Twardokus	Stephen Twardokus	...	Nathan Rome Bryan Batt	Bryan Batt	...	Reverend Farmer Rest of cast listed alphabetically: Katelyn Pearce	Katelyn Pearce	...	Dr. Bolin Ashton Leigh	Ashton Leigh	...	Wendy Kelly Lind	Kelly Lind	...	Betty Sharon Blynn	Sharon Blynn	...	Caller #1
This movie is from the creator of Final Destination and you can definitely feel that influence in this film.  It follows a similar plot line, except with more morality involved in this film.  Strangers witness a traumatic event and as they are slowly picked off, they begin to wonder what force is hunting them.  The movie had a good sense of tension and the formula for Final Destination was still enjoyable at times.  The acting was generally good in the first part of the film and the traumatic event and public outcry were an interesting angle.  And the moral question of whether someone should intervene if they see something horrible was an interesting one, and one that seems to be somewhat common in our day and age.  The movie starts with news stories about bystanders recording terrible events rather than helping and it definitely feels like this is a modern phenomenon. And overall, the story had a nice, dark, mysterious angle to it that kept you guessing.

However, the story maintained an air of mystery throughout as everyone kept guessing who or what was hunting them.  In Final Destination, you knew what the malevolent force was that was hunting the fortunate, then unfortunate survivors.  But here, the force is kept a mystery, and sadly when the mystery is revealed it didn't quite make sense.  It felt like the filmmakers were trying to keep everything under wraps but then didn't have a great explanation when the film was over.  And there are some odd character twists related to this that also seem to be put there for convenience without making much sense.  And the death sequences rarely happen for you to see, rather you generally only have them coming upon a dead body, which I guess is there to keep the mystery.  But overall, this film felt like a little too much build up without a really succinct explanation.  

Don't Look Back takes the Final Destination formula and adds a dash of morality to cook up a new story about death and karma.

Rent it.

Horror Final Destination Movie Movienight Thriller Karma Consequences Bystander Murder
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Don't Look Back is available digitally, and on demand on October 16, 2020.  For additional information about the film and to rent / buy it, check it out at the links below.

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What to Watch This Weekend: The Opening Act, More Halloween Horror (Broil, Mortuary Collection, Evil Eye, Nocturne), Time, Helpsters, Trial of the Chicago 7, Tomiris

For Those Looking to Follow Their Dreams (or For A Laugh) - The Opening Act (Theaters and Digital)
The Opening Act is a hilarious, entertaining, and highly personal coming of age story with a who's who comedy cast and a touching, universal message.  For more information, check out our review!

For Horror Fans Looking For A Meaty Film - Broil (Disc and Digital)
Broil is a feast for the senses, with meaty characters, a savory simmering style, and an accompaniment of sharp writing and full bodied music.  For more information, check out our review!

For Horror Fans Looking Style - The Mortuary Collection (Shudder)
The Mortuary Collection teaches some macabre lessons while telling some wonderful short horror tales that are dripping with both blood and style.   For more information, check out our review!

For Horror Fans With Family Issues - Evil Eye (Amazon)
Evil Eye is a slow burning character drama with a wonderful dynamic between Choudhury and Mani and a suspenseful finale.  For more information, check out our review!  

For Horror Fans Looking For Suspense and Madness - Nocturne (Amazon)
Nocturne's fantastic music, story, and characters create a slowly building symphony of suspense, obsession, and madness.  For more information, check out our review!

For Those Looking For Something Uplifting - Time (Amazon)
Time is a beautiful expression of perseverance, love, and faith and gives you a personal window into this amazing family's life and growth.  For more information, check out our review!

For History Buffs (And Action Fans) - The Legend of Tomiris (Disc and Digital)
The Legend of Tomiris tells the epic tale of the warrior queen with exciting, well choreographed action sequences, good acting, and epic music.  For more information, check out our review!

For the Kids - Helpsters Season 2 (Apple TV+)
Helpsters Season 2 continues the great format of Season 1 with more celebrity guests, musical guests, helpful plans, and important lessons for kids and adults to enjoy.  For more information, check out our review!

For Justice Seekers - The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Netflix)
The Trial of the Chicago 7 tells a relevant, raw story with amazing performances, strong storytelling, and a balance of serious subject matter with up tempo music and some comedic elements.  For more information, check out our review!

Honest Thief Review: Liam Neeson is Back And Trying to Come Clean

Liam Neeson	...	Tom Kate Walsh	Kate Walsh	...	Annie Jai Courtney	Jai Courtney	...	Agent Nivens Jeffrey Donovan	Jeffrey Donovan	...	Agent Meyers Anthony Ramos	Anthony Ramos	...	Agent Hall Robert Patrick	Robert Patrick	...	Agent Sam Baker Birol Tarkan Yildiz	Birol Tarkan Yildiz	...	Boss Mike Tazzie	Tazzie	...	Tazzie Adam Teper	Adam Teper	...	Hotel Valet Jose Guns Alves	Jose Guns Alves	...	Bomb Squad Specialist Osmani Rodriguez	Osmani Rodriguez	...	Short Detective Janelle Feigley	Janelle Feigley	...	Artist Devon Diep	Devon Diep	...	Cute Nurse Jamie Ghazarian	Jamie Ghazarian	...	Copy Girl Michael Malvesti	Michael Malvesti	...	Wired Cop

Release date: October 16, 2020
Running time: 99 minutes
Starring:  Liam Neeson, Kate Walsh, Jeffrey Donovan, Jai Courtney, and Anthony Ramos 
Written and Directed By: Mark Wiliams

They call him the In and Out Bandit because meticulous thief Tom Carter (Liam Neeson) has stolen $9 million from small-town banks while managing to keep his identity a secret. But after he falls in love with the bubbly Annie (Kate Walsh), Tom decides to make a fresh start by coming clean about his criminal past, only to be double-crossed by two ruthless FBI agents.  

Liam Neeson	...	Tom Kate Walsh	Kate Walsh	...	Annie Jai Courtney	Jai Courtney	...	Agent Nivens Jeffrey Donovan	Jeffrey Donovan	...	Agent Meyers Anthony Ramos	Anthony Ramos	...	Agent Hall Robert Patrick	Robert Patrick	...	Agent Sam Baker Birol Tarkan Yildiz	Birol Tarkan Yildiz	...	Boss Mike Tazzie	Tazzie	...	Tazzie Adam Teper	Adam Teper	...	Hotel Valet Jose Guns Alves	Jose Guns Alves	...	Bomb Squad Specialist Osmani Rodriguez	Osmani Rodriguez	...	Short Detective Janelle Feigley	Janelle Feigley	...	Artist Devon Diep	Devon Diep	...	Cute Nurse Jamie Ghazarian	Jamie Ghazarian	...	Copy Girl Michael Malvesti	Michael Malvesti	...	Wired Cop
This film has an interesting premise with a thief trying to come clean.  I like the idea of someone who was so good and meticulous at their craft that they never got caught, but rather decided to come clean because their conscious was weighing on them.  And the characters were at least fun to see, even if they were mostly one dimensional.  Neeson has some layers, and Walsh does a good job as his girlfriend.  But the police involved all followed a normal path and were basically good, evil, or confused.  

And the film is classic Liam Neeson, someone who is mild mannered but also has some sort of special background training that is forced to use that in a bad situation. If you liked him in any of those other films (the Taken Series, the Grey, Cold Pursuit, the Commuter, etc.) then you will know generally how this film is.  It's not a knock so much, just that Neeson has a type of film that he does and this very much fits into that mold.  And this film is a little different than previous ones because Neeson is sort of the bad guy (though he plays a nice, mild mannered thief) and he is fighting corrupt cops who can get away with more due to their authority.

However, this film is typical Neeson.  I felt like I had seen this movie before, just with a different dressing.  And unlike in his previous film, this film did not have as much action.  It was more about intrigue, plotting, and running rather than all out action.  There are some good scenes, but a lot of the conflict is tense standoffs or cat and mouse type games.  The film also has too many convenient mistakes by the cops and character changes that seem to happen too quickly, but that is all in service of the story.  And the story itself tries to justify Neeson's thievery, but it also feels like too convenient of an excuse.  

The Honest Thief is classic Liam Neeson, with an interesting premise and plenty of tense, cat and mouse scenes.   

Rent it.

Action Drama Corrupt Cops Thief Stealing Money Bank Robber
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Honest Thief is available in theaters on October 16, 2020. 

Bruce Springsteen's Letter to You Review: A Well Produced Concert Disguised As A Recording Session

Release date: October 23, 2020
Running time: 86 minutes
Starring: Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band

“Bruce Springsteen’s Letter to You” captures Bruce Springsteen recording his new album “Letter To You” live with the full E Street Band, and includes final take performances of 10 originals from the new record. The feature-length documentary features full performances from the E Street Band, in-studio footage, never-before-seen archival material, and a deeper look into “Letter To You” from Springsteen himself. Written by Springsteen and directed by Thom Zimny, the film is a tribute to the E Street Band, to rock music itself, and to the role it has played in Springsteen's life.

Letter to You has a really interesting style. The film is all in black and white and starts with some beautiful shots of the woods around where the film was recorded.  I kept waiting for it to change to color but it keeps the aesthetic going.  I think it lends an air of age and calm to the whole setting to have it in black and white and it also lets you focus on the music itself.  Letter to You is basically a concert by Springsteen and his band, with stories about the band and inspirations for the songs before each is played.  Since it is Springsteen, the music is very good.  If you like Springsteen, you will like this music as it has his trademark folk and rock style with strong lyrics.  And make sure you watch this with a good sound system as it really sounds wonderful.

However, this is really a documentary for fans of the Boss.  I appreciate his music but I am not a die hard fan, so it really just felt like an interesting way for Springsteen to highlight his new album.  The songs were good and the experience was enjoyable, but it just didn't hit for me because I haven't followed him.  The stories he told didn't resonate with me and some of the explanations for the influences of the songs felt a little convoluted.  But that being said, if you are a fan of this legendary musician, you will be in heaven with Letter to You.  

Bruce Springsteen's Letter to You will make any fan happy with its great music and insightful stories about the Boss and his music. 

Rent it.

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Bruce Springsteen: Letter to You is available to stream on Apple TV+ starting October 23.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Interview: Steve Byrne, Writer and Director of The Opening Act, starring Jimmy O. Yang, Alex Moffat, and Cedric the Entertainer

Steve Byrne, the director and writer of The Opening Act joins for an insightful interview. The Opening Act is a hilarious, entertaining, and highly personal coming of age story with a who's who comedy cast and a touching, universal message.. We discuss the inspiration for this film, how his personal experiences formed the basis of this, and some of his own comedic memories, from the great sets to the epic fails. So give it a watch and make sure to check out the film, which is available on all major digital distributors. Review here. Starring: Jimmy O. Yang, Alex Moffat, Cedric The Entertainer, Neal Brennan, Debby Ryan, Ken Jeong, Bill Burr, Jermaine Fowler, Russell Peters, Whitney Cummings, Tom Segura, and Iliza Shlesinger Written and Directed by: Steve Byrne Produced by: Vince Vaughn & Peter Billingsley Synopsis: Will Chu (Yang) has it all--the job, the girl--but what’s missing is his true passion in life, to become a stand-up comedian. When he gets the opportunity he’s been waiting for, the emcee slot on the road opening for his hero Billy G. (Jeong), the realities of life on the stage come crashing in. Between relentless hecklers, drunk comedy groupies, and hard-to-impress morning radio DJs, things get off to a rough start. Even if he can take the opportunity to learn from his idols and overcome the challenges, Will still needs to decide if he should continue with the life he has, or pursue the one he has always dreamt of--the life of a comedian.

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Interview: Damien LeVeck (Director) of The Cleansing Hour, Shudder Influencer Exorcism Horror Film

Damien LeVeck, the director, co-writer, and producer of The Cleansing Hour joins for an insightful interview. The Cleansing Hour is a new Shudder original that follows an online exorcism show that gets more than they bargained for one night. We discuss the inspiration for this film, how Damien found his amazing cast, and some of the things he learned shooting this film in Romania! So give it a watch and make sure to check out the film, which is available on all major digital distributors. Review here. The Cleansing Hour stars Ryan Guzman, Kyle Gallner, and Alix Angelis. It was directed by Damien LeVeck. Max (Guzman) and Drew (Gallner) are millennial entrepreneurs who’ve made themselves famous with a webcast they created called “The Cleansing Hour,” which streams live exorcisms. The catch? Each ceremony is elaborately staged to look real in order to dupe their global audience—until today, when today’s subject, Drew’s fiancĂ© Lane (Angelis), actually turns out to be possessed

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One Story Up Episode 1: Cherish Review: A Beautiful Expression

Release date: October 15, 2020
Running time: 24 minute episodes
Starring: Roger Ross Williams, Terrance Day

Roger Ross Williams, the first Black director to win an Oscar, hosts ONE STORY UP, an illuminating monthly series that showcases some of the most talented emerging directors and underrepresented voices in film. The series presents one short film per month, handpicked by Williams, who introduces each episode and then returns for a discussion with the filmmaker. The films in the series cover an important range of topics, from coming-of-age stories on race and class, to chronicles of growing up Black in the South, all from exciting up-and-coming filmmakers.

The first episode is a short film with little dialog called Cherish: A Visual Poem.  The main character Cathedral attends weekly prayer services held in his family home where he witnesses intense displays of worship. Cathedral's imagination is ignited by what he perceives to be attempts at flight. And he is overcome by a deep-seated desire to break from his mundane reality and experience the miraculous.  The film is a beautiful one with some really great camera work and a charming at times, powerful at other times aesthetic.  Filmmaker Terrence Day crafts a visual short story, where everything going on is explained through context clues and expression rather than any dialog or explanation.  It is an interesting experience but one that might not be for everyone.  Although the film is a beautiful vision, it is light on much of what makes you connect to a film.  At least for me, I appreciated being given a window into Cathedral's world, but it was too short of a window and without the dialog it was tough to connect.  

But I love the idea of this series and the focus on highlighting underrepresented filmmakers to give them a shot to pursue their dreams.  And after the short film concluded, host Roger Ross Williams had a great conversation with Day about the short film and what his motivations were.  You really get a lot of insight from even this short conversation, which both shows how important the conversation was but also highlights why some additional discussion in the film itself might have helped at least me understand the movie.  But overall the series looks to fill an important void in Hollywood with the ability for young and underrepresented filmmakers to let their visions come to life.

One Story Up Episode 1: Cherish is a visual short story and conversation with the filmmaker that highlights why this series is such an important one.

Rent it.

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