Saturday, January 16, 2021

What to Watch This Weekend: My Little Sister, If Not Now, When, Go / Don't Go, One Night in Miami, Jungleland, High Note, King of Staten Island, American Animals

For A Heartfelt and Heart Wrenching Family Drama: My Little Sister (Virtual Cinema)
My Little Sister has a heartfelt and heart wrenching story brought to life by the powerful and dynamic performances of Edinger, Hoss, and Albinus.  For more information, check out the review!

For A Movie About Friends And Drama: If Not Now, When? (Digital)
If Not Now, When highlights an all black female led cast with characters that are strong individually and because of each other, with realistic problems and emotional moments.  For more information, check out the review!

For An Apocalyptic Indie Gem: Go / Don't Go (Digital)
Go / Don't Go weaves a mysterious, slow-burning story fueled by beautiful cinematography and the introspective performance of Knapp, Luccardi, and Davis, in this indie apocalypse gem.  For more information, check out the review!

For Great Actors Playing Legends: One Night in Miami (Amazon)
One Night in Miami highlights four great actors as four iconic figures, with sharp, funny, and still relevant dialogue and a slow burning, emotional, and inspiring story.  For more information, check out the review!

For Those Trying To Change Their Life: Jungleland (Redbox)
Jungleland pits some good actors in a bare knuckle fight to better their lives.  It earns good marks for its stars and its classic sets.

For Those That Just Want To Sing: The High Note (HBO)
The High Note is a phenomenal feel good musical drama with fantastic characters, a story with plenty of surprises, and a soulful, wonderful soundtrack that will stay in your head long after the credits roll.  For more information, check out our review!

For Those Living Their Best Life - The King of Staten Island (HBO)
The King of Staten Island was one of the first films to go direct to on demand, and Pete Davidson's semi-autobiographical comedy-drama received rave reviews for Davidson's fantastic performance.  

For Those Looking For A Second Job: American Animals (Hulu)
Barry Keoghan shows why he is such a dynamic actor in this heist movie based on true events.  The film is stylish and high energy with a great cast and plenty of suspense.  

Friday, January 15, 2021

My Little Sister Review: A Poignant and Powerful Family Drama

Nina Hoss	...	Lisa Lars Eidinger	Lars Eidinger	...	Sven Marthe Keller	Marthe Keller	...	Kathy Jens Albinus	Jens Albinus	...	Martin Thomas Ostermeier	Thomas Ostermeier	...	David Rest of cast listed alphabetically: Isabelle Caillat	Isabelle Caillat	...	Assistant general manager Paulo dos Santos	Paulo dos Santos	...	Doctor Moritz Gottwald	Moritz Gottwald	...	Lukas Jenna Hasse	Jenna Hasse	...	Shopkeeper Urs Jucker	Urs Jucker	...	Actor Linne-Lu Lungershausen	Linne-Lu Lungershausen	...	Linne-Lu Noah Tscharland	Noah Tscharland	...	Noah

Release date: January 15, 2021 (American Streaming Release)
Running time: 101 minutes
Starring: Nina Hoss, Lars Eidinger, Marthe Keller, Jens Albinus, Thomas Ostermeier, Linne-Lu Lungerhausen, Noah Tscharland
Written and Directed By: Stéphanie Chuat and Véronique Reymond

A once successful playwright sacrifices her life and career for her dying brother in My Little SIster, a poignant, affecting drama from writer-directors Stéphanie Chuat and Véronique Reymond, nominated for the Golden Bear and Teddy Awards at the 2020 Berlinale. Lisa (Nina Hoss), once a brilliant playwright, no longer writes. She lives with her family in Switzerland, but her heart remains in Berlin, beating in time with that of her twin brother Sven (Lars Eidinger), the famous theatre actor. Since Sven has been suffering from an aggressive type of leukemia, the relationship between them has become even closer. Lisa does not want to accept this blow of fate, and she does everything in her power to bring Sven back on stage.  Her relationship with her husband starts to fall apart, but Lisa only has eyes for her brother, her mirror, who connects her back with her deepest aspirations and rekindles her desire to create, to feel alive again.

Directed by  Stéphanie Chuat	 Véronique Reymond	Writing Credits (in alphabetical order)   Stéphanie Chuat	 Véronique Reymond	  Produced by  Ruth Waldburger	...	producerMusic by  Christian Garcia
This film is a dramatic powerhouse that deals with difficult subject matter.  From legacy, to career, to wants versus needs, this movie has it all.  And it explores these with a depth that you rarely see, a testament to the writing and the main actors.  The standout is Sven (Edinger) who is transformative in this movie.  Not only does he play a famous theater actor, but his character has several personas that come out in the film.  He has a persona when he is out and about, trying to show how strong he is and this plays into his theatrical roots.  He wears a stage wig and is much more dynamic and putting on a show.  But he also has a more personal persona that is reserved for his twin sister, and also a less exuberant, tired persona reserved for family.  And Edinger goes through these seamlessly and convincingly and transforms as his illness affects his body.  Lisa (Hoss) is also a well developed and complicated character.  Like her brother, she has a few personas that are showcased in this film.  Her professional persona, the one she has for her brother where the two can drop their guards, and her private wants and desires.  She goes through just as much of a physical and emotional journey as Sven, and changes her life and priorities because of this.  And Lisa's husband Martin (Albinus) has a more reserved role but no less emotional.  All of these characters highlight the public versus private duality, with their public life faces and selves and their more intimate, private personas.  

The story of My Little Sister is an interesting and emotional one that goes through several phases as Sven's illness develops and he and his sister explores the options available.  But throughout it all, you have this powerful connection between the two siblings as they navigate their lives and health together.  The dialog is sharp and weighty, with some really fantastic writing even when read through subtitles.  And it is fitting that Sven is a stage actor in this movie as at times it feels like a play due to the dramatic nature of the dialog and the extended speaking sequences.  And I loved having the contrast between Lisa and Sven's relationship and that of Lisa and Martin.  She can be much more open with Sven than she can with her own husband, which was an interesting contrast to see.  

My Little Sister is a slow burn but that is not necessarily a bad thing.  It has very moving and powerful situations that these characters have to encounter, yet feels understated and real.  It explores family and duty, because Lisa is constantly torn between caring for her family and what she truly wants and needs.  But some of the compromises and ultimatums in this film did seem a little forced.  It could just be my perspective on life, but the major conflict that caused her marriage to start falling apart seemed to be easier to resolve than it was made out  But overall, this is a potent drama with emotional and dynamic performances by all involved.  

My Little Sister has a heartfelt and heart wrenching story brought to life by the powerful and dynamic performances of Edinger, Hoss, and Albinus.  

Watch it.

Swiss Switzerland Oscar Drama Leukemia Chemo Chemotherapy Cancer Bone Marrow Life Family

If you liked this review and want to see more from Watch or Pass, please consider 
following us on our various social media platforms: FacebookTwitterInstagramYoutube
My Little Sister is playing in virtual cinemas across the country.  For more information and for showtimes click here.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Hunted Review: A Brutal, Raw Horror Fairy Tale

Release date: January 14, 2020
Running time: 95 minutes
Starring: Lucie Debay, Arieh Worthalter, Ciaran O'Brien 
Directed by: Vincent Paronnaud
Written by: Vincent 
Paronnaud and Léa Pernollet

A SHUDDER ORIGINAL.  What started as a flirtatious encounter at a bar turns into a life-or-death struggle as Eve becomes the unknowing target of a misogynistic plot against her. Forced to flee as two men pursue her through the forest, she’s pushed to her extremes while fighting to survive—but survival isn’t enough for Eve. She will have revenge. A modern and radical take on the Little Red Riding Hood fable, Hunted is an exhilarating, transcendent, and frequently brutal survival tale that elevates itself with the power of myth and magic, while still holding an exacting mirror to present-day society. 

You can tell from the start that Director Vincent Paronnaud has a comic background as the introduction features an animated style that is really fun to see.  It is part live action and part hand drawn animation that instantly tells the audience this film is going to have aspects of fairy tales and aspects of modern movies.  And the film carries that forward through the movie as there is some fairy tale inspired symbolism throughout.  For example, Eve is wearing a striking red jacket that evokes Little Red Riding Hood.  And in fitting nature, the other main character is more of a big bad wolf.  Arieh Worthalter is a disturbing antagonist through and through.  It is fitting that he looked similar to Joaquin Phoenix as the Joker as his character was unpredictable, maniacal, ruthless, and occasionally personable.  He was so disturbing because you never quite knew what he was going to do.  And Lucie Debay as Eve was sometime to behold.  She goes through an insane ordeal in this film and her character becomes both broken and stronger throughout.

As you would expect from a movie about hunting, the film has a really creepy setup as the predator and the prey are established.  The film has a longer setup than I expected, but it is a good way to lay the groundwork for this story and also keeps you guessing what will happen next.  And once things get going, the film becomes unpredictable and brutal.  There are some intensely violent scenes that were tough to watch.  There were also some scenes of sexual assault that fit with the story, but were also difficult to stomach.  And the visuals aren't the only thing that is intense and tough to watch, the dialogue can also get rough to match some of the brutality on screen.

And in order to make the hunting scenes work, the filmmakers did a great job with the camerawork, giving the pursuit scenes a sense of motion and velocity.  You get the sense that you are running for your life, as that is what is evoked on screen.  The whole film has a raw, wild aspect to it that fits with the hunting mentality.  And also going with the fairy tale themes, there are some scenes towards that end that do feel right from a fairy tale.  The story of the movie builds and builds, with a definite progression to a climactic final confrontation.  However, although I did find the antagonist compelling he sometimes just seems too driven without much explanation.  His interests and motivations are explored, but not in a ton of depth.  And also, although the film is brutal, some of the deaths and fights are more out of a traditional horror movie than something that is not supernatural.  And finally, some interesting characters and themes are only touched on, and come in and out of the film far too quickly. 

Hunted's brutal, raw style and intense, sometimes disturbing performances make for a decidedly different horror fairy tale. 

Rent it.

If you liked this review and want to see more from Watch or Pass, please consider 
following us on our various social media platforms: FacebookTwitterInstagramYoutube
Hunted is available to stream on Shudder starting January 14, 2021. 

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Interview: Meagan Holder from If Not Now, When, Black Female Led Film with Mekia Cox, Tamara Bass, and Meagan Good

Meagan Holder, who stars in If Not Now, When discusses the film, her friendship with her costars, and working with young fresh directors. We also discuss what makes this movie different and dealing with Hollywood stereotypes in movies!

So give it a watch and make sure to check out If Not Now, When in theaters, digitally, and on demand! Starring: Meagan Holder (Fox’s “Pitch”), Mekia Cox (ABC’s “The Rookie”), Tamara Bass, Lexi Underwood (Hulu’s “Little Fires Everywhere”), Niles Fitch (NBC’s “This Is Us”) and Meagan Good Writer: Tamara Bass Director: Meagan Good (Think Like a Man) and Tamara Bass (“All That Matters”) Synopsis: Four friends, who met in high school and are bonded by an event, are suddenly forced back together when one of them suffers a crisis. It’s a story of love, forgiveness and the incredible bond between women.

Please subscribe to be updated on the latest videos!

If Not Now, When Review: A Powerful All Black Female Led Drama

Joelle Ashley	...	Johanna Tamara Bass	Tamara Bass	...	Patrice (as Tamara LaSeon Bass) Shamicka Benn	Shamicka Benn	...	Clerk Jon Chaffin	Jon Chaffin	...	Trevor Mekia Cox	Mekia Cox	...	Suzanne Li Eubanks	Li Eubanks	...	Teenage Tyra Niles Fitch	Niles Fitch	...	Michael McKinley Freeman	McKinley Freeman	...	Jackson La'Myia Good	La'Myia Good	...	Erica Meagan Good	Meagan Good	...	Tyra Iyana Halley	Iyana Halley	...	Teenage Patrice Edwin Hodge	Edwin Hodge	...	Walter Meagan Holder	Meagan Holder	...	Deidre Josephine Lawrence	Josephine Lawrence	...	Teenage Deidre Amanda Mayfield	Amanda Mayfield	...	Teenage Suzanne

Release date: January 8, 2021
Running time: 114 minutes
Starring: 
Meagan Holder (Fox’s “Pitch”), Mekia Cox (ABC’s “The Rookie”), Tamara Bass, Lexi Underwood (Hulu’s “Little Fires Everywhere”), Niles Fitch (NBC’s “This Is Us”) and Meagan Good
Writer: Tamara Bass
Director: Meagan Good (Think Like a Man) and Tamara Bass (“All That Matters”)

Four friends, who met in high school and are bonded by an event, are suddenly forced back together when one of them suffers a crisis. It’s a story of love, forgiveness and the incredible bond between women.

Tamara Bass	...	producer (as Tamara LaSeon Bass) La'Myia Good	...	associate producer Meagan Good	...	producer James Henderson	...	executive producer Nieman Johnson	...	executive producer Victor Oladipo	...	executive producer Jijo Reed	...	post executive producer Sway	...	producer Rizi Timane	...	producer Datari Turner	...	producer Joyce Washington	...	co-producer     Directed by  Tamara Bass	...	(as Tamara LaSeon Bass) Meagan Good	Writing Credits (in alphabetical order)   Tamara Bass	...	(as Tamara LaSeon Bass)
If Not Now, When is frankly better than the sum of its parts.  It has good writing, with some great scenes and characters, but sometimes it can be a little over dramatic.  It has good acting, with some great scenes and some misses.  And it has a few minor things here an there, audio issues, distracting delivery, small issues that you might expect from first time directors.  But what you do get is an interesting, heartfelt, and refreshing black relationship film that has strong women helping strong women.  The movie has four characters with varying degrees of success trying to live their dreams of life and family, but running into the obstacles that we all run into.  From health, to financial difficulties, to balancing career and family, If Not Now, When presents characters that feel like they have real problems.  

And the best thing is that you have these female lead characters who support each other and are not jealous of each other's success,  but are genuinely happy for each other.  Each main character has had some sort of major wrench thrown in their way, and the film is about how they deal with these individually and together.  It was so refreshing to see a supportive black film with female characters that knew what they wanted.  This felt similar to a female Best Man, but with stronger, more realistic characters.  Sure the film starts off with a little extra drama, and it was tough to get invested in the characters at the start, but after a little bit of time the film really grows on you.  And I loved seeing female characters who don't melt at the sight or whims of a man.  There is one scene where a character prioritizes her own life and career over a life with a seemingly perfect man, which I really appreciated.  

And although the film has lots of emotion, it feels more measured than some of what Hollywood puts out.  You don't have characters that completely break down in the face of crisis, which shows the character's strength and also makes the emotions feel much more real.  The film really caught my attention partway through with a speech by one character.  It is indicative of this whole experience.  The writing is good and there are some audio issues with it such as voice over happening when the character isn't speaking.  But the combination of the message, the character's powerful delivery, and some really beautiful accompanying piano music made me sit up, take notice, and rewatch that speech 3 or 4 times.  And the film is filled with moments like this; powerful moments of self reflection, of characters finding strength in themselves and those around them.  And for that, If Not Now, When should be celebrated for what it tries and succeeds in accomplishing. 

If Not Now, When highlights an all black female led cast with characters that are strong individually and because of each other, with realistic problems and emotional moments. 

Watch it.

drama female women strength strong stronger together black all black film

If you liked this review and want to see more from Watch or Pass, please consider 
following us on our various social media platforms: FacebookTwitterInstagramYoutube
If Not Now, When is available digitally and on demand January 8, 2020. 

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

This site contains affiliate links. //Commerce or this site may be compensated when you click through links on our site.  

Go / Don't Go Review: A Slow Burning Indie Apocalypse Gem

Alex Knapp	...	Adam Olivia Luccardi	Olivia Luccardi	...	K Nore Davis	Nore Davis	...	Kyle Thomas Essig	Thomas Essig	...	Tom Bettina Skye	Bettina Skye	...	Jane Rest of cast listed alphabetically: Christian Peterson	Christian Peterson	...	Bar Patron

Release date: January 12, 2021
Running time: 95 minutes
Starring: Alex Knapp, Olivia Luccardi, Nore Davis
Written and Directed By: Alex Knapp

Caught between a lost love story and inescapable paranoia, "Go / Don't Go" is a genre-bending slow burn thriller that follows Adam, a wallflower who happens to be the last person left alive-or so he thinks.

Go / Don't Go is a slow burning film that has you mostly following Adam (Knapp) as he goes about his daily life and deals with the guilt and boredom of being the only person in this strange situation.  The film has lots of cuts between Adam's earlier life and current situation, and often parallels are drawn between those two worlds.  And the film is definitely a slow burn, with an air of mystery surrounding a lot of the actions in the movie.  Adam's journey has to be closely watched as little clues are dropped throughout.  There is a decent amount of mystery here too as you don't know exactly what happened to leave him in this predicament.  And the film is careful to not reveal too much, as the movie is more about Adam and his psychology rather than the overall world situation.  However, this can lead to the first parts of the film being a little confusing as scenes happen without much context.  You slowly learn more about Adam's situation, but at the start you are not given much backstory.  I think this was by design as the director wanted to keep an air of mystery about this, but it is something to keep in mind. 

Derek Brown	...	producer Nore Davis	...	associate producer Thomas Essig	...	executive producer Chenoa Estrada	...	associate producer Max Gardner	...	producer Mark Kenny	...	associate producer Alex Knapp	...	producer Olivia Luccardi	...	producer Jeff Rea	...	executive producer
And the film is surprisingly well shot, with a nice, polished look.  The movie is definitely an indie but the cinematography is very good.  There are some really beautiful shots of nature and some clever shots of the newly abandoned world.  Stores are empty and run down, Adam's apartment is in disarray, and cars are left deserted.  The movie does a really good job of setting the scene and making this empty world feel lived in, or not lived in I guess.  It also does a great job of introducing a sense of dread and mystery to this world as sounds and events happen that make you wonder if Adam is truly alone.  And this is all sold through Alex Knapp's acting.  Much of the movie takes place with just him on screen so he has to carry a lot of the film.  Knapp took on a lot for this movie and it definitely shows that this is his passion project.  He is often joined in past flashbacks by a few characters, most notably Olivia Luccardi as Adam's girlfriend who appears to add some flavor to his backstory and also to add some explanation to his current mental predicament.  We area also joined occasionally by Adam's friend Nore Davis, who adds some much needed levity to the scenes that he is in.  It is a small cast but they are all perfectly utilized for this post-apocalyptic film.  And overall, the film's overarching mystery of what happened is confusing but fun to follow. 

Go / Don't Go weaves a mysterious, slow-burning story fueled by beautiful cinematography and the introspective performance of Knapp, Luccardi, and Davis, in this indie apocalypse gem.

Watch it.

Indie Apocalypse End of the World
If you liked this review and want to see more from Watch or Pass, please consider 
following us on our various social media platforms: FacebookTwitterInstagramYoutube
Go / Don't Go is available digitally and on demand January 12, 2021.

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

This site contains affiliate links. //Commerce or this site may be compensated when you click through links on our site.  

The Marksman Review: A Slower Paced And More Reluctant Liam Neeson Film

Katheryn Winnick	...	Sarah Liam Neeson	Liam Neeson	...	Jim Teresa Ruiz	Teresa Ruiz	...	Rosa Juan Pablo Raba	Juan Pablo Raba	...	Maurico Grayson Berry	Grayson Berry	...	Customs Officer Lelia Symington	Lelia Symington	...	Tina Luce Rains	Luce Rains	...	Everett Crawford Dylan Kenin	Dylan Kenin	...	Randall Chase Mullins	Chase Mullins	...	Mark Dominic Cancelliere	Dominic Cancelliere		 Alex Knight	Alex Knight	...	Carl Neeham Vic Browder	Vic Browder	...	Highway Patrol Officer Esodie Geiger	Esodie Geiger	...	K9 Officer David DeLao	David DeLao	...	Coyote Kellen Boyle	Kellen Boyle	...	DALTON

Release date: January 15, 2021
Running time: 107 minutes
Cast: Liam Neeson, Katheryn Winnick, Juan Pablo Raba, Teresa Ruiz
Director: Robert Lorenz

Hardened Arizona rancher Jim Hanson (Liam Neeson) simply wants to be left alone as he fends off eviction notices and tries to make a living on an isolated stretch of borderland. But everything changes when Hanson, an ex-Marine, witnesses 11-year-old migrant Miguel (Jacob Perez) fleeing with his mother Rosa (Teresa Ruiz) from drug cartel assassins led by the ruthless Mauricio (Juan Pablo Raba).  After being caught in a shoot-out, an injured Rosa begs Jim to take her son to safety to her family in Chicago. Defying his stepdaughter Sarah (Katheryn Winnick), Jim sneaks Miguel out of the local U.S. Customs and Border Patrol station and together, they hit the road with the group of killers in pursuit. Jim and Miguel slowly begin to overcome their differences and begin to forge an unlikely friendship, while Mauricio and his fellow assassins blaze a cold-blooded trail, hot on their heels.  

Director: Robert Lorenz Writers: Chris Charles, Danny Kravitz     Nicolas Chartier	...	executive producer Jonathan Deckter	...	executive producer Tai Duncan	...	producer Eric Gold	...	producer Warren Goz	...	producer Mark David Katchur	...	executive producer Robert Lorenz	...	producer James Masciello	...	executive producer Trevor Osmond	...	associate producer Sebastian Perry	...	associate producer Matthew Sidari	...	co-executive producer Michael Swan	...	executive music producer Mark Williams	...	producer Mitchell Zhang	...	associate producer
In what is a general trend in Neeson movies, Neeson plays a man who is perfectly capable and trained to defend himself, but has chosen not to.  However, a situation outside of his control forces him to activate those skills, and use them on the bad guys.  It is a predictable story line but this one's angle is that Neeson is taking on the cartel.  But despite the well tread storyline, this movie does have some beautiful scenes of the Arizona landscape where Jim Hanson (Neeson) calls home.  And this film is a decidedly slower-paced film that allows Neeson to express more emotion than he normally is able to.  He is more on the Clint Eastwood side of the reluctant hero equation than his normal self.  But that doesn't mean he isn't perfectly capable of taking on bad guys when needed.  His character can handle himself and that is made very apparent throughout this film.  When needed, he dispatches bad guys with swift efficiency.  

However, the film does suffer from a sort of been there, done that type of mentality.  I feel like I've seen this Liam Neeson film before, despite the changes that were made.  And although I enjoyed seeing Neeson get to be a little more emotional than I'm used to, it did lead to a movie that had a much slower pace than others from his catalog.  It feels like there are large stretches where not a lot happens, which is partly due to a road trip aspect to this movie.  And although the film does not use a lot of CG, it is there and is generally noticeable when it occurs.  And finally, the movie has some strange choices towards the end and an ending that was unexpected, but slightly unsatisfying.  If you are looking for a Liam Neeson film that is similar to his past work, but has some interesting changes, then this might be the movie for you.

If you are aiming for a Neeson movie that has a slower pace and a slightly more reluctant badass hero, then The Marksman is on target.  

Rent it.

Thriller Pursuit Movie The Gray Taken COld Pursuit Liam Neeson mARINE Vietnam
If you liked this review and want to see more from Watch or Pass, please consider 
following us on our various social media platforms: FacebookTwitterInstagramYoutube
The Marksman is available in theaters on January 15, 2021.

Click here for additional information about the film and to to get tickets.

This site contains affiliate links. //Commerce or this site may be compensated when you click through links on our site.  

Interview: Olivia Luccardi from Go / Don't Go, Isolationist Apocalypse Film with Alex Knapp, Nore Davis

Olivia Luccardi, star of Go / Don't Go, discusses the film, how she found this project, and what about the script appealed to her. We also hear about her wonderful job getting extras and what aspects of the story resonated with her in this past quarantine time!

So give it a watch and make sure to check out Go / Don't Go digitally and on demand!

Starring: Alex Knapp, Olivia Luccardi, Nore Davis Writer & Director: Alex Knapp Synopsis: Caught between a lost love story and inescapable paranoia, "Go / Don't Go" is a genre-bending slow burn thriller that follows Adam, a wallflower who happens to be the last person left alive-or so he thinks.

Please subscribe to be updated on the latest videos!

Monday, January 11, 2021

Interview: Alex Knapp from Go / Don't Go, Isolationist Apocalypse Film with Olivia Luccardi, Nore Davis

Alex Knapp, the writer, director, and star of Go / Don't Go, discusses the film, what inspired this, and how he was able to make such a polished film for his first one. We also get insights into the movie and some of the little touches that made this such a personal film! So give it a watch and make sure to check out Go / Don't Go digitally and on demand! Starring: Alex Knapp, Olivia Luccardi, Nore Davis Writer & Director: Alex Knapp Synopsis: Caught between a lost love story and inescapable paranoia, "Go / Don't Go" is a genre-bending slow burn thriller that follows Adam, a wallflower who happens to be the last person left alive-or so he thinks.

Please subscribe to be updated on the latest videos!

One Night in Miami Review: Great Actors Play Legends In This Inspiring Drama

Kingsley Ben-Adir	...	Malcolm X Eli Goree	Eli Goree	...	Cassius Clay Aldis Hodge	Aldis Hodge	...	Jim Brown Leslie Odom Jr.	Leslie Odom Jr.	...	Sam Cooke Lance Reddick	Lance Reddick	...	Kareem X Christian Magby	Christian Magby	...	Jamaal Joaquina Kalukango	Joaquina Kalukango	...	Betty X Nicolette Robinson	Nicolette Robinson	...	Barbara Cooke Michael Imperioli	Michael Imperioli	...	Angelo Dundee Lawrence Gilliard Jr.	Lawrence Gilliard Jr.	...	Drew 'Bundini' Brown Derek Roberts	Derek Roberts	...	Jerome X Beau Bridges	Beau Bridges	...	Mr. Carlton Emily Bridges	Emily Bridges	...	Emily Carlton Amondre D. Jackson	Amondre D. Jackson	...	L.C. Cooke Jerome A. Wilson	Jerome A. Wilson	...	Elijah Muhammad (as Jerome Wilson)

Release date: January 15, 2020
Running time: 114 minutes
Starring Kingsley Ben-Adir, Eli Goree, Aldis Hodge, Leslie Odom Jr., Joaquina Kalukango, Nicolette Robinson with Beau Bridges and Lance Reddick
Directed by Regina King
Written by Kemp Powers

On one incredible night in 1964, four icons of sports, music, and activism gathered to celebrate one of the biggest upsets in boxing history. When underdog Cassius Clay, soon to be called Muhammad Ali, (Eli Goree), defeats heavy weight champion Sonny Liston at the Miami Convention Hall, Clay memorialized the event with three of his friends: Malcolm X (Kingsley Ben-Adir), Sam Cooke (Leslie Odom Jr.) and Jim Brown (Aldis Hodge).  Based on the award-winning play of the same name, and directed by Regina King, One Night In Miami is a fictional account inspired by the historic night these four formidable figures spent together. It looks at the struggles these men faced and the vital role they each played in the civil rights movement and cultural upheaval of the 1960s. More than 40 years later, their conversations on racial injustice, religion, and personal responsibility still resonate.

Director: Regina King Writers: Kemp Powers (screenplay by), Kemp Powers (based on the stage play "One Night In Miami..." by)        Jess Wu Calder	...	producer (produced by) (p.g.a.) Keith Calder	...	producer (produced by) (p.g.a.) Paul O. Davis	...	executive producer Chris Harding	...	executive producer Regina King	...	executive producer Jody Klein	...	producer (produced by) (p.g.a.) Kemp Powers	...	executive producer
One Night in Miami takes place in the 1960s and has a wonderful setting and entertaining style.  The movie has an authentic 60s feel, with bright colors and classic clothing, cars, and technology.  The four actors playing these iconic characters really personify them.  I loved the different personalities that came through in these portrayals; each character fully transformed for this role.  And although each of the leads did a fantastic job, I think Kingsley Ben-Adir was the most impressive as Malcolm X.  He had a charismatic, emphatic, and sometimes zealous style that was so inspiring and interesting to watch.  Eli Goree as Muhammad Ali also does a great job and definitely looks the part of a heavyweight boxer.  Aldis Hodge as Jim Brown had an interesting, thoughtful persona and he had one scene that was so painful to watch.  And Leslie Odom Jr. as Sam Cooke embraced the performer's charisma and flash, but also showed that there was much more going on under the hood.

And as you would expect from a movie based on a play, the writing is so well done.  It is sharp, funny, entertaining, and will keep you enthralled even though much of the film takes place with these iconic figures talking in a hotel room.  It is so strange that not much happens in this movie and yet so much does.  The expressions, ideas, and truths that come to light during these conversations really are profound, and are sadly relevant even to this day.  So what you have are very good actors fully personifying iconic figures and delivering some really fantastic dialogue.  Altogether this film is an entertaining and enlightening story about the different approaches of combatting racism and fighting for equality.  Although there are different styles showcased in this film, and some are more firey than others, the overall message is that these men used their gifts to better the entire black community.  And director Regina King should be given a lot of credit for making this such a great experience and translating the play onto the screen.  You can tell that this movie had play roots, from the length of the scenes to the richness of the dialogue, but a lot of credit goes to the director for making sure that it was first and foremost an interesting film!

One Night in Miami highlights four great actors as four iconic figures, with sharp, funny, and still relevant dialogue and a slow burning, emotional, and inspiring story.  

Watch it.

Icons Figures Muslim Nation of Islam Boxing Singing Entertaining Black Film Play Playwright

If you liked this review and want to see more from Watch or Pass, please consider 
following us on our various social media platforms: FacebookTwitterInstagramYoutube
One Night in Miami is available on Amazon Prime Video on January 15, 2020.

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Fatale Review: A Solid Performance By Swank In A Suspenseful Story

Hilary Swank	...	Detective Val Quinlan Michael Ealy	Michael Ealy	...	Derrick Tyler Mike Colter	Mike Colter	...	Rafe Grimes Damaris Lewis	Damaris Lewis	...	Tracie Tyler Tyrin Turner	Tyrin Turner	...	Tyrin Abenathy Danny Pino	Danny Pino	...	Carter Heywood Geoffrey Owens	Geoffrey Owens	...	Bill Cranepool David Hoflin	David Hoflin	...	Officer Lowe Sam Daly	Sam Daly	...	Officer Stallman Lance Stephenson	Lance Stephenson	...	Sports Star Cameo Chic Daniel	Chic Daniel	...	Investigator Stephen O'Mahoney	Stephen O'Mahoney	...	Uniformed Police Officer Lexa Gluck	Lexa Gluck	...	Carter's Trophy Wife Oakley Bull	Oakley Bull	...	Haley Older / Haley Younger Ian Stanley	Ian Stanley	...	First Officer

Release date: December 18, 2020
Running time: 101 minutes
Starring: Hilary Swank, Michael Ealy, Mike Colter, Danny Pino, Tyrin Turner, Damaris Lewis  
Directed by: Deon Taylor 
Written by: David Loughery 

After a wild one-night stand, Derrick (Michael Ealy), a successful sports agent, watches his perfect life slowly disappear when he discovers that the sexy and mysterious woman he risked everything for, is a determined police detective (Hilary Swank) who entangles him in her latest investigation. As he tries desperately to put the pieces together, he falls deeper into her trap, risking his family, his career, and even his life. 

Fatale starts off as a pretty predictable thriller with a random hook up that should have ended there.  But then it starts to get more interesting as more and more strands in this spiders web are laid.  However, even during the initial hook up Hillary Swank reminds us why she is such an amazing actor by showing her devious side.  She is the master of little looks and pauses to introduce double meaning in the most mundane things.  And she also has this great sinister sense of delivery that sets the tone perfectly.  Michael Ealy, the other main star, starts off awkward as well but he starts to grow on you.  However, he never quite feels natural, which is more noticeable next to Swank.  I think he did a fine job as Derrick, but he sometimes felt out of place in this game of cat and mouse.  

Director: Deon Taylor Writer: David Loughery   Produced by  Roxanne Avent	...	producer (as Roxanne Avent Taylor) (p.g.a.) Karicean Karen Dick	...	associate producer (as Karicean 'Karen' Dick) Shandra Dixon	...	associate producer Damien Douglas	...	consulting producer Carl Goldstein	...	co-producer (as Carl A. Goldstein) Marc A. Hammer	...	executive producer Omar Joseph	...	co-executive producer David Loughery	...	executive producer Ephraim Salaam	...	consulting producer Philip Schneider	...	executive producer Robert F. Smith	...	executive producer Suzanne Summerville	...	consulting producer Hilary Swank	...	producer Deon Taylor	...	producer (p.g.a.)
And as previously mentioned, the story of Fatale starts off conventional but then adds some additional intrigue as the characters, their motivations, and their predicaments intertwine. The story gets a little overly complicated and some of the motivations and actions just don't make sense, but it has enough twists and turns to keep you guessing.  It has a really good twist part way through, then some predictable but still thrilling twists afterwards.  And some of the characters make some poor choices but that might just be inexperience in playing this game.  Additionally, throughout this story you have some really beautiful locales as this film is set in some very expensive places in Los Angeles and the surrounding area.  There are beautiful beach scenes, fabulous mansions, and some very fast cars throughout this film.  

However, this film has a few issues.  First and foremost the story at times seems overly complex.  And I didn't necessarily know when chance ended and the plot began.  It's not fully wrapped up or explained in the film, and that can leave the ending a little unsatisfying.  And the ending itself comes relatively abruptly with a major scene and then a quick wrap up.  I wish there was more explanation about what happened because the implications of the end scene were pretty dire.  It also doesn't explain some of the consequences that should have happened from the ending and other choices during the story.  Additionally, the film doesn't have many effects, but there are a couple bad CG and action scenes.  In one scene a person reacts before they should and in another a wound looks to have been inserted via CG.

Fatale is a suspenseful whodunit with an entertaining performance by Hillary Swank and a story with plenty of intrigue, betrayal, and double crossing.  

Rent it.

Thriller Crime Drama Family Sports Agent Agency Murder Plot Scheme Whodunit
If you liked this review and want to see more from Watch or Pass, please consider 
following us on our various social media platforms: FacebookTwitterInstagramYoutube
Fatale is available in theaters on December 18, 2020 and digitally January 8, 2021.

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

This site contains affiliate links. //Commerce or this site may be compensated when you click through links on our site.  

Friday, January 8, 2021

What to Watch This Weekend: Blizzard of Souls, Song Lang, Sing Me A Song, Herself, Honest Thief, Love and Monsters, Pieces of a Woman, Mood of the Day

For An Authentic, Oscar-Worthy War Drama: Blizzard of Souls (Virtual Cinema)
Blizzard of Souls is a poignant, visceral, sad, and altogether inspiring war drama with a commitment to authenticity, fantastic acting, and a compelling story.  For more information, check out the review!

For Those With An Artistic Side: Song Lang (Digital)
Song Lang has two wonderfully conflicted characters and an interesting, nuanced story that tells a tale of friendship, judgment, and redemption.  For more information, check out the review!

For Fans Of The Social Dilemma: Sing Me A Song (Digital)
Sing Me A Song shows the pervasive and emotional effect that technology can have on even the remotest of areas, and has a cinematic style that makes this documentary emotional and enlightening.  For more information, check out the review!

For Those Trying To Build Something: Herself (Amazon)
Herself tells a powerful tale of growth and independence fueled by Dunne's powerful performance and universal lessons about the affordable housing system.  For more information, check out the review!

For Those Preparing For The Apocalypse: Love and Monsters (Redbox)
Love and Monsters wins praise for the great performance of Dylan O'Brien and its surprising amount of emotional depth.  

For Those Hoping For A Fresh Start: The Honest Thief (Redbox)
The Honest Thief is classic Liam Neeson, with an interesting premise and plenty of tense, cat and mouse scenes.  For more information, check out the review!

For Those Looking For A Tearjerker: Pieces of A Woman (Netflix)
A stunning opening act is then sustained by Vanessa Kirby's amazing performance, make sure to have some tissues ready for this tearjerking drama.

For A Romantic Comedy: Mood of the Day (Amazon)
Your typical Romcom fare, two strangers have a chance meeting on a train and have their worlds turned upside down the more they learn about each other.  But this movie has a bright style and very good reviews, making this a good choice to lift your mood this weekend!

Song Lang Review: A Complicated And Beautiful Story About Conflicted Characters

Kim Chi	...	Cigarette Lady Isaac	Isaac	...	Linh Phung Vu T. Le Thi	Vu T. Le Thi	...	The Mother Phuong Minh	Phuong Minh	...	Auntie Nga Huynh Ngoc	Huynh Ngoc	...	Ms. Le Bao Chau Nguyen	Bao Chau Nguyen	...	Lu Bo / Trieu Da Thi Kieu Trinh Nguyen	Thi Kieu Trinh Nguyen	...	Hong Dieu (as Kieu Trinh) Lien Binh Phat	Lien Binh Phat	...	Dung 'Thunderbolt' Kim Phuong	Kim Phuong	...	The Boss Huu Quoc	Huu Quoc	...	Khanh Linh Tu Quyen	Tu Quyen	...	Thuy Van Hoang Sang	Hoang Sang	...	Teacher Hong Sap	Hong Sap	...	Wardrobe Kim Long Thach	Kim Long Thach	...	The Father Tu Thanh	Tu Thanh	...	Lan

Release date: November 10, 2020 (U.S. Debut)
Running time: 90 minutes
Starring: Kim Chi, Isaac, Vu T. Le Thi, Lien Binh Phat
Director: Leon Le
Writers: Leon Le, Minh Ngoc Nguyen

An unlikely bond forms between an underground debt collector and a cai luong "Vietnamese opera" performer against the backdrop of Saigon in the 90s.

Song Lang is a slow burning film but one that does a great job of telling this story and establishing the characters.  The film follows two main men, who seem very different but over time learn that they have more similarities than meets the eye.  Dung (Lien Binh Phat) is a debt enforcer who has the unenviable job of making people pay back for high interest loans that they take out.  He has become numb to this work and treats and the brutality that it requires.  Linh Phung (Isaac) is a talented opera performer whose family took out a debt that has to be collected by Dung.  But when the two cross paths, they form an unlikely friendship that will challenge both of their preconceptions about each other.

Directed by  Leon Le	Writing Credits (in alphabetical order)   Leon Le	 Minh Ngoc Nguyen        Produced by  Pham Phuong Dung	...	executive producer Pham Thanh Hai	...	executive producer Nguyen Nu Nhu Khue	...	executive producer Veronica Ngo	...	executive producer / producer Amy Tran Nitao	...	executive producer Nguyen Thu Thuy	...	executive producer Irene Trinh	...	producer Vo Thi Hong Van	...	executive producer
This film has a really good setting.  It spends a lot of time establishing this area and the characters, giving you a solid backstory before introducing you to the main conflict.  And the conflicted protagonist is wonderfully complex.  The film portrays him as a brutal enforcer but also starts to drop hints that there is more to him than meets the eyes.  And when Dung and Linh start to interact, a lot of the heart of the film comes through.  Their interactions are fun to see and really emphasize the idea that people are far more complex than we give them credit for.  They each have sides that they rarely show and interests that would surprise a casual observer.  And because Linh is an opera singer, you also get some fantastic scenes of the opera itself.  Not only do you get some great performances, but you also get some behind the scenes shots that show how the opera actually works.  

And the film also has a lot of little touches that appealed to me.  There is a scene where classic video games are played that helped me relate to the characters and their interests.  And there is some fighting, especially because Dung is an enforcer, that adds some much needed action to this otherwise wonderfully slow drama.  I was expecting more action during this film, but was not disappointed by the slower, more heartfelt film that I found.  And the story of this movie is moving and wonderful.  It is an interesting one with themes of redemption and trying to rise above your lot in life.  And it is one that will appeal to anyone that has had a dream and tried to pursue it. 

Song Lang has two wonderfully conflicted characters and an interesting, nuanced story that tells a tale of friendship, judgment, and redemption.

Watch it.

Drama Martial Arts Crime Thriller Opera Vietnam Vietnamese Bautiful
If you liked this review and want to see more from Watch or Pass, please consider 
following us on our various social media platforms: FacebookTwitterInstagramYoutube
Song Lang is available digitally and on demand. 

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

This site contains affiliate links. //Commerce or this site may be compensated when you click through links on our site.  

Blizzard of Souls (The Rifleman) Review: A Poignant, Visceral, and Authentic War Drama

Oto Brantevics	...	Arturs Vanags Raimonds Celms	Raimonds Celms	...	Edgars Vanags Martins Vilsons	Martins Vilsons	...	Vanags Jekabs Reinis	Jekabs Reinis	...	Mikelsons Gatis Gaga	Gatis Gaga	...	Konrads Renars Zeltins	Renars Zeltins	...	Spilva Vilis Daudzins	Vilis Daudzins	...	Sala Greta Trusina	Greta Trusina	...	Marta Ieva Florence	Ieva Florence	...	Mirdza Rezija Kalnina	Rezija Kalnina	...	Mother Rest of cast listed alphabetically: Lauma Balode	Lauma Balode	...	Mother of Gatis Oskars Holsteins	Oskars Holsteins	...	Extra Pjotrs Karpuhins	Pjotrs Karpuhins	...	Krievijas armijas generals

Release date: January 8, 2021 (American Streaming Release)
Running time: 123 minutes
Starring: Oto Brantevics, Raimond Celms, Martins Vilsons, Jekabs Reinis, Gatis Gaga, Renars Zeltins, Vilis Daudzins, Greta Trusina, Ieva Florence, Rēzija Kalniņa
Directed By: Dzintars Dreibergs

Blizzard of Souls (also known as the Rifleman) is Latvia's official entry to the Oscars.  The film pays stark witness to the horrors and brutality of the First World War, as seen through the eyes of Arturs (Oto Brantevics), an innocent sixteen-year-old farm-boy turned soldier. Too young to fight, he enlists anyways to serve on the Eastern Front with dreams of becoming a hero. Conscripted into one of Latvia’s first national battalions, Arturs soon discovers the grim reality of trench warfare. Fighting alongside his father and brother, he experiences the loss of his home and loved ones while growing up surrounded by constant danger and death on the battlefield.  Adapted from the book by Aleksandrs Grins, which was banned in the USSR, the story was based on Grins’ own war experiences in a Latvian battalion, and the film is the biggest box office success in Latvia of the past 30 years.

Directed by  Dzintars Dreibergs	Writing Credits (in alphabetical order)   Boris Frumin	...	(as Boriss Frumins) Aleksandrs Grins	...	(novel)   Produced by  Dzintars Dreibergs	...	producer Inga Pranevska	...	executive producer
Blizzard of Souls has an amazing cinematic style that quickly and visually showcases the horrors of war.  It starts with a bright colorful opening, showing Arturs and his brother's carefree life on their family farm.  However, the prospect and horrors of war quickly change this and Arturs enlists to fight in the Latvian battalion.  And this is where the cinematic style changes: bright colors and cheerful imagery are replaced with a more muted palette and a darker, more dreary aesthetic.  And this change is so stark that it catches your attention, especially seeing the regiment of young boys who are still exhibiting childlike attitudes now being trained to kill.  

And Arturs captures this duality perfectly.  Brantevics looks every bit the young, inexperienced youth at the start whose reluctance to kill is completely understandable.  But throughout this two hour journey, you see the young man transform on the big screen into a hardened, proud, and sad soldier who has experienced a lot by the time he is 21.  But although Brantevics is the standout, the rest of the cast do a great job recreating this time and these battles.  The other soldiers share Bantevics ability to show both hardened fighting but also levity in the downtime.  And some of the officers have this great technique of having a more militant persona when they are following orders, but then dropping that slightly when they are interacting with their men.  It is subtle but much appreciated.  And the film doesn't just show the effect of war on the young soldiers; it also shows the effect on the civilian men and women who are affected by it.  A few characters keep coming back into the story throughout and the changes in their demeaner and well being are striking.

The film has a commitment to realism that should be applauded. Although I am sure that there were liberties and embellishments taken, the movie appears to show an accurate depiction of war and the military at the time.  I especially liked the intake process where they are checking the potential soldiers physically before sending them in.  And the training felt accurate (and from the images shown in the credits, it was based on actual training that occurred).  Further, despite the muted color palette, the battles in Blizzard of Souls are so varied and visceral.  The war took place on many fronts, and Arturs fights in different locales under some terrible conditions.  But one thing is common in this film, during the build up to each battle there is a palatable sense of tension as you wonder when the fighting will occur and whether the preparations will be complete.  And once the fighting begins, the film showcases sweeping, large engagements that feel every bit as weighty as you expected.  The visuals, the sound, the ease at which characters are consumed in the war, they make Blizzard of Souls feel like a poignant, sad, and ultimately visceral depiction of this combat and its effect on people.  And you get to see it from the Latvian perspective, which is one that many of us haven't experienced; a country and a people that were torn left and right for this conflict.

Blizzard of Souls is a poignant, visceral, sad, and altogether inspiring war drama with a commitment to authenticity, fantastic acting, and a compelling story.  

Watch it.

Latvia War Drama The Rifleman World War I Great War Communists Tsar Russia Germany Latvian

If you liked this review and want to see more from Watch or Pass, please consider 
following us on our various social media platforms: FacebookTwitterInstagramYoutube
Blizzard of Souls is playing in virtual cinemas across the country.  For more information and for showtimes click here.

ShareThis