New York Film Festival Review: ‘The Wild Goose Lake’

The Wild Goose Lake

  • Diao Yinan
  • 2019
  • China/France
  • 113 minutes
  • Subtitled

U.S. Premiere · 

Small-time mob boss Zhou Zenong (the charismatic Hu Ge) is desperate to stay alive after he mistakenly kills a cop and a dead-or-alive reward is put on his head. Chinese director Diao Yinan deftly keeps multiple characters and chronologies spinning, all the while creating an atmosphere thick with eroticism and danger.

Stylized fight choreography and lush cinematography drive this film firmly into the crime noir genre. While the quick take editing lies somewhere between self-indulgence and brilliance, The Wild Goose Lake is altogether engrossing. An over the top take on territory grievances becomes a backstabbing story of survival and redemption. There is actually very little dialogue for s film of this length but this is another area where the film can shine. The almost immersive sound editing is a transitional heads up. The plot is chaos and greed-driven, inevitably leading to brutal violence. Lead performances are incredibly strong, especially Hu Ge . The Wild Goose Lake is worth the price of entry at this year’s NYFF. This is a film that deserves a top-quality viewing experience on a large screen if you can swing it.

https://www.filmlinc.org/nyff2019/films/the-wild-goose-lake/

Review: ‘GALVESTON’ impresses with its story and star, Ben Foster.

SYNOPSIS: Roy (Foster) is a heavy-drinking criminal enforcer and mob hit man whose boss set him up in a double-cross scheme. After killing his would-be assassins before they could kill him, Roy discovers Rocky (Fanning), a young woman being held captive, and reluctantly takes her with him on his escape. Determined to find safety and sanctuary in Galveston, Roy must find a way to stop his boss from pursuing them while trying to outrun the demons from his and Rocky’s pasts.

Just when I think Ben Foster can’t get better, well, I should know better by now. His fearless choices in roles continue in the new film Galveston. A man double-crossed and doing a good deed for a captive young girl (played spectacularly by Elle Tanning), Foster once again transforms voice, physicality, and persona to become a hero. His powerful on-screen presence is undeniable and one day, sooner rather than later, we will see him with a much deserved Oscar in his hands. His chemistry with Fanning is delicate and honest as the reality of their dilemma unfolds. The film is a tour de force of intensity from the get-go. It only becomes darker as the story rolls on. Galveston is as heartbreaking as it is triumphant.

RLJE Films will release the thriller / drama GALVESTON in theaters and On Demand / Digital HD on October 19, 2018.

Based on the novel by the creator of “True Detective,” GALVESTON stars Ben Foster (Hell or High Water), Elle Fanning (The Beguiled), Beau Bridges (The Mountain Between Us), Lili Reinhart (“Riverdale”), and Robert Aramayo (Nocturnal Animals). The film made its world premiere at the 2018 SXSW Film Festival and was directed by Mélanie Laurent (Inglourious Basterds) from a script by Jim Hammett.

 

Review: Sicario: Day of the Soldado (2018)

Sicario: Day of the Soldado

Theatrical Release: June 29, 2018

Run Time: 2 hours 2 minutes

Reviewed By: Reel Reviews Over Brews

Sicario: Day of the Soldado, begins a new chapter. The cartels have begun trafficking terrorists across the US border, federal agent Matt Graver (Josh Brolin) calls on the mysterious Alejandro (Benicio Del Toro), whose family was murdered by a cartel kingpin, to escalate the war between rival cartels. Alejandro kidnaps the kingpin’s daughter Isabela (Isabela Moner) to spark the conflict, but when the girl is seen as collateral damage the two men will have to decide what to do with her as they question everything they are fighting for.


I’d like to start by saying I loved the first Sicario. It had me on the edge of my seat from the opening scene and had my anxiety up to levels No Country For Old Men put me at. Easily a top 3 movie of mine. Anyway, when I heard they were making a sequel I was less than thrilled. I was worried it would take away from how good the first one was. However, since Sicario, I have been following Taylor Sheridan everywhere. Writing Hell or High Water and writing/directing Wind River with a new TV series Yellowstone. I liked them all. So of course I was checking out this one.

Sicario: Day of the Soldado brought the same intensity as the first movie. The action was raw and the acting was brilliant. Brolin and Del Toro are again, as good as it gets, in Soldado. Newcomer, Isabela Moner, was excellent as well. The movie turned out to be pretty politically charged with the immigrants at the boarder being the driving force of the plot. Soldado kept you on the edge of the seat throughout the entire movie. Just when you thought everything was going smoothly the whole thing flips on its head and all that was left to do was react. One of the most well done scenes comes as a group of terrorists enter a crowed store and blow it up. It is the few moments after the initial explosions that you see a mother and daughter slowly make their way to the door pleading the final terrorist not to do it. It is grip the seat kind of tension. And that is only one of many that leave you shocked. Taylor Sheridan leaves some loose ends for presumably a 3rd installment, which after seeing Soldado I can’t wait to find out what happens next.

Reel ROB Rating: 7.5 out of 10 stars

Post Credits Scene: No

We want to thank our friends at Reel News Daily for allowing us to do this guest review!

Review: ‘A Wish For Giants’ Warms Your Heart

A Wish For Giants

Release Date: February 17, 2018

Run Time: 1 hour 18 minutes

Reviewed By: Reel Reviews Over Brews

Sophie (Naysa Altmeyer) meets a kindred spirit in Roxie (Alexa Mechling), a young girl with an inoperable brain tumor and the impossible wish to meet Bigfoot. As if the task at hand isn’t hard enough, Sophie must contend with meddling from Derrick (Connor McClain), a fame-hungry classmate born into privilege from her graduate classes. As time grows short and pressures mount, Sophie must align herself with Derrick in order to see Roxie’s wish granted, even if not in the way she may have hoped for. Unknown to everyone is the possibility that there may be magic in the wish of a dying girl, and a truth beyond belief.

Going into A Wish For Giants, I wasn’t sure what to expect. The only other movie with Bigfoot I’ve seen is Harry and the Hendersons. When I was little, Harry used to give me nightmares… who knows why, but this would be my first Bigfoot movie since. So I began this adventure only knowing two things. One was, it was a Bigfoot movie, but not a typical Bigfoot movie. The other was, it won Best Dramatic Feature at a film festival and it is consideration for awards at several other festivals. I can certainly see why it won one award and is in consideration for more. A Wish For Giants was wonderful. It truly warms your heart. You can tell it’s a low budget film (i.e., sound and video quality), but that doesn’t change how great the story line is. I would love to see what a major Hollywood producing company could do with it. Reminded me of a movie you would find on Hallmark or Lifetime. It just had that feel. I think you’ll know what I mean. If you happen upon A Wish For Giants, it’s definitely worth the watch! It’ll leave you with a smile on your face. Now maybe I’ll give Harry and the Hendersons another shot… maybe.

Reel ROB Rating: 6.5 out of 10 stars

Post Credits Scene: No

We want to thank our friends at Reel News Daily for allowing us to do this guest review!

Review: ‘Surge Of Power: Revenge Of The Sequel’

Surge of Power: Revenge of the Sequel

Theatrical Release (Select Theaters): February 23, 2018

Run Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Reviewed By: Adam

Guest review from Reel Reviews Over Brews

Time has passed since Surge’s first big screen adventure. Surge has settled in as Big City’s superhero. His nemesis, the Metal Master, is out of jail again, trying to reconcile with his estranged parents (played by Linda Blair and Gil Gerard). Are they more concerned about their son being gay than being a supervillain? Metal Master is tempted to continue a life of crime by Augur (Eric Roberts), old arch enemy of Omen, the sage superhero from the first movie (played by Robert Picardo and Nichelle Nichols). Augur sends Metal Master on a mission to Las Vegas for a strange crystal with unique properties key to Augur’s diabolical scheme. Surge tracks Metal Master to Las Vegas and is out of his element in a strange town. Surge is soon aided by local college students, Wendy, Marvin and Todd, deploying their own talents to help Surge uncover Metal Master’s activities, which also puts Surge in awkward situations. Cut off from his support in Big City and in need of more help, Surge activates the artificial intelligence in his high-tech car, the Surgemobile (portrayed first by Bruce Vilanch, six-time Emmy Award winner, comedian and writer, and later another artificial intelligence personality played by Shannon Farnon, Wonder Woman from the Super Friends!). Their search leads them to famous Las Vegas headliner, Frank Marino, whose penchant for fine jewelry allows Frank to recognize the crystals – precious Celinedioium! Frank guides Surge and his new friends. Surge faces off with Metal Master on the Hoover Dam, imperiling California, Nevada and Arizona. Metal Master escapes, leaving Surge with catastrophe to avert.

A short repast allows Surge some downtime while Todd shows him around Las Vegas. Their quiet time is interrupted by further news on the Metal Master. Augur and Metal Master realize Surge and his friends frustrated their plan. An infuriated Augur confronts Surge, causing Omen to step into the fray, sending Surge and the Surgemobile elsewhere while he/she grapples with his/her nemesis. Meanwhile, Metal Master faces an even greater challenge – his disapproving parents.

Unbeknownst to Surge, Augur is part of a supervillain community, The Council, each member of which is as powerful as Omen, and stirred to emerge from the shadows after many years of peace with Omen and her cronies. Find out what happens next with cinema’s first out gay superhero when an array of legendary superheroes and villains clash, with more zany antics in this all-ages, light-hearted, star-studded sequel!

I was having this discussion with Scott recently about how movies now a days are trying way too hard to be really artsy and there isn’t as many mindless action/comedy movies anymore. Well, Surge brings that back! Don’t get me wrong, that isn’t a burn on Surge at all. It made it more enjoyable. Not going to lie… after I watched the trailer for Surge, I was a little worried it was going to be really lame and corny. It did have it’s corny moments, but that didn’t stop this one from being a fun watch. You could tell director, Vince Roth was going for the Adam West Batman vibe to this movie. In my eyes, it was a terrific idea! Loved the throwback look. My hands down favorite part of this movie were all of the cameos! So many former actors that played super heroes “came out” for Surge. It was fantastic. This is what the made the movie so fun to watch. Who will show up next!? If you’re a fan of super hero movies, Surge is certainly worth the watch. Be careful though because you may just “get the urge, to surge!”

After watching Surge of Power: Revenge of the Sequel, we were able to have a little Q&A with Director and lead actor, Vince Roth. *WARNING – SPOILERS!*

Q: What gave you the idea of Surge?

A: I grew up watching the “Super Friends” cartoon, which is where I developed my penchant for the superhero genre. In my adult years, I made a lot of costumes of other people’s characters, which has now become its own thing called “cosplay.” Then in my professional life, as a corporate attorney for a high-tech company, the marketing department created a superhero character for one of its marketing campaigns called “Commander X.” I made, at that time, what was my piece de resistance of costumes and the company liked it so much, that when trade shows came around, they would transfer me out of the legal department and into the marketing department and send me off to be the living embodiment of Commander X. It was at a trade show that I decided I should do something with a character of my own. Surge had been in my head for many years, and the movie was a vehicle for me to bring Surge to life.

Q: Will Surge be making any Comic Con appearances?

A: Surge typically shows up at San Diego Comic Con and Salt Lake Comic Convention. In fact, many of the celebrity interviews and many of the celebrities who came on board from the sequel are as a result of Salt Lake Comic Convention. We’re just now finishing the theatrical run, and I’m still pretty busy with distribution for the sequel at the moment, but when time permits, I’ll see what cons we can have Surge show up.

Q: Were you able to get any superhero tips from the one and only Stan Lee?

A: I barely met Stan Lee only once, but was not able to discuss Surge of Power or anything for that matter, he was so busy. But, if he is not prevented by MARVEL from doing cameos in other movies, we’ll invite him to join us.

Q: How did you get so many big names to make cameo appearances?

A: We had 20 cameos in the first movie, and our 3 featured celebrities from the first movie all came back for the sequel – Nichelle Nichols (Star Trek’s Uhura), Lou Ferrigno (The Incredible Hulk) and the late Noel Neill (Lois Lane from Adventures of Superman). This gave a lot of credibility to the sequel. We’ve developed a shtick with having celebrities show up, kind of like the also campy Batman TV show from the 60s. So, it’s a staple in our world of Big City to have celebrities. In the sequel, we take it even farther, by having celebrities cast in dramatic roles, not just cameos, throughout the movie.

Q: Were you going for an Adam West Batman type look with the quality?

A: Yes, I knew that if I was going to introduce a new superhero, especially an indie movie, I would need to differentiate our world. There hadn’t yet been an openly gay superhero on the big screen, so that became my mission and decided to use comedy as a platform, because humor has been an effective vehicle for gay characters to be accepted by mainstream audiences. Look at the success of “Will and Grace” for example, which,
incidentally, was brought back after 10 years, so why can’t Surge return after a lengthy
hiatus. Camp is a common trope in gay entertainment, and a natural superhero parallel is the campy Adam West Batman TV show. Both Surge of Power movies have a similar campy flavor as the 60s Batman. We’re not shy about it. There’s even a line Bruce Vilanch
delivers that homages Batman when he tells Surge, “that cape is a throwback to the 60s.”
The inspiration from Batman is noticeable, and I think we added our own flare in our
contributions to the superhero genre.

Q: Why did it take so many years for a Surge sequel?

A: Homophobia is why it took so long. There were some people who really did not want this movie to be made, which made it all that much more important for me to get it done. Pixar’s “The Incredibles” was released in 2004 and its sequel is due out later this year, 2018, which is 14 years, so I think we’re still within range for superhero movies, haha. The first movie, “Surge of Power: The Stuff of Heroes,” started screening in 2004 and was released in 2006. I was busy promoting the first movie at cons for a few years before I was talked into embarking on the sequel, but homophobia and life interruptions caused us to put the sequel on hold for several years. This actually turned out to be a blessing, because it allowed us to improve on scenes not yet shot, expand the script to add new scenes, and, of course, we went gangbusters on celebrities, putting them in roles throughout the movie from start to finish, and we enlisted a lot more focus group feedback to give the audience what it wanted. So, the delays allowed us to arrive at a better end result and audiences are enjoying it.

Q: We saw the post credit teaser scene… is there another Surge in the works?

A: We actually have already shot scenes with Nichelle Nichols as Omen for the third movie, “Surge of Power: Call of the Champions,” and for our web series, “Big City Chronicles.” There is a little sneak peek of Nichelle on set for “Call of the Champions” that is on the Blu-Ray and DVD as a Special Feature that runs for almost 5 minutes. So, Nichelle will appear as Omen throughout all Surge of Power projects. We also have already shot a handful of cameos for “Call of the Champions.” Now, how many years it takes me to actually make the whole movie, remains to be seen, but, folks can keep an eye on our activities and our progress by watching “Big City Chronicles” episodes, which is a variety show consisting of celebrity interviews, behind-the-scenes looks at all the movies, sneak peeks and new mini adventures of Surge. Keep an eye out at www.surgeofpower.org

Reel ROB Rating: 5.25 out of 10 stars

Post Credits Scene: Yes

We want to thank our friends at Reel News Daily for allowing us to do this guest review!

Review: ‘KILL ORDER’ feels unfinished in a good way.

In KILL ORDER, chaos erupts when a group of armed men break into a high school classroom. They target David, a quiet kid who secretly suffers from unexplained memories of a horrifying past. Tapping into a previously unknown strength, David fights off his attackers and goes on the run. With his life and the lives of his loved ones in jeopardy, David must master the use of his new superhuman strength and fighting skills to find the people responsible and get his revenge.

The Mark brothers have given us an incredibly fun and action-packed martial arts indie. Writer/director James Mark brings his stuntman background to the big screen with a film filled with intrigue and some seriously intense fight sequences. The CG actually adds to the Resident Evil video game feel of the flashbacks. Younger Mark brother, Chris, in the role of David is able to utilize his own stuntman skills to his character’s advantage. The fight choreo is high impact and just downright cool to watch. Mark’s moment to moment emotional ride is also pretty impressive. It’s a really great initial jump into the world of leading man. The superb editing builds upon the script’s mystery. And while the ending leaves much to be answered, the film feels like the first in a series of graphic novel inspired stories. There is a ton of potential for Kill Order to become a franchise.

You can check out the trailer below and catch the film today!

RLJ Entertainment, Inc. is set to release the action/sci-fi film KILL ORDER on VOD, Digital HD and on DVD on Feb. 6, 2018.  Written and directed by James Mark (Jumper), KILL ORDER stars Chris Mark (Suicide Squad), Daniel Park (Pacific Rim), Denis Akiyama (Pixels), Melee Hutton (Beautiful People), Jessica Clement (“Pure”), Jason Gosbee (Suicide Squad), Reuben Langdon (Ant-Man) and Alain Moussi (Kickboxer: Vengeance).

ABOUT RLJE FILMS

An RLJ Entertainment, Inc. brand (NASDAQ: RLJE), RLJE Films features include Once Upon a Time in Venice starring Bruce Willis, Bushwick with Dave Bautista and Brittany Snow, Pilgrimage with Tom Holland, Jon Bernthal and Richard Armitage, and Brawl in Cell Block 99 from writer/director S. Craig Zahler (Bone Tomahawk) and starring Vince Vaughn, Don Johnson and Jennifer Carpenter. These titles are distributed in multiple formats including theatrical, VOD, DVD, Blu-Ray, and digital download. www.us.rljentertainment.com.

Review: ‘Stratton’… Your Typical Mindless Action Movie

Stratton

Theatrial Release: January 5, 2018

Available On Demand & Digital HD: January 5, 2018

Guest review from Reel Reviews Over Brews

Stratton (based on the novel series of the ​same name), a Special Boat Service operative for MI6, and his American counterpart Marty, scope a laboratory complex in Iran in order to intercept deadly biochemical weapons. This most complex of missions goes spectacularly wrong however and in the mayhem Marty (Tyler Hoechlin) is mortally wounded. Stratton (Dominic Cooper) knows his trusted friend isn’t going to make it. Back at base Stratton is summoned by the big boss at MI6 (Connie Nielsen). She has received intel that a former Soviet operative, Barovski (Thomas Kretschmann), has gone rogue. Thought to be dead for the last 20 years, it is believed Barovski has plans to take revenge on his former paymasters by using stolen chemical weapons. From hereon in, Stratton and his team (Austin Stowell, Gemma Chan, Jake Fairbrother, & Tom Felton) must draw on all their training and experience to race against time and stop the unimaginable happening.

Stratton is your typical mindless action movie. Reminded us of a lower budget James Bond or Jason Bourne. We found ourselves getting caught up in the plot (at the time), but in a few days we’re sure it will blend into every other movie that’s similar and we’ll forget exactly what the plot was. It was nice seeing Malfoy (Tom Felton) in another movie, that isn’t Harry Potter, but it did lead us to make assumptions about his character in Stratton (and we weren’t too far off). Also in reference to the acting, Gemma Chan… give her more scenes! That certainly wouldn’t have disappointed us if she was more involved.

We’d recommend waiting for Stratton to hit Netflix or a free movie channel as opposed to paying to see it in theaters or renting through On Demand, but we do suggest giving it a watch. And to be honest, we wouldn’t be opposed to seeing a sequel.

Reel ROB Rating: 2.75 out of 5 stars

Post Credits Scene: No

We want to thank our friends at Reel News Daily for allowing us to do this guest review!

Review: ‘Agent’… Derek Ting Does It All, In This Action Packed Sci-Fi Flick!

Agent

Now Available on Vimeo, iTunes, Google Play, Vudu, Xbox, & Playstation

Available on Hulu & Amazon Prime: July 1, 2017

Guest review from Reel Reviews Over Brews

Agent starts out by looking into the life of Jim Yung (Derek Ting). We find that he is trying to adapt to a normal life after returning from service. Jim’s friends, Angela (Marikah Cunningham) and Seth (Eric Keitel) decide they are going to visit Jim and try getting him out of his funk. They bring along Kara (Olivia Hultgren) in hopes to spark a fling. When Seth and Angela arrive, they decide that they are going out into the desert to shoot some high powered guns. The group meets up with a former secret service agent, John (Terrance Christopher Jones), who is their shooting instructor. Upon their day of shooting, the group of friends accidentally awakens something so powerful that they must choose between saving each other or saving the world.

So, we came across the movie Agent in a sort of funny way. We noticed that the movie’s Instagram page (@agentthemovie) was following us. We reached out in hopes to learn more and upon getting to know actor/director/writer, Derek Ting, he sent us a screening. Long story short, here we are!

Now to the review… Agent grabs your attention right away with the characters. They are very real. Jim Yung (Derek Ting) and Angela Porter (Marikah Cunningham) steal the show. It’s hard not to get caught up in their stories. The camera angles were great, although a few minor corrections could have been made, we liked what they did. The setting was a nice fit too. What better spot to feel trapped and deserted than a desert where no one can hear you scream!? Action is what usually holds our attention the best and this film certainly wasn’t lacking. Probably one our our favorite parts about this movie was that it didn’t follow the typical “shoot them in the head to stop them” plot. They had a pretty ingenious spin on that. We can absolutely see Agent being a perfect movie to play on the Syfy channel, but until then, go check it out on any of the viewing platforms we listed above.

PS, in a few days we’ll be following up this review with a Q&A from actor/director/writer, Derek Ting. So keep an eye out!

Reel ROB Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Post Credits Scene: Yes

We want to thank our friends at Reel News Daily for allowing us to do this guest review for them!

Review: ‘Baywatch’ – A Summer Blockbuster Is Coming…

Baywatch

Theatrical Release Date: May 25, 2017

Guest review from Reel Reviews Over Brews

Baywatch is based on the popular 90’s TV series starring David Hasselhoff and Pamela Anderson.  The film stars Dwayne Johnson, playing Mitch Buchannon, who is the head of the Baywatch lifeguard team. The team also includes CJ Parker (Kelly Rohrback) and Stephanie Holden (Ilfenesh Hadera). Mitch has to constantly prove why his team is needed to keep the bay safe. When drugs and dead bodies wash ashore their team has never been more important. The Baywatch team holds tryouts for the few open positions available, which is where we meet Matt Brody (Zac Efron), Summer Quinn (Alexandra Daddario), and Ronnie Greenbaum (Jon Bass).

After Ronnie and Summer prove themselves worthy of the team, Matt Brody continues to bump heads with Mitch resulting in a head-to-head competition with comically ridiculous events that have nothing to do with lifeguarding, but eventually Matt ends up on the team. Victoria Leeds (Priyanka Chopra) is quickly identified as the villain of the film and is suspected of heading a drug ring. The Baywatch team plans how to take down Victoria and preserve the future of the bay, while Matt Brody questions why it’s even the responsibility of lifeguards.

This movie was definitely not meant to be taken seriously… and at points throughout the film, pokes fun at how ridiculous the situation might be. Plain and simple, this IS your typical summer blockbuster movie. A decent amount of action and just enough comedy to make this an enjoyable movie, not to mention, there is definitely no shortage of attractive people.

Jon Bass leads the way in the comedy field with several funny moments as the tubby nerd who has a thing for Kelly Rohrback‘s character. Johnson and Efron have plenty of good scenes together and a great running joke that Johnson refuses to call Efron by his actual name. We really enjoyed this movie… more than expected. The plot was simple, but this movie was just meant to entertain the hell out of you. It accomplished that, in our eyes. You can’t go wrong with explosions and comedy, but we certainly felt the need to overhaul our beach bodies after it was over.

Reel ROB Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Post Credits Scene: No (Gag reel & extra scene DURING credits)

We want to thank our friends at Reel News Daily for allowing us to do this guest review for them!

Review: ‘The Shadow Effect’ begs for more.

Obsessed with gene regeneration, and fascinated by the phenomenon of the waking dream, Dr. Reese (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) explores the psyche of Gabriel Howarth (Cam Gigandet), a young man whose life is turned upside down when his violent dreams begin to blend with reality. When Gabriel’s dreams mirror political assassinations, he must race against the clock to not only save himself and his wife Brinn (Britt Shaw), but stop an experimental government program. With time running out, and Gabriel’s life on the line, only Dr. Reese holds the key to unlocking the truth.

There is a ton of potential in The Shadow Effect. Stars Cam Gigandet and Jonathan Rhys Meyers are both absolutely on point with their performances. They try very hard with the material provided, so it’s not really their fault that the film’s inconsistent moments of great and not so good cannot match up to the caliber of their talents. The editing is the guilty culprit. There are moments in the first half of the film with stellar use of speed dynamics that set up the plot, but the CG is downright awful. Some of the action sequences, including punches, are ill-timed and/or missing the proper sound effect. It’s incredibly distracting. The Shadow Effect might have been better off as a series on SyFy network. The script is intriguing enough to hold your attention, but I yearned for more. There is so much we’re missing or quickly glazed over that I think multiple episodes would have done a better job at delving into the past of all the characters. Trying to shove everything into about a 95-minute run doesn’t do any one plot line the justice it deserves.

You can catch The Shadow Effect ON DEMAND, DIGITAL HD AND DVD right now. Check out the trailer below.

TITLE:  THE SHADOW EFFECT
ON DEMAND, DIGITAL HD AND DVD:  May 2, 2017
DIRECTORS: Obin Olson, Amariah Olson
WRITERS:  Chad Law, Evan Law, Tony Feole
CAST: Cam Gigandet, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Brit Shaw, and Michael Biehn
GENRE: Action, Thriller
DISTRIBUTOR: Momentum Pictures

Review: ‘MOMENTUM’ is action packed sexiness.

Momentum posterIn MOMENTUM, when Alex (Olga Kurylenko), an infiltration expert with a secret past, accidentally reveals her identity during what should have been a routine heist, she quickly finds herself mixed up in a government conspiracy and entangled in a deadly game of cat-and-mouse with a master assassin ( James Purefoy) and his team of killers. Armed with her own set of lethal skills, Alex looks to exact revenge for her murdered friends while uncovering the truth. The film is the feature film debut for director Stephen Campanelli, who has worked under Clint Eastwood as his camera operator for the last 15 years.
Olga Kurylenko still Momentum
Olga Kurylenko easily carries this film. Beautiful, talented, with a real Katherine Zeta-Jones quality about her, she uses her strong sexuality and smooth skills to own this role. James Purefoy as Mr. Washington is masterfully evil. His iconic tone and timbre were a perfect casting choice. Kurylenko and Purefoy are perfect foils for one another. Equally strong screen presence and matched wits. Surprise cast member as The Senator, truly the driving force behind the entire plot, is skillfully played by non other than Morgan Freeman. (So you know he’s fabulous by default.)
James purefoy still Momentum
The script is great. Fast paced, with a classic Bond quality to it, it is filled to the brim with huge action scenes, car chases, shoot outs, sly plot twists. It is pure entertainment. The more we delve into Alex’s origins, the more interesting the film is. The real shocker and reason behind all the action, revealed near the end of the film is awesome. Totally set up for a sequel, I will say right now, I would watch it. The cast is wonderful, the script is tight, overall Momentum is a winner.

In Theaters, On Demand, and iTunes October 16, 2015
Directed by Stephen S. Campanelli (Camera operator on American Sniper and Jersey Boys)
Written by Adam Marcus and Debra Sullivan (co-writers of Texas Chainsaw 3D and Conspiracy)
Starring Olga Kurylenko (Quantum of Solace, The November Man) and James Purefoy(TV’s “The Following,” TV’s “Rome”)

Review: ‘BRAVE MEN’S BLOOD’ is film festival worthy.

Brave Men's Blood posterCorruption in the police force is not a new topic. In Olaf de Fleur‘s new crime thriller, BRAVE MEN’S BLOOD, treachery is brought to the forefront with a script filled with twists and turns. BMB_Web_res_2In order to take down a major criminal organization, the ambitious head of the internal affairs unit of the Reykjavik P.D. decides to investigate a corrupt police lieutenant. Tipped off about the lieutenant’s criminal dealings by a former crime kingpin, now imprisoned, he places a female former narcotics officer undercover to spy on him. These actions set him off on a dangerous path as he aims to catch both the lieutenant and the drug lord.BMB_Web_res_4 (1) This film is truly an ensemble piece. Two stand out performances are those our of hero, Hannes, played extraordinarily by Darri Ingolfsson. Perhaps best known for his villainous role on the final season of Showtime’s DEXTER, Ingolfsson gives us every emotion in the spectrum with ease and a spirit that you instantly root for. The other key role in the film is played by Ingvar Eggert Sigurðsson. By the end of the  film, you will be calling this man a master.  BMB_Web_res_5We are privy to the intimate lives of both the good and the bad. Hrafnknell Stefansson and Olef De Fluer‘s screenplay is most definitely award worthy. I could easily see this film play at both Tribeca and New York Film Festival. It is unexpected, frustrating, heartbreaking, action packed, and altogether satisfying for both the avid film buff and the average movie goer. The film is in mostly Icelandic ( not to fear, it is subtitled) with moments of English dialogue. Never does this take away from the action and flow of the story. The dialogue is so great, you’ll be glad in the end that you’ve read every syllable. I highly recommend this thriller gem. You will not see what’s coming next.

You can catch Brave Men’s Blood on VOD Tuesday, September 8th.

Starring:
DARRI INGOLFSON
AGUSTA EVA ERLENDSDOTTIR
INGVAR E. SIGURDSSON
SIGURDUR SIGURJONSSON
ZLATKO KRICKIC
HILMIR SNAER GUDNASON
Written by:
HRAFNKELL STEFANSSON
and
OLAF DE FLEUR

Review: ‘BLOODSUCKING BASTARDS’ we all know a few.

BloodSuckingBastards.Poster We’ve all been there at one time or another. Sitting in a cubicle, or the like, wanting  desperately to staple a co-worker’s mouth shut or just whiteout our own eyes. But we think, hey, if I work hard enough, I’ll get that  promotion and maybe, just maybe, this won’t suck as much as I think it does. Welcome to BLOODSUCKING BASTARDS, where all  your daydreams and nightmares come true.

Meet Evan Sanders (Fran Kranz), a low-level, dutiful employee stuck in a boring job at a soul-killing every corporation. Evan’s the kind of guy who does all the work and gets none of the credit, but at least he gets to spend his days with his beautiful co-worker/girlfriend Amanda (Emma Fitzpatrick) and his slacker best friend Tim (Joey Kern), so he soldiers on in the hope of one day getting his coveted sales director position. Unfortunately, it all falls apart in one fell swoop when Amanda breaks up with him and Evan’s boss Ted (Joel Murray) hands his promotion to his college nemesis Max (Pedro Pascal). And it isn’t just their sordid past Evan has to deal with. After his fellow officemates start going through disturbing changes (which, paradoxically, make them better employees) and bodies begin to pile up, Evan learns the horrible truth: Max is a vampire. And even worse… a vamp with a plan. Evan must find a way to stop the evil brewing amidst the cubicles, expose Max as the bloodsucking bastard that he is, and save his pals before his life and career go from dead-end…to just dead.BSBEmmaFitzpatrickFranKranzJoeyKernIMG_2684

This film can best be described as Office Space meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the film version. But it isn’t a far stretch to say Joss Whedon‘s television series wouldn’t fall into this fandom, as well. Once again, Whedonverse darling, Fran Kranz steals the show. His innocent air is perfect for this role. Wide-eyed naivete leads a pack of misfits on a battle to keep their heads (or necks) intact. Marshall Givens as the badass, Redbull fueled, security guard is an absolute riot. Where has he been? Joey Kern plays Evan’s #2, Tim. He is a king underachiever. Pornstache and all, his nonchalant attitude is the perfect foil to Kranz’s hyperactivity. Emma Fitzpatrick as Evan’s recent ex and head of HR, is quick witted and sassy, She kills it.The opening titles kick some major ass and the film’s pace pulls no punches. If you’re a fan of Shaun of the Dead, BLOODSUCKING BASTARDS is right up your alley. You can catch this film today, September 4th, in select theaters and on VOD.

Directed by Brian James O’Connell and penned by the popular comedy troupe Dr. God and Ryan Mitts, Bloodsucking Bastards recently made its world premiere as the opening night film at the Slamdance Film Festival 2015.

Starring:

Fran Kranz (Cabin in the Woods)

Pedro Pascal (Game of Thrones)

Emma Fitzpatrick (Significant Mother, The Collection)

Yvette Yates (Inherent Vice)

Joel Murray (Mad Men)

Joey Kern (Cabin Fever)

 

Liz’s Review: Kevin Bacon brings the unexpected in ‘COP CAR’.

Cop Car posterAs a kid, curiosity probably should have gotten me killed a slew of times. Running away wasn’t really my thing, but playing with the boys in the woods, rough housing and climbing things I probably shouldn’t have went hand in hand with ballet lessons and dressing up as Princess Leia. In the new film COP CAR, two young boys come upon what appears to be an abandoned sheriff’s vehicle in the middle of nowhere. Coming to the naive conclusion that no one is coming back for the car, they take it upon themselves to claim the vehicle as their own and go on one hell of a joyride. Unbeknownst to them, it’s shady owner has secrets hiding within the vehicle. An innocent coming of age tale spins wildly out of control as the boys decide between right and wrong and the threats of grownups with their own agenda.Cop Car-00005Kevin Bacon gives an outstanding performance as the infamous Sheriff Kretzer. This man is a master as manipulation. Watching his character get in and out of dangerous scenarios is fascinating and frightening. Bacon never disappoints me with his uncanny ability to be both charming and smarmy all in one. (He was totally booked for sit down interviews this time. I was disappointed as I dream of being able to say that “I am 0 degrees from Kevin Bacon.” Next time, sir. Next time.) Cop Car-00008The young boys that we want so desperately to get away are played heroically by James Freedson-Jackson and Hays Wellford. Both performances should be lauded as total success stories. These two young boys have careers ahead of them, for sure. Freedson-Jackson plays the more dominant of the pair  with gusto and complete ownership. Wellford, as the meeker young man, is heartfelt and thoughtful. It makes me wonder the amount of time these kids spent  together prior to and during filming. Their chemistry is organic and beyond solid. Camryn Manheim plays a concerned local woman, putting the boys on blast to the authorities. I love Manheim in everything from Ghost Whisperer to her innumerable guest appearances on what feels like every television series since the mid-90’s. Shea Whigman, one of my favorite actors from Boardwalk Empire, makes a phenomenal appearance in this film. Setting the bar high is the name of his game and he blows us away.Cop Car-00007The film’s pace starts out free and easy, throwing you into a false sense of stability. Ramping up and never stopping until the final frame, Cop Car really took me by surprise. It was a purely intriguing script and I was never bored. Fare warning: it is quite violent but totally worth it. Great performances, fantastic story, completely unexpected, I really dug this film. It is crystal clear why director Jon Watts was brought on to helm the UNTITLED SPIDER-MAN REBOOT for 2017. This gives me so much hope for the franchise. Beyond looking forward to more from this talented man.Cop Car-00009COP CAR opens in theaters today, August 7th.

Kevin Bacon (THE FOLLOWING, HBO’s TAKING CHANCE, MYSTIC RIVER) stars in director Jon Watts’ delightful throwback thriller COP CAR.   When two good-natured but rebellious young boys (Hays Wellford of INDEPENDENCE DAY: RESURGENCE and James Freedson-Jackson) stumble across an abandoned cop car hidden in a secluded glade they decide to take it for a quick joyride.  Their bad decision unleashes the ire of the county sheriff (Kevin Bacon) and leads to brutal consequences.  COP CAR  firmly establishes Jon Watts as a master of minimalist suspense and a directing force that will soon extend well beyond the independent landscape—Watts has just signed on to helm the UNTITLED SPIDER-MAN REBOOT for 2017.

Liz’s Review: Vengeance and Religion drive the fight in ‘REDEEMER’

Redeemer posterGuilt is a loud devil on your shoulder. The past can drive you mad or drive you to change… sometimes a little bit of both. In Ernesto Diaz Espinoza‘s new film REDEEMER, a man known only by this title is a mysterious figure, righting wrongs among his small Chilean community. Tortured by an unthinkable past that is slowly revealed as the film progresses, The Redeemer must conquer his own ghosts in order to battle the biggest evil he has ever known. Can he protect those left behind? redeemer 2Marko Zaror, martial arts action star extraordinaire, takes on the lead with ease and ownership. Not only is his acting pretty damn stellar, he is also the fight coordinator for the film’s vast array of sequences that are enhanced by key moments of slow motion. These sequences are extremely long and well shot. It was mostly refreshing to see an organic quality about the battles. They are interesting and definitely full of surprises. My favorite aspect would definitely be the use of graphic blood splatter. Reading like a first person shooter game, the blood use is colorful, impactful, and sometimes just over-the-top enough to make you cringe at the perfect moments. redeemer 1The dialogue is creative and comic relief comes in the form of our only English speaking character, drug lord Bradock, Noah Segan, who I recognized from Deadgirl, is so natural in his comedy it should be against the law.  He was actually my favorite part of the film. Segan has 8 projects this year alone, including Tales of Halloween with Lin Shaye (Insidious) and Booboo Stewart (The Twilight Saga), as well as The Mind’s Eye with Larry Fessenden (We Are Still Here). This guy is around for the long hall. Bottom line, if you liked Netflix’s Daredevil season 1, Redeemer will resonate with you. While it could be about 10-15 minutes tighter, due to the extended fight scenes, this film is definitely worth a shot.

Acclaimed Chilean director Ernesto Diaz Espinoza (Mandrill, The ABCs of Death, Kiltro) teams up again with martial arts action star Marko Zaror (Undisputed III, Machete Kills) in the theatrical and VOD release of REDEEMER. The epic action film, which made its debut at the 2014 Fantastic Film Festival, hits theaters and VOD on June 12 from Dark Sky Films.

Michael’s Review: ‘The Equalizer’- Plenty of Equals for this Textbook Action Thriller

The Equalizer-posterAntoine Fuqua has been making action thrillers for over twenty years, and he’s got a knack for it. Denzel Washington is one of Hollywood’s most revered actors, and he’s got the Oscar to prove it, thanks to his collaboration with Fuqua on the 2001 police drama Training Day. It’s been over a decade since, but this weekend, the action gods have reunited these two in the hopes that they can recapture the magic of their previous work and bring a once popular 80’s television show, The Equalizer, to the big screen. Read More →