Review: Award-winning documentary ‘The Push’ now available on VOD platforms.

The Push


Grant Korgan is a scientist and a professional athlete. Grant Korgan should not be able to do the things he does. After sustaining a spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed from the belly button down, his entire spirit was deflated. Until he discovered other disabled athletes were training to continue their sports and beyond. Along comes an opportunity of a lifetime; go to The South Pole, and not just go, traverse 100 miles across the polar plateau of Antarctica using only his arms to pull himself on a sled. It had never been done by someone like Grant. His entire journey, from the accident on is documented. He literally had a camera on his person as he hit the ground and, unbeknownst to him, became paralyzed. Not only does he have a camera, but his best friends and extreme sports buddies are also filming him from the bottom of the mountain. The Korgans have a camera running for all the good, the bad, the ugly of recovery and training. The Push is a story of the human spirit and the determination of Grant, his wife Shawna, and Tal, Grant’s trekking partner, and ultimate caretaker on the ice. The bond forged between these two people is unreal. Teamwork doesn’t accurately define their relationship. Tal essentially becomes the lifeguard that Shawna had been. Now she’s not there and Tal has to make decisions for the both of them. Things do not go as planned. It’s impossible to predict how Mother Nature will treat you. Faith is a real driving force in this story. Not the religious kind of faith but the belief that anything can be achieved if you just persist hard enough, long enough. The Push will make you root for these guys to succeed. Challenge after challenge will they make it to the South Pole?  And at the point of real-life danger and all the odds against them, and after all they’ve already achieved, does it even matter? Not only do we experience Grant’s South Pole excursion, but the aftermath. This is where it comes back to the human spirit, once again. There is a lot of soul searching and as Grant says, ” there is a beauty in being broken” and how you choose to view your circumstances. If you’re not crying at the end of this film I don’t even know if you’re a human being. The Push is inspiring and a film that should be shared far and wide for anyone struggling. It’s truly uplifting.

A Gravitas Ventures release, the film has just landed on Amazon and Netflix and other VOD platforms.

THE PUSH

Winner of “Best Documentary” at AmDocs Palm Springs, Flickers’ Rhode Island International Film Festival, The Impact DOCS Awards, Long Beach International Film Festival, Santa Barbara International Film Festival, Sonoma International Film Festival, and the Vero Beach Wine & Film Festival.

Review: ‘SMALLER AND SMALLER CIRCLES’

Two Jesuit priests perform forensic work to solve the mystery revolving around the murders of young boys in one of Metro Manila’s biggest slum areas. While dealing with the systematic corruption of the government, church and the elite, the two priests delve into criminal profiling, crime scene investigation and forensic analysis to solve the killings, and eventually, find the murderer.

Based on the award-winning novel by Filipino author F.H. Batacan, SMALLER AND SMALLER CIRCLES illustrates the best and worst of human nature: the antiseptic and dirty, the sublime and rotten, the hellish and divine.

With an unusual premise of having priests specialize in forensics, Smaller and Smaller Circles opens with haunting music and a disturbing image. Setting the stage for a mystery no one wants to delve further into. It addresses corruption in every corner of the church. Driven by greed and in the interest of reputation over the safety of the community’s young boys, we are witness to evil in many forms. A moody tone is set, eerily similar to the feeling Season 1 of True Detective gave us. The film could have easily been a mini-series. The final scene leads me to believe that this story isn’t over, in a sense. At the very least, our leading  characters have more work they can do. I, for one, would be invested in another film if not a redeveloped series, altogether. There are more details, I can only assume, the novel addresses. The story feels incomplete, only in the sense that I wanted more. Ultimately, this is a compliment to the intricacy of the storyline. The forensics aspects are intensely graphic but profoundly effective. The acting from ancillary characters is a bit spotty. It feels as if locals without experience were used to fill those roles. Though, I must give credit to each lead. Fully fleshed out backstories were felt even if we didn’t see them. This is yet another reason I would watch an expanded version. Smaller and Smaller Circles is undeniably engrossing.

SMALLER AND SMALLER CIRCLES was directed by Raya Martin and written by Raymond Lee and Ria Limjap.  The film features both English and Filipino language.  It has a running time of 111 minutes and will not be rated by the MPAA.

Uncork’d Entertainment will release the film in Los Angeles and additional select markets on March 1.  It will then be released digitally on March 19 (iTunes, Amazon, Vudu, Google Play, Fandango Now, Xbox and local Cable).

Review: ‘Even Lambs Have Teeth’ Has A Pretty Good Bite

Even Lambs Have Teeth

Available Now: iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Vudu, & VOD

Guest review from Reel Reviews Over Brews

Two best friends, Sloane (Kirsten Prout) and Katie (Tiera Skovbye), are trying to raise some extra cash for their shopping spree in New York by working at an eco-farm. While waiting for a bus to take them to the eco-farm, two brothers, Jed (Garrett Black) and Lucas (Jameson Parker) befriend the girls. The brothers offer to take Sloane and Katie to the farm, however, the girls instead are taken to the brother’s home where they are drugged. When they wake up they find themselves chained up in shipping containers and soon find out they are going to be used as sex slaves. Katie’s FBI uncle, Jason (Michael Karl Richards), gets a bad vibe about how the girls are making out and goes on the hunt to find them. Eventually the girls escape, but instead of running, they return to the crime scene to seek revenge… that’s when things get ugly!

First, we loved the title to this movie!! The first half of the movie felt like a straight forward horror flick. We quickly find that Sloane is more willing to toe the line of reckless, while Katie is more reserved and hesitant… at first. As the movie progressed it becomes apparent these girls would get their revenge and we became eager to see how they would pull it off. Sloane and Katie had our attention from the beginning and never lost it. We found it hard not to love them, especially when they started on their rampage, we couldn’t look away. Once the second half of the movie got going, we felt it became less of a horror movie and more of a thriller. The revenge scenes felt more fun than scary, as the girls got pretty creative with their torture techniques. Although the dialogue did get a bit stale at times and some of the plot was predictable, in the end this horror movie DOES have a pretty good bite! We highly enjoyed it.

Reel ROB Rating: 4 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 for them!

New trailer for Woody Allen’s latest movie ‘Cafe Society’ – Premiering at Cannes & releasing in Amazon July 15th

Cafe Society

CAFÉ SOCIETY will have its world premiere on opening night of the 69th Cannes Film Festival

Amazon Studios & Lionsgate will release CAFÉ SOCIETY on July 15, 2016

Directed and Written by Woody Allen

Starring Jeannie Berlin, Steve Carell, Jesse Eisenberg, Blake Lively, Parker Posey, Kristen Stewart, Corey Stoll, and Ken Stott

Produced by Letty Aronson, Stephen Tenenbaum, and Edward Walson

Set in the 1930s, Woody Allen’s bittersweet romance CAFÉ SOCIETY follows Bronx-born Bobby Dorfman (Jesse Eisenberg) to Hollywood, where he falls in love, and back to New York, where he is swept up in the vibrant world of high society nightclub life.

Centering on events in the lives of Bobby’s colorful Bronx family, the film is a glittering valentine to the movie stars, socialites, playboys, debutantes, politicians, and gangsters who epitomized the excitement and glamour of the age.

Bobby’s family features his relentlessly bickering parents Rose (Jeannie Berlin) and Marty (Ken Stott), his casually amoral gangster brother Ben (Corey Stoll); his good-hearted teacher sister Evelyn (Sari Lennick), and her egghead husband Leonard (Stephen Kunken). For the hooligan Ben, there are no questions that can’t be answered with brute force, but the others are more likely to ponder deeper matters, like right and wrong, life and death, and the commercial viability of religion.

Seeking more out of life, Bobby flees his father’s jewelry store for Hollywood, where he works for his high-powered agent uncle Phil (Steve Carell). He soon falls for Phil’s charming assistant Vonnie (Kristen Stewart), but as she’s involved with another man, he settles for friendship. Bobby also befriends Rad (Parker Posey), a model agency owner, and her husband Steve (Paul Schneider), a wealthy producer.

When Vonnie’s boyfriend breaks up with her, Bobby seizes the opportunity to romance her, and she ultimately returns his affections. When he asks her to marry him and move to New York, she is tempted, but things do not go as smoothly as planned.

Heartbroken, Bobby returns to New York, where he begins working for Ben, who has muscled his way into owning a nightclub. Bobby displays natural talents as an impresario and swiftly promotes the club into the hottest in town, renaming it “Les Tropiques.”  Rad introduces him to the beautiful socialite Veronica (Blake Lively) and he courts her assiduously. Although he is still carrying a torch for Vonnie, when Veronica reveals she’s pregnant, they marry and begin a genuinely happy life together.

Everything seems to have fallen into place for Bobby until the night Vonnie walks into “Les Tropiques.”

Poignant, and often hilarious, CAFÉ SOCIETY, a film with a novel’s sweep, takes us on a journey from pastel-clad dealmakers in plush Hollywood mansions, to the quarrels and tribulations of a humble Bronx family, to the rough-and-tumble violence of New York gangsters, to the sparkling surfaces and secret scandals of Manhattan high life.

With CAFÉ SOCIETY, Woody Allen conjures up a 1930s world that has passed to tell a deeply romantic tale of dreams that never die.

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Two newly restored gems from AGNÈS VARDA and starring JANE BIRKIN now available on Amazon and on iTunes and Blu-Ray March 8th.

Cinelicious Pics Logo

CINELICIOUS PICS & CINE-TAMARIS PRESENT:

JANE B. PAR AGNÈS V.

and

KUNG-FU MASTER! 
Jane B_Poster

JANE B. PAR AGNÈS V.

“I’ll look at you, but not at the camera. It could be a trap,” whispers Jane Birkin shyly into Agnès Varda‘s ear at the start of JANE B. PAR AGNÈS V. The director of CLEO FROM 5 TO 7 and VAGABOND once again paints a portrait of a woman, this time in a marvelously Expressionistic way. “It’s like an imaginary bio-pic,” says Varda. Jane, of course, is the famed singer (“Je t’aime … Moi non plus”), actress (BLOW UP), fashion icon (the Hermes Birkin bag) and longtime muse to Serge Gainsbourg. As Varda implies, JANE B. PAR AGNÈS V. abandons the traditional bio-pic format, favoring instead a freewheeling mix of gorgeous and unexpected fantasy sequences.

Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg in Jane B. par Agnès V. © Cinelicious Pics

Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg in Jane B. par Agnès V.
© Cinelicious Pics

Newly-restored from the original 35mm camera negative, overseen by director Varda herself. The film has a quirky appeal. With a blend of personal narrative juxtaposed with fine art and Greek history, Birkin speaks of her life, fears, future plans. Varda leads her through a wondering maze of musing. It’s an unusual and unique peak into the mind of  both women.

Kung-Fu Master

KUNG-FU MASTER!

A lovely, bittersweet companion piece to JANE B. PAR AGNÈS V., KUNG-FU MASTER! has nothing to do with martial arts – the film’s title comes from an arcade video game played obsessively in the film by a teenaged boy, Julien (played by Varda’s real-life son with husband Jaques Demy). Jane Birkin delivers one of her finest performances as a lonely 40-year old woman who finds herself falling in love with the 14-year old Julien – but is it romance, or a desperate attempt to turn back time in the face of middle age? A real family affair, Birkin’s daughters, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Lou Doillon, her child with well-known filmmaker Jacques Doillon, also appear in the film.

Jane Birkin and Charlotte Gainsbourg in Kung-Fu Master! © Cinelicious Pics

Jane Birkin and Charlotte Gainsbourg in Kung-Fu Master!
© Cinelicious Pics

Long unavailable in the US, the film has been newly-restored from the original 35mm camera negative. The film is a perfect time capsule from 80’s French cinema. Addressing the AIDS crisis through nonchalance and jokes, capturing the effortless sensuality of Birkin, and highlighting the differences in the use of sexuality on screen in Europe Vs America. The performances are, as expected, top notch. The use of Birkin’s children is brilliant. The natural banter, even when the scenario might seem unnatural given the relation, is captivating. As a first time viewer of these pieces, I was glad to have watched KUNG-FU MASTER! first. The two should most definitely been seen back to back. Both titles are currently streaming on Amazon and will be available on Blu-Ray and iTunes March 8  (additional VOD platforms to be announced)

Jane Birkin and Mathieu Demy in Kung-Fu Master! © Cinelicious Pics

Jane Birkin and Mathieu Demy in Kung-Fu Master!
© Cinelicious Pics

 

BLU-RAY SPECIAL FEATURES INCLUDE:

 Video interview with Agnès Varda by Miranda July
 
Essay by Sandy Fitterman-Lewis

Jeremy’s Review & Interview: ‘The Canal’ is an Especially Spooky and Visceral Haunt Perfect for Halloween & Star Rupert Evans Shares His Thoughts on Making the Film

the canalRare is it that I find the need to find a film to scare me. I usually only need to watch the evening news (Ebola anyone?) or watch any political coverage to get my scares in. However, every once in a while, a film comes along the piques my interest in this arena and Ivan Kavanagh‘s The Canal is one of those films. After seeing the trailer, I was hooked (something that is also quite a rarity). So I gave it a spin and these are my thoughts… Read More →

Jeremy’s Review of ‘Mutual Friends’, a Rom-Com Fit for NYC

Mutual Friends posterIn a city the size of New York, with so many different personalities and the possibility for literally any situation to arise, it’s no wonder it is the setting for so many romantic comedies. Matthew WattsMutual Friends hits a lot of familiar rom-com notes, but its mumblecore-like narrative without adhering to the tenets of mumblecore (i.e. meandering pseudo-plot with simple, often improvised mundane dialogue) help sets it apart from the many others like it out there commenting on the nature of romance in today’s world. Read More →