HBO Max original review: ‘Superintelligence’ reminds us to be grateful for Melissa McCarthy.

original
When an all-powerful Superintelligence (James Corden) chooses to study the most average person on Earth, Carol Peters (Melissa McCarthy), the fate of the world hangs in the balance. As the A.I. decides to enslave, save, or destroy humanity, it’s up to Carol to prove that people are worth saving.

75% of this film is Melissa McCarthy speaking directly into the camera and it’s brilliant. The social commentary is what grabs you. It’s presented in an accessible, funny, and genuine way. The script is straight-up hilarious. I mean ceaselessly laugh out loud hysterical. The timing of the release is frankly just what we needed in this dumpster fire of a year. McCarthy plays a woman who left big tech to do better. She is simply living her life when it is interrupted by an AI that doesn’t grasp the totality of humanity. And can you blame it? These days? Technology has caused a lot of drama, heartache, hatred, and sadness over the past few years in particular. Superintelligence tackles it all but makes it funny.

Bobby Cannavale is charming as ever. His chemistry with Melissa is enchanting. Jean Smart, clearly modeled after Hillary Clinton, is obviously incredible. Brian Tyree Henry as Dennis is magic. His comic timing is something a director dreams about. He is a delight. James Corden’s smart-alecky demeanor is the perfect foil for Melissa McCarthy. He pushes her buttons and her limits allowing the plot to barrel forward. As for McCarthy…You cannot help but adore the character of Carol. You will instantly connect with her. She is down-to-earth, anxiety-ridden, and sincere.  All of Melissa McCarthy‘s positive energy shines off the screen. She embodies all that is good. McCarthy proves, once again, she is a comic genius. But outside the laughs is a very human character that hits home, reminding us what a well-rounded actor she truly is.

At first glance, the script appears to focus on technology. At the heart of it, the story is about just the opposite. Superintelligence breaks down the human experience from the superficial to the profound. The small moments that become monumental in the grand scheme of life. It chooses kindness and self-sacrifice over hatred and selfishness. It will make you smile from ear to ear. It’s one of the year’s best family films. Superintelligence reminds us all of what we should be grateful for.

Premieres on HBO Max on November 26, 2020

 

DIRECTOR: Ben Falcone
WRITTEN BY: Steve Mallory
PRODUCED BY: Melissa McCarthy, Ben Falcone, and Rob Cowan
CAST: Melissa McCarthy, Bobby Cannavale, Brian Tyree Henry, and James Corden

Fantasia 2020 review: Short film’ You Wouldn’t Understand’ is aptly named.

YOU WOULDN’T UNDERSTAND

An idyllic picnic of one is upended after the arrival of a stranger.

9 minutes of sci-fi absurdity is what I Iive for during Fantasia International Film Festival. You Wouldn’t Understand no matter how hard you try. Impeccably shot and hilariously acted, the only thing wrong with it is that it ends! And that is entirely the point. This is one of the best treatments for an entire series I’ve ever seen, even if that was never the intention. I would watch the hundreds of other iterations of the same story with absolute giddiness. I knew it owned me when I exclaimed, “What the hell?” halfway through. I was as completely weirded out as I was confused… but also had a stupid grin on my face that wasn’t going anywhere even after the credits rolled. Then I watched it again. I cannot stop talking about this film which is also ironic seeing as how I don’t want to give too much away to an audience. Because YOU WOULDN’T UNDERSTAND.

The film is a true collaboration. Director Trish Harnetiaux, also co-wrote the script with actor Jacob A. Ware, while co-star Anthony Arkin edited the short. No surprise the three formed the production company Steel Drum In Space. Which is a hilarious moniker of its own… for obvious scientific reasons. If Monty Python gets your goat, if great writing is your jam, if superb cinematography gets your engine revved, then You Wouldn’t Understand will make complete sense as a viewing experience.

WORLD PREMIERES AT
FantasiaYellow_Transparent.png

YOU WOULDN’T UNDERSTAND

Color
English Language
9 minutes
Not Rated

For more information on the film and to find out about Fantasia 2020 click HERE

Review: Take the ride of your life with ‘SPREE’

SYNOPSIS: Meet Kurt (Joe Keery), a 23-year-old rideshare driver for Spree, who is so desperate for social media attention that he’ll stop at nothing to go viral. He comes up with a plan to livestream a rampage as a shortcut to infamy – coining his evil scheme “#thelesson”, he installs a set of cameras in his car and begins streaming his rides. Wildly miscalculating the popularity that would come from his lethal scheme, Kurt’s desperation grows as he tries to find a way to overcome the plan’s flaws. In the middle of all this madness, a stand-up comedian (Sasheer Zamata) with her own viral agenda crosses Kurt’s path and becomes the only hope to put a stop to his misguided carnage.

Our favorite Stranger Things ex-boyfriend, Joe Kerry, is taking social media to the extreme. Eugene Kotlyarenko’s new film is what would happen if CAM had a baby with American Psycho. Spree is a found footage post Livestream extravaganza of crazy. It hilariously holds an unfiltered phone screen up to our faces and chokes us with our own carefully curated reality. Approximately 26 minutes in my mouth literally dropped open. It would not be the last time. Spree has incredibly fun kills. The editing is head-spinning. Extra points for the double entendre title.

Joe Keery is amazing. He is in almost every shot of this film. This would not be as successful without him. Cast him in everything from here on out. The nonchalance he has with this level of violence ups the anty. Stockholm syndrome because Keery’s portrayal of Kurt is something I fully endorse. Sasheer Zamata is the audience, the antagonist, and the protagonist. This is only something that will make sense when the credits roll. She is fierce from every angle. The script is so well developed it will blow you away with its sardonic wit. The setup is pure genius. The cast is superb. It’s a nonstop adrenaline ride of gore and laughs. Spree will kick you in the teeth with its irony. And now, the only way to end this… #thelesson #KurtsWorld96 #Spree #FiveStarRating

RED BAND YOUTUBE TRAILER:

SPREE is available in select theaters, drive-ins, on-demand and digital August 14th.

IN THEATERS: August 14, 2020

AVAILABLE ON DEMAND AND DIGITAL: August 14, 2020

DIRECTOR: Eugene Kotlyarenko

WRITER: Gene McHugh, Eugene Kotlyarenko

CAST: Joe Keery, Sasheer Zamata, Mischa Barton, John DeLuca, Josh Ovalle, Lala Kent, Frankie Grande with Kyle Mooney and David Arquette

RUN TIME: 92 min

RATING: NR

GENRE: Thriller

DISTRIBUTOR: RLJE Films

Review: ‘LIFE IS EASY’ – a Queer “Body Swap” Comedy Series World Premieres today on Global LGBTQ+ Network Revry.

Welcome to the world of Jamie-Li and Curtis: Yin and Yang; Potato and gravy; BFF’s since childhood. Jamie-Li, a straight Chinese-Kiwi woman, and Curtis, a gay white man, have a friendship that defies race, gender and sex…or so they think. After a night of wet and wild partying on their joint 25th birthdays, the two Gemini’s wake up to find themselves in each other’s bodies–revealing a hot mess of unexplored issues that unravels the way they see others, one another, and themselves. They thought they were “woke”–until they woke up in each other’s bodies! LIFE IS EASY (LIE) is a smart, funny, sexy, wholesome, and thought-provoking 8-episode satire series exploring the complexities of race, gender and sexuality in today’s seemingly “woke” society.
Body swap comedies are always pretty funny but I’ve never seen one so real and raunchy as this Life Is Easy (LIE). In a world where gender identity and sexual choices are both more accepted and more heavily judged all at once, this series is outrageous in all the best ways possible, Writers and stars Chye-Ling Huang and Cole Jenkins nail the natural comedy of assigned gender mentalities and physicalities. Making a period joke genuinely funny and enjoyably grotesque is quite a feat. The complexities of relationship status figure prominently and are all the more interesting when you remember that Jamie-Li and Curtis are in the wrong bodies. Through the nonstop laughs are serious issues that provoke thought and discussion. Sexual harassment, homophobia, racism, emotional abuse, family dynamics, and finding your voice all jump off the screen. Huang and Jenkins are perfect foils for one another. Besides the fantastic writing, the performances are vibrant and over-the-top when they need to be. But don’t just take the shows for face value since the sincerity in the script allows them to bring their drama chops to the table. With a current 8 episode arch, and a runtime of 15 minutes on average, you will inhale Life Is Easy (LIE). I want more as soon as possible.

Revry Original comedy series from New Zealand, LIFE IS EASY – a FREAKY FRIDAY-esque body swap commentary on race, gender, and sex, world premiering July 19th at 5 pm & 8 pm (PST) on Revry’s Live TV Channels or the full season on Revry Premium July 17th.

About Revry
Watch Queer TV 24/7 with the first LGBTQ+ virtual cable TV network. Revry offers free live TV channels and on-demand viewing of its global library featuring LGBTQ+ movies, shows, music, podcasts, news, and exclusive originals all in one place! Revry is currently available globally in over 250+ million households and devices and on seven OTT, mobile, and Desktop platforms. Revry can also be viewed on nine live and on-demand channels and Connected TVs including: The Roku Channel, Samsung TV Plus, Comcast Xfinity X1, Dell, XUMO TV, Zapping TV, STIRR, TiVo+, and as the first LGBTQ+ virtual reality channel on Littlstar (available on PlayStation devices). The company–an inaugural member of the Goldman Sachs Black and LatinX Cohort–is headquartered in Los Angeles and led by a diverse founding team who bring decades of experience in the fields of tech, digital media, and LGBTQ+ advocacy. Follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @revrytv. Revry.tv.

 

Review: ‘Zombie For Sale’ is a genre-bending riot. Now playing on the Arrow Video Channel!

 

Synopsis:  When the illegal human experiments of Korea’s biggest pharmaceutical company go wrong, one of their “undead” test subjects escapes and ends up in a shabby gas station owned by the Park family – a band of misfits spanning three generations who hustle passersby to make ends meet. When the Park family uncovers their undead visitor, he bites the head of their household, who instead of transforming into an undead ghoul becomes revitalized and full of life! The family then hatch a plan to exploit this unexpected fountain of youth, allowing locals to pay to be bitten too… until things go wrong.

Boasting moments of Shaun of the Dead-like physical comedy, this film is beyond hilarious. Outstanding editing and cinematography add to the overall greatness. The filmmakers did not cut corners in storyboarding. The quick takes are all part of the film’s success. I’ve never found a zombie film more charming. A score that is reminiscent of anything composed by Danny Elfman for a Tim Burton movie, Zombie For Sale has more elements of genre fun than you thought you’d need in a single film.

Our zombie friend has a higher than usual self-awareness, as his ability to understand love, fear, and pain feature prominently in the storyline. He is being used for a “get rich quick” scheme and your empathy is with him. I’ve never wanted to put a zombie in my pocket before, and yet here we are. This absurdity makes it all the funnier. When our clueless family looks up a clip from Train to Busan, I literally guffawed. Each member has a distinctly different personality, besides being con artists. It’s safe to say that our two female leads wield the most power in this screenplay. Outside of the typical “final girl” scenarios, this was refreshing as hell. This is a true ensemble cast. You will not know what’s coming next. It’s safe to call this a genre-bending film. It is a zombie apocalypse redemption rom-com. These performances are laugh out loud funny from start to finish. Zombie For Sale is colorful and zany and it’s one of my favorite zombie films of the year.

The Arrow Video Channel is available on Apple TV in the UK and US, as well as on Amazon in the UK.

ABOUT THE ARROW VIDEO CHANNEL

The ARROW VIDEO CHANNEL gives cult movie fans the opportunity to watch a wide selection of movies that the ARROW VIDEO brand has been famous for – personally curated by members of the Arrow team. From horror to sci-fi, thrillers to westerns, the ARROW VIDEO CHANNEL is home to cutting edge cult and undiscovered gems such as Takashi Miike’s “Audition,” Wes Craven’s seminal masterpiece “The Hills Have Eyes,” George A. Romero’s contagion classic “The Crazies,” Edwin Brown’s slice-and-dice staple “The Prey” and so much more. In the coming months, the ARROW VIDEO CHANNEL will be adding more cult classics from East Asia such as Shinya Tsukamoto’s “Tetsuo: The Iron Man” and “Bullet Ballet” and a collection of the Japanese classic “Gamera” movies.  In addition to crowd-pleasing cult movies on the service, the ARROW VIDEO CHANNEL will continue to give you an exclusive platform to brand new genre as part of a new global strategy.

The ARROW VIDEO CHANNEL also hosts a growing collection of documentaries, interviews and never-before-seen content from the Arrow Video archives, as well as newly produced material. These documentaries will breathe new life on the ARROW VIDEO CHANNEL, giving movie fans an immersive look into the creation of many cult movie classics such as “Donnie Darko” and “Hellraiser.” The service will be updated regularly with new content, new curation focus and never-before-seen content, all hand-picked by the Arrow Video team.

 

 

Review: ‘TIME WARP: VOLUME 3 COMEDY AND CAMP’ is now available for your viewing pleasure.

SYNOPSIS: The final volume of Time Warp digs deep into what makes us laugh over and over again as we reveal the greatest cult comedies and campy classics of all-time. From “Fast Time at Ridgemont High” and “Office Space” to “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” and “Showgirls.”

 

This is the longest in the Time Warp series. Starting off with Fast Times and the insight from Amy Heckerling, it’s a cinephile’s film class from the very beginning. Focusing first on high school films, we get a great mix from Rock N Roll High School to Napoleon Dynamite. Then we dive into Clerks and how a single film made on credit cards for $30K launched Kevin Smith’s career. The late Fred Willard talks Best In Show. The Bill Murray stories from King Ping are epic. John Cleese‘s presence for Monty Python and The Holy Grail reminds us that the best comedy is smart through its silliness. The first half focuses on Comedy for an HR and 15 minutes. The last 45 is Camp cult films. Rightfully so, Showgirls is covered. Gina Gershon’s character study background for Cristal Connors is masterful. Ed Wood’s editing style and relationship with Bela Lugosi made him one of the greatest cult filmmakers of all time. He was way ahead of his time when you look at his body of work. Speaking of being ahead of its time, Hedwig and the Angry Inch still has such an impact in so many ways. It may be more relevant right now than it was in its original run for the trans community. I’ll give you three guesses, and the first two don’t count, as to which film gets the final curtain call.

With Volumes 1 & 2, as with this third installment, these docs are like the YouTube rabbit hole we all fall into. Hours of different behind the scenes clips and stories all in one glorious place. You cannot go wrong with these films. You’ve seen more of them than you’ll realize. Feel a little cooler and a whole lot more informed after viewing. Then tell a friend so they can tell a friend and so on. All three docs are now available to stream.

TITLE: TIME WARP: THE GREATEST CULT FILMS OF ALL-TIME VOLUME 3 COMEDY AND CAMP
ON DEMAND AND DIGITAL: June 23, 2020
DIRECTOR: Danny Wolf
DISTRIBUTOR: Quiver Distribution
HOSTS: Joe Dante, John Waters, Ileana Douglas and Kevin Pollak
CAST: Gina Gershon, John Cleese, Ron Livingston, Jim Gaffigan, Fred Willard, Jon Heder, David Cross, Mary Woronov, Michael McKean, Kevin Smith, Amy Heckerling, Mike Judge, Peter Farrelly, John Cameron Mitchell
RUN TIME: 128 minutes

Review: ‘International Falls’ explores the fine line between comedy and tragedy.

A woman stuck in a small, snowbound border town has dreams of doing comedy when she meets a washed-up, burned-out comedian with dreams of doing anything else.

International Falls is funny from the very first scene. The jokes are witty and rapid-fire. But you can feel a sense of sadness lingering over the comedy. Rachael Harris and Rob Huebel experience feelings of remorse and betrayal, all while making jokes. This script is a nuanced look into depression, ambition, and longing. It’s about choices, both right and wrong. The cool, sometimes awkward, sometimes heartwarming chemistry is awesome to see. I don’t know how much if any, of the dialogue was improvised but Harris and Huebel were perfect casting choices. The location adds to the plot in a massive way. The snow-covered and isolated, smalltown feel, impacts not only the characters and audience. Whether directly or indirectly, the viewer feels as trapped by International Falls as our two leads. There are essentially three main sets, the hotel (predominantly the room), the quaint downtown exteriors, and the stage. The later is intercut throughout the film with Tim’s stand up routines. The combination of Amber McGinnis’ directorial debut and writer Thomas Ward’s screenplay makes for an insightful, laugh-out-loud, dramedy.  There is so much more than meets the eye with this film. Its authenticity will stick with you.

INTERNATIONAL FALLS stars Rachel Harris (Lucifer, Suits), Rob Huebel (Children’s Hospital, Transparent), and Kevin Nealon (Man with a Plan, Weeds)

The film has been an official selection at 22 film festivals across the country and has won multiple awards, including the Grand Jury Prize at 5 different festivals. The film festivals giving the film their highest honor, include the Ashland Independent Film Festival, the Naples International Film Festival, the New York No Limits Film Series, the Seattle International Film Festival, and the Tallgrass International Film Festival in Wichita.

The award-winning film opens Friday, March 20 in Austin,
Boston, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Denver, Detroit, Houston,
Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Seattle

 

Review: Indie Sci-Fi Comedy ‘The Wave’ starring Justin Long and Donald Faison, directed by Gille Klabin is one insanely weird trip.

Justin Long (Die Hard 4.0, Accepted) and Donald Faison (Scrubs, Clueless) lead the unique modern-day parable that follows Frank (Long), an opportunistic insurance lawyer, who thinks he’s in for the time of his life when he goes out on the town to celebrate an upcoming promotion with his co-worker, Jeff (Faison). But their night takes a turn for the bizarre when Frank is dosed with a hallucinogen that completely alters his perception of the world, taking him on a psychedelic quest through board meetings, nightclubs, shootouts, and alternate dimensions. As Frank ping-pongs between reality and fantasy, he finds himself on a mission to find a missing girl, himself… and his wallet.

Visually intoxicating, The Wave hits you like a ton of bricks. Justin Long plays Frank, an insurance lawyer, underappreciated at work and at home and stuck in the loop of the mundane, decides to go out on the town for once. When the shit hits the fan, we’re all on drugs with Long. The highs and lows, the mysterious chase, the lost time. It’s all insane and wonderful.

Sheila Vand, star of my one my all-time favorite film’s A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night, plays Theresa with a cool ease that the perfect foil for Long’s quick-witted corporate cynicism. Her energy is electric. Donald Faison as Frank’s best friend is was a smart choice from a sidekick standpoint. Their chemistry is awesome. He stands as a representation of the viewing audience in the sense that we’re just as confused (in the best way possible) as he is. This script is jarring and electric. Justin Long, once again, owns whatever role he takes on. I buy every second he is on screen. I don’t know if any other actor would have resonated as truthfully. Long’s ability to live moment to moment in each character is nothing short of genuine and delicious talent. Time jumping, drug-induced, comment on karma, The Wave is simply cool.

IN THEATERS AND ON VOD JANUARY 17TH

Review: ‘After Class’ pits generational activism against itself with thoughtful writing and a lot of laughs.

Synopsis:
AFTER CLASS follows a New York City professor (Long) as he spends a week reconnecting with his family while defending his reputation over controversial behavior at his college.

After Class is one hell of a film. Lead by Justin Long as an adjunct professor of creative writing, the plot revolves around a moment in class that triggers his students. While the script deals head-on with the MeToo movement, it’s complexity must be experienced first hand. It’s about loyalty and family and standing up for what you believe in with some goddamn conviction. While Long leads the way, this feels like an ensemble cast because of the amount of talent stacked up. There is not a loose thread in this film. I’ve never seen Fran Drescher in a role so opposite her iconic days on The Nanny. Cast this fabulous lady in all the things. Richard Schiff is excellent in his attempt to keep the peace with families old and new. Watching him keep it together (or not) is a delight. Kate Berlant is perfection as Long’s feisty sister. She feels like she’s been doing this for ages. She easily steals the attention in every scene she’s in. And now to Long. As far as I’m concerned, Juston Long can do no wrong. His eclectic body of work always catches me off guard. While we get to see his quirky comedy, we also get some serious drama and vulnerability I didn’t know would affect me as much as it did. I was particularly amused by the fact the Berlant’s character has a podcast since Long’s newest venture (and fun as hell to listen to I might add) is a podcast with his brother titled Life Is Short. Drescher appeared on an episode I have not listened to yet and now I know why. He is undeniably charming as ever in After Class, but incredibly nuanced making it easy to remember how he is able to helm so many films. The script is constantly challenging your thought process, perhaps even making you roll your eyes, depending on what generation you relate most to. That’s kind of the beauty of this film. It’s got a lot going on in all the best ways possible. Congrats to the cast as well as a big round of applause for writer-director Daniel Schechter for a sincerely heartfelt indie. Everyone should be proud.

**Official Selection – Tribeca Film Festival**
**Official Selection – Rome Film Festival**
**Official Selection – Traverse City Film Festival**
**Official Selection – Fort Lauderdale Film Festival**
**Official Selection – Greenwich Film Festival**
**Official Selection – San Francisco Jewish Film Festival**
**Official Selection – Boston Film Festival**
**Official Selection – Nantucket Film Festival**

—————————————–

Gravitas Ventures is set to release Daniel Schechter’s smart comedy/drama AFTER CLASS (formerly SAFE SPACES) in theaters and on VOD beginning December 6, 2019. The film stars Justin Long, Fran Drescher, Richard Schiff, and Kate Berlant.

The film is a compelling study of a well-intentioned millennial-aged teacher overstepping the line in class in the MeToo era and dealing with the repercussions. This comes in the middle of a family emergency when his grandmother requires hospice care, and family chaos begins to consume his life. The film provides raw moments of emotional turmoil that switches between loss, comedy, and drama, providing glimpses of beautiful and awkward moments that happen in life.

Release Date:                     December 6, 2019 – In the theaters below and on digital/VOD nationwide:
Los Angeles – Arena Cinelounge and Galaxy Mission Grove
Orlando – Old Mill Playhouse
Cleveland – Tower City Cinemas
Boston – Entertainment Cinemas Leominster
Minneapolis – Emagine Rogers 18, East Bethel 10 and Lakeville
Seattle – Galaxy Monroe
Dallas – La Gran Plaza 8
Reno – Galaxy Victorian
Las Vegas – Galaxy Theaters Luxury and Galaxy Cannery
San Francisco – 4 Star Theater
Santa Barbara – Galaxy Colony Square
Directed by:                        Daniel Schechter
Written by:                          Daniel Schechter 
Cast:                                    Justin LongKate BerlantLynn CohenBecky Ann BakerFran Drescher &
Richard Schiff
Genre:                                 Comedy, Drama
Specs:                                 93 min
Distributor:                         Gravitas Ventures

Review: ‘Satanic Panic’ reaches (oc)cult classic status.

presents

SATANIC PANIC

SYNOPSIS:

Sam’s first day as a pizza delivery driver is not going according to plan. At the end of a long day and not enough tips, her last delivery turns out to be for a group of Satanists looking for someone to sacrifice. Now in a fight for her life, Sam must fend off witches, evil spells and demonic creatures, all while trying to keep her body – and soul – intact.

Poor Satanists, just trying to sacrifice a virgin to bring a hell beast to walk the earth. But that darn virgin keeps getting away! Satanic Panic has practical effects that are an awesome combination of mildly silly and completely, on-point disgusting. The sets and costumes absolutely rock. But, it’s the performances and writing that kick major ass. Rebecca Romijn is goddamn spectacular. Her commitment to physical comedy is pure genius and her timelessly gorgeous face is a delight to watch on-screen. Ruby Modine gets the best, rapid-fire dialogue in the film. She’s so nonchalant you’ll be fully immersed into the wacky plot- which actually has this unexpected emotionally redemptive element involved. It is classic occult set up at its finest with extra surprising moments sprinkles in. Haley Griffith as our ingenue Sam is refreshingly innocent. She is the representation of loyalty and street smarts. Seamlessly mixed into entertaining genre goodness, the film also takes aim at generational headbutting and classism. Director Chelsea Stardust guides Satanic Panic into the cult genre with humor and a bit of magic storytelling from Grady Hendrix and Ted Geoghegan.

RLJE Films will release the horror film SATANIC PANIC in Theaters, On Demand and Digital on September 6, 2019.

SATANIC PANIC stars Hayley Griffith (“The Loudest Voice”, “The Mysteries of Laura”), Ruby Modine (“Shameless”, Happy Death Day franchise), Rebecca Romijn (X-Men franchise, “Star Trek: Discovery”), Arden Myrin (“Insatiable”, “Shameless”) and Jerry O’Connell (Stand By Me, “Billions”). The film was written by popular horror author Grady Hendrix (“We Sold Our Souls,”  “My Best Friend’s Exorcism”) and directed by up-and-coming director Chelsea Stardust (“Into The Dark”, Seeing Green).

World Premiere at the 2019 Overlook Film Festival 

Official Selection of 2019 Fantasia Film Festival 

Fantasia International Film Festival 2019 review: ‘HARPOON’ is a wild ride of deceit on the high seas.

Wealthy Richard (Christopher Gray) is prone to fits of violent anger, particularly when he believes his girlfriend Sasha (Emily Tyra) is cheating on him with his best friend Jonah (Munro Chambers) — who’s been having worse luck than even his Biblical namesake. Once they reassure him that his fears are unfounded, Richard invites Sasha and Jonah on an excursion aboard his yacht The Naughty Buoy to make amends. What starts out as a pleasure cruise becomes a fateful trip when festering suspicions and resentments bubble to the surface, and the trio become stranded on the open sea with a dead motor, extremely limited food and water, and one of them grievously injured. Unconsciously violating any number of maritime superstitions, they are soon at the mercy not so much of the elements, but of each other.

Fantasia International Film Festival 2019 has had some instant hits this year. Saturday night was no exception as HARPOON wowed audiences at its Quebec premiere. From the incredible opening shot, this film comes at you like a rabid animal. Amazing, quippy, profanity-laced dialogue kicks off a ride we are are now ready for. This love triangle at sea plays off a classic dynamic of a wealthy asshole, girlfriend, and third wheel best friend where suspicion fuels jealousy. The script utilizes literary references, voiceover narration by Brett Gelman, and the kind of honest intimacy in dialogue that you only find between best friends. But, secrets are the one thing that can be a real friendship killer, even for those not stuck out in the middle of the ocean. Our three cast members are phenomenal. I completely buy these performances. Each is funny, vulnerable, and kind of dickheaded in their own unique way. The practical fx are gruesome and awesome. Writer-director Rob Grant has given us a goddamn indie gem. It’s got a twisted ending you will never “sea” coming. What’s a little murder between friends, after all? Fantasia International Film Festival fans will go overboard for Harpoon.

Tribeca Film Festival 2019 Review: ‘Come To Daddy’ is everything you’d want an Ant Timpson film to be.

COME TO DADDY

Elijah Wood plays an emotionally overwhelmed uber hipster attempting to reconnect with his estranged father. Summoned to a secluded home via a mysterious letter from his dad, he finds himself in an unexpected situation. Wood, as always, is vulnerable and funny. I’ll buy anything he’s selling. His body of work is so eclectic and wonderfully bizarre, what’s not to love? Now let’s talk about Ant Timpson‘s amazing directing. As a producer, The ABC’s Of Death is off the wall fun and don’t even get me started on the insanity that is The Greasy Strangler. Come To Daddy, Timpson’s directorial debut is a genre-bending funhouse. Tribeca’s Midnight section is the perfect slot for Timpson’s work and I do mean that as a compliment. This film takes a sharp turn at 30 minutes in, then hurtles from mysterious to funny, unsettling to WTF, and it is a delight. The camera work is top-notch. There is mayhem for days. Wonderfully timed plot treats fall into our laps like a busted piñata. I simply cannot express how damn fun this film is. You will not have any clue where this is going.

Norval’s (Elijah Wood) life has been, to put it lightly, difficult. Currently living home with his mother, the troubled young man is coming off alcohol-related struggles. So when he receives an unexpected letter from his estranged father requesting a visit, Norval catches a bus up to his dad’s secluded and scenic waterfront home. Maybe reconnecting with his father will give Norval the emotional fulfillment he’s been lacking. Before long, though, he notices something off about his dad, an uneasy feeling triggered by inappropriate comments and a possible over-dependence on booze. Norval quickly realizes that his hope of father/son bonding is doomed. Instead of a family reunion, he finds himself in waking nightmare.
FILM INFO

Review: ‘The Man Who Killed Don Quixote’ is Terry Gilliam’s fantastic passion project.

The Man Who Killed Don Quixote 

Toby (Driver), a cynical advertising director, finds himself trapped in the outrageous delusions of an old Spanish shoe-maker (Pryce) who believes himself to be Don Quixote. In the course of their comic and increasingly surreal adventures, Toby is forced to confront the tragic repercussions of a film he made in his idealistic youth – a film that changed the hopes and dreams of a small Spanish village forever. Can Toby make amends and regain his humanity? Can Don Quixote survive his madness and imminent death? Or will love conquer all?

Decades in the making, The Man Who Killed Don Quixote is finally coming to the big screen. It was worth the wait. Adam Driver plays a young director taking on his own passion project under the financial thumb of studio execs, locals, and his own ego. No doubt is the film about as metaphorical as you can get for the wild ups and downs the legendary Terry Gilliam has endured in bringing this film to fruition. Poking fun at itself and the industry at every turn, it must have been truly cathartic for Gilliam to shoot. The visuals and writing are all so satisfying you’ll want to applaud at the twists and turns along the way. Though admittedly, you’ll most likely be just as confused as both Driver and “Don Quixote” himself, Jonathan Pryce. One of the film’s best moments perfectly sums up the controlled chaos that is this epic story. “Try to keep up with the plot.’ To which Adam Driver‘s Toby replies, “There’s a plot?!”

Having watched, there is no way these roles would have been better served by other actors. Pryce walks the perfect line between madness and sadness. His commitment from beat to beat is the glue that keeps the story moving along its absurdist pace. But it is Driver who had me belly laughing every time a “FUCK” was spewed with genuine intention. I’ll have to go back and watch again if only to count the number of “F” words, each precisely placed and completely warranted. It’s sheer perfection. There is no doubt that Toby is Terry… and Don Quixote. The love that is so obviously infused within the film will be evident to anyone familiar with Gilliam and his fantastic passion project. It’s a combination of hilarity and insanity. The Man Who Killed Don Quixote and filmmakers like Terry Gilliam are the reasons we go to the movies.

Screen Media will then give the film a theatrical run starting April 19th.

The Man Who Killed Don Quixote stars Adam Driver, Jonathan Pryce, Stellan Skarsgard, Olga Kurylenko and Jordi Molla.

Trailer for ‘BLOODFEST’, in Theaters and On Demand August 31st!

presents

BLOODFESTSynopsis:

Fans flock to a festival celebrating the most iconic horror movies, only to discover that the charismatic showman behind the event has a diabolical agenda. As attendees start dying off, three teenagers with more horror-film wits than real-world knowledge must band together and battle through every madman, monstrosity, and terrifying scenario if they have any hope of surviving.

In Theaters & On Demand on August 31, 2018

 Written and Directed by: Owen Egerton

Starring: Tate Donovan (The Untouchables, The Only Boy Living in New York,”The O.C.”), Robbie Kay (“Once Upon a Time”), Seychelle Gabriel (The Last Airbender, “Falling Skies”, “Sleepy Hollow”), Jacob Batalon (Spider-Man: Homecoming and Avengers: Infinity War, Every Day, and The True Don Quixote), and Barbara Dunkelman (RWBY), Nick Rutherford, Chris Doubek, Rebecca Wagner and Zachary Levi

Executive Producers: Matt Hullum, Burnie Burns, and Ryan P. Hall

Producers: Seth Caplan, Will Hyde, and Ezra Venetos

 

Review: ‘IDEAL HOME’ is filled with love and laughs.

presents

IDEAL HOMEA film by Andrew Fleming

Synopsis: IDEAL HOME is the touching and humorous story of Erasmus and Paul (Steve Coogan and Paul Rudd), a bickering gay couple whose life is turned inside out when a ten-year old boy shows up at their door claiming to be Erasmus’ grandson. Neither Paul, nor Erasmus, are ready to give up their extravagant lifestyles to be parents, but maybe this little kid has thing or two to teach them about the value of family.

Steve Coogan and Paul Rudd make a convincing couple in this absurdly hilarious and heartwarming comedy. Coogan plays eccentricity to the max as reality tv chef and newfound grandfather. His commitment to a joke, visually or otherwise, has definitely met its match in costar Paul Rudd. What makes Rudd’s performance so spectacular is the subtle mannerisms and genuine emotional connection to his character’s backstory. Redemption and the desire to make the relationship between Erasmus and Paul last drives the performance’s authenticity. Jack Gore as mistreated young Bill is the epitome of a child with no filter. Although still so young, he possesses the maturity that any writer or director would die to work with. The comic chemistry is delicious and the film’s message that a family is about love and learning is front and center through raunchy humor and tender truth. It’s a gorgeous nod to the LGBT community and their families. We need more of these stories. I have to say that Ideal Home is undoubtedly one of my favorites of the year. I am sold. 

Opening in theaters and VOD on June 29th

Written & Directed by Andrew Fleming (The CraftDickHamlet 2)
Starring Steve Coogan, Paul Rudd, Jack Gore (BillionsWonder Wheel), Jake McDorman (Lady Bird, CBS’s 2018 revival of Murphy BrownLimitless the TV series, Shameless), Alison Pill
Produced by Aaron Ryder, Maria Teresa Arida,
Clark Peterson, Maxime Remillard
Executive Producers Steve Coogan, Gabrielle Tana, Lisa Wolofsky

Tribeca Film Festival Review: ‘Tully’ is the perfect movie to see this weekend.

Diablo Cody, Jason Reitman, and Charlize Theron have managed to capture the very essence of what Motherhood feels like on a primal level. Wrapped in wit and honesty, Tully encapsulates the sheer exhaustion, frustration, elation, confusion, anger, pride, adoration and everything in between. It’s in the film’s specificity that creates a sense of, “Oh, my God, yes. Finally, someone gets it!” Spilled breastmilk, changing diapers, juggling schedules, sleep deprivation, the feeling of complete isolation. As a mother of a 1 and 2-year-old, while portions of the premiere audience laughed, I teared up and nodded because while it was indeed hilarious, it was also so true. I have experienced every single moment Theron’s character does in some form or fashion. We are living the same truth. Cody has a knack for turning the ordinary into extraordinary with her scripts. Theron is as real and charismatic as ever. The film is an opportunity for Mothers to feel seen and heard. It is an opportunity for their partners to peer behind the ever-cracking facades of messy buns, leggings, and maybe a little mascara and chapstick if you’re lucky. Mother’s Day is this weekend. Go see this film and call your Mom, Wife, or Sister, and say, “Thank you, now how can I help?”

 

 

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: ‘The Misguided’

The Misguided

Theatrical Release: January 26, 2018

Guest review from Reel Reviews Over Brews

University dropout Levi (Caleb Galati) is a young man incapable of holding down a steady job and has a reputation of taking advantage of his romantic partners for his own selfish reasons, especially in gaining financial support. Having suddenly become single and homeless, he begrudgingly has to approach his overbearing big brother Wendel (Steven J. Mihaljevich) for temporary help with a place of residence until he can sort out his troubled relationship. Wendel truly loves Levi, and is a captivating and manipulating personality with a special talent of drawing others toward him. He has big dreams for himself but is ill equipped to fulfil any of them, being a drug addict and part time dealer with a deficient memory. He also struggles with personal sexual and mental issues and a fear of loneliness. Shortly after lodging with his brother, Levi begins a romance with his Wendel’s ex-girlfriend Sanja (Jasmine Nibali), and plans to start a new independent life for himself with his partner in a new city to finally become self-sufficient. But when he learns of a deadly predicament Wendel faces, his loyalties between those closest to him and his sense of familial duty become divided, and a reciprocal sense of duty to assist his bro results in a tricky scheme of subterfuge.

When we first heard about The Misguided, we kept reading how this would be Katherine Langford‘s (13 Reasons Why) first film role. This got us extremely excited as we loved her in the Netflix hit. Well, we found ourselves disappointed on this end because although, yes, it was her first film role, it was a very minute role with very few scenes.  Jasmine Nibali did however do a spectacular job as the lead woman. Between Nibali and Mihaljevich the acting was far better than expected. We found ourselves really enjoying Nibali and couldn’t get enough of Mihaljevich‘s dark story. The premise of The Misguided is great! Feels as though you are watching an in-depth documentary. A classic story between love and family. We didn’t see the ending coming either. Those however, are the only few things we liked about The Misguided. We found it extremely hard to follow. It was very jumpy and things weren’t cleared up before they threw us into the next scene… and we get that’s what Shannon Alexander was going for, but it just didn’t work for us. With a few tweaks and (in our opinion) a little more Katherine Langford, The Misguided had potential to be a top movie this year. If we were to give it a second watch, we do think we’d understand A LOT more. Thus making it more enjoyable (even earning a higher rating from us), but it doesn’t seem likely we’ll be getting around to that anytime soon…

Reel ROB Rating: 2 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: Get Entangled In ‘Entanglement’

Entanglement

Theatrical Release: February 9, 2018

Available On Demand & Digital HD: February 9, 2018

Guest review from Reel Reviews Over Brews

While searching for the meaning of his existence, Ben Layten (Thomas Middleditch) uncovers a family secret that leads him to a woman named Hanna… But when he and Hanna (Jess Weixler) inadvertently fall in love, his life becomes increasingly and strangely complicated. Ben starts to realize that everything is amazingly and incredibly connected – and that the world might just be more inexplicable than he ever imagined.

Thomas Middleditch (yes, the guy from the Verizon commercials) nails the role of hopeless moper. Thomas takes Ben’s story of wanting to give up on life and trying to figure out where it all went wrong and makes it entirely relate-able. So much so, that it caused us to become completely invested in his story and rooting for him to find the answers he was looking for. To continue on the acting, Jess Weixler as Hanna was absolutely captivating! We became as fixated on her as Ben. We can’t leave out Diana Bang either. Shout out to whomever put the cast together on this one. They didn’t miss.

Part of the plot was, every decision you make splits into many parallel universes. This is something we LOVED! We’ve heard theories on this throughout the years and its a theory we always get caught up in. To think there is a parallel universe out there that took the path we didn’t choose blows our minds because we can totally see it. Just imagine, there is a parallel universe somewhere out there and Reel Reviews Over Brews is writing about how much they hated this movie. It made us even more invested in Entanglement.

There were a few scenes that were taken over by images of fantasy. We wish the director had stayed away from this and stayed more grounded to reality… although we do understand why Jason James did this, it just felt unnecessary.

With that being said, we really enjoyed this movie and believe it’ll be very easy for viewers to become “entangled” in Entanglement.

Reel ROB Rating: 3.25 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: ‘Almost Friends’ is Almost Great

Almost Friends

Theatrical Release: November 17, 2017

On Demand & Digital HD: November 17, 2017

Guest review from Reel Reviews Over Brews

Once a promising young chef, Charlie (Freddie Highmore) is now an unmotivated twenty-something who lives at home with his mom (Marg Helgenberger) and stepfather while working at a small movie theatre and living vicariously through his best friend, Ben (Haley Joel Osment). His life takes an unpredictable turn however, when he finds himself falling for local barista Amber (Odeya Rush). Problem is, Amber has her own distractions – her mooching roommate (Jake Abel), a track star boyfriend (Taylor John Smith), and steadfast plans to move to New York City. On top of that, Charlie’s estranged father (Chris Meloni) unexpectedly re-enters his life just as he begins to take a long, hard look at where he’s going and who he wants to be. With conflict after conflict piling on, will Charlie reach his tipping point or will he finally find the path forward?

Without looking it up, can you remember the last movie you saw Freddie Highmore in? August Rush is the movie we were thinking. Although we find it hard for him to top his performance in August RushFreddie played the part of Charlie well. A little awkward, but that is exactly what the role called for. It’s nice seeing that he didn’t become another washed up childhood actor. Speaking of… Haley Joel Osment… What ever happened to him you ask? We occasionally wonder the same thing until he pops up as a character actor in Almost Friends or even TuskOdeya Rush (who we think looks like Mila Kunis) is one of the brightest spots in this movie. We’ve only seen her in Almost Friends and Goosebumps, but we liked her in both. Keep an eye out for her in the future. We predict her to be another up and coming star. Looking at some of the big names this cast provides, we would have expected the movie to be a little better. Now, we say a little better because we didn’t hate Almost Friends at all. We actually found ourselves to enjoy this movie about life and how fast/hard it can hit you. Sure it had its moments when a scene felt drawn out, but it also had some laugh out loud moments and a few that felt all to real. By the end of the film we found ourselves feeling pretty good and for that reason Almost Friends is almost great.

Reel ROB Rating: 3.25 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!