Review: Dave Franco’ directorial debut ‘The Rental’ may make you choose a staycation.

Two couples on an oceanside getaway grow suspicious that the host of their seemingly perfect rental house may be spying on them. Before long, what should have been a celebratory weekend trip turns into something far more sinister, as well-kept secrets are exposed and the four old friends come to see each other in a whole new light. Alison Brie, Dan Stevens, Jeremy Allen White, and Sheila Vand star in this unnerving and sophisticated debut thriller from Dave Franco (NEIGHBORS, IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK, THE DISASTER ARTIST).

My husband happens to have an Airbnb listing. Dave Franco just made our lives a whole lot more difficult and I’m not even mad about it. With one hell of a cast at his behest, he dives headfirst into the feature-length game with The Rental. The script is juicy and unafraid. Dan Stevens, Alison Brie, Sheila Band, and Jeremy Allen White leave you enmeshed in their emotional baggage. From the very first scene, you feel a subconscious bait and switch in the blocking. As someone who has always had close colleagues of the opposite sex, boundaries are constantly an issue regardless of relationship status. Two couples silently pitted against one another but the dynamics are not what you’d expect. It’s the secrets and lies that drive this plot forward. Add in a more sinister element and you’ve got a storyline that you will not see coming. Alongside Franco in the screenwriting seat in Joe Swanberg, who you can always count on for some true to life complexities. This was a great pairing.

Dan Stevens, whose star has been steadily rising since his departure from Downton Abbey, is strong as ever. We know by now he’s a full-blown Hollywood star. Sheila Vand, who just so happens to be the star of one of my very favorite films of all time, (A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night) is having an excellent year with Snowpiercer the TV series and The Wave. Here, once again, she is a tour de force. She’s an empowered role model while certainly owning her own failures. Alison Brie feels like a quieter presence but in reality, we are her character for more of the film than we realize. Jeremy Allen White might actually be the most sympathetic of the four. The challenge to his past transgressions is huge. These are really only things that struck me in ful as I have been sitting on them since viewing. 

These characters and performances are ridiculously nuanced. You may find yourself not wanting to root for them at one moment but then screaming at the screen the next. It’s confusing and manipulative and I am here for it all. The idyllic setting and isolation add to both the tension and the endgame. Without spoiling anything, it was an incredibly smart choice. Heads up, there is a very brief false ending. You better sit still if you want some real answers. I can safely say I want more from Franco is this is any indication of what he can do. The Rental genuinely through me for a loop in the best way possible. 

IFC Films will release THE RENTAL in select Drive-Ins, Theaters and On Demand on Friday, July 24, 2020.

THE RENTAL is the directorial debut of Dave Franco (Neighbors, If Beale Street Could Talk, The Disaster Artist) from a script co-written by Franco and  Joe Swanberg (“Easy”, Drinking Buddies). The thriller/horror film stars Alison Brie (“GLOW,” Sleeping With Other People), Dan Stevens (“Downton Abbey,” Beauty and the Beast), Jeremy Allen White (“Shameless”, Movie 43) and Sheila Vand (“Snowpiercer,” A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night).

Review: ‘PERMISSION’ allows an audience to ask ‘what if?’ for themselves.

***Official Selection of the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival***

Anna (Rebecca Hall) and Will (Dan Stevens), were each other’s first every-things: first kiss, first love, first and only relationship. Now, 10 years in, at Anna’s 30th birthday party, as Will is about to propose, the couple’s best friend makes a drunken toast, suggesting that they should sleep around before their inevitable marriage. The joke lands like a lead balloon, but the thought lingers until Anna proposes that they try opening their relationship – as a sexual experiment. Together, they venture out of the purely monogamous boundaries of their relationship and, along the way, evolve.

Permission is one of the most honest portrayals of how awkward true intimacy is. When you are so comfortable with someone to the point of predictability, does that have the potential to become a death sentence for a relationship? Life’s ‘what ifs” are some of the most tempting ideas a person can entertain. The chemistry between the entire cast is palpable. You will find yourself falling in love with Hall and Stevens and definitely crushing on Arnaud, Gershon, Craig, Spector, and Sudeikis. This true ensemble of actors along with writer/director Brian Crano has given us a gift. What may appear on the surface as small moments in the script are incredibly impactful due to some really brilliant acting and writing. Permission has an authenticity that sneaks up on you. It’s those moments that define the story and make it so relatable. The music is perfectly paired with each scene, almost becoming its own fly on the wall secondary cast member. Overall, the film is a refreshing look at adult relationships. It’s fun and engrossing and different. It dares to challenge the typical rom-com genre and that’s why you should seek it out.

Permission is in theaters today! Check out the trailer below.

Starring Rebecca Hall (Christine, Professor Marston and the Wonder Women), Dan Stevens (Beauty and the Beast, Downton Abbey)Gina Gershon (Empire), Francois Arnaud (Midnight Texas), David Joseph Craig (The Gift), Morgan Spector (Chuck, Boardwalk Empire), and Jason Sudeikis

Written and Directed By Brian Crano (A Bag of Hammers, Dog Food)

Produced by Rebecca Hall, Margot Hand, Girl Tharan, Joshua Thurston

Review: ‘Kill Switch’… The Way We Want Video Game Movies To Be

Kill Switch

Theatrical Release Date: June 16, 2017

Guest review from Reel Reviews Over Brews

Kill Switch is a video game style movie that takes place in a future world. In this future world an experiment is taking place to produce unlimited energy, which is being taken from parallel universes. The experiment takes a turn for the worse and pilot/physicist, Will Porter (Dan Stevens), is stuck in one of the collapsing parallel universes. Will is a wanted man in this parallel world and is being chased by rebels, drones, and soldiers. His mission is a race against time trying to get the Redivider Box to the energy tower. If he is able to complete this mission he will not only save his family, but all of humanity.

When we first heard the movie Kill Switch was coming out and was video game-esque, we immediately thought that it was going to be based on the video game Kill Switch that came out for Xbox and PlayStation 2 back in 2003, of course, those who only play www.casinodames.com don’t know anything about it, which we were absolutely obsessed with. Well, it wasn’t. The game was third person… the movie was in first person and the stories were completely different. However, this did not play a factor in us liking the movie. We actually really enjoyed Kill Switch the movie! An absolutely awesome and unique way to shoot a film. It literally felt like playing a first person video game, especially with the sick graphics. We love video games, but one thing we’ve heard people say in the past is that the way video games spin and turn so much it makes them feel sick. Well, if you fall into this category then this movie won’t be for you.

Dan Stevens played a great role as Will, even though there were only a few scenes he was actually in (most of the movie was just his voice, as it was shot 90% in first person). It was hard not to get caught up with the story line. Is Will going to make it to the energy tower in time!? Will he survive through all of these beatings he is taking!? It is a very action packed hour and a half. When the movie ended, we were left with one question… What would it be like if they did a reboot of the Doom franchise and shot it like Kill Switch? Maybe it could actually give Doom a leg to stand on because they really did the game an injustice with the original movie attempt. The game was one of our favorites growing up! Used to play it on the computer all of the time. The movie however… woof! This is the way we would love to see video game movies. Could definitely change the bad rep they have been getting. It’s certainly worth a try!

Reel ROB Rating: 4.25 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 for them!

Disney’s Upcoming ‘Beauty and the Beast’ Adaptation Has Found its Beast..and Gaston!

MV5BMTY0NTY5OTI2MF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNDkzMzIxMzE@._V1_

The Hollywood Reporter has revealed that Walt Disney Pictures has selected Dan Stevens (The Guest) to play the iconic Beast in it’s upcoming adaptation of the Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont’s classic fairy tale. Stevens will work opposite Emma Watson’ as she is set to take on the role of Belle in the upcoming live-action film. But wait! There’s more! Luke Evans (Dracula Untold) is set to take on the role of Gaston! The film will be directed by Bill Condon (The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn) and produced by David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman of Mandeville Films.

luke-evans

This continues the trend of live action Disney adaptations that have been hitting theaters of late, which started with the highly successful Alice in Wonderland in 2010 and continued with last years Maleficent. Next week marks the live action return of Cinderella as the Kenneth Branagh directed film hits theaters. Disney also will release a live action Jungle Book in early 2016.

Saturn Awards Nominations Have Been Announced!

Saturn_Award-917x1024

The Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films has announced the nominations for this year’s 41st Annual Saturn Awards and we have your list of nominees below!

On the movie side, Captain America: The Winter Soldier leads the nominations this year with a total of 11, including Best Comic Book-to-Film Release with  Interstellar close behind with 10 nominations. Guardians of the Galaxy chimes in with 9 nominations.

On the television, The Walking Dead leads with 7 nominations with Agent Carter and The Flash both receiving three each.

New this year is Best Superhero Adaptation Television Series, a special category to consider television series which are derived from comic book super heroes! An award sure to spark great debate amongst the legions of fans of these shows.

This year’s winners will be announced at the 41st Annual Saturn Awards, which takes place on June 25.

MOVIES

Best Comic Book-to-Film Release:

  • The Amazing Spider-Man 2
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past

Best Science Fiction Film Release:

  • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
  • Edge of Tomorrow
  • Godzilla
  • The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1
  • Interstellar
  • The Zero Theorem

Best Fantasy Film Release:

  • Birdman
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
  • Into the Woods
  • Maleficent
  • Paddington

Best Horror Film Release:

  • Annabelle
  • The Babadook
  • Dracula Untold
  • Horns
  • Only Lovers Left Alive
  • The Purge: Anarchy

Best Thriller Film Release:

  • American Sniper
  • The Equalizer
  • Gone Girl
  • The Guest
  • The Imitation Game
  • Nightcrawler

Best Action / Adventure Film Release:

  • Exodus: Gods and Kings
  • Inherent Vice
  • Lucy
  • Noah
  • Snowpiercer
  • Unbroken

Best Actor in a Film:

  • Tom Cruise – Edge of Tomorrow
  • Chris Evans – Captain America: The Winter Soldier
  • Jake Gyllenhaal – Nightcrawler
  • Michael Keaton – Birdman
  • Matthew McConaughey – Interstellar
  • Chris Pratt  – Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Dan Stevens – The Guest

Best Actress in a Film:

  • Emily Blunt – Edge of Tomorrow
  • Essie Davis – The Babadook
  • Anne Hathaway – Interstellar
  • Angelina Jolie – Maleficent
  • Jennifer Lawrence – The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1
  • Rosemund Pike – Gone Girl

Best Supporting Actor in a Film:

  • Richard Armitage  – The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
  • Josh Brolin – Inherent Vice
  • Samuel L. Jackson – Captain America: The Winter Soldier
  • Anthony Mackie – Captain America: The Winter Soldier
  • Andy Serkis – Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
  • J.K. Simmons – Whiplash

Best Supporting Actress in a Film:

  • Jessica Chastain – Interstellar
  • Scarlett Johansson – Captain America: The Winter Soldier
  • Evangeline Lily – The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
  • Rene Russo – Nightcrawler
  • Emma Stone – Birdman
  • Meryl Streep – Into the Woods

Best Performance by a Younger Actor in a Film:

  • Elle Fanning – Maleficent
  • MacKenzie Foy – Interstellar
  • Chloe Grace Moretz – The Equalizer
  • Tony Revolori – The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Kodi Smit-McPhee – Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
  • Noah Wiseman – The Babadook

Best Film Director:

  • Alejandro G. Innarritu – Birdman
  • James Gunn – Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Doug Liman – Edge of Tomorrow
  • Christopher Nolan – Interstellar
  • Matt Reeves – Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
  • Joe Russo, Anthony Russo – Captain America: The Winter Soldier
  • Bryan Singer – X-Men: Days of Future Past

Best Film Writing:

  • Captain America: Winter Soldier – Stephen McFeely, Christopher Markus
  • Edge of Tomorrow – Christopher McQuarrie, Jez Butterworth, John-Henry Butterworth
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel – Wes Anderson
  • Guardians of the Galaxy – James Gunn, Nicole Perlman
  • The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies – Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson, Guillermo del Toro
  • Whiplash – Damien Chazelle

Best Film Editing:

  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier – Jeffrey Ford, Matthew Schmidt
  • Edge of Tomorrow – James Herbert, Laura Jennings
  • Guardians of the Galaxy – Fred Raskin, Hughes Winborne, Craig Wood
  • Interstellar – Lee Smith
  • Unbroken – William Goldenberg, Tim Squyres
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past – John Ottman

Best Film Production Design:

  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier – Peter Wenham
  • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes – James Chinlund
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel – Adam Stockhausen
  • Guardians of the Galaxy – Charles Wood
  • Interstellar – Nathan Crowley
  • Into the Woods – Dennis Gassner

Best Film Music:

  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier – Henry Jackman
  • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes – Michael Giacchino
  • Godzilla – Alexandre Desplat
  • The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies – Howard Shore
  • How to Train Your Dragon 2 – John Powell
  • Interstellar – Hans Zimmer

Best Film Costume:

  • Dracula Untold – Ngila Dickson
  • Exodus: Gods and Kings – Janty Yates
  • Guardians of the Galaxy – Alexandra Byrne
  • Into the Woods – Colleen Atwood
  • Maleficent – Anna B. Sheppard
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past – Louise Mingenbach

Best Film Make-Up:

  • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes – Bill Terezakis, Lisa Love
  • Dracula Untold  – Mark Coulier, Daniel Phillips
  • Guardians of the Galaxy – David White, Elizabeth Yianni-Georgiou
  • The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies – Peter King, Rick Findlater, Gino Acevedo
  • Into the Woods – Peter King, Matthew Smith
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past – Adrien Morot, Norma Hill-Patton

Best Film Special/Visual Effects:

  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier – Dan Daleeuw, Russell Earl, Bryan Grill, Dan Sudick
  • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes – Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Daniel Barrett, Erik Winquist
  • Edge of Tomorrow – Gary Brozenich, Nick Davis, Jonathan Fawkner, Matthew Rouleau
  • Guardians of the Galaxy – Stephane Ceretti, Nicholas Aithadi, Jonathan Fawkner, Paul Corbould
  • The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies – Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton, R. Christopher White
  • Interstellar – Paul Franklin, Andrew Lockley, Ian Hunter, Scott Fisher

Best Independent Film Release:

  • Grand Piano
  • I, Origins
  • A Most Violent Year
  • The One I Love
  • The Two Faces of January
  • Whiplash

Best International Film Release:

  • Bird People
  • Calvary
  • Force Majeur
  • Mood Indigo
  • The Railway Man
  • The Theory of Everything

Best Animated Film Release:

  • Big Hero 6
  • The Boxtrolls
  • How to Train Your Dragon 2
  • The Lego Movie
  • The Wind Rises

TELEVISION

Best Network Television Series:

  • The Blacklist
  • The Following
  • Grimm
  • Hannibal
  • Person of Interest
  • Sleepy Hollow

Best Syndicated / Cable Television Series:

  • 12 Monkeys
  • American Horror Story: Freak Show
  • Continuum
  • Falling Skies
  • Salem
  • The Strain
  • The Walking Dead

Best Limited Run Television Series:

  • Bates Motel
  • From Dusk Till Dawn
  • Game of Thrones
  • The Last Ship
  • The Librarians
  • Outlander

Best Superhero Adaptation Television Series:

  • Agent Carter
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
  • Arrow
  • Constantine
  • The Flash
  • Gotham

Best Youth-Oriented Television Series:

  • The 100
  • Doctor Who
  • Pretty Little Liars
  • Supernatural
  • Teen Wolf
  • The Vampire Diaries

Best Actor in a Television Series:

  • Hugh Dancy – Hannibal
  • Grant Gustin – The Flash
  • Andrew Lincoln – The Walking Dead
  • Tobias Menzies – Outlander
  • Mads Mikkelsen – Hannibal
  • Noah Wyle – Falling Skies

Best Actress in a Television Series:

  • Hayley Atwell – Agent Carter
  • Caitronia Balfe – Outlander
  • Vera Farmiga – Bates Motel
  • Jessica Lange – American Horror Story: Freak Show
  • Rachel Nichols – Continuum
  • Rebecca Romjin – The Librarians

Best Supporting Actor in a Television Series:

  • David Bradley – The Strain
  • Laurence Fishburne – Hannibal
  • Sam Heughan – Outlander
  • Erik Knudsen – Continuum
  • Norman Reedus – The Walking Dead
  • Richard Samuel – The Strain

Best Supporting Actress in a Television Series:

  • Emilia Clarke – Game of Thrones
  • Jenna Coleman – Doctor Who
  • Caroline Dhavernas – Hannibal
  • Lexa Doig – Continuum
  • Emily Kinney – The Walking Dead
  • Melissa McBride – The Walking Dead

Best Performance by a Younger Actor in a Television Series:

  • Camren Bicondova – Gotham
  • Maxim Knight – Falling Skies
  • Tyler Posey – Teen Wolf
  • Chandler Riggs – The Walking Dead
  • Holly Taylor – The Americans
  • Maisie Williams – Game of Thrones

Best Guest Performance in a Television Series:

  • Dominic Cooper – Agent Carter
  • Neil Patrick Harris – American Horror Story: Freak Show
  • John Larroquette – The Librarians
  • Wentworth Miller – The Flash
  • Michael Pitt – Hannibal
  • Andrew J. West – The Walking Dead

HOME ENTERTAINMENT:

Best DVD/BD Release:

  • Beneath (IFC Film Release)
  • Blue Ruin
  • Odd Thomas
  • Ragnarok
  • White Bird in a Blizzard
  • Wolf Creek 2

Best DVD/BD Special Edition Release:

  • Alexander: The Ultimate Cut
  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Extended Edition
  • Nightbreed: The Director’s Cut
  • Once Upon a Time in America: Extended Director’s Cut
  • Sorcerer
  • The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: 40th Anniversary Collector’s Edition

Best DVD/BD Television Release:

  • Batman: The Complete Television Series
  • Hannibal: Season 2
  • Merlin: The Complete Series
  • Spartacus: The Complete Series
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation: Season 7
  • Twin Peaks: The Entire Mystery
  • Wizards and Warriors: The Complete Series

Best DVD/BD Collection Release:

  • The Exorcist: The Complete Anthology
  • Halloween: The Complete Collection
  • Stanley Kubrick: The Masterpiece Collection
  • Steven Spielberg Director’s Collection
  • Toho Godzilla Collection
  • Universal Classic Monsters: Complete 30 Film Collection

LIVE STAGE PRODUCTION:

Best Local Live Stage Production:

  • Damn Yankees (3-D Theatricals)
  • Ghost Brothers of Darkland County (Saban Theatre)
  • The Last Confession (Ahmanson Theatre)
  • Pippin (Segerstrom Center for the Arts)
  • Ragtime (3-D Theatricals)
  • Stoneface: The Rise and Fall and Rise of Buster Keaton (Pasadenia Playhouse)
  • The Wizard of Oz (Segerstrom Center for the Arts)