Review: ‘The Dark End Of The Street’ will capture your attention.

Set in an idyllic, suburban community where someone is killing other residents’ pets, The Dark End of the Street focuses on several characters over the course of one long night: a lonely woman mourning her dog, the culprit committing the violent acts, an overly concerned family man, and restless teenagers. And over this night, their worlds will intertwine in ways none of them ever could have expected.

Even though made on a micro-budget, talent looms large in The Dark End of the Street. In a cool 70 minutes, this film tackles paranoia, generational differences, hard life choices, typical suburban teen life, family dynamics, all against the backdrop of an unknown neighborhood sociopath. The screenplay feels reminiscent of other great vignette films like Playing By Heart and GO. Performances, a few from faces you will recognize from various projects big and small, are all wonderful. There is a beautiful level of intimacy woven into the scenes. You are instantly drawn into the lives of each character. These are conversations, or some form of them, that we’ve experienced. They discuss safety, the longing for recaptured youth, boredom, impending parenthood, and the death of a life once lived.  Despite the implicated (never actually shown) violence, The Dark End Of The Street is universally relatable. Coupled with interesting cinematography that shows an eye for detail, Kevin Tran’s little indie drama is incredibly impactful.

Gravitas Venture is releasing The Dark End of the Street nationwide on VOD today, August 11th.

The Dark End of the Street stars Scott Friend, Lindsay Burdge, Brooke Bloom, Jim Parrack, Michael Cyril Creighton, Jennifer Kim, Daniel K. Isaac, Anthony Chisholm, and Rod Luzzi.
It is written and directed by Kevin TRAN.
Color
English Language
70 minutes
Not Rated

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: ‘LOVE IS BLIND’ is unlike anything you’ve seen this year.

 funny and irresistible story of a young girl who literally cannot see or hear her mother, even though she is living with her under the same roof. With the help of an eccentric psychiatrist, and a local, accidental hero, our heroine has to grow up, but falls in love and eventually takes hold of her future – despite not being able to see what’s right in front of her.

Love Is Blind is visually and conceptually spectacular. It taps into the emotional versus logical. We create our own reality for many different reasons; coping from loss, anxiety, or simply in an attempt more perfect environment for our imaginations to flourish.

The craziest thing is that to say much more about the plot is to do it a disservice. It’s almost indescribable. Love Is Blind challenges the notion of being an to heal inside and out. It’s about human connection.

The film has an enveloping feel of hyper-saturated colors. The soundtrack is hypnotizing. The narration adds to the whimsy. The script features beautifully nuanced characters. Quirky personalities all come together to make for an engrossing story. The cast is unreal and the performances across-the-board are a delight. Shannon Tarbet, Aidan Turner, Benjamin Walker, Matthew Broderick, and Chloë Sevigny take this charming as hell script and run with it. The film is co-directed by Monty Whitebloom and Andy Delaney from a script by Jennifer Schuur. It is important for me to note, as a mother of a toddler on the spectrum, to see a character represented with such life and humor is amazing. Love Is Blind is undeniably one of the most unique indie films I’ve seen in quite a while.

Uncork’d Entertainment will release the romantic comedy LOVE IS BLIND in theaters and on Digital and On Demand on November 8, 2019.

LOVE IS BLIND stars Shannon Tarbet (“Killing Eve,” Colette), Aidan Turner (The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then The Bigfoot, The Hobbit franchise), Benjamin Walker (“Jessica Jones,” In the Heart of the Sea), Matthew Broderick (“Better Things,” The Producers), and Chloë Sevigny (“The Act,” The Dead Don’t Die).  The film is co-directed by Monty Whitebloom and Andy Delaney (“Polarbearman”) from a script by Jennifer Schuur (“Big Love,” “The Catch”).

 

Review: Indie gem ‘CHAINED FOR LIFE’ is finally in theaters today.

Presents
The widely acclaimed festival hit! Currently 100% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes…

CHAINED FOR LIFE

Directed by Aaron Schimberg

Building on the promise of his hallucinogenic debut Go Down Death, filmmaker Aaron Schimberg delivers another brilliantly oddball, acerbically funny foray into gonzo surrealism. In a deft tragicomic performance, Jess Weixler (Teeth) plays Mabel, a movie star “slumming it” in an outré art-horror film being shot in a semi-abandoned hospital. Cast opposite her is Rosenthal (Under the Skin’s Adam Pearson), a gentle-natured young man with a severe facial deformity. As their relationship evolves both on and offscreen, Schimberg raises provocative questions about cinematic notions of beauty, representation, and exploitation. Tod Browning crossed with Robert Altman crossed with David Lynch only begins to describe something this startlingly original and deeply felt.

There is something so extraordinary about this film. Not only does it ooze charm, but it’s a comment about representation in Hollywood. The dialogue is equal parts tongue in cheek as it is completely serious. It has a very indie cinematography style, as well. The script is completely engrossing, start to finish. Each film homage tucked inside Aaron Schimberg’s film is carefully crafted. A film within a film within a film, there are moments that feel mind-blowingly meta. The lines between fantasy and reality are often blurred creating an effect on the audience that is hypnotizing.
Jess Weixler easily represents us as the audience. Her sincerity and ability to relate on an emotional level are super refreshing. Her performance feels natural and grounded.  Chained for Life also sees the return of Charlie Korsmo ( a childhood crush since Dick Tracy) as the eccentric Director. The level of commitment to this character makes me miss him on-screen all the more. And now we come to our leading man, Adam Pearson. I am completely obsessed with this man. He is phenomenal. I cannot remember the last time a performance felt less like a performance and just simply a documentary. He is mesmerizing and I implore more writers and directors to seek him out and create content for him. The world needs it. Giving voice to those who are almost always exploited for their unique appearance, Chained For Life is a special opportunity to explore inclusiveness, not just in film, but every day.

 

OPENS WED, SEP 11 at IFC CENTER (NYC)
& FRI, SEP 13 at LANDMARK NUART (LA)
(followed by national rollout)
**World Premiere: BAM cinemaFEST 2018**
**Fantasia Film Festival 2018**
**BFI London Film Festival 2019**
**Sarasota Film Festival 2019**
**Chicago Underground Film Festival 2019**
**Fantastic Fest 2019**

 

Review: ‘ The Endless’ is an unsettling trip.

THE ENDLESS

Directed by Justin Benson & Aaron Moorhead

Written by Justin Benson

Starrs Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead, Callie Hernandez, Emily Montague, Lew Temple, Tate Ellington, James Jordan

Synopsis: Following their Lovecraftian modern cult classic SPRING, acclaimed filmmakers Moorhead and Benson return with this mind-bending thriller that follows two brothers who receive a cryptic video message inspiring them to revisit the UFO death cult they escaped a decade earlier. Hoping to find the closure that they couldn’t as young men, they’re forced to reconsider the cult’s beliefs when confronted with unexplainable phenomena surrounding the camp. As the members prepare for the coming of a mysterious event, the brothers race to unravel the seemingly impossible truth before their lives become permanently entangled with the cult.

The Endless is a truly mindbending cinematic experience. The story alone is strange enough but when combined with breathtaking cinematography and some serious FX, you’ve got one of the coolest films so far this year. It addresses the question of cult mentality and what we consider to be familial relationships. The Endless begs for multiple viewings and not just because you think you might be able to figure out exactly what’s happening, though that’s definitely a reason. You’ll come back for cool visuals, solid performances from the entire cast, and really snappy dialogue. There is so much going on in this film that your brain may not be able to keep up with all the awesome being thrown its way. More than once, I literally said aloud, “How’d the hell did they do that?!” Benson and Moorhead have undoubtedly given us a cult classic. To think this was all done on a limited indie budget is downright mind-blowing. The Endless will surprise you and keep you on your toes until the very final frame.
Check out the trailer below:

Opening in New York April 6th and Los Angeles April 13th with a national rollout to follow

TRT: 112 minutes

Country: USA

Language: English

Directors: Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead

Writer: Justin Benson

Cast: Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead, Callie Hernandez, Emily Montague, Lew Temple, Tate Ellington, James Jordan

 

Review: ‘VIRGINIA MINNESOTA’ is a quirky and heartfelt road movie.

 Daniel Stine’s feature film debut, Virginia Minnesota, received its world premiere on March 2nd at the Cinequest Film Festival and stars a primarily female cast led by Aurora Perrineau and Rachel Hendrix.

Two young women, torn apart by a childhood tragedy, unexpectedly reunite and embark on an illuminating 24-hour journey, where they unlock memories of long forgotten innocence and what it means to truly believe.

This unexpected indie takes your heart by surprise within minutes. It’s part folklore, part road movie, and all charm. When four girls are called together to hear the reading of the will of their former headmistress, sparks fly and memories burn with truth and misunderstanding. I was not expecting this story to turn into a road movie at all, although with a character that is a suitcase with a personality (you’ll just have to watch to understand what I mean) I guess I should have predicted it in hindsight. While a small piece of the plot does revolve around a fiancé, the dialogue definitely passes The Bechdel Test with flying colors. Aurora Perrineau and Rachel Hendrix have a chemistry that is fun and comfortable.They challenge one another at every turn making Virginia Minnesota just as delightful as it is insightful. Guilt, repressed feelings and some seriously quirky encounters create a truly lovely and endlessly engrossing film.

VIRGINIA MINNESOTA – Trailer from Daniel Stine on Vimeo.

Virginia Minnesota premiered at the 2018 Cinequest Film Festival on March 2nd at 9:30 PM.

Virginia Minnesota was recently awarded the Global Grand Jury award for Best Hollywood Film at the Hollywood Film Festival (HFF), with Aurora Perrineau and Rachel Hendrix receiving special mention as Exceptional Emerging Artists. The film is produced by Rushaway Pictures, with cinematography by Pedro Ciampolini and a score by Gary Dworetsky.

Review: ‘The Boy Downstairs’ feels close to home.

The Boy Downstairs stars Zosia Mamet (“Girls”) as Diana, a twenty-something writer who moves back to New York City after a two-year stint in London. Upon finding the perfect apartment in Brooklyn, she realizes her downstairs neighbor is actually her ex-boyfriend Ben (Matthew Shear, Mistress America) whose heart she broke when she left town. After an awkward reunion, Diana proclaims her intentions for a genuine friendship. But as old wounds are opened, both Diana and Ben are forced to confront the true nature of their feelings.

 

Mamet gives a deliciously sardonic lean to the role that is funny and honest. The manic ways of Shoshanna Shapiro are nowhere in site. This should put Mamet on some serious casting lists. First-time writer-director Sophie Brooks shows us how a person can have a hold on your soul years after parting ways. The script is really smart and refreshing. It doesn’t glamorize the requisite navigation through adult relationships, those messy, real-life moments are the little things that stick with us in the end. Reality is much more awkward and The Boy Downstairs does not shy away from confrontation or feelings. It allows the audience to reflect on their own past emotional conflicts and in this film’s particular case, flashback sequences are the backbone of the plot. Strong performances from Matthew Shear and Dierdre O’Connell make The Boy Downstairs what it is. The chemistry is astounding. Being a grownup is complicated enough, so once you introduce the complexities of love and friendship, all hell will break loose, even if it’s a quiet thing. You can see The Boy Downstairs in theaters today.

 

 

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: ‘Tomorrow Ever After’ Has Everlasting Message

Tomorrow Ever After

Theatrical Release Date: May 5, 2017

Guest review from Reel Reviews Over Brews

Tomorrow Ever After follows a woman, named Shaina (Ela Thier), who claims to have come from the year 2592. Something goes wrong while she is visiting some physicists, who experiment with time travel, and Shaina ends up stranded in 2015. As a historian in her time, she has read about the past, and refers to the time frame she is stranded in as “The Great Despair.” Shaina very quickly comes across a mugger, Milton (Nabil Viñas) and spends the entire movie, with Milton and his friends, searching for someone to help her get back to where she came from. On this journey, Shaina also gets a chance to experience things that she has studied of the past.

Tomorrow Ever After was written, directed, and produced by Ela Thier, who was also the star of the movie. The movie has taken home four awards across three different film festivals. This indie comedy did a great job keeping us interested and laughing at Shaina’s attempt of adjusting to the past’s way of life. Ela Thier did an excellent job of portraying how today’s general public looks at someone in need of help. Whether it is a woman from the future or your next door neighbor, people today don’t always jump at the chance to help a fellow person.

Throughout the movie there are plenty of moments with funny exchanges. We enjoyed watching Shaina trying to adapt and also get confused by the way things are done in “today’s” society. One of the big differences from the future is hugging. Shaina quickly realizes this is not accepted very warmly by strangers in 2015. Our biggest, and really only, complaint with Tomorrow Ever After, is Shaina was such an interesting character that we wish more of her journey was shown. The ending, being one example, leaves us with a few questions that, if answered, would have left us more fulfilled. However, Tomorrow Ever After, is a fantastic movie with an everlasting message and will leave everyone with hope for our future!

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!

Review: ‘SUN CHOKE’, is a mind melding thriller. In Theaters and on VOD.

SC-Poster-04Nothing makes me happier while watching a film than thinking I’m watching one story and then getting hit with a proverbial 2×4 in plot. It’s a ballsy move that either pays off or loses the audience. In Ben Cresciman‘s sophomore feature as both writer and director, a young woman’s health and sanity are in serious question. With the watchful eye from her lifelong caretaker, can she conquer what lies deep down. Welcome to the oddity that is SUN CHOKE.

Sarah Hagan as Janie in the thriller film SUN CHOKE an XLrator Media release. Photo courtesy of XLrator Media.

Sarah Hagan as Janie in the thriller film SUN CHOKE an XLrator Media release. Photo courtesy of XLrator Media.

This is was truly unexpected and shocking thriller. As the story unravels, we are privy to piecemeal information. Margo has a past, but what it entails is shrouded in mystery. It is PTSD? Why is she under house arrest? Irma is her 24hr watcher, mental health guidance, using extreme tactics to cleanse her body and soul of whatever is haunting Margo. When she is allowed to exit the house after a year, things get weird as Margo attaches herself to  a stranger. Will this woman be Margo’s saving grace or is there something else driving the fascination?

(L-R) Sarah Hagan as Janie and Barbara Crampton as Irma in the thriller film SUN CHOKE an XLrator Media release. Photo courtesy of XLrator Media.

(L-R) Sarah Hagan as Janie and Barbara Crampton as Irma in the thriller film SUN CHOKE an XLrator Media release. Photo courtesy of XLrator Media.

This script takes a sharp left turn and to Crescimun’s credit as a writer, it is pretty out there. While the film has left me with more questions than answers, that is precisely why I enjoyed it so immensely. It bares zero resemblance to anything I’ve seen before. With a crisp, almost sterile, and yet angelic look from Mathew Rudenberg’s cinematography, combined with the chilling original score from Boom Bip, to the  off kilter sound design by Michael Solano, SUN CHOKE will make your skin crawl.

Barbara Crampton as Irma in the thriller film SUN CHOKE an XLrator Media release. Photo courtesy of XLrator Media.

Barbara Crampton as Irma in the thriller film SUN CHOKE an XLrator Media release. Photo courtesy of XLrator Media.

Sarah Hagan, you I know best from her time of Freaks and Geeks, and the final season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, is a beautiful mixture of helpless and frightening.  With a pretty face and a soft demeanor, her actions throughout the film throw your head into a tailspin. And let’s talk about horror goddess, Barbara Crampton, as Irma. Similar to the character of Margo, the audience is unsure of her intentions. Her timeless elegance and style make her a scene-stealer with what seems like very little effort. I cannot express how wonderful she is in this role. If you want to see the pure acting ability and witness her chops as an actor and chameleon, check her out in one of my favorite films from last year, We Are Still Here, from our friend Ted Geoghegan. I am convinced she is a Time Lord or something akin to a magical creature.

 SUN CHOKE
IN THEATERS: August 5, 2016
AVAILABLE ON VOD and iTUNES: August 2, 2016
DIRECTOR: Ben Cresciman
WRITER:  Ben Cresciman
CAST: Sarah Hagan, Sara Malakul Lane and Barbara Crampton
SYNOPSIS: As Janie recovers from a violent psychotic break, she’s subjected each day to a bizarre holistic health and wellness regimen designed, and enforced, by her lifelong nanny and caretaker. But when she develops an obsession with a stranger, Janie’s buried demons begin to surface.

 

Review: ‘DON’T WORRY BABY’, Daddy’s got you.


Presents

DON’T WORRY BABYDon't Worry Baby poster

The modern family dynamic can be complicated, at best. With the divorce rate at 50%, blended families are more the norm than anything else. The idea of Mom, Dad, 2.5 kids and a dog no longer fits inside a neat little box. If anything, that’s the oddity now. In the new film DON’T WORRY BABY, writer/director Julian Branciforte takes this concept to a whole new level.

Struggling photographer Robert (Magaro) and his philandering father Harry (McDonald) realize that they each had a one-night stand with the same woman, Sara-Beth (Walker), in the same week. Years later, they realize that either one of them might be the biological father of her adorable four-year-old daughter. They begrudgingly agree to share fatherly duties while awaiting a paternity test.

Don't Worry BabyRobert and Harry are strangely pitted against one another for “father of the year” status, in an awkward competition of responsibility. Robert is not only navigating relationship normalcy but he is grasping to find happiness in general. Harry, in a sad attempt to outdo his son, uses demeaning words and actions to cut Robert down at every turn. Branciforte’s story is immensely compelling, offers moments of surprise and nothing but honesty. The performances all around are outstanding.

Dreama WalkerJohn Magaro‘s Robert battle self-loathing and confusion as he finds his way through career, life and love. This role for Magaro is proof that his natural talent is way more than enough. Chris McDonald‘s Harry is a self-righteous prick coming to terms with his own life long mistakes as father and husband. The performance is something I have to come expect from McDonald’s. There is a reason he has had such a long career. Dreama Walker, as Sara-beth, could have been a throwaway character. The ins and out of a quietly complex young woman were well played by Walker. As the film progresses, we become more and more invested in each role as Branciforte does a wonderful job developing everyone. To believe this story, this is absolutely necessary. With solid smaller roles filled by Britt Lower and Tom Lipinski, some of the film’s most shining moments come from Talia Balsam as Harry’s wife Miriam. The dynamic between Sara-beth and the woman betrayed is an unexpected one, but truly inspiring. Let me not forget to mention how fantastically darling Rainn Williams is as Mason, the young lady there is so much to do about. This little sweetheart is meant to be on the big screen. The chemistry between the entire cast combined with tight direction make this a winner.

Don't worry baby stillDON’T WORRY BABY is ultimately about making amends. Coming to terms with what we’ve created emotionally is a huge task, and it’s one that this film dives into head first. You can catch Don’t Worry Baby in theaters and On Demand this Friday, July 22nd.

In Theaters and On Demand
July 22nd

Starring
John Magaro (CarolThe Big Short, Woody Allen’s Upcoming Series)
Chris McDonald  (Happy GilmoreThelma and Louise)
Dreama Walker (CBS’s The Good Wife)
Tom Lipinski (USA Network’s Suits)
&
Talia Balsam (No Strings AttachedAMC’s Mad Men)

Written & Directed By
Julian Branciforte

Review: ‘WELCOME TO HAPPINESS’ is a quirky guide through what-if.

Presents
WELCOME TO HAPPINESS
Opening In Theaters & On Demand May 20thwelcome to happiness poster

What if you had the option to change a single moment in your past? Would you take it? We all think at some point or another, “If only I hadn’t said/done that, things would be so different!” But, do we ever think about the ripple effect of taking back that action? In Oliver Thompson‘s new festival favorite, we’re plunged into a world where this very choice is presented to a select few.welcome to happiness kyle gallner

In WELCOME TO HAPPINESS, Woody (Gallner), a children’s author, rents a strange apartment from his landlord, Moses (Offerman). There’s a magical door in Woody’s closet that allows those who go through it to erase mistakes from their past. While he was once happy to facilitate the passage of the random strangers summoned to his apartment, Woody soon begins to question why he himself is not allowed to go through.

welcome to happiness nick offermanOliver Thompson‘s duel role as writer and director suits this indie gem to a T. Stylistically vibrant and charming, WELCOME TO HAPPINESS is something akin to ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND in look and quirk factor, but most assuredly has its very own unique voice. The colorful cinematography is a brilliant reflection of each character’s momentary mood. The plot has intrinsically intertwined story lines and is full of surprisingly insightful glee all while tackling the ghost of depression. Thompson has achieved quite the feat, no doubt. welcome to happiness still brendan sexton III and

Kyle Gallner‘s performance is honest and down to earth. This might be some of his best work, although he’s always a solid performer. Nick Offerman gets the opportunity to break free from his sardonic persona to tackle a more gentle character. Given the task, he absolutely shines. It’s nice to see this side of him. Olivia Thirlby is a wonder no matter the role and Brendon Sexton III‘s ever discontented presence it perfect for this film. The cast from top to bottom is a true delight.  WELCOME TO HAPPINESS is an immensely thoughtful film without ever taking itself too seriously. This is a rare find. You can catch the movie in theaters and On Demand this Friday, May 20th. Take a peak at the trailer below!

WELCOME TO HAPPINESS Opens May 20th

The film has been awarded ‘Outstanding Achievement in Filmmaking’ at the Newport Beach Film Festival, ‘Excellence in Producing’ and ‘Producers Choice’ at the International Festival of Cinema, ‘Best Narrative Feature’ at the deadCENTER Film Festival, as well as ‘Best Ensemble Cast’ at the Phoenix Film Festival. 

Written & Directed by Oliver Thompson

Produced by Bay Dariz, Oliver Thompson, Molly C. Quinn, and Kyle Gallner

Starring
Kyle Gallner (Veronica MarsAmerican Sniper)
Olivia Thirlby (Juno)
Nick Offerman (NBC’s Parks and Recreation)
Molly C. Quinn (ABC’s Castle)
Brendan Sexton III (AMC’s The Killing)
Josh Brener (HBO’s Silicon Valley)
Keegan-Michael Key (Comedy Central’s Key and Peele)
Paget Brewster (CBS’s Criminal Minds)
Frances Conroy (FX’s American Horror Story)

Review: ‘3RD STREET BLACKOUT’ shines through the dark.

Paladin

presents

3rd street blackout poster

3RD STREET BLACKOUT

Opening TODAY April 29th

Co-created by and co-starring
Negin Farsad 
(“The Muslims Are Coming!,” “Nerdcore Rising,” TED Fellow)
and
Jeremy Redleaf
(Streamy Award Winner “Odd Jobs,” “Sesame Street”)

Also starring
Ed Weeks (“The Mindy Project”),
Phyllis Somerville (“Little Children”),
Janeane Garofalo (“Wet Hot American Summer”)
John Hodgman (“Pitch Perfect 2,” “The Daily Show”)
Jordan Carlos (“The Nightly Show”)
Sasheer Zamata (“Saturday Night Live”)

If you’re in your thirties, you can easily remember a time in your youth when IMing was mind-blowing, chat rooms were presented as a thing of fun and danger, and MySpace was the coolest new awesomeness to ever exist. Nowadays, we live and breathe by texting, messaging, tweeting, instagramming, you name it, but most of it is online and very little exists as person to person interaction. The convenience and commonality of our technological advances has, in a lot of cases, destroyed the way we communicate as human beings. Swiping right (or perhaps left? I’m not sure, I’m married) is the new way to “date”. Now don’t get me wrong, I have four very close friends who are now married because of Match.com, but have we become too reliant on technology to really connect anymore? 3RD STREET BLACKOUT tackles that very question in the funniest way possible.
3rd street still negin farsad and jeremy redleaf
Mina, a neuroscientist and TED-talker, and Rudy, an app developer, live life like any typical NYC couple today.  Texting, skyping, Netflixing and chillling their way through a seemingly healthy relationship. What happens when Hurricane Sandy rolls in and knocks out all of the power and signal, forces Mina and Rudy to confront a new conflict in old fashioned ways. Emoticons are no longer an option. Rudy escapes to Brooklyn to cool off while Mina flails in her own Manhattan environment. The two are lost without  the other and it’s not  until they break “social norms” and actually talk to one another does the problem get attention.
3rd street janeane garofalo and negin
The script is ultra intelligent and incredibly timely. I was genuinely laughing out loud the entire 87 minute run. It felt more like a sit down with my closest friends, drinking and thinking, and less like a formulaic Hollywood rom-com. The dialogue is a super natural and sailor-mouthed delight. The cast is outstanding. Co-writers/Directors/Stars, Negin Farsad and Jeremy Redleaf are fanatstic. With and “every-man” (and woman)  feel in their presence and NY attitude, I was with them from go. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the comedy stylings of Katie Hartman. Hartman plays one of Rudy’s app developer cohorts and could not be funnier. I would watch an entire film about her character, any day. Overall, I was impressed by this charming indie, chock filled with great performances from hilarious cast. I look forward to seeing more from Farsad and Redleaf in the near future.

3RD STREET BLACKOUT opens today in  NYC!
About Negin Farsad
Though this is her first collaboration with Redleaf, Farsad previously produced, directed, and starred in the documentary hit, “The Muslims Are Coming!,”  which also featured Jon Stewart, Lewis Black, Janeane Garofalo and David Cross.  She also recently completed the feature, “Nerdcore Rising” starring “Weird” Al Yankovic and MC Frontalot.   In addition to being selected as a TED Fellow, she was named one of the “50 Funniest Women” by the Huffington Post, and her first book, a memoir/manifesto entitled “How to Make White People Laugh,” will be published this May, as 3RD STREET BLACKOUT expands nationally, by Grand Central Publishing, a division of Hachette. She has also written for and appeared on various shows on Comedy Central, BBC & IFC among others.
About Jeremy Redleaf
Redleaf is an Emmy Award winning actor/writer/director/producer who has created award-winning digital, transmedia, and experiential productions through his Brackets Creative shingle, including “Odd Jobs,” winner of “Best New Web Series” at the Streamy Awards, and “Best Writing” at the International Television Festival.  As a performer, he plays Gonnigan on “Sesame Street,” narrates numerous shows for MTV, and has appeared across television, films, and commercials.

Love never dies as ‘NINA FOREVER’ comes to theaters and VOD today.

Epic Pictures Presents

NINA FOREVER

Written & directed by Ben and Chris Blaine

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Just in for Valentine’s Day weekend, there is a new trailer and bonus clip from indie horror film Nina Forever.

HOLLY wants to save ROB, has fallen in love with him. She is training to be a paramedic and works a dead end job in a supermarket where Rob is the only remarkable thing; lost and angry since the death of his girlfriend NINA. Drawn into a relationship, the first time they’re in bed together so is Nina. A tangled and bloody mess of broken limbs, she is very much dead but still here, still talking, still angry…

However Holly doesn’t freak out and run – she is determined to be the one who heals Rob’s wounds. She can deal with the dead girl sharing their bed, their lives, their minds. If it’s what Rob needs, it’s what Holly will do, whatever the consequences…

It’s sounding like a potentially more successful film than the 2014 release of Burying The Ex, starring Anton Yelchin and Ashley Greene. Seemingly similar premise, but hopefully a bit more promising. Nina Forever has been a hit on the festival circuit following its premiere at the 2015 SXSW Film Festival. On their website, http://ninaforever.com/, they have created a Spotify playlist you can access featuring the film’s soundtrack. Great marketing ploy and a bit of extra fun for fans. Just released is a clip from the film. If this is any indication of how weird and wonderful the rest of the story will play out, count me in. Stay tuned to ReelNewsDaily later on today for our full review!

Nina Forever comes the theaters and on  iTunes/VOD and other digital platforms beginning today, Friday, the 12th. Happy Bloody Valentine’s Day, Everyone!

Review: ‘CHRISTMAS, AGAIN’ is a true NYC character study.

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Presents
CHRISTMAS, AGAIN

Starring Kentucker Audley and Hannah Gross
Written, Produced & Directed by Charles Poekel

Christmas, Again poster

The holidays inevitably spark memories of both the good times and the bad. We often think of those we’ve lost, while trying desperately to cling to every last minute of holiday spirit. Some love the season. Some think it the worst time of the year. In Charles Poekel‘s CHRISTMAS, AGAIN, we are treated to both sides of the coin. Kentucker Audley Christmas againSynopsis:

For a fifth consecutive December, a heartbroken Noel returns to New York City to work the night shift at a sidewalk Christmas tree lot. Devoid of any holiday spirit, he struggles to stay awake during the long, chilly nights in his trailer, while the daytime traffic keeps him from getting any real rest. As he slowly spirals into despair, he comes to the aid of a mysterious young woman in the park. Her warming presence, matched with some colorful customers, help rescue him from self-destruction.

Hannah Gross Christmas againKentucker Audley owns every minute of screen time as Noel. This organically written character of Poekel‘s allows Audley to give a down-to-earth performance of a young man we all know to well. Tackling depression, loneliness, longing, and emotional survival, Christmas, Again is a such a success in it’s honest simplicity.There are no fancy car chases or explosions. The story is straight forward and beautifully quiet. Hannah Gross gives a lovely performance as Lydia. A little lost, a little sad, but very much a real person. The chemistry between the two characters is a slow and realistic build, again, thanks to Poekel. He never pushes too hard, there are no gimmicks or exploited moments we’re used to in a typical holiday blockbuster. This indie is fresh and easy. Combined with the calling card cinematography of Sean Price Williams (Listen Up Phillip, Queen of Earth), the film has a gorgeous added intimacy with it’s single handheld camera and use of close ups. All involved should  be extremely proud of their work. I applaud the departure in tone and style. While I certainly enjoy a good, old fashion Hollywood role call such as The Coopers, CHRISTMAS, AGAIN is a comforting film that has an incredible amount of heart and relatability.

FACTORY 25 will release CHRISTMAS, AGAIN at the MoMA in New York (and exclusive SVOD on Fandor) on Thursday, December 3rd, and  Los Angeles on Friday, December 11th.

Review: ‘NASTY BABY’ is a labor of love.

PRESENTS

NASTY BABY posterAs someone who tried to get pregnant for 8 months, I understand the frustration reading “Not Pregnant” on the test screen each month and the angst that follows. For some women, 8 months is nothing. I understand that, but at 34, time was of the essence. I am lucky enough to have a wonderful and supportive husband, and now at 35, we’re expecting a baby boy in January (or December, the pool is growing). What happens when you’re unattached and reaching an age where it might be now or never? Who do you turn to if you want to build a family? A sperm bank? Or perhaps, you approach someone you love and ask for the ultimate favor. Building a family is not the easiest thing in the world. In NASTY BABY, Kristen Wiig walks through hell and back for the lives of the ones she loves.Nasty Baby 2 Director/screenewriter Sebastián Silva brings this heartfelt and bizarre tale to the screen, also starring as Kristen’s best friend in the film, Freddy. Freddy and Mo are partners. When Freddy’s sperm count comes back low, Polly (Wiig) approaches Mo to step in as potential daddy alternative. The decision is not one anyone takes lightly. Opinions fly at the three friends left and right as the clock winds down the drama heightens. The film is really about a relationship between three people. People who are accessible emotionally and completely terrified to face the realities of their choices. Nasty Baby 1The script takes an unexpected turn near the end, really throwing the viewer for a loop. This didn’t deter me from loving it. In fact, for me, it got me even more involved with these people. I thought, “What would I have done?!” Wiig, once again, bouncing from mainstream comedy to brilliant indie, is flawless. I encourage you to seek out her work in films like The Diary of a Teenage Girl, Welcome To Me, and The Skeleton Twins. Wiig’s range will blow you away. Silva as Freddy and Tunde Adebimpe as Mo might as well be a real couple living in NYC. The performances are entirely organic and totally believable. We know these people. Other notable and important performances come from Reg. E Cathey and Mark Margolis. Nasty Baby tackles issues like mental illness, homophobia, crossing personal boundaries, and what it is that makes a family. With handheld camera work making you feel like a fly on the wall, Nasty Baby is funny, charming, chilling and wonderful. 

NASTY BABY is available on VOD today!! Check it out.
Synopsis:
An award-winning festival favorite by Sebastián Silva (“The Maid”),
NASTY BABY centers on Freddy (Silva), a Brooklyn-based artist who, with his boyfriend, Mo (Tunde Adebimpe), and their best friend, Polly (Kristen Wiig), is trying to have a baby.  As this trio deals with the complications of conception and creating the “new normal” family, their bliss is clouded by a series of confrontations with an annoying neighbor who just might be a madman.

 

Hide Your Thoughts, the NEW Trailer and Poster for ‘Listening’ has been released

From first time director Khalil Sullins, comes an indie, sci-fi thriller about the technological discovery of telepathy. Listening, follows the lives of three grad students who figured out that the only computer that is smart enough to get inside the human mind is simply another human mind; together they create the technology to connect two human brains. Although, in spite of their miraculous discovery, they soon discover the psychological dangers that their technology has unfolded onto the world.

Starring: Thomas Stroppel, Artie Ahr, and Amber Marie Bollinger 

Listening will be in theaters September 11th and on Digital HD.

Liz’s Review: ‘X/Y’ and why we’re not all fine.

XYposter

So many of us are brilliant actors in our everyday lives. There is a fine line between what everyone expects our lives to be like and actual happiness. More often than not we’re giving into the these expectations without fully contemplating the consequences. Poor choices lead to the need to subconsciously push back by making even more terrible decisions. It’s easier to bullshit everyone. In the new film X/Y, we’re thrown the perfect examples of shitty decision making skills. Four people, all living life on the edge of falling apart. When do any of us ever realized enough is enough? Read More →

What the hell is ‘BUZZARD’?! It’s only the best thing ever – Liz chats with Writer/Director Joel Potrykus

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I promised Joel I wouldn’t title this “The Buzz on Buzzard”, and I didn’t. I kept that promise (though, I guess I just wrote it… but I digress) Anyone that would degrade this film in using that title, just plain sucks at life. I know, my eloquence astounds you, but in all seriousness, BUZZARD is one of the weirdest, coolest, totally magical, and yet indescribable movies of the year. Yup. I said it, and I’m not even sorry. We’ve all had endless conversations, at this point, about our Top 10 Movies of 2014. And if you haven’t seen our posts yet, shame on your face. But, what most of you didn’t know is that I had a secret addendum to mine. BUZZARD was my special “I have to tell people about this movie” selection.

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So let me just launch into the premise. Marty works a crap temp job. Scamming the system is his game, and he’s pretty good at it. Until one truly face palm moment throws his existence into a series of even more terrible life choices and a downward spiral of paranoia. How long can Marty survive? It’s anyone’s guess. This film is an inspiration for everyone who has worked a mundane job just to live paycheck to paycheck. Marty is every man’s hero. He takes the “Damn The Man” attitude to the nth degree. He does all the things we think about doing, but he actually does them. Unapologetically and with much pride, Marty’s fearless audacity lies somewhere between genius and insanity. He is most definitely someone I would dub the “King of Mediocrity” or “Captain Bullshit”, both I mean in all due respect. He is kind of like a giant 14 year old in 1994, trapped in a 20-something year old’s body. Let’s be real, if you or I could get away with the shit this guy pulls, we would do it in a heartbeat.

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Joshua Burge plays Marty in such a effortless manner it’s frightening. One might almost think that this film were a documentary. This says a lot about both Josh’s acting ability and how sensational Joel’s script is. Fun fact I learned in watching the credits, Joel plays Derek, Marty’s best friend in the film. He is also downright hilarious in his honesty. He likes what he likes even if a tad socially inept. Playing by the rules is his safety net. He is the perfect foil for Marty, whose disdain for authority is incontrovertible.  BUZZARD is undeniably accessible. Everyone I’ve spoken with since I first saw this film at the New Directors/New Film Fest in 2014 love it. All ages, all backgrounds, not a single person has anything negative to say about this film. Clearly, I am on that ship. I cannot express how much fun this film is, so you know what that means, right? You now have to go see it and/or rent it on demand, and then you can come back and tell me how right I was. Good Talk.

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Speaking of good talks… I got to have a sweet one with Joel Potrykus about this awesomeness. Take a listen because we both know you’ll be better for it. *PS- a small office dog makes an appearance, you’ll hear the jingle of this little dude at moments. Try not to get confused. OK, now go! *

BUZZARD – TRAILER from Oscilloscope Laboratories on Vimeo.

Marty is a caustic, small-time con artist drifting from one scam to the next.  When his latest ruse goes awry, mounting paranoia forces him from his lousy small town temp job to the desolate streets of Detroit with nothing more than a pocket full of bogus checks, a dangerously altered Nintendo® Power Glove, and a bad temper.  Albert Camus meets Freddy Krueger in BUZZARD, a hellish and hilarious riff on the struggles of the American working class.

Oscilloscope Laboratories will release Joel PotrykusBUZZARD in U.S. theaters and digitally on March 6, 2015. Written and directed by Potrykus, the film stars Joshua Burge and was produced by Michael Saunders and Ashley Young. Associate Producers are Kevin Clancy and Tim Saunders.