Review: ‘The Gracefield Incident’ has familiar feel but is still cleverly fresh.

SYNOPSIS: Matthew Donovan, a video game editor, embeds an iPhone camera into his prosthetic eye to secretly record and document a weekend with friends in a luxurious mountain top cabin. The weekend takes a terrifying turn when a meteorite crashes the party forcing everyone to face the darkest, screaming nightmare while somehow connecting life, love, and loss in a twist of fear.

The Gracefield Incident takes pages from some of the most iconic sci-fi and horror films of the last 15 years. If you take Paranormal Activity, Signs, and Cloverfield you’ll have the basic outline for major elements in Mathieu Ratthe’s feature film. Yet, the film has its own uniqueness. The adoption of a camera in our main character’s eye is creative, the use of another character’s professional camera, AND security footage at the main location, allows the story to be experienced from multiple angles in a smart way. My only gripe with the plot has to do with balloons. Balloons don’t float with your breath alone, that’s not how that works. Otherwise, the practical effects are pretty impressive and the endgame is worth the wait. The Gracefield Incident is interesting enough on its own when it comes to the heart of the story. You can check out the trailer below.

THE GRACEFIELD INCIDENT IN SELECT THEATERS AND ON DEMAND / DIGITAL HD:  July 21, 2017

DIRECTOR AND WRITER: Mathieu Ratthe
CAST: Mathieu Ratthe, Kimberly Laferriere, Victor Andres Turgeon-Trelles, Juliette Gosselin, Alexandre Nachi, Laurence Dauphinais
GENRE: Horror, Thriller
DISTRIBUTOR: Momentum Pictures

Fantasia International Film Festival 2017 Review: ‘Killing Ground’ will swear you off camping for life.

KILLING GROUND

The disturbing horror, thriller follows a couple’s romantic camping trip that becomes a desperate fight for survival in this ultra-raw, unhinged kill ride. In need of a break from the pressures of their life in the city, Sam (Harriet Dyer) and Ian (Ian Meadows) head to a remote beach for a weekend getaway. When they come across an abandoned campsite, with no trace of its occupants, they’re concerned. When they discover a lone, traumatized child nearby, they’re scared. And when they encounter two local weirdos, they’re in for a hell of a bad time. Unfolding in an innovative, time-scrambling structure, Killing Ground delivers both nerve-shredding suspense and gut-punching realism.

KILLING GROUND marks the debut feature of writer/director Damien Power and stars Australian actors Aaron Pedersen (ABC’s “Jack Irish”), Ian Meadows (Network Ten’s “The Wrong Girl”), Harriet Dyer (Nine Network’s “Love Child”) and Aaron Glenane (Truth).

As a kid, I was an avid camper. After seeing Killing Ground, I may never go again. As a mother, thanks to this film, I’ll never, ever bring my children with me to a remote location where I am more than shouting distance away from lots and lots of other campers… with weapons. Killing Ground is a slow burn of menace that keeps you feeling uneasy and queasy it’s entire 93 min runtime. With a multiple narrative style, you already know something horrible is coming but you’re forced to sit through the time jumps just to get to certain doom. Anything with balls enough to put children in true, murderous harm’s way will get me every time now that I’m a parent. But you don’t have to have kids of your own to be deeply affected by the horrors on screen, you just have to have an ounce more heart than the film’s villains. While last week’s SOLD OUT screening at Fantasia Fest may have left many in the lurch, fear not. Killing Ground actually gets its theatrical and VOD release this week, July 21st. Check out the trailer below.

CANADIAN PREMIERE
  • USA
  • 2017
  • 89 mins
  • English

SCREENING TIMES

CREDITS

  • Directed by: Damien Power
  • Written by: Damien Power
  • Cast: Harriet Dyer, Aaron Glenane, Ian Meadows, Aaron Pederson
  • Company: IFC Midnight

Review: ‘Footnotes’ brings the classic 60’s musical into this century.

Inspired by the films of Jacques Demy and Stanley Donen, this musical comedy follows a young woman who must dance between a budding romance, a scheming boss, and co-workers on strike at her new job in a luxury shoe factory.

Footnotes comes at a perfect time in cinema history where the movie musical is once more appreciated and praised. This sweet and relatable story of Julie having to choose between love and loyalty has all the whimsy of a great French musical from the 60’s. From the costumes to the Fosse-esque choreography, Footnotes brings a smile to your face at each turn. It is very reminiscent of The Pajama Game but set this time in a shoe factory. Lead, Pauline Etienne is as charming and awkward as the role of Julie requires. Her airy voice suits the role and is a lovely foil to the gaggle of surprising factory women. With a wonderful, never over the top message of respect in the workplace and equal pay, this gem of a film will have your feet tapping and heart singing, no doubt about it. You can listen to the soundtrack right now on Spotify (link below) but first, check out the trailer. You can catch Footnotes in theaters today!

Have a Spotify Account?

Listen to the official Footnotes soundtrack with original songs written by Olivia Ruiz, Clarika, and many more!

Review: ‘Love At First Child(Ange et Gabrielle) is a charming familial rom com.

Opening on VOD Nationwide on Tuesday, July 11 on all major platforms includingiTunes, Google Play, Amazon, Microsoft, Vudu, Comcast, Charter, Cox, Vimeo, and various other cable operators.

Gabrielle (Isabelle Carré) is a single mother, her 17-year-old daughter Claire is pregnant, however the child’s father Simon has no desire to be involved with his future baby. When Gabrielle takes matters into her own hands and asks Simon’s father Ange (Patrick Bruel) for help, an unexpected relationship begins.

Oozing with charm, Love At First Child is heartwarming and funny. The story of a hypochondriac womanizing architect and a down to earth pharmacist coming together over a grandchild couldn’t be more interesting. It’s a story of familial redemption. it’s another chance at living the life these characters always wanted deep down. Isabelle Carré as Gabrielle is a lovely foil for Patrick Bruel‘s stubborn Ange. Revealing much more about the plot would spoil the film. For me, it harkens back to Three Men and a Baby in the best way possible.This script could easily find itself in a position for an American remake with a similar audience as the upcoming Toni Erdmann. Though, trying to recreate the chemistry for both films again doesn’t seem possible. Delightfully scored and beautifully shot, you simply cannot go wrong with this little gem.

 

91mins / Comedy /France /Color / Distributor: Under The Milky Way

DIRECTED BY: ANNE GIAFFERI

In French with English Subtitles

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ALSO RELEASED BY UNDER THE MILKY WAY ON ALL MAJOR VOD PLATFORMS ON JULY 11 AS A PART OF THIER “COMEDIES À LA CARTE” COLLECTION:

– DYKE HARD (Directed by: Bitte Anderson, Comedy, Sweden, 90 mins)

– NOT MY DAY (Directed by:Peter Thorwarth, Comedy, Germany, 110mins)

– ONE MAN AND HIS COW (Directed by: Mohamed Hamidi, Comedy, France, 91 mins)

– WINWIN (Directed by: Daniel Hoesl, Comedy, Austria, 84 mins)

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

Touching documentary I AM CHRIS FARLEY finally comes to theaters today.

posterart.IAmChrisFarley

I AM CHRIS FARLEY. Courtesy of Virgil Films

From the directors of A Brony Tale, I Am Evel Knievel, and the upcoming Johnny Cash – American RebelI AM CHRIS FARLEY tells Chris Farley‘s story, from his early days in Madison, Wisconsin and at Marquette University, through his work at the legendary club Second City to his rapid rise to the top of the comedy world on “Saturday Night Live” and in hit films like Tommy Boy and Black Sheep.

I AM CHRIS FARLEY. Courtesy of Virgil Films

I AM CHRIS FARLEY. Courtesy of Virgil Films

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Liz’s Review: The big screen breathes new life into musical farce ‘Lucky Stiff’

Lucky Stiff poster
LUCKY STIFF is a musical comedy with a romantic heart. A young down and out British shoe salesman named Harry Witherspoon (Dominic Marsh) takes his dead American uncle (Don Amendolia) (a murdered casino manager) to Monte Carlo for the best time of his life a week of fun, dancing, making money with the awesome casino games, gambling and sun. If the young man fulfills his uncle’s request to the letter, he will inherit the $6 million left to him. If he doesn’t, the money will go to the Universal Dog Home of Brooklyn. As Harry races from casino to nightclub to beach to bedroom with his dead uncle, he is chased by a desperate put upon optometrist (Jason Alexander), his controlling, myopic, trigger happy sister (Pamela Shaw), an avaricious French chanteuse (Kate Shindle), a mysterious Italian playboy (Dennis Farina), as well as a young woman from Brooklyn (Nikki M. James) dead set on getting that money for the dogs. Guns go off, disguises go on, champagne corks pop, nightmares come to life, romance blossoms, dogs bark, and everyone sings! lucky-stiff nikki dom dennis
Dominic Marsh is a genuine star with an innocence you most certainly route for. Tony Award winner, Nikki James‘, wide eyed optimism and pure-hearted determination is a refreshing take on what could be an easily overshadowed character in a film filled to the brim with colorful performances. Jason Alexander is hilarious as always and it was nice to hear his very distinct singing voiced matched with his comic timing. Pamela Shaw‘s Rita is a beautifully cartoon version of a hustler and boy, can she still shake it with the best of them. This film happened also to be Dennis Farina‘s last. His boisterous, man about town is the perfect marriage of quirky and theatrical. This is truly an ode to an ensemble cast done right. No one outshines the next. There is something to be said about using true theatre people. Theatre people experience true camaraderie; they naturally become family to each other, which only lends to an enhanced end result. (But, that may just be the musical theatre nerd in me speaking.) Jason Lucky Stiff still
The sets are great and the costumes, a late 60’s-70’s vibe are fabulous. Lucky Stiff is what you might get if you mashed up A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World and Weekend At Bernie’s and set it to a musical score. There a fantastic dream sequence in the film that features some of the lesser utilized yet fully recognizable faces in the film. This particular scene is actually the most theatrical in the entire movie, being set on an actual stage. One of the most darling aspects of Lucky Stiff is the frequent use of short animated clips that move the films pace and highlight some of the musical numbers. It’s a great substitute for a full scale broadway esque number. Lucky Stiff is a fun entry into the musical theatre world via film.

LUCKY STIFF opens in theaters and is available on VOD today, Friday, July 24th.