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: ‘And Then I Go’ will haunt every parent in America.

AND THEN I GO

In the cruel world of junior high, Edwin suffers in a state of anxiety and alienation alongside his only friend, Flake. Misunderstood by their families and demoralized at school daily, their fury simmers quietly until an idea for vengeance offers them a terrifying release. Based on the acclaimed novel “Project X” by Jim Shepard, this unflinching look at adolescence explores how the powerful bonds of childhood friendship and search for belonging can become a matter of life or death.

With two small children, I now have a whole new set of anxiety as I research schools. I remember how bullying affected me when I was middle-school age. But with social media and the lack of consequences I have seen surrounding some children’s behavior, I am increasingly nervous about what my kids are getting themselves into through no fault of their own. My sister is newly a fulltime school counselor. The lack of coping skills and the increase of online harassment makes these kids more vulnerable than ever before. She job has quickly transformed from a few state-mandated cases into the disciplinary dumping ground for her particular administration. The uphill battle keeps getting higher.

The new film And Then I Go looks deep inside the isolation of two young boys as they are tormented by issues at home and school, some of their own doing and some by association. Performances from Melanie Lynskey and Justin Long are equal parts exhausted parents and concerned, loving individuals. They are caught in a cycle of changing behavior typical of their older son’s environment and a second child whose innocence is still intact due to age and personality. You feel for all parties involved and if you’re a parent yourself, can understand the look of desperation and quick jump to judgment.
The anchors of the film are undoubtedly our pair of lost boys, Arman Darbo and Sawyer Barth. These two give performances that will leave you breathless. The emotional depths to which these two have to go are heartbreaking and raw. Some moments are so natural you will wonder if there is a script at all. We will be seeing much more from these two in the future. Tony Hale and Carrie Preston offer us an insight into the minds of school staff and the attention they try to give to all their students. They are in the same mindset as parents emotionally and mentally. Exhaustive attempts to serve each child as an individual either stick or they don’t. All we can do is our best and remember why we do the jobs in the first place.
From the opening voiceover, there is an air of anxiety and melancholy. A deep seeded feeling of dread looms over the film as the plot rolls along. The cinematography and lighting are key to setting the film’s mood and tone. It’s a beautiful thing to behold, truly. While I was able to figure out where the film was headed, I was so invested in the characters that I was rooting for a different outcome throughout. You cannot help but hope that something or someone will intervene. But as a former teacher, I have seen the overcrowding and felt the burnout in taking work home, yet trying desperately to keep track of not only the kids in my own class but others. Resources being slashed left and right doesn’t help administration, teachers, and parents to do their very best. We are only human. I for one will be seeking out Jim Shepard‘s novel, “Project X”, immediately. And Then I Go should be required viewing for every adult in America today.

The Orchard will release AND THEN I GO On Digital and On Demand April 17, 2018.

The film features a stellar cast led by Justin Long (Yoga Hosers, Tusk, Accepted), Melanie Lynskey (“Castle Rock,” “Togetherness,” Heavenly Creatures), Tony Hale (“Arrested Development,” “Veep”), Melonie Diaz (Fruitvale Station, The Belko Experiment), Carrie Preston (“Claws,” “True Blood”), and powerful performances from teenage actors Arman Darbo (Defenders of Life) and Sawyer Barth (Super Dark Times).

 

Review: ‘Literally, Right Before Aaron’ takes the cake.

 LITERALLY, RIGHT BEFORE AARON

There is always that one questionable guest at a wedding. You might think to yourself, “How the Hell did they get invited and who do they know?” In the case of the new rom-com, LITERALLY, RIGHT BEFORE AARON, turns out the Bride invited him.

 

Synopsis: Still reeling from his breakup, Adam (Justin Long) is devastated when he learns that his ex (Cobie Smulders) is engaged. What’s worse is he’s invited to the wedding. When Adam returns home for the festivities, he must confront his unresolved feelings and an uncertain future in hopes of convincing himself and everyone else that he is truly happy for her. There he discovers the comedy in romance, the tragedy of letting go and the hard truth about growing up.

Justin Long has always been on my radar as far back as I can remember. His comic timing and boyish charm are pretty hard to compete with onscreen. This is no less true in his role as Adam. On screen for the entirety of the film, Long’s emotional journey is written both within the quippy dialogue and all over his face. Funny, heartbreaking, endearing, and relatable, there isn’t an audience member out there that won’t find something earnest to latch onto. While familiar sounding in plot, I never found the script cliche’ thanks to writer/director Ryan Eggold. Showcasing solid performances from Cobie Smulders, Kristen Schaal, John Cho, and Ryan Hansen, Literally, Right Before Aaron marries our own insecurities with the emotional roller-coaster that is love. For Eggold, it’s merely the beginning of a long career at the helm of a film. For Long, it’s further proof he’s being underestimated in the industry.
You can catch the film in theaters and on VOD this Friday.

In Theaters and On Demand September 29, 2017

Starring: Justin Long, Cobie Smulders, Ryan Hansen, John Cho, Kristen Schaal, Dana Delany, Peter Gallagher, Lea Thompson, and Luis Guzmán

Written, Edited and Directed by: Ryan Eggold

New to Watch: Thriller ‘Lavender’ starring Abbie Cornish, Justin Long & Dermot Mulroney

Lavender

THEATRICAL, VOD AND DIGITAL HD RELEASE DATE: March 3, 2017
DIRECTOR: Ed Gass-Donnelly
WRITER:  Colin Frizzell, Ed Gass-Donnelly
CAST: Abbie Cornish, Diego Klattenhoff, Justin Long, Dermot Mulroney
SYNOPSIS: When a photographer (Abbie Cornish) suffers severe memory loss after a traumatic accident, strange clues amongst her photos suggest she may be responsible for the deaths of family members she never knew she had. Justin Long plays a psychiatrist who helps her recover lost memories.

Review: ‘Lavender’ will haunt you in the daytime.

SYNOPSIS: When a photographer (Abbie Cornish) suffers severe memory loss after a traumatic accident, strange clues amongst her photos suggest she may be responsible for the deaths of family members she never knew she had. Justin Long plays a psychiatrist who helps her recover lost memories.

In Lavender, Abbie Cornish‘s character Janie is haunted by memories old and new. Trying desperately to reconnect to her childhood, she is drawn back to the home she once lived in and where her family was massacred. Problem is, she has zero memory of anything involved in that time or space. A car accident has triggered someone or something to send her mysterious gifts to help along the way. Her daughter Alice is being affected as well. Can Janie put together the disturbing clues in time to save history from repeating itself? A speeding ticket lawyer is a legal professional who practices law and focuses mostly on vehicular traffic infraction and other crimes related to this particular offense. This is an important matter because many people who commit this may overlook this and take it for granted or forget about it. If this happens, the crime may become a bigger issue. An attorney who specializes in this particular field is specially trained and educated to defend his client for charges associated with this offense. If you want to get more details, then visit LouisianaSpeedingTicket.com site.

There are several options that a speeding ticket lawyer can give his client. Several general defenses for this charge include refuting the speed that the police officer stated, moving above the speed limit but conditions warranted it and moving above the limit due to an emergency situation. If these defenses are presented, several evidences need to be presented to support the claims. The legal professional needs to establish that the need to move above the limit was there during the time. There is also such a thing as a presumed and absolute speed limit. With the former, it means that the individual who was driving has driven above the limit and he needs to prove that he was moving at a safe speed. In the absolute state, the speeding ticket lawyer has to defend a person who has actually driven above it even though it was just one mile over the limit.

Cornish is wonderful in this role. It’s a subtle and believable performance under truly bizarre circumstances. Dermot Mulroney plays her only living relative and uncle. His genuine and seemingly even paced presence is a gift to the film. Not to be left out is the altogether unsettling Justin Long. As Janie’s doctor, there is something a little extra strange about his character that will drive your brain to do somersaults as the plot twists at every turn. A bit of a departure from his usual fare, there is no denying his talent here. Nothing but praise for the entire cast as the chemistry is palpable. Director Ed Gass-Donnelly uses music and sound to his advantage to build the unease. With co-writer Colin Frizzell, the script will challenge you at every turn. Clever use of what appears to be a 360-degree camera and quick cuts only adds to the suspense. You will not figure it out until the final 10-15 minutes of the film. Lavender is a thrilling little gem.

TITLE:  LAVENDER
THEATRICAL, VOD AND DIGITAL HD RELEASE DATE: March 3, 2017
DIRECTOR: Ed Gass-Donnelly
WRITER:  Colin Frizzell, Ed Gass-Donnelly
CAST: Abbie Cornish, Diego Klattenhoff, Justin Long, Dermot Mulroney
GENRE: Thriller
DISTRIBUTOR: AMBI Media Group & Samuel Goldwyn Films

 

Review: Michael Shannon & Imogen Poots are trying hard to love each other in ‘Frank & Lola’

Gorgeously shot with emotionally-charged performances, Frank & Lola is written and directed by first-time feature director Matthew Ross and stars Michael Shannon and Imogen Poots in the title roles.

An unconventional love story, we start with the two in bed together. The two obviously did not have a romantic chemistry yet she was very comfortable with her body. As the story continues, we see that Frank and Lola are in a relationship, and live together. Fifteen years his junior, Imogen Poots gives a raw performance with very little makeup and often in disarray. Michael Shannon as Frank is his usual quiet intensity, so his moments of levity really stand out.

Rosanna Arquette makes an appearance as Lola’s mother, a woman who seems to view Lola as competition, rather than a daughter. Although it’s only one scene, it gives a glimpse into Lola’s world. Justin Long has a small role and although I generally love his work, I didn’t like the over-the-top of the character.

Frank and Lola are both severely flawed and as such, their actions often lead them in directions that cause problems. Writer/director Matthew Ross showcases this and does so with beautiful backdrops of Las Vegas and Paris. I enjoyed not knowing what would happen and rooting for these two. I hope you will too.

In theaters from Paladin and On Demand and Digital HD from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment on December 9, 2016

Michael’s Review: ‘Tusk’- There’s No Bite to This Mammal

Kevin-Smith-Reveals-Tusk-PosterFrom the second I walked out of this screening of Kevin Smith’s new movie Tusk, I immediately looked for the nearest shower to wash away the stench of this absolute turd of a movie. It is hard to fathom a talented and creative genius such as Kevin Smith could create such drivel. A movie spawn from a story that originated on Kevin’s SModcast, this much anticipated horror dramedy represents a huge step back in the career of Kevin Smith. The film is a true example as to why the general public should never be allowed to champion a grassroots campaign to get a film that even remotely resembles the absolute shit show that is Tusk made. I wish I could stop right here but as a writer I must carry on…for you…the people. Read More →

Find Out How To Tuskify Yourself…Go Full Walrus

TUSK

Go to http://tuskfilm.com, upload a photo and Tuskify yourself!

A film written and directed by Kevin Smith
Starring Justin Long, Haley Joel Osment, and Genesis Rodriguez Read More →

New Clip: Kevin Smith’s ‘TUSK’ In Theaters September 19th

Tusk

A film written and directed by Kevin Smith
Starring Justin Long, Haley Joel Osment, Michael Parks and Genesis Rodriguez

A chilling horror tale about the perils of storytelling, Tusk follows a brash American podcaster as he braves the Canadian wilds to interview an old man with an incredible past—only to discover the man’s dark secret involves a walrus.  Read More →

Kevin Smith’s new horror ‘TUSK’

Tusk

Kevin Smith told the world that he was not planning on directing any more films. Well, it  seems that he is a liar, liar, pants on fire. Frankly, I’m so okay with that. TUSK is his latest film and it’s a different genre for him. This is something to get excited about. Check out the first trailer below. Read More →