Review: ‘LX2048’ is a snapshot into a disturbing possible future.

In the near future, the sun has become so toxic people can no longer leave their houses in daytime, and normal life is conducted mostly inside the virtual realm. Against this dystopian backdrop, a dying man seeks to ensure the future well-being of his family, while coping with what it means to be human in this new reality.

The opening credits give you a tiny preview of what kind of visual delight you’re in for. Writer/director Guy Moshe has crafted a frightening and dark film. All the more impactful in 2020, when everything we do has now become virtual, LX 2048 is terrifying because in theory, 28 years from now this feels completely plausible. Residents of this new world are ordered to take government-sanctioned antidepressants because the sun is no longer safe to step into. Once you die, you can upgrade to a clone that will seamlessly take your place. That might sound like a dream to some but when does the human experience end and technology take over completely? Is there where humanity goes to die? With the new countdown clock in Union Square now counting down to irreplaceable climate damage, is this film an omen?

The sets make you feel like these people are living in Ray Bradbury‘s play The Veldt. Backlit, padded rooms, where the human is visually connected to a virtual pair of glasses creating their reality. It’s fascinating but emotionally disconnected, which is entirely the point. Besides the look, the engrossing exploration of the meaning of life through technology advancement. LX 2048 could easily be an entire series. There is a lot that gets packed into roughly an hour and 45 minutes.

James D’Arcy‘s performance is riveting.  As Adam, he must grapple with the notion that his children are part of this system, that his marriage has deteriorated past saving, and that a “better version on himself” could show up to replace him at any moment. We must sift through his depression, mania, hope, hysteria. It is a roller coaster of emotions for the audience. Many scenes require D’Arcy to speak to people at length that are not actually present. A lot of virtual meetings and calls.  It’s like watching a masterclass in acting. Wait for the Shakespeare to drop. You’ve only just begun to see the full scope of his talents.

LX 2048 challenges your idea of ethics all while entertaining the hell out of you. Dive headfirst into this not so farfetched idea of what could be coming our way… Whether we like it or not. LX 2048 comes out today in Virtual Cinemas and North American VOD.

James D’Arcy (Dunkirk, “Broadchurch”, Marvel’s “Agent Carter”) headlines the cast as a man who has resisted humanity’s exodus to virtual reality.  With his death fast approaching and a clone ready to step in as husband and father, Adam struggles to find a way out of his situation, to protect his wife (Anna Brewster, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, “Versailles”) and children.  The cast is rounded out by frequent Spike Lee collaborator and Tony Award nominee Delroy Lindo (Malcolm X, Da 5 Bloods, “The Good Fight”) and BAFTA winner Gina McKee (“Our Friends in the North”, “The Borgias”, Phantom Thread).

LX 2048 will be available to rent or own September 25th on Amazon, iTunes, Comcast, Spectrum, Dish, DirecTV, Vudu and more in the US and Canada.

Review: ‘The Sunlit Night’ glows from every angle.

Synopsis: The Sunlit Night follows an aspiring painter (Slate) from New York City to the farthest reaches of Arctic Norway for an assignment she hopes will invigorate her work and expand her horizons. In a remote village, among the locals, she meets a fellow New Yorker (Sharp), who has come in search of a proper Viking funeral only to find that the Chief (Galifianakis) is but a re-enactor from Cincinnati. The eclectic crew ranges from “home” to “lost,” within the extreme and dazzling landscape of the Far North. Under a sun that never quite sets, and the high standards of an unforgiving mentor, Frances must navigate between ambition, desire, obligation, and risk in order to find a way forward.

If you grew up with an art teacher mother as I did, this film will resonate with you immediately. I was given my own portfolio at the age of six. To be fair, I was drawing scale recreations from the 3 foot Georgia O’Keefe book that came with it. The birthday prior my parents got divorced. The Sunlit Night is a film made or me.

Through art references and voiceover we are privy to Frances’ inner thoughts. These moments are like diary entries. Color is like its own character. Frances is always wearing red. The barn is entirely different shades of yellow. The landscape is lush green. Viking reenactments are jewel and earth-toned while Yasha is in black. Specific paintings mirror each character, according to Frances. The film is a cinephile and art lover’s dream. Everyone that arrives is there to find something or perhaps, truly, to find themselves. The relationship between all the eccentric inhabitants of this small Norwegian town is what makes this film extra charming. Every shot in the film seems to glow. It’s simply breathtaking.

Jenny Slate is extraordinary. She always shines through her humor but here she has the opportunity to explore an even more nuanced vulnerability. Alex Sharp is tender and open. More and more of him everywhere, please. Fridtjov Såheim as Nils is a perfect balance of obstinate and passionate. He’s a great foil for Slate. While Zach Galifianakis is his adorably funny self in this, I wish we had more of him. As for Gillian Anderson, her appearance is brief but I’ll never turn down a chance to watch her effortlessness. The Sunlit Night has a glorious grace to it. It’s not a loud film, by any means, but what it does it does extremely well. Take a peek at the trailer below and watch the film on VOD starting tomorrow.

THE SUNLIT NIGHT will be released on VOD on July 17th from Quiver Distribution.

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

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

 

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

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

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

Review: “BECKY” is a scary little girl.

SYNOPSIS: Spunky and rebellious, Becky (Lulu Wilson) is brought to a weekend getaway at a lake house by her father Jeff (Joel McHale) in an effort to try to reconnect after her mother’s death. The trip immediately takes a turn for the worse when a group of convicts on the run, led by the merciless Dominick (Kevin James), suddenly invade the lake house.

A grieving and angst-ridden preteen must save her family from a group of escaped, white supremacist prisoners in search of a hidden artifact. This film is about loss but also pure, unadulterated rage. Kevin James is unrecognizable as pure evil. His tattooed physique and manipulative dialogue are so upsetting. I can honestly say, “Bravo” to the casting directors for taking a chance on him. I’m hoping it will open new avenues in his career.  Lulu Wilson as Becky is next level. The pent up anger and fear have to go somewhere. Why not into a murderous revenge self-defense act? She is a perfect balance of age-appropriate and goddamn sociopath. Put her in all the things. She could be our next genre darling. 

The script allows her an outlet with help from what she finds around her. Think Home Alone clever but add actual permanent injury and/or death. The kills are straight-up savage and I am here for it. The climactic practical effect is gruesome and great. While the script still feels like something is missing ( I don’t know if there’s a sequel planned) Becky is incredibly strong in pacing and phenomenal on the action.

**World Premiere and Official Selection – Tribeca Film Festival 2020**

Quiver Distribution will release the thriller BECKY On Demand and Digital on June 5, 2020.

 

BECKY WILL SCREEN AT THE BELOW THEATERS & DRIVE-INS ON JUNE 5TH:
IOWA: Superior 71 Drive-In, Blue Grass Drive-In
INDIANA: Garrett Drive-In, Tri Way 4 Drive-In
KENTUCKY: Regency 8
MASSACHUSETTS: Mendon Twin Drive-In
MINNESOTA: Long Drive-In
NORTH CAROLINA: Hounds Drive-In, Raleigh Road Drive-In, Badin Road Drive-In, Eden Drive-In
NEW HAMPSHIRE: Milford Drive-In 2
NEW JERSEY: Delsea Drive-In
NEW YORK: Transit Drive-In, Silver Lakes Drive-In, Sunset 3 Drive-In, Vintage Drive-In, Delevan Twin Drive-In
OHIO: Mayfield Road Drive-In, Skyway Drive-In, South Drive-In Twin, Tiffin Drive-In, Starview Drive-In, Springmill Drive-In, Magic City Twin Drive-In, Van-Del Drive-In, Dixie Drive-In, Aut-O-Rama Twin Drive-In, Elm Road Triple Drive-In, Field of Dreams Drive-In
OKLAHOMA: Tower Drive-In
PENNSYLVANIA: Garden Drive-In, Circle Drive-In, Comet Twin Drive-In, Kane Family Drive-In, Riverside Drive-In, Silver Drive-In, Skyview Twin Drive-In
SOUTH CAROLINA: Hi-Way 21 Drive-In
TENNESSEE: Stardust Drive-In
WISCONSIN: Stardust Drive-In

 

Review: ‘TIME WARP: THE GREATEST CULT FILMS OF ALL-TIME VOLUME 2: HORROR AND SCI-FI’ available today on digital and VOD

TIME WARP: THE GREATEST CULT FILMS OF ALL-TIME VOLUME 2: HORROR AND SCI-FI 

The greatest cult horror and science fiction films of all-time are studied in vivid detail in the second volume of Time Warp. Includes groundbreaking classics like “Night of the Living Dead,” and “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” and sci-fi gems such as “Blade Runner,” and “A Clockwork Orange.” 

Volume 2 is significantly shorter in runtime than Volume 1, coming in at 83 minutes. That being said, the amount of backstory and insider info is aplenty. I am a huge horror and sci-fi buff and I found myself hearing a plethora of great new stories from the cast members of some of my favorite films. Cast, crew, and critics discuss the highs and lows of their original releases and how they influenced what was yet to come in cinema history. They get into the political subtext and how some of the most iconic dialogue and choreography were improvised. The first half tackles horror while the latter half talks about sci-fi classics. Tom Savini gives us some fantastic insight into the set, makeup, and stunts from Romero‘s Dawn Of The Dead. Bruce Campbell‘s perspective on what made Army Of Darkness a later hit is cool. Wait until you find out what has happened to the house in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre! Malcolm McDowell talking about A Clockwork Orange will damn near make your year. Despite the length and the mouthful of its title, Time Warp: The Greatest Cult Films Of All-Time Volume 2: Horror and Sci-fi is just as fun as its predecessor. I cannot wait to dive into Volume 3: Comedy and Camp coming in June. Check out the trailer below. Volume 1 and 2 are now available on Digital and VOD. Genre fans of all ages and predilections will adore this series.

TITLE: TIME WARP: THE GREATEST CULT FILMS OF ALL-TIME VOLUME 2 HORROR AND SCIFI
ON DEMAND AND DIGITAL: May 19, 2020
HOSTS: Joe Dante, John Waters, Ileana Douglas and Kevin Pollak
CAST: Jeff Goldblum, Sean Young, Joe Morton, Malcolm McDowell, Bruce Campbell, Roger Corman, John Sayles, Mary Woronov, Ed Neal and Rob Zombie
RUN TIME: 83 minutes

 

Review: ‘TIME WARP: THE GREATEST CULT FILMS OF ALL-TIME VOLUME 1 MIDNIGHT MADNESS’ available now!

SYNOPSIS: From “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” to “The Big Lebowski” and everything in between, this fascinating deep-dive documentary begins its celebration of the greatest cult movies of all-time discussing the birth of the midnight movie.
I was 13 the first time I saw The Rocky Horror Picture Show. My life was forever changed in every way. I was a Catholic school kid who knew that a lot of what I was being taught felt wrong. I had danced since the age of two and had seen how music and showmanship affected an audience. This film was singlehandedly responsible for my college choices and the path I’ve taken ever since. There is something about a cult film that makes you feel at home. You’re in a room filled with people who get “it”, free-spirited, open-minded individuals with a sense of humor. What’s better than that? TIME WARP: THE GREATEST CULT FILMS OF ALL-TIME VOLUME 1 MIDNIGHT MADNESS is now available for everyone to experience themselves. With sitdown interviews with some of the greatest stars and directors of the most famous midnight madness films like Pink Flamingo, Reefer Madness, Freaks, The Warriors, just to name a few. This doc is a genre, cult, cinephile’s dream. It discusses the cultural shifts that occurred because of these films. How they influenced not only the audience but films that came after. There will be two more volumes; VOLUME 2 HORROR AND SCI-FI & VOLUME 3 COMEDY AND CAMP. I cannot wait to see who and what come up in the last two docs. They are undeniably fun and incredibly informative. What until you find out who was originally supposed to star in Point Break! You’ll feel like you’re in good company watching these films and maybe even add some films to your watch list (at least you should). So, set a virtual watch party with friends and catch Volume 1 now! Check out the trailer below!
TIME WARP: THE GREATEST CULT FILMS OF ALL-TIME VOLUME 1 MIDNIGHT MADNESS – April 21
RUN TIME: 105 minutes
CAST: Jeff Bridges, Pam Grier, Rob Reiner, Barry Bostwick, Michael McKean, John Turturro, Gary Busey, Jeff Goldblum, Fran Drescher, Penelope Spheeris and Peter Bogdanovich

COMING SOON:

TIME WARP: THE GREATEST CULT FILMS OF ALL-TIME VOLUME 2 HORROR AND SCI-FI – May 19
TIME WARP: THE GREATEST CULT FILMS OF ALL-TIME VOLUME 3 COMEDY AND CAMP – June 23

Review: ‘Run This Town’ is a successful look at who does the dirty work in truth telling and true suppressing.

A young journalist and a young political aide become entangled in a larger-than-life political scandal as they struggle to navigate adult life. Like all their friends, Bram and Kamal are struggling to climb the ladders at their respective workplaces: Bram at a newspaper, Kamal at City Hall. When Bram learns of a scandal involving Kamal’s larger-than-life boss, he seizes the moment to advance his career. Meanwhile, Kamal grapples with containing the story while maintaining his integrity.

Ben Platt is swiftly becoming a household name for anyone outside of the Broadway, music industry, and Netflix world. Frankly, shame on you if you haven’t heard of him at this point. In Run This Town, Platt plays a budding journalist, Bram, who has Toronto’s biggest political scandal fall into his lap.

This entire cast has fresh and energetic chemistry. They ooze the ambition that each of these characters needs. Platt, Speedman, Dobrev, Ehle, and Massoud make things more than interesting. If I had to nitpick, the makeup on Damian Lewis as Ford is a bit over the top. It feels a bit cartoonish and is slightly distracting. That being said, the performance is so good I actually didn’t know it was Lewis under the makeup. The scene where Ford goes on a drunken rant with his employees is so cringey and intense, it will make your skin crawl. Replace Ford with any current slime ball “politician”, it’s an easy swap. Lewis’ performance is unhinged in the best way possible. Ben Platt is solid as ever. The specificity that he brings to Bram both physically and emotionally is top-notch.  His casting was a perfect choice. Massoud and Dobrev are equally vulnerable. Their performances are nothing short of captivating.

The editing in this film alone is so sharp that it forces you to sit up and pay attention. You have to keep up with the dialogue and quick cuts from the get-go. This script is timely as hell. It may revolve around Toronto’s Rob Ford but the rest of the world has its own garbage politician. This film is about the down and dirty and real work journalists have to do to battle to bullshit. But it’s also about the political spin; the young and hungry aides that twist the truth to put a party base at ease.

The score, along with the title and credit sequences are simply brilliant. Sort of a visual metaphor for finding the truth. The script takes a look at where On the whole, Run This Town is a super intriguing look at scandal, those who try to expose it, and those who suppress it. It highlights the work you don’t see and who is really responsible for moving the needle behind the scenes. It’s a great commentary on power, greed, ambition, xenophobia, and #MeToo. Run This Town is a fantastic feature debut for writer/director Ricky Tollman. The dialogue, in pacing and quippiness, is very reminiscent of Aaron Sorkin, particularly in the opening scene. That is precisely how you get an audience’s attention. Well done.

 

RUN THIS TOWN will be in U.S. theaters through Oscilloscope and On Demand and Digital through Quiver Distribution on March 6th, 2020.

Review: ‘Astronaut’ soars.

ASTRONAUT

Starring Academy Award Winner Richard Dreyfuss

Richard Dreyfuss plays Angus, a grandfather who’s family has made him feel like a burden.  Forced into a home and with failing health, Angus and his grandson see a competition held by a billionaire entrepreneur calling for applications for the first civilian flight into space. Slowly drowning in a sea of the sad and lonely old folks residents, Angus takes a leap of faith and applies under false pretense with only seconds to spare. Could this 75-year-old civil engineer make it to space, with all the odds stacked against him? Not before making waves, of course.

Astronaut isn’t just about space. It’s about humanity at best and at it’s worst. It’s about joy and loss and time. It’s about family and sacrifice. It addresses ageism is a smart way. Dreyfuss is as endearing and brilliant as ever. His ability to connect through the screen has not waned from American Graffiti to now. His genuine and grounded performance is a masterclass in technique from head to toe. It taps into the curiosity of the unknown stokes in all of us. The idea that we’re not alone. And not just with respect to space. Astronaut explores the idea that we’re somehow all connected and the need to feel seen and heard. Elegantly scored, beautifully written and directed by Shelagh McLeod, Astronaut will touch your soul.

Quiver Distribution will release the heartwarming family drama ASTRONAUT in theaters and On Demand and Digital on July 26, 2019The film will release timely to the 50th anniversary of the Apollo Moon Landing (7/20/1969).

ASTRONAUT stars Academy Award Winner Richard Dreyfuss (The Goodbye GirlJaws), Lyriq Bent (“She’s Gotta Have It”, Acrimony), Krista Bridges (Land of the Dead, “Schitt’s Creek”), Graham Greene (The Green MileDancing with Wolves), Richie Lawrence (“Odd Squad”, “Heroes: Reborn”) and Colm Feore (ChicagoThor).

Review: ‘PHIL’, Greg Kinnear’s directorial debut is now in theaters and On Demand.

**Closing Night Film – Sarasota Film Festival 2019**

Phil, a depressed dentist whose life is falling apart, is shocked when one of his patients, a man who seemed to have the perfect life, kills himself. Determined to find out what would drive a man who had everything to end his life, Phil pretends to be a handyman and integrates himself into the dead man’s life, befriending his wife and daughter. How long can Phil keep up this double life when he is already ready to end his normal one?

Happiness is the ever elusive prize in life. Depression is a monster. As one man’s seemingly perfect life comes to an end, another attempts to find out why in question of his own mortality. PHIL is a story of the pursuit of happiness and what that even means.

Greg Kinnear, playing both the film’s director and titular character, is a man on the literal edge. After becoming enamored with the joy of one of his patients, he resorts to following the man until he discovers him hanging in the middle of the forest. Why would someone who has it all end his life? Phil is obsessed with answers. Kinnear, as always, is charming and grounded. There is something in this man’s eyes that makes you want to listen to him, to care for him, to experience what he experiences. Alongside an enormously talented ensemble, including Emily Mortimer, Jay Duplass, Luke Wilson, and more, PHIL explores the things in life that make us connect with one another; Stories, memories, new and old, family and friendship. Learning to not live vicariously through others is a lesson we can all take to heart. PHIL has an unexpected script and it is pure delight. This film is about growth and the exploration of self. It’s a real gem and all involved should be proud to share this story.

Quiver Distribution will release the comedy PHIL in Theaters, On Demand and Digital on July 5, 2019.

 PHIL marks the directorial debut of Greg Kinnear (Little Miss Sunshine, As Good As It Gets).  The film features an all-star cast including Kinnear, Emily Mortimer (Mary Poppins Returns, HBO’s “The Newsroom”), Jay Duplass (Amazon’s “Transparent,” Hulu’s “The Mindy Project”), Taylor Schilling (Netflix’s “Orange Is The New Black,” The Lucky One), Kurt Fuller (Midnight in Paris, Anger Management) with Luke Wilson (Legally Blonde series, Old School) and Bradley Whitford (Get Out, ABC’s “The West Wing”). The screenplay was written by Stephen Mazur (Heartbreakers, Liar Liar).