Review: ‘SIBERIA’ left us out in the cold.

Keanu Reeves

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SIBERIA

When a business deal in Russia goes south, a U.S. diamond merchant (Keanu Reeves) and his lover (Ana Ularu) are caught in a lethal crossfire between the buyer and federal intelligence service.

Sometimes I forget how talented Keanu Reeves truly is. He can take a pretty lifeless role and make it into something we weren’t expecting. That being said, these talents are really wasted in Siberia. It’s a poor man’s John Wick. The pace is often excruciating. When it is on, it’s vastly entertaining. The potential lies within the higher stakes, action-oriented scenes, but since they are few and what feels like far between it’s tough to stay on the train. 50 minutes into the 1:44 minute run it finally feels like,”Ok now we’re getting somewhere!” Alas, it will be 15 more minutes until something relatively interesting occurs. The script really takes it damn time getting to the point.

The performances are strong. Ana Ularu is vastly underutilized opposite Reeves. There is so much going on behind that tough girl veneer, a sadness that you want to fix. She has a brilliant presence but has been diminished to sex doll with a heart of gold. Someone write her a juicy role, please.  Molly Ringwald appears for what is tantamount to a cameo, speaking of underutilized. Her performance in this year’s Tribeca selection,  All These Small Moments is proof we need her back in our lives on a more permanent basis. Reeves, as Lucas Hill, diamond dealer trapped in a lackluster marriage and put in a shady work position, is the only saving grace. The problem being, you can feel the pained longing to kick some real ass. Ultimately, Siberia ends up being a midlife crisis cry for help, more than anything else. It left me cold and a bit empty.

Saban Films will release the romantic crime thriller SIBERIA in theaters and On Demand / Digital HD on July 13, 2018

SIBERA stars Keanu Reeves (The Matrix, Speed, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure), Molly Ringwald (“Riverdale,” “The Secret Life of the American Teenager,” Sixteen Candles), and Ana Ularu (Outbound, Inferno). The film is directed by Matthew Ross (Frank & Lola) from a script by Oscar nominated novelist/screenwriter Scott B Smith (The Ruins, A Simple Plan) and producer/screenwriter Stephen Hamel (Passengers, Henry’s Crime).

New York Film Festival 55 Review: ‘The Florida Project’ shines.

Set over one summer, the film follows precocious 6-year-old Moonee as she courts mischief and adventure with her ragtag playmates and bonds with her rebellious but caring mother, all while living in the shadows of Disney World.

Sean Baker‘s The Florida Project is easily in my top 5 films at this year’s NYFF. The entire film is so organic with an almost documentary-style feel. The story revolves around an often overlooked segment of the country; one that we tend to dismiss as low-class. The viewing experience is akin to being a fly on the wall during events we cannot unsee. Completely irreverent and oozing with charm, it’s also a film about children but not for children. Lazy summer days and trying to entertain themselves, more alone than in the presence of proper adult supervision, the children explore and wreak havoc on tourists and locals alike. The genuine chemistry between Willem Dafoe and rambunctious newcomer Brooklyn Prince is what makes The Florida Project so perfect. Dafoe becomes a universal father figure and will no doubt remind you what a chameleon he truly is onscreen. Bria Vinaite (Also a complete unknown until now) as Halley is frighteningly all too familiar, and I do mean that as a compliment. Her relationship with Moonee is as awkwardly earnest as it is heartbreaking. Our spitfire, six-year-old Prince steals every scene with her natural curiously and sass. She will not be contained. Sean Baker‘s use of real-life vibrantly colored backdrops screams for attention against the energy pouring from the entire cast of misbehaving children. You will be laughing out loud from the very first scene and find yourself completely engrossed in the lives of these characters. I will be putting forth a mighty effort come awards season on behalf of The Florida Project, as it deserves the widest audience possible.

 

Opens in New York and Los Angeles on October 6, 2017

(followed by nationwide expansion)

Directed By: Sean Baker
Written By: Sean Baker and Chris Bergoch
Produced By: Sean Baker, Chris Bergoch, Kevin Chinoy, Andrew Duncan, Alex
Starring: Saks, Francesca Silvestri, Shih-Ching Tsou
Willem Dafoe, Brooklynn Prince, Valeria Cotto and Bria Vinaite
Release Date: October 6, 2017 (NY & LA); Expansion to follow
Running Time: 115mins
Rating: R
Website: http://floridaproject.movie/

 

Review: ‘WETLANDS’ blows by with little gusto.

Synopsis: Babel “Babs” Johnson (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) is a police detective who finds himself assigned to a precinct in the Wetlands, the no-man’s land surrounding Atlantic City, within eyeshot of the once fancy and now dilapidated hotels and boardwalk, but a world away.  A year ago, he was a top cop in Philadelphia, but mysterious circumstances intervened and now he finds himself back home and back in the lives of his estranged daughter, Amy (Celeste O’Connor), and still-bitter ex-wife, Savannah (Heather Graham)

 

Surrounded by locals, Surfer Girl (Reyna de Courcy), a surfboard builder who has dreams of moving to Hawaii to ply her trade; and Kate (Jennifer Ehle), a local news anchor; and local thugs Jimmy (Louis Mustillo) his boss, Lollipop (Barry Markowitz); and with a new partner, a fun-loving gambling addict named Paddy Sheehan (Christopher McDonald), Babs slowly adjusts to life back on the beat.

 

Meanwhile, as the region prepares for a massive, late-season hurricane, the storm threatens to destroy the Wetlands… and the lives of some of its inhabitants.

Wetlands tries really hard to be a noir that never really pans out. It’s painfully slow and rather cliche in its character development. With such a heavy-hitting cast, it is difficult to walk them try so hard at something that doesn’t give them, or the audience, enough to care about. What information we do have about Babs, comes in what feels like misplaced and piecemeal black & white flashbacks. The nonchalance of the shadiness that’s occurring in this town makes it all the more underwhelming. 

While beautifully shot, with sweeping shots of the rundown boardwalk, that’s just about the only pretty thing about Wetlands. I was left with an overall feeling of, “Meh.” This cast deserved a whole hell of a lot more by way of character development. There is never any feeling of genuine urgency, and with one of the major plot points being an impending hurricane, it certainly seems like that should have been quite the priority.

WETLANDS – starring Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Suicide Squad, ABC’s “Ten Days in the Valley,” TV’s “Oz,” “Lost”),Heather Graham (The Hangover, TV’s “Californication”), Jennifer Ehle (Zero Dark Thirty, Fifty Shades of Grey, TV’s “A Gifted Man”) and Christopher McDonald(Requiem for a Dream, TV’s “The Good Wife,” “Boardwalk Empire”).

The film is written and directed by first-time filmmaker Emanuele Della Valle and will be released in theaters on September 15th.

 

 

Review: ‘Spirit Game: Pride of a Nation’ – Eat, Sleep, LAX, & Repeat

Spirit Game: Pride of a Nation

Theatrical Release Date: May 26, 2017

Available on VOD & iTunes: June 20, 2017

Guest review from Reel Reviews Over Brews

Spirit Game: Pride of a Nation is a documentary that follows The Iroquois Nationals Lacrosse Team on the road as they compete in the 2015 World Indoor Lacrosse Championships. For the first time ever, the World Championship Games were hosted by a native nation in Onondaga, New York, the Capitol of the Iroquois Confederacy. The documentary covered the true meaning of the game from the Iroquois, who originated it and called it their “medicine game.” The documentary also gives a bit of history on what this sovereign nation had to go through, to be recognized by the Federation of International Lacrosse. They experienced years of misfortune but always managed to keep the faith and appreciate the game, which is a testament to the type of people the Iroquois are.

We are suckers for documentaries, especially ones about sports. The documentary did a great job showing the Iroquois culture and how important the Iroquois Nationals Team is to them and their history. While countries have national sports for example; the USA has baseball, England has cricket, and Canada has Ice Hockey, the Iroquois have lacrosse. Except, the Iroquois don’t have hundreds of thousands of players to pick from… they have roughly 400 players to create a championship team with. Even at this disadvantage, they were able to compete at such a high level in the 2015 World Indoor Lacrosse Championships. It was truly amazing to watch the Iroquois band together to host the WILC. When they faced Canada in the championship, they didn’t even hold a grudge towards them for “skipping” the passport stamping (the only team at the WILC that did not attend this ceremony), the Iroquois just played the game as they knew… with all of their heart. Throughout the movie, they had us thinking about our own sports memories. Whether it was traveling and playing professional WIFFLE ball with our team, Way Too Beautiful, or having the same mindset as the Iroquois growing up playing baseball and hockey. This movie hit us right in the feels. By the end, not only do we now want to go visit the Iroquois Nation, but we also want to follow them during the next World Championship Games!

Reel ROB Rating: 4.5 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!

TITLE: SPIRIT GAME: PRIDE OF A NATION
IN THEATERS: May 26, 2017
AVAILABLE ON VOD AND iTUNES: June 20, 2017
DIRECTOR: Peter Spirer & Peter Baxter

Tribeca Film Festival 2017 review: ‘Buster’s Mal Heart’ is chilling and downright weird.

An eccentric mountain man is on the run from the authorities, surviving the winter by breaking into empty vacation homes in a remote community. Regularly calling into radio talk shows, where he has acquired the nickname”Buster,” to rant about the impending Inversion at the turn of the millennium, he is haunted by visions of being lost at sea, and memories of his former life as a family man.

Buster’s Mal Heart took everyone by surprise this year. There seemed to be 2 distinct reactions once the credits began to role. 1. That was terrible. 2. That was amazing. I happen to be in the party of the amazing. Rami Malek is the perfect choice for this role. With the incredibly successful run of Mr. Robot, Malek takes on yet another role that is mysterious and mind-bending. Whether you enjoyed the film or not, there was no arguing that it left you wondering what the hell you just watched. The plot is left to the audience’s interpretation at times. There is zero doubt about the talents of Malek in what is a challenging role. Half the film has no dialogue from his character at all. Nuanced and heartbreaking but also filled with innocent humor, you will never be bored and you will be made to think. Buster’s Mal Heart will keep you guessing long after you leave the theater and well, isn’t that what great cinema is all about?
The film is now in theaters and if you’re already a fan of Malek, I highly recommend you catch this film. The 1hr 36min run feels longer but in the best way possible. The film’s themes go full speed ahead, and there is a number of them. From best intentions, living up to other’s expectations, to anarchy and testing one’s own sanity, Buster’s Mal Heart will confuse and provoke you. You’re going to want to watch it over and over. We’d love to hear your thoughts once you’ve seen the film! Check out the madness that is the trailer below.

FILM INFO
CAST & CREDITS
  • Director:
    Sarah Adina Smith
  • Screenwriter:
    Sarah Adina Smith
  • Cinematographer:
    Shaheen Seth
  • Editor:
    Sarah Adina Smith
  • Composer:
    Mister Squinter
  • Executive Producer:
    Mynette Louie, Julie Parker Benello, Dan Cogan, Geralyn Dreyfous, Wendy Ettinger, Samuel T. Bauer
  • Producer:
    Jonako Donley, Travis Stevens
  • Associate Producer:
    William Adashek, Kevin Cannon
  • Co-Producer:
    Erika Kelton, Regina K. Scully, Lesley Ann Skillen
  • Sound Design:
    Paula Fairfield
  • Art Director:
    Tessla Hastings
  • Cast:
    Rami Malek, DJ Qualls, Kate Lyn Sheil, Sukha Belle Potter, Lin Shaye

Review: ‘FOR HERE OR TO GO’ tackles the H-B1 visa issue with heart and humor.

Statistically, those of us born in the US are incredibly lucky. The likelihood that someone is born in Asia is so much more likely when you consider population density. Having lived in India from the end of 2008 into the beginning of 2009, I was witness to the victory of Barack Obama, The Mumbai attacks, and the general obsession with Western culture. If Indian parents can afford to send their kids to college here or if an adult can procure a job in The States, this is a huge deal. The concept of American citizens assuming that legal immigrants are “stealing” their jobs can be true for companies whose goal is to save money, but that’s not always the case. Most of the time, if someone from another country is hired, it’s because they are rightfully qualified. FOR HERE OR TO GO? follows the story of one man’s journey through the H-B1 visa process and continuing his pursuit of the American dream.

Young Silicon Valley software engineer Vivek Pandit is poised to become a key hire at a promising healthcare startup, but when they realize his work visa has less than a year remaining, the offer disappears. Having learned the hard way about the flaws in his “it’s just paperwork” mentality, Vivek battles forces beyond his control to get his visa extended, whether at his existing company or a new job. Along the way, his eyes are opened to the similar struggles of his own roommates and those around him. American in mind and Indian at heart, this is a contemporary story of ambition and ambivalence fueled by one’s immigration status that characterizes the dilemma of modern cultural displacement.

The film reads beyond authentic. I may have found it a bit more intriguing having the experience in Indian culture first hand. But the heart and humor should be obvious to any audience. This film is truly politically relevant at the moment and has been killing it on the festival circuit. The cast has a wonderful chemistry. Each performance is nuanced real. Though I will say our leading man, Ali Fazal, has a likeability and charm that is unsurpassed by anyone else in the film. This script may have to be considered in an “if the shoe were on the other foot scenario” to truly be appreciated to it’s fullest. First-time writer Rishi S. Bhilawadikar wrote the screenplay after her own personal struggles with immigration to the United States.

Let me be clear, while the film has an overall theme, there is much more to celebrate. There is a love story, roommate shenanigans, and an immersive comedy that comes with both the Indian and Western cultures. FOR HERE OR TO GO? is a really enjoyable film, and film festivals seem to agree. It has screened for audiences at no less than 15  different fests since 2015. You can catch it yourself in theaters this Friday, March 31st.

In Theaters on March 31st

Starring:  Ali Fazal  (Furious 7), Melanie Chandra (CBS’s “Code Black”), Omi Vaidya  (TV’s “Brown Nation”), Amitosh Nagpal (TV’s “Powder”) and Rajit Kapur (Life is Good).

RT: 105 Minutes

Reel News Daily Exclusive Clip: Go Behind-the-scenes of the WAR & PEACE mini-series coming to Blu-Ray May 10th.

Anchor_Bay_Entertainment_logoWar & Peace blue ray box artBBC recently produced a spectacular new adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s timeless novel, where three young people experience life, love and loss against the epic backdrop of Russia’s wars with Napoleon. The 6 episode mini-series was filled to the brim with talented actors that included Lily James, Paul Dano, James Norton, Tuppence Middleton, and Jim Broadbent to name a few. With breathtaking period costumes and sweeping cinematography, Director Tom Harper has successfully created a magical adaptation that is as heart-rending and exhilarating as Tolstoy’s original work. Take a look at our exclusive clip of Harper and the cast at the very first read-through of WAR & PEACE.

WAR & PEACE

will be available on Blu-ray and DVD on May 10th from Anchor Bay Entertainment

Lily James as Natasha Rostov

Lily James as Natasha Rostov

Paul Dano as Pierre Bezukhov

Paul Dano as Pierre Bezukhov

James Norton as Prince Andrei

James Norton as Prince Andrei

Interview: Amy Koppelman, author and screenwriter of ‘I SMILE BACK’ tells us where Amy ends and Laney begins.

AmyKoppelmanBeautifully insightful, generous human being, and honest writer, Amy Koppelman now has three books and one screenplay under belt. Her novel, I SMILE BACK just opened in theaters, a film she developed for the screen with her screenwriting partner, Paige Dylan. After her first novel A Mouthful of Air, Koppelman used her own life as a rough base for the lead character in I Smile Back, Laney, immaculately portrayed by Sarah Silverman on the big screen. I got a chance to sit down with Amy last week, and pick her brain.

Liz: Firstly, congratulations, to both you and Paige on bringing such a bold and honest story to life. Thank you for tackling a subject we tend to try to hide rather than seek help for. I would love to know, where does Amy end and Laney begin?

Amy: All the thoughts and fears, the self-loathing, the doubt, the sadness, all of those, I own those completely. The ways in which they manifest in Laney and in me, that’s where things diverge. I’ve been sleeping with the same guy for 25 years…

Liz: So her outwardly self-destruction and addiction.

Amy: Exactly, that’s not me.

Liz: Did Brian (Koppelman, Amy’s screenwriter/director husband) actually help you at all with the transition from page to screen?

Amy: Well, he’s very helpful in the sense that he actually kept me alive and got me better for so long, and yes, of course, he was helpful. He gives great notes. It’s like, what more could you want but a great screenwriter in your house. I mean screenwriting for me is a completely different muscle than novel writing. It uses a completely different skills set and some people can do both with fluidity. For me, it’s counter-intuitive to the way I write, so he was very helpful.

Liz: Do you think it’s easier to “write what you know” or is that more of a challenge?

Amy: I don’t know because for years and years I just wrote without thinking about what I’m writing… I mean I knew that when I was writing I Smile Back I wanted a write a story about a woman and about how everything she did was based on fear, that she was so anxiety ridden about hurting or being hurt by the people she loved that she almost preemptively strikes against them. Because even if everything goes right, even if they don’t leave her, somebody at some point will die and that’s just, you know… I always think that by the time you’re five and you realize that everyone you love is going to one day die, it’s amazing that every five year old doesn’t run into traffic. So, I just write and write until I hit a scene and think, “Oh, that’s what I’ve been trying to write to.” … It’s not that I know the answer to that, I just write from the inside out, I guess.

Liz: Yeah, I don’t think that there’s an definitive answer. Sometimes it’s a hindrance to  know too much or you don’t want to reveal too much. Sometimes it’s cathartic. Every piece it sort of it’s own thing.

Amy: Yeah. I do know that when I write, I don’t hold back anything. I don’t care how I’m judged or what people think of me. It is the most unadulterated part of myself.

Liz: It’s great. It’s very accessible. It’s unapologetic so it’s unfiltered. It’s very relatable.

Amy: Maybe not for everyone?

Liz: But I think in some way, you’ve either known someone who’s like that, or perhaps feared to become that person?

Amy: Yes! That’s what I think it is. You know, when people ask me about redemption, I don’t understand that question because for me, redemption comes for the viewer or the reader, for the person who is experiencing it. I know the reason that I read, or the reason that I watch films is so that.. the thing that moves me the most is when someone is able to articulate a thought or feeling that I’ve had that I haven’t been able to put into words. Sometimes that I didn’t even realize I was having and it makes me feel so much less lonely. I hope that I Smile Back can do that for some people. Make them feel like they can identify themselves in the character or someone they love in the character and either help that person get the help they need, or realize like Josh Charles (who plays Laney’s husband Bruce in the film) ultimately has to, that sometimes, no matter how much you love somebody, you can’t make them better.

Liz: That’s why I loved the ending so much, because it’s honest and real. (SPOILER ALERT- *scroll down if you haven’t yet read or seen the film) It’s real life. Things don’t get wrapped up in a bow.

Amy: We’ve come to expect that somehow and some of the bad reviews have been very angry about the ending, “It just ends in the middle of nowhere!” And I thought, well, I don’t think it ends in the middle of nowhere, it just ends there. It wasn’t some ploy to be cute or something. That’s just where it ended for me. Maybe Laney can get her shit together.

Liz: And who knows? And you let that story just sort of live in the ether and I thought it was awesome.

(SPOILERS ALERT OVER!)

Liz: I  also thought there was an interesting comment on this cultural need to fake it through your day. But also, as a Mom, to sort of lose your “self” to family obligations. Two really big things… especially in the city!

Amy: Yeah. I think as women, at some point, we do feel the need to put people at ease. Not all women, but I do think that is a trait more inherent to women. To kind of make things right, so I think that for Laney, if she can keep her family okay, and keep her kids okay, and keep her demons to herself, then maybe they can all be safe.

Sarah Silverman I Smile Back stillLiz: What was in Sarah’s voice, when you heard her on Howard Stern? Was it a tone or something she said?

Amy: It’s funny, I’ve been tempted to listen to the interview again, because someone told me it was online, and I thought, “I don’t actually think I should listen to it again.” There was just something in the tone of her voice and I can’t explain it except for like it happens a couple times in your life, you have a moment of magic, like when you fall in love, ya know? I just thought she’d understand me. She would understand Laney and what I was trying to explain with Laney. I do believe that as writers, or carpenters, or teachers, or just human beings, we just want to be heard and understood. So, my first inclination was just to get the book to her because I thought, “Oh, she’s gonna understand me and that in and of itself felt like a real victory.” The fact that she got it, and opened it and read it, well that was a real miracle.

Liz: So, Postpartum Depression, in the past couple weeks, has gotten a little more attention than it normally gets. Which I think is important. I have a lot of  friends, who have just given birth and who are also pregnant, and clearly that is a huge fear. You just don’t know if and when it’s going to happen.

Amy: Every woman, to varying degrees has.. it’s very emotional when you have a child. I mean the hormones in your body, the estrogen, there is something called Baby Blues which isn’t Postpartum Depression and so postpartum depression is just like baby blues, that just doesn’t go away, it gets worse. I started writing [ A Mouthful of Air] 20 years ago, it was impossible to get published, and I think every single agent in NYC rejected that book and they all said, “No one wants to read about this.” I remember, I’m so sick, that when Andrea Yates killed her children, I don’t know if you remember that? I remember seeing it on the cover of Newsweek and calling one of  the agents and going, “See?! This is a real thing!.” And she said, “Well this isn’t going to make it any easier for you, it’s going to make it worse.” So, I’m really happy to see that people talk about it more now. When I wrote that book, people say it’s a book on postpartum, I never even knew the words postpartum depression even existed. I just thought it was a variation on the theme of depression. I didn’t know there was this separate world of this kind of depression. I remember after writing the final scene… I remember going online and reading, I don’t even think it  was Google, I think it was Ask Jeeves!… it was the first time I saw the words “postpartum depression” and it was on a very rudimentary site where some mother was writing about how her daughter had killed herself, not the child. Slowly through that book, I met a lot of people who were working really hard to bring awareness. It’s much better that people know to look out for it. People know with their friends, they can spot it. They know the difference between when the person is having emotional stuff happen because they have just had a baby versus, “Oh, that’s something different.” And they need an different level of help. A Mouthful of Air is actually out of print now but you can get it for free on my website. (www.AmyKoppelman.com) You can print it out at home or you can get it as an eBook. I might as well have it there, because the most rewarding thing for me, even though I don’t sell a lot of books, is when I get letters from psychiatrists or from people who say, “I gave this to my patient’s husband, so that they could understand what’s going on with their wife.” Or, “I gave this to my patient’s mother so they could help get their child to take medication.”

Liz: I think that’s so generous of you.

Before they steal you, HESITATION WOUNDS! (Amy’s new novel) I think it’s  so interesting that you’re coming from a psychiatrist’s point of view in this respect. I think that’s a really interesting way to tackle the subject of depression.

Amy: I think that one of the things that Susa Seliger says, (The main character in the novel) she says that even though she knows so much about the human mind, it doesn’t really help her in terms of being a human being. It doesn’t make it easier for her to deal with regret and fear and mourning and anger. The guilt for having survived. And, I hope you like it!

hesitation wounds coverHESITATION WOUNDS Synopsis:
The new novel by the author of I Smile Back, now a film starring Sarah Silverman.The acclaimed author of I Smile Back, Amy Koppelman is a novelist of astonishing power, with a sly, dark voice, at once fearless and poetic. In her breathtaking new novel, Dr. Susanna Seliger is a renowned psychiatrist with a specialty in treatment-resistant depression. The most difficult cases come through her door, and Susa will happily discuss medication or symptom management but draws the line at messy feeling. Her mantra and most fervent anti-prayer, and the undeniable fact of her past is that the people who love you leave.But the past is made present by one patient, Jim, whose struggles  tear open Susa’s hastily stitched up wounds, and she’s once again haunted by the feeling she could have saved those she’s lost, including her adored, cool, talented graffiti-artist brother. Spectacularly original, gorgeously unsettling, Hesitation Wounds is a wondrous novel that will sink deep and remain—powerfully, transformingly, like a persistent scar or a dangerous glow-in-the-dark memory.
i smile back posterI SMILE BACK  is in theaters now and will be On Demand this Friday, November 6th.

Hesitation Wounds comes to shelves tomorrow, November 3rd!

Review: ‘THE CONNECTION’ out on DVD, Blu-Ray, and HD Digital!

The Connection posterA stylish, ’70’s-period crime thriller inspired by true events, THE CONNECTION tells the story of real-life Marseille magistrate Pierre Michel (Academy Award® Winner Jean DujardinThe Artist, The Wolf of Wall Street) and his relentless crusade to dismantle the most notorious drug smuggling operation in history: the French Connection. In his crosshairs is charismatic and wealthy kingpin, Gatean, who runs the largest underground heroin trade into the States. Though the fearless and tenacious Michel, aided by a task force of elite cops, will stop at nothing to ensure the crime ring’s demise, Zampa’s “La French” always seems one step ahead. As La French mounts its retaliation, Michel will be forced to make the most difficult decision of his life: to continue waging his war, or ensure his family’s safety, before it’s too late.The connection
This film is massively dynamic. From the crisp and well framed cinematography to the outstanding cast. Dujardin proves he is still a star as Michel. He owns every moment on screen as his presence is captivating. Gilles Lellouche as Gaëtan ‘Tany’ Zampa is just as powerful. In a script where both men are equally determined to protect their legacy, Dujardin and Lellouche are movie magic when they appear on screen together. The film is action packed. Even with a runtime of 135 mins, it never seems like it drags. If you’re a fan of Netflix‘s new series Narcos, The Connection is right up your alley.The connection 2 still
It deserves the multitude of praise and awards is has garnered thus far. Director Cédric Jimenez (also one of the screenwriters) clearly knows his stuff. I’d love to see more from him asap. The overall look is pretty killer from the slick wardrobe to the soundtrack of the era filled club scenes. They nailed it.  While the idea of cops and gangsters is anything new, I still think this film keeps your interest with it’s mixture of action and plan of action. The acting is beyond solid with a vast array of bad guys to run through. DVD extras include a featurette on the making of The Connection as well as some great deleted scenes. We highly recommend you catch this film and thankfully, now you can!
 
Product Information
Language: French                                                     
Subtitles: English
Widescreen: Yes
Length: 135 min.
Year: 2014                                        
Genre: Action/Foreign
Rating: NR
CC: No
DVD
SRP: $24.99                                                  
Blu-Ray
SRP: $29.93
About Drafthouse Films
Drafthouse Films, the film distribution arm of the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, is a curated brand of provocative, visionary and artfully unusual films new and old from around the world. Following the earnestly simple motto of “sharing the films we love with widest audience possible,” Drafthouse Films debuted in 2010 with the theatrical release of Four Lions, which was named of Time Magazine’s “Top 10 Films Of The Year.” Their diverse and unique slate includes the highly-acclaimed, Oscar® nominated documentary The Act Of Killing produced by Errol Morris and Werner Herzog, 2013 SXSW Midnight Audience Award winner Cheap Thrills starring David Koechner (Anchorman), British auteur Ben Wheatley’s psychedelic trip into magic and madness, A Field In England, Ari Folman’s Cannes Film Festival selected sci-fi epic The Congress starring Robin Wright, Harvey Keith, Jon Hamm and Paul Giamatti, Midnight Movie sensations Miami Connection andThe Visitor and rediscovered classics Wake in Fright and Ms. 45. Recent and upcoming releases include Dutch thriller Borgman, Michel Gondry’s Mood Indigo, Sundance Award-winning documentaries The Overnighters and the recently acquired Look of Silence, Joshua Oppenheimer’s stunning follow up to The Act of Killing. Drafthouse Films distributes films theatrically, through home video, VOD and their direct-to-consumer platforms integrating into the ever-growing Alamo Drafthouse entertainment lifestyle brand, which along with the Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas includes: Mondo, the collectible art boutique; Fantastic Fest, the largest international genre film festival in the US; and the pop culture website Birth.Movies.Death.

 

Review: ‘BRAVE MEN’S BLOOD’ is film festival worthy.

Brave Men's Blood posterCorruption in the police force is not a new topic. In Olaf de Fleur‘s new crime thriller, BRAVE MEN’S BLOOD, treachery is brought to the forefront with a script filled with twists and turns. BMB_Web_res_2In order to take down a major criminal organization, the ambitious head of the internal affairs unit of the Reykjavik P.D. decides to investigate a corrupt police lieutenant. Tipped off about the lieutenant’s criminal dealings by a former crime kingpin, now imprisoned, he places a female former narcotics officer undercover to spy on him. These actions set him off on a dangerous path as he aims to catch both the lieutenant and the drug lord.BMB_Web_res_4 (1) This film is truly an ensemble piece. Two stand out performances are those our of hero, Hannes, played extraordinarily by Darri Ingolfsson. Perhaps best known for his villainous role on the final season of Showtime’s DEXTER, Ingolfsson gives us every emotion in the spectrum with ease and a spirit that you instantly root for. The other key role in the film is played by Ingvar Eggert Sigurðsson. By the end of the  film, you will be calling this man a master.  BMB_Web_res_5We are privy to the intimate lives of both the good and the bad. Hrafnknell Stefansson and Olef De Fluer‘s screenplay is most definitely award worthy. I could easily see this film play at both Tribeca and New York Film Festival. It is unexpected, frustrating, heartbreaking, action packed, and altogether satisfying for both the avid film buff and the average movie goer. The film is in mostly Icelandic ( not to fear, it is subtitled) with moments of English dialogue. Never does this take away from the action and flow of the story. The dialogue is so great, you’ll be glad in the end that you’ve read every syllable. I highly recommend this thriller gem. You will not see what’s coming next.

You can catch Brave Men’s Blood on VOD Tuesday, September 8th.

Starring:
DARRI INGOLFSON
AGUSTA EVA ERLENDSDOTTIR
INGVAR E. SIGURDSSON
SIGURDUR SIGURJONSSON
ZLATKO KRICKIC
HILMIR SNAER GUDNASON
Written by:
HRAFNKELL STEFANSSON
and
OLAF DE FLEUR

Trailer: ‘THE WITCH’ looks insanely frightening.

 
Presents
 
THE WITCH
A film by Robert Eggers
 
***Winner – Directing Award, Dramatic – 2015 Sundance Film Festival***
 
THE WITCH will have its International Premiere at the
2015 Toronto International Film Festival as a Special

The witch teaser poster In this exquisitely-made and terrifying new horror film, the age-old concepts of witchcraft, black magic and possession are innovatively brought together to tell the intimate and riveting story of one family’s frightful unraveling.

 Set in New England circa 1630, The Witch follows a farmer who get cast out of his colonial plantation and is forced to move his family to a remote plot of land on the edge of an ominous forest rumored to be controlled by witches. Almost immediately, strange and unsettling things begin to happen-the animals turn violent, the crops fail, and one of the children disappears, only to return seemingly possessed by an evil spirit.  As suspicion and paranoia mount, everyone begins to point the finger at teenage daughter Thomasin. They accuse her of witchcraft, which she adamantly denies…but as circumstances become more and more treacherous, each family member’s faith, loyalty, and love will be tested in shocking and unforgettable ways.
Writer/director Robert Eggers‘ debut feature, which premiered to great acclaim at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival (and won the Best Director Prize in the U.S. Narrative Competition), painstakingly recreates a God-fearing New England decades before the 1692 Salem witch trials, in which religious convictions and pagan folklore famously clashed. Told through the eyes of the adolescent Thomasin – in a star-making turn by newcomer Anya Taylor-Joy – and supported by mesmerizing camera work and a powerful musical score, THE WITCH is a chilling and groundbreaking new take on the genre.
In Theaters 2016
 
Directed and Written by Robert Eggers
Starring Anya Taylor Joy, Ralph Ineson, Kate Dickie,
Harvey Scrimshaw, Ellie Grainger and Lucas Dawson
Runtime: 90 Minutes
Rating: R for disturbing violent content and graphic nudity
 

10 years Later… ‘WTC View’ is being released on iTunes. Liz interviews Director Brian Sloan and star Michael Urie

Michael Urie in WTC View. Courtesy of Brian Sloan.

Everyone has their own story. Everyone remembers where they were and what they were doing when they found out about the planes hitting the towers. It was not a good day for our country. Sadness, confusion, fear all still come to mind when allowing ourselves to go back to that day. What many people outside New York will never understand, is what happened the days and months following the attacks on 9/11. WTC View, was released 10 years ago. Tuesday, March 3rd, it is finally available on iTunes. This film is a beautiful glance at the time after the world came to a stop in 2001. What we, as New Yorkers, felt, saw, smelled, heard, and had to process after a day that will never leave us. Read More →

Liz’s Review: The Homesman- A long winding journey.

HomesmanPoster

As a child I sat in a hard plastic chair in my town library and played The Oregon Trail until eventually my player died of dysentery. I thought it was cool to put my name on a list, hear it called out, and get to play for a whole 30 minutes all my myself. Little did I know/care that I was actually learning in the process. All of those memories came flooding back when I saw the new Roadside Attractions release, The Homesman. Read More →