Tribeca Film Festival 2019 Review: ‘ONLY’ in an emotional gut punch worth waiting for.

ONLY

Will (Leslie Odom, Jr.) and Eva (Freida Pinto) seem destined for a storybook life together, so pure and supportive is their mutual love. But their alone time is suddenly interrupted when Eva’s roommate, Carolyn (Tia Hendricks), bursts through the door and collapses as torrents of mysterious ash fall from the sky. During a chaotic trip to the hospital, Will learns what he needs to do, quickly covering Eva in a hazmat suit, then rushing home with her and hermetically sealing the doors and windows. Weeks become months become years and, after Eva makes a desperate move, the couple is forced to run for their lives.

Only is a mysterious, dreamy post-apocalyptic love story told elegantly and in non-sequential order by director Takashi Doscher. Tony Award-winner Odom, Jr. (Hamilton) and Pinto (Slumdog Millionaire) play the doomed couple whose fear that their secret will be revealed unveils the layers of pain and longing between them. As Will and Eva struggle to reach a beloved waterfall from their past, the couple attempts to survive in a new world where she is a commodity of unparalleled worth.

While watching Only, I was furiously taking notes because I wanted to remember every little nuance I was experiencing. From the opening scene, the imagery is haunting and a sense of doom and urgency sit in the pit of your stomach. The phenomenally edited film builds its intensity through non-linear storytelling. While it can be a challenge to follow at times, it is an effective way to make sure you are paying full attention. At every turn in the script, I was surprised. Its dark premise will take you down a rabbit hole of needing to find answers. Once the puzzle is solved and all the pieces are in place, your stomach will drop and your soul will weep. The captivating performances from Frieda Pinto and Leslie Odom, Jr. help Only stand apart from Tribeca’s other selections this year. Their chemistry is electrifying. With subtly suggested elements of Handmaids Tale weaved into the narrative, this post-apocalyptic tale has an eerie patriarchal theme that makes it all the more upsetting. Only is easily one of the best of the fest this year.

Remaining screenings:
2:45 PM – SAT 5/4

Review: Get Entangled In ‘Entanglement’

Entanglement

Theatrical Release: February 9, 2018

Available On Demand & Digital HD: February 9, 2018

Guest review from Reel Reviews Over Brews

While searching for the meaning of his existence, Ben Layten (Thomas Middleditch) uncovers a family secret that leads him to a woman named Hanna… But when he and Hanna (Jess Weixler) inadvertently fall in love, his life becomes increasingly and strangely complicated. Ben starts to realize that everything is amazingly and incredibly connected – and that the world might just be more inexplicable than he ever imagined.

Thomas Middleditch (yes, the guy from the Verizon commercials) nails the role of hopeless moper. Thomas takes Ben’s story of wanting to give up on life and trying to figure out where it all went wrong and makes it entirely relate-able. So much so, that it caused us to become completely invested in his story and rooting for him to find the answers he was looking for. To continue on the acting, Jess Weixler as Hanna was absolutely captivating! We became as fixated on her as Ben. We can’t leave out Diana Bang either. Shout out to whomever put the cast together on this one. They didn’t miss.

Part of the plot was, every decision you make splits into many parallel universes. This is something we LOVED! We’ve heard theories on this throughout the years and its a theory we always get caught up in. To think there is a parallel universe out there that took the path we didn’t choose blows our minds because we can totally see it. Just imagine, there is a parallel universe somewhere out there and Reel Reviews Over Brews is writing about how much they hated this movie. It made us even more invested in Entanglement.

There were a few scenes that were taken over by images of fantasy. We wish the director had stayed away from this and stayed more grounded to reality… although we do understand why Jason James did this, it just felt unnecessary.

With that being said, we really enjoyed this movie and believe it’ll be very easy for viewers to become “entangled” in Entanglement.

Reel ROB Rating: 3.25 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!

Review: ‘The Ottoman Lieutenant’ is more than “just a romance”.

Paladin

Presents

THE OTTOMAN LIEUTENANT

THE OTTOMAN LIEUTENANT is the first movie to explore the eastern front of World War I, and tells the story of a beautiful, strong-willed woman (Hera Hilmar, ANNA KARENINA, DAVINCI’S DEMONS), who, frustrated by ongoing injustice at home, leaves the United States after meeting Jude, an American doctor (Josh Hartnett, PENNY DREADFUL, BLACK HAWK DOWN, PEARL HARBOR ) who runs a remote medical mission within the Ottoman Empire — a world both exotic and dangerous, and on the brink of what is about to become the first World War.  There, she finds her loyalty to Jude and the mission’s founder, (Ben Kingsley, GANDHI, SCHINDLER’S LIST) tested when she falls in love with a lieutenant in the Ottoman Imperial Army (Michiel Huisman, WILD, THE AGE OF ADALINE, HARLEY AND THE DAVIDSONS, GAME OF THRONES).  Now, with invading army forces at their doorstep, and the world about to plunge into all-out war, she must decide if she wants to be what other people want her to be, or to be herself.

This sweeping romance is everything you want it to be. A grand score by Geoff Zanelli sets the tone for this gorgeously constructed period piece with a powerhouse cast. Director Joseph Ruben brings to life the story of a young woman, although born into wealth, has the desire to be of service as a nurse wherever she is needed. Inspired by a visiting doctor, she makes arrangements to use her inheritance to fund medical supplies and travel to a remote hospital in the Ottoman Empire. Along the way she tags a lieutenant in the Ottoman Imperial Army to be her escort to her inspiring doctor. Sparks fly as tradition and duty come into call and cooler heads must prevail in love and war, but who will win? Hera Hilmar plays our leading lady with the tenacity and innocence to make you both admire and route for her. Michiel Huisman as our Lieutenant is valiant, passionate, and maintains a ceaseless faith in doing what’s right. Josh Hartnett plays Jude as elegantly strong and equally stubborn. The unsurpassed master, Sir Ben Kingsley as hospital founder Woodruff, is strong-headed but for good reason. He becomes the guidance so desperately needed in Lillie’s adventure. The chemistry between the cast is deliciously palpable. I cannot imagine any of these roles filled by other actors. The costumes and the attention to detail are impeccable. The Ottoman Lieutenant is historically interesting and beautifully written, but don’t write it off as “just a romance.” The film tackles such issues as the outbreak of the Armenian genocide, gender politics, and transcending cultural and religious norms in the name of love. You can catch the film nationwide today, March 10th.


Starring:

Michiel Huisman (Wild, Age of Adaline, Game of Thrones”)

Hera Hilmar (Anna Karenina, Davinci’s Demons)

Josh Hartnett (“Penny Dreadful“)

& Academy Award-Winner Ben Kingsley (Gandhi, Schindlers List)

Directed by: Joseph Ruben

Written by:  Jeff Stockwell

RT: 100 minutes

http://theottomanlieutenant.com/

Social Media:

Facebook: @theottomanlieutenant

Twitter: @theottomanlieut

Instagram: @theottomanlieutenant

Review: ‘COLONIA’ holds you captive.

Colonia Poster

How far would you go for love? Would you risk your life to save another? Based on true events, COLONIA is a harrowing thriller that follows the attempted escape from one the most bloody and disturbing cults in history.

SYNOPSIS

Florian Gallenberger’s historical thriller, set around the Pinochet coup in 1970s Chile sees Emma Watson’s (Harry Potter, Noah) Lena forced to undertake a dangerous mission when her boyfriend, Daniel (Daniel Brühl, Rush), is abducted by the Chilean secret police in 1973. Lena tracks him down to Colonia Dignidad, an anti-communist sect run by preacher Paul Schäfer played by Michael Nyqvist (Blomkvist in Sweden’s Girl With A Dragon Tattoo trilogy), where they plot an unprecedented escape.

Emma watson and Daniel Bruhl in ColoniaKnowing that the film is based on true  events makes it that much more intriguing and upsetting. With gloriously elaborate sets and pristine period costuming, the look of Colonia perfectly sets the tone as the story rolls along. Starting with vibrant colors on the political revolutionaries in Chile and turning dark and monochromatic once we arrive at Colonia Dignidad. The script is comprised of vast research on the part of Director Florian Gallenberger. Perhaps what is most disturbing is the fact that I’ve never heard about this happening. You’d imagine something so awful would be much more in the limelight. This is a small but brilliant window into a terrible point in human history.Michael Nyqvist and Emma Watson in The Colony (2015)Emma Watson is simply a more grown up and matured star now. Tackling a role in which a woman rescues her boyfriend is brave and important and not often something we’re treated to these days. Her grace on screen is timeless. Daniel Brühl, who I had the pleasure of meeting during the BURNT press conference last year, is nothing short of incredible. His presence is captivating. His role allows his to stretch his acting chops quite a bit and let me say, they are impressive. Michael Nyqvist is intimidating and frightening as  cult leader Paul Schäfer. You can feel the evil emanating off of him at the suggestion of child abuse in one key scene. He a truly scary. Daniel Bruhl in ColoniaColonia is successful as a love story and a political thriller. The film is now available to view via the streaming platform We Are Colony. You can view extras such as behind-the-scenes footage, interviews with the cast and crew, and production stills. Check out the trailer below.

Review: ‘SEATTLE ROAD’ paves a bumpy path.

Gravitas Ventures Logo

PRESENTS

SEATTLE ROADSeattleRoad PosterSometimes a film divides an audience right down the middle. Something so unique and deep that it either inspires a deluge of praise or a tirade of… well, let’s say “unkind words.” Writer/Producer/Director Ryan David‘s “relationship meets art” love story, Seattle Road has a great tagline:

Seattle Road explores the paradox of a couple’s love and the resentment that forms between two ambitious people.

Now that’s a film I can get behind. It sounds intriguing, with loads of potential. Unfortunately, for me, the tagline was far more clever than the film itself. If you’re going to tout a film with the word paradox, frankly I’m going to expect something wildly fantastic. What I got was some sort of millennial truth-telling, ridiculousness. Seattle Road bears resemblance to a student film with dialogue that is some of the most pretentious and eye roll inducing I’ve heard in a while. The heightened audio smacks just as false, combined with the disjointed time jumps. The film comes off as trying too hard rather than genuine. Julia Voth‘s portrayal of Eve is fickle and unlikable at every angle. I felt not a single ounce of empathy for the fact that her estranged father had passed away, or cared that she was shacking up with a guy she hardly knows in a house that doesn’t actually belong to her, all while crying “woe is me” and bitching about her self-importance. The ending literally caused me to say, “Are you kidding me?” at the screen.seattle-road Julia Voth

The only saving graces for Seattle Road lies in three things: Moments in editing, the music, and our leading man, Maximillian Roeg. Even with the editing being a point a contention for me, there are moments in the film that might as well be mini music videos from the late 80’s to the early 90’s. These are, without a doubt, the most visually interesting, only enhanced by the Music Supervision of Tracy McKnight. Great soundtrack. Finally, our Adam. Roeg is a strong presence in his timidity. As a commune raised artist trying to navigate a seemingly doomed relationship with his own personal demons, he has a quiet strength and I am very much looking forward to seeing him in future projects. If nothing else comes from Seattle Road, please let it be a platform for Maximillian Roeg to shine.

I do appreciate what Seattle Road was trying to do. It’s not a boring film by any means. It went out on a limb and tried something different. For me, the limb was awkward and weak. If you’re intrigued or feel the need to be contrarian, I invite you to watch Seattle Road this week and let me know what you think. For all I know, you may love it.

Available on Demand on all VOD platforms starting – June 24, 2016

Written & Directed by: Ryan David
Produced by: David Zonshine, Cynthia Graner, Ryan David
Cinematography by: Sandra Valde-Hansen
Edited by: Matthew Johnston
Music by:

Cast:

Dhani Harrison and Paul Hicks

Julia Voth (Supernatural, Bitch Slap), Maximillian Roeg (Dream Boy, Maneater), Kelly Lynch (Charlie’s Angels, Road House, Drugstore Cowboy), Daniel Abeles, Alan Nozick

Distributed by: Gravitas Ventures
Release Date: June 24, 2016
Running Time: 82 Minutes / NR

The Official Trailer for the Most Bizarre Romance, ‘The Lobster’

This is one trailer that will truly peak your interests. From Greek Director and Screenwriter Yorgos Lanthimos (Dog Tooth), comes the tale of a bizarre romance in his new film The Lobster, starring Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz.

This is the story of a man in a dystopian future that is required to find a mate in forty-five days; if he does not accomplish this task by this given deadline he will then turn into an animal of his choice, in this case a lobster. The film appears to have some beautiful cinematography as well as a very unique and funny story line.

For those of you who are interested in seeing The Lobster, it will be released at the New York Film Festival on September 27th. As for the rest of us, let’s hope it will be released nationwide very soon.lobster-farrell-weisz-poster

Victor Levin’s ‘5 to 7’ brings Parisian romance to New York City.

5 to 7 poster There is something about the French that evokes whimsy and passion. Paris is touted as the romance capital of the world. The language is oozing with lust and the men and women who reside there, are to be envied and adored. But give me NYC, anyday. There are so many stories just waiting to happen. In 5 to 7, we meet Brian, (ANTON YELCHIN) a 24 year old, down and out writer who won’t quit following his passion. He wallpapers his apartment with rejection letters but never stops creating. One day, by sheer chance or perhaps by fate, he looks across the street to find a stunning, French brunette smoking a cigarette. This moment is the catalyst for the entire story. Arielle (BÉRÉNICE MARLOHE) is a married 33 year old woman with two children and a unique understanding with her husband. The two and affair but with rules in place; only from 5-7pm. Arielle’s husband has a mistress, as well. She is Jane (OLIVIA THIRLBY), a 25 year old editor, who has followed the rules for a year already. Brian is welcomed into the “family” with open arms, everything is out in the open, and as unusual as it seems, somehow it works… for the while at least. At some point, sharing the woman of his dreams is too much for Brian to bare and an ultimatum is presented.5 to 7 AntonBereniceThe angst in this film is palpable. The heaviness of the situation and the excitement is wrought from the very beginning. There is something so wrong with this arrangement and yet you cannot help but root for them, and for everyone. The struggle between happiness and traditional thinking is constantly challenged in the script, crafted carefully by Victor Levin who does double duty as Director. As a New Yorker, this film is also a love story with the City itself. Peering into locations like The Guggenheim, Central Park, The St. Regis, and neighborhoods all over Manhattan is a love affair no city dweller can overlook. We are also treated to diverse cultural experiences between young downtown and sophisticated wealthy uptown. “Beer Vs. Wine”, if you will, but all New York City at heart.5 to 7 GlennFrankYelchin, who is in quite a few feature this year alone, is wonderful, charming and insightful as ever.  Marlohe is enchanting and effortless. Rounding out the amazing cast is Glenn Close and Frank Langella as Brian’s parents, Arlene and Sam Bloom. These two pros come into their scenes as if they were married for 30 years. Funny and honest and keeping us on our toes, they are a delight as a foil to Brian and Arielle. 5 to 7 has a built in audience. This film is for anyone who has ever had stars in their eyes and hope in their hearts. It’s a story of choices and finding out how far you’ll go for your happy ending.Victor Levin 5 to 7

In speaking to Victor Levin this week, I got a whole new insight on his first feature. He was simply a gentleman and a scholar and I thank him for every minute of his time. Take a listen to our chat below.

 

5 to 7 opens in theaters today in NY and LA, with a nationwide release next Friday, April 10th. It is also available now on VOD.

 

 

Liz’s Review: ‘SONG ONE’ plays well

 SongOnePoster

Nothing quite captures New York City like it’s sound scrape. The roaring of a passing subway train. The chatter in a coffee house. The songs heard on the streets by the immense talent that envelopes themselves in the starving artist community that creates the fabric of this magical place.  SONG ONE is a beautiful ode to this city. Read More →

Liz’s Review: ‘A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night’ – A love story you can sink your teeth into

a-girl-walks-home-at-night-poster

I LOVE horror movies. I love an original script. I love a great soundtrack. Put them all together and you’ve got me on your side from minute one. There are few movies ever made that deliver on all of these aspects. The one I am about to describe blows it out of the water. Read More →