Review: ‘Synchronic’ will surprise you time and time again.

SYNCHRONIC

Synopsis:
When New Orleans paramedics and longtime best friends Steve (Anthony Mackie) and Dennis (Jamie Dornan) are called to a series of bizarre, gruesome accidents, they chalk it up to the mysterious new party drug found at the scene. But after Dennis’s oldest daughter suddenly disappears, Steve stumbles upon a terrifying truth about the supposed psychedelic that will challenge everything he knows about reality—and the flow of time itself.

At this point, all I really need to see to get excited is “A Moorhead and Benson Film” on my screen. You literally never know what you’re going to get except that it will most likely make you question your own reality. Synchronic is yet another visual and storytelling mindfuck. After the success of Spring and The Endless, Jaime Dornan and Anthony Mackie headline their newest trippy installment. The camera work is as dizzying as the plot. You are plunged into the darkness immediately. The editing is a damn triumph. You cannot look away in fear of missing the smallest clue. When the plot is actually revealed, an entirely new layer of insanity is unleashed. It is a head trip of epic proportions. It’s what fellow Whovians like to call “Wibbly Wobbly, Timey Wimey”. Now that my nerd is sufficiently showing, I can gladly report that the awesome flows throughout the film will nuance and heart. These men are flawed. Fully fleshed out human beings with serious issues. Throw in a mystery drug that’s is traumatizing users, oftentimes killing them in the most bizarre ways and you’ve gone from drama to sci-fi spectacular. Synchronic is beyond engrossing for all of the reasons above… and so much more.

Dornan is great as the privileged guy who takes his family for granted. When his daughter disappears into thin air, the performance ramps up. Mackie has the challenge of not only portraying a man whose body is failing him but to convey the magnitude of Synchronic to the audience. Both performances give us very different things. Their chemistry is spot on. But it is Mackie that must be the driving force for Moorhead and Benson’s creation. Their films are so carefully crafted in story and visual treats that we are compelled to sit up a little straighter as we audibly exclaim, ‘WFT!” That’s the beauty of this team. The breadcrumbs are there. The social commentary is unmissable. Synchronic will be lauded as another fantastic notch in the belt of Aaron Moorhead and Justin Benson, there is no doubt about that. It may be the film that moves them from indie genre filmmaker crushes to household names.

In Theaters & Drive-Ins October 23rd

Directed by: Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead (The Endless)

Starring: Anthony Mackie, Jamie Dornan, Katie Aselton, and Ally Ioannides

 

Coming Soon… Matthew Schuchman‘s interview with Aaron Moorhead and Justin Benson.

Stay tuned to Reel News Daily for the inside info on SYNCHRONIC!

Review: ‘ The Endless’ is an unsettling trip.

THE ENDLESS

Directed by Justin Benson & Aaron Moorhead

Written by Justin Benson

Starrs Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead, Callie Hernandez, Emily Montague, Lew Temple, Tate Ellington, James Jordan

Synopsis: Following their Lovecraftian modern cult classic SPRING, acclaimed filmmakers Moorhead and Benson return with this mind-bending thriller that follows two brothers who receive a cryptic video message inspiring them to revisit the UFO death cult they escaped a decade earlier. Hoping to find the closure that they couldn’t as young men, they’re forced to reconsider the cult’s beliefs when confronted with unexplainable phenomena surrounding the camp. As the members prepare for the coming of a mysterious event, the brothers race to unravel the seemingly impossible truth before their lives become permanently entangled with the cult.

The Endless is a truly mindbending cinematic experience. The story alone is strange enough but when combined with breathtaking cinematography and some serious FX, you’ve got one of the coolest films so far this year. It addresses the question of cult mentality and what we consider to be familial relationships. The Endless begs for multiple viewings and not just because you think you might be able to figure out exactly what’s happening, though that’s definitely a reason. You’ll come back for cool visuals, solid performances from the entire cast, and really snappy dialogue. There is so much going on in this film that your brain may not be able to keep up with all the awesome being thrown its way. More than once, I literally said aloud, “How’d the hell did they do that?!” Benson and Moorhead have undoubtedly given us a cult classic. To think this was all done on a limited indie budget is downright mind-blowing. The Endless will surprise you and keep you on your toes until the very final frame.
Check out the trailer below:

Opening in New York April 6th and Los Angeles April 13th with a national rollout to follow

TRT: 112 minutes

Country: USA

Language: English

Directors: Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead

Writer: Justin Benson

Cast: Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead, Callie Hernandez, Emily Montague, Lew Temple, Tate Ellington, James Jordan

 

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