Review: ‘DAVID’ is hilariously layered.

DAVID

David needs help. So does David.

If you tell me Will Ferrell is in it, I’ll watch it. If you say it also stars William Jackson Harper, umm, yeah I’m there. I’ve seen Ferrell in a few roles that require him to play the straight man. Stranger Than Fiction, Everything Must Go, and Winter Passing being the closest. Here he is tasked with portraying a therapist to a suicidal patient played by Harper. The two exchange incredibly powerful (if not brief) back and forth before they are interrupted by someone else in Ferrell’s life. Bursting into the session and causing nothing but chaos, three people trapped in a room against, perhaps, their better judgment, are simply trying to navigate boundaries and the consequences of crossing them. Harper is exactly what we need him to be here. He’s always solid with an ability to connect with a viewer. Ferrell is exceptional. He is charming and helpful and honest. The surprise performance comes from Fred Hechinger. His manic energy bursts off the screen and really wreaks physical and emotional havoc. It’s fantastic. The awkward dynamic writer/director Zach Woods places us in the middle of is comedy gold. But underneath is an honest message of love. This short will surprise you with its charm.

Cannes Film Festival – Short Film Competition 2020
Toronto International Film Festival – Official Competition 2020

USA / 2020 / 11 / Fiction

CAST
Therapist – Will Ferrell
David – William Jackson Harper
David – Fred Hechinger
Andy Doan – Corey Jantzen
Referee – Sebastian Vale

CREW
Director – Zach Woods
Screenplay – Brandon Gardner & Zach Woods
Production – Freestyle Picture Company, Ways & Means
Producers – Kevin Chinoy & Francesca Silvestri, Zach Woods, Andrew Porter
Cinematography – Andre Lascaris
Editing – Nick Paley

Review: ‘Girl With No Mouth’ has so much to say.

GIRL WITH NO MOUTH

In Girl With No Mouth, a group of children who suffer from deformities due to a toxic explosion, embark on an adventure in a war-torn post-apocalyptic region. The Turkish production comes from Can Evrenol, director of the successful TIFF Midnight Madness selection Baskin, and the horror film Housewife (currently available on Shudder).

This beautifully shot film tells the tale of a ragtag group of deformed children running from the evil Corporation responsible for their plight. Each is missing a key feature on their face, making for creative ways to communicate with one another. Captain finds Peri (our titular character) after she has fled her corrupt uncle’s clutches. With her father murdered and her uncle tracking her down to kill her, she escapes alongside her newfound friends. Captain is without eyes, Yusuf is missing his nose, and little Badger has no ears. This band of “Pirates” protects each other in search of sanctuary. Peace is coming, which means The Corporation must find any remaining children and destroy “the evidence” of wrongdoing.

Each child brings a different strength to their journey. Captain is a master tracker and relies on his heightened hearing to map. Peri uses science. Yusuf cooks and Badger scavenges. They happen upon an adult who is not a complete psychopath. The widow of the man responsible for all the agony caused by The Corporation. With her help and Peri’s engineering, can our group reach safety in time? The script is carefully crafted by director Can Evrenol and Kutay Ucun. There is undoubtedly a Peter Pan and The Lost Boys vibe to it. Add the tragic post-apocalyptic aspect and it goes from enchanting to unbelievably thrilling. You would never think this is the kind of film that would come from the director of Baskin. I’m so happy this film is now on people’s radars. I think it truly extraordinary.

This cast is outstanding. Their chemistry is pure magic. The film’s cinematography is simply stunning combined with a fantastic script, Girl With No Mouth is a captivating take of resilience and guts. You will be rooting for these kids. Their ingenuity and spirit are what hold you tightly to your seat. The finale strikes a gorgeous balance between heartbreaking and triumphant. Girl With No Mouth speaks volumes in a year where death and capitalism reign supreme. This film will have you cheering out loud at your screen. Do not sleep on this one.

 Girl With No Mouth is due to release on Blu-Ray, DVD and VOD across North America on December 8th via Indiecan Entertainment

 

INDIECAN ENTERTAINMENT focuses on independent, low-budget films. As a distributor, Avi Federgreen follows the same principle that earned him his reputation as a filmmaker; bringing audiences films they want to watch. Aside from the traditional distribution route, INDIECAN leans heavily on digital delivery. INDIECAN helps films find more opportunities with audiences through TV, Netflix, iTunes, websites, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms. The jarvee provide the best tools to improve the growth of your social media platform.  INDIECAN’s vision is to not only support Canadian production but to encourage the viewing of quality independent films by North American audiences. Indiecanent.com

Review: ‘The Twentieth Century’ is a satirical feast for the eyes.

Aspiring young politician Mackenzie King (Dan Beirne) dreams of becoming the Prime Minister of Canada. But his romantic vacillation between a British soldier and a French nurse, exacerbated by a fetishistic obsession, may well bring about his downfall. In his quest for power, King must gratify the expectations of his imperious Mother, the hawkish fantasies of a war-mongering Governor-General, and the utopian idealism of a Québécois mystic before facing one, final test of leadership. Culminating in an epic battle between good and evil, King learns that disappointment may be the defining characteristic of the twentieth century!

If you are a cinephile with any sense of humor, The Twentieth Century will delight you to no end. It’s Monty Python meets golden era Hollywood musical mixed-media delicious. (It’s basically the most appropriate mouthful I can begin with… nudge, nudge, wink, wink) It’s the wackiest and most wonderful way to jump headlong into the holiday season in 2020. It’s easy to see why it won three Screen Canada Awards and jury accolades at TIFF and Berlin. Writer, director, and editor Matthew Rankin gifts us with one of the most unique and visually lush cinematic experiences. The attention to detail is flawless and the writing will bedazzle you. While I find the plot difficult to properly describe, that’s all the more reason to watch. I guarantee you have never seen anything akin to The Twentieth Century, ever.

The complete and total commitment from these actors is to be applauded. The laugh out loud absurdity of the dialogue fraught with overt sexual innuendo is pushed gleefully further with a large percentage of the cast being performers in drag. The scenery often consists of sharp-angled, backlit, triangular towers sometimes wrapped with black & white political iconography. I fully expected a Fred Astaire dance number but was too distracted by the fetish shaming and the nationalist propaganda. It simply goes from weird to completely batshit. Performances across the board are magic. Fun fact: The film is (loosely) based on a true story! What, what, what?! While I know zero about the dynamics of the Canadian government and identity, I can say that The Twentieth Century stands out from a line of great indie films that arrived on the scene this year. Even without the national connection, the story screams a global political familiarity in your face all while making you merrily cringe in fits of laughter. It’s one of a kind.

Arriving in Virtual Cinemas on November 20, 2020!
Runtime: 90 Minutes
English Language
Color
Not Rated
🏆 Winner of the Best Canadian First Feature Film Award at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival
🏆 Winner of Best Film at the 2019 Los Cabos International Film Festival
🏆 Winner of the FIPRESCI Prize at the 2020 Berlin International Film Festival
🏆🏆🏆 Nominated for eight Canadian Screen Awards and Winner of three

Review: ‘Entwined’ is a dark and intoxicating fairy tale.

Panos, a city doctor, relocates to a remote Greek village to offer his services to the underserved community. It’s love at first sight when he sees Danae, who lives in isolation and with a mysterious skin condition. Determined to cure her, Panos will soon discover Danae is not the helpless princess he thought she was, and time is of the essence for both of them.

With a haunting score, Entwined is often the most effective when you have you don’t know what’s happening. Danae keeps you under her spell with her childlike innocence and otherworldly dialogue. Is she a princess held captive and pure from outside influence? She is positively enchanting. For Panos, that’s precisely the problem. In his attempt to be her hero, he falls victim to the mystery in the forest. Speaking of the woods, they are an entire character in Entwined. As is the ever-burning fire in Danae’s isolated cabin. But is he truly trapped?

Performances are lovely. Anastasia Rafaella Konidi’s work lies somewhere between an 11-year-old girl and a centuries-old seductress. Prometheus Aleifer is everything we need him to be. He is brave, soft, and swept away by the mystery of this young woman. Director Minos Nikolakakis uses a mix of mythology and horror folklore to capture the audience. The cinematography and sound editing add to both the menace and beauty. Bravo to the makeup team for creating such horrifically beautiful pieces that cover Anastasia Rafaella Konidi‘s body. The script’s cyclical nature will both frustrate and fascinate, most likely as intended. Entwined is aptly named. This will become more apparent as you watch. While I was able to predict a major plot point, I did not mind it. The ending was a complete surprise. You, too, will fall under the spell of this irresistible film.

ENTWINED 

OPENING IN VIRTUAL THEATERS FRIDAY, AUGUST 28 WITH A NORTH AMERICAN VOD RELEASE TO FOLLOW ON SEPTEMBER 8 ON ALL MAJOR PLATFORMS.

VIRTUAL THEATERS (August 28)-Including: Los Angeles (Laemmle), New York (Alamo On Demand), Philadelphia (Philadelphia Film Society) and major cities.

VOD (US & Canada) (September 8): Including: iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Xbox, Vudu,  Direct TV, Dish Network and all major cable providers.

*****Official Selection: Toronto International Film Festival and many more.******

DIRECTOR: Minos Nikolakakis

WRITTEN BY: Minos Nikolakakis, John De Holland

CAST: Prometheus Aleifer, Anastasia Rafaella Konidi and John De Holland 

Panos (Prometheus Aleifer), a city doctor, relocates his practice to a remote village and quickly falls for Danae (Anastasia Rafaella Konidi), who lives in isolation with a mysterious skin condition. Determined to find Danae a cure, Panos learns of her dark secret and that all is not what it seems.

RT: 89 minutes; Color; Language: Greek with English subtitles; Rating: Not Rated (Horror/ Fantasy)

Distributed in North America by: Dark Star Pictures

Review: ‘The Shadow of Violence’ in Theaters Only July 31st!

SYNOPSIS: In the dark underbelly of rural Ireland, ex-boxer Douglas “Arm” Armstrong (Cosmo Jarvis, Hunter Killer) has become a feared enforcer for the drug-dealing Devers family. When his ruthless employers order him to kill for the first time, his loyalties are tested in this powerful thriller costarring Barry Keoghan (Dunkirk) and Ned Dennehy (“Peaky Blinders”).

ONLY IN THEATERS: July 31, 2020

Under the structure of a crime thriller, this film is truly a redemption story. After seeing Cosmo Jarvis in the leading role, I can no longer imagine any other actor owning this role with such a tender precision. His physical presence has an ominous feel but at the core, he’s a gentle giant with emotional, and perhaps physical, PTSD. While The Devers family uses Douglas’ strength and stature to intimidate, their psychological abuse of him is pervasive and perhaps more effective than any threat of physical harm.

Now for the story’s most gripping aspect; a father/son connection, or lack thereof. Douglas’ son Jack is on the spectrum. As a mother of a young boy also on the spectrum, this story grabbed me immediately. The juxtaposition of him and Jack cannot be ignored. The script highlights trauma and the feeling of inferiority. It is grounded writing and extraordinarily acted. The Shadow of Violence is a perfect title. The tense action scenes keep the heart pumping. Seriously, nothing short of gripping sequences. The success of the film ultimately lies in family dynamics and letting go of guilt. You will undoubtedly be touched by this story. We all want better for our children than we had for ourselves.

TITLE: THE SHADOW OF VIOLENCE

ONLY IN THEATERS: July 31, 2020

DIRECTOR: Nick Rowland

WRITER: Joe Murtagh

CAST: Cosmo Jarvis, Barry Keoghan, Niamh Algar, Ned Dennehy

SYNOPSIS: In the dark underbelly of rural Ireland, ex-boxer Douglas “Arm” Armstrong (Cosmo Jarvis, Hunter Killer) has become a feared enforcer for the drug-dealing Devers family. When his ruthless employers order him to kill for the first time, his loyalties are tested in this powerful thriller costarring Barry Keoghan (Dunkirk) and Ned Dennehy (“Peaky Blinders”).

RUN TIME: 101 minutes

RATING: R

GENRE: Thriller

DISTRIBUTOR: Saban Films

Review: Playing upon the superstitious nature of sailors, ‘SEA FEVER’ pits science against unfounded fear and pride. 

SYNOPSIS: Siobhán’s a marine biology student who prefers spending her days alone in a lab. She has to endure a week on a ragged fishing trawler, where she’s miserably at odds with the close-knit crew. But out in the deep Atlantic, an unfathomable life form ensnares the boat. When members of the crew succumb to a strange infection, Siobhán must overcome her alienation and anxiety to win the crew’s trust, before everyone is lost.

Fishing line is one of the most important items when fishing. For anglers, having the best quality line undeniably plays a major role in catching a fish. Understanding the different types of fishing line and having the knowledge to use the right lines in the right situation, could significantly improve an anglers’ fishing success. Click here if you want to get more about the walleye fishing line.

Imagine if your line breaks while fishing causing you to lose the fish. Professional anglers who depend on their income from tournaments pay careful attention to their fishing line. Most of them change their lines every day just to make sure they land a fish that could give thousands of dollars at the end of the tournament.

First you need to determine what type of fish you will be trying to catch. It is easier for you to land a fish if you know this beforehand. Catching different types of fish depend on the weight capacity and type of line you will be using. Every time your line is under heavy pressure it usually generates a lot of heat due to friction. Opt for a line that is able to stand extreme heat. Every line product comes with a “max pound test”. It is the weight the line can tolerate before breaking. Therefore, when you do deep water fishing using a 10 lb. line, chances are it will break as most deep water fish are more than 10 pounds. Additionally, the line has to endure the shock factor, which is when the fish makes a solid pull in order to get away.

The open ocean intimidates the hell out of me since my biggest fear is drowning. Am I afraid of walking under ladders and breaking mirrors? Guilty. Have I grown up to believe in fairy tales and old wives’ tales? Absolutely. Does my very own sister work in the maritime industry? You’re catching on here. Sea Fever exists to torment me.

Hermione Corfield plays Siobhán, a Ph.D. student placed on a fishing boat for her studies. What she lacks in interpersonal skills, she makes up for in brains and intuition. Battling the folklore of the sailors on board, she is faced with a creature of unknown origins that has an agenda of its own. The cast has instant chemistry and the setting of a confined and creaking ship makes for a skin-crawling experience on its own. Adding a “sea monster” element and all that comes with it makes for both a tragic and truly terrifying viewing experience. You will live in the claustrophobia of the scenario. The sound editing and cinematography combined with a cast doing complete justice to writer/director Neasa Hardiman‘s script is the perfect storm for scary.

Gunpowder & Sky, via their sci-fi label DUST, will release SEA FEVER  on Digital April 10, 2020. 

SEA FEVER stars Hermione Corfield (Star Wars: The Last JediMission Impossible: Rogue Nation), Connie Nielsen (Wonder Woman 1984, Gladiator), and Dougray Scott (Batwoman, Mission Impossible 2), and is the feature debut from BAFTA-winning director/writer Neasa Hardiman (Happy Valley, Jessica Jones).

Review: ‘Three Christs’ brings heavenly performances.

In 1959, psychiatrist Dr. Alan Stone (Richard Gere) arrives at a mental hospital in Ypsilanti, Michigan armed with the radical belief that schizophrenic patients should be treated not with confinement and electroshock therapy but with empathy and understanding. As his first study, he takes on the particularly challenging case of three men—Joseph (Peter Dinklage), Leon (Walton Goggins), and Clyde (Bradley Whitford)—each of whom believes they are Jesus Christ. Hoping that by getting them together in the same room to confront their delusions he can break through to them, Dr. Stone begins a risky, unprecedented experiment that will push the boundaries of psychiatric medicine and leave everyone involved—including Dr. Stone himself—profoundly changed. Based on a remarkable true story, Three Christs is a fascinating and moving look at one man’s journey into the deepest mysteries of the human mind.

This impeccable cast leaves their hearts on the screen. Gere, Dinklage, Goggins, Whitford, and Pollak are at their best. Based on true events in the 1950’s, when shock therapy was the most common treatment for a schizophrenic outburst, Dr. Stone introduces psychotherapy as a means of potentially curing this diagnosis.

Gere as Dr. Stone is as reliable as ever. It’s a solid and compassionate performance. Peter Dinklage as Joseph (or Jesus #1) has all the elegance of an eccentric European professor. An opera aria and letter writing are his means of self-expression. Dinklage is nothing short of riveting. Bradley Whitford plays Clyde (#2). Carrying a tattered cardboard box and responding in oxymoronic rhetoric, he is charming and genuine.

Walton Goggins is Leon (JC #3). Intuitive and emotionally stunning, his performance is truly award-worthy. Charlotte Hope as Dr. Stone’s research assistant gives an innocent and inquisitive tone to her character Becky. Kevin Pollak is Dr. Orbus. He is a power-wielding man whose true nature is slow to emerge. Unscrupulous in his selfishness, Pollak plays him in such a way that while you loathe him, he is essential as a foil for Gere. I would be remiss if I did not mention James Monroe Iglehart as Benny, the group’s orderly. He is the perfect balance between professional and personal. He could be the very representation of the film’s viewer.

The film has highs and lows in pacing. It’s simple but precisely shot. Ultimately, this film shines in its high caliber performances. Three Christs is an important story in the larger scheme of discussing mental illness across the spectrum. Not labeling individuals but treating them with compassion. It tackles healing through human connection and not the for-profit approach to medicine.

IFC Films will release THREE CHRISTS in theaters, On Digital and On Demand on Friday, January 10, 2020.

THREE CHRISTS is directed by award-winning filmmaker Jon Avnet (Fried Green Tomatoes) from a script co-written by Avnet and Eric Nazarian.  The film is based on Milton Rokeach’s groundbreaking and controversial experiment chronicled in his book The Three Christs Of YpsilantiTHREE CHRISTS features an all-star cast including Richard Gere (Chicago, Pretty Woman), Peter Dinklage (“Game of Thrones” Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri), Walton Goggins (“Justified,” Them That Follow), Bradley Whitford (“The West Wing,” Get Out), Charlotte Hope(Allied, Les Miserables), and Julianna Margulies (“The Good Wife,” “ER”).

NYFF57 review: ‘Pain and Glory’ is one of the year’s best films.

PAIN AND GLORY

  • Pedro Almodóvar
  • 2019
  • Spain
  • 113 minutes
  • Subtitled

New York Premiere · 

Pedro Almodóvar taps into new reservoirs of introspection and emotional warmth with this miraculous, internalized portrayal of Salvador Mallo, a director not too subtly modeled on Almodóvar himself and played by Antonio Banderas, who deservedly won Best Actor at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

 

Auto-fiction at its finest, Pain and Glory is one of this year’s most beautiful and compelling films. Addressing addiction, depression, redemption, physical and emotional health, this story weaves a tale that is all at once meta and whimsical in presentation. It’s a profoundly important example of LGBTQ representation in film. Antonio Banderas is Oscar-worthy. Breathtakingly nuanced from every angle, he proves yet again how great acting can move an audience. Written and directed by Pedro Almodovar, his heart and art are on the screen at all times. It is so visually lush you can almost taste the colors on screen. With a gorgeous supporting performance by Penelope Cruz, Pain and Glory should easily walk away with top foreign language awards this year. Rightly deserved for a film that combines sensuality, art, and memories for audiences to immerse themselves in. It is a timeless story of love and loss, experience and pain. Pain and Glory is unforgettable in this year’s strong line up at the New York Film Festival.

Sony