Review: ‘Changeland’ travels well.

CHANGLEAND

Need to get away? Seth Green‘s directorial debut, Changeland, might be just the ticket. The film stars a gaggle of actors that first made a name for themselves in some of my favorite films and television shows; Clueless, Can’t Hardly Wait, Home Alone, and Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Guys, Macaulay Culkin is in this. And he’s sheer perfection. So let’s break it down. Brandon (Seth Green) hops a flight for a vacation to Thailand, meeting up with a longtime friend, Dan (Breckin Meyer). It was supposed to be a wedding anniversary trip, but that’s not the plan now. Honest confessions, lingering regrets, tested intimacy, and it all feels 100% authentic. It’s that thing that occurs in even the closest of friendships. You get older, life happens. Dynamics, jobs, marital status, all change. But what better place to mend fences and mull over the future than a tropical oasis?  These guys grew up together and it shows. The natural pace of dialogue is fantastic. It’s actually easy to forget the iconic roles that I usually associate them with, and I do mean that as a compliment. Oh, and the soundtrack is amazing.
But it’s also an advertisement for Phuket, Thailand. It has gorgeous sweeping shots of mangrove forests, caves, resort restaurants, pristine beaches. It does not suck to look at. Green explores ideas of growth and insight without a hint of pretentiousness. It simply works. The perfect cast meeting an exemplary script. Changeland is not grandiose. It’s fun, charming, honest, and funny in both genuine and weird ways. For those of us who grew up with this cast on their favorite films and television shows of the 90s, this all the more age and stage relateable. Bravo, to Green and the entire cast for a wonderful film.

Gravitas Ventures will release CHANGELAND in theaters and VOD on June 7, 2019. Seth Green (“Family Guy,” “Robot Chicken”) makes his screenwriting and directorial debut with the buddy comedy-drama and stars alongside Breckin Meyer (“Robot Chicken,” Clueless).

Shot in Thailand, the movie centers on Brandon (Green), an unexceptional guy who prepaid for an exotic second honeymoon to save his failing marriage. On the eve of his anniversary, he discovers his wife’s long affair and runs away with his best friend Dan (Meyer) to avoid conflict and figure out what comes next. As they share breathtaking, once-in-a-lifetime experiences meant for a happy couple, their friendship is exposed as potentially strained as Brandon’s marriage. The characters they encounter will impact Brandon’s life forever.

Review: ‘BLOODSUCKING BASTARDS’ we all know a few.

BloodSuckingBastards.Poster We’ve all been there at one time or another. Sitting in a cubicle, or the like, wanting  desperately to staple a co-worker’s mouth shut or just whiteout our own eyes. But we think, hey, if I work hard enough, I’ll get that  promotion and maybe, just maybe, this won’t suck as much as I think it does. Welcome to BLOODSUCKING BASTARDS, where all  your daydreams and nightmares come true.

Meet Evan Sanders (Fran Kranz), a low-level, dutiful employee stuck in a boring job at a soul-killing every corporation. Evan’s the kind of guy who does all the work and gets none of the credit, but at least he gets to spend his days with his beautiful co-worker/girlfriend Amanda (Emma Fitzpatrick) and his slacker best friend Tim (Joey Kern), so he soldiers on in the hope of one day getting his coveted sales director position. Unfortunately, it all falls apart in one fell swoop when Amanda breaks up with him and Evan’s boss Ted (Joel Murray) hands his promotion to his college nemesis Max (Pedro Pascal). And it isn’t just their sordid past Evan has to deal with. After his fellow officemates start going through disturbing changes (which, paradoxically, make them better employees) and bodies begin to pile up, Evan learns the horrible truth: Max is a vampire. And even worse… a vamp with a plan. Evan must find a way to stop the evil brewing amidst the cubicles, expose Max as the bloodsucking bastard that he is, and save his pals before his life and career go from dead-end…to just dead.BSBEmmaFitzpatrickFranKranzJoeyKernIMG_2684

This film can best be described as Office Space meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the film version. But it isn’t a far stretch to say Joss Whedon‘s television series wouldn’t fall into this fandom, as well. Once again, Whedonverse darling, Fran Kranz steals the show. His innocent air is perfect for this role. Wide-eyed naivete leads a pack of misfits on a battle to keep their heads (or necks) intact. Marshall Givens as the badass, Redbull fueled, security guard is an absolute riot. Where has he been? Joey Kern plays Evan’s #2, Tim. He is a king underachiever. Pornstache and all, his nonchalant attitude is the perfect foil to Kranz’s hyperactivity. Emma Fitzpatrick as Evan’s recent ex and head of HR, is quick witted and sassy, She kills it.The opening titles kick some major ass and the film’s pace pulls no punches. If you’re a fan of Shaun of the Dead, BLOODSUCKING BASTARDS is right up your alley. You can catch this film today, September 4th, in select theaters and on VOD.

Directed by Brian James O’Connell and penned by the popular comedy troupe Dr. God and Ryan Mitts, Bloodsucking Bastards recently made its world premiere as the opening night film at the Slamdance Film Festival 2015.

Starring:

Fran Kranz (Cabin in the Woods)

Pedro Pascal (Game of Thrones)

Emma Fitzpatrick (Significant Mother, The Collection)

Yvette Yates (Inherent Vice)

Joel Murray (Mad Men)

Joey Kern (Cabin Fever)

 

Coming Up This Week: ‘Buffy’ alum releases new book- Liz’s interview with Amber Benson

Liz Whittemore and Amber Benson

Liz Whittemore and Amber Benson at Midtown Comics NYC

Let’s be honest, a lot, and I do mean A LOT of us are fans of the Whedonverse.  This past Sunday, Liz had the opportunity to sit down with Amber Benson, actor, director and successful author, best known to some from her iconic TV role as Tara on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Amber’s new book, “The Witches of Echo Park” just became available last week. Stay tuned for a special edition of the Girls on Film podcast for the exclusive audio!!