Review: ‘HERE AFTER’ is lengthy but lovely soulmate story.

HERE AFTER

A struggling actor, Michael, dies right after a bad breakup, awakening to a singles Purgatory where he must find his soul mate in order to cross over to the other side. With limited time to find true love among other recently deceased single New Yorkers, Michael must navigate the new customs of a ghostly dating life…as if dating in New York wasn’t hard enough already. When he meets the woman of his dreams, who happens to be alive, Michael must figure out how to cheat the system to cross over with her.

Andy Karl stars as Michael, a recently deceased, narcissistic actor who takes the idea of love for granted. When forced to find his soulmate, things get more complicated than he ever imagined possible. Finding a woman he connects with that happens to be alive makes for quite the twist. There are a lot of dynamic ideas in Here After, but its runtime drags the film down. It has some GHOST similarities, including a surprisingly dark edge I was not expecting in the least. The brightest moments come in two forms. First, the genuine chemistry between Andy Karl and his love interest Nora Arnezeder. She will charm any viewer with a single glance. Her nonchalance and likeability are gold. Karl, who I adore from his work on Broadway, is equally strong. He is the perfect balance of tenacious, fumbling, and vulnerable. Arnezeder’s and his down-to-earth dialogue makes this relationship fun and relatable. These are winning scenes.
Christina Ricci is our other shining star. Each appearance puts a smile on your face. She has this innate presence about her. Ricci’s character could be a separate script, entirely. The mood changed drastically whenever she and Karl shared the screen. Writer-director Harry Greenberger had the opportunity to lighten the overall tone with a more upbeat score and tighter editing. I absolutely appreciate the risk in including an aspect of danger. It undoubtedly kept me on my toes. While the climax had a plot hole or two, I’ll give Here After a pass in this category for its beautiful message and authenticity.


Vertical Entertainment will release HERE AFTER On Demand everywhere on July 23, 2021.

HERE AFTER stars Christina Ricci, Andy Karl, Nora Arnezeder, Jackie Cruz, and Michael Rispoli. It was written and directed by Harry Greenberger and produced by Greenberger and Carmine Famiglietti. The film has a running time of 121 minutes and will not be rated by the MPAA. HERE AFTER features the brand new original song “Mysteries of Life” sung by Debbie Harry.


Review: ‘Getting To Know You’ is an emotional journey and you need to see it this holiday season.

Getting To Know You

It’s an unusual request.

Another guest at the small-town hotel where Abby Sorensen is staying asks her to pretend to be his wife. Just for a few minutes. He flew from New York to reignite the flame with his old high school girlfriend, the beautiful, impetuous Kayla, only to discover she’s now married with two kids. But Kayla decides she wants him after all, and has shown up at the hotel drunk and demanding sex. But Luke isn’t a homewrecker, so if Abby, a married woman in town for her estranged brother’s funeral, could just say she’s his wife the problem will be solved.

What could go wrong? It’s not like two strangers pretending to be husband and wife could possibly fall in love….

Starting off with a bang (literally, zero puns intended) this story about two people desperate to connect is enchanting. Encompassed by the worst hotel staff you’ll ever come across, Luke and Abby are marooned with their sadness and stories and one another. Until some unexpected high school friends reenter the scene. This small town is filled with secrets and some insanely intense locals. It’s completely unexpected and a total delight.

Sarah Blanchard holds nothing back as an unhappily married woman who comes back to take advantage of Luke’s profession of love. She is over the top. She is hilarious in her aggression. Her comedic timing is on fire once all three are in the same room. It’s magic. Rupert Penry-Jones as Luke is a wonderful foil for Natasha Little. Their chemistry is perfection. I cannot imagine anyone else in this role now that I’ve seen him. Isn’t that the ultimate compliment? Natasha Little is the true star of Getting To Know You. Her physical comedy, her delivery, simply everything about her genuinely grounded backstory is brilliant. She plays it close to the vest but the hurt is written in every glance. It’s lovely to watch pure talent.

The film takes you on an emotional rollercoaster. It’s at times quite melancholy, undeniably laugh out loud hilarious, and completely breathtaking. You get a slice of everything in this screenplay spectacularly written and directed by Joan Carr-Wiggin. It’s about loss and regret. It’s about kindness and feeling seen by another person. It’s about taking one crazy chance on happiness again.

 

GETTING TO KNOW YOU stars Natasha Little (War of the Worlds, Night Manager, Vanity Fair), Rupert Penry-Jones (M.I.5, Persuasion), Rachel Blanchard (You Me Her, Fargo), Linda Kash (Best In Show), and stand-up comedian Mark Forward, along with Duane Murray, Ace Hicks, Zach Smadu and Christopher Jacot.

The film was written and directed by Joan Carr-Wiggin (The Bet, If I Were You).

Gravitas Ventures will release GETTING TO KNOW YOU on VOD and Digital platforms including iTunes, Amazon, Apple TV, Google Play, Fandango Now, and all major cable/satellite platforms on Tuesday, November 24.  The film has a running time of 1:43:16 and will not be rated by the MPAA.

Review: ‘S#!%HOUSE’ is one of the most genuine films of 2020.

IFC Films

presents

Alex (Cooper Raiff) is a lonely, friendless college freshman who is seriously contemplating transferring to a college closer to his mom (Amy Landecker) and sister (Olivia Welch), to whom he is still extremely tethered. Everything changes one night when Alex takes a leap and attends a party at his campus’ party house ‘Shithouse’, where he forges a strong connection with his RA, Maggie (Dylan Gelula).

When a movie opens with a silent conversation with a stuffed animal, you’ve got me. Alex hates college, so, so much. Admittedly, it’s awkward as hell. Sharing bathrooms, still eating in a cafeteria, living with weird roommates. Leaving home for the first time can be really hard. The college experience is not for everyone.

S#!%HOUSE is an amazingly honest coming-of-age dramedy. The dialogue is hilarious. The bizarre exclamations of sloppy drunk people. The random hook-ups. The desperate attempts to connect with literally anyone else. The performances are spot in. They are down-to-earth and possess a familiarity that is necessary for this to be truly successful. It doesn’t shy away from reality. The sadness and fear and loneliness that comes along with being on your own in an entirely new setting. The entire plot, while seemingly centered on a romance, is truly about finding yourself.

Dylan Gelula, as Maggie, has a whole lot more under her cool girl facade. Her performance feels grounded and sincere. She brings confidence that few can convey with such ease and was an awesome casting choice for Maggie. Writer/director/star Cooper Raiff is someone to watch for all the reasons I mentioned above. He is responsible for a film that feels like it could be any one of our stories from college. He takes real care with Alex. This is a character we need to see more of. He allows him to be sensitive, honest, confused, hopeful, vulnerable. Frankly, he’s one of the most brilliantly written characters this year. S#!%HOUSE shines in its authenticity.

In Theaters + On Demand October 16th

Winner of the Grand Jury Prize (Narrative Film) at the 2020 SXSW Film Festival.

About Cooper Raiff
Cooper Raiff is a 23-year-old filmmaker from Dallas, TX. He and his two best friends made a short film from stolen equipment, and in a burst of bravery, tweeted the link of their short film to Jay Duplass. To their surprise, Duplass liked the film and helped them develop it into the feature-length version of S#!%THOUSE that is about to make its World Premiere at SXSW. Raiff wrote, directed, edited, and starred in S#!%THOUSE, his feature debut.

Fantasia 2020 review: ‘The Paper Tigers’ is a funny, action packed crowd-pleaser.

Synopsis

Action/Dramedy
Three childhood Kung Fu prodigies have grown into washed-up, middle-aged men – now one kick away from pulling their hamstrings. But when their master is murdered, they must juggle their dead-end jobs, dad duties, and overcome old grudges to avenge his death.

Making its world premiere at Fantasia 2020, The Paper Tigers is endlessly funny with amazing fight choreography. Any time a moment gets serious, a hilarious joke is cracked. It keeps the pace alive and well. Writer-director Writer-director Bao Tran has given audiences a real treat. When I told my husband about the plot, he lovingly jested “I liked it better when it was called Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.” And yes, it has a fantastic nostalgia that the series also possessed, and you cannot avoid comparisons to The Karate Kid. These are all genuine compliments. This film is sheer perfection for my generation because it feels like a love letter to martial arts films but has that extra something unique. As someone who is also currently binging Cobra Kai, The Paper Tigers arrives at the right moment.

The plot is unexpected. We get to delve into friendship, loyalty, parenting, and the reality of aging all through a mystery. There is nothing I didn’t enjoy about the film. The fight sequences are super engrossing and again, any moment that veers into the weighty territory is carefully cut with humor. The editing reveals more backstory information little by little with flashbacks all caught on camcorder footage. It’s a great touch. The Paper Tigers is an awesome introduction to anyone who hasn’t seen a martial arts film before. It will ease you into the genre all while capturing your heart… and make you laugh out loud. What more can you ask for?

Review: ‘The Honor List’ highlights female high school relationships; the good, the bad, and the embarrassing.

High school relationships, especially among girls, can turn on a dime. Emotions are in high gear which means even small miscommunications can take down friendships. In the new film The Honor List, we discover that what tears us apart can bring us back together.

The summer before high school, Piper, Sophie, Isabella, and Honor are inseparable; by senior year, they barely speak. When tragedy strikes before graduation, the former best friends reluctantly put their differences aside and reunite to complete a forgotten bucket list. THE HONOR LIST explores the complexities of friendships, family, love, loss, and high school.

High school, in general, is no cake walk, but this film delves into the cliche pitfalls of popularity in creative ways. The characters are flawed, as they should be. Each of the four main characters with their own personality and ideas. But it’s in those differences that allow the script to shine. Some of the most enduring relationships I still have from high school are with people with whom I share interests but we could not be more different from one another in most aspects almost 20 years later. True friendship happens over small moments that shape who we become. The Honor List will do well with a Freeform demographic. It’s a bit bold and very honest if not slightly saccharin at times. It would be something I would recommend Moms watch with their kids. While the entire cast has wonderful talent and chemistry, the biggest treat has to be Sasha Pieterse. In her first role since the finale of Pretty Little Liars, Pieterse gives a riveting performance as a young woman surrounded by home turmoil. She has a sharp wit, an edgy artist’s mindset, who is struggling with incidents of body shaming. The role is a complete departure from her previous work. I, for one, am seriously looking forward to more from her.

The Honor List is available digitally and On Demand now. Check out the trailer below:

The Honor List stars lifestyle, beauty vlogger and social media influencer Meghan Rienks (“Freakish”), Karrueche Tran(“Claws”), Arden Cho (“Teen Wolf”) and Sasha Pieterse, who is starring in her first lead role since the hit teen drama “Pretty Little Liars” ended. Directed by Elissa Down, written by Marilyn Fu from a story by Fu and Meghan Rienks, Lionsgate’s Studio L released the film digitally on May 11th. It was produced by Liz Destro, Zoe, Cisely and Mariel Saldana’s Cinestar Pictures, along with PopSugar Films. Over 60% of the crew were women; it is truly a film made by women for women.

 

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/

 

Exclusive Clip from the upcoming film FOR HERE OR TO GO? coming to theaters this Friday! The battle over legal immigration and the H-1B visa has many familiar faces.

Reel News Daily is exclusively premiering a clip from the politically relevant film, FOR HERE OR TO GO?, a film about a young Silicon Valley software engineer Vivek Pandit, who is poised to become a key hire at a promising healthcare startup, but when the company realizes his work visa has less than a year remaining, the offer disappears. American in mind and Indian at heart, FOR HERE OR TO GO? is a contemporary story of ambition and ambivalence fueled by one’s immigration status that characterizes the dilemma of modern cultural displacement.
The clip could actually be considered a hilarious metaphor for the rest of the film, check it out below:

Starring: Ali Fazal  (Furious 7), Melanie Chandra (CBS’s “Code Black”), Omi Vaidya  (TV’s “Brown Nation”), Amitosh Nagpal (in his International Debut), Rajit Kapur (Making of the Mahatma) and Samrat Chakrabarti (Viceroy’s House)

The film will be released in theaters on March 31st.

Review: In ‘MY NAME IS EMILY’ Evanna Lynch leaves Hogwarts behind.

Monument Releasing

Presents

 MY NAME IS EMILY

 A Film By

Simon Fitzmaurice

Opening Theatrically In US Cities On February 17

VOD To Release On February 24

MY NAME IS EMILY, the debut-feature written and directed by the amazing Simon Fitzmaurice, is a life-enhancing story starring Evanna Lynch (Harry Potter), Michael Smiley (The Lobster, Kill List) and newcomer George Webster (City of Dreamers, Blood Moon).

After her mother dies and her visionary writer father is institutionalized, Emily is placed in a foster home and a new school where she is ostracized. On her 16th birthday, when her father’s annual card fails to arrive, Emily knows something’s wrong. Enlisting Arden, her only friend at school, she sets off on a road trip adventure across Ireland to find her missing Dad and break him out of the psych ward. They are an odd couple, this pale girl and the boy in the velvet suit, and along the way, they both come to realize important truths about the nature of relationships, both to their parents and to each other. MY NAME IS EMILY is a story of madness, sadness and love.

In  2008, director Simon Fitzmaurice was diagnosed with Motor Neuron Disease (ALS). Now completely paralyzed, Fitzmaurice typed the script for the film, through the movement of his eyes and iris recognition software, Eye Gaze. This is also how he communicated with cast and crew during the film’s six-week shoot. Given four years to live, Simon credits writing and filmmaking with having saved his life.My Name is Emily is a stunning coming of age film. Evanna Lynch shines in this complex role of a sad and brilliant young lady. The layers of this character come from the outstanding script from writer/director Fitzmaurice. Infusing philosophy, literature, poetry, loss and teenaged angst all intertwined into a story of finding oneself through letting go and letting people in. Michael Smiley is as wonderful as he’s ever been, touching the cornerstone of every possible emotion. George Webster, in particular, is one hell of a find. His natural ability to draw you in is reminiscent of the late Anton Yelchin. He will seduce you with his awkwardness and charm the pants off you all in the same scene. The honest chemistry between Lynch and Webster makes this film what it is. Another high note (pun not intended) is the glorious soundtrack. Each song evokes a familiarity that seems to fit perfectly into the moment. With a cool mix of voiceover moments and flashbacks, My Name is Emily is a true delight.

 

‘GROWING UP & OTHER LIES’ speaks to the inbetweeners in us all.

GrowingUpAndOtherLies

The city will make you or it will break you. But, perhaps that’s just a myth. How do we survive the rat race that is New York City? The great divide between those living paycheck to paycheck and those who own their own apartment is pretty wide. Do we, as New Yorkers, put that  pressure on ourselves, or is  it the city that places those life expectations on us? In Growing Up & Other Lies, four friends commemorate and commiserate their friendship by deciding to send off one of their crew with a walk along the entire length of the island of Manhattan. It’s the true to life story of Rocks, Gunderson, Billy and Jake. Friends who took their own paths after college. Although they all still reside in the city, like so many of us in our 30’s, life gets in the way and connections become fewer and further between. Jake make a go at living as an artist and now, on the heels of a breakup and a sick father, is a good time to exit the city gracefully. The guys plan to walk the length of the island in one day. Along the way, stopping at points that have meaning or that, maybe, they’ve never stopped to observe before. (Also a common occurrence for natives. You’ll never actually see a New Yorker at The Empire State Building. Ever.) Complications get in the way as they try to ease Jake into making his final decision.

growing up and other lies 1

Written and directed skillfully by Darren Grodsky and  Danny Jacobs, who have been a creative team in the past with the film Humboldt County, Growing Up & Other Lies speaks to anyone who has felt like they aren’t where they planned to be. Life throws you curve balls. Whether you choose to bat is up to you. This is a truly solid ensemble cast. Josh Lawson, Adam Brody, and Wyatt Cenac play Jake, Rocks, and Gunderson, respectively. Danny Jacobs play Billy. Each of these characters is someone you already know. Jake is kind of a self esteem starved mess, Rocks seems like he’s got it together but it’s too good to be true, Wyatt is the smart ass we all need and Danny, well, Danny is the over excited one of the group that sort of makes it easy to pick on. 

growing up and other lies 2

The editing of the film in itself is a beautiful love song to New York. As they travel from one neighborhood to the next, there is a gorgeous “hand drawn” graphic that guide you. The music changes, the view changes, and the guys change. As cliche as it sounds, the film really drives home that life is what you make it. I got the opportunity to talk with Danny and Darren on the phone about the film. (Bare with the Google Voice recording… I heart you so hard Google) Take a listen to our chat below:

Darren Grodsky and  Danny Jacobs talk GROWING UP & OTHER LIES

 

Growing Up & Other Lies is a quintessentially New York film. It’s an homage to the generation surviving between X and Y. Touching and laugh out loud funny, it’s a true testament to the times in our lives we either live to regret or live for.

Synopsis | After struggling for years as an artist in New York City, Jake is calling it quits and returning home to Ohio. On his last day in the city, he persuades his three oldest friends to help him retrace their greatest adventure together: a walk down the entire length of Manhattan.  But their attempt to reclaim the glory of their early 20s doesn’t go quite as planned.

Over the course of the day, buried conflicts emerge as Jake becomes embroiled with his ex-girlfriend and his friends dip into their own crises of manhood. GROWING UP AND OTHER LIES is an anti-coming-of-age comedy.

Written & Directed by | Darren Grodsky and Danny Jacobs (Humboldt County)

Starring | Adam Brody, Wyatt Cenac, Danny Jacobs, Josh Lawson, Amber Tamblyn and Lauren Miller

Run Time | 90 Minutes

Release Date | In theaters and On Demand March 20th

Michael’s Review: ‘The Judge’- A Court Drama with Heart

judge_xlg

Robert Downey Jr. was born to play a lawyer. The fast-talking, quick-witted actor has always had a knack for the dramatic, whether it be in real life or on the screen, Downey, like most high profile lawyers, commands your undivided attention. Robert Duvall is an legendary actor that brings a sense of dignity to each role he tackles. The Judge is the perfect outlet for two such personalities to collide, and both actors are up to the task. Criminal defense lawyers sometime get a not-so-flattering portrayal because people assume that they defend guilty people. However, if you are a defendant in a criminal proceeding, you need the assistance of a qualified criminal defense lawyer, regardless of your guilt or innocence. As the protectors and advocates of the accused, defense lawyers play a pivotal role in the United States justice system to see that everyone charged with a criminal act has an opportunity to defend themselves. Criminal cases are very much different from civil cases. And the expertise of a lawyer is usually either of the two. Seldom would you see a lawyer who specializes in both fields at the same time. The laws governing a criminal case is more strict than that of a civil case. So make sure that the lawyer you are getting are real-deal criminal defense lawyers. You can check this Website for the CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER FIGHTING FOR THE ACCUSED IN LEMOYNE AND THE MILITARY NATIONWIDE. Criminal defense lawyers are the very people you will call in times of unfortunate incidents such as being arrested or being charged with a crime. Legal advices and representations are what you require during these trying instances. Getting a criminal defense lawyer at once is also essential because you got to know your rights. And there is a proper way of responding to the police and to the court officials. You should know those as well. Criminal defense lawyers would be able to help with these. The criminal defense lawyers from are always ready to discuss your case with you. They are more than willing to protect you, your family, your properties, your freedom, as well as your reputation. The lawyers of would be there to help. But there are countless of criminal defense lawyers that you can go to, all with good honors and numerous laurels to boost. To give you an idea who to contact in times of trouble, here are the things that can serve as a guideline. Click here if you want to know more detail about the Boston lawyer for immigration.

When you are accused of a crime, getting arrested and spending time in jail can be an unfamiliar and frightening experience. Fortunately, since you are legally innocent until proven guilty, in many cases a judge may allow you to be released until your hearing or trial. However, the judge may order that you provide some form of guarantee that you will return to face the charges against you before you can be released from custody. This security is called a Bail Bond, and it must usually be turned over to the court in the form of cash, property, a signature bond, a secured bond through a surety company, or a combination of forms. Bail bonds are usually set during a formal procedure called a bail hearing. This is when the Judge meets with the accused person (Defendant) and hears information about whether or not it is appropriate to set bail. If certain types of bail bonds are being considered, like a secured bond or property bond, the Judge will consider information about the Defendant’s financial resources and the sources of whatever property or funds will be used as collateral for the bail bond. If anyone else will be posting bail for the Defendant, they are considered as a Surety and their financial situation will also be considered, You can visit your url for further details.

If a Surety is involved in providing bail, he must be present at the bail hearing along with the Defendant, and the Judge will inform both of them about their various obligations and responsibilities. It is very important to note that if the Defendant does not fulfill his responsibilities and appear for subsequent hearings and court dates, or if he violates any conditions of his release, the bail may be revoked and forfeited. So it is very important that the Surety has confidence in the Defendant before posting bail. Once the bail has been set, it is important to understand the various bail options. “Cash” bail may include cash, but it can usually also be paid by certified checks, cashier’ s checks or money orders. It is very important for whoever posts the cash bail to keep the receipt they receive so that they will be able to collect their refund once the terms of the bail have been met. Depending on the amount of cash bail, it may also be necessary for the Defendant or Surety to complete tax forms like IRS Form W-9 as well. YOu can get a lawyer for violent crimes in Manassas.

Unlike cash bail, signature bonds mean that a Defendant does not need to post any funds or property as security. Usually the Defendant only needs to sign the proper forms for the court clerk in order to be released. But it is very important to pay close attention to any conditions or instructions that the Judge has given to be sure that Defendant understands exactly what he must do so that his bail is not revoked. A Apex Bail Bonds Greensboro company licensed third party becomes the indemnitor of the suspect’s total bail amount, meaning they legally take on responsibility for the total amount.

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