Review: ‘Small Engine Repair’ Explores Toxic Masculinity with Thrilling Effect.

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SMALL ENGINE REPAIR

Frankie (John Pollono), Swaino (Jon Bernthal), and Packie (Shea Wigham) are lifelong friends who share a love of the Red Sox, rowdy bars, and Frankie’s teenaged daughter Crystal (Ciara Bravo). But when Frankie invites his pals to a whiskey-fueled evening and asks them to do a favor on behalf of the brash young woman they all adore, events spin wildly out of control. Based on Pollono’s award-winning play, Small Engine Repair is a pitch-black comedic drama with a wicked twist and a powerful exploration of brotherhood, class struggle, and toxic masculinity.


Frankie (John Pollono), Swaino (Jon Bernthal), and Packie (Shea Whigham) are working-class men that share a friendship bond going back to childhood. That bond is strengthened further by their co-parenting of Frankie’s beloved daughter Crystal, who has spent a lifetime being raised by a loving– if raucous– male collective. This sets the scene for a fascinating character study of a group of men raised in a culture steeped in toxic masculinity who struggle to push back against it but often fall incredibly short. 

At first, Small Engine Repair seems like a dark family drama with a comedic edge. However, it is not until the second act that the viewer realizes that they are in the midst of a thriller. Complex performances by the entire cast gradually build tension through sharp looks, quick words, and complicated histories until the atmosphere on screen is so thick with menace that suddenly, every word and movement is a threat. It is hard to say more without giving away the shocking twists that a seemingly ordinary whiskey-fueled night in a garage would unleash. So instead, I will say that the tightly directed and brilliantly acted Small Engine Repair had me holding my breath through the finale.


In Theaters September 10, 2021


Written and Directed by

John Pollono

Starring: Jon Bernthal, Shea Whigham, Jordana Spiro, John Pollono, Ciara Bravo, Spencer House


Review: ‘PILGRIMAGE’ takes blind faith on a journey against greed.

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PILGRIMAGE features an all star cast of Tom Holland (Spiderman: Homecoming, Captain America: Civil War), Jon Bernthal (Baby Driver, Marvel’s “The Punisher”), Richard Armitage (Capitan America: The First Avenger, The Hobbit) and was directed by Brendan Muldowney (Love Eternal, Savage).

In Ireland, 1209, a small group of monks begin a reluctant pilgrimage across an island torn between centuries of tribal warfare and the growing power of Norman invaders.  As they escort their monastery’s holiest relic to Rome, the true value of the bejeweled relic becomes dangerously apparent and their path becomes increasingly fraught with danger.
Religion, faith, mysticism, belief; all of these things have caused heartbreak, wars, saving grace, and death. In Pilgrimage, Tom Holland plays a young monk who is essentially forced to protect and carry a relic to Rome. Alongside his mysterious protector, played by John Bernthal, he and an eclectic crew of soldiers and men of faith must battle hidden agendas and a higher power to achieve their mission. Perhaps the most stunning aspect of the film, besides the fact that each actor must deliver lines in at least 2 languages, is the fact that Bernthal’s character has zero dialogue. He is able to pull off a fully fleshed out character whose background leads to many questions along the way. The fight sequences are nothing less than brutal, so be prepared. That being said, they are pretty awesome to witness.The chemistry between the cast is palpable. Holland certainly holds his own among some seasoned players. His vulnerability on screen grounds the film. Overall, Pilgrimage has a Lord of the Rings meets Willow kind of vibe with a thought-provoking final scene. You can catch the film in theaters today, as well as on VOD and Digital HD.

TITLE: PILGRIMAGE
IN THEATERS AND AVAILABLE ON VOD AND DIGITAL HD: August 11, 2017
DIRECTOR: Brendan Muldowney
WRITER: Jamie Hannigan
CAST: Tom Holland, Jon Bernthal, Richard Armitage
GENRE: Action
DISTRIBUTOR: RLJ Entertainment

RLJ Entertainment has released the new trailer for ‘Pilgrimage’ starring Tom Holland

RLJ Entertainment has released the new trailer for Pilgrimage starring Tom Holland, Jon Bernthal and Richard Armitage and we have it for you below!

Ireland, 1209. A small group of monks begin a reluctant pilgrimage across an island torn between centuries of tribal warfare and the growing power of Norman invaders.  As they escort their monastery’s holiest relic to Rome, the true value of the bejeweled relic becomes dangerously apparent and their path becomes increasingly fraught with danger.

The film is directed by Brendan Muldowney (Savage, Love Eternal) and written by Jamie Hannigan.

Pilgrimage will have its world premiere at Tribeca Film Festival on April 23, 2017 and will be in theaters and available on VOD and Digital HD August 11, 2017.

Edgar Wright Returns with ‘Baby Driver’ and the Trailer is Here!

Sony Pictures has released the trailer for Edgar Wright’s new film Baby Driver and we have it for you below!

A talented, young getaway driver (Ansel Elgort) relies on the beat of his personal soundtrack to be the best in the game. When he meets the girl of his dreams (Lily James), Baby sees a chance to ditch his criminal life and make a clean getaway. But after being coerced into working for a crime boss (Kevin Spacey), he must face the music when a doomed heist threatens his life, love and freedom.

The movie also stars Jon Bernthal, Eiza González with Jon Hamm and Jamie Foxx.

Baby Driver rolls into theaters on August 11, 2017

Teaser for Season Two of “Daredevil’ Features a First Look at Elektra and The Punisher

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Following its debut at this years New York Comic Con, Netflix and Marvel Entertainment have released the teaser to the upcoming second season of “Daredevil” featuring the first look at Elektra and The Punisher. You can view the video below!

Marvel’s “Daredevil” season two will again star Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock aka Daredevil, Deborah Ann Woll as Karen Page, Elden Henson as Foggy Nelson, with Jon Bernthal joining the cast as Frank Castle aka the Punisher as well as with Elodie Yung, who is playing the deadly assassin Elektra Natchios.

“Daredevil” Season 2 will debut in 2016

Jon Bernthal To Play The Punisher in Season Two of ‘Daredevil’

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Jon Bernthal (Fury) has been cast in the upcoming second season of “Marvel’s Daredevil,” streaming on Netflix in 2016. Bernthal will portray Frank Castle, aka The Punisher, a vigilante who aims to clean up New York City’s Hell’s Kitchen by any means necessary.

“Jon Bernthal brings an unmatched intensity to every role he takes on, with a potent blend of power, motivation and vulnerability that will connect with audiences,” said Jeph Loeb, Marvel’s Head of Television. “Castle’s appearance will bring dramatic changes to the world of Matt Murdock and nothing will be the same.”

“Marvel’s Daredevil” is executive produced by Doug Petrie (“American Horror Story,” “Buffy The Vampire Slayer”), Marco Ramirez (“DaVinci’s Demons”) and Drew Goddard (The Cabin in the Woods, “Lost”), along with Marvel TV’s Jeph Loeb (“Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” “Marvel’s Jessica Jones.”)

“Marvel’s Daredevil” is produced by Marvel Television in association with ABC Studios. Season one of “Marvel’s Daredevil” is now streaming on Netflix.

 

Michael’s Review: ‘Fury’- Ensemble Cast Hits the Target

FURY_DOM_1SHT_TSRFilmmakers of World War II movies, one of Hollywood’s favorite subjects, have a difficult task when portraying the difficulties of war and depicting the sacrifices that each side had to endure. Many wartime films suffer in their portrayal because the filmmakers are either too afraid to go too far in showing the real gruesome nature of war or they scale back their depiction of the war and try to focus more on the toll that is taken on the soldiers fighting the war, but, at times, something seems to be missing. Fury is unapologetic in its tale of the horrors of war and equally focuses on the factors that deprive the characters of their humanity. Prepare yourself. Read More →