21 eclectic films featuring a rabbit… ya know, for Easter.

Could we put together a cuddly list of family-friendly Easter films? Probably. But where’s the fun in that? Here is a list of films where a rabbit is featured in one way or another. Most are straightforward. A few, well, I guess you’ll have to watch them and figure out why they’re there. Happy Easter, and happy hunting for those pesky wabbits.


Space Jam

Swackhammer (Danny DeVito), an evil alien theme park owner, needs a new attraction at Moron Mountain. When his gang, the Nerdlucks, heads to Earth to kidnap Bugs Bunny (Billy West) and the Looney Tunes, Bugs challenges them to a basketball game to determine their fate. The aliens agree, but they steal the powers of NBA basketball players, including Larry Bird (Larry Bird) and Charles Barkley (Charles Barkley) — so Bugs gets some help from superstar Michael Jordan (Michael Jordan).


Fantastic Mr. Fox

After 12 years of bucolic bliss, Mr. Fox (George Clooney) breaks a promise to his wife (Meryl Streep) and raids the farms of their human neighbors, Boggis, Bunce and Bean. Giving in to his animal instincts endangers not only his marriage but also the lives of his family and their animal friends. When the farmers force Mr. Fox and company deep underground, he has to resort to his natural craftiness to rise above the opposition.


The Matrix

Neo (Keanu Reeves) believes that Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne), an elusive figure considered to be the most dangerous man alive, can answer his question — What is the Matrix? Neo is contacted by Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss), a beautiful stranger who leads him into an underworld where he meets Morpheus. They fight a brutal battle for their lives against a cadre of viciously intelligent secret agents. It is a truth that could cost Neo something more precious than his life.


Us

Accompanied by her husband, son and daughter, Adelaide Wilson returns to the beachfront home where she grew up as a child. Haunted by a traumatic experience from the past, Adelaide grows increasingly concerned that something bad is going to happen. Her worst fears soon become a reality when four masked strangers descend upon the house, forcing the Wilsons into a fight for survival. When the masks come off, the family is horrified to learn that each attacker takes the appearance of one of them.


Peter Rabbit

Peter Rabbit and his three sisters — Flopsy, Mopsy and Cotton-Tail — enjoy spending their days in Mr. McGregor’s vegetable garden. When one of McGregor’s relatives suddenly moves in, he’s less than thrilled to discover a family of rabbits in his new home. A battle of wills soon breaks out as the new owner hatches scheme after scheme to get rid of Peter — a resourceful rabbit who proves to be a worthy and wily opponent.


WATERSHIP DOWN

When a young rabbit named Fiver (Richard Briers) has a prophetic vision that the end of his warren is near, he persuades seven other rabbits to leave with him in search of a new home. Several obstacles impede their progress, including predators, a rat-filled cemetery, and a speeding river. Upon arriving at their final destination, a hill dubbed Watership Down, the rabbits find that their journey is still far from over. Realistically drawn, this British animated film carries an emotional weight.


Donnie Darko

During the presidential election of 1988, a teenager named Donnie Darko sleepwalks out of his house one night and sees a giant, demonic-looking rabbit named Frank, who tells him the world will end in 28 days. When Donnie returns home, he finds that a jet engine has crashed into his bedroom. Is Donnie living in a parallel universe, is he suffering from mental illness – or will the world really end?


Miss Potter

Based on the life of early 20th-century author Beatrix Potter, creator of Peter Rabbit. As a young woman Potter rails against her parents’ wishes for her to marry and settle down. Instead, she continues to write about and draw the animals she has adored since childhood. Her early attempts to find a publisher for her children’s stories are unsuccessful, but an offer from a small firm will turn her into a literary phenomenon.


Night of the Lepus (1972)

Arizona rancher Cole Hillman (Rory Calhoun), dealing with massive rabbit overpopulation on his land, calls on a local college president, Elgin Clark (DeForest Kelley), to help him. In order to humanely resolve the matter, Elgin brings in researchers Roy (Stuart Whitman) and Gerry Bennett (Janet Leigh), who inject the rabbits with chemicals. However, they fail to anticipate the consequences of their actions. A breed of giant mutant rabbits emerges and starts killing every human in sight.


Harvey

Elwood P. Dowd (James Stewart) is a wealthy drunk who starts having visions of a giant rabbit named Harvey. Elwood lives with his sister Veta (Josephine Hull) and her daughter (Victoria Horne), and Veta worries that Elwood has gone insane. In the process of trying to have him committed, Veta admits that she occasionally sees Harvey herself. The director of the mental home, Dr. Chumley (Cecil Kellaway), tries to reconcile his duty to help Elwood with his own growing experiences with Harvey.


Zootopia

From the largest elephant to the smallest shrew, the city of Zootopia is a mammal metropolis where various animals live and thrive. When Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin) becomes the first rabbit to join the police force, she quickly learns how tough it is to enforce the law. Determined to prove herself, Judy jumps at the opportunity to solve a mysterious case. Unfortunately, that means working with Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman), a wily fox who makes her job even harder.


Fatal Attraction

For Dan Gallagher (Michael Douglas), life is good. He is on the rise at his New York law firm, is happily married to his wife, Beth (Anne Archer), and has a loving daughter. But, after a casual fling with a sultry book editor named Alex (Glenn Close), everything changes. Jilted by Dan, Alex becomes unstable, her behavior escalating from aggressive pursuit to obsessive stalking. Dan realizes that his main problem is not hiding his affair, but rather saving himself and his family.


Who Framed Roger Rabbit

Down-on-his-luck private eye Eddie Valiant (Bob Hoskins) gets hired by cartoon producer R.K. Maroon (Alan Tilvern) to investigate an adultery scandal involving Jessica Rabbit (Kathleen Turner), the sultry wife of Maroon’s biggest star, Roger Rabbit (Charles Fleischer). But when Marvin Acme (Stubby Kaye), Jessica’s alleged paramour and the owner of Toontown, is found murdered, the villainous Judge Doom (Christopher Lloyd) vows to catch and destroy Roger.


Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit

The plucky characters from a series of animated shorts, Wallace (Peter Sallis) and his dog, Gromit, make their feature debut here. After starting a pest control business, the duo soon lands a job from the alluring Lady Tottington (Helena Bonham Carter) to stop a giant rabbit from destroying the town‘s crops. Both Wallace and the stuffy Victor (Ralph Fiennes) vie for the lady’s affections. If Wallace wants to please his pretty client, and best Victor, he needs to capture that pesky bunny.

The Favourite

In the early 18th century, England is at war with the French. Nevertheless, duck racing and pineapple eating are thriving. A frail Queen Anne occupies the throne, and her close friend, Lady Sarah, governs the country in her stead while tending to Anne’s ill health and mercurial temper. When a new servant, Abigail, arrives, her charm endears her to Sarah. Sarah takes Abigail under her wing, and Abigail sees a chance to return to her aristocratic roots.


Alice in Wonderland

Lewis Carroll’s beloved fantasy tale is brought to life in this Disney animated classic. When Alice (Kathryn Beaumont), a restless young British girl, falls down a rabbit hole, she enters a magical world. There she encounters an odd assortment of characters, including the grinning Cheshire Cat (Sterling Holloway) and the goofy Mad Hatter (Ed Wynn). When Alice ends up in the court of the tyrannical Queen of Hearts (Verna Felton), she must stay on the ruler’s good side — or risk losing her head.


Jojo Rabbit

Jojo is a lonely German boy who discovers that his single mother is hiding a Jewish girl in their attic. Aided only by his imaginary friend — Adolf Hitler — Jojo must confront his blind nationalism as World War II continues to rage on.


Caveat

A desperate drifter suffering from partial memory loss agrees to look after his landlord’s psychologically troubled niece in an isolated island mansion.


HOP

Beneath Easter Island, in a giant factory that manufactures the world’s Easter candy, the popular rabbit is preparing to pass the mantle to his son, E.B. (Russell Brand). But E.B. has no interest in the job and would rather be a drummer. He runs away to Los Angeles, where an unemployed slacker named Fred O’Hare (James Marsden) accidentally runs into him. Feigning injury, E.B. tricks Fred into giving him shelter, but an oversized chick is planning a coup back on Easter Island.


Monty Python and The Holy Grail

A comedic send-up of the grim circumstances of the Middle Ages as told through the story of King Arthur and framed by a modern-day murder investigation. When the mythical king of the Britons leads his knights on a quest for the Holy Grail, they face a wide array of horrors, including a persistent Black Knight, a three-headed giant, a cadre of shrubbery-challenged knights, the perilous Castle Anthrax, a killer rabbit, a house of virgins, and a handful of rude Frenchmen.


A Christmas A Story

(Don’t argue with me, this film 100% falls under this odd list. In fact, it’s the second film with a hideous bunny suit.)

Based on the humorous writings of author Jean Shepherd, this beloved holiday movie follows the wintry exploits of youngster Ralphie Parker (Peter Billingsley), who spends most of his time dodging a bully (Zack Ward) and dreaming of his ideal Christmas gift, a “Red Ryder air rifle.” Frequently at odds with his cranky dad (Darren McGavin) but comforted by his doting mother (Melinda Dillon), Ralphie struggles to make it to Christmas Day with his glasses and his hopes intact.


HOPPY EASTER


Disney’s ‘ENCANTO’ official trailer! 🕯✨🦋

Watch the brand-new trailer for Disney’s Encanto,

coming to theaters this Thanksgiving.

Walt Disney Animation Studios’ upcoming feature film “Encanto” tells the tale of the Madrigals, an extraordinary family who live in a wondrous, charmed place called an Encanto. Each child has been blessed with a magic gift unique to them—each child except Mirabel. But when the family’s home is threatened, Mirabel may be their only hope.

The voice cast includes Stephanie Beatriz as Mirabel; María Cecilia Botero as Mirabel’s grandmother Alma aka Abuela; John Leguizamo as Bruno; Angie Cepeda and Wilmer Valderrama as Mirabel’s parents, Julieta and Agustín; and Diane Guererro and Jessica Darrow as Mirabel’s sisters, Isabela and Luisa. Also lending their voices are Carolina Gaitán and Mauro Castillo as Mirabel’s aunt and uncle, Pepa and Félix; and Adassa, Rhenzy Feliz and Ravi Cabot-Conyers as Mirabel’s cousins Dolores, Camilo and Antonio, respectively.

The film features all-new songs by Lin-Manuel Miranda (“Hamilton,” “Moana”) and is directed by Byron Howard (“Zootopia,” “Tangled”) and Jared Bush (co-director “Zootopia”), co-directed by Charise Castro Smith (writer “The Death of Eva Sofia Valdez”) and produced by Clark Spencer and Yvett Merino. Bush and Castro Smith are screenwriters on the film.

Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Encanto” opens in theaters on November 24, 2021.
 

This November, find your magic. 🕯✨🦋



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Hashtag: #Encanto


 

‘The Matrix Resurrections’ Official Trailer 1 is here, and we have chills!

The Matrix Resurrections – Official Trailer 1

This epic journey began in 1999. It’s been 18 years since the last installment. After watching the trailer, we’ve got A LOT of questions. The plot is currently unknown.

The Matrix Resurrections will be released on December 22nd, 2021. This is going to be one hell of a holiday surprise.

Which pill will you choose?


From visionary filmmaker Lana Wachowski comes “The Matrix Resurrections,” the long-awaited fourth film in the groundbreaking franchise that redefined a genre. The new film reunites original stars Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss in the iconic roles they made famous, Neo and Trinity.

The film also stars Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (the “Aquaman” franchise) Jessica Henwick (TV’s “Iron Fist,” “Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens”), Jonathan Groff (“Hamilton,” TV’s “Mindhunter”), Neil Patrick Harris (“Gone Girl”), Priyanka Chopra Jonas (TV’s “Quantico,”), Christina Ricci (TV’s “Escaping the Madhouse: The Nellie Bly Story,” “The Lizzie Borden Chronicles”), Telma Hopkins (TV’s “Dead to Me,”), Eréndira Ibarra (series “Sense8,” “Ingobernable”), Toby Onwumere (TV’s “Empire”), Max Riemelt (series “Sense8”), Brian J. Smith (series “Sense8,” “Treadstone”), and Jada Pinkett Smith (“Angel Has Fallen,” TV’s “Gotham”).

Lana Wachowski directed from a screenplay by Wachowski & David Mitchell & Aleksander Hemon, based on characters created by The Wachowskis. The film was produced by Grant Hill, James McTeigue and Lana Wachowski. The executive producers were Garrett Grant, Terry Needham, Michael Salven, Jesse Ehrman and Bruce Berman.

Wachowski’s creative team behind the scenes included “Sense8” collaborators: directors of photography Daniele Massaccesi and John Toll, production designers Hugh Bateup and Peter Walpole, editor Joseph Jett Sally, costume designer Lindsay Pugh, visual effects supervisor Dan Glass, and composers Johnny Klimek and Tom Tykwer.

Warner Bros. Pictures Presents, In Association with Village Roadshow Pictures, In Association with Venus Castina Productions, “The Matrix Resurrections.” The film will be distributed by worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures. It will be in theaters nationwide and on HBO Max via the Ad-Free plan on December 22, 2021; it will be available on HBO Max for 31 days from theatrical release.


 

Interview with Aaron Moorhead & Justin Benson for ‘SYNCHRONIC’

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.

Here is our great friend and colleague Matthew Schuchman interviewing Aaron Moorhead and Justin Benson about their newest film Synchronic. Wait until you hear about how they split the creative duties, how their epic films come to fruition, and that they’re making a new movie right now! Enjoy!

You can read more about the film in Liz’s review of Synchronic. Stay tuned to Reel News Daily for the latest info.

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

Review: There is ‘No Escape’ from your own demons.

SYNOPSIS: A social media star travels with his friends to Moscow to capture new content for his successful VLOG. Always pushing the limits and catering to a growing audience, he and his friends enter a cold world of mystery, excess, and danger. As the line between real life and social media is blurred, the group must fight to escape and survive.

NO ESCAPE puts a modern, social media-driven twist on the ultimate adventure seeker. Think Hostel (2005) meets The Game (1997) as Youtube influencer Cole (Keegan Allen) and his friends fly to Moscow to experience what they think is a one-of-a-kind escape room. Once they arrive, they’re wined and dined by a local rich kid before being led to their final destination. But not all is what it seems. As an avid watcher of all things horror, the setup rightfully lulls you into a false sense of fun with its club scene music, lighting, and awesome camera work. Then the other shoe drops, calling out Cole’s obsession with his stats over his own reality. His cocky persona is knocked down several pegs when he realizes his friends’ lives are in actual danger.

The film is written and directed by Will Wernick (Escape Room, which was fantastic), will easily tap into the younger generation who has literally grown up with social media. At 40, I was around for the birth of chat rooms in 8th grade. As someone who is at the mercy of social media in my work now, I understand the importance and the danger of such platforms. The internet is a weird place. One of the most effective pieces of the script is the ever-rolling comment section of Cole’s videos. It’s a fantastic insight into an audience “in real-time.” While the entire cast does a great job and has believable chemistry, Keegan Allen’s performance leads this film to success. Having been a fan since Pretty Little Liars, then watching his award-worthy skills in King Cobra, No Escape highlights his ability to change from beat to beat. The over-the-top influencer voice throughout much of the film falls away when fear takes hold. The ending of this film relies completely on his reaction, and it is warranted. No Escape, while hitting some familiar notes, is still a solidly acted, practical fx gorefest for genre fans. The emotional trauma goes both ways and it’s one hell of social commentary. Hot Tip: Keep watching once the credits start to roll.

Vertical Entertainment will release the horror/thriller film NO ESCAPE on Digital and On Demand on September 18, 2020. 

NO ESCAPE stars the ensemble cast of Keegan Allen (“Pretty Little Liars,” Palo Alto), Holland Roden (“Teen Wolf”, “Channel Zero”), Denzel Whitaker (“The Purge”, Black Panther), Ronen Rubinstein (“911: Lone Star” Some Kind of Hate)Pasha Lychnikoff (“Deadwood”,”Shameless”, A Good Day to Die Hard), George Janko (“NCIS: Los Angeles,” Millennial Mafia) and Siya (The First Purge). The film is written and directed by Will Wernick (Escape Room).

Review: ‘OPHELIA’ is beautifully new madness.

 PRESENTS
Hamlet Through Her Eyes

Set in the 14th Century but spoken in a contemporary voice, OPHELIA is a dynamic re-imagining of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Ophelia (Daisy Ridley) takes center stage as Queen Gertrude’s (Naomi Watts) most trusted lady-in-waiting. Beautiful and intelligent, she soon captures the attention of the handsome Prince Hamlet (George MacKay) and a forbidden love blossoms. As war brews, lust and betrayal are tearing Elsinore Castle apart from within and Ophelia must decide between her true love or her own life in order to protect a very dangerous secret.

Lust, betrayal, vanity, adultery; the reimagining of Hamlet through the eyes of Ophelia is an entirely different story. Based on the novel by Lisa Klein and in the vein of films like Ever After and perhaps even Disney’s live-action Cinderella, our leading lady is no shrinking violet. Daisy Ridley is a far cry from her role in the new Star Wars installments. As the titular character, she is inquisitive, bold, and yet her innocence plunges her headlong into the tragedy that Shakespeare writes for her. With a star-studded cast including Naomi Watts, Clive Owen, and Tom Felton, the story begins with how she became to be part of the court. Along the way, it addresses the fragility of the male egos as well as the female. It is still a story of love and honor but told from a young woman’s perspective and a few other key ladies surrounding her. The entire cast is brilliant. The costumes and sets are gorgeous. The new dialogue is ripe for this era. The added drama and intrigue is downright delicious. You cannot help but be drawn into the secrets. Ophelia’s fate makes more sense with a backstory we can experience in a visceral way. The film has everything a fairytale and period cinema lover needs to immerse themselves. But this film goes above and beyond. This new rendition is completely unexpected. It gives power back to the women in this story making Ophelia more magical than ever before. As someone great once said, “Well behaved women seldom make history.”

IFC Films will release OPHELIA  in theaters on June 28, 2019, and on digital / demand July 3, 2019.

OPHELIA stars Daisy Ridley (Star Wars: The Force AwakensStar Wars: The Last Jedi), Naomi Watts (Mulholland DriveKing Kong), Clive Owen (CloserChildren of Men), George Mackay (Peter PanCaptain Fantastic), and Tom Felton (Harry PotterRise of the Planet of the Apes).

Tribeca Film Festival 2019 Review: ‘Charlie Says’ flips the script on the Manson girls.

 

Charlie Says

Charlie Says, directed by masterful filmmaker Mary Harron and written by Guinevere Turner, tells the familiar story through fresh eyes—those of Manson’s most devoted girls, van Houten (Game of Thrones’ Hannah Murray), Patricia Krenwinkel (Sosie Bacon), and Susan Atkins (Marianne Rendón). Thanks to a devoted prison educator who slowly draws the women out from years of a madman’s mesmerizing and abusive spell (Matt Smith), the women’s story is told in eerily detailed flashbacks, forcing them to reflect on the path that leads them to such unforgivable crimes.

This is not a story about Charles Manson. This is a story about three women who were manipulated by a mentally ill man who convinced them they were loved. Patricia Krenwinkel, Susan Atkins, and Leslie Van Houten, all came to be followers of Charles Manson because they were lost and looking for someone to make them feel important. It’s the performance from Hannah Murray, Sosie Bacon, and Merritt Wever that catapult this story forward. Wever, in particular, is the heartbeat that guides these broken girls into reality. Bacon represents every girl that needed Manson (played by Matt Smith with a quiet but fiercely alarming power) to be their father figure. Murray, as Leslie, is the audience. You feel for these ladies through intercut flashbacks and prison scenes. Each like a peek behind the curtain and into the insanity of a man who thought the Beatles were speaking to him through the ‘White Album”. These women were brainwashed sex slaves. It wasn’t until a feminist teacher Karlene Faith, with enough empathy to teach these women, did anyone begin to realize that they too were victims alongside those murdered. The film is chilling. The structure is disturbingly effective. You end up caring about these women who history has taught us to loathe. Charlie Says is not about Charles Manson. I’ll say it again. Charlie Says is not about Charles Manson. It is about the victims he kept closest to him.

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR

Mary Harron is the writer and director of films including American PsychoThe Moth DiariesI Shot Andy Warhol, and The Notorious Bettie Page. Her television credits include episodes of The L WordSix Feet UnderBig Love, and Oz, and, most recently, The Following (FOX), Constantine (NBC), and Graceland (USA).

Review: ‘Don’t Go’ is mysterious and visually delicious.


PRESENTS

OPENS IN THEATERS TODAY!

Synopsis:
Somewhere between dreams and reality lies a terrifying hidden truth… Reeling from the shock of their young daughter’s death, Ben (Stephen Dorff) and Hazel (Melissa George) attempt to restart their lives in a picturesque seaside village. But when the girl begins appearing to Ben in a haunting recurring dream, he becomes convinced that she is attempting to make contact from beyond the grave—and that his nightmare may hold the key to bringing her back to life. As Hazel begins to fear for her husband’s sanity, they are each drawn into a mystery far beyond their understanding. This tantalizing psychological puzzle plumbs the depths of grief and guilt as it unravels the dark secret at its center.

Don’t Go boasts so visually striking sequences. Using overly saturated light and tones to express memory or dream states, makes it a feast for the eyes. The reoccurring imagery is clever and precise. The story is one of a lost marriage exacerbated by the sudden death of this couple’s young daughter. When Dorff’s character convinces himself that he can bring her back from the beyond, his buried guilt drives him, and everyone around him to their breaking point. With great performances from stars Stephen Dorff, Melissa George, and Aoibhinn McGinnity Don’t Go still remained a mystery to me after watching and rewatching the final 20 minutes. I’m not quite sure what was real but if that was the intent, then plot well laid out. The simple fact that I’m still attempting to untangle it says a lot about Ronan Blaney‘s writing. You can catch Don’t Go In theaters today. Check out the trailer below!

A FILM BY DAVID GLEESON

WRITTEN BY:
Ronan Blaney (The Back of Beyond, Love Bites)

STARRING:
Stephen Dorff (“True Detective”, Blade, Somewhere, Public Enemies)
Melissa George (“Grey’s Anatomy”, “The Good Wife,” “In Treatment”)
Aoibhinn McGinnity (“Quarry”, Love/Hate)
Simon Delaney (The Conjuring 2, Delivery Man)
Charlotte Bradley (The Boys and Girl from County Clare, The Gift)
Luke Griffin (Band of Brothers, Pure Mule)

Review: ‘BLOOD FEST’ is a fun homage to genre filmmakers and fans alike.

presents

BLOOD FEST

Fans flock to a festival celebrating the most iconic horror movies, only to discover that the charismatic showman behind the event has a diabolical agenda. As attendees start dying off, three teenagers with more horror-film wits than real-world knowledge must band together and battle through every madman, monstrosity and terrifying scenario if they have any hope of surviving.

Blood Fest takes a page out of the Scream franchise playbook by breaking down the scary movie rules and tropes. It’s a horror fan’s playground, literally. “Bloodfest” is horror’s Comic-Con or Disneyland. The film doesn’t take itself too seriously, the dialogue is snappy as hell, and the sets are incredible. I know people, myself included, that would pay good money to enter such a gore-infused playland. Blood Fest is unapologetically silly and wonderful. Once on location at Bloodfest, we get right into the slashing, enhanced by a nice practical FX and some CG shots. It’s like being trapped in a horror video game you’re watching someone else play for you. Every nightmare someone might have is explored even if only for a moment.Think Cabin In The Woods level humor and (frankly, plot, as well) but with some new twists. To top it off, the entire cast is phenomenally talented. Also, ladies and gentlemen, Zachery Levi cameo. Blood Fest is wildly entertaining and undeniably fun. If you love the horror genre you’ll be thoroughly amused by the tongue-in-cheek way the plot rolls out, despite a few corny moments. Simply sit back and enjoy the bloody ride. Oh, and back to the franchise mention, there is no reason why this couldn’t turn into one itself. A sequel, at the very least, is completely plausible and welcome.

In Theaters & On Demand on August 31, 2018
Written and Directed by: Owen Egerton

Starring: Tate Donovan (The Untouchables, The Only Boy Living in New York,”The O.C.”), Robbie Kay (“Once Upon a Time”), Seychelle Gabriel (The Last Airbender, “Falling Skies”, “Sleepy Hollow”), Jacob Batalon (Spider-Man: Homecoming and Avengers: Infinity War, Every Day, and The True Don Quixote), and Barbara Dunkelman (RWBY), Nick Rutherford, Chris Doubek, Rebecca Wagner and Zachary Levi

Executive Producers: Matt Hullum, Burnie Burns, and Ryan P. Hall

Producers: Seth Caplan, Will Hyde, and Ezra Venetos

Trailer for ‘BLOODFEST’, in Theaters and On Demand August 31st!

presents

BLOODFESTSynopsis:

Fans flock to a festival celebrating the most iconic horror movies, only to discover that the charismatic showman behind the event has a diabolical agenda. As attendees start dying off, three teenagers with more horror-film wits than real-world knowledge must band together and battle through every madman, monstrosity, and terrifying scenario if they have any hope of surviving.

In Theaters & On Demand on August 31, 2018

 Written and Directed by: Owen Egerton

Starring: Tate Donovan (The Untouchables, The Only Boy Living in New York,”The O.C.”), Robbie Kay (“Once Upon a Time”), Seychelle Gabriel (The Last Airbender, “Falling Skies”, “Sleepy Hollow”), Jacob Batalon (Spider-Man: Homecoming and Avengers: Infinity War, Every Day, and The True Don Quixote), and Barbara Dunkelman (RWBY), Nick Rutherford, Chris Doubek, Rebecca Wagner and Zachary Levi

Executive Producers: Matt Hullum, Burnie Burns, and Ryan P. Hall

Producers: Seth Caplan, Will Hyde, and Ezra Venetos

 

Fantasia International Film Festival review: ‘The Night Eats The World’ breathes new life into the zombie genre.

The morning after a party, a young man wakes up to find Paris invaded by zombies.

The Night Eats The World is all about isolation. Sam is alone in his ex’s apartment, walls splattered with blood, and the other floors are not much better. Realizing the outside is even less safe, he begins to use his wits by gathering what he can find, little by little, staying organized but perhaps not sane. Actor Anders Danielsen Lie is in every single scene of the film. His performance is so engrossing that I almost missed his complete physical transformation along the way. He must remain as calm as possible, which is pretty difficult considering the circumstances. Director Dominique Rocher has given us quite the gem here. The Night Eats the World easily sets itself apart from the average zombie film. The film delves into the complexity of human intimacy. This is explored through a relationship with an undead individual trapped inside an elevator (played magnificently by Denis Lavant), an encounter with a fellow survivor, and a cat. An added element of interest that propels the plot is the fact that Sam is a musician. This becomes both an advantage and a misstep along the way. We’ve all watched The Walking Dead for years now but off the top of my head, I’m not sure I would be as methodic in my solitary survival as Sam. While we don’t get any information about the outbreak specifically, it never stopped me from enjoying the film, rooting for Sam to stay alive. Sometimes you don’t need it all spelled out for you, sometimes great storytelling is more than enough.

The Night Eats The World made is Canadian Premiere at this year’s Fantasia International Film festival. The 2018 fest came to a close last night, but we’ll keep you updated on the release dates. As for The Night Eats The World, you can catch it in theaters now and on VOD platforms like Amazon, Google Play, and YouTube.

Fantasia International Film Festival review: ‘THE WITCH IN THE WINDOW’ takes its place among the classics.

The Witch in the Window has a classic ghost story feel. Anchored by a local legend, the film’s uniqueness is amped up by the fact that the locals can also see the ghost in question. With all of the usual tropes in place, The Witch in the Window uses humor to keep the peace in a genuine way between father and son until the subtle scares become huge ones… in broad daylight. That’s the key to this film. Much like Ted Geoghegan‘s We Are Still Here, it’s the daylight scares that make The Witch in the Window so powerful. While Geoghagan’s makeup FX are beyond compare, this film’s in your face close-ups are what grab you. I literally shouted, “OH!” as I was not expecting to be yelled at from the screen. You absolutely feel like you are in that house. Alex Draper and Charlie Tacker are outstanding together onscreen. Their father/son chemistry is extraordinary. Writer/Director/Composer/Editor (and clearly all around badass) Andy Mitton‘s storyline may also be taking a page from David Robert Mitchell’s IT FOLLOWS. To say much more would take away from the viewer’s experience. It is a solid film that should garner its rightful place in ghost story cult catalog. 

Check out the awesome trailer below.

Fantasia International Film Festival closes tonight, but we will keep you updated on all of the release dates for films that screened at the fest!

Divorced dad Simon (Alex Draper) brings his 12-year-old son, Finn (Charlie Tacker) out to Vermont to help him renovate an old house he recently purchased. Used to the speed of New York City, Finn has an impossible time slowing down to a smalltown pace, and he’s disappointed before even getting there. So is Simon (“I guess I was hoping I would catch you on the 12 side of 12, instead of the 13 side of 12”). Afflicted with a rare medical condition in which there’s a literal hole in his heart, Simon, ever resourceful, does what he can to make things good as he and his son attempt to repair what’s broken. Soon, a series of nonsensically terrifying happenings occur, nightmarish and incomprehensible. It becomes clear that they aren’t alone in the house. That there is more work to be done than either could be capable of grasping. That death is a partially living state. And that they are in a very special kind of danger.

Fantasia International Film Festival 2018 Review: ‘Mega Time Squad’ is an editor’s masterpiece.

Think “Multiplicity on crack” (and yes, I am referencing the 1996 Micheal Keaton and Andie MacDowell sci-fi comedy delight… and crack cocaine) and you’ll begin to understand the insanity that is Mega Time Squad. Our main man, Johnny, is a low-level criminal who accidentally discovers he is wearing an ancient bracelet that will bring him back in time. Problem being, each use of said bracelet also produces another version of himself, all while running from the both he stole from and his gang of thugs. This heist movie with an incredible twist is hilarious. Packed with deliciously colorful local slang and plenty of four-letter words for punctuation, Mega Time Squad hits every mark. Anton Tennet, writer/director Tim Van Dammen, and editor Luke Haigh deserve your applause and as many beers as a bartender will allow in one sitting. Tennet, as each version of Johnny, brings a distinct specificity that is wildly impressive. Haigh had one hell of a challenge in editing and holy hell is this a triumph. Van Dammen has gifted the Fantasia 2018 audience with a warped premise begging the question of one’s own morality. You have to really pay attention to keep up with the shenanigans and you will have a blast doing so. If you enjoyed The Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Mega Time Squad is your jam. And speaking of jams, the music is totally sick. Mega Time Squad is a blast from past to present.

The Fantasia International Film Festival runs from July 12th- August 2nd. You can find out more about the full lineup and tickets at Fantasia.com 

Review: ‘SIBERIA’ left us out in the cold.

Keanu Reeves

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SIBERIA

When a business deal in Russia goes south, a U.S. diamond merchant (Keanu Reeves) and his lover (Ana Ularu) are caught in a lethal crossfire between the buyer and federal intelligence service.

Sometimes I forget how talented Keanu Reeves truly is. He can take a pretty lifeless role and make it into something we weren’t expecting. That being said, these talents are really wasted in Siberia. It’s a poor man’s John Wick. The pace is often excruciating. When it is on, it’s vastly entertaining. The potential lies within the higher stakes, action-oriented scenes, but since they are few and what feels like far between it’s tough to stay on the train. 50 minutes into the 1:44 minute run it finally feels like,”Ok now we’re getting somewhere!” Alas, it will be 15 more minutes until something relatively interesting occurs. The script really takes it damn time getting to the point.

The performances are strong. Ana Ularu is vastly underutilized opposite Reeves. There is so much going on behind that tough girl veneer, a sadness that you want to fix. She has a brilliant presence but has been diminished to sex doll with a heart of gold. Someone write her a juicy role, please.  Molly Ringwald appears for what is tantamount to a cameo, speaking of underutilized. Her performance in this year’s Tribeca selection,  All These Small Moments is proof we need her back in our lives on a more permanent basis. Reeves, as Lucas Hill, diamond dealer trapped in a lackluster marriage and put in a shady work position, is the only saving grace. The problem being, you can feel the pained longing to kick some real ass. Ultimately, Siberia ends up being a midlife crisis cry for help, more than anything else. It left me cold and a bit empty.

Saban Films will release the romantic crime thriller SIBERIA in theaters and On Demand / Digital HD on July 13, 2018

SIBERA stars Keanu Reeves (The Matrix, Speed, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure), Molly Ringwald (“Riverdale,” “The Secret Life of the American Teenager,” Sixteen Candles), and Ana Ularu (Outbound, Inferno). The film is directed by Matthew Ross (Frank & Lola) from a script by Oscar nominated novelist/screenwriter Scott B Smith (The Ruins, A Simple Plan) and producer/screenwriter Stephen Hamel (Passengers, Henry’s Crime).

Review: ‘Discreet’ is intense psycho-sexual thriller.

SYNOPSIS
After years in hiding and struggling to control his demons, an eccentric drifter returns home and discovers that his childhood abuser, the center of his pain, is still alive.  Armed with this knowledge,  the drifter plots his revenge, all the while navigating the perilous land of masculine fragility in modern-day America.

There are so many disturbing elements in this narrative. From the real-life alt-right radio that quietly screams at you during pensive moments, to the cyclical nature of abuse. Discreet gets under your skin as it crawls into your brain. The augmented sound is somewhere in between nails on a chalkboard and brilliance. Discreet calls attention to a section of the population that feels ashamed and threatened by their desires. Travis Mathews has tapped into something many want to keep private. Performances from the entire cast pervade your viewing experience. Their effect is undeniable. The twisted plot depicted is worthy of your time, although be prepared to squirm for numerous reasons.

You can find the trailer for Discreet below.

Discreet Trailer from Uncork’d Entertainment on Vimeo.

June 1st L.A. + Multi-City Theatrical / VOD

Directed, Written and Produced by Travis Mathews
Produced by Don Swaynos, Joao Federici, Johnny Mars, Chris Ohlson & PJ Raval
Cinematography by Drew Xanthopoulos
Edited by Travis Mathews & Don Swaynos
Distributed by Uncork’d Entertainment

Review: ‘Dating My Mother’ is a codependency coming-of-age story.

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DATING MY MOTHER

STARRING KATHRYN ERBE, KATHY NAJIMY,

JAMES LeGROS AND INTRODUCING PATRICK REILLY

Unemployed and living in his New Jersey hometown, brash screenwriter Danny (Patrick Reilly) spends his days practicing yoga, sipping red wine, and power-walking with his mother Joan (Kathryn Erbe). But when she reveals she’s seeing another man, their version of domestic bliss comes crashing down.

DATING MY MOTHER follows the intimate and tumultuous relationship between a single mother and her gay son as they navigate the dizzying world of online dating. While they search for their versions of Mr. Right, mother and son discover that sometimes you need to be apart in order to grow together.

Dating My Mother has a story that not’s new but is being presented in a fresh way. Mother and son have a codependent relationship that appears more like a marriage than parent-child. When both thrust themselves into online dating (one more reluctantly than the other) we are treated to a fun cinematic visual of tinder, rather than the old putting text messages up on the screen bit that has been so popular as of late. The moments are raunchy and funny, make no mistake. It was like you are watching visually some of the written guides at girlfriendactivationsystemreview.net. Kathryn Erbe is incredibly convincing as a Mom, Joan, who has enabled her son’s attitude toward life. Patrick Reilly as Danny is a great representation of some of an overwhelmed and perhaps ill-equipped kids just out of college. His vapid and annoyed response to life is amusing and relatable. The gem of this film has to be Kathy Najimy‘s role of Lisa, an overly encouraging friend with sass and brass. She is the key to laughs and to the plot actually moving forward as it needs to with her words of wisdom. The film does a nice job examining the dynamic of mothers and gay sons. There is a protective nature that’s really lovely to witness but it’s the line between friend and parent that’s the most important to track.

DATING MY MOTHER was written and directed by Mike Roma and produced by Ashley Hillis.  It stars Patrick Reilly, Kathryn Erbe, Kathy Najimy, James LeGros, Michael Rosen, and Paul Iacono. The film has a running time of 84 minutes. Gravitas Ventures released DATING MY MOTHER on VOD and across all other digital platforms on May 8, 2018.

Tribeca Film Festival Review: ‘Here and Now’ is sensational.

On the eve of a major performance at the iconic Birdland Jazz Club, Vivienne Carala (Sarah Jessica Parker) receives shocking news during a doctor’s visit that turns her world upside down. She struggles to deal with the devastation during rehearsals with her band and her manager (Common) and attempts to avoid her overbearing mother (Jacqueline Bisset). Finally, as she contemplates sharing the news with her ex and her teen daughter, Vivienne finds solace in the streets of New York City, where she reflects on her past and her future.

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Here and Now is the reason we still sit in a dark theater to experience a film. Sarah Jessica Parker is breathtaking and raw. The sound editing is stuff dreams are made of. It is noticeably heightened and for good reason. People’s cell conversations accost her while music fills the gaps in between. We track her in real time because time and sound and regret are the keys to this elegant film. Along with some stunning handheld camera work, there is simply not a hair out of place in this film’s storytelling. Here and Now explores the human connection between beauty and loss and life choices. You will be moved in ways you will never see coming. Check out the clip below for a slice of heaven that is Here and Now. *Formally titled Blue Night*

TRAILER:

 

Tribeca Film Festival Review: ‘Tully’ is the perfect movie to see this weekend.

Diablo Cody, Jason Reitman, and Charlize Theron have managed to capture the very essence of what Motherhood feels like on a primal level. Wrapped in wit and honesty, Tully encapsulates the sheer exhaustion, frustration, elation, confusion, anger, pride, adoration and everything in between. It’s in the film’s specificity that creates a sense of, “Oh, my God, yes. Finally, someone gets it!” Spilled breastmilk, changing diapers, juggling schedules, sleep deprivation, the feeling of complete isolation. As a mother of a 1 and 2-year-old, while portions of the premiere audience laughed, I teared up and nodded because while it was indeed hilarious, it was also so true. I have experienced every single moment Theron’s character does in some form or fashion. We are living the same truth. Cody has a knack for turning the ordinary into extraordinary with her scripts. Theron is as real and charismatic as ever. The film is an opportunity for Mothers to feel seen and heard. It is an opportunity for their partners to peer behind the ever-cracking facades of messy buns, leggings, and maybe a little mascara and chapstick if you’re lucky. Mother’s Day is this weekend. Go see this film and call your Mom, Wife, or Sister, and say, “Thank you, now how can I help?”

 

 

Review: ‘Big Fish & Begonia’ is a luscious Chinese fairy tale.

BIG FISH & BEGONIA

From ancient Chinese legends comes a beautiful tale of love and sacrifice. There is a mystical race of beings that control the tide and the changing of the seasons. But one of these beings, a young girl named Chun, wants to experience the human world, not simply observe it. When she turns sixteen, Chun is allowed to transform into a dolphin and explore the human world. However, she soon learns this world is a dangerous place. Chun is nearly killed in a vortex, but saved by a human boy at the cost of his own life. Moved by his kindness and courage, she decides to give the boy life again, but this power comes at a price. Chun will have to face adventure and sacrifice in order to protect the boy’s soul until it is ready to return to the human world.

Big Fish & Begonia is part love story, part fable, and all elegant Chinese animation. This visually luscious film follows in the steps of Studio Ghibli delights in both wonder and overall feel of the storytelling. While you do feel the entire 105 minute run of the film that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The story has enough going on to engage an age-appropriate audience. With a PG-13 rating, some themes will go over the heads of younger viewers. It is the perfect film to enjoy, just sitting back, listening, and watching the vivid colors and curious characters that pop up along the way. It has a bit of a Hans Christain Anderson’s Little Mermaid feel but most definitely has more going on. And without a doubt, it deserves to be viewed on the largest screen possible. Big Fish & Begonia opens today. Check out the trailer below for a taste of the film.

Shout! Studios will release the film in New York and major cities across the country starting April 6th with a national rollout to follow on April 11th.

 

Big Fish & Begonia made its international debut at the prestigious Annecy International Animation Film Festival and BFI London Film Festival. Already a great box-office success overseas, the film is China’s foremost animated feature film

 

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