Sunday, October 22, 2017

Crowdfunding Push: Betta Fish

The playing field of indie filmmaking is very wide, but as I stated several times before, for me personally, the genre of thriller is the domain where the best works of this type have been made. Now, a new ambitions film is looking for funds to create what its crew is hoping to be an innovative modern neo-noir thriller. The project is called Betta Fish and here’s how its Indiegogo page describes the plot:

The story revolves around Danny Bishop, a mischievous, manipulative gambler with a history as a prodigy con artist. Fresh out of prison and in trouble due to a large debt to Alex, the beautiful, elegant, malicious mob boss queen of the city, Danny has a worthy opponent. 

Motivated by the pain of her enemies and the destruction of Danny, Alex swears to kill him and his family if he does not pay his debt, putting Danny on a collision course with old friends and rivals in his quest to succeed.  This socially progressive story involves a mixture of race and diverse communities, centering on family and the right to equality.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Two Paragraph Review - Baby Driver (2017)

Copyright: Sony Pictures
This movie is all about the beats. Each shot and frame are designed to support the songs and their beat track, which is in itself an impressive feat. At the same time, the simple story of a reluctant heist driver caught below the paw of a big gangster is told well, adding another layer of deliciousness to this excellent cinematic dish. This way, Baby Driver isn’t so much about fast cars or cars of any kind, but about the way we keep our lives in the rhythm of it all.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Indie Showcase: Pain & Music (2016)

Over the last few years or even the previous two decades, there have been some very solid cinematic works of art about the world of African-American music scene. Currently, Empire is a TV show that found mainstream success with its formula, while the slightly less-known Atlanta made by the brilliant Donald Glover is leagues in front of it when it comes to its simplicity and humor.

In the movie domain, Hustle & Flow made a few ripples over a decade ago but has practically disappeared since. Now, a new indie movie desires to continue on this path. It is called Pain & Music and it's currently available on Amazon Prime. Here's its official description:

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Short Film Review: Loyalty or Betrayal (2017)

A strong film can be made out of a huge range of elements which are set in an even bigger number of possible relations. This is why there is no definite recipe that makes a perfect film and also the same reasons why so many great yet wildly different movies exist. Still, most excellent works of art, including cinematography, come with a single distinctive advantage that either allowed them to be great or eventually made them that way. This element is called simplicity.

With a healthy degree of simplicity, any movie project stands a chance to become something extraordinary. Jonathan Vargas is a young filmmaker who has not created a masterpiece with his latest short film Loyalty or Betrayal, but has made a simple and incredibly effective work of art. It has its flaws, but it covers all of its bases in a wonderful manner, making it a dream come true for any jury on a short indie film festival.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Indie Showcase: Beer & Seed

The history of contemporary film shows that one of the most grateful domains for indie releases is the genre of comedy. From Kevin Smith’s Clerks to Summer of Blood and Safety not Guaranteed, all of these great movies managed to get so much out of very little. Beer & Seed is a film that utilizes the same approach and goes for that dark comedy space in an otherwise familiar and friendly environment.

The official description of the film pitches it this way:

What happens when you follow a navy veteran who goes back to college? A world full of fat girl sex, drugs, gambling, violence. In a creepy comical look, Bill goes through the issues of working and trying to pass through college. In this well crafted Indy film, Bill Cox takes you on a journey where crazy is the reality at Central College in Beer & Seed, a classic "Stoner Film".

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Two Paragraph Review: Annabelle: Creation (2017)

Copyright: Warner Bros. Pictures
Dolls are creepy and Annabelle: Creation is weirdly a film about a creepy doll that (very commendably) doesn’t use the same object too much. This was a great move by its director, who fought off the impulse to make the doll front and center, which would do the story no favors. Instead, the film switches its focus between the girls of a Christian orphanage who get to travel to the middle of nowhere with their guardian nun and start living in the home of a good Samaritan dollmaker and his wife.

As the horror action begins to unravel, the director follows a single girl on her quest of moving from a victim to the main monster, switching perspectives smoothly and effortlessly. At the same time, frights are abundant and striking, but they also lead to a somewhat ineffective finish. While the ending and the last third are not bad, they do feel like a missed opportunity to score some bigger and more dramatic horror points. In this regard, Annabelle: Creation works much like its previous part, ending up a decent modern horror but still feeling very forgettable.