Monday, October 2, 2023

Two Paragraph Review: The Pale Blue Eye (2022)

Out of the name of this movie, the adjective “pale” resonates more with the entire work than the “blue”. Somehow, despite the fact that it features the always amazing Christian Bale and is directed by the accomplished Scott Cooper, The Pale Blue Eye still ends up feeling as colorless as many of its early 19th century leading female roles in their age-appropriate makeup. So far, Cooper made some impressive movies, even though none were perfect, but most starred Bale. Out of the Furnace is a good example of the same trend. Black Mass, which Cooper also directed, shows a similar recipe but one that is significantly less impactful.

In his latest film, the initial murder mystery, taking place at West Point, quickly dissolves into a series of personal dramas and individual tribulation, but with no clear focus point. Among the cast, Harry Melling establishes himself as a dominant character of Edgar Allan Poe, but seemingly not so much by directorial design, but by his skill and unique delivery of the young, brilliant but very odd poet. In the process, Bale kind of fades out only to return at the very end in a twist which strikes very few cords with the emotions of the audience. Instead, The Pale Blue Eye turns into just a simple Pale film.

Monday, September 25, 2023

Two-Paragraph Review: Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2022)

Unexpectedly, the latest installment in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise manages to tie in several social issues into its very short runtime of just 83 minutes. It tells of gentrification and US gun culture just as much as it tells about mass murderers who wear the skin of other people on their faces. But, it remains true to its gory origins.

The plot, like the directing, does things in its way, mostly thanks to David Blue Garcia. This director, based in Austin Texas, knows the lay of the land and the film tells it as well. That is why we as an audience don't end up rooting for either Leatherface or the group of out-of-towners who come to Harlow hoping to start a hipster restaurant. Without the need to pick sides, we can simply enjoy this short and atypical horror experience from start to finish, with all of its trills, social nods, and decapitations.

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Two-Paragraph Review: The Land of Steady Habits (2018)

Not much happens in the entire The Land of Steady Habits, but thanks to a fantastic cast, it doesn't have to. Additionally, in this comedy-drama, there is a lot more sadness than laughter. However, like much of the film and the suburban lives it depicts, both the laughs and the cries are toned down and colorless, as if asking the viewer to ultimately generate some kind of cathartic experience, if possible.

The plot follows Anders, a retired and divorced man looking for either fun or meaning, but failing to find either. Through his navigation of the old life that he slowly imploded, we find the angst and suffering of the modern, well-to-do US suburbia. But, this film makes the same old tale into something that simply can’t move us. Instead, it does make us wonder if we're just as comfortably lost as the unlikable protagonist. The ultimate point could be that it doesn't really matter either way.

Monday, September 4, 2023

The Lords of Cornhole - A Perfect Blend of Laughs and Bodily Harm!

History of cinematography shows that the right kind of independent film does not hold anything back. In the case of The Lords of Cornhole, an upcoming action comedy, even the very thought of holding back is not present. Instead, the film goes all out and delivers what will surely be one of the top indie gems of 2023. Here's how the film describes itself:

Which do you prefer VIOLENCE or COMEDY? Well you don't have to choose when you get ample doses of BOTH in: The Lords of Cornhole! Brought to you by the never-indicted, very stable geniuses at Coldheart Productions with a little help from recording artist Djo Life, not to mention the "World's Strongest Director" Peter Leon! You'll be holding your bags tight and hoping our heroes will make it "right in the hole", in a movie that promotes the classic American subjects of performance diminishing drugs, bad parenting and of course CORNHOLE.

While all of this might sound a bit too much, the film's trailer shows all of this in full glory! It is also a great taste of what the viewers can expect very soon. Check the trailer out right here:

Immediately, it's plain to see that the movie will showcase wild&violent action, attractive people in bathing suits, and plenty of laughs. But, if you're looking for a singular reason why you should check out The Lords of Cornhole it is the fact that it features Alex Kack, aka The Green Shirt Guy as well!

The film will have its official premiere on September 10th at 7pm at the Loft Cinema in Tucson, Arizona. Tickets are on sale, so don't be a cornhole and grab a couple of those right now!

Saturday, August 26, 2023

Two-Paragraph Review: Land (2021)

If the theme that Robin Wright wanted to explore in her film Land is loneliness, she managed to do it more than justice. However, while she took off on this exploration of the human soul in her small directorial debut, Wright also avoided the chance for the audience not to feel the same towards her main character, which she also portrayed.

Played also by Wright, Edee is a middle-aged woman who goes off into the wilderness of Wyoming after losing her husband and son in a senseless tragedy. The move is unclear and remains between a hope for a spiritual rebirth and a slow suicide-by-nature. That emotional space is seemingly interesting, but Wright, behind and in front of the camera, makes it distant and unconnectable. The strong tone of loneliness slowly turns into an even stronger sense of disconnection and throughout the film, Wright fails to do anything there, even when the script is supposed to show us something different. For me, Edee never finds a way out of the woods in every sense of this phrase.

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

The Best (2023) - Short and Explosive Wrestling Tale!


"To be the best you must beat the best. Don't poke the wrestling bear and expect him to go out gently."

The trailer for the upcoming short action film called The Best (2023) starts with this simple premise. From here, the same trailer showcases a ring and what is soon to be the grounds for an incoming wrestling match but does it with a lot of tension and expectation. Thanks to a powerful music tune and the blood-red color effect - all in less than a minute - the same trailer manages to set the stage for what could be an iconic short wrestling film.

The film is based on the tale of a young wrestler and his journey to turn into the very best of this unforgiving and demanding business. From its shots and soundtrack, the film promises a sharp and hard experience, which is completely in line with the same tough-as-nails entertainment industry. Of course, the professional background of the crew working on the film definitely adds to this as well.

The Best is directed by Marc Ash, a veteran of the industry, who is also starring in it. Besides him, the film also features Thomas Bragg and Malcome Dhark, but also introduces Laurie Lennon Williams. Between them, the same crew has decades of experience in the wrestling and movie domains, and that immediately shines through.

The Best is available on video-on-demand services and any wrestling fan should check it out - that goes most of all for those who are willing to go beyond the multi-million dollar spotlights and see the same space in a new, gritty, and very much authentic light.