Saturday, August 28, 2021

Indie Showcase: Casey's Haul (Short Film)

There are many ways to create a meaningful work of art that connects with its audience. While their methods might vary, all of these approaches have one thing in common - they speak some manner of truth about the human experience. In the case of the short film Casey's Haul, that truth involves the recent disaster that struck the entire world and that is the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Here, the same short movie manages to tell a story that will reverberate with anyone who is or continues to struggle in the same dire circumstances.

The plot of the film is very familiar to millions across the world. It focuses on Ala'Rico (played by Emmanuel Moulton known as Big Dawg079), a family man who is stricken by a potential disaster. His daughter Casey becomes ill with COVID-19 and gets through it, but remains burdened by a range of health issues because of it. She can go through treatment, but the price of this is not something her family can afford.  Ala'Rico, left with no job because of the pandemic, decided to do the unthinkable and rob a bank.

This sets a dramatic chain of events in motion. The film focuses on Ala'Rico and his moral dilemmas, as he is torn between the desire to help his loved ones and do the right thing. Through his contact with Detective Karuba, Ala'Rico works through this dilemma, knowing that a tragic solution is waiting for him at the end of that journey nonetheless.

Casey's Haul is without any doubt a work of passion and dedication. It shows the ability of one global calamity - which is the pandemic - to influence the lives of ordinary people beyond simply catching the virus. Instead, it resonates through different aspects of life and can easily make fictional stories like this one all too real. The movie cast does a great job of presenting this complex emotional network that connects all of them, which Moulton shines through as the dominant figure. His anguish and constant tension of what he has done and what he feels is the right thing to do feels more than authentic.

While technically a small indie film, Casey's Haul is an important piece of art about our collective experience of this terrible pandemic. It will remain an essential artistic document of our time and get only more important once the pandemic is finally over. Watch the whole short film right here and find out how you can support its creators on Big Dawg079 YouTube channel as well!

Thursday, August 19, 2021

The Diabolical Schemes of Thadeus Jackson - Indie Superhero Movie with the Makings of a Future Cult Classic

 

Sometimes, you don't need much to figure out that a movie has all of the right stuff. In the case of The Diabolical Schemes of Thadeus Jackson, that moment comes from the trailer, when a character asks "Who wants to see the Supremacist dead?" (the Supremacists being a horrible superhero) and everyone in the room raises their hands. This is just one of the numerous details and quirks that this movie has, which all come together into a more than promising independent superhero movie, along with a very serious plot focus. Here's how the film describes its plot:

The Diabolical Schemes of Thadeus Jackson'' revolves around the story of Thadeus Jackson, played by Sean Simmons. Jackson plays the role of a former NSA Agent who is out on a mission to kill The Supremacist, Defender of Capitalism, and The American Way, and is ready to risk it all to make the world a better place.

Brandon Crowson, an award-winning US filmmaker from Minneapolis, is the main creative force behind the film. Its development began several years ago and even though it features themes like superheroes, it was inspired by real-world events. These include protests against police brutality in the US and the Black Lives Matter movement. Crowson decided to embed his anger and frustration about the injustice people of color in the country face in this work of art.

The result is a film that looks incredibly entertaining as a dark comedy, but also something laden with serious social commentary about the contemporary US. To see why, check out The Diabolical Schemes of Thadeus Jackson trailer right here:
The movie is scheduled to have its Premiere on September 2, 2021, at the Parkway Theater, Minneapolis. Following the Premiere, the film will be officially released on Prime Video worldwide and DVD September 3, 2021. Tickets to the premiere are on sale now!

To get more info about the film, visit the movie’s IMDb page, Facebook fan page, and Instagram account. After that, enjoy The Diabolical Schemes of Thadeus Jackson as soon as it gets out!

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Two Paragraph Review: Things Heard & Seen (2021)

Now, if Things Heard & Seen was a subtle parody, it would probably be among my favorite new films that lampoon the resurgent "evil house" horror genre. However, it is not a parody, but a movie so badly acted, wrongly acted, and weirdly acted that it simply leaves you dumbstruck by its unintentional, but abundant, comedy.

The story of the film sets up a well-known cliche. A family moves to a secluded house, where a series of horrible lives, culminating in horrible murders, took place. As the family sets in, things go to hell, almost literally. Yes, the film tries to pursue an artistic note with the Thomas Cole paintings, but that narrative vector is both underused and also comedic in its worst moments - like the ending of the film. So, if you love horror but you're also up for a laugh or two, check out Things Heard & See.

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Two Paragraph Review: Nomadland (2020)

There is a very Soviet and Iron Curtain aesthetic to the movie Nomadland. It showcases bleak landscapes and places of businesses that are larger and emptier than any human mind, let alone a soul. Its main character is a desolate person who still clings on to hope, or something or someone, making things just a bit better - somehow. The atmosphere of the film tells of a world that is keeping its humanity in its smallest pockets but carries nothing of it in its hands.

Yet, the film is not taking place in some Soviet sinkhole. Instead, it is set in the contemporary US, where a changing landscape of economy and politics, as well the broader social climate, make this scenario possible. In it, a woman is forced to live from her van, looking for odd jobs and trying to stay afloat. Nothing more. The resulting movie is both bleak and strangely warming in a Dickinsonian way, but nevertheless a great showcase of a cruel age the US is presently in.

Saturday, June 26, 2021

Athens Metaxourgeio (Μεταξουργείο) Meta Lands - One of the Coolest Neighbourhoods in the World Calling on All Artists of the World!

 

Metaxourgeio district in Athens, One of the Coolest Neighbourhoods in the World is Calling on All Artists to come, to inspire and be inspired!
 
Every artist understands that there is a great amount of power in a particular place. Throughout history, countless individuals have found inspiration in such spots and that tradition continues to this very day. That is the reason why Metaxourgeio in Athens, Greece, is so important!

Watch the video to find out more.

Metaxourgeio has been listed among the 25 coolest neighborhoods in the world in 2018. This promotional video for the same initiative is also an excellent way to get a sense of the same place and join forces with other artists there.

Clearly, Metaxourgeio is a special place and filmmakers, just like any other artist out there, would surely find plenty of inspiration, visiting it. Find many exceptional photos of this magical neighborhood on Flickr for free, spread the word about this chance for all artists, and join the Athens Metaxourgeio Meta Lands Facebook page for future updates!


Monday, June 21, 2021

"THE SERPENT" STARRING GIA SKOVA HITS THE BIG SCREEN IN HOLLYWOOD JUNE 19, 21


“The Serpent” written and directed by Gia Skova hits the big screen on June 19, 2021, in Hollywood, California. For the first-time movie maker, this is a big deal. It is a big deal for any movie maker.

Gia grew up with the idea to always do things right the first time because that way, you do not have to waste time later fixing your mistakes. Her idea holds true with "The Serpent" going straight to the big screen in Hollywood the first time out of the starting gate. The film premiered first in Dubai and from there it came straight to Hollywood.

The movie is about agent Lucinda Kavsky the beautiful, highly trained CIA agent who is a lethal weapon. When her special assignment goes awry, she finds out that she is being played by her own people. She uncovers the plot and in so doing, finds a labyrinth of lies and secrets that have been masking a massive conspiracy.

Follow Lucinda in an action-packed ride that keeps you in suspense until the very end. The Serpent is being released by Vertical Entertainment in cinemas on June 19, 2021.
Catch “The Serpent” on Video On Demand on June 18, 2021.
Soon to be seen in theaters across the US.
Produced by Skova, Jared Safier and Pavel Skovorodin.
Run time: 89 minutes

Author: Teresa Reile

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Two Paragraph Review: Wrath of Man (2021)

 The notion of Guy Ritchie going back to some of his more basic ideas always sounded great, especially after the bold, but ultimately bland and soulless King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. Wrath of Man is a film where this talented director returns to modern crime action but also manages to show how much he evolved since the days of Rocknrolla. He did stick to simplicity, though: the plot revolves around Hill, a mysterious man who begins working in LA’s dangerous cash transport business. Hill clearly has a serious backstory, but the film gradually develops it through multiple time jumps and a range of individual and collective perspectives.

First of all, Jason Statham is solid as the lead man and not a caricature of himself. Besides, the action in the film is sharp and crisp. That includes things like camera angles and the unorthodox structure of shots and cuts, which is where Ritchie makes his biggest leap into new territory. It works well, even with a sorely lacking soundtrack - in most movies this director made, these were among his strongest suits. Here, they are dull and repetitive industrial sounds, blended into an ominous but forgettable musical background. Fortunately, they are the only lacking thing in this very good hard-boiled action film.

Saturday, May 15, 2021

Two Paragraph Review: The Woman in the Window (2021)

Anything that comes with Amy Adams in the leading role cannot be truly bad by any means and The Woman in the Window is no different. While it's not a stellar thriller, it does paint an engaging homage to the classic story from the Hitchcock pantheon of urban realistic terrors. As shut-in Anna Fox, Adams plays very well a woman breaking down under mental stress, only to witness a murder taking place across the street. In one week, she traverses dark psychological plains of both herself and those around her to get to the bottom of the same situation.

The movie comes with a distinctive patina of made-for-TV, which lowers its ability to bedazzle the audience like older films with a similar story would try to do. Yet, its great supporting cast manages to provide excellent support for Adams, who really carries the heart of the film from start to finish. That makes it a refreshingly interesting addition to the same often too stale genre but does not hit any high notes that would make it a small triller gemstone.

Monday, April 26, 2021

Indie Showcase: Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man 🕷 (4K) 2021

One of the best things about the world of comic books and their superheroes is the inspiration it provides to other artists. In the case of the Spider-Man universe, the same inspiration resulted in a very impressive fan-made movie. It's called  Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man and it shows just how amazing a work of passion and dedication can be.

In the universe of Spider-Man, Miles Morales is one of the individuals who take on the role of the famous superhero. This happens right after Peter Parker dies. From that moment, Miles brings another perspective to the Ultimate Marvel setting. This is due in part to the fact that he is a child of a Puerto Rican mother and Black American father. Now, the genesis of the same interesting characters is precisely what this fan movie showcases.

Made by BlackHawk Productions and directed by Jerdarius Collier, the film quickly sets up and frames the story as an action story but with a distinctly human touch. This includes a dynamic heist scene, as well as several fight scenes in the first third of the film. All this happens along with Miles slowly becoming Spider-Man in the environment of New Orleans, followed by all of the responsibilities and dangers this brings. The same even includes the always-iconic moment of a costume reveal.

Throughout the film, it is impressive to see solid cinematography (including excellently shot steadicam sequences), numerous actors (all of whom are convincing), but also many homages to comic books. These include comic book font panels, special effects, T-Shirts characters wear, and many other things as well.

Thanks to all of the elements that work on its side, Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man is a must-watch for all comic book fans and especially this iconic comic book character. In less than half an hour, it manages both to entertain and captivate. Watch the entire film right here:

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Film Review: Come True (2020)

Once in a while, a relatively small horror-like movie comes along and shakes up the international indie scene to its core. A few years back, It Follows did that. Insidious managed to do the same more than a decade ago. Now, I'm certain that Come True is doing the same once again.The film, written and directed by Anthony Scott Burns, starts off in a strong and subtle manner. It showcases the life of Sarah, a teenager that is in the process of fully running away from home. 

Monday, March 29, 2021

Indie Showcase: Spider-Man 4: Spider-Verse (2021) Live Action Remastered - Tobey, Tom, Andrew (Fan Film)

 

Alternative visions are essential for any field of art and cinema is not an exception. Today, thanks to modern technology, the potential to create those visions have never been greater. Spider-Man 4: Spider-Verse (2021) Live Action Remastered is a fan film that takes this idea and builds upon it to an incredible extent. This 50-minute indie fan film was made by a single person during a five-month period. The person behind it is also the creative force behind Macam TV YouTube channel, which is beyond popular, with over 177,000 subs and 54 million views (and counting) on its fan trailers and many more clips.

Yet, the undertaking on the Spider-Man movie is still incredibly impressive. Besides numerous elements it offers, the return of Tobey Maguire, the original modern Spider-Man, is probably its most intriguing element. Best of all, fans of the same series and the iconic comic book character can watch the entire film for free right here:
Movies like this show that with enough passion and commitment, any work of art can be created or remade in a different form. So, if you would like to support Macam TV YouTube channel and this incredible and unique creator, visit its Patreon page and join its Discord server's growing community.

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Two-Paragraph Review: The Block Island Sound (2020)

A lot of divisiveness about different ways of reviewing The Block Island Sound will likely boil down to the way a person chooses to interpret its ending. However, for me, the movie already misses the mark sometime before that moment. As a story, it opens in an interesting manner - a small island and a fishing family (or the family of a fisherman) slowly becomes consumed by a strange sound they begin to hear. This blends perfectly with their already numerous personal issues and emotional problems, showing again that living on a small, wind-swept island in the Atlantic might not be the best place for mental well-being.

However, beyond solid acting and good cinematography, the moving quickly loses focus in terms of what is trying to accomplish. Through the perspective of one family member, Harry, we kind of see a descent to madness, irritation with life going nowhere, sleepwalking from hell, and a mystery to be solved. Yet, we get nothing of that, as the movie becomes bogged down in itself nearly halfway in. From there on, the viewers basically wait for someone (or someone else) to die already and give The Block Island Sound some semblance of closure. Expectedly, it fails to deliver that as well. So, the entire experience ends up with an interesting premise in a cool setting for psychological horror, but which doesn't evolve into that cool horror psychological film at all. Instead, it lingers and it then ends in a lingering way.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Deadlier than the Human - New Novel and Future Film from Writer and Director Paul Kyriazi

Thanks to decades of his work in the movies business and the broader entertainment industry, Paul Kyriazi is truly a veteran creator. However, he's clearly hungry for more, which is why he recently published his latest novel. Its name is Deadlier than the Human and it's available on Amazon. Here's how the novel describes itself:

Aliens leave four beautiful women in the desert. A young indie film producer inadvertently records the event. He joins an ex-Navy SEAL to discover the shocking secret of their mission on earth.

Some time ago, Paul Kyriazi created the Forbidden Power series in a similar process. It too is now not just an award-winning indie movie, but also a sequel novel. Deadlier than the Human also looks like an exciting tale for those who like the tried and tested approach of the now-classics sci-fi action genre.

Check out the book on Amazon and follow Paul Kyriazi on Twitter to stay up to date with his latest interesting project.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Two-Paragraph Review: Run Hide Fight (2020)

 

I'm always fascinated that the attention of the mainstream media is sometimes so easy to catch. In the case of the Run Hide Fight film, this focus came because of the fact that it explores the topic of a school shooting situation but one that is immersed in an even more sadistic and diabolical setting. While the movie is essentially an exploitation action flick, the media did its best to provide it with an abundance of free promotion. It has not been deserved.

When the media spotlight is turned off and the outrage dies down, what remains is a mediocre action movie with a few strong twists - if any - and an overkill of US high school stereotypes and tropes. Also, its grisly and gory moments have been presented in a way that is self-righteous and serious. This shows that the film clearly wants to embrace and disregard its exploitation of nature. That is never a cool move from any filmmaker and contemporary works like Green Room show how this should be done in the correct manner. The outcome of this embrace-push away approach is a film is much easier to watch than Elephant, but which also provides next to nothing emotionally, and very little as a purely bloody action adventure with a macabre, hot-button topic.

Sunday, January 31, 2021

Short Movie Review: Pussie Control 2: Night At The Drive-In

Nine out of ten times, you can’t make a good movie if you don’t have a good script. In the case of indie short films, make that same rule ten out of ten. Fortunately for “Pussie Control 2: Night At The Drive-In'', that great script was present when this short film went into production. It was written by Bryan Bostic, who is also the director of the film. Thanks to the great script and an excellent cast, this short film ended up as an entertaining experience.

The plot takes Ryan and Tiana on a date at a drive-in theater. However, in the back seat is also Davion Pussie, Tiana’s pet cat. Davion is there determined to make sure this date goes nowhere and he is ready to do whatever it takes, which doesn’t exclude murder.

The film quickly sets up its premise and from there, hilarious dialogues ensue. Davion is a type of cat that carries a gun and is no stranger to all manner of thuggery. Throughout the movie, there are numerous jokes and skit-like moments as Ryan and Davion fight it out over Tiana. At the same time, Bostic is also adding further elements like cuts to other locations or even some gross (but hilarious) elements like Davion using his hairball to further threaten Ryan.

As the confrontation picks up speed, the setup, especially the photography and the camera on Davion, who is a puppet voiced by Myron L. Mayberry, has almost a Jordan Peel vibe to it. This comes from that weird humor that is mixed in with a bit of horror atmosphere. While this mixture is strange, Bostic makes it work like a charm. Of course, the cast also does a fantastic job - besides Mayberry, Rajane Devlugt as Tiana, and Taylor Byron Barr as Ryan all perform their parts more than convincingly.

When it comes to comedy short films, “Pussie Control 2: Night At The Drive-In'' shows how this genre is done effectively and very successful. Watch the entire film right here!

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Two Paragraph Review: The Devil All the Time (2020)

Hands down, the coolest thing about The Devil All the Time is the fact that the movie is based on a book and that its original author joined the movie as its narrator. The gruff and serious tone of Donald Ray Pollock's voice really gives the film a level of shine and emotional tone that is hard to beat. However, the movie sadly lacks any other such element.

Instead, what is likely a densely woven book becomes a festival of bad things happening to people. From dull serial killers to cancers, suicides, and child abuse, the story of this massively depressing tale is made up out of numerous equally depressive snippets. Yet, they all come together in some shape, but that mosaic doesn't help its flat, emotionally-void delivery and the star cast doesn't help either. This is why The Devil All the Time feels like a dark comedy of absurd where someone simply forgot to add the funny parts.