Sunday, October 30, 2022

When Cancel Culture Strikes Santa - Animated Short Feature

 The concept of canceul culture and its presence in the modern world is a hotly-debated topic. That also makes it a prime material for comedy and this short animated film makes good use of it as its parody focus.

In When Cancel Culture Strikes Santa, the same beloved childrens' character gets into hot water over a supposed problematic video. In it, the catchphrase of "ho-ho-ho" gets interpreted as an insult. The fallout of that is a cancellation of Santa Claus and possibly his ultimate doom.

The animated video applies the visual approach made famous by South Park, making great use of simple character animation and excellent voice-over acting. The result is a hilarious animated short that raises some valid questions related to the same social phenomena. Watch the entre short film right here:

Saturday, October 29, 2022

Two Paragraph Review: Hellraiser (2022)

There's a weird type of emptiness encompassing the entire new version of the famous Clive Barker novel called Hellraiser. It does not come from the actors, setting, or plot directly, but more from a combination of all of them. As the main character, addiction-prone Riley, struggles to find her brother, lost on the other side of a hellish universe, the audience is left not really caring about her.

The same goes for her brother or anyone else, including the dreaded Cenobites - even their cut-prone puzzle box. At the same time, the blood and gore elements also kind of fall flat, not provoking neither disgust or comedic effect. That could be the ultimate explanation of the baseline mediocre nature of the latest Hellraiser movie - it is too smart to be entertainingly dumb and too shallow to be emotionally and/or cognitively engaging. That makes it fit squarely (pun intended) into the middle ground where no movie wants to end up, but many sadly do.

Thursday, October 13, 2022

MFM Interview: Douglas Vermeeren

Movies, Films, and Movies (MFM): The domain of the movie industry is ever-changing, which is why it's often hard to keep track of so many names working in it. How would you describe Douglas Vermeeren to those who never heard of the same name?

Douglas: In short, Douglas Vermeeren is an actor, director and producer. But, I would say that he is best known for his work on several international award winning personal development documentaries.

MFM: You've been in the movie business for many years and that stems from your childhood love of cinema. But, what were the biggest influences that steered you toward the film industry?

Douglas: I developed an interest in film quite young. I loved films like Star Wars, Indy Jones, and Back to the Future. I knew I wanted to be part of that magic. My mom helped me get my first agent when I was a kid and the first show I did was for CBC. I played a newspaper boy. After that, I ended up studying film in college. While there I continued to study acting. But I also realized there were stories I wanted to tell.

MFM: Today, you have one of the most diverse movie careers one could imagine, covering everything from stunt work to writing and directing. However, in what acting role do you predominantly see yourself in the next 10 years?

Douglas: I think every guy wants to be a hero. I like that too. But I also like to play villains. Everybody knows that baddies have more fun. But seriously, I’d like to try a comedy or something romantic. I can be romantic, right?

MFM: Your upcoming project includes the cruise ship industry. Could you tell us a bit more about that?

Douglas: It’s actually pretty cool. I speak on cruise ships several times a year about the personal development projects I’ve done and they asked me for some additional movies that are fun and motivating. My team and I decided to create a set of films for this and they are now sending those films to pretty much all of the ships.

MFM: Your path in the movie industry has been more than unique. With your diverse experience, what would you suggest to young people looking to break into the business today?

Douglas: There will be people who will tell you that you can’t do a thing. Some people will tell you you’re not good enough. They will give you all the reasons in the world why you won’t succeed. Don’t believe them. You will also have haters. Jealousy and hate are signs of an ignorant person. Did you know the most successful people in the world have all been told the same story and have all had haters? So when someone tries to stop you, you can’t take that as evidence that you are about to do something great and it scares other people. That’s why they are critical. Keep going. They don’t know you. They don’t know your heart. They don’t know your abilities. If you were inspired to do a thing there was a reason for it. Trust that. Get to work. Push farther. Stay focused. Thank them for their thoughts. And then go prove them wrong.

MFM: Thank you so much for your time, Douglas!

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

All Eyes - Indie Release that Blends Horror and Comedy

The hybrid genre that dares to mix traditional notions of a horror film with that of a comedy has seen somewhat of a resurgence in recent years. Interestingly enough, the best works from this field came from independent films and more minor releases. Now, it seems that All Eyes fits perfectly into that pattern. Here is how the same movie describes itself:

The movie follows Allen, a disgraced podcaster, as he travels to a secluded farm to interview a peculiar subject: a reclusive farmer who believes a monster roams on his land  What started as a fun piece to put him back into the spotlight quickly unravels as the subject begins to take a new life of its own. Sometimes the danger is not what we expect, and the truth becomes more horrifying than what we imagine.

Right off the bat, the trailer for the film showcases its raw and immediate appeal - that of a mystery of whether the old farmer is insane or not. As the film unravels, the mystery takes on a more and more esoteric proportion, sucking the viewers further in. That is, in my view, precisely what an ambitious horror comedy, in this case with even a pinch of thriller, should possess.

All Eyes was directed by Todd Greenlee and stars Jasper Hammer, Ben Hall, and Danielle Evon Ploeger. It was produced by Homefront Pictures and distributed by Gravitas Ventures. Their first feature Home With a View of the Monster was released in 2020, which was back then an excellent debut. Now, the new release promises even more thrills, especially if you're a horror and mystery movie fan.

The film is currently available to rent on Apple TV, Amazon Prime, Vudu, Google Play, and YouTube. Get it today and enjoy 1 hour and 27 minutes of what could be the next big indie hit of 2022!

Sunday, October 2, 2022

Tales of Atonement: the animated series - Upcoming Web Show coming to YouTube

The potential of modern online technologies for story-driven projects is both immense and hugely underutilized. This means that a lot of effort goes into more or less traditional narrative mediums, like TV shows and feature-length movies, while many other exciting possibilities are overlooked. Tales of Atonement: the animated series is a new venture that tries to do the opposite and uses modern technology, especially one video streaming platform, to offer something new. At the same time, the whole project is based on an existing series of novels, which gives it an additional level of appeal.

This animated web series is soon coming to YouTube and it is based on the novel by the name of Tales of Atonement: To Make a Hero by A.A. Moreland, a duo of authors working together, as well as its subsequent series. The new show is also going to be in the realm of fantasy and science fiction. The story begins in medieval Scotland, where a boy discovers a weapon of apparently magical nature. From here, the story of Tales of Atonement asks a simple but intriguing question: are heroes born, or are they made?

It is clear that the upcoming web series, like the novels on which it is based, is a labor of love, commitment, and dedication. Besides, the fact that the author aims to use modern tech to deliver this tale of a hero's journey through a very modern medium is also more than commendable. Tales of Atonement: the animated series is coming to YouTube this winter, so subscribe to its official channel and be among the first to watch this amazing adventure come to animated life!