Nocturnally Yours (2017) [Philadelphia Unnamed Film Festival 2017]

After his untimely death on the night of his engagement, a man haunts his love until he finds a way to visit her in the “flesh”.

Nocturnally Yours is the sixth title on writer/director David Ferino’s IMDB resume.  Here he creates a darkly funny story of love that transcends death, of a man who is not ready to move on and a woman who is not ready to let go finding a way to reconnect that turns absolutely hilarious.  The story is wrong on quite a few levels, yet is so entertaining.  The film takes this crazy idea, runs with it, and succeeds in making something that should make people with a dark or twisted sense of humor laugh out loud.  The story is well told, the humor is on point, and the way it’s all delivered makes for a fun few minutes.

Continue reading

Shot (2017)

A couple on the verge of divorce goes to lunch, on their way out, a random bullet hits the husband and wounds him badly. As he attempts to survive and re-adapt, the teen who shot him by accident tries the same.

Written by Anneke Campbell and Will Lamborn from a story by director Jeremy Kagan, Shot is a story that shows the danger of having guns on the streets and aims to encourage discussion about gun access and gun violence. The film here shows how an accidental gunshot can drastically change 3 lives in just a split second. This is done by telling both the story of the victim and his wife and the story of the teen who shot the gun. The film tackles both at the same in time in two different styles, part of the film showing their stories at the same time, with a split screen, and part of the film going back and forth between the two stories. This creates an interesting dynamic and causes a bit of an emotional overload at times which helps the film here as it shows the chaos caused by the situation.

Continue reading

post

The Bootleg Files: The Compleat Beatles

BOOTLEG FILES 606: “The Complete Beatles” (1982 documentary).

LAST SEEN: It can be found via online video sites.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: On VHS and LaserDisc.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: The cute Beatle kiboshed it.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Yeah, yeah, yeah…not!

In the aftermath of the December 1980 murder of John Lennon, there was a huge outpouring of nostalgia for all things Beatles. Record sales of the classic albums spiked, and a wave of news coverage recalled the legendary band’s impact on music and popular culture.

Continue reading

Downrange (2017) [Toronto International Film Festival 2017]

A group of students sharing a car to various destinations has a tire blow-out that leaves them stranded.  Soon they discover that this was not an accident and they are now in grave danger.

Written by Joey O’Bryan and Ryûhei Kitamura with the latter also directing, Downrange is a tense, one location thriller that grabs the viewer early on and doesn’t let go until the end credits roll.  For fans of Kitamura, this is a return to sources, to his earlier style of having a story set in one location and making it a tense experience for all involved.  This, here, is very successful and works like a charm in the desolate location on a road in the middle of nowhere.  This setting works really well here and the collection of characters and how they came to be together adds to the tension and mystery.  The film uses the fact that there are many unknowns to work in its favor.  The situation is tense enough on its own but the way the characters interact and are portrayed make it work even better.

Continue reading

The Hitman’s Bodyguard (2017)

“The Hitman’s Bodyguard” is the type of middling, mediocre nonsense that you’re likely going to find playing on basic cable in three years. It’s such an unremarkable, silly action comedy going through the motions and capitalizing on two men and what they’re famous for. Stars Samuel L. Jackson and Ryan Reynolds never break out of their comfort zones, and you can almost sense director Patrick Hughes asked both men to just be who everyone knows them for, and really nothing else. “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” is everything you think a movie starring Jackson and Reynolds will be like. Nothing ever really skirts the edges or thinks outside the box, and the violence seems just tacked on to what was probably a bland PG-13 action comedy in development.

Continue reading

Lots of Kids, a Monkey and a Castle (2017) [Toronto International Film Festival 2017]

Julita’s lifelong dream was to have lots of kids, a monkey, and a castle. She achieved all of these. Now, her son, actor Gustavo Salmerón has made a documentary on her life showing how she got to getting her dream realized, how the castle became cluttered with all kinds of mementos and things, and how things changed once she had to move out of the castle.

Continue reading

Welcome to Willits (2016)

A group of friends goes camping near Willits, CA. There, the locals grow very potent weed and smoke it as well while they are attacked and abducted by aliens on the regular.

The film is written by Tim Ryan and directed by Trevor Ryan who team up here to give the viewer a completely insane experience in which it’s hard to know what is true and what is a hallucination. The film plays with this constantly with only a few characters being sober and all there. The film also mixes in a tv show the locals watch called Fist of Justice which stars Dolph Lundgren. This addition sounds ridiculous at first, but it works in the film’s context. The way it goes back and forth between the two groups of people and the tv show creates a chaotic feeling for the story that works great with its insanity. The way characters created here are ridiculous but feel like real people in their environment and against one another.

Continue reading