Written by Ryan W. Smith and Tony Dean Smith with the latter directing as well, Volition is a film that requires attention in that it crosses timelines and the story becomes different with each attempt at making things better done by the lead. The story is one that is made for those who do not like when the film takes them for idiots or spoon feeds them what they want to see. Here the film takes its premise and makes the most of it, but it also becomes a bit complicated for itself, requiring the viewer to really pay attention. The film is well-written and directed, but something makes it hard to follow at times, perhaps making it a film made to be watched while fully awaken and energized.
After the end of the seventies series “WKRP In Cincinnati,” star Howard Hesseman went on to more downbeat fare that, while formula, was at least a different direction. “Head of the Class” is a childhood favorite, a series I fondly remember watching as it came to a close, and then re-watching in reruns. I loved the show then, and years later it’s perfectly fine. As an eighties multi-camera prime time sitcom, it’s a serviceable and occasionally funny series about a substitute teacher who manages to take charge of a group of mismatched students with high IQ’s.
It’s the middle of the summer and quarantine is still under way, sadly. We hope you and yours are doing well during these bizarre, frightening times. “Shorts Round Up of the Week” once again goes back to Quarantine, visiting a list of short films of varying genres that were created during quarantine. This scenario allowed a lot of great filmmakers to build genuinely beautiful, fun, and sometimes horrifying cinema, and it’s managed to be a great twist in such unusual circumstances.
For this edition we have some great short films including a documentary, a horror comedy or two, and yes, a zombie flick.
If you’d like to submit your short film for review consideration, submissions are always opened to filmmakers and producers.
Despite the title which weirdly made me think this was an homage to “Plan 9,” Lance Polland’s science fiction thriller is quite an impressive survival film. Director Polland obviously has great affection for and knowledge of classic science fiction television, thus he creates an interesting character study that feels like a more sophisticated take on the original “Star Trek.” In many cases, so much of the scenes feel like something directly ripped out of “Star Trek” (and I mean that as a compliment).
As a particular wedding is about to take place, a killer is hired to bring back the finger of an esteemed musician brought into the city for the wedding. As these man try to find a way out of their personal situations, things keep taking odd turns and forcing them to get involved.
With the accessibility of independent filmmaking, often times filmmakers have chosen to pay homage to the Grindhouse era, and with often varying results. It’s not too often we can sit down to watch a genuinely scary film that pays tribute to the atomic age and the classic anthology series from the golden age of television. Andrew Patterson’s “The Vast of Night” is absolute accomplishment. It’s a movie I reviewed during Slamdance 2019 and have yet to quit talking about or boasting about since it was scooped up by Amazon Video. It’s a cinematic gem filled with horror, mystery, science fiction, and pure suspense that will hook audiences the moment the film begins.
It’s too bad when you go in to a Troma movie and know that this isn’t them at their best. While you can kind of blame it on lack of funding, “Volume 2” of the “Nuke Em High” movie series leaves a lot to be desired and never quite sticks the landing in regards to its slew of sub-plots and sidebars. Director Kaufman spends a lot of the first twenty minutes of the movie catching us up to what went down in volume 1 (with the help of narration by the late Stan Lee) and this gives the movie a chaotic pacing that’s tough to focus on.
I’d be lying if I said that I’m the biggest Scooby Doo fan around. Hell, I’m still stunned that Hanna Barbera has placed so much stock in the franchise for so many decades, but I digress. I had high hopes going in to “Scoob!” as every generation is introduced to Scooby Doo once again in some new form, and “Scoob!” seemed like the right avenue. Not only does it give us a new vision of Scooby Doo, but it makes tweaks to the mythos that I liked, while also establishing a shared Hanna Barbera universe. And yet, at the end of it all, I’d still rather have seen “Scooby Doo on Zombie Island” or “Scooby Doo and the Witch’s Ghost,” again.