Review – Pitchfork

Director: Glenn Douglas Packard
Produced by: Glenn Douglas Packard, Darryl F. Gariglio, Noreen Marriott
Associate Producer: Shaun Cairo
Screenplay: Glenn Douglas Packard, Darryl F. Gariglio
Studio: Uncork’d Entertainment

Horror is a touchy genre, so much focus on visuals, shock and awe leave viewers almost always expecting something to pop out right at them all the time, with such a high level of anticipation it’s interesting when films play around with the inner workings to deliver something out of the norm. Pitchfork follows a group of carefree college kids as one of their friends faces their parents after coming out to them.

There’s a mix of favorability within the cast, people pulling dirty deeds on each other and generating a sense of wonder on who falls prey first to this beast of the night. Most of the cast are blissfully ignorant of the troubles lurking on the farm, throwing a farm rave of sorts while everything goes down. Oddly enough Pitchfork runs with a long lead into the damage and even when it goes down it’s not a rapid-fire affair, instead, it’s methodical and downright cruel in some delivery but it’s what helps shape the experience.

Pitchfork uses the classic teen slasher experience and twists it around while also dousing the story with a blast of psychological shock on top of all else, it’s what helps define the movie as the events layer into a bloody mess. I can’t say I completely expected the twists and turns the movie took and efforts it made to defy classic staples of horror movies in the mainstream. It’s campy and violent while carrying disturbing twists which grab curious fans from across the spectrum.

While I came into Pitchfork expecting bodies to start dropping in typical fashion, it was anything but that. The film develops its own pacing and general structure that leaves viewers waiting for what lands next.

Cast:
Daniel Wilkinson
Lindsey Nicole
Brian Raetz
Ryan Moore
Celina Beach
Keith Webb
Sheila Leason
Nicole Dambro
Vibhu Raghave
Rachel Carter
Andrew Dave-Collins
Carol Ludwick
Derek Reynolds
Addisyn Wallace
Anisbel Lopez

DVD / Blu-ray release date: May 2nd, 2017

Review – Mom & Me

Writer & Director: Ken Wardrop
Studio: Uncork’d Entertainment

Mothers day is around the corner and a new limited release movie is landing early to remind many of us about those unique relationships with the mothers in our lives. Mom & Me joins Joe Cristiano in his pursuit for motherly stories from Oklahoma, deemed one of the manliest states in the US. It’s a mixed series of emotion, hearing tales of childhood discipline, discovering later in life friendships and growth and more.

Just over an hour in clips and stories the experiences sweep across the board, while generally upbeat the tales do have darker periods which adds a unique dose of honesty to the film. While there are segments of love and respect from many, there are also tales of frustration and rebellion and the realizations that eventually came from those conflicts which brought about new appreciation and growth.

Young or old there’s an interesting crossover of experiences throughout Wardrop’s film and the cameos that highlight the interactions between those callers and their mothers. Not everyone has a happy ending, some had bouts of violence, drugs and other life struggles that they faced but the unique theme is, in the end, their mothers persevered and came back when their kids still needed them most and those moments etched themselves into the minds of those men.

Overall Mom & Me brings viewers back to their own memories with their mom or significant parent in their life. The reflections bring smiles and pull a tear or two out while listening to stories of care, persistence, struggle and forgiveness. For Oklahoma listener’s there is little doubt about the impact and position their mothers had in their lives and how it’s shaped them after realizing the power the relationship brought to their lives. It’s hard to say it’s specifically a feel good piece, there are so many windows for viewers to reflect on the past, the present and the future and where they stand themselves.

The filming highlights multiple dynamics of those relationships told while cutting itself short enough to not overstay its welcome. As a VOD title or a casual film to catch it would deliver a worthwhile experience and that’s what makes it stand out given the timing of the release, allowing viewers to take a moment to let it all soak in after it’s all said and done.

Review – No Rest for the Wicked – A Basil and Moebius Adventure

Magnetic Press is in full force this week helping push news on the release of the Adventures of Basil and Moebius graphic novel. Instead of just ads or trailers or promo material though, they launched a short film titled No Rest for the Wicked. The film is a quick shot introducing the characters and a bit of how they get down to business. Ray Park, Malcom McDowell and even Zachary Levi join up for the central characters in this brawl and heist storyline.

For those new to the series as I am, it’s a rougher introduction, we don’t get much story on Basil or Moebius coming in, the movie with time constraint focuses on the here and now and slowly sprinkles in bits of those details at the end which do help tidy things up. That said, even with the budget and time limitations they do tell a fun story through action and script of course. Gestures and mannerisms of each character start to emerge which set these two apart and help tell why they’re in this high security flat to begin with.

Is there more to carry out? There always that chance in any media, with the introductions made it’s unlikely to have that cold start in the next installment when it comes along, as the story progressed the stiffer lines and gestures took a step back to let the actors really start feeling in their own zone. Other than that, some plot closures would be nice versus just letting it seem like things just fell into place because they had to.

Personally I do enjoy buddy style movies, Basil and Moebius are that mix of rough behavior and grace that create entertaining conflict and development, a brawler with a smooth talking thief who always has an eye on the prize. I haven’t reviewed the graphic novel yet but I can feel that it would feed the character and story needs I have from sitting through No Rest for the Wicked. When I’m able to complete that I’ll pass along my verdict in a dedicated feature.

For those who want to check out the film on their site give it a go with this link, or you can just check it out below.

AUTOMATA coming to theaters and OnDemand next week

Automation is something society thrives for, making things easier, reducing the strain of manual labor and risk of life on dangerous jobs. In AUTOMATA it’s a world where we’ve excelled to full assistance but our robot companions have hit their own milestone, self-modification and modifying other robots to share in this self-awareness.

Antonio Banderas has the job of keeping an eye over this sub-population in the world, striking down any robots deviating from the norms until something new happens, a shift that can stir the entire ecosystem into turmoil and it’s up to him to lock it down for good.

Need for Speed releases “The Guys” Featurette

It’s no secret I love racing and cars, from WRC, MotoGP, F1 to games and anything else related. So naturally when I first saw the teasers for the NFS movie I was excited, it may not be some avant-garde level film that changes the world forever but it’s probably entertaining and able to feed my car interests for the duration of the film. Today we have a new snippet to show that helps reinforce that goodness.

While NFS might not be everyone’s cup of tea, I’ll certainly check it out when it hits theaters next month. Fingers crossed it doesn’t disappoint, come on Aaron Paul, lets see this come together.

Aubrey Plaza teases in Daria trailer sketch

Aubrey Plaza is on fire these days, using her power and recognition from Parks and Recreation to jump into independent movies that fall off the regular formula. This year she’s pushing out The To Do List from CBS Films. While there have been talk show clips and magazine articles detailing crazy happenings on set. This new teaser she’s helped produce is something that hits just the right spot for me.

Aubrey Plaza is. DARIA in DARIA: HIGH SCHOOL REUNION.

Seriously that’s pretty amazing to see even if it’s just a tease. I loved watching that show when it was on, unfortunately I have my doubts MTV would really throw their weight behind such a venture though.

In the meantime you can see Aubrey in a movie actually coming out this Friday, The To Do List has a ton of trailers, we’re throwing down some previews below. Enjoy!

New DREDD poster and film stills arrive

DREDD style judgement is coming and it’s going to get ugly, the Mega City One judge is making a return to the big screen and he’s ready for everything the world can throw at him. We have the newest poster and some cool stills from the movie to pass along while we wait for the September release of the film. Also for those who have missed out, check below for the full press release synopsis to see where this is all going.
DREDD Stills:
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Synopsis:
The future America is an irradiated waste land. On its East Coast, running from Boston to Washington DC, lies Mega City One- a vast, violent metropolis where criminals rule the chaotic streets. The only force of order lies with the urban cops called “Judges” who possess the combined powers of judge, jury and instant executioner. Known and feared throughout the city, Dredd (Karl Urban) is the ultimate Judge, challenged with ridding the city of its latest scourge – a dangerous drug epidemic that has users of “Slo-Mo” experiencing reality at a fraction of its normal speed.

During a routine day on the job, Dredd is assigned to train and evaluate Cassandra Anderson (Olivia Thirlby), a rookie with powerful psychic abilities thanks to a genetic mutation. A heinous crime calls them to a neighborhood where fellow Judges rarely dare to venture- a 200 story vertical slum controlled by prostitute turned drug lord Ma-Ma (Lena Headey) and her ruthless clan. When they capture one of the clan’s inner circle, Ma-Ma overtakes the compound’s control center and wages a dirty, vicious war against the Judges that proves she will stop at nothing to protect her empire. With the body count climbing and no way out, Dredd and Anderson must confront the odds and engage in the relentless battle for their survival.

The endlessly inventive mind of writer Alex Garland and director Pete Travis bring DREDD to life as a futuristic neo-noir action film. Filmed in 3D with stunning slow motion photography sequences, the film returns the celebrated character to the dark, visceral incarnation from John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra’s revered comic strip.

Release date: September 21, 2012

Review – The Avengers (2012) Movie

The wait is over for the latest Marvel Super Hero installment, Marvel has released The Avengers to theaters this weekend and it’s taking off like mad. The new movie spearheaded by Joss Whedon sets out to combine the lives of Thor, Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye into a single classic package from the comic world. The article will try to stay as spoiler free as possible so everyone can read it without feeling like I just killed the ending.

Given past experiences this isn’t something that’s a given to go well, many have felt the burn from bad group movies like Fantastic Four and some of X-Men as well. Fortunately Whedon has a history with Marvel in writing story arcs and developing characters across their roster, as a result he has a bit of an understanding about how they work. Add onto this he’s a creator from the genre and understands developmental trends from the Marvel Universes, as a result we get a mixture of hero profiles that set up a great experience without trying to reinvent the wheel, instead he just borrows from the best of all there is to pick from.

The basics are easy, Loki has returned and he’s in for payback, he has an army with him and a plan to launch a full-scale invasion if he’s lucky. With his brother preoccupied elsewhere and his existence thought to be lost to the void he’s on a limited free ride ticket to get into action while he can. Unfortunately this is where things go horribly wrong, in his last trip to Earth he didn’t take the time to absorb the level of the heroes on the planet, as a result he’s stuck with something he didn’t account for, some big names that don’t take kindly to getting shoved around.

As a Marvel movie this hits a lot of points that get missed in regular releases, while running at around 2 hours and 30 minutes from previews to credits it uses the time to create story, relationships, conflicts and resolve without axing too much off. It’s very common to see critical development skimmed through in favor of being flashy or saving time, Whedon doesn’t dive into this all that much and the experience is richer for it. We see a band of heroes that had no real relations jump into the fray with genuine conflict instead of magical cooperation, given the fights that happen in the comic universe it was a relief to see that no one was really happy-go-lucky in the story.

The result of this is an intense experience and one of the most impressive accomplishments is the development of the best Hulk I’ve seen yet in the movies from Marvel right now. The personality development is critical and the focus goes from the random generations of Banner to something closer to the Hulk seen in arcs like Planet Hulk. If there’s a chance to keep that thunder going it would likely prove to renew faith in the franchise even if it was yet another reboot. Other characters like Captain America get a heavy kick to the modern age, we left off with him trying to cope with the modern age but Whedon helps crank a reluctant Captain into full gear by making him step up to the situation at hand.

Other developments include a reformed Thor, while headed toward greater responsibility he’s less of a hot-head figure in the development, using calculated attacks and complete control of the hammer to dish out heavy damage to anyone in his way. The other step up in development came from Iron Man, while there’s no doubt that Tony Stark likes to let it rip, he’s at a technological point where he’s more interested in knowing more and doing more than ever before. While he still gets to be a bit of an ass it’s nothing that dwarfs the rest of the cast in the movie and often serves to develop the story around other characters even more.

While I had a lot of excitement going into The Avengers, it was a true test to see if it held up to expectations, it’s safe to say that it delivers on multiple levels. As a comic movie it brings intense action and storytelling to new levels, it doesn’t short the audience to meet a deadline and it draws a full story experience from start to finish. Joss even finds time to tease other parts of the universe throughout the film to the final seconds before the MPAA rating screen closes out the movie, yes that’s right sit through EVERYTHING, if you leave early you’ll only hurt your own experience.

Visually The Avengers brings intense environments through heavy use of locations and CG implementation, the story sells because they took the time to go through how they sold the comic and kept to that. With so much time taken into making this a major accomplished piece there aren’t any areas that just blatantly scream out that a corner was cut. It’s easy to know so many things are CG in the film but the immersion remains strong throughout the movie and owns what it is by utilizing the technology to the extreme.

Overall it’s an experience to catch although some may need to prepare themselves for it based on the running time. While it is action driven it’s very much about the drama and adventure throughout the story and that may set some fans back. If you’re a general movie fan hoping for a blind rush of action that lacks depth I’d still say try to see this, if you’re looking for a well executed comic movie, you’d only rip yourself off by skipping The Avengers. Now the question remains if Marvel can hold the rest of their movies up to the same bar. For my experience this was one of the most rewarding installments I’ve come across for Marvel movies, I was interested going in with minimal fears and I came out wanting to see it again.

Story:★★★★½ 
Cinematography:★★★★★ 
Dialog:★★★★½ 
Overall:★★★★½ 

FUNimation heads to C2E2 with Dragon Age

C2E2 is almost here and FUNimation announces their event news coming to the show. Their biggest push comes in the form of Dragon Age: Dawn of the Seeker which they’ll have a panel and signing for. Not only will the team have Q&A running they’ll also be there to screen it to fans that manage to steal a seat during the panel.

The details:

  • Sunday, April 15, 2012
    • 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm – Autograph 2: Mike, J Michael and Colleen signing event
    • 2:30 pm – 5:00 pm – N427bc: Dragon Age: Dawn of the Seeker screening an Q&A
As part of the celebration, FUNimation is also running Dawn of the Seeker on Amazon for 54% off right now at $15.99 or $14.99 with Prime + Free shipping, a nice deal for pre-order folks and if you have prime that also means free shipping. FUNimation doesn’t plan to just hit and run though, they’ll also be a sponsor to the Daily Costume Contest at the show.

Avengers Movie Toys by Hasbro arrive

Hasbro and Marvel are back at it, the duo have introduced new movie related play goods for the masses. We have some images and the info in a handy guide for everyone.

Link: Marvel News

  • Iron Man Mission Mask
    • Make super hero action “come alive” with the awesome IRON MAN mask that features lights and sound effects! When villains rear their ugly heads and you’ve got to save the day, put on your mask to feel just like your favorite hero. With details that make this mask seem just like the real thing, you’ll want to wear it all the time — or until your evil enemies are defeated!

      Mask comes with instructions.

      Requires 3 “AAA” batteries, included.

      Mask adjusts to fit most head sizes for ages 5 through adult.

  • Iron Man Tri-Power Repulsor
    • Arm yourself with this super-powered TRI-POWER REPULSOR blaster, just like the legendary IRON MAN hero! Sneak up on your enemy, then immobilize him with your blaster’s pulse lights and launch sounds as you fire away with missile after missile! Re-load and move on to your next target. The future of the world is in your hands!

      Blaster comes with 4 missiles.

      Requires 3 “AAA” batteries (not included).

      Ages 4 and up.

  • Captain America Attack Shield
    • In order to fight alongside the AVENGERS, CAPTAIN AMERICA needs all new equipment – including an improved Stark Tech shield. Built by Tony Stark himself, his shield packs all the latest in high-tech weapons, from bulletproof energy shields to devastating projectiles for taking down enemies at a distance.

      Defend and destroy with your CAPTAIN AMERICA Attack Shield! Arm yourself with this impressive piece of weaponry to block attacks and, with a squeeze of the trigger, stun your target as you send discs soaring up to 20 feet!

      Shield comes with 5 launching discs.

      Requires 4 “AA” batteries (not included).

      Ages 5 and up.

  • Thor Thunder Clash Hammer
    • Forged in the heart of a dying star, the hammer of THOR was built to harness the raw power of thunder and lightning. Few beings dare challenge THOR whilst he wields his almighty hammer!

      Gear up to do battle just like your favorite MARVEL THE AVENGERS character! The Thunder Clash Hammer looks just like the signature hammer of the mighty THOR. But when you press the button, the Thunder Clash Hammer’s thunderous battle sounds will cause your foes to tremble! The lightning glow of the hammer will make you look like the warrior for good that you are! All hail mighty THOR – and you, when you hold the THOR Thunder Clash Hammer!

      Includes hammer.

      Includes 3 “AAA” batteries.

      Ages 5 and up.

  • Hulk Gamma Green Smash Fists
    • Feel just as powerful as your amazing MARVEL THE AVENGERS hero, the HULK, with these amazing Gamma Green Smash Fists! When you put these green hands of power on your own hands, it will be that much easier to imagine yourself smashing everything that gets in your way! With a HULK hero mask (sold separately), you can be even more like the muscle-bound green hero. Get into the best HULK action ever with your Gamma Green Smash Fists!

      Includes 2 fists.

      Ages 3 and up.