Um, what? What am I talking about? David Hasselhoff and lightsabers? Am I drunk? (No) Did I fall and hit my head? (Always a reasonable question, as clumsy as I am) Am I simply talking about Rogue Cinema’s cool new retro video feature? (YES!)
What is it exactly? It’s Instantly Dated, hosted by McQ, a look back at olden times (ya know, the 70s and 80s) when things were simpler and cool things happened more frequently (like Hasselhoff playing with lightsabers). Have a look, then go check out the other episodes we’ve got going on in this issue! (E, there’s one about a Star Trek guy being in a Star Wars ripoff!)
Tag Line: It finds the bug in you…
Guys. *pssst* Hey, guys! I have a secret. Know what it is? That this movie is f*cking awesome! (What? If you didn’t know, then it counts as a secret…) This is, hands down, one of my new favorite movies. Not gonna lie – I wasn’t a fan of the ending but it doesn’t detract THAT much from the “WHAAA-?” factor going on here.
So ya know how we live in the age of “Big Brother” (hello, 1984!)? Drones, people listening in on phone calls, Facebook messenger needing access to our birth certificate to work kinda stuff? That’s what this is about. Except what if “Big Brother” isn’t a person (or group of people) but rather…dun, dun, dun…a NIGHTMARE CODE???
“Nightmare Code” is a psychological sci-fi thriller about computerized behavior recognition, behavior modification and 24/7 surveillance.Our main guy, Brett, is this wicked hacker who’s also a whistleblower, who’s in a heck of a lot of trouble, who gets recruited to work on this super secret project that needs to be finished STAT. It’s called ROPER and it’s an all-seeing behavior recognition program (think Minority Report – the TV show at least, I haven’t seen that movie) intended to predict future behavior. Brett got recruited super fast for this project. Why? Oh, just because the last lead programmer went on a murder/suicide spree. Yeah, no big. Cotton was his name and he was apparently a genius – a MAD genius, mwhahaha. Now Brett’s holed up in this office building (seriously, he can’t leave for some reason, not even to get lunch apparently? Weird…TOTES) with a super small team of 4 other people trying to race against time to get this baby done. His only contact with the outside world is via video chats with his wife & daughter and his programming counterpart in India. Fun job, eh? One small, itsy bitsy problem though…the code he’s working on? It’s kind of alive. Yeah.
That’s right, the big bad of our thriller is computer code! You’re sitting there going, that doesn’t sound scary or thrilling at ALL. NO. You just watch the movie because ROPER is freaking terrifying. It’s like “Robopacolypse” terrifying. The entire movie is told from the viewpoint of the CODE. Yep, it’s the first movie told from the view of artificial intelligence. This ended up being a small problem for me at times, actually, because this involved a lot of security camera footage being shown on 4 split screens at a time. There was way too much going on for me to concentrate when different things were happening on those screens so I don’t know if I missed anything important. Otherwise, it’s wicked cool watching our protagonist, Brett (Andrew J. West), slowly lose his mind while unwittingly (at first) battling this entity.
As I said before, I wasn’t a fan of the ending. It was entirely too expected; it was exactly what you knew was going to happen. I spent the last half of the film praying it WOULDN’T happen but to no avail. It doesn’t take away from the overall kickaewsomeness of “Nightmare Code” but a less archetypal ending would’ve set this film so much further apart from other sci-fi thrillers than it already is.
Guys, this is some good, clean fun right here (and by “good, clean” I obviously mean blood + sexy naked time), and y’all need to get your asses in gear and go watch “Nightmare Code” NOW. Remember, I’ll know if you don’t, because someone’s always watching… ;)
I was lucky enough to see Alan Rickman on Broadway in SEMINAR four or five years ago. The play was amazing anyway but he – he was fabulous. All he did was walk on stage and stand there and pretty much go, “I’m Alan Rickman.” and the theatre went wild, lol. We were going to go out back after the show to try to meet him and the rest of the cast but alas, they were having a charity auction that night. So, so grateful to have gotten to see one of my favorite actors live. In honor, I present Alan Rickman making tea (otherwise known as the best 7 minutes of your life).
Happy Thanksgiving, y’all! Hope it was super fabulous and delicious! As always, THANKSKILLING is an absolute *MUST* to follow up all that food, family, fun & dysfunction so ENJOY!
Stand Up Guy is a short crime thriller featuring a mafia-like organization (or “Family”, as they’re referred to). With only a handful of characters, the film keeps things nice, neat and concise, which works well in it’s favor, and the script is fairly tight. Things flow quickly with the end being reached before you know it, which is a shame in my opinion, as I could definitely watch more of this world and these characters.
Stand Up Guy starts with a federal agent coming to speak with the head of a Family at his “recording studio” about ratting out other people, then turns to a man freshly out of prison who seems to have a need for revenge with said Family head. The rest of the film is mostly dedicated to Roman (just out of prison guy) and Angelo’s (Family head guy) confrontation, with a small interlude that was there to…I’m actually not entirely sure why it was there. To show us how Angelo operates his business? There were definitely a couple of places where it felt like scenes could have been cut without affecting the Roman/Angelo storyline but doing so would have also left the film incredibly shortened – so I guess those scenes were there as filler. The only other scene like this was the scene with the agent at the beginning. Not having that scene wouldn’t have changed the main plot at all, in my opinion. These scenes neither detracted nor distracted; they just weren’t particularly necessary. I would have enjoyed seeing more about Roman (because he was obviously totes cray!) and finding out who Sarge (Serge??) was. For such a small film, I though both the acting and cinematography were top notch so kudos to the team for that.
Overall, it was highly enjoyable and I was a little sad to see it end. Go become a part of the Family and watch it, so you don’t end up swimming with the fishes (or something like that…)!
Ahhh, now THIS was a film I enjoyed! Total Performance was the total package, y’all. It had the right amount of comedy and drama; the acting was fab and I REALLY dug some of the camerawork, yo. So what’s it about? Well, that’s part of what makes it so fun…
The film is about Cori, an actress, but her main gig is a little bit different. She works for a company that employs actors to play opposite real people who want to rehearse a difficult conversation. A breakup, a firing, or even an embarrassing confession: the company that she works for provides a living, breathing ‘sparring dummy’ for their clients. Essentially, she gets paid to go around fighting with people. It’s awesome. There are some obvious pitfalls, of course, like with ANY job, but for reals, how easy is this gig?? We see Cori on a few jobs…we see her on a date…we see her on an actual audition…we see hope in the comedic yet oddly touching and sad ending. The film is under 20 minutes but as time flew by, it felt as if it was only 5 minutes.
I found Tory Berner (Cori) utterly fantastic. Her face is SO expressive and she has this almost wide-eyed naivete about her that’s completely charming. I would watch her in just about anything. My favorite shots were done during the date scene. They weren’t anything fancy but something in them resonated. In fact, I think you’ll find that the whole film resonates as it’s so easily relatable to all.
That said, you should head over to Facebook and give ’em some love, and to find out where you too can watch this stellar TOTAL PERFORMANCE!
Groundhog Day takes a wild, meth-induced bloody ride in Blood Punch (my new favorite movie), a horror comedy written by Ethan Pines. This film starts out hard and never lets up – bringing us hilarity and death, murder and mayhem, sex and blood, meth and peyote, carnage and deserts, snarkiness and more snark – this is indie horror filmmaking at its finest. Seriously. Why wasn’t I in this movie?? (Oh yeah. Current status: somewhere in the woods of Alabama, far from civilization…*sighs*) You guys are gonna LOVE this one though (specially you, E.!).
So what we have is this:
A young man is lured into a dangerous love triangle that begins to take a series of shocking and grisly supernatural turns.
(Although for those more on the squeamish side, it’s really not as grisly as they make it sound. There’s tons of death but the majority of it isn’t graphic. That said, for those who enjoy blood soaked…um, bloodiness(?)…there’s a great scene featuring that which I particularly enjoyed. ;) )
Milton is this super smart dude who got busted cooking meth and is in drug court ordered rehab. There he meets Skyler (whom I now aspire to be like) – an incredibly snarky, kinda bitchy, but ultimately sexy gal – who desperately needs him to help her and her boyfriend out with a meth cooking job. A BIG one. If he agrees, he gets to break out of rehab that night and gets a sweet payday on top of it – all for a one day job. Tiny little catch…Skyler’s boyfriend is a psychopath. No really. Dude is the devil himself (as Skyler says). An entirely terrifying yet strangely charming (at times) psychopathic devil. Lemme tell you, Ari Boyland walks a very fine line here playing Russell, and he tiptoes across that edge like a BOSS. Since this IS a horror movie, Milton takes the gig only to find out just how truly sadistic Russell is and how caught up in Russell’s web Skyler is. And then from there, things just get…well, hilariously bad.
One of the great things about this film is HOW we’re seeing things play out – via flashback. Not just any ordinary flashback though. Nope, Milton wakes up one morning to find a video message from himself in the bathtub explaining the whole situation. It’s truly fabulous. As are the various ways that people get killed off in this film. I mean, if you live to die another day, again and again and again and again…like, really how many ways are there to kill someone? These guys are determined to find out and some ways are truly inventive. So to sum up – 3 kids (okay, college kids but still) trying to work out why they’re repeatedly dying, repeatedly killing each other, trying to escape, and all while sitting on one freaking HUGE pile of meth. Oh, and there might be a romantic squabble or two in there. Super easy sitch to control. It’ll be fine. They got this.
Milo Cawthorne as Milton is great. He’s the perfect blend of confused, edgy, pissed off, longing, scared that’s required here, and is funny as hell. He and Olivia Tennet as Skyler have excellent chemistry, playing off each other extremely well, with their quip delivery on fleek. SO MUCH SNARK. It was like I died and went to heaven. *sighs* Olivia also had the job of making a not so likable character, a sympathetic one, which she did with great aplomb. There were times I wanted to hate her but I could only just say, “You’re a jerk and I’m not talking to you right now. So there.” and then made up with her, like, two minutes later. That was REALLY annoying in that one part when she did that one thing that was just all UGH, you know? ;)
Random aside: Apparently, the majority of these actors were all on some Power Rangers show (RPM??). I’m too old to have gone through a Power Rangers phase but ya know, if you’re not old and decrepit like myself and were totes into PR, then you get the added bonus of nostalgia. Just FYI. :)
Guys, this movie is kickawesome. We need more well made, SMART movies like this one, especially in this genre. If you wanna check it out (and you know you wanna – right, E.?), the link’s up there at the top. You can also check ’em out on Facebook if you wanna get in touch. Ugh. So fucking good. I’d hate for you to miss out…
WOW. Yeah. Okay. So. Um…AIMY IN A CAGE is basically the love child of John Waters and Marc Caro/Jean-Pierre Jeunet (DELICATESSEN, THE CITY OF LOST CHILDREN). That is the best way I know to describe this film. As the credits rolled, I just sat there, staring into space, asking myself, “What the f*ck did I just watch?” – but asking myself in the best way possible. Because this movie is mind-blowingly, amazingly, freakishly, insanely beautiful. In a really, really, really twisted way (and is there any better way?).
Summary – “A creative teenage girl is placed into a mind-altering procedure to civilise her, while news of a virus epidemic spreads throughout the world.” We might be in the future; we might be in the past – who the hell knows? Wherever we are, we have Aimy – a whimsical wisp of a girl who doesn’t exactly fit in with her family. Or society. Or anywhere. She likes to dance and they like money. She likes art and they like boring conversation. Honestly, it’s a bit more f*cked up than that but I just do NOT know how to describe it…Aimy is that one rare soul who isn’t a carbon copy of the materialistic, dull as dishwater, ORDINARY people around her. However, Aimy also isn’t necessarily likable. Not hateable but not entirely likable. But then NO ONE in this film is necessarily likable so perhaps that’s the one way Aimy IS similar to her surroundings?
Anyway, apparently there are (or were?) a few other people like Aimy (or EVERYONE used to be like Aimy) because there’s a procedure you can have done so that you too can be a mindless, materialistic robot! Yay! Aimy is forced into this procedure, which looks a little like this:
Aimy is all kinds of hardcore though so the procedure doesn’t exactly take the first time and is done again – this time with some…modifications in the form of psychological torture. Oh, and while this is all going on, there’s a virus making it’s way through the country that nobody seems particularly worried about (until they ARE worried about it). If this all sounds confusing, well, that’s because it is. But when you actually SEE it, it will all make sense. Plus you’ll get the many layers of the film (obvis it’s not REALLY about some chick in a head cage).
The only thing that bothered me about this film was all the SCREAMING. Holy wow, no one in this film can communicate in any other way except screaming. And it didn’t bother me in the way you might think – it bothered me because with the force/intensity/volume these actors were screaming, I just kept wondering how many times they lost their voices and had to halt filming. Did they have an every other day schedule? Realistically, how long can one scream like that without going hoarse? Do you see what I mean? I kept wandering away from the movie to wonder about the consequences of long-term screaming, lol. So be forewarned – do NOT have your volume turned up for this one or your eardrums will be BLOWN.
So yeah. Kinda (totally) dug this film. Wickedly brilliant, beautiful in a most f*cked up way and right up there with some of my favorite filmmakers (mentioned wayyyy up there in the first paragraph), AIMY IN A CAGE is a wild ride you should DEFINITELY take.
This past weekend I was out of town for a few days for my niece’s 6th birthday (hence why no posts still). Now, my niece Tay is a riot. This is the girl who told one of her grandmothers that she should dye her hair pink when said grandmother wanted to cover up the grey (that may or may not have been my influence, I really can’t say…) and the same girl who recently used “selfie” in a sentence (that one was ALL me – you’re welcome, world, heh). She’s also a total sweetheart; a reading rockstar and pretty much the light of my life (well her AND her little bro, can’t play faves!). This past weekend, however, we had THIS conversation that I thought you all would appreciate:
I have a bottle cap necklace I got at Horror Hound that says “I Love Bruce Campbell”. My Tay is learning to read and she’s pretty damn good at it.
Tay (reading my necklace as she and G’man -her little bro- examine it closely): I love…(tries to sound it out and gives up)…what does that say, Auntie Misty?
Me: Bruce Campbell. I love Bruce Campbell.
G’man: What’s a Bruce Campbell?
Me: Well, he’s a who, not a what and he’s an actor.
(G’man totally loses interest at this point.)
Tay: In what?
Me: (wondering just how badly her mother will kill me if I try to explain THE EVIL DEAD to the 6 year old in very watered down tones…figure it will be A LOT) In movies…and TV…boring grown up stuff though, you’d hate it.
Tay: Oh. Okay.
SEVERAL MINUTES LATER…(a cookie for you if you get that reference)
Tay (reading necklace again): I love Bruce…what was his name again, Auntie Misty?
Me: Bruce Campbell.
Tay: And you love him?
Me: Um…well, yeah, I like him a lot. He’s a good actor. (Easiest explanation to go with anyway)
Tay: What does he look like?
Me: Hang on, let me get a pic up on my phone. (Googles BC and finds a non-EVIL DEAD pic to show her) Here.
Tay: (looks at photo…looks at me…looks at photo) THAT’S Bruce Campbell?
Me: Uh, yeah?
Tay: (looks at me with a raised eyebrow) Really, Auntie Misty? (eye roll, sigh and shake of her head) Really?
Sorry, Bruce Campbell, but the 6 year old is NOT impressed. *giggles* God, I love that girl.
And from here, just a note to say I finally seem to be caught up (mostly) on stuff and I’m not going out of town again for at least a couple of weeks and I HAVE been movie watching (AIMY IN A CAGE for one!) so reviews are coming and blog reading will actually be happening. And perhaps one day I’ll sleep as well…Catch ya on the flipside!
PLEASE PUNISH ME, is a super cute comedy about a guy getting his ass whipped. Yeah, I realize that the words “ass whipped” and “cute” aren’t typically used together but really, trust me on this one, guys. It’s the story of a businessman who is so overly blessed, that he seeks to be “punished” for his curse. Thus entering the “Punish Me Palace” in the above photo. Cute S&M, who knew?
PLEASE PUNISH ME is just under 15 minutes but it gets its job done well. The characters were more well-rounded than some I’ve seen in recent “features”, and while the film doesn’t necessarily take us anywhere new or special, that’s totally fine because you’ll be enjoying the ride nonetheless. The businessman is a fabulous character – love the actor (David Sackal, I believe) – who is just so miserably unhappy because of his neverending happiness. It’s a fun concept to play around with, for sure. Then there were the secondary characters of the “Punish Me Palace’s” receptionist and (I guess) head dominatrix (?), who were both equally funny and stole their scenes. You’ve also got some REALLY nice camera work going on here. I absolutely LOVED the closing shot of the businessman’s dominatrix laying her mask down on the bed. It doesn’t sound like much, I realize, but it was beautiful. And you can never go wrong with whippings. Just sayin’. ;)
Kudos to writer, Tom Paolino, and director, Chris Esper, on an incredibly well-made (and funny) short. Keep up the awesome work guys!