A knowing, very sharp script gives this comedy a very strong kick as it tells a story about interlopers in America's Christian subculture. It would have been easy to either take cheap potshots or veer into inspirational sentimentality, but the filmmakers cleverly navigate a middle ground that refuses to simplify either the morality or the message. It's a lively, entertaining romp with real bite.
The film opens in Austin, Texas, where Sam (Alex Russell) is stunned to learn that he won't graduate and go to law school unless he pays $9,000 in overdue fees. Then he gets an idea from a Christian youth group raising funds for a mission trip to Hawaii: why not start a charity funding wells in Africa and keep some of the cash for himself? He enlists the help of his three best friends (Miles Fisher, Max Adler and Sinqua Walls), and before they know it they're headlining major events to adoring crowds across the country. This rock-star life is very lucrative too, especially as they continue to learn better ways to convince the crowd that they're true believers. But as the moral high ground becomes swamped by all that cash, they begin to have their doubts.
It's clear that writer-director Will Bakke and cowriter Michael B. Allen know only too well what they're talking about, as the film cuts a razor-like swathe right through church culture, from repetitive worship songs and cliche-ridden prayers to Christian-targeted movies. Even more pointed is the way the film deals with the vast amounts of money that have essentially turned the fundamentalist church in America into a mega-corporation that knows exactly how to deploy right-wing political sloganeering to get their followers on their feet cheering. These issues are actually integral to the story, as Sam and his friends discover the secrets to helping Christians feel better about themselves as they part with their cash.
Continue reading: Believe Me Review
Bernie is your average party guy who enjoys picking up ladies for one-night-stands. After meeting Joan, he’s tells his friend Danny all about his night of passion and, as he gets to know her, decides that Danny also needs some loving in his life – though he finds himself much more of an introvert around women. He introduces Danny to Joan’s roommate Debbie, but when things start getting serious, Bernie starts to get a little bit jealous as he struggles to get something deep and meaningful out of his own relationship. Given that both couples started their liaison in the same way, Bernie starts to wonder why he can’t commit, while Danny starts to worry that he’s committing too soon.
‘About Last Night’ is a rom-com that deals with how relationships develop between different people in the same circumstances. Originally based on the 1974 play 'Sexual Perversity in Chicago' by David Mamet ('Hannibal', 'Ronin'), the screenplay has been adapted by Leslye Headland ('Bachelorette', 'Assistance') from another screenplay by Tim Kazurinsky ('Saturday Night Live') and Denise DeClue ('The Cherokee Kid'). Directed by BAFTA nominated Steve Pink ('Hot Tub Time Machine', 'Accepted'), it is set for UK release on March 21st 2014.
Chris McDonald - Canon USA Celebrates 16th Annual Fundraiser Honoring Its Customers And Benefiting The National Center For Missing & Exploited Children held at Bellagio Hotel and Casino In Las Vegas, NV on 1/8/14 - Las Vegas, Nevada, United States - Thursday 9th January 2014
The Collector is a brutal masked serial killer who enjoys torturing, mutilating and killing his victims through booby-traps after luring them to secret locations to collect them. Despite being the subject of an immense manhunt, he manages another ruthless slaughter by rigging up a set of traps at an underground nightclub. Elena is persuaded by her friends to attend the club, but becomes the only survivor after every other attendee is murdered. She is instead kidnapped and taken to an old hotel, again lined with traps. The only person who knows where she is is Arkin; an ex-con who is still traumatised by his own experiences and narrow escape from the Collector. He is persuaded to help look for her after being approached by Elena's wealthy father and his team of headstrong mercenaries, but will they find her in time to save her? And will they struggle to hold themselves together along the way?
'The Collection' is the grisly sequel to 2009 horror flick 'The Collector'. It has been directed by Marcus Dunstan ('Saw IV', 'Piranha 3DD') who co-wrote the screenplay with his previous writing partner Patrick Melton and it has already been released in cinemas in Fall 2012 in the US.
Starring:Josh Stewart, Emma Fitzpatrick, Lee Tergesen, Johanna Braddy, Navi Rawat, Randall Archer, Michael Nardelli, Christopher McDonald, Tim Griffin, Andre Royo, Brandon Molale, Daniel Sharman, Erin Way, Shannon Kane, Justin Mortelliti,
Continue: The Collection Trailer
There's a terrific sense of righteous anger in this scruffy comedy about disenfranchised people shaking American politics to its core. But the film plays it far too safely, dealing lightly with important themes while refusing to take a real stand on anything. It also never makes the most of its likeable, fully invested cast.
Based on a true story, the film is set in 2001 Seattle, where long-time buddies Phil and Grant (Biggs and Moore) are both unemployed journalists. When Grant decides to run for city council, Phil helps with the campaign. Grant's main passion is public transportation, which he sees as a social justice issue since it's what allows lower-income people to work and improve their lives. And his counter-culture approach makes him stand out opposite the unruffled incumbent (Cedric). On the other hand, Phil's girlfriend Emily (Ambrose) starts to worry when Grant's campaign becomes a centre for frat-boy antics, including rather a lot of pot-smoking. But this populist approach is like a breath of fresh air to voters.
Watching these no-hopers take on a well-oiled political machine is pretty inspirational, especially when the characters have so much raw charm. Biggs is superb in the central role, grounding even the most chaotic scenes in earthy honesty. By contrast, Moore feels a little overwrought as the hyperactive Grant, which makes us wonder why anyone would take him seriously. Although he nicely brings out Grant's inner resolve. And both Ambrose and Cedric add complex layers to their rather thinly written characters.
Continue reading: Grassroots Review
A group of three best friends from a New Jersey suburbia set up a rock band in 1964 after seeing The Rolling Stones perform on television and enlist one boy, played by John Magaro, as the lead vocalist. He changes his look and defies his father who is unimpressed with his son's big ambitions; especially when he expresses a desire to move away to where rock music is the main scene. When the band receive a contract to play seven nights a week for six months, things start to take a chaotic turn when he starts getting involved with a girl, fighting with his band mates and struggling to maintain a relationship with his father.
'Not Fade Away' is named after a Buddy Holly song that The Rolling Stones covered in the same year the movie is set. It is a story about living in the moment; not worrying about the future and forgetting about the past, taking every positive opportunity available. It has been written and directed by the genius behind New Jersey mob series 'The Sopranos', David Chase, in his feature film directorial debut. This emotionally charged drama flick is set for release this winter on December 21st 2012.
Starring: John Magaro, Jack Huston, Will Brill, Bella Heathcote, Brad Garrett, Christopher McDonald, James Gandolfini, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Molly Price, Julia Garner, Lisa Lampanelli, Alex Veadov & Justine Lupe.
Ditched by his beloved, budding musician Alex thinks things can't get much worse. But when he's fired by both his band mate and eventually his real estate office boss, it's safe to say that he hits rockbottom. Performing gigs at every opportunity (including a special needs school), he is in dire need of his big break. That's were Jim comes in. Jim is a musical enthusiast who develops big ideas after hearing Alex perform. He books a string of US tour dates for the two of them to embark on together to Alex's initial resentment and utter reluctance. Their amateur performances kick off at a wobbly start but the pair eventually start to bounce of one another and create a new sound that sparks interest from audiences. However, the tour comes to an abrupt halt when their unreliable 'tour manager' Cassidy abandons them and Alex is forced to quit the tour and escape to his brother's house where he goes on a journey of self-discovery.