Finding The Way Back (2020)

Jack Cunningham (Ben Affleck) was a high school basketball prodigy. He had a future in the game and just walked away from it all. Now he’s older, does manual labour and spends his evenings soaked in alcohol. He’s separated from his wife, and it transpires that they lost a son to cancer.

Out of the blue he receives a phonecall from a priest at his old school and is asked if he would like to coach the basketball team. Reluctant at first, he takes the job on. Reigniting his love of the game, he finds something to distract him from drink and depression, giving him another shot at redemption and a way to finally face his demons.

Affleck really shines in the role. He wears his pain on his sleeve and you kind of get the feeling that the role spoke to him on a deeper level. There is also a great chemistry between Cunningham and the team. The team have their own personalities that really shine through, and you want them to do well. The scenes with Cunningham and his estranged wife are also handled well, and you can see the raw emotion there. Janina Gavankar plays his wife Angela, and she does great. It doesn’t feel like a throwaway role, and really shows how grief can tear a family apart.

A touching movie with a good story and everyone on top form. It’s also not as predictable as many other sports movies that may have a similar story.

4/5

JM

King of New York released on 4K Blu Ray by Arrow Video

Arguably maverick filmmaker Abel Ferrara’s most accessible and explosive film, King of New York’s status as an urban gangster classic is cemented by a magnetic, career-best central performance by Christopher Walken, as well as riveting support from Laurence Fishburne, Wesley Snipes, Giancarlo Esposito, Steve Buscemi and David Caruso.

After years inside, drug lord Frank White (Walken) is fresh out of jail and back on the streets of New York City. Seeing himself as half Scarface, half Robin Hood, Frank and his enforcers brutally take back control of the city, turf by turf – with starry dreams of using the millions to benefit the community and save a local hospital. Before Frank can fulfil his ruthless lust for power, though, he’s got to get past the crooked cops determined to take him down, and the criminal competition that won’t bend to his will.

Still just as relevant and incendiary now as it was three decades ago, King of New York returns with guns blazing in this definitive special edition, including a new director-approved 4K restoration.

4K ULTRA HD SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS:

• New 4K restoration from the original negative by Arrow Films, approved by director Abel Ferrara and cinematographer Bojan Bazelli
• 4K (2160p) UHD Blu-ray presentation in Dolby Vision (HDR10 compatible)
• LPCM original stereo and remixed DTS-HD MA 5.1 surround audio options
• Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
• Audio commentary by director Abel Ferrara
• Audio commentary with composer Joe Delia, producer Mary Kane, casting director Randy Sabusawa and editor Anthony Redman
• Interview with director Abel Ferrara
• Interview with producer Augusto Caminito
• Abel Ferrara: Not Guilty, a documentary on the director from the French TV show Cinéastes de notre temps
• A Short Film About the Long Career of Abel Ferrara, a documentary looking back at the director’s career, including interviews with his key collaborators
• Original theatrical trailers and TV spots
• Image gallery
• Reversible sleeve featuring newly commissioned artwork by Tracie Ching

FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collectors’ booklet containing essays on the film by Iain Sinclair and Abel Ferrara biographer Brad Stevens

BLU-RAY SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS:

• New 4K restoration from the original negative by Arrow Films, approved by director Abel Ferrara and cinematographer Bojan Bazelli
• High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
• LPCM original stereo and remixed DTS-HD MA 5.1 surround audio options
• Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
• Audio commentary by director Abel Ferrara
• Audio commentary with composer Joe Delia, producer Mary Kane, casting director Randy Sabusawa and editor Anthony Redman
• Interview with director Abel Ferrara
• Interview with producer Augusto Caminito
• Abel Ferrara: Not Guilty, a documentary on the director from the French TV show Cinéastes de notre temps
• A Short Film About the Long Career of Abel Ferrara, a documentary looking back at the director’s career, including interviews with his key collaborators
• Original theatrical trailers and TV spots
• Image gallery
• Reversible sleeve featuring newly commissioned artwork by Tracie Ching

FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collectors’ booklet containing essays on the film by Iain Sinclair and Abel Ferrara biographer Brad Stevens

DVD SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS:

• New 4K restoration from the original negative by Arrow Films, approved by director Abel Ferrara and cinematographer Bojan Bazelli
• Standard Definition DVD (PAL) presentation
• Dolby Digital original stereo audio
• Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
• Audio commentary by director Abel Ferrara
• Audio commentary with composer Joe Delia, producer Mary Kane, casting director Randy Sabusawa and editor Anthony Redman
• Interview with director Abel Ferrara
• A Short Film About the Long Career of Abel Ferrara, a documentary looking back at the director’s career, including interviews with his key collaborators
• Original theatrical trailers and TV spots
• Image gallery
• Reversible sleeve featuring newly commissioned artwork by Tracie Ching

RRP: £15.99
Region: 2
Rating: 18
Genre: Crime
Duration: 103 mins
Language: English
Subtitles: English SDH
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Audio: 2.0
Colour
Discs: 1
DVD Cat No: FCD2052
DVD Barcode: 5027035022215

New Candyman trailer has just dropped!

Wow! The new trailer for the Jordan Peele produced ‘Candyman’ has just dropped, and it looks great! Directed by Nia DaCosta, ‘Candyman’ sees artist Anthony McCoy (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) become obsessed with the legend, putting himself and everyone around him in great danger. Check out the trailer below.

‘Candyman’ is released in June 2020.

JM

Youth (2017)

Youth, takes a look at the lives of a group who are members of a Military Cultural Troupe in 1970’s China. Over the course of the movie friends find love, but the death of Chairman Mao throws the country into chaos. The innocence of youth is then stripped away on the battlefield, and life for these young people will never be the same again.

The director, Xiagang Feng, really captures the period well. The lives of these young men and women is shown to be an enjoyable one. Communism and politics is always there, but never becomes the focal point of the movie…well at least not for the first half.

It’s uplifting to see these young people enjoy their time together, having fun and finding love, all while the threat of civil unrest looms. To then see their lives thrown into complete disarray, and for the reality of their situation dawn on them, is heartbreaking. Heartbreaking because I felt they were essentially forced into fighting. They act or they die. This was a regime where independent thought was not welcomed at all. So to watch friends torn apart, it is sad to see.

All the time you can see each of those young men and women yearn for the past to be the present. For the ‘good old days’ to be here again. It’s never a case of nostalgia taking over, it’s just the desire for life to be simple again. I think we can all identify with that, especially with society as it is today. You want to go back to when things were easier to understand, to when life never felt so complicated. ‘Youth’ captures that feeling in a very bittersweet way. The horrors of war are never underplayed either, which makes it all the more painful to know that those men and women will never return to the way it was.

4/5

JM

Pyewacket (2017)

Pyewacket stars Nicole Munoz as Leah, a teenage girl frustrated at her life after her mother decides to uproot and move out into the countryside. In an act of desperation, Leah summons a demon called Pyewacket to kill her mother, however later has a change of heart. But Pyewacket has already been summoned, and it won’t go away empty handed.

Superbly crafted and dripping with tension, Pyewacket is a slow burner. Time is taken to get to know each of the characters, and to understand Leah’s frustration at being separated from her friends and been taken out of her comfort zone. It also shows that if you do believe in black magic and the occult, then you really shouldn’t take it lightly and should always be careful what you wish for.

Leah and her friends feel like real people, still in that moody teenager phase and treating black magic as a novelty. Leah’s petulant reaction over having to move house also seems like something a typical teenager would do. Nothing ever feels cliche or run of the mill. It’s refreshing to watch a horror movie that is true horror, and treats the audience with respect, rather than resorting to cheap jump scares and the like.

The final third is very impressive, and whilst the horror is stepped up, it never loses its identity and caves to typical horror tropes. The ending will be talked about for a long time. A horror movie that is genuine terror all the way through and teaches you to never mess with things you don’t understand.

4/5

JM

Bad Day for the Cut (2017)

Directed by Chris Waugh, ‘Bad Day for the Cut’ sees a mild mannered farmer called Donal (Nigel O’Neill) catapulted on a mission of vengeance after his mother is murdered. On his journey of revenge he discovers shocking revelations about his mother, who harbored dark secrets of her own.

With the help of a would be hitman Bartosz (Jozéf Pawlowski), Donal seeks to find those responsible and make them pay.

Also co starring Susan Lynch as psychotic gangland boss Frankie Pearce, ‘Bad Day for the Cut’ is a movie that marries brutal violence with pathos and raw emotion, evoking similarities to the classic thrillers of the mid 70’s. The script feels real and things happen as you expect they would, not as you want them to. Donal is an ordinary man looking for revenge, and makes mistakes that an ordinary man would make.

At certain times heartfelt, and at others brutal and unforgiving, ‘Bad Day for the Cut’ is a revenge thriller that will be remembered for years to come, making Chris Waugh a director I shall be following very closely in the future.

‘Bad Day for the Cut’ is out now and available to order digitally from iTunes or on DVD from all good stockists.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B076W9ZC5P/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1515596115&sr=8-1&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_FMwebp_QL65&keywords=bad+day+for+the+cut&dpPl=1&dpID=51zEB1nqIqL&ref=plSrch
Highly recommended.

4/5

JM

Black Sails Season 1-4 Steelbook Unboxing

Wow. What a stunning steelbook set this is. Coming in two separate steelbooks, each one containing two seasons, this is a magnificent set that would be a treasure in anyone’s collection.

Housed in a lovely plastic slip cover, the steelbooks are glorious to look at, the artwork alone has been lovingly applied and advertises that there are over 100 minutes worth of extras to indulge in after you have binged all four seasons.

Out of the slip case, the steelbooks come together to form an amazing piece of art, detailing several characters, ships and of course pirate skulls. The likeness of Toby Stephens is really well captured, I would love to have something like this on my wall.

The rear of the steelbooks also form a piece when joined together. Okay, not as impressive as the art on the front, but nice to look at all the same.

The interior artwork of the first steelbook is mightily impressive however. Showing the characters relaxing and looking suitably moody, it is striking stuff. Black and gold being the only two colours used to bring it to life.

The art inside the second steelbook is just as good. This one is a bit lighter in tone, utilising a grey and gold look, it resembles a photo from the 19th century and looks amazing. All of the art would make great posters to be framed.

Black Sails Season 1-4 is available now to buy from Amazon, just click the link below:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B01N6X8UX0/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1504381127&sr=8-1&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_FMwebp_QL65&keywords=Black+sails+steelbook&dpPl=1&dpID=41wEcco6aRL&ref=plSrch
JM

Frightfest interview with Barbara Crampton 

Ahead of her eagerly awaited presence at Horror Channel FrightFest 2017, genre icon, actress & producer BARBARA CRAMPTON talks exclusively about her latest film Replace, battling chronic fatigue syndrome and her passion for supporting new talent.

Q: REPLACE raises questions about beauty, body image and growing older, issues that many feel plague the Hollywood movie industry. What is your view on this subject?

The best movies reflect our inner world, our hopes, our good intentions, trials and our demons. Growing old and the fear of death is endemic to all, not just the movie industry. Just when you begin to figure it out your back aches, your skin starts to wrinkle and you gain weight just by LOOKING at your food. Let’s be frank: Aging sucks! But it also gives you a calendar to get things done. If we had an abundance of time we might be sloths putting off everything and accomplishing nothing. To me the best thing you can do is to live in each moment as successfully as possible. That translates to all areas of your life, personal, career and lifestyle choices. 

I am not immune however to feeling the anxiety of it all and I do believe most of us lack a grace about allowing nature and gravity to happen. We are collectively obsessed with youth and beauty that’s a problem.

Q: Co-writer/director Norbert Keil says he got the idea for Replace after going to hospital for a back operation. Was that something you could empathise with – the feelings of mortality raised when in such a medical environment?

It wasn’t a medical environment that did it for me but rather a chronic illness. I developed chronic fatigue syndrome 12 years ago after a parasite I had went undiagnosed for 9 months. I was literally in bed for 2 years. The worst time of my life. I was confronted with the fear of the termination of my long term health. Some people live with CFS and never recover. The medical community is still baffled by the syndrome. For me it was quite possibly that my immune system was acting in overdrive, first to rid itself of the parasite and then not being able to turn itself off when the parasite was eradicated. One doctor saved me. Per his instructions I had to become a model patient and test every part of my being: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. I worked on every system to lubricate every aspect. I actually healed things I didn’t realize needed work. Finally my body calmed down and recovered. At one point though, when I was at my lowest, I thought, “Is this it? I haven’t done enough yet!” After I was better, that’s when I started working harder on everything, including my appreciation for being here.


Q: Doctor Rafaela Crober was a part originally written for a man, so what if anything changed in the script to accommodate your feminine side?  

Not too much. A few pieces of dialogue here and there. Science is not male or female and the quest for longevity, which is really what Dr. Crober is interested in, transcends gender.

Q: You’ve said you wanted to play Doctor Crober as someone in full control, can you elaborate?

Crober is playing with science too, albeit for different reasons than Kira, her patient. She has to be so sure of herself and where she thinks the journey will take mankind to pursue such lofty goals. Saying more would give too much away if you haven’t seen the film.


Q: Richard Stanley was a co-writer on Replace. Were you familiar with his work and reputation and did he attend the shooting?

Of course, his reputation is legendary. Richard is a fascinating visionary, an artist. He got a very raw deal on The Island of Dr. Moreau. Fortunately people in the industry realize this and he has some great opportunities coming up. Long overdue. 

Q: Replace is such a visually stunning movie with a very precise look. How does seeing that magic happening around you colour your performance? 

To be honest I did not visualize the movie as it was (in the finished film) while on set. I had a picture in my mind when I read the script that was very subjective to my character. The visuals blew me away when I saw the final finished film. It makes sense though I think, that the visuals are so beautiful and striking, as the movie is from the mind of protagonist Kira. She’s looking for beauty to support the needs of her soul.


Q: The film has an early David Cronenberg feel, did director Norbert Keil discuss any body horror influences or inspirations with you? 

Cronenberg was a very direct influence. And I think the themes of Richard’s work on The Island of Dr. Moreau.

Q: You have now been a guest at many of the world’s fantasy festivals. And this is your second time at FrightFest. Why are these events so important and what makes FrightFest stand out?

I am so grateful to back in the film community and to be fortunate enough to travel to Fests where audiences support and love genre cinema. We are in a transitional period though I believe and festivals for film are one of the only things keeping us alive, supporting new film makers. Film fests are sometimes your only theatrical release so it is of great importance to have your film shown at one that audiences will hopefully love and a distribution company will hopefully buy. FrightFest has a very saavy audience and a very vocal one. You want people to cheer for you and have journalists write a nice review to get distribution companies to make you an offer! 


Q: You’re more prolific in the genre than ever. You had four movies showing at FrightFest in 2015 and you have another four in post-production. You are clearly enjoying it more this time around? 

I’m having a ball really while enjoying the work in a way I never did before. I’m much more relaxed about my place in the business and I enjoy helping others realize the same dreams I had at a young age. I am invested in each project I work on even if I’m not involved in a producer capacity. I want to help others create the best film they possibly can.

Q: You’ve chosen to be a mentor for FrightFest & MPI Media’s NEW BLOOD Initiative. Is supporting new genre writers an important mission for you?

I am passionate about having the best script possible to begin the journey to creating a film. I do think that too many times the script isn’t as good as it could be and “people” forgive themselves too soon about that and forge ahead with submitting a script or filming without being completely ready. The script is your foundation, spend lots of time on it. I love writers. They have the capacity for insight and understanding of human nature, of people’s vulnerabilities, strengths and desires. When I read a great script with characters I care about, I fall in love with the writer a little bit.

I feel I can help a lot with the development process of a screenplay. Character is story and story is character. The journey that an actor will take in the story is something I am very familiar with and have worked on a lot. The script is the very first thing you begin with, so let’s get that right first. Then we can discuss the importance of making a great first impression with your freshman effort if you want to direct it as well. It used to be that you made a film and people in charge would see “promise” in you and you’d be able to move on to your next movie. That’s becoming harder and harder for a lot of reasons. Make the best damn first film you can.

My friend, esteemed journalist and film critic, Steve Prokopy said to me recently, “20% of all movies are truly great or really awful. The rest exist in a grey zone of average, above average or below average.”  What kind of movie do you want people to say you’ve made? Impressions are important on a first date and a first movie.


Q: You’re increasingly becoming involved in films as a producer. Do you feel this is a natural progression in your career?

At this point in my life and career it depends on the project. If I really love something I’ll want to work on it. For me a story needs a strong narrative with an emotional core. That’s what my sensibilities are attracted to. I really love acting and I do enjoy helping others realize their dream.

Q: Finally, what’s next?

I have two projects that I’m actively working on to produce. One, I may have an acting part in as well. There are also a few movies which I shot in the last two years or so as an actor only and they are still in various stages of post-production. Hopefully I’ll be seeing you next year on the fest circuit with one of those!

 

REPLACE receives its UK Premiere on Sunday 27 Aug, 3.30pm at The Prince Charles Cinema, Leicester Square, as part of Horror Channel FrightFest 2017. Barbara is also a mentor for the FrightFest / MPI Media UK script writing talent search NEW BLOOD.

 

 

The Audi and the Alien

The Moonrover Audi Lunar Quattro celebrates its film debut in Ridley Scott’s sci-fi blockbuster “Alien: Covenant” this week, ahead of its impending mission to the Moon next year.

The Audi lunar Quattro has been developed in cooperation with Berlin-based start-up Part-Time Scientists. Over the past two years, the automobile manufacturer has worked with a team led by Robert Böhme – founder and CEO of Part-Time Scientists – in developing the rover, by supplying all-wheel drive technology, expertise in lightweight construction, experience in developing vehicles with electric and plug-in hybrid motors (e-tron), and with design optimization.

Director Ridley Scott has integrated the Audi lunar quattro into “Alien: Covenant,“ the latest instalment of his ground-breaking “Alien” franchise. In its film debut, the rover is an integral part of the Covenant mission; deployed to help navigate and assess the challenging, unknown terrain of a new planet.

Incorporating the Audi lunar quattro into the film is part of a collaboration between Twentieth Century Fox and Audi – allowing filmmakers to incorporate authentic, leading-edge technology into their futuristic worlds. As part of the collaboration, a short film was also created by Twentieth Century Fox, 3AM and Audi. Captured on one of the movie’s biggest sets, it depicts the rover patrolling the Terraforming Bay when it detects an unidentified lifeform and goes to investigate what lurks in the dark. 

Watch “Alien: Covenant x Audi lunar quattro” here: http://youtu.be/5fEmCnSt gac

Check out the Audi Rover in some new footage from ‘Alien: Covenant’ via the link below:


 Additional information:

The Audi lunar quattro is 85% aluminium
The majority of its components have been produced using a 3D printing method at Audi’s headquarters in Ingolstadt

High-strength lightweight construction has resulted in developers reducing the weight of the exploration vehicle by 23% to just 30kgs

A 60-degree pivoting 100W solar panel supplies the rover with energy and powers its efficient e-tron motor

For more on the story of the Audi lunar quattro’s origins visit http://www.audi.com/mission

Jonathan McEvoy 

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2016)

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We can thank writer Seth Grahame-Smith for mashing up Jane Austen’s classic ‘Pride and Prejudice’ with the undead. It’s something that shouldn’t really work, as it’s two wildly different ideas being melded together. That said, it does work, and work quite well.

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The story really is just the standard tale of love between Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy, with hordes of the shuffling undead thrown in. Lily James is fantastic as Elizabeth, really getting into the fights, with the dashing Sam Riley playing Mr. Darcy, fighting by her side. Director Burr Steers said that most people couldn’t really figure out how to film the movie as they weren’t sure what direction to take it in. Burr Steers said he took the job because he was just going to film it like he would if it didn’t have zombies in it. Everyone plays it so straight and it makes it a very funny movie because of it.

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The gore is not bad, not as gory as I was expecting, considering we have flesh eating zombies on the prowl. The fight choreography is very well put together, and everybody seems to be throwing themselves into their roles. The supporting cast of Lena Headey, Charles Dance, Jack Huston and even Doctor Who actor Matt Smith are all cast brilliantly in their respective roles.

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The film does lag in the third act, which I was a little disappointed about, as that is exactly when it should be firing on all cylinders. The movie is released on Blu Ray and DVD on 27th June.

3/5

JM

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