The Bill Murray Experience [Film]

Welcome to Day 7 of our unofficially titled “12 Non-Holiday Films for the Holidays”. For 12 days, we are showcasing 12 amazing non-holiday themed films for those of us who despise holiday films or the whole damned season altogether. Enjoy!

“After ending her engagement and finding herself at a loss for inspiration Katz, finds herself up late at night searching the internet. In her loneliness, she keeps clicking on stories of others having magical chance encounters with her favorite actor and life guru Bill Murray. Katz shares with the audience that she finds herself at a loss as to why she needs to meet Bill Murray but, that’s part of the intrigue and pleasure of knowing that secretly we all wish we had a little Murray Magic in our life…which starts both Sadie and the audience on the quest of finding the unfindable and zany Bill Murray.” – Cinematic Red PR

Oh, what a brilliant film do we have to tell you about today folks! Our dear friend, the legendary actress from the world of horror and beyond, Sadie Katz, is making her directorial debut with an amazingly poignant and fascinating documentary about one of the most fascinating individuals of the last 40 years. As you could guess, it is about Bill Murray. Yet, it’s really not. This is Sadie’s tale. Sure, it is about the somewhat mystical events around an actor with one of the largest cult followings of all time. But, this is simply Sadie’s story that focuses around Mr. Murray. This film is a tale about a woman who is at some sort of proverbial crossroads in her life, and has chosen to focus on something somewhat arbitrary to heal her wounds. It is a film that is meant to show you just how much growth Katz had to endure while she was on what seemed like an impossible quest, in order to (as corny as it sounds)…truly find herself.

Oh yeah, and it is FUN! With all emotional turbulence aside, this is an amazingly fun adventure of a film, loaded with some pretty amazing interviews, wild antics of Sadie herself and her friends, and some pretty amazing animation to help move things along as well. Animation that was brilliantly done by our old friend Mr. Jim Towns, by the way! As serious of a journey that Sadie was having along the way, she still managed to make something truly exciting and a joy to watch. I really do believe that this speaks loudly about her personality, and the type of wonderful person that Katz is in general.

 

One of my greatest personal takeaways from the film, comes from the fact that I am actually just kind of an idiot. It’s something that I know will seem ridiculous to many of you much wiser readers out there. But, I have to get it off my chest. Here we go: Joel Murray is Bill Murray’s brother??? I swear to whatever you believe in, I had never put the namesake together. I have always been a fan of Joel and Bill separately in their own ways. But, I never threw them together in any way shape or form. Joel was Fitz from one of my all-time favorite sitcoms, Still Standing. He was the male lead alongside our pal Tara Lynne Barr in one of my favorite films of all time, God Bless America. Mad Men, Shameless, and on and on. But, he was never Bill Murray’s brother, as best as I knew. But apparently, the Murray bloodline is just loaded with genius! Phew, glad to get that off my chest. Joel added a lot of context to The Bill Murray Experience, and was an absolutely brilliant addition to the project, so he had to be acknowledged.

Overall, The Bill Murray Experience is an amazingly fun film that you all must see. The film is masterfully shot, and brilliantly executed. It is a truly original documentary should be rightfully enjoyed by everyone! Sadie Katz has truly knocked it out of the park on her first at bat, proving that beyond her already well-established acting career, that she is a woman of many means, and can do absolutely anything she puts her mind to in this storytelling world.

The Bill Murray Experience is available TODAY on VOD and wherever else you may watch movies. Check out the trailer for the film here:

 

Kepler’s Dream [Film]

Welcome to Day 6 of our unofficially titled “12 Non-Holiday Films for the Holidays”. For 12 days, we are showcasing 12 amazing non-holiday themed films for those of us who despise holiday films or the whole damned season altogether. Enjoy!

“Eleven-year-old Ella (Isabella Blake-Thomas) is a city girl forced to spend the summer on the New Mexico ranch of her reclusive grandmother, Violet Von Stern (Holland Taylor), while Ella’s mom (Kelly Lynch) undergoes chemotherapy in another state. As she tries to cope with her grandmother’s strict rules and snooty friends, Ella longs for her mother and begs her estranged father for rescue. But Ella’s dad (Sean Patrick Flanery) has his own reasons to stay away from his childhood home. Meanwhile, Ella finds allies in fatherly ranch hand Miguel (Steven Michael Quezada) and his down-to-earth daughter, Rosie (Esperanza Fermin). But when a priceless book is stolen from Violet’s collection, Miguel is the key suspect, and Ella must find the real thief in order to save her friends. Emotional connections are reshaped, and a family that was lost finds its way.” – October Coast PR

I was quite honestly a bit put off at the concept of the film. I have an obvious prejudice towards that fancy little “YA” label. Whenever I know that something is attached to the Young Adult model of art, I feel as though I should automatically refrain from partaking in any sort of viewership. But, as I tend to be from time to time, I was completely wrong. I knew the cast of the film seemed pretty amazing, and are folks that I have enjoying in very different types of roles. So I took that little bit of hope, and dug into Kepler’s Dream. And I was not disappointed. This was a fantastic film on several different levels.

The subtle yet vast & natural back drop that only a place like the American Southwest can provide plays a key factor in the serenity of Kepler’s Dream. The rolling hills lay gently over the lengthy, grass-patched desert and can be very overwhelming for those who may be used to much more abrasive and in your face types of scenery. While I adore the mountains and trees of the great Northwest, sometimes the beauty that lay within the desert can be just as overwhelming. I strongly believe that Kepler’s Dream taking place in ‘The Mud Hut” within the borders of New Mexico is a huge factor in the success of the film. The desert will always create its own character in whatever film it will appear within. This is just fact.

But, as we often do here at Trainwreck’d Society, we must acknowledge the tremendous performances I was so fortunate to witness. Obviously  Holland Taylor is a damned delight. She is a natural wonder of the screen who seems to only have an A game when she appears in anything. Kelly Lynch, Sean Patrick Flannery, and Michael Quezada, are also some amazing actors who could have really phoned it in for this little film, but they absolutely did not. They were charming, impeccable, and proved that they are masters of their craft.

Now let’s talk about the real performance that everyone should recognize as a shining achievement. And that performance was given by the very talented actress in the leading role known as Isabella Blake-Thomas. I will admit, I was unaware of this young lady until now. Although she seems to have been working since the day she was born according to her credits. Isabella’s performance as Ella was absolutely spot on, and a delight to watch. It’s hard to not nail that child like wonder, when you are indeed a child yourself. But, the ability to project that emotion to a screen is an accomplishment in itself. And I dare say that Isabella Blake-Thomas is an actress who will only continue to impress us as she moves forward. Kepler’s Dream will be but a distant memory in her growing list of credits, but we will surely remember her brilliance at this time.

Go ahead and see the film folks! Kepler’s Dream may be an adaptation of a “Young Adult” book, but it is truly an inspiring tale from Juliet Bell, no matter what audience the story is geared towards. Watch it with your daughter, or niece, or son, or whoever if that makes you feel better. But honestly, it is just a heart-warming tale that you are going to thoroughly enjoy. It is a tale of wonder and mystery set against a lovely desert background. There really is so much to love here!

Kepler’s Dream is available now on VOD and wherever you watch movies. Check out the trailer courtesy of Flickering Myth:

 

The Blessed Ones [Film]

Welcome to Day 5 of our unofficially titled “12 Non-Holiday Films for the Holidays”. For 12 days, we are showcasing 12 amazing non-holiday themed films for those of us who despise holiday films or the whole damned season altogether. Enjoy!

“An isolated cult hiding in a desert enclave prepare for an prophesied apocalypse, led by a charismatic Jim Jones-like leader. As the end of the world allegedly approaches, he binds them all to a suicide pact, in hopes of transcending earth for a new life in paradise. Two dissenters flee through the vast desert wasteland on the eve of the ceremony, hunted by the cult’s enforcer – who will stop at nothing to insure that they keep their part of the bargain.” – October Coast PR

 

I have always had a fascination with the idea of cults. I personally feel as though I do not have the mentality to follow the path that leads one to eventually give their lives on the orders of some Jim Jones-like leader, but I fully understand that some people are very apt for these scenarios. Mental health is a very serious problem that is continuously being validated in our society, but is also regularly responded to with ridiculousness that is both counter-active and shameful (i.e. it’s a “mental health” issue, not a “gun control” issue. Fuck you Tomi Lauren, it is BOTH). But, that is just me ranting, let’s get into the brilliant film that is The Blessed Ones.

The Blessed Ones is a brilliant independent take of what can happen when lost souls are tricked into believing that the end of days is coming sooner than they expected. Dave Vescio portrays the far the charismatic leader Elyon (which is the most appropriate cult leader name of all time, by the way), who is ultimately responsible for the chaos that ensues. He is absolutely amazing in the film, as well as the film’s real show stealer, the very talented Tamzin Brown, who is probably the most sane person you are going to see on the screen!

Yes, The Blessed Ones is a brilliant little film that was obviously able to pack so much into such a small digital space on a shoe-string budget, and create something truly mesmerizing and entertaining. Even if you are not one those people who is fascinated by the world of cults, you are going to find something to love about this film.

 

The Blessed Ones is available now on Amazon Prime from Wild Eye Releasing. Check out the trailer here:

Dalida [Film]


Welcome to Day 4 of our unofficially titled “12 Non-Holiday Films for the Holidays”. For 12 days, we are showcasing 12 amazing non-holiday themed films for those of us who despise holiday films or the whole damned season altogether. Enjoy!

“Recording in more than five languages, Dalida sold a record-breaking 170 million albums during her lifetime, with chart-topping hits spanning Edith Piaf-esque classics to emotional disco numbers. Following Dalida’s extraordinary rise from beauty pageant contestant to cabaret artist to international superstar, this visually stunning new film tells a captivating story of professional success and personal tragedy in exquisite period detail. Italian-model-turned actress Sveva Alviti paints a nuanced portrait of the star in her breakthrough role.”

Emma Griffiths PR

Wow, just fucking WOW! This was an absolutely incredible cinematic experience. I will personally admit that I was completely unaware that Dalida was a person of note. Yes, I am an uncultured American scum who knows very little about what shook the world in the 50’s to 80’s Europe. My sincerest apologies. I had no idea who Dalida was before watching this film, and after watching the film, I am still not familiar with a single record she may have put out. But, I can say that thanks to an absolutely brilliant and Oscar worthy performance form Sveva Alviti, and an amazing film brought to us by Lisa Azuelos, I feel like I know of Dalida and her legacy a whole lot better than I could have ever imagined.

Seriously folks, even if you have absolutely zero interest in the career of a woman who sold over 170 million records worldwide, yet could only become a star in the states through the terrifying art of disco, this is truly a fascinating film that you are going to love. At its core, this is a film about the battle of the human spirit. It is a motion picture about the tyranny of trying to battle our inner emotions against the insane view from the world around us. Few people know what it is like to have the entire world watching you, and yet all you feel inside is a deep hole that has only been filled with regrets and a sadness and shame. This is the type of aura that you will you witness as it is so brilliantly displaced by Sveva Alviti, in a role that should really make her career, and make her a world-wide success. The charisma and skill that it took to bring this truly conflicted character to live in such an elegant manner had to be an absolute challenge. But, she succeeded, to say the least!

If you can be prepared to watch 2 hours of absolute struggle in a world where it seems as though a heroine has received everything she could ever want, yet feel so cold and alone inside that no amount of “success” could ever truly calm them, then Dalida is the film you are looking for. This is not just a biopic. This is an absolutely treasure of modern cinema, and it needs to be enjoyed by all.

Dalida is now available on VOD and across all major platforms. Check out this trailer for the film here:

Django [Film]

Welcome to Day 3 of our unofficially titled “12 Non-Holiday Films for the Holidays”. For 12 days, we are showcasing 12 amazing non-holiday themed films for those of us who despise holiday films or the whole damned season altogether. Enjoy!

“The year is 1943 in Nazi-occupied Paris and Django Reinhardt is at the pinnacle of his art. The brilliant and carefree jazz guitarist, king of ethereal swing, plays to standing-room-only crowds in the capital’s greatest venues. Meanwhile his gypsy brethren are being persecuted throughout Europe. His life takes a turn for the worse when the Nazi propaganda machine wants to send him on tour in Germany.” – Big Time PR

This one isn’t even really fair, folks! When asked if I would like to check out a biopic about arguably one of the finest musicians of any given time, it was a real no-brainer. It’s fucking Django Reinhardt!! There really isn’t a need to use the word “arguably” when speaking the finest jazz guitarists in history, because there simply is no argument. Django is the greatest there ever was, and there will probably be another like him.

I first learned of his work as a young child who was obsessed with the films of Woody Allen. These were even the days proceeding the hilarious Sean Penn led film Sweet and Lowdown. I’m talking more about a quick mention of Django in one of my favorite Woody films, Mighty Aphrodite. I’m talking about the how I fell in love with “Out of Nowhere” when I heard it on Deconstructing Harry. Or when I heard “Minor Swing” on just about every cool flick you could see in the 90’s and early 00’s. I have been hooked on Django ever since. But I soon realized after starting this film, I really had no idea who Django really was. Unlike other folks I have admired in the world of music since a young age (Bob Dylan, Tupac Shakur, etc.), I never really took the time to learn who Django really was. And I will be damned if I didn’t truly learn about the spirit of Django in this amazing biopic about a very specific, yet oh so important time in his life.

 

Django as a film, is something very special and amazing to watch even if you weren’t a weird ten year old who loved Django and Woody Allen movies at a ridiculously young age. It is just about as perfect of a film as you could ask for when depicting what life was like in the depths of Nazi occupation for people who wanted nothing to do with the fighting. Django was an established man of the people during this period, and (SPOILER ALERT!) his defiance to engage with German soldiers even for mild entertainment is a great bit of defiance that I knew nothing about, yet made me love this wild-eyed gypsy even more than I already did.

This film has it all people. Reda Ketab gives an absolutely perfect performance as the legendary Django himself that everyone could appreciate. For long time Django fans, or for people who just enjoy a masterfully told period piece, this is probably one of the best films you are ever going to see. It simply has everything, and deserves to be appreciated by the masses!

Django will be opening in New York on January 5th and Los Angeles on on January 19th. Additional markets are to follow, and VOD release is sure to follow shortly afterwards. Here is the trailer:

D-Love [Film]

Welcome to Day 2 of our unofficially titled “12 Non-Holiday Films for the Holidays”. For 12 days, we are showcasing 12 amazing non-holiday themed films for those of us who despise holiday films or the whole damned season altogether. Enjoy!

“A couple with longstanding marital issues lands at LAX after a failed getaway. For a few years now, Stefania has been unhappy in a job she detests, while Dan still dealing with his grief, hasn’t worked in years. Their strain is amplified when a Danish vagabond asks for a ride and much to his wife’s horror, Dan offers to bring this total stranger to their home. How will this affect the already strained couple? Over the course of three days, Stefania comes to discover that the desired change doesn’t always come in the package that we want or expect.” – Popular Press Media Group

 

I’m just going to throw this out there right off the bat….are you all ready to learn about the best film of 2017? I mean, this is a year that hd a lot of competition when it came to emotionally driven cinema, but I’m here to proclaim that Elena Beuca’s directorial debut D-Love is the finest work of cinematic art I have witnessed in the last decade. With a cast of newcomers and old hats, and a wonderful story that is based in distant reality, this is a film that is an absolutely perfect depiction of what it means to lose, to mourn, and hopefully find love all over again.

There is so much to love about D-Love that it is almost impossible to figure out where to begin. I guess I could kick things off the way I usually do, by telling you all that the cast of this film is absolutely amazing. But this feels inevitably as Elena Beuca and Dave Rogers are sort of just retelling the events of the emotional rollercoaster that was their lives. Rogers is credited for the script, Beuca directed, and the both portrayed versions of themselves in a perfect way. But, it is clearly obvious that this was a group effort, and D-Love is a film that was produced as a team.

But lest we forget that there were some other amazing performances as well! Including the titular character of D-Love, the one-with-the-earth and Burning Man bound character brilliantly portrayed by Ditlev Darmakaya. He is the Danish drifter who absolutely steals our hearts throughout the entire film. He’s less of a man, and more of a presence who was sent to change the lives of a couple who had nowhere to go but down. It is the freshness and naivety of that Mr. Darmakaya brings to the character that is absolutely charming and mesmerizing.

 


I honestly can not say enough great things about this amazing film. One specific scene alone really got to me though, and in attempt to not cause any spoilers, I would dive to far into it, but let’s just say it involves a minor car accident, and a bit of understanding and brilliant advice given by someone you may not have expected to give it to us. It’s not exactly the scene that truly steals the film, but it is the one that pulled on the heart strings a bit. I am always a sucker for a blue collar guardian angel type! Shoutout to veteran actor Michael Monks for making one of the smaller roles seem so huge and important.

Just weeks ago, it was all but set in my mind that I would be calling The Big Sick was going to be the emotional gem of a film to be seen in 2017. But, much like the titular character came in to help with the transformation of a couple’s soul, D-Love entered my life. And I will say that I am far more emotionally changed by the film than The Big Sick could do. While they are both wonderful films in their own right, D-Love just brings the love all the way back home in the most brilliant way possible.

D-Love will be available across all platforms soon, and is in select theaters across the country. Check out the trailer here:

Playground [Film]

Welcome to Day 1 of our unofficially titled “12 Non-Holiday Films for the Holidays”. For 12 days, we are showcasing 12 amazing non-holiday themed films for those of us who despise holiday films or the whole damned season altogether. Enjoy!

“Final day of school in a small Polish town. It’s the very last chance for 12-Year-Old Gabrysia to tell her classmate that she had fallen in love with him. She sets up a secret meeting and blackmails her love interest to show up. But what was supposed to be an intimate talk spins out of control and this seemingly normal day in life of three ordinary elementary school students culminates in shocking and terrifying events.” – October Coast PR

What the hell did I watch? I mean seriously, what the hell just happened? Have you ended a film and said this to yourself? And not in a negative way at all, just that feeling of where you are left a little bit dirty feeling inside. Well, if you have managed to avoid that feeling throughout your existence, be prepared experience something all new and terrifying.

Playground is one of those most unique experiences you will ever have in the world of cinema. The plot and premise of the film starts with a sort of confusing slow burn, and neither really truly reveal themselves very specifically. There is definitely a theme within the film. But, interpretation can easily be left with the viewer. There is a bit of sadness. There is obvious pain and confusion around the turmoil that can be constant in adolescence. But then there is a darkness that is unfathomable and entirely unreasonable. And that is the direction that Playground takes you.

This insane bit of Polish cinema from Bartosz M. Kowalski is a very well made and insanely tantalizing film. But, it is honestly very difficult to describe the events that take place within the film without completely spoiling the entire premise (which, again, isn’t entirely clear in a purposeful way). Let’s just say that Playground is a film that is going to leave you with a lot of questions about yourself, about humanity, and about existence in general. What can drive a person so young to such a dark place, so early in their existence? Is evil simply born, or is it inherited? These are actually the simplest of questions you may ask after watching this brilliant film.

Playground is available now on VOD and anywhere you find great films. Check out the trailer for the film here: