Go/Don’t Go [Film]

 

“After an unknown cataclysm, Adam is alone. The sole inhabitant of a vacant, unchanged world, or so he thinks. While attempting to stay grounded in the desolate landscape, visions come to him—the fateful night his best friend Kyle introduces him to the love of his life, K. As Adam’s mental state starts to unravel, he is plagued by lingering questions and uncertain realities about his world. His grip on what’s left starts to slip away—sending him spiraling towards a series of unforeseen consequences and unexpected truths.” – October Coast PR

 

******

I will always be a sucker for the theme of a post apocalyptic world. My immediate fascination with the entire subject may stem from the fact that I know for god damned fact, I would probably give up almost immediately. I’d find the nearest liquor store and just have a nice time for about a week before eating the misery removing bullet. I know I couldn’t hack it. Regardless of that fact, I just love seeing these types of scenarios play out. Regular readers will probably assume this right away based on our dense coverage of the Fallout video game series. I love that franchise because it is always so unique in the way it handles the endless scenarios that could play out. And you know what else has a unique twist on a world lived post apocalyptic? That’s right, the thing I should have probably been discussing throughout this entire paragraph, Go/Don’t Go. I really, really, dug this film. I even loved it for reasons beyond my initial yearning to watch it. I shall explain:

 

 

Regular readers know I love stand up comedy. Comics have made up the majority of interview subjects lately. So, for those in the know, I fucking LOVE me some Nore Davis. He’s one of the best in the biz right now as far as I am concerned. So when I saw that he was third billed in this film, I was 100% in. Now, possibly a spoiler alert but will be recognized right away, he’s not in the film much. He is amazing when he is on screen, but the film really isn’t about him. He plays a somewhat crucial role, but it’s not about Nore, really. And you know what, within twenty minutes of starting Go/Don’t Go, I forgot that this was my initial draw! Writer, Director, & lead actor Alex Knapp literally pulled me in and captivated me to the point that I forgot what drove me to the story in the first place. This may not seem like a big deal to some, but for me personally, this is a very big deal. 

 

 

 

 

Alex Knapp’s take on a life lived post apocalyptic, and that yearning to hold onto the past and burying down deep the self actualization that the ones you love are gone and are not coming back, but clinging onto every last detail of the before times is unique and downright brilliant. The story is obviously the thing that drew me in (after Nore, of course) but it behooves me to talk about something that I sadly don’t bring up enough when doing film reviews. Go/Don’t Go is a BEAUTIFULLY shot production. It felt like after each cut, there was some sort of incredible imagery being displayed. I know we don’t normally get to deep in the weeds about the technicalities of a film, and tend to lean towards performances and the writing (which were ALL wonderful), but I have to shout out cinematographer Frankie Turiano for his work on this film. Go/Don’t Go was only officially released 12 days into 2021, but it’s definitely a contender for one of the best films of the year.

 

“Go/Don’t Go” is currently available digitally wherever you purchase great films. For more information, visit kamikazedogfight.com

 

 

My Name Is Pedro [Film]

 

“This award-winning film, from first time director Lillian LaSalle, explores the seemingly impossible journey of South Bronx Latino educator and maverick, Pedro Santana, a former “special ed” student, whose mantra is – every kid can learn despite their circumstances. . A New York Times profile of his “Out Of The Box” teaching techniques, thrusts him into the spotlight, which creates great opportunities for change but also has its downside – public school politics which, despite the cries of students and parents alike, threaten to take him down. A documentary with unpredictable twists and turns, it harnesses a compelling message of optimism, hope and tragedy.” – EG-PR

 

******

I have to begin by stating that I had a clear bias going into watching My Name is Pedro. In short, as you read above, it is a beautiful documentary about a teacher who actually gives a shit. Now, I know it seems as though this should be a regularity because, why else would they get into the business of shaping the youth, right? But sadly, it’s not that simple. Just think about the idea that there was a man who cared so deeply for the lives of the children he had contact with every day, was deemed worthy of having an entire New York Times profile done on him, and then a whole documentary? This is symbiotic to the fact that there are some real problems in our public school system that need drastic changes, and at the very least some real attention.

Not too dissimilar from our actual government, corruption and downright narcissism run deep in the public school system. This is a full blown fact that is clear as day in My Name is Pedro. It was actually sickening to see the “loyalty amongst thieves” mentality that was rampantly attempting to keep this great man from doing real good in his community. But what was more awe-inspiring was his perseverance to continue pushing on, and attempting to go beyond the call of duty to affect the lives of those who need it most. To be frank, Pedro Santana was a Christ-like figure. As are all good teachers who actually give a shit, and pour their heart into the act of developing the future.

 

 

Producer and Manager Lillian LaSalle has already had an insanely impressive career running  her company Sweet180. And while the subject matter that she worked on as a director in My Name is Pedro could seem like a slow pitch softball toss up, I believe that something needs to be said for what she helped bring to the screen. I speak personally as a somebody constantly seeking out documentaries are equally heartwarming and heartbreaking, My Name is Pedro absolutely nails it! And LaSalle deserves a lot of the credit. Obviously, the editing of a documentary can have a huge effect on how people view the film as a whole, but the vision of what the film will become laid in her hands, and she absolutely killed it.

As corny and hack as it may seem to sound, I will say it….we need more Pedro Santanas. As a guy who has been living alongside a teacher over the years, I know there are horror stories to be known. Also, as corny as it is, the children are our damn future! If there is ever an arena that needs not to be politicized, can we please make it the educational field? Seriously Folks, My Name is Pedro should not only be required viewing for all teachers, but every person who thinks they are worthy of serving on any school board of any kind. This is a film that will provide detailed examples of what to do, and sometimes more importantly, what not to do.

 

My Name is Pedro will be available on VOD and DVD on February 23rd in the US, Canada, and the UK. VOD options include Amazon, Apple TV, GooglePlay, YouTube, Vimeo On Demand, and FandangoNOW.

 

Happy Face [Film]

 

“Estranged from his manipulative cancer-stricken mother, Stan, a quixotic 19-year-old, dons a disguise and joins a therapy workshop for disfigured patients in a misguided attempt to reconnect with her. But when his deception is revealed, Stan, who is desperate to gain coping skills to care for his disease-ravaged mother, offers the afflicted patients a bargain: he stays with the group, and in exchange he teaches them how feel good about themselves : by using their “ugliness” as a weapon against our beauty-obsessed culture.” – October Coast PR

 

******

By synopsis and just general film normalcies, there are a lot of obvious events and emotional responses that you can expect to see and have whilst watching Happy Face. And it’s for good reason. At its core, the film is almost exactly what you think it is going to be. If you are a cryer during films, you will cry tears of both joy and sadness. You will feel that heart-warming sense of joy for character accomplishments. But….there’s always a “but”, right? Another aspect of the film, which may be obvious to some folks, is the very dark sensibility and humor that is encompassed in this film. The film does not seek to sedate you with clouded misery, nor does it yearn to uplift your spirits to an immeasurable height. It short, the film is more truthful than that. It’s a dichotomy between knowing oneself & being proud of who you are, and understanding that sometimes the world is absolute bullshit. The idea that good things always come to good people is absolute trash and should not be believed. Instead, find your joy in the world, accept that painful things will happen, and life will pass you by and you can then die hoping that you have more fond memories that dark ones. Dare I say, put on a “Happy Face”, and keep moving through this world!

Anyway, off my proverbial soap box, I would still declare that Happy Face is an exceptional film, and one of my favorites of 2021 thus far. Filmmaker and co-screenwriter Alexandre Franchi brings an absolutely beautiful story that is powerful, a bit shocking at times, and most importantly, true to itself and the message that is being conveyed.

 

 

Leading man Robin L’Houmeau turns out a tremendous performance that is deserving of all the adoration that an actor if his ilk should receive. I can not overstate that enough. His performance in Happy Face is undeniably great. But (there’s that “but” again) I have to say that it is the ladies of the film that truly worked their magic in this film. Debbie Lynch-White plays a tough yet nurturing and frightened character in such a way that I have never seen before. And Alison Midstokke was probably the one give me the most feels and laughs throughout the film. Truly two incredible performances amongst a sea of amazing performances. To include first time performer David Roche who lit up the screen with every moment he was on screen.

Seriously, Folks, you are going to want to check this one out. You will not regret it. Keep the tissues close and your mind open.

 

Happy Face is available now, streaming just about everywhere including iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Xbox, Vudu,  Direct TV, Dish Network and all major cable providers.

 

 

A Ghost Waits [Film]

 

Tasked with renovating a neglected rental home, handyman Jack (Andrews) quickly finds out why the tenants keep leaving in droves – this house is haunted. The ghost in question is Muriel (Natalie Walker), herself employed from beyond the veil to keep the home vacant. Against the odds, Jack and Muriel find they have a lot in common… pulse notwithstanding. Having found a kindred spirit in an otherwise lonely existence, they must fight for their newfound affection as pressure mounts for them each to fulfill their “cross-purposes”. – Justin Cook PR

 

******

I truly did not know what to expect going into A Ghost Waits. I was expecting to be at least somewhat mildly entertained for 80ish minutes. What I wasn’t expecting was to see what I consider to be my first great release of 2021. As original and intriguing as the premise seems just be the film’s synopsis, I implore you to know that it is even better than you could imagine. It is a poignant, charming, and just a down right fun film. Without getting into spoiler territory, there are some events (including the ending) that in another story would have been considered “dark”, in either the dramatic or the comedic sense. But when it is presented in such a way as first time filmmaker Adam Stovall decided to go, it remains upbeat and just and absolute joy to see being played out. Everything from the choice of making the film in black & white, to the superb performances, and the witty dialogue, this is a real treat that I know you are all going to love.

 

 

And of course it behooves me to address that one of the greatest elements that I found so fascinating about the film, which were the performances. Leading man & co-writer MacLeod Andrews gives a brilliant performance, and is topped only slightly by his co-star Natalie Walker. Together they, make an amazing team, commanding probably 90% of the film. This is not to throw any shade in the direction of Sydney Vollmer & Amanda Miller, who were also incredible in the time they are on screen. The four person team that makes up the major cast of A Ghost Waits are some performers that we will definitely be on the lookout for in the future. And suffice to say that if this is filmmaker Adam Stoval’s debut film, the future seems bright for this highly talented human being, and we will be on the lookout for his work as well!

 

A Ghost Waits is available now on ARROW, and as you would all guess, I highly recommend you all see it NOW! Heck, you can even to a free trial to check this one out today!

 

 

All Joking Aside [Film]

 

“Charlene Murray (Charlie to her friends) isn’t your average twenty-one year old.  Inspired by her late father’s unrealized ambitions, she wants nothing more in life than to be a stand-up comic, and is equal parts thrilled and terrified by the fact that she’s finally old enough to get into a comedy club and actually try her material in front of paying customers. So with a fistful of jokes, and her stalwart friend Kim there to get her back, she heads to the Laughing Hyena, one of New York’s faded comedic hot spots, to hit her first ever open mic night.  Glued to his barstool at the back of the room, with his fourth whiskey of the night in hand is Bob Carpenter, and he’s not going to stop heckling until Charlie gives up the microphone.  It doesn’t take long before he gets exactly what he wants, and Charlie, chastened, flees the club with Kim on her tail. When she later returns to the Hyena to talk to the manager Dennis, he tells Charlie that if she really wants to learn the craft, then she’s got to be writing all the time, and studying people who know what they’re doing; people like Bob who, before his marriage and career collapsed and he became an alcoholic heckler, used to be one of the top touring comics in the country.  He pulls out some old VHS tapes of the young and energetic performer, first showing him own the crowd with his raw, edgy material, and then in a different clip from his final performance a few years later, literally attacking them.  Impressed by this new side of him, and with Dennis’ encouragement, Charlie decides that Bob is going to be her mentor whether he likes it or not, and sets about winning him over.   As the two slowly feel each other out, what develops is an unlikely friendship based on broken families, a healthy appreciation of sarcasm, and the undeniable rush of making a whole room full of people laugh.” – October Coast PR

 

******

 

 

Folks, it’s no secret that we love stand up comedy here at Trainwreck’d Society. We have interviewed dozens of comedic greats of the past and current times. It is such a wildly specific art form that requires so little in the form of physical performance, yet requires so much more mentally than what meets the eye. I’ve heard it said before that, yes, “anyone”, can do stand up comedy simply because it does not require any physical skills beyond a microphone (sometimes) and a voice. But obviously, it takes so much more than just the ability to speak in public. It’s the reason that (at least pre-pandemic, anyway) it felt like 100 new people a day were “starting” in comedy, and 50 people were giving it up, if I had to make some rough estimates. A person could be the most naturally funny person around the old proverbial water cooler at their 9 to 5, but it doesn’t mean they are going to make it in the business, or even have the charisma to pull it off. And that is something that I believe filmmaker Shannon Kohli and screenwriter James Pickering were keenly aware of when they were bringing All Joking Aside to life.

I will be honest with you all, Folks. I am very aware that many times over, films about stand up comedy simply just fall flat. So many times I find myself realizing that my love for stand up comedy is what keeps bringing me to movies that “explore” the world of stand up. And obviously they’re not all going to work. Bull Durham and Air Bud: Seventh Inning Fetch are both technically about baseball, but there is a clear distinction between the two. Not just any film about stand up comedy is going to work. Too often the job and the art form of itself is set aside to dig more into the character themselves, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but it always works best when the stand up is integrated consistently into the character development. And I am here to say it loud and proud to you all, All Joking Aside does just that. The story is simple enough, yet with complex characters, secrets lying just below the emotional surface, and a very well written story filled with wit and joy and pain and love, this film pulls off what so many other stand up comedy related films could in the past.

 

 

Yes, All Joking Aside is a brilliant film that is well written and shot beautifully. But of course, the film could have totally fallen flat if it weren’t for some damn fine performances. Pretending to be a stand up comic is probably one of the hardest feats to get right in the world of cinema, but hot damn if Raylene Harwood doesn’t absolutely KILL in this film. I believed every single moment of drive she displayed as Charlie. She absolutely CRUSHED it, if I might throw one more stand up related piece of lingo. And of course, veteran actor Brian Markinson gives a performance of his life time as the grizzled old comedy vet. He’s a unique character, but if you are highly engrossed in the world of comedy, I may imagine you could envision a Dave Attell like character who just sort of fell out of the way. Maybe Barry Crimmins. But, maybe we are digging in to deep here. Raylene and Brian made a hell of an on-screen duo, one of the best of the year, in what is most definitely one of the Top Ten films of 2020.

 

ALL JOKING ASIDE is available now On Demand from Quiver Distribution, wherever you stream great films.

 

 

Sunday Matinee: The New West and the Politics of the Environment [Film]

 

“The film explores how iconic Nevada Senator Harry Reid set the foundations for a green new deal in the state using power in new ways to settle water wars with respect for Native Americans, protect endangered species and usher in a just transition to renewable energy.” – PRANA PR

“A quiet, little-known revolution is taking place in American environmental politics in a most surprising place—Nevada. In this feature-length documentary, Earth Focus tells the story of Harry Reid, a politician who grew up in an Old West mining town, saw the possibility of a New West emerging in Nevada, and rode that change to power. Reid used power in new ways to settle water wars with respect for Native Americans, protect endangered species and wilderness, and usher in a just transition to renewable energy. Could this western green new deal set an example for the nation?” – KCET

 

******

In the military, at least the Air Force that is, several e-mail correspondences will begin with something called “BLUF”. It stands for “Bottom Line Up Front”. And now that I am typing this out, it may be something used in several other industries, but I really do not know. Either way, I feel as though it is an appropriate addition to this article.

BLUF: Nevada is an immaculately beautiful state, and Senator Harry Reid is a major reason that it has remained as such. But, there is so much more to be done. And this documentary will explain it all in great detail.

 

Still a bit wordy, huh? Well, I think you all get it. The New West and the Politics of the Environment attempts, and succeeds, in demonstrating just how important it is that our political structure (as crumbling as it may seem) is crucial to the idea that human kind may be able to continue to reside on this giant rock for the foreseeable future, if the right people take action. It’s literally the most important issue to date, although it seems as though it is constantly being side-stepped by issues that, while surely are important, shall remain null and void if we don’t have an earth that is functioning for humans because humans just want to screw the whole thing up. I am not the most informed person on the matter, and beyond donating a few bucks to organizations attempting to fix the situation, I could never rightfully call myself an “environmentalist”. But, I do understand that bringing a snowball into a congressional hearing does not prove that Global Warming is a hoax. And I am not lost in the irony that the most legendary “Not A Crook”, crooked Presidents of all time also agreed that saving the planet should be a bi-partisan effort. Which always leads me to wonder…were oil lobbyist just not as prevalent? How did he do that? But, I digress.

While the concept of saving the earth from shitty humans and our inhumane ways is definitely the overall concept expressed in this film, there is one character that truly needs to be addressed. And before you begin to think what I am getting to next, it’s not Harry Reid. Sorry, just had to jump out with that. Harry has done incredible things, and we will get to that later. But, it’s important to stay focused. No, the most important character in this film is actually the state of Nevada. BOOM! (Oh no, that might be inappropriate, please let me explain).

Like so many of the 300+ million Americans living in this land (and the rest of us residing outside of it), when I think of the state of Nevada, I think of one thing only: the hit Comedy Central & now Quibi show Reno 911. Alright, I kid. Yes, it’s Las Vegas. It’s “Sin City”. It’s the home state of arguably the greatest film ever made by Martin Scorsese (arguably by me, and probably no-one else, but I’m ready to argue). Which I would learn in watching this documentary, Harry Reid was a major part of taking all the fun out of, but we shall forgive him because he is making the earth better, which is cool I guess. It’s the only part of the state that I have ever been to for a 3 day stint that involved a time-share presentation that earned free money at the Luxor in which nothing was earned, a surprised topless acrobatic show, and the best Brazilian steakhouse I have ever eaten at thanks to Groupon and their 2 for 1 coupons. But, I have actually have had a couple of close relatives die in the state of Nevada. Others have had their ashes spread in the state of Nevada. And some that have moved to the state of Nevada to wait to die, and most likely have their ashes spread in the state of Nevada. So, the state is a bit more important to me personally than a topless show hosted by the 6th runner up of America’s Got Talent and the best fucking steak I’ve ever eaten in my life, seriously, I believe it’s at the Venetian with the sky on the ceiling and stuff, it was SO good.

 

 

But, it is for certainly not self-involved reasons such as I mentioned above that I have become such a Harry Reid stan. I honestly wish that Harry could watch all 4 of the Lethal Weapon films and realize that he’s “not too old for this shit”. And maybe he has? Not that he watched all of these films, although I hope he has, but that he has noticed that while he has retired from politics, he has been able to focus on the subjects that worry him the most. It’s pretty evident with The New West and the Politics of the Environment. He clearly believes in what he has said in the past as he continues to do so. We all know that there is money in politics to be made, even when they are not active in the matter. But, the idea of saving the planet has never been a factor that leeches to the untamed mind as a way to make a great deal of money. It’s possible obviously, but I truly believe that it is not foreseen in this instance.

Senator Harry Reid is, let’s face it, is an OG “one of the good ones”. Despite your possible stance on the idea of letting the mob continue to run Vegas because you are a regular dude who loves Scorsese so much, you have to admit that he is a phenomenal figure. His appreciation for the cultural traditions of the Native American tribes of Nevada are stupendous. His stance agains the nuclear testing that the USAF is doing to his native land is heroic (yes, I understand the contradictory affects of this statement because of my opening statement, but I shall continue).

While Las Vegas and a popular improvised Comedy Central series may have put the state on the map, Harry Reid has been crucial to keeping the state, and this planet, on the actual map. His work in Congress to make the the state of Nevada, the country, the world, a more sustainable place to exist upon can not be forgotten. And it is of the upmost importance that we honor him and continue to head the message he is providing. He’s still with us, Folks! Often times we seem to “treasure” the ideals of those who have come before us. Which is great. But, let’s honor the wishes of the great Senator Harry Reid while he is still living and being so damn cool amongst us! How do we do that?

Well, start by checking out The New West and the Politics of the Environment. Learn from it. And do as they suggest. Vote. Donate. Activate. That is actually one of the most fun things about this modern age. There are SO many ways that you can help out. Shit, just recycle, if you haven’t already been doing that. It feels weird to think that the latter is such a revolutionary concept, but I promise to you all living on either coast, it’s not an entirely regular practice. But, I digress.

Alright, I feel as though I have sad enough, and definitely more than I intended to say. I am just so excited about the possibilities that this film has brought to the world and the continuation of human kind residing upon this rock. Thank you so much Jaime Monez for directing this gem of a documentary that I hope gets world wide recognition.

If we can start with Nevada, we can continue moving forward with the rest of the planet.

 

 

For more information and how you can watch the film, see dates below and visit KCET.org for details.

 

AIRDATES

  • TuesdaySep29 8:00 PM PT
    KCET-HD
  • WednesdaySep30 12:00 AM PT
    KCET-HD
  • SundayOct4 6:30 PM PT
    KCET

 

 

Sunday Matinee: American Trial [Film]

 

“AMERICAN TRIAL: The Eric Garner Story is an unscripted, hybrid fiction-documentary about the case that never happened. A mock trial with the real players (with the exception of the actor who plays Pantaleo), the film depicts the trial that would have followed Garner’s death had Pantaleo been indicted. In the pursuit of accuracy, balance and unbiased accountability, the film uses former New York State prosecutors, real attorneys and actual witnesses, all to present to the jury – in this case, the audience – the facts necessary to determine Pantaleo’s guilt or innocence. No script. Only real people and real testimonies in a courtroom setting through a cinematic lens.  In a unique, interactive experience, viewers will then be asked to vote on the charges at the end of the film via an embedded ballot.” – Passion River Films

 

******

 

Folks, I would dare say that we have one of the most original films we have ever had on the history of this site. The description above tells you exactly how it works, but it simply cannot convey the surrealism and emotional journey that the film takes you on. I know it probably goes without saying, but it’s just so damn REAL. If there is any biasness to be had, it’s only in the fact that the film was even made. But, the evidence brought forth on both sides of the courtroom is jarring and has such a very realistic feel to it, that thoughts of biasness should really be taken off the table. As I stated before, this is truly one of the most original ways of filmmaking that I have ever seen. A full on dramatic depiction of the events surround the tragic death of Eric Gardner could have been done, but I believe in my heart of hearts that this was the exact way to get a very troubling and very serious point across.

I know it can sound corny to say, but American Trial is absolutely more of an experience than a film. The film guides you through what exactly might have happened if the justice system in our country had prevailed and did the god damn job, if I’m to be brash. And I’m not trying to give any spoilers here, but I simply must admit that the inclusion of Garner’s widow, Esaw Snipes Garner, was just about the most heartbreaking and brave things I have ever seen a person do. She is a commendable human being, and I cannot convey just proud of a person who I have never met. The courage she showed was incredible. And I also feel the need to add that filmmaker Roee Messinger may already be one of the most original minds of this generation. And this is their first feature film!

I can say with all honesty and sincerity that American Trial: The Eric Garner Story is my favorite film of 2020 thus far. And that it is going to take a lot to move the film out of the number one spot by the end of the year.

 

AMERICAN TRIAL: The Eric Garner Story opens virtually in theaters May 18-21. A live-streamed Q&A with director Roee Messinger and Eric Garner’s wife, Esaw Snipes Garner, will take place on May 21, where the audience jury verdict will be announced.

Please visit the AMERICAN TRIAL website for more information on theaters, tickets and the Q&A: www.passionriver.com/AmericanTrial

 

 

Saturday Special: Cry For The Bad Man [Film]

 

“When a small-town widow is grieving in isolation, she receives a deadly ultimatum from the privileged sons of a local land developer to sell her beloved property. With 24 hours to decide and her pleas to the town’s corrupt sheriff falling on deaf ears, she realizes she must take matters into her own hands. Her quest for justice turns into an all-out battle and grisly confrontation.” – October Coast PR

 

******

 

Hello Folks! Today we are sharing a truly wonderful and suspenseful film that may just surprise the hell out of you if you’re not careful. Cry For the Bad Man is a lot of things, but one thing it is not is subtle. It’s a bloody story of extortion and will power, and holding on to what is rightfully yours by the powers that would not only take it from you, but are willing to let you die in the process. Writer/Director Sam Farmer is a new name for me personally, but it is for sure one that I will be on the lookout for in the future.

 

 

Cry For The Bad Man invokes a lot of emotion and demands strict attention throughout, in my opinion. Of course a lot of this could have to do with the presence of the horror legend herself, Camille Keaton. Camille continues to prove that after 40 years in the world of horror, she knows EXACTLY what she is doing. And while she is obviously wonderful in Cry For the Bad Man, I have to admit that it was the trio of would be villain brothers that truly intrigued me the most, especially Scott Peeler’s performance as Wayne. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but something about his character simply scared the shit out of me. It’s likely simply a combination of a great performance and well written character, but I feel like there is something even more to it than just that.

I’m telling you Folks, if you are looking for a suspense thriller with enough twists to fill a year, yet takes place over a couple of nights, you are absolutely going to love Cry For The Bad Man. As I would usually say, I cannot recommend it enough.

 

Cry for the Bad Man is available now on DVD and VOD from Uncork’d Entertainment.

 

 

Sunday Matinee: Mossville: When Great Trees Fall [Film]

 

“Mossville: When Great Trees Fall is a powerful and intimate documentary exposing the link between race and environmental injustice.  It’s the story of a centuries-old black community in Louisiana, contaminated by petrochemical plants, struggling with the loss of its ancestral home. The film focuses on one man who stands in the way of a plant’s expansion and refuses to give up on his family home – and his community.” – Maggi Simpson PR

 

******

 

Today we have an absolutely mind-blowing and insanely frustrating film to share with you all today. Mossville: When Great Trees Fall should not only be watched for informative reasons, it should be a god damned message to say the least. Imagine if everything you ever knew was literally taken from you. What if you lived with knowing that a major corporation that is hell bent on destroying the earth for profit, is willing to do whatever it means to move you out of their way? Even if that means essentially murdering you? How do you think you would handle this situation?

The world is in a mass hysteria right now over COVID19. People are understandably furious about the governments reactions to the spread of this virus. But, I implore you all to check out Mossville, and understand that this is not a new concept. Black families have been getting poisoned, killed, and losing their heritage for a very long time now. I am sad to say that I was completely unaware of this, and that is nothing short of white privilege. This I am fully aware of. But it is suffice to say that if you think the rich not giving a shit about the poor is a new concept, you really need to look deep inside your own soul as well as do a bit more research. The genocide is continuous. And it is only the poor who suffers. Always.

 

 

Watching the “residents” of Mossville struggle to retain what little bit of an identity they have to the place they grew up is probably one of the most heartbreaking things I have witnessed on film in a very long time. The actions of one of the film’s subjects, Stacey Ryan, is absolutely commendable, and he should be proud of what he accomplished. He is definitely a stronger man than I would be, I’ll tell you that much for free.

This film from documentarian filmmaker Alexander Glustrom is another example of a film that should be shown in social studies classrooms across the globe. It’s a beautifully made film about a very ugly situation, and I implore you all to check it out as soon as possible.

 

MOSSVILLE: When Great Trees Fall will be broadcast nationally on the PBS series Reel South beginning May 25 and on the world channel beginning May 31st.

 


<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/145085489″>&quot;Mossville: When Great Trees Fall&quot; Trailer &ndash; In Theaters March 2020</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/fireriverfilms”>Fire River Films</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Sunday Matinee: Red Rover [Film]

 

“Damon spends his waking hours searching for that elusive something. Whether it’s for deeper meaning, love, or just “treasure” on the beach with his metal detector, but to no avail. So when Damon meets an offbeat musician named Phoebe handing out flyers for a one way trip to Mars, a bond quickly forms. She’s going to help him find that thing he is looking for by sending him 33.9 million miles away, even though what he needs might be right in front of him.” – October Coast PR

 

******

 

I can’t even begin to lie to you, Folks. This one got to me. While I don’t have any specific experiences like the events that occur in Red Rover, I can relate to the feeling of wanting to get away from the real world so badly that I would, hypothetically speaking, rather move to Mars. Well, what if that was a reality? What if you were offered the opportunity to start fresh in a literal whole new planet. What if you feel like your life is in shambles and their are no repairable qualities about yourself? But more importantly, when such an opportunity becomes a reality….what could keep you back? These are the very personal questions that Red Rover presents, and I am here to say that they present it extremely well. Filmmaker Shane Belcourt has directed his way directly into my heart with this film, which is easily one of my favorite films of 2020. I wouldn’t be so bold as to guarantee a placement, but with 8 months left in the year, and a whole lot of time on my hands, I know that when we are talking end of year favorites, Red Rover will be nearing the top.

 

 

The previously mentioned filmmaker and co-writer Shane Belcourt and writing partner Duane Murray have a truly unique story to tell with Red Rover. And that story is merely amplified by some incredible performances. Kristian Brunn and Cara Gee absolutely light up the screen with obvious chemistry and that actually made he yell at my screen, when no one was awake, something along the lines of “What are you DOING man?”. You’ll get it when you see it. Or you won’t, and I am just an insane person. Either way, the latter mentioned performer, Cara Gee, may have just moved into my mental line up as one of the most wonderful performers of the modern age. And I’ve honestly never watched any of her other work, but I certainly will now! If she does half as amazing of a job as she does with Red Rover, I know I will enjoy all that she gives. Simply phenomenal.

So Folks, if you are looking for a film to pull on your heartstrings a bit, and make you feel something for once in your god damned life, I highly suggest Red Rover. It’s funny and poignant at times, down right upsetting with sadness at others, and is an overall delightful film that I can not recommend enough.

 

Red Rover will be available on VOD on May 12th, 2020 from IndieCan Entertainment.