Sunday Matinee: The Workers Cup [Film]

“In 2022 Qatar will host the biggest sporting event in the world – the FIFA World Cup. But right now, far away from the bright lights, star athletes and adoring fans, migrant workers from Africa and Asia toil exceedingly long hours for scant salaries, and live isolated in labor camps which are by law kept outside city limits. By day they sweat to build the World Cup, but at night they compete in the “workers welfare” football tournament, playing in the same stadiums that will one day host the world’s greatest players.”

The very phrase I think of when I recollect on what I witnessed in this harrowing documentary, will always be “awe-inspiring”. Sadly, it has been my personal experience to learn that this is all far too common. The Workers Cup is a film that simply documents occurrences and atrocities that have been occurring throughout the world for so many years. Gigantic corporations and national governments (yes, the U.S. included in a HUGE way) have always found ways to exploit individuals from low-income backgrounds in order to have large scale projects (or operations) be completed whilst saving huge sums of profits by simply not considering these groups of people who flock to their projects not as human beings, but as “total man hours.” It’s a disturbing process, and can rightfully be argued that it is indeed modern day slavery.

There is something incredibly unique about The Workers Cup that has left me mesmerized. The use of a staged event like a football tournament in order to promote the “well-being” of the workers staged and trapped in these construction camps is saddening, to say the least. I could not help but draw modern day comparison to the acts of slave fighting portrayed in a film like Django Unchained, or the midnight dance routines put on my drunken slave masters in 12 Years A Slave. While not as directly oppressive, these are modern times and those at the top have found new and back door means of oppressing the poor who simply want to feel like humans. But where would we be as a society if we treated people fairly, refused to entrap them in labor camps where they are barely making enough money to provide for a family thousands of miles away? Where would we be as a world? Well, it is suffice to say that a few thousand people who hold the world’s wealth would not be very happy, so we must comply to their bullshit demands. This is reality. It is a sad reality. While the proles have the numbers, the wealthy have the means to protect themselves from the poor, and always will.

My only hope is that somebody will see The Workers Cup and actually be shocked by what they see. I can only imagine the plethora of people out there who have no idea what it entails to employ the construction of such high scale sporting events, or to have the back support to continue unending wars against nouns. Although, as I previously stated, there will be nothing done about it, and these conditions are never going to change, it is important to enlightened people to the atrocities of the world so that they may be able to look at the travesties and refrain from participating. Sadly, that is about all that our fellow proles of the world can really do.

Alas, the film is again, awe-inspiring. Each “employee” showcased in this film is an admirable one. They want nothing more that to live, provide…..and play football! They simply want to feel happiness and joy in something, when it seems as though there is only darkness all around them. I can not recommend The Workers Cup enough

For more information about the film, including dates, cities and theaters, go to TheWorkersCupFilm.com 

 

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Sunday Matinee: The Jurassic Games [Film]

I was admittedly a little skeptical going into The Jurassic Games. The concept of the film is not one that usually draws me into the film. I was aware of filmmaker Ryan Bellgardt’s previous film, Gremlins, but knew that that was an entirely different feature altogether, so I decided that I probably shouldn’t compare the two. So, why did I decide that The Jurassic Games deserved a real go? It was simple really: Katie Burgess. She was the draw to watch this film, that turned out to be absolutely incredible only WITH the addition of Ms. Burgess, and not simply only because of her.

It has been almost a year since we were fortunate enough to have Katie Burgess on the site to talk about her young and thriving career, shortly after appearing in Bellgardt’s Gremlins. She had mentioned The Jurassic Games back then, and I had a feeling that if I were able to check it out, I would definitely like to see her in action again. And in action she was! I was only minutes into the film when I found myself wondering how exactly she was going to pull this role off. SPOILER ALERT: She’s not the nicest person. But as one can only imagine, she pulled it off absolutely flawlessly! Without giving too much away, let’s just say that there is a breakdown moment in the film where Burgess proves why she deserves to be the next big name in Hollywood to emerge from the child star to A-lister, in no time at all.

But, as I said before, The Jurassic Games itself was an absolute gem of a film. With a gruesome and sadistic premise, and some visual effects that made this indie sci-fi-fi film look like a major blockbuster, The Jurassic Games is a thrilling, well developed, and just a damn entertaining bit of cinema. The character development, as well as the “loss of characters” (you’ll get it when you watch it), was down-right compelling. And I dare say that the overall timing of the events that take place in the film are absolutely incredible. With a laundry list of up and coming actors thrown in the mix, the film really just seemed to hit every mark that a sci-fi-fi film featuring digital dinosaurs and grab bag of criminals really should!

I simply cannot recommend The Jurassic Games enough. If you need 90 minutes or so of unadulterated fun and tension release from the real world, I can’t think of a more perfect film than this one. It has the scares, it has the laughs, it has just about everything you could want in a film. To watch a filmmaker like Bellgardt progress from film to film like he has from Gremlins to The Jurassic Games is absolutely awe inspiring. The future appears to be ridiculously bright for this young man, and we will be following his career ever so closely with pride.

TheJurassicGames will be available on Digital June 12th and DVD July 3rd from Uncork’d Entertainment.

Sunday Matinee: Fear, Love, & Agoraphobia [Film]

 


“Chet is a 28 year old agoraphobic man and still lives with his mother. When Mom moves away Chet has to get a roommate. Enter Maggie. A volatile female Marine with her own personal issues. The two become emotionally entangled as they struggle to escape from their self-made prisons.” – October Coast PR

I have always been a sucker for a good hearted rom-com, I simply can not help it. But, I have more of an affinity for a film that you may think is just a romantic comedy, but there is something deeper just below the proverbial surface that eventually explodes on to the screen and becomes more than just a simple love story. And THAT is what Fear, Love, and Agoraphobia does so perfectly.

This film has characters that you simply want to love, because you know that the people that Alex D’Lerma have brought to life with his incredible talent, absolutely deserve to be happy. So much credit for this has to be given to Dustin Coffey and Linda Burzynski who gave their greatest performances to date. These two were the focus of the film, and they were definitely what made this film so damn touching and entertaining.

At it’s core, this is film is a love story. But, not in the expected and common place sort of way. This is a story about one of the core concepts of love, which is acceptance. In order to feel love for anything, you have to have some sort of love for yourself. And that can sometimes lead to the necessity of acceptance. You have to accept whatever issues you have that may be holding you back in this life, and find your own way to move forward. And sometimes another person will come along to help take the load of on your journey to love. You may fall in love with them as well, although you know in the deepest part of your soul, it is a fleeting love that you are simply experiencing on your own personal journey to realization. And that folks, is the short, simple, and truthful analysis of what this amazing film has to offer the world.

Or who knows really? Maybe I am overanalyzing here. I just truly enjoyed Fear, Love, and Agoraphobia. And I think you all should too!

Check out Fear, Love, and Agoraphobia for yourself, available on VOD now!

 

After Auschwitz [Film]

“In After Auschwitz, filmmaker Jon Kean examines the question, “What happens after surviving an unspeakable horror?” with six stories of remarkable women who survived the Holocaust and went on to build lives in the United States, but never truly found a place to call home.
 

For survivors of the Holocaust, liberation was both an incredible moment and a devastating one. It marked the beginning of a life-long struggle. Most wanted to go home, but there was no home left in devastated post-war Europe. Many came to America and wanted to tell people about their experiences, but were silenced. “You’re in America now, put it behind you” is what they were told. The women Kean follows became mothers and wives with successful careers, but never fully healed from the scars of the past.” – Big Time PR

I will admit, I knew in my heart of hearts, that this was going to be an amazing film. I also knew that I would probably end of blubbering like a small child with a skinned knee, but I knew I had to see it unfold. Based on content alone, I knew it would be a hard watch, but one that I definitely needed to see. And lo and behold, I was right! Well, I should say I was half right. I cried like a toddler with TWO skinned knees! But, at the same time, I was definitely able to see the beauty that filmmaker Jon Sean was able to bring to this tale of some of the bravest women the world will have ever known, through damn fine storytelling, and absolutely impeccable timing.

After Auschwitz is a film that touches on some things are very familiar to anyone who happened to have partook in world history during their schooling years. But, to see something of this nature so in depth, and with so much directness and affirming attitudes towards the horrendous acts that people seem to forget about was something different entirely.

But, as morbid as it may sound, the tales of what occurred during the Holocaust at places like Auschwitz is not one that was unbeknownst to me. I actually learned most form the events that, as the title suggested, occurred AFTER these women were sprung free. I was ignorant to the death, torture, torment, starvation, anger, and chaos that would occur directly after these brave souls were to experience “freedom”.

And while the subjects of this film managed to make decent lives for themselves, there is still a sense of darkness within them due to the horrific experiences they were forced to endure at such an early age. It’s seriously just not fucking fair. And what struck me as the most peculiar was to learn about how some people seriously just didn’t want to talk about it. Which seems like a huge generational gap that would not be the case in today’s society. And that is just one simple thing to look back on. This film is absolutely loaded with some incredible stories, and more insight that you could ever imagine. And yes, while some of it is absolutely heart wrenching to a softy like me, there is also a bit of joy and pride expressed when you realize what these women had to endure to become the people they were right until the very end, or are to this very day!

I know I say that I “can’t recommend this film enough”, to other films, but this one I mean it in a very different way. Please show this to everyone. Let the world know about this time of an already well known and horrific stories. Show your kids. They have to know about the evil that once existed, and understand that something like this can never happen again. This is history, folks. You need to know what happened. And why not have to shown to you in a beautifully filmed and edited experience like After Auschwitz.

After Auschwitz is available now in select theaters across North America. Check out the film’s WEBSITE for more details.

 

4/20 Massacre [Film]

“From writer/director Dylan Reynolds comes the story of five women who go camping in the woods to celebrate a friend’s birthday over the 4/20 weekend. But when they cross the turf of an illegal marijuana growing operation they must struggle to survive the living nightmare.” – October Coast PR

For some of you out there, I have to say…Happy 4/20! While it may not necessarily be a day that I celebrate personally, I can certainly respect it! And I have a brilliant film that matches the theme to share with you fine folks out there. It is the delight horror film, 4/20 Massacre, that turned out to be a truly original and delight cinematic experience. While the premise of the film seems to be initially campy and should be more comedy based, this film is actually neither. It is actually a wonderful horror film that features all the elements we have come to love and adore in the world of horror.

Between a stellar cast, a wonderfully written story, and some timely and gruesome visuals, this is just an overall wonderful indie horror film. It is another example of a film made on a micro-budget that just truly works. I would love to see what this exact same cast and crew would be able to do with a 7 figure budget, but I can honestly say that I enjoyed the film exactly as it is.

4/20 Massacre has been released theatrically today! The L.A. theatrical will be held at California Institute of Abnormal Arts in North Hollywood and run thru 4/20 to 4/27. The film is also available on DVD right NOW!

 

Sunday Matinee: Kuleana [Film]

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ll just kick things off here by saying that Kuleana is at its very core, a seriously insightful film. It is wonderful look into the damnation and tyranny that would ensue after the statehood was confirmed for the land of Hawaii. It’s really something that I had never actually thought too much about. I have always known that the natives to Hawaii have always been a very strong and proud group of folks, and that the white gentrification of the land was, to put it lightly, pretty fucked up. But to see some very probably events depicted in such a manner as this film does is a whole new proverbial ball game. It is a toxic and frightening thing I am very willing to admit that I can never truly understand. But, it didn’t stop me from enjoying a very well made film on the subject.

Kuleana is a film that focuses on one man’s journey to clear his father’s tarnished name, and to retain purity to his land that is unscathed from the indignity of commercial greed but is in danger of being handed over to the corporate monsters who are uncaring about the sacred history of a land as they can not see such beauty with their eyes blinded by dollar signs. Phew. That was a bit of a rant wasn’t it? Anyway, Kuleana is a hell of a film with a brilliant cast. If you couldn’t tell from the big of agony and anger I am putting into writing this, there are some demons associated with this film. And one of the biggest demons of them all is portrayed by Stefan C. Schaefer, who portrays a true bonafide asshole on a Nurse Ratchet level. He’s so good at this role that you couldn’t even “love to hate” his character. You just hate him. So much respect also has to be given to Sonya Balmores and Moronai Kanekoa, who give absolutely dynamite performances as well. And also Marlene Said, who was just downright adorable!

Whether you find yourself to be emotional attached to this little group of islands out there in the Pacific, or you are just a fan of very well made cinema, Kuleana is a film that will have something for you. You really do owe it to yourself to check it out!

 

 

 

 

Sunday Matinee: Strawberry Flavored Plastic [Film]

“The origins of the story revolved around a few main ideas that germinated into what the film eventually became. One of those ideas revolved around a real life person whom a friend of mine had worked with for many years, and the sort of lunacy and unhinged nature of this person (non-violent, might I add) whom I heard stories about sort of grabbed my attention. Coupling that with an innate desire to tell a layered, challenging and relevant tale, it all built itself into what SFP became. It’s also worth noting that I’m absolutely fascinated with the concept of nearly forcing an audience to align themselves with a questionable character; there are many positive and sympathetic facets to Noel’s character that run parallel to his darker and sociopathic side, and I really wanted to explore that and expand upon those notions.” – filmmaker Colin Bemis

Hello there fine readers! Welcome back from our week long hiatus, and back to our first Sunday Matinee in quite sometime. And we have an amazing film to showcase for you fine folks! In our last interview with indie filmmaker Colin Bemis, we promised you we would talk a bit about Strawberry Flavored Plastic. A film that is poised to be one of our top 10 films of the 2018. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie just so damn much.

And while everyone truly acted their asses off in this film, a huge shoutout has to go to Aidan Bristow. This man had be feeling literally anxious and a bit on edge. His role as Noel Rose is the type of stuff that legends are made of. And of course, an actor is only as good as the writing, and our man Colin Bemis has written the hell out of a story and has been kind enough to share it with the world! Another shoutout has to go to the brilliant Bianca Soto who comes in extremely strong as well.

Again, I can not say enough great things about Strawberry Flavored Plastic. It is a brilliant debut film from our new friend Colin Bemis, and I can not recommend it enough. So be sure to check it out when it hits VOD or a theatre near you when it drops!