Facing Darkness

Rated: Unrated | Running Time: 98 Minutes
From: Virgil Films | Samaritan’s Purse
Available on DVD, and Digital:  July 25, 2017
Get it via : Amazon | iTunes

Remember Ebola back in the spring of 2014?

Facing Darkness - DocumentaryOf course you don’t. You think you do, but it wasn’t the spring. Back in the spring of 2014 the Ebola pandemic was news in mostly one place, Western Africa, with the rest of the world oblivious. For almost everyone else it was “Oh, there’s a crisis in Africa? What else is new? It’s not affecting me. What do I care, it’s not in my back yard?”

There were, however, people who cared. Many them were with the group Samaritan’s Purse, a Christian missionary group. Its members already in Africa helping anyone who needed it.

Remember Ebola back in the late summer of 2014?

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American Fable

Rated: Not Rated (It’s got some violence) | Running Time: 96 Minutes
From: IFC Films
Available on DVD:  July 11, 2017
Get it via : Amazon | iTunes

American Fable on DVD - A Movie ReviewI hate to set the tone of my rating right at the beginning. I mean, why would you want to read the rest of the review if I let you know the movie was a let-down? The thing is that I was really enjoying “American Fable,” up until about the last fifteen minutes. The movie wasn’t really realistic, but then it does have “fable” in the title, it’s just that the ending took such dark turns, and didn’t really live up to the fableness in my book because, at the end of it all, I’m not sure what the moral actually was.

Sure, there might have supposed to have been a correlation to Aesop’s “The Lion and The Mouse,” at least the real version and not the version told in the movie where the lion eats the mouse, but things were left so wide open, without explanation, that it’s almost left up to your own interpretation. Who wants that after an hour and a half?

Alright, let’s at least get to the story.

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Manhattan Undying

Rated: Not rated, but it’s got vampire gore. | Running Time: 87 Minutes
From: Momentum Pictures
Available on DVD, Digital HD, and VOD:  June 6, 2017
Get it via : Amazon | iTunes

Manhattan Undying out June 6, 2017. So we have Max. Max is an artist, and a mess. Lately he hasn’t had any inspiration, and most of the time he can be found partying or sleeping, then waking up in his loft trying to get through another day. His life is lost. Meanwhile his friend and manager keeps trying to get him showings, but Max has nothing to show. The challenge is that Max does have a cult following of folks who love his art, and want more.

It’s bad enough Max has his demons that he is trying to get through, now he is told he has lung cancer with only a few months to live.

Wow, it sucks to be Max.

You know what he needs right now? Cancer treatment? Nope, turns out Max needs a vampire.

Such is “Manhattan Undying.”

Okay, it’s not that simple, let’s get to more.

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I Am Heath Ledger

Rated: Not Rated | Running Time: 94 Minutes
From: Virgil Films
Available on DVD and Digital HD:  May 23, 2017
Get it via : Amazon | iTunes

I Am Heath Ledger reviewAt the end of the documentary “I Am Heath Ledger” I wasn’t sure if I should be unbelievably sad that Heath died nearly ten years ago, or unbelievably sad that I never got the chance to hang out with a force of nature bringing out the creativity in those around him. What I did know was that I forgot how varied his film roles were, how I forgot his level of talent, and didn’t know how his talents stretched to his own love of video and directing.

Skipping most of the tabloid news, “I Am Heath Ledger” gives a look at the life of Heath that most people didn’t know about while also highlighting his film career trajectory.

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A Street Cat Named Bob

Rated: Unrated | Running Time: 103 Minutes
From: Cleopatra Entertainment
Available on DVD, Blu-ray, and VOD:  May 9, 2017
Get it via : Amazon | iTunes

A Street Cat Named Bob out on Blu-rayThere are times that movies based on a true story, or on the life of someone, are actually portrayed best by someone else. I’m not saying that Ray Charles couldn’t have done a fabulous job as Ray Charles had he been able to play himself in “Ray,” but damn, Jamie Foxx was fabulous. And what about Joaquin Phoenix in “Walk the Line” as Johnny Cash?

Other times the character is probably best as the actual person. Yup, I don’t think there is anyone else who could have properly portrayed Howard Stern except for Howard Stern himself in “Private Parts.”

So, following in the footsteps of some of the greatest actors and personalities, I give you Bob the Cat, and in “A Street Cat Named Bob,” I don’t think any other cat could have portrayed the tenacity, the love, and the joy that the actual Bob was able to give to James (in the movie portrayed by Luke Treadaway), other than the real Bob the Cat.

Who knew a cat could be that good of an actor?

Let’s get to the story.

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The Survivalist

Rated: Unrated | Running Time: 104 Minutes
From: IFC Midnight
Available in Theaters and VOD:  May 19, 2017
Get it via : Amazon

Damn, it’s gonna suck when we don’t have any more oil.

The movie is “The Survivalist,” and if this is what the world will be like without our industrial machines I’m screwed.

As the movie goes we’ve got this dude (Martin McCann), and for the movie he is just given the name “Survivalist.” Now how am I supposed to nicely reference him during this review? I’m going to call him Survy. Anyway, Survy lives deep in the woods, all alone, because the rest of the world is starving and killing each other for food. He has his little farm, traps animals, and plays with his willy to a picture of the woman he used to love. Sounds like a fairly decent life except the loneliness is starting to play tricks on his mind.

Enter Kathryn (Olwen Fouéré) and Milja (Mia Goth).

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Another Evil

Rated: Not Rated | Running Time: 90 Minutes
From: Dark Sky Films
Available in select theaters and Digital HD:  May 5, 2017
Get it via :  iTunes

Another Evil MovieGosh, it sucks when your house is haunted, especially when it’s your vacation home. All you want to do is relax and work on your painting, but you are creeped out, especially when the entities mess with your stuff. Who ya gonna call? Well you could call The Ghostbusters, but sadly they are just characters in a movie. In the real world you start with the hippie, ghost whisperer, Joey Lee (Dan Bakkedahl) who refuses to get rid of your ghosts because, well, “The ghosts are kind of cool.” What? Yup, he feels Dan (Steve Zissis) and his wife Mary (Jennifer Irwin) are lucky to have them.

Man, good ghost hunter people are hard to find. The movie is “Another Evil,” a quirky horror movie where the real horror just might not be the ghosts.

Let’s get to the rest of the story…

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Rated: Not Rated | Running Time: 95 Minutes
From: Dark Sky Films
Available on Blu-ray and DVD:  April 25, 2017
Get it via : Amazon | iTunes

Sandra Oh and Anne Heche in CatfightYou’d like to release some pent-up anger sometimes, wouldn’t you? I mean, we go through our lives, day to day, holding back from completely blasting someone who annoys us because, well, we probably suck at fighting, don’t want to end up in jail, and in the end it isn’t a nice thing to do. But come on, there are times when in your head you want to completely beat the crap out of someone, and probably would, if it weren’t for the “ending up in jail” thing.

Lucky for Ashley and Veronica jail really isn’t a part of their anger release.

The movie is “Catfight,” and hand-to-hand beating the crap out of each other is the norm for our heroines.

Let’s get to the story… Continue reading Catfight

Silver Skies

Rated: Not Rated | Running Time: 96 Minutes
From: Virgil Films
Available on DVD, Digital HD, and VOD:  April 4, 2017
Get it via : Amazon | iTunes

Silver Skies on on DVD and Digital April 4, 2017Everything was coming up gold for me when watching “Silver Skies,” a movie about a bunch of seniors getting evicted from their apartment complex community, but then the movie took a dark turn that seemed better for shock value than to finish up the film. Suddenly we were down to bronze.

Let’s get to the story…

George Hamilton is Phil. He thinks he is Dean Martin, which is funny at times, until you keep remembering he thinks he is Dean Martin because he has Alzheimers. Jack McGee is Nick. He lives with Phil, is the best friend, and is doing everything he can to prolong Phil’s time in society instead of going to an institution.

The problem for our heroes, and the rest of elders? It seems their apartment complex is going condo as the owner, who is also the uncle of the manager of the complex, is getting rid of the place, and now Continue reading Silver Skies

Is That a Gun In Your Pocket?…

Rated: R | Running Time: 97 Minutes
From: Area 23a
Available on Digital HD, and VOD:  March 31, 2017
Get it via : iTunes

Cloris Leachman in Is That a Gun In Your Pocket?While watching “Is That a Gun in Your Pocket?…,” and living in Chicago-land, I couldn’t help but immediately think of the Spike Lee movie “Chi-raq.” Why? Because the basis for the story is the same, built off of the classic, Aristophanes comedy “Lysistrata”: Women withhold sex from their men until there is peace, or in this case, no guns. “Chi-raq” was met with controversy and critical acclaim, but the voting public of IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes didn’t seem to care for it. “Is That a Gun in Your Pocket?…” has most critics seeming to hate it, but the voting public liking it. Weird.

For this movie you get the fictitious town of Rockford, Texas, population 6,969. That should hip you immediately to the kind of humor in the movie. Continue reading Is That a Gun In Your Pocket?…