Monday, June 21, 2021

House of Quarantine (2020) Movie Review © 2021 Dan's Movie Report – Danny Templegod

 

Above Image: (C) 2021 Gavitas Ventures, all rights reserved, used for promotional use only, image not monetized.
From Gavitas Ventures, HOUSE OF QUARANTINE launches its poster ahead of its theatrical release and VOD rollout on all major platforms on July 20th. 

Director Mitesh Patel (Anti-Coronavirus, Instant Karma) brings together a diverse cast for a tense, edge-of-your-seat thriller shot during the COVID lockdowns of 2020. 

SYNOPSIS:
Nine people have been locked down together in a house while trying to shoot a movie. Unknowingly, one of their group is infected with COVID-19. The next three weeks become a life and death struggle for survival with no help from the outside amidst a global pandemic and national chaos.
 
 


Greetings valued Dan's Movie Report readers. Across my desk today comes a film made during quarantine, about a quarantine of a more extreme variety. 'House of Quarantine' has a group in a home, who happen to be making a movie, so in essence we are watching a movie, about making a movie. Being brutally honest the first 20 or so minutes of the film I really did not care for, but the final hour is really amazing as things take a decidedly dark turn, no spoilers!


There is a film director, a sound guy, a PA, and of course the stars all together in the producer's house. When it appears that no one is allowed to even leave their own home, actually this did happen in China and parts of Italy, they become increasingly agitated and scared, lashing out at one another.


I really cannot describe the movie without spoiling the plot. I could classify this film as a thriller, as there are no exterior forces, no monsters, and no supernatural elements. The acting is average, but not too bad for this level of film, some seems a bit wooden, but again the story is solid in the second half.


Director Mitesh Kumar Patel seems to focus on what he wants out of his actors. Because they are supposedly stuck inside the same house for over two weeks, they do not have a change of clothes except for the lead actors. I think although this understandable they are in a home so I would have to figure the owner of the home would at least have t shirts and shorts etc... Let us just say other things in the home were taken or removed, but not clothing!


There is some action and violence near the middle and the end, some things are predictable, some are not, again solid story, but nothing Earth-shattering. The lighting, music and sound are decent, slightly above the B movie level. Rachel Grace as Macy and Zoey Walker as Brenna seemed to rise above the rest of the cast Zoey in particular had some great sarcastic lines, plus she has potential as a strong actress in the future. The rest of the cast were solid enough to not waiver or slow down the story.


Overall, I just thought the first 20 minutes were tedious, even though this was setting up the story, the house was not super nice but say upper middle class, color grading was a bit drab. With all of those detraction's yet 'House of Quarantine' is worthy of a rent, and rates a 6 out of 10!


Sunday, June 20, 2021

The Fatal Raid (2019) Movie Review – © 2020 Dan's Movie Report – Danny Templegod

 

Above Image: Theatrical Release Photo for The Fatal Raid. (C) 2019 Yes Culture Limited https://www.yes.com.hk/thefatalraid All rights reserved, image not monetized, and used for promotional use only.


Greetings valued Dan's Movie Report and Action-Flix.com readers. Thanks to John over at Action-Flix I heard about 'The Fatal Raid' being released in the USA on Well-Go, yet the film was actually released a couple of years back in Asia and is actually available to buy as an import with English subtitles. Being an old guy, ha the HK Girls with Guns and action films from the 1988 thru 1998 era are just amazing to me, I can easily recommend many of them, including 'Her Name is Cat' and of course 'Naked Killer', I always thought that one of the really underrated films was the essential remake of LeFemme Nikita entitled 'The Black Cat' far better than the U.S. Remake, actress Jade Leung is a power house talent that I always thought could easily have been at a level of Maggie Q or Michelle Yeoh given her demeanor and skill. I always wondered what would happen if a 1990s style girl with guns film, shot in the same style would be like in the modern era. The end has a cool twist to tie things in from the 'The Black Cat', no spoilers!


Again it is VERY important to know, these films are highly violent with some softer interludes, but ultimately they are lower budget B movie fare, yet 'The Fatal Raid' manages to bridge the gap and mix younger and older people, thus audience for this should be higher. Well-Go USA is absolutely the right company to release this, I must say, PLEASE Jade Leung, continue and give it another go, even if it more in a supervisory role.


In 1995 Jade played a rookie police woman who enlists a pimp to help her catch the person who attacked her called 'Fox Hunter' so this 2019 film is kind of like her passing through the force, yes they are unrelated, but oddly they are. I recommend watching Jade in 'The Black Cat' and 'Fox Hunter' prior to watching 'The Fatal Raid'.


'The Fatal Raid' has a definitive style, yet minus the high tech cell phones, cars and presentation, the style hearkens back to a day before the handover of HK to China when movies were really thriving, Yes gone are the hypersexualized cat III or Category 3 films like 'Robotrix' another crazy film I recommend, yet 'The Fatal Raid' has that seething under, intense quality that is sadly missing in many HK films after 1998.


The action in 'The Fatal Raid' is more explosive when it happens, yet enough downtime occurs to not be lost in the madness. There is a particular scene in the middle, I will not spoil yet it involves some pretty crazy on purpose car crash, yet they never over exploit the violence. The film's setting in Macau may have had something to do with the exterior action, but who knows.


'The Fatal Raid' is a classic crime drama, mixed with action. Director Jackie Lee, has a firm grasp on the style of movie he wants to make. Veteran actors Michael Tong and Patrick Tam adds an air of experience and authority. What I like here is that the ladies are also experienced with Jade Leung and Kristy Yeung. I think the experience of the actors really helps the director to create a more entertaining, and detailed story film as well.


The fact that you have 50 year old vets, some 30 year old and younger starring in 'The Fatal Raid; is important. To have a random older person in a supervisory role just to have them in a film is often a tactic used and thus they only have to be seen, either on the phone or in their office. Jade and Michael Tong are both over 50 yet, action for them is not just a second thought.


My only real problem with this film aesthetically is the entire film even at the brightest settings needed some more vibrant color correction, that said, it looks just like a film shot in the 1990s so if that is what they were going for, the succeeded.


Musically 'The Fatal Raid' is unobtrusive, but in a good way, it gets very loud during the action, and a low tense hum during the tense dialogue. Several different styles were used, even one heavy rock song!

The sound is clear and even though the film is not in English, the voices are easy to hear as well as the inflection.


Dealing with the action, there is a pretty crazy opening scene in a brothel or something like that which really kicks things off, yet the rest of the film is more of a police procedural with action interspersed.

The ladies are not afraid one bit of the action, I am sure doubles were used in some parts, but it is not as obvious as some films so good work.


At just 91 minutes, trying to tell a story that should have ran another 10-15 minutes is hard, but then again, this is the norm now for direct to video as it was back in the late 80s early 90s HK film era. I just wanted more, more drawn out action sequences, a bit of a back story on the new characters. Jade Leung, is also not in the film as much as I would have liked to see, but she is in there, so points for that


Was reading that this film was written and directed by Jackie Lee, a daunting task for the man, and kudos for assembling such a cast, as a second time feature film maker. I hope to see more of his work in the future, hopefully a US release of this film will help all involved.


'The one who breaks the law should be punished' is one of the quotes in this film, and the kind police lady who says this means business, yet so do the criminals! No dumb police here, these ones are no keystone cops!


Overall, I could go on and on, just go out and get either the upcoming USA version or the original Asian version as both are on Amazon! The 'Girls with Guns' HK style 1988 to 1998 genre is back! Would love to do an interview with Jade Leung! OK I have to put it out there! This is a very specific genre film so I rate it based on how it would interest fans like myself of these films, and thus rates a solid 7 out of 10.


For further info go to www.wellgousa.com

To buy the film: https://www.amazon.com/Fatal-Raid-Region-English-Subtitled/dp/B085VRB5KK/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=the+fatal+raid&qid=1624219907&sr=8-2


Amazon has the pre-release sale as it will unleash on August 24th https://www.amazon.com/Fatal-Raid-Blu-ray-Jacky-Lee/dp/B093QCHWRV/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=the+fatal+raid&qid=1624219979&sr=8-1


Blu-Ray for under 20 dollars is well worth your time!

 

Below is the original theatrical trailer for 2019:


 



Saturday, June 19, 2021

Miranda Veil (2020) Movie Review © 2021 Dan's Movie Report – Danny Templegod

 

Above Image: Poster for 'Miranda Veil' from IMDB, all rights reserved to original copyright holders, image used for promotional purposes only not monetized. Lionsgate Releasing

Greetings valued Dan's Movie Report readers. Across my desk today thanks to Mr. Williamson comes a movie entitled 'Miranda Veil' I always like watching indie movies. If at all possible it is often best for me to view films without watching any trailer or even reading anything about them, usually that is hard but, in this case I did. I was working on judging films for the IDTV Action Fest, and I decided to go all in and watch, literally as soon as the link was sent over! I must say, the film is surprisingly complex, many layers of allegory, wrapped in an enigma, people mirroring the lives of animals, one can only imagine the life you would lead if you could not die. 'Miranda Veil' explores the nuances of life and death.


It may seem intrinsically simple, a serial killer movie where a man hears voices in his head. In 'Miranda Veil he cannot act upon them, because he cannot find the right girl. The first girl is taken back to this ramshackle building, yet he cannot go through with the final act. Zach Steffey (Soren) is a tortured soul, conflicted, yet seemingly a horrible person in waiting. He soon meets up with Annabel Barrett (Miranda Veil) first by seeing her drunk then running into her again the next day. I refuse to spoil the content, let us just say that Barrett and Steffey put on a master class in acting, angst, anger, joy, and horrified emotions.


Miranda's parents, expertly played by Vida Ghaffari as Alice Veil and Kelton Jones as Daniel Veil, are trying to have normal lives, yet something is off, again no spoilers, but it gets pretty crazy! This is one area I kind of wish was explored more in the movie, more of Miranda's home life.


Director/Writer Levin Garbisch has a very detailed and creative script, and watching this movie makes me think that he had to direct it, as the script had so many nuanced dialogue and placement of the people involved. Garbish did something also amazing, while on the road, Miranda Veil and Soren meet up with several characters, each representing an animal you would find. Upon second viewing, yes it takes two full watching, the characters could all represent aspects of human life, but wrapped in human form, One man they meet is dressed in a bunny suit, he describes his story. I will not spoil it but one of the more interesting ones was Irena Violette as (The Cat) she is found perched on top of a dumpster, her movements were quite intriguing. Dean Satriano as (The Fox) was like a hippy guy, yet had a very odd vibe. Garbish to his credit never gets sidetracked in the 104 minute movie, the movie is a bit longer than many slasher films, but things are not what they seem! All of his actors are well coached and very much engaged in the dialogue.


Aesthetically the movie is solid, of course the film is independent, yet camera work is clear, many shots are during the daylight hours, and the simplistic, yet effective settings work wonders in a film like this allowing the viewer to take in the dialogue and performances. Musical score is very good, as is the ADR and Foley. Respect on this! Hard work getting these types of films to look and sound amazing.


Minor gripes as I said before, I wanted more time spent with Miranda's parents. I will not spoil the ending, but to be honest, it was something I did not expect, not that it is bad at all, yet I guess I really thought it was going to end different, but upon second watching, and thinking, 'Miranda Veil' can only end two possible ways. Again, no spoilers!


'Miranda Veil' is an innovative, and unusual story, with top notch acting, minor issues aside, the film rates a very strong 8 out of 10, a must watch! Support indie! Hopefully the creative people involved will level up due to the popularity of this on the streaming services!. 'Miranda Veil is available all over the World!


Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/Miranda-Veil-Annabel-Barrett/dp/B096C92N3N


Check also Itunes and various other services, for additional links.


Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MirandaVeilthemovie

IMDB: https://www.facebook.com/MirandaVeilthemovie


Hopefully later in 2021 I can do an interview with director Levin Garbish, want to get his thoughts on the film. Also I would like Annabel Barrett to discus her thoughts on her character. For Vida, as always she is amazing and creative, we will do an interview, I know long overdue, great work in a motherly role!

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

The Reef: Stalked - In Production Now © 2021 Dan's Movie Report – Danny Templegod

Above Photo: Pre-production poster for 'The Reef: Stalked' (C) 2021 Amp Films International, Image used for promotional purposes only not monetized. https://amp-film.com/screeners/the_reef_stalked.html#



Greetings valued Dan's Movie Report readers, IF.com.au reports that a sequel to the 2009 film The Reef is currently in production. Writer/Director Andrew Traucki returns in the same capacity. Article Credit: Matthew Kappos https://www.if.com.au/andrew-traucki-returns-to-the-deep-end-as-the-reef-stalked-enters-production/?fbclid=IwAR2r_R-y7wAItGg-p7HGo5Zm9geLOrVKrkK4mZnoIwNzFad4o-MtZY09CvA


Amp Films International is returning for the sequel. The movie began pre-production in November of 2020. Connect with them @ https://amp-film.com/


Currently the film is in production in Queensland, Australia. The six week shoot should wrap in early August. 

Above photo credit: (C) 2021 https://www.if.com.au  A;; rights reserved, image used for promotional use only not monetized. 'The Reef: Stalked' lead cast (L-R): Saskia Archer, Ann Truong, Kate Lister, Teressa Liane


Synopsis:

In an effort to heal after witnessing her sister's horrific murder, Nic, her sister Annie and two close friends travel to a remote Pacific island for a kayaking and diving adventure.

Only hours into their expedition, the women are stalked and then attacked by a massive Great White Shark.

To survive the women will need to band together, and Nic will have to overcome her post-traumatic stress, face her fears and slay a monster.

'THE REEF: STALKED' is the franchise sequel to Andrew Traucki’s hugely successful 2010 thriller 'THE REEF' which regularly features in best shark films of all time that aren't JAWS.



https://www.imdb.com/title/tt12735282/ IMDB link for 'The Reef: Stalked'

Occupation: Rainfall (2020) Movie Review - Dan's Movie Report – Danny Templegod

Above: Poster for 'Occupation: Rainfall' (C) 2020/2021 Monster Films and Saban Films, All rights reserved image used for promotional purposes only not monetized.

 

Greetings valued Dan's Movie Report and Action-Flix.com readers, across my desk today comes the second installment of the Occupation film series titled 'Occupation: Rainfall. The film is released in the USA on Saban Films. When director Luke Sparke had a vision for the original film he probably never could have imagined how a indie film from Australia could have such a global impact. The first film is a masterful story of everyday people fighting for their lives in the midst of initial aliens invading Earth. The first film had detailed character development and an every-man relatable quality. The second film assumes that the viewer has seen the first one, thus the action and starts out basically in the middle of a full blown war.


'Occupation: Rainfall' has a budget probably three times as high as the first one, and the money was used for obviously larger sets, more detailed VFX and superior cinematography. 'Rainfall' does not have the charm and innocence of the first film, but this film is told from a soldier sense, rather than a bunch of locals rounded up to combat the aliens. Because of this I recommend watching the first film prior to viewing the sequel.


Dan Ewing reprises his role as Matt Simmons and Temuera Morrison also returns to the leadership role of Peter Bartlett. The lead female role of Amelia Chambers played by Stephany Jacobsen in the first film has been replaced by the amazing Jet Tranter . Normally I do not like replacing characters in a direct sequel, but in 'Occupation: Rainfall' the alteration of character from civilian to hardened soldier implies almost a totally new character. Yes in 'Terminator 2' Linda Hamilton bulked up to warrior size, but there was six years between films. Since Jet already had her acting and physical action skills on point she was an easy choice and the proper one. That said, Jacobson was a great choice for the first film.


'Occupation: Rainfall' is loud, booming, full of explosions and firefights. Director Luke Sparke made a film for theaters, I watched this at home, and in this case I wish I was watching this in a huge IMAX screen. The movie progresses at a frantic pace, not even allowing for much time to catch your breath, save for a few scenes of tender moments with Amelia, and some explaining of the weaponry and tactics. Normally I would like more time spent on character development, but here it is on the fly, and works within the rapind pace structure of the story.


There is an alien named Garry, who is sympathetic to the humans. He is hunted by his own kind and the humans, yet the small group shelter him and he helps them. This fact adds a conundrum to the group, some of who do not trust him. The aliens are referred to as The Greys, Garry the alien has a scene in which the humans attack the home where he is housed along with the soldiers. I see correlation here as to how the aboriginal people in Australia are often treated, as outcasts, even though they deserve a voice and to stand on equal footing.



The musical score gives Occupation: Rainfall a bigger feel, and demonstrates the emotional connection with the characters. The importance of a solid musical bed really amplifies the intensity and urgency in films and kudos must go to Frederik Wiedmann and the entire team of sound recorders as well. Occupation: Rainfall not only sounded epic, but even the background sound in headphones were quite stunning.


Project Rainfall is mentioned and I will not spoil it, as the reveal is in the final 30 minutes of the film. Let us just say it involves an alien weapon, yet the humans have a their own reverse engineered weapon as well. Actor Ken Jeong portrays Bud Miller and he chats about Project Rainfall and adds an bit of levity to the otherwise very serious film.


The ending is pretty crazy, and the sheer number of explosions and action rival a Michael Bay 200 million dollar film, let us just say a third film will happen. Overall I liked 'Occupation: Rainfall' Kind of like the massive budget Chinese film 'Red Cliff', the film essentially is a two parter. I am curious how the battle will unfold in the second part of the film. Respect to all involved, a labor of passion, sweat and determination. 'Occupation: Rainfall' rates a 7 out of 10, if you can view in a theater I recommend it, otherwise a worthy of a rent or purchase if you like SciFi.


Please check my interviews for Stephany Jacobson as the original Amelia and director Luke Sparke, watch for a third Jet Tranter interview later in 2021:


http://dansmoviereport.blogspot.com/2018/07/actress-stephany-jacobsen-interview-c.html


http://dansmoviereport.blogspot.com/2020/11/director-luke-sparke-interview.html


Facebook Official site for Occupation: Rainfall


https://www.facebook.com/occupationthemovie


For further information go to the Saban Films Official Website:


https://www.sabanfilms.com/

 

The film is available on Itunes and various digital platforms.