Sunday, November 22, 2015
Greetings Dan's Movie Report readers. As you all know from time to time I review short films that I feel represent an achievement in film making and interpret a budding creator's dream to achieve his or her goals.
Thanks to Tamiko Brownlee, who plays Doctor Ramos, I became aware of a new film called 'Pharaoh'. Created by Tim Storms, directed by Fabian Garcia and Lohan Buson, the 6 minute short follows Tim Storms as the 'Pharaoh' who is lead away in cuffs. He wants his weapon, a staff and an Ankhe, with a crystal eye.
'Pharaoh' is a collaborative effort between Creative Action Development and Z Team Films. The feel is a bit like the original 'Mummy' film only darker with more of an action feel. Tim Storms did a solid job as the deap voiced Pharaoh, combining a menacing attitude, and backing it up with some crafty, lightning quick moves.
Tamiko Brownlee's portrayal of a scared and frazzled Dr. Ramos is spot on. She looked the part. Tamiko is really talented and it is great to hear her speak on film. Often stuntwork is a job in the shadows of film. If the performers are doing thier job to perfection they often go unnoticed. In 'Pharoah' the stunt performers are all deservedly noticed. Hopefully Tamiko and the others will land some meaty speaking roles in 2016 and beyond.
The technical aspects of 'Pharaoh' are very professional, definitely could be used as the basis for a film or series. The dark surroundings added to the mystery of the location. The audience is actually thrust into the middle of the story, and as we watch Dr. Ramos walking 'Pharaoh' through an entrance way near the end, a swirling realm of possibilities could transpire.
With the rise of Netflix and Amazon original programming, new potential series creaters have increased outlets to display their craft. Creative Action Development and Z Team Stunts have the tools prepared for the next step. 'Pharaoh' rates an 8.5 out of 10, a must watch.
The entire film is available to watch on Youtube @ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IfG7EpIes6M
Definitely subscribe to Z Team Films @ https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-QAigzmrfuiGp2leV0GapQ
and Creative Action Development @ https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCE9XglEWnaqPGi7h5obwmvw
Facebook like Creative Action Development @ https://www.facebook.com/creativeactiondevelopment/?fref=ts
Z Team Films @ https://www.facebook.com/ZTFilms/?fref=ts
For more info on Tamiko Brownlee check out her exclusive interview on Dan's Movie Report @ http://dansmoviereport.blogspot.com/2015/01/exclsuive-tamiko-brownlee-interview-c.html
Sunday, November 15, 2015
Feature film was provided by Owen for Dan's Movie Report for review purposes only.
'Black Salt' proves the power of Indiegogo and the short film. Producer Owen Ratliff and Director Ben Ramsey ('Blood and Bone') bring the full force action short 'Black Salt' to the festival circuit after a successful crowdfunding and marketing campaign. The screenplay written by Philip Daay features Kinyumba Mutakabbir as Samuel Lincoln Tharpe, a man searching for answers. He was raised in Asia and has to return to locate this WMD called The Exterminatus.
Skirting the line between drama and action the 30 minute short forms a solid stepping off point to a story which can progress in any number of directions. As a short film 'Black Salt' is a table setter, there is enough action and story to begin a series on cable or broadcast TV. As a series of films, 'Black Salt' could follow the back story of the various characters, and flesh out some of the secondary characters and how they intersect with the WMD.
Many mysterious characters permeate 'Black Salt'. Sultry Sheena Chou plays Li Jing. Her character has informational map tattooed on her back detailing the Exterminatus, location and how to activate it. Li Jing is shrouded in mystery and the audience is never given a chance to learn more about the 'sect' she mentions she would be betraying if she divulged the information. Action actress and all around adorable bad-ass Michelle Lee plays Horse Ripper. Apparently her character lives in the ether, a realm cloaked in shadows. In 'Black Salt' Michelle's character, fights with Tharpe, but it is an enigma, an internal mental fight.
The action in 'Black Salt' is creative, each fight is a tightly choreographed ballet of punches and kicks. Some fights use weapons, and obviously each fight is tailored to the skill of the actors involved. The fight Michelle has with Kinyumba at the end is not only entertaining to watch, it is creatively filmed, artistically lit, and has perhaps the coolest theme song playing in the background "When the World is Blind" an original tune written for the film.
Kinyumba Mutakabbir bring the action to 'Black Salt'
The film ends in mystery, leaving the viewer wanting more. Fresh off the "Black Salt' win at 'Urban Action Showcase' in NYC, watch for more from the cast and crew of "Black Salt'. In a recent phone conversation with Owen, he told me some of the creative ideas he has for a feature film and how he wants to market the film. 'Black Salt' director Ben Ramsey knows how to direct an action feature and just released his director's cut of 'Blood and Bone'. His direction on 'Black Salt' is tight , but never heavy handed, he lets the events unfold and the viewer maintain engagement throughout.
'Black Salt' represents the proper way to market a short film and tie in all aspects of marketing, Owen is a master marketer, he knows how to keep the audience wanting more. With a comic book tie in, clothing line, and over 35,000 FB likes 'Black Salt' is positioned for a monetary jolt from a network.
Overall this is a great stepping off point for all involved, I am actually curious how a big budget 'Black Salt' feature film would be received nationally. The superhero interest seems to be at an all time high, and the lack of new action heroes is actually quite staggering. "Black Salt' is a modern hero, steeped in the past tradition, and should play well with teens and adults who enjoy the comic genre. 'Black Salt is the culmination more than a half decade of hard work from creator Owen, and his team, and rates a 9 out of 10, my top short film of 2015.
For more information on 'Black Salt' check out the official Facebook Page @ https://www.facebook.com/blacksaltthemovie/?fref=ts
For the official site kick your browsers to: http://blacksaltfilm.com/
Sound Cloud for 'When the World is Blind' https://soundcloud.com/black-salt-1/when-the-world-is-blind
Video for 'When the World is Blind' @ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-Uqd6F3bL8
Watch for more on the film in 2016 on the number one home for action exclusives on the web: Dan's Movie Report.
Tuesday, November 10, 2015
At times it is good to just sit back and watch a good irreverant comedy that takes the mind off of the daily struggles of life. 'All American Bikini Car Wash' which I will refer to as "AA Bikini Car Wash' is a surprisingly good throwback to the old school 80s fun romp sexy comedies. The film is shot in Vegas and follows the exploits of student Jack and him failing his final and having to run the professor's car wash company for a week at a profit to pass the class.
This 'leave your kids in the other room comedy' is chalked full of nudity and bad language, and that is what makes it enjoyable to watch. Characters Jack and Vex Jack Cullison and Jason Lockhart are best buds, and they come up with a scheme to run the business. Of course what would a bikini car wash company be without bikini clad sexy women, enter Kelly and Tracy. I was pleasantly surprised how cool the acting was by the ladies of the film Kayla Collins as Kelly and Mindy Robinson as Kayla had some fun lines and were a bigger part of the movie than in most sexy comedies, which was a great thing as both are very pleasing to gaze at and have clear speaking voices.
Of course other ladies graced the screen, most notable, was current Miss Korea Ashley Park as Brittany, she played a video-grapher wanting to document the happenings at the car wash for her film school project. Her character had a pretty major part in the film, she was flirtatious and fun. Ashley has the girl next door fun quality in her acting, I hope to see more of her in future films. What 'AA Bikini Car Wash' does better than most sex comedies is have some entertaining characters, thus keeping the viewer interest throughout the film.
Aesthetically the film print is clean and clear, the sexy shots are well lit, and I feel the need to pull my car into this 'All American Bikini Car Wash' for a shiny new clean! Seriously, this film is definitely worth a rent or buy if one needs to escape life for awhile, especially as it is getting cold in many parts of the world.
Overall this is a solid effort into the adult comedy genre, 'All American Bikini Car Wash' rates a 7 out of 10. Respect to all involved for taking me back to the 80s, style of film comedies!
Thursday, November 5, 2015
In all my four decades of TV viewing, I have never witnessed a show so detailed and focused about one character in history and the people he surrounds himself with, and crushingly realistic. 'Narcos' is a "tour of force", no pun intended, the first season comprises of 10 fifty minute episodes and it is so riveting it is hard to look away.
This is the world of Pablo Escobar, famous drug kingpin of the 80s and early 90s in Columbia. Netflix is to be commended for pulling out all the stops and actually filming the series in Columbia. The first season is not just centered around Escobar, but his entire outreach network of drug kingpin counterparts and the world they live in. Including actor Luis Guzmán as the crazy violent José Rodríguez Gacha. That guy is just scary and will not think twice about wiping out an entire bunch of people just to get one person he is looking for. Watch also for the M19 group of crazies. Actress Ana de la Reguera portrays Elisa Alvero, a woman on the edge of M19, a cool character, no spoilers!
The only way this could have been presented is in unadulterated, unabashed, brutal realism. This is the world of expensive tastes, over the top lifestyles and horrible atrocities, all in the name of greed, and power, and the shipment of drugs to the U.S,. This is a series meant for adults and, nothing is taboo, the sex, violence is over the top and paints the picture into the life of Escobar and his world.
Wagner Moura and his portrayal of Escobar has such a distinct and nuanced character. In the beginning he always wanted to make people happy and actually cared about the well being of people who worked for him. His descent to paranoia toward the end of season one is palpable, and the reasons being he was learning not to trust anyone. A hard role to play, he lives a dichotomous life, caring for his wife Tata, Paulina Gaitan and family. In business he was ruthless, and had to show his horrible side, trying to maintain control. Quite an amazing performance.
Boyd Holbrook as Steve Murphy, tells the tale from a 'Gringo's' point of view with short narrative dialogue. His beautiful wife Connie, (Joanna Christie) is like a duck caught in the crossfire, as she has to live with him in Columbia, chasing Escobar. Pedro Pascal as Javier uses some really unscrupulous means to get information, salacious and violent, his motto seems to be "By any means necessary!"
Being a writer, I have to give special mention to the amazing portrayal of Valeria Valez by Stephanie Sigman. She was always looking for an angle with Escobar. She needed to fuel her desire for exclusive stories by making sure she was first on the scene. Valeria, was a sexy vixen and she used her womenly wiles to make Escobar tell her the story, and in return she painted him in a postive light. She has a fued with another journalist, but that story I will not spoil. Stephanie is a really great actress, and makes the audience hate her as she is so sleazy in the show, but trust me, you will feel sorry for her character's pathetic life towards the end of season one.
Everything about 'Narcos' is top notch, the scenery, writing, editing, tie ins to actual events, and character emotion. This is a documentary style series with the some of the names changed. Perhaps this is one of the fantastic ways to tell a detailed story, by expanding it to a series. Netflix gets it right. They do not have to bend to the will of advertisers, as their subscribers drive content. Be prepared to brush up on your bad language Spanish with 'Narcos', but seriously this is a subtitled show, so even a Gringo like me can enjoy. Haha, All I can say is I am so excited for season two! Watch for more exclusive 'Narcos' material in 2016 on Dan's Movie Report, your #1 home for independent exclusive content on the web!
Overall, I recommend a binge watch of 'Narcos' at least a couple of times. 'Narcos' rates a 9.5 out of 10. Narcos is that good. The show blows away the rest of the competition, literally.
Sunday, November 1, 2015
Greetings fellow movie lovers, Ok I know what you are thinking hey, this is a movie site, well, occasionally I do blast out some music coverage!
The stage was set for a great Halloween show sponserd by The O.M.E.N. Productions http://www.theomen.net/ Oblivious Signal https://www.facebook.com/ObliviousSignalMusic/?fref=ts
was the headliner. 2 support bands RMNTX and Naked Vengeance rocked, at the show which required a mask to get in!
Below is a photo of Oblivious Signal at their merch booth!
This was Halloween of the finest order; Good crowd, friendly staff at Kreepy Tiki, and bands played in a timely matter, with decent sound. The idea of making people have at least a mask on to enter was fun. Yes, this old man played along! Below is me, my buddy and Christina (middle), all mugging for the camera!
Some highlights of the Kreepy Tiki show were a massive 8 minute cover of Master Of Puppets, and the sheer amount of crazy costumes, including a guy dressed as Bob Ross (the painter from PBS with the afro). Oblivious Signal headlined and lead vocalist Christina made the fans come close and crowd near the stage to enjoy their blend of rock. A final hysterical highlight was Christina, daring a young man to take his shirt off and him obliging, like I said this was a wild show!
For more information where Oblivious Signal plays next, and to buy their music and Merch go to http://www.oblivioussignal.com/