Friday, July 8, 2022

Death Count (2022) Movie Review © 2022 Dan's Movie Report – Danny Templegod

 

Above Image: Poster for 'Death Count' (C) 2022 All rights reserved, image used for promotional purposes only, not monetized.

Greetings valued Dan's Movie report readers. Across my desk today comes a brand new horror film called 'Death Count'. The movie is in the tradition of the 'Saw' franchise in that several people are locked in a cell, and have to perform various tests and tasks to survive. The twist here is each person is locked in their own cell and have a collar attached to them and an explosive implanted at the base of their neck.



Costas Mandylor plays Warden, the one in charge of the game of torture. He provides each of the contestants with a tool box full of weapons for them to do self harm, thus gaining cyber likes, people are watching the game and evaluating each of the contestants. The rules are harsh, the warden makes all of them and if they are not followed heads explode, literally.


'Death Count' is ultra bloody, excruciatingly violent, and more of a gore fest than horror. Of course the audience will cringe at several scenes including, minor spoiler, one where a lady has to pry off her own fingernail. Kind of like a gruesome car wreck, it is hard to look at, yet compelling and hard to look away.


Though the movie is really violent and several people meet their demise, I feel that we learned very little of the characters, except their basic profession, and other minor traits. When one of the characters dies, I just am not really emotionally invested, that said, 'Death Count' does what it sets out to do and that is show people's fear and has creative ways to torture.


Acting is surprisingly decent for a horror film, no one goes all over the top, thus ruining the scares. Actress Sarah French seems to get the bulk of the screen time, she is enticing and talented. I actually felt sorry for her and her situation,she does an amazing job of selling the terror, anger, and confusion she has at various parts of the film. Actress Devanny Pinn though with a smaller role has a particularly crazy scene, she sells the scream queen role, and seems to revel in being scared and sexy at the same time.


Michael Madsen as Detective Casey and Costas as Warden are given the bare minimum fodder for acting, with Costas being shrouded in a half face covering. Once again I am assuming that the idea of the Warden character is a faceless man who is there just to torment the contestants and it does not really matter much who he is or his situation.


Behind the scenes 'Death Count' delivers a well filmed effort, the scenes are clear and even the dimly lit ones are easy to make out and see. Sound is clear, all of the actors emote their lines and sounds clearly having impact when they are in pain or worse. The setting is a basic prison, with little in the way of additional scenery save for a video camera in each room. Drab, and foreboding is the key to 'Death Count' and I am sure it is done on purpose.


'Death Count' movies at a brisk pace, no wasted time. The 81 minute film directed by Michael Su, is just entertaining enough to warrant a recommendation, Violent and reprehensible, 'Death Count' should keep hard core gore horror fans entertained, and casual horror fans engagingly interested. The film comes out July 19th on various streaming platforms, and rates a 6.5 out of 10.


'Death Count' trailer:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udV3XnNjwdU


IMDB Page: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt12338246



Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Rubikon (2022) Movie Review © 2022 Dan's Movie Report – Danny Termplegod


Above Image (C) 2022 IFC= All rights reserved, image used for promotional purposes only, not monetized

Anyone who knows me realizes how much I enjoy watching two genres of films besides action, Science Fiction and Horror. Well, seems like the new film on now available from IFC on as a pay extra on Amazon Prime, among other streaming outlets, makes an attempt at delivering, sadly though, 'Rubikon', tries to be intelligent, but kind of ends up as a boring, rather drab discussion on a sad future where the world is run by corporations and many millions have apparently died by some unknown fog. 

Director Magdalena Lauritsch who is also one of the films writers, tries to cram elements of story into 'Rubikon', my issue is there is just not many plot developments, and when they happen, the audience is thrust right back into the mundane story. The entire film is basically three people stuck on a space station. Eventually they try to make it back to Earth. The attempt is unsuccessful, to be honest, I would have liked to see them actually make it back to Earth to view the consequences of Human action. The science behind the toxic fog, and this weird living algae mass, that is sustaining them on the space station is never fully explained. I am assuming it has contaminated the world as it is stated that rich people live in a dome that allows for consistent fresh air and food, again not entirely explained.

 I actually had to finish the movie over a few sittings, actually the acting is rather good, yet, just not enough going on to warrant a recommendation. Actress Julia Franz Richter worked very hard on the physical and emotional aspects of her character, and she had a lot of dialogue and actions. The other two leads Mark Ivanir as Dimitri and George Blagden as Gavin essentially make up the entire main cast, and the interplay between the three leads to various situations and confrontations. I really wanted to like this film, the premise is quite interesting, I just do not think the film makers had the proper budget nor script consultant to allow for a more entertaining film. I will have to say 'Rubikon' is a pass from me, and rates a tepid 4 out of 10

Monday, July 4, 2022

Actress Asha Annais Interview © 2022 Dan's Movie Report - Danny Templegod EXCLUSIVE!!!

 

Above Photo: (C) 2022 Infraction Media EXCLUSIVE all rights reserved!

Greetings valued Dan's Movie Report readers, today I chat with rising star Asha Annais, she has a wide variety of experience in the film and martial arts world, and shares her knowledge and desire to rise up in the business. Her most recent feature is 'Honorable Sins', which is currently for sale or rent @ https://www.infractionmedia.com/watch-now Asha is quite an engaging and talented young lady. Asha is amazing and is ready to unleash her diverse talents, enough of my babbling, on to the interview.



Chat about your childhood, who are some of your influences in acting and action? Chat about your first acting gig in the short film 'Evolution'


First influences were DC / Marvel characters such as Iron, Zatana and Wonder Woman. My first acting role was before 'Evolution' and I did an advert for a Sound Conference and an Engineering company. I just enjoyed experiencing being in a different reality pretending to be another person.


Growing into your teen years Asha, were there events or situations in life that made you ultimately decide to pursue acting and martial arts, any negative experiences or positive?


I grew up doing martial arts, when I saw 'Boyka Undisputed' it was one of my favorite films and I decided I wanted to try to expand my martial arts. I started doing my own stunts in the movies I have been involved with. I have been kicked, bruised and punched on set. I always try to ensure that the martial artists are very experienced and above all are able to fully control their fight action.

 


Above Photo: (C) 2022 Infraction Media EXCLUSIVE all rights reserved! 


Chat about the film 'Future Shift' did that film really cement your desire to act and work in film full time?


I think Replecan was the turning point. The script was great, the cast were amazing. At the time I was 15 years old when I was filming that. I was living in an adult world of film and I found it an amazing experience. I have always admired British actors and I am fortunate to be able to work on a new project in the next few months whilst here in the UK.


I noticed you do stunts on 'Replecan' and 'Honorable Sins', have you ever thought about pushing to be a Stunt Performer for Hollywood big budget films, or do you like working independently?


I do not want to pursue stunts, but if the opportunity arose and it was an offer I couldn’t refuse then of course I would be excited to do it. Acting is my first love, along with martial arts so any opportunities to further my career I will jump at. I love Indie movies and have built my career working in Indies, however I think many actors like myself hope for larger budgets and more recognition.


Same question with regards to make-up artist, I noticed you were the Make-Up Artist for those films as well, ever thought about doing that for Hollywood, films?


If the opportunity arose I would for sure love to do that. Every role takes a lot of effort so I find myself focusing on the roles I want to do the most. 

 


Above Photo: (C) 2022 Infraction Media EXCLUSIVE all rights reserved!  


I am curious how working in Canada compares to the USA or U.K. It seems like the Canadian Government is more supportive of independent filmmakers.


The Canadian government is generous for tax credits, however small Indie films with a diverse cast such as ours are often overlooked. Our biggest supporters are in the US and the UK. Working in the US is fantastic, there is an amazing energy that emanates from everyone. The UK is buzzing with filmmakers and it has a great atmosphere.


Do you feel that there is still a long way to go for women as directors or producers, question also for Suza... I ask this because it seems after the whole Harvey Weinstien situation, ladies are finally rising up.


Asha: I think it is difficult to comment on, I don’t know too much about the numbers of how many women are getting to direct but it looks as though there are becoming more women directors.


Suza: It appears that there might be more women producers than directors (don’t have the figures at all) I think there are now persons identifying as women also in the category of what was the traditional category of ‘women filmmakers ‘so the actual numbers of women could have gone up or down I don’t have an answer. The real numbers are hidden. Women Of Color Action Directors are pretty slim on the ground. There is no one is running around looking for them at all.


What are some of the goals you have in the future five years from now


My 5 year goals is to be in bigger projects, and also to star in a marvel movie one day.


Moving on to Martial Arts, lets chat about some of your training in action?


I started around 4 doing TKO and then took an interest in boxing. At one point I wanted to be a boxer but had a few knee injuries and decided against that. I have always admired martial artists and I always tried to learn moves I saw on screen.


Do you feel as a martial artist that training has changed in the past 10 years?


I am not really sure, my training has changed as I now learn as much screen fight action as traditional boxing and TKD. They are two completely different techniques with different qualities for each.


Who are some of your martial artist influences?


My biggest influences are Jackie Chan, Scott Adkins (Undisputed), Van Helsing is my favorite movie which is packed with action. I also love Cynthia Rothrock and Don the Dragon Wilson, who are amazing people and great role models.


I am am curious if your watch UFC or MMA events, have you ever thought to compete, I see they had MMA competitions on UFC Tuff Enough.


Yes I have seen WWE live and loved it. There was a time I seriously considered pursuing WWE but due to my knee injury I had to rethink. I love MMA but have never wanted to compete in it.


Wrapping up the interview chat about some advice you would give your younger self if you could go back 10 years, things to look out for, bad or good.


I would say try new things, go for the audition and don’t be shy. Even though you might doubt yourself there might be a film role that is ideal for you and you don’t know unless you go after that.

Above Video (C) 2022 Infraction Media Shout of from Asha to Dan's Movie Report!!



What advice do you have for young actors and martial artists growing up, and do you have a motto to live by?


Go to as many different martial art classes as possible. It will give you a better grounding. I don’t have a motto but I believe that if you want to be an actor try to act along with the characters you are watching. It helps you generate the emotion required for the scene.

For further information please connect with Asha on her official pages:


https://www.instagram.com/avsingh3290/?hl=en Instagram


https://www.imdb.com/name/nm5739775/?ref_=tt_cl_t_12 IMDB

 

Honorable Sins Trailer:



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUc2vDic5g4&t=65s Showreel


Saturday, July 2, 2022

5th and Alameda (2011) Movie Review © 2022 Dan's Movie Report – Danny Templegod




Greetings valued Dan's Movie Report readers. Across my desk today comes a film that actually was filmed a decade ago, but I actually knew very little about. Thanks to lead actress and Executive Producer Saye Yabandeh, I was given the opportunity to view this very powerful and thought provoking film. Although this film apparently is available to watch on Plex, I feel that the film is important enough to review and actually should enjoy a second resurgence in 2022 in light of the recent events.

 

---Image at Left: (C) 2011 Leo Entertainment, all rights reserved image used for promotional purposes only image not monetized.


Lead actress Sayé Yabandeh portrays a woman in crises, yet her situation gets far worse when she is (Minor Spoiler) raped and then eventually shot, these events happen early in the film but what 

happens next is a master class in character study on the possibilities of turning on your attacker or turning them in. The 122 minute film seems to run a trifle long, yet it weaves and intricate tale of what ifs. '5th and Alameda' was the address where she was shot and the robbery took place, yet her life and the back drop of a culture of the middle east that is severely limiting towards women, make for a purposeful and erudite production that will stay with the audience far after the final credits role.


Sayé Yabandeh's Sara is an empathetic character full of conflicting emotions. Throughout '5th & Alameda' we see her with shards of memory from the rape and shooting, but she never quite remembers everything, the physical and emotional pain stay with her throughout the film. Her acting is on point here, ranging from scared and demure to raging and fighting back, I really liked the change and her eventually standing up for herself. I hope in 2022, women stand up for themselves in November, and for the foreseeable future or more rights will probably be taken away, but that is not my place to comment, I am obviously not a women.


As an American citizen, I have no ideas the horrors someone like Sayé Yabandeh has faced being born in Iran, especially as a creative thoughtful person. Being a female producer is hard enough and '5th and Alameda' is a monumental achievement in important programming. Actor Corey Sevier as Derek and Mario Van Peebles as Trevor, are both well cast and have the emotional investment to handle a film such as this. Director Richard Friedman and writer Corey Druskin weave a solid tale and never allow the audience or the actors to stray far from the dire and sorrowful subject matter, '5th and Alameda' is not a happy film, yet maybe it will change people's mind about the creativity of Iranian artists.


Sara eventually turns on her attacker and the plot thickens so to say, and I will not spoil it. Saye the actress seems strong and self assured, so I am believing she could turn the tables on her attacker if need be! The attacker gives her the choice and she makes it, trust me watch the movie as it unfolds to see the results!


I enjoyed the various settings and camera work as well from '5th and Alameda' time was taken obviously to frame the shots, to have the actors either look angry, scared, remorseful, relieved,... Actually nearly every human emotion is on display in this film, much time was taken to learn about the characters thoughts and motivations even with the story being told through at times a series of flashbacks. This can be explained as only partial memory of the event from Saye's character is occurring.


Overall, because I watch many indie and foreign films, I am used to this, I rate the film a very strong 8.5 out of 10, a must watch for fans of foreign and indie thought provoking films. I am assuming the target audience is not 100million dollar USA summer block busters, with little plot, thus my rating is based on the scope and scale of an indie production. Respect to all involved, hopefully later in 2022 I can interview Saye and get her thoughts on this film and her humanitarian work.

 

For further information: Please go to the official Leo Entertainment Website @  http://www.leoentertainment.com/

IMDB for the film:  https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1745651/

 http://sayeorg.com/  for humanitarian and children's aid projects.

 

 



Friday, July 1, 2022

The Prey: Legend of Karnoctus (2022) Movie Review © 2022 Dan's Movie Report- Danny Templegod

 

Above Image: The Prey Legend of Karnoctus official poster: All Rights reserved to the original owners, image used for promotional purposes only, not monetized.



Greetings valued Dan's Movie Report readers. Across my desk today comes a thriller in the vein of Predator but has the claustrophobic fear of the original Alien film. Synopsis: Synopsis: In the Afghanistan desert, a group of mercenaries out for treasure complete their greatest heist. Seeking refuge from the hunting Taliban in a nearby cave, they are soon joined by retreating US soldiers, and both groups are trapped within by a rocket explosion at the cave’s entrance. The newly joined parties need to work together to find an escape through the labyrinth but soon realize they’re being tracked by a deadly beast that local legend calls Karnoctus; and they have become… the prey.



The film has a killer opening scene, then pans to a firefight. I kind of hoped the pace of the film would stay rapid, Actually 'The Prey' just ends up as a cat and mouse game between the soldiers and a monster in very dim light. Here is the issue I had, we see the monster far too early in my opinion to establish fear, more like gore scenes, if that is your thing. The soldiers have hallucinations as well, although I am not entirely sure how and why they came from and not everyone has them.


Incidentally the acting itself is decent enough, no one is just phoning it in, and the actors seem to show genuine fear when the monster is near. Since they are in a cave lighting is not the best, and that is to be expected, when we see the views from the vision of the monster it is more like a visual representation of heat, which separates it from the view the soldiers have. Costuming is sandy, distressed military, so that base is covered, again, nothing to detract. Respectable behind the camera work, given the limited budget.


Musically though I am not a fan of rap music which is prevalent, I thought that the music and sounds used when the monster was approaching set the tone. I probably should not even comment on the music in the film, but I feel that if you do like rap, you will like it more. OK, enough about that, the dialogue though is quite clear and easy to understand, the actors project their voice fine, and if ADR was used it is barely noticeable.


The soldiers move through the cave as the original opening was caved in by an explosion. The middle hour of the film is kind of slow, but the last 15 minutes are full of action, Almost makes up for the slow parts, actually would have been cool not to see the monster until the end, but I guess the filmmakers wanted to establish that the monster, which looks like a big-foot, is actually chasing the soldiers.


Just be warned, although Danny Trejo is in the film it is nothing more than a very small opening cameo. That said, if anyone in my reading audience likes low budget monster films, 'The Prey: Legend of Karnoctus' is not that bad, campy and they tried their best. Directors Cire Hensman and Matthew Hensman do their best with the limited budget, and they even tease that a second film is coming, so perhaps with a higher budget things will take off. Overall, though I wanted to like 'The Prey: Legend of Karnoctus', the film is average though, perhaps a rating of 5.5 out of 10. I did like the ending trailer showing some behind the scenes, including some story-boarding, so obviously with a bigger budget, they are ready for a part two, I will state that I am looking forward to what the Hensmans come up with next!

Trailer:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9EZMjyNtU-E&t=1s


IMDB Link: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2357423/


Film is available beginning July 7th on various digital platforms, including iTunes, Prime Video, Vudu, and Google Play. The action-adventure monster movie is now available nationwide on all major Cable, Satellite and Telco platforms, including Comcast, Charter, DirecTV, Cox, Verizon Fios, Dish, Sling and AT&T U-verse.