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Saturday, May 21, 2016

Quantum Break (TV Series 2016-) Review (C) 2016 Dan's Movie Report

Above image credit: Microsoft, used for review purposes only.

Quantum Break is a Microsoft X-Box One exclusive game, however, the game unlocks to the 4 live action episodes. Being a lover of anything time shifting, I will discuss the series as a stand alone entity. Special respect and thanks goes to the fantastic Courtney Hope, showing me the game/series. Check out her exclusive interview for another fantastic time travel film 'Displacement', watch for a new one soon on Quantum Break!

The uniqueness of this time shifting property, is that it is micro-spacial, temporal, anomalies that open, thus time itself is breaking down. Another quite interesting element, the game unlocks live elements on what you choose, eventually unlocking the 4 episodes.

Playing all of the 20 minute episodes as a feature film is the way to watch, of course it makes the viewer want a full series. Without spoiling it, there is a super cool element called the Life Boat Protocol. Expect the unexpected, time shifting entities, dialogue that will challenge the thought process of the viewer or game player. The show presents a dichotomy, complete with adult vituperative words, some 'ass-kickary', gun violence, and blood, yeah this is a non kid friendly show, nor game.

A person in the series can end up in a shift, a stasis, or anywhere. The Monarch Corporation seems to be at the crux of the issue. There is a detailed philosophical discussion at the beginning of episode three, which answers some questions, but presents many more new ones. 

Above photo Courtney Hope in Quantum Break (C) 2016 Microsoft (used for review purposes only)

Everything about the game and series screams stand alone entity. This much detail crammed into a total of under two hours, is a whirlwind. The bold entity, makes a stand, and like 'The Matrix' and 'Prometheus' will free your mind, and blur the lines between realities, often providing undulating, disturbing, and yep moral vexing, pissing off the simpletons.

The elements are all there, seat of your pants decision making, solid acting and action, palpitating music, a new media success. Realizing they are separate entities, Microsoft and Netflix should work together to develop a show/game streaming partnership. Perhaps this would allow new material like 'Quantum Break' develop a global, platform across mobile and TV based content.

Overall rating the series as a must purchase, obviously it is contained inside the game. Time will decide literally if the world is currently ready for this new medium, in a world of lightning fast internet, Imax quality televisions, and the must have it now mentality of action 'Quantum Break' rates a 9 out of 10. 

For all things 'Quantum Break' blast the website @

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The Asian Connection (2016) Movie Review

Above photo: IMDB pic of 'The Asian Connection'

Greetings valued Dan's Movie Report readers. Today's new film is the Daniel Ziriili directed flick "The Asian Connection' starring Steven Seagal and Michael Jai White. After interviewing Daniel, I must admit I was looking forward to this DTV film with exuberant anticipation.

'The Asian Connection' opens with a bang, a robbery in which a small bank is hit, and over 200,000 USD are taken. The bank is supposed to be located in Cambodia, but it is Thailand, no matter, as the action in the scene is close quarter, intense and definitely sets the tone.

The money of course has an owner, and Steven Seagal, is obviously not very happy about losing large sums of cash.Seagal here has some really fast hands in the action sequences.

The highlights of 'The Asian Connection' are the beautiful sweeping cinematography and the frantic action. Lush landscapes and creative camera angles frame the movie with a unique look. At times viewers are 'in' the action, and at other times, the audience is hovering above, almost in spy cam mode. Very creative.

Speaking of the action, the opening sequence is amazing with the bank robbery. Absolutely love the action acting work of Byron Gibson. Watch also for cool action work from Ron Smoorenburg and Dean Alexandrou, all three are in 'Time Rush'. There is gun fighting, chases, the usual heist material, but the beginning and the end are highlights for action.

Michael Jai White, is the soft spoken character Greedy Greg. Michael is really upped his acting game to match his fighting as evident in last year's 'Skin Trade'. I hope to see more of him in dramatic roles, as the years progress.

My one major issue with 'The Asian Connection' is the female lead characters. While they did have major parts in the film, their performance seemed to be not up to the higher standards of the other leads. Of course, Pim Bubear, will only improve with more lead roles, but in 'The Asian Connection' she just did not have the natural intensity to match with her co-stars. That being said, I am of course interested in her newer material, sure she will improve.

I say this as watching the two other Daniel Zirilli directed films 'Time Rush' and 'Crossing Point' the female leads were very strong, and fully matched wits and intensity with their male counterparts.  Perhaps I went in with higher expectations, but I feel the need to point out the inconsistencies, in character and acting.

The odd Seagal interludes with younger female co stars is a bit off putting, but, he is like a mentor, so in 'The Asian Connection' it makes sense, and in actuality, this is one of his better recent DTV flicks. Daniel is a really good director for indie action, he does maximize the specific traits. Seagal worked hard for Daniel in 'The Asian Connection' it translates on screen. Plus the greatest single funny scene in any Seagal flick as anger gets the best of him when he tosses over a full table of food, obviously he was pissed!

Overall this is a decent flick, I would definitely say a strong rental. 'The Asian Connection' rates a 6.5 out of 10.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Home Eat To Live: Grand Opening in Hong Kong! New Organic Food Venture from Celina Jade and Christian Cgm!

Above Photo: Home Eat To Live Grand Opening Party! May 12th 2016! In Photo: L to R Antony Szeto, Celina Jade, Juju Chan, and Cecilia Luk!

Greetings Dan's Movie Report readers, lovers of action, and organic healthy options. Today Dan's Movie Report throws it's support to the fantastic new restaurant Home Eat To Live. The new venture is from the creative mind of Christian Cgm, who also created the cool sustainable place Mana

The new place is now OPEN! Go to their official Facebook Page @

+852 2777 4777

Actress and partner Celina jade is also heavily involved in the new venture with Christian.

The place is described as:

HOME - Eat to Live is a fast-casual, sustainable, healthy restaurant that is committed to serving the purest, highest quality plant-based cuisine & products in a spirit of friendliness, fairness & community. We strive to use organic produce whenever possible and source as much of our ingredients locally as we can from a network of local farms as well as our proud partner farm in the New Territories, HOME by Kau Kee.
At HOME, we aim to foster a vibrant community of health-minded individuals who feel free to unleash, and express, their joyful life force over delicious food in a relaxed, warm & contemporary environment, a true HOME in the city where people can feel loved, supported and cared for.
‪#‎homerestauranthk‬ ‪#‎homeeattolive‬ ‪#‎ancientsymbols‬ ‪#‎hongkong‬ ‪#‎foodie‬ ‪#‎food‬ ‪#‎green‬ ‪#‎vegetarian‬ ‪#‎vegan‬ ‪#‎raw‬ ‪#‎glutenfree‬ ‪#‎christiancgm‬ ‪#‎cgm‬ ‪#‎organic‬ ‪#‎localproduce‬ ‪#‎sustainability‬ ‪#‎earthfriendly‬ ‪#‎love‬ ‪#‎peace‬ ‪#‎joy‬ ‪#‎bliss‬ ‪#‎bar‬ ‪#‎healthy‬ ‪#‎lifestyle‬ ‪#‎fitness‬ ‪#‎conscious‬ ‪#‎wholesome‬ ‪#‎savetheplanet‬ ‪#‎climatechange‬ ‪#‎fairtrade‬ #socialgood #startwith1thing #eattolive #juiceandbooze #greenliving #funkyveggie #conscientiouseating #yummy #greenisthenewblack #homies #homework

For more information on Celina Jade, check out her exclusive interview on Dan's Movie Report @

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Adam Davis & Will Corona Pilgrim Interview, A Dan's Movie Report Exclusive! 'No Touching' Chat! (C) 2016

 Above Pic: Getty Images from Artemis film fest with
(Zoë Bell and Heidi Moneymaker

Web promo with Adam & Will! Get Exclusive on Dan's Movie Report!

Greetings valued Dan's Movie Report readers, today we take a trip behind the camera and go inside the creative minds of Adam Davis and Will Corona Pilgrim. These two adventurous individuals wrote and directed on the fantastic short film 'No Touching'. 'No Touching' is a comedy/action/horror film in which two top flight stunt ladies, (Zoë Bell and Heidi Moneymaker) face off against over zealous haunted house people, intent on touching them, in places they do not want to be touched. 'No Touching' recently had a screening at the fantastic Artemis Film Fest, and soon will be touring the country at various festivals. Get ready, hang on to your costumes, and your sanity, time to take a haunted trip, with action and comedy, and much touching. Another Dan's Movie Report exclusive interview has commenced, 3-2-1-GO!

Describe the writing and conceptual process of 'No Touching' did you guys always have a short in mind?
We were working with Heidi on a feature script that she was to star in when the whole concept came about. We found out through working with Heidi that she was friends with Zoë so we wrote a tiny cameo for her in the feature. When things began to stall, the two of us pitched the idea to Heidi of a short starring her and Zoë and she said it sounded like a great idea. A month or so later we had this haunted house concept basically formed and pitched the two of them over sushi. And the rest is…well, the present.

Were the characters that Z Bell and Heidi play always destined for them, or did you get them involved later in the process.
One hundred percent Y-E-S. The biggest thing about that was as we were trying to come up with a concept for an action short that we both liked, a bunch of our friends were weighing in at the time, and it all tended to gravitate towards stories where Heidi and Zoë would face off and kick each others ass. They were all variations of that: assassins square off in an office and then fight each other, two fighters square off in a ring, etc, etc. It wasn’t until a buddy reminded us of those interactive haunted houses that our minds really started charging. The aesthetic was something that we loved, horror with a Halloween-inspired bent featuring all the fun costumes and sets you'd want, but the diamond in the center was this idea of these two friends who were attacked in the haunted house and had to protect themselves and each other. It gave us the opportunity to showcase Heidi and Zoë’s already natural off-screen friendship, as well as see them joined together on the same side, which helped push it into a much more positive female hero piece.

Very cool get to have Jake Busey, and Traci Thoms on set for minor roles, were they asked by Z Bell, or were they an idea you had.
Being fans of both Zoë AND Tracie from their roles in Death Proof, we had Tracie in our heads from very early on in development — we just didn’t know it was possible to become a reality until we started getting closer to the shoot date. Same with Jake and Doug Jones; these are heavy hitters that you put on a casting “wish list” which usually turns into casting someone “like” them when all is said and done - especially when asking them to work for barely any money. In this case however, we were spit-balling the outstanding roles we had left to cast with Zoë and Heidi, when Zoë mentioned knowing the same people the two of us had wish-listed on our own. And from there, after a few friendly text messages, everything just kind of magically fell into place.

Kevin Daniels was one of the fun additions since we had been familiar with his work on Modern Family but it wasn’t until Zoë pitched to include him that we jumped at the chance - he was a very easy sell for us. He ended up ad-libbing one of our favorite lines in the entire piece!

How many days total for principal photography. Same question for pre-vis for the action rehearsals etc...Discuss some of the challenges on filming on such a tight shooting schedule.
It was a rock ‘em sock ‘em three day shoot. We had two day shoots in the interior of the haunted house for all the action and scares and one night shoot at the exterior of the house for the exterior dialogue. Shooting action, traditionally, takes a long time between setups. It’s a very delicate balance since you want to get the camera in the perfect spot to catch as much of the action as possible, because you can realistically ask for your stunt team to do these moves only so many times.

Pre-vis was all in Heidi’s court as she was coordinating here and there on the fly when not working on her physically taxing day job of stunt work for other shoots. She ended up doing an expanded pre-vis for what we called the Skeleton Fight, which was our two heroes against many foes, and then later on adapted bits from that to be incorporated into the final fight with a possessed baddie called Demon Nick. Since this was the incomparable 87Eleven Action Design team performing all the stunt work, we didn’t sweat too much. These are a team of people who know their jobs so well and are simply spectacular when working together as a group.

There were some tense moments of not knowing whether we were going to get all we needed, for sure, but our producer Jason Rostovsky, our Associate Producer Christy Busby, Colby Oliver (our DP), his camera and G&E team, not to mention Jacob Johnston (Production Designer) and Taylor Shaw (Art Director), Caitlyn Brisbin and the make-up crew and our abundantly generous PA’s kept things pushing forward in the hot So-Cal fall heat.

I must say you guys pulled off miracles, especially given time constraints. Merging the genres of horror, action an comedy is a difficult task, which you guys pulled off extremely well, were some elements of the first few drafts of the 'No Touching' script tweaked? What was added along the way? More Humor, action, horror?
It was always at it’s very core an action concept with horror dressings. But knowing it was still a horror piece, we felt there had to be a central theme for it to really payoff. The biggest polishes we did were when we finally honed in on the theme of the piece. #Gamergate was going on at the time and even working in the comic/movie biz we were still taken aback by all the online hate and misogyny spewing out towards women during the whole thing. It really helped us nail down what we were trying to say: here are two women who fight back against sexist a-holes and then the whole thing just escalates from there.

One of the biggest revelations we had was after talking with Josh Waller, who was about to go and shoot the film "Camino" with Zoë. He had read an early version of the script and we were all having a dinner and chatting about what we still felt was missing from it. Since it's a short, it needed a great hook at the very end. The draft we were working with had a very definitive ending. He suggested that we find a way to end on somewhat of a horror cliffhanger and that’s when we decided to punch up the supernatural bit for the finale.

What are some of your favorite films that you have modeled 'No Touching' after, genre and out of genre?
We’ve been known to say it’s got a lot of John Carpenter’s "Halloween" injected into it. Ian Flux, one of the two composers of the score, is one of the biggest fans of Carpenter’s score work so it was perfect working with him and Chris Potts to develop the "No Touching theme” very early on in the development process, way before we ever got a single shot on film. How we introduce and give the characters ample time to show us a bit of who they are before they dive into the haunted house is also very Halloween-esque. People take for granted how long it is until you actually come face to face with Michael Myers in that first one, and it gives you time to get to know the characters all of whom are about to be slain.

Robert Rodriguez’s "From Dusk Till Dawn" has also been brought up from time to time with the way the genre shifts mid-stream. That’s one where for half the movie you think it's about these two bank robbers and then WHAM! you’re thrown into a vampire-ridden horror flick. We thought a lot about that quick shift in genre for when our movie very suddenly turns from horror into an action and fight extravaganza. 

That being said, we really pushed hard to maintain a "Fast and the Furious"-style of fighting action. We decided early on that it wasn’t a slasher type of horror piece, and we wanted to see Heidi and Zoë put down these a-holes with the stunt and fight skills we already knew they were capable of.


Obviously Z Bell and Heidi are really physically gifted action actors, chat about their dialogue in 'No Touching', humorous quips, was any of that ad lib or straight from script?
Column A and Column B, really. When working with our actors we very much like to keep it loose to give them the freedom to explore between takes, and that definitely was caught on camera for this. It makes it a little tougher in the edit bay, but we never would have caught half of Jake’s genius as Carp if we forced him to stick to the script. As long as the important bits were there we were satisfied.

A fun thing that people don’t pick up on right away is how silly Heidi is. Since she always plays the Black Widow-type asskicker, it was fun to put her up on screen with Zoë, who’s always jabbing at her off-screen, so they could let loose in a way that they are in their real life friendship. The height joke is just one of many improvised lines between those two.

Now that the film has had it's initial screening, are you planning on more nationwide screenings at other festivals?
We’ve submitted to a large amount of festivals. Some we’ve heard back from but can’t talk about just yet, and the others we’re just gonna have to wait and see how it goes. But we’re certainly going to tour it as much as possible. Ain’t nothing like hearing an audience cheer or laugh at your work after putting this much time and heart into it.

What are some of the things you guys would have changed on 'No Touching' if the budget was say doubled, or tripled.
Doubled? Probably get another day or so of shooting. Maybe beef up on the production design for the horror elements but most importantly, pay everyone a little more.

Chat about the future ideas and goals for 'No Touching' perhaps a series or a feature film? Lessons learned from the short film process?
There have definitely been talks about a feature film. It wasn’t a pitch for a feature from the get go, but once we started pouring in our own mythology and it started to come together as a piece, it was hard to not imagine how we might do a feature length version of the story. A series might be another fun way to go to really get a chance at extended storytelling…
Lessons? For us, it goes back to what so many colleagues and professionals have told us over the years; it all begins and ends with CASTING. Casting in front of and behind the camera. If you get the right group of talented people in the right roles for them, everything else is all gravy. It may have taken us longer than we had originally planned to finally get out and shoot this thing, but it all shook out as something that happened for a reason. We couldn’t be more pleased with or proud of our cast and crew. And we think our Kickstarter Backers would agree.
Thanks guys, great interview! Coming later in 2016 for Ms. Zoë Bell interview! In the meantime, watch for 'No Touching' in a film fest near you! 
For more on No Touching:

Friday, May 6, 2016

Hitman's Bodyguard In Production!

Above Photo: (C) 2015 from the Hitman's Bodyguard Facebook page

Greetings Dan's Movie Report readers. There have been numerous reports of the start of principal photography on Hitman's Bodyguard. As you know Dan's Movie Report is an exclusive site, and am looking forward to the possibility of Exclusive coverage of 'Hitman's Bodyguard' The fantastic premise of an aging hitman needing protection coupled with the fabulous cast of Ryan Reynolds, Sam Jackson, Salma Hayek, Gary Oldman and the beautiful and talented Elodie Yung, has peaked my interest and the interest of my readers. Like the film on the Facebook page @

Watch for more later in the year on your home for exclusives, Dan's Movie Report!