Ashley Park Interview

Acceleration Official Trailer Unleashed! Release Date Confirmed! Dan's Movie Report

Greetings valued Dan's Movie report readers. Recently Cinedigm dropped the brand new trailer for the action film Acceleration ...

Friday, October 11, 2019

Acceleration Official Trailer Unleashed! Release Date Confirmed! Dan's Movie Report

Greetings valued Dan's Movie report readers. Recently Cinedigm dropped the brand new trailer for the action film Acceleration

Plot summary: DesVladik Zorich (Dolph Lundgren), a villainous crime lord, is double-crossed by his most trusted operative Rhona (Natalie Burn). Vladik's propensity for power, control, and violence drives him to kidnap Rhona's son forcing her to participate in a twisted plan to eliminate one of Vladik's enemies. To keep her on a short leash, Vladik sets out the 'rules' to his 'game' and overseas Rhona's every move as she navigates the darkened streets of Los Angeles. As her son's life hangs in the balance, Rhona struggles to eliminate the most violent and depraved delinquents, however, Vladik underestimates the power of a mother's love and finds himself losing control.

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Written by: Michael Merino Directed by: Michael Merino & Daniel Zirilli Starring: Sean Patrick Flanery, Dolph Lundgren, Chuck Liddell, Natalie Burn, Quinton 'Rampage' Jackson, and Danny Trejo

Acceleration is scheduled for a November 8th Release on streaming and limited theatrical. DVD/Blu-Ray December 17th: 

Pre Order: Blu-Ray is only $13.00 on Amazon:

Watch for future exclusives on the film on Dan's Movie Report and!

Transit 17 (2019) Movie Review (C) 2019 Dan's Movie Report Danny Templegod

Above: Poster for Transit 17 on IMDB

Greetings valued Dan's Movie Report and readers. Hard to believe it was over 5 yrs ago that I first covered Transit 17, please check out this post. Actress Zara Phythian took time out of her busy schedule to film a promo as well – see above.

Fast forward to October 2019, finally Transit 17 is unleashed! First to VOD second to DVD in December! Incidentally ,watch for a DVD contest around Christmas! Now on to the review.

Transit 17 is an eclectic mix of zombie and action film genre with a bit of a SYFY, and road movie thrown in for good measure. The story that is established in the beginning, is pretty basic, but sets up a quest that has a good adventure element. Much of the population has been infected by a virus that turns them into zombies soon after a bite. The team has to locate a 15 yr old girl who was bitten a month ago yet still shows no signs of the virus. Her rich fathered vowed to use her to find a cure for the infection. The path is fraught with Zombies and Sniffers, a military outfit who seem to actually support the zombification of the area. The crew have to use a variety of weapons including a grenade and an old Volvo, HA! Serious, part of the way they actually use a Volvo for their destination, thankfully they peel out in it and we see it goes fast.

The crew initially is transported around on a 6 wheel vehicle called The Pig, looks like something right out of Prometheus. This is kind of a homage to Land of the Dead where they plowed through a town in the same sort of vehicle. Land of the Dead though had so many zombies! This vehicle is basically transport, and I thought running over a couple zombies on the way would not have been a bad thing haha, but this truck breaks down by overheating, not by hitting a zombie. OK, yes that is different.

Many of the cast including Zara Phythian, Silvio Simac, and Lee Charles are now established action stars. Back in 2014, when this was filmed they were hitting their initial strides and it is nice to see once they get involved. Actually the highlight fight between Lee Charles character Brad and Silvio's Commander character the leader of the Sniffers is pretty bad ass. 

 Above: Guy Bleyaert pulls out his boom stick!

Guy Bleyaert pulls triple duty as writer, director, and lead actor. Guy is to be commended for pushing very hard on the film, yet I feel that his cast members needed to display more emotion or to be directed to do so. Often when someone wears many hats an aspect of the production can be slightly hampered. Guy's thick accent, is a bit rough, yet because it is a grizzled veteran named Tex he plays it works, as his character is supposed to have 'seen it all'.

I liked Kimberly Stahl as Deena, yet (minor spoiler) she is only in a very small part of the film. She turns in her sleep and wakes up due to Zara finding and they tussle, the outcome obvious, no big twist, but she did a good job in her limited role.

Speaking of sound and voices, the ADR is quite clear in Transit 17, people speak loud and it is easy to understand all the dialogue. I feel the film itself needed more urgency. People are talking relaxed, when they should be breathless. I wanted a bit more zombie or infected interaction as well.

The actual shots and filming is very good for an indie film. There is a large scope to the action and most of the best scenes are outside. The camera work is great, and people are clearly seen thanks to the thoughtful lighting. The film has a pro feel, not cheap, there is use of green screen in a few parts, but the tech looks detailed and intricate.

Above: Zara Phythian rocks the big guns in Transit 17.

A special mention to actress Zara Phythian, she gives her maximum effort. Her character Eve, is sort of a female Rambo, and gets to mix it up with the boys, Her action moves are very smooth and her dialogue is clear.. Zara though, as hard as she worked, needed to be pushed with additional aggressiveness and anger. She needed tighter direction, and more characters to interact with not just guns to fire.

Although it seems I do not like Transit 17, or am nitpicking, I actually enjoyed the film. Transit 17 has a variety of mixed theme elements. There is something for horror , SYFY and action fans. Despite my minor gripes and the very short 84 minute run time, the film rates a solid 7 out of 10. Worthy of a rent or buy!

The film will be available on various VOD platforms on October 22nd Transit 17 will be available on digital for an SRP of $4.99 - $9.99 from platforms including iTunes, Vudu, Playstation, Xbox, Amazon Instant, Google Play, FandangoNow, Hoopla and Overdrive as well as 200+ cable affiliates including Comcast, Spectrum, Charter, Cox, Verizon, Frontier, Suddenlink, Mediacom, Google Fiber, and Dish. Watch for the film December 17th, 2019 on DVD! Watch for a new Zara interview in the coming months!

Here is my exclusive 2014 coverage!

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Thursday, October 10, 2019

WAR (2019) Movie Review (Bollywood Action) (C) Dan's Movie Report

Greetings valued Dan's Movie Report and readers. As you know I enjoy films from all over the world and I knew thanks to my friend and action supporter Ron Smoorenburg he told me about this amazing Bollywood Epic! War is only playing at about 300 theaters in the United States, I know it will hit Amazon Prime in a few months but this is a theater film all the way. A word of caution, the film is also showing at those D-Box screens, initially I payed the extra for the seat until I tested out a sample, it basically is a ride and the seat moves around, I cannot justify the double price, nor siting being jostled badly for 3 hours!

War is an amalgamation of a variety of diverse styles. It had elements of Bollywood, but actually this is more like a Hollywood action film. Shot all over the world including Australia, Portugal, Finland, the film reminded me of a James Bond flick, yet had the science fiction aspect and military aspect. Film wise, a mixture of Face-Off, GoldenEye, and Fast and Furious! Yep it is that crazy! The 2 hour and 34 minute flick has only two dance numbers! Yep, and one comes in after a huge action sequence and has some really cool moves in it. The second one is after intermission, and it is slower, yet has many sexy girls minus Saris, all western clothing! I will have to say WAR is made for a global, not just Indian audience.

What you have are two main characters the experienced soldier played adeptly and gritty by Hrithik Roshan (Kabir) he has to deal and accept a new recruit whose father was a traitor and turned in by his mother. Amazing young talent Tiger Shroff plays the upstart (Kalid) wanting to get out from under his fathers traitor ways.

The cool thing about War is the audience is allowed to go back in time to tell what leads up to the events that happen in the beginning and learn so much about the two main protagonists and or antagonists ha! The twists and turns of WAR are as dynamic as the action! We see the very young Kalid at school being bullied as his father is a traitor. His mom comes on the scene and meets him at the military base, a heartwarming scene yet a cautionary tale.

Nothing is what it seems in WAR. Trust me, with each exotic location, you never know where or where a team of bad or good guys will come from. The true highlights are the extended scenes, I mean the action sequences are long and well planned out. From the opening drug den bad guy take down to the epic and I mean EPIC car chase that leads into a massive fight. Some sequences are like double or triple the length of Hollywood films!

The supporting cast on WAR is extensive, yet this adds to the scope of the film. Plus by assembling an international cast of action and stunt performers each one adds their own flair to WAR. Brahim Chab is involved as well as Ron Smoorenburg and what is really cool is basically in each location they have stunt coordinator for that location. The adept Kristina Basket a SAG USA stunt performer is also in the fray.

Getting back to the dialogue, dancing and story of WAR, there is a decent amount of dialogue, but when the action ramps up the dialogue ramps down. No overly loquacious diatribes in WAR. People speak clearly even if I do not understand the language, the vocal mix is strong. The two dance numbers I mentioned earlier are actually very good, I hope that Bollywood adapt this two to three max numbers of dance numbers in their action properties. That was my issue with Sultan as amazing s it was damn frustrating to have the worse timing and so many dance interludes. The story is at times hard to follow, as the timeline shifts back a couple of years then back six months, there is a warning but unless you see the very beginning of the film, where you see the person getting shot, you wont know who or what they are talking about, same goes with the middle right before the intermission, no I am not going to spoil it. The final 1 hour, is just balls to the wall action as the second musical number is right after intermission. Think ICBM, ice breaker, transport plane, a secret intelligence code breaking and hard drive expert hacking woman, who on the day prior to her wedding she does the work and then haha offers to elope without her husband!I do wish some of the ladies got into the action instead of just the tech and the dancing, that said this is a guys movie, doing guy war things!

Yes this moving picture is all about the moving, in the context of the action, and metallic suction magnets to grip onto a speeding plane. Can any of this happen, or is it a fantasy? Well agents do go rogue and military men often sadly shoot other military men, this is a real possibility. The other thing is no way would he survive the landing from one plane to another hah, but check in and check your brain at the door, leave your action cortex in the lobby and get to a theater. I saw it will be on Amazon prime in 4k soon as well so if you have to wait, make sure to stream it in the highest resolution, with the loudest speakers, on your 105 inch TV! Enough of my crazy ramblings haha this ends now with WAR a damn near perfect 9 out of 10! The film has already broken box office records in India, check the trailer below:

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Greenlight (2019) Movie Review (C) 2019 Dan's Movie Report (EXCLUSIVE)

Above: Greenlight Facebook Splash page. (C) 2019 Talk Story Pictures

Greetings valued Dan's Movie Report readers. As we near Halloween, I figured I need to review a few horror and thriller films. Greenlight, fresh off two big wins at Shriekfest comes across my desk, and I must say, this film is my thriller of the year. A low budget film about making a low budget film, Greenlight excels in the simplicity of the setup, yet flails out and forces the viewer to their edge of their seat for 83 minutes.

A bit of credit to the talented people behind the film prior to my review: Greenlight is the directorial debut of Graham Denman, written by Patrick R Young (Bastard, My Teacher, My Obsession) and produced by Rudy Scalese (Going To Pieces:  The Rise and Fall of the Slasher Film, Casa De Mi Padre, Ceremony).  Financed by Talk Story Pictures and executive produced by Greg BlundenPamela Blunden and Phil Malasapina.

The movie stars Chase Williamson (Beyond the Gates, John Dies at the End), Shane Coffey (Pretty Little Liars, Starry Eyes), Caroline Williams (Texas Chainsaw Massacre II, Tales of Halloween) and Chris Browning (Bright, Angel Has Fallen, Only Mine, Bosch). The film also stars Craig Stark (Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, Django Unchained), Victor Turpin (Murder Mystery, Shades of Blue), Nicole Shipley (Buddy Hutchins, All Saints Eve), & Evanne Friedmann(Awkward).  

Above Chase Williamson in Greenlight (C) 2019 Talk Story Pictures

An indie film director named jack (Chase Williamson), who has yet to direct a feature is stuck in the loop of not being able to direct a feature without experience on a full length film. I have had so many short film makers talk to me and basically say I hope that a producer sees my short and is convinced I can handle a feature. Every director has to start somewhere on their first feature. Jack has to go through the entire range of acting emotions, and Williamson very much deserved his best actor nod at Shriekfest. The important thing here is Chase never over acts a scene. If there is anger, fear, sadness, nervousness or anxiety, he remains grounded and understated, seething undeneath yet powerless to act. This is usually a huge issue in lower budget films, but in Greenlight the acting is extremely good all the way around and Chase brings the character home. It is important to note that this film also won best thriller at Shriekfest as well.

Above:  Greenlight’s producer Rudy Scalese (left) and director Graham Denman (right)

What is a good thriller/horror flick without some lovely ladies? In Greenlight, the ladies are not just damsels in distress, but an integral part of the story. Veteran actress Caroline Williams plays the star of the indie film being shot, and she happens to be the wife of the producer. She emotes on screen and yes purposely overacts for the 'film' portion of Greenlight, then gets back into a natural character when she is off the set. It is important to note, much of Greenlight is about shooting an indie film so the cast has to alter their natural acting when the director, Jack yells action. Evanne Friedmann has a smaller yet integral part as the girlfriend, yet portrays an interesting side character trying to sell her book. She gets a bit involved later in the story. Finally, and I must mention, and give a special praise to actress Nicole Alexandra Shipley as Sarah. There is a particular scene, it actually does not spoil the plot, where she is sitting in a make-up chair covered in blood all over her face, shoulders, and is calm, and collected and plays it straight to the angst ridden Jack. She really has some profound words of wisdom, which I wont spoil, but has my favorite line of the film when Jack says “Are you sure this is a good time time?” and she says: “I am covered in blood, this is a great time, take a seat.” I chuckled and this added a bit of levity to the very serious film. The two talented actors absolutely nail this scene, and kudos to director Graham Denman for maximizing this performance and obviously he is in tune with the emotional gravitas of the characters. He really got all of the actors in Greenlight to bring their A game to their performances.

Every thriller needs a villain, and Chris Browning as Producer Moseby brings the danger, and threats to a visceral level. The cool thing here is with the exception of actress Caroline Williams (who plays his wife), he is much older than the rest of the characters in the film. The simple fact of this makes Greenlight more believable. Think of a teacher who preys on a student, an authority figure taking advantage of an underling, or worse. Greenlight explores fears without being preachy. The audience is in the moment, without being bogged down.

Since this is a no spoiler review, I will not mention anything about what happens, but will state that all the elements in this film are top notch. The sets, the lighting, ADR, special effects, music, plus I would like to make a mention of the make up artist who must have spent hours getting a very beautiful Nicole completely covered in blood, not random splatter, but like perfect lines of dripping all conforming to her body. Greenlight is a real low budget masterpiece of tension and angst wrapped up into a cunning, yet for the most part, subtle story. I watched the film two times prior to this review, and found it to be damn incredible, Greenlight rates a back-lot bloodbath 9.5 out of 10, yep it is that good. Final suggestions: when they start doing real PR for this film and nearer to actual wide release day, I feel Nicole needs to be covered in stage blood just like in Greenlight to do press interviews, and just be as cool as a cucumber like in the actual movie. Hey, make a splash, in thriller terms, it should be blood splatter!

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Saturday, September 28, 2019

Doom: Annihilation (2019) Movie Review (C) 2019 Dan's Movie Report

Greetings valued Dan's Movie Report and readers Thanks to my friend Nina Bergman, I head about the latest Doom film. I am not going to lie after the Doom film with the Rock, I assumed that was it for the film franchise. Video games by nature especially first person shooter games rarely make good films. The issue is simply there is no underlying story to tell. In the game, you are just dropped into a zone and have to start blasting enemies. A game like Tombraider has more of an advantage as there can be a back story and the quest or adventure is part of the story.

Universal 1440 Entertainment brings Doom: Annihilation to the direct to video market. Actually the story is kind of interesting at least in set up. You have a research colony on the Mars moon of Phobos. Phobos is the larger of the two Martian moons still is under 10 miles in diameter. Essentially it is a colony built around a transport gate that can open up direct transport to various spots in the solar system that have these gates, that said there is only one other gate known and it is on Earth.

The research facility on Phobos was actually built around the gate and for some reason, although it was built 7,000 years ago the gate requires some sort of power source to use. As I stated before, this is a great idea for a start for the film. Of course things go wrong, and the situation turns bad quickly when the creatures start coming through the gate. We are never really told where they are coming from or what caused them to go through the gate in the first place.

Soon after the initial set up the madness begins, a small group of marines are tasked to guard the moon and facility, and they have no clue what they are in for. The power is out in the facility and the back up generators are nearing critical failure level, yet they proceed anyway. I mean what could go wrong going to dark base, with no clue where anyone is, nor how to get around, yes they get lost even. 

Above: Amy Manson and her sultry double Dessy Slavova on the set of Doom: Annihilation

The cast of Doom: Annihilation save for Louis Mandylor, is largely made up of indie actors, and they do their best with the very basic script. I like the fact that the ladies get involved in the action and are not just the dormant wallflowers as in so many action films. Amy Manson plays Joan Dark. Joan is a bad ass and has many action sequences. Kudos to her action double Dessy Slavova, she got rough and tumble with the guys. Actress Jemma Moore plays Li, and she is rather adorable, yet is pretty tough as well. The true space marine Nina Bergman, brings the big guns and flair to her role, which for sure needed more depth, yet she has some really cool action scenes. 

Above: Director Tony Giglio and actress Nina Bergman on the set of Doom: Annihilation

The experienced Louis Mandylor plays a Chaplin who was stranded on Phobos. We learn a bit more about his character, I kind of wish all of the characters were explored more, even though we see a young Joan Dark with her mom, we never really learn about the characters, thus when they expire, little emotional connection is formed. Hey this is Doom, is there supposed to be this type of connection? Ha, well would have been nice.

This is a very violent film, full of action and bloodshed and many body parts. Due to the subject matter this is for sure an adult film, yet many kids who play Doom might find it a bit entertaining. My main issue is the transition from game to movie. I mean if you are not playing one of the characters will the audience be engaged for the 90 minutes? I think there is enough action, and thus Doom: Annihilation never gets bogged down or has slow parts. There is always peril and the characters show a sense of urgency.

The sets, lighting, and camera work is pretty good for the limited budget. Usually films from Universal 1440 fall in the 3 to 7 million dollar budget some less some more, yet for this budget, Doom: Annihilation is pretty good. I mean, there are big guns, explosions, crazy aliens, somewhat decent CGI, and sets that perhaps would even be found on bigger budget films. The acting is decent, nothing earth shatteringly awesome, yet, I feel that the actors had direction on what to do, and no one was unfocused on the plot or their portion of the story. Doom: Annihilation rates a decent 6.5 out of 10. I admit I thought some of the acting would be lacking, yet it was not, and neither was the quality of the production.

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Please check out my recent interview with Actress Nina Bergman where she chats about her work on Doom: Annihilation:

I spoke with Nina and am planning on doing an autographed photo contest later in 2019 with her. Keep reading Dan's Movie Report and you home for action on the web!