Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Greetings Dan's Movie Report readers haha, ok this film literally came out of left field, far of left field! To be quite honest, had it not been for my friend Jessica Nam who plays Superhero Lilly, I never would have heard of it! From writer/director Brian Lonano and writer Victoria Cook comes a tale of menstruation, and yeah it is what it sounds like dirty, silly and downright gross, yet beautiful.
Basically you have three young girls who are going through their menstruation periods haha see what I did there? They turn into superheros, played by different actresses who have shall I say unique powers of bleeding pushing people around and selling stuff, ha. This film is not for kids Jessica told me it is aimed at the Adult Swim crowd, I actually see a full length Troma film!
Yes BFF Girls is not for everyone, and the subject matter and exdecution is bound to offend many, but for the core audience it should find a niche I give it a 7 out of 10. Three cheers for bleeding pint sized superheros!
Check the official Facebook for upcoming screenings!
Sunday, June 17, 2018
Greetings valued Dan's Movie Report readers, today we have a 2018 film hearkening back to the direct to video films of the 80s and early 90s. Not gonna lie, I used to dig the Andy Sidaris films sexy, violent and fun! If you like his film style you will enjoy Forbidden Power. Again this film is pretty low budget, but hits the right notes of building story, colorful characters and clear filming techniques.
Forbidden Power is basically the story legend of a girl who was orphaned as her father shot his whole family and she is said to have gained mystical powers. All grown up the lady is played with acrimony, zeal and sexually charged tension by Nasanin Nuri who does a great job with the script and vamps it up evil! She is dangerous, fun, alluring and entertaining, an old school throwback to a time when films were guilty pleasures. Watch for her interview soon!
Writer/Director Paul Kyriazi crafts a great story and has a cool climax and ending that may leave a sequel open! No spoilers of what happens, but I really liked the idea of the character interaction in the first act. My only small complaint was some of the acting was not as good as it could have been, a bit stiff, Wearing many hats on the same production can at times a bit bring the quality down, but not always the case. The characters spoke the lines clearly just the conveyed emotion was not always there.
The two leads Lincoln Bevers as George and Nasanin Nuri as Veronica have a push/pull interplay that is quite engaging, They brought their A game, but again was a larger cast for an indie so each person may not have same abilities or experience in acting. This is a bit of an issue but again it is a direct to video film and clean, campy fun, well not always clean! HA!
Overall I enjoyed Forbidden Power, I am on the fence as to ratings, probably a 7 out of 10, a definite rent or, if you like old school 80s horror films a buy. I hope to see more of Nasanin, she really worked hard on this one, she brings the rating up.
Friday, June 15, 2018
Greetings valued Dan's Movie Report readers, occasionally I swerve into the music genre where I started my writing in the 80s. Today the brand new Letters from the Fire CD dropped from the sky, the internet and physical copy. This is my intrinsic soap box rant. In the 80s we all went to the record store and bought physical copy music. First It was albums, then came CDs, then enhanced CDs with video etc. Itunes and the Amazon streaming market has totally changed the way we buy music. Can just buy one song, not the entire CD, which of course is an excellent thing and great idea. The issue that I have is recent purchase of higher quality speakers and optical cable, even the highest quality AAC audio files no where near match the physical copy. Plus a band like Letters from the Fire put a bunch into the packaging, with a cool gate-fold sleeve, inside pocket with full lyrical booklet, and new photos. Even before you listen to the music inside, of course it is worth the 1 dollar premium over the MP3 downloads. I will say this, if you like Letters from the Fire, or any band who works hard making music and creating buy the physical media!!
Off the Soapbox! The new Letters from the Fire is a 36 minute sonic blast! Diverse songs ranging from the road ready Harley to the anthem like Comfort You, tell a tale of freedom and a new beginning for the band. Replacing a drummer and adding new singer Nina Bergman has given the band a new found life and my prediction is by 2019 will be playing in huge venues!
Very good character people in the band and super talented recording, mixing and mastering on the new CD, make for a polished, yet almost industrial sounding band, they may have changed their style a bit, but the musician ship is top notch and they have a singer who can match the band's intensity.
I have known Nina and interviewed her and of course listened to her older music, she is a pro in what she does and is driven. I feel the band will also have a new found creativity to branch out as well. I spoke with Nina today as the band is in the studio already recording 2 bonus tracks! I am hoping this will be a new either physical copy Japanese or European release as they actually buy physical copies and support music, by buying the band's merchandise! Nina starred in and wrote songs for Assassin X on Sony Home Entertainment, here is our interview. (It was called The Chemist Then) http://dansmoviereport.blogspot.com/2014/09/actress-nina-bergman-interview.html
Now in 2018, Nina also has the Doom Movie she just completed work on and in October Call of Duty: Black Ops 4! What does that mean for Letters for the Fire you say, well Nina is a loyal lady to those who support her! She will be an A list star with the humble attitude! She gets it, rescuing dogs being loving to her fellow humans is her style.
Back to the new Letters from the Fire CD. The songs and three music videos represent a change in style that of course will bring some detractors, that said, my prediction is a whole new genre of fans from the movie and game world will come on in and join the party! Letters from the Fire, has a real winner on their hands with their new CD! Dan's Movie Report rates the new CD a very strong 9 out of 10, a classic and brings this 80s metal head out of the doldrums to love what is going on today, stay strong support music, Like Nina says on her Harley~ Break free! Good stuff! Hot new shout out to the only site on the web covering indie music, Movies TV and internet streaming shows! BOOM!
For all the information blast their official homepage @ http://www.lettersfromthefire.net/
Check out their official Facebook Page @ https://www.facebook.com/LettersFromTheFire/
watch for more exclusives in 2018 and 2019!!
Greetings valued Dan's Movie report readers, today is a special day! The musings of David William No in a two part interview! I have decided he has so much information to share that it will be best to drop this one now, and the next one in a few months when Mr No has more information about his current projects! In part 2 David will also discuss his other endeavors, including physical therapy! David has a wealth of experience in front of and behind the camera and chats about his new projects in addition to blasting into the past a bit about some cool 90s films. Grab a pen, take notes, as we shall leave it all in the hands of David!
Chat about working on DTV films in the 90s
In the late 90's, there were plenty of US productions coming “down under” to shoot. I had the opportunity to work on a variety of projects like Hallmark channel’s Moby Dick and Noah's Arc and also the Mel Gibson/Jet Li produced Invincible. Kanga-rubles (ie Aussie dollars) were dirt cheap back then and allowed a lot of Aussies the opportunity to work on bigger international productions.
Moby Dick was actually the project that committed my path in the film industry. I was studying physiotherapy and had already done several film projects by the time I graduated. At my cap'n'gown graduation ceremony day, I received a phone call from a distinguished hospital offering me a 12 month contract. "How awesome is that?!" I thought. Then about 30min later, I received another phone call from a casting director, not only wanting me to play a role in the Moby Dick mini-series along side such legends as Patrick Stewart, Gregory Peck, Henry Thomas, Ted Levine, Hugh Keays-Byurne - but to also train and work on old sailing ships.
After Mr. Nice Guy (starring Jackie Chan), Sammo Hung (who was directing) asked me to go to America for O.U.T.I.C.6 starring Jet Li and play the main villain. I turned him down, thinking I needed to finish my studies. Now with Moby Dick, I was put in the same situation: physiotherapy or the film industry. I obviously chose the film industry and destiny eventually brought me to the states.
Working with Kathy Long, she is an amazing kick boxer and action person, describe the experience, perhaps if you can remember a set story, know it was awhile ago.
I worked with Kathy on my first ever feature film, the Richard Norton actioner Under the Gun. Kathy was super down to earth. She was like an older sister to me. I remember our fight scene. It was the first time I had to flat-back onto concrete and the lesson was how unforgiving it was compared to judo mats! Also the end of that fight was memorable. I rush in and grab Kathy by the shoulders as Ron Vrecken goes to punch her. She slips the punch and Ron drills me. I watched this scene recently – even in slow motion it looks like I had my face caved in!
The other thing I remember about that movie is Richard asking me to double him for a kicking sequence. It was a standing Round, Hook, Side-Kick combo. He was wearing cowboy boots - I'm a size 10, he is a size 8 – it was like foot binding! I had another fight with Richard where he hits me across the room and I fold into a tiny sports locker. Richard is such a nice guy, and a real trail blazer when it came to Aussie action guys doing stuff internationally. Great memories.
Present Day: Altered Carbon, amazing show, one of the best on Netflix, really loved your fight with Michelle Lee, if you can describe the set up, and fight choreography and how did they do the suspended thing was it wires CGI etc?
Six months before filming started, the stunt coordinator (Larnell Stovall) sent me to New York to start training the main actor, Joel Kinnaman (he was there for the world premiere of Suicide Squad). I ended up training many of the other actors as well, including Martha Higareda, Waleed Zuaitor, Treu Tran and Dichen Lachman.
In regard to the Null-G fight. The fight was choreographed by Jeremy Marinas. Larnell knew that he needed performers that were experienced in wirework, had good air-awareness, as well, could also act and fight. He handpicked me and Michelle, however we still had to record an audition tape and be confirmed. Once we went up to Vancouver we had 2 weeks of intensive wire rehearsals.
The original script really showed a loving relationship between the fighters as they helped each other put on their gloves, however on the day we were separated and assistants tended to us. I thought that was a shame as the intimate scene would have made the fight more shocking. Of course, there always needs to be a balance between story and action, so there were so many strings of choreography we just didn’t get to. For instance, there was one gag that the director ordered where Michelle launches at me, does a half twist and I catch her upside down and then toss her backwards, we both rotate as we separate, and Michelle half twists again and clocks Joel in the face!
I agree, an amazing show with some amazing and ideas. Hopefully they bring my sleeve back in Season 2!
Above: David William No @ The Debt Collector Screening! (C) 2018 Ben Burton Photography Exclusive to Dan's Movie Report
Chat about working on The Debt Collector? Jesse V. Johnson is an amazing guy, gritty film, I know you had a smaller part but describe your day on the set with Jesse.
When we were making Blindsided, Luke Lafontaine and Cold Steel helped us out with the knives. Immediately when we finished Luke needed fighters for Savage Dog. I felt that since he helped us with our film, I owed him a favor so I went and fought Scott in a pit fighting scene. I've known Scott for decades and so it was good to finally work together. We shot the fight so quickly that we added more phrases to the fight. Then the next summer we were shooting Blindsided: The Game. Again, Luke was helping us and actually played a very memorable role. Then he was coordinating The Debt Collector and Jesse asked me to play the role in the opening fight. The role was very dialogue heavy (maybe 4 pages) and it was an extremely hot and sweaty day.
Jesse is a real pro - he knows his stuff, and moves quickly. The end of the fight has me twirling and Scott kicking me mid-air and I fall to my back on the ground. I damaged my left shoulder that day, but then rehab'd it back to health. I got it back to 99% when in December I had another accident that totally wrecked my shoulder. I ended up getting surgery. You have to deal with these things philosophically, be patient, and stay positive. My recovery has been great. Look out 2018, here I come!
For Blindsided: The Game, really amazing choreography and just mind blowing action, please describe the time taken for the set up.
There were so many professional stuntmen and fight choreographers working on that project. The most important thing was the sense of collaboration between all the talented minds. That is one of Clay's strengths - he strongly enjoys a collaborative process. As far as choreography goes, the “Walter-Ace fight” was the most challenging. Eric has short legs, but had long weapons (sword and sheath) whereas I have long legs and had short weapons (knuckle guard knives) - so the distancing was difficult and blocking swords with knives dangerous. Eric is such an accomplished performer that we quickly found our rhythm and shot the fight scene faster than we had scheduled.
The other big gag was the high-fall. The cityscape from the roof was so beautiful, we wanted to shoot that location, then had to problem solve how the fight was to end… so Ace took one back-step too many! We setup the idea of a grand battle, but cut it short with this big gag. It had been a while since I had jumped from any decent height, so on top of producing, and learning how to be a card-shark, I found time to go and practice some high-falls. High falls are serious business. When they go right, they are effortless, but when they go wrong, someone dies.
I have been asking Clayton and of course Eric, Blindsided: The Game needs to be made into a real movie , Clayton seems to see a part three happening are you up for it?
Yes… there definitely is some interest in making a third chapter and rounding out a full feature film. You will have to wait and “see” I guess.
Above: David William No @ The Debt Collector Screening (C) 2018 Ben Burton Photography A Dan's Movie Report Exclusive!
What are some of the projects in the pipeline you have for 2018 and 2019 you can discuss now?
I have a polymath attitude to life and love challenging myself in many disciplines. It’s like eating, you can get bored eating the same food everyday – I rather like changing it up regularly. I think it’s time for me to return to directing, however first there are a few other projects in the pipe (which unfortunately I cannot discuss).All I can say is that I'm looking forward to more great projects this year.
Finally to end part one of our interview, do you have a philosophy or concept with action and acting, can you impart words of wisdom for my audience?
Regarding action... there are three things that make great action. 1: Action in the frame - this means great choreography and great performances. 2: Action of the frame - this means camera position and movement. 3: Action between the frames - this means good editing. When making great action, you need to consider these three things. If you don't have great performers, you may need to make up for that fact with framing and editing. Even if you have great performers, the action maybe degraded by camera or editing.
Regarding acting... hmmm… without giving a seminar on acting techniques, I can say that you must enjoy the process. If you are only interested in red carpet and flashy lights, you are probably going to fail. Also, I have spent time with stunt people who see their job as separate to acting. A stunt performer is just that – performing in front of the camera. Movement is part of an arsenal of a good actor, and acting is part of the arsenal of a good stunt performer.
Brand new Martial Arts - Mash Up Demo-- Above!!!!
YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSvET8FImHvJNWhqEzhvB7w
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YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSvET8FImHvJNWhqEzhvB7w
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Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Greetings valued Dan's Movie report readers, direct from Sweden comes an interesting Horror/thriller/revenge film called Sargard. Watching many indie horror films, I notice one thing that is really amazing about Sargard. The development of characters. Essentially the story begins with a mother and two sisters going to a cabin in the woods to spread the ashes of their father. So not the happy go lucky things to start out.
By starting the film out with the characters already mired in sadness and uncertainty the audience immediately is drawn into the characters. Their ages are not given, but an approximation is the mother is around 50 and the daughters are around 21 and 17, so essentially grown. The first 30 minutes of the film is spent learning the about the three women, the dynamic of family. A real rarity among these types of films as usually the madness starts early and it runs flat as the cast members are dispatched with little fanfare, and thus little emotion. Sargard actually could have been the start of an interpersonal drama, but of course it is not, it is an unrated maniacal revelation in a descent into madness.
The lead character Elina played by Sarah Giercksky, who also wrote the script is really amazing. She has to go from caring daughter, to caring sister, to fighting for her life. Although a young actress Sarah is a student of film and obviously took the time to research the different aspects of her character, it seems as she took the time to watch other horror films and NOT fall into the trap of undeveloped characters. Sarah is emotional, but not over acting, angry but not hysterical etc... She is a recent grad of film study, and it shows. I read a bunch that many people think that schooling is not necessary, well for real acting, yeah it is.
The movie is in Swedish with English subtitles and is presented in 1080p resolution. For an ultra low budget independent film the actual quality is excellent. The sequences in the forest are well lit, clear and properly framed. According to the IMDB page the entire budget is 3,000USD! Now I must say, how is this even possible, well it is! A passionate group of individuals got together to make a great film. Giving away the outcome and for that matter any of the plot spoils the damn cool twists! So a big FU to those people who spoil the films in their reviews!
Now obviously director Andres R Ramos if he was given say even 30-40k could have had more set pieces in the forest and some other accouterments, but again it is budget related not quality related.
American indie film makers can learn a whole bunch from Sargad, It is a recommended purchase and rates a very strong 8 out of 10, I know if I am ever trapped in the woods, I will call Sarah!
For further information on the film point your browsers over to https://www.facebook.com/Sargad
The film is currently making the festival rounds all over the world, see it!
Watch for an interview with Sarah in the coming weeks!