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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', http://dansmoviereport.blogspot.com/2014/07/actress-courtney-hope-exclusive.html 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 @ http://www.quantumbreak.com/

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.