Saturday, July 10, 2021

Blood Pageant Available Now For Rental Or Purchase (C) 2021 Dan's Movie Report - Danny Templegod

 

Above: Poster for 'Blood Pageant' All rights reserved, Image (C) 2021 Vision Films

Greetings valued Dan's Movie Report readers. Brand new movie 'Blood Pageant' is available now on Amazon and various streaming media outlets. The horror/comedy has a unique take on a reality show. Plot synopsis: In this horror-comedy-thriller, a cheesy $1 million reality competition between 7 beautiful women turns into a battle for life itself when one contestant opens the doors to ungodly evil and witchcraft! Who will win - who will survive? With a wink and a nod, this good vs evil story pokes fun at the pop culture stereotypes of reality competition shows, vision boards, chakras, and life coaches!


'Blood Pageant' stars Beverly Mitchell, Snoop Dog, Stephen Baldwin, David Chokachi, Ted Lange, Natasha Blasick, and others!


Check out the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQkmvPjj98o


 


IMDB: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt7184122/


Facebook Official: https://www.facebook.com/BloodPageantTheMovie


Amazon buy or rent: https://www.amazon.com/Blood-Pageant-Beverley-Mitchell/dp/B097R7J5KD/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=blood+Pageant&qid=1625955054&sr=8-1





Thursday, July 8, 2021

Director/Writer Suza Singh Interview © 2021 Dan's Movie Report - Danny Templegod

 

Above Image: Suza Singh from IMDB, Image used for promotional purposes only, not monetized.

Greetings valued Dan's Movie Report readers. Today I have the unique opportunity to interview the writer/director of the new action film 'Honorable Sins'. The movie is garnering several awards across the film festival circuit and actually is available to rent now. https://store.cineplex.com/Product/honorable-sins Is the link to view the film~ Suza Singh stops by to chat about creating 'Honorable Sins' and her thought process regarding the script and filming. Sit back, relax and garner some independent film wisdom!



DMR: Chat about your background and what made you decide to be come a director and writer of films?


SS: I was a professional singer, so I was always having to self tape for auditions. I become quite comfortable around video equipment. I moved to corporate video’s and ventured into feature films!!! Yeah. How difficult could it be, I thought!!!

 


 Above Photo: Provided by Suza Singh


DMR: Chat about the concept and script of Honorable Sins, did you first think about the pace of the story and how to build suspense and characters?


SS: To be honest I love fast moving action thrillers so this was my first attempt at a slow burn. The tricky thing is about the ‘slow burn’ is that you can lose people if it is too slow. I started with the action and worked backwards from there. I worked on character arcs for the main characters and worked to show that every character had layers. I created the characters that everyone had some idiosyncratic characteristic that was slightly off kilter. I also threw quite a few mis directional threads too. One technique I used was to have slower scenes in the beginning and cut the scenes faster towards the end.

 

Above Image: Poster for 'Honorable Sins' from IMDB all rights reserved, image used for promotional use only, not monetized.
 


DMR: How many drafts did you do and curious how long it took to write 'Honorable Sins'.


SS: The initial draft took about 2 days non-stop. The second and subsequent drafts took around 2 - 3 months. Also re-writes happened during filming also. During rehearsals we could see if certain words sounded better than others. It was more like a living document that was tweaked when needed.

 

Above Photo: Provided by Suza Singh
 


DMR: Chat about securing locations internal and external in Alberta, most of my audience is based in either the U.S.A., Europe, and South East Asia, must have been challenging to shoot in some of the areas.


SS: The locations were very local to us. One of the towns is called Beiseker, our offices used to be there a year or so ago. Then the other regions were Bragg Creek and just on the outskirts of Calgary. These are popular filming locations in Alberta for major studios. We shoot in private locations which makes filming easier. Filming in the woods is always challenging due to lack of power, so we had to do a lot of prep work!


DMR: Curious about the change of seasons and such, looks like some scenes were filmed in far colder weather than others.


SS: One of the strange things about living in Calgary, we have four seasons in one afternoon. Lasts week we were in 35 degrees, today there is snowfall. We were able to catch some of the different seasons due to our location. In addition we did shoot some scenes out of sequence to catch the weather we needed.

 


 Above Photo: Provided by Suza Singh



DMR: Chat about the casting of 'Honorable Sins', since it was filmed pre-pandemic, did you have the opportunity to do a table read?


SS: When we started 'Honorable Sins', there was no lock down so we filmed as normal. The film did take a long time to shoot and was not like most 20 day shoots back to back. I usually don’t do table reads, I just go into rehearsals where I can see and hear everything in context.


DMR: Curious of any changes made to the script or dialogue just prior to shooting, are there scenes you wanted to extend for dramatic effect?


SS: Lots of changes to the script throughout the film. The script is a guide more than a rigid document. There was also some adlibs from our actors that remained in the film. Our first draft of the film, it was 15 minutes longer than what you see now. I had to edit down quite a bit in order to keep the pace steady.


DMR: Any strange or funny stories from the set?


SS: A funny story was that at the theatre for our premiere a lady who worked at the theatre asked me if I was going to submit to film festivals. I said I would not be submitting at all. My decision was to move onto my next project without too much fanfare. After we won an Excellent Film Award I thought I would submit to ‘just one more festival’ and the rest as they say is history! One additional funny story is that we have won awards and been played around the world but we have never once been selected or been screened in any festival big or small in Alberta!


DMR: Chat about bringing Honorable Sins to the film festival market, I see many events have expressed interest.


SS: We have received around 20 nominations, and awards including Best Western, Best Female Director, Best Ensemble, Best Young Actress, Best Thriller and Excellent Film Award. We have been pleasantly surprised with the response.


DMR: Although the audience now can rent the film out direct, do you have a streaming service or outlet you would like to use for final distribution?


SS: We are happy to announce that we have a distributor in Canada called Cineplex. Cineplex is a Canadian wide theatre chain, before last year I basically lived there, as I am a complete movie buff. We were very pleased to have secured this distributor.


DMR: Chat about the rise in prominence of female directors Worldwide. How has this helped the chance to get films financed and distributed?


SS: I am happy to see many more women Directors around, it is always a positive move to see narratives told from different perspectives. Many of the Women Directors have come from a more traditional route. Coming from the acting world appears to be a successful path for many women Directors, and also from the world of TV appears to be a good way to get your foot through the door. As Indie filmmakers we are not supported, or financed by any government agency in Canada. Many Canadian films are funded this way here (different from the US). I was told first hand by one of the funding organizations that they are not looking for my kind of material and want ‘Canadian content’ which translates to well, your guess is as good as mine!!!! As a person of color the kind of projects that typically get funded revolve around stories where the emphasis is ‘being a person of color’ refugees, abuse victims, victims of racial violence ad nauseam. Having a story where people of color are lead protagonists, but where color is not the main focus is not a desirable project for most funders in Canada. Therefore we took it upon ourselves to complete the movie. Some stories have to be told!



DMR: Wrapping up, chat about any additional ideas and projects you would like work on, and do you have some advice for someone who wants to do all three, Produce/Direct/Write a film.


SS: Honorable Sins is an example of 'Auteur film-making'. (Ed. Note: referring to a style-specific to the author). I think that many filmmakers are writing, directing and producing by necessity. I believe that this can work for many. For example I compose the score then I know how to film the shot along with the music in my head. My advice is 1. No one will finance your film, you have to find a way to do it. 2. Don’t take advice from anyone who has not made their own movie, and you enjoyed that movie. 3.Work in a way that works for you, not for others. I was told I had to change how I work but I decided I would stick to what I know best because on the day, the Director has to know who what where why and when. If you don’t like it change it, if it doesn’t work adapt. 4. Film-making like life is not a meritocracy, making a good product can help but it guarantees nothing. 5.Your movie might change some persons life in some small way, MAKE YOUR MOVIE!


For further information on 'Honorable Sins' point your browsers to the following official websites:


Official Facebook Page for 'Honorable Sins':


https://www.facebook.com/HonorableSins


IMDB page for 'Honorable Sins': https://www.imdb.com/title/tt9326646/


Official Website for 'Honorable Sins': https://www.infractionmedia.com/honorable-sins


Friday, June 25, 2021

Actress Rachel Grace Interview © 2021 Dan's Movie Report – Danny Templegod (House of Quarantine Chat!)

 

Above: Actress Rachel Grace (C) 2020 Robin Lorraine Photography, all rights reserved, image used for promotional purposes only, not monetized.

 

 

Greetings valued Dan's Movie Report readers. Actress Rachel Grace stops by and chats about her career and her new film 'House of Quarantine'. Rachel has some cool ideas and ways to improve, and shares her experiences. Sit down, relax, grab some tea and read what the talented Rachel has to say!


DMR: Please chat about your background and upbringing, and what made you decide to pursue acting? If you were not acting, what other profession or jobs would you have?

RG: When I was younger I tried a little of everything: dance, choir, band, and theatre. I realized in college I enjoyed acting, but not necessarily on stage. I really enjoy doing commercials and film, and that has been my side job whenever I can. Full time I work as a financial analyst, and I love that job as well! So acting is a fun, creative outlet for me and something enjoyable to do besides finance.

DMR: Chat about your  auditioning processes in general, is there a routine you follow?

RG: When I get an audition I read over the script multiple times without focusing on memorizing the lines. Then I create a story for the character, who are they, what happens before and after this, what is the emotion they’re going through? Once I get this down I memorize the lines.

Above: House of Quarantine Poster (C) 2020 All rights reserved, image used for promotional purposes only, not monetized.


DMR: How did you get the part as Macy? Did you test for other roles?

RG: I didn’t know exactly what each character was and what part I was auditioning for. The sides I had were a general female role from what I remember. From what I knew I was just auditioning for one of the college aged students. I think before the audition, casting had an idea of who we could play, but final choices were made after they saw us in person and saw that we were a good fit.

DMR: Interesting how the roles on films can change over time. How long was your portion of the filming process and did you encounter any major changes to your dialogue?

RG: I was on set for every day, but had a lot of downtime between my scenes. I had some changes to dialogue at the end. The ending of the script was adjusted last minute so some of that ended up being improvised.

DMR: Were you able to add any of your own personality to the movie or were things rigidly worked out ahead of time?

RG: I think a lot of it was worked out in the script, we also got direction from the director on what emotions were happening in that moment. From what I remember there wasn’t room for too much extra input from the actors.

DMR: Nice to hear how organized the script and directing was from
Mitesh Kumar Patel What about watching the final product, are you over critical of your performance or do you look for the positives?

RG: I think I will always be over critical of my own work. Since then I have gotten an acting coach and work on scenes and emotions regularly. I am always looking for ways to improve and make the next projects better.

DMR: I love seeing people growing through learning. What is your next project and share some advice that a coach or mentor gave you in your early acting career that has helped you?

RG: I don’t have any huge next projects coming up, although I work on print and commercial work here and there. My acting coach always says, find out the emotion of the scene first. The best scenes always have a clear emotion. In addition to that, it is better to not show emotion on the face but rather have the audience feel what you’re going through by the subtext you’re putting out.

Thank you!
Rachel Grace 

DMR: Thank you Rachel for your time and thoughtful responses 


For further information on Ms Grace, please visit her IMDB page:


https://www.imdb.com/name/nm10506930/



Monday, June 21, 2021

House of Quarantine (2020) Movie Review © 2021 Dan's Movie Report – Danny Templegod

 

Above Image: (C) 2021 Gavitas Ventures, all rights reserved, used for promotional use only, image not monetized.
From Gavitas Ventures, HOUSE OF QUARANTINE launches its poster ahead of its theatrical release and VOD rollout on all major platforms on July 20th. 

Director Mitesh Patel (Anti-Coronavirus, Instant Karma) brings together a diverse cast for a tense, edge-of-your-seat thriller shot during the COVID lockdowns of 2020. 

SYNOPSIS:
Nine people have been locked down together in a house while trying to shoot a movie. Unknowingly, one of their group is infected with COVID-19. The next three weeks become a life and death struggle for survival with no help from the outside amidst a global pandemic and national chaos.
 
 


Greetings valued Dan's Movie Report readers. Across my desk today comes a film made during quarantine, about a quarantine of a more extreme variety. 'House of Quarantine' has a group in a home, who happen to be making a movie, so in essence we are watching a movie, about making a movie. Being brutally honest the first 20 or so minutes of the film I really did not care for, but the final hour is really amazing as things take a decidedly dark turn, no spoilers!


There is a film director, a sound guy, a PA, and of course the stars all together in the producer's house. When it appears that no one is allowed to even leave their own home, actually this did happen in China and parts of Italy, they become increasingly agitated and scared, lashing out at one another.


I really cannot describe the movie without spoiling the plot. I could classify this film as a thriller, as there are no exterior forces, no monsters, and no supernatural elements. The acting is average, but not too bad for this level of film, some seems a bit wooden, but again the story is solid in the second half.


Director Mitesh Kumar Patel seems to focus on what he wants out of his actors. Because they are supposedly stuck inside the same house for over two weeks, they do not have a change of clothes except for the lead actors. I think although this understandable they are in a home so I would have to figure the owner of the home would at least have t shirts and shorts etc... Let us just say other things in the home were taken or removed, but not clothing!


There is some action and violence near the middle and the end, some things are predictable, some are not, again solid story, but nothing Earth-shattering. The lighting, music and sound are decent, slightly above the B movie level. Rachel Grace as Macy and Zoey Walker as Brenna seemed to rise above the rest of the cast Zoey in particular had some great sarcastic lines, plus she has potential as a strong actress in the future. The rest of the cast were solid enough to not waiver or slow down the story.


Overall, I just thought the first 20 minutes were tedious, even though this was setting up the story, the house was not super nice but say upper middle class, color grading was a bit drab. With all of those detraction's yet 'House of Quarantine' is worthy of a rent, and rates a 6 out of 10!


Sunday, June 20, 2021

The Fatal Raid (2019) Movie Review – © 2020 Dan's Movie Report – Danny Templegod

 

Above Image: Theatrical Release Photo for The Fatal Raid. (C) 2019 Yes Culture Limited https://www.yes.com.hk/thefatalraid All rights reserved, image not monetized, and used for promotional use only.


Greetings valued Dan's Movie Report and Action-Flix.com readers. Thanks to John over at Action-Flix I heard about 'The Fatal Raid' being released in the USA on Well-Go, yet the film was actually released a couple of years back in Asia and is actually available to buy as an import with English subtitles. Being an old guy, ha the HK Girls with Guns and action films from the 1988 thru 1998 era are just amazing to me, I can easily recommend many of them, including 'Her Name is Cat' and of course 'Naked Killer', I always thought that one of the really underrated films was the essential remake of LeFemme Nikita entitled 'The Black Cat' far better than the U.S. Remake, actress Jade Leung is a power house talent that I always thought could easily have been at a level of Maggie Q or Michelle Yeoh given her demeanor and skill. I always wondered what would happen if a 1990s style girl with guns film, shot in the same style would be like in the modern era. The end has a cool twist to tie things in from the 'The Black Cat', no spoilers!


Again it is VERY important to know, these films are highly violent with some softer interludes, but ultimately they are lower budget B movie fare, yet 'The Fatal Raid' manages to bridge the gap and mix younger and older people, thus audience for this should be higher. Well-Go USA is absolutely the right company to release this, I must say, PLEASE Jade Leung, continue and give it another go, even if it more in a supervisory role.


In 1995 Jade played a rookie police woman who enlists a pimp to help her catch the person who attacked her called 'Fox Hunter' so this 2019 film is kind of like her passing through the force, yes they are unrelated, but oddly they are. I recommend watching Jade in 'The Black Cat' and 'Fox Hunter' prior to watching 'The Fatal Raid'.


'The Fatal Raid' has a definitive style, yet minus the high tech cell phones, cars and presentation, the style hearkens back to a day before the handover of HK to China when movies were really thriving, Yes gone are the hypersexualized cat III or Category 3 films like 'Robotrix' another crazy film I recommend, yet 'The Fatal Raid' has that seething under, intense quality that is sadly missing in many HK films after 1998.


The action in 'The Fatal Raid' is more explosive when it happens, yet enough downtime occurs to not be lost in the madness. There is a particular scene in the middle, I will not spoil yet it involves some pretty crazy on purpose car crash, yet they never over exploit the violence. The film's setting in Macau may have had something to do with the exterior action, but who knows.


'The Fatal Raid' is a classic crime drama, mixed with action. Director Jackie Lee, has a firm grasp on the style of movie he wants to make. Veteran actors Michael Tong and Patrick Tam adds an air of experience and authority. What I like here is that the ladies are also experienced with Jade Leung and Kristy Yeung. I think the experience of the actors really helps the director to create a more entertaining, and detailed story film as well.


The fact that you have 50 year old vets, some 30 year old and younger starring in 'The Fatal Raid; is important. To have a random older person in a supervisory role just to have them in a film is often a tactic used and thus they only have to be seen, either on the phone or in their office. Jade and Michael Tong are both over 50 yet, action for them is not just a second thought.


My only real problem with this film aesthetically is the entire film even at the brightest settings needed some more vibrant color correction, that said, it looks just like a film shot in the 1990s so if that is what they were going for, the succeeded.


Musically 'The Fatal Raid' is unobtrusive, but in a good way, it gets very loud during the action, and a low tense hum during the tense dialogue. Several different styles were used, even one heavy rock song!

The sound is clear and even though the film is not in English, the voices are easy to hear as well as the inflection.


Dealing with the action, there is a pretty crazy opening scene in a brothel or something like that which really kicks things off, yet the rest of the film is more of a police procedural with action interspersed.

The ladies are not afraid one bit of the action, I am sure doubles were used in some parts, but it is not as obvious as some films so good work.


At just 91 minutes, trying to tell a story that should have ran another 10-15 minutes is hard, but then again, this is the norm now for direct to video as it was back in the late 80s early 90s HK film era. I just wanted more, more drawn out action sequences, a bit of a back story on the new characters. Jade Leung, is also not in the film as much as I would have liked to see, but she is in there, so points for that


Was reading that this film was written and directed by Jackie Lee, a daunting task for the man, and kudos for assembling such a cast, as a second time feature film maker. I hope to see more of his work in the future, hopefully a US release of this film will help all involved.


'The one who breaks the law should be punished' is one of the quotes in this film, and the kind police lady who says this means business, yet so do the criminals! No dumb police here, these ones are no keystone cops!


Overall, I could go on and on, just go out and get either the upcoming USA version or the original Asian version as both are on Amazon! The 'Girls with Guns' HK style 1988 to 1998 genre is back! Would love to do an interview with Jade Leung! OK I have to put it out there! This is a very specific genre film so I rate it based on how it would interest fans like myself of these films, and thus rates a solid 7 out of 10.


For further info go to www.wellgousa.com

To buy the film: https://www.amazon.com/Fatal-Raid-Region-English-Subtitled/dp/B085VRB5KK/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=the+fatal+raid&qid=1624219907&sr=8-2


Amazon has the pre-release sale as it will unleash on August 24th https://www.amazon.com/Fatal-Raid-Blu-ray-Jacky-Lee/dp/B093QCHWRV/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=the+fatal+raid&qid=1624219979&sr=8-1


Blu-Ray for under 20 dollars is well worth your time!

 

Below is the original theatrical trailer for 2019: