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!

Crossing Point Movie Review (C) 2016 Dan's Movie Report

Above Photo: IMDB poster picture

Greetings Dan's Movie Report readers, today the film 'Crossing Point' is reviewed. Director Daniel Zirilli states that this is his best film to date and is very proud of the way it turns out. 'Crossing Point' marks a change in Zirilli's career as this is a serious story driven film as opposed to the normal action. Ivan wong describes the film on IMDB as A young American couple in love, Michael (Shawn Lock) and Olivia (María Gabriela de Faría) vacation in Baja, but things take a frightening turn when Olivia is kidnapped by drug dealer, who demands that Michael smuggle a backpack full of cocaine-stolen from a rival cartel-over the border into the U.S. within twelve hours or else Olivia will be killed. A good Tijuana Cop is on the trail, as Michael navigates the treacherous underworld of Mexico, and he himself becomes a force to be reckoned with...

I can say while this description is pretty accurate, it does not convey the sombre mood and undertones of the complexity in the story.   'Crossing Point' is gritty, hard, and unforgiving. It is easy to lump it into the 'Taken' category, but it is a different motivation. 'Crossing Point' deals with issues of personal trust, and Michael has to move through the seedy side of Mexico with shards of clues on her location, and to get her back.

Things are not what they seem, and there are many twists and turns along the path of 'Crossing Point', and I am not going to spoil it. Maria Gabriela de Faria, is a great young actress and is given a lot to do, and emotions to convey. She keeps her emotional outbursts natural and believable, throughout the film. Tom Sizemore has a cool role, not going to spoil it, but he is intense in 'Crossing Point'.

The entire film appears to shot with a yellow tinge, perhaps to convey a dusty environment, it looks very cool like Robert Rodriguez homage! In fact 'Crossing Point' should mark Daniel Z's eventual move to directing big budget action films. He keeps his characters focused, even the minor characters in 'Crossing Over' are well cast, and their quality on film shines through.

Overall the 92 minute film, is well written, great musical score, and shows the truculent side of Mexico from the view of someone who did not asked to be put in the situation. 'Crossing Point'  rates an 8 out of 10, a must own!


Thursday, May 5, 2016

Displacement Movie Review (C) 2016 A Dan's Movie Report Exclusive!

Above Photo: Festival Poster for 'Displacement'

Mind bending reality, a deception of what is real and what is fantasy. 'Displacement' melds film genres. Writer/Director Kenneth Mader has put together his clever masterpiece, and slowly it is rolling out to film festivals nationwide. Recently Dallas had a screening, and for those outside the know, brush up on lead actress Courtney Hope, from our 2014 interview

Obviously, this being a preliminary review, there will be no plot spoilers. 'Displacement' is an intellectual movie, with moderate levels of action, but where there is action, it is undulating and evoking angst. Kenneth assembled an excellent acting cast including Sarah Douglas as Dr. Miles. For those unaware who she is, watch the first two 'Superman' films she is Ursa.  Golden Globe winner Susan Blakely portrays Carol Sinclair. Veteran actor Bruce Davison portrays Prof. Peter Deckard.

The acting highlight, however is the lead star Courtney Hope, she reminds me of Noomi Rapace, like a dangerous panther, yet humble and caring at the same time. In 'Displacement' she portrays a young physics student named Cassie Sinclair. Cassie must reverse a quantum time anomaly and solve the murder of her boyfriend. 

Cassie moves through the film searching for answers, from physics, reality, and time shifting symbolic items. Get ready to pay full attention to detail in 'Displacement', as the placement of particular objects is one of the central themes of the film.

Forceful and intellectual, 'Displacement' rocks chasms in time! The film is not for the intellectually challenged, it will create a discussion among viewers long after the credits roll. Why do films have to follow a simple pattern, 'Displacement' blasts outside the realm of normal film structure and falls into the questioning the viewer zone. The 122 minute festival cut,, allows audiences to feel the emotional connection of the characters. Writer/Director Kenneth Mader and his entire crew spent a great deal of time perfecting the character development, and overall sense of mood in 'Displacement'.

Everything about 'Displacement' was top notch, from the editing, to the underlying musical score. This is an indie project with big budget quality, yeah it is that cool. If you like your movies with a twist of time, and a quantum shift, and hate the bland linear structure and neat wrapped up pre-packaged normal Hollywood material get displaced haha! Overall 'Displacement' is highly recommended by Dan's Movie Report and rates a 9 out of 10, a must buy. Actress Courtney Hope, in less than a few years will be accepting worldwide awards for her passion and talent as an actress, mark my words. 

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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Action Actress Monique Ganderton Interview (C) 2016, A Dan's Movie Report Exclusive!

All Photos Unless otherwise noted  (C) 2016

Greetings valued Dan's Movie Report readers. Four years ago I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Actress/Stuntwoman Monique Ganderton. Her star has risen to super hero status. In 2016 the indie film she starred in, 'The Hunted' sees a release, and she is involved in huge projects including X-Men: Apocalypse', 'Captain America: Civil War', and 'Suicide Squad'. Monique chats about life in the business, being a world class stunt action hero, and gives my audience her creative mind to match. It is time to go one on one with Monique, get your pencils ready, cause it is time to learn MO! 3-2-1- Go!

Chat about how you got involved with The Hunted Feature Film. Casting etc...
'The Hunted' was definitely a passion project for Bob. To be honest ... It was so long ago I don't even remember how Bob asked me! I know he had seen Sam and I's Short film 'Seven Layer Dip' and I think he just reached out and I was stoked to be the lead on an indie film! It was a great experience! For more info:

Although you have acting credits discuss some of the transitions and challenges for you to become the leading lady in 'The Hunted'?
I didn't see 'The Hunted' as a challenge in a negative way at all. I love working on a small family type project. I was able to play and practice and try anything I wanted in a really comfortable safe environment. It was great! Everyone that worked on it had a voice that was heard and then Bob ultimately decided the direction it would go. I loved the finished product. I think Bob did a great job, and I laughed out loud so many times watching it! 

I am assuming you have a bit of a fun sarcastic side, and enjoy the humor of this style of movie.

Absolutely! I thought every single actor totally kicked ass in this. The humor is right up my alley. 'The Hunted' really let us open up and try anything. It reminds me of how restrictive working on a studio project can be. A lot of times it doesn't feel like an open collaboration and that is just the nature of corporate film making. It goes through a lot of approval channels before it gets to the actor so a lot of times you are basically a puppet. Not always of course but it is common.

Robert Chapin is a legend in 80s and 90s B movies, and 'The Hunted' had that cool factor, did you challenge your inner B movie self?

I love the tone of the movie. I felt everyone else was living the B movie dream and my character was watching them from the present. I think that is what her part was to ironically be the voice of reason and a Vampire!

Does working with great friend Tara and other fantastic action ladies like Lauren and Michelle Lee, makes the days go by much easier?

I love all these ladies so much! I am a huge supporter of women in film and these women all bring their unique bad ass selves to the table. It was so much fun.

What are your thoughts on the final film?

I loved the movie! I laughed so hard and really enjoyed the effects and the tone. It was made for the price of a beer so the love and hard work  that went into it really showed.  I wish we had had 5 million to play with. We could have really really nailed it with that (amount), but that will be the next one right?

Chat about working on Jesse Johnson's 'The Package' and playing a bad girl surprisingly named Monique. I know you love indie action, how was it working with Stone Cold Steve Austin onset, heard he was a pretty no nonsense guy.

Steve was great!!! He's "No Nonsense" but has a grey wry and dry sense of humor! I really enjoyed my experience with him. I got to tie him to a chair and punch him a bunch so that was fun!  

Above Pic: Monique and Stone Cold in 'The Package' (C) 2012 Anchor Bay

Your work in 'The Package' was memorable! I think you make a great bad girl in film, do you like playing the mischievous bad girl or protagonist, or is it more of a case by case basis

I feel like my HIT (Actors use this term to describe the casting 'Stereotype' we exude) is a strong and 'bad girl' type. I am very physical, so I tend to book roles that need that domineering physical presence. However, I personally feel very connected to comedy and I am also a very emotional person so I love exploring that as well. I will cry and I will yell and I will explore the vulnerable emotions that maybe casting sometimes wouldn't expect a tough stunt woman to have. But, I am a human being with emotions. a lot of them. I love to go there, to express myself, and to connect with the character in whatever way is needed to tell the story. 

A dynamic individual. Monique, It has been a 4 year gap since out last interview, where we chatted about 'X-men: The Last Stand', and alas, now you are Death in the new 'X-men Apocalypse', I know it is a guarded secret, but can you shed some light on your character and how long you were on set for the project?

I play Death. That is all I can say! But I can tell you, I absolutely loved watching Bryan Singer do his thing. I know he has a reputation for being nuts and this and that. Sure. But watching the passion he brings to set and to the characters is unreal. He literally will act out the scene and make it come alive. It was fun for me to watch his process! I also got to work with my buddies Rochelle Okoye, Fraser Aitcheson and Warren Sheer. We had major giggle fits on that set. Praise Berg!(Ed Note: Make sure you watch for Monique her scene is in the beginning of Apocalypse!)

If you could be any comic book hero who would it be?

Captain Marvel!!!! I know she's usually Blond, but she's tall and bad ass!

Monique is tall and very bad ass! I saw the demo of you on a horse fighting Xena style are you up for the Xena reboot?

 I wish!!! I think they are going really young, maybe I could be her cool, young mom. HA!

Very cool! DC or Marvel, have to ask? Or does it matter as long as the story is good? What are your favorites to watch? Do you like the dark shows like Netflix 'Daredevil'?

To be honest, I really haven't had time for the action TV shows. I watched the first EP of 'Daredevil' and it was great! I want to watch more for sure. I am definitely partial to Marvel films. I love the fun nature, and the action is great! I love a good dark story too though. I am looking forward to seeing 'Suicide Squad'!

Red Carpet from 'Civil War' Premiere (C)

'Captain America: Civil War' and 'Suicide Squad', a busy year for you in action, can you describe any of the stunts or situations you had to do on those projects? Perhaps share a couple of funny or interesting stories from the set.

'Captain America' was obviously AMAZING because I got to work with Sam. Its hard to explain my role on that show. He would have too explain it. I did help out with the organizing of his brain during the action designing. I was on set as his right hand for a lot of it and helped organize folks for the crazy pre vis schedule. Sam was spread very thin on that show so I helped where I could. 

'Suicide Squad' is hilarious because I doubled Cara Delvigne for a small portion during the initial shoot and then Tara Macken doubled her for the re-shoots with Sam while I've been in Canada working! So funny! It will probably be the first and last time we double the same person! I love it! And she totally KILLED it. Cant wait to see the movie!

Wow you and Tara doubling the same actress, that is cool, ha! Shifting gears, I am really excited about 'Coldest City' looks cool, I see you are doubling Charlize Theron, and are credited as the Assistant Stunt coordinator. I know this will be full of action, can you chat about working on the project?  Also do you like to work in Europe as much as the USA or does it matter as long as the material is great.

Yes 'Coldest City' will be a whole other interview closer to its release date! It was an amazing experience. I loved Budapest. What an amazing city!!! And Berlin is one of my favorite cities in the world. I love it so much.

I am sure we will get into that closer to the release date. Chat about Charlize Theron, she seems intense and driven, a real force in action. Did 'Mad Max' inspire you to up your own game more? How is she to work with, quiet, reserved, or fun?

Haha! We challenged Charlize beyond anything she's done before in this movie. 'Mad Max' wasn't even on the radar for us. It was basically, Make Charlize the most bad ass ACTOR - male or female. And She brought it. She's up there with Hugh and Keanu... probably better actually, because she puts her Oscar on the action. BOOM!!

Charlize is one of my all time favorite actresses, is there any actress you have not doubled but would like to, or a project you would love to work on?

Honestly I don't have a lot of actors in my mind that I haven't doubled. Charlize was always one and Sigourney Weaver. I would love to double her again, or work with her again in something!

Not mentioning the project of course, have you had any experiences you would not put yourself though again, bad situations. Perhaps share a bit about it leaving specifics out, unless you want to.

I used to feel like I had to (say) yes to jobs or I would never work again. Now I say no to people I don't trust. I have had a coordinator say: "come for martinis and Ill think about hiring you". I've had whiplash because a rigger didn't listen to my concerns. Basically told me to shut up, and do the gag. I have watched horses flip over with actors on them, I have been asked to do ratchets all day with no adjustments, I have seen coordinators set actors up for failure so the stunt person looks better, The list goes on and on. I don't work with these people. There are amazing, respectful, safe coordinators out there and if I can say anything to new folks: Trust your gut. If your not comfortable, chances are something is wrong, or will go wrong. You should fully understand the stunt, and be able to openly voice concerns to the coordinator.

Excellent advice Mo, let us shift the topic again. How about dream projects for Mo, You and Sam directing a feature film is in the cards in the near future? You guys have the talent and skills for it, and plenty of animals and friends to help, ever think about it?

Everyday! I think about it literally everyday! Sam and I have been so busy working that its a matter of us saying no, and doing our own project. Its a hard thing to do, but at some point you have to pause and take a risk to get to where you want to go!

I know the area of film in Georgia is pretty controversial now, what needs to be done to keep the business in Georgia?

I think for now the pressure from studios to veto the Religious freedom bill has done some good for the state. But the bigger issue is that there are no laws currently protecting LGBT from discrimination. Or anyone who is a non Believer (Of a Christian God) for that matter. Did you that is 7 us states you if you deny a Christian 'God' then you may not enter into public office? There is work to be done against all kinds of discrimination so baby steps! And Nathan Deal veto'ing that bill was a good step in the right direction. In my opinion.

I appreciate your honest opinion about non movie related subjects. Another sore subject for me also is the lack of Academy Awards for stunt people. I think two need to be given, one for best stunt, and one for best coordinator, as you have sound and sound editing etc, what do you think has to be done to change the mind of the Academy?

I think it is definitely feasible to have a Best Stunt Coordinator Oscar. It is a long time coming, especially with Mad Max being nominated so many times, as well as all the massive action movies getting Oscars for visual effects and sound. Its time. The film content these days is full of stunts and deserves recognition.

Any statements you would like to make to action fans, how do you feel the state of action film is currently as opposed to say 10 yrs ago, more work, but more competition? Longer shoots etc...?

I feel like the massive surge of gaming and social media has limited the attention span of viewers and it is reflected in film. In the action especially. Its a hunch, but I'm guessing there is a lot of thought that goes into how the younger target audience perceives action. Quick ferocious editing and a super fast pacing. I watched 'Lego' movie and 'Zootopia' and the amount of information being thrown into little minds these days is staggering. It happened to our parents and grandparents... now its us. Ill be talking about the good 'ole' stunts to my kids I'm sure, as they are watching interactive hologram movies HA!

Perhaps compare this 'X-men Apocalypse' film to 'X-men The Last Stand'. Has the technology helped more?

The past 'X-men' movies relied on the Stunt creativity to create the illusions of these super hero skills. Lots of clever wire work blending with the CGI of the time. Now you can more readily fall back on CGI to fulfill your vision. It has its pros and cons for sure. We are experiencing worlds we never could have before but ... we are also losing that tangible human creativity. Those Mcguyver moments. Those Jim Hansen moments. There is something quite beautiful about a movie that had human hands  building the world.

In 10 years Mo is directing, stunts, acting, or growing organic gardens, riding her horse, and gathering eggs, or a combination of everything?

Could be any and all of the above! I live in the moment, driven by the moment so anything can happen. I would love to direct Act and I still love stunts. My body not so much though. As for different futures.. If I book a series acting, get pregnant or get injured, my future changes. No matter what path I go down it will be the one I am supposed to be on and no matter, what path I will always have a garden and my horse around! I am as curious about the future as you are!

Final words of advice to people who want to do equine stunt work how often do you ride and practice etc.. you have a unique skill, chat about the relationship and trust with your horse. Short action demo with Monique and horse!

Horse stunts is an ethics question as much as it is a skills question. I am so close to my horses. I feel them, their curiosities and tendencies. And to be honest. They want to be roaming, socializing, exploring and experiencing on their own terms. I want to be the kind of person that is a positive experience for them. I love to hop on bareback with a roper halter and go on adventures. Ones that they enjoy. I have had mixed experiences with horses on set. Its a rough job for humans and more so on the animals. Of course there are great horse wranglers out there that take exceptional care of the animals and its these people I would work with.

Monique on the web: Facebook:
Official site, including short films @

Thanks so much Monique, Check out 'The Hunted' Support indie films!

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Sunday, May 1, 2016

The Martial Arts Kid (2015) Movie Review (Retail DVD) (C) 2016 Dan's Movie Report

Above Picture: Poster for 'The Martial Arts kid'

Greetings valued Dan's Movie Report readers, today we take a swerve into the family film genre. Kickstarted to the tune of over $175,000 'The Martial Arts Kid' deals with a myriad of real world scenarios. Robbie (Jansen Panetteire) deals with his mom's death, and eventually moves to Florida with his Aunt and Uncle (Cynthia Rothrock and Don 'The Dragon Wilson). Once in Florida life is marred by bulling.

With the rash of R rated and strong PG-13 rated films that basically are escapist entertainment, 'The Martial Arts Kid' is full of reality, a bully Bo, (Mathew Ziff IMDB link @ Matthew Ziff ), all knowing small town folk, and general regular people.

The rest of the film plays out a bit like the original 'Karate Kid' but updated to more of a real world, true life happening. There is a very good backstory tale in 'The Martial Arts Kid', by the time the audience gets to the meat of the story, the characters are well established, and the 103 minute film is the perfect length.

The large cast including Tj Storm, who plays a coach at 'Dojo Extreme' brings a sense of family, home life and honor to a subject that is often swept under the rug. Don 'The Dragon' Wilson waxes poetically describing the martial arts edict, distinctively describing the differences between that and street fighting.  Molding young minds is the message and in 'The Martial Arts Kid' it hits home.

The airy setting of Cocoa Beach, FL and the easy going music allow the viewer to be transported to a vacation like atmosphere, without being preachy. There is a copious amount of dialogue, dealing with relationships, family, and of course martial arts.  TJ Storm's character offers the lead character a choice to learn the more extreme way, 'winners and losers'. TJ brings his forceful, and honorable style to 'The Martial Arts Kid'.

The action is filmed very clearly, yeah! the audience can see the movements and hits. Obviously the main cast have decades in experience in martial arts, and I expected this family oriented film to show detailed form and movement.Of course there is humor, with Cynthia and Don, not everything is stuffy and serious.

After 'The Martial Arts Kid' had its long film festival run, it is nice to finally see a finished product. The retail packaging includes, a theatrical trailer, commentaries from film makers and actors, deleted scenes, and additional material.

I can definitely recommend 'The Martial Arts Kid' to anyone with kids, or a teacher, schools as required viewing. Even the casual viewer will find the message uplifting and inspiring. Overall, 'The Martial Arts Kid' rates a 8.5 out of 10, it is really cool.

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