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!

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Interface (2019) Movie Review (Short Film) (C) 2019 Dan's Movie Report

Above: Poster for Interface (C) 2019 Ramcity

Greetings Dan's Movie Report and readers, today across my desk comes the completed Interface 30 minute short film. Writer/Director Ben Ramsey tells me that not only has he finished the final edit of Interface, that he has two screenings taking place! The first one will take place on
Thursday October 3rd at the American Film Institute Mark Goodson Theater. The event starts at 8pm!

Above: Screening information in LA for Interface!


The second screening takes place at the Urban Action Showcase. The event is at the AMC 25 Times Square Theater. Times and screening information should be posted soon go to for more information.

Above: Chris Jai Alex as Lazarus faces off against Kinyumba Mutakabbir who portrays DCS Agent Andre Bakari (C) 2019 Ramcity

In the world of indie sci-fi action Interface stands head and shoulders above the competition. The film actually is more a tease to a possible series or feature, yet feels polished and slick, ready for unveiling to a wide audience.

Chris Jai Alex plays Lazarus, a man determined to undermine the status quo in the dystopia near future of Interface. In the world of Interface there is no TV, no video games, only a direct neuro-net implant that allows the user to experience in real time whatever sensation they desire, from the mundane to the fanatical. Want to eat at a fine restaurant on the other side of the Earth, easy. Want to ski a mountain, or have a lurid encounter, just jack into the Interface. Of course there are downsides, as the users become controlled automatons easily manipulated by others in control of the network.

Of course there is an elite squad patrolling the city. Kinyumba Mutakabbir plays Andre Bakari, an agent in a gang task force assigned to bring in Lazarus. The DCS squad maintains order in high tech levitating and sky patrolling vehicles. Quite detailed CGI work for an indie feature screams a big screen and 4k resolution. 

Actress and all around bad ass Michelle C Lee plays Agent Brix! (C) 2019 Ramcity.

Joining the DCS squad is the feisty Michelle C Lee as Agent Brix. Michelle is a great actress and stunt professional, and not one to shy away from action. Speaking of action actress Sofie Norman is all out insane as the violent Lenora Cree. Sofie plays the hothead agent willing to go into battle. Kudos to Arnold Chon and the team behind the action Interface delivers constant action and scintillating Sci-fi.

 Above: Sofie Norman gets bloody in Interface (C) 2019 Ramcity

Lenora Cree gets rough and tumble in Interface. Actually she has to take a beating to even go into the battle!

A tight 30 minutes teases what is next for Interface. The property can go in many directions, from film to episodic TV. Hard R rated properties find a home on Netflix, and Interface screams streaming platform with little restrictions.

Overall this is a spectacular example of what can be accomplished in independent cinema. Interface rates a very strong 9 out of 10. If you live in LA or New York make sure to attend one of the early screenings. Be on the lookout for future updates on new screenings. Watch for exclusives later in 2019 on Dan's Movie Report and

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

What Death Leaves Behind (2018) Movie Review (C) 2019 Dan's Movie Report

Above: Poster of What Death Leaves Behind from IMDB

Greetings valued Dan's Movie Report readers. Thanks to producer Rachel, I was able to obtain a couple of What Death Leaves Behind: The Kidney. I first heard about the film from actress Erin O'Brien. I must admit, I had certain ideas about this film before I watched it, that said, it is nothing at all like I thought. I kind of was expecting a taught horror, or thriller, instead What Death Leaves Behind is more of a drama, that delivers a perplexing yet interesting yarn about a man who receives a kidney, and the moral and psychological implications.

Above Photo: Filmmakers from What Death Leaves Behind at Sundance. L to R Chad Morton (EP/Co Writer) Rachel K. Ofori (Producer/Casting Director/Co-Writer) Scott Hamilton (Director/DP/Co-Writer) Photo Copyright: Kevin Hackenbergh

Khalil McMillan  portrays Jake Warren, a man whose kidneys are failing. He is shown going to the dialysis center lamenting his place on the kidney doner list. The list is long, and it is very real sometimes years have to be waited and quite often the person dies prior to getting the kidney or whatever organ is needed.

Jake Warren, tries his hardest to maintain a regular HVAC repairman job, with his wife and child berating the difficulties of dealing with his increasingly difficult life. Christopher Mann, who is in virtually every scene of the film really breathes life into the character. The audience will feel his pain, and the character study in What Death Leaves Behind is quite masterful.

Above Photo: Cast @ LA theatrical premiere 9-11-19 (Jared Grange, Marlowe Freeman, Johnny Alonso, Amanda Diaz, Erin O'brien. Dennis Jeantet, 
Shaira Barton, Vincent Young, Scott Hamilton, Chad Morton (C) 2019 Jones Effects

Jake Warren's wife is played with angst and trepidation by Shaira Barton. She feels his pain, yet tries to retain some semblance of a normal life. Shaira really does a nice job, very natural delivery never overacting, just in the moment of her character, a real life study of the people affected by this dire health issue.

Eventually Jake has some reoccurring nightmares, a lucid, yet lurid dream of the people donating the organs meet their demise in horrible ways. What Death Leaves Behind raises many moral questions, yet never preaches the answers, the audience is left to decide the course of action and what is real or what is imagined.

Normally I do not like ambiguous endings yet this one is finite, yet leaves open the various possibilities, were these people really murdered or is it some sick and twisted fantasy, made up for a story of a dying man?

The look of the film and quality of filming is very strong. Obviously this is a lower budget film, yet it never feels cheap. I thought director Scott A Hamilton got his cast to really emote and accent the gravity of the plot. There are no divas and no over actors here. Each person in What Death Leaves Behind is given a character to work with, and stays firmly within the parameters. Dialogue is not overly complicated, yet will leave some questions for the audience to ponder, which is obviously the idea.

Above: Trailer from YouTube

Overall, What Death Leaves Behind: The Kidney is not a horror, nor thriller film by any stretch, yet should keep audiences entertained for the 87 minute length. I feel that the film's rating should be an 8 out of 10, just make sure that prior to watching it, you know going in that it is a drama.

Rachel, the producer informed me that the film is currently doing a limited theatrical run in various cities, please point your browser to:

Join the film makers in Miami for a theatrical screening of What Death Leaves Behind October 10th at 8:30pm at the Aventura 24 Theater

Follow and connect with the film on the official social media pages: 

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Avengement (2019) Movie Review (C) 2019 Dan's Movie Report

Above: Avengement Poster (C) 2019 Samuel Goldwyn films

Greetings valued Dan's Movie Report and readers. I know I am a bit late to the party on Avengement, but a Netflix watch yields my thoughts. Jesse V. Johnson directs this character driven revenge film. Scott Adkins plays Cain Burgess, a man unwillingly drawn into a life of crime by his brother and his cohorts.

Adkins serves a stint in a tough prison, and the audience is privy to some of his many altercations and issues that arise. He is repeatedly beaten and tormented, yet seems to retain his cool until the end, when hell breaks loose.

The story unfolds in a series of flashbacks told in a private club with his enemies held locked in. Normally I think that this is an odd way of letting a plot develop, but, here it works with the players in tow. Although we never learn that much about each thug that has done Cain wrong, we learn enough to allow for an entertaining yarn, in between the fights.

Avengement is most effective during the action. Long fights, extended takes, copious blood and bones broken, Avengement takes no prisoners in action, yet I kind of wish there was a bit more dialogue. Decidedly British, the film has a rough feel, yet retains the energy throughout.

Kudos to all of the fight people involved in Avengement, hard work on this film and it shows. Time was taken to show emotion in the faces of the people involved. Make no mistake about it, Avengement is a guys film, in fact all of the people in the film are guys, mostly big rough guys. That said, Kingston Wareing plays the bartender in the private Jockey Club, and she shines as a ray of light in a see of hardened men!

Seriously though the film is pretty good, some of the dialogue is a trifle hard to hear, and the thick English accent warrants a subtitle feed, to understand all of the talking. The accouterments of the film are very well done, camera work, lighting, and music add to the tension and excitement. What I really liked is the pace of the film. There is an urgency to Avengement, gravity of the situation is heavy, and the actors realize it, and even in the retold stories, there is an air of tension.

Having watched a bunch of Adkins films over the past several years, I can say that Avengement is one of his better films, My favorite of the bunch is probably The Debt Collector, that said, the action in Avengement is so good, and worthy of a purchase, or now a definite NETFLIX watch.

Overall, I struggled with a rating, due to the action, I bump it up to a 7.5 out of 10. The story unfolds as the film progresses, would have liked to see a bit more of a back story, yet was satisfied by the amazing action and ending.

Avengement is available all over, and you can now watch it on Netflix. I would say support these hard R rated action films! Much respect to the talented action people involved, sweat was poured in Avengement!

Keep it locked on Dan's Movie Report and for more exclusives throughout 2019!