11 items from 2014
For decades, law enforcement agencies have been warning people of a common phone scam: An elderly person receives a phone call from someone pretending to be the person's grandchild or other family member. The caller says he's desperate for money, and asks the victim to deposit money in a bank account. This scam is often successful; the elderly victims, feeling lonely and forgotten, want to help their family members and are easily conned.
Normally, the victims lose money but never meet the con artists or suffer any physical harm. But in the stylish thriller Two Step, the scam turns deadly and personal.
In the Austin-made film, career criminal Webb (James Landry Hébert) is part of ring of phone scammers, making his calls from prison. When he's released, he's ready to continue his criminal ways and reunite with his girlfriend and fellow scammer, Amy (Ashley Spillers). But the reunion doesn't go as planned. »
- Don Clinchy
Bloody footsteps can only hint at what lies in store for audiences of indie thriller Two Step in the first poster released for the movie. The film, the debut feature from writer/director Alex R. Johnson, premiered yesterday at the SXSW film festival in Austin, Texas and takes a look at the darker side of identity theft and how a quick scam can soon turn personal.
It stars newcomer Skyy Moore as James, a college drop-out who’s heads to his Grandma’s house for solace only for her to die and James to discover she’s been the victim of a scam duping her out of thousands of pounds. In order to put things right James must confront criminal Webb (James Landry Hebert) and his own set of problems.
- Victoria Bull
Don’t pay any attention to its baffling, boring title - Two Step is actually a nasty and riveting little flick that, thanks to its excellent execution and fine performances, should land at the top of any self-respecting thriller junkie’s watchlist.
Two Step opens with James (Skyy Moore), a dopey guy in his early twenties who, after being kicked out of college, finds himself tasked with settling the affairs of his recently deceased grandmother. When James discovers that his beloved relative was being conned out of thousands by a criminal masquerading as him over the phone, he foolishly decides to try to track down the man, a rough customer named Webb (James Landry Hébert), and confront him on his own. When Webb unexpectedly shows up on his grandmother’s doorstep and realizes James’ identity, things go south fast. With Webb growing more violent by the minute and no help on the way, »
- Isaac Feldberg
A slow-burn thriller with rich Texas flavor, “Two Step” reps a promising feature debut for writer-director Alex R. Johnson. This character-driven picture takes its time marinating in quiet conversations and Austin atmosphere, making the sudden jolts of violence all the more shocking when they land. The combination of low budget, unconventional approach and solid but largely unknown cast will likely limit the pic’s theatrical engagements to niche play, but a cult following could be in the offing, and crime-movie aficionados will want to seek it out on any available platform.
There’s already something haunted about reserved college student James (Skyy Moore) when we meet him on the way to visit his elderly grandmother. He’s barely set foot in her house before she passes away, leaving him everything she has, including the modest home. With nowhere else to go and no friends in the area — he hails from El Paso, »
- Geoff Berkshire
ComingSoon.net has your exclusive first look at the poster for Two Step , which is premiering at SXSW in Austin today, March 9th. Written and directed by Alex R. Johnson, the thriller stars Beth Broderick, James Landry Hebert, Skyy Moore, Jason Douglas and Ashley Rae Spillers. Kicked out of college, James visits Grams, his only remaining family, who dies shortly after his arrival. He finds consolation in the company of Grams' neighbor, Dot, a dance teacher, as he figures out his next move. While settling Grams' affairs, James learns she's been the victim of the "grandparent scam" in which someone posing as James has been slowly bilking her out of thousands. But before James can go looking for the culprit, he shows up at the front door, desperate for money. The culprit, »
SXSW is now underway, and there's a lot to choose from, and so to help those of you on the ground in Austin, we collected our 15 Most Anticipated Films Of The 2014 SXSW Film Festival. One we hope you'll make some time for, and featured on our list, is director Alex R. Johnson's feature debut "Two Step." Starring Beth Broderick, James Landry Hébert, Skyy Moore, Jason Douglas, Ashley Rae Spillers and more, the story follows James, a directionless college dropout, and Webb, a career criminal with his back against the wall, who violently collide. What brings them into each other's orbit is the "grandparent scam," which we see set in motion in this exclusive clip. It looks like a compelling thriller, and soundtrack folks will want to take note that Andrew Kenny, the founder of The American Analog Set and its more countrified successor The Wooden Birds, has penned a score for the flick. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Sundance just ended, and we are already preparing for the next big film festival, South By Southwest. Not too long ago, the festival announced a few of the films premiering this year, but now they’ve announced the main slate. The midnight selections and some inevitable late-breaking additions are still to be announced, but this should be more than enough to get you excited. Along with many World Premieres, and Sundance favorites like Richard Linklater’s Boyhood and Gareth Evans’ The Raid 2, the line up also includes an anniversary screening of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, and an extended Q&A screening of The Grand Budapest Hotel with Wes Anderson. SXSW 2014 runs March 7 through 15 in Austin, Texas. Check out the line up after the jump.
Narrative Feature Competition
Eight world premieres, eight unique ways to celebrate the art of storytelling. Selected from 1,324 films submitted to SXSW 2014. Films screening in Narrative »
Today the South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Conference and Festival announced a diverse features lineup for this year’s Festival, the 21st edition and running March 7 – 15, 2014 in Austin, Texas. The 2014 program expands on SXSW tradition of embracing a range of genres and span of budgets, featuring a wealth of vision from experienced and developing filmmakers alike.
For more information visit http://sxsw.com/film.
Listed in the announcement are 115 of the features that will screen over the course of nine days at SXSW 2014. The lineup below includes 68 films from first-time filmmakers, and consists of 76 World Premieres, 10 North American Premieres and 7 U.S. Premieres. These films were selected from a record 2,215 feature-length film submissions composed of 1,540 U.S. and 675 international feature-length films. With a record number of 6,482 submissions total, the overall increase was 14% over 2013. The Midnighters feature section and the Short Film program will be announced on February 5, with the complete »
- Movie Geeks
After announcing earlier this month that Jon Favreau’s Chef and the Veronica Mars movie will be making their world debuts at SXSW this year, the festival has revealed its full line-up, including further very promising world premieres, alongside appearances from some of the year’s most high-profile films.
The Midnight programme will be announced early next month, along with the Shorts line-up, and the complete Conference slate a little later as well.
Led by Seth Rogen and Zac Efron, Nicholas Stoller’s anticipated R-rated comedy, Neighbors, will be making its world debut at the festival, notably marked out as a ‘work-in-progress’ ahead of its theatrical release in May.
David Gordon Green’s acclaimed Joe will make its Us premiere, having bowed at Venice and then Toronto last year. Early reviews have Nicolas Cage giving one of the finest performances of his career, with Tye Sheridan (Mud) excellent alongside him. »
- Kenji Lloyd
Not sure if there is a Short Term 12 equivalent in this year’s Narrative Feature Comp, but on paper SXSW programmers are serving up a mean (and the usual lean group of 8 out of a whopping 1,324 film entries) for the upcoming competitiuon of eight which includes notable entries (that we’ve been tracking for a good time now) such as Zachary Wigon’s The Heart Machine, John Magary’s The Mend, Leah Meyerhoff’s I Believe in Unicorns and Lawrence Michael Levine’s Wild Canaries. Undoubtedly one of the most anticipated docs of the year, on the non-fiction side we find Margaret Brown’s The Great Invisible. Below you’ll find a breakdown of the other sections (notable world preems in We’ll Never Have Paris and Faults (see Mary Elizabeth Winstead above), some Sundance items with Texan connections and other nuggets.
Narrative Feature Competition
Eight world premieres, eight »
- Eric Lavallee
The South by Southwest Film Conference and Festival has announced its full features lineup, including a new episodic section highlighting the influence of smallscreen programming.
Five films will headline SXSW, including Universal’s work-in-progress comedy “Neighbors” with Seth Rogen and Zac Efron, David Gordon Green’s Nicolas Cage starrer “Joe” and previously announced pics “Chef,” directed by and starring Jon Favreau and the crowd-funded “Veronica Mars.”
The episodic section will debut six shows destined for the smallscreen, both for television and online, including Robert Rodriguez’s “From Dusk Till Dawn” series. Last year, the festival premiered the pilot of A&E’s “Bates Motel,” while the year before it debuted the first three episodes of Lena Dunham’s “Girls.”
The smallscreen programming sidebar joins a hefty selection competition entries, higher-profile Spotlight titles, experimental-flavored entries in the Visions section and Global titles.
The fest’s juried competition includes eight titles each in docu and narrative sections, »
- Alexandra Cheney
11 items from 2014
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