20 items from 2014
Director: Katsuyuki Motohiro.
Running Time: 528 minutes
Psycho-Pass may dump a lot of exposition at our feet within a very short period of time in its opening episode, but thankfully this gets a lot of messy stuff out of the way allowing us to enjoy the series instantly. This is exceptional sci-fi action that relishes its opportunity to create a vast world of cool visuals, intelligent ideas, and engaging characters.
The show introduces us to a world where human beings have what is known as a psycho-pass, a reading that informs enforcers of your mental state and whether you are dangerous to society or not. Stress, anger, hatred, etc. can all contribute to this reading, and in a Minority Report style form of justice, those deemed as »
- Luke Ryan Baldock
Hysteria, Season 1, Episode 1: “Pilot”
Written by Shaun Cassidy
Directed by Otto Bathurst
Released August 28, 2014 by Amazon
A veteran of television writing, and known mostly for having created the ABC science fiction drama Invasion, Shaun Cassidy’s next foray to the small screen comes courtesy of Amazon. Titled Hysteria, the series follows a medical investigator in Austin as she attempts to understand the cause behind a series of seizures and spasmic movements affecting a group of largely unrelated individuals. With Mena Suvari in the lead role, Amazon and the creators have released the pilot online in an attempt to get a series greenlight. Unfortunately, poor characterisation and a simplistic mystery at its core dooms this pilot by seemingly promising a dull show.
One of the key problems with this pilot, and potentially with the series as a whole, is that the central »
- Deepayan Sengupta
It's pilot season once again for Amazon Studios, and among the five announced shows getting a test run, two seem to offer a little something for the horror crowd. Read on for more about "Hand of God" and "Hysteria."
Co-stars include Alona Tal, Garret Dillahunt, Julian Morris, Emilio Rivera, Andre Royo, Maximiliano Hernández, Emayatzy Corinealdi, Wes Chatham, Sandy Martin, Elizabeth McLaughlin, Anthony Starke, Daniel Louis Rivas, Elaine Tan, Ravi Kapoor, Hugh Dane, Julian Acosta, Jennifer Cortese, and Brett Wyman.
A psychological drama about a morally-corrupt judge who suffers a breakdown and believes God is compelling him onto a path of vigilante justice.
Co-stars include Laura San Giacomo, »
- Debi Moore
Big news today: We’re excited to announce Amazon Studios’ third pilot season, beginning August 28th and featuring three half hour comedies The Cosmopolitans, Really and Red Oaks, and two hour-long dramatic thrillers Hand of God and Hysteria. For one month, it will be up to you to watch, rate and comment – ultimately helping us decide which of them get the greenlight.
“There is something for everyone in this season,” says Roy Price, Director of Amazon Studios. The glamorous life of modern day expats in Paris. The hijinks of a summer job at a country club in 1980s New Jersey. The visions of a vigilante judge who appears to be channeling God. The complexities of marriage and friendship among a circle of friends in suburban Chicago. And the mysteries behind a psycho-physiological illness spreading through a small town in Texas.
You can help choose which of these stories should get “picked up” to become shows. »
Really is about four hard-charging suburban Chicago couples trying to grasp on to their dwindling youth. At the center are the happily but messily married couple “Jed,” played by Chandrasekhar, and “Lori,” played by Sarah Chalke. When Jed is faced with the choice of keeping his pal’s secret or destroying his friend group, he winds up digging himself into a very deep hole. Really explores marriage, friendship and the stifling peculiarities of suburban Chicago life. The pilot also stars Selma Blair, Travis Schuldt, Hayes MacArthur, Collette Wolfe, Luka Jones, Lindsay Sloane, and Rob Delaney.
Directed by Bathhurst, Hysteria takes viewers to Austin where members of a girls’ dance troop are stricken with a strange, psycho-physiological disease. Neurologist Dr. Logan Harlow (Mena Suvari) is called back to her hometown to investigate the cause. Fighting her own demons, »
Amazon today announced it has added the hour-long dramatic thriller Hysteria, from Amazon Studios, Universal Television and Alcon Television Group, to its third pilot season, which will debut later this year on Amazon Instant Video. Starring Mena Suvari (American Beauty) as “Dr. Logan Harlen,” James McDaniel (Orange Is The New Black) as “Carl Sapsi,” Josh Stewart (The Dark Knight Rises) as “Ray Ratajeck,” Adan Canto (X-Men: Days of Future Past) as “Matt Sanchez,” Laura San Giacomo (Saving Grace) as “Grace Pelayo” and T.R. Knight (Grey’s Anatomy) as “Carter Harlen,” Hysteria follows a doctor (Suvari) who returns to her hometown of Austin, Texas to investigate a growing epidemic that appears to be spreading through social media. The show is written by Shaun Cassidy who also serves as Executive Producer alongside Adam Schroeder, Sharon Hall, Andrew Kosove, Broderick Johnson, Bryan Zuriff, and Director Otto Bathurst. Customers will once again be invited »
Funimation has debuted two new trailers for Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods, along with the announcement that the upcoming animated adventure will debut in a limited theatrical event from August 5 through August 9 in over 350 theaters nationwide. We also have a new photo gallery, along with the official synopsis and the full English-language voice cast for the first Dbz animated movie in over 17 years, directed by Masahiro Hosoda. Check out the trailers and images below, then clickHere to find out if Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods is coming to a theater near you.
Following the events from the internationally renowned animated television series, Dragon Ball Z, after the defeat of Majin Buu, a new power awakens and threatens humanity. Beerus, an ancient and powerful God of Destruction, searches for Goku after hearing rumors of the Saiyan warrior who defeated Frieza. Realizing the threat Beerus poses to their home planet, »
One of my most pleasant surprises at this year’s South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin was definitely Two Step, a terrifically tense and finely acted crime thriller from first-time writer-director Alex R. Johnson. Balancing rich, natural dialogue and believable characters with shocking violence and an overpowering sense of impending doom, it had a powerful impact on audiences in Austin, which explains why SXSW is just the first stop on its tour of the festival circuit.
Two Step will next be heading to the Cannes Film Festival marketplace. It was picked up for international sales back in March by Films Boutique, though details on a U.S. release are still scarce. Seeing as the film’s Texas atmosphere is a huge part of its appeal, it shouldn’t be hard for it to find a stateside distributor to get the film on track for release this fall or next spring, »
- Isaac Feldberg
As we've said before, one of the real pleasures of attending film festivals doesn't have to do with seeing the starry, main attractions (that usually will end up at a multiplex near you anyway). Instead, it's uncovering hidden gems, and for those that made time at this year's SXSW for "Two Step," they certainly came away having experienced something special when the lights came up. Today, we have the exclusive first trailer to give you a sense of carefully calibrated Texas noir to keep on your radar. Directed by Alex R. Johnson and starring Beth Broderick, James Landry Hébert, Skyy Moore, Jason Douglas, Ashley Rae Spillers and more, the thriller follows James, a directionless college dropout, and Webb, a career criminal with his back against the wall, who cross paths with deadly consequences. And the results are impressive, with our own Drew Taylor praising the film in his review saying it's "deeply human, »
- Kevin Jagernauth
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
20 items from 2014
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