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"This is Miami; Even the good get dirty." Crackle has released a new trailer and key art for their upcoming series Startup.From Ben Ketai, the drama follows "the emergence of GenCoin, a brilliant, yet controversial tech idea centered around digital currency-an idea that gets incubated on the wrong side of the tracks by three strangers who don’t necessarily fit the mold of “tech entrepreneurs” and a crooked FBI agent who will go to any length necessary to take them down." The cast includes Martin Freeman, Adam Brody, Edi Gathegi, and Otmara Marrero.Read More… »
You may know Crackle from its hit show, Jerry Seinfeld’s “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.” But Sony’s online distributor of original web series and feature films is making a bid for prestige TV with “StartUp,” a new drama chock-full of espionage and gang violence from creator Ben Ketai. Starring Adam Brody, Edi Gathegi, and Otmara Marrero, “StartUp” is the story of an unlikely team of tech entrepreneurs in Miami, Florida, who create a digital currency—and fund their enterprise with drug money. On their tail is a ruthless FBI agent, played by Emmy winner Martin Freeman, who proves willing to do whatever it takes to expose them. “This is Miami,” he says in the trailer below. “Even the good get dirty.” Check out the extended look at “StartUp” below. The series is due to premiere the first of its 10 episodes on Crackle Sept. 6. For more information, visit their website. »
See you in September... Crackle has announced its new, scripted StartUp TV show premieres Tuesday, September 6, 2016, on the free S-vod (streaming video-on-demand) plat. The drama stars Martin Freeman, Adam Brody, Edi Gathegi, and Otmara Marrero. The StartUp TV series cast also includes Wayne Knight and Aaron Yoo. StartUp is written by Ep Ben Ketai who also directs. Tom Forman, Andrew Marcus, Ray Ricord, Gianni Nunnari and Shannon Gaulding executive produces. Brody and Anne Clements are producers.Set in Miami, Crackle says StartUp is about the "emergence of GenCoin, a brilliant, yet controversial tech idea centered around digital currency-an idea that gets incubated on the wrong side of the tracks by three strangers who don't necessarily fit the mold of "tech entrepreneurs" and a crooked FBI agent who will go to any length necessary to take them down."Read More… »
Below, watch the official teaser for the new StartUp TV series, coming to Crackle, in fall 2016. StartUp stars Martin Freeman, Adam Brody, Edi Gathegi, and Otmara Marrero. During its Upfront presentation, Crackle announced Seinfeld's Wayne Knight and The Blacklist's Aaron Yoo have been added to the cast.
A high-stakes crime drama series, Start Up is produced by Critical Content and Hollywood Gang Productions. Tom Forman, Andrew Marcus, Ray Ricord, Gianni Nunnari, and Shannon Gaulding executive produce. The series is written by Ben Ketai who executive produces and directs. Brody and Anne Clements produce.
Read More… »
Rising with terrifying grandeur, the forest is real – and it is the suspense-filled setting of The Forest, a frightening supernatural thriller on Digital HD now, and on Blu-ray™, DVD and On Demand on April 12, 2016 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. The Forest on Blu-ray™, DVD and Digital HD comes with terrifying bonus features including behind-the-scenes photos and feature commentary with director Jason Zada.
A young woman’s hunt for her missing sister leads to horror and madness in The Forest, starring Natalie Dormer (Game of Thrones and The Hunger Games) and Taylor Kinney (Chicago Fire, Zero Dark Thirty). When her troubled twin sister Jess mysteriously disappears, Sara Price (Dormer) discovers Jess vanished in Japan’s legendary Aokigahara Forest. Searching its eerie dark woods with the help of journalist Aiden (Kinney), Sara plunges into a tormented world where angry spirits lie in wait for those who ignore the warning: stay on the path. »
- Movie Geeks
The winner of this year’s unofficial stranger-than-fiction prize at SXSW — yes, even over the documentary about the African-American guy who befriends Kkk members — may well be “Johnny Frank Garrett’s Last Word.” What plays as a familiar if inventively handled revenge-from-beyond-the-grave horror opus dramatizes an actual case in which a Texan very possibly wrongly executed for murder “cursed” those who’d aided his conviction — an alarming number of whom then died prematurely after his own death. While the supernatural aspects taken for granted here are naturally debatable, the factual aspects certainly lend an additional frisson to an already vivid, unsettling thriller directed with considerable aplomb and even more energy (sometimes too much) by Simon Rumley. Pic should be sought after by fantasy fests, with good word of mouth there spurring niche sales in various formats.
In 1982 Amarillo, Texas, 76-year-old nun Sister Tadea Benz was found raped and murdered in her convent bedroom. »
- Dennis Harvey
It’s hard to believe that another South by Southwest Film Festival is almost upon us, and this year’s lineup is yet another stellar collection of indie films, shorts, documentaries and experiential projects from all over the world. As we prepare to bring our readers extensive coverage over the next week from Austin, here’s a look at the 11 genre-related films and TV shows we’re excited to check out during the festival, which begins on Friday, March 11th.
[Writer’s Note: During Sundance 2016, this writer had the privilege of covering two great genre films: Under the Shadow from Babak Anvari and Mickey Keating’s Carnage Park. Since I had the chance to catch both of these films back in January, I decided it wouldn’t be fair to include them here in my preview piece (however, genre fans attending SXSW should definitely check out both films during the fest, as they are equally incredible).]
Festival Synopsis: From Blumhouse, the film tells the story of a drifter named Paul who arrives in a small town, seeking revenge on the thugs who murdered his friend. Sisters Mary Anne and Ellen, who run the town’s hotel, help Paul in his quest for vengeance. Cast: Ethan Hawke, Taissa Farmiga, James Ransone, Karen Gillan, John Travolta (World Premiere)
- Heather Wixson
In the classic horror Don’t Look Now, Nic Roeg turned Venice into a psychological battleground - a haunted city where Donald Sutherland’s grieving father played out the lingering anguish and guilt over his deceased daughter. In The Forest, Natalie Dormer heads to a remote part of Japan and finds herself stranded by a duff plot which barely touches the sides of its own premise.
Let’s keep things brief, because The Forest is awful and we probably shouldn’t linger here too long. Dormer stars in a dual role as American twin sisters Sara and Jess. Jess is an English teacher in Japan who goes missing in Aokigahara - a real-life stretch of forest skirting Mt Fuji that is infamous for being a destination for the suicidal. Sara senses that her sister is still alive, »
Viewers will soon be able to visit Japan’s Aokigahara Forest from the comfort of their couches with Universal Pictures Home Entertainment’s March 22nd Digital HD debut of The Forest, followed by their April 12th Blu-ray, DVD, and VOD release of the Natalie Dormer-starring film.
Press Release: Universal City, California, February 25, 2016 – Rising with terrifying grandeur, the forest is real – and it is the suspense-filled setting of The Forest, a frightening supernatural thriller coming to Digital HD on March 22, 2016, and on Blu-ray™, DVD and On Demand on April 12, 2016 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. The Forest on Blu-ray™, DVD and Digital HD comes with terrifying bonus features including behind-the-scenes photos and feature commentary with director Jason Zada.
A young woman’s hunt for her missing sister leads to horror and madness in The Forest, starring Natalie Dormer (Game of Thrones and The Hunger Games) and Taylor Kinney (Chicago Fire, Zero Dark Thirty »
- Derek Anderson
Though The Strangers successfully scared the hell out of audiences (and put director Bryan Bertino on the map), a sequel has yet to materialize, and it seems like every time buzz about one starts to build, it’s undercut a little while later.
And so it is that, despite Deception‘s Marcel Langenegger being tapped for the director’s chair and Ben Ketai (Chosen) emerging as a scribe last January, The Strangers 2 is now reportedly a long way off from rolling cameras.
Talking with Collider, producer Roy Lee has revealed that Relativity’s recent bankruptcy put the kibosh on any progress with the horror sequel. Apparently, though Ketai’s script is still kicking around at the studio, the issue is getting enough money to make a movie out of it.
“We have a script that’s fantastic,” he said, “but they’ve had some financial difficulties so it’s »
- Isaac Feldberg
Stars: Natalie Dormer, Taylor Kinney, Yukiyoshi Ozawa, Eoin Macken, Stephanie Vogt, Yasuo Tobishima, Noriko Sakura, Yûho Yamashita, Lidija Antonic | Written by Nick Antosca, Sarah Cornwell, Ben Ketai | Directed by Jason Zada
After her sister is reported missing, Sara (Natalie Dormer), journeys from her home in the Us to Japan in search of her twin sister Jess, who was last seen heading to Aokigahara – the infamous suicide forest at the base of Mount Fuji. After a visit to the school where Jess teaches, the resourceful Sara sets out for the forest itself. Accompanied by a charismatic new acquaintance, expatriate journalist Aiden (Taylor Kinney), she enters the forest having been well warned to “stay on the path.” Forest guide Michi (Yukiyoshi Ozawa) keeps a protective eye on them both, but when night falls he cannot dissuade them from staying in the forest, and reluctantly leaves the duo to face the elements alone. »
- Phil Wheat
Simply put, the SXSW Film, Music and Interactive Festival is one of the biggest, most prestigious events in the media calendar. Taking place annually in Austin, Texas, it is beloved by film fans and filmmakers from all over the world, and has reached such heights by building a reputation for showcasing excellent content. This results in a high level of competition, with the Narrative Feature category alone having received 1442 submissions this year, and the documentary feature category having received 1,013.
The 2016 event looks to be particularly exciting, with many world premieres and feature debuts already announced. The Narrative Feature category will include Julia Hart’s Miss Stevens, Debra Eisenstadt’s Before The Sun Explodes, Joey Klein’s The Other Half, and Musa Syeed’s A Stray, among others, while the Headliner category will feature Richard Linklater’s Everybody Wants Some.
- Sarah Myles
The Tall Man's sphere is aiming its blades at Austin, as Bad Robot's 4K restoration of Don Coscarelli's Phantasm will screen at South by Southwest 2016 as part of the film festival's recently revealed Midnighters lineup:
From SXSW: "Scary, funny, sexy, controversial – provocative after-dark features for night owls and the terminally curious.
Director/Screenwriter: Mickey Keating
The year is 1978. A team of wannabe crooks botch a small-town bank heist and flee with their hostage deep into the California desert, where they find themselves in a harrowing fight for survival against a psychotic ex-military sniper. Cast: Ashley Bell, Pat Healy, Alan Ruck, Darby Stanchfield, Larry Fessenden, Graham Skipper, James Landry Hebert, Michael Villar
- Derek Anderson
SXSW announced Tuesday its Midnighters, Festival Favorites, Shorts Programs and Special Events for its 23rd edition, running March 11-19, 2016 in Austin, Texas. The festival opens with the previously announced Richard Linklater comedy-drama “Everybody Wants Some.”
Bell stars in “Carnage Park” from Mickey Keating in which a team of wannabe crooks botch a small-town bank heist and flee with their hostage deep into the California desert. Pat Healy, Alan Ruck, Darby Stanchfield, Larry Fessenden, Graham Skipper, James Landry Hebert and Michael Villar also star.
Rory Culkin stars in the world premiere of “Jack Goes Home” from Thomas Dekker. After his father is killed in a car crash, his character travels home to Colorado to help nurse his mother (who was injured in the crash) back to health. »
- Dave McNary
Just one day after Relativity Television formally relaunched as Critical Content, the company has landed its first greenlight with a series order from Sony’s Crackle for a drama starring Adam Brody and Martin Freeman, Variety has learned. “Start Up” marks the second scripted one hour drama on the streaming service’s expanding slate.
Crackle has ordered 10 episodes of the drama that also stars Edi Gathegi (“The Blacklist,” “Twilight”) and newcomer Otmara Marrero, who has appeared in “Graceland.” Created by Ben Ketai, the show begins filming this week in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Set in Miami, “Start Up” explores what happens when a brilliant, yet controversial tech idea gets incubated on the wrong side of the tracks by three strangers who don’t necessarily fit the mold of tech entrepreneurs. Forced to fund a tech company with dirty money while forming ties with a Haitian gang, their fight to build »
- Elizabeth Wagmeister
Ben Ketai created the Miami-set series which follows a brilliant, yet controversial tech startup idea incubated by three strangers forced to fund it with dirty money, form an alliance with a Haitian gang to keep it operating, and stave off an FBI agent (Freeman) and financial crimes specialist who holds far too much power and has questionable loyalties.
Ketai wrote the episodes and will also direct and executive produce. Brody also produces the series which Relativity Television's freshly renamed Critical Content division will create.
Source: Variety »
- Garth Franklin
For the Trees: Zada’s Moody Locale Squandered by Feeble Narrative
We’ve come to expect studios to unbosom their less desirable horror trinkets during the dawning of every new year, and the annual tradition is alive and well with the equivocally titled The Forest from first time director Jason Zada. On a positive note, it’s a return to more traditional formatting, a move away from the found footage items we usually find released in this quarter (The Devil Inside; Devil’s Due), and it’s also not a remake or a dubious sequel (The Last Exorcism Part II). But Zada’s film is the second English language film revealed over the past year to waste its singularly spooky locale, Japan’s Aokigahara Forest at the base of Mt. Fuji (the first being Gus Van Sant’s Cannes blooper, Sea of Trees, which may explain this horror film’s »
- Nicholas Bell
Japan’s Aokigahara forest is a notorious suicide spot – and it’s also proving fatal for film-makers, as this incoherent and meretricious horror movie proves
American movies don’t know what to do with Japanese culture. They aren’t world war two baddies anymore and the fear of their determined economy “coming to buy us up” has dissipated. The Forest, a trashy horror picture from first-time feature director Jason Zada and screenwriters Nick Antosca, Sarah Cornwell and Ben Ketai, plays to an audience that probably hasn’t done too much thinking about Japan lately. They eat weird food (it’s still moving!), all the girls wear the same school uniform and everyone believes in ghosts. What powers those ghosts have or how they can harm you is all rather vague, but you best believe it involves being real quiet, then charging at the camera when you least expect it, emitting a high-decibel shriek. »
- Jordan Hoffman
It’s not a huge secret that January hasn’t always been the kindest month to horror movies, as it has become a dumping ground of sorts for genre fare over the last several years. That’s why it’s great to see a film like The Forest come along right about now; it probably won’t be the most revolutionary excursion in terror to come along in theaters in 2016, but it is an incredibly well-made effort from first time feature filmmaker Jason Zada and features strong performances from both Natalie Dormer and Taylor Kinney, all making for a solid and creepy start to the new year of horror.
The Forest follows Sara Price (Dormer) as she heads into the Suicide Forest (or the Aokigahara Forest as it is known as officially), which is located near Mount Fuji in Japan, to find her twin sister Jess (also played by Dormer »
- Heather Wixson
As I watched The Forest, drawn in by Aokigahara’s natural horrors, I couldn’t help but feel a weird sense of déjà vu. A nostalgic sensation that called back to my October horror binge – oh right, because I Did see an almost identical story in Grave Halloween only a few months back. That’s not to say similar movies can’t coexist peacefully, and admittedly, The Forest is much better than that previous Syfy effort I just mentioned, but director Jason Zada’s new film is not without its own downfalls. In a wilderness full of danger and deception, it’s easy to find yourself hopelessly lost – just ask screenwriters Nick Antosca, Sarah Cornwell and Ben Ketai.
Natalie Dormer stars as an identical twin named Sara, whose country-hopping sister, Jess, goes missing in the aforementioned Japanese forest. When a lost soul enters Aokigahara, it’s usually to commit suicide. »
- Matt Donato
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