6 items from 2014
Brad Lunders (P.J. Boudousqué) is awakened in the middle of the night by strapping figures wearing shirts reading "Staff" and is unceremoniously tossed in the back of a van with other teenage boys, all handcuffed and shivering in their pajamas. They are headed to a private juvenile "rehabilitation" facility out in the country, a place where their parents have paid former military men and their lackeys a hefty sum of money to scare their misbehaving teens straight, with physical and mental torture. This is the milieu of "Coldwater," the feature directorial debut of Vincent Grashaw, a producer and cinematographer (via festival favorite "Bellflower"). "Coldwater" teems with a boiling resentment toward the abuse of power. Eventually, that resentment will pour out in bloody chaos, but rigid authoritarian structures prove difficult to bring down. The film is most successful when it's ruminating on the origins and cycles of »
- Katie Walsh
In the moviegoer’s hierarchy of needs, a PG-13 “Expendables” is about as essential as a Joel Schumacher remake of “Tokyo Story.” Or, to put it in terms more appropriate to its target audience: You need “The Expendables 3” like you need a kick in the crotch, and while this running-on-fumes sequel may not be quite as painful a thing to experience, it will waste considerably more of your time. From train-crashing start to back-slapping finish, Lionsgate’s latest and longest showcase for Sylvester Stallone and other aging slabs of B-movie beef — the marquee names this time around include Mel Gibson and Harrison Ford — smacks of desperation and teen-audience pandering, from the literally bloodless action to the introduction of a younger, hotter backup team of fighters (call them the Hip Replacements). It’s an obvious, half-hearted ploy to keep the beleaguered series going, when it would »
- Variety Staff
Shedding light on important issues through the power of narrative filmmaking can be a tricky proposition. The very nature of fictional storytelling can sometimes make the issues brought to the forefront seem less worthy of inspection (i.e.: 'it's just a movie'). At the same time, calibrating a film's emotional impact to a pitch perfect balance, somewhere between ineffective and sensational, is a razor-thin tightrope walk. Coldwater, directed by Vincent Grashaw and written by Mark Penney, unfortunately stumbles at the starting gate and never fully recovers. The film begins with teenager Brad Lunders (P.J. Boudousqué) being snatched from his bedroom in the middle of the night by unknown assailants. Within a few minutes, it's made clear that these strange men have come from a juvenile reform...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
“Coldwater” is the story of what happens to a baby-faced hunk after his mom sends him to a juvenile rehabilitation facility. Never mind that he sells drugs, starts fights at parties and is directly responsible for the death of an innocent friend. As played by heartthrob-in-the-making P.J. Boudousque, the character is evidently just too cute to deserve rehabilitation. A passion project more than a decade in the making for director Vincent Grashaw, this uneven arthouse- and VOD-bound indie — released unrated, but suitable for teens — lies somewhere between indignant expose and unusually tasteful exploitation pic, with shower scenes and sweaty young delinquents aplenty.
Though it never strays far from the prison-abuse-movie playbook, “Coldwater” doesn’t exactly look or feel like other examples of the genre, hewing closer to the aesthetic found in Bruce Weber’s Abercrombie & Fitch photography. Bathed in a rich, golden glow, the pic has an almost dreamlike feel to it. »
- Peter Debruge
The one distinctive element of juvie drama Coldwater is its emphasis on emotional rather than physical trauma during its several prison torture scenes.
The detention center's officials — all stone-faced or cackling cardboard villains — are prone to handcuffing their teenage charges to poles overnight, slitting their almost-healed leg wounds, and prying off their fingernails. But what you'll likely remember about these sequences is the way the camera burrows into the inmates' screaming, wailing, pleading faces, long after their tormentors have exited.
That aside, Vincent Grashaw's emphatically dour feature-length directorial debut is a rather standard prison-youth flick, in the vein of Bad Boys and Scum, with a braying us-against-them me »
Continental has licensed the faith-friendly drama Noble (pictured) to Spain (Avalon), Israel (Shoval) and South Korea (Able Entertainment) and Shreder said a number of other territories were in negotiation.
Action title Unknown Caller has gone for the Middle East (Shooting Stars), France (Omnitem/France Films TV), Israel (Shoval), Poland (Kino Swiat), Brazil (Globo TV), Turkey (Film Medya) and India (Ultra Group).
Ultra Group has also picked up Locker 13 and Solo.
Social media comedy Friended To Death has gone to Japan (Chance In), Poland (Kino Swiat) and Turkey (Film Medya).
“This market was another large growth surge for the company,” said Shreder »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jeremy Kay)
6 items from 2014
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