14 items from 2015
August 18th is bringing horror and sci-fi fans a bounty of home entertainment choices this week, especially if you’re into cult classics and indie genre films. Titles arriving on Tuesday include newer movies like Cub, Ejecta and Closer to God as well as the latest from the Soska Sisters, Vendetta. Several older films are getting an HD overhaul on Blu-ray too, including Nomads, The Hunger, Nightmare Castle, The Wife Killer and the supernaturally-infused Burn, Witch, Burn which was also co-penned by Richard Matheson.
And while it may not necessarily be a full-on genre movie, it’s worth noting that Shout! Factory is also releasing the criminally underrated cyber-adventure/thriller Hackers onto Blu-ray this week to celebrate its upcoming 20th anniversary.
The powers of dark magic rule the night in this chilling masterpiece of supernatural horror as a
college campus turns into a nest of evil. »
- Heather Wixson
Dr. Victor Reed is a brilliant geneticist who has just achieved a huge scientific breakthrough by successfully cloning the first human being, an adorable baby girl named Elizabeth. This immediately becomes a media spectacle and ignites a firestorm of debate concerning the moral and religious implications of such a discovery. Soon, Dr. Reed and his family lose all sense of privacy and safety as they are swarmed by protesters and the media. Their biggest threat, however, could be Victor’s own secret.
Closer to God is a science fiction thriller of the creepiest kind. It explores the impact that cloning a human could have. It explores the moral, scientific and religious inpacts of such an action also what might happen if it all goes wrong. »
- Richard Axtell
More standard horror flick, if elegantly presented, than the thoughtful science fiction drama it thinks it is. I’m “biast” (pro): I’m a big science fiction geek
I’m “biast” (con): nothing
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
And here we have a familiar story. Oh, not the fact that Closer to God is a modern updating of Frankenstein, swapping out reanimation of the dead for cloning: that is done rather cleverly. No, it’s the familiar story of many indie science-fiction dramas: they’ve got potentially intriguing ideas but don’t know what to do with them, and so what could have been an effective and eerie short film becomes a too-long — and this one is only 80 minutes! — feature that only hints at possibilities that seem deliberately left unexplored. Developing truly SFnal concepts and bringing them to a satisfying conclusion is hard, true, »
- MaryAnn Johanson
“I’m old, not obsolete,” mutters Arnold Schwarzenegger’s aging android in “Terminator Genisys,” and his words could be a wishful mantra for this nervy, silly, almost admirably misguided attempt to give the 31-year-old franchise a massive cybernetic facelift. More or less rewriting everything we thought we knew about the Connor genealogy, the properties of liquid metal, and the rules of post-1984 time travel, this f/x-encrusted reboot feels at once back-to-basics and confoundingly revisionist, teeming with alternate timelines and rejiggered character histories (the most perplexing of which finds Sarah Connor now continually referring to Schwarzenegger’s Terminator as “Pops”). Consider it the 3D blockbuster equivalent of disruptive technology, and while online fans have already voiced their displeasure, the movie’s willingness to veer crazily off-course feels less objectionable than the monotony and sense of self-parody that kick in long before the whimper of a finish. (Justin Chang »
- Variety Staff
A small-scale sci-fi suspenser, “Closer to God” updates Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein story — complete with protags named Victor, Mary and Elizabeth — as commentary on the controversial emerging science of cloning. Here, our modern mad scientist is a sober if obsessive geneticist whose creation of the first human-clone baby stirs a volatile mix of media attention and public protest. A greater danger, however, turns out to already reside in his own household. This Nashville-shot first feature for writer-director Billy Senese is an intelligent, restrained take on genre conventions, but those seeking fantasy thrills may find it too dry, while neither the ideas nor the eventual scares are quite original or surprising enough to elevate “Closer” from the respectable to the memorable. Pic opens July 3 in limited release; modest prospects should be a bit brighter in simultaneous VOD launch.
Dr. Victor Reed (Jeremy Childs) is a humorlessly committed biological scientist with a »
- Dennis Harvey
Turning a hot-button issue into a dramatic soap opera would be the easy way out. Skipping over the procedures and processes that would be involved, Closer to God goes directly to the creation of a clone and then asks, "What now?" As opposed to the army of movies that imagine clones in the future, writer/director Billy Senese wrestles with the essence of the issue, right here, and right now. Victor Reed (Jeremy Childs) is a scientist who is obsessed with cloning. He's not a "mad" scientist, though his obsessive behavior is certainly reminiscent of Mary Shelley's famed scientist, Dr. Victor Frankenstein. What this modern-day Victor exudes is devotion to his important work and single-minded focus on success. He conducts interviews, but he is not at...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
For July 2015, we’ve got another jam-packed month of genre-related titles arriving on VOD (and a few other digital platforms too) to help fans beat the summer heat by staying inside and catching up on tons of great new movies.
IFC Midnight’s got a zany new creature feature called Stung that’s kicking off the month and for those of you who may have missed it in theaters earlier this year, the acclaimed breakout indie film It Follows is finally making its way to homes on VOD beginning July 2nd. Some other notable July VOD releases include 3-Headed Shark Attack, Felt, Alleluia, The Stanford Prison Experiment, Dark Was the Night, and Extinction.
Also, Dude Bro Party Massacre III - which premiered earlier this month at the Los Angeles Film Festival - is gearing up for its release as well in July; it won’t be arriving on traditional VOD platforms, »
- Heather Wixson
“Closer to God” is a new twist on the classic “Frankenstein” tale with the addition of cloning. Director/producer Billy Senese elaborated more on making of the film in a recent press interview. Senese stated that the film drew from his love of Mary Shelley’s iconic novel. “['Frankenstein'] was a big book for me when I was young, and I love the James Whale movies from the 1930s, “Frankenstein” and “Bride of Frankenstein.” I always wanted to do my own interpretation of this story, kind of reinvent those same ideas and themes into a modern reality, one that we might actually face in our lifetime,” he said. “So about 6 months [ Read More ]
In 1818, Mary Shelley introduced the world to Frankenstein; Or, The Modern Prometheus, her novel revolving around Dr. Victor Frankenstein, a man who creates an eight foot tall monster made of dead body parts, utilizing a special technique to bring it to life. He is disgusted by his creation, he abandons the monster. This leads to a story of ethics and loneliness told in epistolary form, where Dr. Frankenstein is attempting to warn an equally ambitious man of the consequences of playing God.
Writer/director Billy Senese brings us Closer To God, another version of Shelley’s now classic story in the form of a loose observation on cloning. This version focuses on another Victor, a genetic scientist who creates Elizabeth, the first successful infant clone. His experiment is brought to the mainstream with polarizing reactions in the media and society, leading to dangerous consequences not just for Elizabeth, but for the doctor himself. »
- Jovy Skol
Making his feature directorial debut, Tyler Shields' Final Girl arrives in select theaters and VOD in August. Also in this round-up: details on new vinyls from Death Waltz and Mondo, as well as a Q&A with Closer to God writer/director Billy Senese.
Final Girl: Press Release -- "Renowned photographer to some of Hollywood’s biggest stars, Tyler Shields will captivate audiences with his debut feature film, the “sardonic, smart, stylized, thriller” (Dennis Dermody, Paper), Final Girl. Starring Oscar® nominee Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine, Zombieland), Final Girl will debut in select theaters, Digital HD and Video on Demand August 14 from Cinedigm (Nasdaq:cidm) and Nasser Entertainment.
Also starring BAFTA® Film Award nominee Wes Bentley (The Hunger Games, American Beauty), Alexander Ludwig (The Hunger Games, Lone Survivor), Francesca Eastwood (Jersey Boys), daughter of Hollywood icon Clint Eastwood, and Cameron Bright (The Twilight Saga), the terrifying, highly anticipated film »
- Tamika Jones
Many sci-fi/horror films take on the notion of scientists possibly not weighing the ramifications of their breakthroughs, like “The Fly” and “Splice.” Uncork’d Entertainment and Breaking Glass Picture’s upcoming release “Closer to God” follows in the footsteps of these films by tackling the uncomfortable topic of cloning. “Closer to God” is written and directed by Billy Senese and has been described as an “ambitious, thoughtful and provocative take on the Frankenstein story” by ScreenDaily and a “mind-blowing, thought-provoking, disturbing and brilliant film” by Talent Monthly. Here’s what you can expect from the film. “Dr. Victor Reed is a brilliant geneticist who has just achieved a huge scientific breakthrough by successfully [ Read More ]
The post Sci-Fi Horror Film Closer to God Coming This July appeared first on Shockya.com. »
Closer to God, a very independent sci-fi fright feature won acclaim at festivals last year for its eerie, topical tale of scientific breakthrough and public backlash. Written and directed by Billy Senese, Closer to God concerns “Dr. Victor Reed, a brilliant geneticist who has just achieved a huge scientific breakthrough by successfully cloning the first…
The post Closer To God, A Frankenstein-esque Clone Horror out in July appeared first on Shock Till You Drop. »
- Samuel Zimmerman
Director: Billy Senese.
Running Time: 81 minutes
Synopsis: After a press conference announces the arrival of the world’s first ever clone, the baby becomes a talking point over ethics and morals, while her creator must tread lightly through a sea of controversy.
Science-fiction certainly has a good stock of simple ideas that it can plunder and transform into TV series, films, or whatever else it wants. This year we’ve seen an abundance of warnings concerning artificial intelligence, but the other hot topic when it comes to science is cloning. Having grown up through the age of cloning, where we all marveled at Dolly the sheep, I have to say that Closer To God is the most thought provoking film on the matter. Not to mention a genuinely terrifying and balanced film of incredible quality.
- Luke Ryan Baldock
Duck Dynasty: The Musical is officially theater-bound! Considering Broadway is pretty gay -- or at least, gay-friendly -- and considering what duck patriarch Phil Robertson has said in the past about homosexuality leading to bestiality, it may seem like an odd fit.
Until you find out it’s actually a Vegas musical. That makes more sense.
The Duck Commander Musical is a “modern-day Beverly Hillbillies story” about a “backwoods family” that strikes it rich. Don’t expect a satire or tell-all either, the Roberston family had script and casting approval.
Producer Michael David, whose credits include Jersey Boys, told The New York Times, “The show will end up challenging the views and assumptions of people across the political spectrum, more than most theater does.”
14 items from 2015
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