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The Within (2013)
Simple story played to perfection.
Was honored to have this film come across my desk today. What a wonderful 11 minutes and some change. It is a simple story that follows events of an Alien presence. Many films are out today that spend so much time with back story that the main story is lost. This is not the case with The Within. It has just the right amount of info fed to the viewers to compel and grab their attention.
The camera work is interesting as is the editing. I did find some very odd shots that I certainly would have avoided setting up as they did. One such example is that of a mans head in front of a bright window with white slat blinds. The blinds caused distortion of his facial lines and made the scene harder to watch with that distraction. Other than that I was impressed with the motion and editing of the piece.
The acting is typical and what you would expect and they all do a stellar job.
I enjoyed this and think you will too. Give it a look.
In Search of a Midnight Kiss (2007)
Wow, what a pleasure.
I thoroughly loved this movie. I was mesmerized from the very beginning, drawn in by realistic acting scenarios I found this movie nothing but a joy. It is not often that a film makes me feel like I am just a buddy walking along with the film and watching it all unfold around me. It felt comfortable to watch and I enjoyed my experience.
It was on Showtime for Women. I think women are awesome so I gave it a try. Is it a chick flick? Probably but maybe it was just such an open appealing film that draws in its viewer, male or female.
I say give it a watch. The characters form great relationships and are expert listeners when they act. Thrilled to see this in a film done in the mid 2000's. Its been a long time for me to enjoy this as much as I might have enjoyed a true classic. I give props to this film and do hope that somehow it gains notoriety and becomes somewhat a classic. Maybe its not to that level or ever was meant to be. Its just I did enjoy it and hope you will give it a try based on my suggestion. Its very good.
Fate Accompli (2012)
So well acted and a breath of fresh storytelling
Walt Sloan, the lead character, opens this film with no dialogue just him and the city around. During this time he draws a story so well with his subtle expression. Once the dialogue begins his skills shine and the story really takes off. Erin Breen matches his skills and we get a film that is not only watchable but a real treat of a storyline.
I also must commend the score. So well done and expressive. It was capped off by a hauntingly surreal vocal by Daniela Sloan. Watch the entire credits to catch this performance.
The plot is simple as Gabriel, who committed a murder, settles into a hotel room. A phone call to a call service brings the lovely Faye and what follows is just downright good story telling. It made me smile.
I recommend this film and congratulate its makers. Great job people.
Christian Calloway www.IMDb.me/IamHollywoodHomeless
Justice Is Mind (2013)
Fascinating view into what may very well be our future
It is not often that a film inspires me to do some study but with this film, Justice is Mind, I did just that. A fascinating look into what may very well become part of our future.
A gripping story that revolves around a trial of the century. One in which what is viewed in ones mind becomes hard evidence against him. Can he be convicted because his brain recalls an event that he has no recollection of committing? What follows is a trial full of detail and intrigue. Admittedly, I don't like films based on trials yet this one was different. This filmmaker has a great story to tell and he does tell it in precise detail. Having done his homework, Mark Lund, the writer and director does a wonderful job of bringing out a compelling story full of intelligence and real life science. I commend him for his writing and story telling.
Vernon Aldershoff, the films lead character, does a perfectly absorbing job of portraying Henri Miller the subject of the films trial. With near childlike innocence his grasp of Henri's struggle leaves the viewer loving and caring for him Guilty or not.
Kim Gordon and Mary Wexler hold the arms of justice as prosecutor and judge. Both delivering such believable and watchable portrayals we are able to become so deeply invested in what evidence is discussed and presented. These ladies really make the trial feel real, feel important and feel like nothing less than a trial of the century.
These New England actors and filmmakers should really be commended for what they have brought to the screen. It will be a long while before I ever forget the scenes so magically captured by these wonderful people. If you are looking for a film that is different on so many levels then look no further. Justice is Mind is not only a good film, it is a peek into our own judicial future.
Christian Calloway www.IMDb.me/IamHollywoodHomeless
Cocaine Unwrapped (2011)
Fantastic footage ruined by sub titles
I set my DVR to watch this doc. It looked like it would be fantastic. I was not disappointed by the work filmed by Owen Scurfield. I was however shocked to see the laziness of the production values in post.
Forced to read every word in subtitles other than those in English I was so disappointed to be forced to stare every second at the screen.
Im a person that watches a lot of docs and enjoy every one of them. I know the work that goes into doing any project and would never even think of discounting or poorly reviewing someones work. I am honest in my reviews but I do appreciate the work.
I do not know who decided to subtitle all the words spoken. It could be said that the subtitles were so Spanish speakers could still hear the words being spoken. In that case the English spoken would be subtitled too.
It hurts me to give such a poor rating for this doc but the laziness and lack of thought going out to the viewer is shocking. My lady first told me "wait a while, they will start have someone interpret" She was shocked when they did not and even said she was tired of reading and wanted to just erase the doc.
I, and all other viewers should not be forced to read the whole doc. Why did you do a film then? Why didn't you do a table book and we could have read that.
Its sad that the hard work put in filming this was so overshadowed by this simple fix.
Shame on whoever made this decision. It took a fantastic and well thought out film and turned it into a tedious 2 hours of reading.
Shame on you for doing this. If you cannot afford to fix this I do offer my service to you for free to do the voice-over work. I would love to see this fixed, Owens images deserve it.
Christian Calloway www.IMDb.me/IamHollywoodHomeless
Breaking with Tradition (2011)
Solid cast and focused direction yields a wonderful Holiday film
I always enjoy a good film. Not much of a statement but I say it that way because so many films could be good but poor direction or casting ruins the film or story. But boy, when I stumble upon a film I enjoy I cant help but to want to thank the Director and all involved for doing it right.
Seraph films has produced yet another timely piece. Always ones to make you think or recall your past, the makers of this film seems to have sliced off a piece of ordinary Holiday sentiments and portrayed them with real to life accuracy. In this piece we will be asked who amongst us does not know that one annoying man/woman in our family circle?
Be ready to expose yourself to joyous fun as you enter the dining room of a typical couples Thanksgiving seen from the eyes of Seraph Films. The acting is top notch. Adam Collins is stellar and supported by the lovely and talented Heather Harper. Mellissa Pino and James Tumminia turn in strong performances and wrap the storytelling in emotions and laughter. I really liked this film.
Great job guys!!!!.
The Face at the Window (2011)
Another Blalock classic from Seraph Films
Once again my day has been blessed with some great filmmaking. Seraph films never fails to deliver.
The Face at the Window is a short piece directed by Gene Blalock for this production company I have had good fortune to stumble upon. As is with all their films this is very high quality.
A tale of suspense and horror as we visit the fear within a stranded car and a dark forest. The cinematography is creepy, dark, unique and could stand alone simply on effectiveness. Bring this together with a great cast Ashley Donigan, Douglas Tait, James Tumminia and Chris Waters and the recipe blends into a fantastic meal of horror.
I seek out every film I can from anyone associated with Seraph films and Gene Blalock. They bring back real filmmaking keeping the story telling as it should be, pure fun.
Thanks for another one guys.
Christian Calloway www.IMDb.me/IamHollywoodHomeless www.IamHollywoodHomeless.com
A Second Chance at Christmas (2011)
A well done Holiday film
A hearty dish of Holiday joy from Seraph Films and Director Gene Blalock. I am fast becoming a fan of this production company and its servings of strong, intelligent and professional approach to film making.
This is the second film I have discovered from Seraph films. Like the first, I enjoyed it very much but rated it a bit lower than the 7 I gave The House. Though the process of making the film shines, there are areas of it that kept pulling me away from the story and for that I gave an honest reflection when I chose the rating.
The good. The almost flawless directing of Mr. Blalock. His vision is so well played out from the direction given to the actors to the use of lighting and scenery to bring out the story within his minds eye. I really enjoy his work and his dedication shows.
And more good. The acting. Fantastic job done by this cast. Though some a little over the top I felt the cast as a whole made each believable and watchable.
Now the final good. The story itself. Well written and just the right flavors to pull at your heart and leave you with that warm tingle and maybe even a tear in your eye. A film being able to pull that from a viewer is a testament to the overall cast, crew and use of the genre of holiday films.
Now for the bad. As many know, I am a professional actor that has dedicated the majority of my career to the realistic portrayal of homeless men. I must say that Greg Jackson pulled off a very believable character and I have no issues with his performance. My contention is the level of realistic overall look of the character itself. I started portraying homeless men for a number of reasons but the main reason was that Hollywood seems to have a blind eye on what a true homeless man would look like. This causes a MAJOR issue to the viewer when watching the film. A homeless man should appear homeless. If the viewer even notices one small detail that is not indicative of homeless then their attention is snapped away and for a split second they are pulled away from the story. They may not even consciously know that they noticed something but their minds interpretation of the character before them somehow no longer fits the mold of being homeless.
Let me point out the examples. With the many years spent with the homeless I have seen very few that have a precision cut mustache revealing their upper lip. Mr Jackson looked as if he just walked out of the barber shop having a perfectly coiffed beard. the second item would be the fingernails. Dirt gets encased in them so much that it forms a permanent stain. His nails were very clean. No hint of homeless in them, maybe even recently manicured Small details, I think not. Details like this strike the viewers senses and they fall away from the story just a sleight bit. His clothes also were a bit too clean to have so many holes and duct tape on them. I might also add his knee in the pants were torn but he knee itself pristine as if just coming from the shower.
OK, am I being to critical. Yes, possibly so. However it really is vitally important that small details not affect the viewer. I started my niche to correct this in Hollywood and have done well. I applaud Mt Jackson for his work as a homeless man. I applaud the story and its message.
I really liked the film and cant wait to see more from Seraph films.
Here Today (2012)
Acting Gems Hidden within this wonderful piece
I stumbled upon this little film called Here Today and was captivated immediately by the level of acting. The first scene stars William Gabriel Grier and his portrayal of a down and out man, tugged at my heart. So real as he ventured forward in his life encountering such small issues as donuts and 3 cents. Powerful performance. I could stop there with the revue and say his performance is enough for you to seek out and view this film. However the following scenes revealed even more.
An incredible performance by Robert Evans as an elderly man making the best of his final days. I really enjoyed this part of the film. Again, I could leave you with that but introduced next was Dawn Alden, Maxwell Chase and Christian Hutcherson. Dawn is a star. She has the kind of beauty in her acting that pulls your emotions to the brink of exploding. She is simply stellar. Of course Maxwell Chase goes without saying anything. A face you all will recognize and a body of growing work that clearly shows he is on the path of being known in every household across the world. Always a wonderful pleasure to see him.
I was set back a moment as I studied the actor who played his brother. I did not know him and was immediately caught by his face. His name is Christian Hutcherson, a blank slate that a director could add any character to and this young man could make him come to life. I see a young Christopher Walken in him. I was so struck by his appearance as it is one of those rare character faces that become so iconic in film and television. He has the acting chops to support this look too. I believe great things will come from this man.
The cast rounds itself out with many more performances that I just cant do justice speaking of here. Look at the credits listed here at IMDb and appreciate all the actors involved.
Casey Schlosser is a very lucky director to have cast such actors. This film is a joy to watch as we see people redeem themselves, watch themselves be discovered and discover what is lost. Find and watch Here Today. I know you will enjoy it.
The House (2012)
The House offers viewers classic horror tingles
I really enjoyed this film from Seraph Films and Gene Blalock. Gene wrote/directed and his touch is apparent. A good film need many things to draw in a viewer. The House delivers in all areas. A soundtrack that haunts. Scenes that grip and actors that bring it real. I recommend the film highly and give it a solid 7.
Set in Anytown USA we find a couple driving and encountering the House. Innocent in its appearance the viewer is quickly taken in by its depth and strange familiarity. As I said the acting is great. John C. Epperson delivers his lines with a believability that wants you to see him as a compassionate husband and friend. He is joined by Tanya Gorlow as his wife. She is so good at her art that I felt as if I knew her my whole life. I don't know if I would just give all credit to the actors or if this is just the results of the Director Gene Blalock. He really put together a horror film that I will show people over and over when I get the chance.
The cast continues with many more fine actors and not a one of them brings a poor performance.
I recommend this film and hope you enjoy.