Film Review: BUSTER’S MAL HEART (USA 2016) ***

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival: http://www.wildsound.ca

busters_mal_heart.pg.jpgA family man’s chance encounter with a conspiracy-obsessed drifter leaves him on the run from the police and an impending event known as The Inversion.

Director: Sarah Adina Smith
Writer: Sarah Adina Smith
Stars: Rami Malek, DJ Qualls, Kate Lyn Sheil

Review by Gilbert Seah

 If quirky films are your cup of tea, writer/director Sarah Adina Smith’s (MIDNIGHT SWIM) BUSTER’S MAL HEART has much to offer. The title is even strange – a mix between Spanish and English which translates to Buster’s Bad Heart because the film’s protagonist is Latino and that he is discovered to have a bad heart in the later part of the film.

The film is occasionally as confusing as the film is quirky, primarily because Smith does not take the route of a straight narrative. Her film opens with a troubled man sporting a full beard growth looking like a mountain hillbilly, nicknamed Buster by the media (Mr. Robot’s Rami Malek) on the run in the wilderness, hunted down by the local police. The film flashbacks to 5 days prior to explain the incidents leading to the state of affairs. But the film quickly jumps back in time to the present, so that the 5 days prior does not hold for more than 5 minutes or so. If one can forgive the confusion, Smith’s film is as intriguing as it is absorbing. Be forewarned that this is a mindf*** film, so be prepared for an open ending.

Buster is on the run from the authorities, surviving the winter by breaking into empty vacation homes in a remote community. Regularly calling into radio talk shows — where he has acquired the nickname “Buster” — to rant about the impending dangers of Y2K, he is haunted by visions of being lost at sea, and memories of his former life as a family man.

Smith also intercuts her film with Buster (Rami Malek) who was once Jonah, a hard-working husband and father whose job as the night-shift concierge at a hotel took its toll on his mood and, consequently, his marriage to the sensitive and long-suffering Marty (Kate Lyn Sheil).

Things are going well work and family-wise, until a chance encounter with a conspiracy-obsessed drifter (DJ Qualls) changes the course of his life forever. The drifter warns of Y2K and how he will benefit from the disaster. The audience already knows the nonsense from the false prophets as Y2K has passed with nothing happening with all it false prophets put to ridicule. But the drifter warns of an earth’s inversion. This is shown as inverted numbers as in clocks in hotel room numbers.

Smith’s film is full of polar opposites. Buster is at one point a family man and hotel clerk, neat, well-groomed and handsome. In the other, he is unkempt, bearded, untidy and ghastly. Butler can also be quiet, calm and calculated while angry and loud, screaming at the top of his voice in another scene. Actor Rami Malek is excellent in his role of Buster, able to convey different personalities. DJ Qualls is also impressive as the talkative drifter.

BUSTER’S MAL HEART is a strange film. There are unexplained segments like the one with Buster in a small rowboat in the middle of a vast ocean. Or an unexplained killing in the hotel room which the audience is supposed to deduce the culprit. Still, BUSTER’S MAL HEART is a carefully crafted film, nevertheless and should prove an intriguing experience.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K9S9F5DRhbg

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Also, Free logline submissions. The Writing Festival network averages over 95,000 unique visitors a day.
Great way to get your story out: http://www.wildsound.ca/logline.html

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival:http://www.wildsound.ca

Watch recent Writing Festival Videos. At least 15 winning videos a month:http://www.wildsoundfestival.com

Film Review: CERTAIN WOMEN (USA 2016) ***

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival: http://www.wildsound.ca

certain_womenThe lives of three women intersect in small-town America, where each is imperfectly blazing a trail.

Director: Kelly Reichardt
Writers: Kelly Reichardt (screenplay), Maile Meloy (based on stories by)
Stars: Michelle Williams, Kristen Stewart, Laura Dern

Review by Gilbert Seah

 
CERTAIN WOMEN tells three different stories about women, the common thread that the stories, among another things are set in Montana. Unlike films with many stories, writer/director Kelly Reichardt (WENDY AND LUCY, OLDJOY, MEEK’S CUTOFF) does not intercut the stories into one narrative but rather tells each story on its own, one after another. The advantage of this strategy (and the one I prefer) is that the continuity of each story is un-compromised.

The first story involves a female lawyer, Laura (Laura Dern) defusing a hostage situation and calming her disgruntled client (Jared Harris). The second has a married couple (Michelle Williams and James Le Gros) breaking ground on a new home but exposing marital fissures when they try to persuade an elderly man to sell his stockpile of sandstone. The third and final story is of a ranch hand (Lily Gladstone) forming an attachment to a young lawyer (Kristen Stewart), who inadvertently finds herself teaching a twice-weekly adult education class, four hours from her home. These are independent women whose lives finally intersect in a powerful way. These stories are based on short stories from Maile Meloy’s collection Both Ways is the Only Way I Want It.

Reichardt ’s films have a strong feminine content. This is not a bad thing if done right. Reichardt demonstrates the feminine content in a clever subtle as evident in the first story. The first story begins with the female lawyer, Laura after a lunch time love-making in a rented room. The two are never shown together. She is seen in the bedroom while he is the bathroom. When he enters the bedroom, his figure is shown in the mirror. Never once do the male and female appear on he same side of the screen. The male and female are distinct, they have different roles in each story and Reichardt emphasizes the female roles.

Often in films with a strong female content by a female director, the male characters are depicted as silly or spineless. Thankfully, this is not the case in CERTAIN WOMEN. If the males have to answer to the female, there is a least a legitimate reason. In the first story, the lawyer’s client (Jared Harris) has made an error and has suffered severe mental, physical and financial loss. When he breaks down crying (a crying male is too often used in a female director’s film to show that they too have sensitivity), it illustrates at least, a credible state of affairs.

The female characters are all involved with the typical male roles in society. Laura Dern is a lawyer, who ends up as a hostage negotiator. Michelle Williams makes the family decisions especially on the construction of their new house to buy sandstones from an elderly gentleman. The husband admits too, to the old gent in on scene that she is the boss.

Women films are strong this month with the release of both CERTAIN WOMEN at TIFF Bell Lightbox and the Hollywood comedy SNATCHED on Mother’s Day

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_Lznehy2-s

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Also, Free logline submissions. The Writing Festival network averages over 95,000 unique visitors a day.
Great way to get your story out: http://www.wildsound.ca/logline.html

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival:http://www.wildsound.ca

Watch recent Writing Festival Videos. At least 15 winning videos a month:http://www.wildsoundfestival.com

Film Review: FIRST ROUND DOWN (Canadian Feature)

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival: http://www.wildsound.ca

first_round_down.jpgA former hockey star turned hitman returns home after ten years to take care of his younger brother, but his checkered past catches up to him faster than he can deliver pizza.

Directors: Brett M. Butler, Jason G. Butler
Writers: Brett M. Butler, Jason G. Butler
Stars: Dylan Bruce, Rachel Wilson, Rob Ramsay

Review by Gilbert Seah

 FIRST ROUND DOWN begins with a very impressive start. Hockey stud looks at himself in a tight polo shirt in the mirror. He drives a vintage plymouth with the voiceover saying something about hockey as he speeds his car to deliver, yes, deliver pizzas. He is given flack including insults like “Loser!” But this never gets him down. The recycle trash cans by the street indicate it is not a period piece but a contemporary story. This culminates with a catchy “The Good old hockey game (is the best game you can name)” played to the opening credits and voiceover where the audience learns more of the film’s protagonist.

Set in small town Hamilton, the Butlers capture the spirit of the Canadian small town mentality. The guys, especially the hockey fans are loud, obnoxious and male chauvinist pigs. The women are slutty, talking dirty among themselves while the older folk talk of the town’s past glory – i.e. Timothy Tucker’s glory days.

The film is split into three parts, titled as periods as in a hockey game. The story revolves around Tucker (Dylan Bruce from ORPHAN BLACK), a former hockey prodigy, who returns home to take care of his younger brother after their parents pass on. Having spent the last ten years as a hit man for the mob in Montreal, Tucker now lives on the straight and narrow as a pizza delivery driver, laying low and paying the bills. However, a chance encounter with his former girlfriend, Kelly Quinn (Rachel Wilson, THE REPUBLIC OF DOYLE) coupled with the Sterling Cup reunion and the untimely arrival of his old mob boss in town has Tim’s checkered past catching up to him faster than he can plan one final heist to move on once and for all.
The film falls into the trap of having the same identical plot of many small town movies. We have the hero who has returned to the small town to prove himself. He finds his former girl engaged and tries to win her back. There is some celebration organized to remember his glory and the man obviously proves himself. All these elements are present in FIRST ROUND DOWN.

Stage, television and film actor Rob Ramsay must be ‘complemented’ for playing the most obnoxious and annoying character in a movie so far this year, probably beating Jack Black an actor I just cannot bear to watch. Bobby, who Ramsay plays not only annoys the audience with his shouting and weird noises, but also annoys every character in the film – his best friend, his mates and the girls. Dylan Bruce is ok as the lead hunk who has the good looks for a star hockey leading man.

For hockey as the inspiration for the Butler’s film, there is surprisingly few hockey games on display.

FIRST ROUND DOWN started well – funny, stylish and offbeat. But the film unfortunately gets mired down in its silly predictable story

Trailer: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6G5XNDhIpWiSmd0eW1kWUhZYlU/view

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Also, Free logline submissions. The Writing Festival network averages over 95,000 unique visitors a day.
Great way to get your story out: http://www.wildsound.ca/logline.html

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival:http://www.wildsound.ca

Watch recent Writing Festival Videos. At least 15 winning videos a month:http://www.wildsoundfestival.com

Best of Jonathan Demme (1944–2017)

Jonathan DemmeJonathan Demme (1944–2017)

Born: February 22, 1944 in Baldwin, Long Island, New York, USA
Died: April 26, 2017 (age 73) in New York, USA

I was really hooked on movies at a very young age. The Manchurian Candidate (1962), along with Seven Days in May (1964), Fail-Safe (1964) and Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964) were this quartet of anarchistic black-and-white American movies, each of which did things that you just didn’t do in American movies, especially in the realm of irreverence toward politics and government institutions and the Army. I was what, 16, it was shocking, it was thrilling and, interestingly, it predated my exposure to the French New Wave so, in a way, this was the American, a certain kind of new wave in American movies.

READ the best of his MOVIES:

The Silence of the Lambs<
1991
dir. by Demme
starring
Jodie Foster
Anthony Hopkins
MOVIE POSTERPHILADELPHIA
1993
dir. Jonathan Demme
Stars:
Tom Hanks
Denzel Washington
Rachel Getting MarriedRachel Getting Married
2008
dir. Demme
Starring
Anne Hathaway

CLICK and WATCH MOVIES ONLINE!


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12 Actors Who Have Featured In DC And Marvel Movies

Scene It

Marvel and DC are titans and main rivals when it comes to the comic book superhero universe. That rivalry is really beginning to heat up with so many future releases from both parties set to drop in the next couple of years. Naturally there is going to be some form of crossover between both worlds so here’s a list of just some of the actors and actresses who have featured in both Marvel and DC movies:

Ben Affleck – Affleck is currently portraying Batman role for DC as seen in the Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice and briefly in Suicide Squad, but he also donned the rather forgettable Daredevil outfit for Marvel – both were fairly terrible movies. He returns as the Dark Knight later this year in Justice League.

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Ryan Reynolds – Everyone now knows Reynolds as the foul-mouthed Deadpool, a distant member of the X-Men family for…

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Interview with Festival Director William Strang-Moya (OCEAN CITY FILM FESTIVAL)

The Ocean City Film Festival was founded in January, 2017. Hosted by the Art League of Ocean City, this festival is a regional affair that allows both community engagement and networking for artists.

http://oceancityfilmfestival.weebly.com/

Matthew Toffolo: What is your Film Festival succeeding at doing for filmmakers?

William Strang-Moya: This film festival is ultimately going to expand the demographic of these filmmakers. It is truly providing them an opportunity to lay the groundwork for an emerging film culture within the Delmarva region.

What would you expect to experience if you attend the festival this year (2017)?

This is the inaugural year for the Ocean City Film Festival. A person attending can expect mainly an incredibly diverse selection and the chance to personally engage the filmmakers that will be showing their work.

What are the qualifications for the selected films?

The qualifications are few for this year’s festival. We have an animation category, short film category, feature length category, and youth category. We seek work based on its uniqueness, diversity, and its coherent purpose for being a film. However, we do offer various awards for films. Such as a judge’s choice and audience choice. Then there is the “Pink Flamingo” Award for the film that most uniquely represents Maryland life. The “Celluloid Crab” award goes to the film with the best use of analog equipment or practical effects. And last we have the “Inky Tentacle” award for the best screenplay.

Do you think that some films really don’t get a fair shake from film festivals? And if so, why?

I don’t think that films will always get a fair shake anywhere, really. As film, to us, is ultimately viewed as an art, beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder. As someone who is fresh out of film school, I can say that for the longest time I have had to craft my films in a way that would appease my professors as opposed to my artistic inclinations. It is truly shameful that as a collective, film cannot be approached with a more open mind as Hollywood has set such specific standards for how films should be executed. When it comes to festivals, films have a lot of opportunities for due recognition, but as a whole, I do not feel too much at liberty to speak on behalf of how complicated the relationship can be between filmmakers and festivals.

What motivates you and your team to do this festival?

We are motivated by a number of things. My partner Kristin Helf(Festival Co-director) and I have been shooting films in the area for a while now, and even as a native, I am constantly amazed by how readily the community embraces film-making and allows for individuals such as ourselves to come in and work on our films. So we are really motivated by the idea of establishing a culture for filmmakers in the region and awaken the local artists so that a network can be established.

How has your FilmFreeway submission process been?

The process was intimidating at first, but we are fortunate to have gotten a good committee of judges and a coherent color-coded flagging system to sort through the entries.

Where do you see the festival by 2020?

By 2020, I see the festival at its third year, with larger venues, and bigger names attending.

What film have you seen the most times in your life?

Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead II.

In one sentence, what makes a great film?

A great film is a film that is both personal and purposeful to the filmmaker and its audience.

How is the film scene in your city?

I currently live in Baltimore and with the Maryland Film Fest going on, the film scene is present and active. Ocean City however has no film scene. The closest film scene can be found about an hour away in Rehoboth.
 

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Interviewer Matthew Toffolo is currently the CEO of the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival. The festival that showcases 20-50 screenplay and story readings performed by professional actors every month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto, and Los Angeles at least 2 times a month. Go to www.wildsound.ca for more information and to submit your work to the festival.

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Interview with Festival Director Jayson Simba (KEW GARDENS FESTIVAL OF CINEMA)

Already being hailed by The Wall Street Journal as New York City’s next major film event, and as mentioned on The Huffington Post, Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema is a non-profit organization established to support the development of and help expand the audiences for independent cinema from around the globe. The inaugural festival will take place Aug. 4-13, 2017.

http://www.kewgardensfestivalofcinema.com/

Matthew Toffolo: What is your Film Festival succeeding at doing for filmmakers?

Jayson Simba: Simply, our festival is succeeding in getting filmmakers films in front of the right people at the right location. We wanted to make sure we were able to present films in an actual theater, giving them the proper environment in addition to optimal sound and visuals. We are also working extremely hard to have audiences attend and have a very active campaign on social media as well as various print outlets. Finally, we want to assure that filmmakers are comfortable and confident with their submissions, so along with obtaining great sponsors that are offering amazing opportunities, we guarantee that every film is watched by a board member in its entirety.

What would you expect to experience if you attend the festival this year (2017)?

Attendees and participants can expect to experience an event, not just a film festival. We are not only concentrating on the Films, but we want to offer filmmakers and attendees a great time, so you can expect Movie Trivia Night, Happy Hours Specials at various Bars and Restaurants throughout the area. We also will be having an outdoor screening in Flushing Meadow Park under the famous Unisphere presented by The Queens Museum!

What are the qualifications for the selected films?

The ONLY qualification is that the film isn’t backed by a major studio. Other than that, anything and everything goes! We have already received over 350 amazing films which include subjects and genres such as Horror, Drama, Fantasy, Noir, Thriller, Action, LGBT, Docs, Animation and Experimentation.

Do you think that some films really don’t get a fair shake from film festivals? And if so, why?

Absolutely without question. With the rise in popularity in ‘independent film’ A lot of major studios have developed divisions that fund and produce these films, usually with a budget of $10 million plus. It’s become unfortunate that film festivals which have gone on to become some of the biggest in the world, seem to have forgotten the true purpose of a film festival and generally seem to cater to films with multimillion dollar budgets and A list actors – something that the truly independent film rarely if at all has access to. There are some amazing films out there (as our festival is setting out to prove) that do an amazing job without the large budget and A list celebrities.

What motivates you and your team to do this festival?

Honestly it’s the love of film. Our festival was formed by filmmakers who have the experience of creating content that has been rejected by major festivals for the very same reasons as others. Knowing at the end of the day that we are providing an great service, presenting great material and allowing everyone to fully enjoy this festival as an event, makes it all worth doing.

How has your FilmFreeway submission process been?

Filmfreeway is only one of the five platforms where we are accepting films. But FilmFreeway is #1. Alone we have surpassed 200 submissions!

Where do you see the festival by 2020?

My personal vision is to have this event become a NYC staple. An event that people plan and book in advance because its “THE” place to be in August.

What film have you seen the most times in your life?

Oh wow. That’s tough. I’m a huge cinephile and have been since as long as I can remember! (As a kid, my mom and I would go to the local videostore and rent 5 movies at time!) …..But If I must claim ONE – I’d say its probably the original Clash of the Titans and/or Star Wars – I knew both films VERBATIM.

In one sentence, what makes a great film?

goosebumps

How is the film scene in your city?

In our CITY – the film scene is intense. Besides all the multiplexes and over 200 film festivals, I’d say NYC has one of, if not the largest film going population in the world….Now if you ask me about the film scene in QUEENS? That’s another story – and we are about to change that!
 

kewgardens_2.jpg

Interviewer Matthew Toffolo is currently the CEO of the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival. The festival that showcases 20-50 screenplay and story readings performed by professional actors every month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto, and Los Angeles at least 2 times a month. Go to www.wildsound.ca for more information and to submit your work to the festival.

SUBMIT your TV PILOT Screenplay or TV SPEC Script
Voted #1 TV Contest in North America.
Screenplay CONTESTSUBMIT your Short Screenplay or FEATURE Script
FULL FEEDBACK on all entries. Get your script performed
Screenplay CONTESTFIRST SCENE (first 10pgs) Screenplay CONTEST
Submit the first stages of your film an