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Brain Engagement Reel Review

Ben and Anna have been dating for two years and Ben is ready to pop the question. We see this very clearly within the first few moments of the short film Brain Engagement, a short romantic comedy directed by Patrick Neff. How Ben, played by Brennen Thompson, plans on accomplishing this goal is not so clear. Anna, played by Kristin Mellian, certainly seems interested in starting a life together. Ben can’t be for certain, however, until he finally asks “Will you marry me?”. He only has his heart and emotions to talk to. A heart and emotions that get angry, crack jokes, problem solve, and celebrate. It’s almost as if the emotions were real people themselves…

Brain Engagement was a joy to watch from start to finish. Being a Rom/Com this film had two aspects to focus on. It needs a relationship the viewer wants to root for and enjoyable, well written humor. Brain Engagement absolutely nails both. As Ben goes through his journey throughout the film you feel all the emotions that he is feeling, which makes the ending all the more meaningful. The moments of levity are also amazing with great jokes that are cleverly written and engaging to the story. Relatability and comedy combine together perfectly in Brain Engagement and that gives the film a lot of heart.

My one criticism of Brain Engagement is that, while it’s plot is perfect in execution, it’s lacking in originality. Not giving away any spoilers, I would have to say that I’ve seen this plot device used in comedy’s and animated features in the past. It’s a only minor criticism because of what Brain Engagement manages to do. In roughly 15 minutes Brain Engagement has more laughs, love, and charm then some other movies have with a full length runtime.

Brain Engagement does what I feel every short film should try to carry out. It gets the viewer excited about what they just watched, but also leaves them wanting more content in the same universe. More of the continued relationship between Ben and Anna, and more of Ben’s hilarious internal emotional struggles.

I give Brain Engagement 6 out of 6 reels.


Bailiwick Reel Review

Bailiwick is the story of John, a lonely, quiet man who is given a gift that changes his life. Do you believe in magic?

Bailiwick
Length: 1Hour 36Mins
Written and Directed by Tonia L. Carrier

John is a middle-aged man who lives a simple life. His day starts with your usual morning fare: shower, breakfast, etc. He then goes to his office job, which comes complete with a disagreeable boss and coworkers who mostly ignore him. John caps off the night by preparing for another day, identical to the last. During one of these mundane days John attends a magic show. At the show John receives a strange book, filled with detailed instructions for magic tricks. The magician hands the ancient book off and John eagerly accepted the gift. Little does John know that his life is about to change in many exciting and dangerous ways as he slowly masters the magic tricks one by one.

Bailiwick is an independent full length feature film directed by Tonia Carrier. In Bailiwick you’ll find mystery, drama, action, horror, fantasy, and comedy. It’s hard to pin down a specific genre because this film truly has a bit of everything and mostly succeeds in all the genres it attempts. I would say the creativeness of tackling so many genres is one of my favorite elements of the film and helped keep me continually interested in the story. The main character John, played by Dan Gerics, does an outstanding job. It’s impressive to watch an actor navigate these shifting genres and make it seem so effortless. I also enjoy a good narrative build up in a film and Bailiwick doesn’t disappoint. It’s very satisfying to go from that first uneventful day in John’s life which leads to the events that ensue at the end.

While I commend the creativeness of the multi genre approach to Bailiwick, it is also where some of my criticisms lay. Personally, I would have liked some smoother transitions from genre to genre. Most of these problems occur during the third act of the film. Without spoilers, I’ll just say that some of these genre transitions made me question Johns motivations. These criticisms, while a bit jarring, didn’t detract from the creativeness of the film.

Bailiwick is a wildly inventive film.

While this inventiveness sometimes messes with the pacing and flow of the narrative, it is still a fantastic film. If you’re into indie cinema that isn’t afraid to take risks, then give this film a shot. Go to YouTube where Bailiwick is available to stream now.

I give Bailiwick 4 out of 6 reels.

SUDS & CINEMA – Official Selections

The jury has spoken! Our goal was to select the best films across a variety of genres that fit into the theme and vibe of Suds & Cinema: good production quality, entertaining/exciting, and fun to watch.

…Before we get into it, we should all take a moment to thank our festival jury: Jeremy Borden, Mike Neider, and Jeremy Allen for taking the time to view, rate, review, and curate the official film selections for the first ever Suds & Cinema film festival!

And this was no simple task– As we received so many great film submissions! Some film submissions were technically fantastic, but were not selected simply based on the fact they may not fit into this particular event program. Which is to say– I WISH WE WERE ABLE TO SHOWCASE EVERY SUBMISSION WE RECEIVED!

But I digress.
The list below is of all of the awesome official film selections of Suds & Cinema on March 9th, 2019.F

  • Static – Horror – Wayneville, OH
  • Not From Around Here – Thriller – Jake Barry – Grove City, OH
  • Fear, Itself –Thriller – Alex Caperton – Columbus, OH
  • The Chair – Comedy – Zebulon Griffin – Hilliard, OH
  • Clown vs Corn 4 Gold Malt Liquor – MCR Electric Otto – Detroit, MI
  • The Pizza Guy – Comedy/Thriller – Naim David – Columbus, OH
  • The…ال… Horror – Diaa Bahaa – Egypt
  • Subject – Sci Fi August Aguilar – Knoxville, TN
  • Alive – Horror – Naim David – Columbus, OH
  • Strike It – Action/Heist – Tom Dallis – Dayton, OH
  • Haunted House – Ghost/Comedy – Michael DeSanto – Toledo, OH
  • CUT – Horror/Thriller – Jeremy Allen – Grove City, OH
  • Whiskey Chips – Comedy – Columbus, OH
  • Golden Dong – Kung Fu Comedy – Mike Neider – Columbus, OH
  • READ A BOOK – Horror – Michael Welborn – Bay City, MI
  • Blood on the Lens – Horror/Comedy Nic White – Columbus, OH
  • Retribution – Action – Jeremy Borden, London, OH
  • Be sure to arrive at the Suds & Cinema event EARLY, as this is a FREE event, and seating space is LIMITED.

    SLICE THE PLANET

SUDS & CINEMA – Submissions are Closed

Our submission window has now closed. THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO SUBMITTED A SHORT FILM TO THE FIRST EVER SUDS & CINEMA FILM FESTIVAL!

As with every new venture, CinemaSlice approached this event with vigor and excitement– but also with caution and healthy hesitation. There were two critical elements that issues that helped to propel us head-first as we began to organize this event: an awesome venue and a great festival jury.

The first step was to find a brewery that could accommodate a film event. After exploring many options, we landed with HopYard 62 in Grove City, OH. The venue is small and intimate, the brewery has 21 taps, and the owner of the brewpub is welcoming and accommodating!

A close #2 (hehe number two) is our festival jury. Made up of 3 enthusiastic Ohio Filmmakers, Mike, Jeremy, and Jeremy 2 watched and reviewed each film submission as they rolled in over the last 3 months–We held multiple meetings to discuss highlights and exchange notes, and ultimately select our festival programing.

With a great location and jury in-place, CinemaSlice simply deferred to the filmmakers of the world to submit their art for us to display at our gallery! We received so many great films! Seriously, narrowing our selections down to fill only an hour and a half of programing is CHALLENGING!

As we finalize the last minute details, we want to invite all of the Slicers and appreciators of independent cinema to come out to the first ever SUDS & CINEMA Film Festival event.

SUDS & CINEMA
Sat, MARCH 9th, 2019 • 8-10pm
At HopYard 62 – 4057 Broadway, Grove City, OH 43123
FREE ADMISSION

“An Hour to Kill” – Reel Review

GENRE: Horror / Comedy / Action

SYNOPSIS: Two assassins have an hour to kill (so to speak) before their next hit. To help pass the time, they entertain themselves by sharing horror stories to one another. With bizarre titles such as “Valkyrie’s Bunker” “Assacre” and “Hog Hunters” – which hit-man’s story will be deemed most disturbing when all is said and done?

TAGLINE: Before they make the hit, these gangsters shoot the sh!t

RUN TIME: 96 min

COMPANY: Rotten Productions

DIRECTED BY: Aaron K. Carter

WRITTEN BY: Aaron K. Carter / Ronnie Jimenez

PRODUCED BY: Aaron K. Carter / Jacob Harlow

STARRING:

  • Mel Novak (Game Of Death, An Eye For An Eye, Syndicate Smasher)
  • Frankie Pozos (LA 143)
  • Aaron Guerrero (Dead Kansas)
  • Amanda Rau (Living Among Us)  
  • Joe McQueen (Confessions Of A SuperHero)
  • Veronica Ricci (Treasure Chest Of Horrors II / Bloody Mary 3D)  
  • Brendan Mitchell (WetMovie1 / YouTube Personality)
  • Gabriel Mercado (Dysmorphia)
  • Luna Meow (Things 4)
  • Arash Dibazar (seduction artist)
  • Vince Kelvin (seduction artist)

Imagine this, a group of young women visit an abandoned hideout in search of a rumored weed stash. A champion competitive eater and video blogger prank a YouTuber by giving him a mysterious gift. A bowling team gets more than they expect when visiting a farm that contains some interesting farm animals. These stories may seem very strange, made even stranger when considering who is telling the tales. An exuberant rookie hitman who is in more danger than what he is aware of.

An Hour to Kill is a compendium of grindhouse inspired short films directed by Aaron K. Carter. The movie ranges in genre from action to horror/exploitation, done similarly in style to films like Creepshow, Trick rTreat, andV/H/S. I, personally, am a fan of strange and creepy anthologies and An Hour to Kill did not disappoint.

Pacing is important in a film like this, and An Hour to Kill does an outstanding job. Considering the short time allowed for each segment, the storytelling and character development are great. Plenty of movies can’t achieve these heights, even within a two hour runtime. The writing is also consistently funny and believable considering the wacky scenarios. Also, I have to mention the great acting of Frankie Pozos. He plays hitman Frankie and was a standout in the film.

A small criticism I do have with the film is that nothing really ties the stories together. These anthologies really reach true greatness, in my opinion, when all the plots are brought together in a cohesive fashion. The previously mentioned Trick rTreat would be a good example.

STREAM THE FULL FILM ON AMAZON

An Hour to Kill was an excellent film. The entertaining stories and characters were fun to watch throughout despite an overall lack of cohesion between the individual shorts. I would highly recommend this to lovers of action, horror, and comedy. An overall fantastic movie viewing experience.

5 out of 6 stars.

Escape Room Reel Review

6 individuals receive an elaborate puzzle cube that acts as an invitation to participate in an escape room challenge. The premise sounds simple. Find your way through a maze of different rooms. Solve an environmental puzzle to escape each locale and you will receive the grand prize: 10,000 dollars. The participants begin to arrive, although some are reluctant. What transpires next is a descent into madness as the contestants realize this game has higher stakes then what they previously envisioned.

Escape Room is a 2019 film directed by Adam Robitel. Although labeled by some as a horror movie, I would classify this into the thriller/mystery genre. It is similar to past films like Cube, Saw, and Final Destination. In these films there are extreme situations, in which the main characters have to survive. Unlike these films, however, Escape Room leans farther away from the gory and torturous elements.

I enjoyed Escape Room for what it was, an extremely fun and thrilling experience. It offered interesting and varied locations with characters that you genuinely want to see succeed or fail. The story is engaging and easy to follow unlike more cerebral and thought provoking fare such as Hereditary and Suspiria(2018). Just be warned, set your expectations before watching. If you’re the type that enjoys a good dark stout beer and refuses to drink Miller Lite, this movie may not be for you. Escape Room is is definitely horror lite. 

So, maybe you’re looking for a good introduction to horror for some of your friends who refuse to give the genre a shot. Maybe you are a parent that wants to upgrade your children from watching Goosebumps or The House with a Clock in its Walls. Or maybe you just want to watch an exciting thriller without all the gore. If any of these scenarios apply then Escape Room is for you.

4 out of 6 reels.

Suds & Cinema – Late Pass?

ATTENTION FILMMAKERS– CinemaSlice has extended the final late film submission date until February 11th, 2019!

Before getting to far ahead of myself, what is Suds & Cinema? Well, thanks for asking! SUDS & CINEMA is a celebration of independent film and craft beer. The idea is simple: CinemaSlice will curate and present the best film submissions — short films (less than 15 mins) and Microfilms (less than 1 min)– on Saturday, March 9th, 2019, at HopYard 62 (a tap room in Grove City, OH).

This film presentation will be chalked full of awesome independent films from the Mid-Ohio region and beyond– and the 21 taps will be flowing with tasty craft beers all night long!

SUDS & CINEMA FILM FESTIVAL is a FREE event that will feature over 13 accepted film submissions, as well as an award ceremony to immediately follow the event. We’ll be awarding select films with trophies, CinemaSlice swag, gift cards, certificates of authenticity, and MORE!

If you are a filmmaker, and into having a good time, consider submitting your films at FilmFreeway.com/Suds

#SLICETHEPLANET #SUPPORTINDEPENDENTCINEMA

Holmes and Watson is a Good Movie?!

The film Holmes and Watson had a fun and new twist on the classic Sherlock Holmes stories.

Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 0% (Now up to 9%) despite it being a good film with impressive acting chops from both John C. Reilly and Will Ferrell. Not only is it funny but it’s an entertaining whodunnit style film that zigs right when you expect it to zag all the way throughout. There’s even a hysterical musical number thrown in without warning and I definitely appreciated it.

Homies

Sadly it is one of those comedies where you either enjoy the style or you don’t. Some reviews I’ve read compared it to Step Brothers which I’d agree with, the chemistry between John C. Reilly and Will Ferrell is undeniably perfect. They feed off one another in such a way that you’d think they were created for each other, like Laurel and Hardy.

In my book this film holds a 5 out of 6 reels.


And I’m excited to see more Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly collaborations regardless of what the critics say.

“ART LIVES ON” Full Release

CinemaSlice is proud to present “Art Lives On” A Collection of Original Music by David Waldman.

Over the past year David has written and recorded a new song each month for Slicers to serenade their ears in bliss. Every month David unleashed another song unto the SlicerVerse for our enjoyment! Like a balanced pendulum, these sonic manifestations were dropped on our heads one-by-one, like a slippery newborn.

Tracklisting

At this time it is our pleasure to release the complete collection at CinemaSlice.com/Shop or by clicking HERE

The content and musical stylings of Mr Waldman varies WILDLY throughout this collection. The only constant: All of these tracks are entertaining! See Some of my favorites below:

Suds & Cinema – Regular Deadline

The first EVER Suds & Cinema film festival is searching for short films!

Suds & Cinema will take place on Saturday, March 16th in Grove City, OH. We’re hoping to receive submission of fun, terrifying, gorey and hilarious short films from the mid-Ohio area and beyond!

The Regular submission deadline is January 21st, so get your films submitted ASAP!

And if you’re unable to submit your film by the regular deadline, CinemaSlice has added a “Late Deadline” of February 11th, 2019.

We’re looking for short films in all genres (action, adventure, horror, comedy, etc) that are shorter than 15min, and also for MICRO FILMS from 15 – 60 seconds.

Join us for this celebration of independent films and craft beer!

#SLICETHEPLANET