Hello, my name is Mark and I reside in the City by the Bay (Bay City, MI). I enjoy movies (favorite genre: Horror), reading (favorite book: No Country for Old Men), Music (favorite band: Full of Hell), videogames (favorite game: Red Dead Redemption), and eating Taco Bell (favorite menu item: Chipotle Chicken Loaded Griller)
Bay City’s Hells Half Mile Fest wrapped about a week ago and I’m back with some coverage from the final day. The past couple of days I had attended movies that were more tension filled and suspenseful. On the last day I wanted a taste of something different so I ended up attending a comedy and a drama that I found particularly interesting. We’ll start off with “The Go-Getters”.
“The Go-Getters”, directed by Jeremy Lalonde, is one of the most heartfelt, extremely vulgar, and entertaining comedies I have ever watched. The premise is simple, in order to fix up their extremely messed up lives Owen (Aaron Abrams),a drug addict, and Lacie(Tommie-Amber Pirie), a prostitute, must raise 98 dollars in order to buy two bus tickets out of town. Try as they might, this simple task proves to be an extremely impossible, dangerous, harmful and hilarious task in more ways than one. I found this movie immensely enjoyable. Although it isn’t for the easily offended, it was very charming similar to the tv series “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”. The characters are nasty and deplorable, but through good comedic acting, direction, and writing(Aaron Abrams, Brendan Gall) you are rooting for them all the same. Continue reading “HHM Day 4”→
The films we are looking at today were screened during the 2 and 3 days of the festival. They are selections that I felt ranged from challenging and thought provoking– to extremely fun and thrilling. We’ll start off first with “First Reformed”.
Hello, Slicers! Mark Kelly here reporting from the 13th annual Hells Half Mile Film and Music Festival in Bay City, MI. Throughout the weekend I’ll be giving you many, many reviews of the films that I will be watching during the festival. “Funny Story”, a comedy directed by Micheal Gallagher, was the film chosen to kick off the fest on opening night and what a fantastic choice it was.
“Funny Story” has a few amazing plot twists so I feel a very vague synopsis is in order. We meet Walter (Matthew Glave) who is driving Kim (Emily Bett Richards) to a retreat to meet a friend, Walters own daughter Nic (Jana Winternitz). Before I get to what I personally thought of the movie I need to stress that although my synopsis may seem very unexciting it is because YOU DO NOT WANT THIS FILM SPOILED FOR YOU!
“Funny Story” was an amazing movie on all fronts. The writers (Micheal Gallagher, Steve Greene) work together in such a way that you get a comedy that not only has great laughs but laughs that are meaningful in developing the characters. This character development, along with the great acting, make the plot twists and heavy emotional moments later on in the film feel that much more impactful.
I give this film 6 out 6 reels.
The Hells Half Mile Film Fest rolls on and I will continue to provide coverage of the event throughout the weekend. So if you live close by, and want to experience some awesome independent music and cinema, come on over and experience one of the greatest festivals Bay City, MI has to offer.
We see a woman, who leads a simple life, going through her daily activities. We see that she lives by herself in a small apartment and also works at her job as a waitress at a local restaurant.
In “Coco”, a horror film written and directed by Neil Boultby, the viewer is lulled into a false sense of security as we see this woman (Natalia Kaverznikova) go through her day to day, only to find out everything isn’t as it seems. A dark past is slowly unveiled and we find out that an evil presence is following this woman, a presence that intends to destroy everything and everyone she comes into contact with.
The first season of CinemaSlice.coms Indy Film Spotlight is in the books and we end this fantastic series of films with the wildly inventive action comedy “Tuesday Night Flamingo Fight”.
Written and directed by Josiah Wood, “Tuesday Night Flamingo Fight” begins with two young girls telling each other stories of prince and princesses in faraway lands. Well, at least one girl is telling a tale. When the other girl, who seems disinterested and extremely bored, gets a turn to tell her story we find out that she has very different interests then her friend. What we get next is a narrative that is equal parts entertaining, hilarious and disturbing.
At some point in everybody’s life we have all experienced an extreme case of the Monday’s. In the comedy film “Monday”, written and directed by Alejandro Montoya Marin, we find out that maybe our “extreme” Monday may not be the worst after all. “Monday” follows the exploits of Jim (Jamie H. Jung) a young man who is more interested in his hobbies (video games, Game of Thrones, smoking weed) than he is with his job or his girlfriend Alice (Bonnie Gayle). He wakes up one Monday and soon finds out that his lackadaisical attitude has gotten him fired from his job and his girlfriend to leave him. Just when he thinks things can’t get any worse, his Monday goes from bad to extraordinary terrible.
“Monday” takes the simple concept of having a bad day and turns it on its head. The mixture of everyday experiences that are relatable, with the over the top moments that a normal person would most likely never experience makes the story very intriguing for the viewer. You connect with the main character Jim in a way that, even though he has gotten himself into this situation by his own bad habits and actions, you feel for him and want to see him succeed in the end. I know that when I’ve had a bad day I sometimes think “How can this day get any worse?” and this movie answers that question in a extremely hilarious fashion.
Just another night playing poker with the boys. This is the setting for CinemaSlice.coms Indy Movie Spotlight film for August “The Poker Table Observations”, written and directed by Patrick Neff. In this comedy short we get to look in on the often hysterical insights and observations of a group of friends playing poker as they explore topics such as their personal lives, the opposite sex, and cliches that they find ridiculous in various movie genres.
FORMAT DETAILS Short Dramedy DURATION: 19:28 LOCATION: Dayton,Ohio, United States COMPLETED: July 2018
Purity, the lead singer of the newly signed indy rock band O, wakes up to begin the last day of her bands independence. These are some of the opening moments of “Pure O”, a quirky comedic drama written and directed by W.M. Weikart and BlueBeard Productions. As we follow Purity (Stella Singer) through her daily routines we meet an eclectic cast of family and friends that have differing opinions about Purity’s hobbies, the decisions she makes in her life, and who she is as a person. We also begin to find out that Purity has hidden issues that she is struggling with internally, and that she may have to make some tough choices in dealing with these struggles that will change her life forever.
For the month of July CinemaSlice has chosen to highlight the short sci-fi film “SAM” for the Indy Film Spotlight. Directed by Zac Deering, “SAM” follows a seemingly homeless wanderer, named Doc (Jarret Ross), as he scavengers the outer city for parts of an unknown project he seems to be working on. In an abandoned building he soon finds a stack of cardboard boxes where he discovers a powered down android (James Hudson). After getting the android back online we begin to learn more about Sam and find out he may be more than what he seems.
Zach Deering has been featured before in the Indy Film Spotlight with his film “Nano Addiction” and just like this previous film, “SAM” features the same stunning visual effects. It’s always a treat to see indie filmmakers take such care in making special effects believable with such a low budget. A lot of these films end up looking campy or cheesy, while “SAM” maintains its credibility throughout.
Trapped in a dark and dingy room filled with various instruments of torture a man is struggling to escape his confines. This is the scene that is set in the opening moments of “Vulpes”, a short horror/thriller written and directed by Benjamin Helmeczi. The man, played by Szabolcs Kelemen, is bloodstained and confused, but we soon come to find that even though he is in this very troubling situation maybe he isn’t so much the victim that he appears to be.
A disturbing take on the idea of “What lengths will I go in order to defend my pets”, this film seems to draw inspiration from revenge action films as well as gory realistic horror. If you are a fan of the “John Wick” and “Saw” franchises, and ever wondered what would it be like if these two cinematic worlds collided, then this film is for you. I also want to mention the great acting of the “villain” in the film, a character named Vulpes played by Ifj Pal Elek. Well done visuals, good acting, and the beginnings of a interesting story are what make this horror short a very intriguing watch.
I also left this short with the strong feeling of wanting more. This story is to strong to be confined to only roughly 8 minutes and I genuinely wanted to find out what happened to characters after the events that take place. I also understand the idea of teasing the viewer and I hope I see more in the future. Some versions of this short I have seen are titled “Vulpes: Prologue“ so I hope this is a sign of a full film coming soon!