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 BrainEngagement, a short romantic comedy directed by PatrickNeff. How Ben, played by BrennenThompson, planson accomplishing this goal is not so clear. Anna, played by KristinMellian, certainlyseemsinterested 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…
BrainEngagement 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. BrainEngagement 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 BrainEngagement 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 BrainEngagement manages to do. In roughly 15 minutes BrainEngagement has more laughs, love, and charm then some other movies have with a full length runtime.
BrainEngagement 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.
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.
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.
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”→
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.
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.
DISCLAIMER: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS NERDY AND INAPPROPRIATE SHIT.
From director Jim Wynorski, Heather Locklear’s Boobs AKA The Return of Swamp Thing
I saw Avengers: Infinity War against my better judgement. I knew I was done with the modern superhero yarn and I got absolutely nothing out of it. It was big, it was busy, it was SAME-Y. In other words, it was being stuck in traffic on the way to work on Monday morning. The good vs evil dynamic that seems to drive everything isn’t of much interest to me, and when it comes to superhero films, that angle is obviously amplified. For that reason, you won’t find me reviewing superhero films very often…
Enter The Return of Swamp Thing. Based on characters from the DC comic where Swamp Thing is basically Captain Planet without the kids and rings. there are also things like the Rotworld story-line, wherein Swamp Thing—as an avatar of “The Green”, and Animal Man—as an avatar of “The Red”, are tasked by The Parliament of Trees and The Parliament of Limbs, respectively, to team up to defeat Dr. Anton Arcane and “The Rot”. It’s trippy and nightmarish, Lovecraftian even, as it features animals and humans being turned inside out. It is good. Most importantly it feels more like a horror story than a superhero one.
Point being, I view Swamp Thing in a different light, as in my experience he’s portrayed as less of a hero and more of a pile of vegetable matter that just happens to be an elemental entity of balance. That entire point is moot however, since we are talking about Wynorski’s The Return of Swamp Thing.
This is an ambitious Sci-Fi short film (about 29 minutes) by Hatz Off Filmz (Nic White), a 13 Dead Eskimos production.
Note: though apparently filmed in a 4:3 aspect ratio, the version I watched has the sides ‘padded’ to a widescreen size. I personally don’t like when videos are presented in that manner, finding it distracting. I feel it’d be better if the sides were blacked out (a letterbox style).
Right from the get-go (following a few seconds of silence, with an image of the number “13” – I’m assuming the logo of 13 Dead Eskimos productions), the driving music (Metal version of Ring of Fire) and unique display of credits (I really love how they ‘arrive’ onscreen from various directions, rather that the standard, boring scroll, fade-in/out, etc. of many films) already succeeds in grabbing attention.
Two friends (Nic and Joe) are heading home from a camping trip. They notice something that’s been ejected by a spacecraft – a green meteor – and take it home.
A horror film with a mix of humor and sadism. I feel this film is a lot longer than it needs to be. The opening itself running a slightly-past-tolerable 2 minutes, plus. I’m not sure if the background images really do much for setting up the story itself (rather, justifying the amount of time spent on them). It’s possible there’s some key element among them, but after a couple of viewings it still eludes me – other than establishing a medical-theme. The one nice thing though is the opening soundtrack (by AVZTN), which has a special creepiness to it – the classic haunting sounds do produce a chilling effect, causing uneasiness in the viewer (or at least to me).
The first shot is a close-up of an anesthesiologist (played by Michael Welborn), explaining to a patient who he is and what his duties are suppose to be. We then see the patient (Mr. Covington, played by Brandon Guiles). We quickly learn this is suppose to be an appendectomy. However the bedside manner of the physician is disturbing Covington a bit.