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.

“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.

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.

Paradise Fear Reel Review

Hello, Slicers! Here we go with another Reel Review and this time we’ll be looking at the short film Paradise Fear. Written and directed by “Zach Deering”, Paradise Fear is a sci-fi, action adventure short. It sticks to the same tense and frantic fun that we’ve come to expect from a Zach Deering original. CinemaSlice.coms Indie Film Spotlight featured two of Zach’s previous films, SAM and Nano Addiction. Both were highly entertaining. You can check out previous Reel Reviews covering SAM and Nano Addiction at CinemaSlice.com.

Two bounty hunters, played by “Michaela Romain” and “Anastasiia Greca”, are exploring the mysterious planet Paradise Sphere. Known only as a vacation destination, the planet is rumored to have some hidden secrets. As the bounty hunters are walking they observe a ship crash land onto Paradise Sphere. Paradise Sphere gunned down the ship. They begin to look for the surviving members of the wreckage. The plan is to capture the ships survivors and receive a huge payday for their bounty’s. They soon end up uncovering the secrets of Paradise Sphere that could affect the universe forever.

Continue reading “Paradise Fear Reel Review”

Schlock du Jour: Haiku Reviews

It’s that time again!

I have culminated from my miscellaneous notes an all new edition of Haiku Reviews, that will hopefully make up for my recent neglect. Included in this entry are:
Day of the Reaper
Devotion
All Strippers Must die
American Guinea Pig: Sacrifice
Devil’s Weekend
Spoiler, I only really loved one of them.
And stay tuned as November is renamed SOVember. Coming soon. Without further ado, haiku.

Day of the Reaper (1984)

Continue reading “Schlock du Jour: Haiku Reviews”

HHM Day 4

Hello, Slicers!

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”

Hell’s Half Mile 2018 – Day 2 & 3

What’s up, Slicers!

Mark Kelly here and I’m back with more Reel Reviews from the 13th annual Hells Half Mile in Bay City, MI.

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”.

Continue reading “Hell’s Half Mile 2018 – Day 2 & 3”

Hell’s Half Mile 2018 – Day 1 – “Funny Story” – Reel Review

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.

Schlock du Jour: Lunch Meat (1987)

directed by Kirk Alex
runtime: 88 mins

A review for Lunch Meat is a review for us all. I’m sure my insights here will echo those of everysoul fortunate enough to have ridden the unshakable homegrown fiend of a ride that is Lunch Meat. Watching it seems to synchronize the viewer into some larger, undefined headcheese consciousness. And with a movie named after cold cuts, would you expect anything less than the completely strange?

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The movie begins with a false sense of security. Entitled yuppie teens call eachother scab and fungus as they drive towards a cabin they’ll never reach. It all feels familiar. Someone likes someone and that person likes someone else. Someone forgot the lunch meat, and someone forgot the gas, so the jeep gets pushed to the nearest watering hole. The jeep finds a drink and the teens find a bite to eat. It’s evident that those aren’t any ordinary burgers and they grimace and chew. Grimace and chew. Continue reading “Schlock du Jour: Lunch Meat (1987)”