Suds and Cinema Memphis Mini Reel Reviews Part 1

American Craft: What Beer Can Teach Us About Well-Crafted Laws

This documentary short gives us a look into the world of American craft beer. We see the ups and downs over the years as laws have shaped how we produce and distribute craft beer to the public. From its fledgling beginnings to becoming a thriving creative subculture, American craft beer is here to stay.

American Craft is an enjoyable and informative short film. Directed by Matt WoodAmerican Craft achieves two goals that are important to any documentary. First, it attracts newcomers to the world of craft brewing without alienating them. It’s short and stylish enough to just dip your toes into and enjoy, while not being overwhelmed by an ocean of information. Secondly, the content is entertaining and educational. Veterans of the craft brewing scene will appreciate that American Craft is not watered down in any way.

I give American Craft 6 out of 6 reels.

Happy Bath Day

Follow along as a dog takes a trip to the pet store. Once at the store she gets a little TLC with a bath given to her by her friend in the blue shoes.

Delightfully simple and full of heart Happy Bath Day, directed by Meka Butler, is a pleasure to watch. If you’re looking for an intense story with multiple plot twists, look elsewhere. If you’re a pet lover looking for a relaxing movie with an excellent acoustic soundtrack, Happy Bath Day is for you. Also, it’s worth noting that Jada the dog does an amazing acting job.

I give Happy Bath Day 3 out of 6 reels.

My Plastic Buddha

In My Plastic Buddha we get some insight into a mans ideas on the value and importance we put on specific objects in our everyday lives.

Jeff Madzia stars and directs in My Plastic Buddha, an informative short that is both emotionally moving and effective. Never resorting to sounding to preachy, Jeff weaves us a short, but effective, cautionary tale. He tells us how he has extracted meaning and worth in objects that are objectively worthless. We are then allowed to form our own opinion from his message. We can then decide what in our own life may become our own plastic Buddha.

I give My Plastic Buddha 5 out of 6 reels.

Gauntlet Run: Origins

Tied up in a warehouse, a man answers questions for an unsavory group of people while being beaten. He isn’t giving any answers and when a rival member enters the scene an unlikely partnership forms and an epic beat down commences.

Directed by Garrett AtkinsonGauntlet Run: Origins wears its influences on its sleeve. Those influences being high-octane action films. Movies such as The Raid and John Wick come to mind and Gauntlet Run does them proud. The action is impeccable and at times you may wonder if you’re watching a professionally choreographed action spectacle. The story is generic but with action scenes like this I’ll give Gauntlet Run a pass.

I give Gauntlet Run: Origins 5 out of 6 Reels.

Haircut 

He is at his barber, ready to get his haircut. Or is he with his girlfriend, at a restaurant ready to order. The choices are so confusing.

Intriguing, strange, and clever. These are some terms that come to mind when viewing the comedic short Haircut. Directed by George MassimilloHaircut appears as one of two things. First, is this is a tale about life’s endless choices and the confusion that ensues while making them? Or, secondly, is this just an absurdist alternate reality, similar to Napoleon Dynamite or similar shows on Adult Swim? Or maybe it’s a bit of both. Either way it’s definitely worth a watch.

I give Haircut 3 out of 6 reels.

Lightning Strikes

A brother and sister realize that the sister, who is in a vegetative like state, that they have taken care of for years has a special talent. She can predict the outcome of future lottery draws or other gambling endeavors. Will they use this talent for good or will they let the greed wash over their lives.

Story is the shining star in Lightning Strikes, directed by Camille Calvin. A well written script that combines multiple genres along with great acting are what make the plot captivating. Some of the genres sprinkled throughout are suspense, drama, and even some comedy. Irene, played by Camille Calvin, and Betty, played by Emanda Pimentel, navigate these genres expertly and are a joy to watch. The choices dealing with mental disabilities are sometimes questionable but for the most part don’t interfere with the overall quality.

I give Lightning Strikes 4 out of 6 reels.

Macocky 

Jaysons life isn’t going so well. His girlfriend left him, his college grades are failing, and his dreams of becoming a local superhero always end in injury. That is until he goes back home to get his childhood toy, a Macaulay Culkin doll that brings him good luck and comfort.

Extremely funny and charming the comedy short Macocky, directed by Ivon and Eyan Wuchina, excels on multiple levels. The comedy writing is excellent, mixing jokes that are both uproariously funny as well as more subdued leading to an even tone throughout. The story is nicely paced with moments of complete absurdity complemented by more relatable human moments. Luke Enzor also does a fantastic job in playing Jayson as a unique and quirky person while also remaining realistic. All of these elements make Macocky a must see.

I give Macocky 6 out of 6 reels.

Stay-tuned until NEXT TIME, for SUDS & CINEMA – Memphis Mini Reel Reviews Pt.II!

Laakekoe (Medicated) Reel Review

Korppainen(Tapio Kauma) is a pretty quirky person. With hobbies that include random shadow boxing, science fiction literature, and chess matches against himself it’s hard not to consider Korppainen unique. However, the cause of Korppainens new problem maybe his odd behavior. Nearby, a doctor named Niklas(Heikki Kauma) is on the verge of unleashing a very dark and powerful entity. An entity that requires a unique individual, just like Korppainen, to arrive on earth. When Korppainens brother, Karsta(Tapio Kauma), asks him to take part in a strange medical experiment, we soon find out how destructive this entity is.

Laakekoe(Medicated) is a sci-fi action adventure directed by Tapio Kauma and Ville Viasanen. For me Laakekoe(Medicated) excelled in a few key areas: awesome special effects and telling a compelling, well paced story. The effects in this movie are extremely well done. The supernatural beings that inhabit the film are dark and ominous. You feel a real sense of danger when Korppainen is going up against them. I have to give Ville Viasanen an applause for a job well done. 

Laakekoe(Medicated)s pacing also kept me engaged all throughout the film. Every scene kept the action moving and I feel that’s important for a movie in this genre. It also helped that each character was distinctive and entertaining. Due to the fast pace of the film it was very important to have impressive character development to avoid any further confusion in the storyline.

Laakekoe(Medicated) – IMDB

This leads me to my one criticism of Laakekoe(Medicated). The story was, for me, fairly confusing. During my first viewing I always felt a bit lost. The awesome characters and action packed pace kept me watching. A second viewing definitely helped to clarify a lot of the plot details that had me lost.

The whole film project took 7 years to complete. Majority of the effort was done by two guys: Tapio Kauma and Ville Väisänen. They had previously done several short movies together but this is the first feature length movie by them. They have not officially studied move making but have instead learned everything they know about film making by trial and error. And of course by watching lots of movies.
The duo have estimated that during the years they spend about 1 300 hours to complete the movie. The movie was done while the film makers studied and/or worked full time. The whole budget for the movie is less than 150 euros.

Laakekoe(Medicated) is a solid sci-fi action adventure. It has a great mix of special effects and interesting, distinctive characters. Also, it has the perfect amount of absurdity sprinkled throughout. Although you may have to give this a second watch to help understand some of the story details, Laakekoe(Medicated) is still a kick ass experience. Look it up on YouTube and give it a watch.

I give Laakekoe(Medicated) 4 out of 6 reels.

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.

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Tuesday Night Flamingo Fight – Reel Review

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. 

This film works well on so many levels.

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“Nano Addiction” – Reel Review

CinemaSlice.com has launched a new series highlighting a new movie each month that embodies the spirit of great independent filmmaking.

The second movie that has been selected for the Indy Film Spotlight is the sci-fi action/adventure “Nano Addiction” by Zach Deering. Life gets very weird and more than a little dangerous when a drug addict, Ferric (James Hudson), inadvertently takes a strange substance known as Nanobots. Ferric quickly finds out after taking the Nanobots that his life may never be the same again.

This was an extremely well done, stylistic action flick.

I enjoy sci-fi that attempts to show a more realistic version of the genre by mixing elements of our real life everyday activities with the science fiction elements. Films like HER (2013) and THE MARTIAN (2015) are some examples. Although I am not an addict, the main character Ferric is written and acted so well that I felt his struggles and wanted to continue this journey with him through the film. The special effects were also a standout and they were clearly done with great care and thoughtfulness. They elevated the action scenes making them more tense and effective.

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