Movies

The Infiltrator

Crime, Thriller
Available on VOD: 5 januari 2017
Director: Brad Furman
Cast: Bryan Cranston (Argo, Trumbo, Breaking Bad), John Leguizamo (The Lincoln Lawyer, John Wick, Kick-Ass 2, Ride Along), Diane Kruger (Inglourious Basterds, Unknown, The Bridge), Benjamin Bratt (Miss Congeniality, Traffic, 24: Live Another Day)

Amidst the lavish excess of the 1980s, Robert Musella became a pivotal player for drug lords cleaning their dirty cash. He traded on mob connections, to become the confidant to scores of the international underworld and the bankers who enabled them.

However, Robert Musella was, in fact, the undercover persona of Special Agent Robert Mazur: a US customs official who went further than any before him. Laying his life on the line, he infiltrated the globe's largest cartels and discovered just how deep into society their influence extended. Welcomed into an inner-circle of violence and corruption, Mazur found himself in the tight embrace of those he had promised to take down.

Based on the true story of a fearless undercover agent, THE INFILTRATOR is a heart-stopping account of one of history's most elaborate stings. The operation reeled in key players in a chain stretching all the way to Escobar. Their arrests would lead to the collapse of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International and shake the black economy to its core.

Reviews
  • De Telegraaf (★★★1/2): Bryan Cranston maakt die voortdurende innerlijke tweestrijd op een sublieme manier voelbaar. Mazurs gevaarlijke werk The infiltrator bij vlagen angstwekkend spannend.
  • De Volkskrant (★★★★): The Infiltrator is op zijn best als die juist doodeng is. De lol van The Infiltrator is te zien hoe Mazur/Musella zich uit de gevaarlijkste situaties probeert te bluffen. Kameleon Cranston is en blijft een dubbelrollenspecialist, die van rol kan wisselen alsof hij een knop omzet.
  • Trouw (★★★★): Cranston is uitstekend als de man die in uiteenlopende jaren-tachtig-outfits en met altijd licht bezorgde blik een identiteit aanneemt waar ook ineens een verloofde (Diane Kruger) in moet passen.
  • AD(★★★): Bryan Cranston is het sterkste punt in deze thriller vol synthetische maatpakken, donkere pilotenbrillen en vette snorren. Hij speelt wederom overtuigend een man die op de grens van goed en kwaad balanceert.
  • Cinemagazine.nl: Cranston is in topvorm, maar ook Leguizamo, Kruger en de cynische Amy Ryan ('Birdman') weten in de bijrollen te overtuigen. Met een speciale, eervolle vermelding voor good old Olympia Dukakis, die opdraaft als een perfect gecaste tante Vicky. Twee uur en zeven minuten entertainment, kom daar nog maar eens om. Het advies? Gaat hem zien on the big screen.
  • Filmgeek.nl: Zeker een spannend kijkje in de wereld van 'geld, undercoverwerk en cocaïne'.
    Filmvandaag.nl: Niettemin levert Cranston puik acteerwerk dat alleen wordt overtroffen door John Leguizamo als zijn rechterhand Abreu. Met The Infiltrator levert de regisseur van onder meer The Lincoln Lawyer en Runner Runner zijn beste werk tot nu toe af.
  • Empire.com: Often gripping, and elevated by Cranston's superb central performance.
  • Variety.com: Bryan Cranston gets a film role worthy of his ability to break bad in a tensely exciting true-life drama of undercover drug agents. The Infiltrator" creates enthralling suspense and intrigue out of the drama of what undercover agents do, but there isn't a moment in it that makes danger looks falsely seductive. The power of Cranston's performance is that he captures the deep torment that deep cover can bring. [He] gives the most authentic and lived-in performance as an agent pretending to be a criminal that I have ever seen. Kruger matches him, beat for anguished beat, and John Leguizamo gives a pinpoint performance as Bob's low-life informer colleague, whose slovenly flakiness turns out to be, itself, a kind of cover.
  • Hollywoodreporter.com: Cinematographer Joshua Reis' experience on horror movies serves him well in his first major theatrical feature: from the garish palette of a bowling alley to set-piece interiors of the ostentatiously wealthy to the terrifying murk of a Santeria ritual that ends very badly, he finds the dread in each widescreen composition. Mostly it's in Cranston's eyes, ferociously undimmed. As a U.S. Customs agent leading an undercover sting of his own devising, Cranston turns every moment of duplicity, which is to say nearly every scene of The Infiltrator, into an emotionally textured high-wire act.
  • TheWrap.com: Director Brad Furman ("The Lincoln Lawyer") re-creates the mid-1980s with telling fashion and coiffure details, bolstered by a great funk soundtrack. Joshua Reis's terrific cinematography, aided by the authentic-looking production design of Crispian Sallis, intensifies the sense of place and time. Drug thrillers can be among the more predictable genres — plenty of sleaze, nasty threats and grisly whacking, and, of course, the obligatory scenes at strip clubs. "The Infiltrator" follows some of that played-out playbook, but also effectively dials up the nerve-wracking tension. What elevates it to a higher level is the quality of its key performances, by Cranston, Leguizamo, Kruger and Bratt. Amy Ryan is also top-notch in a smaller role as Bonni Tischler, the trio's brassy boss. One of the most memorable supporting performances comes from Yul Vazquez, as sociopathic money launderer Javier Ospina.
  • nospoilerreviewz.com: engrossing, well made, extremely well acted and very, very intelligent.

A Family Man

Drama
Available on VOD: 21 september 2017
Director: Mark Williams
Cast: Gerard Butler (London Has Fallen, 300, The Bounty Hunter), Gretchen Mol (Manchester By The Sea, Boardwalk Empire), Willem Dafoe (The Great Wall, The Grand Budapest Hotel, A Most Wanted Man), Alison Brie (How to Be Single, Mad Men), Alfred Molina (The Da Vinci Code, Prince of Persia)

Dane Jensen (Gerard Butler) is a driven Chicago-based headhunter, working at a cut-throat job placement firm. When Dane's boss (Willem Dafoe) announces his retirement, he pits Dane against Lynn Wilson (Alison Brie), Dane's equally driven but polar-opposite rival at the firm, in a battle for control over the company. As Dane gears up for the professional battle of his life, he learns his 10-year-old son Ryan (Max Jenkins) is diagnosed with an illness. Suddenly, Dane is pulled between achieving his professional dream and his family, who need him now more than ever.

Reviews
  • TheHollywoodNews.com: A really rather enjoyable morality tale from debut director Mark Williams, with some brilliant performances and some wonderfully touching moments.
  • Variety.com: slickly executed.
  • TIFF.net: The film pulses with the thrill of big money and cutthroat career maneuvering, but its heart is in a very different realm. The film is ultimately concerned with domestic stability in crisis, and with the complex question of what really matters in life. The Headhunter's Calling beautifully illustrates how nearly losing everything can redefine what it means to have it all.

First Kill

Action, Thriller
Available on VOD: 5 oktober 2017
Director: Steven C. Miller
Cast: Bruce Willis (Die Hard, Red, Sixth Sense, Split), Hayden Christensen (Star Wars: Episode II, III, Jumper), Gethin Anthony (Game of Thrones), Megan Leonard (The Life and Death of John Gotti)

In this gripping action thriller starring Bruce Willis, a man and his son witness a thug shooting a bank thief while on a hunting trip. When the bank robber takes the boy hostage in order to recover the money from the bank heist, the frantic father and a police chief (Bruce Willis) must join forces to solve the high-stakes kidnapping with a ticking clock.

Reviews
  • Chicago.suntimes.com: The blood-soaked potboiler First Kill is Generous Pour through and through, from Bruce Willis playing a cop for the umpteenth time in his career to the old switcheroo we can see coming a mile away to the pounding and overwrought score to some genuinely effective detours and subplots.
  • Variety.com: A reasonably entertaining series of off-road chases and backwoods shootouts en route to that final confrontation.
  • LATimes.com: First Kill features an efficient, lightning speed plot.
  • Maddwolf.com: Willis supplies his natural gravitas and Ohioan Shelton makes an impressive big screen debut. As young Danny, Shelton's easy rapport with Gethin Anthony (as kidnapper Levi) is a constant highlight.
  • Thatmomentin.com: A decent crime thriller.
  • Dallasfilmnow.com: First Kill is competent and involving. The action scenes — including one vehicle/RV chase that's constructed cleverly with an uninterrupted sense of place via gliding tracking shots — never feel unrealistic or exaggerated. And even though the film telegraphs a few of its third act character reversals, Miller and screenwriter Nick Gordon plumb the depths of innocence versus malignancy with a shrewd eye for satisfying entertainment.
  • TheIndependentCritic.com: fully devoted to telling a story and telling it well.

A Dark Song

Horror, Thriller
Available on VOD: 31 oktober 2017
Director: Liam Gavin
Cast: Catherine Walker , Steve Oram (Sightseers)

Selected for the International Competition at the 35th BIFFF -- Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival 2017!

Sophia has a steely look in her eyes as she insists on renting an old house in the remote countryside. She gives the estate agent a little extra cash for no questions asked.

Sophia collects a man at the nearby train station. Joseph Solomon is a northern, coarse man. And an occultist. She needs him to perform an ancient invocation ritual, the Abramelin, to summon up Sophia's Guardian Angel so her wish can be granted. She wishes to talk to her murdered child; it's a desire that consumes her.

The ritual is an extremely arduous one. They seal themselves in the house, possibly having to stay there for months as it plays out. As they get deeper into the rite they run the risk of turning on each other and going mad. But when Solomon finds out that Sophia has not been truthful about her wish, a greater danger threatens them. In the dark, they find that they are no longer alone in the house. They are now in the world of real angels, and real demons.

The house is surrounded with a line of salt. It is the only protection they have. They must not cross it, no matter how bad it gets, no matter how much they want to run.

A Dark Song is the story of two people risking hell to journey through the darkness of their souls.

Reviews
  • SchokkendNieuws.nl: Een ijzersterke film die me voorlopig niet los zal laten. 5*. Lees hier de hele review.
  • Cinemagazine.nl: A Dark Song staat als een huis: een naargeestige, hypnotiserende film met een ontroerend einde dat nog lang nazingt. Lees hier de hele review.
  • Beneaththeunderground.com: The debut feature from writer/director Liam Gavin is a uniquely chilling piece of occult cinema. A two person film, held together with excellent performances and tons of atmosphere A DARK SONG isn't for everyone. It's a slow burn and those watching it will, like the leads, be in for a long trip but the payoff will be worth it.
  • Cutprintfilm.com: A pitch black and confronting two-hander, A Dark Song challenges and excites with its uncompromising and original approach. That it is more a character study than a genre piece is what is most intriguing, blurring the lines between a psychological and hallucinatory thriller and a straight up, angels and demons, Dennis Wheatley-style horror with a final brain-melting ten minutes that is one of the finest surprises of the year. 8/10.
  • Dmovies.org: A Dark Song is an intense horror movie and a trip into Irish occultism. In his debut, Liam Gavin uses the genre to bring to surface a subject that most people find difficult to deal with: the loss of a son. Far above the average spooky movie, this feature disturbs and provokes.
  • Efilmcritic.com: This is very much a movie that feels like it has put in the time and effort necessary for the supernatural to intrude into reality, a feat that is much rarer than horror filmmakers would have us assume. Pair that with a couple of good, intense performances, and "A Dark Song" is one of the most interesting and unusual tales of the supernatural to come around in some time. 4/5.
  • Goseetalk.com: A Dark Song is a gripping character study that succeeds because of the minimal effects and fanfare. It'll thoroughly creep you out, especially the things you don't see.
  • Heyuguys.com: A Dark Song is a ridiculously strong and beautifully acted piece of work.
  • Screenanarchy.com: Rather than give the usual frights, Gavin instead goes for the lonely heart of the occult: the attempt to contact the beyond, for the most heart-wrenching of reasons. A Dark Song takes a hard and serious look at the pain of loss and grief, and how that pain transforms into burden and enlightenment.
  • Wegotthiscovered.com: A Dark Song digs its claws in and never lets go, finding horror in rituals, personal reflection and burning black-magic sensations. It's dreadfully inviting from start to finish, with an almighty climax at just the right time. 4/5.
  • Quietearth.us: A smart and savvy example of horror's new breed.
  • Screeninvasion.com: The movie is a visceral experience that must be seen in a theater. For one, the cinematography is beautiful. Another reason to see it in the theater? It's killer score.
  • Slashfilm.com: It's an utterly unique film that uses its slow pace to lay the dread on thick and and build its characters so it can turn around and tear everything down in the homestretch. And the ending, which will surely prove divisive, is an audacious choice for a genre so often built on nihilism. A Dark Song may be a hard-edged and occasionally difficult movie, but it has soul.
  • Pastemagazine.com: A Dark Song is ostensibly a horror film but operates as a dread-laden procedural, mounting tension while translating the process of bereavement as patient, excruciating manual labor.
  • Scary Epidemic: A Dark Song is a excellent horror/drama about a young woman who is trying to contact her dead son with the help of a strange man who deals in the dark magic of the occult. [It] might be one of the best horror movie i have seen about the occult, because its literally only about the performing what you usually see getting rushed in lame horror movie that just want to shock people. 8.5/10.
Awards
  • Sitges 2016: New Visions Award - Best Motion Picture
  • Monster Fest 2016: Best Cinematography in a Feature Film
  • Monster Fest 2016: Best Score in a Feature Film
  • Fantasporto 2017: International Fantasy Film Award, Best Director
  • Fantasporto 2017: International Fantasy Film Award, Best Actress
  • Saskatoon Fantastic Film Festival 2016: Audience Choice Award, Silver Award

Red Dog: True Blue

Family
Available on VOD: 1 december 2017
Director: Kriv Stenders
Cast: Levi Miller (Pan), Bryan Brown (Gods of Egypt, Australia), Hanna Mangan Lawrence (Beyond the Reach), Jason Isaacs (The Infiltrator, Fury, The OA)

An iconic Australian story of family, friendship and adventure, between a young boy and a scrappy one-of-a-kind dog that would grow up to become an Australian legend.

Reviews
  • TheGuardian.com: From its sweetly self-referential start, the Red Dog prequel offers a very rewarding journey – with plenty of dem feels.
  • Maketheswitch.com.au: 'Red Dog: True Blue' is one of the best children's films I've seen in a long time. I've said it before and I'll say it again, but children's movies always seem to pack more of an emotional punch than adult movies these days. I know from the sound of the sobbing in the cinema I was in that I wasn't the only one with tears in my eyes at the end. It's one for the whole family to enjoy, and an important one to support.
  • Urbancinefile.com.au: With Bryan Brown and the stunning Pilbara region as its greatest assets, True Blue is a sweet film.
  • Darrens-world-of-entertainment.blogspot.nl: Red Dog True Blue's warmth and fuzziness may prove to be the ideal antidote for those seeking a feelgood flick to start 2017 off with.
  • Residententertainment.com: a really great story and also has a lot of heart. a lovely family film that's a good choice to take young kids to see. 8.5!
  • Filmblerg.com: The scenery is magnificent and importantly Miller's boundless enthusiasm and great chemistry with the dog keep things light.
  • Heavymag.com.au: A smooth, enjoyable ride for the whole family.
  • Heyuguys.com: But it's what the red dog represents that is moving, for he's a means of exploring Mick's youth, with touching finale that is steeped in the idea that the memories the protagonist has will never go away, moments he'll always cherish, albeit with a friend he no longer has. It's hard not to get emotionally stirred, even if you are a cat person.
  • Previewfilms.com.au: Wholesome family viewing this respectable continuing chapter in the franchise is funny, poignant, has a great soundtrack containing great Aussie songs, but most importantly has heart and soul.
  • Sbs.com.au: A simple coming-of-age story that benefits from a great cast and moments of inspired craziness.
  • Supermarcey.com: A surprisingly strong and crowd pleasing prequel that was definitely better than it had any right to be. It did still capture all the humour, adventure, heart and Aussie spirit that made RED DOG such a joy to watch.
  • TheReelWord.net: This delightful prequel continues the legacy sincerely with an emphasis on modesty and greater attention to character development.

Armed Response

Action, Thriller
Available on VOD: 7 december 2017
Director: John Stockwell
Cast: Wesley Snipes (Expendables, Blade, Chi-raq, Brooklyn's Finest), Anne Heche (The Other Guys, John Q), Dave Annable (Brothers & Sisters), Gene Simmons (Expecting Mary)

A team of special forces soldiers approach the designer of a high-tech military compound to investigate the disappearance of another team guarding the facility. The compound, known professionally as a Temple, is an artificial intelligence powered facility designed for interrogating high level prisoners. Upon entering the Temple, the soldiers quickly find the earlier team horrifically slaughtered but no evidence as to who is responsible.

Almost immediately, the crew begins to experience strange and horrific supernatural phenomena as they attempt to uncover who killed the previous team. Soon enough, they find a lone survivor, a dangerous terrorist who may hold the key to who killed the soldiers. But as the story goes on, we'll learn that there's more to it than we've been told and a dark secret the soldiers share may hold the key to surviving The Temple.

Radius

Thriller
Available on VOD: 4 januari 2018
Director: Caroline Labrèche, Steeve Léonard
Cast: Diego Klattenhoff (The Blacklist, Pacific Rim), Charlotte Sullivan (Chicago Fire, Defendor)

Liam wakes from a car crash with no memory of who he is. As he makes his way into town to look for help, he finds only dead bodies, all with strange pale eyes. Liam's first assessment is that a virus is present in the air, but he soon discovers the horrible truth: anyone who comes within a 50-foot radius of him dies instantly.

Reviews
  • SciFiNow.co.uk: Radius is a slow-burn moral parable, driving its high-concept premise towards a final reveal that is not only genuinely satisfying, but might well have viewers heading back several times.
  • Britflicks.com: an original and haunting sci-fi nightmare that riffs on storytelling techniques used by Christopher Nolan in Memento (2000). It cleverly subverts all expectations of traditional murder mysteries through a slow burning psychological drama that succeeds because the filmmakers are able to deliver the seemingly complicated, and competing story strands together into in to a satisfying resolution.
  • Eyeforfilm.co.uk: Initially stilted acting (entirely appropriate given the characters' situation) gives way to powerful work in the final scenes. For those possessed of a healthy respect for mystery in its own right. it's a treat.
  • HeYuGuys.com: Horror hounds, sci-fi fans and even just those chasing a good old-fashioned mystery will find a lot to love in Radius. There’s no denying that Radius fully delivers on what is easily one of the most unique core concepts of the year.
  • Liveforfilm.com: A Best of FrightFest, Radius is a smart emotional laid back flashback sci-fi mystery drama with an awesome payoff that you will not see coming and that will break your heart. 4.5 out of 5 stars.
  • Nerdly.co.uk: Radius manages to leave its audience asking deep, meaningful, philosophical questions about life, humanity, whether we can ever escape our past, and if our past can, and should, dictate our future… Oh, and did I mention that ending. That ending! Let’s just say it’s not often a genre films conclusion can bring you to tears. Another superb slice of Canadian genre cinema, Radius should be on the radar of horror fans everywhere. One of the true surprises of this years Frightfest.
  • Thefilmgrump.blogspot.nl: An interesting, clever Sci-Fi film, one that I hope finds its audience as it is a very good film indeed. A favourite from FrightFest, this is highly recommended.
  • Whenitwascool.com: With Radius, Lábrèche and Léonard serve up a genre film that offers intelligent psychological drama and disquieting twists that hold up until the impact of the finale.  It’s an intelligent effort that will intrigue, excite, and disturb viewers.

Aftermath

Drama, Thriller
Available on VOD: 11 januari 2018
Director: Elliott Lester
Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger (Terminator, Expendables, Maggie), Scoot McNairy (12 Years A Slave, War Machine, Gone Girl), Maggie Grace (Taken, Lost, Twilight Saga), Judah Nelson (Anchorman 2)

Based on real-life events, Viktor's life is rocked when his wife and daughter are killed in a tragic mid-air collision. Heartbroken, Viktor's life take a complete new turn when he decides to take revenge on the person responsible for the death of his family.

Reviews
  • Empire.com: This is a film full of scenes that would be easy to overplay, but which Schwarzenegger tackles with understated perfection. Truly, this is quite unlike anything else he's ever done, and brilliantly so.
  • Blu-ray.com: Strong stuff, but it's meditative enough to welcome a viewing, inspiring interest in the characters and their ultimate destination. The picture also has valuable ideas to share on the cycle of violence and its futility, concluding intelligently, leaving the audience with a concept of revenge that's upsetting, not rousing. It's subversive work with Schwarzenegger and his legacy of brawn around, allowing "Aftermath" to pack quite an unexpected punch.
  • Heyuguys.com: Probably his best role as an actor to date.
  • Joblo.com: Deserves to be discovered. As long as they know what they're in for (and they should) Arnold fans will be delighted to see how good he can still be if given the chance, while everyone else will be amazed by the way he seems to have reinvented himself as a character actor. That he's done such a good job of it is a wonderful surprise, and here's hoping he gets more opportunities to explore this new flair for drama.
  • Wegotthiscovered.com: Arnold Schwarzenegger's reserved performance is a somber turn that keeps drama surprisingly in-tune.
  • TheIndependentCritic.com: A film that is truly one of Schwarzenegger's most thought-provoking and emotionally resonant to date. While Schwarzenegger has struggled to regain his Hollywood foothold since setting his political career aside, Aftermath is a sure sign that, at least critically, his best days may very well be ahead of him.
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