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
  • 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

It Stains The Sands Red

Horror
Available on VOD: 9 november 2017
Director: Colin Minihan
Cast: Brittany Allen (All My Children, Bomb Girls, Dead Before Dawn), Juan Riedinger (Narcos, Grave Encounters), Merwin Mondesir (Grave Encounters)

In the throes of a zombie apocalypse, Molly – a troubled woman from Las Vegas with a dark past – finds herself stranded in the desert with a lone ravenous zombie on her tail. At first, she's easily able to outpace her undead pursuer, but things quickly become a nightmare when she realizes the zombie doesn't need to ever stop and rest. Running low on supplies and beat down by the harsh environment, Molly will have to summon the strength she never knew she had to ultimately face both the zombie and the demons that have chased her all her life.

From the creators of Grave Encounters and Extraterrestrial, IT STAINS THE SANDS RED is an action-packed apocalyptic thriller where only the strongest-willed survive.

Reviews
  • HeYuGuys.com: Thrilling, fascinating, groundbreaking. It's a remarkable work for film fans in general, as well as being one of the greatest zombie movies ever made.
  • SciFiNow.co.uk: A mannered mix of the odd-couple corpse comedy of Swiss Army Man (2016) and the arid maternity ordeal of Monolith (2016), It Stains The Sand Red offers a fresh feminist spin on well-trodden tropes, only reverting to a more conventional kickass routine in its wisely abbreviated final act.
  • Bloody-disgusting.com: Brittany Allen carries the entire film with aplomb, and her performance is up there with the best the genre has had to offer in recent years. Her transformation from fractured party girl to strong, independent mother is fiercely brilliant and believable. At this moment in time, It Stains the Sands Red is the best zombie film since Shaun of the Dead.
  • Glasgowlive.co.uk: Allen is incredible as she displays layers and emotions we don't normally expect from characters who tend to simply be fodder for the walking dead. Director Minihan (Grave Encounters, Extraterrestrial) has performed a masterstroke with It Stains the Sands Red. His direction, coupled with Allen's performance, makes for a winning combination that puts a beating heart in the chest of the undead.
  • Nerdly.co.uk: A taught, tense (and funny) reinvigoration of the zombie genre, It Stains the Sands Red honestlydeserves to be held in as high a regard as Romero's original zombie trilogy. **** 4/5
  • Horror Channel FrightFest: Smart, sharp, savage and unexpectedly moving. The most original zombie movie since 28 Days Later.
  • Horrorfreaknews.com: With a tremendously watchable and heartfelt lead performance, a wholly unique and unexpected central relationship and a damn good sense of humor (the tire/raft reveal) – It Stains the Sands Red is original and endearing. A shining example that there's something new to be culled from the genre created by George A. Romero almost 50 years ago.
Awards
  • Sitges 2016: Midnight X-Treme

The Hunter's Prayer

Action
Available on VOD: 16 november 2017
Director: Jonathan Mostow
Cast: Sam Worthington (Avatar, Hacksaw Ridge), Odeya Rush (Goosebumps, The Giver), Martin Compston (The Disappearance of Alice Creed), Allen Leech (Downton Abbey, The Imitation Game)

Lucas, (Sam Worthington), a solitary assassin, is hired to kill a young woman, Ella, (Odeya Rush) but when he can't bring himself to pull the trigger the plan falls apart, setting in motion a twisted game of cat and mouse. Now both are marked for death and forced to form an uneasy alliance. Relentlessly pursued across Europe, Their only hope for survival is to expose those responsible for brutally murdering her family and bring them to justice.

Reviews
  • Cinemarvellous.blogspot.nl: Moving along at a taut pace, never sinking into dulness, and featuring some thrilling car chases and tense hand-to-hand battles, "The Hunter's Prayer" is an action thriller with true soul, led by Worthington's more-than-strong performance, and complemented by the gifted Rush's mesmerizing presence.
  • Thatmomentin.com: Solid action thriller delivers with Worthington at his best. 
  • CaseyMovieMania: blessed with lean action sequences.
  • JBSpins.blogspot.nl: Recommended for anyone who appreciates throwback action-thrillers. 
  • Slantmagazine.com: provides the sort of cogent and compact visceral thrills that are in short supply in recent American action cinema.
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