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Naim, Omar & Caviezel, Jim (The Final Cut)

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You may not have heard too much about the new film, The Final Cut which frankly surprises me. It stars Robin Williams and Jim Caviezel, so right there you’d think it’d be more out in the public eye than it is.

It opened in limited release on October 15th, and so far it’s gotten some great responses from those that have seen it. The film is about a future society in which microchips have been implanted into ever living human in order to record their lives. Williams plays a cutter, one of the one’s responsible for making sure lives are edited together well, but finds out information about his own life that puts him right in the middle of danger. Caviezel plays the leader of a group that’s opposed to the entire “Rememory” process.

Our West Coast man, Sean Clark, recently got the chance to sit in on a round table with the film’s director, Omar Naim, and Jesus Christ himself, Jim Caviezel. The results follow.


Q: Okay Omar let’s start with a technical question.

Omar Naim: Okay, hit me!

Q: How does the Zoe Chip select a 2.35:1 aspect ration from the entire range of eyesight?

ON: Because it’s programmed to put in the aspect ration that is most familiar to a movie audience? (Laughs)

Q: No matter how much you explain an answer you open up a door for everyone’s imagination.

ON: Absolutely, but we never thought. We really thought the idea and all that was just a metaphorical starting off point to get to the human things. But they can’t hold up to too close of scrutiny, you sort of have to take a poetic leap with the movie.

Q: Jim, what was it about the character that appealed to you? Would you want to have your memories recorded to play back later?

Jim Caviezel: Second part, no. I wouldn’t want that, but I’m getting it recorded right now anyway. (Laughs) I was drawn to Omar’s script as a whole. It didn’t necessarily have anything to do with my character particularly, although I was very interested in him. I’ve seen scripts that were good and even characters that were much more extensive and were the main character, but the story as a whole was strong. I like the indifference of the character, the situational ethics. The departmentalization of all those things that allowed me play in this, more so than anything else was Omar’s vision. (To Omar) How old are you now, eighteen? (Laughs) For a kid to write and direct something like this, with the themes of it being so complex, I can see why Robin Williams was drawn to it. I can see why Tak Fugimoto would read something like this and know it was going to be something very unique. I wasn’t planning on doing anything right after the Passion of the Christ, but this was perfect so I’m a pig and I had to do it. (Laughs)

Q: If you had your own memories recorded what would you want taken out and what would you definitely want kept in?

JC: That’s too personal. I can’t say. There are things I have done in my past that I wish I had never done but you learn from those things. Like for example if I could go back in my life and pick out things that I made critical errors in, I wouldn’t be acting. That was honestly a mistake. Instead of doing my homework where I got bad grades in I was watching Saturday Night Live. (Laughs)

Q: Omar, how did you come up with the idea for Final Cut?

ON: I think the idea came in several different stages. First of all I was editing my documentary film at school. I was the only person in the editing room. The school had just got the first Avid so I spent nine months there and I sort of became the school’s editing guy. So I was editing everyone else’s movies because I had access to it. While editing my documentary it really became clear that this sort of myth of objectivity in documentaries is just myth. It’s all the style and manipulating, it’s drama. So that was one part of it. The second part was that I was away from my family who were on the other side of the world and I started thinking that if my life goes on like this, I’m going to start seeing them less and less. So I thought what I should do is shoot these really long interviews with my parents, like twenty-hour interviews that way I could get all their little antidotes and stories out of them and I could always watch that and enjoy their company. (Laughs) But I never did that because that because it’s not them. That would be replacing my actual memories. Fading as my memories are already. We all take pictures or each other and we all have home movies and there is a need we all have to visually preserve our lives. That combined with this realization about editing is how this idea came about.

Q: Are you a fan of this kind of genre?

JC: I’m a fan of great scripts. I like great books. I’d put this script up to a book in the genre of Animal Farm or 1984. As far as films, it’s this Alfred Hitchcockian kind of mystique that I love. When a director writes something and I love what he wrote, there’s not much you can do to screw it up. Of all the material I looked at this is the best. I’m just fascinated with this kid’s mind; he’s just a real talented person. I was glad that Robin Williams believed in it because you have to have that confidence. You’re only going to come across this kind of material so often, and I happened to be at the right place at the right time and that is how I look at it. What I was drawn to in this story more than anything was that this is a dark color but truth still comes through. You may not walk out of this thing feeling warm and fuzzy but that’s not why I got into movies. I make stories that I feel are truthful.

OM: I just want to interject; he’s making sound like this glowing golden script was presented to him. I mean if Jim, Mira, and Robin hadn’t agreed to this movie it would not have happened. (Laughs) I mean at all. Everyone’s faith in this project and doing it for the right reasons (because they liked the material) is why we got into film in the first place. I know I’ve been spoiled this first time out because I know it’s not always like this. It’s not always that everyone is there to really make a film. I just needed to say that.

JC: I just saw TXH-1138 for the first time, the genesis for Star Wars and I was telling him that I felt the same way when I saw this movie.

Q: Since making the Passion of the Christ how has the reaction been from people on the street? Religion can be a very fanatical material. Have you had any fanatical experiences with fans looking at you in almost a Christ like way?

ON: Not without the beard. (Laughs)

JC: That’s exactly right I’m a completely different person. I’m not all beat up.

Q: Jesus, why did you get a make over? (Laughs)

JC: Yeah they come up to me and say, “Hey Jesus!” and I say, (Shaking his finger in disapproval.) “Heeeeey.” (Laughs) I say I’m still the Count of Monte Cristo. (Laughs) I worked really hard for that.

Q: Was it hard to pitch this as a science fiction film?

ON: I went out of my way to say it’s a drama, a thriller and a science fiction movie. There are very few science fiction elements. There’s only enough to get ideas boiling. I think the newer sort of wave of science fiction movies, even stuff like Being John Malkovich, can be called science fiction. It’s a more intimate, more like finding a metaphor to talk about now, which is how science fiction started. I think the sort of, “bling-bling” science fiction as I call sort of took over for a while because we found out, “Whoa, we can do anything!” and it sort of lost touch with what science fiction was initially about which is us now and the human condition which is a small poetic device to sort of get things going.


Thanks to Lions Gate for letting us be part of the junket. Be sure to seek out The Final Cut in a theater near you!

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Check Out the Opening 2 Minutes of Another WolfCop

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It was just earlier today that we brought you guys The Dude Design’s the newest poster for writer-director Lowell Dean’s horror-comedy sequel Another WolfCop.

And now we have the movie’s opening 2 minutes!

The clip showcases the new flick’s villain trying to sell us on his “Chicken Milk Beer” before losing his cool and taking it out the commercial’s crew. We then cut to a ragtag group of criminals, dressed as homeless Santas trying to outrun the cops.

A fun two-minutes if you ask me!

You can check out Another WolfCop‘s opening scene below and then make sure to hit us up and let us know what you think in the comments below or on social media!

The film is written and directed by Lowell Dean, produced by Bernie Hernando, Deborah Marks, and Hugh Patterson, and distributed worldwide by Cineplex.

Another WolfCop co-stars Amy Matysio, Jonathan Cherry, and Serena Miller. The film also features special appearances from Canadian music icon Gowan and legendary filmmaker Kevin Smith. It was executive produced by Sean Buckley, J. Joly, Bill Marks, Brian Wideen, Michael Kennedy, and Michael Hirsch.

The film is slated for a wide Cineplex theatrical release on Friday, December 8, 2017, with the film seeing a Blu-ray/DVD/Digital home entertainment release through A71 and Black Fawn in 2018.

Synopsis:

A month has passed since the eclipse transformed hard-drinking Officer Lou Garou into the crime-fighting hellion WolfCop. Although the Shape Shifters controlling the town have been extinguished, Woodhaven is far from returning to normal. Lou’s liquor-fueled antics and full moon outbursts are seriously testing his relationship with Officer Tina Walsh – the new Chief of Police. An old friend has mysteriously reappeared with a truly bizarre secret to share, and a homicidal new villain has emerged from the shadows looking to finish what the Shape Shifters started. To defeat this lethal adversary, it will take more than a lone wolf packing a pistol.

Prepare for the next chapter of WolfCop that will be more dirty and hairy than the original! Consider yourself warned.

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The Axiom Review – A Stylish and Clever Slice of Independent Horror

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Starring Hattie Smith, Zac Titus, Nicole Dambro

Directed by Nicholas Woods


The Axiom is an ambitious, well directed, impressively acted and stunningly shot independent horror film that has just a few, teensy little flaws holding it back from greatness (and therefore will have to settle for just being really, really good, instead).

The first thing you realize when watching The Axiom is that this is a beautiful film. Everything is framed and shot in a lush and stylish manner, but one which is always tonally appropriate for the scene.

The second thing you’ll notice, and keep noticing as the film plays out, is that the movie really struck gold with this cast. Not only is there a total lack of the sort of stilted and unnatural acting seen in countless other microbudget horror affairs, but the performances are genuinely fantastic across the board. The main characters are believably chill and relatably normal in the early scenes, and the acting remains just as impressive once things start getting a bit more… intense. It’s not often that an independent horror film has so many good performances that it makes it hard to pick the movie’s acting VIP, but that is undeniably the case here. Taylor Flowers delivers what is probably the showiest performance (and does it very well, indeed), but the entire cast really is quite good.

The central premise of the film is both interesting and original, and touches upon the real life fact (given some recent attention in the ‘Missing 411’ books and documentary) that a lot more people sure seem to go missing out in the woods than seems reasonable, while simultaneously weaving all sorts of folklore, fairy tales and urban legends into the mix. It’s also clever in the way that it very naturally reveals aspects to the relationships between characters that serve to later – or sometimes retroactively – explain some of the more questionable decisions they make or attitudes they display. While that may sound like screenwriting 101, it’s surprising how many films fail to do this. The Axiom rewards the viewer’s attention in other ways as well, with many aspects of the movie that initially feel odd or unnatural receiving reasonable explanations (within the context of the movie) by the end. It’s not quite as challenging (or as rewarding) in this regard as, say, something like Session 9, but it does add a nice layer of complexity to the storytelling.

The film’s score, by Leo Kaliski, is also quite good. There may be a moment here or there where the music hits an overly familiar beat, but overall it not only fits the movie’s tone, but does quite a bit to help set that tone as well.

The only thing that I don’t feel the movie quite pulls off – and I’m trying to be vague here, because I feel like the less you know going into this film, the better – is some of the makeup effects work. The gore stuff is very well executed, but some of the other stuff feels like it was crafted with the intention of shooting it in a more… stylized manner. Instead, filmed as it is here, the result is sometimes less than impressive and can fail to make the impact that the movie seems to be implying that it should. And while some of what the makeup effects lack in execution is made up for with the ingenuity and creativity of their design, it’s still a bit of a shame when they don’t quite pull them off because, aside from a few niggles that I have with the writing, the effects are the only aspect of the film that occasionally fails to live up to the high level of technical proficiency that The Axiom otherwise demonstrates.

ADDITIONAL THOUGHTS:

  • Man, the acting in this movie is really good. The dialogue may stumble once or twice, but these actors always sell it anyway.
  • Give back Mia Sara’s DNA, Hattie Smith!
  • If you’re going to put your female lead in shorts this small, I hope you’re not sensitive to viewers unleashing a nonstop parade of “Has anyone seen my pants / OH GOD WHERE ARE MY PANTS!” jokes.
  • “You just pop this here ‘Blair Witch Stick Person / Anarchy sign’ sticker up on that there windshield of yours, and them park rangers? Well – heh heh – they won’t bother you none, no sir.” Hmmmmm…
  • The film really is shot amazingly well – better than a lot of mainstream releases. Cinematographer Sten Olson has a real future ahead of him.
  • As does writer / director Nicholas Woods, for that matter. Any director who can get this level of quality out of their cast and crew on their first ever film is someone to keep an eye on.
  • “I’ll make a run for it and get help,” says the female lead, and I’m like “Yeah, let her go – she has no pants to weigh her down.”
  • The gore effects in the movie are both realized and utilized very well.
  • Welcome back to horror movies, “I’ll be right back” dialogue spoken unironically by and/or to ill-fated characters.
  • The Axiom
4.0

Summary

In the end, The Axiom is a solid and entertaining flick that manages to wring a level of quality and originality out of the somewhat tired “Don’t Go in the Woods” horror subgenre not seen since 2012’s Cabin in the Woods. The cinematography and acting are hugely impressive, it features a nice, unnerving score, the premise is original and captivating, and the whole thing moves at a nice pace that helps keep the film’s flaws from dragging it down.

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User Rating 5 (2 votes)
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Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation – First Trailer and Artwork!

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As a fan of flicks like Mad Monster Party, I was surprisingly pleased with the last two Hotel Transylvania affairs. For my money you can put the classic monsters in just about anything, and I’ll watch it happily, and these animated features feel like a natural progression of the 1967 Rankin and Bass classic. Which is why I’m looking forward to Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation, and if you are too, check out the film’s new trailer and poster.

Directed by Genndy Tartakovsky, who co-wrote the film with Michael McCullers, Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation features the voices of Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, Kevin James, Fran Drescher, Steve Buscemi, Molly Shannon, David Spade, Keegan-Michael Key, and Mel Brooks.

Look for it in theaters on July 13, 2018.

Synopsis:
In Sony Pictures Animation’s Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation, join our favorite monster family as they embark on a vacation on a luxury monster cruise ship so Drac can take a summer vacation from providing everyone else’s vacation at the hotel. It’s smooth sailing for Drac’s Pack as the monsters indulge in all of the shipboard fun the cruise has to offer, from monster volleyball to exotic excursions, and catching up on their moon tans.

But the dream vacation turns into a nightmare when Mavis realizes Drac has fallen for the mysterious captain of the ship, Ericka, who hides a dangerous secret that could destroy all of monsterkind.

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