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.

I Am Not A Serial Killer

Horror
Available on VOD: 27 april 2017
Director: Billy O'Brien
Cast: Max Records (Where the Wild Things Are), Christopher Lloyd (Ghostbusters, Back to the Future), Laura Fraser (Breaking Bad)

John Wayne Cleaver is dangerous and he knows it. He is 16 and helps his Mum and Aunt at the family Mortuary. John is obsessed with serial killers but really doesn't want to become one. So for his own sake and the safety of those around him he lives by rigid rules to keep himself "good" and "normal". When somebody starts murdering people in John's small MidWest town, he has to investigate and risk letting his own dark side out in order to stop the killer. But without his rules to keep him in check he might be more dangerous then the monster he is stalking. As the icy winter tightens its grip on the community a deadly supernatural game of cat and mouse ensues.

Reviews
  • Imaginefilmfestival.nl: Gebaseerd op een Young Adult-roman zet de op gruizig 16mm gedraaide film de kijker lange tijd op het verkeerde been. Er zijn aanwijzingen dat de moordenaar niet zomaar een moordenaar is; zo worden op de plaats delict telkens oliesporen aangetroffen. Maar dit is toch vooral het verhaal van John die in acteur Max Records (Where the Wild Things Are) een uitstekende vertolker blijkt te zijn van afwijkend pubergedrag. Doordat zijn omgeving laconiek op zijn morbide fantasieën reageert, blijft de toon licht, zelfs als de lijken zich opstapelen. En die ontknoping? Bereid je maar vast voor op de krankzinnigste plotwending in jaren... Lees hier verder.
  • Cinemagazine: Met ‘I Am Not a Serial Killer’ levert regisseur Billy O’Brien een geslaagde verfilming af van Dan Wells’ succesvolle young adultroman. De toon is donker, maar niet kil, met veel ruimte voor wrange humor. De cast is fenomenaal. Records krijgt geduchte concurrentie van Lloyd, die als de fragiele maar gevaarlijke Crowley een van de meest memorabele rollen van zijn carrière speelt. Toppertje! Lees de hele recensie hier.
  • SchokkendNieuws.nl: AM NOT A SERIAL KILLER won vorige week op filmfestival Imagine de MovieZone Award, toegekend door een jury bestaande uit vijf jongeren tussen de zestien en negentien jaar oud. Geen enorme verrassing, want de film speelt knap in op de existentiële moeilijkheden die velen op die leeftijd ervaren.
  • Lees hier een uitgebreid interview met regisseur Billy O'Brien.
  • Kermode en Mayo vinden het een klapper, zie http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04kvhcv
  • Empire: Breathing new life into the overfamiliar terrain of the serial killer, Irish director Billy O'Brien here both successfully reintroduces Max Records to the world, and elicits Christopher Lloyd's best performance in a long time. His film deserves cult classic status at the very least.
  • Sight & Sound: a truly superior genre offering from a filmmaker of genuine class and ambition. Lees de raving review hier.
  • Razor Reel Flanders Film Festival: I Am Not A Serial Killer is gebaseerd op het gelijknamige boek van Dan Wells uit 2009 dat meteen een hit werd in de VS. De film gaat niet uit van standaard horror en zogenaamde 'jump scares' maar is een mooie cross-over geworden; een intelligent thriller/drama dat geregeld flirt met bovennatuurlijke en sci-fi elementen.
  • Variety.com: Max Records gives a sharp performance in this endearing first adaptation of Dan Wells' YA series. The tale of a likable teenager, raised by a mortician family, whose own nascent sociopathic tendencies make him a perfect amateur sleuth when a serial killer strikes his folksy Midwestern town, director Billy O'Brien's film adaptation strikes a tone that's far more unique and endearing than that premise might imply, helped in no small part by a sharp-witted performance from former child star Max Records.
  • NYTimes.com: Mr. Records (the child actor in "Where the Wild Things Are") is nimble and unsentimental in playing a character who is playing at normal, supported by a solid cast in a well-filmed indie that doesn't let its low budget get in the way of some true chills.
  • Bloody-disgusting.com: A Moody and Creative Thriller!
  • Screenanarchy.com: I Am Not a Serial Killer morphs comfortably from teen fiction to a murder mystery to a cagey thriller, all with a wry sense of humor. It's modest and fully engaging, and smart enough not to overplay its hand.
  • Thefilmstage.com: dark and dangerous, suspenseful and unique.
  • AVClub.com: Psychopaths are people too in the nuanced I Am Not A Serial Killer! What sets Billy O'Brien's sharply observed indie horror-drama apart from other takes on this "killers hunting killers" concept (Dexter, anyone?) is its naturalistic, character-based approach.
  • Undertheradarmag.com: I Am Not a Serial Killer shines in its exploration of what it is like to live with inclinations you wish you didn't have but find it increasingly hard to fight.
  • LATimes.com: The surprisingly warm and fuzzy horror-dramedy wonders "can serial killers love?"
  • Efilmcritic.com: Underneath it all, though, is the idea that being human and being a monster are fundamentally connected, and that the struggle is what makes people interesting and worth examining. That may not be an uncommon thought, but O'Brien and company handle it with unusual skill for a thriller aimed at young people, to the extent that giving someone like Lloyd what may be one of his best parts is something of a bonus.
  • Influxmagazine.com: Am Not a Serial Killer is a very slow and deliberately paced film. I am telling you this up front so that you know that it's well worth sticking with this one...please resist your urge to try something else because of this! The payoff is well worth it and the film is well made and I honestly can say I've never seen anything like it in my life!
  • Wegotthiscovered.com: At its best, this is a film that keeps tension tight and anticipation on edge. Maybe John's a serial killer, maybe he isn't – each decision pushes Records' performance closer to the brink, and we never doubt his capabilities. You think you know, but you don't. Or you might? That's the beauty of it all, never providing answers until the final, shocking turn.
  • Culturecrypt.com: Max Records somehow makes magnetism out of teen angst. And though it may be clichéd to say, this is co-star Christopher Lloyd like you've never seen him before. Lloyd flips an expectation of his often-comedic presence on its ear by managing to make the warmth of an elderly neighbor sinisterly chilling. Ice the cake with a terrific monster design from Toby Froud and "I Am Not a Serial Killer" combines dark family drama, creature feature, and serial killer thriller into one uniquely entertaining package.
Awards
  • IMAGINE Film Festival 2017: Movie Zone Award
  • IFTA 2017: Best Editing
  • Molins de Rei Horror Film Festival 2016: Best Film
  • Molins de Rei Horror Film Festival 2016: Best Director
  • Molins de Rei Horror Film Festival 2016: Best Actor - Max Records
  • Sitges 2016: Panorama Audience Award
  • Strasbourg European Fantastic Film Festival 2016: Melies D'Argent
  • Trieste Science+Fiction Festival 2016: Nocturno Nuove Visioni Award

Vincent-N-Roxxy

Crime, Thriller
Available on VOD: 11 mei 2017
Director: Gary Michael Schultz
Cast: Emile Hirsch (Lone Survivor, Killer Joe, Into the Wild), Zoë Kravitz (Mad Max Fury Road, Divergent, Allegiant, X First Class), Zoey Deutch (Dirty Grandpa, Why Him, Beautiful Creatures), Emory Cohen (Brooklyn, The Gambler), Scott Mescudi (Entourage, Need for Speed)

If Hip-Hop and Rock -N- Roll had a love child she would be Roxxy, an inner city girl in trouble. Vincent is a consummate loner from small town America searching for meaning in his life that has become intertwined with dangerous people. One morning, these two lost souls meet when a vicious killer attacks Roxxy on the street in broad daylight before a crowd of witnesses. Vincent tries to save her, forcing Vincent and Roxxy to go on the run for their lives. They soon learn violence will follow them everywhere, even as they unexpectedly fall in love.

Reviews
  • Cinemagazine: In de Amerikaanse pers werd ‘Vincent N Roxxy’ vergeleken met Winding Refn’s wraakthriller ‘Drive’. Qua toon, opbouw en bloederigheid is daar een zaak voor te maken, al is ‘Drive’ beduidend slimmer en met meer finesse gemaakt. Op het platteland wordt nou eenmaal meer met de botte bijl gehakt, zullen we maar zeggen. Toch is ‘Vincent N Roxxy’ niet alleen bruut. De film toont hoe een stelletje ten onder gaat aan keuzes die ze maakten voordat ze elkaar echt kenden. En dat ontroert, want Vincent en Roxxy zijn schattig samen. Lees de hele review hier.
  • HollywoodReporter.com: A slow-build love story that takes a hard left turn at the end. Emile Hirsch and Zoe Kravitz, as strangers thrown together by a violent incident, enjoy an easy chemistry here, encouraging viewers to forget the menace that starts the story and, with startling violence, will end it.
  • Indiewire.com: When things take a hard left turn and the powder keg of violence finally explodes, the fallout is shocking to a degree that's almost never seen in new American cinema.
  • Letterboxd.com: A stiff-lipped, fist-clenched, tragic romance with a gruesome hunger for violence. The final shot echoes Drive in a way that will inevitably draw some comparisons.

Guardians

Action, SF
Available on VOD: 15 juni 2017
Director: Sarik Andreasyan
Cast: Alina Lanina, Anton Pampushnyy, Sanzhar Madiyev, Sebastien Sisak

During the Cold War, an organization called "Patriot" created a super-hero squad, which includes members of multiple soviet republics. For years, the heroes had to hide their identities, but in hard times they must show themselves again.

Reviews
  • Cinemagazine.nl: Evenwel is dit een interessante film. 'Guardians' hint nadrukkelijk naar de hoogtijdagen van de Sovjet-Unie. Een tijd van voor het uiteenvallen van Groot-Rusland. Toen het land, inclusief de later afvallige staten, nog één geheel vormde. Kortom, een land waar de huidige president Poetin graag van droomt.
  • Preview Magazine: Als je een beetje van superhelden houdt, dan is dit een geweldige kijkervaring. Wat dacht je van een held met twee kromme messen die supersnel een auto doormidden hakt, een man-beer met een minigun, de knapste vrouw uit Rusland die onzichtbaar kan worden (en ook nog eens goede borsjt kan koken!) en een soort Magneto die geen metaal, maar rotsen kan beïnvloeden (en dat doet met een enorme zweep)? Het levert heerlijke actiescènes op.
  • ScreenAnarchy.com: The film is a lot of fun indeed. No expense has been spared and there are a number of impressive setpieces, especially when the supervillain starts building a super-antenna in Moscow by stacking several landmark towers on top of each other.

Sugar Mountain

Thriller
Available on VOD: 6 juli 2017
Director: Richard Gray
Cast: Jason Momoa (Justice League, Aquaman, Game of Thrones, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice), Cary Elwes (The Princess Bride, Saw), Shane Coffey (Pretty Little Liars), Haley Webb (The Final Destination, Teen Wolf), Drew Roy (Falling Skies), Anna Hutchison (The Cabin in the Woods)

In a small town near the foot of the rugged Sugar Mountain, debt-ridden Miles Parnell hatches a simple plan to make money. Miles persuades girlfriend, Lauren, and brother, Liam, to help fake a disappearance in the wilderness. They'll make it look like
Liam murdered Miles because he was in love with Lauren, then when Miles returns they'll each have a story to sell; one about the brother who survived against all odds, and one about a loyal brother falsely accused of murder.

Miles goes into hiding on the icy mountain and the locals unite to rescue him. The weather turns bad and, the mountain, already home to bears and cougars, becomes even more treacherous. Soon the good people of Sugar Mountain are risking their lives for the sake of a hoax. However, Jim Huxley, the local cop, has always held Miles in disdain and is determined to prove the disappearance is fake. As he closes in on the truth, Liam scrambles to conceal the fraud. But in the process of keeping one secret, another is exposed that rocks him to the core.

And further complications threaten to derail the plan.

Liam really is in love with Lauren.

And Miles really does disappear.

Reviews
  • Filminquiry.com: Sugar Mountain is a penetrating look at how too many lies in a small town snowball into chaos, how even family can't always be trusted, and just as it is in real life, the numerous twists are surprisingly unpredictable.
  • Flickhunter.blogspot.nlL: The small ensemble cast hit the right beat for the piece as the plot unfurls right up to the climactic moment. The viewer will think that they're on top of the storyline early only to be faced with performances that challenge type. It's a physical, emotional, earnest tale that's well worth a watch.
  • Filmjournal.com: Richard Gray has crafted an engrossing, visually stunning crime thriller that looks like it cost many times that. Making full use of widescreen and of natural locations, Gray in his fifth feature conjures breathtaking images that never overwhelm an intimate story of two brothers in suffocating straits, and a simple plan that goes disastrously away.
  • Undertheradarmag.com: an unexpectedly entertaining, gratifying 106-minute adventure.
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