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Archives for : based on true story

Interview: Kumail Nanjiani talks “The Big Sick”

Boy meets girl, they fall in love, and then girl is put into a medically-induced coma? This isn’t your typical love story, but trust us, it’s a good one! “The Big Sick” is being hailed as the best romantic comedy of the decade. I sat down with co-writer and star, Kumail Nanjiani, to talk about the film.  The film is based on the true story of how Kumail and his wife ended up together.


“The Big Sick” opens nationwide July 14!

Movie Review: “23 Blast” is an Inspiring Tale but a Disappointing Movie

Mark Hapka stars in “23 Blast”

Since Remember the Titans, there has yet to be  a movie based on a real football team or player that is  able to emotionally grab and thoroughly entertain an audience.  It’s a hard feat to accomplish, given that most of these true stories have an enriching plot but struggle to successfully translate their message.  Unfortunately, 23 Blast has fallen victim to this formula.

Based on the true story of Travis Freeman (Mark Hapka), a high school football star, who is suddenly stricken with irreversible total blindness.  Travis quickly assumes his life is over and begins to spend his days at home sulking.  Until one day, his former football coach (Stephen Lang) discovers a way to utilize the team’s key player.

This premise is undoubtedly uplifting.  The thought that a blind student could still play football and have the support of his team and town is incredibly moving.  But, when you choose to tell this story with a weak supporting cast, an unnecessary, forced love story, and an amateur screenplay, it will distract from your inspiring tale.

Though it’s not the best film to put on a resume, 23 Blast does feature a few stand out performances, beginning with their lead, Mark Hapka.  Known for his long running role in Days of Our Lives, Hapka proves that he can take on the big screen and has more to offer than dramatic stares.  He commits to his character and portrays a genuine personality that’s easy to like.  As for Bram Hoover, who plays Travis’ best friend and also co-wrote the script.  His first tackle at the big screen was an upsetting fumble.  The lack of development and cliché dialogue did no favors for the fairly, new actor.  Hoover’s attempt to shine as the supporting star was intercepted by Glee’s Max Adler, who starts as the film’s antagonist.  But like his character on Glee, he’s the bully who turns a new leaf.  There is a quality in both, Hapka and Adler that shows true potential for these talents.

23 Blast offers a remarkable story that is trying to stay afloat from its sinking surroundings.

23 Blast hits theaters October 24.

Rating: 2/5

“23 Blast” Official Trailer HD

Movie Review: “Exit 727” has an Interesting Story but the Wrong Execution

I’m going to try and not be too hard on this film, because it was Eric Ortiz’s first time directing, writing, and acting in his own full length film.  Given that the film is based on true events, it is probably also special to him.  The story is actually pretty interesting, but the film-making and acting is so amateur that it is hard to take anything going on in this movie seriously.

The film begins with Michael (Jereme Badger), previous druggie, recounting the events that happened during a fatal summer.  Michael, his brother Dominic (Eric Ortiz), and their friend Ben (Anthony Ashmore) had given up all hope on life.  Unable to accomplish their dreams, they settle for a construction worker job where they meet bad boy James (Nathan Spiteri).  He might have been the only experienced actor in the film, and the most tolerable to watch.  It might have been the Australian accent, but he at least fully committed to his character.

After Dominic pulls his antics on the boss, everyone gets fired.  Angry at Dominic for causing him to loose his job, James pressures the guys to help him rob a bank.  And it all goes down hill from there.

Ortiz might want to focus more on his screenwriting skills versus his directing and acting.  He proved he could deliver lines quickly, but failed to have any meaning behind them.  As far as camera work goes, I’ve seen better filming from my past production classes. The beginning had some awkward out-of-focus shots, and the movie had too many unnecessary scenes.  I’m not sure who was in charge of audio, but the sound was all over the place.  At times, it was as if the characters had been mute or maybe they were just mumbling; I’m not really sure.

The premise gives this movie so much potential.  Had the movie been filmed differently, and with better acting it would have made for an admirable independent film.  Sadly, Exit 727 fails to perceive the impact or message it was trying to get across.

Exit 727 Trailer

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