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Archives for : friendship

Never Have I Ever Season 2 Interview w/ Cast

Mindy Kaling’s hit Netflix, comedy series is back! Season 2 of “Never Have I Ever” offers more laughs and romance than the first. The show is inspired by Kailing’s own childhood. It follows the complicated life of a modern-day first generation Indian American teenager. I spoke with the cast of the show to discuss whose voice would calm them down when feeling stressed, characters they saw themselves in when growing up and more.

“Never Have I Ever” season 2 is now streaming on Netflix.

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Movie Review: “Zola” Fascinating and Disturbing Tale

At first glance, “Zola” might have you wondering; “What in the world am I watching?” Some may even want to stop the film all together. If you power through, you will treat yourself to a captivating story and some intoxicating performances. 

“Zola” is based on the viral 148 tweets by the A’Ziah “Zola” King. In the film, Zola (Taylour Paige) plays a Detroit waitress who meets a stripper, Stefani. (Riley Keough) Stefani lures her on a road trip to Florida with her boyfriend (Nicholas Braun) and “roommate” (Coleman Domingo) under false pretenses. What she thinks will be an opportunity to strip from some quick cash turns into a terrifying sequence of events.

The best way I can describe “Zola” is like watching a really bad, but visually satisfying car accident unfold. You just can’t look away even though part of you might want to. And when it’s over, those images will forever haunt you.

What happily stays with you are the incredible performances by entire cast. Paige and Keough carry the film with their cringe-worthy, odd friendship. Stefani is unbelievably offensive and shows no self-awareness, while Zola is the voice of reason that will keep audiences sane. Another polarizing stand out is Coleman Domingo, who plays Stefani’s “roommate” aka her pimp. He is both humorous and frightening. Domingo creates a powerful presence anytime he is on screen.

“Zola” is meant to make audiences feel uncomfortable and pull you into the world of the two leads; where they are trapped and forced into unwanted sexual encounters. Director/Writer Janicza Bravo wants you to feel the same fear that these young girls are feeling.

Some will find “Zola” to be a smart, stylish, summer joyride. While others will see it as a dirty, annoying movie that gets under their skin. Either way you view it, the film is absolutely hypnotizing. And after it was done, Bravo had me under her trance.

Rating: B-

“Zola” is currently playing in theaters and coming soon on VOD.

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“Finding You” Early Virtual Screening!

Want to take a trip to Ireland on the evening on May 12, at 7:00pm, well here is your chance!  Join Roadside Attractions to watch the new release of “Finding You.”  Be the first to see this delightful film and tell your friends and family about your fun journey… before it hits theatres on May 14! 

You can RSVP now and the first 100 RSVPs will receive a confirmation to view the film on May 12, at 7:00pm.

RSVPs are now being taken FOR THE VIRTUAL SCREENING on May 12 at 7:00pm at   https://watch.eventive.org/findingyou/play/606f780897f06600a1eb8c7b

Use this code to login—-   Code:  25EZXT

You will receive a confirmation email once you have RSVP’d.

FINDING YOU is an inspirational romantic drama full of heart and humor about finding the strength to be true to oneself. After an ill-fated audition at a prestigious New York music conservatory, violinist Finley Sinclair (Rose Reid) travels to an Irish coastal village to begin her semester studying abroad. At the B&B run by her host family, she encounters gregarious and persistent heartthrob movie star Beckett Rush (Jedidiah Goodacre), who is there to film another installment of his medieval fantasy-adventure franchise. As romance sparks between the unlikely pair, Beckett ignites a journey of discovery for Finley that transforms her heart, her music, and her outlook on life. In turn, Finley emboldens Beckett to reach beyond his teen-idol image and pursue his true passion. But when forces surrounding Beckett’s stardom threaten to crush their dreams, Finley must decide what she is willing to risk for love.

Runtime 115 minutes

Rating PG

Based on the Book “There You’ll Find Me” by Jenny B. Jones

Cast – Rose Reid, Jedodiah Goodacre, Katherine McNamara, Saoirse-Monica Jackson, Patrick Bergin, Tom Evertt Scott, Vanessa Redgrave

This film opens wide in Theaters on May 14th, 2021

Enjoy the trip!

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Movie Review: “The Half of It” & “Underwater” DVD/Blu-Ray

“The Half of It” is a very interesting take on the classic “Cyrano de Bergerac”. Set in Washington state instead of France and replacing the soldiers and nobles with high school students, “The Half of It” looks like another Netflix winner.

Check out my review of the new Netflix drama and the DVD/Blu-Ray release of “Underwater”.

“The Half of It” is available on Netflix May 1.

“Underwater” is available on Blu-Ray/DVD/Digital

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Movie Review: “Never Rarely Sometimes Always” is a Powerful and Raw Character Study

It’s a tough film to swallow, but it’s an unforgettable watch.

“Never Rarely Sometimes Always” follows Autumn (Sidney Flanigan), a teenage girl from Pennsylvania, who unexpectedly finds herself pregnant. We aren’t sure who knocked her up, but we are sure she does not want to go through with the pregnancy. Unable to tell her mother or her mother’s ass of a boyfriend, she confides in her best friend/ cousin, Skylar (Talia Ryder). From there, the two head to New York on what is supposed to be a mission to take care of Autumn’s situation; but ends up being a journey of discovery and a difficult life lesson.

There is a lot to admire with director/writer Eliza Hittman’s (Beach Rats) third film. For starters, the support from all the women in the movie. They are shown as comforting and caring characters. Autumn’s mom is a bit clueless; but she does love her daughter, and shows a tender side in the brief moments we see her. The female workers at both the clinics Autumn visits, are understanding, non-judgmental, and genuinely try to help the lost young lady. But it’s the bond between Autumn and Skylar that shows a true example of a selfless and giving friendship. Both actresses do a wonderful job in the film, but it’s Flanigan who shines in her debut performance by playing her character with such grace and honesty.

However, the men in this movie are not painted in the same light. They are shown as dismissive, threatening, or perverted. When the girls come across Jasper (Theodore Pellerin) on their bus ride to the city, he appears eager but harmless. Clearly interested in Skylar, she reluctantly gives him her cell number which ends up being a resourceful tool. But as you’d imagine, he’s not as innocent as he seems.

Hittman’s raw and painfully realistic dialogue is what’s so captivating. All of Autumns conversations are incredibly natural. And the emotions hit hard when she’s at her final destination in Brooklyn answering a questionnaire given by the counselor there. She must answer a series of questions relating to her sexual history with the responses of either “never, rarely, sometimes, or always.” Hittman’s screenplay is harrowing and thought-provoking.

There are some burning questions that are left up to interpretation; and the film does drag a bit in the second act, but those are my only qualms.

“Never Rarely Sometimes Always” is not an easy watch, especially during our current ordeal; but it is well worth your time.

Rating: 3.5/5

“Never Rarely Sometimes Always” is available to rent On Demand on April 3 through any of these platforms…Amazon, Apple, Comcast, DirecTV, Vudu, Google/YouTube, Charter, Verizon, Microsoft, Dish, Fandango, Sony, Cox, Altice, Vubiquity, AMC On Demand, Redbox 

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Movie Review: “Beside Still Waters” is a Promising Directorial Debut for Chris Lowell

Chris Lowell is most popularly known for his role on Veronica Mars and The Help.  But now he’s stepping behind the camera and taking a shot at directing/screenwriting.

After his parents’ recent passing, Daniel (Ryan Eggold) struggles to find closure.  He invites six of his old friends to visit for the weekend, so that they can say goodbye to the lakeside cabin they spent the majority of their childhood in.  Attending this somber reunion we have… the old flame (Britt Lower) who has brought her new flame (Reid Scott), the jackass (Beck Bennett), the free-spirit (Jessy Hodges), the high school sweet hearts (Will Brill and Erin Darke), and the TV star (Brett Dalton).  Needless to say, the weekend creates drama, rekindles a romance, and reveals “shocking” secrets.

I’m aware we’ve seen this many times before, i.e. The Big Chill, and even the recent indie, drama that came out this past August, About Alex.  So why is Beside Still Waters worth watching?  Because Chris Lowell manages to successfully portray a genuine group of friends who are struggling with their own issues while trying to be there for the one that needs them most.  This is not always the case with films that touch on the same premise.  Take About Alex; their reunion was forced because of a friend’s suicide attempt.  Sounds interesting enough, but sadly, About Alex chose to engage the audience with numerous, unresolved issues that lead nowhere versus any real character development.  This is where Lowell differs.  He keeps his storyline simple and does not veer from the growth of his characters, allowing us to care for each one of them.

Solid performances are given by the entire cast, effectively balancing their selfish tendencies with compassion.  In addition, the film fittingly includes subtle flashbacks of the group when they were kids playing in the cabin.

Beside Still Waters may not stand out as a significant film, but Lowell’s first attempt at writing and directing shows potential for great things to come.  Don’t turn your nose up at the familiarity of this movie, there’s enough authenticity and heart to make it an enjoyable watch.

Rating: 3/5

Beside Still Waters is now playing in select theaters and VOD.

“Beside Still Waters” Official Trailer HD

Movie Review: “Besties” is a Friendship I’m Glad to be Done With

For many of us, films about the overly obsessive best friend who eventually goes on to have a psychotic rampage tend to be an enjoyable guilty pleasure.  However, director/writer Rebecca Cutter fails to give an equally entertaining script with her latest project.

Besties tells the story of Sandy (Olivia Crocicchia), a dorky underclassman who idolizes the babysitter that has lived next door to her for years.  Ashley (Madison Riley) is a gorgeous, fun, and popular senior.   She is also manipulative bitch.  On the night that her dad goes out of town for work, Sandy excitedly asks Ashley to baby-sit her.  Ashley takes advantage of this opportunity to throw a party in which a destructive ex makes an unexpected visit.  When things get out of hand, the night ends with deadly results.  To make sure she never reveals the secrets of that night, Ashley entices Sandy with a “friendship” she wouldn’t dare want to risk losing.

The premise sounds interesting enough.  I even appreciate the slight originality of role reversal with who is actually good and bad in this film.  Movies like Single White Female and The Roomate focus on the pretty and sweet girl who has unknowingly become a victim to the crazy, obsessive new friend.  Sandy is very much the victim in Besties.  The problem with this film, in comparison to its predecessors, is the tamed and boring actions that follow after the two girls become best friends.  Yes, Ashley is mean but there really isn’t a boiling point for Sandy that makes the audience: one- want to sympathize for her, and two- really want her to overcome Ashley.

Maybe if there were more talented actors, the movie could have been a bit thrilling.  Crocicchia was tolerable, but her attempt to act drunk was almost as embarrassing as watching Bobby Soto try to play a convincing love interest for her character.  A couple shots of vodka for Crocicchia, and a few acting lessons for Soto could have made for a better film.  Thank goodness for Riley’s performance as the conniving antagonist.  She is truly the only reason I was able to keep watching this movie.  Although, if Ashley’s mom (Jackie Debatin) and Sandy ’s dad (Corin Nemec) would have played a bigger part, I think we could have had an interesting side story.

Besties is a low-budget drama/thriller that starts out with so much potential, but falls incredibly flat.

Watch Besties on demand at phase4films.com

 Besties Trailer HD

Originally posted on RedCarpetCrash.com