• linkedin

Archives for : independent film

Movie Review/Interview: Directors Tyler Nilson and Michael Schwartz talk “The Peanut Butter Falcon”

Shia LaBeouf and Zack Gottsagen star in “The Peanut Butter Falcon”

“The Peanut Butter Falcon” is a modern Mark Twain style adventure story. The film follows Zak (Zack Gottsagen), a young man with Down Syndrome, who runs away from a residential nursing home and the employee who cared for him (Dakota Johnson) so that he can follow his dream of becoming a professional wrestler. Along the way he meets Tyler (Shia LaBeouf), and the two form an unlikely brotherly bond during their exciting and, at times, dangerous travels.

This is writers/directors Tyler Nilson and Michael Schwartz’s debut feature, and it’s one of the best films of the year. A simple premise with a lot of heart. This is due in great part to the fantastic performances by Gottsagen, LaBeouf, and Johnson. 

I got a chance to sit down with Nilson and Schwartz while they were in Dallas to promote their film. It was entertaining to say the least. They are very cool dudes, who are passionate about this already critically acclaimed movie. We chatted about LaBeouf and Gottsagen’s chemistry, pro-wrestling, meeting your heroes, and much more.

Rating: 4.5/5

All hands in with Michael Schwartz (Left) & Tyler Nilson (Right)
Full Interview with Director/Writers Tyler Nilson & Michael Schwartz

“The Peanut Butter Falcon” opens in select theaters on August 9.


Interview: Josh & Jonathan Baker talk “Kin”

The indie sci-fi, drama “Kin” follows  a recently released ex-con (Jack Reynor), and his adopted teenage brother (Miles Truitt) as they are forced to go on the run from vengeful criminals.  Luckily they are armed with a powerful weapon of mysterious origin as their only protection.

I sat down with the directors of the film, Josh and Jonathan Baker, to discuss the movie.  We talked about characters, being “what makes a real man”, what they’ve taught each other, and more!


Interview: Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal talk “Blindspotting”

Image result for blindspotting movie

There was lots of buzz surrounding the new drama/comedy, “Blindspotting”, at the 2018 Dallas International Film Festival.  While at the festival, I got a chance to sit down with the stars and writers of the movie, Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal.  We discussed their film, the idea of blind spots, should you ignore your best friend’s ex, and more!

“Blindspotting” is a powerful film and one that will leave you thinking about its message long after you finish watching.

“Blindspotting” hits theaters July 27.


Movie Review: “The Skeleton Twins” Provides Enough Meat on the Bones of this Indie Gem

Girl Most Likely was a disappointing, failed attempt at the indie genre for Kristen Wiig.  So much so, that my standards were kept low when walking into The Skeleton Twins.  But, once again, Wiig’s unsurprising chemistry with another SNL alum creates an on-screen bond that immediately pulls you into their story.

The Skeleton Twins (directed by Craig Johnson, and written by Johnson and Mark Heyman) solely focuses on its two title characters.  Bill Hader channels his inner “Stefon” as Milo, the snarky, gay, depressed out-of-work LA actor.  He opens the film with an attempted suicide that reunites him and his twin sister Maggie (Wiig), who he hasn’t seen in 10 years.  Like her brother, Maggie is also unhappy, but hides her depression behind her marriage to a happy-go-lucky, Luke Wilson, to whom she has had trouble staying faithful.  Maggie insists Milo stay with them until she knows he is okay.  Milo agrees to come back to New York to live with Maggie for a little while.  At this point, the two of them attempt to revisit their past, try to make adjustments to their disturbed selves, and finally realize how important it is for their well-being to have each other in their lives.

What really makes the thematic material in The Skeleton Twins so grasping is that it has such an understanding on a siblings’ connection.  Throughout the film it’s referenced that the two had a rough upbringing, which has forced them to rely on one another since childhood.  Even though Maggie and Milo are miserable with their lives, their presence together is a silver lining.  The two not only share a bond, but also understand each other completely.  They make jokes, get high, and even have one of the best scenes this year, a sing-a-long to Starship’s “Nothing Gonna Stop Us Now.”

The Skeleton Twins’ grim tone throughout the film is balanced with its uplifting message of how sometimes the person in your life who completes you can make you realize why life is worth living.  There is also enough comic relief through Wiig and Hader’s hilarious, witty banter for you to continuously have a laugh.  Watching these two on-screen together is a rare treat no one should miss.

Rating: 4.5/5

The Skeleton Twins opens in select theaters September 19.

Interviews: Dolphin Tale 2 & The One I Love

I got a chance to sit down with  the stars of  “Dolphin Tale 2,” , Nathan Gamble  & Cozi Zuehlsdorff.  We discussed their first impressions of each other, which other true story they would like to see have a sequel, and what helps them get out of a funk.  “Dolphin Tale 2” hits theaters today!

“Dolphin Tale 2” Interview with Nathan Gamble & Cozi Zuehlsdorff

dolphin tale 2



In this interview with actor Mark Duplass and director Charlie McDowell, we talk about their latest film, “The One I Love.”  The two discuss relationships, what they find attractive in a woman, happiest moments, and even played with barbies (sort of). “The One I Love” is still playing in select theaters!

“The One I Love” Interview with Mark Duplass & Charlie McDowell

mark duplass

Movie Review: ‘I Used To Be Darker’ Is Essentially About The Music


Who needs a complex story-line when you’ve got talented musicians to carry a film?

Matthew Porterfield’s official Sundance selection, I Used To Be Darker, is truly a beautiful and expressive piece of art starring and featuring music by singer-songwriter Kim Taylor.  The songs played throughout the film are not only for background, but also an extension of the dialogue.

When Taryn (Deragh Campbell), a Northern Irish runaway, finds herself in trouble in Ocean City, she decides to stay with her aunt (Kim Taylor) and uncle (Ned Oldham) in Baltimore hoping to escape her problems.  But little does she know her aunt and uncle are having problems of their own. Tayrn’s visit happens to be at a time when the two are trying deal with the end of their marriage.  The couple and their daughter, Abby (Hannah Gross), are having an even harder time than they expected.  Abby can’t even look at her mother.  Her father is heart broken and trying to maintain a positive demeanor.  All the while, Taryn does everything she can to avoid telling her own parents where she is.

The premise itself is intriguing, and I believe Porterfield accomplished the goal he was trying to achieve in the film.  Everyone is trying to avoid dealing with their issues or talking about their problems.   Some of the characters express their feelings through song, while others bottle up their emotions until finally unleashing it during a random outburst.

The most enjoyable scenes were when the characters finally expressed their frustration verbally.  More specifically, one of the best scenes is performed by the exceptional Hannah Gross, when she randomly barges into Taryn’s room shouting at her to call her parents.  In that moment, you are able to connect with Abby and the pain she is going through.

Articulated through song and music, I Used To Be Darker tells a heart-breaking story of family tribulations, people finding each other and letting each other go, and how to hopefully find love again. Though I can’t say this film will appeal to all audiences, music and indie film lovers should find it deep and touching.

I Used To Be Darker is  out on DVD January 28th.

I Used To Be Darker Trailer HD

Originally posted on