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Movie Review: Reiki

I interviewed the Director, Pedro Chaves, while this film was in post-production. It is an idependant movie made on a low budget over a very short time period, and we can only dream about what it might have been were more time and finances available, but we have to take it as it is. The lack of resources shows, but it’s still a real accomplishment with an inspired concept and good production values.

Reiki - The first Belgium Fantasy/Action Movie
Not to be confused with massage or the art of healing, Reiki is a violent film about two rival sets of immortals – “The Order” and “Witches” – able to live on after death by reincarnation, and the one weapon that can kill them perminently: The Sword called “Reiki.”

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Blog Movie Reviews

Movie Review: The Gamers

The Gamers is an Independently produced comedy by Dead Gentleman Productions, and focuses on a group of student role-play gamers (I can confidently say they are playing Dungeons & Dragons – I recognise the books). It fully embraces the concept of this being a game and interchanges between the game-world and the real-world, which adds much of its humour. The Gamers succeeds in accurately showing what the experience of gaming is like: to the outside viewer just a bunch of nerds sitting around a table, but once you enter that imaginative world you see it is much more, and a ton of fun!

Role-players sitting around a table from the movie The Gamers

The Movie is very much carried by its humour, the plot itself isn’t very robust being a basic defeat the villain, rescue the Princess cliché but nonetheless serves as a good vehicle. Likewise the characters are very stereotypical but that’s okay because it’s what the movie is making fun of.

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Blog Movie Reviews

Movie Review: Dungeons & Dragons 2 – Wrath of the Dragon God

After the atrocity of Dungeons & Dragons the Movie it’s doubtful whether any sequel ever had lower expectations than this. Fortunately things could only get better. Wrath of the Dragon God could not be more different from its predecessor, and it’s gratifying to see criticism being used constructively.

Mages casting spells

Set in Ismer a century on the city is unrecognisable, but Damodar, the blue-lipped henchman (minus the blue lips) and only recurring character (played by Bruce Payne), plans to destroy it. It seems Jeremy Irons cursed him with undeath (justification for blue lips if ever I heard one) so Damodar, seeking revenge, locks him in a room with the first movie playing on a continual loop recovers the magical Orb of Thingamabob to awaken the sleeping Dragon God.

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Blog Movie Reviews

Movie Review: InAlienable

Dr. Eric Norris (Richard Hatch) is infected by an alien parasite producing a tentacled offspring which shares his DNA and embarks on a legal battle for custody over the ‘child’. An interesting and original concept full of promise but which fails to fulfil its potential.

inalienable

There’s a rumour that Director Robert Dyke kidnapped the Stars from a local Sci-Fi convention and held them at gunpoint until the filming was complete. Okay, so I made that up, but this movie is jam-packed with actors from Star Trek, Babylon 5, Stargate and Battlestar Galactica to name but a few. And, honestly, playing a game of star-spotting is probably to only way you’ll make it to the end.

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Blog Movie Interviews

Interview with Director Cisco Davis Jr. on ‘The Peculiars.’

Director and Producer Cisco Davis Jr. talks about The Peculiars – an Indie Superhero film set to start filming this autumn. Something peculiar is coming…

First things first, What is The Peculiars about?

The Peculiars is a actually a spin-off of my webcomic “The Pure and Hidden Truth” (www.pureandhiddentruth.com). It tells the story of a team of crime fighters based in Baltimore City that have just gone public as they take on their first big challenge of facing off with a domestic terror cell of dangerously imaginative mimes.

I’ve long suspected Mimes to be evil! Interesting villains to say the least; Mimes can do amazing things with their bodies. Have you cast actual Mimes and what feats can we expect to see from them?

During the casting process when I was casting the lead villain and and “henchmimes” I was very disappointed that I was auditioning ordinary people for these roles. And then I lucked out one day when I got an e-mail from an actual professional mime from New York! A week later the person came down to Baltimore for dinner and to talk about the movie and was cast on the spot for the lead villain! What’s cool is that the actor is a professional mime and can coach other villain actors during filming. I don’t want to give away too much of what these mimes are capable of but let’s just say that the phrase “dangerously imaginative” alludes to the very real possibility that their “miming”
of various actions or wielding certain objects could pose a serious threat to our heroes… 😉

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Blog Movie Reviews

Movie Review: Dungeons & Dragons (2000)

I’m starting to believe that Dungeons & Dragons is to film what Macbeth is to Theatre: cursed. Invoke the name and you spell disaster. Perhaps you’ve seen the 80’s cartoon series or Dragons of Autumn Twilight? They were bad, to be sure, but this is worse – far worse than you can possibly imagine. Which, believe it or not, is sort of it’s charm; it keeps you watching with morbid fascination to see just how bad bad can get.

Blue lipstick? Bugger me!

The movie’s tag-line was ‘This is no game,’ and truer words were never spoken. The classic role-play game is only conspicuous in it’s absence from the production that bears it’s name. A few scant elements were incorporated from the source matter, but those inaccurately, so what was intended as fan service comes across as a kick in the teeth.

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Blog Movie Reviews

Movie Review: Kick-Ass

Kick-Ass is an irreverent pulp-style movie you’ll either get extremely offended by or like… a lot. It’s in-your-face, non-pc, and ultra-violent. So basically, if that’s not your bag, stay well clear. The film was independently produced by Matthew Vaughn alongside Mark Millar’s creator-owned comic book, so there is bags of creator input and cross-over with zero interference or censorship.

Unfortunately in some countries Kick-Ass was rated PG-13 and promoted in trailers as a light-hearted teen flick. This is outrageously misleading and I don’t know who in their right minds would classify it as anything less than an 18. We’re talking graphic violence and something like 250 hardcore profanities. It’s adult content; kids should not see it. Period.

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Interview with Reiki Director Pedro Chaves

Director Pedro Chaves takes the hot seat and tells us all about his new movie Reiki!

Tell me about Reiki the Movie; what’s it about?

Reiki is a low budget action-fantasy feature film from Belgium. It tells the story of Vann and Hansel who awaken in a destroyed factory in the middle of nowhere with no memories of who they are… EXCEPT flashbacks from 400 years ago! During their exploration of the factory they meet Reisha, a girl who’s been running away from a group called “The Order”, witch-hunters that have been hunting witches since the dawn of time. Reisha tells Vann and Hansel that their flashbacks are true, they are memories of their past lives! Now Vann and Hansel must try to figure out who they are, why they awakened in this forgotten place, and survive their fight against the Order whilst protecting Reisha!

reikistill2

Sounds Exciting! Now, (if it’s not too much of a spoiler) why is the film called Reiki? Isn’t that a kind of massage?

Yeah, I heard that Reiki was a kind of Japanese massage; funnily enough when we started production nobody knew and it was just afterwards that some people told us. Actually there are some things alike between the movie Reiki and the Reiki massage (though very small).
Reiki is the name of the sword in the movie. The Reiki sword is a special sword that can cut the astral line of a human being, which means when a person is killed with the Reiki sword they won’t be able to reincarnate anymore,  thus they meet a true and absolute death.
The name of the sword has an hidden meaning, but if I told you it would be a huge spoiler!

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Blog Movie Reviews Movies/Film

Movie Review: Ben X

Ben X is an emotional and thought-provoking ride by first-time Belgium director Nic Balthazar. Watching the trailer you might be forgiven for thinking this is a movie about the dangers of online gaming. In fact MMORPGs are portrayed realistically and in a positive light. Logging on every day is the one uplifting thing in Ben’s otherwise bleak world. He is being bullied mercilessly by his peers because he is different – he suffers from Asperger Syndrome – and online escapism helps him to cope. It’s also a way for him to express his feelings and make friends in a way he can’t in the real world.

Ben X

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Blog Movie Reviews Movies/Film

Movie Review: Coraline

Coraline is a Children’s horror film and, unsurprisingly, has been quite controversial within parental forums with some arguing it is too scary for it’s PG rating. The Nightmare Before Christmas – also directed by Henry Selick – provoked a similar reaction yet is a firm family favourite with a strong cult following. It’s very different from a regular children’s film, which may account for its success. Likewise Coraline is a refreshing break from the same-old same-old and pushes the envelope on children’s entertainment. It’s frightening in a surreal, psychological way evocative of nightmares with a sprinkling of creepiness. But by embodying these intangible childhood fears it also tackles how to deal with them, and is ultimately empowering and uplifting.

Coraline is a stop-motion animation and the hand-crafted feel is particularly appropriate to its theme. With the introduction of computer-generated animation stop-motion, which is a painstakingly slow process, is becoming increasingly rare. Coraline’s visuals are breathtaking with minute attention to detail in every frame. It’s a work of art with beautiful, atmospheric scenery and luscious, touchable textures. I could forgive a multitude of sins for something this pretty.

Coraline could live in a perfect world if she'd just let her Other Mother sew buttons in her eyes