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Showing posts with the label Indie Movie

Rewriting Mallory | Average Guy Movie Review

Have you ever wondered how much control we have over our own lives? That question is the central theme of Rewriting Mallory , as we follow two people struggling to deal with lives marred by tragedy. Drifting between Joshua's attempts to deal with the loss of his sister through writing and Mallory having what could be the worst day of her life, this curious short film offers an interesting perspective on their two lives. One reminiscent of Morpheus' words to Neo in The Matrix  about Dorothy; "tumbling down the rabbit hole". Yes, Director Emerson Adams certainly conjures some colourful imagery with this one! Strangely, for a film that handles themes such as grief and trauma in such a grounded and sensitive way, it also pulls off one hell of a magic trick. Rewriting Mallory  starts off as one thing, essentially lulling you into a false sense of security, before jack-knifing your entire  understanding of what's going on. A move that somehow adds to the intrigue withou

Live Health | Average Guy Movie Review

During the pandemic therapist Doctor Peter Marcus (Timothy J. Cox) continues to treat his patients through video calls. But in a world in which many are struggling, who helps the helper? The first thing that strikes you when watching Live Health  is a sense of familiarity. We all lived with lockdown for two years, on and off. And there were times when it felt like it may never end. This sense of confinement and uncertainty is captured perfectly by the directing team of star Timothy J. Cox and his wife Jamie. Then there's the loneliness. The good doctor may be meeting with several patients through the course of his day, but seeing it all happen through a series of video calls - and all from the doc's perspective - really rams home the fact that talking to someone through a screen is no substitute for real human interaction. The second thing that strikes you is how difficult it must be, helping people with their issues when you're struggling with your own. Now you could argue

After | Average Guy Movie Review

After his son is killed in the line of duty, a veteran police detective struggles with thoughts of vengeance. Does he trust the system and his fellow colleagues to bring the killer to justice? Or should he take the law into his own hands? Rather than being any kind of police drama, After  is a gripping exploration of grief, and the toxic effect it can have on us. Told through a conversation between father and daughter, there is an expanse forming between them, caused by their individual feelings of loss. A void that - thanks to two magnificent performances, and a subtle shooting style - is right there on the screen for us to see. Their pain, almost palpable. This isn't your typical angry Hollywood cop either. Burned by grief and out for revenge. No, this is about a father contemplating the unthinkable, and the daughter trying to pull him back from the brink. Beth Metcalf and Timothy J. Cox have a very genuine bond on screen. Together they bring Annie and Michael Darcy to life in qu

Leon's Fantasy Cut | Average Guy Movie Review

Two first generation Ukrainian-American brothers chase the American Dream. One hopes to go into business for himself, but is stuck working in a cell phone store. The other is a small-time pot dealer looking to get into the music business as manager to a promising young rapper. They share a studio apartment in Brooklyn and bicker constantly. But all this is temporary... right? After all, this is America. Josh Caras and Jon Valde deliver a strikingly relatable tale in Leon's Fantasy Cut . Many of us will understand the place in which George (Caras) and Iggy (Valde) find themselves because we've either been there, or we are still. This is a movie that isn't afraid to broach the fact that the American Dream isn't out there for everyone - no matter how badly we want it. Moreover, the frustration, disappointment and even anger that such a realisation can bring is palpable throughout. Increasingly so, as we draw closer to a rather tense finale.  Beyond the torment of the Ameri

Sisyphus Unbound | Average Guy Movie Review

Virgil, a college writing student, hopes to have his latest story published, but he must first get over one major hurdle before his work gets out to the world, his mercurial writing professor Richard Laymen. Sisyphus Unbound proves to be the perfect title for this oddly relatable and rather compelling tale of student and teacher - and yes, I did have to look up who Sisyphus was (Greek mythology is definitely not my strong suit). We've all had at least one teacher who seemed to have it in for us, or at the very least we didn't like. Now this may be an extreme example, but it's a role that Timothy J. Cox seems to revel in, because there is something delightfully despicable in his portrayal of the evil professor. While - in complete contrast - Frederick J. Todd turns Virgil into a kind of hero of the downtrodden. It would have been easy for Todd to play Virgil in a way that makes him appear a little pathetic. Instead he makes it about a man finding his voice, and his courage.

Doomsday Stories | Average Guy Movie Review

After a virus wipes out most of humanity, a lone survivor wanders the ruin of the old world. All he has for company is a journal he took from a corpse, filled with stories of the apocalypse. A realistic depiction of the chaos that such an event would cause, Doomsday Stories cleverly, but not too closely references the coronavirus pandemic, whilst rarely straying from the realms of believability. Made up of four stories, all varying in their luridness, there is an appropriately disjointed feeling to the whole thing, with everyone from governments to individuals witnessing the collapse of society from their own unique view point. Which begs the question; 'How did all these stories end up in the same book?'  Having met our storyteller, Zorack (Phil Herman), on his travels, we are quickly thrown into the horrors of the MEANIES virus apocalypse. Beginning with 'Broken Promise', the story of a man and his dog searching for food and simply trying to survive. Shot in a cool we

Oregonda | Average Guy Movie Review

Star Force Galactic Command is battling to protect Earth's solar system from the ruthless Draconian. When intel is obtained of a bio-weapon that could destroy humanity, the spacecraft Oregonda is dispatched on a top secret mission into enemy territory to retrieve evidence of the weapon's existence. Watching Oregonda , it feels like a love letter to classic sci-fi. Everything from the practical sets to the clever use of visual effects, it's clear that this is a movie born out of love for the genre. As a story it sits somewhere between Star Trek and Stargate SG-1 , as Captain Leila Collins (Leanne Johnson) and Major Remus Hughes (Eric Shook) head off into the vastness of space. The two leads share a good chemistry throughout, as their characters struggle with the danger of their mission, as well as the morality. Their conversation about trust and the need to withhold classified information also proves rather interesting.  The thing that strikes you most, however, is the sense

Sandow | Average Guy Movie Review

Eugen Sandow (Timo Kervinen) was a German bodybuilder. He is responsible for the development of a lot of modern day exercise techniques and equipment. His Institutes of Physical Culture were the basis of the modern gym, where members of the public were taught methods of exercise, weight training and diet. He even wrote a series of books in which the phrase 'bodybuilding' was coined. And it's for this reason he is known as the "father of modern bodybuilding". This is the story of the man, told from the point of view of his protégé, Launceston Elliot (Alexander Cooper). In this biopic, Writer/Director Alexander Cooper charts the rise and fall of this legendary athlete. From his humble beginnings performing in circuses and strongmen competitions, to his time working with Florenz Ziegfeld (Olivier Maigniez) touring the world and the adultery and money troubles that would plague him in later life. Kervinen does a great job of bringing this complicated charact

We Make Movies: Average Guy Movie Review

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to go behind the scenes on an independent film? Wondered how the process differs between a big budget Hollywood production and an indie movie? If so, 'We Make Movies' could be the...err movie for you. Director and star Matt Tory wanted to make a movie about the process of making movies, just not the Hollywood process. Think Bowfinger meets Tropic Thunder. Adopting a documentary style in which cameras go behind the scenes of a minor motion picture, We Make Movies tells the story of a group of college students who spend the summer making a movie for their hometown's film festival. A movie that blends together all the greatest films ever made in what Stevphen (not a typo) the director (played by Tory) calls "an homage". Tory decided to make the movie with his friends, in very much the same way as the movies they made as children. The cast all play highly exaggerated versions of themselves. There's the eg

Breathe Easy: Average Guy Movie Review

Breathe Easy is an independent film, shot in multiple locations throughout ten countries. This global accomplishment took more than 20 directors roughly a year to make.  Strange clouds have appeared in the sky across the globe and people are starting to behave in very strange ways. Governments are scrambling to deal with the crisis, but without knowing the cause, what can they do except...Breathe Easy?  In a time when Hollywood studios can afford to film all over the world, it's easy for us to become indifferent. But an independent film shooting in ten countries including the UK, US, Australia and Hong Kong is an incredible achievement. And the results speak for themselves. Instead of focusing on one region or group during a global disaster - with small updates of events occurring elsewhere - the action is shared pretty much equally across all locations. It's an interesting look at how different people react to the same situation. Some will run, some will hide. Some wi