John Delia

Film Editor John Delia has been on all sides of the movie business from publications to film making. He has worked as a film critic with ACED Magazine for more than 10 years and earned a Bachelors degree in communications from the University of Florida. John is a member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association. Follow John on Twitter @staragent1 or send John a message at jdelia@acedmagazine.com

Quickie Reviews on DVD and Blu-ray

QUICKIE VIDEO REVIEWS
Here are some video releases now available that I had an opportunity to view.

Actor and Diretor Ara Paiaya in Skin Traffik
Actor and Diretor Ara Paiaya in Skin Traffik

SKIN TRAFFIK, R for violence throughout, language, sexual material and some drug content, DVD, 1 hr. 37 min., Drama, Crime, Action

Here’s a very violent film that has a lot of energy and a recognizable cast that works hard to make the action drama work. Things that prevent it however, are the uneven direction and a story that you’ve probably seen in a number of movies. The saving grace on this one however, comes with the twist ending hiking the letter grade to average.

Hit man Bradley (Gary Daniels) takes a job retrieving a computer disk and thumb drive from crime boss Vogel (Mickey Rourke) who resists. Not wanting to upset his boss (Eric Roberts) by not getting what he came for he threatens to kill Vogel’s daughter if he won’t comply and the ploy works. On the run Bradley comes across a sex trafficking ring and helps one of the harlots Anna (Dominique Swain) get away. Falling for her charms she tells him her sister Jessica (Sarah Coyle) is in grave danger at a branch brothel where the traffickers are holding her. The two team up to try and free Jessica and then flee the country.

FINAL ANALYSIS: The script is lame and cliched but if you like violent films this one has a lot of that. (C )

 

Jennifer London as Marla in I Spit on Your Grave III
Jennifer London as Marla in I Spit on Your Grave III

I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE III, Not Rated contains violence, nudity, rape, language, Blu-ray/DVD, 1 hr. 31 min., Crime, Horror, Thriller

If you are looking for something to turn up the violence level then look no further than I Spit on your Grave III. This is one film you really don’t have to know what happened in the previous two. It gives you the gist of it right away and in some of the horror in flashbacks that follow. However, if you did see the first film than you’ll know why this woman is out to get everyone in town. I liked the film for the acting and directing, but the direction could have been better.

Angela (Sarah Butler) still has nightmares about how she was raped by several men and a cop and left her to die. It’s been sometime and her therapist (Harley Jane Kozak) wants her to attend a group therapy meeting to witness others who have found themselves without a way to recover. At the meeting she meets Marla (Jennifer London) a hardnosed woman who has been able to live with her problem by insulting males and turning to other females for comfort. The two are like a poison trying to figure out what to do for revenge. When Cassie (Megan Raich) a teenager opens up to the group that her stepfather has been forcing sex on her, Marla and Angela go on the warpath.

FINAL ANALYSIS: Good acting and directing save this sequel and make it a good horror flick for the spooky season ahead. (B)

 

Jemaine Clement as Will and Aundrea and Gia Gadby as Clio and Colette in People Places Things
Jemaine Clement as Will and Aundrea and Gia Gadby as Clio and Colette in People Places Things

PEOPLE PLACES THINGS, R for Language including some sexual references and brief nudity, DVD, 1 hr. 34 min., Comedy and Romance

Now for something enjoyably different, a complicated romantic comedy that will surprise, challenge and let you indulge in sentimental love. The film has three important factors, good acting, able direction and a fun storyline. Not a family film, but perfect for ladies who love romantic novels and like the unfamiliar.

Will (Jemaine Clement) walks in on his wife Charlie (Stephanie Allynne) during their twin daughters Clio (Aundrea Gadsby) and Colette’s (Gia Gadsby) fifth birthday party catching her with Gary (Michael Chernus). She simply says she’s board with her life and wants to move on with Gary. A year later and we find divorced Will in his classroom teaching Comic Book story writing to a High School class. He’s not kicked the delusion that he still loves his wife and finds himself drawing out his life since the divorce as a comic book. To make matter’s worse Charlie informs him that she is pregnant and wants to get married to Gary. When Will finally emerges from his shell and becomes interested in Diane (Regina Hall), one of his student’s mother, things really start to get complicated.

FINAL ANALYSIS: A wonderful little film that’s full of romantic comedy twists. (B)

30 Year Old FLiFF Puts a Twist on Opening Night

FLiFF bannerThe Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival
Unveils 30TH ANNIVERSARY Line-up for 2015

Opening Night Films:
WHERE TO INVADE NEXT
THE BOAT BUILDER
JACO
Centerpiece Film: SILVER SKIES
Closing Night Film: THE WANNABE

 Special Guests include:
Michael Moore, Robert Trujillo, Ed Harris, Christopher Lloyd, Amy Madigan,
Victor Nunez, Loretta Swit, Candy Clark, Estelle Parsons

The 30th Anniversary of The Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival (FLiFF) will present more than 150 films from November 6th thru November 22 at several venues in South Florida. The films will include  American Indie and World Cinema features and documentaries from around the world. A shorts program will also be presented throughout the nearly three week festival. There will be red carpet premiers, galas, a prime list of special guest celebs, and awards competition. Expected in attendance will by Ed Harris, Christopher Lloyd, Amy Madigan, Loretta Swit, Candy Clark, Estelle Prasons, Michael Moore, Robert Trujillo and Victor Nunez.

OPENING NIGHT 3 FILM EVENT

Opening Night on November 6th will see A different twist on FLiFF with three movies being spooled to open the festival.

Christopher Lloyd as Abner in The Boat Builder
Christopher Lloyd as Abner in The Boat Builder

The Boat Builder stars Christopher Lloyd, (Back to the Future, Who Framed Roger Rabbit and TV sitcom Taxi) as Abner, an embittered old mariner, a widower living a solitary life in a small maritime town, finding comfort only in the countless hours spent rebuilding an old sailboat. When Rick, a neglected young orphan, hides from the local bullies on Abner’s property, the grumpy old man and the vulnerable boy find common ground and form an unlikely bond which will change their lives in unexpected ways.

World Premiere. Special Guests: Christopher Lloyd, director Arnold Grossman and producer Richard J. Bosner. Friday, November 6, 8:00pm, Cinema Paradiso – Fort Lauderdale

A scene from Where to Invade Next
A scene from Where to Invade Next

In Where To Invade Next, the new documentary from Academy Award-winning director Michael Moore, the controversial culture warrior tells the Pentagon to “stand down” — he will do the invading for America from now on. What if the US could do a better job at invading? That’s the question which sends Moore on an epic journey.
Florida Premiere. Special Guest: Michael Moore. Friday, November 6, 7:00 pm, Hard Rock Live at Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood, Fl.

Jaco Pastorius in JACO
Jaco Pastorius in JACO

Jaco directed by Paul Marchand and produced by Metallica’s Robert Trujillo, Jaco uses never-before-seen 8mm film, photographs, and audio recordings to unveil the true story behind the legend of musician Jaco Pastorius. Born in Oakland Park [Broward County], the self-taught, larger-than-life Pastorius single-handedly changed the course of modern music by redefining the sound and the role of the electric bass guitar. Jaco’s life, his music, and his heartbreaking end are chronicled by footage and photography from the Pastorius family archive; interviews with Joni Mitchell, Carlos Santana, Sting and Flea (of the Red Hot Chili Peppers), and footage of Billy Joel, Stephen Stills, and many other artists.
Florida Premiere. Special Guests: Director Paul Marchand, Producer Robert Trujillo and members of the Pastorius family. Friday, November 6, 9:00 pm, Hard Rock Live at Seminole Hard Rock

PRE-OPENING MINI FEST

The cinematic adventure gets started in advance of the Festival itself with two Pre-Festival Screenings: the Florida Premiere of Brooklyn, written by Nick Hornby (About A Boy, Wild) and the U.S. Premiere of Single In South Beach, starring Kevin Sorbo, Carlos Ponce and Haley Webb, on Wednesday, November 4. Single In South Beach directors Alejandro Itkin and Hunter Carson will walk the red carpet at the film’s premiere.

CENTERPIECE FILM

George Hamilton, Valerie Perrine, Alex Rocco, Barbara Bain, Mariette Hartley, Howard Hesseman, Jack McGee, and Jack Betts star in Silver Skies, the story of a group of neighbors whose lives are turned upside down when their beloved apartment complex is suddenly sold out from under them. Silver Skies is a funny, dark and lovely story about getting older and trying to hang onto each other and the American Dream. Florida Premiere. Special Guests: Director Rosemary Rodriguez, Producer Nestor Rodriguez and Star Jack McGee (The Fighter, Moneyball, Crash). Friday, November 13, 7:15 pm, Sunrise Civic Center

CLOSING NIGHT FILM

Vincent Piazza and Patricia Arquette in The Wannabe
Vincent Piazza and Patricia Arquette in The Wannabe

Obsessed with mob culture and desperate to fit in, Thomas, the title character of The Wannabe, sets out to fix the 1992 trial of mob boss John Gotti. Thomas believes if his plan is executed, it will put him at the center of all that he idolizes. But the plot is foiled, setting off events worthy of mob lore. The Wannabe intertwines real people and true events, past and present, and fantasy – and features Patricia Arquette, in a magnificent performance that many believe tops her Oscar-winning performance in Boyhood.
Special Guests: Director Nick Sandow (who portrays Joe Caputo in Orange Is the New Black), Producer Michael Gasparro. Southeast Premiere. Sunday, November 22, 6:00pm, Cinema Paradiso – Fort Lauderdale and Cinema Paradiso – Hollywood

For tickets and information: http://www.fliff.com/buy-fliff-tickets/
For complete schedule of films: http://www.fliff.com/wp-content/uploads/sch.pdf

Bridge of Spies, Swapping Lives

BRIDGE poster

 

 

Probably the most intriguing film in sometime, Bridge of Spies takes on the Cold War with Russia in this compelling true story. Well casted with Tom Hanks in the starring role, written by the ubiquitous Cohen Brothers who gave us No Country for Old Men, and directed by three time Oscar winner Steven Spielberg the film has all the makings of an Academy Award nomination. And it is that good. Read more

Tomorrowland, Changing the World

TOMORROWLAND boxart

 

The kid friendly Tomorrowland has arrived on home video with a cool adventure that should entertain the 7 to 16 year old crowd. Those of all ages who just can’t miss a sci-fi movie may also be included in this group depending on whether they accept the mild to moderate conflicts and the somewhat realistic message the film presents. As for the production, it’s very good with fine directing, computer graphics and visuals that amaze. Now on Blu-ray and DVD and available in a combo pack, the film has many features that will add to your home viewing pleasure. Read more

Tibetan Warrior, One Man’s Fight for Freedom

TIBETAN WARRIOR poster

 

The documentary movie Tibetan Warrior offers a look at the plight of the people in a region taken over by the Chinese. The movie brings to light the disturbing practice of self-immolation as a way of letting the world know that Tibetans are opposed to Chinese rule. The film follows Loten Namling a musician and self-acclaimed Tibetan Warrior who walked for days spreading the word about his people in Tibet. It also goes into the visits he has made to the Dalai Lama in India and the United Nations. It is an interesting topic and one that should be addressed worldwide in the vein of any repressed nation wanting to be heard. Read more

Run Boy Run, a Film of Courage

RUN BOY RUN poster

 

Opening in theaters this weekend is the daring and courageous true story of a young boy who out foxed the Germans during WWII Poland for four years. The film digs deep into the heart of the young man who wouldn’t give up even in the face of death. If you see one foreign film this year, make it be Run Boy Run, it will stay with long after you have left the theater. Not enough can be said of the atrocities that took place in Europe during the most diabolical era of mankind that defined genocide and depicted man’s inhumanity to man. Read more

Upcoming Video Releases for the Holidays

Check out the Holiday video releases that big studios are set to deliver. They are some their hottest blockbusters coming out  on Blu-ray and DVD.  Most of the films may also be out there on VOD. The genre’s range from action thriller, horror  to comedy and include some long awaited theatrical hits. We will be reviewing select titles so check back to get opinions from our writing staff.  You might also discover a gem that you didn’t know existed or a hilarious comedy to brighten your day. Whether you’re on the lookout for horror, action-adventure, drama, comedy, crime or lifestyles— the list below has a lot to offer. Read more

South Park: Season 18 a Wacky Satire

SOUTH PARK boxart

 

For those of you who are huge fans of South Park or others that want to get a taste of the iconic TV show, try out Season 18 of the hilarious, rude, crude and sometimes unglued adult show. Like all seasons of the popular animated show, it’s all new and no need to have seen other years of the wacky comedy since 1997. In Season 18 the subject matter ranges from being gluten free to “transgendering” to using mobile aps and more in the 10 episodes. It’s a whole lot of fun if you don’t take them seriously or at least not too seriously. Now no Blu-ray and DVD the show can continue to go on inside your home theater. Read more

Amnesiac, a Twisted Tale of the Macabre

AMNESIAC boxart dvd

 

Disturbing, terrifying and creepy the film Amnesiac takes you into the unknown much like an episode from The Twilight Zone. Now on home video the movie takes you into a mystery that has some cool twists. Even though the movie lags while attempting to keep you in the dark, the eeriness and strange pace of Director Mia Barron’s film is just what the doctor ordered for a darkened room with you a friend and your DVD player. Read more

Blunt Force Trauma, Dueling for Dollars

BLUNT FORCE boxart

 

A different take on the honor of dueling the film Blunt Force Trauma comes to home video. The fictional action drama puts the audience inside the “sport” for money pitting the best fast draw artists up against each other for pride and glory. Very good acting, direction and cinematography make the story exciting, compelling and convincing. Now on DVD and Blu-ray for home viewing. Read more

Nocturna, Fear and Loathing

NOCUTRNA boxart

 

 

Timing for this horror flick is just right with the Halloween season upon us. Nocturna the direct to DVD/Blu-ray thriller tries hard to scare up a cauldron of ghastly treats, but fails miserably in the acting and direction departments. While it does have a decent storyline however, the film is not played out compelling enough to make it frightful. The make-up artists do have a field day here, but nothing more. Read more

Sicario, Madness Beyond Borders

SICARIO poster

 

Turning a brutal crime story into a masterpiece of filmmaking can be quite hard for any filmmaker, but director Denis Villeneuve gets the right cast with an awesome script called Sicario. Putting his actors to work he presents a grisly look at the Mexican border where he stages his play that gets very tense and compelling. I can definitely see a shot at some of the bigger awards come Oscar Time. Especially the performances by Emily Blunt and Benicio Del Toro. Read more

The Martian, a Mission Impossible

THE MARTIAN poster

Releasing this weekend and battling stiff competition The Martian movies into theaters everywhere. The edge of your seat movie turns up the excitement early then settles down as audiences watch a stranded astronaut waste no time in finding a way to survive against unsurmountable odds. It’s Cast Away under more intimidating conditions and the tenseness of Gravity times two. The film pushes the envelope several times with exciting situations that involve the possibility of certain death. Excellent acting by Matt Damon and the usual high intensity of director Ridley Scott make The Martian a must for science fiction and action junkies.

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