Wish I Was Here

GRACE discs

Welcome back to This Week In Discs! If you see something you like, click on the title to buy it from Amazon. Grace: The Possession Grace (Alexia Fast) heads off to college unprepared for the pressures of her peers due to a childhood that saw her raised by a strictly religious grandmother (Lin Shaye) after losing her mother during her birth. A rowdy party ends with grandma pulling her from school and bringing her back to their small, religious town, but what no one knows is that a demon is inside Grace just itching to cause some bloody mayhem. The narrative here is mostly straightforward and will feel familiar to viewers who’ve seen any number of possession films, but what makes this one unique — and what makes it highly watchable and impressive — is that the entire movie is POV. (It’s not found footage though, thankfully.) We float into the back of Grace’s head early on and spend the rest of the film seeing through her eyes. It’s a cool idea, but more than that, it’s executed pretty damn flawlessly by director Jeff Chan. It’s like one of the V/H/S/2 shorts — that was the great one in the franchise — get the feature treatment as the POV impresses multiple times. The script and story could have used more polish, but the performances, effects and technical aspects are solid. All that plus Alexis Knapp and Lester (Clarke Peters) from The Wire! [DVD extras: None]

read more...

Wish I Was Here

In spite of the Kickstarter hoopla and general hype surrounding Zach Braff’s return to feature filmmaking following a decade-long absence, Wish I Was Here is just about the movie you’d expect. It’s not technically a sequel to Garden State, but this is Braff exploring the same ideas in nearly-identical fashion. Imagine Braff’s Andrew Largeman ten years later but stuck-in-the-mud as ever and there’s Aidan Bloom, his protagonist here. Throw in the trademark Braff blend of fast, broad humor and unabashed sentimentality, plus a soundtrack packed with indie rock and lots of slow motion, and you can pretty much fill in the blanks. There’s nothing inherently wrong with returning to a familiar template, especially when it worked so well the first time around. There are considerable pleasures to be had in experiencing this story centered on a crisis-ridden moment in Largeman’s Bloom’s thirties, where a whole lot of negative news converges at once. It’s simply to say that when it comes to tone, structure and dialogue-construction, the picture seems awfully familiar.

read more...

Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)

June ended with a blockbuster that encapsulated everything wrong with most summer movies. Bloated, thin, self-indulgent, mean-spirited, and incomprehensible are a few ways to describe Michael Bay‘s Transformers: Age of Extinction. It’s not the worst film of the series, but it’ll definitely go down as one of the worst films of the summer. Still, audiences love Bay’s brand and the film made more money domestically in its opening weekend than Edge of Tomorrow has thus far stateside, which is just heartbreaking. Thankfully, we have summer movies like Edge of Tomorrow and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes to remind us not all blockbusters are run-of-the-mill studio products. Besides Dawn of the Planet of the Apes or another viewing of Edge of Tomorrow there’s plenty of other movies to check out this month. Here are the must see movies of July 2014:

read more...

Wish I Was Here

First of all, you won’t be surprised by the band included in the trailer for Wish I Was Here. Second of all, you won’t be surprised by the raw quirkiness at work. It’s very Braffian. Which is remarkable considering that Zach Braff has only directed two features. He’s already nailed down a signature style as a sophomore. Here he follows up Garden State with the next step in adult existential crisis and a hint of Walter Mitty. Braff plays Aidan Bloom, an unsuccessful actor who ends up having to home school his children. It’s an even money guess on who learns the most out of the deal.

read more...

laggies

There’s no science when it comes to picking the big winners at a film festival before the first film strip unfurls (or someone hits play on a digital file, as is most often the case these days), no proven method to the madness, no guaranteed formula to finding the best of the best. It’s a gamble every single time, and that’s precisely where much of the joy in attending a film festival comes from. That discovery, maddening as it may seem. This year’s Sundance Film Festival is predictably stuffed with all manner of films and talents – from the star-studded to the utterly up-and-coming – and while it’s certainly easy to pick out pictures that “sound” like they might be good or at least feature “bankable” talent, there are always a few sleepers that sneak in and captivate an unsuspecting audience. That all said, we here at Film School Rejects have attempted to apply our expertise and our personal interests to this year’s festival in order to pick out a handful of films that just might be the best of the fest, but that are at least guaranteed to send us running into a theater to see them once the festival kicks up. It’s time for Sundance! And it’s time for films! It’s even time for anticipation! And now it’s time for some anticipated Sundance films!

read more...

berry-movie43

What is Casting Couch? It’s your hookup when it comes to finding out what Hollywood’s A list (and B list, and sometimes C list) is going to be up to next. Today we’ve got updates that will be of particular interest to fans of creepy little kids and Cougar Town. After not at all shaming herself by being featured in last year’s beloved and not at all wretched compilation of comedic shorts, Movie 43, Halle Berry seems to have gotten a taste for doing comedy, because Variety is reporting that she’s all set to both produce and star in a new indie comedy called Mother. In it she’ll be playing a woman who leaves a mobster she was going to marry at the altar, who tries to hide out afterward by pretending to be some kid’s mother, but who then blows her cover due to her generally erratic behavior. It’s true that this plot synopsis is too weird and vague to give us any idea of what this movie is really going to be like, but whatever it is it has to be better than Berry strapping on comically large rubber boobs and mugging for the camera. Oh, Movie 43.

read more...

Zach Braff Wish I Was Here

It’s unknown whether the 38,377 people pledging to Zach Braff‘s Kickstarter campaign will now get their money back, but The Hollywood Reporter has announced from Cannes that the actor/filmmaker’s controversially crowdfunded film, Wish I Was Here, will receive funding from Worldview Entertainment (Killer Joe).* This is a very big deal, although it’s not clear what it means for the $2.6 million raised from fans on the Kickstarter site. According to THR, “Worldview will provide most of the financing for the drama” and “the budget is less than $10 million.” A couple weeks ago, Braff told the Los Angeles Times that the budget was about $5 million and that the money not funded through the drive would come from his own pocket and foreign distribution pre-sales. In the same interview, Braff was asked whether he’d take money from “industry types” that now see the film as a hot commodity and want on board. “I think that would be in bad taste for all the people who are backing this” he replied. “It wouldn’t be in the spirit of the thing.”

read more...

Zach Braff Wish I Was Here

After all the hand-wringing and pearl clutching and doomsdaying about celebrities utilizing Kickstarter, the crowdfunding site is reporting that both the Veronica Mars movie and Zach Braff’s Wish I Was Here helped raise $400,000 for 2,200 other projects. How did they do it? By attracting more people to the site — 63% of their backers had never backed a project before, and many went on to find other worthwhile projects to give money to. The rising tide lifted all boats. Obviously this doesn’t dismiss other concerns about famous people and corporations mitigating their risk by asking their potential audience to pay what amount to inflated upfront ticket prices. However, this set of numbers is a powerful one that blasts any gut-notion that “blockbuster” projects take away money from the “true indies.” In fact, it’s exactly the opposite. As a for-profit company, these large projects are in Kickstarter’s best interest, but there’s also something amazing going on at that site. Great work is being done, people are finding new art to support and creators are getting the funding they need. If larger-profile appeals like these help everyone, then more power to them.

read more...

Zach Braff Wish I Was Here

The next step in our post-Veronica Mars world has just been mounted by Zach Braff. The Scrubs actor and Garden State writer/director/musicologist has turned to crowdfunding to attempt to secure $2m for a follow-up called Wish I Was Here, citing an inability to score financing that would offer him final cut and a number of other authorial freedoms. The movie itself will focus on a 30-something man (played by Braff) who is struggling with a non-starter acting career and ends up having to home school his children, leading him to craft a different kind of curriculum for them. Now, there are some notable differences between this and what Rob Thomas did with Veronica Mars last month:

read more...
Twitter button
Facebook button
Google+ button
RSS feed

published: 12.23.2014
B+
published: 12.22.2014
C-
published: 12.19.2014
A-


Some movie websites serve the consumer. Some serve the industry. At Film School Rejects, we serve at the pleasure of the connoisseur. We provide the best reviews, interviews and features to millions of dedicated movie fans who know what they love and love what they know. Because we, like you, simply love the art of the moving picture.
Fantastic Fest 2014
6 Filmmaking Tips: James Gunn
Got a Tip? Send it here:
editors@filmschoolrejects.com
Publisher:
Neil Miller
Managing Editor:
Scott Beggs
Associate Editors:
Rob Hunter
Kate Erbland
Christopher Campbell
All Rights Reserved © 2006-2014 Reject Media, LLC | Privacy Policy | Design & Development by Face3