Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Top Ten DVD List for October 17, 2017

by Kam Williams

This Week’s DVD Releases

Step [A Real Life Story]

Maudie [Based on a True Story]

Girls Trip [Unrated with Outtakes and Deleted Scenes]

Ernie Kovacs: Take a Good Look [The Definitive Collection]

Lady Macbeth [Hitchcockian Tale of Love and Betrayal]

Moka [Based on the Best Seller by Tatiana De Rosnay]

Miracle on 34th Street [70th Anniversary Edition]

Vice Versa [A Comedy about Acting Your Age]

Pilgrimage [The Road to Salvation Is Paved in Blood]

The Gospel of Luke [Word for Word Unedited]

Honorable Mention

Marcella: Season 1 [Detective, Witness, Suspect]

Red Christmas [The Only Thing under the Tree Is Terror]

Man with a Camera [The Complete Series]

Ancient Aliens: Season 10, Volume 1 [2 Disc Collection]

Harts of the West [The Complete Series]

The Five People You Meet in Heaven [based on the NY Times Best Seller]

The Real Story: Saving Private Ryan [Insights from War Historians]

Justice [Revenge Has a New Name]

God of War [Pirates and Pillaging in 16th Century China]

Farewell Ferris Wheel [Mexican Carnival Portrait]

Mary Reilly [A Battle between Good and Evil Has Many Victims... And One Witness]

Shopkins World Vacation [Once You Shop... You Can't Stop]

SAS Rogue Warriors [The Story of an Extraordinary Fighting Force]

Wes Craven's Summer of Fear [AKA Stranger in Our House]

Axolotl Overkill [A Berlin Bildungsroman]

Escape Room [Will You Survive?]

Friday, October 13, 2017

Kam's Kapsules for movies opening October 20, 2017

Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun  
by Kam Williams



Geostorm (PG-13 for action, violence and scenes of mass destruction) Apocalyptic thriller chronicling the catastrophic climate change which ensues in the wake of a man-made effort to engineer the weather via satellites in response to global warming. Ensemble cast features Gerard Butler, Ed Harris, Abbie Cornish, Andy Garcia, Mare Winningham and Jeremy Ray Taylor.

Only the Brave (PG-13 for mature themes, profanity, sexual references and drug use) Bittersweet profile of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, the elite team of fire jumpers that lost 19 members in an Arizona wildfire in June of 2013. Co-starring Jennifer Connelly, Josh Brolin, Miles Teller, Jeff Bridges and Andie MacDowell.

Same Kind of Different as Me (PG-13 for mature themes, violence and profanity) Adaptation of the best-selling memoir of the same name about an international art dealer (Greg Kinnear) who enlists the assistance of a homeless black man (Djimon Hounsou) for help in saving his troubled marriage. With Renee Zellweger, Jon Voight and Olivia Holt.

The Snowman (R for violence, profanity, sexuality, brief nudity and grisly images) Suspense thriller about a veteran detective's (Michael Fassbender) hunt for a serial killer at the beginning of winter with the help of a new rercruit (Rebecca Ferguson) to the police force. Featuring Charlotte Gainsbourg, J.K. Simmons, Chloe Sevigny and Val Kilmer.

Tyler Perry's Boo 2! A Madea Halloween (PG-13 for profanity, scary images, sexual references and drug use) Tyler Perry's back in drag as a sassy granny for another round of Halloween hijinks at a campground haunted by ghosts and goblins. Supporting cast includes Cassi Davis, Patrice Lovely, Lexy Panterra and Diamond White.


Aida's Secrets (Unrated) Inspirational documentary about the reunion in Canada of a Holocaust survivor, raised as an orphan in Israel, with his mother and brother 70 years after they were separated at Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. (In English and Hebrew with subtitles)

The Bachelors (Unrated) Romantic comedy about a widower (J.K. Simmons) and son (Josh Wiggins) who both find love after moving across country for a fresh start in the wake of their wife/mother's untimely death. With Julie Delpy, Jae Head, Harold Perrineau, Odeya Rush and Kevin Dunn.

Dealt (Unrated) Sleight of hand biopic about card shark Richard Turner, a world-renowned magician who happens to be completely blind.

Jane (Unrated) Prestige biopic about primatologist Jane Goodall, featuring a treasure trove of unseen footage shot in the wild by her cameraman/husband Hugo van Lawick.

Never Here (R for profanity and sexuality) Suspense thriller about a shutterbug (Mireille Eros) who photographs strangers until some disturbing events indicate that someone's watching her. With Gotran Visnjic, Vincent Piazza and the late Sam Shepard.

The Work (Unrated) Rehabilitation documentary examining the criminal justice system from the perspectives of three Folsom prison inmates participating in a four-day, group therapy session.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Victoria & Abdul

Film Review by Kam Williams

Brit Biopic Chronicles Unlikely Friendship Forged between Queen Mum and Muslim Manservant

In 1887, 24 year-old Abdul Karim (Ali Fazal) moved from India to England where he found work as a waiter at Queen Victoria's (Judi Dench) Golden Jubilee. Soon after starting at Windsor Castle, he caught the eye of the lonely monarch. 

In fact, she was so taken with her Muslim manservant that she made him her constant companion and promoted him to "munshi," Urdu for teacher. Not surprisingly, this development didn't sit well with the royal court, especially her son, Bertie (Eddie Izzard). The heir apparent was not only suspicious of the exotic interloper's intentions but concerned about the optics of his widowed mum always having a strapping young Muslim at her side. 
However, Victoria brushed aside any objections as racial prejudice, and kept Abdul as her trusted confidant until she passed away in 1901. Based on Shrabani Basu's best seller of the same, Victoria & Abdul chronicles the unlikely friendship forged between her majesty and a doting, devoted subject. Directed by two-time, Oscar-nominee Stephen Frears (for The Queen and The Grifters), this "mostly true tale" revisits the relationship as a dramedy whose comedic elements work far better than its dramatic ones. 
Dame Judi Dench, who won an Academy award for playing Queen Elizabeth, is again at her best, here, as an imperious, if vulnerable, Queen Mum. She basically plays an empathetic visionary adrift in a sea of intolerance swarming with British bigots too blinded by hate to begin to appreciate a mild-mannered foreigner with strange customs. 
The picture's transparent message about brotherhood is delivered in too heavy-handed a fashion to take seriously. Nevertheless, the movie's lighter moments generate just enough laughs to make the movie worth the investment. 
A syrupy sweet reminiscence of an enduring, platonic fellowship forged across generational, color, class, cultural and religious lines.

Very Good (2.5 stars)
Rated PG-13 for profanity and mature themes

In English, Hindi and Urdu with subtitles
Running time: 111 minutes
Production Studio: BBC Films / Working Title Films / Perfect World Pictures
Distributor: Focus Features

To see a trailer for Victoria & Abdul, visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BT2Ph_9bGPs

Wednesday, October 11, 2017


Film Review by Kam Williams

Courtroom Drama Recounts High-Profile Case Argued by Thurgood Marshall Proxy

Prior to becoming America's first African-American Supreme Court Justice, Thurgood Marshall (Chadwick Boseman) enjoyed a legendary legal career as a civil rights lawyer. While serving as chief counsel for the NAACP, he argued before the U.S. Supreme Court 32 times, most notably, the landmark Brown v. Board of Education case ending segregation in public schools.

This makes one question director Reggie Hudlin's (House Party) thinking in having his biopic about the beloved icon revolve around a criminal trial from 1941, when he was still establishing himself. What's even more curious is that Marshall wasn't allowed to interrogate witnesses or even speak in the courtroom by the racist judge (James Cromwell) presiding over the proceedings, because he wasn't a member of the bar in the State of Connecticut. 
So, instead of seeing Marshall work his magic, we have to settle for watching him quietly orchestrate his strategy with help of a Caucasian colleague (Josh Gad) who's rather reluctant to get involved. That would be Sam Friedman, a local yokel afraid of jeopardizing his flourishing insurance practice by defending a black man accused of raping a white woman. 
After all, the case was splashed across the tabloids, and the accused had already been convicted in the court of public opinion. The basic facts were as follows. On December 11, 1940, a Greenwich socialite named Eleanor Strubing (Kate Hudson) was either raped or had consensual sex four times with her chauffeur, Joseph Spell (Sterling K. Brown), while her husband (Jeremy Bobb) was out of town. 
Because she was wealthy, white and well-connected, the police and the prosecutors believed her story, and promptly arrested the employee. But because her account of what transpired had some Swiss cheese-size holes in it, the NAACP decided to assign the case to its only attorney, the peripatetic Thurgood Marshall.

Granted, Chadwick Boseman, who played Jackie Robinson in 42 and James Brown in Get on Up, delivers another impressive impersonation as Marshall, at least when he's not muzzled. But it's hard to get very enthusiastic when the passionate protagonist is rendered mute at critical moments while a wimpy proxy whose heart isn't into it does all the talking. 
Thurgood at 32, but once removed, as channeled by a nerdy mercenary.

Good (2 stars)
Rated PG-13 for sexuality, profanity, ethnic slurs, violence and mature themes
Running time: 118 minutes
Production Studio: Starlight Media / Chestnut Ridge Productions
Distributor: Open Road Films

To see a trailer for Marshall, visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_bfOWof0Sg

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

15th Annual Pocono Mountains Film Festival


15th Annual Pocono Mountains Film Festival
Honorary Awards Dinner 6:30 p.m.
Mount Airy Resort & Casino
312 Woodland Road, Mount Pocono PA
Saturday, October 21st 2017
Red Carpet Meet & Greet 5:30p.m.
P.O. Box 871, Tannersville, PA 18372   www.PoconoMountainsFilmFestival.com 570.234.6713
Pricing Schedule
Honorary Awards Dinner Tables Seats 10 people $650.00
Honorary Awards Dinner individual seats $65.00 per person
Includes Meet & Greet- Red Carpet, Photo-Op with Celebrities and Filmmakers.
Screening Tickets
$6.00 Individual Film Screening Pass $30 All Day Screening Pass
$65.00 Awards Ceremony / Meet & Greet with celebrities and Filmmakers
$80.00 All Inclusive Awards Ceremony Dinner and Screenings
Make checks payable to: The Pocono Mountains Film Festival.
                                                 P.O. Box 871, Tannersville, PA 18372  
Support independent artists, while advertising your business in the PMFF 5X10 Playbill.. The Pocono Mountains Film Festival is located in Tannersville, PA and we are currently looking for sponsors to secure an ad, in our Playbill.
When you support our film festival, we put an advertisement for your business in our playbill, and every festival attendee will know what local stores, restaurants and business’s to support while they are in town.
This year’s PMFF is being held at Mount Airy Resort and Casino-mail
Business Card $100 
Quarter Page $175
Half Page $250
Full Page $500
Front Cover $800
Front Cover [Inside] $700
Back Cover $775
Back Cover [Inside] $675
Name of Company____________________________Tele: (     )_______________
Size of Ad requested $__________
Attach your Ad to this flyer


Sponsorship Proposal
  • 2017, e-blast sent promoting the Pocono Mountains Film Festival’s Independent Film/ Celebrity Award honorees, honorees for the opening dinner of Advocates for a better America opening dinner sent to over 10,000 email / Face Book  Twitter subscribers.
  • Your Company Logo would be displayed on the Pocono Mountains Film Festival’s WEBSITE, our Pocono Mountains Film Festival Red Carpet “Step and Repeat Back-drop, and website with all information promoting your business.
  • Summary. We, welcome the opportunity to have you as an official Sponsor of the Pocono Mountains Film Festival Honorary Awards Dinner party Saturday evening. We believe this will be a mutually beneficial relationship, and we look forward to working together to serve the Advocates of America, Independent Filmmakers and celebrity honorary award winners on October 21st 2017, exposing our patrons to your Company Business as a sponsor.
Corporate Sponsorship Levels
$1500.00 Platinum Sponsor   Title Sponsor
  • Category Exclusively for TV, Print & Radio
  • Partnership in Various Future Projects of the PMFF
  • Inclusion in All Pre-event Press Releases Previewing the Honored Celebrity
  • Company Logo on Step & Repeat Red Carpet Backdrop
  • Gift Bag Inclusion
  • Special Registration
  • One Table with Company VIP Name Reserved for Awards Dinner
  • Ten (10) Complimentary Tickets to the Screening & Workshops During the PMFF
  • Name Listed on the PMFF Website as “PMFF Platinum Sponsor”
  • Booth Space to Advertise Business Product
  • Full Page Ad in Program
  • Awards Given to Independent Filmmakers; Will Have Company Name Attached to Awards
  • Exclusive Photo-op with Celebrity Guests
  • Four (4) VIP Passes to the Meet & Greet Celebrity Guests 
$1,000.00 Gold Sponsor   Category Exclusively for TV, Print & Radio
  • Partnership in Various Future Projects of the PMFF
  • Inclusion in All Pre-event Press Releases Previewing the Honored Celebrity-Photo-Op on Red Carpet
  • Company Logo on Step & Repeat Red Carpet Backdrop
  • Gift Bag Inclusion
  • Special Registration
  • Four (4) Complimentary Reserved Seats for Awards Dinner
  • Eight (8) Complimentary Tickets to the Screening & Workshops During the PMFF
  • Name Listed on the PMFF Website as “PMFF Gold Sponsor”
  • Booth Space to Advertise Business Product
  • Full Page Ad in Program Four (4) Passes to Celebrity Meet & Greet Ceremony/Party
$900.00 Silver Sponsor
  • Inclusion in all Pre-event Press Releases Previewing the Honored Celebrity guests-Photo-op on Red Carpet
  • Company Logo on Step & Repeat Red Carpet Backdrop
  • Gift Bag Inclusion
  • Special Registration
  • Four (5) Complimentary Awards Dinner Tickets
  • Six (6) Complimentary Tickets to the Screening & Workshops During the PMFF
  • Name Listed on the PMFF Website as “PMFF Silver Sponsor”
  • One-Half Page Ad in Program
  • Four (3) Passes to the Meet & Greet Ceremony/Party
$800.00 Friends of The Pocono Mountains Film Festival   Print Media Attention
  • E-Mail Blitz
  • One-Half Page Ad in Program
  • Name Listed on Website as Sponsor
  • Two (4) Complimentary Passes to Meet & Greet Ceremony/Party
  • Five (6) Free Passes to Screenings & Workshops
  • Four (4) Complimentary Passes to Awards Dinner
$500.00 Friends of The Pocono Mountains Film Festival
  • Name Logo listed on Day Packets & Program
  • Four (4) Complimentary Passes to Workshops & Screenings
  • E-Mail Blitz
  • Three (3) Complimentary Pass to Awards Dinner
  • 1/2 Page Ad in Program
$300.00 Friends of The Pocono Mountains Film Festival Name Listed in Program. Two (2) Complimentary Passes to Workshops & Film Screening’s. One  ¼ Page Ad in Program. Two (2) complimentary Honorary Award Dinner Passes.
If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, help is available. Call 1800.gambler or email:problemgambling@state.pa.us

Kiersey Clemons

The “Flatliners” Interview
with Kam Williams

Alive and Kiersey!

One of the most respected young entertainers around, actress/musician Kiersey Clemons has quickly become known for her versatility as well as her captivating screen presence. The in-demand actress has five films releasing over 2017 and 2018, and recently made headlines by landing the coveted female lead opposite Ezra Miller in the DC Comics adaptation, Flashpoint.

In the film, she will be playing tough-as-nails journalist Iris West, and the character will be introduced on November 17th in the much-anticipated Justice League. Earlier this year, Kiersey starred opposite Jeff Bridges and Kate Beckinsale in The Only Boy Living in New York, directed by Marc Webb.

2018 is also shaping up to be a big year for Clemons. She'll be heading the cast in the thriller Sweetheart, and playing the female lead in Hearts Beat Loud, a story following a Brooklyn record store owner who struggles over the course of the summer to let go of both his shop and his college-bound daughter .

Kiersey enjoyed a breakout role in the Sundance hit Dope, which was nominated at multiple festivals including Cannes and the Deauville American Film Festival. In 2016, Dope was nominated for three NAACP Image Awards, including Outstanding Motion Picture, Outstanding Writing in a Motion Picture, and Outstanding Directing in a Motion Picture.

Kiersey is making her mark on television, too, where she has a recurring role as Bianca on the Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning series, Transparent.

Her additional TV credits include Steven Spielberg’s “Extant” alongside Halle Berry and Fox’s “New Girl.” She can also be seen on the Netflix original series “Easy,” a sex-positive anthology with genuine portrayals of modern relationships.

Kiersey trained at Los Angeles' famed improvisational company The Groundlings. She is also a classically-trained musician who has collaborated with Grammy Award-winner Pharrell, providing vocals on multiple-tracks on the Dope and Transparent soundtracks. In 2015, she appeared in Lady Gaga’s music video “Til it Happens to You,” directed by Catherine Hardwicke. The Oscar-nominated song was specifically composed for “The Hunting Ground,” a critically-acclaimed documentary about the rape epidemic on college campuses. And she is currently working on her debut solo album.

This month, Kiersey’s passion for fashion will merge with her entrepreneurial mindset as she launches the Kiers Collection in partnership with Zappos. Zappos will sell the shoes exclusively for 60 days before the collection expands to the rest of the retail world. The collection includes nine shoes she designed in conjunction with popular footwear designers Musse and Cloud.

In her spare time, Kiersey continues to support causes she feels strongly about, such as the Sierra Club. And she lends her voice to support assorted women’s organizations, educating and taking action on pressing issues facing females worldwide. Here, she talks about playing the role of Sophia in Flatliners, a remake of the 1990 horror classic co-starring Julia Roberts, Kevin Bacon, Kiefer Sutherland, Oliver Platt and Hope Davis.

Kam Williams: Hi Kiersey, I'm honored to have this opportunity to speak with you.
Kiersey Clemons: Fantastic! That's sweet.

KW: I was blown away by your performance in Dope which was the first time I ever saw you. And I loved the movie so much I named it the #1 film of 2015 on my annual Top 100 list.
KC: I'm very honored. It was my first movie. It's cool to think that it was your #1 pick. So, thank you.

KW: You all deserved it. Tell me what interested you in Flatliners and in playing Sophia?
KC: The script was so fun! But I think the biggest thing was that I got to play a med student which is a very rare opportunity for a young woman of color. So, I was really excited about representing. Also, the original was made before I was born, and I liked the idea of reimagining the movie to bring it to an audience of my generation involving technology and science in a more modern way. And I felt lucky to be able to collaborate with Niels [director Niels Arden Oplev] and, obviously, with the amazing actors in the movie. All of that made the project really enticing. 
KW: Did you go back and watch the original before shooting the film?
KC: I did, when we were already on location in Toronto. I watched it after we had our first cast meeting with Niels, primarily because we make a few nods to the original in the film, and I wanted to be aware of what had happened there, even though we separate the two pictures.

KW: What was it like working with Ellen Page and the rest of the cast?
KC: We all really got along and became great friends. What was interesting about this ensemble cast is that we were all born in different countries and had different acting styles. We couldn't tell how it was all going to play out, but it couldn't have gone any better.

KW: Have you ever seen my favorite film of Niels, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo?
KC: Of course! It's effing amazing!

KW: Harriet Pakula-Teweles asks: With so many classic films being redone, is there a remake you'd like to star in?
KC: I don't know. I think we're all pretty hungry for original content at the moment. I'm sure there's a move out there that I haven't even seen yet that I might like to remake, but I can't think of anything right now.

KW: It's rare enough for someone to excel in one field, but you've managed to achieve that in both movies and music. What's going on with you musically?
KC: Well, I just finished shooting Hearts Beat Loud about a father-daughter duo band. Nick Offerman plays my dad. We filmed all the original music, which I'm excited about, live. All the vocals are live, too. And I got to use an Ableton sync pad. It's so sick! I really love music, and if I can keep incorporating music into movies, that would be awesome. I'm always writing my own music, but I don't necessarily consider myself a musical artist. I just like to write and sing and dabble with instruments, I'm kinda going with the flow.

KW: I wouldn't call collaborating with the like of Pharrell and Lady Gaga just dabbling.
KC: I'm not against releasing some original music, but first I have to find the right group of people to work with. 
KW: Ling-Ju Yen asks: What is your earliest childhood memory?
KC: Crawling around my aunt's house with my cousins who always carried around a scarf that she would chew on. She called it her "silky," but I don't know why. [Laughs] That's genuinely my earliest memory.

KW: The Viola Davis question: What’s the biggest difference between who you are at home as opposed to the person we see on the red carpet?
KC: That depends on what day you catch me on the carpet. [LOL] On the carpet, I put a bit more thought into what it is I'm wearing, into what colors and patterns and textures I'm putting together. Me and my team approach it like a canvas, as if we want to paint a picture that's interesting to look at. So, the red carpet's artistic as opposed to getting dressed at home which is more therapeutic. I think they both bring the same feeling of satisfaction, but I don't match as well at home, and I can wear all the crazy stuff I couldn't wear on the carpet.

KW: That sounds like director Wes Anderson's approach to filmmaking.
KC: Really? I'll take it. That's pretty sick!

KW: When you look in the mirror, what do you see?
KC: I don't just see myself. I see my ancestors and my sisters, all the people who have influenced me and contributed to the making of this person. I think that has a lot to do with embracing myself and loving myself. I don't rely on myself solely to be who I am. A lot of my inspiration comes from my mom and my dad, my grandparents, my aunts and uncles, my three little sisters, my baby brother and the rest of my relatives.

KW: The Uduak Oduok question: Who is your favorite clothes designer?
KC: I like Chanel, because it's classic, timeless and a little edgy. I like Chanel.

KW: “Realtor to the Stars” Jimmy Bayan asks: What’s your dream locale in Los Angeles to live?
KC: I love Santa Monica Canyon. It's really beautiful.

KW: Finally, Samuel L. Jackson asks: What’s in your wallet?
KC: [LOL] What’s in my wallet? My wallet has my license, my debit card and my clinic card. [Laughs some more]

KW: Thanks again for the time, Kiersey, and best of luck with Flatliners.
KC: Thank you so much, Kam.

To see a trailer for Flatliners, visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1S52y5ZVlY