Author: Schyler Martin

‘Sleight’ Is More Slow-Burn Drama Than Explosive Thriller

Overview: Weighed down by financial burdens, 20-something street magician Bo turns to drug dealing to make ends meet. When dealing gets more dangerous than expected, Bo is forced to take matters into his own hands. BH Tilt; 2017; Rated R; 90 minutes. Not Just Another Superhero Movie: If viewers go into Sleight expecting a familiar superhero story, they will be disappointed. This isn’t a big dramatic movie. It’s a low-budget, quiet story shot realistically on the dirty streets of LA. Even Angelo (Dulé Hill), the drug lord Bo (Jacob Latimore) works for, isn’t the terrifying out-of-control caricature one expects. He’s deceptively kind and charming, inspiring Bo’s little sister...

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New on Netflix Instant: Newtown is a Call to Action

Originally published on April 15, 2016. Newtown is now available on Netflix Instant streaming in the U.S. Overview: On December 14, 2012, in Newtown, Connecticut, a gunman walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School and shot and killed 20 children, aged between six and seven years old, and six adult staff members. Newtown follows the collective grief and trauma of a community in mourning. Mile 22/Transform Films. 2016. Unrated. 85 minutes. The Grieving Process: They say there are 72 hours after a tragedy when everyone stands singularly together. 72 hours where political divisions don’t matter, people comfort each other wholeheartedly, regardless of what...

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Go North: A Gorgeously Filmed Debut With Missteps

Overview: After an unidentified disaster wipes out the adults of the world, a community of children and teenagers descends into dangerous chaos run by a rowdy crew of high school jocks. Desperate for freedom, friends Josh and Jessie run away in search of other survivors and hope for the future. FlimBuff; 2016; Not Rated; 94 minutes. For Starters: Go North does a fine job of painting a fascinating picture of a post-apocalyptic world, but most of the movie is spent establishing this world without ever attempting to explain it. No reason is ever given as to why and how everyone...

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14 Minutes from Earth is a Testament to Geeks & Bookworms

Overview: 14 Minutes from Earth documents Alan Eustace’s historic 14-minute dive, the highest sky dive ever, from the upper stratosphere to Earth. Gunpowder & Sky Distribution; 2016; Not Rated; 85 minutes. The Plan is Simple: Alan Eustace will strap a giant balloon strapped to his back. It will inflate to the size of a football stadium. It will carry him over 135,000 feet up into the stratosphere, higher than any solo man has gone alone. He will make make the dive. He will make history. Okay, so it isn’t that simple. In 14 Minutes from Earth, Eustace, a 57-year-old computer engineer, scientist, and Senior Vice...

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Women’s Equality Day: The Introduction

In 1971 the U.S. Congress designated August 26 as “Women’s Equality Day.” The observance of Women’s Equality Day commemorates the passage of the 19th Amendment that allowed women to finally vote and calls attention to women’s continuing efforts toward complete equality. We here at Audiences Everywhere are lucky to work with a group of talented, empathetic, thoughtful, and endlessly supportive men and women. Part of what makes this site special is the way that we are always striving to be better, to expand our thinking, to further understand and appreciate the art form that is filmmaking, and to make the film world a...

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Netflix Hidden Gems: Female Directors (And Creators) Edition: Part Two

Happy Women’s Equality Day, and welcome to part two of a feminist little feature that holds a special place in my heart. (Check out part one here.) As a women living and working in the film industry in Los Angeles, it’s clear to me every day that even in our more progressive era, women still have a major problem in film. According to a study conducted in 2014 by the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University, 85% of films made in 2014 had no female directors, 80% had no female...

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National Cheer Up the Lonely Day

Happy National Cheer Up The Lonely Day! Yeah, that’s a thing, apparently. Having recently moved across the country from the place where I grew up and went to school, I feel lonely all the time. I often jokingly say that loneliness is my favorite genre of film. So in honor of this weirdly specific random holiday, I’m going to share my favorite things to watch when I’m feeling especially isolated. Like many things in life, loneliness is a deeply complex and nuanced emotion. Sometimes you want to escape it, to distract yourself from it as soon as possible, and...

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The Family Fang Gets More Right Than Not

Overview: When Caleb and Camille Fang, performance artists known for their shocking and elaborate public hoaxes, go missing, their children, Baxter and Annie, must investigate the disappearance and come face to face with their own troubled pasts. Red Crown Productions; 2016; 107 Minutes. What it gets right: The Family Fang gets a lot right. Jason Bateman’s Baxter and Nicole Kidman’s Annie are nuanced and fascinating characters whose motivations make perfect sense. Christopher Walken and Maryann Plunkett are so wildly good as the Fang parents that I found myself wishing they’d had a bit more screen time, and the Fang hoaxes, such as a dramatically staged childhood bank...

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Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising Tackles Young Women’s Struggles Without Stealing Their Punchlines

Overview: With 30 days until the sale of their house closes, young parents Mac (Seth Rogen) and Kelly (Rose Byrne) must fight to keep the sorority next door under control until their move-out date. Universal Pictures; 2016; Rated R; 92 minutes. Same story, new perspective: Neighbors 2 pretty much retells the same story as Neighbors, which I liked a lot, but this time the focus is on a group of young women, and that one simple change makes the tale feel new, important, and fresh. (A note to Hollywood executives: Changing perspectives means you can often reuse old plots...

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Orion: The Man Who Would Be King

Overview: This film explores the life of Jimmy Ellis, a man with a voice nearly indistinguishable from Elvis Presley’s, who gave up his very identity for a shot at making a living doing what he loved by donning a mask and performing under the name Orion. Sundance Selects; 2015; Not Rated; 86 minutes. Strengths And Weaknesses: Ellis’ story is a rollercoaster of successes and failures, of exploitation in show business and the struggle of a small-town man chasing of far-off dreams. Ellis is a fascinating subject, one whose story surely deserves to be told well, and Orion does the tale justice....

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Making a Murderer Presents A Troubling Case

Overview: Netflix’s captivating true crime documentary series follows the life and trials of Steven Avery, a Wisconsin man who served eighteen years on a wrongful rape conviction and was then accused, along with his nephew, Brendan Dassey, of the murder of young photographer Teresa Halbach. Netflix; 2015. A Troubling Case: I’m pretty torn on this one. On one hand, Making a Murderer is fascinating, engrossing, and just as infuriating as it sets out to be. On the other hand, if documentarians Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos created a series as biased and selective as former district attorney for Avery’s trial Ken Kratz...

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Dementia Is Thrillingly Sparse

Overview: When George, a disabled war veteran, suffers a stroke and is diagnosed with dementia, he’s placed in the care of a live-in nurse with a menacing dark side who puts him through terror as brutal as anything he faced in Vietnam. IFC Films; 2015; Not Rated; 90 minutes. What the Movie Does Right: Dementia has a lot going for it: A natural and engaging story, potentially fascinating themes, and, more than anything else, a stellar performance from Gene Jones. Jones carries the film through any of its flaws with a harrowing performance, and Mike Testin, who makes his directorial...

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Brooklyn Is A Swooning And Poignant Exploration Of Home

Overview: When a tragedy forces a young Irish immigrant back to her country of origin, she must decide whether to stay in the life she once had there or go back to her newfound life in America. Fox Searchlight Pictures; 2015; Rated PG-13; 112 minutes. A Rich Atmosphere: They say you can’t go home again, but that’s not quite true, is it? You can go home again, even after years away. And often you do, and you stay for a bit, and you start to forget all of the reasons you left. I’ve left home many times, and while it’s safe to...

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B2BO: 11.22.63

Book to Box Office: 11.22.63 – A Hulu eight-part miniseries Based on: 11/22/63 by Stephen King Expected release date: February 15th, 2015 Directed by: Kevin Macdonald Summary: 11/22/63 is a science-fiction adventure romance about Jake Epping (James Franco), a high school English teacher, who travels back in time to prevent President John F. Kennedy from being shot by Lee Harvey Oswald. Epping learns that the past doesn’t want to be changed, and because his time traveling portal doesn’t allow him to choose exactly when he travels back to, Epping must wait in the past for his time to act...

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Manson Family Vacation Is Charming

Overview: Nick Morgan (Jay Duplass) is a family man and successful lawyer in Los Angeles. When his estranged brother Conrad (Linas Phillips) shows up with a plan to visit a number of infamous Manson Family murder sites, the brothers take a trip that leads to revelations about themselves, each other, and modern-day Charles Manson enthusiasts. Netflix; 2015; Not Rated; 84 minutes. The Elephant in the Review: Manson Family Vacation is a weird movie. Exploring familial bonds through the depiction of various infamous murder sites is admittedly a strange, daring choice, but films like this one are exactly why I love the Duplass Brothers so much. Who else...

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