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ENTERTAINMENT FILM NEWS by indie film freak




by Jorge Ameer - September 19, 2014














Howard Howe: The walrus is far more evolved than any man I've ever known. Present company included.

 If you can stomach some of what Kevin Smith's "Tusk" has to offer, you will find this film to be a fascinating joyride into the macabre. .   The bottom line of "Tusk" is a very simple story of a man longing, and seeking to recreate his relationship with a walrus by literarily molding another man into a mammal.

Justin Long stars as podcaster Wallace Bryton who travels from Los
Angeles to Manitoba, Canada in search of a story to boost the ratings
for his show. Upon discovering the story that originally brought him to
Canada is no longer there, he sets out to find a new one. This time his
latest story is found in Howard Howe (Michael Parks), an older
eccentric gentleman living in an isolated mansion. 

With many sips of tea and vintage stories being told by old man Howard,
Wallace finds himself attracted by the visual details of storytelling
by which Howard candidly shares with his latest victim. 
What happens next leads to several unexpected surprise changes for
Wallace. He is heavily sedated and cured from an apparent poisonous
spider bite. Such generosity found in private health care can only be
found in these sort of films where disgruntled sociopaths practice
their craft on unwilling patients. However, as "Tusk" may have it, we
soon find out that Howard has very different plans for his now captive

Not much should be revealed here in order to really spare the viewer
from any unintentional spoilers, however, I will say the film takes you on
a ride with a strong message about humanity and mankind as a whole and
more importantly how you reap what you sow. Wallace went to Canada
looking to expose and exploit a story for his show's ratings. But soon
he becomes the main attraction in a story that would have skyrocketed the
ratings of his own podcast off the charts, had he known, he would be the "butt of the joke" he sought in the first place, a road kill attraction for his next internet circus show. 

Director Kevin Smith tugs at many raw emotions simultaneously as the
events degenerate into a Frankenstein like metamorphosis of Wallace
revealing the true dark side of human nature and how if left unchecked
can result in pure unfiltered madness. 

The introduction of a special appearance by quasi detective Guy
Lapointe played by an over the top Johnny Depp leaves much to be
desired. First, his monologue fails momentarily by extracting your
suspension of disbelief from the successful track the story was headed.
What may seem like a very long moment of Johnny Depp, being well...
Johnny Depp, was in my opinion unnecessary, redundant and just plain
tedious to watch. That's without saying that it slows down the film to
a screeching halt for a good moment. But once this "detective" is
reintegrated and relegated back to the main story, then the pace
accelerates to a very unusual ending worthy of much debate afterwards. 

Howard Howe: Are you really mourning your humanity?

I don't understand, who in the hell would want to be human?

If you enjoyed the premise and originality of "Tusk", you may want to
remain seated during the end credits just to make sure you don't miss
the commentary by the director himself and other images that may help
give you some insight and maybe closure as to the ideas that went
behind the making of this film. The director himself comments on what
he was looking to achieve by the third act. With that said, Tusk will
certainly take you somewhere where you have yet to go this year, this
is the film to help you escape to another dimension where the depths of
human depravity combined with some very solid performances with lead to
a jarring experience that you are not soon to forget.






by Jorge Ameer - August 13, 2014



























Grand Jury Prize Winner - Alternative Spirit Award at the Rhode Island International Film Festival and rightfully so, this very involving film from filmmaker Mark Bessenger, "The Last StraightMan" is a therapeutic treat for anyone who's been involved in

truncated relationships. From the outset, both leading men are aware of

their feelings for one another. Lewis (Mark Cirillo) is a closeted man

throwing a bachelor party for his straight best friend and secret

crush, Cooper (Scott Sell). However, both realize their

relationship is doomed due to Cooper's upcoming nuptial.

Emotions run high as both men agree to schedule a yearly one

night stand from life's daily grind. During this interlude they

are both allowed to ask three intimate questions to be answered as

truthfully as possible. That opportunity allows

both men to exchange confessions on their true feelings in

addition to giving each other the needed updates they crave just to see

where their relationship stands. You would think that Lewis is

unilaterally suffering through the bulk of heartache this unrequited

love situation is generating. However, much suffering is to be had by

Cooper who is torn between his family and his real belated true love found

for Lewis. This is the type of love that has grown so out of bounds,

Cooper does not know how to deal with his emotions. 


























The beauty of this film lies in what is not said. Both Lewis and Cooper

are deeply in love and their non verbal exchanges speaks volumes. Their

jokes fall flat whenever they come close to addressing their real

feelings forcing one or both to change the subject. 

"May your hair never fall, your dick always rise and your kids never

call your brother-in-law daddy" is only one of the many witty dialogue

shared by both Cooper and Lewis in what may seem at times to be funny

banter translate into the men trying their hardest to convey their

deepest sentiments. Cooper's communication and body language,

muddled by the restrictive code of

silence men as a species have been known to observe in order to

preserved the stereotypical macho facade, is made to cover any an all

possible honest feelings he may have.

The struggle he suffers between his genuine feelings and the life he's created for himself leads to a

defensiveness that, should real feelings be exposed, could possibly lead to the outpouring of

his true authentic self with an emotional breakdown, possibly a breakthrough, . 
















In the form of visual collages, the film skips to several

life events as both men evolve with the passage of time. As

the men age with life experience, so does their love, affection and

understanding of each other, which only seems to grow stronger with

time, until Lewis realizes that at some point he has to be the better

man and do the right thing for the benefit of Cooper's family. Such

selflessness is what makes Lewis a likable character. He's always the

reasonable one, where Cooper just wants to take their opportunity to

let loose, and be who he really is. During their exchange of emotion in

the bedroom, you can't help but to feel the plight and internal

struggle they both face, but it is Lewis, who most of the times seems

to be relegated to make the difficult choices. 

Production values are satisfactory for this digital production.

However, at times misplaced music becomes distracting in some very key

moments that demand full attention for the words being exchanged

between the two leads. Performances are courageous and engaging as both

actors flawlessly perform with due diligence even during scenes of

pervasive nudity and very explicit sexual situations. Kudos to Mark

Cirillo & Scott Sell who create admirable performances, and also for

their bravery in choosing to stay true to the story with some very

demanding and at times difficult moments both leading men share as they

emote during their intimacy.

"The Last Straight Man" is a delight of a film, with an involved story

that will leave you pondering on many underlying themes dealing with

the way men express themselves and treat each other, and how not

knowing to express true feelings can have long term and irreversible consequences on a

life that should have been with the one.




Opening night film -


Friday, August 22, 2014 - 8:00pm

by Jorge Ameer - August 13, 2014

A dynamic new premise with an ultra low budget feel throughout, this "Clockwork Orange" style festival offering enters into another dimension whereas diseased men can easily kill with a kiss.  This throws a curveball to the dating scene for the last remaining women who are kept in an internment classroom.


Emily's  father (Matt Cooper) is  the only hope to finding a cure for the kissing disease. Emily (Jayna Sweet) is resented by her classmates and teachers alike for the special treatment that her father’s profession and prestige affords her. But, they must all put up with each other as they are held in the vacant high school.  As the school is taken over by a group of violent teenage boys,  Emily and classmates must bond together to work out their issues and escape.  









































Filmmaker Benjamin Walter's movie is an original premise  that could benefit from a Hollywood remake with a studio budget and major stars in the title roles.  







Reviewed by Jorge Ameer July 22, 2014
















Several evolutionary psychologist are engaged in expressing the correlation between male aggressive behavior and sexual prowess in Lawrence Ferrara's documentary "Power Erotic".  

Violence and aggression translates into sexual arousal.  Women find these attributes attractive in potential mates for reproductive purposes and males find it stimulating due to the dangerous elements that entail submission over dominance. 

Shame vs. desire - Society is incredibly good at making people feel shame for their sexual desires and drives.  Sharing their wives with other men was for some of the subjects a way to have a bond with other males.   It is compared akin to men sharing their sexuality during their youth as they masturbate making it a bonding activity.  


Being used by somebody else for sex is the height of sexual pleasuring as it  creates a psychological interchange.  Reciprocation is not a necessity as long as the other parter is satisfied.  


Several psychologist blame sexual disfunction and deep rooted sexual repression directly to religion and the overbearance of imprinting a moral code that will oppress authentic deep rooted desires.    


Giving up control can be psychologically healing.  One subject being bullied as a youth did cause him to enjoy sexual humiliation as an adult  as way to project his feelings of discomfort from those earlier childhood episodes.  


A trending commonality between the subjects was the desire to be loved as a means to reach different degrees of happiness and self fulfillment.  


Every society honors power, status and dominance.    Those who manage to perpetuate their DNA were the strong dominant males.   This has been demonstrated as audiences are drawn to powerful men in sport as they are to those who demonstrate strong sexual prowess in pornography.  The correlation between these two explorations come from a place where people seem to be overpowered.  It takes a lot of work for people to be sexually in control of themselves says one academic.  


Another PhD, David Barash, an evolutionary biologist, refers to the lost of control that is desired during sexual activity as an appealing trait displayed by domineering men with their female partners.  


The documentary explicitly studies ways in which men advertise their sexual interests in an effort to capture their desired partner.   It delves into the animal psyche that drives the reproduction of the species, while inherently exposing the benefits and drawbacks of dominance versus servitude as a palpable basic instinct needed to fuel deep seeded sexual satisfaction.   







by Jorge Ameer - July 1, 2014
















Another by the numbers and very formulaic horror scare ripped off directly from the book of "The Exorcist". You will feel a keen sense of Déjà vu.  The fun in this film is anticipating  prior to things happening.  And for the most part, if not all the time, you will succeed.

Eric Bana plays NY police officer Ralph Sarchie who investigates a series of crimes that do not seem to add up.  Upon further revealing of the case with his partner, both officers find  themselves unexpectedly sought-after by their prey as the tables turn.  

Then there is the unconventional priest (Edgar Ramirez) who always seems to show up when you need him and when you don't.   You do wonder when this character takes care of his church duties as he become a self assigned demon catcher.  

Horror connoisseurs may find this Sony/Screen Gem release disappointing and lacking originality.  There were many fresh ideas that were floundered upon leading the story to fall into the usual conventional and predictable schlock.



The trials and tribulations of Haute couture in "Yves Saint Laurent"


Reviewed by Jorge Ameer - June 29, 2014




































The House of Dior dominates the fashion industry with the fashions & shows from rising French designer Yves Saint Laurent in this biopic depicting the designers career as of 1958.   


The son of an insurance company manager, Yves Henri Donat Mathieu Saint Laurent left home at the age of 17 to work for the French designer Christian Dior.  Developing his styles, he emerged as one of the top designers creating his own empire with the savvy of lover and business partner Pierre Bergé

Pierre was the only person who seemed able to control Yves mental breakdowns whenever they got out of control or were threatening to disrupt a major fashion show.      

The film takes its time to unfold. However, it never fully develops the inner turmoil and plight of the title character, as it only touches the surface of Saint Laurent's personal dive into his emotional breakdowns made worse by drug and alcohol abuse.   This biopic seems to work hard at keeping things safe, only giving us a birds eye view while excluding many of the lifestyle excesses that comes with the inner workings of the fashion industry.  






by Jorge Ameer reviewed June 11, 2014






































During strategic maneuvers while flying, a squadron is immersed in a scandal due to several fatal accidents.  Several undercover investigations will lead to the unraveling of a forbidden relationship between two Navy pilots.   The will to serve their country is tested as they are subject to several clandestine investigations initiated by the government.  Naval aviators Daniel Lynch (Trent Ford) & Matthew Blackwood (Rob Mayes)  face a deep seeded and uncontrollable affection for each other that will lead to several messy situations between their wives.   As their resolve and conviction to maintain their relationship strengthens, their marriages linger.  Unit moral, honor and courage, will be tested by government investigators as the squadron comrades are questioned amidst their implication in the cover up of this doomed romance. 

You will find yourself tearing up unexpectedly with a stir of emotions towards the last quarter of this excellent film.  The actors succeed at showing the inhibitions of their emotions, while tugging at your heart strings.  Ford & Mayes create very suitable performances with a solidly engaging chemistry.   Their presence do light up the screen with a glow during their mostly non-verbal romantic moments.   This is a film you will not soon forget.  Much apprehension has been displayed critically for this films due to its perceived irrelevant and past due subject matter since times and this genre of film have evolved considerably.  Nonetheless, the time period (early 1990's) where the story is set should not be taken for granted, for many men & women were dishonorably discharged for similar situations as portrayed in this film.



Australian filmmaker Dru Brown has devised a different kind of story.  A twist of fate reunite two singularly different characters, a sloppy hitman, Steven Ray (Steve Mouzakis), and a depressed and suicidal Percival (Leon Cain) , who unknowingly hires the same hitman who killed his lover Christopher.

Percival want to die anyway he can.  Life without his lover doesn't seem to have much meaning, yet there is one small problem...he appears to be cursed and can't quite successfully get his wishes.

After many creatives attempts against his life, he just can't seem to get it right, hence how he meets his killer as he lands on the rooftop of the killers car in yet another in a failed attempt from jumping off a building.

As life may have it, he serendipitously  hires the same hitman many times over to assist him in fulfilling his last wish in continuously unsuccessful ways.  The results are a progressively mangled and messy Percival who can't seem to end it all even at his own hands.

This film will certainly be an eye opener for many due to its unflinchingly dark and disturbing turn of events.  However, It is a breath of fresh air due to its originality and clever ideas behind the concept, even though many may find the story tasteless and grotesque.

Definitely worth a watch for those who welcome films with  controversial subject matters.    An odd blooming relationship between Percival and his hired killer take a turn as both dysfunctional characters bond after finding themselves at odds many times over during the kllier's repeated botched assignments.

The premise may seem to draw laughs and discomfort, but the filmmaker handles the material with a dead-pan seriousness viewers may find disconcerting and off putting.








Reviewed by Jorge Ameer @ Dances With Film - June 1, 2014










Filmmaker & star Apolla Echino is engaging as Delphine, an assertive intelligent woman, yet at times desperate for affection, in this gripping story of what  may seem at first glance to be a  promising romance.  Her love interests referred to as Painter, is played charmingly, seductively and deceitfully by  Richard Short.  It is made clear  that other interests from Painter permeates their dating, therefore preparing the groundwork for what will  progressively devolve into a destructive and addictive relationship.  The only spectators who seem to fully comprehend her compromising situation are her friends,  who through bitter feuds and quasi interventions, attempt to help her see the reality of the terminally damaging relationship she has created for herself.   By allowing painter to continue to "hook her" with his sweet nothings as she is lead to increasingly more embarrassing moments of disillution, Delphine slowly begins to  realize painter may not be the best suitable candidate for her affections.  

 Upon arrival to a place of resignation where frustration and resentment are interwoven with the lust and the unrequited love Delphine feels for  painter, it's too late to control the outcome or sever ties to this addicted and suffocating reality. Unable to separate these feelings, even during her romantic seductions by painter,   Delphine will propel the eventual  decay of not only her hopes for a possible exclusive relationship with this unsuitable candidate, but will also chip away at her self esteem leaving it hollow inside and in a place of submission where her willingness to keep this destructive addictive relationship alive will overshadow any good reasoning and common sense.  By the time she realizes  the damage that has been done to herself by submitting to painter's promises and half hearted compromises, she is left with nothing more than empty promises of more.  However, as a viewer you will find it hard-pressed to resent painter for his honesty, for he has made  his intentions clear and the desired results from what  he perceived as only a sexual situation from the inception even though he may remind her in his own authentic ways of his supposed love for her.  Her progressive tirades will eventually force him to admit to unrealistic expectation in order to keep his sexual options open and available for his own personal pleasure and self interests.  Delphine has obviously made other plans that may have overlooked painters position on their intimate matters as well as relationship status, therefore creating a unilateral expectation of a situation doomed for failure.

Solid performances by both Richard Short and Apolla Echino make the stirring circumstances real and affecting.   The gritty cinematography gives the New York setting an allure that works well with the story.

"The Canyons" is deliciously twisted, yet deadly serious... a sweet treat!

by Jorge Ameer - reviewed August 9, 2013









Paul Schrader's "The Canyons" plays out as a cautionary tale of producers & actors ambitions gone awry. Porn star James Deen is Christian, an obsessed film executive producer. performed with much dedication and delight, he is definitely a talent to watch as his presence lights up the screen with a dual vitality of charm amongst the midst of darkness in this sordid story of manipulation, vengeance and greed. When Tara, Lindsay Lohan, crawls her way out to a better life via wealthy Christian she also finds a way to carry along her love interest Ryan, Nolan Funk, only to realize that in life and relationships alike, everything comes at a price.

Sex is used as the main tool to enact corrective enforcement from Christian as well as Tara. Using this same device, struggling actor Ryan realizes that he must go above and beyond the call of duty if he's to save his principal role in Christian's film. What is to be determined by the protagonists who engage in very sultry situations, is how far they are willing to go to pay the price of personal and career fulfillment.

Everyone has an agenda in this movie. Some with plans more evident than others. And when actions don't align, the consequences can be severe. A much publicized foursome including LiLo & James Deen and another couple
they invite into their bedroom smartly creates a table turning set up that will ultimately plunged the tug of war between the two protagonist Tara & Christian into a surreal, albeit conflicted ending. Actor James Deen beautifully carries the film with a dark charming eloquence as he smoothly enables his obsessive plans into action inconspicuously through anyone surrounding Tara who can be bought or swayed by any means necessary. 

There are minor technical flaws with sound and focus, which by no means are a deterrent to the story Schrader wants to tell. It only becomes a reminder of the limited resources used to bring this independent visions to fruition. Performances from the cast is somewhere between dead serious to campy. This interesting range, some may find it distracting to the story, others may welcome it as an additional oddity within the assaulting feeling of doom and gloom that permeates the picture. 

The beginning of the film smartly defines the setting and much of the tone of the characters by showcasing once vibrant movie theatres now sadly abandoned defunct venues. This is an allegory that may very well parallel the unforgiving ways of Hollywood, and how if left unchecked, unscrupulous cunningness with a bulldozing determination can decay beauty & innocence. That is the case with Tara & Ryan. In a business where the main commodity is the human trade of talent. "The Canyons" does succeed in demonstrating a microcosm of real personalities as they struggle to find their voice in a sometimes all consuming illusionary reality created by Hollywood and the ever revolving doors this dream machine creates.



During strategic maneuvers while flying, a squadron is immersed in a scandal due to several fatal accidents.  Several undercover investigations will lead to the unraveling of a forbidden relationship between two Navy pilots.   The will to serve their country is tested as they are subject to several clandestine investigations initiated by the government.  Naval aviators Daniel Lynch (Trent Ford) & Matthew Blackwood (Rob Mayes)  face a deep seeded and uncontrollable affection for each other that will lead to several messy situations between their wives.   As their resolve and conviction to maintain their relationship strengthens, their marriages linger.  Unit moral, honor and courage, will be tested by government investigators as the squadron comrades are questioned amidst their implication in the cover up of this doomed romance. 

You will find yourself tearing up unexpectedly with a stir of emotions towards the last quarter of this excellent film.  The actors succeed at showing the inhibitions of their emotions, while tugging at your heart strings.  Ford & Mayes create very suitable performances with a solidly engaging chemistry.   Their presence do light up the screen with a glow during their mostly non-verbal romantic moments.   This is a film you will not soon forget.  Much apprehension has been displayed critically for this films due to its perceived irrelevant and past due subject matter since times and this genre of film have evolved considerably.  Nonetheless, the time period (early 1990's) where the story is set should not be taken for granted, for many men & women were dishonorably discharged for similar situations as portrayed in this film.


By Jorge Ameer-

June 14, 2013











Henry Cavill is Superman and Superman is going to catapult Henry Cavill into mega stardom.  This latest rendition of superman is nothing short of superb. A colossal visual extravaganza of modern day technology, artistry and very strong story telling. The film begins very syfy, I was thinking "Star Wars for several moments" while watching the set up, but quickly turns into the comic hero, action adventure with lots of heart. The action sequences were bombastic and goosebump inducing.   The fans who have been following the many editions and evolution of this superheroe saga will find this film a bit darker, more serious than previous versions.

Unlike the final two renditions from the early eighties starring Christopher Reeve, thankfully there are no signs of this superhero ever going the comedic route. You may find that this Superman is pose to break many expectations specially from skeptics.   Carrying the film with great elegance, character and charm and as a perfect fit is Henry Cavill.  He conveys enough sensitivities to swoon the viewer yet he has all the powers it takes to crash through many buildings as he fights his nemesis General Zod and his bad guys from Krypton.

The clever part of this story is that the bad guys are not the usual bad guys we have come expect, because they too have their purpose and noble agenda as well, so its not too difficult to empathize with their plight of survival. Their arrival onto earth is understandable.  The stellar cast who accompany Cavill on this latest journey will leave you wanting an additional two to five hours more of "Man of Steel".  But fear not, clocking in at almost two hours and a half you are sure to leave the theatre with your expectations fulfilled and you may very well treat yourself to repeated viewings if only to revisit the magnificence and scale of this spectacle.  


It is safe to say, this latest superman is so far the event film of 2013. The film you are not soon to forget.  It's hair raising emotional content in conjunction with some very real and well done action sequences will keep both men and women coming back for more. The ending does a great job setting the tone for the upcoming sequels.  Without question, this latest version of Superman brands Cavill into the hall of fame of superheroes and cements "Man of Steel" into a new, fresh longstanding franchise.

Consuming paranoia reigns in "Snails in the Rain"








It's 1989, Boaz (Yoav Eruveni), an extremely alluring and captivating linguistic student is receiving anonymous letters.  He goes everyday to the post office to check on the status of a pending scholarship.  Instead, he receives obsessive letters detailing very inner feelings from someone very close to him who's invaded his inner peace with emotionally suggestive and romantic overtones.   These letters have a deteriorating effect on his psyche as well as his relationship with live in girlfriend Noah (Moran Rosenblatt).  As the letters progressively consume the daily thoughts and dealing of Boaz, his inner anguish is unleashed upon his girlfriend, hence having a threatening and corroding effect on him.  Paranoia takes over when everyone he meets becomes a possible suspect of the daily correspondence.  Doubt ensues as a very conflicted, emotionally fragile and volatile Boaz goes on a quest to find himself while trying to maintain some semblance of sanity as he comes to grips with the reality that his life will no longer be the same courtesy of this secret admirer.  Filmmaker Yariv Mozer has assembled an eloquent, intriguing and sexually charged whodunnit drama that slowly unravels the different layers of the main characters inner self.  The arrivals of these letter are only the catalyst to which the main character  reacts in order to find and deal with his inner demons.  Once he's found the cause for the way he's feeling, his passage to acceptance  ultimately prove to be  sobering and freeing.  






This is an excellent and involving film from Israel which reflects the many conflicting layers of despair as the hidden realities of relationships within the confines of higher education propels true feelings to surface forcing the conflicting main character to find himself in the process, as he tries his hardest to blend in with family and society's expectations.  

Jorge Ameer
reviewed at 2013 Cannes Film market


The leads performances and fascinating look into surviving a very repressed Cuban society with stern consequences for those who choose to engage in minor infractions, is what makes this remarkable and sexually charged feature a journey you will never forget.


In "EL SEXO DE LOS ANGELES" (Angels of Sex), angels blossom with fluid sexuality.






Life alone isn't easy, with two its complicated. These words of wisdom pretty much sums up "The Angels of Sex". A very well fleshed out character study about several complicated relationship between three people who refuse for conform to society's expectations, yet they themselves struggle to surpass their own limitations of how love and sex should be handled without prejudice. The film unspools the lives and loves of Rai (Álvaro Cervantes), Carla (Astrid Bergès-Frisbey) & Bruno (Llorenç González) three hipsters who are dealing with the current realities of modern Spain, both in personal & professional relations. All three characters suffer distinct challenges and pleasures of life as their personalities are interwoven in meticulously yet naturally planned situations which tests their patience for what they are willing to tolerate from one another. As angels may be, do we really know what sex they are? In this film boundaries established by preconceived notions are of least importance as the heart wants what the heart needs. Filmmaker Xavier Villaverde flawlessly handles the character's in several surreal situations giving them enough material to allow for the realities of some very complex situations that are compounded by mixed feelings with ever more confusing results. This movie is a must see for three good reasons, Rai, Bruno & Carla. As they co-mingle and fuse their sentiments towards one another, One can't help wondering how long would a relationship of this sort really last, but as we see sexual desires and true love and pain surface, we realize that these are only people looking for the same thing... to be loved as intensely as the heart and flesh may permit for one never knows what, when or how long the good times may last. A film highly recommended for its embrace and truthful storytelling depicting an alternative situation beautifully performed with profound meaning and dedication. You are in for a treat as your eyes will feast on this deliciously, tasty & sweet love triangle. With the many temperature rising scenes presenting sexual fluidity at its best, thankfully this dish is best served hot courtesy of our main cast and their charismatic & overwhelming chemistry.



Reviewed July 22, 2012 - Outfest

Oliver Hermanus wonderfully crafted "Beauty" was South Africa's submission to the Academy Awards as well as 2011 Un Certain Regard Cannes Film Festival Nominee and a Cannes award winner.    This is a tale of repressed turmoil that slowly creep ups to the viewer.  A very capable Deon Lotz plays François in an excellent performance filled with subtle anger, rage, jealousy and obsession.  These feeling progressively take their toll on the unsuspecting Christian, brilliantly portrayed  by Charlie Keegan with a devastating innocence and magnetic charm that will keep audiences disturbed long after experiencing this film.  




Family man Francois van Heerden is a haven of many secrets.  Secrets that deteriorate as well as rot the insides.    In his endurance of life's test and family matters, François is able to keep an expected straight face in his daily dealings as he slowly asphyxiates for attention from his daughter's mate Christian.  Christian, on the other hand, not only regards Francois as an elderly figure worthy of respect due to friendship ties with his father but refers to him as "uncle", an adoptive role soon to be tested by an ever raging need to relate in highly improbable ways unbeknown to an oblivious Christian .  However, we get the sense that Christian honestly looked up to Francois as an additional father figure source.   

The platonic dealings slowly eats away at Francois as he repeatedly insists Christian refer to him  by his name in order to detract from the connecting familiar upbringing which seems to awkwardly remind Francois to hold back on his planned intentions.  Effective scheming leads to the an extremely troubling conclusion based on a number of deliberate choices and sequential actions meant to pander to the vile objectives to be executed.   

Upon the enforcement of his plans, François realizes the results are now irreversible.  The damage is done and permanent.  The post mutilating events leads to reparations that will ultimately render Francois unrepentant and numb to an uneven arrangement.  The brilliance of this story falls within the mix bag of emotions this film emits.  The film is beautifully haunting as it unfolds, yet extremely ugly.  "Beauty" is a cinematic gem worthy of attention because it will illicit a variety of strong and deep long lasting reactions.  It will encourage dialogue with other viewers immediately after watching  regarding its many unanswered questions of what could have been.  










Corrective therapy is applied with religious conviction in BLISSESTRASSE  by Jorge Ameer



June 6, 2012 - Reviewed at 2012 Dances with Films Film Festival

In Paul Donovan's film, a group of young American Christian fundamentalists are on a mission in Berlin in an attempt to bring the Germans back to Jesus.
Punitive therapy is pervasive with an obsessively devout Pastor Williams, played by a very smooth, capable and intensely effective Michael McManus,  As he forces his young missionary pupils to repent for their sins and clear whatever demons may be consuming them, he especially warns against same sex sins of the carnal nature among other well rehearsed scriptures.  Pastor Williams dishes out very solemnly words often redacted from the bible, to a group of American teenagers, in many comical futile attempts to convert the unwilling and unsuspecting many times resulting in verbal and physical confrontations.  His small group of parishioners are adult teenagers forced  by the legal system and/or their parents to endure the teachings of this self appointed servant of God.  So many of these scenes are on display on a daily basis in todays society that one can't help to wonder if art is imitating life or vice versa.  

Religious obsessions are found within the rhetoric of Pastor Williams as he hypocritically applies his corrective therapy with unorthodox methods designed to humiliate his unwilling missionaries.  His actions lead to the eventual direct defiance from his pupil Harris (Alex Goodie) as many of Pastor Williams teaching backfire.   The same demons he preaches against with very little help from alcohol consumes his yearning flesh and desires with the same moral convictions he routinely obsesses about. 
Blissestrabe is an outstanding film which unfolds with grace and beauty as the underbelly of the story's realities erupts to the surface with a vivid and fresh initiative from the filmmakers and brave performances from the cast.   

In DisOrientation, revenge is a dish best served anally. 

June 2, 2012- Reviewed at Dances with Films 2012 -

by Jorge Ameer

In Russell Whaley's DisOrientation, do not expect any political correctness. This very outrageous and unrelenting film, was the midnight sensation of the 2012 Dances with Films Film Festival in Hollywood.

After a string of bad luck with past dorm mates, Finn an underachiever hopes that a new year is going to bring some better luck. A 15 year old brainiac and very nerdy Toby, played by Todd Gaebe, isn't exactly what he had in mind. After an extremely rough start, the two overcome their differences and team up to exact revenge on Landon and his posse of goons who think they rule the school.

There is no words to describe this film but you will leave the theatre with a tongue in cheek smile on your face. Eric Toms gives a salacious performance as the underachieving all time booze ingesting jock Finn. It is raunchy, extreme, politically incorrect, insulting, trashy to say a few words, yet the main word to describe this films is "genius" which would fall short in describing it with a very sassy, quick witted script. You must see it to believe it and as you watch, remember to breathe because its filled with laugher non-stop right up till the end. In an era where comedies are made a dime a dozen, Disorientation is a part of that new breed of extreme cinema. A breed that holds no punches and its all up in your face disregarding any consequence or lasting impression it may have on its audience. If you hear or see of this film playing anywhere, seek it out. Make sure you watch on an empty stomach or else your will be projectile vomiting your meal onto some poor unsuspecting cinephile sitting next to you. I give the filmmakers kudos for such an impressive work of art...it is so refreshing to see folks who understand the power of film and who are willing to take it where others are afraid to go. If Porky's was the sexy raunchy comedy of the 80's, Disorientation is the Porky's for the new millennium.


HOLIDAY PICK - HACHI: a dog's tale (DVD Review) - click on photo for trailer

IN THEATRES - FEBRUARY 2011 (click on image for trailer)

"A SERBIAN FILM" - A Superbly crafted Cinematic achievement: a Savage look into the bowels of depravity


by Jorge Ameer










A surprising departure for Carrey - a pleasant as usual character selection for MacGregor (click on photos for trailer)

Aluízio Abranches' "Do Começo ao Fim" (From Begining to End) unites two brothers beyond boundaries


As the movie beautifully unfolds, we explore and observe a relationships and how difficult it can be to let go of the tie that binds. (click on photos above to watch trailers) Theatrical Distributor: TLA Releasing - Opening in theatres





"Between love and goodbye" rocks on through your skin and into your heart.


FILM REVIEWS - (click on photos for trailers)



When I was told this movie is not getting a theatrical release, I could not believe it.  I found   "ALTITUDE" to be so fascinatingly creative, imaginative and amusing to such degree I could not stop thinking of a couple of nightmare scenarios that haunt me till this day.   One of those nightmares are my teeth weakening, falling out and falling from a cliff without being able to wake up.  This is what ALTITUDE will instill in you.. fear... lots of it.  You will suffer many phobias during your journey viewing this film.  Several phobias such as acrophobia, aeroacrophobia, aeronausiphobia, aviatophobia to name a few are all bottled up in this nifty Canadian production that is sure to find a cult audience specially with those who love old fantastical horror tales.  Anyways, if you are susceptible to suffering from phobias, this film will give you the chills.  What is even more remarkable is the premise of a monster being hidden somewhere in the sky- no worries, Im not giving anything away here that is not already in the trailer marketed by the distributor.  But I did find it very interested how several concepts come together to form Kaare Andrew's horror oddyssey.    An extremly entertaining film with a premise that will take you back to the days of HBO's "Tale from the Crypt" as it combines a little "Twighlight Zone" with other supernatural genre type phenomenons. The production values and effects are as excellent as the cast who had to endure making this movie with constant high to extreme tensions with raw emotions floating about the cabin as their basic survival instincts get the best of them. Jake Weary and and very weepy Jessica Lowndes do their best in keeping it together as they deal with the monster in the sky.

Jorge Ameer - Indie Film News


Justin Steele's "Death & Cremation" is an outstanding revenge tale all bullies and their victims should watch. This genre film effectively mixes some very real situations with gruesome and brutal dexterity yielding some very impressive and satisfying results. Jarod Leary, played by a very capable Jeremy Sumpter, carries flawlessly the scars of his pain on his shoulders, as he is pushed around for not fitting in due to his presumed sexual ambiguity. His life is turned upside down as his school days are filled with relentless harassment until he's forced to seek employment to help his economically disadvantage matriarch. Sooner than later, circumstances turn to Jarod's favor as he meets Stan (Brad Dourif), an unseemly cremator, who puts his profession to good use as he offers up complimentary services to cleans the town from "evil spirits". For Jarod, his services could not be more timely as the harassment progresses from bad to worse. We feel this young man's pain and live it with him as he goes through some very trying moments. A terrific film every school and work bully should see and learn from. Overall cast packs a punch and succeed at telling Jarod's story as they help to send a clear message that this sort of behavior will not be tolerated. Brad Dourif and his protege Sumpter give a fine performance and so does Scott Elrod as detective Matt Fairchild who exhibits a hard to miss screen presence. At a vivid pace, the filmmaker artistically and elaborately takes his morbid time to showcase how rewarding payback can be when pushed to the limits. A word of warning to all bullies: sooner or later you will get yours. In "Death & Cremation", your time has come.

Jorge Ameer
Indie Film News


What I found most interesting about Psych: 9 is how well filmmaker Andrew Shortell portrayed the evolution of mental illness from normalcy to psychophrenia. Sara Foster plays Roslyn, an unstable woman, who is recently hired to work night shifts packing files from a recently closed hospital. Several supernatural occurrences and gruesome murders seem linked to the hospital and its history. Cary Elwess effectively plays Dr. Clement, a very mysterious character who helps Roslyn deal with her demons. Not only does the filmmaker succeeds at the portrayal of the internal horrors lived by mental illness patients, but the effects of this condition is elaborately developed as husband Cole (Gabriel Mann) reacts to the complexities of an unstable spouse who's obsessed with getting pregnant. As her clock ticks out of control, their relationship progressively crumbles at a rapid rate. This film is an excellent case study in showcasing the trials and tribulations of those who suffer from mental illness and the horrors of living in a reality that can turn dark, evil and many times palpably ghostly. - Jorge Ameer - Indie Film News


Definitely among one of the best horror films this year, this Australian import from filmmaker James Rabbits starts out like any other road movie until their car is ran off the road. What follows is a nightmare for the expecting couple played by Tabrett Bethell and Andy Whitfield. There are some real hair raising tense moments and terrificly composed scenarios that proves so disturbingly original that one cannot help but to sit back relax and enjoy this rough ride. A must see film. Seek it out.

There are many irrational inconsistencies in Jourdan McClure's "Rogue River", yet what makes it watchable is the somewhat inventive take on the already done revenge tale aka "I spit on your Grave" similarities. An unsuspecting Mara (Michelle Page) travels to Oregon's Rogue river to scatter her father's remains. However, what she finds is a couple of demented host who put her up after her car is mysteriously towed. The series of events that follows, depending on your craving for increasingly violent torture treatments on helpless Mara, are simply put wacked. . In a twist of unexplained faith, Mara is forced into a situation that will prove quite dicey in a well developed unexpected plot twist. This twist alone is worth the price of admission. Yet there are many unexplained plot holes, which as cliche as it may sound, keep you wondering why with all the opportunities for survival do some of these characters choose to make the obvious dumb desicions, that as a viewer you already know way in advance it won't end well. My favorite part of this movie has to be when poor little Mara seems hungry. What follows is a shocking regressive force feeding done baby style with the captor's mammal glands. However, the loop holes in the story make the character's behavior predictable and waters downs all the possibilities for an even more exciting take on events. This film will remind you of many movies already done, but "Rogue River" does have a few raw unapologetic scenes that will satisfy the genre followers.

Peter Dowling's Stag Night is a good example of what not to do when you have had enough of a good night and decide not to retire.. This movie reminds me of "Meat Train" with the only difference that all of the action happens outside of the train in the tunnels. There are some very strong moments of tension and real despair. Moments in which we genuinely feel sorry for the protagonists until they start making all the wrong moves. All of which, no surprise here, will eventually prove fatal. A very engaging film with a very good atmosphere and feel for the New York subway system if you have evern been curious to know what it might be like to navigate on foot beneath the big Apple.


A saucy bloody begining to one, if not, the best horror film festival in north America, this years screamfest opens by bringing back some classic horror themes and putting them at the forefront.
A contemporary take on the 1988 classic, this latest version albeit a remake, is a breath of fresh air from the all so common vampire and zombie pictures we've been forced to endure as of lately. There is nothing new in the concept but the execution is affirmatively clever in many ways. The usual party kids join forces at an old rented house where demons tend to dwell, trick and cause chaos to its rather clueless guests. Once connected to the reality of why they are really there, all hell breaks loose...no pun intended. Actress Shannon Elizabeth struts her stuff for all she's worth for a performance that should satisfy her followers and gain her a new crop of younger teenage male fans. A fresh addition to the cast is John F. Beach who's effectively charming performance forces the viewer to keep a watchful eye on him until his time is up. Maddie, played practically and intelligently by Monica Keenna's from Freddy vs Jason's saves the day with many unexpected turns towards the climactic finale. All in all, this is a pop corn movie for generation "X" ers who'd like to reminisce of horror from the good old days.

Jorge Ameer-Indie Film News



Very few films take us through a real original disturbing and masterfully crafted edge of your seat thriller/drama/horror adventure movie....All I have to say is... studios look and learn. I could only hope more films were this engrossing. As I watched I was so involved in what was going on, my popcorn and coke fell out of my hands. This is a really truly horrific scenario that is so real and could very much happen just about anywhere at anytime and without notice. The actors, Kevin Zegers, Shawn Ashmore and Emma Bell gave nothing short of outstanding performance and the direction is flawless. Saw Zegers in Transamerica and really like his choice of work... have been following him for sometime now and I look forward to seeing more work from Shawn Ashmore and Emma - all very gifted actors who really own their craft. Back to the film... I was inmerse from the get go till the end and you never see nothing coming which is exactly how I love my movie-going experience. The advertisements were right... this is the Jaws, pirahna, whatever opportunistic disaster movie you can think of, for a new generation. Highly, highly, highly recommended.... you will not be disappointed!!!!! It's an absolute gem of a film. Don't let anyone tell you about it - SEE IT, RENT IT, BUY IT!!!!


SALO or the 120 days of Sodom: Pasolini's masterpiece in disguise (DVD Review-)

As disturbing and sexually perverse as many would observe, Salo is poignant and very relevant to happenings today in as much as it was more than thirty years ago. The only difference between the brutality from then to now, are that facist now wear different uniforms around the world. . Dictators and rulers of smaller nations that don't enjoy democracy as we do, could see many cases of Salo going on in their backyards( i.e some countries in the middle east and say "openly gay folks" for example). Disturbing and at times repugnant to watch, yes it is, this film has such a strong socio-political message about how the dissadvantages of submission to the advantages of power and the imbalance that is created when ruling is left to less than mentally stable leaders (North Korea's leader and it's people-another example). The further I watched this film, the more subliminal messages I discovered. The relationships going on between the young recruits and their leaders only confirm how power, without a measure of supervision, can lead to madness which may seem "normal" if practiced repeatedly. The operatic performances of sexually perverse fairy tales being told repeatedly over the raping and sadistic treatment of the forcefully detained underage guests is disconcerting and discomforting to the viewer, yet without titilation enotes the extremes limits of sexuality when not repressed or when repressed so much during youth that the contrary is sought when adult. This sort of sordid behavior leads to nothing more than aberrant violations which under normal circumstances in some cultures may be punished by life imprisonment or death. However, in the days of Sodom here, Salo portrays these rapes as normal, even permissible due to the brainwashing of its facist on its young prisoners. Correlations of Salo with todays society is how human rights can end or fluctuate in the legal system for some and now during times of war upon capture for others and how torture can be a viable form of pleasure for those inflicting it when the basic rules of engagement and human dignity are undermined. Due to the nature of it's extreme sexual content, many may not be able to stomach this film, yet it is nonetheless an important piece (aka " a masterpiece") for viewing it will remind us what happens when we allow leadership to run loose without restraint.



Oren Peli's "Paranormal Activity" is hands down the scariest, most terrifying movie of the year. Every minute of this documented film will keep your skin crawling. I was so freaked out after watching this film, I did not want to step foot into my house thinking there might be something I can't see waiting for me. This film is a series of documented hauntings. A young couple suspects that their house is haunted by a malevolent entity.   They set up video surveillance to capture evidence of what happens at night as they sleep. According to Ryan E. Buell, Director of the Paranormal Research Society of Penn State University, most paranormal activity happens around 3:00 AM because it is considered the anti-christ hours for it is said Christ died around 3PM. This film makes the "Blair Witch Project" look like a cheap hoax. This demonizing, not to be confused with a ghost sighting, takes us to a place we really never want to go. A Ghost Sighting is a spirit that was previously human. This docu film depicts what happens when you have been chosen by a demon long before birth. "Paranormal Activity" had its world premiere at screamfest to a sold out crowd. I could tell people were extremely disturbed long after they exited the theatre. We shall follow this film for it should be acquired by a major distributor. No surprise this film has won a special mention and two awards at Screamfest, also immediately after posting this review, I'm happy to announce that as of this review, the filmmaker has signed with the Creative Artists Agency. Whomever doesn't see the wide distribution potential of this film should be out of the film business. Seek out this film wherever it plays...I highly recommend it. Watch the trailer

PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY -(Reviewed at Outfest 2007)

Duncan Roy's "The Picture of Dorian Gray" stars David Gallagher ("7th Heaven") as a young handsome elite gentleman who has everything but eternal youth until his friend Basil changes things a bit.. "The Picture of Dorian Gray" is the classic tale of vanity written by Oscar Wilde updated and adapted by Duncan Roy. Artist Basil Hallward has become obsessed with Dorian Gray whose beauty is the focus of a new portrait /art installation. When the young Dorian sees the installation for the first time he resents the portrait wishing it would grow old and ugly instead of him. Henry is the cynical, intellectual friend and agent of Basil Hallward who befriends Dorian in spite of his friendship with Basil. Henry is responsible for Dorian's transformation from angel to devil.The film was eloquent,lyrical, poetic and very artistic. I saw and loved Duncan's previous work AKA and thoroughly enjoyed "Dorian Gray". I have seen several versions of Dorian Gray and found this one to be original, entertaining and disturbing. I applaud the filmmaker for his innovative choices and I know, not hope, that this film will get distribution and released in theatres soon for everyone to enjoy. I look forward to Duncan's future great works. "Dorian Gray" is still screening in the festival circuit.



Defending "CALIGULA"

DVD Review


I've seen lots of pornography in my time and I'll hardly call this pornography as most would. This film was very beautiful, artistic and quite an ambitious project for its time. Yes, it is a film with lots of nudity and sex but nothing different from what you'd see on showtime or HBO. This film does, however, have accurate historical elements. If all you see is porn or all you want to see it porn here, you must be looking for pornography and I suggest you rent porn. This is a cinematic achievement. The sets, the acting, the story, make up- all in all- a good product. Over religious raised who are themselves puritans, would see this as porn for they have no sense of what artistic expression really involves. If there is nudity, it must be porn, right? wrong! Sex, nudity, the human naked or nude body, aroused or not, and all that encompasses it can be quite artistic and it is shown here with various degrees of visual artistry. If you want to rent this film because you'd like to see porn for sexual stimulation then why not rent a real porn that has no story or artistic value. Pornography's ultimate goal is to stimulate you to orgasm. I hardly think that was the point of Caligula. So please, be less intolerant for there is some history going on here both for its time, 1979, and as a period piece from pagan Rome. Watch trailer and more



Zombies move over, there's a new killer in town. Original, witty and down right horror fest gory, "Black Sheep" hits its marks right on the nose. This smartly made film by Jonathan King summarizes what happens
when human in their quest for cloning mess with nature and turn some inoffensive, cuddly sheep in to human eating carnivores."There are 40 million sheep in New Zealand... and they're pissed off!". The sheep have awaken and their are not about to take any more abuse!. Now they will try anything in their power to stop the human from the massacre!... A horror flick with comedic tones sprinkled throughout, this film should have done a lot better at the box office. I blame the distributors for that. It's a well done, well crafted film with very invested actors willing to take on whatever sheep comes their way.
Nathan Meister does a fine job playing Henry Oldfield, the lead who is very easy on the eyes and has a phobia for sheep after his brother Angus (Peter Feeney) plays cruel joke on him. If you are absolutely tired of seeing zombie movies, I know I am, this one comes as a delight to have your eyes feast on. The whole idea of using these suspecting cuddly animals as vessels of revenge is fascinating, specially when they are out to attack the human race who for sometime has been using these innocent creatures as test tube experiments to better the human
condition. Not to be missed by film lovers who enjoy a good smart, well made flick.



12th EDITION OF LOS ANGELES LATINO FILM FESTIVAL REACHES NEW HEIGHTS With a pletora of films,nightly industry events, panel and industry seminars the Los Angeles Latino Film Festival has become one of the most important industry events to attend. This year, the festival showcased an incredible filmmaker's villa at the rooftop of the Arclight Cinemas in Hollywood. Celebrities, filmmakers press and industry all gathered for business, networking and glamour. The Festival became a hub of activity with an inviting ambiance. The Filmmakers Café, live musical performances and other events stimulate constant traffic at the Festival venue, and cater to as many facets of society as possible.  LALIFF offered industry workshops, panels, labs, networking receptions, educational programs, and hosts some of the best Galas in Tinseltown. For more info on this yearly event go to www.latinofilm.org.





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