MovieCriticND's blog

Armstrong

Being an EMT is a rough job anywhere, but it probably doesn't get much rougher than being a night shift EMT in Los Angeles. It's probably not much fun in Detroit, either. Since Lauren (Vicky Jeudy) is also a brand-new EMT, it's no surprise that she's in a panic just before she starts her very first shift. To make matters worse, her partner Eddie (Jason Antoon) feels obligated to harass the rookie at every opportunity, including making her listen to a conspiracy theorist with a late-night radio show (Kevin Pollak) -- think Art Bell.

Image: 
The ambulance and Armstrong about to run into each other, literally.

The Recursion Theorem

You know how sometimes you wake up abruptly for some reason and can't quite figure out where you are at first? It never lasts for more than a moment or two, thankfully, but it's always a strange and unsettling sensation. In The Recursion Theorem, that feeling takes on a life of its own. A man (Dan Franko) finds himself awakening in a room he's never seen before, an old-fashioned room where the comfy touches like a bowl of fresh fruit and vintage books to read can't quite counteract the effects of the apocalyptic paintings on the walls.

Image: 
Mr. Everett about to make another unsettling discovery about the room.

Placebo

Reviewing a two-minute movie is bound to be tricky, but let's see what I can manage. A young woman (Aileigh Karson) has gone to a plastic surgeon for a consultation. This isn't because she's not attractive -- she's a pretty, girl next door blonde with a nice smile -- but because she desperately wants to look like her favorite actress, glamorous brunette Ms. Carmichael (Maura Stephens). It's a radical change, but the surgeon (Jennifer Trudrung) takes on the challenge and sets to work.

Image: 
What our patient dreams of becoming.

Witch Hunt

At this very moment, a town somewhere is overrun with witches and is in desperate need of help. Or possibly they don't need help at all, since in Witch Hunt the witches that have overrun the nameless town aren't all that bad compared to the local sheriff, for example. They don't really seem to have overrun the place, either, given that there's maybe a dozen of them.

Image: 
Morrigan, just chilling with her candles. See, she's not so bad.

Cold Moon

There often isn't a lot of breathing room between the haves and the have-nots, especially in small southern towns. In Cold Moon, for instance, everyone knows everyone in the fictional town of Babylon, Florida, where only a few miles separate a family struggling to survive from a family that has all the money in the world.

Image: 
Movie poster. Margaret was a nice girl until after she was dead.

Parallel

Early on, one of the characters in Parallel asks, "Don't you believe in fate?" It's an offhand remark -- he's trying to impress a girl -- but it also sums up the entire movie. Sometimes, everything hinges on a specific event happening at a specific time, and if you're even a few seconds too early or too late, your entire life can end up in some very strange places.

Image: 
Neil and Heather in happier times, when the world still made sense.

Long Gone

In a quiet rural area of England, people are disappearing. This is bad enough by itself, but in this case two of the missing are police officers. It can't be reassuring when the very people who are supposed to be dedicated to protecting you are slowly becoming victims themselves.

Enter intrepid reporter Chris (Drew Horsley) and his photographer Amanda (Hannah Walker). Well, actually Chris is rather a pompous jerk who greatly enjoys talking down to Amanda, but to be fair he is clearly determined to get the story and he thinks he has a fresh angle that might get results.

Image: 
Chris and Amanda begin their grim search.

The Spirit Machine

Almost a century ago, Thomas Edison (Steve North) invented something he called The Spirit Machine. Also almost a century ago, that machine was lost and it has now passed into the realm of myth and urban legend. But as it turns out, not only is the machine still around, it can actually do what Edison claimed: allow the user to talk to the dead.

Image: 
The spirit machine in action. That Edison knew his stuff.

Clarity

Clarity begins with a family party in a mansion in Las Vegas, headed by matriarch Sharon (Dina Meyer). Vegas isn't really run by the mafia anymore, but it seems that not so long ago Sharon's husband had a lot of shady dealings and his widow is still extremely wealthy. Once apparently an enforcer, Malcolm (Tony Denison) now acts as unofficial uncle and deeply intimidating guardian to Sharon and her four kids -- three biological sons and adopted daughter Maggie (Dana Melanie), now embarking on med school.

Image: 
Movie poster. We could all use a little more clarity in life.

The Basement

Somewhere in Budapest, there's a mysterious basement, though 'basement' seems too tame a word for something that spreads out for blocks and is filled with twisting hallways, dead ends, and doors that unlock only when they feel like it. The basement is private property and difficult to find, but rumors of its existence are everywhere, attracting ghost hunters and thrill seekers from all over the world.

Image: 
The seance, just before it goes horribly wrong.