MovieCriticND's blog

Breathe Easy

One day, mysterious red clouds begin to descend on the major cities of Earth. No one's quite sure what they are or where they came from, but as you might expect, there's plenty of panic and nerves to go around. Breathe Easy is the story of these clouds and their effect on the world, creating a global disaster movie that spans the globe in a new way. Shot in 15 countries, it broke the previous records for most shooting locations for a narrative film, and most directors for a narrative film.

Image: 
Movie poster, featuring its less than reassuring hashtag.

Malafafone

Since this was the first thing I wondered about, Malafafone means cucumber in Hebrew, so there's your MCND Fun Fact (TM) for this review right off the bat. I'm again reviewing a micro-short film, so with just two minutes to work with, writer / director Jono Freedrix keeps things very simple. A woman (Lesley Shannon) is preparing to meet someone special for the first time, getting dressed up while her goldfish (Dog -- yes, the fish is named Dog) watches placidly, because what else can a goldfish do?

Image: 
A woman worries about her looks. "What if my eyes aren't like limpid pools?"

Hex

In 1644, England was in the third year of a bloody civil war. On one side were those who had stayed loyal to King Charles I, known as Royalists. On the other, the rebels called Roundheads fought for Oliver Cromwell and Parliament, attempting to limit the power of the king. Charles, they felt, had abused his power and deserved to forfeit his throne, which prompted many fierce battles throughout England. This is the situation when the movie Hex begins, and let me apologize now for letting my inner history geek out to play.

Image: 
Movie poster. What Richard sees will haunt him forever.

The Restaurant

When you're chasing your dream, you have to be ready to make sacrifices. Andy (Mark Turner) dreams of turning his neighborhood Italian restaurant, Scoppa, into the best one in New York -- which is a tall order, especially since the place is small and the food is only so-so. But Andy has a dramatic trick up his sleeve, and it's called Exses (Paul Casali).

Image: 
The health inspector having a bad day. Leave the cockroach, take the cannoli.

The Redeeming

Sometimes we all need a little fresh air and space to relax and recharge, and there's an isolated old brick house in Somerset that offers just such peace and quiet for Joyce (Tracey Ann Wood). As The Redeeming begins, she's just returning to the house of an evening as a bad storm rolls in, complete with warnings to stay off the roads and a sudden blackout. No sooner has the building been plunged into darkness than she hears a rattling at the door, followed by a voice pleading to be allowed inside.

Image: 
Joyce with poker, not at all happy that she can't be the dog for Monopoly.

Sightings

Once there were three sisters in this family, but now there are only two: the youngest, Amy, disappeared some time ago, leaving her mother and siblings to comfort each other as best they can. I've said before that the disappearance of a loved one has to be unimaginably difficult for those left behind, though at least in Sightings each sufferer has others to cling to. As fragile and harsh as it might be, at least there is still a sliver of hope that a missing sister might yet return alive.

Image: 
The sisters and their shared mourning, about to take a strange turn.

Rosalita

I've always thought that one of the worst things about going truly insane is the fact that you're unaware of what's actually happening. If you thought the protagonist -- because 'hero' is totally not the right word -- of Cabrito was out of his mind before, then Rosalita will prove otherwise. This is a full-blown, wake up screaming nightmare compared to the bad and unsettling dream of Cabrito, which makes me really wonder what will happen in the third installment of the trilogy.

Image: 
If you think there's something off about her face, you're quite right.

Cabrito

Despite sayings like misery loves company and two can live as cheaply as one, there's nothing at all fun or cute about living in poverty. In Cabrito, one young man (Samir Hauaji) is trapped in the most abject poverty as he struggles to keep himself and his mother fed and with a roof over their heads. But while the son suffers mainly in silence, his mother can't stop telling him over and over what a failure he is.

Image: 
Mom on one of her rants. She looks pretty evil, doesn't she?

Poor Agnes

There's a lot to be said for a quiet life -- a big house with lots of woods and plenty of space would be a dream come true for a lot of people. With a garden and a wood-burning stove you can even be more self-sufficient than most. It's also a handy setup if you happen to be a serial killer. In Poor Agnes, the titular character (Lora Burke) has just such a house, complete with a dark basement, and supports herself with the money and valuables she scavenges from her victims. It must be hard to hold down a regular job when you're a sociopathic killer.

Image: 
Agnes takes Mike prisoner. A shotgun is a girl's best friend.

Echoes of the Passed

Given the popularity of ghost hunting, there's probably at least ten groups out there setting up their microphones and EMF detectors right now, and they may be closer than you think. In Echoes of the Passed, that group is in a run-down, reputedly haunted house somewhere in England, and they have mixed feelings about the plan to stay overnight and see what they can uncover. Frank (Tony Sands), for instance, is more nervous than he'd like to admit. On the other hand, Fred (Mac McFadden) seems more concerned with dinner.

Image: 
Liz (or maybe Jo) eyes the old house warily.