The ‘Mayhem’ of Director Joe Lynch

A dangerous virus spreads through a work office causing the workers to lose their minds and act out on their most dangerous thoughts. That’s the kind of scenario that can only play out in the mind of Mayhem director Joe Lynch. According to Lynch the movie script for Mayhem came to him while he was working a dead-end job he didn’t want to be at. “I wasn’t happy at my regular office job, so this script was a life-changer for me.”

The script for Mayhem, written by Matias Caruso, revolves around an attorney played by Walking Dead’s Steven Yeun who is fired from his job after being set-up by a co-worker. That’s just the start of the issues the work office begins to endure. A deadly virus spreads through the office inflicting rage onto all the workers. Yeun’s character Derek Cho takes matters into his hands as he tries to save his life and job.

Lynch was thrilled by being able to cast Yeun in the lead role, and proud to have an Asian actor play this role that stereotypically would be cast a white guy.

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“I’m such a big fan of Steven’s, he was critical to making this movie work and come to life,” Lynch said.

Lynch wasn’t wrong about Yeun’s impact on the movie. Yeun adds a lot of energy to his role with high intensity and timely comedic relief. Additionally, Samara Weaving holds her own alongside Yeun, playing the feisty Melanie Cross.

At one point Lynch said that film was in danger of not happening.

“We had budget restrictions, so in order to make this movie the way I wanted to I had to compromise,” Lynch stated. “We ended up shooting the movie in Belgrade, Serbia.”

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Taking the movie overseas ended up being a blessing for Lynch.

“Shooting overseas, brought all of us (the cast and filmmakers) closer together, in a way we probably wouldn’t have bonded had we shot with more budget in the U.S.,” Lynch said.

The up-and-down production status didn’t stop Lynch from making the movie he wanted. He was determined to get this movie come to reality, at all costs.

“Making this film was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had, it was very personal to me,” he said.

Ultimately, Mayhem made it to the big screen. The sacrifices that Lynch and the crew had to make, paid off. His vision came to life and audiences will happily indulge in the bloody fun madness that is Mayhem.

Mayhem is available now on Digital HD and VOD and available on Blu-ray & DVD on December 26

Must See Movie Releases Of The Week (November 14)

ATOMIC BLONDE:

One of the years most exciting action thrillers stars Charlize Theron as a kick-ass MI6 spy. The movie is set in the late 1980’s and it looks and feels every bit of that time period. The action takes place in Berlin, Germany right at the pinnacle of the Berlin Wall demise. James McAvoy also stars alongside Theron as her sketchy acquaintance, but don’t be confused, Theron is the clear star of the film. It’s as physically impressive performance as she’s given, she puts Jason Bourne to shame with the beatdowns she puts on the baddies. Theron has a fantastic fight scene that’s arguably this years best, it takes up over 10 minutes of continual screen time and will have you gasping with awe. Aside from a somewhat convoluted and confusing plot that has an overabundance of twists and turns, Atomic Blonde is satisfactory and entertaining. It nails the time period and the look of it. Theron proves she can mix it up with the best of them. Simply, this movie is as cool as you could hope it would be.

BONUS FEATURES on 4K ULTRA HD, BLU-RAY, DVD AND DIGITAL
  • Deleted and Extended Scenes
  • Welcome to Berlin – The ultimate setting for a Cold War spy thriller, Berlin becomes a character of its own. Go behind the wall for this making-off.
  • Blondes Have More Gun – Lorraine Broughton has one impressive set of skills. See what it took for Charlize Theron to fully transform herself into this tenacious character.
  • Spymaster – David Leitch spins the spy genre on its head through exemplary action sequences and complex characters. Hear from cast and crew what it was like to work with this cutting edge director.
  • Anatomy of a Fight Scene – Director David Leitch breaks down the incredibly detailed long-take stairwell shot in this anatomy of a fight scene.
  • Story in Motion: Agent Broughton – See Agent Broughton as you never have before in these motion storyboards.
  • Story in Motion: The Chase – Gascoigne is on the run. Find out who’s after him in this motion storyboard.
  • Feature Commentary with Director David Leitch and Editor Elisabet Ronaldsdottir

Atomic Blonde is out now on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD, Digital and On Demand

Blu-ray Rating: 8/10 (special features including)

Must See Movie Releases

Halloween is officially behind us and November is here. The month is off to a good start with some interesting selections. The following are the must see Blu-ray/DVD, VOD and select theatrical under-the-radar latest releases.

THE GLASS CASTLE:

Woody Harrelson, Brie Larson and Naomi Watts star in the movie version of Jeannette Wall’s memoir of the same title. The story centers around Larson’s character Jeannette who recollects her poverty stricken childhood with her eccentric family. Harrelson plays the father, Rex, an alcoholic who paints a positive and hopeful life outlook for his children, amid their struggles to make ends meet. This film had a bit of a Captain Fantastic flare to it, but it’s filled with emotionally heavy moments. The characters are strong in their own right. Even though their situations may not be relatable to everyone, the struggles they each endure are relatable. This is a well acted movie, little long, but intriguing enough to keep you engaged throughout. Have some tissues ready, you might need them.

The Glass Castle is out now Blu-ray, DVD, Digital HD and On Demand

Interview: Actress Stephanie Beatriz

The Light of the Moon is one of the more important movies you’ll see this year. It details a woman’s struggle to maintain normalcy in her life after a sexual assault. I had the chance to speak to the lead actress of the film, Stephanie Beatriz (Brooklyn Nine-Nine), about the film. Stephanie goes in depth on her role, the impact the film had on her and the realities of sexual assaults. You can find the excerpts of the interview below along with the audio.

What attracted you to the role: 

SB: When I booked Brooklyn Nine-Nine, right before that I was doing a lot of regional theater and most of the stuff I was doing would be considered dramatic in the dramatic category. I was doing a lot of Shakespeare and American classics like Tennessee Williams and Arthur Miller. For me that was a place I loved living in as an actor. Really big drama. Then I booked Brooklyn Nine-Nine and the focus shifted to something else, which is common, fun, lighthearted, timing based. After a couple seasons of doing that I started feeling like, oh wait can I still act in this other way (dramatic)? I was itching to do something filled with challenges. I was already really wanting to stretch and grow.

How do you put yourself in to character to do a role like Bonnie and how do you approach it:

SB: I think if we’ve learned anything from the last couple months is that sexual assault is happening all around us to people we know. The popularity and tsunami wave of the #MeToo and how many people we all know that have been verbally assaulted on the street or physically assaulted in their lives, raped. There is so many men and women that this has happened to. I think it was just putting myself into Bonnie’s life.

MY TAKE: 

I was very interested speaking to Stephanie after seeing the film. She was so open and thoughtful. I appreciated how she answered each question I asked, but added so much more to it. There is no denying that she really understood the importance of her role and the film and how it can impact so many people.

It’s great to talk to someone like her that’s engaging in the conversation and truly wants to talk to you (talk to me in this case). The points she stated speak for themselves. She really does a fantastic job in the film. It was so poignant of her to mentioned how she wanted to show this movie to every teenager. I couldn’t agree more with that and getting them to be aware of these issues can be very beneficial to their safety and prevention of these incidents.

I urge people, men and women, teens and adults to go and see this film. Sexual violence is very real and this movie delves into the unseen truth of it.

The Light of the Moon is out now in select theaters

Must See Movie Releases of the Week (Oct. 24)

October is winding down, but the film release slate is strong for the week of October 24. This weeks Blu-ray, DVD, VOD and limited theatrical releases include some notable films and some under-the-radar.

WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES:

The recent Planet of the Apes franchise has been outstanding. Matt Reeves has taken this franchise to a new level, War is the proof in that. War is as complete of a movie as you can get in a trilogy. Naturally sequels tend to water down, but War may the best of the three. The evolution of Ceasar has been thorough and compelling. In the film, we see Ceasar as an established leader that’s grown older, but wiser. The apes are facing their biggest threat, a ruthless out-of-control Colonel (Woody Harrelson). Many apes will die, but it’s up to Ceasar to guide them to safety.

The cool thing about the Apes movies is that they have had a natural progression of the characters. They went from wild and semi-villainous, to being the ones you root for, while the humans have gradually turned into the villains. These movies have a lot of underlying messages. From political to the human treatment of animals. These are smart films. War is as emotionally impactful as it’s visually startling. Tears will be shed from the pure emotions that the story will make you feel. Whether this is the end of the franchise or a new start, War for the Planet of Apes is one of the best films of 2017. An absolute must-see blockbuster that feels a lot more like a finely crafted indie drama.

WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES Blu-ray Special Features Include:

  • Deleted Scenes with Optional Audio Commentary by Matt Reeves

–    Graveyard

–    Turncoats

–    Barrier Wall

–    “I Owe You One”

–    “A Great Man”

–   “Do Not Lose Hope”

–   Snowfall

–   The Colonel’s Speech

–   Malcolm and the Dinosaurs

–   “I Am Like Koba”

  • Featurettes:
  • “Waging War for the Planet of the Apes” – In-depth documentary on the making of ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’

–  “All About Caesar”

–    “WETA: Pushing Boundaries”

–    “Music for Apes”

–    “Apes: The Meaning of it All”

–   “The Apes Saga: An Homage”

  • Concept Art Gallery

MOVIE RATING: 9/10

BLU-RAY/DVD FEATURES: 9.5/10

War for the Planet of the Apes is out now on 4K Ultra HD, 3D Blu-ray, Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and Digital HD

Interview: ‘Leatherface’ Director Julien Maury

The team of Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo are horror film aficionados. They are also the men behind some really good horror films, such as, Inside and ABC’s of Death 2. Their latest film, Leatherface, is an origins story to the classic horror movie villain from the Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise. I had a chance to speak to Julien about the new Leatherface film and learn about what attracted him to the story and the approach he took telling it.

What attracted you to the script:

JM: Honestly what hooked us was that the narrative structure was very different from the others (Texas Chainsaw Massacre movies) in the saga, franchise. We basically have the same structure on every other film, where a bunch of kids are getting lost on the lens of the family and they are getting killed. Here it was was much more like road movie. That was something quite interesting for Alex and I. We felt we could bring it more easily to our universe. 

How important was it to separate to narrate the difference from the young version of this character from the one that everyone knows him to be:

JM: It was one of the challenges. In the first draft it was much more of a ‘who done it’ movie. A bunch of crazy teenagers, we didn’t know which one would become Leatherface. Versions after versions we lost a little bit of the suspects till the end. Honestly, it is really challenging for a director to have an opportunity to tell a story of bad guys, villains.

MY TAKE: 

My impression of Julien was first and foremost that he was a really cool dude. Very open and passionate. Someone who is easy to talk to and personable. I couldn’t ask for more. I liked how descriptive he was on how he wanted to change the character and not make it cliche, by also acknowledging how smart horror fans are, relating it to him being a fan himself. That sort of understanding of the genre and its pitfalls comes through in the way they went against the cliches in directed this film.

I thought it was interesting when he said that Alex and him love bad guys and finding the humanity in them. That’s a really neat perspective to characters who usually lack any sort of humanity in horror films.

Overall, he gave great breakdown of the film and the thinking behind what they ended up doing. I liked when he said that the more realistic you are in the beginning, the crazier you can get at the end. Such smart and true perspective.

One of the best answers I’ve gotten from anyone I interviewed was when he told me he was involved and passionate about ecology. His laugh was infectious.

Leatherface is a unique origin story and interesting watch with enough scares and gore to satisfy your horror expectations. A really good horror movie to see for Halloween.

Leatherface is out now in select theaters (check local listings), On Demand and DIRECTV 

‘Overdrive’ Blu-ray Release Date

While Tyrese and Dwayne Johnson are feuding on social media. I’ll gladly have a suitable replacement, that being, Overdrive. Starring Scott Eastwood and Ana de Armas, this octane fueled thrill ride arrives on Blu-ray and DVD on November 7, 2017.

The trailer looks awesome. Stacked with action and car chases. Two of my current personal favorites in de Armas and Eastwood. I’m excited about this one, are you?

Overdrive will release on Blu-ray & DVD on November 7