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Fantastic Fest 2018: Between Worlds

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In Maria Pulera’s possession love story Between Worlds, Nicolas Cage plays Joe, a leather pants aficionado (and long-haul trucker) haunted by the memory of his deceased wife and child.

Popping pills at a truck stop one night, he interrupts Julie (Franka Potente) from a near-death experience and quickly becomes romantically entangled with her. She enlists Joe in a desperate effort to find the lost soul of her comatose daughter, Billie (Penelope Mitchell), which is possible because Julie can contact the dead.

What happens from there is possibly the most awkward love triangle I’ve ever seen on screen, played to the hilt with the unhinged verve only Nic Cage can muster. Billie wakes from the coma possessed by the spirit of Joe’s dead wife. Rather than a simple story of the spirit realm gone wrong, we get the awful horror of a malicious spirit that is also everything the main character wants (and knows he can’t have).

The movie went in directions I never saw coming, hinting at themes of loss and grieving while swinging wildly through sex scenes and suffering glances. At one point, Joe (the character) reads something written by Cage (the actor). There is simply no way to prepare you for it. Likewise, the movie has shifted my feelings towards a song in a way no movie has done since Reservoir Dogs claimed “Stuck in the Middle.” I don’t want to spoil what happens, but Leader of the Pack belongs to Between Worlds now.

I wish the opening credits and overall look of the movie had been slightly higher budget. I’m not sure whether that owes to the actual cameras, or the graphics themselves. Something about the image resolution felt beneath the film’s pedigree, given the acting talent on screen. I started the movie with a made-for-TV impression of it, which then had to then be overcome by the story, direction and performance. Thankfully, Maria Pulera still delivered for me with a stunningly bonkers love story set against the horror of a possession. The madness she put on display more than overcame my technical gripe, and Between Worlds was a satisfying, if awkward ride.

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Interviews

Thatsmye Interviews: Les Weiler on Henchin’: the Series

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The 8 Episode Series Tries To Encompass A Lot Leaving Fans In A Cliffhanger.

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The 2010 “Avatar: The Last Airbender” movie by M. Night Shyamalan faced criticism for its deviations from the beloved animated series. The film struggled with pacing, casting, and a lackluster script, disappointing fans who cherished the source material. In contrast, the 2024 Netflix series has generated positive buzz for its commitment to diverse casting, adherence to the original storyline, and improved character development. The series seems poised to capture the essence of the animated show, offering a fresh and faithful adaptation that resonates with both new and existing fans.

Even though the Netflix series comes closer to the core ideals of the animated series, I feel it lacks heart. Many scenes barely scratch the surface of the relationships between the characters and the push-and-pull relationship between Aang and Zuko. I will admit the CG versions of Momo and Appa are just so gosh darn cute.

The 8 episode series tries to encompass a lot leaving fans in a cliffhanger. It’s worth a watch and I am hanging on for the next season to be announced.

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Movie

Caesar’s Reign Comes To The Big Screen With New Trailer For Kingdom Of The Planet Of The Apes

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Director Wes Ball breathes new life into the global, epic franchise set several generations in the future following Caesar’s reign, in which apes are the dominant species living harmoniously and humans have been reduced to living in the shadows. As a new tyrannical ape leader builds his empire, one young ape undertakes a harrowing journey that will cause him to question all that he has known about the past and to make choices that will define a future for apes and humans alike. “Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes” is directed by Wes Ball (the “Maze Runner” trilogy) and stars Owen Teague (“IT”), Freya Allan (“The Witcher”), Kevin Durand (“Locke & Key”), Peter Macon (“Shameless”), and William H. Macy (“Fargo”). The screenplay is by Josh Friedman (“War of the Worlds”) and Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver (“Avatar: The Way of Water”) and Patrick Aison (“Prey”), based on characters created by Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver, and the producers are Wes Ball, Joe Hartwick, Jr., p.g.a. (“The Maze Runner”), Rick Jaffa, p.g.a., Amanda Silver, p.g.a., Jason Reed, p.g.a. (“Mulan”), with Peter Chernin (the “Planet of the Apes” trilogy) and Jenno Topping (“Ford v. Ferrari”) serving as executive producers.

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