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The Big Take

USA 2018
produced by
Jen Gatien, Riaz Tyab (executive) for Federal Pictures, Deerjen Films
directed by Justin Daly
starring James McCaffrey, Ebon Moss-Bachrach, Zoë Bell, Robert Forster, Dan Hedaya, Bill Sage, Oksana Lada, Slate Holmgren, Tara Westwood, John Enos III, Joslyn Jensen, Taylor Black, Nick Daly, Matthew Kehoe, Sean David Morton, Mj Rodriguez
written by Justin Daly

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Available on DVD !

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Big time moviestar Douglas Brown's (James McCaffrey) drink is drugged during a business meeting, he has a blackout and ... the next day he's blackmailed by a person unknown to him, because while he can't remember what went on, there is security camera footage - and it's not good, career-endingly bad in fact. So he and his manager Jack Girardi (Bill Sage) hire Frank Manascalpo (Dan Hedaya), an ex police detective known to "fix" things. Now he soon comes up with a logical suspect, Max O'Leary (Ebon Moss-Bachrach) - but when he shows up at O'Leary's place to force him to hand over the hard drive containing the compromising material, O'Leary's very capable Ukranian wife Oksana (Oksana Lada) chases him off.

Max O'Leary is a small fry screenwriter who desparately tries to get his latest script made, and he thinks Douglas Brown is involved with financing ... but he has got no idea about the whole blackmailing business, in fact, that was all his friend wannabe-producer Vic's (Slate Holmgren) doing, who told him Douglas Brown is a silent investor - and now Max thinks Brown is trying to shoot down his project for personal reasons, and even gets police detective Aborn (Robert Foster) involved - who soon starts to lose it a bit because he can't make head or tails out of Max's story. In the meantime, Frank hires his ex Edie (Zoe Bell), a professional thief, to ransack Max's place to retrieve the hard drive - but when she hears what the story is all about, she decides to take matters into her own hands, and things get only messier from there ...

 

A very nice little Hollywood-thriller with shades of film noir and plenty of (self-)irony, this is a very slickly filmed and directed movie carried by a first rate cast - but what really makes the thing is its wonderful script that's full of surprises and unexpected twists and turns, and yet it tells its story stringently and is peopled with well fleshed out and very relatable characters, making this a pure joy to watch.

 

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Robots and rats,
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shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD