Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Review: Over Easy (2006) [Reviewed By Clifford Kiyabu]

Directed by: Michael DiBiasio
Written by: Michael DiBiasio
Genre: Short / Crime / Drama
MPAA: Not Rated
Released: 2006 (USA)
Starring: Bobby LaMoia, Rachel Lane.

Plot: A lowlife thug tries to redeem himself of his past mistakes.

Review: 8/10

My Thoughts: In life there’s a time and place for everything, a time to loosen up and a time to remain harden by a shield of armor to keep you safe both emotionally and physically. As a film critic I very much enjoy the Indie film scene, for a great deal of many reasons, one of them is the fact that independent filmmakers are where most of the originality remains in these hard times of lousy remakes and reimagining’s coming out of the woodworks left and right, I swear one can lose their mind in the mess of these big budget wannabe films. Another reason is because independent filmmakers work hard to express their art form with little money and a lot of the time the finishing product holds more stock than its big brother competitor. I recently viewed a 15 minute Indie short called “Over Easy (2006)” at first I didn’t hold much stock in it myself because just what can you produce in a 15 minute span, most stories take 15 minutes just to get you wormed up with the plot, so I didn’t think much of it but decided to watch it anyway. Well what I got was a fine piece of poetic cinema at its finest, the film express some pretty raw emotion that viewers can relate to, filled with empathy, redemption and betrayal, Over Easy was more than what I thought it was going to be, never before have I been so entwined to a story that was only a mere 15 minutes, and after it was over I wanted more while at the same time feeling content.

The story is about: Rock (Bobby LaMoia) a Hitman/Bodyguard who after making a mistake in his line of work must prove himself by taking on a random odd job hit to save his own life. His mission, to go to a local dinner and wait for future instructions on the hit, while there he fine a note instructing him to “wait” so he decides to order something to eat from the young dinner waitress named Stacey (Rachel Lane), practically from the get go the two connect and seem to understand each other in more ways than either could ever imagine, Rock than decides to return again and again over the cures of a few days hoping for the next note which will inform him on the hit he’s hired to do, but instead Rock and Stacey begin to get more involved in each other’s lives, that is until Rock learns that Stacey may be more than he thought she’d be, much more.

As for the acting: Bobby LaMoia was fantastic as Rock, he gave a very naturalism to the role of Rock, and really made you empathize with him, and ultimately feel his pain in the end. Rachel Lane did a fine performance as Stacey, both Lane and LaMoia had a wonderful chemistry between them that felt real and made you feel a blend between sadness and satisfaction at the end.

Final Say: Over Easy was a very enjoyable film, I went into it with no hope for it at all, and came out with nothing but hope and satisfaction, I wish I could see more than only a mere 15 minutes as I feel that this would make a fantastic full length movie one day. I highly recommend it!
Copyright 2009 TCWreviews.com
All Rights Reserved

Monday, March 30, 2009

Review: Sex and Justice (2008) [Reviewed By Clifford Kiyabu]

Directed by: Michael DiBiasio
Written by: Michael DiBiasio
Genre: Short / Crime / Drama
MPAA: Not Rated
Released: 22 November 2008 (USA)
Starring: Richard Brundage, J.T. Patton, Rebecca De Ornelas, John-Patrick Driscoll.

Plot: A pair of frustrated detectives and a confessed murderess goes up against a corrupt but recently vindicated District Attorney in this throw-back neo-noir crime drama.

Review: 7/10

My Thoughts: Sex and Justice is a movie short written and directed by Michael DiBiasio. The movie is a forty five minute short film that surrounds an unorthodox police interrogation of a young woman who has confessed of being a murderess, but as soon as the police and the district attorney begin the interrogation new suspicions emerge from the young woman’s motive and suddenly the hunters become the hunted. It was a very intriguing film to see; the whole film takes place during a single police interrogation, the integrator (the district attorney) does not wish to abide by the policies of processing the suspect and wants to go straight into interrogating her before police have had a chance with her themselves , but as soon as it begins suspicions begin to arise on the district attorney’s part, and questions begin to surface that will put the district attorney in a situation where he’ll be having to answer too, the film has a nice twist towards the midpoint of it that puts the viewer on the edge of their seat wanting to know what will happen next with a surprising ending that I was not expecting. Though not at all in anyway the same as Basic Instinct nor was it ever meant to be like it, it still gave off this tension that was in the same tone, Sex and Justice was fairly enjoyable, though I will say it isn’t perfect, there was after all some part of the plot I had problems with,

The first being the fact that so much story is talked about in this film, but not shown which isn’t all that much of a bad thing, but when you have a film that generally gives off this hug sense of weight much like this one did it makes you wish you had more to go with beforehand, and because of this I felt a little unsettled, mainly because I feel that the film should have been a little longer than it turned out to be, there was just so much more I wanted to know before the end and was more or less left in the dark. The pacing was fairly decent except for a part just after the midpoint; there was this scene of uncomfortable silence that felt a little out of sync with the rest of the film, which was a slight problem for me but not in a big way. Though I will say that I’d very much like to see some kind of continuing story or at least another short that includes some of the characters for this film, because I fairly enjoyed the individual characters with the exception of one particular one (Detective Bryant) which I felt was done a little over the top.

The story is about: Sex and Justice is the story of four people ensnared in a complex web of murders and vengeances. It begins with the unorthodox interrogation of a confessed murderess (Elizabeth Fiara, played by Rebecca De Ornelas) whose interview soon causes new suspicions to form around her interviewer - recently vindicated District Attorney Norman Turner (played by Richard Brundage). Turner’s corruptions are already well known to Detective Robert Bryant (aka “The Texan,” played by John-Patrick Driscoll), but the extent of his partner’s (Detective Robert Montgomery, played by Jonathan Patton) involvement in the entire affair remains a mystery.

As for the acting: Nothing against actor John-Patrick Driscoll, but I felt that his portrayal of a Detective Bryant aka “The Texan” was a little too cheesy and overlay stereotyped, but still as an actor he manage to still do very good job, so I will give him that. Richard Brundage gave a very nice performance as the district attorney Norman Turner, he gave the character a nice cynical touch to it without making it obviously noticeable. Jonathan Patton did a fairly okay job portraying Detective Montgomery, but I would have liked to see him push a little harder in his performance than what he gave, but still he did do a fair job in the role. And last but certainly not least actress Rebecca De Ornelas did a great performance as the alleged murderess Elizabeth Fiara, she gave the character a dominant show of force while at the same time showing a sexy femininity, she sure was a treat for these viewing eyes and deserves much kudos for a great performance.

Final Say: I enjoyed viewing this Neo-noir crime drama; though Sex and Justice had its problems I would still very much like to take a second viewing again one day. I recommend it!

Copyright 2009 TCWreviews.com
All Rights Reserved

Review: Monsters Vs. Aliens (2009) [Reviewed By C.S. Kiyabu]

Reviewed By: C.S. Kiyabu -- aka The Keyboard Junkie
Directors: Rob Letterman & Conrad Vernon

Writers: Maya Forbes, Wallace Wolodarsky, Rob Letterman, Jonathan Aibel, Glenn Berger & Conrad Vernon
Starring: Reese Witherspoon, Seth Rogen, Hugh Laurie, Will Arnett, Kiefer Sutherland, Rainn Wilson, Paul Rudd, Julie White, Jeffrey Tambor, Amy Poehler, Ed Helms, Renée Zellweger, John Krasinski & Stephen Colbert
Plot: On the eve of her wedding, a young California girl named Susan Murphy (Witherspoon) is suddenly hit by a mysterious falling object from space and is transformed into a giant (monster, if you will). She is taken to a secret government compound where she meets a group of monsters also rounded up over the years. As a last resort, under the guidance of an Army General (Sutherland), the ragtag crew of Monsters is called into action to combat the aliens and save the world from total destruction!

Critique: I wasn’t really taken by the trailers and details when I first heard about this film, a few months back. Nothing about it really caught my attention. So when I saw this yesterday, I did so with no real interest what-so-ever. I’m glad I decided to take a chance on it, as it was far better than I ever expected it to be. The story was of course, out there, but that was it’s goal, if anything else. To entertain and satisfy you. And I was definitely satisfied. The characters were just hilarious, the comedic value in this film was really, really high. I found myself laughing at countless moments throughout the film which was a good thing in my book, since I’ve had little to smile or even laugh about lately. I enjoyed the whole “Battle Through San Francisco” scene and thought that the visual effects were amazing.

I had a slight problem with Witherspoon’s role at first because I felt that she really didn’t fit well with voicing the character, Susan. But after I got into it, her part didn’t really bother me. I may have trouble sometimes with Seth Rogen’s acting, but I have to say that his role as B.O.B. was very, very hilarious. I pretty much laughed through all of his scenes. It was pretty fun seeing Hugh Laurie of House fame in a role where you didn’t just hate the hell out of him, but maybe that’s only because I didn’t see him? Still, he had some decent moments. It was fun seeing Rainn Wilson as the cliché villain, Gallaxhar, a lighter tone than the usual in-you-face Dwight, on The Office, I thought it was a nice touch. So yeah, all in all, I had a fun time watching this and highly recommend it to anyone looking to get away from the horrors of reality and just sit back and relax.

Overall Rating: 8/10

Copyrighted © 2009 - CsK Review.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Review: Watchmen (2009) [Reviewed By Clifford Kiyabu]

Directed by: Zack Snyder
Written by: David Hayter (screenplay) and Alex Tse (screenplay) Dave Gibbons (graphic novel illustrator) Alan Moore (graphic novel) un-credited
Genre: Action / Fantasy / Sci-Fi / Thriller
MPAA: Rated R for strong graphic violence, sexuality, nudity and language.
Released: 6 March 2009 (USA)
Starring: Malin Akerman, Billy Crudup, Matthew Goode, Carla Gugino, Jackie Earle Haley, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, and Patrick Wilson, Matt Frewer.

Plot: When an ex-superhero is murdered, a vigilante named Rorschach begins an investigation into the murder, which begins to lead to a much more terrifying conclusion.

Review: 10/10

“This city is afraid of me. I have seen its true face. The streets are extended gutters and the gutters are full of blood and when the drains finally scab over, all the vermin will drown. The accumulated filth of all their sex and murder will foam up about their waists and all the whores and politicians will look up and shout 'Save us!' And I'll whisper 'no'.”


My Thoughts: September 1986 is a date which holds a fond eventful memory for those within the comic realm, this date will forever be remember as the date when acclaimed graphic novelist, Alan Moore realest the first issue of his masterpiece mini-series Watchmen, a mini-series that would forever change the way we see comics everywhere, in other words, what Alan Moore wrote could easily be called the “Holy-Bible” of modern age graphic novelization, he redefined the meta-fiction of the graphic novel medium in his own image, and the people saw that it was good, and so it became. Nearly twenty-three years have passed since the series started its twelve issue run, and since then talks of a movie has been circulating around in the mix but never brought to fruition, it seemed that the possibility of a film ever happening was beyond possible, and even after the film “that would never get made” was finally made so much legal red tape was thrown against it that soon the film was known as the film that would never get released, but after a long and heavy battle against all odds fans young and old who waited patiently for far too long finally got their wish. And my oh my did it gleam with satisfaction. Director Zack Snyder wowed audiences everywhere with the stunning film 300, and some speculated and worried that he could not provide us with an encore of such epic magnitude. I myself recently for the first time in my life picked up a copy of the Watchmen graphic novel and gave it a read. I admit my intentions was originally to prove that this book was in fact not the all divine tale that many had make it out to be and revile it as a vastly overrated and if not Un-worthy of such a title… but as it turned out, I too was wrong, and I fell in love with the Watchmen like so many others before me and after, I became a victim to its complexity of in-depth storytelling that was just superb, and to be completely honest, I was deeply moved by every word I read, because it’s a book that carries so much raw emotion and power within it’s very pages that I honestly could not believe my eyes as I turned each page anxiously awaiting what was to happen next, I could not believe that such a graphic novel actually did in fact exist!

So a part of me was more than a little worried that such a beautiful slice of perfection could ever be handled properly on film as it was panned down on book, so know that as hype up for the film I was, I still had very low expectations because I felt as though the film would never live up to its full potential. Well the time had finally arrived and with the long wait only moments away from being over, there I sat waiting for the lights to dim and the film to start rolling. To my surprise the opening scene practically made my jaw drop, I could not believe what my very own eyes were seeing, there for that moment my heart skipped a beat and there I was overwhelmed with hope and feeling as giddy as a child on Christmas morning. Snyder proves that he isn’t a name that’s here today gone tomorrow, but in fact here to stay and make his mark on the world as a filmmaker. The film, though changed in certain areas of the plot and outcome for certain reasons, still carries the same might the book holds and then some, though it may not be exactly like the book due to some of the changes. Much of the concept still remains on film and told in the very same aspect as the book while at the same time not falling into the books shadow, but instead shines in its own light of beauty. The presentation of the story from book to film was done remarkably fantastic, it was like watching art come to life before my very eyes. The pacing was unbelievably gratifying, though a little shorter than I’d hope for in the run time (it clocked in just under 3 hours but would have loved seeing it clocking in at around 3 and a half hours). The scoring was outstanding; the score is orchestrated by music composer Tyler Bates in such a beautiful manner that it contains the very epic foundation of the film in its entirety, and let me not forget to mention the 1970’s/1980’s music setting that plays throughout the film works extremely well and does more than authenticate the film’s era but also gives it a strong sense of realism that is undeniably creepy and yet exciting. Finally, after finishing this film I walked out satisfied, and though it may not have been 100% exactly like the book, I was content with what I saw and I’m happy with that, overall It is defiantly a worth watching film, my only regret however was that I didn’t see it on IMAX.

The story is about: set in an alternate 1985 America in which costumed superheroes are part of the fabric of everyday society, and the "Doomsday Clock" - which charts the United State's tension with the Soviet Union - is permanently set at five minutes to midnight. When a former superhero named The Comedian is murdered, the washed up but no less determined masked vigilante Rorschach sets out to uncover a plot to kill and discredit all past and present superheroes. As he reconnects with his former crime-fighting legion - a group of retired superheroes, only one of whom has true powers, Rorschach glimpses a wide ranging and disturbing conspiracy with links to their shared past and catastrophic consequences for the future. Their mission is to watch over humanity... but who is watches the Watchmen?

As for the acting: it was fantastic. Jackie Earle Haley steals the film with his outstanding performance as Rorschach, every scene with him in it was a scene to remember, I honestly can’t see anyone playing the role after witnessing his unforgettable performance, I may not have been a fan in the past but after seeing Watchmen I’m now officially a Jackie Earle Haley fan. Jeffrey Dean Morgan did a great job as The Comedian; he acted the role with such dedication that he was the perfect match for the part. Patrick Wilson though wouldn’t have been my first choice for the part of Nite Owl II surprised me with an excellent performance that was more than satisfying. Carla Gugino was dead on perfect as Sally Jupiter aka Silk Spectre I, the flashback scene with her posing for the “Minutemen” group photo was what got me, it was freakishly right out from the book. Malin Akerman was gorgeously stunning as Laurie Jupiter aka Silk Spectre II, though she made the character appear very different than appeared in the book, she managed to still hold the magic that her character has in the book (on a side note am I the only one that thinks Malin Akerman looks a hell of a lot like a young Lucy Lawless???). Billy Crudup did fantastic as Dr. Manhattan, not only did he act the part extremely well, but he gave the character his own personal touch, which believe me is nothing short of spot on my friend. Actor Matt Frewer gave a great performance as Moloch the Mystic, the odd thing is before I read the book I knew nothing of who was playing this part, however I still pictured the actor in the role when I read the book, so perhaps this was a sign that he was meant to play the part, any way, he did a spot on job in doing so. My only beef with the cast of this film would have to be none other than actor Matthew Goode playing the part of Ozymandias, the thing is, the actor is a damn good actor none the less, however I think he did not match the part and therefore was left a little disappointed with the fact that they couldn’t pick someone else he would have fitted the role better. Either way this small bad apple doesn’t hurt the film in any way for me and still enjoyed it as much as I did from the beginning.

Final Say: Watchmen was a very satisfying film for me, the emotion and power the book holds and carried onto screen with this magnificent adaption, it is defiantly a worth watching film not to mention a worth buying film, I can tell you now that Watchmen is without a doubt in my mind one of this year’s best films and I enjoyed every last drop of its ecstasy, I hope to see it again very soon. I highly recommend it!

Copyright 2009 TCWreviews.com
All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Exclusive: Interview With Actress Jace Nicole

TCWreviews’s Administrator and Editor in chief Clifford Kiyabu sits down with Cookies & Cream’s leading star actress Jace Nicole for an exclusive interview. she's fairly new to the business and already setting to make herself known to the public! I got a chance to set down with her for an interview, we talk about her life aside from acting and what got her into the profession, but most importantly we talk about her debut film Cookies & Cream and what was it like working side by side with up and coming director Princeton Holt.

CK: First off I’d like to thank you for agreeing to do this interview with me even though I wasn’t to kind to you or the cast of the film in my review.

JN: Not a problem. Criticism is a part of artistic life. (Smiles)

CK: Well before I go into the questions regarding your acting career, I think me and my readers would first like to know a little about yourself, what can you tell us about your up brining?

JN: Well, I am a New Jersey native, but have spent time in Alabama, Detroit, Vegas, Atlanta, and now I reside in Maryland. So I guess you could say I am pretty well traveled.
My father and mother both had different views on how to raise me when I was coming up, but my mom pretty much was the foundation for the person that I am today.
Strong, independent, sociable, and driven to go after any and everything I desire. My mom was an awesome woman!

CK: So your mother was not just a strong role model in your life, but also strongly supported your dreams goals growing up?

JN: Yes. She was always telling me to go after everything I desired.
She passed away right before my 19th birthday, so it's unfortunate that she can't see how much of an impact she has had on me.

CK: So traveling a lot as a child, you must have seen some pretty fantastic sights, where would you say was the best place you lived in the past and where would you like to visit one day?

JN: Wow, this one is a difficult one to answer [Laughs]. Everywhere I have lived throughout my years holds some sort of fond memory, so I can't really label which one was the best. They all have had bad points and good points. And I would love to go to the Bahamas soon.

CK: So what got you into acting?

JN: Haha! I knew this question would come soon..Well, I have a cousin named Natasha. She knew I was into doing fashion shows, and things of that nature, and she knew (just like anyone that is close to me knows) that I LOVED going to the movies. And would spend hours in theatres. One day she called me and told me about an acting school in Clifton, New Jersey. She suggested that I go take some sample classes that they were holding to see if I liked it. So I went to the sample class, and took it. I instantly fell in love with it. Guess you could say I got bitten by the "acting bug". hahaha!

CK: [Laughs] was it difficult for you when you first started out in acting class?

JN: Oh no, no, no, no, no! [Laughs] I've LOVED it from the second I walked into it.

CK: Who inspired you to pursue an acting career?

JN: Actually it wasn't a "who" really; it was after I took that first class, I KNEW that I had found my calling. I knew that this was what I was supposed to be doing.
I was head over heels in love with it.

CK: What films have made an impact on your life?

JN: Oh man...the list is quite long. [Laughs] I will name a few: Fatal Attraction, Raging Bull, Awakenings, I spit on your grave.
Like I said the list is just so long.

CK: I’m sure you have a pretty big collection of movies in your library?

JN: Oh yeah! I have over 350 movies. And some of my collection is still in storage.

CK: I myself am the proud owner of a pretty big collection that could seriously rival Blockbusters’ [Laughs]

JN: Haha! And there is nothing wrong with that.

CK: Aside from acting, what is a typical day for you?

JN: A typical day for me is going to work around 7:pm. (I am a bartender/cocktail waitress), come home, check emails and play a little Texas hold em online before going to bed, and getting up the next morning to take my daughter to school, run some errands, then get ready to go to work again. It’s a vicious cycle. [Laughs]

CK: So in other words you’re a pretty busy person on a daily bases?

JN: Yeah. A little TOO busy sometimes if you ask me. But it's cool. I can sleep when I'm dead.

CK: I see you enjoy playing Texas hold em online. You know I’m not so bad a player myself, care to take me on my offer one of these days and see if you’ve got a chance against me? [Laughs]

JN: Oh man...I'm a nice person. I'd hate to see you cry. hahahahaha!
Just kidding. Sure, we could go a couple of hands if the chance ever presented itself.

CK: How does your family feel about you becoming an actress?

JN: They are all really proud of me, and very supportive.

CK: I see that you’ve got a daughter, do you let her watch films like the one you did or do you consider her too young for such material?

JN: Hahaha! Actually, she is in the film with me. She plays my character’s (Carmen) daughter, Candace.

CK: Well I did not know that she was your daughter, she is quite adorable, and obviously carries your good looks.

JN: Aww, thank you! Yeah, I'm so proud of her. She took my direction very well, and she is my little princess.

CK: Alright, now let’s talk about the film Cookies & Cream, how’d you get the job of lead actress, did you have to audition?

JN: I had to audition, but not for C&C...let me briefly explain - I am good friends with Princeton (director of Cookies), and we have worked together since '05. My very first film which was a short named Phish, I did it with him, and I was the supporting character. But before we did Phish, I sent him a tape of me in class and I was doing an acting exercise and once he viewed it, he called me and was like "We HAVE to work together!" And of course I agreed wholeheartedly! [Laughs]

CK: What’s it like working with director Princeton Holt?

JN: Oh man...it’s wonderful! He is very talented, and he is very open-minded. He loves to go back and forth with actors and get their opinions on everything. He is very collaborative, and he is always open for suggestions whenever we are on set. I LOVE working with him, and will continue to work with him as long as he allows me.

CK: So you guys have pretty decent work chemistry going?

JN: Yes, we have amazing director/actress chemistry. I am blessed to know him.

CK: I’m assuming you can’t wait to work with him again?

JN: I sure can't! (Laughs) And anyway we have a couple more projects lined up. So we will be back working together very soon!

CK: Were there any problems you had with the script when you first read it?

JN: No. I loved it. We actually both came up with the idea of Carmen and the story of Cookies and Cream together. Then he went into hiding for two weeks, and came back with a kick ass script. I couldn't wait to begin the shoot.

CK: Now forgive me for what I’m going to say next, but how do you feel about doing nude scenes in a film?

JN: [Laughs] No need to apologize for the question... I do not have a problem with nudity in films, but only if it’s necessary. It has to add to the character and what’s going on in the characters life. Too much gratuitous nudity is just unnecessary.

CK: So you have no problem doing nudity in films so long as it has a point to the plot and not being used as useless eye candy for the male genre?

JN: EXACTLY! [Laughs]

CK: Well I’m officially recommending that you play the lead in a Basic Instinct remake should talks of one ever arise! [Laughs]

JN: Hmm..That would be kinda cool actually. I've never gotten the chance to stab anyone in real life with an ice pick. So sure, bring it on!! [Laughs]

CK: Many actors and actresses have gone that extra mile for the sake of art, Kevin Bacon had his notable shower scene in Wild Things, Anne Hathaway decided to show that she was no longer a little girl anymore when she went topless for the first time in Havoc, Heath Ledger pushed the limits with his controversial performance in Brokeback Mountain, Chloë Sevigny shocked audiences with her infamous Oral sex scene where she performs fellatio on actor Vincent Gallo in The Brown Bunny. So as an artist, do you have limits set on yourself on how far you’d go for the sake of art and what are they?

JN: Nope. I don't believe in limiting myself. Whatever the director needs from me, he/she will get it the best way I can give it to them. Whatever needs to be done to bring the story together, I am more than willing to do it.

CK: well let’s talk more about what you’d be willing to do later but off the record of course [Laughs]

JN: hahahahahaha!

CK: Is there a particular actor or director you dream of working with one day?

JN: For directors, Spike Lee (of course!) & Paul Thomas Anderson, and for actors, I would LOVE to work with Taraji P. Henson, Zoe Saldana, Glenn Close, Charlize Theron, & Giovanni Ribisi.

CK: Last question; aside from perusing an acting career is there anything within the film industry other than acting you wish to tap into one day?

JN: Well, the director's chair does look a little comfy....hahaha!

CK: Well that would be very interesting to see, but would you star in your own film if given the chance to direct?

JN: Wow....you know what? I would rather let the actors have all the fun, but hey, just for shits and giggles maybe I'd do a very small cameo.

And that concludes the interview with Actress Jace Nicole, she and I remain chatting for a while longer off the record about what’s next in store for her and what projects she’ll next be appearing in which I cannot be a liberty to say at the very moment. Both on and off the record she proved to be a very down to earth person with a lot to express through art of acting, which I had the privilege of learning first hand in this interview. Also I through the invitation out to her once more to go head to head with me in a game of Texas hold em, however she saw through me bluff and called me on it, of course I chickened out (Because I’d probably get my but beat within the first few hands [Laughs]). But I thank her for taking the time to do this interview and welcomed her to come back for a second interview in the possible near future. You can see Jace Nicole in her first feature length film Cookies & Cream Now available on DVD as part of the Naked Series. You can also learn more about the film by checking out the office website by clicking here. You can also check out the official MySpace page for the film by clicking here.

Copyright 2009 TCWreviews.com
All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Review: Cookies & Cream (2008) [Reviewed By Clifford Kiyabu]

Directed by: Princeton Holt
Written by: Princeton Holt (written by)
Genre: Drama
MPAA: Not Rated
Released: 1 March 2009 (USA)
Starring: Jace Nicole, Brian Ackley, Rick Borgia, Jaylon Nicole Carey-Williams, Danny Doherty, Ardie Fuqua, Naama Kates, Janis Grossman, Omar Hernandez, Shannone Holt, Derek M. McAllister, Kent Sutton, Chris Riquinha, Thyais Walsh.

Plot: A racially mixed single mother accepts an amateur porn gig to take care of her daughter and herself

Review: 7/10

The story is about: a deep character piece that centers on a young woman named Carmen (Nicole), a racially mixed single mother who accepts an adult entertainment job to take care of her daughter and herself, all the while trying to find love in the process of living in the big apple.

My thoughts: Many people go through life without knowing what their purpose is; some won’t ever know what that purpose is. Still though, time waits for no man and life continue to move forward whether you’re with it or not, or as they say in show business “the show must go on”.

Cookies & Cream is the first feature film by Writer/Director Princeton Holt and produced by his own production company One Way or Another Productions, and is an Official selection of the Sexy International Film Festival. The film is a character driven piece that is about a young woman who accepts a job in the adult entrainment field doing pornography for money so that she can support her 8 year old daughter, the film takes its viewers deep into the life of Carmen (Jace Nicole) a girl who is driven to work for her money regardless, the film shows that she isn’t happy with how her life has turned out at the moment but continues to do it because the most important thing is her child and it doesn’t matter how unhappy she is so long as her child is taken care of, but aside from supporting her daughter the film expresses her deep loneliness that comes with the territory of doing adult films, because of what she does and who may have seen it, she keeps a shield of armor up over her emotions and doesn’t allow things to progress far enough for it to become something truly and deeply real. At first glance the film may look and feel like an X-rated skin flick to the viewing eye, however after given a few minutes the film opens up as a touching film with a lot of depth and an incredible sense of weight within its story, though some might argue that the lack of the daughter's presence in the film is an incredible gap in the plot, but I disagree, because this is a character piece which focuses on the individual and not everything else. the film had such meaning behind it that I felt as though I was right there alongside the characters, which I really enjoyed the concept and direction that Holt took the story in, which believe me could easly be summed up to a bittersweet ending. There were however a few things I had problems with, the first being the film’s deluge which felt a little drowned out at times and a little like gap fillers for the most part, but nothing too harmful that would seriously hurt the film in any real way though.

The second thing is the audio dubbing that goes on throughout the film, which trust me is nothing wrong in any way, dubbing actually helps improve the sound quality of the film’s audio, and all films to an extent need dubbing to improve sound quality, but for me it felt a little off on some parts, so sometimes it’s okay and works extremely well, but sometime it’s just hard to get into and left me a little adrift, but of course don’t let that put a damper on the film overall, as I’ve stated before; Cookies & Cream was great and very enjoyable indeed, it’s pacing may move a little slower than some might hope for, but does tell a very adequate story about a young woman living life in its whole realism form, it’s certainly not going to paint you a pretty picture to look at nor is it going to give you that typical corporate big budget Hollywood ending that so many are used to seeing in movies now days, but tells you that life goes on and whether you’re on board with what’s going on or not it will continue to move forward, which I agree with the film’s massage there is no real happy ending for anyone, just life, Holt is a breath of fresh air and projects an unique and somewhat uncanny style of filmmaking that reminded me of the late 80’s and early 90’s of filmmaking, and I personally think that with time he will become an even greater filmmaker, like all creative artiest, they all have their rough spots that need to be smoothen out, and I very much look forward to Holt's filmmakings in the near future.

As for the acting: most of the cast did an equally fair job in their performances and I wouldn’t want to single any of them out for their high and low points… who am I kidding, of course I am, it’s what I do! [Laughs] Jace Nicole an actress who is very new to the business, so new that Cookies & Cream is actually her first film; it wasn’t that she did a bad performance, but rather holding back, as a viewer I felt that she could have been an incredible force to the picture if she had pushed a little harder in the role. Anyway, normally I would seriously rip on an actor or actress for their performance (if it’s bad) without a care in the world if they read it or not or if they simply want me to go straight to hell for what I have to say about them, but since Nicole is new to it all I’ll give her some leniency (just this once because I’m a compassionate film critic, and I stand proudly by my motto “Everybody gets one”) so since this is her debut I’ll give her kudos on doing a fairly okay job. Brian Ackley did an okay performance, though I did feel he could have done a much better performance then what he gave, but still it proved to be on an okay enough level for me to tolerate. Rick Borgia and Thyais Walsh did pretty decent playing the part of Carmen’s parents, though I did have somewhat of a problem with actor Rick Borgia, noting wrong with acting, which was very good by the way, but rather his appearance, he just naturally looks like one of those wise-guys you see in all the mob movies than a soft hearted father, which I certainly hope he takes as a complement than an insult. Naama Kates, Danny Doherty, and Derek M. McAllister and the rest of the cast did alright performances.

Final Say: Cookies & Cream was a film I had known practically nothing about going into, so with that I generally had low expectations and middle level standards set for the film, and by my surprise the film came out very enjoyable and was a terrific experience. Princeton Holt is defiantly a name I will be looking out for in the near future. I recommend it!

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