IFC Films’ Risk Pays Off In ‘Walking Out’

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/IFC Films

IFC Films has, for the longest time, prided itself on releasing movies that strayed from the mainstream, opting for original content over copy cat flicks. Apparently all good things must come to an end, even for IFC Films, as has been proven in the studio’s new wilderness drama Walking Out. This 96-minute movie is a work that can easily be likened to so many bigger name dramas of the same ilk including The Grey, The Edge, The Mountain Between Us among so many other major blockbusters. Taking this easy comparison into consideration, the movie’s central story becomes a critical piece of its presentation — one that both succeeds and fails at the same time. It will be discussed shortly. The movie’s cinematography is another key piece of its whole and proves quite impressive to say the very least. It will be discussed later. The bonus behind-the-scenes featurette included with the movie rounds out the movie’s most important elements. It will also be addressed later. Each element is important in its own right to the whole of Walking Out. This will be proven through this analysis. All things considered, they make Walking Out an interesting new effort from IFC Films, and hopefully its only attempt to compete with the mainstream.

IFC Films’ new wilderness drama Walking Out is an interesting new effort from a studio that has made such a name for itself by creating movies that stand largely apart from the mainstream. That aside, it is still worth at least one watch. That statement is supported in part by the movie’s story. More specifically, the subplot at the center of the story is what really makes the story stand out. The story’s subplot centers on Cal’s (Matt Bomer) attempt to reclaim the father son relationship that he lost with his own father, Clyde (Bill Pullman) by going out on a hunting trip with his son, David (Josh Wiggins). The duo’s hunting trip starts as a search for game bird before somehow transforming into Cal’s own almost “Mellvillian” hunt for a bull elk. The aspect of Cal trying to secretly trying to reclaim that bond that he lost with Clyde is an original setup for the wilderness drama genre, giving at least one reason to watch the movie. However, this aspect of the story is where the success ends.

At first, David doesn’t seem to care in the least about hunting, but as soon as he even comes close to bagging his first kill (which ultimately escapes), David suddenly enjoys hunting and agrees to go on the fateful hunting tip in search of the elusive bull elk (just as Ahab went after the elusive white whale). this sudden change of heart so to speak is a bit bewildering. A couple of brief encounters with a grizzly bear during the hunt leads David to be injured and in turn accidentally shooting Cal, which sets up the fight for survival that takes up the rest of the movie. This is where the story starts to suffer. Viewers will note that Cal loses more blood every day as David carries him back down the mountain. This is despite the tourniquet applied to Cal’s leg. Considering how much blood Cal had to have lost along the way, he should not have survived as long as he did. The ultimate outcome won’t be revealed here, but it definitely leads to that unavoidable question of how Cal survived for such a long time. What’s more, after the initial meetings with the bears that set off the fight for survival, there is no more threat from them for the rest of the movie’s run. This means that the only real threat that David and Cal face on the journey back down the mountain is mother nature (a la the famous short story Open Boat). Ironically, one can’t help but keep watching to see if father and son make it down the mountain and back to safety. To that end, even with the problems posed throughout the story, the ability of the story to still keep audiences engaged makes the story at least a partial success. It is only one part of what makes the movie worth at least one watch. The movie’s stunning cinematography is just as important to its overall presentation as the story.

Walking Out‘s cinematography is so important to discuss in analyzing this movie because it really is the cornerstone of the movie’s presentation. Shot entirely in the mountains of Montana, the sweeping shots of said mountains as a backdrop creates a sense of awe, heightening the story’s drama. Honestly, one could argue to a point that the noted heightened drama is what in fact keeps audiences watching. It’s a sort of subconscious element. Keeping that in mind, those behind the lenses are to be commended for their work. Of course the sweeping mountain backdrops and aerials are not the only impressive cinematic elements. The general scenery used in each act is just as impressive as those sweeping mountain backdrops. The very fact that the scenes were real instead of CG adds to the interest in their look. It was nice to see the effort and time taken to make the tension in each scene so believable even through something as simple as the snow-covered ground. Between that effort and the effort put into using the rest of the movie’s cinematography to heighten the story’s emotion (and in turn engagement) it can be said with ease that the cinematography at the center of Walking Out does more than enough to keep audiences from walking out on this movie. It is not the last of the movie’s most important elements, either. The bonus material included in the movie’s home release rounds out its most important elements.

The bonus material included in Walking Out‘s home release is so important because it is yet another example of how much bonus material can actually add to a movie’s viewing experience. The behind-the-scenes featurette makes the overall viewing experience more enjoyable because of the back story that it gives the movie itself. Audiences learn that Bill Pullman (Independence Day, Spaceballs, Independence Day: Resurgence) agreed to star in this movie as a supporting actor because of his love for the mountains and for working with the movie’s creative heads. The discussions with Matt Bomer and Josh Wiggins are interesting in their own right, too. Audiences will be interested to hear of the pair’s dedication to making the movie believable, which shows throughout the movie. Considering the movie’s plot, it would have been so easy for either man to ham it up. Luckily though, that did not happen at any point. Maybe that plays into keeping audiences engaged, too. Getting back on track, the interviews are not the only important bonuses included with the movie. The deleted scenes add their own depth to the story. One of the most important of the deleted scenes is a light-hearted moment between David and Cal in which the pair finally gets to smile for once. Considering the abundance of tension and drama throughout this movie, this is a scene that should not have been cut. It would have added so much to the movie, even as brief as it was. David and Cal’s discussion about Cal’s divorce with his wife (who is never named anywhere in the movie) is another moment that while minor, still could have added a little more to the movie. It’s too bad that scene was left out. On the other hand, it was good to see the scene involving the tire blowout on the jeep was left out. That whole sequence, which partners with David’s arrival at the airport, really was unnecessary (at least in this critic’s eyes). All things considered, the deleted scenes and interviews that make up Walking Out‘s bonus material prove to be another positive to this movie’s presentation, and gives even more reason to watch the movie at least once. When this is considered along with the importance of the movie’s cinematography and even the story’s rare positives, all three elements make this movie one that will, in the long run, just manage to keep audiences from walking out themselves.

IFC Films’ new wilderness drama Walking Out was a big risk for the studio, which has for years prided itself on avoiding any movie similar to those in the mainstream. While it was a risk, it was a risk that paid of at least to a point. That is evidenced in a story whose problems cannot be ignored, but are not enough to make the movie completely unwatchable. The movie’s cinematography is stunning to say the very least, and serves as the cornerstone of the movie’s presentation. The bonus material included in its home release adds its own interest to the movie’s presentation. Each element is important in its own right as has been pointed out here. All things considered, they make this movie a work that just manages to keep audiences from walking out themselves. It is available now in stores and online and can be ordered direct via Shout! Factory’s online store. More information on this and other titles from IFC Films is available online at:

Website: http://www.IFCFilms.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/IFCFilmsOfficial

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ifcfilms

More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/shoutfactoryofficial

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

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‘Dealt’ Is As Good As And Possibly Better Than Any Hollywood Underdog Drama

Courtesy: IFC Films

Card mechanic Richard Turner is one of the greatest and most respected figures in the world of card tricks. Turner has, for decades, wowed audiences across the country with his sleight of hand abilities, and next week, a new documentary from mpi media group and IFC Films will profile the veteran performer with a new documentary titled Dealt. The nearly 90-minute doc, which is also rather aptly titled, is an entertaining, inspiring and memorable work that is an easy candidate for any critic’s list of the year’s top new documentaries. That statement is supported in part through the program’s story. It will be discussed shortly. The program’s pacing also supports that statement and will be discussed later. The bonus material included in the program’s presentation supports said statement even more. Each element is important in its own way, as will be discussed. All things considered, they make Dealt a program that is pure magic. Yes, that pun was fully intended.

Dealt, the new Richard Turner profile from mpi media group and IFC Films, is an aptly titled, truly magical presentation that will appeal to not just magic lovers but audiences in general. That is proven in part through the doc’s inspiring and entertaining story. The story in question profiles Turner and what has made him such a respected figure in the magic community throughout his life and career. It is also a profile of a man who as he has gotten older, has had to come to terms with his disability, learning to accept it rather than be ashamed by it. As audiences will see over the course of the program’s 86-minute run time, Turner starts out being upset about being blind, even somewhat ashamed of it. That is obvious as he talks about his anger over media figures bringing it to light in their interviews with him. Yet over time, he finally begins to accept his situation, learning to live with it rather than hide it. There’s even an eventual award reception for his talents included in the story. One could argue that, considering all of this, this story is the stuff of so many Hollywood underdog dramas, except being an un-embellished and true story, is even better than that fare. Keeping this in mind, the story forms a solid foundation for Dealt, proving easily in itself why this doc is, again, its own magical presentation. Of course, the doc’s story is only one part of what makes it an impressive offering. The story’s pacing, by connection, is important to discuss.

The pacing of the story at the center of Dealt is important to note because of how much ground the story covers in its nearly 90-minute run time. The story starts out immediately by introducing Turner to audiences before eventually making its way into the heart of the story, the development of Turner’s blindness at a young age, and his attempts to cope with that disability. At the same time, there are discussions on both sides about coping with blindness by featuring a woman who is blind but accepts it, and is working with Turner to accept his blindness. Considering the doc’s deeper feature that tackles the issue of coping with disability and the bigger story of Turner’s talents and his legacy, there is so much going on here. Even with so much going on, those behind the story’s creation timed every aspect of the story expertly, moving fluidly from one to the other from start to finish. That fluidity insures just as much as the story itself audiences’ maintained engagement. While that engagement does plenty to help the doc’s presentation, it still is not the last of the program’s last important element. Its bonus material rounds out its most important elements.

The bonus material included in Dealt is relatively simple. It includes a handful of deleted scenes and a group of card mechanics (they apparently don’t like being called card trick magicians) giving viewers a quick show. One of the most interesting of the deleted scenes comes as Turner jokes about his blindness with the woman working with him on handling his condition. The jokes that the pair share cannot be repeated in this review, as they are rather adult-oriented, but are certain to have any viewer laughing, sighted or not. The opening deleted scene in which Turner is teaching another aspiring blind card mechanic is just as interesting because it shows the impact that he has continue to have throughout his career. It’s a moving moment to say the least. The bonus magic shows are enjoyable because of their variety. Audiences will get a kick out of one magician’s take on the classic shell game — in which a pea is placed under a shell and moved around. The trickster’s sleight of hand here is impressive. The other card variants displayed add their own enjoyment to this feature. When the enjoyment brought by the deleted scenes is coupled with that brought by the mini-magic shows, the whole of the bonus material shows fully why even as minimal as it might be, it is just as important to the whole of this program as the other noted elements. When all three elements are joined together, they prove without a doubt that this documentary is truly a magical presentation in itself.

Dealt, the new profile of card mechanic Richard Turner, is a powerful, entertaining and inspiring profile of a great man who is also very aptly titled. It shows that despite the *ahem* cards that one is dealt in life, it is possible to make the best of said situation, which is what Turner essentially learned through the course of this real life doc. That is the ultimate message presented in the doc’s central story, which serves as a solid foundation for the program. The story’s pacing strengthens that foundation even more. The bonus material included with the program adds even more enjoyment to its overall presentation. Each element, as has now been noted, is important in its own way to the whole of Dealt. All things considered, they make Dealt a truly magical presentation that is as good as any major Hollywood underdog drama if not better. It will be available in stores and online next Tuesday, February 13. More information on this and other title from mpi media group is available online now at:

Website: http://www.mpimedia.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/mpimediagrp

Twitter: http://twitter.com/MPIMediaGroup

More information on this and other titles from IFC Films is available online now at:

Website: http://www.IFCFilms.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/IFCFilmsOfficial

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ifcfilms

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Shout! Factory, IFC Films Partner For New Wilderness Adventure Movie Release

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/IFC Films

Shout! Factory and IFC Films have partnered to bring audiences a gripping new coming-of-age story centered on a son’s relationship with his estranged father next month.

Walking Out will be released February 6 in stores and online.  It will be available on DVD and Blu-ray.  The story follows 14-year-old David (Josh Wiggins — HellionMaxMean Dreams) as he and his father Cal (Matt Bomer — White CollarChuckThe Normal Heart) as the pair ventures into the Montana wilderness in the heart of Winter on a father-son hunting trip.  The trip is not just for hunting, but an attempt for the pair to connect.

As the trip continues, it goes from an average hunting trip to a fight for survival for both father and son, leading to the story’s coming-of-age element for David.  The movie is complimented by a behind-the-scenes featurette and movie trailer as bonuses.  Audiences can view the movie’s trailer online now here.

Pre-orders are open now for Walking Out.  More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/shoutfactoryofficial

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

 

More information on this and other titles from IFC Films is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.IFCFilms.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/IFCFilmsOfficial

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ifcfilms

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

IFC Films To “Deal” A Special New Doc Next Month

Courtesy: IFC Films

This February, IFC Films will release a “magical” new documentary about a man who has overcome great odds to become one of the most respected figures in his profession.

Dealt will be released Tuesday, February 13 exclusively on DVD. the program focuses on magician Richard Turner.  Turner, over the course of his life, has become known as one of the world’s most respected card magicians.  What makes this so interesting is that he has built his career and reputation without being able to see.  Turner is blind.

This doc tells the story of how Turner has, instead of letting his blindness limit him, overcome his disability and succeed in life, leaving audiences everywhere in awe.  the program itself has left audiences in awe, too, winning awards at the SXSW Festival, Dallas International Film Festival and Independent Film Festival of Boston.

More information on Dealt and other titles from IFC Films is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.IFCFilms.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/IFCFilmsOfficial

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ifcfilms

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

IFC Films Bringing New Romantic Dramedy To Audiences Next Month

Courtesy: IFC FIlms

IFC Films has a new romantic dramedy on the way this spring.

Between Us will be released exclusively on DVD on Tuesday, May 16. The movie made its original limited theatrical release on January 6, 2017 and stars Ben Feldman (Mad Men, Superstore, Cloverfield) and Olivia Thirlby (Juno, Dredd, No Strings Attached) as thirtysomethings Henry and Diane in the story’s lead roles.

After dating for six years, the couple’s relationship is put to the test when both meet someone else on one fateful night.  The results of those chance meetings could have lifelong impacts on all involved.

Between Us be available in stores and online upon its release.  More information on this and other titles from IFC Films is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.IFCFilms.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/IFCFilmsOfficial

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ifcfilms

 

 

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

‘Ali & Nino’ Is A Rare Miss For IFC Films, mpi media group

Courtesy: IFC Films/mpi media group

War flicks and romance movies are two of the most popular genres in the cinematic realm. The two genres have been combined more than once both in theaters and on the small screen.  In some of those cases, the result has been a success (Casablanca, The Sun Also Rises, From Here To Eternity).  In other cases, the result isn’t so positive (Pearl Harbor, Flyboys).  Late last month IFC Films and mpi media group released a new wartime romantic drama titled Ali & Nino that despite beautiful shooting locations and cinematography, fits into the latter of the two noted categories.  That is because this nearly two-hour movie suffers from a story line that is not exactly original.  This will be discussed shortly.  The story’s pacing is even more problematic as it leads the movie, which comes in at approximately an hour and forty-one minutes, feel far longer.  Luckily though, the previously noted cinematography and the movie’s shooting locations combine to save this presentation and make the movie worth at least one watch.

Ali & Nino is hardly the first time that any studio major or independent has ever released a romantic drama that is set against a wartime era.  As already noted, this latest addition to that field is worth at least one watch, but sadly not much more.  That is due in part to its story line.  The movie’s story line is anything but original.  It is a Romeo & Juliet style story that sees a man and woman from two totally different backgrounds (Ali is Muslim and Nino is Christian) falling in love and getting married all while facing the perils of World War I and the Bolsheviks.  Not to give away too much here, but it doesn’t have a happy ending despite thousands of miles separating the young star-crossed lovers more than once throughout the story.  This creates, in itself, its own share of problems.  Audiences know that the couple will be reunited each time it is separated.  What’s more, when Ali tells Nino in the story’s final act that he is staying behind the help fight the Bolsheviks, one doesn’t need to be a genius to know the predicted outcome.  Considering all of this, the movie’s story does somehow manage to keep audiences engaged, albeit tenuously because of its pacing, which will be discussed later. Before touching on that problem, it is only fair to also discuss the movie’s saving grace—its collective cinematography and its shooting locations.

The shooting locations used in filming Ali & Nino and its cinematography are by themselves and collectively its most important elements.  If not for these inter-related elements this otherwise formulaic wartime romance would be just another forgettable run-of-the-mill wartime romance.  Audiences will be awed at the wide, sweeping shots of Azerbaijan’s Caucasus Mountains and the streets of Turkey that were used to set the movie’s scenes.  The aerial shots of the mountains as Ali is being led to safety are stunning thanks to the contrast of the white caps of the mountains to the gravel road used to take him to his safe haven.  The city settings, which were likely filmed in Turkey, are used for just as many scenes and are just as impressive as the mountain scenes.  That includes the peaceful scenes and the battle scenes.  The angles that are used within each scene will keep audiences rapt with awe.  If not for the power of that work behind the cameras, the story’s pacing within each scene would be completely unbearable.

Ali & Nino’s pacing is bearable.  However, is should be noted that it is bearable only because of the power of the movie’s cinematography and related shooting locations.  The movie’s run time is listed at an hour and forty-one minutes.  However, its pacing makes it feel like it runs well over the two hour mark.  The movie’s pacing is so problematic that audiences will find themselves begin to feel restless no less than an hour into the movie.  It seems the pacing is so problematic because the story spends so much time keeping its main characters separated and having them worry about how to re-unite.  When they do, the story sees them spending more time in bed together than anything else.  In other words, there really is no real substance to this story.  That lack of substance combines with the story’s lack of originality to make it a work that is worth watching only for the work put in behind the cameras than in front of them.  Other than those related elements, Ali & Nino gives audiences little other reason to watch this movie.

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