IFC Films Buys Rights To Romance Film ‘Monday’ Starring Sebastian Stan

IFC Films has landed North American rights to Argyris Papadimitropoulos’ latest film, Monday.

The romance drama stars Sebastian Stan and Denise Gough, and it kinda sounds like it may have a sorta ‘Before Sunrise‘ vibe to it.

When Mickey (Stan) is dragged away from his DJ set by a drunken friend and introduced to Chloe (Gough) one hot summer night in Athens, the attraction between the pair is immediately palpable—so palpable that before they know it they’re waking up naked on the beach Saturday morning. And so it goes that a one night stand on Friday turns into a whirlwind weekend romance that leads to serious conversations when they face the harsh sunlight on Monday morning.’

The movie was an official selection at the 2020 Tribeca Film Festival and 2020 Toronto International Film Festival. It’s received mixed-to-positive reviews from critics.

Thanks to IFC acquiring rights, the movie will be distributed here in the states.

Currently, they’re scheduled to release the film on April 16, 2021. It’ll be released in theaters and on demand.

Sounds like it has potential to win me over. I can’t wait to check it out.

Movie Review: Captain America Civil War

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So this was probably one of the most anticipated movies of the spring, despite the fact that it was up against some intense competition, with Jungle Book and Mother’s Day being strong performers. However, I was pretty sure this one would take the number one spot, as it’s already set records outside the US. And for once, a big budget blockbuster is pleasing critics and hitting all the right notes with audiences.

And it had a lot of notes to hit.

The film opens in 1991, with a frozen Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) being thawed out for another in a series of murderous missions. One after another, the code words needed to activate the killer are spoken: “daybreak … furnace … homecoming … freight car …” Flash forward to present-day Lagos, where an Avengers squad made up of Captain America (Chris Evans), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Falcon (Anthony Mackie), and Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) is foiling the theft of a biological weapon. There’s a shit ton of casualties and it all goes downhill for the Avengers from there when they have to submit for government oversight.

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There’s a lot going on, but they managed to balance it pretty well. I never got too confused, despite a cast of what feels like millions. They go through ever doggone country in the world and tie in every other franchise that Joss Wheaton ever read a comic on, and they never stop moving. All the actors blended into their characters, and there’s a lot of characters to keep straight.

But for the most part, I still knew what was going on, because the plot’s pretty straight forward. They don’t want to deal with United Nations regulators telling them what to do, despite the wake of destruction they often leave. It doesn’t become a one sided argument, because it argues the point from both sides. I mean, when you see what they leave behind when they’re being heroic, you can kind of see the government’s point.

“Yeah, guys, you got that lady’s purse back from a mugger, but there were 45 civilian casualties and your caused $85 billion worth of damage to the city. Maybe next time, don’t start with the nuclear option?”

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It all eventually culminates in one of the best battle scenes I’ve ever seen. It should have been confusing, or too much, but it wasn’t. The direction is subtle but the action is perfectly choreographed, which is why I never felt like it was too much, when this movie should be the definition of too much. There’s a method to this madness, and I didn’t even resent the over the top ads for future movies.

The latest offering of Captain America is a misnomer, because it’s got just about every other character you can think of. But it’s extremely well-done to the point where you can follow it easily. It’s controlled chaos and worth the watch. It’s one of those rare movies that’s critic and audience approved and should not be missed.

WE GIVE IT: 4.5 STARS!

four and a half stars

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Movie Review: The Martian (2015) – A Sharp, Clever Movie That Is Free From Sappy Sentimentality

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The Martian, featuring Matt Damon, is crushing it at the box offices and pleasing critics alike. So what is it about this space based flick that has so many people rushing to the theaters, while calling it Scot Ridley’s best movie since Blackhawk Down? Let’s find out.

The premise is a bit of Cast Away, without the crippling depression and soccer ball friends. Matt Damon plays Matt Watney, an astronaut who went on a mission to Mars, only to get left behind after his crew gives him up for dead following a storm. The movie is surprisingly simple, with Watney trying to find a way to get home, while the people back at NASA try to get him back. There’s also a lot of film time that features the crew that left him behind. Despite three different storylines and scenes going on, they manage to match it all together pretty seamlessly.

Matt Damon is pretty impressive in this movie, playing the affable and sarcastic Watney with cocky vulnerability. He plays his part with enough humor to keep this from turning into a heart pounding Gravity copy, and instead, making it a bit lighter and fun.

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What I loved about this movie was the complete absence of clichés. The only thing working against Matt was time. There are no evil politicians plotting against him, no crazy space aliens or weirdly nefarious rivals bent on his demise. Instead it’s a space movie that focuses on the science of space, rather than the fantastic.

That allowed Matt’s character to create his own urgency, rather than driving it with a cliché like a wife pining away for him at home, or a precocious kid begging the president of NASA to save his daddy. Instead they made Matt likeable enough in his own right to make people root for him.

Both Jessica Chastain and Jeff Daniels play leaders in their own right, with Chastain running the return crew and Daniel’s running the home base in NASA. Both leaders are compassionate and competent, devoutly devoted to bringing Mark home, even as time works against them.

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The movie is contained entirely within NASA. There’s no clichéd outside pressure or unnecessary characters. Instead, it plays out much in the same way I’d imagine a real space disaster would play out. The movie allows us to focus on that, without dragging us away into too many superfluous side stories.

For such a serious premise, the movie is surprisingly funny, with more than a few laugh out loud moments. The laughs come from a genuine place and fit in seamlessly, thanks to the excellent writing and surprisingly bare bones premise. It’s a sharp, clever movie that is free from sappy sentimentality.

It’s not just worth the watch. This is a must watch. For anyone who has ever doubted Matt Damon’s acting talent, this movie will make you look at him in a new way. This is a clever, refreshing intelligent movie that doesn’t try to be to high minded. It simply works that way because it was intelligently written.
WE GIVE IT: 4.5 STARS!

four and a half stars

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