‘Pretty Little Liars’ Star Troian Bellisario Releases First Trailer For A Film She Wrote Titled ‘Feed’

All you ‘Pretty Little Liars‘ fans better pay attention. Troian Bellisario needs your support. She has written her first feature film titled ‘Feed,‘ in which she stars in alongside Tom Felton.

They play 18-year-old twins in the movie born into a wealthy family full of high expectations. But as they prepare for their final year of high school, a tragedy splits them apart and they must learn to survive without each other.

Bellisario wrote the film based on her own experience with anorexia, so it’s an extremely personal subject matter to her. You can check out the first trailer below. It will have a limited release in theaters, and will also be available on VOD and all digital platforms on July 18.

This is a big move for Bellisario, so it’s important to at least give the movie a chance. If you supported her during her Pretty Little Liars days, you should support her now.

Movie Review: Risen – A Religious Film with the Intelligence to go Mainstream

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While generally, I don’t go for religious films, I have to admit that Risen gave me a strong appreciation for when the drama and the bible, is done right. This is a low key film with a strong, authentic feel. It’s a no-nonsense approach to the subject, without too much sentimentality.

We start at the end of most movies about the crucifixion of Jesus. In this case, he’s has already been crucified and the movie is actually about a Roman named tribune Clavius (Joseph Fienne), who was tasked by the Pontius Pilot (Peter Firth) with handling Jesus’ burial and the subsequent investigation when Jesus goes missing. In the first half, its free of any overt piety, instead focusing on Clavius’ skepticism and belief that the explanation for the disappearance can be found in the physical world rather than the spiritual one.

Then, as he discovers the truth, this movie takes an inspirational turn that can be enjoyed even by the secular. It’s a movie about the growth of Clavius from gruff skeptic into believer. It’s not shoved down your throat or preachy, like many religious movies can get. Instead it unfolds in a way that is organic and believable.

I think the choice to focus on after the crucifixion was a great one, as this area is so rarely covered when we deal with bible based tales. In this case, it worked out extremely well and manages to be a religious film with the intelligence to go mainstream.

Fienne was particularly good in his jaded role, and his simple deadpan delivery really plays like he’s a man who’s lost all hope in life. Despite that, he still manages to be likable.

The key here is that the makers exercised restraint. They went with show over tell, giving us a rich story, complete with an excellent cast, who trusted the audience enough to know they’d be able to get the gist without having it spelled out for them. So many movies with a religious slant underestimate the intelligence of the viewer and this is definitely not one of them.

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The scenery and makeup were also believable, blending into the movie rather than standing out. It’s a movie that manages to be both gritty and visually appealing at the same time. It’s a more sedate scene in order to match a more sedate tale.

Just saying, not your kids Veggie Tales.

All in all, it’s a well done effort that’s well rounded in both cast, story and setting. While it does cover faith more than some might like, it’s something I expected in this particular film. That’s because it’s possible to get its message without feeling like you have to sign on for the whole Jesus experience.

All in all, worth the watch. This oblique, nearly clinical look at the crucifixion of Jesus, followed with a slight faith based overlay, creates the best when it comes to religious films. While not for everyone, I can say I appreciate that it’s an excellent effort. While not exactly for kids, it’s still a good one for older teens and parents alike.

 

WE GAVE IT: 3.5 Stars – Watch the Official Trailer and Official Movie Poster below!

4 stars

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Movie Review: Belle (2014)

Belle Movie PosterA Clean, Intelligent Period Piece With no Gimmicks
starsBelle is a fantastic 18-century costume drama that delves into racial roles and class lines, without being as serious or dramatic as 12 Years a Slave.

This story is based on the life story of Dido Elizabeth Belle (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), an illegitimate mixed race daughter of an admiral who lives in aristocratic society. Admiral Sir John Lindsay (Matthew Goode) rescues the young lady from poverty and turns her over to his family to raise. Raised by great-uncle Lord Mansfield (Tom Wilkinson) and his wife (Emily Watson), Belle lives a privileged life, but her mixed race and illegitimate status prevent her from having the usual rights of a noblewoman. While cousin Elizabeth (Sarah Gadon) is looking for someone to marry, Belle watches from the sidelines, until she meets her own revolutionary love interest. Together, they help shape Lord Mansfield’s role as Lord Chief Justice to end slavery in England.

Initially, you might be tempted to compare this to 12 Years a Slave. After all, it has a noble hero, deep observations about class and race and strongly adhered to period research. But to do that would be to ruin your appreciation of the story.

Both might be based on true stories, but the Oscar winning 12 Years a Slave took brutal, frightening risks that worked. It was a hard to watch movie that captured attention and was a sophisticated work of art.

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Belle played it a bit safer than that. Character actors and history lessons are more important than the day to day life of the characters. It really can’t even be compared to 12 Years a Slave, because it didn’t take risks. It followed the history books. It paid close attention to period detail.

But it wasn’t shocking.

Belle is a good movie in itself. It’s beautiful. The actors were excellent and the movie itself was visually attractive and engaging. Dialog was well done for the time period, and it appears that the screenwriter attempted to stick as close to the actual details of the story of Dido Elizabeth Belle as possible.

This was a movie that was more about hard work than storyline. Everyone put in the full effort, making this a good enough movie to stand on its own. It doesn’t have edge, but it doesn’t really need it. Instead, it just tells a story in a compelling way without shocking the viewer.

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It’s not much of a standout from other period pieces I’ve seen, but it’s not a bad effort either. Belle is worth the watch, and it introduced me to a historical individual I hadn’t heard of before.

I think it was an inspired choice to choose this character to film a movie around. It is an inspirational work without the same punch as 12 Years a Slave, but it’s still worth watching. It is an intelligent film that examines both social and racial roles in 18th century England, without making us too emotional about them. Cleanly done and intelligently filmed, this movie might not win any Oscars, but it is certainly worth the watch.  Watch the Official Trailer below:

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