ECLECTIC ARTS

Sunday, February 27, 2022

SEATTLE OPERA "BLUE" Opening Night February 26, 2022 Eclectic Arts

BLUE
Seattle Opera

McCaw Hall
Seattle, WA

February 26, 2022


Upcoming Performances:  March 2, 5, 9, 11, and 12th


(From left: Cheryse McLeod Lewis as Girlfriend 3, Ellaina Lewis as Girlfriend 2, Briana Hunter as The Mother, and Ariana Wehr as Girlfriend 1. Photo credit: Philip Newton.)



The new contemporary opera, ”Blue” made its west coast debut on Saturday evening at McCaw Hall as a part of the Seattle Opera’s 2021/2022 season. The subject matter has unfortunately been extremely timely with the current events of 2020 and beyond. Without spending too much time on the political aspects, let’s just say the story has been going on for decades.


As a part of the Seattle Opera’s racial equity initiative, it is wonderful to see the longtime leader in the Seattle arts scene walk the walk, so to speak. They easily could have slipped back into pre-2020 thinking but they have done nothing but the opposite. Kudos to the organization for that.


“Blue” starts with the introduction of the main characters of The Father and then The Mother. They are never given names. The family dynamic is established with the birth of The Son. The dynamics between the family are clearly established, perhaps even a bit too much so.


With The Father being a police officer and The Son being an artistic activist, you can see there’s going to be disagreements.


Of course, being an opera after all, there is great tragedy in the family dynamic that is explored throughout the second act. That’s all I’ll really say.


On one hand I really thought “Blue” was a breath of fresh air. It was unique and it had a narrative that I as a person of color could relate to. The story was strong and again one that touched a nerve after what happened in 2020. It was warm and endearing at times and I was definitely drawn into the world of the family.


However, it also went perhaps a bit overboard on the examples to hit home a point. For example, the opening scenes with The Mother and her girlfriends, what is it really necessary to talk about China and their love of male over female babies. Yes, I understand that an African American male baby faces a very different world than a female baby, the point was made. I think it could have ended there.


I realize it’s a fine line to create an opera that is a hard truth for some demographics to understand or relate to, while other demographics know all too well about the themes within “Blue”. It just felt like a few things could have been eliminated or tweaked to make for a more cohesive narrative. That’s all.


Now, the cast? Stellar! Briana Hunter as The Mother and Kenneth Kellogg as The Father were as on point as they possibly could be. Emotive, strong, vulnerable, there really aren’t enough adjectives to describe just how amazing they both were.


Joshua Stewart as The Son made the most of his part and in many ways stole the show. His voice for starters was pure money. And then his acting ability to portray the volatile role just made everything that much more special. What a talent!


The rest of the cast were all strong in their roles. There were absolutely no weak links. None.


The staging was minimal, which was neither here nor there. However, I would have liked to have seen more done with the lighting design. There were certain scenes where a deliberate change in the lighting would have had an enormous impact on the emotional weight of the scene.


Overall, it was a pleasure to see “Blue” on the McCaw Hall stage. I want more contemporary operas telling the stories of more diverse populations in the future. Thank you to the Seattle Opera and to the creatives involved with “Blue” for paving a new trail in the future of the world of opera.


Best,
Mark Sugiyama
Eclectic Arts

Connect with Eclectic Arts here:  Social Media Links Here


Purchase tickets here:  TICKETS!

Thursday, February 24, 2022

I'LL FIND YOU Film Review February 24, 2022 Eclectic Arts

I’LL FIND YOU

Gravitas Ventures
Reviewed: 2/24/2022

Rating: 3 / 5


Opens in Theaters and VOD on February 25th.


(Gravitas Ventures)



The new film “I’ll Find You” from Gravitas Ventures is a period drama. The basic plot revolves around two talented young adults involved with the arts (opera singer and violinist). They have big dreams of performing on the world’s most prestigious stages but when Germany invades Poland, everything changes.


“I’ll Find You” is most definitely a love story. It tries to bring the emotional weight to the characters and the story but it comes up a bit short. The performances are solid but not amazing.


I think if the film had more dynamics within the narrative, there would be more fat to chew on so to speak.  I really wanted to care about the characters and the ups and downs of their story.  But it just didn't happen.


“I’ll Find You” is a decent viewing but it could have been so much more.


Best,
Mark Sugiyama
Eclectic Arts

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THE BURNING SEA Film Review February 23, 2022 Eclectic Arts

THE BURNING SEA

Magnet
Reviewed: 2/24/2022

Rating: 4.5 / 5

(Theatrical one-sheet for THE BURNING SEA, a Magnet release. Photo courtesy of Magnet Releasing.)



The new film “The Burning Sea” is the third film from the folks that brought us “The Wave” and “The Quake”.


I love a good disaster film and having not seen the other two films, I was anxious to see what “The Burning Sea” had to offer. And luckily it had a lot.


(A scene from THE BURNING SEA, a Magnet release. Photo courtesy of Magnet Releasing.)



One of the best aspects of the film is that the story actually makes sense. I know for some movie goers, they want the disaster to happen fast and furious and could do without excess storylines. However, in the case of “The Burning Sea” the story really builds up to the actual disaster and then the audience is much more vested in the characters and the outcome.


I won’t give away the plot as I’d rather the viewers watch everything with new eyes. But suffice to say, “The Burning Sea” is great entertainment with solid performances, top notch CGI, and a story that pulls it all together.


Recommended.


Best,
Mark Sugiyama
Eclectic Arts

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JUDY COLLINS Edmonds Center for the Arts February 23, 2022 Eclectic Arts


Judy Collins

Edmonds Center for the Arts
Edmonds, WA

Wednesday February 23, 2022


Edmonds Center for the Arts Official Site


(All photos - Mark Sugiyama for Eclectic Arts (c) 2022)



Every now and then I get the wonderful opportunity to photograph and review a living legend. Last night at the Edmonds Center for the Arts was one of those opportunities.


Judy Collins has had a monumental music career since the 1960’s. Having a career for ten years is amazing. Having one for multiple decades is beyond compare. Ms. Collins has been entertaining fans all over the world. The capacity crowd in Edmonds braved the frigid temperatures to see their favorite artist perform live again in front of an in-person audience.


Accompanied by a pianist (my apologies as I missed his name), Judy walked out to loud applause, smiled, grabbed her 12-string acoustic, and launched into a wide variety of tunes from her career.


After her heartfelt rendition of, “Norwegian Wood” (The Beatles), she candidly talked about living in the Seattle area with her family in her early formative years. Judy’s stories in between the songs really brought the audience into her world which made the venue feel like it was her living room. The people she’s known and worked with over the years are just staggering. Her tribute to John Denver, complete with a story of how they first met, was another gem during the evening.


Judy has a brand new studio album called, “Spellbound” which is available everywhere on February 25th. She performed the first of many songs from it called, “When I Was A Girl In Colorado”. An album of original material, at 82 years young, Judy hasn’t missed a beat.


Her trademark voice was in fine shape and the audience was singing along with many of their favorite songs such as, “Mr. Tambourine Man”.


After a brief intermission, Judy moved to the piano and played a stunning version of, “Albatross”. She continued with the very endearing stories between the songs and performed three new songs from, “Spellbound”.


The main set ended with the perennial favorite, “Both Sides Now”. The fans rose to their feet, Judy took a bow, and exited the stage.


She returned to perform the Sondheim classic, “Send In The Clowns”. Another standing ovation and Judy waved goodbye as she left the stage.


Once the house lights came up, I felt a sense of gratitude for having the opportunity to shoot and review Judy Collins in concert. Her long and well deserved career is clearly evident when you see her perform.


Thank you Ms. Collins!


Best,
Mark Sugiyama
Eclectic Arts

Connect with Eclectic Arts:  Social Media Links Here


Special Thanks: Angela for setting everything up and Edmonds Center for the Arts staff for always being professional and easy to work with.





Thursday, February 17, 2022

A BANQUET Film Review February 17, 2022 Eclectic Arts


A BANQUET

IFC Midnight
Reviewed: 2/17/2022

Rating: 3.5 / 5

Opens in Select Theaters, on Digital Platforms and VOD on February 18th


(IFC Midnight)



The new film “A Banquet” is an intriguing thriller that has a unique style to it. It is much more of a slow burn than an over the top scary thrill ride.


The plot revolves around a widowed mother Holly (played by Sienna Guillory) who has to confront her teenage daughter Betsey (played by Jessica Alexander) who believes her body is in service to a higher power.


Being a film in the IFC Midnight stable should give you an idea of what “A Banquet” brings to the table. It is at times incredibly engaging and the performances of Sienna Guillory and Jessica Alexander are top notch. They elevate the film to another level.


However, at other times, the film gets lost in itself. The characters are solid but the story is almost too smart for its own good. It will depend on the viewer's sensibilities.


If you’re looking for a thriller turned horror film, you won’t find it here. But, if you like things on the cerebral side, “A Banquet” may be the feast you’re looking for.


Best,
Mark Sugiyama
Eclectic Arts

Connect with Eclectic Arts:  Social Media Links Here


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Monday, February 14, 2022

SEOBOK: PROJECT CLONE Film Review February 14, 2022 Eclectic Arts

SEOBOK: PROJECT CLONE

Well Go USA
Reviewed: 2/14/2022

(Well Go USA)

Rating: 4 / 5

Available on Digital, Blu-ray™ & DVD February 15


The new film “Seobok: Project Clone” is a big budget science fiction action film from South Korea. All the elements for a successful film are there - well known cast members, budget, cutting edge technology, etc.


The movie follows a special agent who is assigned to guard the first human clone.


The film is fun to watch for sure. The action scenes and the interaction between Gong Yoo and Park Bo Gum work very well.



(Well Go USA)



Where it comes up a bit short is the story. It’s convoluted and could have been improved to create a better overall cinematic impact.  But the visuals help minimize the narrative's shortcomings.


Overall, “Seobok: Project Clone” is worth checking out.


Best,
Mark Sugiyama
Eclectic Arts

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FLEE THE LIGHT Film Review February 14, 2022 Eclectic Arts


FLEE THE LIGHT

Breaking Glass Pictures
Reviewed: 2/14/2022

Rating: 3 / 5


"Flee The Light" is available on digital on February 15th!   






The new film “Flee The Light” is a labor of love thriller/horror movie. Sometimes when a creative team has minimal resources, they are forced to get creative and the results can be above par. Other times, the results may fall flat. In the case of “Flee The Light”, things show a lot of promise.


First time writer/producer Jennifer Manicini has spent many years bringing this film to life. The story is interesting (as always I prefer readers to watch the film than for me to give away plot points) and the cast is what makes it work most of the time. There are a few scenes where the acting could use some improvement but overall, the two leads make the film engaging.


If you’re a creative/artistic minded person, “Flee The Light” will bring something to the table that you’ll enjoy. If you’re a black and white minded person, the film may not be your cup of tea. But, give it a viewing and make up your own mind.


Best,
Mark Sugiyama
Eclectic Arts

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Thursday, February 10, 2022

BROADWAY at THE PARAMOUNT 2022/2023 SEASON ANNOUNCEMENT



PREMERA BLUE CROSS BROADWAY AT THE PARAMOUNT AND

SEATTLE THEATRE GROUP TODAY ANNOUNCE

THE SPECTACULAR 2022 – 2023 SEASON

INCLUDING 10 TIME TONY AWARD®-WINNING MOULIN ROUGE! THE MUSICAL



SEATTLE, WA – Premera Blue Cross Broadway at The Paramount is thrilled to continue welcoming patrons back to The Paramount Theatre with an outstanding 2022-2023 season! The season, announced today, brings extraordinary entertainment with a cache of multiple award-winning hits direct from Broadway in addition to some all-time, crowd-pleasing favorites.



Subscription renewals go on sale February 8 at 10am and new subscriptions will be available on April 8. Patrons can visit STGPresents.org/Broadway to sign up for new subscription waitlist.



Josh LaBelle, Executive Director of Seattle Theatre Group (STG) said, “We are honored to be presenting some of the most engaging Broadway touring theatre available in our country. This series aligns well with STG’s vision as The People’s Theatre – a place where all are welcomed and represented. We are most appreciative to our patrons, artists, and our talented staff who continue to come together and keep the arts vital in this community.”



The season kicks off with the Grammy® and Tony® -winning Best Musical HADESTOWN which is followed by the most successful play in Broadway history Harper Lee’s TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD.

The season continues with the highly anticipated engagement of JAGGED LITTLE PILL, set to the song catalogue of Alanis Morissette, which is followed by a Season Option of the always joyful BLUE MAN GROUP.



This holiday season, pop the champagne for the spectacular MOULIN ROUGE! THE MUSICAL, winner of 10 Tony Awards® — including Best Musical. Then winter settles in with the rescheduled engagement of the Broadway smash hit AIN’T TOO PROUD – THE LIFE AND TIMES OF THE TEMPTATIONS.



Spring ushers in another Season Option with a return engagement of the “cultural phenomenon” DEAR EVAN HANSEN. And finally, rounding out the season, is the fun-filled engagement of perennial favorite, HAIRSPRAY.





____________________________________________________




The 2022/2023 Premera Blue Cross Broadway at The Paramount Season schedule is as follows:



HADESTOWN

July 12 – 17, 2022





HARPER LEE’S TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD

October 11 - 16, 2022





JAGGED LITTLE PILL

November 8 – 13, 2022





BLUE MAN GROUP (Season Option)*

November 25 – 27, 2022





MOULIN ROUGE! THE MUSICAL

December 14, 2022 – January 1, 2023





AIN’T TOO PROUD – THE LIFE AND TIMES OF THE TEMPTATIONS

January 24 – February 5, 2023





DEAR EVAN HANSEN (Season Option)*

March 7 - 12, 2023





HAIRSPRAY

April 4 – 9, 2023





*A completed subscription purchase must be processed in order to purchase tickets for the Season Options. Season Options are not included in an 2022/2023 season package. Additional purchase is required.

COSMIC DAWN Film Review February 10, 2022 Eclectic Arts


COSMIC DAWN

Cranked Up
Reviewed: 2/10/2022

Rating: 2.5 / 5


Debuts Theatrically + On Demand February 11th





The new film “Cosmic Dawn” is the second feature film from director Jefferson Moneo. The plot revolves around the lead character Aurora who witnessed an alien abduction when she was a young girl


As an adult, and having been scarred by the incident, Aurora joins a UFO cult. But, all is not as it seems.


“Cosmic Dawn” felt like many ideas rolled into one film that really needed to be edited down and re-focused into a more cohesive narrative. Some of the cast were good, some not so much. I found myself not really caring what happened to any of the characters. So, clearly the film didn’t resonate with me. But that doesn’t mean anything in the grand scheme of things.


I went into “Cosmic Dawn” intrigued by the trailer. I left it unsatisfied. Perhaps you’ll feel different when you view it.


Best,
Mark Sugiyama
Eclectic Arts

Connect with Eclectic Arts:  Social Media Links Here


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Monday, February 7, 2022

THE FABULOUS FILIPINO BROTHERS Film Review February 7, 2022 Eclectic Arts


THE FABULOUS FILIPINO BROTHERS

1091 Media
Reviewed: 2/7/2022

Rating: 3.5 / 5


Available VOD on All Digital Platforms on February 8th!






The new film “The Fabulous Filipino Brothers” is a new slice of life film from director Dante Basco. The film follows four brothers and their individual stories and how they collectively come together at a wedding.


There are definitely laugh out loud moments in the film. And it goes without saying that it is a step in the right direction seeing a Filipino American cast and film crew. There are so many stories to be told and it’s great that we’re slowly starting to see more and more of these on the big (and digital) screen.






The film started to lag in the middle a bit. Perhaps it’s the lack of experience from the film crew or perhaps it was just me, but I wanted to dig into the narrative much more than it allowed me to. There was a golden opportunity to really dig down deep and show an extra layer of cultural richness to the characters that just didn’t happen for me.


Overall, “The Fabulous Filipino Brothers” was clearly a labor of love. It is a solid film and with a few more features under his/their belts, I think we’ll see a future release that is a bonafide homerun.


Best,
Mark Sugiyama
Eclectic Arts

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A GRAND ROMANTIC GESTURE Film Review February 7, 2022 Eclectic Arts


A GRAND ROMANTIC GESTURE

Gravitas Ventures
Reviewed: 2/7/2022

Rating: 3 / 5


OPENING ON DIGITAL PLATFORMS ON FEBRUARY 8th






The new film “A Grand Romantic Gesture” is a comedy-drama from Gravitas Ventures. Lead actor Gina McKee portrays Ava, a retired wife who reluctantly signs up for a cooking class. She doesn’t have any interest in it and when the neighboring drama class needs more students, she volunteers to switch before she finds out it's a drama class.


The class works on “Romeo et Juliette” and Ava ends up falling for her Romeo.






Gina McKee is captivating in the film. Funny, quirky, and likable, Gina is the best part of the film. The rest of the cast and the story just ebbs and flows which is a shame. Gina’s performance really needed an equal amount of substance to match hers but unfortunately it just wasn’t there.


“A Grand Romantic Gesture” is worth watching for Gina McKee’s fine performance.


Best,
Mark Sugiyama
Eclectic Arts

Connect with Eclectic Arts:  Social Media Links Here


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Sunday, February 6, 2022

ROMEO ET JULIETTE Pacific Northwest Ballet February 5, 2022 Eclectic Arts Review


Romeo et Juliette
Pacific Northwest Ballet

McCaw Hall
Seattle, WA

Review: Saturday 2/5/22 7:30 pm Performance


Performances run through Sunday February 13th



(Pacific Northwest Ballet principal dancers James Yoichi Moore and Noelani Pantastico in Jean-Christophe Maillot’s Roméo et Juliette, on stage February 4 – 13, and streaming digitally February 24 – 28, 2022. Photo © AngelaSterlingPhoto.com.)



I was looking forward to seeing “Romeo et Juliette” in person as my first PNB performance of 2022. I started reviewing the PNB in November of 2018. When the 2019/2020 season approached, I distinctly remember thinking to myself I’ll get to review a whole season for the very first time. Well, we all know what happened with that.


With the current season, I’ve reviewed one virtual performance, missed another all together, attended one in person, and now my second performance in person. As everyone adjusts to the ebb and flow of the pandemic, I am no different. But I’m glad to report that everything seems (emphasis on seems) to be in place for me to balance both my livestream commitments, my ever growing film commitments, and now my return to in person live events (concerts, ballet, opera, theatre, musicals, etc).


While I felt I was learning more and more before the pandemic, in some ways I feel like I’ve also regressed a bit after the “break”. My love of ballet has not waned one bit but my education has slipped a bit in my opinion.


I only mention this as I marveled at the performance Saturday evening, I felt like I had finally gained some of my educational experience back to where it was in early 2020.


The stage was simple which at first concerned me. I always enjoy seeing how the artists stage a production. However, as the performance kicked off, the staging became secondary to the ballet and the score.


My music background always knee jerks to the music at any production, whether I like it or not. Saturday night was no exception. The score from Sergei Prokofiev was magnificent. But even more stunning was the choreography of Jean-Christoph Maillot.


The choreography worked so well with the music which may seem cliche’ but it’s true. Some of the previous performances I’ve reviewed the choreography seemed to be an interpretation of the musical score. With “Romeo et Juliette”, they worked together seamlessly. The fact that I noticed this told me my artistic head was getting back in the game.


From a simple head nod, to an exaggerated arm flail, there was always a musical note that represented the emotion perfectly.


The cast Saturday evening was a real treat. Much has been said about Noelani Pantastico’s pending retirement. Having dedicated 25 years of her life to the high art of ballet, getting a chance to see her perform the lead role of Juliette was nothing but an artistic pleasure. Emotive, captivating, and spot on with her movements, the memory I have to remember her with is one of excellence and joy.


Her Romeo in James Moore was very much an equal in his performance and artistry. Powerful, believable, and quite the storyteller, James propelled the story along that held my interest throughout.


Leta Biasucci as the Nurse was her usual amazing self. Her dance is always so full of personality and fire, she never disappoints.


I was especially glad to see Ezra Thomson as Mercutio. He was so demonstrative with his dance that the audience couldn’t help but notice him. He received a noticeable well deserved loud applause at the curtain call.


The performance really captivated me throughout. I was honestly a little shocked at how much I was paying attention to the detail and the storytelling. This is a testament to the entire cast and crew for putting on such a memorable performance.


Recommended.


“Romeo et Juliette” runs through February 13th. Purchase tickets:  HERE!


Best,
Mark Sugiyama
Eclectic Arts

Connect with Eclectic Arts:  Social Media Links Here

SEE HOW THEY RUN Taproot Theatre February 4, 2022 Eclectic Arts Review


SEE HOW THEY RUN

Taproot Theatre
Seattle, WA

Review: Saturday 2/4/22 8pm Performance


Performances run through March 5th, 2022


(Calder Jameson Shilling, Miranda Antoinette, Nathan Tenenbaum, James Schilling, and Shanna Allman in See How They Run at Taproot Theatre. Photo by Robert Wade.)



The new show on the Jewell Mainstage at the Taproot Theatre in Greenwood is a hilarious comedy called, “See How They Run”. Director Karen Lund (also the well deserved new Producing Artistic Director for Taproot) specifically chose a comedy to open up the 2022 year. After everything we’ve all been through, a night of comedy was exactly what everyone ordered and boy did “See How They Run” deliver.


I was personally excited to see some of my favorite actors returning to a new Taproot production. Calder Jameson Shilling and Shanna Allman were absolutely magnificent in “Miss Bennet - Christmas at Pemberley”, Miranda Antoinette was amazing in “Bright Star” and her singing voice is to die for. And Eric Hampton was in the only Taproot Theatre production I saw three times because I loved it so much, “Baskerville”. Add in the other top notch actors to the cast and I knew this would be a homerun.


As always I don’t like going through the plot too much with any theatre production. I’d rather the reader see the show for themselves. What I will say is that the amount of comedic timing from the entire cast was a marvel to behold. Yes, the entire cast. Shanna Allman’s physical comedy had the audience in stitches. Having seen her in an improvisation performance as well, she is just gold in “See How They Run”.


(Nathan Brockett, Miranda Antoinette, and Nathan Tenenbaum See How They Run at Taproot Theatre. Photo by Robert Wade.)



I think the interaction of the cast, especially as things got crazy, which was almost off the rails in a good way, was so wonderful to watch. I even commented to my friend that one bad move from a cast member and someone’s going to be on the floor.


The laughs just kept on layering upon each other. The plot was laid out well and the audience could see how the comedic elements were going to unfold to a certain extent.


Probably the biggest compliment I could pay the cast and crew is that there were no weak links in this production. None. It was only strength to strength while enjoying, “See How They Run”.


If things work out with my schedule, I plan on going back to take the show in a second time. It’s that good!


“See How They Run” runs through March 5th. Tickets are available:  HERE!


Best,
Mark Sugiyama
Eclectic Arts

Connect with Eclectic Arts:  Social Media Links Here


Thursday, February 3, 2022

AIR DOLL Film Review February 3, 2022 Eclectic Arts


AIR DOLL

Dekanalog
Reviewed: 2/3/2022

Rating: 4.5 / 5


In U.S. cinemas and VOD on February 4th!





The new film “Air Doll” is a mesmerizing tale of sadness, curiosity, and relationships in a lonely world. The classic fish out of water concept is given a twist when a man who has a relationship with his air doll suddenly gains a heart.


She comes to life and experiences Japan with and away from her human partner.


There is such a delicateness to the narrative that director Hirokazu Kore-eda so expertly presents throughout the film.


Nozomi (played by Bae Doona) is just a marvel to watch as she comes to life and experiences life in modern day Japan. The viewer completely believes and feels everything she encounters. Her performance is breathtaking.


The film subject matter may be off putting to some but don’t let it confuse you. This is not a sex heavy film at all. Not even in the slightest.


This is actually a wonderful tale that really anyone could relate to at some point in their life.


Recommended!


Best,
Mark Sugiyama
Eclectic Arts

Connect with Eclectic Arts:  Social Media Links Here


TRAILER

ALONE WITH YOU Film Review February 3, 2022 Eclectic Arts


ALONE WITH YOU

Darkstar Pictures
Reviewed: 2/3/2022

Rating: 4 / 5


In Theaters February 4, 2022 and On Demand, Digital and DVD February 8, 2022.



(Darkstar Pictures)



The new film “Alone With You” is a well done thriller from Darkstar Pictures. The overall style of the film is incredibly eye catching. There is a sure handedness about every shot and directors Bennett and Justin Brooks did an amazing job. It’s hard to believe this is their first feature film.


Shot during the pandemic, the locations are minimal with most of the film taking place in an apartment.


The plot revolves around a relationship between two women. I really don’t want to say more than that.


What I can say is that the film is effectively creepy and claustrophobic. The final scene will either make audiences nod in comprehension or shake their head in disbelief.


“Alone With You” is a solid film and worth seeking out.


Best,
Mark Sugiyama
Eclectic Arts

Connect with Eclectic Arts:  Social Media Links Here


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GHOSTS OF THE OZARKS Film Review February 2, 2022 Eclectic Arts


Ghosts Of The Ozarks


XYZ Films

Reviewed: 2/3/2022


Rating: 3 / 5


IN SELECT THEATERS and ON DIGITAL AND ON DEMAND: February 3, 2022



(XYZ Films)



The new film “Ghosts Of The Ozarks” tried to provide a new take on the southern ghost story. It shows a lot of promise in the beginning of the movie. The era which is post Civil War Arkansas is established immediately and the whole vibe of the location screams something isn’t right here.


However, as the narrative unfolds, it really never connects the dots which is unfortunate. It has more right than wrong but it could have been so much more.



((L-R) Tim Blake Nelson as Torb, Angela Bettis as Lucille and Thomas Hobson as James ‘Doc’ McCune in the mystery/thriller GHOSTS OF THE OZARKS, an XYZ Films release. Photo courtesy of XYZ Films.)



I think with the next project, directors Matt Glass and Jordan Wayne Long will bring a more cohesive film to the screen.


Best,
Mark Sugiyama
Eclectic Arts

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SAXON "CARPE DIEM" Album Review February 3, 2022 Eclectic Arts


SAXON

“Carpe Diem”

Silver Lining Music

Reviewed: 2/3/2022


5 out of 5


Available February 4th!






If a band is fortunate enough to last as long as Saxon have, they can either coast on their back catalog glory or they can strive to put out great new music in 2022. Thankfully, for metal heads around the world, Saxon have opted for the latter.


“Carpe Diem” is the 23rd studio album in their loud and heavy career. Produced by Andy Sneap, the record shows what happens when you take away what a band loves the most - touring the world.


The pandemic has acted as a catalyst of inspiration for so many different artists - most of it resulting in anger. Saxon are no different and “Carpe Diem” really shows the band focused and unrelenting in their heavy metal pursuits.


From the opening title track, “Carpe Diem”, and the accompanying music video, the band is just tearing up the sonicscape. Many of the songs are reminiscent of the earlier days of the band with the signature riffs. As a matter of fact, the whole album is riff heavy and that has to be music to Saxon fans’ ears.


The band has always had riffs that weren’t as straightforward as many of the other metal bands and “Carpe Diem” showcases that fact in spades. You know when you hear a Saxon riff. And when Nigel’s drums kick in along with Nibb’s bass, you’re already banging your head. Biff’s unmistakable voice just sends everything over the top.


One tune on the album that keeps the historic tunes coming is, “The Pilgrimage”. It’s epic and it creates that atmosphere that Saxon is also known for.


I’ve said it before but it’s commendable that Saxon are actually making music that is heavier in some aspects than their classic output. That seems unbelievable but it’s very true.


“Carpe Diem” is a strong, focused, aggressive album. I can’t wait to hear these tunes live in 2022!



Best,
Mark Sugiyama
Eclectic Arts

Connect with Eclectic Arts:  Social Media Links Here


"Carpe Diem" Music Video

"Remember The Fallen" Music Video