THE OUTPOST Will Open the Twelfth Lighthouse International Film Festival

THE OUTPOST Will Open the Twelfth Lighthouse International Film Festival


Rod Lurie’s action-packed military drama THE OUTPOST will play opening night of the 12th Lighthouse International Film Festival in New Jersey, which has transitioned to a fully-drive-in format. The fest director Amir Bogen: “Organizing a full running drive-in film festival in one month felt like an uphill battle. Playing The Outpost as LIFF’s opening film is our biggest triumph yet”

Directed by award-winning filmmaker Rod Lurie, THE OUTPOST is based on Jake Tapper’s best-selling non-fiction book, The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor, adapted by Oscar-nominated screenwriting duo Paul Tamasy and Eric Johnson (The Fighter). The film stars Scott Eastwood, Caleb Landry Jones, Orlando Bloom, Jack Kesy, Taylor John Smith, Jacob Scipio, and Milo Gibson. Fathom Events and Screen Media, a Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment company, are partnering to present THE OUTPOST in approximately 500 select movie theaters across the U.S, with a special premiere event on July 2, followed by a limited theatrical run beginning July 3 in over 100 locations. THE OUTPOST will also be available on demand and on digital beginning July 3.


THE OUTPOST follows a tiny unit of U.S. soldiers, alone at the remote Combat Outpost Keating, located deep in the valley of three mountains in Afghanistan, as they battle to defend against an overwhelming force of Taliban fighters in a coordinated attack. The Battle of Kamdesh, as it was known, was the bloodiest American engagement of the Afghan war in 2009 and Bravo Troop 3-61 CAV became one of the most decorated units of the 19-year conflict. 


The film was produced by Millennium Media, with producers Paul Merryman, Marc Frydman, Jeffrey Greenstein, Jonathan Yunger, Paul Tamasy, and Les Weldon.


Amir Bogen, executive director of Lighthouse International Film Festival: “We are beyond excited to be able to host the premiere of The Outpost, which will be the opening night film of the 12th Lighthouse International Film Festival. This military thriller-drama left me breathless for many intense moments throughout the film. Now I’m almost at a loss of words when I wish to express my gratitude to the filmmakers and Screen Media that allowed us to show the film in our drive-in setting. While The Outpost is packed with exciting action scenes, it also intimately follows the daily lives of combat soldiers and illuminates their humanity. Heroism and doubt, morality and cynicism are examined closely through Rod Lurie’s sensitive cinematic microscope, also from a rifle scope. This movie illustrates the experience of war in a raw and visceral way: the chaos, the anxiety, the excitement, the dedication, and the comradery. Organizing a full running drive-in film festival in one month sometimes felt like an uphill battle in uncharted territory. Being able to host the first showing of The Outpost as LIFF’s 2020 opening film is the biggest reward we could have hoped for all our efforts. Our greatest triumph yet”.



Nobuhiko Obayashi’s LABYRINTH OF CINEMA, Brea Grant’s 12 HOUR SHIFT, Makoto Tezuka’s TEZUKA’S BARBARA, Anthony Scott Burns’ COME TRUE, and Chino Moya’s UNDERGODS are among the first titles announced for the festival’s 24th edition

The Fantasia International Film Festival will be celebrating its 24th edition as a virtual event accessible to movie lovers across Canada, with a wild assortment of scheduled screenings, panels, and workshops taking place online from August 20 through September 2, 2020. The decision to launch a digital edition of the famed genre festival was born from Fantasia’s desire to keep the health and safety of its attendees a top priority during the current global health crisis, while still offering daring, much-needed new genre entertainment to residents of Canada and supporting the breakout filmmakers of the year.

The festival’s full lineup will be announced in early August. In the meantime, Fantasia is excited to reveal a selected first wave of titles.


Dir. Lloyd Kaufman
World Premiere

Dir. Brea Grant
International Premiere

Dir. Eduardo Rivero
Canadian Premiere

Dir. Anthony Scott Burns
World Premiere

Dir. Thomas Robert Lee
World Premiere

Dir. Ryan Kruger
South Africa
Canadian Premiere

Dir. Sidharth Srinivasan
World Premiere

Dir. Nobuhiko Obayashi
Canadian Premiere

Dir. Noah Hutton
International Premiere

Dir. Natasha Kermani
International Premiere

Dir. Oskar Lehemaa
North American Premiere

Dir. Neil Marshall
Special Screening

SLEEP (Schlaf)
Dir. Michael Venus
North American Premiere

Dir. Shinichiro Ueda
Canadian Premiere

Dir. Macoto Tezuka
North American Premiere

Dir. Sabrina Mertens
North American Premiere

Dir. Henrik Von Sydow
World Premiere

Dir. Chino Moya
World Premiere

Dir. Mauro Iván Ojeda
World Premiere

Dirs. John C. Lyons & Dorota Swies
World Premiere

Dir. Lars Damoiseaux
Quebec Premiere

Monsters and Men (2018) Movie Review

Director: Reinaldo Marcus Green

Writer: Reinaldo Marcus Green (Screenplay)

Starring: John David Washington, Anthony Ramos, Kelvin Harrison Jr, Chante Adams, Jasmine Cephas Jones, Nicole Beharie, Rob Morgan

Plot: The aftermath of a police killing of a black man, told through the eyes of the bystander who filmed the act, an African-American police officer and a high-school baseball phenom inspired to take a stand.

Tagline – One moment can change everything

Runtime: 1 Hour 36 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Has a Point, Fails to Capture It

Story: Monsters and Men starts when Manny (Ramos) witnesses and records a police shooting on one of his street corners, he has just put his life back in order with a job, preparing to have everything ready for his girlfriend and daughter, only he gets framed for a crime he never commits. Officer Dennis (Washington) has been on the force for a while now, he sees this happening, while having questions against the cop that was involved in the shooting he doesn’t want to step in until he knows the truth, we finally meets Zyrick (Harrison Jr) a young baseball star of the future that ends up finding himself the latest target of the cops, this time Dennis is going to take a stand.

Thoughts on Monsters and Men

Characters – Dennis is a African American cop that has always kept his head down on the job, he has experienced the problems off duty, when he starts to think everything is going too far, he starts to question where he stand on what is going on. Manny is a young man that has just turned his life around, he films a wrongful killing and after he released the footage, becomes targeted by the cops himself, without standing a chance to fight back. Zyrick is going to become a mega star in baseball, he is caught in between trying to take a stand or follow his own future away from the troubles.

PerformancesWe do have three strong performances in the film with John David Washington, Anthony Ramos and Kelvin Harrison Jr all giving us everything we need from their performances in the film.

StoryThe story here follows three different point of views which have experienced police brutality from different backgrounds and how they are left feeling helpless about what is happening. This does show us the important problems going on with police action towards minorities in America, we get to see how even the people on the force can’t do anything without being seen as an enemy. The problem with the story comes with how the three stories don’t seem to have any true connections, with each one playing out just after the previous one finishes, instead of standing up, they are almost just three occurrences that have happened.

CrimeThe crime side of this film focuses on the action that are taken towards the innocent people and how that will affect their lives.

SettingsThe film is set in a city where you can see the clear divide between race, authorities and money, which will see different levels of discrimination going on towards people.

Scene of the Movie – Dennis argues his case to a family friend.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The stories are not connected enough.

Final Thoughts This is a film that wants to bring the message about police brutality towards minorities, only for it to not connect the stories well enough.

Overall: Unconnected Hate Crimes.

ABC Film Challenge – Sci-Fi – I – Interstellar (2014) Movie Rob’s Pick

Head over to Movie Rob’s site for more reviews.

“We’ve always defined ourselves by the ability to overcome the impossible. And we count these moments. These moments when we dare to aim higher, to break barriers, to reach for the stars, to make the unknown known. We count these moments as our proudest achievements. But we lost all that. Or perhaps we’ve just forgotten that we are still pioneers. And we’ve barely begun. And that our greatest accomplishments cannot be behind us, that our destiny lies above us.” – Cooper

Number of Times Seen – 4 (6 Nov 2014, 15 Jun 2015, 12 Sep 2017 and 10 Jun 2020)

Link to original review – HereHere and Here

Brief Synopsis – A group of astronauts are sent on a mission to find a new home for the people of Earth when the planet seems to be dying.

My Take on it – This is a film that I highly anticipated for quite a long time and made sure to be at one of the very first viewings on the day it debuted.

Christopher Nolan is an amazing writer and director and once again is able to give us something so awe inspiring to watch unfold.

He knows how to keep the story moving at a great pace while still leaving things suspenseful and gripping no matter what genre he chooses to tell his story in.

This film’s plot is quite realistic and that enhances things to a point where it is so easy to believe that these events can possibly occur in the not too distant future.

Having now watched in whole we all are still in “Corona Mode” gives an even more interesting perspective to the story as we can see in a chilling fashion how easily life and the world we live in can change which will cause us to find a way to adapt to this new reality.

The film has an amazing cast led by Matthew McConaughey who is near perfect in the lead role.

We can easily see how he deals with his internal conflict between trying to save humanity while also wanted to get back to his family which weighs so heavily on his throughout his mission.

The film explains the science of it all in a pretty simplistic manner which helps those of us (like me) who are less scientifically inclined to get a clear grasp of not just all that is transpiring but the reasoning and explanations as to why it happens.

The movie is able to blend amazing cinematography with state of the art special effects which helps make all of the locations and terrain seem so much more realistic and tangible in the way things are depicted.

This is a film that leaves the viewer with so much to ponder long after the credits roll.

They deal with themes that range from the environmental effects on the world by man, how we each relate to our family and close friends and most importantly how we are deal with the time that we have been given so that it can be used in the most efficient and effective way possible.

Even after more than 5 1/2 years, I’m still shocked that this film didn’t receive more accolades or nominations for the work done here because it all is so impressive and amazing to watch unfold.

Bottom Line – Another spectacular film by Nolan who knows so well how to create such a gripping tale no matter the genre. This is a realistic story that works really well because we can believe so much of what happens since it takes [lace in the not too distant future. Watching it after seeing the effects of Corona on people is a bit chilling because we can see how easily life can be changed causing us all to find new ways to adapt. The cast of this film is spectacular and McConaughey is super n the lead role. We can feel his feelings about saving humanity yet also can feel the way that his family weighs so heavily on him throughout this mission. The science is explained in a simplistic fashion which helps make things feel even more genuine and understandable even for non-scientific minds like mine. The cinematography and special effects are blended so well here that every terrain or location shown seems quite realistic in the way it is all depicted. The film gives the viewer so much to ponder about the effects we have on the planet, the way we relate to family and friends and most importantly how we deal with our time in the most effective and efficient way possible.  Surprised that this film didn’t garner more accolades for this exceptionally made film. Highly Highly Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Like Inception (2010) and the last two “Dark Knight” movies, Writer, Producer, and Director Christopher Nolan has focused on as many real environments as possible. “We have spatial interiors. We built closed sets and shot it like a documentary, like the actors were really there”, he said. Nolan had the visual effects created in advance, and projected onto screens placed outside the spacecraft set, so when the actors and actresses looked out the windows of their vessel they would be able to see and react to a real environment, and not a greenscreen. Technically, Nolan said he shot with an IMAX camera on this movie more than on any of his previous movies. He also wanted to give greater enhancement to the audio experience this time around. He stated that he has “very ambitious sound mix plans. I want to give audiences an incredible immersive experience. The technical aspects are going to be more important than any film I’ve made before.” (From IMDB)

Rating – Oscar Worthy (10/10) (no change from original review)

ABC Film Challenge – Sci-Fi – I – It Came from the Desert (2017)

Director: Marko Makilaakso

Writer: Trent Haaga, Marko Makilaakso, Hank Woon Jr (Screenplay)

Starring: Harry Lister Smith, Alex Mils, Vanessa Grasse, Mark Arnold, Callum McGowan, Andrew Horton


Plot: A pulpy, action monster movie, inspired by Cinemaware’s cult 1980s video game “It Came from the Desert”. A nostalgic tribute to creature features from the 1950’s, It Came From The Desert features rival motocross heroes and heroines, kegger parties in the desert, secret underground military bases, romantic insecurities…and of course giant ants.


Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes


There may be spoilers in the rest of the review


Verdict: Fun Late Night Movie


Story: It Came from the Desert starts when motocross champion Lukas (Mills) and his shy engineer Brian (Smith) head out to the desert for a celebrational party with drinks and girls including Brian’s crush Lisa (Grasse). When the two friends discover an abandoned research facility they investigate only to discover giant ants.

Joined by Lisa the three must defeat the ants before they can breed to uncontrollable numbers causing chaos in the world.


Thoughts on It Came from the Desert


Characters – Brian is shy mechanic that has helped Lukas win most of those competitions. He is madly in love with Lisa, but has always been afraid to take chances in his life, when the two friends discover the ants he must learn to escape his shell to fight back to save the girl and the world. Lukas is the dumb motocross rider, he has all the confidence in the world and he just wants to help Brian come out of his shell. He will push Brian this day to a level where they just start becoming as daredevil as each other. Lisa is the girl of Brian’s dream, she goes on the party which she doesn’t seem that interested in being part off, she shows herself to be deadly when fighting the ants, he brains become important for the two guys. Dr Renard fills in the blanks for the two teenagers and for the audience.

PerformancesHarry Lister Smith and Alex Mills are both strong in the leading role, they have good chemistry playing the opposites but ever loyal friends. Vanessa Grasse is strong in the supporting role with key moments. The rest of the cast fit the generic performances required in the film.

StoryThe story is based on a video game, based on a vintage monster movie ‘Them’, it follows two friends that must off giant ants before they can breed to world dominating numbers, now this is a story we mustn’t take seriously because of the nature of everything happening, it does feel like a video game with each level becoming more difficult. The story never tries to take itself seriously which is a bonus too because we know this is going to be just another creature feature.

Action/Comedy/Horror/Sci-FiThe action come from chases to escape from the ants, it does have plenty of gun fire which comes for defeat the ants, the comedy plays out from the dumb reactions to certain moments, this will get a basic laugh or two along the way. The horror is pure creature feature which is good and enjoyable for anyone who enjoys the genre. With the sci-fi side of the film looking at idea that alien genes can be combined with Ants.

SettingsThe film is set in the desert, hell it is in the title of the film, it uses the ideas of the nuclear tests to create a secret base which could have this type of consequence.

Special EffectsThe effects for this low budget film are mixed because the practical ones do look wonderful, though the CGI moments are not to the same level of strength.

Scene of the Movie –
The first ant kill.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The basic supporting cast not getting enough time to do much.

Final ThoughtsFun creature feature that will be a lovely treat in a midnight screening.


Overall: Late night delight.