C47Houston Flix Review:

"Flashes"

 

 

A man finds himself flashing from one reality to another and not knowing how, why or for how long.  Consistent throughout each reality is the love for one woman and in only one reality is he truly happy with her. When a mysterious man with a hat appears out of no where, he starts to realize something is not right and life may be nothing more than an illusion in this feature science fiction, suspense and Love story  motion picture by Houston Director Amir Valinia.

Written by Andrew Henderson and Directed by Amir Valinia, this cleaver science fiction movie tells the story of John Rotit (played by Donny Boaz) an ordinary Architect with a beautiful and loving wife, Clare Rotit (played by Elle LaMont). 

After being chewed out by his boss (played by Tom Sizemore) for "Unusual" and unexplainable behavior an argument between the two escalates to a firing. John finds help with psychologist Dr. Ryan Greene (played by Deke Anderson). John is desperately trying to find out why he is acting out and having hallucination of other realities. With stress building, John, unexpectedly flashes to another reality and finds himself on-stage and in front of a live audience as the lead singer of a rock band and under the name of Johnny Rotten, a depressed heroin addict suffering the loss of his love, Clair.   

Moving back and forth between realities, Dr. Greene suspects that John is not taking his medications as prescribed. When John goes to refill his prescription he sees the mysterious man with the derby hat and give chase. Not able to find this mysterious man and not knowing why he is stalking him, John, instantly, flashes to a more horrid reality. There he picks up a young woman by the name of Valerie Evelyn (played by Natalie Wilemon). In this reality, John is a well-dressed, well-mannered, cold and calculating serial killer. With his hand around Valerie's neck, this John has no regrets about what he is doing and find peace with the fact that he is fulfilling a dream quest.   

As John flashes between realities, things seem to be over-lapping and one reality seems to be merging with another. Going down a rabbit hole, John is losing perspective and his sense of who he really is and in which reality he belongs. Is he a mild-mannered unemployed architect, is he really a drugged-out rock icon or is he the ruthless serial killer? Fighting for the love of Clare and to stay in the only reality that makes him the happiest, who is this man with the derby hat that is trying to convince John to “come back”? Twists and turns this movie is really a love story and the lengths we will go to in holding on to our memories.

 Written by comic and screenwriter Andrew Henderson, “Flashes” is a complex love story with numerous subplots. Each story pushing the audience into the mind of someone dealing with tragedy but finding conflict in trying to resolve what is happening to him while all the time unexpectedly moving from one reality to another. At times, the story was difficult to follow and needed some additional explanation, but taken as a whole, Mr. Henderson is able to present, to the production team, a story that is fast-paced, thought-provoking, entertaining and a story that will keep an audience in their seats.

Technically, Director Amir Valinia and the production team did a great job in translating the story written by Mr. Henderson and applying an interpretation of what this story ought to look. Mr. Valinia did an outstanding job in making sure that the movie was entertaining and visually enticing to those watching it. As a director, Mr. Valinia is more than proficient in applying the rules of filmmaking and tweaking them to suit his personal vision. His adaptation of the screenplay and his vision of the story was wonderfully translated onto the screen.   

Shot by cinematographer Barry Strickland the movie was exceptionally framed and beautifully stunning to see. Each scene was masterfully blocked, composed, lit and along with his use of camera angles and movement, Mr. Strickland created an entertaining movie to experience. From the first scene to the ending credits both the Director and Cinematographer took great pains to ensure the movie was "well-made" and a movie that people will want to see.

Performances from the cast were, as well, exceptional. Mr. Boaz performance playing three different personality types just underscores his acting brilliance and skills. As well, Elle LaMont's performance was unquestionably and equally brilliant. 

This particular screening Wednesday, October 22nd at the Alamo Drafthouse-Vintage Park, in Houston, Texas saw the addition of two actors that were not in the original premiere version of the movie back in May of 2014, of this year.  This screening  saw the addition of Veteran Actors Tom Sizemore and Christopher Judge to the list of credits. Tom Sizemore playing the part of Mark Hume (originally played by Rutherford Cravens) and Christopher Judge playing the part of Professor Ernstrom (originally played by Ron Jackson). Each bringing with them a sizable amount of experience in both blockbuster movies and hit television shows.  Their performances were as expected by such actors, very professional and effortless.  One complaint we had was with Mr. Sizemore's performance, although executed well, he had a tendency to either look toward the camera or to the crew off stage when delivering his lines and interacting with the main character. We were not convinced that the director was able to effectively direct this particular actor, with a sizable amount of experience. 

Mr. Valinia, the director, was also the editor of this movie.  With the possible exception of one, maybe two noticeable scene changes, cuts and transitions were seamless and unremarkable.  With one glaring and seemingly weird transition the movie flowed from one scene to another with ease and consistency. 

Sound levels throughout the entire movie were  consistent and contained NO ambient noise or distortion from one cut to another thanks to Supervising Sound Editor Sammy Huen, Victor Nguyen, utility sound technician and Kent Ohler operating the boom mic.  

The pace of the movie was set with music composed by musician Sammy Huen (the supervising sound editor) The music flowed from scene to scene and was appropriate for this particular genre. Just recently, the team won the 2014 award for Best Sound Design for a Feature at the 10th Annual Action on Film International Film Festival.

Overall assessment: Director Amir Valinia's "Flashes" ,in all, was a pretty good movie to watch. It flowed very well from beginning to end with subtle humor, inside jokes and, of course the use of a camera drone to capture some beautiful shots that, at one time, would have cost quite a bit of money to accomplish with a helicopter.  The story, itself, was interesting in that the viewer really had to participate in keeping up with complexities of having several subplots and twists. And, like any good movie, the music pushed this movie rather well and setting the tone for a dramatic ending. 

Produced by Theta Catalon, Mr. Valinia, Ron Finberg and Barry Strickland the team is the recipients of the Houston Filmmakers Matching Grant as part of the Mayor's Film Task Force. The Mayor of the City of Houston Mayor Elise Parker, through a Proclamation, declared May 8th to be "Flashes" day. And, marking "Flashes" as the City of Houston's first Funded Motion Picture. 

C47Houston News & Entertainment Magazine was invited to both premieres and rated this movie using the TSIRS.  "Flashes" rated a strong 4.6 out of 5 stars on the TSIRS.

Title: Flashes

Production Company: AV1 Productions and T-Cat Films

Writer: Andrew Henderson

Executive Producers: Theta Catalon, Sammy Huen, Barry Strickland and Amir Valinia

Producers: Matt Keith and Ron Finberg

Associate Producers: Bonny Boaz, Mark Clark, Andrew Henderson and Justin Seyb

Premiere: May 8th 2014 at the AMC Studio 30-Dunvale Theater, Houston, Texas

Recut premiere: Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 at the Alamo Drafthouse-Vintage Park, Houston Texas. 

Running time: Approx: 101-minutes

Director: Amir Valinia

Editor: Amir Valinia

Cinematographer: Barry Strickland

Music by: Sammy Huen

Production Design by: Michelle Howe

Costume Design by: Haley Hussey

Makeup by: Angela Mendoza, Cheryl Stell, Kimberly Haro and Analise Corbin

Production Manager: Theta Catalon

Sound: Sammy Huen, Victor Nguyen and Kent Ohler

Casting by: Demetria Dixon and Lorie Mitchell

Location: Ruth Villatoro, Courtney Sandifer

Script Supervisor: Julie Randolph, Scott Carr

Cast: Donny Boaz, Elle LaMont, Christopher Judge, Tom Sizemore, Natalie Wilemon, Johnny Walter, Danny Kamin, Deke Anderson, Paula Solinger, Joe Grisaffi, Lance Henry, Erin Reed, Keavy Bradley, Lee Stringer, AnnMarie Giaquinto, Dimitrius Pulido, Chirag Patel, Anthony Nickerson, Cara Cochran, Lydia Martinez, Theta Catalon, Haley Hussey and Joseph Love.

WEBSITES: 

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3102924/ 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/flashesmovie

Twitter: www.twitter.com/flashesmovie

Official Website: www.alternaterealities.org 

C47Houston Event Pictures: http://tinyurl.com/lr77cvp 

by: H.Luna October 23rd, 2014

 
 

             

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