Independent Films

Dance Baby Dance (2018)

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A former dancer sets to live his dream and overcome the odds in this fun dancing film from filmmaker Stephen Kogon, who also stars in the lead role.

Jimmy Percer has had a dream to become a professional tap dancer. However, a knee injury took him out of the competition and despite all efforts, his knee never has fully healed. He eventually married fellow dancer Tess and got a regular job. However, he spends his free time at the studio where his wife works to continue his dream. He learns of an upcoming dance showcase and he is determined to be a part of a touring company, whose members will be chosen through the showcase.

However, despite his determination, Jimmy finds himself having some obstacles. Hector, the owner of the dance studio, won’t sponsor Jimmy because of his age and knee injury. Tess is worried Jimmy will seriously injure himself. However, that all changes when Tess’ sister Lanie and niece Kit arrive after Lanie and husband split up and Lanie falls on hard times. Kit learns about Jimmy’s talents and the two forge a bond. With the showcase coming up, will Jimmy be able to overcome the odds and get the chance to live his dream?

Shall We Dance? Dance of a Dream. These are examples of feel good films that revolve around the world of dancing and this film, from Stephen Kogon, is a terrifically made film about overcoming the odds and living your dream through hard work. The story of a man who in his prime nearly lost the chance to become a professional only to get a second chance years later barely has a tone of anger and sorrow but instead is a film that helps bring about feeling good about what one wants to do and even helping those close to you feel good in the process.

That is truly in the case of our protagonist Jimmy, played by director Kogon. Throughout the film, Jimmy’s determination constantly makes him happy. He is perhaps the ultimate likable fellow whose aspirations and determination keeps him smiling. Kogon even does all of his tap dance scenes and his chemistry with 7th Heaven star Beverly Mitchell as his wife is great but the fun piece involves his bonding scene with Hayley Shukiar as Tess’ niece Kit. The scene plays out in a tap dance battle that soon becomes perhaps a tribute to classic Hollywood tap dancing on screen.

While there are sparse comical moments from Kogon, the real comic relief comes in the form of Hector, the owner of the dance studio, played by the hilarious Carlos Alazraqui. The well-known voice actor plays it off pretty funnily as the constantly complaining owner, who doesn’t seem to have a liking for Jimmy and does everything in his power to convince him not to get in the showcase. However, Jimmy finds support not just within his family, but his boss and even two fellow dancers, Ravon and Dex.

Dance Baby Dance truly stands out as a feel good film about facing the odds and living the dream. A likable Stephen Kogon and the tap dancing sequences are fun to watch. If you want a film that just makes you feel good without expecting something mindblowing as well as enjoy some fun dancing scenes, then this is your film.

WFG RATING: B+

Indie Rights Movies presents a Wings of Hope production. Director: Stephen Kogon. Producers: Roy Bodner, Stephen Kogon, John Kaiser, and Travis Huff. Writer: Stephen Kogon. Cinematography: Shanele Alvarez. Editing: Jason Horton.

Cast: Beverly Mitchell, Stephen Kogon, Carlos Alazraqui, Lisa Brenner, Hayley Shukiar, Clare Grant, Isaiah Lucas, Jim Nowakowski, Jim O’Heir, Ellen Kim.

The film will make its debut at the Arena Cinelounge, Hollywood on January 19, 2018.

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Crazy Famous (2017)

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Just how far would you go to get famous? For this guy, he does something extreme in this dark comedy from Paul Jarrett.

For all his life, Bob Marcus only looked for one thing: fame. However, his latest attempt, in which he jumped the fence at Camp David, lands him in a mental institution. Despite the lead doctor telling him that he should give up his dream, Bob finds himself determined. He meets Larry, an impulsive man who has a tendency to explode at random times. Larry introduces him to “Dr. Phil”, a patient who thinks he is the TV doctor.

Finally, there’s the very strange Smith, who spends his time scribbling on the walls and floors. He tells Bob that he knows where Al-Qaeda head Osama bin Laden is hiding. While everyone is convinced that bin Laden is dead, Smith knows otherwise and offers to prove it. Seeking this as an opportunity, Bob decides to go along with Smith’s plan and takes Larry and “Dr. Phil” with him. As these four successfully make their escape, they are about to go on a trip that they will never forget.

A meshing of the 1989 comedy The Dream Team with the conspiracy theory angle along with one man doing what it takes to become famous, this is a funny road trip comedy. Bob Farkas’ script has the core element of the 1989 film about four mental patients who get their free time. The only difference is that instead of a field trip, these four escape and go on a hunt by way of a conspiracy theory.

Gregory Lay’s Bob is the titular “crazy famous”, someone who will go to crazy extremes to get his fifteen minutes of fame. There is a reasoning behind Bob’s need to become famous and this is revealed in his first meeting with Ajay Naidu’s lead doctor at the mental institution. In a way, one can only feel bad for Bob, but if anyone ultimately will have to change his ways of thinking, it’s Bob himself.

The main supporting cast give Lay some great support. Victor Cruz, who has a resemblance to Jon Favreau, is hilarious as Larry, the patient with impulsive explosive disorder. Larry always tends to have it out with “Dr. Phil”, parodied quite well by David Neal Levin. Richard Short’s Smith tends to talk like a James Bond-style voice with his conspiracy theory approach, which drives the film and leads to the insane road trip. To give the film more of an intentional flair for comedy, Farkas actually brings the idea of a conspiracy in the film, with agents in the form of Alexander Cendese’s Agent Bilch and “big boss” Agent Mustang, played by Bob Jaffe.

Crazy Famous is a pretty funny meshing of The Dream Team, conspiracy theory, and a film about going to extremes to achieve your dreams. The cast, led by Gregory Lay, Richard Short, Victor Cruz, and David Neal Levin, drive the film with their roles of mental patients who attempt to prove the truth behind a conspiracy theory. The film’s 77-minute running time makes it smooth and easy to watch.

WFG RATING: B

Gravitas Ventures presents a Farkas Films production. Director: Paul Jarrett. Producers: Robert Farkas and Vince P. Maggio. Writer: Robert Farkas. Cinematography: Scott Miller. Editing: Phyllis Housen.

Cast: Gregory Lay, Richard Short, Victor Cruz, David Neal Levin, Alexander Cendese, Bob Jaffe, Ajay Naidu, Jessica Renee Russell, Catherine Curtin, Tom Kemp.

The film will be released on VOD, Digital HD and DVD on January 9, 2018.

Indie Action Spotlight – January 2018

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It’s that time! The first Friday of the month and we are starting the new year with a very strong Clip of the Month for the first Indie Action Spotlight of 2018!

This month’s Clip of the Month goes to the amazing Andy Long and his 2017 Hong Kong Edition Fight Reel, featuring clips from his recent film Luc Van Tiet. Long is a member of the Jackie Chan Stunt Team who recently appeared in Boyka: Undisputed alongside that film’s fight choreographer Tim Man as one of Ozerov Brothers who fight Scott Adkins‘ Boyka in a two-on-one handicap fight.

Here are this month’s selected Stunt Reels:

Paul Burke

Gui DaSilva

Irmingard Mayer

Heidi Moneymaker

Rustam Popkov

Alice Rietveld

To wrap up this month’s IAS, here are this month’s selected Short Films:

Born to Fight

The Chaos

Insanity

Karate Couple

One Strike

If you want to submit your short film and/or stunt reel for the Indie Action Spotlight, send an e-mail to worldfilmgeek@gmail.com with the subject “Indie Action Spotlight” or you can send a direct message on WFG’s official Twitter page.

All submissions for February 2018 are due on February 1, 2018.

Madtown (2017)

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A young man comes face to face with his past while learning to accept his new life in this indie drama from Charles Moore.

Denny Briggs arrives late for what he promises will be a one-time gig as a stand-up comedian. He decides to make the audience his jury as he is on trial. He first begins with talking about how he lied on his job application for a job at Miller’s Family Restaurant. Having gotten the job, he becomes close to the owners Lloyd and Linda, fellow waiter Shaun, cook Marcel, and prep cook Sarah. However, Denny’s new life will soon find its obstacle as the past comes back in the form of his sister Madison.

Having served a twenty-year sentence for the murder of their parents, Madison has made parole. As Madison adapts to life outside of prison, Denny adapts to his new surroundings as he grows closer to Sarah, who is a young single mom to Isabella. However, when Madison decides to go back to controlling Denny and forces a move to Chicago upon him, Denny finally learns that in order to move on with his life, he must face the past and confront it before he is ever to be happy.

This is quite an interesting indie drama that is told all in flashbacks from what we are led to believe to be a seven-minute comedy gig from the main character Denny, played by an excellent Milo Ventimiglia. Denny is truly conflicted with facing his past and coming to terms with the present. The 112-minute running time allows Ventimiglia to bring a variety of emotion to the role of Denny as he grows closer to the cast of characters who he works with and yet at the same time, feels a sense of obligation to his overprotective sister Madison, played by Amanda Aday, who is the daughter of music legend Meat Loaf.

Rachel Melvin’s Sarah brings to sense a possible romance that may be worth having for the troubled Denny while John Billingsley and Bonita Fredericy’s Lloyd and Linda serve as the parental figures Denny has yearned for all his life, especially when the events that lead up to Madison’s prison stint is revealed. While Denny himself is an aspiring comic with Lenny Bruce as inspiration, Matt Lockwood’s Shaun provides the comic relief of the film in terms of the developing story while Joshua Elijah Reese’s Mandel is the big brother-type who also helps Denny feel grounded and indirectly helps him with the issues he face.

The film does offer some twists to the story where you may expect one thing to happen, but end up getting something else. This may either get fans who expect something straightforward to go up in arms, but most will likely be intrigued with the twists, especially towards the third act of the film, where it goes an totally unexpected route by the film’s end.

Madtown has a really good story about one man’s old and new lives coming together and his determination to break from his past and move on to the present, all driven by a great performance by Milo Ventimiglia.

WFG RATING: A-

SP Distribution presents a Two Car Garage production in association with Burning River Productions. Director: Charles Moore. Producers: Stephen R. Campanella, Liz DuChez, J. Scott Scheel, and Charles Moore. Writer: Charles Moore. Cinematography: John Turk. Editing: Charles Moore.

Cast: Milo Ventimiglia, Rachel Melvin, Amanda Aday, John Billingsley, Bonita Fredericy, Matt Lockwood, Joshua Elijah Reese, Brett Castro, Kinsley Funari, Kristina Kopf, Christopher Mele.

The film will be released on January 5, 2018 from SP Distribution.

The Final Indie Action Spotlight of 2017

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The final Indie Action Spotlight of 2017 has arrived! Since its inception in August 2016, the IAS has given fans a chance to see some short films and stunt reels all in the world of action films. As we delve into 2018, we hope to present more indie action fun from newcomers and veterans who love entertaining fans with these films.

So, let’s jump right into it with this month’s Indie Action Spotlight.

Our December clip of the month is Kid Fury, directed by Hapkido master and filmmaker Jino Kangwho stars in the Fist 2 Fist feature film series. In this short film, a teen takes on different exponents of martial arts when a box entrusted to him by his master gets stolen.

Here are this month’s selected Stunt & Action Reels:








Here are this month’s selected Short Action Films:








World Film Geek hopes everyone will have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy 2018!!! If you are a budding action star, filmmaker, or a stunt performer and you want to submit a video, please send your links to worldfilmgeek@gmail.com with Indie Action Spotlight in the subject line.

As we break into 2018, we will give everyone an extra week to send your videos. The first Indie Action Spotlight for 2018 will be posted on January 12, 2018. The deadline to send your submissions for January is January 11, 2018.

To wrap up the Indie Action Spotlight of the year, we present the amazing Martial Club, who have wowed fans of the indie and martial arts fan circuit for the past few years. They had the opportunity to work with the legendary Jackie Chan for a commercial. Here is the story about this dream collaboration:

Never Leave Alive (2017)

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Pro wrestler John Hennigan finds himself hunted down in this indie action thriller, the latest version of The Most Dangerous Game.

Rick Rainsford is a popular reality TV show star whose expertise is big game hunting. However, he is known for his hard partying and drinking, sometimes making him the butt of jokes. When on a journey aboard a cruise ship, he finds himself chastised by his new photographer Anna Richards. However, when the cruise ship is attacked and eventually wrecked, Rick and Anna, along with passenger Samuel, find themselves on a seemingly deserted island.

There are two inhabitants on the island. They are former Russian military officer Colonel Zaroff and his number one man, Ivan. Ivan nurses Samuel back to health while Zaroff reveals his nature to Rick. Zaroff is a hunter himself, only he uses humans as his potential prey. He offers Rick and Anna a challenge. A boat is located on the other side of the island. If they find the boat, they will live. However, they will have to fend off booby traps as well as the wrath of both Ivan and Zaroff. Going from the hunter to hunted, Rick must find a way to bring both Anna and Samuel to safety before they all are killed.

It is clear when you see him, whether in the ring or if you has seen him in Boone the Bounty Hunter that John Hennigan, currently known as Johnny Impact in Impact Wrestling, is destined to be a potential action star. Whereas Dwayne Johnson and Dave Bautista have made it to A-list productions, there are others who have had their share of on-screen glory in more indie action fare and Hennigan comfortably fits there, especially with his latest film.

Similar to his titular character of Boone the Bounty Hunter, Hennigan plays another reality TV star. However, as Rick, we don’t get to see him hunt down in his show, but instead show the dark side of fame as he parties hard and appears to be completely drunk. Funny enough, Hennigan plays it well as the shallow celebrity type, like his character in BTBH. However, when Hennigan gets the chance to show his action side, it is a truly a road to both redemption and sobriety for this character.

Michelle Taylor does a pretty good job as photographer Anna, who starts out chastising Rick due to his hard-partying ways and yet soon finds that Rick isn’t all he appears to be and finds him to be a valuable asset and perhaps the only one to help her survive their ordeal. Eric Etebari truly has a knack for playing dastardly villains with the right material, much like his lawyer-martial arts teacher in the indie drama The Great Fight. Here, he plays the very smooth talking villain Zaroff, who warms you up, then reveals his true intentions and goes into bad guy mode to a tee. Joseph Gatt brings it on as Zaroff’s henchman, Ivan, who has both a menacing look and a bit of a conscience when it comes to certain things involving the “hunt” as seen in a pivotal scene.

Never Leave Alive is a pretty decent indie take on The Most Dangerous Game and continues to prove John Hennigan as a good indie action star. With his abilities in the ring, it is clear at some point, it would be fun to see Hennigan do a full-on martial arts action film in the future. In the meantime, wrestling fans may get a kick out of this one.

WFG RATING: B-

An Ante Up Productions Film. Director: Steven LaMorte. Producers: Steven LaMorte and Jonathan Lee Smith. Writer: J. Amanda Sabater. Cinematography: Ryan De Franco. Editing: Steven LaMorte and Stephen Anthony Bailey.

Cast: John Hennigan, Michelle Taylor, Eric Etebari, Joseph Gatt, J. Michael Evans, Alistair McKenzie, Jim Pacitti, Jenilee Reyes, Kelly Montgomery.

Almost Friends (2017)

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A man reflects on his life as he comes face to face with some new challenges, including a possible shot at love, in this dramedy from filmmaker Jake Goldberger.

Charlie Brenner was an aspiring chef who was on his way to make it big when he made a mistake. No longer having the passion to live his dreams, Charlie finds a job as an assistant manager in his hometown’s movie theater and is living life only when he is with his best friend Ben, who is awaiting the results of his bar exam. Charlie lives with his mother, stepfather, and little brother. He also has eyes for Amber, a young woman who works at the local coffee house he always goes to, but is afraid to ask her out.

Amber has a bit of a complicated life herself. Her roommate Jack is somewhat of a deadbeat. She has a boyfriend, Brad, who is a track star. However, Amber has dreams when she plans to move to New York. Things go from bad to worse for Charlie when his father returns to town, with potentially ulterior motives. As Charlie and Amber begin to bond, the complications in their lives may prevent them from even becoming real friends, much less a romance. Will these two be able to overcome their life obstacles and at least become friends?

For his third film, filmmaker Jake Goldberger brings what can be said to be real issues in a small town in terms of his characters having big dreams and being able to overcome their personal issues to attain those goals. While the primary focus is on an unmotivated young man who slowly begins to see the light, he finds himself in a series of constant ruts, while there are a few subplots involving other characters with the same notion in mind.

Freddie Highmore once again shows why he is truly a great talent, this time as Charlie, an aspiring chef who only uses his skills at home and not in some fancy restaurant. That’s because an incident resulted in Charlie feeling like he lost everything, yet he still has his family and friends, notably best buddy Ben, played by Haley Joel Osment, and Heather, played by Rita Volk. While Ben is there as Charlie’s confidant and at times the only reason why he even goes out anymore, Heather is a reliable friend too and is part of the film’s major subplot which involves a possible relationship with Jack, the deadbeat roommate of lead female character Amber.

Odeya Rush’s Amber may seem like a character who has it all but like Charlie, she has her own set of complicated matters, thus making it easy at first for these two to get along quite well. While Amber’s relationship with Brad seems to look good, there is something under the surface that could jeopardize that part of her life as it not so much Charlie, but something else. Highmore and Rush have some pretty good chemistry together and it helps drive the film and in a way, the two attempt to help each other get through their personal issues. Jake Abel’s Jack seems like a moocher until Charlie helps him get a job at the movie theater and it is there that Jack begins to aspire to get quite a few things: an actual relationship with Heather and the big candy bar in a crane game machine in the theater.

Marg Helgenberger helps bring Charlie to a grounded effect as his mother with Chris Meloni playing Charlie’s returning dad, who seems to be shady while attempting to help Charlie with his issues as well. It is like Charlie’s dad somewhat means well but he isn’t going to get the award for “father of the year”.

Almost Friends is a pretty good look at dreams and what people will go through to achieve those dreams, even if it means overcoming the odds in their personal lives. Some great performances from the young cast really drive this film as one to check out.

WFG RATING: B+

Gravitas Ventures presents a Let It Play/Animus Films production. Director: Jake Goldberger. Producers: Tony Lee, Jim Young, and Alex A. Ginzburg. Cinematography: Jeremy Mackie. Editing: Julie Garces.

Cast: Freddie Highmore, Odeya Rush, Haley Joel Osment, Marg Helgenberger, Christopher Meloni, Jake Abel, Rita Volk, Taylor John Smith.

The film will be coming to theaters, On Demand, and Digital HD on November 17.

Harder They Fall (2005)

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Two kickboxers from opposite sides of Miami are the highlight of this independent martial arts drama, well shot and directed by Lee Cipolla.

Max Anderson is a kickboxing hopeful who comes from the rich side of Miami, with his mother always supporting him yet sometimes berating him for sometimes not working hard enough. While Max longs to be just a college student, he is expected to perform at the top of his game at all times. Jesus Velez is a troublemaker who constantly has run-in with the cops and is always berated by his sister Maria and grandmother. Jesus works at the local car shop and one night changes his life forever, when he earns some extra money by fighting in the streets.

When Jesus’ first opponent sees how good Jesus is, he offers to give him a chance to really show his skills the right way. Jesus is introduced to fight promoter Julius Prince. At first reluctant, Julius gives Jesus a match and is impressed with his style of fighting. When Julius offers Jesus a chance to take on his star fighter, Max, he is given the chance to finally start straightening up. However, during their fight, Max unknowingly resorts to using a dirty tactic to defeat Jesus. However, when Max realizes what has happened, he decides to finally do the right thing and to begin, he asks for a rematch with Jesus.

From director Lee Cipolla comes this pretty good dramatic film about the lives of two fighters from opposite sides of the tracks. The first half of the film poses a juxtaposition of the two fighters, played well by Josh Lamboy and Johnny Vieira. Lamboy’s Jesus is from the rough side of the tracks, always getting into trouble and getting harassed by his sister and grandmother. He has a job at a car shop, but hopes for something more and eventually sees his fighting skills as a way to finally make something of himself.

As for Vieira’s Max, he is more like someone who is typical of a stereotype. While he is from a rich family, he feels he doesn’t have it all. He is practically in a forced relationship with a pompous woman. He is expected to always perform at the top of his game by both his mother and trainer, who is obvious there not to support Max as more to cash in on Max’s local fame as a potential champion. It goes as far as forcing Max to do something he learns about too late in the ring. While Jesus finally sees himself learning through the ropes, it is Max’s discovery of what had happened that prompts him to finally start speaking and standing up for himself.

The drama and the in-ring action is complemented nicely. Despite just a few flaws during the climactic bout between Max and Jesus, the generalization of the fight scenes are well-edited. There is even a nice chase scene between Max and Jesus that occurs when Jesus confronts Max about what had happened in their first fight, resulting in Jesus stealing Max’s wallet. There is just a little bit of parkour mixed in but overall, a nicely shot chase scene that results in Jesus showing he is not a completely bad guy like many want to believe.

Harder They Fall is a worthy independent film filled with emotion, nice action for what they had, and a great story about two fighters who despite settling their differences in the ring, learn to finally stand up for themselves and eventually become better men in and out of the ring. Worth a rental.

A Future Films Production in association with the S.A.F.E. Foundation. Director: Lee Cipolla. Producers: Rona Freeman and Lee Cipolla. Writers: Warren Christophell, A.J. Cipolla, and Lee Cipolla. Cinematography: Dan Lauchaire. Editing: Lee Cipolla and Dan Lauchaire.

Cast: Joshua Lamboy, Johnny Vieira, Rona Freeman, David Perez-Ribada, Jeremy Mitchell, Estefania Crespo, Juana Fuentes, Andre L. Gainey, Valentina Izarra, Mirtha Michelle, Leah Page, Gerard Maccioli.

Enter an “Apocalypse Road” This December

It’s simple…Run. Fight. Survive.

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Brett Bentman will unleash Apocalypse Road this December on Video on Demand. In the film, two sisters separated during a post-apocalypse depression find themselves hunted down by a band of killers hellbent on becoming the new “law and order”.

Katie Kohler, Ashlyn McEvers , Billy Blair and Nellie Sciutto star in the film, which will be released by Wild Eye Releasing on December 5 on VOD platforms.

November’s Indie Action Spotlight

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It’s the first Friday of the month, so that means it’s Indie Action Spotlight time! And this month, we have a special treat for our Highlight Clip of the Month!


The duo of Vlad Rimburg and Stephen Reedy have collaborated on a short film entitled Princess Chronicles, which is a test for a potential web series. A meshing of Once Upon a Time and Into the Badlands, this short features Amy Johnston as a tough-as-nails Sleeping Beauty who faces a demonic Little Red Riding Hood, played by Mickey Facchinello.

Here are this month’s featured Stunt Reels:







Finally, here are this month’s featured Short Films:







If you want to submit a short film or stunt reel for the final Indie Action Spotlight of 2017, send an e-mail to worldfilmgeek@gmail.com with “Indie Action Spotlight” in the subject line. The deadline for December’s Indie Action Spotlight is November 30, 2017.