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Gray Matter Review | Project Greenlight’s Latest Winner is a Disaster

Meko Winbush’s Gray Matter will unfortunately be remembered as another Project Greenlight blunder instead of a true career-starter.



This piece was written during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Without the labor of the writers and actors currently on strike, the movie being covered here wouldn’t exist.

Project Greenlight has been rebooted on Max with Issa Rae, Kumail Nanjiani, and Gina Prince-Bythewood, shepherding its filmmaker, Meko Winbush, into premiering her movie, Gray Matter, on the streaming service. And while the ten-episode documentary on the making of the movie is fascinating and gives aspiring filmmakers strong advice on what not to do when making a movie, and the difficulties each production can face, the finished product itself leaves little to be desired.

It’s interesting to watch the documentary before watching Gray Matter, as there is a strong realization from both Rae and Winbush that the movie isn’t exactly very good when screened for the first time in front of producers. And yet, it is released on the platform for the world to see. The film does have an interesting high-concept premise, focusing on a world where psionics exists. Psionics are human beings who are born with psychic abilities, able to manipulate time and space, and memories, frequently using telepathy, and can also teleport from one place to the next. Basically, they’re the equivalent of Charlie McGee in Firestarter, but without the fire starting.

It follows Aurora (Mia Isaac), a psionic who has a hard time controlling her abilities, living in a secluded part of her town with her survivalist mother (Jessica Frances Dukes), who teaches her daughter how to hone in on her powers. Aurora has recently befriended Isaiah (Andrew Liner) and escapes her house when her mom isn’t around to hang out with him. One night, her powers grow out of control, and Aurora accidentally kills Isaiah, leading her to teleport inside a facility run by Derek (Garret Dillahunt), who is also psionic. He tells Aurora that plenty of psionics are living in the world, and he built his facility to help them control their powers. Predictably, Derek’s agenda is much darker than this, and he has been looking for Aurora’s mother for a long time.

Now, Aurora will try to escape the facility, but it seems much more difficult than it is. Then the film becomes a quasi-riff on Alain Resnais’ Je t’aime, je t’aime, where time and space become completely warped, and Aurora can’t discern what’s real and what’s not. And while the ideas are interesting enough, and the world of the movie seems rich and lived-in, the film itself is terribly predictable and way too dull for viewers to engage in its story actively. When Dillahunt’s Derek shows up in the movie, you immediately know he’s the film’s bad guy, as he sits in front of Aurora with a stoic demeanor, bald head, and perfectly-fitted clothes. You can’t trust him from the get-go, and it makes the reveal fall completely flat. If you’ve seen any movie where the protagonist is “abducted” into a facility, not remembering what occurred before, you know the person running it can’t be trusted. As much as Dillahunt seems to care about his character, he’s riddled with clichés and can never act past them.

Frances Dukes’ arc is also terribly clichéd, one of the overprotective mothers who think she helps her daughter by shielding her from the outside world. Of course, we all know how that will go down, though it’s less predictable than Derek’s. Besides, she does give a rather impassioned performance as Aurora’s emotional anchor, and you feel for her when she realizes how powerful her daughter may be.

As Aurora, Mia Isaac steals the entire movie and is the only reason why anyone should ever bother watching Gray Matter. Isaac has been one of the most exciting up-and-coming actors working today with Hannah Marks’ Don’t Make Me Go and Quinn Shephard’s Not Okay. Both of these movies weren’t very good, but Isaac gave her all with both performances, giving some of the best, if not the best, breakout work you’d see in 2022. Unsurprisingly, she’s the best part of Gray Matter, carrying a lot of emotional weight through Philip Gelatt’s uninspired screenplay. She is poised to be a star, and I can’t wait to see what she does next.

It’s a shame that Isaac has been stuck in movies that don’t favor her. Aside from her and Frances Duke’s performances, Gray Matter is pitifully forgettable. The action scenes aren’t very interesting, the film is lethargically paced, and you can see everything coming a mile away, despite its somewhat intriguing premise and concept. Had Gray Matter been less unsurprising in its story beats and character arcs, it might have been an enjoyable feature debut from Meko Winbush. Unfortunately, it’ll only be remembered as yet another Project Greenlight blunder.


Gray Matter is now available to stream on Max.

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Arthur the King is an Epic Masterpiece



Arthur the King movie poster (Lionsgate Films)

Here follows the review of Arthur the King, a story of deep connection between people and dogs. Not all heroes wear capes, some have wagging tails and would cross a river (and jungle) for you.


Desperate for one last chance to win, Michael Light convinces a sponsor to back him and a team of athletes for the Adventure Racing World Championship in the Dominican Republic. As the team gets pushed to the outer limits of endurance, a dog named Arthur comes along for the ride, redefining what victory, loyalty and friendship truly means.

Arthur Foundation

Mikael Lindnord raced through a jungle in Ecuador and after feeding a few meatballs to a stray dog made a friend for life. The dog followed Mikael and his team through the rough terrain. Mikael named the dog Arthur and took him back home with him.

Arthur and Mikael Lindnord (Photo taken by Krister Goransson)

The Arthur Foundation collaborates with various organizations in different countries that work towards animal welfare.

Click on the following links to reach out to Mikael Lindnord.

Movie Review (no spoilers)

The movie is based on the memoir, Arthur – The Dog Who Crossed the Jungle to Find a Home by Mikael Lindnord, who was the athlete who participated in the Adventure Racing World Championship in Ecuador. It is important to note in the movie they refer to him as Michael Light. Even though the original race took place in Ecuador, the movie changed the location to the Dominican Republic. The original race took place in 2014, while in the movie the race takes place in 2018.

Mark Wahlberg portrays the part of the Mikael and delivers an excellent performance alongside Simu Liu, Nathalie Emmanuel and Ali Suliman. Ukai, a stray dog, was a real champion portraying the role of Arthur. The film takes us through picturesque locations in the Dominican Republic. The suspense was felt at every turn and corner and you are kept glued to the screen with a gripping storyline. The story balances the journey of Mikael and Arthur and eventually joins their path like a jigsaw puzzle.

Mark Wahlberg as Mikael Light (Lionsgate Films)

A fictional backstory is provided of Mikael’s competitive journey as well as the journey that Arthur took to get to Mikael. The movie successfully tells a deep story of connection between dogs and people. If you want to know more about the real story, you can check your local bookstore or Amazon for a copy of Arthur – The Dog Who Crossed the Jungle to Find a Home

This movie is a 5 out of 5 for me. The connection between Mikael and Arthur is brought to life in this epic masterpiece. Arthur found a home in the heart of Mikael and thanks to Mark Wahlberg and Ukai, this film adaptation of ‘Arthur – The Dog Who Crossed the Jungle to Find a Home’ became a memorable movie.

The trailer doesn’t spoil any of the important scenes of the movie. Arthur the King has a runtime of 1 hour and 30 minutes. There is no post-credits scene so no need to wait till the end.

Arthur the King Official Trailer (Lionsgate Films)

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A Must-See Satanic Panic Horror – Late Night With the Devil




Written and directed by Cameron Cairnes & Colin Cairnes, Late Night With the Devil follows a late night TV host Jack Delroy, fighting the plummeting viewership of his show by welcoming in people from the occult in order to change that, but of course, everything doesn’t go as smooth as planned.

David Dastmalchian as Jack Delroy Late Night With the Devil (2023)

David Dastmalchian has appeared in a lot of films however always in smaller roles including The Dark Knight, Prisoners and more recently The Suicide Squad. This film allows Dastmalchian to take on the lead role of Jack Delroy, the host of the late night show at the centre of this film, and he genuinely does a great job. There’s a real range of emotions which his character goes through during the course of this film and he depicts them so well.

If you’re a fan of the horror genre, you’re going to really appreciate the use of practical effects in this. There’s plenty of stretchy and gooey gore for all of the horror fanatics that will have you shouting at the screen. 

From left to right: Laura Gordon, Ingrid Torelli, David Dastmalchian, Ian Bliss

If you want to hear my full thoughts, check out my review over on YouTube and let me know your opinions in the comments.

Late Night With the Devil will be released in cinemas from 22nd March and on Shudder on 19th April.

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‘I Love You, Guys’ Review | A Poignant Exploration of Celebrity Vulnerability and Human Resilience



We are living in an era where celebrities are worshipped like deities and sometimes, people forget that he or she is also a normal human being. If we feel happy or sad at certain moments, they do as well and even though a lot of people always surround them, they get vulnerable too. Although a lot of filmmakers forget to show that aspect of their lives, Billie Melissa Rogan takes the bold approach of showing the truth. Her directorial debut, ‘I Love You, Guys,’ is a poignant story about a celebrity fighting her inner self to maintain her celebrity image. The result is a stunning piece of art that resonates long after the end credits roll in.

The short film opens with a profound close-up of the young singing sensation named Sky (Becky Bush). She has made a name for herself by making and singing really exceptional songs. As a result, she is adored by her fans. Even though it feels like Sky has everything she wants, viewers see her submerged in a bathtub as she tries to battle her anxiety. Just then, Sky gets a phone that she’d be performing state-side. Now, that’s where we get to know about her vulnerable state for the first time. Although she says that she is really happy with the above-mentioned news, her face tells a different story. Despite her impending stardom, Sky has not started to feel the massive weight of mounting pressure, a sentiment audiences get to see in her conversations with bandmate Ryan (Pedro Leandro) and girlfriend Taylor (Celi Crossland).

Becky Bush in a still from ‘I Love You, Guys’ (Jumpcut Studios)

As the story moves forward, we get to know that ‘I Love You, Guys’ is about the fragile nature of the human spirit as much as it is about celebrity culture. It not only navigates themes of depression, it also highlights the turbulent emotional journey of Sky. One of the best aspects of the film is how Rogan masterfully brings Cory Varney’s screenplay to life. She managed to capture every minor detail of Sky’s emotions with utmost precision. Despite the fact that it is her first-ever film as a director, we get a sense that we are watching a flick helmed by a seasoned filmmaker.

Another aspect that makes this film such a compelling watch is its cinematography. Jenni Suitiala has done a phenomenal in showing expressions through vibrant colors and Rogan has made full use of the settings to give viewers a visually striking film. Whether it is heated arguments or silent moments of despair, each frame feels authentic and draws audiences into Sky’s personal life.

Apart from Rogan’s direction, Varney’s script is this film’s biggest strength. The writer has undoubtedly done a stunning job of showing the humanity of these characters. There’s a reason why Sky’s struggles feel very personal and it is because we have endured such moments in life. Moments where we doubt ourselves even when we know we are more than capable of doing a particular thing. Not every smiling person is happy. Sometimes he or she is smiling just so that no one finds out about the tough times they are going through.

A still from ‘I Love You, Guys’ (Jumpcut Studios)

Acting-wise, Becky Bush has given a performance that is surely going to open several doors for her. She delivers a magnificent performance by infusing Sky with a beautiful balance of vulnerability and strength. The way she manages to convey an innumerable amount of emotions is spectacular. I believe this is one of the most apt depictions of mental turmoil. Meanwhile, Pedro Leandro and Celi Crossland are just as spectacular. Every interaction between the characters feels genuine and nuanced.

All in all, ‘I Love You, Guys’ is a testament to how resilient a human spirit can be. In just 15 minutes, Rogan, Varney, and Bush take viewers on a journey that’s thought-provoking and talks about a subject that no one talks about. The writing, direction, and performances achieve a lot more than just viewers’ attention. The film offers a compelling examination of the human cost of pursuing fame and success. A poignant story that touches on themes of ambition, relationships, and self-discovery.

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