Written by M.A. Feldman; edited by Rachel Norman, VP Of MFG.
When an individual think of an indie movie, they think of a low-budget film, like a cult classic like Kevin Smith’s Clerks, or Movies produced by Netflix or up and coming talented individuals from the fantastic Legion M, such as the movie the Good Samaritan. However, the film we’ve recently seen is called Angelics: Ascension. Written by Ron Santiano and Richard Ong, and directed by Ron Santiano, whose works also include a fan film that acts as a follow up to 1990’s cult classic known as Leon, starring Jean Reno, Oscar Award Winner Gary Oldman, and Natalie Portman's first movie debut, the fan film to this movie, Mathilda, is also part of his credits.
However, this review is not about previously well-done works, but rather the work of Angelics Ascension. Written and directed by Santiano and Ong, the movie stars Akari Kalai, Richie Million Jr., and Chantal Lisette and currently holds a 3.0 average rating among users on Amazon Prime since its debut just a few weeks ago, we decided as usual to pry into the world of Indie Entertainment as we are so often known for doing and watched this movie.
We didn’t just watch this movie and analyze it either; we bloody well enjoyed every minute of it from the get go. Please note: This review does not contain some minor spoilers, and it should be noted that if you have not seen the movie or are bothered by spoilers, you would best be served to wait until our next update on Saturday, regarding the future of Mez Fantasy Publishing (Soon to be our new name).
First and foremost, the description of the film reads as follows on Amazon:
Angelics: Ascension is the story of a covert team of supernatural heroines/heroes whose tragic pasts and origins serve as harbingers of the coming age of a twisted world. It is an explosive action-packed sci-fi adventure drama that brings the archetypes of religion and mythology into the realm of political intrigue and the human condition.
This short summary though doesn’t do this movie justice. This movie isn’t just about Heroes and Heroines who are part of a Covert Agency that fights against the forces of evil and trains Angels and Arch-Angels to fight demons, or Vampires to kill their own kind, but rather, this is a movie that really looks at the struggles of the characters involved and how each of their own backstories contributes to the greater whole of the story and how they actually interact together. Reminiscent of a fledgling Tarantino style of character development, we see that these characters not only have to learn how to trust one another, but also how to place their trust and faith in the idea that what they are doing is the right thing. With a fantastic supporting cast to really bolster the main cast, this is not a movie that will soon be forgotten. With this all too real evil on the rise, while we watched, we at MFG could really feel the sense of tension and drama that was being brought through; the training sequences for the Covert Heroes could be felt through the dialogue and their character interactions. Furthermore, something that was very unique that actually was completely original was not just the portrayal of Arch-Angels and Supernatural Threats in this fantastic Modern-Day Sci-fi/Fantasy Romp of indie enjoyment, but also how well views can really relate to the struggles of the characters, some of whom are simply trying to find their place among their team mates, while the whole of the group is trying to make peace with the tragedy of their pasts and their past mistakes. All the while? The world is on the brink of going straight to hell.
When it comes to plot, as many of our readers and subscribes know, we work on a Five Start Rating System, however, we’ve gotten a bit more technical in our reviews of books and movies and video games over the past few months, as we’ve wanted to ensure that when we do start releasing our online Magazine again, you know that the people working hard to bring it to you aren’t just wasting your time, or ours by simply sitting around and watching movies.
So let’s get to the overall review: When it comes to plotline, regardless of what’s said on Amazon Prime by users, and keeping in mind that the internet will troll and harass anything they feel cannot reach the standards of an AAA (also known as a Triple A movie title or company), we feel at MFG this movie deserves a full 5 Stars due to the hard work of the cast, but more importantly for being able to provide a storyline that isn’t just cohesive and immersive, but also relatable and engaging.
Plot Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
-Technical, Choreography, Filming, and Writing-
Now when it comes to the overall production of the film, like all movies, there’s a lot to consider. Is the lighting right for this film? Is the tone properly portrayed; are there too many clichés? In all honesty, Angelics: Ascension admittedly does follow some traditional tropes that could have been avoided or written differently to create a more powerful impact. Furthermore, when we look at the choreography of the combat scenes and the overall stunts that were performed…for an indie film that has yet to be released in theatres, this film gets top marks. Despite some minor flaws in the writing (and we really do mean minor that in no way take away from the overall writing of the story and the telling of the story), not only is the writing solid and the humor very modern and current, the overall idea of a covert group serving Heaven’s side of things in the ultimate battle of good against evil, it’s important to note that this battle isn’t the focus of the movie, but rather it serves as the existing backdrop. While Angelics does engage in some traditionally well-known Tropes, such as Characters with existing crises that they must overcome to achieve their full potential, what truly knocks this out of the park is the fact that the battle for good and evil is just that: A back drop. Rather than be the focus of the story, the characters are continuously the focus of the story. The combat scenes are like watching professional dancers, with the fluidity of combat sequences and how they are filmed as well as the way the lighting and sound is perfectly tuned to the setting of the movie, this a complete home-run.
The musical score is completely original and deserves its own accoupling official soundtrack for the film simply because the music used is the type you could easily use for any table top campaign setting for ambience. Furthermore, the shifts in tone are done just right that the scene transitions are a continuous flow, which many indie films have a problem maintaining (one such example is the indie horror film, Teeth). Even going further than the overall special effects of this movie while, admittedly are not triple A rated, even with the top marks, this in no way takes away from the movie. What was done with the limited budgets and true desire to bring this visionary epic tale to life on the screen was done with a style and fervent zealousness that should inspire future filmmakers to truly aspire to. The special effects in this movie are strong, solid, and all very relevant and carefully adjusted to meet each scene and character, and what we found to be one of the strongest demonstrations of this is in which a particular character reveals her true nature, and shows her true Angelic status; and in doing so, we get to see the true beauty of the original concept art for these characters brought to life. Angels portrayed as these powerful beings truly shines through the imagery of the wings we see, the way we see them fly; even when we see true power burn through the eyes of our main characters as they use their powers or embrace their vampiric heritage or fight these evil creatures they’re trained to destroy. The special effects are simply icing on the cake of a fantastic movie.
Overall Rating for Technicality, Writing, Choreography, And Special Effects:
4.5 out of 5 Stars
Overall, MFG gives this indie film a full five-star rating, and its we highly suggest you get out there and go to Amazon Prime (for those that have an account) and get your hands on either a rental copy or go out and buy the DVD/Blu Ray. The link to purchase or rent the movie from Amazon Prime is provided here: https://www.amazon.com/Angelics-Ascension-Akari-Kalai/dp/B07D3HKH6K/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1536166587&sr=8-1&keywords=Angelics+Ascension&dpID=51IXKaTVpXL&preST=_SY300_QL70_&dpSrc=srch
The Official Trailer for ANGELICS: Ascension can be found here, just to wet your curiosity whistle!
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