I haven't reviewed this one yet, but my review is set and ready to be sprung upon everyone very, very soon. I had the good fortune of streaming this one in advance in late December, 2023. As can happen sometimes, reviews get embargoed, or those of us in the media are asked to hold off on posting our thoughts until a bit closer to time. This helps to give these smaller, quieter releases a bit of a life all of their own; and I, for one, will be happy to share with you my thoughts on it very, very soon. Keep your eyes peeled.
Still, as a responsible member who loves to traffic in the Realms of the Fantastic (as I call 'em around here), I wanted to share with you the provided advance publicity information that I received via one of my media contacts this morning. Yes, it's understandable that some of it might be to hype the release, but when I've seen it and I agree with the sentiments then I'll only all too willing to share in the promotion. This one ain't perfect, but if you dig the premise (which I did), then I think it's worth the effort.
In short, it's called First Time Caller. Based on what I've read, I believe this one was completed in 2022, and it earned a bit of positive attention from screenings on the film festival circuit. I know what you're thinking -- festival viewers don't always equate to mainstream audiences. Generally speaking, I think that's very true, but having seen this I can assure you that this might be one of those occasions wherein the entertainment elite and academics got it right. Essentially, this is a solid performance piece built around a SciFi/Fantasy construct, and it works quite nicely.
Details are copied and pasted below. Once my review streets, you folks will be the first to know!
Science Fiction Thriller First Time Caller
Debuts January 12, 2024
Directors J.D. Brynn and Abe Goldfarb Adapt Acclaimed Podcast "The Earth Moves"
Coming Nationwide to Cable VOD and Digital HD
Los Angeles, CA--Buffalo 8 is thrilled to open their 2024 slate with the North American VOD release of First Time Caller, the feature adaptation of the fan-favorite podcast "The Earth Moves" from directors J.D. Brynn and Abe Goldfarb. Based on Gideon Media's acclaimed podcast, First Time Caller is a darkly hilarious look at success, power, loneliness and the apocalypse. First Time Caller debuts on Cable and Digital VOD January 12, 2024, including Prime Video, Vudu, Vubiquity, Cox, and Comcast.
Abe Goldfarb and Brian Silliman reprise their roles from "The Earth Moves" as Brent and Leo, alongside vocal performances from Greg Proops, Ophira Eisenberg, and Ashlie Atkinson. Mac Rogers, who penned the original podcast, adapted the script. Patrick Terry produced for Cinedata. Gerry Ohrstrom, Thomas Campbell Jackson and Lawrence Starr are executive producers, alongside Buffalo 8’s Matthew Helderman and Luke Taylor, Nikki Stier Justice and Grady Craig.
"Brent Ziff is an internet shock-jock at the top of his game. Fans and followers tune in from coast to coast to be insulted and enlightened by their favorite on-air provocateur. But on one very unusual night, Brent's world is rocked by a long-time listener who calls in with a grave message."
First Time Caller world premiered at the Seattle Film Festival and earned the Grand Jury Prize, along with awards for Best Actor (Goldfarb) and Best Director (Goldfarb and Brynn). The film went on to win Best Feature Film at the Brooklyn SciFi Film Festival and headlined as the Opening Night Feature at the Bowery Film Festival. On the festival circuit, Film Threat hailed First Time Caller as "extremely inventive, quite a ride!"