Joss Whedon and Kai Cole’s “In Your Eyes” Available Now on Vimeo on Demand


Whedon makes surprise post-screening announcement.

Film is now available at, powered exclusively
by the Vimeo On Demand platform.

NEW YORK, NY (April 21, 2014) – At the Tribeca Film Festival last night, Joss Whedon and Kai Cole’s Bellwether Pictures made an unexpected move with its latest feature, IN YOUR EYES, giving instant access directly to fans around the world with a digital release immediately following its world premiere at the Festival. Whedon announced the plan in a surprise post-screening video message:

IN YOUR EYES is available now as a $5.00 digital rental on the film’s website: The release is being powered by the Vimeo On Demand platform and has been translated into Spanish, German, Portuguese, French, and Japanese for the worldwide release.

Bellwether Pictures, founded by Joss Whedon and Kai Cole, is a micro-studio committed to creating quality independent films and utilizing modern tools of distribution to bring these titles directly to their audience.

The company’s first film was Whedon’s contemporized Much Ado About Nothing. Their newest project, IN YOUR EYES, written and executive produced by Whedon and directed by Brin Hill (Ball Don’t Lie), adheres to this mission by skipping the traditional modes of distribution and taking the film directly to fans via a digital distribution strategy.

Cole explained: “It was always the plan to release IN YOUR EYES in a new and exciting way. It’s no secret that the distribution landscape is shifting rapidly and there are tools at our disposal as filmmakers that we could only dream about ten years ago.”

In partnership with Bellwether Pictures is producer Michael Roiff’s Night & Day Pictures (Waitress, Save the Date), which shepherded the film through production and has been instrumental in forming and executing the release strategy.

Roiff echoed Cole’s sentiments: “We’ve been aiming to do something like this from the get-go. When you work with Joss and Kai – you don’t get to say ‘but this is how it is usually done’, you have to say ‘and now for something completely different’.” He went on to say, “Finding a partner like Vimeo to power this release was incredible. They are fantastic people working to make the future of distribution happen today.”

“We are honored to be partnering with the masterminds behind IN YOUR EYES to bring the film directly to audiences worldwide,” said Vimeo’s General Manager of Audience Networks Greg Clayman. “As big Whedon fans we were drawn to the film immediately and our shared vision for disrupting traditional distribution models made this an amazing collaboration all around.”

A timeless boy-meets-girl story, wrapped in a supernatural, Whedonesque world, IN YOUR EYES stars Zoe Kazan, Michael Stahl-David, Nikki Reed, Mark Feuerstein, Jennifer Grey, and Steve Howey.

In the frozen East Coast winter, Rebecca (Zoe Kazan) is withering away in a life of cocktail parties and lonely nights as the sheltered, soft-spoken wife of a successful doctor. Across the country in sun-drenched, arid New Mexico, charismatic ex-con Dylan (Michael Stahl-David) is struggling to find his footing and a fresh start. When these polar opposites realize they share an inexplicable connection, a unique metaphysical romance begins.

Erin Darley and Kai Winikka talk about their film ‘Killer Pizza’

“Jimmy and Sam are two college graduates who return home and find themselves working at a small pizza shop that pops up out of nowhere. It doesn’t take long for them to suspect that they’re working for two cosmic freaks with more sinister intentions than simply delivering pie. What is happening at the Killer Pizza shop? What is behind their secret recipe?”

That is the synopsis of ‘Killer Pizza’, the definitive feature-length picture about growing up, getting jobs, and surviving a Killer Pizza monster invasion.

Today I sat down and talked with the creative team behind the film: co-writer/director Kai Winikka and co-writer/producer Erin Darley. Both filmmakers live in Lawrence, Kansas and are graduates of the University of Kansas.

B.C. Allen: How was it that you two first met?
Erin Darley: When I was a Freshman at K.U., Kai was one of the Presidents of Film Works.
Kai Winikka: I ran a Cult Movie Night, once every month during my Senior Year, through Film Works. Film Works was an extra-curricular for freshman whom weren’t able to get into some of the production classes. It was more of a student-driven organization. Erin was a cult-film enthusiast, and it was always a big thing to get girls to show up. I always made more of a point to reach out to Erin since she was really into it. I’d tell her, “Ya know, we’re showing ‘Breakin’’ and ‘Jaws 4’, you have to come: bring your friends!”
ED: It was just a bunch of nerds coalescing, keeping each other motivated.
KW: It was a group of dinguses getting together to make movies.

BCA: What previous projects have you worked on together?
ED: “Porn & Pudding” was a thing. Everyone loved that. And that spawned a club. There is a “Porn & Pudding” club, and it was actually pretty serious. Kai is shaking his head because he is ashamed that I’m telling everyone this.
KW: That’s YOUR film, that’s not my film. (laughs) Our first real collaboration was probably
“Bustin’ Out”, where we both co-wrote and co-directed. It was for the 48-Hour Film Festival about superheroes, so naturally we made a Women-In-Prison movie. It was about a woman whose evil twin imprisoned her with a bunch of other women – whom were played by men — ED: Chicks with d*cks in chains.
KW: And there was an amulet that allowed her to shoot lasers out of her breast-icles.
ED: And then there was “Nanny Goat” which starred my sisters.
KW: And my basement in K.C.K.

BCA: What the origin of the idea for ‘Killer Pizza’?
KW: “Nanny Goat” was originally Plan A for the 48-Hour Film Festival, and if it didn’t work out, Plan B was “Killer Pizza”, but it was a lot sillier at the time. “Nanny Goat” did well and ended up winning the Audience Award. It was originally going to be about a babysitter, so naturally they order pizza; and of course the pizza ends up killing them.
ED: I always say that it goes back to standing there and deciding whether “Nanny Goat” was going to work and Kai just said, “If it doesn’t work out we’ll just order a pizza and we’ll throw it on your sisters and it will be eating them. And then at the end of the movie it crawls up to the camera, looks at the camera, and belches.”
KW: It’s come a long, long way from there. Although “Killer Pizza” is about a Killer Pizza and has Ron Jeremy in it, I’d like to say that this is a legit horror movie. It’s not campy at all.

BCA: You mention Ron Jeremy, how is it that he became attached to this project?
KW: I did a documentary in 2008 called “XXX in the Midwest” and Ron came to Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas to do a debate. So we waited in a long line afterward to meet him and he did the interview, had no issues, and signed the waiver like it was nothing. It left an impression, like he’s someone who is down for anything. He’s known as the hardest working man in show business, and he doesn’t say no, well, if it’s the right project.
ED: I came back from Colorado last year and Kai said that if I helped him write “Killer Pizza” then we’d get Ron Jeremy to be in it and we’ll put it on So we wrote a part for him. And when we thought we were done with the script – which was three drafts ago – we knew it was time to contact Ron Jeremy. We sent him a letter, not knowing how long we’d have to wait to hear back from this guy. I went off to work, at a restaurant, and I was checking my e-mail obsessively, and he e-mailed us back within thirty minutes, and he said “Yes.” And I still have the letter, which started, “Dear Hedgehog,…”

BCA: What would be the biggest hurdle for this production?
KW: The biggest challenge I think will be the effects, that’s what I anticipate it being. There are a lot of them and they are elaborate; and there is a lot of testing that has to go down beforehand. And they can still go wrong, like on set, the day of. Also making sure we can make our day and keep the production sailing.

BCA: What makes you want to use practical effects as opposed to digital effects?
KW: It has more charm. There is more heart to it. I am a big believer in visual effects when they are combined with practical, but this movie doesn’t really call for that.
ED: I think C.G. is trying to be realistic, but it doesn’t always work. Regular effects don’t always look super real, but the suspension of disbelief takes care of a lot of that for us; but it’s more fun, I would say.
KW: It’s the heart. C.G. comes close, but not close enough.

BCA: Do you have a specific look you are going for with this film?
KW: It’s going to be a really dark film, so the idea is to go in and bring the black way, way down, and taking a lot of the color out. That idea is really appealing to me. The look of the film “976-EVIL” is the kind of look I am going for.

BCA: When was it that you started to write, or realized you wanted to be storytellers or filmmakers?
KW: In high school, a group of guys and myself were making “Jackass”-type videos. We were doing it every week, and then every day; and it got to a point where I was telling them they’d have to do it again because it wasn’t good enough, and my friends told me I was taking all the fun out of it. It grew from there.
ED: I made high school movies, too. But I didn’t discover my writing ability until college. I’ve just always done it as a fun, personal thing. I write poetry, and short stories. Screenplays are great, but there’s no one who is going to tell you that screenplays are literature. They are great if you think in terms of images. Screenplays are awesome if you think of a great story; you can just bang out a series of images and dialogue and say “That’s done.” And if you want to you can go back to it and add the prose later.

BCA.: What is the endgame for “Killer Pizza” are there any specific festivals you are looking at?
KW: I think the best festival out there for this genre would be Fantastic Fest. And of course, show it locally at the Kansas City Film Festival.
ED: I defer to Kai on that. I want to see this movie, and that’s all I am thinking about. I figure I’ll just make this movie to watch it myself, and then take it from there.

Killer Pizza is a feature-length weird horror film to be shot Summer of 2014 in Lawrence, Kansas.
Kai and Erin are currently crowd-sourcing the funding for “Killer Pizza” with a Kickstarter campaign.

Blu-ray Review "Dragon Ball Z Kai: Seasons One-Four"

Actors: Justin Cook, Christopher Sabat, Sean Schemmel, Sonny Strait, Mike McFarland and Colleen Clinkenbeard
Directors: Yasuhiro Nowatari
Rated: Unrated
Studio: FUNimation
DVD Release Date: S1: October 18. 2011, S2: May 22, 2012, S3: September 11, 2012, S4: March 12, 2013
Run Time: Season 1-3: 625 minutes, Season 4: 525 minutes

Seasons: 4 out of 5 stars
Extra: 1.5 out of 5 stars

Dragonball Z” is one of the most recognizable anime series in history. How is “Dragon Ball Z Kai” different? It takes the classic series that aired 1989-1996, which consisted of 291 episodes and complies it into a tighter 98 episodes. This was done to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the show and also bring the series closely to Akira Toriyama’s 26 volume “Dragon Ball” manga. I know it is hard to be cool with loosing that much content from your beloved anime series, but I really dig it. All fans of the show know that there was quite a bit of fluff added and pacing issues with the original episodes. “Kai” feels a lot tighter and epic and represented well on Blu-ray, thanks to Funimation.

“Dragon Ball Z Kai” really gives “Dragon Ball Z” a feel face lift. If you are a fan of this series, you will bee shocked at how good this series looks. It features high def remasters from Toei Animation’s original source material. They have been really touched up and have never looked better.  But “Dragon Ball Kai” is not just “Dragon Ball Z” remastered for HD, it is a literally a frame by frame digital clean-up, which includes brand new created animation added in which replaces entire segments from the original series. The new segments though are blended perfectly with the original footage and makes the show flow very smoothly.

Season one aka the Saiyans Saga contains episodes 1-26. Here is the official premise: Goku – Earth’s greatest champion – bravely defends humanity against an invading race of warriors known as the Saiyans. When the mighty hero falls, his young son Gohan rises up to face the very villains who murdered his father. The battle rages through space to Planet Namek, where Gohan and his overmatched allies risk their lives to defeat the Saiyan warlord Vegeta – and the monster known as Frieza!

Season two aka the Frieza Saga contains episodes 27-52. Here is the official premise: The nonstop action continues with a furious flurry of flying fists that will leave heads spinning! Krillin and Gohan test out their new powers in a battle with Vegeta, the Ginyu Force shows off their deadly moves, and Goku races through space on a collision course with Frieza! As the epic slugfest approaches a standstill, the Putrid Purple Fiend forever silences Goku‘s closest friend – sending Earth’s hero into a super-saiyan rage that threatens to obliterate them both!

Season three aka the Androids Saga contains episodes 53-77. Here is the official premise: In the aftermath of the battle between Goku and Frieza, both fighters have vanished, and the Earth has a new set of problems. A mysterious stranger known as Trunks has arrived from the future with a warning: The androids are coming – and they’re not alone! The monster known as Cell blazes a trail of death and destruction in pursuit of his horrifyingly perfect form. Should the hideous creature succeed, not even the power of a super Saiyan will be enough to save humanity!

Lastly season four aka the Cell Saga contains episodes 78-98. Here is the official premise: Cell has finally reached his perfect form, and he won’t rest till civilization falls! Only a herculean effort by Earth’s heroes can stop Cell’s rampage, but a superhuman slugfest of unprecedented brutality leads to Goku‘s shocking retirement! Young Gohan alone must now battle the monster and his miniature minions. The outlook appears bleak, but somewhere Goku lurks, waiting to lend his strength to Gohan for one final Kamehameha Wave. Will it be enough to save the world!?

You have to remember that this show originally aired from 1989 – 1996, so this show might not really be screaming high definition. But like I said the HD 1080p transfers for each episode looks fantastic.  The colors are very crisp and pop right off the screen. Also the show’s aspect ratio is also preserved with its original 1.33:1 presentation. The audio presentation for these seasons are just as impressive as the snazzy video upgrade.

“Dragon Ball Z Kai” comes with newly recorded tracks for both the Japanese and English versions. Most of the original cast have returned to deliver a very sharp and clear. The Japanese track is presented with a Dolby TrueHD 2.0 track, decent but I have to say I am a bigger fan of the English tracks here.  The English audio comes with a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 surround track which includes the most accurately translated subtitles to date from the original Japanese scripts.  This is a real update for the show unlike what was done for the English dub in “Dragon Ball Z”, which is always debated. So with these newly recorded voice tracks, I have to say that the English track really take the cake.

As much as I absolutely love these series, I really don’t love the extras on each season. I would have love FUNimation to include a few audio commentary tracks from the new U.S. cast. Also I am sure they could have scrounged up some featurettes or better interviews with the cast/crew on the restoration. But what we get is the Opening theme song (“Dragon Soul” by Takayoshi Tanimoto) and the closing theme song (“Yeah! Break! Care! Break!” also by Takayoshi Tanimoto) for each season. Season three also includes an extra closing theme song “Kokoro no Hane” by Team Dragon from AKB48. Season two attempts an interview extra but it is far too short. “Interviews with members of the US Cast”, cats with Justin Cook, Christopher Sabat, Sean Schemmel, Sonny Strait, Mike McFarland and Colleen Clinkenbeard. Lastly there is a collection of trailers for FUNimation releases included with each season.

Dragonball Z is still going strong all these years later. “Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods”, which is the 14th “Dragon Ball Z” movie and hits Japanese theaters on March 30, 2013. It has been 18 years since “Dragon Ball Z: Wrath of the Dragon”, the 13th movie was released in Japan. So this film is a long time coming. So U.S. fans get ready because you know that FUNimation will be bringing this over to us as well. Also “Dragon Ball Z Kai” was suppose to end with this season but it was reported by Krillin‘s Japanese voice actor Mayumi Tanaka last year that the cast is recording new episodes for what would be considered season 5 aka the Majin Buu Saga. So stay tuned.