Ben Umstead
U.S. Editor; Los Angeles, California

Ben joined Team Twitch in the summer of 2009 when he moved to NYC, where he established an east coast conglomerate of writers for the site. He currently resides in Los Angeles where he works as a producer and script consultant.

Review: COMMUNITY S6E05 "Laws Of Robotics And Party Rights", On Manipulation And Stereotypes

Like a prison inmate controlling an iPad mounted remote control robot that loses balance and tips over, this episode of Community just falls flat.After letting a once disgruntled ex-lawyer turned-professor sit back and soak in the group dynamic of this... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Review: COMMUNITY S6E04 "Queer Studies And Advanced Waxing", The Ponderous Natures Of Truth & Lies

In a comedy show, the cold open can be a glorious thing.It can set the tone for the rest of an episode, prepping us for the stories to unfold, or be its own little mini-tale, absurd, irreverent, and charming. Community's... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Review: MAN FROM RENO, Hit & Miss Neo-Noir

Dave Boyle's fifth feature, Man From Reno, is in many ways both refreshing and frustrating in its pulp leanings. It is far less a typical pulse-pounding thriller, and more a good ol' fashioned mystery with its roots firmly planted in... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Ben Mendelsohn Sought For STAR WARS: ROGUE ONE

If the latest talk from the trades goes through then the Gareth Edwards directed Star Wars: Rogue One is shaping up quite nicely.Deadline broke the news that Australian actor Ben Mendelsohn is being sought for a lead role alongside the... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Jason Segel Is Making LEGO Spin-Off THE BILLION BRICK RACE

Everything Is Awesome because Everything is LEGO. Including Jason Segel.  While I'm sure there are detractors of the Brick out there, I'm not one of them, and can proudly say I've been a LEGO builder for life. I was tickled... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Fan-Animated STAR WARS: TIE FIGHTER Lets The Empire Strike Back

Filling in for our resident Jedi Master Jason Gorber, the once vibrant pre-teen Star Wars fan in me is just giddy over animator Paul Johnson's stellar, 80s Anime-inspired short film Star Wars: TIE Fighter. Fans of the classic Star Wars... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Review: COMMUNITY S6E03, "Basic Crisis Room Decorum," One Doggone Night At Greendale

"Basic Crisis Room Decorum" doesn't in any way shape or form attempt to wow us with a hairband scheme, wacky hijinks, blockbuster homages, or even, despite that title, sensational End-Of-Greendale crises.It starts with what sounds like some rather pressing news... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON TV Spot Drops A Ton Of New Footage

Television commercials for movies are generally noisy and speedy mashups of their longer trailers. Let's call it blitzkrieg advertising. Rarely are they charming, fun and precise. This new spot for Joss Whedon's Give Me All Your Money 2, is all... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Review: COMMUNITY S601 & 602, "Weird, Passionate, And Gross."

"And Jesus wept. For there were no more worlds to conquer..."You'll excuse me for paraphrasing Dean Pelton's own paraphrasing of Hans Gruber and Alexandre The Great, but not only was his line one of the funniest bits on the second... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

HEAVEN KNOWS WHAT Trailer Dives Into An Addict's Own Personal Hell

Winner of the top prize at the Tokyo International Film Festival in 2014, Josh and Benny Safdie's latest film, Heaven Knows What, is based on Arielle Holmes' unpublished memoirs about her days as a heroin addict on the streets of... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

SXSW 2015: Trouble Abounds In BABY Trailer & Poster

Samuel Aaron Bennett's narrative short debut Baby, starring Renée Felice Smith (NCIS:Los Angeles), has its world premiere this weekend at SXSW. Today we've got a trailer and that nifty poster art for the acerbic and existential comedy. As trailers for... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

LA Happenings: Celebrate Kurosawa's Birthday With Screenings At The Crest

World-renowned filmmaker Kurosawa Akira was born March 23, 1910. To celebrate what would have been his 105th birthday (he passed away in 1998), The Crest Westwood movie palace are hosting Sunday screenings of some bonafide classics. Coming up this Sunday,... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Go Ape For The AAAAAAAAH! Poster

Sigthseers' Steve Oram will unleash his Ape-ified Romeo & Juliet epic upon us sometime in 2015, and today we've got this splendid poster to ogle over.Shot last spring, Aaaaaaaah! sees The Mighty Boosh's Julian Barratt and Green Wing's Julian Rhind-Tutt... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Crowdfund This: THE WINDS THAT SCATTER Promises A New View Of Immigrants In Post-9/11 America

For the life of me I can't recall a recent American independent film that featured a lead character who was Muslim or a Middle Eastern immigrant, and was not focused primarily on a plot involving terrorism or deportation.Filmmaker Christopher Bell's... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

This ROAR Trailer Will Maul You

In production for 11 years, real life couple Tippi Hedren and Noel Marshall, along with Hedren's daughter Melanie Griffith, shot an animal epic for the ages right in their own backyard. Packed wall to wall with Marshall's wild tigers, lions... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Tribeca 2015 Unveils Midnight, Spotlight And Special Screenings

Hot on the heels of Tuesday's announcement of World Narrative & Documentaries, plus Viewpoints, comes the remainder of Tribeca's 2015 festival slate.A few highlights: Midnight is ample with world premiere's including Scherzo Diabolico, the new film from Here Comes The... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

COMMUNITY Season 6 Trailer Is Marvelous

In that it apes from the Marvel Cinematic Universe quite ably. Premiering March 17 on Yahoo Screen (the search engine's now legit streaming content side thanks to this once cancelled NBC show) season 6 is promising everything you've come to... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Tribeca 2015 Announces World Narrative & Docs, And Viewpoints

If the city of New York can defrost themselves enough by April 15, the spring film festival season will kick into high gear on the isle of Manhattan with the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival. We've got the first plethora of... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Review: KUNG FU ELLIOT, Canada's First Action Hero

Yes. You read that right. Canada's first action hero. China has Jackie Chan and Jet Li. America has Arnold and Sly. Europe has Jean-Claude Van Damme. And if Elliot Scott has his way, Canada will have... Elliot "White Lightning" Scott.... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

In The New FURIOUS 7 Trailer You Will Believe Cars Can Fly

There probably aren't many action cinema fans out there that don't believe the Fast & Furious franchise can pretty much do anything it wants to do... and do it well. But if not, the following trailer should prove any doubters... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  
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