Category Archives: Like It

Movies I liked but likely won’t watch again. Something was off that I wish had been done differently.

Mister Organ — Fantastic Fest 2022 Movie Review

Journalist and documentarian David Farrier likes strangeness on the fringes. And if his films are any measure (Tickled is such an odd artifact that I can’t say if I like the film or not), Farrier can’t avoid but get in the thick of the worlds his subjects inhabit. Who knows — perhaps he enjoys being pulled into the weird. (Harmless as the act was, he did not have to take the abandoned antique store’s sign, let alone go on to make an entire feature about the eponymous Mr. Organ).

Mister Organ begins at this store — Bashford Antiques. In the middle of what Farrier calls the “Beverly Hills of New Zealand,” a man is wheel-clamping cars parked in the lot by the store and charging the owners exorbitant prices just to get their cars back. One car owner, according to Farrier, was charged Continue reading Mister Organ — Fantastic Fest 2022 Movie Review

Honk For Jesus. Save Your Soul. (2022) Movie Review

Adamma Ebo’s Honk For Jesus. Save Your Soul. places its viewer at the intersection of capital and religion. For pastor Lee-Curtis Childs (Sterling K. Brown) and Trinitie Childs (Regina Hall), this intersection has broken traffic lights. From the beginning, there is a fissure between the two forces, and a clear favoritism in this mega-church community toward capital. And at this broken traffic stop, problems are bound to occur.

Rather, a collision has already occurred at the point in which we meet the church owners. A scandal has rocked the church, which has caused Lee-Curtis to disappear from the public eye. But he sees Easter Sunday as the perfect time for his big comeback. With the church reopening set for that Sunday, Lee-Curtis commissions a documentary film crew to chart his return to prominence; his resurrection, if you will.

regina-hall-in-honk-for-jesus-save-your-soul

You could think about Honk For Jesus. Save Your Soul. in one sense as a tone piece. What is an occasionally humorous satire of commodified religion also carries a darker Continue reading Honk For Jesus. Save Your Soul. (2022) Movie Review

Review: Next Sohee — Fantasia Festival 2022

July Jung’s Next Sohee is a story told in two nearly equal halves. In the first half, high schooler Sohee (Kim Si-eun) is awarded an externship to work at a call center office. Conditions at the call center are tense and only get worse as Sohee tries to acclimate to a highly competitive environment and training which has her doing everything in her power to delay unhappy customers’ service cancellations.

As Sohee tries to weather the hostile work environment, she grows distant from her friends, suffers in school, and amplifies her alcohol consumption. When she hits the brink, the film fades to black and we switch perspectives to Continue reading Review: Next Sohee — Fantasia Festival 2022

2022 Fantasia Festival Movie Reviews — Megalomaniac, Incredible But True, The Fifth Thoracic Vertebra

Megalomaniac, The Fifth Thoracic Vertebra and Incredible But True are screening as part of the 2022 Fantasia International Film Festival, which runs from July 14 – August 3.

Megalomaniac

Megalomaniac is the bleakest film I’ve seen at this year’s Fantasia (and I also watched Speak No Evil, so that’s a high bar to clear). In the case of Speak No Evil, I could better stomach the Continue reading 2022 Fantasia Festival Movie Reviews — Megalomaniac, Incredible But True, The Fifth Thoracic Vertebra

Review: Speak No Evil — Fantasia Festival 2022

Bjorn (Morten Burian) and Louise (Sidsel Siem Koch) are on holiday in Tuscany with their daughter (Liva Forsberg), where they meet a Dutch family of similar makeup. They share a day or two together and then part ways. Back home in Denmark, Bjorn and Louise receive a postcard from their newfound acquaintances with an invitation to come stay in the family’s home in Holland. They agree, and slowly, methodically, this second vacation becomes one of nightmares.

For the first significant stretch of Speak No Evil, everything reads exceedingly normal, almost unremarkable. Save for that foreboding score. And that Continue reading Review: Speak No Evil — Fantasia Festival 2022

Review: Skinamarink — Fantasia Festival 2022

I’ve never seen anything quite like it. There’s so much visual noise in these dark shots that you have to squint just to make out the outline of objects in the frame. Camera placement is often very low or very high, capturing fragments of doorways and hallways. A child hits his head, we’re told, but he won’t require stitches. 15 minutes go by before we see a room in this house fully illuminated. The light at the top of the steps clicks off. Darkness. The boy calls out for his father. No answer. Continue reading Review: Skinamarink — Fantasia Festival 2022

2022 Fantasia Festival Movie Reviews — Sissy, Deadstream, The Girl From the Other Side

The Girl From the Other Side, Sissy, and Deadstream are screening as part of the 2022 Fantasia International Film Festival, which runs from July 14 – August 3.

The Girl From the Other Side

The Girl From the Other Side is a ruminative fairy tale about isolation and family. In a place divided by “inner” and “outer” lands, humans fear the curse given when touched by Continue reading 2022 Fantasia Festival Movie Reviews — Sissy, Deadstream, The Girl From the Other Side

2022 Fantasia Festival Movie Reviews — Shin Ultraman, Country Gold, Give Me Pity!

Shin Ultraman, Country Gold, and Give Me Pity! are screening as part of the 2022 Fantasia International Film Festival, which runs from July 14 – August 3.

Shin Ultraman

Shin Ultraman is the second Toho Pictures reboot of classic characters to be written by Neon Genesis Evangelion creator Hideaki Anno, with a third film planned. And Shin Ultraman immediately comes across as a sibling to the 2016 Shin Godzilla, with its Continue reading 2022 Fantasia Festival Movie Reviews — Shin Ultraman, Country Gold, Give Me Pity!

2022 Fantasia Festival Movie Reviews — Mutant Action, Dr. Lamb, Blue Sunshine

Mutant Action, Dr. Lamb and Blue Sunshine are screening as part of the Fantasia Retro series at the 2022 Fantasia International Film Festival.

Acción Mutante (Mutant Action)

Álex de la Iglesia’s Mutant Action looks like it owes a debt to the works of Paul Verhoeven. The tale of a fringe terrorist group made up of “mutants” is set against the backdrop of Continue reading 2022 Fantasia Festival Movie Reviews — Mutant Action, Dr. Lamb, Blue Sunshine

2022 Fantasia Festival Movie Reviews — Popran, The Roundup

The Roundup and Popran are screening as part of the 2022 Fantasia International Film Festival, which runs from July 14 – August 3.

The Roundup

The Roundup is the sequel to the fan favorite The Outlaws from 2017. Admittedly, I have not seen this first film, but one hardly needs to to get invested in Continue reading 2022 Fantasia Festival Movie Reviews — Popran, The Roundup