Category Archives: Drama

Life is but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more

Fantastic Fest 2021: Barbarians, Knocking, Found Footage Phenomenon — Movie Reviews

The Found Footage Phenomenon, Barbarians, and Knocking are screening as part of Fantastic Fest 2021.

The Found Footage Phenomenon

The Found Footage Phenomenon is just what it says on the tin: an overview of the phenomenon of found footage horror films that sprung into the mainstream after the massive success of The Blair Witch Project in 1999. As a primer for the uninitiated,  Continue reading Fantastic Fest 2021: Barbarians, Knocking, Found Footage Phenomenon — Movie Reviews

Fantastic Fest 2021: Homebound — Movie Review

Homebound is screening as part of the 2021 Fantastic Fest.

Sebastian Godwin’s debut feature, Homebound, is a lean domestic thriller with a transfixing tone and a less-than-satisfying conclusion.

Holly (Aisling Loftus) is off to meet her fiance Richard’s (Tom Goodman-Hill) ex-wife and children in the countryside. On arrival, most of the family is nowhere to be found. Eventually, Richard’s estranged children come out of the woodwork. However, they are cagey and distant. The ex-wife, Nina, is apparently not planning on showing up at all. By dinner, even Richard is acting somewhat strange, exhibiting mood swings which Holly is off-put by.

Something is amiss. Perhaps it is just collective nerves over this novel situation. Richard hasn’t seen his children in quite some time. Holly is meeting them for the very first time, and at least two of them are not providing a warm welcome. But… Continue reading Fantastic Fest 2021: Homebound — Movie Review

Fantasia Festival 2021 Movie Reviews — Glasshouse, Sweetie You Won’t Believe It, The Last Thing Mary Saw

Glasshouse; The Last Thing Mary Saw; and Sweetie, You Won’t Believe It are screening as part of the 2021 Fantasia International Film Festival that runs Aug. 5 to Aug. 25.

Glasshouse

Glasshouse is an interesting take on a post-apocalyptic sci-fi thriller. It explores  Continue reading Fantasia Festival 2021 Movie Reviews — Glasshouse, Sweetie You Won’t Believe It, The Last Thing Mary Saw

NYAFF 2021 Movie Reviews — Three Sisters, Shadows, The Silent Forest

Shadows, Three Sisters, and The Silent Forest are screening as part of the 2021 New York Asian Film Festival that runs Aug. 6 to Aug. 22.

Three Sisters

Lee Seung-won’s Three Sisters is a meditative drama about the distant lives of three sisters leading up to their reunion at their father’s birthday party. Mi-yeon (Moon So-ri) is the mother of two in a religious household, and she discovers her husband is engaging in an affair with Continue reading NYAFF 2021 Movie Reviews — Three Sisters, Shadows, The Silent Forest

NYAFF 2021 Movie Reviews — Sinkhole, Joint

Sinkhole and Joint are screening as part of the 2021 New York Asian Film Festival that runs Aug. 6 to Aug. 22.

Sinkhole

Sinkhole is a midbudget blockbuster from South Korea and a disaster movie in its purest form. From director Kim Ji-hoon, who has dabbled in the disaster genre before (The Tower), the film is about exactly what it says on the poster. When  Continue reading NYAFF 2021 Movie Reviews — Sinkhole, Joint

NYAFF 2021 Movie Reviews — A Leg, The Prayer

A Leg and The Prayer are screening as part of the 2021 New York Asian Film Festival that runs Aug. 6 to Aug. 22.

A Leg

A Leg is a story of dance, romance, heartbreak, mourning, and a lost amputated leg. When her husband (Tony Yang) dies following surgery to amputate his foot, Qian Yu-Ying (Qwei Lun-mei) goes on a days-long search throughout the hospital to find  Continue reading NYAFF 2021 Movie Reviews — A Leg, The Prayer

Fantasia Festival 2021 Movie Reviews — Broadcast Signal Intrusion, Coming Home in the Dark

Broadcast Signal Intrustion and Coming Home in the Dark are screening as part of the 2021 Fantasia International Film Festival that runs Aug. 5 to Aug. 25.

Broadcast Signal Intrusion

Jacob Gentry’s Broadcast Signal Intrusion has a few visible antecedents. The premise—a man hired to transfer VHS tapes to disc becomes haunted by the image of a hijacked broadcast feed featuring a figure wearing a strange mask—is clearly a play on  Continue reading Fantasia Festival 2021 Movie Reviews — Broadcast Signal Intrusion, Coming Home in the Dark

Fantasia Festival 2021 Movie Reviews — We’re All Going to The World’s Fair, Tin Can

Tin Can and We’re All Going to the World’s Fair are screening as part of the 2021 Fantasia International Film Festival taking place Aug. 5 to Aug. 25.

Tin Can

Tin Can sets up a vaguely intriguing premise about a pandemic which is ravaging the population and a scientist working on the treatment. It appears like it may be a Continue reading Fantasia Festival 2021 Movie Reviews — We’re All Going to The World’s Fair, Tin Can

Fantasia Festival 2021 Movie Reviews — Sexual Drive, It’s a Summer Film

Sexual Drive and It’s a Summer Film! are screening as part of the 2021 Fantasia International Film Festival that runs Aug. 5 to Aug. 25.

Sexual Drive

Kôta Yoshida’s Sexual Drive is a triptych film surrounding themes of anger and lust which revolve largely around a single, lecherous figure named Kurita (Tateto Serizawa). It is hard to know Continue reading Fantasia Festival 2021 Movie Reviews — Sexual Drive, It’s a Summer Film

No Sudden Move (2021) Movie Review

Somewhere in my preteen years, when I was taking in film so voraciously that I may have grown allergic to the sun, I stumbled upon Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs. I was hooked. It was probably my favorite movie for years, until some other hyper-masculine auteur thing took its spot. And, while it makes me feel like a dorm-room film nerd to admit it, I still love Reservoir Dogs (I can at least say I never had a Pulp Fiction poster hung up in my dorm room).

Reservoir Dogs belongs to a specific type of modern crime film. These films have a sizable ensemble cast, flashy dialogue, a winding narrative chock full of backstabbing and secrets, and the outcome generally goes badly for every character involved. Stakes matter, because the script is not beholden to the safety of the principal cast of characters. Death is treated as superfluous, a mere hazard of the profession. Cynicism reigns as supreme as in the bleakest of film noir, yet the generic elements of the film hew closer to baseline exploitation cinema.

no-sudden-move-2021-movie-review-benicio-del-toro-don-cheadle

Nothing in this equation sounds bad to me. On the contrary, I am drawn to it. Which isn’t to say Continue reading No Sudden Move (2021) Movie Review