Tag Archives: Stacy Keach

Review: Survival Skills — Fantasia Festival 2020

Survival Skills is screening as part of the 2020 Fantasia International Film Festival

Quinn Armstrong’s Survival Skills has plenty of contemporaries. This faux police training video has the same old media affection, anachronistic diegetic reality, and cringe comedy of the late night comedy of Tim & Eric, viral alt comedy videos like Too Many Cooks, and a handful of other indie films on the festival rotation in recent years. Survival Skills deviates enough from these by presenting a less overtly comic take on the postmodern pastiche of the VHS tape aesthetic. But this tone is also the major detracting feature of the film.

The film follows smiley Jim (Vayu O’Donnell) on his first day as part of the Middletown police department. The trials and training he undergoes is part of a training video, but his actions start Continue reading Review: Survival Skills — Fantasia Festival 2020

Girlfriend’s Day (2017) Movie Review

Ray Wentworth (Bob Odenkrik) is a greeting card writer. The best, if you ask him. We first see him looking down the barrel of the camera in closeup, waxing poetic about the poetics of card writing. Writing novels are for hacks who cannot edit themselves. Cards are the real challenge.

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Following this, Ray is Continue reading Girlfriend’s Day (2017) Movie Review

Cell (2016) Movie Review

Cell is a movie based on a novel by Stephen King. In this adaptation, Clay Riddell (John Cusack), is an artist who, while in an apartment, becomes witness to an apocalyptic event in which a cell phone signal causes users to become feral (in inconsistent ways). They foam at the mouth, attack people, attack themselves, and become utterly unaware of their own humanity.

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The opening shots of this film set the tone for its overall success. Continue reading Cell (2016) Movie Review