Thursday, September 26, 2019

Fantastic Fest 2019 - Day 4

Final day of the fest.

Movie 1: THE PLATFORM


Fantastic premise and solid execution. It's obviously all a metaphor, but I'm a simple dude, and I love obvious metaphors. (4 out of 5 stars)

Movie 2: WHY DON'T YOU JUST DIE!


Basically a Russian Guy Ritchie film with dark Korean comedy sensibilities. Either that works for you, or it doesn't. It definitely works for me. (4 out of 5 stars)

Movie 3: KNIVES OUT


You had me at "written and directed by Rian Johnson." Daniel Craig's CSI KFC detective is the cherry on top. (4 out of 5 stars)

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Fantastic Fest 2019 - Day 3

Only watched one movie this day due to some... stomach issues.

Movie 1: WYRM


This hit all my sweet spots. Awkward main character, teen angst, lo-fi 90's aesthetics, deadpan humor, and an amazing soundtrack. It's like NAPOLEON DYNAMITE meets ROCKET SCIENCE meets Wes Anderson. Loved it. (5 out of 5 stars)

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Fantastic Fest 2019 - Day 2

Movie 1: RIDE YOUR WAVE


This is the most wholesome and uplifting movie I've seen all year. The animation style takes a bit getting used to if you're unfamiliar with Masaaki Yuasa's previous work, but it is flat-out gorgeous at times. The host that introduced the movie warned us the song used throughout would be an earworm, and ain't that the truth. (5 out of 5 stars)

Movie 2: SWALLOW


What sounds like a ridiculous premise turns out to be a quiet, yet unnerving piece of work about a woman trying to regain some control in her life. (4 out of 5 stars)

Movie 3: THE VAST OF NIGHT


Despite its well-done homage/spoof of THE TWILIGHT ZONE aesthetic in the intro and end sequences, it doesn't fully feel like an episode of the show at all. It's merely a set dressing. There are at least three "oners" with the camera just sloooowly zooming in on a character as they talk on and on, and I almost fell asleep on each of them. When something genuinely exciting and creepy finally happens, the movie ends. So it's both too long and too short. (3 out of 5 stars)

Movie 4: FRACTURED


The twist here is that the twist is so obvious that there has to be another twist, but there isn't. Another mediocre entry in the Netflix pantheon. (2 out of 5 stars)

Fantastic Fest 2019 - Day 1

I'm in Austin! The first four days were spent with the fam. It was Edith's first time here but I'm not sure it was super memorable for her; we didn't even get to see the bats although we tried two nights in a row. Damn bats kept hiding and wouldn't come out! Now everyone's gone and I'm left alone to wallow in movies. Poor me.

Movie 1: VIVARIUM


This is like an overlong Twilight Zone episode, with a bit of Junji Ito influence. That may sound cool, and it kinda is for the first 20 minutes, but the glacial pace hampers this down. I could only watch so many scenes of Jesse Eisenberg digging a hole in the ground before I broke down like the characters. Seriously though, this could have been a killer episode of TZ. (2 out of 5 stars)

Movie 2: IN THE SHADOW OF THE MOON


It's a solid police procedural / time travel mashup until it turns into something a lot more... cheesier. Also, no one can convince me that Boyd Holbrook is not related to Tim Heidecker. Their resemblance isn't quite at the level of Tom Hardy and Logan Marshall-Green, but it's up there. (3 out of 5 stars)

Movie 3: THE DEATH OF DICK LONG


Another strange-but-funny-and-more-down-to-earth movie about friendships and all the good and bad that those entail, from one half of the duo that wrote and directed SWISS ARMY MAN, which was one of my favorite movies from 2016. It's filled with memorable characters, especially those on the periphery -- Officer Dudley fucking rocks and I need more movies with her in the main role. I'm serious. (4 out of 5 stars)

Movie 4: COLOR OUT OF SPACE


Nic Cage gives the same performance of a "nice but corny dad" that turns into a "screaming and manic dad" that he already gave in MOM AND DAD, but it was still very entertaining. And I guess it was nice to see Tommy Chong turn up in something even if it's the same old stoner role he's been doing his whole life. The story goes exactly where you think it will go if you're familiar with Lovecraft at all, but the journey there is fun and gross at times. (3 out of 5 stars)

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