sundance 2017 line-up

We’re only a few short weeks away from the Sundance Film Festival. This year Peter, Angie, and Ethan are on the ground covering the fest, meaning they’ll get to see new movies from filmmakers such as David Lowery (Pete’s Dragon), Gillian Robespierre (Obvious Child), Alex Ross Perry (Listen Up, Phillip), Marti Noxon (UnREAL), and Matthew Heineman (Cartel Land). The Festival has announced the 66 films playing in competition in addition to titles out of competition as part of the NEXT lineup. Expect more titles showing at the festival to be announced shortly. The film fest kicks off in Park City, Utah on January 19th.

Below, check out the Sundance 2017 line-up.

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Almost Paris Trailer

In Hollywood, there are some families who have been in the business of making movies for years. Francis Ford Coppola, John Cassavetes, John Landis, Ron Howard, and Carl Reiner all have offspring who have gone on to work in the entertainment industry and are still working to this day. Now one more member of Hollywood royalty is beginning their filmmaking career.

Domenica Cameron-Scorsese is the daughter of Martin Scorsese, and she delivered her first feature film this year in the form of Almost Paris, a family drama that premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival earlier this year. Now the first trailer for the movie has arrived, and we can see if she inherited any of the filmmaking talent that has made her father such a respected name in cinema.

Watch the Almost Paris trailer after the jump. Read More »

NOCTURNAL ANIMALS review

Note: With Nocturnal Animals out this weekend, we’re re-running our review from TIFF.

There’s a lot to admire about Nocturnal Animals, the second feature from Tom Ford. The narrative is actually two narratives, beautifully braided together by Ford and brought to life by Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal. It’s pretentious pulp, in a good way — engaging to watch and pretty to behold. But Nocturnal Animals seems to be aiming for profundity, and there it falls short. It’s trying to say something, but what isn’t exactly clear.  Read More »

Manchester by the Sea

Note: With Manchester by the Sea opening in theaters this weekend, we’re re-running our review from the Sundance Film Festival.

This year’s Sundance slate is positively jam-packed with tales of family tragedy, from Other People to The Hollars to The Fundamentals of Caring to Hunt for the Wilderpeople. But grief has rarely been explored as deeply and as beautifully, at Sundance or elsewhere, as in Kenneth Lonergan‘s Manchester by the Sea. This film wrecked me, to the point that I started crying all over again while working on this very review.

Casey Affleck, giving a career-best performance in a career-best role, is the devastating heart of this exquisitely wrought drama. Surrounding him are a rock-solid cast that also includes Kyle ChandlerLucas HedgesMichelle Williams, and C.J. Wilson. Collectively, they’ve put together a film that I strongly suspect will turn out to be the very best of this year’s Sundance crop, at least in my personal estimation. Read More »

Loving review

Note: With Loving in limited release this weekend, we’re re-running our review from the TIFF.

Jeff Nichols has never been one for outsized drama. It’s not that dramatic things don’t happen in his movies — on the contrary, his films are full of superpowered kids and apocalyptic dreams and the like. But he often seems less interested in big events than in all the moments in between, the everyday bonds and minute details that make up the textures of everyday life.

In Loving, Nichols applies that same approach to the 1967 Supreme Court case Loving v. Virginia, which struck down anti-miscegenation laws across the country. Aided by awards-worthy performances from Joel Edgerton and especially Ruth Negga, Nichols delivers an intimate drama that feels all the bigger for keeping its scope so resolutely small.  Read More »

Never Happened Short Film

We’ve seen plenty of movies about romantic affairs happening behind the backs of significant others. However, in Mark Slutsky‘s short film Never Happened, which played at the Toronto International Film Festival, there’s a world where those cheating on their husbands and wives or boyfriends and girlfriends don’t have to worry about lying. That’s because there’s a sci-fi twist that changes the way people keep their adulterous behavior from each other.

Watch the Never Happened short film after the jump. Read More »

givertaker short film

My love for movies was born out of my love for horror movies and my love for horror movies was born out of a childhood obsession with monsters and ghosts and whatever else goes bump in the night. Because of that, I’m a strong believer that kids (and young adults or whatever we want to call them these days) deserve quality genre entertainment. You don’t necessarily want to subject an 11-year old to something truly grisly, but they also deserve access to horror stories that don’t talk down to them or pull their punches.

And that’s why the short film Givertaker scratches a very specific itch buried in the back of my brain. Here’s a horror short that speaks the same language as the various books and movies that I devoured when I was younger, while also functioning as a clever and entertaining genre tale. And it’s online and available to watch right now.

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Mad Max Fury Road Black and Chrome SpectreFest premiere

Though the version of Mad Max: Fury Road we saw in theaters last year was bursting with color, director George Miller has been staunch in his belief that “the best version of this movie is black and white.” So a few weeks ago, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment announced it’d be releasing the fabled “Black and Chrome Edition” of the film on Blu-ray later this year. But if you’ve still got your heart set on watching the black and white version in theaters, you may get your chance this fall.

The Mad Max: Fury Road Black and Chrome Edition will make its theatrical world premiere at SpectreFest in Los Angeles later this month, and tickets are on sale now. Get all the details below, plus info about the rest of this year’s SpectreFest lineup, which also includes Denis Villeneuve’s Arrival, Ana Lily Amirpour’s The Bad Batch, and J.A. Bayona’s A Monster CallsRead More »

fantastic fest 2016 awards

You never know what you’re going to get at Fantastic Fest, the Austin-based genre film festival that takes great delight in immersing attendees in the strangest, wildest, and most unique movies from around the globe. Over the course of eight days, I saw 27 movies. I saw some of the best films I’ve seen all year. I saw oddities I will never forget. I saw some things I wish I could forget. As is always the case, I missed a few big titles, like Paul Verhoeven’s Elle, the divisive The Greasy Strangler, and the crowd-pleasing Bad Black.

But now, it’s time to put a bow on this year’s fest. Sure, the festival itself has juries on hand to recognize films in the line-up, but there’s only one awards ceremony that really matters here – the one that I create out of thin air to throw imaginary accolades at my favorite movies from the line-up.

So, without further ado, let’s dive in the best, weirdest, funniest, oddest, scariest, etc. movies to emerge from Fantastic Fest 2016.

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Everything We Saw at Fantastic Fest 2016

fantastic-fest-2016

When the smoke cleared, I ended up seeing 27 movies over eight days at Fantastic Fest 2016. The Austin-based genre film festival always has a strong line-up of odd, unusual, and unique movies from around the world, but this year was truly exceptional – I saw very few movies I wouldn’t recommend in some capacity. I even saw a handful of movies that are in serious contention for my end-of-the-year top 10.

For the sake of completeness, I have compiled all of my Fantastic Fest coverage into one place, with links to my reviews and smaller capsule reviews for everything that didn’t get their own post. If you’re looking for a something terrifying or unique or action-packed or tear-jerking or just plain unusual, there is something here for you.

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