Ask a film fan and they’ll say Fantastic Fest is the best film festival in the world. An experience so unique and exciting, there’s almost no way it could be improved.
That is, until organizers added MondoCon.
MondoCon is a sister convention put on by the team known for their highly collectible and sought-after posters. The aim was to do a convention that celebrated all things Mondo (art, posters, toys, movies, comics) but do everything differently from other conventions. To create an experience that would be really fun for fans and non-fans alike. After attending for two days, I can safely say they succeeded — but not in the ways one may think.
So many criticize Mondo for the culture they’ve helped create with their low-supply, high-demand posters. There are valid arguments on both sides, but with MondoCon the team did their best to move away from that. It wasn’t a convention that was only about buying posters. (Though you could, of course, buy lots of posters.) MondoCon was more about community and communication. It was a venue for fans to interact with their favorite artists and other fans, and revel in the controlled geekiness.
However, at the start of MondoCon no one knew that. In fact, we knew very little at all. Below, read our full MondoCon recap. Read More »
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Little known fact: Mondo rejects just as many, if not more, posters than they actually release. Some are posters that didn’t get approved by a star or studio. Others are different versions of a poster that actually was released. And sometimes Mondo and a company can’t settle on a design and it never sees the light of day.
At MondoCon this past weekend, Justin Ishmael, Rob Jones and Mitch Putnam, the creative team behind Mondo, presented a panel called Mondo Talk about this very subject. However, what started as a way for fans to see the behind the scenes creation of a poster turned into, as Ishmael put it, “The depressing, what you could have had panel.”
They revealed a non-stop cavalcade of posters, concepts, licenses and more they tried to realize, but which failed for one reason for another. We’re talking Tyler Stout‘s Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, Krzysztof Domaradzki‘s officially licensed The Godfather, Spring Breakers, and various different iterations of Man of Steel. Below, check out a bunch of posters Mondo posters that never happened. Read More »
With Everly, director Joe Lynch answers the age old question, just how much action can you stage in a single room? The answer, not surprising, is a lot. Salma Hayek is the title character, a hooker turned informant who has just been discovered by her employer. Her mission is to stay alive over the next few hours in hopes she can save her family. And over that time, she’ll be forced to stay in the apartment because of the seemingly non-stop barrage of people coming to kill her.
Written by Yale Hannon, from a story by he and Lynch, Everly sounds like a pretty simple movie and it is. It’s also a Christmas movie, giving this one woman vs. the world, in a confined space, film a decidedly and deliberate Die Hard vibe. The film never reaches the heights of that classic, but it keeps us suitably engaged because we never ever know what’s going to come through that door next. Read the rest of our Everly review below. Read More »
I want you to go get a piece or paper or open the Notes program on your phone and write down two words: Tokyo Tribe. You’re going to want tangible proof you knew about one of the craziest, most surprising, surreal fun films of the year well before anyone else.
Tokyo Tribe is directed by Shion Sono, a director whose films (Love Exposure, Cold Fish) are usually pretty brutal. For the most part, this one isn’t. In fact, it’s the opposite. Tokyo Tribe is a hip hop musical about gang wars in Tokyo filled with sex, action, rapping and more rapping. Think Les Miserables if it were populated by The Warriors, who acted like they were in a kung-fu version of Beat Street, with the visual aesthetic of Spring Breakers. Set in an Eighties. That almost describes Tokyo Tribe, a film I loved to no end. Read More »
I literally just walked out of a screening of Force Majeure at Fantastic Fest 2014 and had to let you know about it. Thankfully for me, a new poster and trailer came out earlier this week.
Directed by Ruben Östlund, the film follows a family who are on a ski vacation. When an avalanche unexpectedly hits, everyone is forced into a life or death situation where they’ll reveal their true colors. In one case, they aren’t what they expect. That might sounds like the set up to some kind of horror movie, but Force Majeure walks an absolute stellar tightrope of tone, seamlessly going from uncomfortable to funny, then tense and human. It’s poignant, it’s hilarious, it’s beautifully shot and it’s totally unexpected. The film won a special award at Cannes earlier this year and has been slaying the festival crowd, myself included. Below what the latest Force Majeure trailer and see the new poster. Read More »
Update from editor Peter Sciretta: The following review was published by Germain Lussier on January 19th 2014 from the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. The movie is out in theaters this week:
The films by director Adam Wingard and writer Simon Barrett always have one thing in common. They are obviously influenced by an intense passion for movies, but are not overtly obvious about referencing those movies. In that sense, The Guest might feel like something you’ve seen before. It’s got the basic feel of a stalker film from the late ’80s or early ’90s, but filtered through the action of Quentin Tarantino, the music of John Carpenter, the ideas of James Cameron and almost too many others to mention. There’s action, sci-fi, horror, comedy… you name it, this movie has it. The result is a fresh, fun film that crescendos from title to credits with suspense, laughs and violence. Read More »
The Toronto International Film Festival is unique in a few respects, but one of the most interesting thing about the fest in relation to other film festivals is that the top prize is decided by audiences. The People’s Choice Award may sound like an also-ran TV awards show, but in reality it’s a big deal. You’ve heard of some of the previous winners: 12 Years a Slave, Silver Linings Playbook, The King’s Speech, and Slumdog Millionaire. This year, the prize winner at TIFF was The Imitation Game, in which Benedict Cumberbatch plays pioneering computer scientist Alan Turing. Read More »
Editor’s note: This is our review of The Skeleton Twins from this year’s Sundance Film Festival. It opens in limited release this weekend so we are rerunning.
When Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig were building their careers on Saturday Night Live, they played multiple characters every single week. That took incredible acting chops. Though they’ve since left the show and are concentrating mostly on comedy films, Craig Johnson‘s second film The Skeleton Twins proves these skilled comedic performers can be dramatic as well.
The Skeleton Twins is about estranged siblings, Maggie and Milo, who haven’t spoken in a decade. After they are reunited by tragedy their relationship is quickly rekindled, but deep old wounds re-open. That may sound overly solemn and, at its heart, The Skeleton Twins is certainly a drama. But you don’t cast Hader and Wiig just to cry and be depressed. The chemistry they built for years on TV sizzles on the big screen in characters with an exuberant realism. The movie itself is good, but Hader and Wiig make it great. Read More »
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