Newness Review

Back in 2011, director Drake Doremus made a splash at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival with his indie romance Like Crazy, which won the Grand Jury Prize in the U.S. Dramatic category. Since then, his films Breathe In and Equals haven’t really reached the same level of praise. But with his latest work behind the camera that hit the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, Doremus makes a valiant, respectable effort in his creation of a new honest portrait of love in the age of Tinder.

Newness focuses on a couple twentysomethings (Nicholas Hoult and Laia Costa) who meet through a Tinder-style app called Winx. Both had a couple failed hooks-ups, and they decide to have a late night rendezvous with no strings attached. But after spending some time together, and eventually having sex, they fall for each other. That’s the kind of story that has been used to take up a whole hour and a half story, but for Newness, it’s just the first 15 minutes. For the rest of the movie, Doremus digs a little deeper.

Read on for our full Newness review. Read More »

2017 Sundance Awards

Today marks the final day of the 2017 Sundance Film Festival after 10 days of independent cinema playing in the mountains of Park City, Utah. Last night, the end of the festival was celebrated with the traditional awards ceremony when the Grand Jury Prizes, Audience Awards and more. So who ended up winning the 2017 Sundance awards?

Macon Blair’s directorial debut I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore took home the Grand Jury Prize for U.S. Dramatic while the U.S. Documentary Grand Jury Prize was awarded to Dina. As for the major Audience, Chasing Coral landed the took home the honor U.S. Documentary category while Crown Heights took home the Audience Award for U.S. Dramatic.

Beyond that, there are plenty more awards that were handed out to a wide variety of the 119 feature films that played at the festival, and you can find out all the 2017 Sundance awards winners after the jump. Read More »

Trumped Trailer

While some would prefer that entertainment and politics stay separated, we live in a world where they frequently intersect. This is even more true when it comes to looking at the genre of documentary films, and a new one that just premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival this past week is certainly going to stir up some heated discussions.

Trumped: Inside the Greatest Political Upset of All Time hails from directors Ted Bourne, Mary Robertson and Banks Tarver, who assembled footage that was originally shot for the Showtime docu-series The Circus, but ended up being used for a feature length documentary film about the 2016 election. Specifically, this documentary focuses on how Donald Trump won by way of a chronicle of his campaign, from the primaries through the debates up until he was elected as the 45th President of the United States of America.

Watched the Trumped trailer after the jump. Read More »

sundance 2017

The /Film team of Angie Han, Ethan Anderton, and myself have returned from the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. Over the six days we were in Park City, we screened over 36 movies (with only one movie having been watched by all three of us). Here are 15-second capsule reviews of all the movies we saw at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.

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Columbus review

Early in Columbus, Casey (Haley Lu Richardson) defends her decision to use less spice in a dish. She was going for subtlety, she explains, all the better to let the true flavors of the ingredients shine through and leave a lingering aftertaste. That, essentially, is the mission statement for the entire movie. It might not be to everyone’s tastes — it’s too delicate and slow and, yes, subtle for that. But those who stick with it will find a drama worth savoring, with echoes of OncePaterson, and the Before trilogy and fine performances from Richardson and John ChoRead More »

Nobody Speak Hulk Hogan, Gawker and the Trials of a Free Press

Nobody Speak: Hulk Hogan, Gawker and Trials of a Free Press premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival on Tuesday afternoon. From Brian Knappenberger comes a documentary about how the Gawker lawsuit might lead to the loss of free press in the United States. It’s an informative, fascinating, and terrifying look at how people with big pockets and large power can silence media.

Read my Nobody Speaks review after the jump.
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get out

The midnight secret screening at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival was probably the worst kept secret in the festival’s history: It was the premiere of Jordan Peele‘s directorial debut Get Out, a Blumhouse-produced horror movie that takes on the monster of racism in modern times. Imagine Meet The Parents mixed with The Stepford Wives. It’s smart, visceral, thrilling and, of course, funny.

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Call Me By Your Name review

First love has rarely been depicted as beautifully or as movingly as it is in Luca Guadagnino‘s Call Me By Your Name, an adaptation of the André AcimanTimothée Chalamet, probably best known as bratty Finn Walden from season one of Homeland), has a star-making turn as a teenager exploring his sexual identity. Meanwhile, Armie Hammer, a very good actor who’s been stuck in some not-very-successful movies, is downright mesmerizing as the young man who changes his life forever.

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Brigsby Bear Review

Normally you’ll see Kyle Mooney on television whenever there’s a new episode of Saturday Night Live. He’s one of the primary cast members, and he’s made quite a name for himself as one of the driving forces behind the next generation of SNL Digital Shorts, following the departure of Andy Samberg and his Lonely Island counterparts Akiva Shaffer and Jorma Taccone. Now they’ve all teamed up, along with some other SNL talents, to deliver one of the comedy gems of the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.

Brigsby Bear is an offbeat, original comedy about a 25-year-old man who has his entire world thrown into upheaval when he learns a terrible secret about his parents and everything he’s been taught by them. What follows is a hilarious adventure of self-discovery that is essentially a love letter to storytelling and the power it has in all our lives.

Read on for our full Brigsby Bear review. Read More »

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Tokyo Idols

Tokyo Idols is a fascinating must-see documentary which explores the disturbing world of super fandom in the Japanese Idol scene. The mainstream cultural phenomenon has overtaken Japan and is supposedly a one-billion-dollar industry. Imagine spunky, cheery Japanese school girls dressed in anime outfits singing and dancing to clubs filled with middle-aged men. The Idol superfans, usually aged 35 to 50, follow the young teenage female singers and girl bands, some even spending most of their earnings and quitting their jobs to devote their lives to the fandom.

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