The life of an aging rock star can be a depressing one as the raging lifestyle of sex and drugs begins to turn into a lonely, quiet time of reflection. That’s exactly what Rhys Ifans experiences in the new drama Len and Company as his son (Jack Kilmer) seeks his father’s approval for his own musical career.
The first Len and Company trailer has debuted, showing a pretty typical family drama from the festival circuit. But with music at the heart of the story, it should have a pretty decent soundtrack. Watch below. Read More »
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This year will be my fourth attending the Seattle International Film Festival, and it remains an intense and overwhelming experience. Spanning 25 days, this year’s festival will include over 420 films representing 85 countries, making it the largest film festival in the United States. Here at /Film and on the /Filmcast, I’ll do my best to keep up with some of the highlights of the fest, and let you know what films might be worth checking out when they hit wide release.
After the jump, you can read a few of my mini-reviews of Weiner, The Last King, and Tickled. If you see me at the festival, feel free to say hi, and leave comments below if you think there are any films on SIFF’s full calendar that one should not miss this year.
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Posted on Friday, May 20th, 2016 by Angie Han
Mike Birbiglia started out as a stand-up comedian before transitioning into filmmaking with 2011’s loosely autobiographical Sleepwalk With Me, based on one of his stand-up acts. It was solid and sweet and lots of fun, but it’s his second film, Don’t Think Twice, that should really mark him as an indie director to watch.
The dramedy, which premiered at SXSW this spring and is now headed for a summer release, follows the members of a scrappy New York improv troupe played by Birbiglia, Gillian Jacobs, Keegan-Michael Key, Chris Gethard, Kate Micucci, and Tami Sagher. The close-knit circle finds itself in disarray when one of their number gets catches a huge break. It’s laugh-out-loud hilarious and painfully honest and above all, deeply empathetic, and it’ll ring all too true to anyone who’s ever found themselves feeling stuck in life. Watch the Don’t Think Twice trailer after the jump. Read More »
It’s bold and risky to hype a movie by using Mad Max to describe it, especially after the action masterpiece that was Mad Max: Fury Road was nominated for Best Picture. But that’s exactly what a new sci-fi movie called 2307: Winter’s Dream is doing, and once you watch the trailer for the movie, you’ll see that it’s at least accurate in terms of the style of the movie — but unfortunately, not the quality. However, it does look like it would be a fun discovery if it were sitting on the shelf of a video rental store.
Watch the 2307 Winter’s Dream trailer after the jump. Read More »
Posted on Friday, May 13th, 2016 by Angie Han
One film I was very disappointed to miss at this year’s Sundance Film Festival was Little Men, the new drama by Ira Sachs. The drama might not sound all that exciting on paper — it concerns two young friends, Jake (Theo Taplitz) and Tony (Michael Barbieri), whose families begin feuding over a rent dispute — but the Keep the Lights On and Love Is Strange has demonstrated a gift for capturing the day-to-day realities of life in New York, and a particular understanding of the men (or in this case boys) navigating relationships with one another within it.
Fortunately, Little Men has turned out to be one of those Sundance charmers that hit theaters sooner rather than later. With a summer release date in sight, Magnolia Pictures has released the first Little Men trailer for your consideration. Also starring are Greg Kinnear and Jennifer Ehle as Jake’s parents, and Paulina García as Tony’s mom. Read More »
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Ellen Page has already faced the end of the world as we know it as a mutant in both X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men: Days of Future Past. Now she and Evan Rachel Wood will have to deal with humanity turning on itself in the isolated, quiet apocalyptic thriller Into the Forest.
The film from director Patricia Rozema premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival last year, and now it’s coming to theaters and VOD this summer. For all the apocalyptic thrillers that are out there, this one takes a more isolated, intimate approach to the idea of humanity falling apart in the wake of power outages, gas and food shortages and sheer desperation to survive.
Watch the Into the Forest trailer after the jump. Read More »
Posted on Friday, April 29th, 2016 by Angie Han
As Barack Obama’s time in the White House draws to a close, a new indie drama looks back at an early turning point in his life. Set in 1989, Southside With You follows Barack (Parker Sawyers), a law firm associate, and his colleague Michelle (Tika Sumpter), on an afternoon out together — and though she insists it’s not a date, we in the future know better. It plays sort of like a Before Sunrise for the political set, full of meandering walks and thoughtful conversations and loads of romantic chemistry. Only unlike with Before Sunrise, we know exactly what happens to these characters after the credits roll. Watch the Southside With You trailer after the jump. Read More »
Posted on Monday, April 18th, 2016 by Angie Han
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: a successful young(ish) creative type hits the film festival circuit with a semi-autobiographical dramedy about a somewhat less successful young(ish) creative type who struggles to pull his life together, grow up, and move on. That’s the very familiar premise of comedian Demetri Martin‘s directorial debut Dean, which premiered this week at the Tribeca Film Festival. Fortunately, Dean‘s got a few fresher tricks up its sleeve that justify retracing this very familiar pattern.
One is that Dean is less about the precious ennui that all young(ish) creative types seem to suffer from in indie dramedies, than it is about the strange and complicated and even ugly process of grief. Another is a gently played subplot about Dean’s father (played by Kevin Kline). And the third and perhaps most important are the many wry cartoons Martin uses to emphasize and comment on Dean’s mental and emotional state. Read More »
Note: We originally ran this review during the Sundance Film Festival. We’re republishing it today as the movie hits theaters this weekend.
When you come to the Sundance Film Festival, you can’t wait to fall in love with a movie. As a sucker for coming-of-age movies, I’m always looking for one that really makes me run the gamut of emotions, and if it also has a hellacious soundtrack, fantastic breakout performances, and a glamorous reference to Back to the Future, then that’s even better. That’s why Sing Street, from Once and Begin Again director John Carney, is marvelous, delightful and just plain great. Read my full Sing Street review after the jump. Read More »