Thursday, May 30, 2019

SIFF 2019: 'The Legend Of The Stardust Brothers' Movie Review

the stardust brothers singing with marimo

Dear The Legend of the Stardust Brothers, where have you been all my life? Seriously, this lost Japanese musical oddity from 1985 fills a gaping chasm in my soul I didn’t even know was there. It also has maybe the most WTF twist I’ve ever seen, and this is a movie that’s basically non-stop WTF moments from one end to the other.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

SIFF 2019: 'International Falls' Movie Review

a woman and a man stand in the snow in minnesota

Dee (Rachel Harris) is a harried wife and mother working a at a hotel in a small Minnesota town on the Canadian border. Stuck in a dying marriage, she dreams of doing standup. When Tim (Rob Huebel), a burned-out, low-level, road-warrior comedian—Dee tells a coworker, “We don’t get the kind of people you’ve heard of”—makes a stop in her town, the two form an unlikely bond.

Friday, May 24, 2019

SIFF 2019: 'Deadtectives' Movie Review

a group of fake paranormal investigators

Sam Whitner (You’re the Worst’s Chris Geere) leads a TV team of faux-paranormal investigators, staging hauntings to please fans and sponsors. As their show teeters on cancellation, in a last-ditch effort, the gang heads to the “most haunted casa in all of Mexico.” Turns out it’s actually haunted, ghosts are real, and they’re in way over their heads. 

SIFF 2019: 'Human Nature' Movie Review

young boy looking at a test tube

Adam Bolt’s new documentary, Human Nature, watches a bit like prequel to dystopian science fiction. His cameras tells of the rise of CRISPR. What is CRISPR, you might ask? Don’t worry, the film explains that. The acronym stands for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats. What it is, is a revolutionary new development in genetic manipulation, one that has epic, sprawling, far-reaching implications across numerous fields. 

SIFF 2019: 'Enormous: The Gorge Story' Movie Review

a view of the gorge amphitheater

From geological anomaly to accidental concert venue—the original owners wanted to start a vineyard—Nic Davis’ documentary, Enormous: The Gorge Story tracks the evolution of Washington’s Gorge Amphitheater into one of the most unique, spectacular places to see live music. The film weaves together archival footage, intimate performances, and talking head interviews with the likes of Dave Mathews, John Oates, Jason Mraz, members of Pearl Jam, and more.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

'Booksmart' (2019) Movie Review


It’s the last day of school, the night before graduation, and BFFs Amy (Kaitlyn Dever) and Molly (Beanie Feldstein), the top students in their class, overachievers who spent the last four years focused solely on academic pursuits, come to a crushing realization: they should have had more fun. In Olivia Wilde’s directorial debut, Booksmart, the duo sets out to rectify that situation and cram a high school career’s worth of partying into a single night.

'Terminator: Dark Fate' Trailer: Linda Hamilton Has A Bazooka

linda hamilton with a bazooka

Granted, the last few Terminator movies haven’t been…good. Let’s say it like it is. Depending on your perspective, we maybe even have to go back to Judgment Day to find a good one, but that’s an argument for later. (Though The Sarah Connor Chronicles is fantastic and we got screwed out of more of that series.) But I will never not be excited for a Terminator movie. Sorry, those movies were so formative that’s just how I’m wired. Which is why this Terminator: Dark Fate trailer got me all tingly. Take a look, Linda Hamilton has a bazooka.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

SIFF 2019: 'X - The eXploited' Movie Review


Beginning with slow motion aerial shots of an upside down Hungarian cityscape, intercut with startling images of horrific violence and civil unrest, scored with ominous organs and a child choir, X – The eXploited immediately creates a dreamy, ethereal, disorienting sensation. On top of all of this, voice over sets that stage for investigating apparent suicides and accidental deaths that may actually be foul play. Nothing is what it initially appears.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

'Avengement' (2019) Movie Review

scott adkins with a shotgun

To give you an idea of the level of brutality in Avengement, the latest team-up from star Scott Adkins and director Jesse V. Johnson, at one point Adkins’ character, Cain Burgess, straight up bites out a dude’s jugular with a ferocious snarl. And no, this isn’t a vampire movie. This is a gritty, mean, down and dirty crime story about gritty, mean, down and dirty criminals. It’s also Johnson’s most ambitious film to date, as well as maybe his best.

'Once Upon A Time In Hollywood' Trailer: Now With More Charles Manson And Neil Diamond

leonardo DiCaprio with a machine gun

I know, I know, you’re super excited about that new Downton Abbey trailer that dropped today, I am, too. We’ll get there, I promise. But first, let’s take a detour and check out the new trailer for Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Take a look after the jump.

Monday, May 20, 2019

SIFF 2019: 'Knife+Heart' Movie Review


A heavily stylized, giallo-inspired, queer slasher about a masked, dildo-knife-wielding serial killer stalking a low-budget gay porn crew in late-1970s Paris? Damn, Knife+Heart, you had my full attention from the word go.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

SIFF 2019: 'Monos' Movie Review

eight teen soldiers on a mountaintop

High atop a remote mountain, a cadre of eight teenagers with names like Rambo, Smurf, Boom Boom, and Swede, armed with automatic weapons, guard a prisoner and keep watch over a milk cow. A faction of a mysterious group known only as The Organization, this adolescent guerilla squad, left to their own devices, breaks down as loyalties shift and allegiances falter, and their crumbling structure and sanity build towards violence.

Friday, May 17, 2019

SIFF 2019: 'Ski Bum: The Warren Miller Story' Movie Review

warren miller smiling as he films

I grew up watching Warren Miller movies. I spent the summer months wearing out VHS copies of skiing movies like Extreme WinterBeyond the Edge, and Steep and Deep, praying for snow as I watched neon-clad (it was the 1980s) winter sports enthusiasts huck themselves off cliffs and gracefully carve mountain pitches you’d think twice about walking down, all narrated by his wry, soothing monotone. 

Thursday, May 16, 2019

SIFF 2019: 'Who Let The Dogs Out?' Movie Review

stuffed dog that presumably sings a bad song

It’s a question that has plagued humanity since the dawn of time. Or at least, you know, since the dawn of the summer of 2000. Who did let the dogs out? And as demonstrated by the new documentary from Brent Hodge (A Brony Tale, The Pistol Shrimps), answering that question isn’t quite as easy as one might initially expect. 

The 'Angel Has Fallen' Trailer Is Here To Amuse Me And Only Me

gerard butler being arrested

So, London Has Fallen is mean and dumb and as chest-thumpingly numb-skulled and jingoistic a movie as has been produced in years. And I love it. (Though oddly, not a fan of the first film in the series, Olympus Has Fallen.) I’m not sure what to expect from the follow-up, Angel Has Fallen, but you’re damn right I’m excited. I might be the only one. (Not true, actually, I know at least one other person more pumped up than I am.) The first trailer has arrived and I’m here for it all day.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

'Maria' (2019) Movie Review

movie poster of a woman holding a knife

Due to a handful of factors, it’s easy to equate Pedring Lopez’ new action film Maria to Erik Matti’s 2018 BuyBust. Both hail from the Philippines, they feature similar color palates, both have a particular mean streak, and they even share stunt choreographer Sonny Sison. And thanks to a single, but significant plot point, it’s also going to garner comparisons to Kiet Le-van’s Furie from earlier this year. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

11 Must-See SIFF 2019 Movies

seattle international film festival 2019 logo

May is in full effect, which means that, once again, it’s time for the Seattle International Film Festival. Ever a sprawling, unwieldy behemoth, the 45th chapter of this annual event runs 25 days and encompasses more than 400 films.

'Midsommar' Trailer: What Could Possibly Go Wrong In Such A Brightly Lit Horror Movie?


Well, Ari Aster’s Midsommar continues to be one of my most-anticipated movies of 2018. This new trailer doesn’t change much on that front, but it goes get me pretty damn hyped, so there’s that. Check it out below, along with a new poster for the Hereditary helmer’s sophomore feature.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

This 'It: Chapter Two' Trailer Is Straight-Up Nightmare Fuel

a scary clown temps children

That’s cool, It: Chapter Two, I wasn’t planning to sleep tonight anyway. But thanks for the nightmare fuel in this trailer, it’s always appreciated. *Shiver* If you’re into such things, we finally have our first look at the grown up Losers Club in the second part of the latest, greatest Stephen King adaptation.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

'Shadow' (2018) Movie Review


Zhang Yimou’s Shadow is a wash of grey; a veritable rainbow of ash and charcoal hues, occasionally punctuated by a splash of blood. This applies both to the visual aesthetic as well as the morality of the characters and narrative. At times, it watches like a black and white wuxia saga, Shakespearean in scope and scale. But while pretty and grand, and the idea of a historical epic from the director of Hero and House of Flying Daggers sounds like a great concept, Shadow falls flat and cold.

Monday, May 6, 2019

'Spider-Man: Far From Home' Trailer: The Wall Crawler Goes On Vacation


If you haven’t watched Avengers: Endgame yet, don’t watch this Spider-Man: Far From Home trailer, there are big, movie-ruining spoilers, like right out of the gate. But don’t worry, your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, Tom Holland, will also warn you. And wow, it’s been a busy weekend and I just looked at the box office numbers and, you know what, with a $2+ billion haul, there probably aren’t many of you who haven’t seen Endgame. Damn. Anyway, check out the trailer below.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

'Crawl' Trailer: Alexandre Aja, Alligators, And A Hurricane

alligator swimming through a sewer

The last time Alexandre Aja went all in on crazy-ass nature run amok, we got Piranha 3D, which is just the best movie. Well, he’s back in that realm, and while Crawl looks like a very different approach—dark and grim and terrifying versus over-the-top camp and schlock—it looks no less rad. I mean, come on, giant rampaging alligators in a hurricane. Check out the trailer below.