Thursday, May 25, 2023

SIFF 2023: 'The Night Of The 12th' Capsule Review

two detectives looking worried
As the protagonist of The Night of the 12th says, every investigator has one case that haunts them, that they never solved and can’t let go. They let you know from the jump exactly how this will play out.

SIFF 2023: 'Burning Hearts' Capsule Review

black and white photo of elodie
What if Romeo and Juliet but with warring small town Italian farm mob families? That’s the basic conceit of Pippo Mezzapesa’s Burning Hearts, where a forbidden romance shatters a fragile truce and stirs up a generational blood feud.

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

'The Wrath Of Becky' (2023) Movie Review

lulu wilson covered in blood
You ever have a friend that trouble just seems to find no matter what? They’ll be walking down the street or riding the bus, minding their own business, and someone always talks shit or tries to start a fight for no discernable reason? That seems to be Becky (Lulu Wilson) and fascists. After dismantling a gang of white supremacists led by Kevin James in 2020’s Becky, the precocious murder-teen is back, slightly older and a bit more grizzled, to fuck up more fascist assholes in The Wrath of Becky. And she is indeed wrathful.

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

SIFF 2023: 'The Last Exit' Capsule Review

joely richardson with a gun
When a pair of criminal brothers on the run attempt to find shelter from a storm in an isolated farmhouse inhabited by a reclusive family, they get much more than they bargained for as the mother, a steely, badass Joely Richardson, fights back.

Monday, May 22, 2023

SIFF 2023: 'Satan Wants You' Capsule Review

michelle remembers
Nowadays we think of the Satanic Panic of the 1980s as almost quaint, forgetting how it decimated countless lives and gripped the country in a destructive frenzy. One talking head in Satan Wants You  refers to the book Michelle Remembers as “Patient zero for the Satanic Panic,” and the documentary digs into that now-discredited tale that fanned the flames of mass hysteria.

Friday, May 19, 2023

SIFF 2023: 'Egghead & Twinkie' Capsule Review

egghead and twinkie smiling
Well, Egghead & Twinkie is freaking adorable. In Sarah Kambe Holland’s twee, lo-fi indie comedy, when trans-racial adoptee Twinkie comes out to her conservative parents it doesn’t go great. She sets out on a cross-country adventure with her nerdy bff Egghead to meet her online DJ crush.

SIFF 2023: 'Mother Superior' Capsule Review

bloody eyed virgin mary
When a young orphan nurse takes a job caring for an ailing baroness at a remote estate, you know spookiness is about to happen. And filmmaker Marie Alice Wolfszahn’s Mother Superior doesn’t let us down.

Thursday, May 18, 2023

'Fast X' (2023) Movie Review

vin diesel with a car door
Last time they went to freaking space. In a Pontiac Fiero! So, the biggest question about Fast X, the tenth chapter in the Toretto-centric saga of Southern-California-car-enthusiasts-turned-international-mega-spies, is how the hell are they going to outdo that? Well, Jason Momoa as gay-coded street race Jesus is one way. Unfortunately, Momoa and his delirious, gleeful performance is the only thing Fast X has going for it. It’s also never been clearer just how much this franchise misses the late Paul Walker and how much it’s lost its way since his death.

SIFF 2023: 'A Disturbance In The Force' Capsule Review

mark hamill in the star wars holiday special
Among fans, the Star Wars Holiday Special is a kind of myth, an artifact some have seen but that’s spoken of as a fable. In reality, it’s an ill-advised lunatic oddity aimed to cash-in on raging Star Wars mania that George Lucas tried to bury. Which just made people want it more. 

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

'Outpost' (2023) Movie Review

beth dover with an axe
Comedians making horror movies or otherwise moonlighting in the genre is nothing new. And then there’s the oft repeated adage about the fine line separating the two—just look at Jordan Peele’s quote about the difference between horror and comedy being the music. Anyway, the latest comedy personality to dip his toe into the scary end of the pool is The State and Brooklyn Nine-Nine alum Joe Lo Truglio, who makes his feature directorial debut with Outpost.

SIFF 2023: 'Circus Of The Scars' Capsule Review

jim rose circus sideshow documentary
To viewers of a certain age, the Jim Rose Circus Sideshow holds an infamous spot in our collective memory. For many ‘90s kids, it was our introduction to an updated carnival geek/freak show. Corey Wees’ documentary, Circus of the Scars, offers an in-depth time capsule of this specific cultural phenomenon and era.

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

SIFF 2023: 'Even Hell Has Its Heroes' Capsule Review

Dylan Carlson of Earth plays guitar
In certain circles, experimental metal band Earth is revered with a sense of mythic awe. Heavily influential, especially to the early grunge era and continuing today, Clyde Petersen’s documentary, Even Hell Has its Heroes, tracks the group’s path, specifically mastermind Dylan Carlson, offering a glimpse behind the reclusive curtain.

Monday, May 15, 2023

SIFF 2023: 'Douglas Sirk - Hope As In Despair' Capsule Review

douglas sirk hope as in despair
Douglas Sirk was the master of American melodrama, his films commercial juggernauts while being largely panned critically. Roman Huben’s documentary, Douglas Sirk—Hope as in Despair, digs into the drama of his own life.

SIFF 2023: 'Punderneath It All' Capsule Review

woman at a pun slam
A sucker for documentaries that explore the most niche, off-the-beaten-path slices of life, Abby Hagan’s film, Punderneath it All, about the world of puns, punning, and pun slams, is freaking catnip.

Friday, May 12, 2023

SIFF 2023: 'Irati' Capsule Review

ancient dude slashing another ancient dude in battle
Set in 778, director Paul Urkijo’s Irati follows a young man and woman tasked by a witch to travel deep into a strange, remote forest to retrieve a corpse and claim a birthright. Been there. 

Thursday, May 11, 2023

SIFF 2023: 'Falcon Lake' Capsule Review

kid in a creepy mask
Falcon Lake fronts like a horror movie. Grainy 16mm presentation calls to mind early slashers, a genre-esque score layers suspense and tension, a teen girl obsesses over a legendary death, and there’s even a cabin-in-the-woods setting.