I got to conduct some great Q & A’s for some terrific films at the FEEL GOOD FILM FESTIVAL this past weekend. I met some truly gifted filmmakers and inspirational people.
I’d like to thank these special guests for affecting me the most: Cheryl Hines for her big intro, Shirley Jones for classing up the joint with her presence, Marty Ingles for reminding us what this festival is really about, Leeza Gibbons for singling me out with a nice compliment, writer/director Lexi Alexander for the lively discussion, producer/actor Googy Gress for his sincere enthusiasm, the League of S.T.E.A.M. for entertaining us all weekend and motivational speaker/actor Nick Vujicic for the sheer inspiration he gave to us all with his fantastic short film The Butterfly Circus (watch here!).
I’d also like to give big high-fives to all of the coordinators and volunteers for making the festival such a fun and engaging experience. I had a great time bonding with you all.
Finally a big congratulations to producer/actor Joe Russell and writer/actress Casey Strand from the short film “Strawberries” whose engagement I helped orchestrate during one of the more memorable Q & A’s.
I wish I had seen them all but of the ones I did see, here are the films that I felt were the best (in no particular order)…Read more...
MICRO REVIEWS (via Twitter!): GET HIM TO THE GREEK, BITCH SLAP, THE CALAMARI WRESTLER, TALES FROM THE SCRIPT, Uwe Boll’s RAMPAGE…
Got some high-rated exploitation (and one documentary) this time around! All of these movies are terrific, especially Uwe Boll’s surprisingly powerful RAMPAGE (who would have expected that one?)…
RAMPAGE: Uwe Boll knocks one out of the park. Hyperviolent domestic terrorist shocker delivers. Hell freezes over. 4 out of 5
BITCH SLAP: Fun, hyper violent, tongue-in-cheek exploitation about 3 sex bombs killing each other over loot. 3&1/2 out of 5
THE CALAMARI WRESTLER: Japanese wrestler dies and reincarnates in a mansized rubber squid suit. New camp classic. 4 out of 5
TALES FROM THE SCRIPT: A little bitter, but a must-see doc for anyone even remotely interested in screenwriting. 4 out of 5
GET HIM TO THE GREEK: Russell Brand = comedic genius. Best drug freak out scene of all time. Can’t stop giggling. 4 out of 5Read more...
SPLICE: Frankenstein redo with icky scruples, laughably repulsive monster and jerk hipster protagonists. Uncool. 2 out of 5.
EXAM: 8 job hopefuls locked in a room with ticking clock and menacing set of rules. Cool concept, sloppy plot. 3 out of 5.
D.E.B.S.: Lesbian evil mastermind seduces crack agent of an all-girl superspy team. Spoof undermines message. 1 out of 5.
DISTRICT B13: ULTIMATUM… Cliche, low on action. Huge insult to the original which set action standards. 2 out of 5.
VALHALLA RISING: A bloody, trippy, grimy, violent, slow and pretentious allegory for the death of religion. 2 out of 5.Read more...
MICRO REVIEWS (via Twitter!): THE CRAZIES, [REC]2, FROM PARIS WITH LOVE, HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON, SHE’S OUT OF MY LEAGUE, NINJA ASSASSIN, LEGION…
THE CRAZIES (2010): Great first half, effective scares (pitchfork!) but ignored much of what worked in the original. 3 stars
[REC]2: Creative continuity/action/camerawork, but “Exorcist” twist undermines the mythology of original. 2&1/2 stars
FROM PARIS WITH LOVE: Travolta = over the top and action scenes = outrageous, a must see for action fans. 3&1/2 stars
HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON: Better than AVATAR in story and intent. Total pleasant surprise. Take kids now. 4&1/2 stars
SHE’S OUT OF MY LEAGUE: Sub-par comedy. Baruchel unlikably insecure. Cop-out ending. Title ironically true. 2 stars.
NINJA ASSASSIN: Good gore. Bad CGI shurikens. Rain = ok. Lead actress sucks. Sho Kosugi rocks. Lame plot. 2 stars.
LEGION: Amazing concept. Angels + weapons = BOOM. Weak execution. All characters unlikable. Wings clipped. 2&1/2 stars.Read more...
MICRO REVIEWS: I can’t get no satisfaction, so I’m now using TWITTER to pick up the slack in between the big movie reviews! by COOP
Homer Simpson: “You know something Marge, it’s not that tough being a film cricket.”
Contrary to popular belief it actually IS hard being a film cricket… I mean critic. A tough market shares some of the blame but a lot of us bloggers also have other jobs/projects/responsibilities burning on the stove. Then there’s family obligations, staying fit, the thankless job of single-handedly managing a website, not to mention the million other chores that keep us from spending our precious time at the keyboard (like we actually have to go out to see some movies for instance). For those of us who live in the sticks, the challenge of actually SEEING films can be magnified x 10. Then getting it to the publisher on time to make the paper while I’m juggling screenwriting, creating teaching documents and about a dozen other projects. What am I getting at here?…Read more...