SXSW 2014 Review: STAGE FRIGHT Sings, Dances, And Slashes Its Way Into Hearts

In the fall of 2010, everyone at Fantastic Fest was talking about The Legend of Beaver Dam, a short film that looked like a spooky horror flick until it burst into a musical. The short captured the disparate moods required... More »
By Peter Martin   
  

SXSW 2014 Review: LATE PHASES Is A Dollar Short

A friend of mine is fond of applying the phrase "a wolf in sheep's clothing" to genre films. The theory goes that a good genre flick should have a tried and true "A" genre suit of sheep's clothing, and a... More »
By John Jarzemsky   
  

SXSW 2014 Review: OPEN WINDOWS Never Shuts Down Its Thrill Ride

Early on in Open Windows, Spanish filmmaker Nacho Vigalondo invites easy comparisons to Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window, but then, pardon the expression, he throws them out the window. What begins as an homage quickly morphs into a thriller with its... More »
By Peter Martin   
  

SXSW 2014 Review: STARRY EYES, A Surrealistic Trip Down The Boulevard of Broken Dreams

"Would you give me your body to be a vessel for my voice?," asks the nefarious casting director of the wide-eyed starlet Sarah Walker at the sort of audition parents, boyfriends, and general advocates of decency shudder at the thought.... More »
By Zach Gayne   
  

SXSW 2014 Review: SEQUOIA Rises High

Suicide can be a pretty tough subject to tackle in film. Nine times out of ten, a "will they/won't they" drama suffers from the major flaw of deflated stakes as the audience is smart enough to figure out the... More »
By Ryland Aldrich   
  

SXSW 2014 Review: CHEF Cooks Up Profound Retrospect

I've been waiting 15 years to give Jon Favreau the glowing review he's earned in spades with his return-to-roots film Chef. He has no doubt had a very interesting career since his initial indie splash Swingers back in '96, but... More »
By Zach Gayne   
  

SXSW 2014 Review: PRINT THE LEGEND Is A Fascinating Snapshot Of The Men Behind An Emerging Technology

What is the most important invention of the 21st century? The smart phone? Hybrid cars? Twitter? Filmmakers Luis Lopez and Clay Tweel would have you believe it is the 3D printer. These desktop devices allow users to print immediate... More »
By Ryland Aldrich   
  

SXSW 2014 Review: NEIGHBORS Goes Directly For The Raunch

To put it bluntly, asking why things happen in Hollywood studio comedies is besides the point. It's all about getting to the funny as expeditiously and as often as possible. Neighbors, a new Hollywood studio comedy by Nicholas Stoller, quickly... More »
By Peter Martin   
  

SXSW 2014 Review: VERONICA MARS, Older But Still Wisecracking

The idea of a wisecracking female detective in her late twenties may not be quite as fresh as a wisecracking female detective in high school. But the formula that creator Rob Thomas and company developed for a television series is... More »
By Peter Martin   
  

SXSW 2014 Review: PREDESTINATION, Poignant And Haunting Time Travel

A guy walks into a bar and tells a spellbinding story that has nothing to do with time travel. It's haunting, it's poignant, and it takes up the first big chunk of Predestination, a new movie from the Spierig Brothers... More »
By Peter Martin   
  

SXSW 2014 Review: THE INFINITE MAN Is Indie Time Travel Mayhem At Its Best

Though they have long been very popular, films that involve time travel almost always cause much consternation. Even the films that do it well become the subject of heated debate over logic (see: Looper). And when the logic is... More »
By Ryland Aldrich   
  

SXSW 2014 Review: WETLANDS Paints An Excitingly Vulgar Picture

When a film begins with a teenage girl deliberately smearing her genitals all over an especially disgusting public toilet seat, you pretty much have an idea what you're in for. Wetlands, director David Wnendt's sophomore feature after the award winning Nazi... More »
By J Hurtado   
  

SXSW 2014 Review: 13 SINS, A Gruesome Thriller That Starts With A Fly

Nicely-demented, Daniel Stamm's 13 Sins functions best as a gruesome thriller with a sense of humor. The deck is stacked quite heavily against Elliot (Mark Webber), a salesman who's preparing to marry his pregnant girlfriend Shelby (Rutina Wesley, from True... More »
By Peter Martin   
  

SXSW 2014 Review: HONEYMOON Is All Parts Scare

From Honeymoon's opening montage of our newlywed couple reminiscing about falling in love, you might think you are settling in for romantic drama about the challenges of starting a life together. You'd be wrong. While plenty of challenges await... More »
By Ryland Aldrich   
  

SXSW 2013 Review: GOOD VIBRATIONS Is The Best Punk Film Since 24 HOUR PARTY PEOPLE

Yeah. I said it: Good Vibrations is the best and truest film about punk music and culture since Michael Winterbottom's critically acclaimed look at early 80s Manchester, 24 Hour Party People. Lisa Barros D'Sa & Glenn Leyburn's new film is an absolute... More »
By J Hurtado   
  

SXSW 2013 Review: HOLY GHOST PEOPLE Sadly Slips From Scary To Silly

For the first hour or so Mitchell Altieri's Holy Ghost People is a tense backwoods thriller centered around a small charismatic Christian community somewhere in the Appalachian mountains. Once that hour is up, though, things turn a bit wacky and... More »
By J Hurtado   
  

SXSW Review: DRINKING BUDDIES Brings Joe Swanberg to the Big Time

Joe Swanberg's career as a filmmaker has gone through several phases, all without his name being known to more than a tiny fraction of the movie-going public. The inadvertent and unwilling godfather of the "Mumblecore" sub-genre (in which listless twentysomethings... More »
By Eric D. Snider   
  

SXSW 2013 Review: KISS OF THE DAMNED Intricately Apes Classic Eurohorror, Warts And All

There are few subgenres of film quite as specific and instantly recognizable as '70s Eurohorror. Filmmakers like Jean Rollin, Jess Franco, Jose Ramon Larraz and a few others left an indelible mark on the international horror market. Their creations were... More »
By J Hurtado   
  

SXSW 2013 Review: DOWNLOADED is a Fascinating Look at Our Wired Times

Downloaded is a great documentary for many reasons. The greatest of these might be its effortless and uncanny ability to throw into stark relief just how massively the world of computers and the Internet has radically changed in just... More »
By John Jarzemsky   
  

SXSW 2013 Review: MAIDENTRIP is a Beautiful Celebration of Youth

You may have already heard this story: A fifteen-year-old girl wins a legal battle versus the Dutch government to stay in the custody of her parents and is therefore able to set out on her 40-foot sailboat in an... More »
By Ryland Aldrich   
  
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