A Gathering of Shadows (V.E. Schwab)

A Gathering of Shadows is the second novel in Shades of Magic trilogy by V.E. Schwab [aka Victoria Schwab].
Finished on: 10.10.2017
[Here’s my review of the first novel.]

Plot:
It’s been months since Kell and Lila had to face White London, and things are settling. Lila has gone to be a pirate as she’s always dreamed, while Kell is trying to find his place with the royal family again. But things are tense, having lost the trust of the King and Queen and still having to figure out the changed relationship with Rhy. With the approach of an international magic contest in Red London, it is even more imperative that things start to run smoothly again. But the other Londons still harbor some surprises.

A Gathering of Shadows was a good, quick read, but I did have my problems with it, starting with the magic tournament angle (incredibly overdone) to character development.

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The Endless (2017)

The Endless
Director: Justin BensonAaron Moorhead
Writer: Justin Benson
Cast: Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead, Callie HernandezJames JordanEmily MontagueTate EllingtonLew TempleRic SarabiaKira Powell
Part of: Secret Society Screening at the /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 1.10.2017
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Plot:
Justin (Justin Benson) and Aaron (Aaron Moorhead) are brothers who managed to get out of a cult and have slowly been adjusting to life outside of it. But when they get a video from another member of the cult, it re-opens that chapter of their lives and the two decide to head back there to figure things out and find closure. However, once they arrive, the cult starts to make more sense than they ever thought before.

If The Endless hadn’t been a surprise screening, I probably would have avoided it – that’s how much I hated Benson and Moorhead’s first film, Spring. But I have to admit that Endless wasn’t bad, even though I didn’t fall head over heels for it.

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Tremors (1990)

Tremors
Director: Ron Underwood
Writer: S.S. WilsonBrent Maddock
Cast: Kevin BaconFred WardFinn CarterMichael GrossReba McEntireRobert JayneCharlotte StewartTony GenaroAriana RichardsRichard MarcusVictor Wong
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 1.10.2017
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Plot:
Val (Kevin Bacon) and Earl (Fred Ward) do a little bit of everything around the small town of Perfection, Nevada, in the middle of the desert. They are ready for a change, but that change comes in a very different way from what they expect when they and the entire town come under attack from giant snakes that burrow underground. Suddenly the entire small population of Perfection has to fight for their survival.

I know that Tremors has gained quite a cult-following, but maybe it needs the nostalgia factor to really see why that’s the case. I saw it for the first time at the /slash and I thought it was nice, but I didn’t love it.

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Anchiporuno [Antiporno] (2016)

Anchiporuno
Director: Sion Sono
Writer: Sion Sono
Cast: Ami TomiteMariko TsutsuiAsamiFujikoAmi FukudaHonoka IshibashiYûya Takayama
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 1.10.2017
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Plot:
Kyoko (Ami Tomite) is a young artist who takes great pleasure in humiliating her assistant Noriko (Mariko Tsutsui). But as their sexually charged relationship unfolds, things keep shifting.

I saw the trailer of the film and I was very doubtful that I would like it. But I didn’t think I’d actively hate it. It took me about five minutes to arrive at that point though, and even though I tried to give it more of a chance, I didn’t succeed.

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Return to Return to Nuke ‘Em High Aka Vol. 2 (2017)

Return to Return to Nuke ‘Em High Aka Vol. 2
Director: Lloyd Kaufman
Writer: Travis CampbellDerek Dressler, Lloyd Kaufman, Gabriel FriedmanDoug Sakmann
Sequel to: Return to Nuke ‘Em High
Cast: Asta ParedesCatherine CorcoranZac AmicoVito Trigo, Lloyd Kaufman, Babette BombshellTara E. MillerMike BaezMark QuinnetteJim SheppardReiki TsunoJosh PotterDebbie RochonClay von Carlowitz
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 1.10.2017
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Plot:
Chrissy (Asta Paredes) and Lauren (Catherine Corcoran) have just come out of a crisis at Nuke ‘Em High, and are already slithering into the next. On a personal level, their principal threatens to out them. On a larger scale, rich company owner Herzkauf (Lloyd Kaufman) isn’t done trying to make profits at Nuke ‘Em High any way he can.

After the short film that ran before it, I fell asleep for the first half or so of the film. But that just meant that I was awake enough to really take in the secod half even though I really didn’t want to. Troma will probably never win me over.

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Dolphinman Battles the Sex Lobsters (2016)

Dolphinman Battles the Sex Lobsters
Director: John P. Brennan
Writer: John P. Brennan
Cast: Gibson Merrick, Zac Amico, John P. Brennan, Elizabeth D’AmbrosioAmanda FlowersLloyd KaufmanDoug Sakmann
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 1.10.2017

Plot:
A new STD is spreading around town – Sex Lobsters. And there’s only one person who is able to stop them all: Dolphinman (Gibson Merrick).

Troma doesn’t make my kind of films, and Dolphinman Battles the Sex Lobsters was no exception. Although it really did make me laugh once, when the diagnosis came that it wasn’t, in fact, crabs, but lobsters. Other than that though, I didn’t care for the film one way or another.

Killing Ground (2016)

Killing Ground
Director: Damien Power
Writer: Damien Power
Cast: Aaron PedersenHarriet DyerStephen HunterMitzi RuhlmannMaya StangeTiarnie CouplandIan MeadowsAaron GlenaneJulian GarnerAirlie Dodds
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 1.10.2017
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Plot:
Ian (Ian Meadows) and Sam (Harriet Dyer) decide to spend New Year’s Eve camping in the outback. As they set up their tent they discover an empty tent not far from them. Not thinking much of it at first, they become a little concerned when nobody comes back to the tent. When they find a lone toddler in the woods, their concern turns into panic. But before they can get help, they run into two men (Aaron Pedersen, Aaron Glenane) who probably aren’t up to much good.

Killing Ground operates a little too much along the usual plot lines, but it does so rather effectively, making it a solid film.

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Colossal (2016)

Colossal
Director: Nacho Vigalondo
Writer: Nacho Vigalondo
Cast: Anne HathawayJason SudeikisAustin StowellTim Blake NelsonDan Stevens
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 30.9.2017
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Plot:
Gloria’s (Anne Hathaway) life is a mess. Gloria is a mess. When her boyfriend Tim (Dan Stevens) tells her things have to change or she has to move out, she decides to move back to her hometown to live in her parents’ empty house, instead of going to rehab which would have probably been the better choice. Once there she starts working for her childhood friend Oscar (Jason Sudeikis) and keeps partying hard. When reports surface about a giant monster that terrorizes Seoul, Gloria starts to realize that the monster is connected to her somehow.

Colossal has a fun concept that works over long stretches as a metaphor but not always. I enjoyed it, despite a few misgivings.

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My Friend Dahmer (2017)

My Friend Dahmer
Director: Marc Meyers
Writer: Marc Meyers
Based on: Derf Backderf‘s autobiographical graphic novel
Cast: Ross LynchAlex WolffAnne HecheVincent KartheiserDallas RobertsLiam KoethTommy NelsonHarrison Holzer
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 30.9.2017
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Plot:
Jeffrey Dahmer (Ross Lynch) is a strange boy, an outcast at his school. He spends most of his time dissecting animal carcasses he found and experimenting with them. In his senior year, Jeff discovers that he will get attention if he pretends to be disabled or to have an epilleptic attack. This behavior draws the attention of Derf (Alex Wolff) and his friends (Tommy Nelson, Harrison Holzer) who decide to become the Dahmer fanclub. Jeff is honored, but can’t shake his weirdness that becomes more and more pathological.

My Friend Dahmer feels longer than it is, but in this case, that didn’t bother me at all. I thought it was a strong, thoughtful and smart film.

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Spit’n’Split (2017)

Spit’n’Split
Director: Jérôme Vandewattyne
Writer: Jérôme Vandewattyne
Cast: The Experimental Tropical Blues Band
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 30.9.2017
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Plot:
Jérôme Vandewattyne follows The Experimental Tropical Blues Band on tour. But that tour takes them all places that nobody expects. As things between the band members turn tenser and tenser, everything starts to spiral out of control.
Spit’n’Split is a mockumentary in an interesting format: The band really exists and they played themselves, the tour was an actual tour, but the other events are fictional. 

Spit’n’Split was an almost unbearable film. It starts boring and devolves into an experience of nerve-grating that made me want to run.

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