Dobra zena [A Good Wife] (2016)

Dobra zena
Director: Mirjana Karanovic
Writer: Mirjana Karanovic, Stevan Filipovic, Darko Lungulov
Cast: Mirjana Karanovic, Boris Isakovic, Jasna Djuricic, Bojan Navojec, Hristina Popovic, Vlado Kerosevic, Ksenija Marinkovic, Isidora Simijonovic, Jovan Belobrkovic, Ermin Bravo
Seen on: 3.10.2016

Plot:
Milena (Mirjana Karanovic) and Vlada (Boris Isakovic) have been married for a while, their children are grown, their life is well established. But Milena gets shaken out of her complacency when doctors find a lump in her breast and she finds proof at home that Vlada committed war crimes during the Balkan War. Questioning the very foundations of her life and the possibilities of her future, Milena will have to make some tough decisions.

The Good Wife tackles many different issues and none of them are light. But it does manage to stay on top of them and not be overwhelmed by its own gravity, making it a very engaging, interesting film with important things to say.

Continue reading

Auf Augenhöhe (2016)

Auf Augenhöhe [can be translated as “At Eye Level” or “Seeing Eye to Eye”]
Director: Joachim Dollhopf, Evi Goldbrunner
Writer: Evi Goldbrunner, Joachim Dollhopf, Nicole Armbruster
Cast: Luis Vorbach, Jordan Prentice, Ella Frey, Marco Licht, Anselm Haderer, Mira Bartuschek, Philipp Laude, Anica Dobra
Seen on: 2.10.2016

Plot:
Ten-year-old Michi (Luis Vorbach) lives in a foster home. His mother has died, his father is unknown to him. But the one day he finds a letter that his mother never sent and its addressed to Michi’s father. He is overjoyed and nervous, but his dreams of the perfect father who will take him away and give him a real home are shattered when Michi finds out that his father – Tom (Jordan Prentice) is just as tall as he is. When Tom shows up at the home, interested in his son, and the other kids start making fun of Michi, he can’t stand it. Michi runs away. When the police find him a short while later, it’s Tom’s address he tells them and the two start the difficult process of trying to figure out this parent and child thing.

Auf Augenhöhe is a film that wants to teach children something and it does so with a lot of heart and in a very sweet way.

Continue reading

Lo chiamavano Jeeg Robot [They Call Me Jeeg] (2015)

Lo chiamavano Jeeg Robot
Director: Gabriele Mainetti
Writer: Nicola GuaglianoneMenotti
Cast: Claudio SantamariaLuca MarinelliIlenia PastorelliStefano AmbrogiMaurizio TeseiFrancesco Formichetti
Part of: /slash Filmfestival (Secret Society Screening)
Seen on: 2.10.2016
[Review by cornholio.]

Plot:
Enzo (Claudio Santamaria) is a small time crook who works for Zingaro (Luca Marinelli). One night he has to run from the police and his only chance to escape is a jump into the heavily polluted Tiber river. It works and Enzo heads home. When he wakes up the next day, everything is different: Enzo now has superpowers and with them the chance to start fresh. Or at least to become a more competent robber. But superpowers won’t go unnoticed, neither by Zingaro nor by Enzo’s neighbor Ale (Ilenia Pastorelli).

Lo chiamavano Jeeg Robot takes on USAmerican comic and superhero lore, mixes in a bit of manga and transplants them to Italy – an idea I generally liked. Unfortunately they took every single problematic trope with them in the process, leaving me less than impressed with the result.

[SPOILERS]

Continue reading

Johnny Frank Garrett’s Last Word (2016)

Johnny Frank Garrett’s Last Word
Director: Simon Rumley
Writer: Ben KetaiMarc HaimesTony Giglio
Based on: The Last Word and the case of Johnny Frank Garrett
Cast: Sean Patrick FlaneryErin CummingsMike DoyleSue RockDodge PrinceMike GassawayCassie Shea WatsonDevin Bonnée
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 2.10.2016

Plot:
When Johnny Frank Garrett (Devin Bonnée) was 18 years old, he was convicted of murder and sentenced to death. Now, almost two decades later, the sentence is to be finally carried out. But Johnny still insists he’s innocent and with his last breath he swears vengeance. It doesn’t take long after the execution that people connected to his case start dying.

I had never heard of the real story behind this film before seeing Johnny Frank Garrett’s Last Word. And now I kind of wish I had watched the documentary about the case instead of this film that got more exhausting with every minute that passed.

Continue reading

Abattoir (2016)

Abattoir
Director: Darren Lynn Bousman
Writer: Christopher Monfette
Based on: Bousman’s comic
Cast: Jessica LowndesJoe AndersonDayton CallieLin ShayeJohn McConnellBryan BattMichael Paré
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 2.10.2016
[Review by cornholio.]

Plot:
Julia (Jessica Lowndes) is a reporter who dreams of getting to write a big story. When her sister and her family is killed, her reporterly instincts kick in and she starts to investigate why a stranger with no connection to her family and apparently deeply regretful about his actions would take her entire family from her. With the help of her ex-boyfriend Declan (Joe Anderson), a police officer, Julia takes up a trail of mysteries that is connected to Jebediah Crone (Daytone Callie).

Abattoir works from an interesting idea and with strong visuals, but unfortunately the clichéd characters do take away some of the enjoyment. Still, it’s an interesting addition to horror movie lore.

[SPOILERS]

Continue reading

Are We Not Cats (2016)

Are We Not Cats
Director: Xander Robin
Writer: Xander Robin
Cast: Michael Patrick NicholsonChelsea LopezMichael Godere
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 1.10.2016
[Review by cornholio.]

Plot:
Eli (Michael Patrick Nicholson) has hit rock bottom. Within only just a few hours, he finds himself homeless, jobless and dumped. It’s the perfect time for a fresh start then. And that’s when he meets Anya (Chelsea Lopez) through her boyfriend Kyle (Michael Godere). Eli finds himself drawn to her and his attraction seems to be reciprocated, but it’s only when they discover that they both like to eat their hair, when they really fall for each other. But it only takes a few days for things to spiral out of control.

Are We Not Cats did not work for me at all. The pacing was off and the ending pushed the film from slightly boring, but not uninteresting to absolutely ridiculous in no time at all.

[SPOILERS]

Continue reading

Swiss Army Man (2016)

Swiss Army Man
Director: Dan KwanDaniel Scheinert
Writer: Daniel Scheinert, Dan Kwan
Cast: Paul DanoDaniel RadcliffeMary Elizabeth Winstead
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 1.10.2016
[Review by cornholio.]

Plot:
Hank (Paul Dano) is stranded on a deserted island. His only company is Manny (Daniel Radcliffe). It’s just that Manny is actually dead. But he is still able to speak and his body has some absolutely perfect properties for Hank’s escape. So the two of them make their way back home. And the longer they travel together, the more they discover about each other.

It’s hard to put into words how strange Swiss Army Man actually is and how much that strangeness benefits it without it being a gimmick. Much too often, the strangeness of a film feels like posturing, here it is an absolutely central part of the film’s heart and soul – and it’s got a lot of those, transforming Swiss Army Man into a magical experience that is bound to make you emotional.

Continue reading

Yoga Hosers (2016)

Yoga Hosers
Director: Kevin Smith
Writer: Kevin Smith
Cast: Lily-Rose Depp, Harley Quinn Smith, Adam BrodyHarley Morenstein, Ashley Greene, Jennifer Schwalbach Smith, Justin LongTony Hale, Natasha Lyonne, Genesis Rodriguez, Vanessa Paradis, Haley Joel Osment, Johnny Depp, Stan Lee, Jason Mewes, Kevin Smith
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 1.10.2016
[Review by cornholio.]

Plot:
Colleen Collette (Lily-Rose Depp) and Colleen McKenzie (Harley Quinn Smith) have always been best friends. Now they share a passion for yoga, a boring job in a convenience store and a band with which they hope to become famous. But first: get through high school and maybe find a hot boyfriend like Hunter (Austin Butler), Colleen M’s crush, and his best friend Gordon (Tyler Posey). When the two of them invite the Colleens to a party, they are overjoyed. But things go very differently than expected – in a sudden Nazis, evil plot and satanism kind of way. It’s up to the Colleens to save the world.

Yoga Hosers wasn’t perfect, but it was entertaining, sweet and funny. I enjoyed most of it – especially after the clusterfuck that was Tusk.

Continue reading

The Love Witch (2016)

The Love Witch
Director: Anna Biller
Writer: Anna Biller
Cast: Samantha Robinson, Gian Keys, Laura Waddell, Jeffrey Vincent Parise, Jared Sanford, Robert Seeley, Jennifer Ingrum, Randy Evans
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 1.10.2016
[Review by cornholio.]

Plot:
After a fresh start in a new town, Elaine (Samantha Robinson) is looking for love. And she’s not above using her magic trying to find it. Her love potions do work, but maybe a little too strongly and men die. And then Detective Griff (Gian Keys) starts to investigate Elaine. And Detective Griff might just be the perfect guy Elaine has been waiting for.

The Love Witch is not only a film that looks great and perfectly emulates 60s to 70s aesthetics, it’s also an extremely fascinating take on feminist discourse. I absolutely loved it.

Continue reading

La tortue rouge [The Red Turtle] (2016)

La tortue rouge
Director: Michael Dudok de Wit
Writer: Michael Dudok de Wit, Pascale Ferran
Cast: Emmanuel GarijoBarbara Beretta, Tom Hudson, Baptiste Goy, Axel Devillers
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 1.10.2016
[Review by cornholio.]

Plot:
A man (Emmanuel Garijo) is shipwrecked and only barely makes it to land on a deserted island. He is a survivor and immediately starts with preparing a raft to leave the island. But a giant red turtle patrols the sea and destroys it. And the raft after that. And the raft after that. But when the turtle comes ashore, the man has his chance for revenge. But are they actually enemies?

La tortue rouge is a gorgeous film with a story that raised my eyebrow(s) more than once as I couldn’t really turn off my head to enjoy the film as would have probably been advisable. But I still liked it.

[SPOILERS]

Continue reading