Rhymes for Young Ghouls (2013)

Rhymes for Young Ghouls
Director: Jeff Barnaby
Writer: Jeff Barnaby
Cast: Devery Jacobs, Glen Gould, Brandon Oakes, Roseanne Supernault, Mark Antony Krupa, Cody Bird, Nathan Alexis, Kenneth D’Ailleboust, Kent McQuaid, Katherine Sorbey
Seen on: 17.7.2018

Plot:
It’s 1976 and by law, all First Nations children under 16 have to attend residential schools. For the Red Crow Mi’kmaq that means being locked up at school and at the mercy of the sadistic truant officer Popper (Mark Antony Krupa). So it’s not surprising that Aila (Devery Jacobs) tries to keep herself away from school, like many other First Nation families. So far she managed to pay Popper off by selling weed with her uncle Burner (Brandon Oakes). But when her father (Glen Gould) comes home from prison, things become unbalanced.

Rhymes for Young Ghouls takes on a difficult subject with a lot of understanding and creativity for a full emotional impact. It’s really strong.

Film poster showing a cowering naked girl from behind with the film title written across her back.
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Farah Goes Bang (2013)

Farah Goes Bang
Director: Meera Menon
Writer: Laura Goode, Meera Menon
Cast: Nikohl Boosheri, Kandis Fay, Kiran Deol, George Basil, Michael Steger, Samrat Chakrabarti, Lyman Ward, Kate French
Seen on: 5.1.2018
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Plot:
2004. Farah (Nikohl Boosheri) is campaigning for John Kerry, a work that takes her knocking on doors across the USA. She is accompanied by her two best friends, K.J. (Kandis Fay) and Roopa (Kiran Deol). Their trip isn’t all business, though. K.J. and Roopa think that it is the perfect opportunity for Farah to finally lose her virginity. Farah does tend to agree but is uncertain and doesn’t want to embarass herself.

Farah Goes Bang is not a perfect film but especially for a first feature film it is very good. Engaging characters, good pacing and interesting politics more than make up for the weaknesses of the film that probably stem from inexperience.

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Love Steaks (2013)

Love Steaks
Director: Jakob Lass
Writer: Jakob Lass, Ines SchillerTimon SchäppiNico Woche
Cast: Lana CooperFranz RogowskiKerstin AbendrothDaniel AlznauerEric PoppRalf Winter
Seen on: 11.10.2017
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Plot:
Clemens (Franz Rogowski) just started working at a spa hotel. He is allowed to stay in a small storage room there and starts learning. But when the meek Clemens meets the rebellious Lara (Lana Cooper) who works in the kitchen, sparks start flying. As the two get more and more wrapped into each other, that spark between them starts to cause chaos in the entire hotel.

Love Steaks wasn’t my cup of tea. Difficult people in broken relationships is an interesting topic but if you try to sell it to me as romance, I’m out. And that’s what happened here.

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Curse of Chucky (2013)

Curse of Chucky
Director: Don Mancini
Writer: Don Mancini
Sequel to: Child’s Play, Child’s Play 2, Child’s Play 3, Bride of Chucky, Seed of Chucky
Cast: Fiona DourifDanielle BisuttiBrad DourifJennifer TillyA MartinezChantal QuesnelleMaitland McConnellBrennan ElliottSummer H. Howell
Seen on: 22.9.2017
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Plot:
After the death of her mother Sarah (Chantal Quesnelle), Nica (Fiona Dourif) moves in with her sister Barb (Danielle Bisutti) and her family. Also moving is a doll that was sent to Sarah just before her death. Things quickly start to become very strange, and Nica begins suspecting there is more to that doll than she thought at first.

Curse of Chucky didn’t really blow me away but it was one of the better films of the series. Still there was potential for a better film in there.

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42 (2013)

42
Director: Brian Helgeland
Writer: Brian Helgeland
Cast: Chadwick BosemanHarrison FordNicole BeharieChristopher MeloniRyan MerrimanLucas BlackAndré HollandAlan TudykHamish Linklater
Seen on: 20.4.2017

Plot:
It is 1946. Jackie Robinson (Chadwick Boseman) is an excellent baseball player, but confined to the underfinanced, underrecognized and generally looked down upon Negro League due to the color of his skin. But Jackie is also not somebody who accepts things as they are, so when he is approached by Brooklyn Dodgers exec Branch Rickey (Harrison Ford) to play as the first black player in the Major League, he takes the chance. But unfortunately not everyone sees Jackie’s potential, most of the people only see the color of his skin – and they are not happy about it.

Baseball is not really my thing, but learning about racism is definitely something I’m trying to do, so I decided to give 42 a chance. And it is a decent, albeit not groundbreaking and surprisingly white film with a fantastic Boseman in the lead.

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Blue Ruin (2013)

Blue Ruin
Director: Jeremy Saulnier
Writer: Jeremy Saulnier
Cast: Macon BlairDevin RatrayAmy HargreavesKevin KolackEve PlumbDavid W. ThompsonBrent WerznerStacy RockSidné Anderson
Seen on: 8.1.2017

Plot:
Dwayne (Macon Blair) has hit rock bottom. He doesn’t have a job, he lives out of his car, he doesn’t have any friends. It is only when he is told that the man who killed his parents is being released from prison that he starts moving again: he goes to find him and take his revenge. After he does, he goes to find his sister Sam (Amy Hargreaves). But revenge provokes revenge – and this spiral has only just begun.

Blue Ruin was entertaining enough but didn’t blow me away. Emotionally, I just never connected all that much to Dwayne and his ploy for revenge.

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Re-Watch: HK: Hentai Kamen [HK: Forbidden Super Hero] (2013)

HK: Hentai Kamen
Director: Yûichi Fukuda
Writer: Yûichi Fukuda, Shun Oguri
Based on: Keishū Ando’s manga Kyūkyoku!! Hentai Kamen
Cast: Ryôhei Suzuki, Fumika Shimizu, Ken Yasuda
Part of: /slash Filmfestival (special screening)
Seen on: 9.9.2016
[Here’s my first review.]

Plot:
Kyōsuke Shikijō (Ryôhei Suzuki) is a high school student with a strong sense of justice, but unfortunately nothing to back that up with. So when he stands up against bullies, he regularly gets beat up. When Aiko Himeno (Fumika Shimizu) comes to his school, he immediately falls in love. Then Aiko is taken hostage during a bank robbery and Kyōsuke wants to save her. To not be recognized, he wants to pull on a mask, but pulls on a panty by mistake. But through that mistake his superpowers are released and Kyōsuke becomes Hentai Kamen – Pervert Mask.

When I first saw Hentai Kamen, I already loved it and I’m happy to say that it definitely holds up to re-watching it. It again had me laughing more often than not.

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Fear is an Option – Short Film Program

Fear is an Option [a play on the VIS motto of Fear is not an Option] was a collection of horror short films curated (among others) by the /slash Filmfestival as part of the VIS Vienna Independent Shorts film festival. They showed the following short films:
The Simpsons Couch Gag [You’re Next] (2015)
Directed and written by: Lee Hardcastle
[Can be watched here.]
The Chickening (2015)
Directed and written by: Nick DenBoer, Davy Force
Based on: The Shining
[Can be watched here.]
Invaders (2014)
Directed and written by: Jason Kupfer
Cast: Ricky Wayne, Jordan Woods-Robinson
[Can be watched here.]
Jack Attack (2013)
Directed and written by: Bryan Norton, Antonio Padovan
Cast: Helen Rogers, Tyler Rossell, Steve Anderson Jr.
Monster (2005)
Directed and written by: Jennifer Kent
Cast: Susan Prior, Luke Ikimis-Healey, Trash Vaudeville
[Can be watched here.]
One Last Dive (2013)
Directed and written by: Jason Eisener
Cast: Catherine Maltais, Peter Allen
[Can be watched here.]
Polaroid (2015)
Directed and written by: Lars Klevberg
Cast: Annika Witt, Thea Sofie Loch Næss, Anne Cloetta
Baskin (2013)
Directed and written by: Can Evrenol, Co-Directed by: Ogulcan Eren Akay
Cast: Muharrem Bayrak, Fadik Bülbül, Gorkem Kasal, Aydin Orak, Remzi Pamukcu
Lights Out (2013)
Directed and written by: David F. Sandberg
Cast: Lotta Losten
[Can be watched here.]
Seen on: 29.5.2016

They put together a strong collection of short films here, some of which were connected to the /slash Filmfestival – where they did show You’re Next, the basis for the Simpsons Couch Gag; both Baskin and Monster were turned into feature films that were also part of the festival program – Baskin and The Babadook respectively; and Jason Eisener had segments in V/H/S 2 and The ABCs of Death, where Lee Hardcastle also made an appearance. The short films ranged from very funny and silly to outright terrifying and most of them were really effective, even if not all worked for me.

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[After the jump I’ll talk about each of the films individually.]

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Fack ju Göhte [Suck Me Shakespeer] (2013)

Fack ju Göhte [yes, a deliberate misspelling of fuck you, Goethe]
Director: Bora Dagtekin
Writer: Bora Dagtekin
Cast: Elyas M’Barek, Karoline Herfurth, Katja Riemann, Jana Pallaske, Alwara Höfels, Jella Haase, Max von der Groeben, Anna Lena Klenke, Gizem Emre, Aram Arami, Runa Greiner, Valentina Pahde, Uschi Glas
Seen on: 20.11.2015

Plot:
Zeki (Elyas M’Barek) was just released from prison and has only one thing in his mind: collecting his loot. His friend Charlie (Jana Pallaske) has hidden it in the ground, but when they get there, it turns out that a school has expanded and the treasure is now somewhere under the building. Zeki wants to apply as a janitor there, but is inadvertently hired as a teacher. To pass as long as it takes to get to his money, he uses the diligent teacher Lisi (Karoline Herfurth). But when he gets to teach the most difficult class in school, things start to change.

Fack Ju Göhte is not exactly a smart comedy, but it is fun to watch as long as you don’t think too much about any of it and ignore the sexism and classism.

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The Last Halloween (2013)

The Last Halloween
Director: Marc Roussel
Writer: Marc Roussel, Mark Thibodeau,
Cast: Ron Basch, Emily Alatalo, Drew Davis, Zoe Fraser, Brendan Heard, Jake Goodman
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 25.9.2015
[Review by Maynard.]
[You can watch it here.]

Plot:
4 children (Drew Davis, Zoe Fraser, Brendan Heard, Jake Goodman) make their way trick-or-treating through a desolate city. Despite the destruction, most people manage to find something they can give. But not all.

The Last Halloween has cool costumes, a great idea and knows when to quit. I doubt that it would have workes as a feature film, but as a short film it was perfectly creepy and atmospheric. I liked it.

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