Blindspotting (2018)

Blindspotting
Director: Carlos López Estrada
Writer: Rafael Casal, Daveed Diggs
Cast: Daveed Diggs, Rafael Casal, Janina Gavankar, Jasmine Cephas Jones, Ethan Embry, Tisha Campbell-Martin, Utkarsh Ambudkar
Seen on: 21.8.2018

Plot:
Collin (Daveed Diggs) has only a few days of probabtion left and he is doing everything to keep his head down. That isn’t always as easy as he’d like it to be, especially since his best friend Miles (Rafael Casal) tends to not think about consequences too much. As they both move through their home turf of Bay Area, Oakland, circumstances force them to face some hard truths about where they belong and what race and class have to do with their standing in life.

Blindspotting is a fantastic film: well-made, political and emotional, it brings home quite a few truths about many issues at the intersection of race and class – and even manages to be funny while it does so.

The film poster showing Rafael Casal and Daveed Diggs leaning against a wall.
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Fashionista (2016)

Fashionista
Director: Simon Rumley
Writer: Simon Rumley
Cast: Amanda FullerEthan EmbryEric BalfourAlex EssoeAlexandria DeBerryDevin BonnéeJemma Evans
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 28.9.2017
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Plot:
April (Amanda Fuller) and Eric (Ethan Embry) run a second hand clothing store together and are also a couple. Things have become tense between the two of them and April suspects that Eric has an affair. That’s when Randall (Eric Balfour) shows up. He’s rich, he is as interested in fashion as April is, and he feels dangerous – but to April, he is an irresistible draw as things with Eric go from bad to worse.

Fashionista was one of the strongest films of the /slash Filmfestival. A tense film with a great cast that had me on the edge of my seat with goosebumps all over pretty much the entire time.

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The Devil’s Candy (2015)

The Devil’s Candy
Director: Sean Byrne
Writer: Sean Byrne
Cast: Ethan Embry, Shiri Appleby, Kiara Glasco, Pruitt Taylor Vince, Craig Nigh, Marco Perella, Orion West, Mylinda Royer
Part of: Viennale
Seen on: 31.10.2015
[Review by cornholio.]

Plot:
Jesse (Ethan Embry), Astrid (Shiri Appleby) and their daughter Zooey (Kiara Glasco) just bought a foreclosed house outside of the city. Even though Astrid and Zooey will have a longer commute that way, it gives them more space and Jesse, who is a painter, can have his own studio there. But there is something evil about the house. The previous owners died and their son Ray (Pruitt Taylor Vince), who seems to have a disability, can’t really stay away from his former home. But then Jesse starts hearing voices and painting weird things, as if something was taking over.

The Devil’s Candy worked very well for me – until the last ten minutes or so, where it falls so completely apart that it threatens even the good 80 minutes that came before.

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Late Phases (2014)

Late Phases
Director: Adrián García Bogliano
Writer: Eric Stolze
Cast: Nick Damici, Ethan Embry, Lance Guest, Tina Louise, Rutanya Alda
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
[Reviews by cornholio and Maynard Morrissey.]

Plot:
Ambrose (Nick Damici) used to be a soldier but now he is old and blind. He just moved to a new place, a retirement community. But instead of the peace and quite one would associate with such a community, Ambrose finds that people there are dying from mysterious dog bites quite a lot. But at the first full moon, Ambrose is attacked himself and realizes that those are not actually dogs. So he decides to go to war with the creatures.

With the choice of setting and protagonist, Late Phases has all the possibilities for a really fresh take on werewolf stories. But while the idea is great, its execution left me completely cold.

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Cheap Thrills (2013)

Cheap Thrills
Director: E.L. Katz
Writer: Trent Haaga, David Chirchirillo
Cast: Pat Healy, Ethan Embry, David Koechner, Sara Paxton, Amanda Fuller
Part of: /slash Filmfestival

Plot:
Craig (Pat Healy) used to be a journalist but now he’s working in a garage. Or rather he was working in a garage – but he was just fired, which really doesn’t help him or his family with their general money problems. As he tries to drink his sorrows away, he runs into Vince (Ethan Embry), an old acquaintance. As they catch up, they meet Violet (Sara Paxton) and Colin (David Koechner) who are obviously made of money. Violet and Colin start offering Craig and Vince money for various, increasingly outlandish wagers.

Cheap Thrills was a movie like a punch in the stomach but in a good way [yeah, I know: as if there was a good way to be punched in the stomach]. It was a tense, awesome piece of cinema.

cheap-thrills

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