Dinner in America (2020)

Dinner in America
Director: Adam Rehmeier
Writer: Adam Rehmeier
Cast: Kyle Gallner, Emily Skeggs, Pat Healy, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Lea Thompson, Jennifer Prediger
Part of: surprise movie at the SLASH Filmfestival
Seen on: 23.9.2020

Content Note: ableist and homomisic slurs

Patty’s (Emily Skeggs) life is pretty much stuck. She lives with her parents who still treat her like a child, works at a pet store, and whenever she runs into the local high school boys, they bully her. Her only escape is the music of a local punk band and her fantasies about the singer who always wears a mask. When she runs into Simon (Kyle Gallner), a punk who is constantly in conflict with pretty much everyone around him, the two connect quickly and soon realize that life may be better together.

Dinner in America is an absolute gift of a film, even though the slurs get a bit out of hand. But at its core it’s a beautiful, romantic story about self-acceptance and love that is so much more wholesome than it appears at first. I really adored it.

The film poster showing Simon (Kyle Gallner) and Patty (Emily Skeggs).
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The Master Cleanse (2016)

The Master Cleanse
Director: Bobby Miller
Writer: Bobby Miller
Cast: Johnny Galecki, Anna Friel, Anjelica Huston, Oliver Platt, Kyle Gallner, Kevin J. O’Connor, Diana Bang, Loretta Walsh
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 29.9.2016
[Review by cornholio.]

Paul (Johnny Galecki) was just dumped by his fiancée and is looking for a new direction in life. That’s when he sees the ad for a new retreat and on a whim, he decides to go, to purge the last traces of the break-up and start a new chapter in his life. With him on the retreat is Maggie (Anna Friel) among others. The retreat is run by Lily (Anjelica Huston) and it starts normal enough with a juice cleanse. But the effects of that juice is very different from what is usually done at retreats like this.

The Master Cleanse was funny, if way too predictable. It doesn’t exactly cut deep, but it’s an enteraining film.  Continue reading

Dear White People (2014)

Dear White People
Director: Justin Simien
Writer: Justin Simien
Cast: Tyler James Williams, Tessa Thompson, Kyle Gallner, Teyonah Parris, Brandon P Bell, Brittany Curran, Dennis Haysbert,
Seen on: 15.9.2016

Biracial Samantha (Tessa Thompson) hosts a popular radio show on her campus where she tackles racial issues, “Dear White People”. After she wins the election for head of her House, the black only residence on campus, beating out her ex Try (Brandon P Bell), Sam gets a bigger platform for her outspoken activism and things get considerably more heated. The white students, in particular the frat led by Kurt (Kyle Gallner), want to push back by hosting a blackface party and asking Lionel (Tylor James Williams) to investigate undercover in Sam’s House. Meanwhile, Coco (Teyonah Parris) is trying to land a spot on a reality TV show, but they seem more interested in Sam and the tensions surrounding her.

Dear White People started off a bit weird for me, but once the film and I found our groove together and the story really starts, it is an enjoyable, funny film with a very serious core, presenting a perspective that is much too rare in mainstream entertainment.

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Red State (2011)

Red State
Director: Kevin Smith
Writer: Kevin Smith
Cast: Michael Parks, John Goodman, Michael Angarano, Nicholas Braun, Kyle Gallner, Melissa Leo (and for all you TV people: Kevin Alejandro and Marc Blucas)
Part of: /slash Filmfestival

The teenagers Travis (Michael Angarano), Billy-Ray (Nicholas Braun) and Jarod (Kyle Gallner) answer an online posting from a woman looking for group sex. She agrees to sleep with the three of them. What they don’t know is that the woman – Sara (Melissa Leo) – is bait from the local fundamentalist crazy church. The church kidnaps the three boys to judge them for their sins. But while the church – headed by Abin Cooper (Michael Parks) – enjoys their business a usual, the shit is hitting the fan and a police team is preparing to storm the church.

The movie has some very strong moments and a great second half. But I can’t help but feeling that the movie could have been better.

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