Knights of Badassdom (2013)

Knights of Badassdom
Director: Joe Lynch
Writer: Matt WallKevin Dreyfuss
Cast: Ryan KwantenSteve Zahn, Peter DinklageJimmi Simpson, Summer GlauTom HopperJoshua MalinaMargarita Levieva, Danny Pudi
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
[Reviews by cornholio and Maynard Morrissey.]

Joe (Ryan Kwanten) was just dumped by his girlfriend Beth (Margarita Levieva) which is why his geeky friends Eric (Steve Zahn) and Hung (Peter Dinklage) drag him off to a LARP. Joe enjoyed playing Dungeons and Dragons a while ago, but he is hesitant about LARPing. It doesn’t help either when it turns out that Eric actually summoned a very real and very murderous demon – and it’s up to them to stop it.

I expected this film to be an ode to LARPing with maybe a bit of friendly ribbing at the idiosyncracies of that particular subculture. But unfortunately Knigths of Badassdom doesn’t laugh with LARPers, it laughs at them – and it isn’t actually very funny.


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For Ellen (2012)

For Ellen
Director: So Yong Kim
Writer: So Yong Kim
Cast: Paul Dano, Jon Heder, Shaylena Mandigo, Jena Malone, Margarita Levieva
Part of: Viennale

Joby Taylor (Paul Dano) is a rather successful rock musician about to get divorced from his already very estranged wife Claire (Margarita Levieva). In fact, Claire has been bringing up their daughter Ellen (Shaylena Mandigo) while Joby’s been gone and now they’re only talking through their lawyers. In a last attempt to salvage something, Joby refuses to sign the divorce papers unless he gets to spend time with Ellen.

For Ellen was an extremely nice and sweet and touching and cute and absolutely wonderful film. It was one of those films that I wanted to see again the minute it was over.

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