Zoe (2018)

Zoe
Director: Drake Doremus
Writer: Richard Greenberg
Cast: Ewan McGregor, Léa Seydoux, Theo James, Rashida Jones, Christina Aguilera, Miranda Otto, Matthew Gray Gubler
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 22.9.2018
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Plot:
Cole (Ewan McGregor) is a programmer. He has successfully developed a compatability test that can very reliably determine whether two people will be happy together. A test that incidentally led to the end of his own marriage to Emma (Rashida Jones). Now Cole develops AI in the form of robots that he brings ever closer to indistinguishable from humans. His latest project is Ash (Theo James) who is remarkably adept at reading human emotions. Meanwhile it’s Zoe (Léa Seydoux) who runs the day-to-day end of his matchmaking business. Zoe has been quietly in love with Cole for a while now but she doesn’t know what to do with her feelings.

Zoe is soft, tender and a little sad. It doesn’t really have anything new to add to the AI/robot genre, but that doesn’t mean that following it as it treads familiar ground isn’t pleasant.

The film poster showing Ewan McGregor and Léa Seydoux embracing in front of a blue-green background.
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68 Kill (2017)

68 Kill
Director: Trent Haaga
Writer: Trent Haaga, Bryan Smith
Cast: Matthew Gray GublerAnnaLynne McCordAlisha BoeSheila VandSam EidsonEric PodnarLucy FaustHallie Grace Bradley
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 27.9.2017
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Plot:
Chip (Matthew Gray Gubler) has been dating Liza (AnnaLynne McCord) for a while, despite her being more than he can handle, really. One night, Liza brings the unsuspecting Chip to a robbery. She had a good plan but things start to get wrong and soon Chip finds himself trapped in the worst night of his life as he tries to find a way to survive the night and not get anybody else killed either.

I really wanted to like 68 Kill and it starts off well enough, but the longer it went on the more I started to hate it and its absolutely toxic take on both women and masculinity.

[SPOILERS]

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Trash Fire (2016)

Trash Fire
Director: Richard Bates Jr.
Writer: Richard Bates Jr.
Cast: Adrian Grenier, Angela Trimbur, Fionnula Flanagan, AnnaLynne McCord, Sally Kirkland, Matthew Gray Gubler, Ezra Buzzington
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 28.9.2016
[Review by cornholio.]

Plot:
Owen (Adrian Grenier) has been estranged from his family and hasn’t been home in a long time. Now his girlfriend Isabelle (Angela Trimbur) is pregnant, she feels it’s important that Owen makes peace with his past. Reluctantly Owen agrees to bring Isabelle home to his grandmother Violet (Fionnula Flanagan) and his sister (AnnaLynne McCord) who was badly burned in a fire that killed their parents. Despite Owen’s warnings, though, Isabelle is completely unprepared for how awful Violet is. But she’s not one to give up easily.

Trash Fire is an appropriately trashy comedy with great dialogues and an even better cast. I thought it was fantastic.

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Re-Watch: (500) Days of Summer (2009)

(500) Days of Summer
Director: Marc Webb
Writer: Scott Neustadter, Michael H. Weber
Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Zooey Deschanel, Geoffrey Arend, Chloë Grace Moretz, Matthew Gray Gubler, Clark Gregg, Patricia Belcher, Rachel Boston
Seen on: 10.12.2015
[Here’s my first review.]

Plot:
Tom Hansen (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is a hopeless romantic, just waiting to meet a girl he can fall in love with. When he meets Summer (Zooey Deschanel), he believes that he has found her. But since the movie is told in flashbacks, we know that things didn’t turn out the way he had planned: Tom only got 500 days with Summer.

When I saw (500) Days of Summer the first time, I thought it was nice, but I couldn’t really understand the amount of praise the film got. But since that praise kept on coming and since the movie was part of my film course, I decided to give it another try and see if maybe I missed the magic the first time round. Turns out I’m still of pretty much the same opinion as I was six years ago.

500DaysofSummer

[SPOILERS]

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Suburban Gothic (2014)

Suburban Gothic
Director: Richard Bates Jr.
Writer: Richard Bates Jr., Mark Bruner
Cast: Matthew Gray GublerKat DenningsRay WiseBarbara NivenMuse WatsonSally KirklandMel RodriguezJeffrey CombsJohn WatersJack Plotnick
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
[Reviews by cornholio and Maynard Morrissey.]

Plot:
Raymond (Matthew Gray Gubler) has a business degree, but he can’t find a job. His situation is so dire that he has to move back in with his parents. Trapped in Suburbia with a father (Ray Wise) who hates him (and vice versa) and a mother (Barbara Niven) who still treats him like a child, is not really his dream situation. When he starts to see ghosts again, like he used to do when he was a kid, at least he has something to drink about with bartender Becca (Kat Dennings).

Suburban Gothic is a weird animal with a very strange sense of humor that borders on the surreal but doesn’t quite go there. If you find your way into that humor zone, you’ll love the film. But if you expect to see a film like Excision, you’ll be disappointed.

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Excision (2012)

Excision
Director: Richard Bates Jr.
Writer: Richard Bates Jr.
Cast: AnnaLynne McCord, Traci Lords, Ariel Winter, Roger Bart, Jeremy Sumpter, John Waters, Malcolm McDowell, Marlee Matlin, Matthew Gray Gubler, Ray Wise
Part of: /slash Filmfestival

Plot:
Pauline (AnnyLynne McCord) lives with her parents (Tracie Lords, Roger Bart) and her little sister Grace (Ariel Winter) who has Cystic Fibrosis and needs a lung transplant. So Pauline dreams of a career in medicine. But she has issues. She has vivid deams full of blood and sex, that she would like to enact in real life by sleeping with a guy for the first time while on her period. Her mother sees that she’s struggling but believes that with a little strictness and the support of her church they can work through the problems.

Excision is absolutely incredible and amazing. AnnaLynne McCord is perfect, the whole movie is atmospheric and just plain wonderful.

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