XX (2017)

Segment 1: The Box
Director: Jovanka Vuckovic
Writer: Jovanka Vuckovic
Based on: Jack Ketchum‘s short story
Cast: Natalie BrownJonathan WattonPeter DaCunhaPeyton Kennedy
Segment 2: The Birthday Party
Director: St. Vincent aka Annie Clark
Writer: Roxanne BenjaminSt. Vincent aka Annie Clark
Cast: Melanie LynskeySeth DuhameSanai VictoriaSheila VandLindsay Burdge
Segment 3: Don’t Fall
Director: Roxanne Benjamin
Writer: Roxanne Benjamin
Cast: Casey AdamsBreeda WoolAngela TrimburMorgan Krantz
Segment 4: Her Only Living Son
Director: Karyn Kusama
Writer: Karyn Kusama
Cast: Christina KirkKyle AllenMike Doyle
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 4.5.2017
[Review by cornholio.]

XX is a strong and very entertaining anthology film that I enjoyed a lot. I particularly loved the animated transition sequences between the segments by Sofia Carrillo that turned into its own small story in the end.

But of course, there was also much to like about the actual segments of the film – I talk about each individually after the jump.

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Johnny Frank Garrett’s Last Word (2016)

Johnny Frank Garrett’s Last Word
Director: Simon Rumley
Writer: Ben KetaiMarc HaimesTony Giglio
Based on: The Last Word and the case of Johnny Frank Garrett
Cast: Sean Patrick FlaneryErin CummingsMike DoyleSue RockDodge PrinceMike GassawayCassie Shea WatsonDevin Bonnée
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 2.10.2016

When Johnny Frank Garrett (Devin Bonnée) was 18 years old, he was convicted of murder and sentenced to death. Now, almost two decades later, the sentence is to be finally carried out. But Johnny still insists he’s innocent and with his last breath he swears vengeance. It doesn’t take long after the execution that people connected to his case start dying.

I had never heard of the real story behind this film before seeing Johnny Frank Garrett’s Last Word. And now I kind of wish I had watched the documentary about the case instead of this film that got more exhausting with every minute that passed.

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The Invitation (2015)

The Invitation
Director: Karyn Kusama
Writer: Phil HayMatt Manfredi
Cast: Logan Marshall-GreenEmayatzy CorinealdiTammy BlanchardMichiel HuismanJohn Carroll LynchLindsay BurdgeMike DoyleKarl YuneMichelle KrusiecMarieh DelfinoJordi VilasusoDanielle CamastraJay LarsonToby Huss
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 17.9.2015
[Reviews by cornholio and Maynard.]

Will (Logan Marshall-Green) and Edie (Tammy Blanchard) used to be happy. But after their son died, their relationship fell apart. Edie began dating David (Michiel Huisman) and then disappeared for two years. But now Edie and David are back and have invited all of their old friends to a dinner party, including Will and his new girlfriend Kira (Emayatzy Corinealdi). It’s weird coming back together like that, but there is something even weirder going on with Edie and David and the young woman (Lindsay Burdge) who seems to live with them now.

The Invitation doesn’t exactly tell a revolutionary, unforeseeable story. But it is so beautifully executed that I didn’t mind that for a single second. In fact, the old plot just emphasizes how good the rest of the film is.


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Jersey Boys (2014)

Jersey Boys
Director: Clint Eastwood
Writer: Marshall Brickman, Rick Elice
Based on: their musical
Cast: John Lloyd Young, Vincent Piazza, Michael LomendaErich Bergen, Joseph RussoLacey HannanMike Doyle, Christopher Walken

Frankie (John Lloyd Young) is a hairdresser apprentice in the part of New Jersey that’s firmly in the hands of the mob. His best friend is Tommy DeVito (Vincent Piazza) he is constantly involved in some kind of scheme. But Tommy also has a band and Frankie has a beautiful, if unconventional voice. Together with Nick Massi (Michael Lomenda) and finally Bob Gaudio (Erich Bergen) they form a band – The Four Seasons. Slowly they start their way to the top. But their neighborhood isn’t easily left behind.

Jersey Boys starts strong, but can’t really keep up the momentum. At least the music is consistently good and quite contrary to most Eastwood films, it doesn’t really get boring.

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