Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017)

Star Wars: The Last Jedi (aka Episode VIII)
Director: Rian Johnson
Writer: Rian Johnson
Sequel to: Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones, Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back, Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi, Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens
Cast: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Harrison Ford, Adam Driver, Carrie Fisher, Mark HamillOscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Gwendoline Christie, Kelly Marie Tran, Laura Dern, Benicio Del Toro, Frank Oz, Justin Theroux, Noah Segan, Michaela CoelWarwick Davis, Joseph Gordon-LevittJoe Cornish, Edgar Wright
Seen on: 18.12.2017
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Plot:
The Resistance are still doing their best to fight against the First Order, but they are taking serious hits. Poe (Oscar Isaac) is frustrated with the slow progress of the Resistance. Meanwhile Rey (Daisy Ridley) has gone to Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) to get Jedi training. And Finn (John Boyega) wakes from his coma on the Resistance ship and teams up with Rose (Kelly Mary Tran) to make sure the Resistance stays safe.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi was good entertainment but it didn’t capture me emotionally as much as it should have and thus didn’t manage to convert me from being mildly interested in the Star Wars films to want to dig deeper. But then I didn’t expect it to.

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The Mind’s Eye (2015)

The Mind’s Eye
Director: Joe Begos
Writer: Joe Begos
Cast: Graham SkipperLauren Ashley CarterJohn SperedakosLarry FessendenNoah SeganMatt Mercer
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 1.5.2016
[Review by cornholio.]

Plot:
Zack Connors (Graham Skipper) and Rachel Meadows (Laura Ashley Carter) are not only in love, they also both share the same gift: they have telekinetic powers. That makes them a target for Dr Michael Slovak (John Speredakos) who wants to harness their powers. After an incident, they had to separate, but they are reunited when Slovak catches them both. Together, they try to make a break for it.

The Mind’s Eye sticks to a straight-to-VHS-80s aesthetic but then it can’t seem to decide whether it wants to reproduce that look and make a serious action film or whether it’s a persiflage of those films and meant to be funny. Thus it outmaneuvers itself: for the former, it’s simply ridiculous, for the latter it’s not funny enough.

themindseye

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Some Kind of Hate (2015)

Some Kind of Hate
Director: Adam Egypt Mortimer
Writer: Adam Egypt Mortimer, Brian DeLeeuw
Cast: Ronen Rubinstein, Grace Phipps, Spencer Breslin, Sierra McCormick, Maestro Harrell, Noah Segan
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
[Reviews by cornholio and Maynard.]

Plot:
Lincoln (Ronen Rubinstein) has been taking abuse his entire life. From his father, from his class mates. After his fuse finally blows, he is sent to a school/institution that tries to reform criminal teenagers. Soon after his arrival there, Willie (Maestro Harrell) and his cronies start bullying Lincoln again. When Lincoln desperately hides in an abandoned shack, he summons Moira (Sierra McCormick) who takes it upon herself to avenge Lincoln.

Some Kind of Hate started off well enough but as soon as the film turns into a ghost story, it completely falls apart unfortunately.

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Brick (2005)

Brick
Director: Rian Johnson
Writer: Rian Johnson
Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Nora Zehetner, Lukas Haas, Noah Fleiss, Matt O’Leary, Emilie de Ravin, Noah Segan, Richard Roundtree, Meagan Good
Seen on 08.03.2015

Plot:
A couple of days ago, Brendan (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) received a phone call from his ex-girlfriend Emily (Emilie de Ravin), now he only finds her dead body. He decides to dive into the underbelly of his high school and figure out what happened to Emily. But as he starts his investigation, with the help of his class mate Brain (Matt O’Leary), Brendan quickly realizes that Emily was deeply involved with the high school drug trade, especially The Pin (Lukas Haas). And then things start to get dangerous for Brendan.

Brick is a classic noir detective story transplanted to a high school. It’s a concept that has a lot going for it and that shows a very nice, dry sense of humor. But it couldn’t quite get past my lack of love for that genre.

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Starry Eyes (2014)

Starry Eyes
Director: Kevin Kolsch, Dennis Widmyer
Writer: Kevin Kolsch, Dennis Widmyer
Cast: Alex Essoe, Amanda Fuller, Noah Segan, Fabianne Therese, Pat Healy, Maria Olsen
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
[Reviews by cornholio and Maynard Morissey.]

Plot:
Like so many young women in LA, Sarah (Alex Essoe) dreams of becoming an actress. So she runs from audition to audition and keeps her head over water working as a waitress. After one audition that didn’t go too well, Sarah runs into the bathroom there and has a minor meltdown: she screams, she pulls her hair (which is a frequently used punishment for herself) and she gets caught by the casting director (Maria Olsen) doing so. But instead of completely disqualifying Sarah, it piques the director’s interest. It seems all Sarah has to decide now is how far she is really willing to go to become a star.

Starry Eyes starts off well enough and then loses its way around the middle and never finds it again. There were interesting moments but ultimately the film doesn’t rise above mediocrity.

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Deadgirl (2008)

Deadgirl
Director: Marcel Sarmiento, Gadi Harel
Writer: Trent Haaga
Cast: Shiloh Fernandez, Noah Segan, Candice Accola, Eric Podnar, Jenny Spain, Michael Bowen

[MASSIVE TRIGGER WARNINGS]

Plot:
Rickie (Shiloh Fernandez) and JT (Noah Segan) decide to ditch school and explore the local abandoned mental hospital (as you do). In the basement of said hospital they stumble upon a chained, naked woman (Jenny Spain) who isn’t dead, much to their surprise. Or at least nor really. JT sees the perfect opportunity to acquire a sex slave, while Rickie is a little more hesitant.

Deadgirl could have been an interesting comment on rape culture and the (sexual) objectification of women. Unfortunately instead it tries to be clever without actually understanding what it is about. And that just means it sucks so much there are hardly any words for it.

Deadgirl

[SPOILERS]

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Looper (2012)

Looper
Director: Rian Johnson
Writer: Rian Johnson
Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt, Noah Segan, Paul Dano, Jeff Daniels, Piper Perabo, Pierce Gagnon, Qing Xu

Plot:
Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is a looper – gangsters from the future send the people they wish to kill back in time, where the loopers dispose of them. The last person they will dispose of that way will be their older selves, and thereby fulfilling their contract. As it happens, most loopers’ contracts are starting to get closed. But when it’s Joe’s turn, Old!Joe (Bruce Willis) won’t play along and makes a break for it.

Apart from one inconsistency, Looper is an expertly crafted and engaging time travel story. While it is not the greatest film ever made, I did enjoy it a whole lot.

[SPOILER]

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All About Evil (2010)

All About Evil
Director: Joshua Grannell
Writer: Joshua Grannell
Cast: Natasha Lyonne, Thomas Dekker, Jack Donner, Cassandra Peterson, Mink Stole, Noah Segan, Jade Ramsey, Nikita Ramsey, Ashley Fink, Peaches Christ
Part of: /slash Filmfestival

Plot:
Librarian Deborah (Natasha Lyonne) just inherited her father’s small cinema. The cinema is specialized in horror movies and it’s struggling. Deborah’s mother Tammy (July Caitlin Brown) wants to sell the cinema, which is simply impossible for Deborah. When Tammy pushes her, Deborah cracks and kills her. By mistake the murder is filmed by the cinema’s security cameras and silmutaneously projected onto the big screen. But the audience, foremost the cinema’s biggest fan Steven (Thomas Dekker), believe it to be an original short movie. And suddenly the people are fighting to get into the cinema – and Deborah needs to keep up the supply of short films.

All About Evil is absolutely fantastic. While it might not be the best movie ever made, qualitatively speaking, it’s a movie that carries its heart on its sleeve. The love for its genre is absolutely endearing and gives the film its greatness.

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