Plot: Morf (Jake Gyllenhaal) is an art critic, always looking for something new and good. But currently, he is rather more occupied with Josephina (Zawe Ashton). She works in the gallery run by Rhodora (Rene Russo), hoping to become a successful agent herself, and Morf is deeply in love with her, despite having a boyfriend. When Josephina finds out that a recently deceased tenant in her building was an artist who wanted to have all his art destroyed upon his death, she is convinced that his art is something special. She is not wrong, though she couldn’t have foreseen what kind of special it really is.
Velvet Buzzsaw is visually engaging, and has a great cast who obviously had a lot of fun chewing the scenery in this one. But the metaphor at its heart feels a little flimsy and could have done with a little more work.
Plot: 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.
Plot: Annie (Nichole Sakura) just moved to a new town and feels insecure. When she meets Jules (Fabianne Therese) in school, she is drawn to her strength and free spirit and the two girls quickly become friends and even fall in love. They dream of leaving their small town behind and starting a new life in New York. But those dreams need cash, and the easiest way to get cash for two young, pretty girls is to do some “modeling” online. That soon turns to more.
Teenage Cocktail is yet another film about two women falling in love that gets ruined by the male gaze. It’s a pity.
Plot: Daniel Ellsberg (Matthew Rhys) has anonymously leaked documents to the New York Times that prove the atrocities of the USA in Vietnam. The Post, newly managed by Kay Graham (Meryl Streep) who took over after the death of her husband, doesn’t want to fall behind and finds Ellsberg for more information. Soon The Post finds itself under big pressure from the government not to publish and Kay has to make big decisions.
The Post is a film full of pathos. There’s nothing wrong with that and it works emotionally. It’s just a little too safe in its choices, making it feel a little dusty. But (unfortunately) not out of date.
Joe (James Landry Hébert) and Lenny (Michael Villar) just robbed a bank and took Vivian (Ashely Bell) hostage. They are able to lead the police led by Sheriff Moss (Alan Ruck) on a merry chase and finally get away in the desert, where Lenny dies. Joe and Vivian end up on Wyatt’s (Pat Healy) and Wyatt doesn’t take lightly to trespassers. He shoots Joe outright and what should be Vivian’s salvation turns into her biggest nightmare.
Carnage Park starts off really strong, but then it gets rid of everything I liked about it and becomes the most standard of slashers and I just couldn’t get into it. I would have preferred a film about the bank robbery.
Tales of Halloween is a horror film anthology with 10 short films, all taking place on the same Halloween night, framed by the narration of a radio DJ (Adrienne Barbeau).
Tales of Halloween is an enjoyable collection of segments that makes time fly by. I especially enjoyed how interconnected the segments were, using the same set and often the same extras as well. Not all segments were equally strong, but altogether, it’s a great film.
After the jump, I’ll talk about each of the segments separately. And since the film is filled to the brim with cameos and familiar faces, I have pointed them out as well, at least as far as I could place them.
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.
Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans) tries adjusting to life in his own future but that’s not easily done. Especially when the few things he thought he could count on come crashing down around him. Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) is attacked and with him SHIELD, the mysterious and deadly Winter Soldier is after Steve and Steve finds himself almost entirely on his own. Only supported by Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) he tries to figure it all out.
Captain America was an extremely entertaining film and I did enjoy it a whole lot. They were certainly able to do better than with the first one, though it still isn’t a perfect film.
Craig (Pat Healy) used to be a journalist but now he’s working in a garage. Or rather he was working in a garage – but he was just fired, which really doesn’t help him or his family with their general money problems. As he tries to drink his sorrows away, he runs into Vince (Ethan Embry), an old acquaintance. As they catch up, they meet Violet (Sara Paxton) and Colin (David Koechner) who are obviously made of money. Violet and Colin start offering Craig and Vince money for various, increasingly outlandish wagers.
Cheap Thrills was a movie like a punch in the stomach but in a good way [yeah, I know: as if there was a good way to be punched in the stomach]. It was a tense, awesome piece of cinema.
The Yankee Pedlar Hotel is about to close down. In it’s last days of business, Claire (Sara Paxton) and Luke (Pat Healy) are the only employees left to take care of the few guests still staying there. But Luke and Claire also have another mission: They want to record the ghost that haunts the hotel. So during the night shift they set out to record the sounds in every room. And it isn’t long until Claire hears somethign weird.
I’m usually not much of a ghost story fan but this movie was an excellent one, despite the fact that it suffers from protagonist stupidity. And it was really scary.