Prospect (2018)

Director: Christopher Caldwell, Zeek Earl
Writer: Christopher Caldwell, Zeek Earl
Cast: Sophie Thatcher, Jay Duplass, Pedro Pascal, Sheila Vand, Andre Royo
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 22.9.2018

Cee (Sophie Thatcher) and her father (Jay Duplass) have been roaming space for a while, always looking for the next possibility to make a little money. Now they have a contract to mine for gems on a remote moon. Their mission is not without its dangers to start with, but it becomes even more complicated than they thought. They run into Ezra (Pedro Pascal) who is looking for the very same gems they are – a volatile situation, leaving Cee to make some tough choices.

Prospect was pretty good, but not great. Overall, it left me with a positive impression but it just didn’t make me entirely happy.

The film poster showing Pedro Pascal, Sophie Thatcher and Jay Duplass wearing spacesuits.
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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

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.


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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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Women Who Kill (2016)

Women Who Kill
Director: Ingrid Jungermann
Writer: Ingrid Jungermann
Cast: Ingrid Jungermann, Sheila VandAnn Carr
Part of: Transition Festival
Seen on: 14.11.2016

Morgan (Ingrid Jungermann) and her ex-girlfriend Jean (Ann Carr) may not be together anymore, but they still do everything together. That includes their podcast on the topic of female serial killers and working at the local food co-op. It is there that Morgan meets Simone (Sheila Vand) and falls in love with her head over heels. Despite warnings about Simone being a total stranger, Morgan throws herself into the new love. But things about Simone are weird – and maybe she’s hiding something.

Women Who Kill is an unusual film with strange characters who have the potential to be very unlikeable. It could have gone very wrong, but thanks to its dry sense of humor, it goes very right. I liked it a lot.

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A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014)

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
Director: Ana Lily Amirpour
Writer: Ana Lily Amirpour
Cast: Sheila VandArash MarandiMarshall ManeshMozhan MarnòDominic Rains
Part of: Viennale
[Review by cornholio.]

Arash (Arash Marandi) lives in the dead-end of Bad City, a town full of drug addicts – like his father (Marshall Manesh). But his live changes when he meets the Girl (Sheila Vand), a vampire using Bad City as her hunting ground. Slowly Arash and the Girl get closer to each other.

I really wanted to like A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night. I mean, an Iranian vampire western (which is how the film is introduced despite being shot in the USA by a British director)? How fucking awesome is that?! But unfortunately the film choked on its own coolness*. And it’s not even a proper vampire film.


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