Dallas 2014 Review: WORDS AND PICTURES, A Rivalry In Search Of A Romance

In my youth, a cigarette company advertised their product with the tagline, "What do you want, good grammar or good taste?" It was a false analogy, of course -- the correct answer is, "Why can't I have both?" -- yet... More »

Dallas IFF 2013 Review: BLOOD BROTHER Shines An Honest, Humorous Light On A Sad Situation

We all search for meaning, and Blood Brother shows just how one man found his calling in India. He had no pretension of this happening. He was on vacation there. He tells us he didn't even like kids that... More »

Dallas IFF 2013 Review: BOUNTY KILLER Is Silly, Inventive, and Better Than Many Hollywood Blockbusters

Right from the start, you'll likely know whether you want to continue down the hilarious and overly violent schlock that is part of Bounty Killer's charm. We are given a world where bounty killers--bounty hunters with the license to... More »

Dallas IFF 2013 Review: SANITARIUM Is So Bad It Doesn't Deserve A Clever Headline

We're told over and over again as children that if we can't say something nice, that we shouldn't say anything at all. Thankfully the realm of film criticism is immune from this rule. If I were forced to review Sanitarium... More »
By J Hurtado   

Dallas IFF Review: THE FUTURE Elevates Beyond Exploitation Into Something Nearly Profound

There's a way to be grossly exploitative and then there's The Future, an Italian film that has a heaping amount of female nudity and yet never feels grotesque. That it is one actresses' frame on display over and over... More »

Dallas IFF 2013 Review: SWEETWATER Would Go Down Better With A Bit More Sugar

Sweetwater isn't easy to enjoy. For such a spare and tight film there seems to be a lot of dead air. Part of that is because it brings together three narratives that don't mesh until nearly halfway into the... More »

Dallas IFF 2013 Review: KON-TIKI Proves To Be Rewarding and Full of Lessons

If you take anything away from Kon-Tiki, it's how amazingly brave the pioneers of exploration were. The film revolves around a Norwegian man's obsession with proving that someone used a raft--not a sailboat or anything with the ability to... More »

Dallas IFF 2013 Review: THE BOUNCEBACK Thrives On Honest Awkwardness

Comedy can come from honesty, and that's The Bounceback's greatest strength. While much of the film is over the top with its antics, there's a crushing truth to the scenarios within that may hit you unexpectedly. Breakups are rarely... More »

Dallas IFF 2012 Review: MY WAY

Since the release of Tae-Guk-Gi, South Korea has produced a handful of decent films concerning their great national conflagration, however, none has ever really managed to overtake Tae-Guk-Gi in the hearts and minds of Korean film fans. Kang Je-gyu's (Shiri)... More »
By J Hurtado   

Dallas IFF 2012 Review: LET ME OUT

Let Me Out is a film that explores a very primal fear of mine and does so with a fantastically dry sense of humor. The fear is that for all of my passion for film and alleged understanding thereof, if... More »
By J Hurtado   


Omar Sy walks with a swagger, even when he's sitting down. His broad, infectious smile reflects not only the character he plays in The Intouchables, but also the film itself. Recently returned home to a small apartment in Paris packed... More »


Terence Nance's An Oversimplification of Her Beauty teeters precariously on the border between unbearably pretentious and brazenly original. With a film as potentially divisive as this one, I often fall on the side of condemnation, branding pretentious films as full... More »
By J Hurtado   

Dallas IFF 2012 Review: JUAN OF THE DEAD

Dallas IFF presents Alejandro Brugues' Juan of the Dead as part of their Dark Side of Film series. I reviewed the film at Fantastic Fest, and am revisiting that review on this occasion. It's a winner!There is certainly an argument... More »
By J Hurtado   

Dallas IFF 2012 Dispatch: THE PACT, ALPS, SAVE THE DATE, Late Night Shorts

Audiences at the Dallas International Film Festival, by and large, do not walk out of movies. Oh, occasionally someone will leave in a pique of disgust or offense or utter confusion -- which may have been why several left during... More »

Dallas IFF 2012 Short Film Short Review: THE LIFE AND FREAKY TIMES OF UNCLE LUKE

Chris Marker's landmark short film La jetée gained a new wider audience when, in 1995, Terry Gilliam adapted it to feature length with his film 12 Monkeys. A little over ten years later, The Criterion Collection further graced the film... More »
By J Hurtado