LA Film Fest 2013 Review: TAPIA Takes a Hard Look at One Hard Dude

Johnny Tapia, the man, is a haunted character whose entire life and body is shaped by the violence that surrounds him. Tapia, the film that tells his story, is a similarly grim affair. Like James Toback's Tyson, boxing is... More »
  

LA Film Fest 2013 Review: DELIVERY is a Refreshing Twist on Found Footage Horror

The found footage style of filmmaking exploded into the public consciousness with The Blair Witch Project back in 1999. The form grew, matured and is now well on its way to being passé. While filmmakers like those behind the... More »
  

LA Film Fest 2013 Review: GOODBYE WORLD Waves Farewell in Fantastically Entertaining Fashion

Man has always been fascinated with the end of the world but filmmakers seem extra intrigued recently with World War Z, It's A Disaster, This is the End, After Earth, Oblivion, The Fifth Season, and Cloud Atlas all tackling... More »
  

LA Film Fest 2013 Review: RAIN is Contemporary Ballet Stripped Bare

It may be hard for a movie like Rain to get noticed. Many documentaries employ the TV formula of souped-up editing techniques (jerky pan of a photograph! brightness filters!), loud rock snippets and old heads reminiscing in order to... More »
  

LA Film Fest 2013 Review: WINTER IN THE BLOOD Captures The True Western Spirit

Winter in the Blood focuses on a young, alcoholic Blackfoot Indian somewhere in central Montana as he struggles to maintain his sanity while constantly reliving traumatic events from his past. While Chaske Spencer plays the part with an intense and... More »
  

LA Film Fest 2013 Review: NOBODY'S DAUGHTER HAEWON And The Endearing Art Of Wandering

I've got a confession to make: Until last night I'd never seen a film by Korean auteur Hong Sang-soo (In Another Country, Woman Is The Future Of Man). So Why was that? My reasons in the past were fleeting, entirely... More »
  

LA Film Fest 2013 Review: Mumbai Drama I.D. Can't Establish Credentials

To comment on Indian cinema growing beyond the Bollywood aesthetic that has defined it for so many years would be almost passé at this point. With films like Gangs of Wasseypur crashing onto the scene with great flourishes of... More »
  

LA Film Fest 2013 Review: AIN'T THEM BODIES SAINTS Sure Is Pretty, But It Ain't Quite Divine

As someone who spends a good portion of his days talking and writing about cinema, there comes an interesting moment when certain difficulties as to how to communicate rear their ugly head in either form of discourse. Sometimes it is... More »
  

LA Film Fest 2013 Review: EUROPA REPORT Is Mushy But Enjoyable Sci-Fi

Ecuadorian filmmaker Sebastián Cordero has a handful of titles on his directing resume, the best known probably 2004's John Leguizamo-starring non-comic journalist drama Cronicas. All of his films have been in Spanish and none venturing into what we would... More »
  

LA Film Fest 2013 Review: ALL TOGETHER NOW, In The Woods, Rocking Out, And Philosophizing The Night Away

Multi-thread narratives or group narratives prove to be an interesting corner of cinema to explore. The best ones I find rarely rely on compelling plots, but are often loose and meandering affairs, with existential wit to spare and a cornucopia... More »
  

LA Film Fest 2013 Review: SHORT TERM 12 Is The Rare Film That Gets Child-Adult Relationships Right

As someone who has spent much of his adult life working extensively with children and teenagers (from being a kindergarten aide to high school substitute, to a 1:1 aide at home and in school) I am always very wary going... More »
  

LA Film Fest 2012 Review: RED FLAG

In his achingly personal film RED FLAG, writer-director-producer-actor Alex Karpovsky (Tiny Furniture, HBO's Girls) plays a narcissistic indie filmmaker named Alex Karpovsky who hits the road to take his latest film (nature mockumentary Woodpecker, which Karpovsky actually directed in 2008)... More »
  

LA Film Fest 2012 Review: THE HISTORY OF FUTURE FOLK

Sci-fi comedy THE HISTORY OF FUTURE FOLK documents the origin story of real-life NYC-based bluegrass duo Future Folk, a pair of bucket helmet-wearing aliens hailing from the comet-threatened planet Hondo. General Trius--aka Bill, as he's known on Earth--came to this... More »
  

LA Film Fest 2012 Review: IT'S A DISASTER

Todd Berger's new film, IT'S A DISASTER premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival last week. It stars and ensemble cast that includes Julia Stiles, David Cross, America Ferrera, Rachel Boston, Erinn Hayes, Kevin Brennan, Jeff Grace and Blaise... More »
  

LA Film Fest 2012 Review: A BAND CALLED DEATH

In the early 1970s, three teenage African American brothers--David, Bobby, and Dannis Hackney--formed a band called Death and played "hard-drivin' rock & roll"--really, a precursor to punk rock, pre-dating pioneering black punk band Bad Brains by about five years--across their... More »
  

LA Film Fest 2012 Review: THE IRAN JOB

THE IRAN JOB is a documentary by filmmakers Till Schauder and Sara Nodjoumi. It follows Kevin Sheppard, a basketball player from the Virgin Islands as he begins his one year contract playing for the Iranian Basketball Super League. This... More »
  

LA Film Fest 2012 Review: BREAKFAST WITH CURTIS Will Leave You Hungry For More

Seeing HOOK for the first time as a child, I remember being enamored with Spielberg's vision of Never Never Land. For days and days after leaving the theater, I was fixated on the idea of living in that magical... More »
  

LA Film Fest 2012 Review: THE KING OF PIGS Has Rage to Spare

On the surface, it's tempting to characterize The King of Pigs as another angry, cautionary tale about school bullying --  a worthy and topical theme to be sure, though not a particularly novel one. However, as the film hints from... More »
  

LA Film Fest 2012 Review: GIMME THE LOOT is Criminally Charming

If you want to tell a story about American street culture and the rough and tumble young folks that live it everyday, it would seem New York City has got to be your setting. Fitting into the pantheon somewhere between... More »
  

LA Film Fest 2012 Review: BRAVE

First a mini review: La Luna LA LUNA is the seven minute short that precedes Brave. It is a charming story about the newest member of a family finding his own way of doing things between his father's methods... More »
  
 
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