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    #61
    Socky. Very very sorry I am late. Listen: I cannot thank you enough for your time, effort to write all those entertaining. well-written thoughts on those movies. I could not have done that. I hate writing even with a few published short stories under my belt. I hate writing though I do like the end product. I digress...

    I already have a few from the festival ready to watch. Heh. I had the new Brad Anderson and forgot !
    I do believe I have Lodge, too. Plus, I may have that Irish film.You know if I'd ever had a daughter I would have named her Siobhan becaused the way it's pronounced is very very lovely and full-on in your face Irish.

    Thank you thank you thank you ! for the hard work, giving us flicks to check out and I am glad you and the wifey had a great time.

    I will post thoughts in the Rate Movie area on these bad boys.


    Layta !

    Oh . I have got to get Parasite though I do have Knives Out which is gathering good buzz.

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      #62
      No problem, Tyree! I'm glad someone is getting something out of these posts! I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the ones you watch.

      Unfortunately, due to shift of weeks for this year's Fantastic Fest coinciding with a work obligation, it looks like I'll have to skip this Fantastic Fest 2020. I'm hoping something will change that will allow me to go, but it looks doubtful at this time.

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        #63
        Originally posted by Sock Monkey View Post
        No problem, Tyree! I'm glad someone is getting something out of these posts! I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the ones you watch.

        Unfortunately, due to shift of weeks for this year's Fantastic Fest coinciding with a work obligation, it looks like I'll have to skip this Fantastic Fest 2020. I'm hoping something will change that will allow me to go, but it looks doubtful at this time.
        Hope you are able to make it work and be able to attend.

        Comment


          #64
          Sockster, Martin, anyone else. Hit me over at the "Rate Movie Section".

          I need to go back, see what I've watched since I've been absent. This ankle bracelet itches like cerrrrrrrrRAZY !

          Thanks, gang.

          Comment


            #65
            This was announced awhile back, but I haven't had a chance to post about it. While this is probably no surprise to anybody, Fantastic Fest has been cancelled this year. I'm not too bummed as I was not going to be able to attend due to work obligations and even if I could attend and it had continued regardless of COVID-19, I wouldn't have gone. "Fantastic Flu" is a thing and it gets passed around like crazy during Fantastic Fest. Hundreds and hundreds of people in small spaces for days on end, eating and drinking galore, is ripe to spread a virus and either my wife or I (or both) get sick every year. So with COVID-19 still around...

            That being said, Fantastic Fest is going to have an online presence, but they haven't announced what that will be yet. It won't be a full online film festival, but more of a "celebration". I'm curious as to what they will do.

            So even though we won't be attending this year, the wife and I have decided to do Fantastic Fest in spirit this year and track down films that we've missed from previous years' festivals, both ones we've attended and ones we've missed. I've dubbed it "Fantastic Flashback"...because I'm a nerd. So right now I'm curating a list of titles and will be spending September going through them. I plan on posting reviews of what we watch on this thread for fun.

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              #66
              FANTASTIC FLASHBACK #1:

              Title: The Pool
              Year at Fantastic Fest: 2019
              How I Watched It: Shudder

              Day's a young man trying his best to make ends meet, working odd jobs where he can, including as an art assistant on a commercial being filmed in a huge diving pool. After filming wraps, Day decides to enjoy some time sunbathing on a raft in the pool, while it drains. Unfortunately, a quick nap results in him becoming trapped with no way out and no one but his dog tethered to one of the dive boards to keep him company. And then the crocodile shows up...

              "Trapped in a location" thrillers can be hit-or-miss and I never go into them expecting much. And at first, I thought this one was a winner. Yes, there are some plot contrivances to get our lead into his predicament, but the director had a great sense of suspense and as things go from bad to worse, the tension continues to ratchet up a notch providing some fun, if shallow, thrills. Unfortunately, plot contrivances give way to ridiculousness. Common sense is thrown out the window on multiple occasions to keep our lead in his predicament. It almost feels like the filmmakers knew the movie was silly and decided to just go for cheap thrills, which would have been fine. A solid "animal attacks" popcorn flick can be a lot of fun,even if the CGI crocodile is a bit dodgy as it is in this flick. But then the film decides to slide from ridiculousness to malice. There's an incident that is so mean-spirited that it turned me off the movie. I'm not a sensitive viewer who gets upset easily, but this seemed wildly out of place for the tone of the movie and so wrongheaded that the film couldn't recover.

              I'll throw it in spoiler tags for those that are curious:
              Spoiler!


              The movie has the hallmarks of a great midnight movie to watch with an audience, but it asks the viewer to suspend their disbelief a little too much, and then it just gets mean. If you're looking for a great crocodile/alligator movie, check out the recent Crawl.

              Grade: F
              Last edited by Sock Monkey; 09-05-2020, 04:03 PM.

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                #67
                So Fantastic Fest is going the virtual route this year with fifteen movies, four blocks of short films, plus some cool extras. And the best part, it's free for those living in the US. Everything will be streamed through the Alamo-On-Demand platform. I've included a link below with more info for those interested.

                I'll definitely be checking this out, since FREE MOVIES!, but I've got to figure out the streaming portion. Looks like AppleTV or Chromecast is the way to go, but my preferred streaming device is Roku, which Alamo-On-Demand is not currently available on. (Add HBO Max to this and I'm about to find a different streaming machine).

                I'm sure that this is not going to measure up to attending the festival in person. But I guess it's better than nothing. Hopefully 2021 will be much better and things will get back to normal.


                https://fantasticfest.com/news/entry...fantastic-fest

                Comment


                  #68
                  Originally posted by Sock Monkey View Post
                  So Fantastic Fest is going the virtual route this year with fifteen movies, four blocks of short films, plus some cool extras. And the best part, it's free for those living in the US. Everything will be streamed through the Alamo-On-Demand platform. I've included a link below with more info for those interested.

                  I'll definitely be checking this out, since FREE MOVIES!, but I've got to figure out the streaming portion. Looks like AppleTV or Chromecast is the way to go, but my preferred streaming device is Roku, which Alamo-On-Demand is not currently available on. (Add HBO Max to this and I'm about to find a different streaming machine).

                  I'm sure that this is not going to measure up to attending the festival in person. But I guess it's better than nothing. Hopefully 2021 will be much better and things will get back to normal.


                  https://fantasticfest.com/news/entry...fantastic-fest
                  I will check it out. Thanks!

                  Comment


                    #69
                    Celebration of Fantastic Fest 2020 Day I:

                    Yesterday kicked off "Celebration of Fantastic Fest", the virtual version of the festival. The schedule is very light in comparison to the physical festival. Instead of 15 hours of programming and/or events, there were only two yesterday, both of which I checked out.

                    TEDDY: The titular Teddy is kind of a loser. A school drop out who lives with his dim-witted uncle and catatonic aunt, Teddy spends most of his time with his girlfriend and working at the massage parlor, a job the temp agency set him up with. His life in the French countryside might not be perfect, but there's at least a little happiness in his life. Unfortunately, there's a wolf in the nearby woods and once Teddy has a brief encounter resulting in a bite wound, things for Teddy begin to change.

                    There might not be much surprise in the beats the movie follows--at heart, it's a fairly traditional werewolf movie--but all the details along the way make it a fun journey. Two-thirds of the film is really a French drama-comedy with the horror elements really weaving their way in and out of the narrative of a young man being left behind as his peers move on around him. And this is where it slightly falters as a horror movie: it's never actually scary. There are some very solid moments of tension and Teddy's changes are more in line with Cronenberg's body horror rather than the transformations of Landis's or Dante's films. But the movie never quite slips into the moments of full terror which will leave some viewers disappointed.

                    I personally really enjoyed the movie, especially the central performance of Anthony Bajon as Teddy. This is a character that could easily slide into be simply obnoxious and grating to watch or made overly sympathetic, but Bajon's performance balances those traits allowing you to equally be annoyed at Teddy's immature nature but also root for his success.

                    Grade: B-

                    100 BEST KILLS: DECAPATTACK:
                    A perennial fixture at Fantastic Fest is the 100 BEST KILLS clip show. Always having attended the festival during the second half, I rarely gave myself the luxury of checking out some of the non-movie events just because there is so much to see and only so many time slots to fit them in. That not being a problem this year, I decided to check out this year's edition focusing on decapitations in movies. Essentially blocks of clips are shown from various movies, some well-known, others never escaping the VHS era, all interspersed with commentary from the host.

                    This is definitely a show best enjoyed with a rowdy group of people. With it only being myself and the wife, it was an enjoyable curiosity, but as I'm not a gore hound, 90 minutes of heads being severed can grow a little thin. Especially after the wife tapped out about two-thirds of the way through. This might have been due to the fact that all the deaths were relatively the same versus previous years' topics (vehicular deaths and child deaths) which could lead to a little more variety. This event definitely had the most technical issues, but the host kept it moving along. Overall, it was interesting, but not quite my bag.

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                      #70
                      FANTASTIC FLASHBACK #2:

                      Title: Radius
                      Year at Fantastic Fest: 2017
                      How I Watched It: DVD

                      Some times all you need is a good premise to get the audience into the seat. Some times that premise is so interesting and unique that part of the fun is seeing if they film can live up to that premise. Some times, movies can. Other times, they can't. Unfortunately, this one falls into the latter category.

                      The premise is SO good. A man wakes up from a car crash in the countryside with no idea how he got there or what happened, but as he begins to look for help he finds that if any living thing gets within a certain amount of distance of him, they die instantaneously. Once he meets up with another amnesiac named "Jane", they have to work together to piece together the mystery.

                      It's a premise that triggers the imagination while also setting up a couple of challenges for the film: (a) how do you play with the premise to keep it interesting versus just setting the whole thing in a remote cabin and (b) what will be the in-story explanation to give a satisfactory resolution to the mystery. For the most part, the film accomplishes (a), but it's that second challenge the film can't quite hurdle. There's a third act twist that swerves the movie into a different subgenre and its puts a little more gas in the tank just as the film begins to feel like its running on fumes. It's a bold move. One that provides the characters with a new conflict and adds more depth to the characters that are pretty much blank slates. For this to work, the script has to give us a good tie-in to how this new twist ties into the central mystery. And ultimately, we get the film equivalent of a shrug.

                      The movie then tries to reposition itself as saying something about the human condition and hit an emotional apex, but the script has failed to make the characters interesting for the first two-thirds and then once the characters do get interesting, it fumbles the ball with the mystery leaving the viewer with characters they don't much care about and a bad taste in their mouth from the mystery resolution. I liked the movie just enough, that I wish someone would take another whack at the concept and see if they couldn't make it work.

                      Grade: D+

                      Comment


                        #71
                        Celebration of Fantastic Fest 2020 Day II:

                        Fantastic Shorts: I usually skip out on the the shorts programming due to wanting to check out more of the feature films, but since that isn't an issue this year, I settled in for the first block of short film programming. Like all anthology formats, some of these will be to the viewers tastes, others not so much. Luckily for me, most fell into the "Like It" category.
                        • "Blocks" kicked off the program and it's naturalistic dialogue helped to carry this story about a young mom who begins to vomit Legos. Grade: B
                        • "I Love Your Guts" is a fun, if somewhat lesser entry about two friends working an overnight shift at their fast food job. Hidden crushes are revealed as the girls have to battle the worst drunk customer ever. Grade: C+
                        • "Forbidden to See Us Scream in Tehran" is reportedly based on true events involving a female metal singer in Tehran and the pull between her dreams and her family. Grade: B+
                        • "Jack and Jo Don't Want to Die" was my favorite of the bunch. Brokenhearted, a man who works in a cryogenics facility has decided to become "suspended" but before he can, he has to finish his shift. One of his last duties is bringing back a young girl who was "suspended" because she had a week to live due to terminal cancer. Touching, yet not overly sentimental. Grade: A
                        • "Please Hold" follows a young man after he's been imprisoned in a near future when jails are privatized and automated. Funny and clever, but doesn't quite stick the landing hard enough. Grade: B
                        • A depressed young woman is given a gorilla mask that she soon finds herself unable to take off in "Solution for Sadness". Smart and silly and sometimes too on the nose, but one of the stronger entries. Grade: B
                        • "(You'll Make It In) Florida" was by far my least favorite. A magazine ad comes to life taking a young teacher on a green screen journey through the wonders of Florida. Some things just don't hit for some people and this is one of them. The joke for me was one note and went on way too long. The cast and production were solid, but not my jam. Grade: D
                        Overall, I give this a grade of B+

                        GIRL:

                        A backwoods noir with Mickey Rourke playing a crooked sheriff sounds right up my alley, but this film floundered for me. A young woman comes to town to track down her deadbeat father who has threatened the life of the woman's mother. Her plan is to kill him, but arriving at his house, she finds that someone else beat her to the punch. With things not quite stacking up right, she sets out to unravel the mystery.

                        Unfortunately, there isn't much mystery and the movie spills it's beans fairly quickly. It wants to clever but the script just doesn't have cards up its sleeve to make this anything more than a standard thriller. The film also stumbled in its casting. I always enjoy Rourke, but the the titular Girl is played by Bella Thorne who I just couldn't buy as this hardened woman ready to take a hatchet to anyone who stands in her way. She scowls her way through the film, chugging beers and trying to look tough, but it just didn't work for me.

                        Grade: D

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