Friday, September 27, 2013

Fantastic Fest 2013 Review: BLUE RUIN - Jonesy's Take

Directed by Jeremy Saulnier
Written by Jeremy Saulnier
Starring: Macon Blair, Amy Hargreaves, Kevin Kolack, and Devin Ratray.
Synopsis: An outsider's life is turned upside down when the man responsible for his parents' death is set free from prison. 

Fantastic Fest 2013: WITCHING AND BITCHING - Javi's Take

Directed by: Alex De La Iglesia,
Written by: Alex De La Iglesia, Jorge Gerricaechechevarria
Starring: Hugo Silva, Mario Casas, Carmen Maura, Carolina Bang, and Carlos Areces
Synopsis: When a robbery goes awry, a man with his son and a group of companions try to make it to France to escape the police but have to pass through Zugarramurdi, the place where witchcraft was born.

Fantastic Fest 2013 Review: A FIELD IN ENGLAND - Javi and Jonesy's Take

Directed by: Ben Wheatley
Written by: Amy Jump, and Ben Wheatley
Starring: Michael Smiley, Ryan Pope, Richard Glover, Reece Shearsmith and Peter Ferdinando
Synopsis: Five deserters from the English Civil War find themselves in a field to find hidden treasure.

Netflix Instant Movie and TV Picks

Now that we're back from Fantastic Fest, I figured I'd take some time to recommend some great movies that just recently came out on Netflix. Check them out after the break.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Fantastic Fest 2013 Review: SHORT FUSE Block - Javi's Take

This is the final installment of the shorts block reviews. Once again, here are my five favorite movies of SHORT FUSE, which is geared towards the more extreme and violent short films of the festival.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Fantastic Fest 2013 Review: FANTASTIC SHORTS Live Action Block - Javi's Take

Continuing my shorts review series for the three Fantastic Fest shorts blocks, here are my five favorite movies from the FANTASTIC SHORTS. These were the live action shorts that were a lot less surreal and trippy and more down to earth stories.

Dallas VideoFest 26: Satellite Locations, Events, Programs

Now that Fantastic Fest is winding down, we wanted to highlight the upcoming events that the festival will be having before, and during its run at the Alamo Drafthouse. I know I'll be personally attending a lot of these, especially that NoiseFold performance. For information on the movies being showcased, you can check out our post here

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Fantastic Fest 2013 Review: DRAWN AND QUARTERED Animated Shorts - Javi's Take

As always, it is my pleasure to highlight the short films of Fantastic Fest, which never ceases to amaze with the wide and varied selection and sheer talent behind these shorts. As always, I like to talk about my five favorite shorts of the block. Not to say that any are bad, but these are just personal favorites.

Fantastic Fest 2013 Review: ESCAPE FROM TOMORROW - Javi's Take.

Directed by: Randy Moore
Written by: Randy Moore
Starring: Roy Abramsohn, Elena Schuber, Katelynn Rodriguez, and Jack Dalton
Synopsis: After losing his job during his last day of vacation, a man's trip through a theme park starts to unravel something more sinister.

Fantastic Fest 2013 Review: THE SACRAMENT - Javi's Take

Directed by: Ti West
Written by: Ti West
Starring: A.J. Bowen, Amy Seimetz, Joe Swanberg, Kentucker Audley, and Gene Jones
Synopsis: Two journalists travel with their friend abroad to find his sister who is now part of a "clean living" commune.

Fantastic Fest 2013 Announces Awards!

Though the festival is always too short lived for us (real world jobs needing us back at work), we will continue to bring you content throughout this week. Last night, Fantastic Fest announced its award winners. If a film is up for an award, the audience gets a chance to vote when they leave. So add these films to the your list to keep a look out for!

Onto the awards.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Fantastic Fest 2013 Review: THE FAKE - Javi's Take

Directed by: Yeon Sang-ho
Written by: Yeon Sang-ho
Starring: Yang Ik-June, Oh Jung-se, Kwon Hae-Hyo, and Park Hee-Von
Synopsis: When a drunkard is release from prison, he must convince his town that the new pastor and his team are actually con men looking to steal their life savings.

Fantastic Fest 2013 Review: THE DIRTIES - Jonesy's Take

Directed by Matthew Johnson
Written by Matthew Johnson
Starring: Matthew Johnson and Owen Williams 
Synopsis: Two high school friends are making a movie about taking out the bullies in their school, but one of them is more serious about taking them out.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Fantastic Fest 2013 Review: TALES FROM THE ORGAN TRADE - Jonesy's Take

Directed by Ric Esther Bienstock
Synopsis: A documentary that shows various sides of the black market of organ trading. 

Fantastic Fest 2013 Review: COMMANDO - A ONE MAN ARMY - Javi's Take

Directed by: Dilip Ghosh
Written by: Ritesh Shah
Starring: Vidyut Jamwal, Jaideep Alawat, and Pooja Chopra
Synopsis: After an elite soldier is abandoned by the Indian government to be tortured, he vows revenge on the corruption of his country starting with a regional thug with political aspirations.

Fantastic Fest 2013 Review: SEPTIC MAN - Javi's Take

Directed by: Jesse T. Cook
Written by: Tony Burgess
Starring: Jesse David Brown, Molly Dunsworth, Robert Malliet, and Tim Burd
Synopsis: After a man is stuck in a treatment plant chamber, he undergoes a terribly nasty transformation.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Fantastic Fest 2013 Review: MACHETE KILLS - Jonesy's Take

Directed by: Robert Rodriguez
Written by: Kyle Ward
Starring: Danny Trejo, Michelle Rodriguez, Mel Gibson, Amber Heard, and Carlos Estevez
Synopsis: Machete is back on a new mission to stop an evil arms dealer. 

Fantastic Fest 2013 Review: COHERENCE - Javi's Take

Directed by: James Byrkit
Written by: James Byrkit
Starring: Emily Foxler, Nicholas Brendon, Maury Sterling, Elizabeth Gracen, Lorene Scafaria, Lauren Maher, Hugo Armstrong and Alex Manugian
Synopsis: A group of friends gets together for a dinner party when a comet passing by the earth starts to have some unexpected side effects.

Netflix Instant TV and Movie Picks

We are taking a break from bring you all things Fantastic Fest for this brief Netflix Instant column. Currently, we are deep in the genre world in North Austin watching movies and drinking ridiculously good beer. I wish you could all be here with us. This week I've brought you two films that have currently played at festivals, and one lighthearted comedy.


This was a film which showed at last year's Dallas International Film Festival, and one which my cohort overall enjoyed. The premise is about a couple who find a magic teapot that gives away money in exchange for them harming themselves. It sounds like an interesting tale of achieving the "American Dream", and the extent people will go to do that. 

I seem to have a knack missing fun little comedies. Maybe it's the marketing, but it's too easy for me to write films like this one off too early. Thankfully, my cohort, yet again, sat me down one day to watch this one. Could Paul Rudd be anymore charming? Though this film fits in the standard mold of a dysfunctional-type family comedy/drama, the performances make this film endearing. 

I love when festival films end up on streaming. It's a chance to not only relive favorites, but it's a chance to catch up on films not normally accessible. EARTHLING played at DIFF a few years ago. It's a Texas film about a young woman dealing with the grief of losing her child and learning about new "people" in her life. It's directed by local Clay Liford, who's love for sic-fi films is is evident from this film.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Dallas Videofest 26 Announces Full Film List

This year Jonesy and I will be attending the 26th Dallas Videofest, the long running festival full of experimental movies and short films. This year, it will be taking place at the Alamo Drafthouse in Richardson, and we could not be more excited. It's taking place Oct. 9th, 2013, and now we have a press release of all of the movies that will be playing that weekend. Some of my anticipated movies include NINE GATES, BLACK METAL, VENICE: UNDER WATER, THE BOOK OF JOE and THIS AIN'T NO MOUSE MUSIC!

Check out the press release and more information about the festival after the break.

Most Anticipated Fantastic Fest 2013 Films - Jonesy's Take

In two days, the genre nerds of the world will descend upon Austin to bask in the glow of film, booze, and general debauchery. It's a glorious time of year, and it always feels like coming home. I'm ready to be surprised and shocked by the films I will see and the discussions I will have. It's tough to narrow a list down only five films that I'm anticipating, but it is my duty. As always, these are the films I'm excited to see, but I'm even more excited about the films that I just wonder into.

You can check out my cohort's list here, and check out my films after the break.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Most Anticipated Fantastic Fest 2013 Movies - Javi Edition

Y'all know the drill. Jonesy and I are going to Fantastic Fest in a couple days. It's gonna be a booze and movie filled weekend that will leave us recovering for the next three weeks. But the important thing here are the movies. Below are my five most anticipated movies. I'll be trying to highlight movies that I want to see, but also ones that I might not be able to see in the theaters. So obvious movies like ALL THE BOYS LOVE MANDY LANE, ESCAPE FROM TOMORROW, or A FIELD IN ENGLAND won't show up here.

We're going for the deep cuts, y'all.

Check them out after the break.

OPEN WINDOWS Trailer Will Make You Keep Your Webcam Covered

There's two names that I always associate with Fantastic Fest: Nacho Vigalondo and Elijah Wood. Vigalondo, for those that aren't in the know, directed the excellent TIMECRIMES (CRONOSCRIMES) and EXTRATERRESTRIAL (EXTRATERRESTRE), and now he finally has another movie out with fellow Fantastic Fest legend, Elijah Wood.

Thanks to Badass Digest, you can check out the trailer below.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Netflix Instant: Movies & TV Picks - Fantastic Fest 2012 Edition

Next week is Fantastic Fest and in keeping tradition, here are some of the movies from last year's festival that are currently streaming. Look out for Jonesy and I's most anticipated movies early next week and check out our coverage of the festival as it happens. For now, check out these movies after the break.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

J.K. Rowling Makes All of Our Harry Potter Dreams Come True!

It's not over folks! Today, Warner Bros. announced that they are once again pairing with author extraordinaire, J.K. Rowling, to adapt one of the Hogwarts' textbooks, Fantastical Beasts and Where to Find Them. Rowling herself will pen the film, and states that it will neither be a prequel or sequel, just a new series that will take place in the world we all came to know and love over the years. 

The film will follow the book's author, Newt Scamander, and will take place 70 years before the Harry Potter series even begins. Rowling released the book back in 2001, and 80% of sales went to the charity Comic Relief. The other question on my mind is will the other textbook she wrote, Quidditch Through the Ages, be part of this series or will it become its own?

Check the full release after the break, courtesy of The Film Stage.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

ESCAPE FROM TOMORROW Trailer Is My Childhood Self's Worst Nightmare

This is a total anomaly of a film. The directors managed to not only sneak in cameras in to the Greatest Place on Earth, but they were able to get enough footage to make a movie out of it. It screened at Sundance where it became infamous for this very reason, but a lot of people commented that it would never see a broader audience. Well, they were wrong and thankfully so. Thanks Trailer Addict, we have the first trailer for ESCAPE FROM TOMORROW ahead of its release. Check it out after the break.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The ROBOCOP Trailer Doesn't Need More Black

Having seen ELITE SQUAD 2, there was a sense of optimism when that movie's director, Jose Padilha, was set to direct the ROBOCOP re-make. Both movies have themes of corruption and the "good guys" fighting against societal forces bigger than themselves. Now,thanks to Badass Digest we have the first trailer for the movie. Check it out after the break.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Fantastic Fest 2013 Special Event: Evening of Cinema and Conversation with Errol Morris!

Last year, I was thoroughly impressed with the amount of documentaries Fantastic Fest scheduled, and one of them, THE AMERICAN SCREAM , ended up being one of my favorites for the year. So, I am stoked to see what they come up with this year. 

Today, Fantastic Fest has announced a special event with acclaimed documentarian, Errol Morris. This will be an insightful and memorable event as Morris discusses his career, and the audience is treated to his new film, THE UNKNOWN KNOWN, a documentary delving into the career of former Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld. 

Check all the details after the break.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Netflix Instant: TV and Movie Picks

All right folks. We're hitting the lull in the movie season here in September, and if you're not heading out to see RIDDICK this weekend, here are some fun titles for you to watch. Two of them I really enjoy, and one I absolutely hated. Now, that may seem weird because why would I recommend a film that I hated. I'm curious to hear your thoughts on it. So feel free to watch, and then come back and comment how right or wrong I am!

This is not a movie for agoraphobics. A couple is accidentally left in the open sea while on a scuba diving trip. It's a small but extremely tense and psychological thriller. And it will make you never want to go scuba diving, or it will make sure you make friends with everyone on your boat so you're not left behind. 

We all know that the classic horror film, AMITYVILLE HORROR, was based on true events. In this documentary, director Eric Walter takes a look at the family centered around those hauntings, the Lutz's. Most of the siblings declined to be in the film, but the eldest, Daniel, agreed to tell his story. Being a freshman director, I'm not sure if Walter was prepared for the story he was about to hear. This ends up being a fascinating tale about Daniel's horrific childhood and the sour relationship between him and his father. Check out my review from last year's Fantastic Fest here!

I hated this film. Hated, hated, hated. I also cannot fathom how this film got positive reviews. It's a sad excuse for a so-called "female empowerment" horror film. It's actually a sad excuse for any film. But I am recommending it here because I need you to see how bad it is, and how much the Soska sisters do not need to make any more movies...ever. And you can check out my review here.

DRINKING BUDDIES Review - Javi's Take

Directed by: Joe Swanberg
Written by: Joe Swanberg
Starring: Jake Johnson, Olivia Wilde, Anna Kendrick, Ron Livingston, Ti West
Synopsis: Two platonic (?) friends' deal with relationships and life while working in a Chicago craft brewery.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Fantastic Fest Announces Final Wave And Closing Night Awesomeness!

In just two (hopefully) short weeks, the best time of year will happen in Austin...Fantastic Fest! The hardworking programmers have been churning out waves and waves of programming and have released the final set of films to round out the 2013 lineup. As usual, keep checking back here for updates as we prepare for our decent down south, including our most anticipated films.  After you check out the synopsis, check out the trailer playlist posted on YouTube, thanks to Noah here.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

For Funsies: Breaking Bad- The Middle School Musical

In just four short episodes, Breaking Bad will be finished. It will be a tough, tough show to see end. Recently there have a been a crop of fun parodies popping up over the Internet, and here's one of my favorites. Created by Rhett and Link, it's a group of middle school students performing a spoilerific musical rendition complete with  singing blue meth.

Here's to the final episodes!

Fantastic Fest 2013 Announces their Shorts Programming!

It's that wonderful time of the year again! We're getting close to Fantastic Fest and keep getting more and more announcements for their programming. As usual, I'll be covering the shorts blocks and thanks to the new roster, it seems this year will be more difficult to pick out favorites. Going off the the plot synopsis, a few of the shorts I'm looking forward to are THE LAST VIDEO STORE, RETROCOGNITION, SAD HOUSE, and WITCH. Check out the full list after the break.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

For Funsies: Watch Dallas Band Air Review Busking Around Town!

It's not necessarily movie-related, but it is a pretty cool video featuring one of my favorite local bands, Air Review. It seems that the Dallas Observer has been doing a pretty cool "busking" series. It's a fun little video with a tour of Deep Ellum while playing some good music. Check out parts 1 and 2 below.