I’ve worked for a film commission, for a film society, and for a film festival, so I have seen my fair share of independent films. Typically indies fall into two categories: the undiscovered gems, and the oh-my-god-your-poor-family-mortgaged-their-house-for-this variety. Thankfully, Jason Momoa’s Road to Paloma falls into the first category with spectacular visuals, an emotional storyline, and subtle, realistic performances from the cast.
Written, directed and staring Lake Bell, In a World… is a comedy about a struggling vocal coach named Carol who aspires to make it big in the cutthroat world of movie-trailer voiceovers.
Carol has got the talent and the desire, but is there any room for her at the top? Her biggest competition is her arrogant father Sam, played by Fred Melamed and the playboy rock star of voice-overs, Gustav, played by Ken Marino. Marino nails the role, and our leading lady, which adds some comedic moments, but the pacing stalls more than a few times.
The most laughable moments happen in the first 20 minutes, but after that it loses its way with typical rom-com cliché moments and Carol’s over use of her signature funny line: “In a world, where one women teaches another women not to sound retarded.”
Do you ever wonder what attracts people to violence or what it is exactly that we, as humans, are so fascinated by when it comes to murder? Do you want to know what makes a serial killer tick? 15: An Exploration of Human Violence, an independent, low budget horror film from Portland, Oregon attempts to answer these questions. Continue reading →
Mel Gibson has lost his mind. At least his character, Walter Black, has lost his mind in the film The Beaver. Walter has been battling severe depression and has lost his will to live. After a failed suicide attempt, he stumbles upon a beaver puppet in a dumpster and begins to live vicariously through his new buck-toothed friend.
His wife, Merideth (played by Jodie Foster, who also directs) thinks he’s gone crazy, but begins to accept his new form of expression when Walter seems to become a better person. Porter (Anton Yelchin), Walter’s oldest son, thinks his dad is the worst person in the world and vows to never be like him. Walter’s youngest, Henry (Riley Thomas Stewart), thinks his dad is just playing a fun game and enjoys bonding with him through The Beaver. Continue reading →
Who would have thought there was a seedy underbelly in the world of insurance salesmen? The new comedy Cedar Rapids, starring Ed Helms, John C. Reilly, Anne Heche and Isiah Whitlock Jr., takes a small town guy and throws him into the wild world of an insurance convention in the “big city” of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Continue reading →
There’s already talk of Natalie Portman getting a Oscar nomination for her performance in Darren Aronofsky’s psychological thriller The Black Swan and with good reason, she’s amazing in it. Continue reading →
Films that deal with mental illness often take one of two paths: they go for light hearted comedy, joking about inappropriate outbursts or hallucinations, or they take the tragic route and focus on the ways mental illness can destroy families or shatter the lives of its victims. It’s Kind of a Funny Story combines these two tracks for an interesting story about friendship, love and coping with the pressures of life. Continue reading →
A good neo-noir film is dark, both visually and thematically. It will typically involve murder, suspicion, and betrayal and will contain lots of tense moments when you can see the characters getting in over their heads. Australian indie The Square, directed by Nash Edgerton, definitely fits this bill. Continue reading →
“True love is like ghosts, which everyone talks about and few have seen,” is how the great French writer Francois de La Rochefoucauld summed up love. Dictionary.com describes love as “a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person.” T.S. Elliot gave his opinion on the subject at hand by stating “love is most nearly itself when here and now cease to matter.” Basically, with the few clicks of a mouse, you can easily find out what lots of other people think love is. But does that really tell you anything? Continue reading →
Sam Mendes strikes gold again with his latest film, Away We Go, starring John Krasinski (TV’s The Office) and Maya Rudolph (Saturday Night Live) and written by Dave Eggers (upcoming script for the movie version of Where the Wild Things Are) and Vendela Vida. Continue reading →
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