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Review: DEEPWATER HORIZON, Heroes At the Mouth of Hell

Six years ago, nightmare images of an oil rig burning at night in the Gulf Coast seared themselves into memory. The fire raged high and furious against a pitch-black landscape, leaving one to wonder just what had happened ... and...

Review: DANNY SAYS, More Than a Remarkable Musical Story

Danny says we gotta go Gotta go to Idaho But we can't go surfin' 'Cause it's 20 below Those words open The Ramones' song "Danny Says," from their woefully under appreciated Phil Spector produced 1980 album, End of the Century....

Review: AMERICAN HONEY, Touching, Optimistic and Just Plain Beautiful

Only a few times in a generation does a film speak to youth in a lasting and powerful way. Films like Rebel Without A Cause, Easy Rider, and Kids all tapped into their respective contemporary consciousnesses with the effect of...

Fantastic Fest 2016 Review: THE VOID Is Fulci-Flavored Hell

The Void draws inspiration from a number of horror influences, including Hellraiser, The Beyond, H.P. Lovecraft, and Lucio Fulci. The film premiered at Fantastic Fest 2016 in Austin to a packed house, with producer Casey Walker and directors Jeremy Gillespie and...

Fantastic Fest 2016 Review: DOWN UNDER, Not a Land of Racial Wonder, But Maybe It Should Be

The day after massive race riots in Sydney, Australia some 10 years ago, two carloads of impassioned and perplexed characters are moved to respond, calling upon deeply felt emotions that surge out of their bodies like cascading waves. What could...

Fantastic Fest 2016 Review: DEAREST SISTER, In Touch With Inner Demons

With only her second film as director, Mattie Do takes a big step forward, both for herself as an artist and for Laos as a filmmaking community. Do broke ground with Chantaly, her debut as a filmmaker and also the...

Fantastic Fest 2016 Review: FAULTLESS, The Sting of a Woman

What do men know about women? According to Faultless (original title: Irréprochable), some women are beyond understanding. Directed by Sébastien Marnier, the film follows Constance (Marina Foïs) as she slinks back to her hometown in rural France after losing her...

Fantastic Fest 2016 Review: THE INVISIBLE GUEST (CONTRATIEMPO) Locks In Emotional Thrills

Locked-room mysteries don't get much more fiendish than the one at the heart of The Invisible Guest (Contratiempo), the new film by Spanish writer/director Oriol Paulo (The Body). Even better, that's just the starting point for an increasingly potent thriller....

Fantastic Fest 2016 Review: 24x36: A Movie About Movie Posters

A niche market for high-quality, limited-run movie posters has popped up in the last decade, with no signs of slowing down. If you're one of the fervent collectors of these beauties, you know the names Mondo, Skuzzles, Grey Matter Art, and...

Fantastic Fest 2016 Review: RE: BORN Hails the Bloody Return of Tak Sukiguchi

Japanese action star Tak Sakiguchi makes a welcome return to the screen in this stripped-down action thriller that sees a deadly super soldier forced out of seclusion and back to his old ways of precision destruction. After a somewhat sluggish...

Fantastic Fest 2016 Review: BOYKA: UNDISPUTED Brings the Pain, In and Outside the Ring

Scott Adkins brings redeemed Russian MMA fighter Yuri Boyka back to the screen for the third time, delivering another helping of blistering bloody bouts of carefully choreographed carnage. Outside the ring, director Todor Chapkanov fails to complement the action with...

Fantastic Fest 2016 Review: The Unbearable Lightness of TONI ERDMANN

German filmmaker Maren Ade's third feature, Toni Erdmann, about an estranged father connecting with his adult daughter in increasingly unorthodox and aggravating ways, garnered glowing critical praise when it premiered in competition at Cannes this past spring. While there is...

Fantastic Fest 2016 Review: THE YOUNG OFFENDERS Elevates a Comic Tale With Fresh Honesty

Rowdy, raucous, and rude, The Young Offenders is a blast of adolescence without angst, a juvenile movie that is surprisingly cheerful, even as its young heroes straddle the thin line between criminality and, well, not being a straight-up criminal. Conor...

Fantastic Fest 2016 Review: A DARK SONG: The Dark, Hard Labour of Forgiveness

All deaths are hard to deal with, but I would argue there is nothing worse than losing your child (after all, a parent is not supposed to outlive their children). Certainly, when we lose a loved one of any kind,...

Fantastic Fest 2016 Review: ZOOLOGY, How Natasha's Tail Set Her Free

Everyone hopes that they are special and unique in some way. Whether it's a subtle uniqueness that only presents itself in being exceptional within our own little circle, or the kind of superhuman abilities that we attribute to those who...

Review: I.T., A High Tech Throwback

Since nowadays we can’t go two seconds without checking our cell phones and everyone seems to be spending enormous amounts of time online, cautionary tales about our overdependence on technology have suddenly become all the rage. I.T. is the latest,...

Review: THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN Shoots for Remake Glory

When you put the word “magnificent” in the title of your movie, you’d really better be able to live up to it. Except, in the case of director Antoine Fuqua’s The Magnificent Seven, the very title's been done before. For...

Fantastic Fest 2016 Review: THE HIGH FRONTIER Tests the Borders of Tension

Baby, it's cold outside. The family at the heart of The High Frontier (original title: Na granicy) doesn't feel very warm toward each other, though. As the movie begins and a father and his two sons drive deeper and deeper...

Review: In BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, Looks Aren't Everything

In the 21st century, how is one to present a fairy tale? There are stories ripe with opportunity to create great visual, frequently with lots of action, but the stereotyping, themes, and gender representation can be a bit tricky in...

Review: In THE LOVERS AND THE DESPOT, Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction

Truth is stranger than fiction. In 1978, famous South Korean director Shin Sang-ok and his ex-wife, actress Choi Eun-hee were kidnapped in Hong Kong by North Korean agents under order of Kim Jung-il, the future leader of North Korea. While...