Festivals: SXSW Reviews

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SXSW 2017 Review: TRAGEDY GIRLS, Their Teenage Egos Have A Body Count

The horror genre is one of the most forgiving there is. Fanatics regularly overlook low-budgets, no-name actors, questionable performances, and mediocre writing if a film delivers the kind of thrills that turn them on. The horror-comedy, however, is a far...

SXSW 2017 Review: From SMALL CRIMES Come Big Troubles

Four years ago, Evan Katz made his directorial debut with the pitch-black comedy thriller Cheap Thrills, pitting Pat Healy against Ethan Embry in a diabolical, desperate game of survival. Now Katz has returned to the director's chair with Small Crimes,...

SXSW 2017 Review: In 68 KILL, A Bunch of Assholes Hurtle Toward Oblivion

Matthew Gray Gubler's Chip has a really hard time with women in Trent Haaga's scumbags-on-parade exploitationer, 68 Kill. The story revolves around a white trash heist of $68,000 initiated by Chip's emasculating maniacal girlfriend, Liza (AnnaLynne McCord), who uses her...

SXSW 2017 Review: Three Dystopian Narcissists and an INFINITY BABY

In the not too distant future of Infinity Baby, stem cell research has caused a freak side effect wherein a certain breed of newborns will not age, rather they'll stay babies for their entire lives. Society has deemed them "infinity...

SXSW 2017 Review: DAVID LYNCH - THE ART LIFE Sheds Light on Darkness

David Lynch is one of the great mysteries in the filmmaking world. His films are meticulously constructed enigmas, which require the same type of open minded approach to understanding as it likely takes Lynch himself to paint with images. His...

SXSW 2017 Review: MAYHEM, So Fast on Its Feet That It's Almost Out of Control

With great lead performances by Steven Yeun and Samara Weaving, a great musical score by Steve Moore, and great bloody action masterminded by director Joe Lynch, Mayhem is almost too much fun. It's the perfect example of a movie that...

SXSW 2017 Dispatch: A Solid Year of Docs Continues + More Films and Fun from Austin

It's been an excellent year for documentaries already in 2017 with such incredible films as Icarus, An Inconvenient Sequel, Nobody Speak, and Trophy all premiering at Sundance (those last two playing SXSW as well). There have been several new great...

SXSW 2017 Review: HOUNDS OF LOVE, a Beast with a Ferocious Bite

Serial killer thrillers that deal with the dark subject matter of abuse and sexual victimization are the cinematic equivalent of playing with fire. Especially if your film is based loosely on real life crimes, as is the case with Hounds...

SXSW 2017 Dispatch: THE LIGHT OF THE MOON and M.F.A., Or, How to Deal with Rape

Male filmmakers have been exploiting the violent rape of women on screen for decades. How do female filmmakers deal with the subject? The Light of the Moon, written and directed by Jessica M. Thompson, and M.F.A., written by Leah McKendrick...

SXSW 2017 Review: Triumph of THE DISASTER ARTIST

I think we were all pretty skeptical upon hearing the announcement that James Franco would be bringing the story of the making of Tommy Wiseau's The Room to the big screen over three years ago; at least those of us...

SXSW 2017 Dispatch: Great Crime Films, Both Big and Small

SXSW 2017 Dispatch: Great Crime Films, Both Big and Small Late night booze-fueled taco runs be damned, the SXSW train just keeps chugging along. There have been an ridiculous number of great moves in this year's program, many of which,...

SXSW 2017 Review: T2 TRAINSPOTTING, The Boys Are Back in Town and It's Not a Pretty Sight

Kicking heroin and staying off it for 20 years is only the first step for Renton. Facing the likely elimination of his office job, Renton (Ewan McGregor) returns to Edinburgh, Scotland in search of something he cannot yet identify. Lost...

SXSW 2017 Review: BABY DRIVER, Grand Entertainment on a Funny, Thrilling Ride

Voom voom voom! So begins Edgar Wright's Baby Driver, which finds Ansel Elgort behind the wheel as a getaway driver, rocking out to the a song blasting from the buds planted in his ears. In the privacy of his own...

SXSW 2017 Review: DIVINE DIVAS Goes Behind the Curtains

Vibrant and enlightening, Divine Divas peeks behind the curtains of the Rival Theatre in Brazil, which was one of the first in the country to showcase men dressed as women in the 1960s. Eight artists have gathered for a 50th...

SXSW 2017 Dispatch: Early Buzz from a Truly Excellent Film Lineup

SXSW is off to a raucous start with the indie film biz and Austin movie fans competing for precious 6th street real estate with the techies and college kids. SXSW is such an interesting event as far as film festivals...

SXSW 2017 Review: CALIFORNIA DREAMS, Questioning the Meaning of Life

Taken at face value, Mike Ott's California Dreams is a slowly-drawn portrait of ordinary people who harbor dreams of something better. It mixes documentary footage and staged scenes without demarcation. To what effect? That is left up to the viewer...

SXSW 2017 Review: BAD LUCKY GOAT, Two Siblings on a Comic Dramatic Journey

A brother, a sister, a goat. A relaxed charmer, Bad Lucky Goat is some kind of wonderful. It starts with an appetizer that establishes its milieu, a ramshackle island community in the Caribbean. The area is in Colombia, South America,...

SXSW 2016 Review: PET Stirs Up Emotions That Are Not Easily Caged

A woman is locked in a cage by a man who wants to change her. That's both a metaphor for too many modern relationships and the premise of a new film by director Carles Torrens (Apartment 143). Seth (Dominic Monaghan),...

SXSW 2016 Review: I AM NOT A SERIAL KILLER, He Doth Protest Too Much

"There is a savage beast in every man," wrote George R.R. Martin in A Storm of Swords, and American teenager John Wayne Cleaver has taken those words to heart. John (Max Records) lives in a small, cold town in the...

SXSW 2016 Review: WAR ON EVERYONE, Glorious, Riotous Fun

Within its first 10 minutes, War on Everyone smashes at least two dozen stereotypes familiar to anyone who has ever watched a cop movie made by a Hollywood studio, doing so in a rollicking and hilarious fashion. It's a barrage...