Fantastic Fest is the largest genre film festival in the U.S., specializing in horror, fantasy, sci-fi, action and just plain fantastic movies from all around the world. This unique film festival is taking place from September 19th-26th at the Alamo Drafthouse Lakeline location.
Film: The Dirties
Synopsis: A pair of cinema-obsessed high school geeks are caught up in an escalating cycle of violence when the lines between fantasy and reality begin to blur.
Thoughts: Movie fandom was abundant. The credits being a nice touch that correlated with Matt & Owen’s use of dialogue from other films. The Dirties showed the perils of adolescence-which is hard for the weird. I wouldn’t want to go through high school again, nor watch this movie a second time. So the varied emotions showed in this film have the power to touch the audience.
The Dirties - ★★1/2
Film: On The Job
Synopsis: Corruption abounds in this stylish, Cannes-selected, ripped-from-the-headlines story of prisoners released on a day pass to work as killers. The cops must bring them in, never knowing how far the corruption spreads and who they can trust.
Thoughts: Much like last year’s FF film Graceland-the Philippine’s most corrupt come out of the woodwork to play. Urban sprawl and decay plays host for crowded streets and dark and narrow alleys-which you get to see with shaky cam (and hear with a suspenseful score). All of the characters are caught in a bind, some on a more serious scale. One cannot change one’s ways, especially when you are already in the crooked system. It’s just hard to wrap your head around prisoners being released from jail to perform hits; of course money makes the world go round. The two man teams, on both sides of the law, are mirror images. The younger partners are blinded by ambition. The older men of opposing teams are privy to the system there youthful and ambitious partners are ignorant of. This film has a statement. That statement is just because you don’t read about it in the newspaper (or hear about it on the radio) doesn’t mean it’s is not happening.
On The Job - ★★★
Film: Commando-A One Man Army
Synopsis: Singing! Dancing! Extreme violence and goofy one-liners from Bollywood's answer to Tony Jaa and Marko Zaror! If Cannon Films were to relocate to India, COMMANDO would be the result!
Thoughts: Not being a partaker in Hindi films should not detour one, Commando plays like an 80’s Hollywood action movie. You know the ones-where the serious moments cause eye rolls. In this the eye rolling is exchanged for laughter. The dancing and singing juxtaposed to our hero flipping over a car surprisingly works. The villain is the second best part of the film (a drinking game could be set up where a shot is taken every time he takes his sunglasses off), the first being some outrageously fantastic stunts. The hero’s love interest is Miss India 2009-the very lovely Pooja Chopra. Another lovely moment of this film is the camera placement, the bird’s eye view being especially sweeping.
Let’s go back to that stunts business. All of super-commando Vidyut Jamwal’s stunts were made possible without the use of cables or CGI (except for one). And they are impressive. Most impressive.
Commando-A One Man Army - ★★★
Meet Sharni Vinson, my newest celebrity crush
Synopsis: Nurse Kathy Jaquard didn’t expect a lot of trouble on the coma ward but she gets more than she can handle when she meets the telekinetic Patrick in Mark Hartley’s remake of the Ozsploitation classic.
Thoughts: Definitely had a vintage horror feel to it. On remakes I am always a little skeptical, but Patrick does what a good remake should do-make you want to also explore the previous title (at the same time talk up the new one). Sharni Vinson was so bad-ass in You’re Next, and is just as captivating here. Rachel Griffiths was so in Nurse Ratched mode that I didn’t even realize it was her sending out icicles right away. CGI and modern technology did not damper the classic vibe that was splattered throughout the Roget Clinic. This is not a horror movie that makes you jump out of your seat; no it sends shivers through your blood stream.
Patrick - ★★★1/4