Archive for the 'Newport Beach Film Festival' Category

NBFF 2014 Review: ‘Unforgiven’

unforgiven whysoblu thumbMonday night at the Newport Beach Film Festival saw a film that I have been anticipating for some time be represented as the Japanese Spotlight feature of the night. I was quite happy to have seen it. The Japanese remake of Unforgiven makes a good case for why I am never against the idea of a remake, before I actually see it or have enough information to pass judgment. Clint Eastwood’s 1992 Best Picture winner is the film I consider to be his best work as a filmmaker (and as an actor, for that matter), so the concept of remaking his film should presumably strike ire in the hearts of those that claim remakes are always terrible. Of course, hypocrisy is a funny thing, as the reaction to Ken Watanabe starring in a samurai version of the same story seems to have made most skeptics excited about this particular idea. Still, this is not about the public at large, it is about what I thought of the film, which basically amounts to being an interesting remix.

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NBFF 2014 Review: ‘Cas & Dylan’

cas and dylanHere’s another Newport Beach Film Fest review focused on just one feature that I caught on Monday morning. Cas & Dylan is a Canadian-produced road trip comedy, focused on an odd couple that needs to be enjoyed, if one wants to enjoy this film as a whole. It is a bit cutesy in the way it presents a scenario that can be summed up by saying, “She’s a [blank] and he’s a [blank], but together, they’ll become best friends ready to do whatever.” Fortunately, Richard Dreyfuss and Tatiana Maslany make for a good pairing and the film gets enough mileage out of its comedy and drama to make this good-looking film a good watch as well.

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NBFF 2014 Review: ‘Felony’

felonyI only checked out one film on Sunday, for the Newport Beach Film Festival, but it was an interesting Australian crime drama serving as a morality tale and a showcase for the three lead characters. Felony features some strong performances, with Tom Wilkinson, in particular, making a good case for why he is almost always enjoyable in whatever role is given to him. The idea of seeing not just two, but three sides of the law makes for an interesting story to be told and Felony works that angle about as far as it can go, before settling in a way that left me satisfied.


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NBFF 2014 Reviews: ‘Teacher of the Year’ and ‘Obvious Child’

teacher of the yearSaturday Night at the 15th Annual Newport Beach Film Fest was another challenging scenario, as a number of films were showing and I had to consider how to best spend my time. Fortunately, the two movies I was able to see were both quite good. Teacher of the Year is my favorite film of the festival so far (granted I have only seen a small percentage of what has been available), as it was funny and heartfelt in the right ways. Obvious Child was fine too, given that it fits in the realm of quirky indie comedy, but has a sort of truth to it that puts it slightly ahead of typical indie fare. There continue to be plenty of exciting options though and Saturday just fit as another strong night for the fest and what I have ended up choosing.

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NBFF 2014 Reviews: ‘Cheatin’’ and ‘The One I Love’

Friday at the Newport Beach Film Festival found me with a lot of options to choose from. While I had heard many good things about a number of the films featured and had considered attending at least four different films playing around the same time, I ultimately chose to go with Cheatin’ and The One I Love. One is an animated feature from famed cartoonist Bill Plympton, the other was a romantic comedy-drama with a unique twist that I do not plan to spoil here. I found both to be worth watching, especially those in the mood for something a bit off center from the norm.


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NBFF 2014 Review: Lovesick

nbff thumb 2014Opening night at the 15th Annual Newport Beach Film Festival was a nice start to what should be an exciting festival to keep track of.  Given the difficulty I have had at nailing down exactly which films to check out on what days, due to interest in so many, it seems like I am in for a lot of good, interesting, or at least entertaining features.  With that in mind, I was happy to find the opening film, Lovesick, to be enjoyable enough, for what it is.  I say this because the opening night film tends to be a more palatable feature, in an effort to please the general audience as a whole, given the crowded attendance in the Big Newport Theater on Opening Night.  The film is simple enough, but the cast makes it a bit more appealing.

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15th Annual Newport Beach Film Festival to Close with West Coast Premiere of CHEF Starring Jon Favreau, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson

nbff thumb 2014As stated in the previous post, the 15th Annual Newport Beach Film Festival is coming soon (opening night is April 24th) and there will be many films and festivities I plan to see and be a part of.  This post contains the official press release concerning the closing night film, which I am very excited about.  Chef is a return for Jon Favreau to his low-budget roots and after just seeing the trailer, which features a strong cast and what looks to be cinematography based around food that will have everyone salivating throughout, I am super excited to be able to catch it.  Check out the rest of this post to read the official press release regarding this closing night film and I have also embedded the trailer for Chef.

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nbff thumb 2014So it begins.  For the past few years I have been covering the annual Newport Beach Film Festival and the time is upon us for me to get really busy covering it again.  Staring April 24th, I will be doing my part to attend the festival, which includes hitting up parties (poor me), putting some eyes on the red carpet now and again, maybe talking with some stars and filmmakers, but most importantly – seeing a lot of movies (many in the same day) and providing reviews for everything I get to see.  Last year I took a different approach, which proved to be much more efficient, so I plan to continue that this year and hopefully see even more films.  While the festival does not start for another couple of weeks, this post and the next post concern the announcement of the opening and closing films for the 15th Annual Newport Beach Film Festival.  Continue on to find out more.