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Archive for the 'SXSW' Category

SXSW Review: Hush

SXSWHush is 90 minutes of energy, a white-knuckle thriller in every way; Oculus director Mike Flanagan has crafted a lean, brutal, and deceptively simple home invasion thriller. It’s almost a perfect companion piece to Don’t Breathe (Review Here). One has a blind villain; the other, a deaf heroine. Both will have you gasping for air after holding it in during sequence after sequence of blood-boiling anxiety. Continue reading ‘SXSW Review: Hush’

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SXSW Review: Hardcore Henry

SXSWHardcore Henry is not necessarily a bad film, but it never really makes that leap from being just kind of good. To its credit, it delivers on being a visceral, over-the-top, action-fest shot entirely from the first-person perspective of its main character, Henry. And it should be noted that the action scenes have inventiveness and plenty of gory violence. The filmgoing experience is intense and the audience barely gets many moments to catch its breath before being thrown into the next running, shooting, parkour, fist-fighting, grenade-tossing rush away from or through the endless bad guys. While Hardcore Henry gets a lot right with its action and even its comedy, mostly coming from a perfectly used Sharlto Copley (District 9, Elysium), at some point the initially shocking and immersive first-person camera, the blaring rock/punk soundtrack, and the underwhelming story start to slip into the viewer’s mind and distract somewhat from the ridiculous eye-bath of violence and explosions. Continue reading ‘SXSW Review: Hardcore Henry’

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SXSW Review: Keanu (Working Print)

SXSWWell, Keanu is hilarious. It was nice to breathe that sigh of relief after watching the working print shown here at SXSW. From the decent, but not-hilarious trailer that was released a few months ago, it seemed like the very talented and funny duo of Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele might not quite have transitioned from sketch comedy to feature length comedy with as much solidity as is required. But it turns out, they just wanted to save some of the best stuff for the film itself; a welcome break from something like Zoolander 2, which had a good trailer and turned out to be completely bereft of comedy as a film. Keanu takes that magic Key and Peele brought to their TV show and translates it with tremendous success. Continue reading ‘SXSW Review: Keanu (Working Print)’

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SXSW Review: Don’t Breathe

SXSWBecause you don’t know anything about Don’t Breathe, the second film from the Evil Dead remake director Fede Alvarez, I’m hesitant to spoil too much (although I’m sure the trailers will undoubtedly fulfill that role). To say that Don’t Breathe is tense is an understatement; it’s unquestionably one of the most heart-stopping cinematic experiences I’ve had in what seems like an eternity. There were numerous moments where the entire audience went completely still and, as the tension filled the room, it became more and more apparent that Fede Alvarez might just have crafted a new modern classic.

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SXSW Review: Pet

SXSWPet, from the promotional material available to filmgoers, appears to be a suspense or maybe even a horror film about a man who traps a woman in a metal cage where one is left to assume that the twists and turns either lead to her death or her escape. While there is definitely a story of a man trapping a woman in a cage and questions about whether she will escape, it would be reductive to think of Pet as something simple. What the audience gets when viewing the film is a deep, dark exploration of the transformative power of love and the lengths a person will go to seek the good in another. Continue reading ‘SXSW Review: Pet’

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SXSW Review: The Greasy Strangler

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I imagine The Greasy Strangler to be the product of teens who have watched too many Tim & Eric episodes and discussed what a horror film would look like with their sensibilities. There’s about four jokes which are repeated endlessly throughout the film, which would make for (maybe) a decent short film, but at 80 minutes, I was begging for the film to just end. I don’t think I’ve ever exited a film so fast in my life.

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