Fantasy Filmfest 2012

list of films I saw at the Fantasy Filmfest 2012
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Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Faced with both her hot-tempered father's fading health and melting ice-caps that flood her ramshackle bayou community and unleash ancient aurochs, six-year-old Hushpuppy must learn the ways of courage and love. (93 mins.)
Director: Benh Zeitlin
“ 9/10

"Newcomer Quevenzhane Wallis is a miniature force of nature" Tanbay-Indiewire

This magic movie contains an incredible fierce sparkling energy.The world of the movie is packed with animalistic vital force as far as it will go.At a certain point this movie gonna hit you like a tsunami.Must see. ” - fsx90
Killer Joe (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
When a debt puts a young man's life in danger, he turns to putting a hit out on his evil mother in order to collect the insurance. (102 mins.)
“ 8/10

In this movie Matthew McConaughey is acting with every cell in his body. Incredible presence on the screen. How many other great movies would've been shot if he hadn't wasted his time on romantic comedys. Since "The Lincoln Lawyer" a constant improvement in his performance. Hope there's more coming soon.

Thrilling movie, which draws his power from an astonishing Matthew McConaughey, the other great characters and the state of Texas,that give's this movie its special flavour. ” - fsx90
The Hidden Face (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A Spanish orchestra conductor deals with the mysterious disappearance of his girlfriend. (97 mins.)
Director: Andi Baiz
“ aka international title "The Hidden Face"


The second movie by Andrés Baiz and it's a great drama. Well worth seeing.

It's too bad the trailer give's that much of the story away.But that's a general problem,the trade off between getting people excited and don't spoil to much of the story. So you can't really blame anyone for it. ” - fsx90
Eden (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
A young Korean-American girl, abducted and forced into prostitution by domestic human traffickers, cooperates with her captors in a desperate ploy to survive. (98 mins.)
Director: Megan Griffiths
“ 8/10

"A young Korean-American girl, abducted and forced into prostitution by domestic human traffickers, joins forces with her captors in a desperate plea to survive" IMDB

Very awful, because it's "based on a true story" and the movie succeeds in making the way this "enterprise" is controlled,conducted very authentic.Exceptional performance by Jamie Chung. ” - fsx90
ACAB - All Cops Are Bastards (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
A look at the controversial riot cops unit, told through the stories of three veteran cops and a young recruit. (112 mins.)
Director: Stefano Sollima
“ 8/10

By far the most political movie of I've seen on this festival and probably the best political movie of this year.The subject of the movie is the life and work of italian riot police members.

This movie contains so many issues you could easily write a whole article about it in the NYT.Starting with extremly violent riots near football stadions,hooligans,situations which are on the brink of war,it goes on with iilegal house occupation,the immigrant problems in italy and europe,overcrowded refugee camps,criminal activites by some "gypsies" what brings them all under general suspicion,the reactions to all of this by some italians with neo fascism and also the incompetence,corruption of politicians.It's all there in the movie and you will find even more if you're looking for it.
A.C.A.B. manages to talk about all these issues while telling a good story. The main focus is on the riot police force unit and there personal stories.The core group consists out of 5-6 people. The chief of the riot police has to deal with the fact that his son has become a fascist. Another cop deals with the divorce of his wife and his struggle with the state which he protects but doesn't even give's him permission to see his own daughter. The story of a rookie in the riot police,who entered the police to escape his own troubling background.

It accumulates all and the movie shows impressingly how those men are shred into pieces between the politics,street violence,work and family. It further shows the powerlessness,the helplessness of the policemen and the state likewise.Great political cinema. ” - fsx90
Violet & Daisy (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
Two teenage assassins accept what they think will be a quick-and-easy job, until an unexpected target throws them off their plan. (88 mins.)
“ 8/10

Extraordinary friendship between two girls, which are working as assassins. When they're sent to do an easy job so they can finally buy the long awaited Barbie Sunday dress it turns out it's not that easy to kill an unarmed man,who wants to die.

Saorise Ronan and Alexis Blendel complementing one another amazingly. Seeing them going ballistic I had always Cyndi Laupers "Girls just wanna have fun" circling my head. The third actor who completes a great trio is James Gandolfini mosty known for his role as Tony Soprano in "The Sopranos". With his kind of underacting,his focus on little gestures and the way he's telling his story, he shows again why he was part of one of the greatest TV series of all time.

With it's steady tempo and a mixture between funny moments and musing moments Geoffrey Fletcher delivered a fine piece of cinema. ” - fsx90
Sushi Girl (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.0/10 X  
Upon his release from prison, Fish is brought to an abandoned restaurant by his old associate, Duke, to celebrate his newfound freedom. However, there's unfinished business that Duke is determined to solve. (98 mins.)
Director: Kern Saxton
“ 8/10

Fantastic cast. Especially Mark Hamil is brillant. ” - fsx90
Nightfall (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
An old but serious miscarriage of justice clouds a current police investigation looking into the death of a mutilated corpse. (108 mins.)
Director: Chow Hin Yeung
“ 7/10

A well done Hongkong crime thriller with a strong focus on characters and on detective police work. Especially Simon Yam and Nick Cheung the two main protagonists showing a very strong performance. ” - fsx90
The Suicide Shop (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
A family-run shop that sells everything you need to take your own life finds it hard to focus on business after a new baby -- one who makes everyone around him happy -- is born into the family. (79 mins.)
Director: Patrice Leconte
“ 7/10

A dark,macabre and black humor way told story,which in the course of the movie teaches a great lesson on the value of life. ” - fsx90
Eva (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
A shy genius is employed by his former university to design robot software. (94 mins.)
Director: Kike Maíllo
“ 7/10

Science fiction movie about a robot engineer,who returns to his hometown to build an new generation of robot.

Nice film without magic moments or outstanding scenes.Also a problem is that after at least three fourths of the movie you know how it's gonna end and so the tension is gone. ” - fsx90
Motorway (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.0/10 X  
A rookie cop takes on a veteran escape driver in a death defying final showdown on the streets of Hong Kong. (90 mins.)
Director: Pou-Soi Cheang
“ aka "Motorway"

8/10 If a car means something emotional to you.
7/10 If a car is not more than a transport vehicle to you.

There a lot of parallels to "Drive" (2011), but what makes this movie unique is the unused setting of Hong Kong and a modernized version of the tradional chinese relationship between master and disciple,which is replacing pleasantly the usual love story part like in "Drive". In some scenes I felt like watching a good old Kung Fu movie, in which a young fierce disciple won't listen what his master is trying to teach him and later after a lot of struggling, he starts recognising the wisdom of his master.

The movie manages to create various forms of great tension using the cars like characters.Among other things there's the highspeed action like in the Fast&Furious movies.There are moments full of suspense like in the garage scene, which happens in total darkness and the villians car is taking out one by one police car like a predator on his nightly hunt.Last but not least there are the meditative moments in which Shawn Yue has to learn and master a mind boggling 90° turn,which is the key to catch up with the villian and to find oneself.

Great simply driving scenes,fantastic 80s synthie soundtrack and some great pulled of stunts by the drivers. ” - fsx90
Ace Attorney (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
This movie is based on the second and fourth cases in the popular video game Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney... (135 mins.)
Director: Takashi Miike
“ aka " Ace Attorney"


Ace Attorney is a videogame film adaption of the in Japan very popular Gyakuten Saiban series also released in Europe and the US as Ace Attorney.I played all the Ace Attorney titles and so was excited to see how the transition from videogame to film went and Takashi Miike did a really great job.The film captures the essence of the games like the japanese humor,the action in the court room and the great unique characters fantastically.The film provides also a great amount of fan service like the essential "Objection" calls and a large part of the orginal game soundtrack and sound effects.Takashi Miike decided to put the whole story of "Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney I" into the 135 minutes.Because I already knew the story I can't really tell whether it was the right length or got maybe confusing.At any rate a funny and entertaining film.

Highly recommended to every Ace Attorney fan. The film also works for the not gamers well.

(If you haven't played Ace Attorney yet, I truely recommended it to you.It's basicly a text adventure with great characters,exciting cases to solve and a nice story.It's availably on Itunes or as cartridge for the Nintendo DS/3DS in stores.)

Itunes: ” - fsx90
The Day (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  
A group of five people working to stay alive in a post-apocalyptic future discover what they think is a safe, abandoned farmhouse, but they soon find themselves fighting to stay alive as a gang of bloodthirsty predators attack. (87 mins.)
“ 7/10

Taking place in a post apocalyptic world the US or better what's left of it seems to be dominated by scavengers and people would do everything for a fresh piece of meat,human meat. A group of 5 is trying to make their way to a safe haven,but one of the members is sick so they have to make a rest. They find a house which is on the first look uninhabitated,but of course as usual in this genre it turns out it's not.The house is actually a trap so that the cannibals can have their tummy full.

The movie creates through its black-white look a bleak,grim atmosphere. The characters are interesting and have some secrets. What's great about the movie is its ruthlessness and his abrasiveness. ” - fsx90
Resolution (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
A man imprisons his estranged junkie friend in an isolated cabin in the boonies San Diego to force him through a week of sobriety, but the events of that week are being mysteriously manipulated. (93 mins.)
“ 7/10

A unconventional movie about a friendship largely, driven by dialogues with supernatural elements.Fabulous Vinny Curran. ” - fsx90
Doomsday Book (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  
The First Chapter of The Anthology Film- In A Brave New World, a mysterious virus brings the city to ruins and zombies flood the streets of Seoul... (115 mins.)
“ 7/10

Movie constisting out of 3 parts.
The first part provides a zombie apokalypse. The second part has the very intersting idea of a self aware robot,which lives in a buddist tempel and has internalize the teachings of budda.For the monks the robot is one of them and has accomplished the highest level of enlightment and is as a consequence seen as a budda.The third part is a very off-wall,very asian orignal story.Saying too much would spoil it,what can be said is that earth is doomed by an giant asteriod.

Fine combination of humor, criticism of society and especially the second part give's you some ideas to think about. ” - fsx90
Flying Swords of Dragon Gate (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.0/10 X  
Set three years after Dragon Inn, innkeeper Jade has disappeared and a new inn has risen from the ashes - one that's staffed by marauders masquerading as law-abiding citizens, who hope to unearth the fabled lost city buried in the desert. (122 mins.)
Director: Hark Tsui
“ aka "The Flying Swords of Dragon Gate"


Surprisingly not trash. Chinese Martial&Arts fighters are still bending all laws of nature,but it was fun watching them doing those crazy things.

Great popping fights and the fantastic visuel nature of the movie let you forget the trivial story. ” - fsx90
Excision (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
A disturbed and delusional high school student with aspirations of a career in medicine goes to extremes to earn the approval of her controlling mother. (81 mins.)
“ 7/10

Story of an 18 year old girl in puberty,which deals with a lot of problems in her own special way. Problems like being an outsider in school or having first time sex, she can handle sovereignly,but other problems keep piling up. She's having diffuculties to get recognition and love from her parents. Her beloved little sister is slowly dieing on a lung disease. Those problems starting to bury her alive and she is seeking a way out of the mess.

It was a slightly disappointing movie.What for me didn't worked at all were the "shocking" dreaming sequences, which included a mix of bloody violence, sex and the resulting sexuell arousal they had on Pauline.Those scenes bored me a lot because there was no deeper meaning besides her decaying psyche in it at all. Sometimes is less more.Also I couldn't shake of the feeling that there was more potential in the story and the way it could have been told.

Nevertheless nice movie and great performance by leading actress AnnaLynne McCord. ” - fsx90
Cleanskin (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
A British secret service agent is faced with the task of pursuing and eliminating a British-born suicide bomber and his terrorist cell. (108 mins.)
Director: Hadi Hajaig
“ 7/10
Main topic is terrorism and it's origins carried out by english citizens with muslim family background.
The movie is telling the story of terror attacks happening in London out of two perspectives. On the one side an agent working for secret service played by Sean Bean and on the other side the terrorist Ash played by Abhin Galeya.Ash's road to terroism is over of the movie told in cut backs.The movie is heading towards a final showdown between those two.

What makes this movie stand out in contrast to standard "hunting a terrorist movies" is the fact it's focusing on back story of Ash and shows how he has become a terrorist.

However it didn't really convinced me. Ash starts as a passionate student of law,has secretly a british girlfriend and seems to be widely accepted.After a lecture in which Ash had a hard discussion with his arch rival he's approached by his later on terrorism godfather. Without trouble he convinces Ash to join a "discussion group".From there on Ash is in a vicious circle.

What's bothering is the fact that Ash's motives are all after a certain pattern. A muslim inferiority complex,a immoral western society,immoral acting women,revenge for the imperialism,revenge for the killed muslims in the Palestine conflict and so on. But actually those argument are rubbish and Ash is a hypocrite. He liked his "immoral" lifestyle,drank alcohol, loved his girlfriend and didn't care much about the muslims in the middle east as it turns out later. In hindsight his true intensions were personal frustration and his failed relationship with his much loved girlfriend which broke him. Broken he searched for help and was so easy to exploit by terror godfather Nabil.

Good movie with shortcomings like a very cliché origin of terror story. ” - fsx90
Compliance (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
A normal Friday service at a fast food restaurant becomes interrupted by a police officer who claims an employee stole from a customer, but something more sinister is going on. (90 mins.)
Director: Craig Zobel
“ 7/10

A didactic play,which shows how far people are willing to obey orders without questioning them at all. At the end in a TV interview is Sandra asked if she has a feeling of guilt because what happend and she affirms it,but says in the same breath she only executed orders and is not to blame for that. ” - fsx90
Sightseers (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
Chris wants to show girlfriend Tina his world, but events soon conspire against the couple and their dream caravan holiday takes a very wrong turn. (88 mins.)
Director: Ben Wheatley
“ 7/10

A couple trying to have nice holidays traveling through england sightseeing.Meanwhile things are starting to get out of control.A entertaining british black humor road movie. ” - fsx90
The Baytown Outlaws (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
When three redneck brothers agree to help a woman save her godson from an abusive stepfather, they become targets on the run from an odd cast of characters. (98 mins.)
Director: Barry Battles
“ 6/10

Entertaining,funny redneck movie. ” - fsx90
After (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  
When two bus crash survivors awake to discover that they are the only people left in their town, they work together to unravel the truth behind the strange events. (90 mins.)
Director: Ryan Smith
“ 6/10

A new original idea for a movie.But overall to much shortcomings in details. ” - fsx90
Sien nui yau wan (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  
Tax collector Ning, a clumsy and easily frightened man, doesn't have any money and decides to stay overnight in an abandoned temple... (100 mins.)
Director: Wilson Yip
“ 6/10

A classical "Chinese Ghost Story" episode.Dreamlike pictures,chinese demons and demon hunters and of course a tragic chinese love story. ” - fsx90
The Pact (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  
As a woman struggles to come to grips with her past in the wake of her mother's death and the disappearance of her sister, an unsettling presence emerges in her childhood home. (89 mins.)
“ 6/10

Varies the premise of Paranormal Activity and takes it in a different direction in a unspectacular way. Worth watching at least because of eye candy Caity Lotz,which delivers a solid performance. ” - fsx90
The Cat (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  
So-yeun gets stuck with a Persian cat when its owner dies. From then on, she is haunted by a girl with green cat-like eyes. (106 mins.)
“ aka "The Cat"

Very conventional asian horror movie including a vicious ghost of a little girl et cetera with many cute kittens.

6/10 ” - fsx90
Angle mort (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  
The relationship between Eric and Stephanie is floundering. They decide to leave for the Republic of Santiago to visit the famous ruins. Once there, they learn that a serial killer rages on steep roads of the region, eliminating drunk drivers. (79 mins.)
Director: Dominic James
“ aka "Blind Spot"


Classical chasing thriller, in which a giant with burnt skin hunts down a couple on vacation in the Republic of Santiago.Weary scheme. ” - fsx90
Cockneys vs Zombies (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  
A gang of bank robbers fight their way out of a zombie-infested London. (88 mins.)
Director: Matthias Hoene
“ 5/10

Despite having a few really nice original ideas you've seen every part of it already in some another zombie comedy movie.Watching old people swearing and shooting guns like crazy couldn't cover the lack of a least acceptable story. ” - fsx90
V/H/S (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  
When a group of misfits are hired by an unknown third party to burglarize a desolate house and acquire a rare VHS tape, they discover more found footage than they bargained for. (116 mins.)
“ 5/10

Compilation of various horror movie branches.Containing a lot of plot holes and a not working overall story arc. ” - fsx90
The Sword Identity (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  
During the Ming Dynasty one man will request a competition when his weapon is rejected. After a series of fights he is determined to prove his sword is invincible. (108 mins.)
Director: Haofeng Xu
“ aka "The Sword Identity"


Don't expect a movie with a lot of fights.It's mainly talking about the philosophy of fighting mixed with some goofy moments to shake up the audience once in a while. ” - fsx90
Storage 24 (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.4/10 X  
In London, a military plane crashes leaving its highly classified contents strewn across the city. Completely unaware that the city is in lockdown, a group of people become trapped inside a storage facility with a highly unwelcome guest. (87 mins.)
“ 5/10

Typical hunted by an Alien movie.This time in a storage.Very unoriginal. ” - fsx90
Noobz (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.0/10 X  
Four friends hit the road to LA to compete in the Cyberbowl Video Game Championship, but will they be able to compete with the worst hangovers of their lives? (97 mins.)
Director: Blake Freeman
“ 4/10 for people not into videogames

7/10 if you know what GoW stands for. ” - fsx90
In Their Skin (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  
The Hughes cottage vacation is violently interrupted by a family on a murderous and identity stealing journey, in search of the "perfect" life. (97 mins.)
“ aka "Replicas"


Below average home invasion movie. ” - fsx90
Wrath (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.5/10 X  
Traveling south to the coast through the remote Boanyoo Ranges, a group of friends encounter a stranger. Stopping to help they endure a shocking and unrelenting game of cat-and-mouse. They discover that nothing will ever be the same again. (96 mins.)
“ 3/10

Australian Rednecks? It's excalctly as bad as it sounds. Victims running along the road and are suprised they got caught&killed?Check.Inbred and Incest?Check.This list goes on like this.So don't waste two hours of your lifetime and avoid this movie. ” - fsx90
Morituris (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.1/10 X  
While out driving, three young men meet two beautiful women and convince them to go with them to a rave out in a remote location... (83 mins.)
“ 3/10

No joke,you see everything what happens in this movie within the first 3 minutes in the Intro.Direct to DVD title ” - fsx90