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Slamdance 2013 Review: Best Friends Forever Ends The World With Classic Diy Spunk

20 January 2013 9:16 AM, PST

Brea Grant's debut feature Best Friends Forever is essentially a B-movie. And that's a compliment. So then is it an essential B-movie? Imagine if Roger Corman gave a couple of Punky, feminist chicks a bundle of money to make a movie and the result is an apocalypse road trip movie that is just as grim as it is bad-ass, just as endearingly sweet as it is melancholic, and just plain fun and funny. A crowd-pleaser for the generation that grew up on midnight movies, underground B&W comics, indie music and thrift store shopping, Best Friends Forever checks all the genre boxes with spunk and a bit of bite.Grant stars as Harriet, a comic-book artist who is moving to Austin for Grad School. Minus her best...

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Sundance 2013 Review: Don Jon's Addiction Bulks Up the Body and Career of Joseph Gordon-Levitt

19 January 2013 6:21 PM, PST

Warning: the words "cock," "cum," and "masturbation" are used in this review. With that out of the way, let's get filthy.Joseph Gordon-Levitt is constantly on the move, making new projects with his online art collaboration company, HitRECord.org, and working as an A-list actor with some of Hollywood's most prolific directors. The Boy Wonder has now taken his career in a gutsy new direction: writing, directing, and starring in a movie called Don Jon's Addiction, about a rico suave obsessed with porn. And not just your Average Joe (hehe) who likes porn - this guy lusts for porn and watches it while in class, driving, and after having sex with a woman you and I would never ever get a second glance from. He's so unsatisfied...

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Sundance 2013 First Impression: Breathe In is Another Mature Meditation On Love

19 January 2013 4:44 PM, PST

Drake Doremus made a splash at Sundance two years ago when his second film Like Crazy won the Us Dramatic Competition on the strength of the director's remarkable portrayal of romantic love. Star Felicity Jones is back with Doremus at Sundance with Breathe In (though this time in the out-of-competition Premieres section) in another meditation on the subject. Albeit a far different kind of love than his last film, Doremus's minimalist style remains consistent and fans of Like Crazy will find the same joy in his portrayal of chest-thumping emotions. Not without it's flaws, Breathe In relies a bit too heavily on some plot conveniences that detract slightly. Still, Doremus's ability to tell a story from all his characters' points of view is even...

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Slamdance 2013 Review: Fynbos Is A Brilliantly Anti-Cathartic Piece Of Cinema

19 January 2013 3:00 PM, PST

A young white woman in high heels walks down a street in a black working-class neighborhood. Though clearly on edge, she walks with a purpose. She pauses at a row of trash cans. Clothes billow in the wind, threaded on a line nearly invisible in the bright sunlight. The sweep of the cloth calms her, helps her commit to what she is about to do. And with an anger and fear swelling up from deep within chasms of self she dumps the contents of her purse into the trash, erasing her identity with a furious hand. Next, she enters a phone booth, dials the emergency number and reports that she has been robbed.       These are the first captivating moments in commercial director...

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Danny Trejo Stars In Russian Action Comedy Ticket To Vegas

19 January 2013 1:15 PM, PST

Danny Trejo has gun, will travel. Or, rather, has gun and will allow others to travel to him. Yes, that is Machete himself on the poster for upcoming Russian action comedy Ticket To Vegas, the Gore Kirakosyan film that looks to fuse sex comedy with bullets blazing action.The core story revolves around a young Russian couple who win the lottery but rather than receiving their millions they are told that the 'win' was actually only the first step. They must now travel to Las Vegas and compete for the ultimate prize in a contest hosted by an Elvis impersonator. Trejo? He's local law enforcement.A pair of trailers for the film have arrived online, check them out below....

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Watch Choi Min-sik In Full Trailer For The New World

19 January 2013 12:15 PM, PST

2013 will not see a finer cast assembled in Korea than director Park Hoon-jeong has gathered for upcoming crime drama The New World. How do I feel confident saying this of a film that releases in February, with most of the year yet to come? Simple: A better cast doesn't exist.Park has gathered three of Korea's finest character actors to anchor his action thriller with Choi Min-sik (Oldboy, Crying Fist), Hwang Jeong-min (The Unjust, Private Eye) and Lee Jeong-jae (The Thieves, The Housemaid) front and center. A detective infiltrates into one of the biggest gang organizations in the country and gets involved in a fight for the heir to the gang after the boss dies and in between the second in charge who trusts him...

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Kidman Kills It In New Stoker Clip

19 January 2013 9:30 AM, PST

As my anticipation ramps up to see (and review) Park Chan-wook's English language debut Stoker here at Sundance, we now have a clip of actress Nicole Kidman, who plays the horrifying mother "Evie Stoker," chewing the scenery in this sure-to-be twisted tale of familial terror. The film also stars Mia Wasikowska, Matthew Goode, Dermot Mulroney, and Jacki Weaver.You can go Here as well, to view screening times for the Sundance festival....

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Twitch Presents 100 Years of Nikkatsu at Tiff Bell Lightbox

19 January 2013 8:31 AM, PST

One of the great things about Tiff finally getting a home space is their ability to curate niche mini-festivals. Even more great is that they give the likes of Twitch's own Todd Brown a chance to bring an unappreciated sub-genre of gangster noir to a new audience, showcasing the films of the Nikkatsu studio.My knowledge of Japanese classic cinema is pretty much formed by the big three: Kurosawa, Mizoguchi and Ozu. The films showcased as part of this series were a generation fighting against some of the more formal methods of these three masters, while drinking in the slick style of nouvelle vague kineticism from France, the stark nihilism of 30s and 40s Gangster films, and even the broad and epic twang of the spaghetti...

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Sundance 2013 Review: Crystal Fairy Is the Good Kind of Bad Trip

18 January 2013 6:30 PM, PST

Michael Cera gets a bad rap for consistently playing the lovable awkward loser character. In Sebastian Silva's Crystal Fairy, he takes on a completely different character: the awkward loser that's also an unlikable dickhead. Michael Cera fans and detractors take note; he does a pretty damn good job of filling those shoes as well. Oh, and Silva's film is a remarkably honest and enjoyable film as well. As its full title (at least according to the title cards) hints, Crystal Fairy & the Magical Cactus and 2012 is the story of a psychedelic drug trip. More accurately, it's the story of a journey in pursuit of a psychedelic drug trip. Cera plays Jamie, an American living in Chile (why he's there is never revealed)...

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Slamdance 2013 Interview: Director J.R. Hughto & Star Sonja Kinski Talk Diamond On Vinyl

18 January 2013 5:00 PM, PST

J.R. Hughto's second feature Diamond On Vinyl premiered today at Slamdance. In my review I called the film a "SoCal-set Noir that effortlessly weaves genre into a naturalistic story of a man who is just trying to gain some semblance of a normal life." I then surmised that "at it's core the film challenges and uproots the perceptions and roles deemed fit for society, giving us an intimate, ultimately empathetic, but no less easy to handle character study." Just prior to the fest's start I was able to chat with both Hughto and star Sonja Kinski on the unique relationship in the film between Henry, a voyeuristic audiophile, and Kinski's Charlie, a young photographer. When Henry's fiancee, Beth, leaves him, Charlie steps in as a...

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Iffr 2013 Full Schedule Released

18 January 2013 2:51 PM, PST

The International Film Festival Rotterdam (Iffr for short) has released its full schedule and started up its online ticket selling for the so-called "Tiger friends," regular visitors with discount passes. The full list can be browsed here and contains many a nice surprise, like Harmony Korine's Spring Breakers, Johnnie To's Drug War, and Park Chan-wook's Stoker, which will close the festival this year. And Richard Raaphorst's long-awaited first feature Frankenstein's Army will have its world premiere, as will Hideo Nakata's newest J-horror The Complex. We'll hit the festival next week with numerous people, but as usual there is far more content here than we can possibly cover. So have a good look-see through the list and please bombard us with recommendations!...

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Slamdance 2013 Review: Diamond On Vinyl Strikes A Provocative Groove

18 January 2013 2:00 PM, PST

Francis Ford Coppola's The Conversation and Brian de Palma's Blow Out are two films in the American cinematic canon that present to their audiences worlds of conspiracy and voyeurism through the provocative role of the audiophile. No less important or enticing, these films are, however, now decades old, taking place well before the digital revolution and our new state of Diy. So what happens when digital brings a new found intimacy to the voyeuristic landscape? J.R. Hughto's second feature Diamond on Vinyl proves to be a most suitable, and thought-provoking playback of these themes, a SoCal-set Noir that effortlessly weaves genre into a naturalistic story of a man who is just trying to gain some semblance of a normal life.The premise goes down like this:...

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Slamdance 2013 Review: Bible Quiz Is An Enduring Coming-Of-Age Doc

18 January 2013 1:12 PM, PST

It's fitting that Nicole Teeny's feature documentary debut is my first proper film at Slamdance. Fitting as I knew that its focus on a group of Christian teens who compete in a hard-hitting game of memorizing and then citing Bible verses in impressive rapid-fire succession was going to be a challenge for me as someone who has had a strange relationship with Christianity (Baptized in the Presbyterian Church as an infant, my family chose to move on from that world by the time I was five). But with anything I remained open and empathetic and curious as to just what this Bible Quiz was.Teeny hones her cameras in on seventeen year old Mikayla, a petite, sarcastic girl whose true commitment to the game is questioned...

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Fear & Loathing @ Sundance Part 2: Leaving Park City

18 January 2013 12:00 PM, PST

Chapter 2: These Fuckers Make The Bourgeois Look The PROLATERIATThe moment you reach the entrance of the Salt Lake City airport, the first thing you realize is that you truly are out in the middle of nowhere. I look around at the Wasatch Mountains surrounding the small air strip on all sides and see that there is only one road leading out of here. I've been told it'll be a 40 minute shuttle ride into Park City. I already feel like Jack Nicholson at the beginning of The Shining.  I already feel a foreboding sense of dread. How long will it take for this place to drive me mad? It seems to me that Park City is the ultimate rich white man fantasy land. This...

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Win Dead Sushi On Blu-ray!

18 January 2013 10:00 AM, PST

Japanese splatter comedy master Iguchi Noboru enlisted High Kick Girl Takeda Rina for his latest effort, Dead Sushi, and fans will be soon be able to watch the action queen fight to keep dinner from having her for dinner in a variety of formats. If you happen to be in La you can catch the film on the big screen with a one week run at the Downtown Independent starting tonight. Or you can just take a copy home.Dead Sushi hits DVD and Blu-ray on January 22nd, with the Blu-ray being a Best Buy exclusive. So you could head out to your local electronics mega store to catch the chaos in high definition but why do that when you can win a copy here? Twitch...

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Slamdance 2013 Exclusive: Check Out The Poster For Noir Flick Joy De V.

18 January 2013 8:30 AM, PST

One of my most anticipated titles at this year's Slamdance has gotta be Nadia Szold's feature debut Joy de V. Every bit of info that has come my way, every still for this Brooklyn-set noir has piqued my interest more and more. Today, we're proud to share with you the poster for the film, and boy, if this isn't a poster lover's Poster! Evoking Hitchcock, the pulps, and of course the classic romances of the 40s, you can take a look at the full-size version below. Roman is a con-artist from Long Island, his wife Joy is 7 months pregnant. One morning she vanishes into thin air. The same morning she disappears, Roman discovers that his most consistent scam, government disability checks from a faked...

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Gorber's Epic Guillermo del Toro Interview, Part 5: On The Hobbit, Pacific Rim and Haunted Mansion

18 January 2013 7:00 AM, PST

Scheduled to last a mere 15 minutes, the famously loquacious and erudite filmmaker spent 90 minutes at our roundtable discussion. In this, the final segment of our five-part series, we discuss The Hobbit, the "used-universe" aesthetic of Pacific Rim, and his still pending   Haunted Mansion project.Be sure to check out the previous four parts!Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4Since we've got the extra time, I do have to ask you what you thought of The Hobbit. I haven't seen it.  Between Mama, Rise of the Guardians and Pacific Rim, I'm seeing it in the next week.  Since it was broached, when I interviewed Richard Armitage and Peter Jackson when they were at Butt-Numb-a-Thon, I asked them specifically how much Guillermo...

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Red 2 Trailer Continues Bruce Willis' Jocular Destruction of Europe

18 January 2013 6:00 AM, PST

Bruce Willis smashes up Moscow in next month's A Good Day to Die Hard, and it looks like he'll do the same in Red 2, if the new trailer is any guide to go by. "Good, breezy fun" is how I described 2010's Red, based on a three-issue comic book series by Warren Ellis and Cully Hammer. The story revolved around retired secret agent Frank Moses (Willis), who must go on the run when assassins come calling. He enlists the help of old comrades Helen Mirren, John Malkovich, and Morgan Freeman, all while romancing civilian Mary Louise Parker, who gets swept up in the case. "If this all sounds like a safer, broader version of The Expandables," I wrote at the time, "that about nails...

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Brian Clark Picks His 10 Favorite European Films of 2012

18 January 2013 5:00 AM, PST

While there's still a fairly widely-embraced stereotype that European films are more cultured, daring and intelligent (or pretentious, if you want) than films from other countries, I've learned since moving to France that Europe, in fact, produces as much, if not more, pandering, mediocre, lower-middle brow fluff as any other region of the world. Those movies just never leave Europe, Untouchable notwithstanding.And yet, I realized while thinking over my favorite films of the year, when Europe gets it right, it really is a cause for celebration. More to point, the reason I chose to focus my end-of-year list to this particular continent (besides that I live here and have that pesky "European Editor" title) was because, when I went through my unadulterated list of favorite...

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Film4 FrightFest 2013 Glasgow Announces Line-Up

18 January 2013 4:30 AM, PST

FrightFest returns to Glasgow this February with another weekend of scares, including UK premieres of Neil Jordan's Byzantium, Eli Roth's Aftershock and much talked of anthology The ABCs Of Death. There's also a retrospective screening of a restored edition of Mario Bava's classic Black Sabbath. In attendance will be Eli Roth, Neil Jordan and Gemma Arterton. These events are always superb, so get stuck in.Check out the full line-up below and find out more at Frightfest. Fri 22 Feb 13:30 The American Scream (UK Premiere)From Michael Stephenson, director of the Best Worst Movie, comes another charming and hugely entertaining documentary. Meet the Brodeur, Souza and Bariteau families who live in the seaside town of Fairhaven, Massachusetts. Every year they spend fortunes turning their homes into stunning haunted houses...

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