FantasticFest is the largest genre film festival in the U.S., specializing in horror, fantasy, sci-fi, and action movies from all around the world. Here's a list of some of our favorite movies at FantasticFest.
During a three day heat wave just before a huge 4th of July celebration, an action star stricken with amnesia meets up with a porn star who is developing her own reality TV project, and a policeman who holds the key to a vast conspiracy.
Sarah Michelle Gellar,
Seann William Scott
The story of a married silkworm merchant-turned-smuggler in 19th century France traveling to Japan for his town's supply of silkworms after a disease wipes out their African supply. During his stay in Japan, he becomes obsessed with the concubine of a local baron.
The daughter of an actor father and a social-climber mother, Domino Harvey, bored with her life, decides to join the team of Ed Moseby and becomes a bounty hunter. But she gets in trouble when the Mafia's money is stolen from an armored truck, while Moseby and his crew are participating in a reality show produced by Mark Heiss. The situation gets out of control when the sons of a rival mobster are kidnapped while the FBI is monitoring two gangs of mobsters. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Tony Scott has never been a very good director, but every film he's made after "Crimson Tide" seems to bring him one step closer to being the inarguable worst working today (Michael Bay may fall into the same category, but at least his big, dumb, delusional epics entertain on some primally perverse level). And like other overblown Hollywood biopics ("De-Lovely" and "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind," for instance) chronicling the lives of pretentious, overrated, or outright shallow ciphers given an aura of "mystique" by a society that thrives on the juicy behind-the-scenes details, "Domino" is a film that begins with little potential, and dashes that infinitesimal amount before the sixty-minute mark. With an already-distended running time of 128 minutes, the film feels twice as long, and spending time with characters this obnoxiously superficial and forgettable (unlike the superior "Rules of Attraction," Scott's attempts to tinge the proceedings with irony via Domino's smug, self-aware-rich-girl voice-over only draws attention to the film's sledgehammer cluelessness) becomes an act only masochists could find pleasurable. The story? Spoiled-upper-crust-babe Domino Harvey (Keira Knightley, in an ersatz-badass performance as shallow as her gorgeous looks) is sick of the shallow lifestyles of the rich and famous in Los Angeles, and accosts gruff bounty hunters Mickey Rourke and Edgar Ramirez to learn a more exciting trade; along the way, there are double-crosses, shootouts, media attention (courtesy of a tongue-in-cheek Christopher Walken, phoning in his trademark sleazebag), and laughable hints at romance. Scott cuts the film together in segments that rarely last more than a few seconds, cranking up the resolution to make the film a neon-drenched nightmare that's frankly unpleasant to watch--if Scott's given an opportunity to shakily frame an image, ghost it, or distort it in some way, he will; but all this tacky stylistic overload overwhelms what little plot, characterization, and suspense the film has (to say nothing for its, ehm, "entertainment" value). Most of the characters come off as either contemptible or stereotypical, oftentimes both (observe the unbearable, several-minute segment where an African-American introduces a new list of racial categorizations on "Jerry Springer"), and I found myself wishing they would all get the "tails" end of our protagonist's coin by the end. "Domino" is utter, unmitigated trash--whatever interest in this individual Scott hoped to inspire in his audience, it is lost in a sea of migraine-inducing neon pretension a few minutes in.
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