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.
The son of a virtual world designer goes looking for his father and ends up inside the digital world that his father designed. He meets his father's corrupted creation and a unique ally who was born inside the digital world.
A factory worker, Douglas Quaid, begins to suspect that he is a spy after visiting Rekall - a company that provides its clients with implanted fake memories of a life they would like to have led - goes wrong and he finds himself on the run.
5 years after Pitch Black, the wanted criminal Riddick arrives on a planet called Helion Prime, and finds himself up against an invading empire called the Necromongers, an army that plans to convert or kill all humans in the universe.
David Rice is a high school student in Ann Arbor, abandoned by his mother at five, living with his callous, alcoholic father, enamored with Millie, a fellow student, and picked on by at least one classmate. On a winter's day, while about to drown, he discovers he can transport himself instantaneously to anyplace on earth. He runs away from home, goes to New York City, robs a bank vault, and comes to the attention of a shadowy group of government hunters. Eight years later, the hunters, led by the murderous Roland, get a fix on David. He heads home, searches out Millie, invites her to travel with him, and only later realizes that Roland and his crew are seriously deadly. Is everyone close to David in danger? Written by
When David leaves Griffin in the electricity, he unsheathes his curved blade and teleports away. When he arrives at the next destination, the knife is once again sheathed. See more »
Let me tell you about my day so far. Coffee in Paris, surfed the Maldives, took a little nap on Kilimanjaro. Oh, yeah, I got digits from this Polish chick in Rio. And then I jumped back for the final quarter of the N.B.A. finals - courtside of course. And all that was before lunch. I could go on, but all I'm saying is, I'm standing on top of the world.
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This is one of those films that starts off good, with a great premise, begins to become "so-so" halfway through, and then gets increasingly annoying to the point where you hate all the characters and the film is a chore to finish. I will say this: some of the action scenes at the end are the best of the movie and worth hanging around for, especially since the film is less than an hour-and-a-half. However, as most other reviewers seem to agree, when you have a lead character who is not likable, it really detracts from the story.
Hayden Christensen plays that lead, "David Rice," a young guy given the powers of teleporting, where he can instantly change where he is - from Ann Arbor to Cairo, if he so desires. After some practice, he can learn to bring other people and objects with him. The only times I've seen Christensen are when he's played "Anakin Sykwalker" in two installments of the mega-hit "Star Wars" films. (Jake Lloyd played the very young Skywalker in "Anakin's" first appearance.)
However, he's no "Skywalker" in this film, good-guy-wise. He isn't exactly "Peter Parker," either. As "Spiderman," Parker's creed is "With great power, comes great responsibility." With Rice, it's more like "get everything you can, and screw 'em!" I make the Spiderman analogy because Rice has super powers with the teleportation thing.
This is not a "superhero" movie, though, because the lead character is not a "hero," in any sense of the word. To emphasize that point, there's a scene early on in which Rice is watching a TV program about flood victims and he just nonchalantly walks away from the set, totally disinterested. That's one of the points: the kid has these powers to do some good and could care less. The problem with that, beside the obvious moral shortcomings, is that it doesn't give the viewer - you and me - anyone to really root for in the picture. He meets another teleporter and that guy is the same: a slimeball only interested in saving his own skin. That guy is "Griffin," an Irishman who, as a kid, played the lead in "Billy Elliott." The villain in the movie is "Roland," played by Samuel L. Jackson's who sports a ridiculous-looking ultra-white "do." He plays a "religious zealot" (there is no other kind in the film world) out to kill all the teleporters. He's a "paladin," as is someone else in the film, which is a surprise.
Since none of the characters were anyone you could root for, I tried to just sat back and enjoy the special-effects and the scenery, which were the positive points of the movie. We get quick tours of the world, from the Grand Canyon to Rome, and the special-effects of the teleporters "jumping" from one location to another was cool.
There was a love interest but little chemistry between David and "Millie" (Rachel Belson), a pretty but another annoying character.
So there you have it: the good and the bad. At least you've been warned.
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