FILM THREAT’S SXSW 2005 WRAP-UP

NARRATIVE FEATURES

THE BALLAD OF JACK AND ROSE ^ If it weren’t laughable enough to see a snake crawl out of a cage while a girl loses her virginity with an unexciting, unpleasant partner, the scene after, where she looks at her bloody sheet and does a happy dance, makes it hard not to laugh at out loud…

CAVITE ^ One thing that I learned from “Cavite”, is that my next vacation will not include a visit to the Philippines. “Cavite” captures a world that Hollywood films like “Beyond Borders” try to depict, but aren’t willing to get their hands dirty in order to achieve…

CHILDSTAR ^ A little too obvious and painting with overly broad brush strokes for its own good, “Childstar” nonetheless does a nice job portraying the perils of a child star’s life…

THE CHUMSCRUBBER ^ The film exists in a landscape of similar houses, adults who don’t communicate with their children and high school students who medicate themselves with antidepressant pills to become numb to the outside world…

CL.ONE ^ All an audience really cares about is what they see on-screen, and the sad fact of the matter is that what’s on-screen in “cl.One” just isn’t very good…

DROP DEAD SEXY ^ It’s pretty bad when you have a movie on your hands where nothing works, but it’s even worse when you have an insanely talented cast and even they can’t help make the whole mess bearable…

FOUR EYED MONSTERS ^ Apathy, technology, paranoia, disease and medication. It’s a surprise that anyone truly falls in love anymore…

THE HEART IS DECEITFUL ABOVE ALL THINGS ^ While many have tried to tackle the idea that “growing up is hell” few have been as daring, effective or brutal as Asia Argento’s second feature film…

HIGH SCHOOL RECORD ^ “High School Record” has a lot of good intentions, but you’ll be better off leaving your uncomfortable teen years in the past rather than trying to revisit them here.

A HOLE IN MY HEART ^ “A Hole in My Heart” is a cinematic challenge that eats slowly at the soul but never insults the audience or its characters…

HOOLIGANS ^ “Hooligans” is a great film because of it’s realism and the ability to show viewers a world that exists even today, but not everyone knows about. Even though violence is wrong and it just perpetuates more violence, it sure is fun to watch…

JOSH JARMAN ^ The Australian romantic comedy “Josh Jarman” is one of those mood enhancer movies. It’s so light and fluffy and just so damn happy-go-lucky that if you’re in a good mood, “Josh Jarman” will boost you into a great mood and may even keep you there for most of the day, but if you’re in a bad mood…

KISSING ON THE MOUTH ^ This is not only an intelligent and honest film, it’s creative and fairly groundbreaking…

KUNG FU HUSTLE ^ “Kung Fu Hustle” is something you rarely encounter in theaters: a genuinely original comedy. Although designed to lampoon the excesses of the martial arts movie, the film is so rich with inventive sight gags and so deep in the scope of its action sequences that it goes far beyond the restrictive limits of mere parody…

LAYER CAKE ^ “Layer Cake” is by no means a “bad” film. In fact, there’s some great dialogue and some really intriguing scenes. Yet as a whole, it just seems like we’ve seen it all before…

LILA SAYS ^ Let the steam begin as Ziad Doueiri’s “Lila Says” creates an incredible sexual tension between two characters that’s bound to press out the wrinkles in your pants as this thoroughly engaging, if tragic, love story unfolds like a psychological striptease…

MAX AND GRACE ^ Equal parts “Garden State” meets “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” director Michael Parness’ ridiculous-in-a-good-way road trip from hell isn’t exactly your typical romantic comedy…

MUTUAL APPRECIATION ^ Partially scripted and largely improvised, the cast of “Mutual Appreciation” brings such authenticity to the, dare I say, “quirky” relationships between these characters that you’ll no doubt recall frighteningly similar conversations between yourself and your friends…

OLD BOY ^ How come that lately every dull movie is called a meditation on something? There’s no meditation here, and there’s no need for it, as there is no subtext, no psychological depth, no philosophical insight…

PALINDROMES ^ Yep, once again the ugly underbelly of American society is exposed in ways so honest and brutal that your only method of defense is to just laugh…that is when you’re not frozen with shock or squirming out of your seat. Yep, time has come for another Todd Solondz movie…

THE PUFFY CHAIR ^ “The Puffy Chair” combines great original comedy and solid acting to make a fun movie…

REEKER ^ Horror movies such as this one are a lot like rock concerts, so I feel they should start like one. “Reeker” does this in such a big way that it’s like AC/DC taking the stage and ripping right into “Highway to Hell”…

THE ROOST ^ “The Roost” is geared to make your Halloween nights all the more creepier…

SHOOTING LIVIEN ^ Filled with self-important imagery, and half-baked attempts at symbolism, neither of which pay off much or even make sense most of the time, director Rebecca Cook’s drab and dull attempt to romanticize the troubled life of this haunted rocker is a disappointing exercize in pointless melodrama…

SOUTHERN BELLES ^ “Southern Belles” is, to use the kind of cliché one might expect to find in this film, about as subtle as a heart attack…

STRAIGHT LINE ^ “Straight Line” follows anything but a straight line in its narrative structure, jumping back and forth between three distinctive timelines and using distinctive visual styles for each…

THUNDERSTRUCK ^ Five friends – all fantastic fans of rockers AC/DC – make a pact with each other that if any one of them should die – they’ll bury them next to their favourite band’s late lead singer, Bon Scott…

WATERBORNE ^ Making a low-budget film about a major disaster hitting Los Angeles takes some courage. Making it a good movie takes some talent. “Waterborne,” the feature debut of writer/director Ben Rekhi shows he has both…

Get the Documentary Features in part three of FILM THREAT’S SXSW 2005 WRAP-UP>>>




Posted on March 22, 2005 in Festivals by
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