Logan Lucky – Short Review

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Once asked why he resumed his directing career, legendary filmmaker Ingmar Bergman said it was because he was cured. Apparently, Steven Soderbergh is not. After a short hiatus he hits back the big screen with Logan Lucky, a foray into familiar territory, the heist movie, a genre he tried to redefine (pretty successfully), as far back as in 1995’s The Underneath (which was more of a take on the Brink’s job gone wrong type), also in Out of Sight and of course the Ocean’s Eleven franchise.

Logan Lucky stars Channing Tatum and Adam Driver, as the Logan brothers, trying to pull off a smooth robbery during a NASCAR race. Supporting cast includes Daniel Craig, who’s main purpose seems to be Daniel Craig in an unusual role, and Continue reading

Fantasia 2017: Bad Genius (Thailand – 2017)

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Nattawut Poonpiriya’s Bad Genius is a fun ride. The Buzz around the film is so good, the Fantasia Film Fest team added a screening.

A Math exam cheating story shot as a thriller? Yes!

In Bad genius Lynn is a gifted Math student who comes from humble background. In exchange of money, she helps a fellow student, from a wealthier family, by finding a (suspenseful) way to share with her the results to a difficult test. What is a sole effort eventually becomes a more elaborate scam involving an exam-cheating syndicate. Continue reading

Fantasia 2017: Atomic Blonde (USA, 2017)

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David Leitch’s Atomic Blonde opened to a full house at its Canadian premiere (at the Fantasia Festival). Anticipation was high for this supercharged slugfest. Expecting action? It’s here. Hoping for plot twists? Satisfactory. Is it effective overall? Open to interpretation.

Charlize Theron is beautiful, her co-star James McAvoy is sexy with intensity, and careful attention was given to the sets. At home, Theron is always bathed in blue light. Location shots depict Berlin’s quaint little streets like a tourist pamphlet. 80’s music lovers will be happy with the soundtrack. However, the alignment between song selection and the corresponding action may either be a roaring success, or completely cheesy. It’s hard to tell if the film is being serious or if Continue reading

Fantasia 2017 : Ron Goossens, Low Budget Stuntman (Netherlands)

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The humor is straight forward and pretty vulgar in Ron Goossens, Low Budget Stuntman. It works several times and fails at others. This silly comedy is directed by Dutch duet Steffen Haars & Flip Van der Kuil.

After a video of a failed stunt (he was dead drunk) becomes viral, Ron uses his new found celebrity to become a canon fodder on film sets, while trying to seduce a movie celebrity to win a bet he made with his girlfriend.

Ron Goossens, Low Budget Stuntman is a no-brainer deprived of any political correctness (there is some amusing drunk driving and failed stunts) on a Continue reading

Fantasia 2017: November (Estonia – 2017)

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A compelling film from Estonia is coming at Fantasia (and it will be released in America this Fall through Oscilloscope). Rainer Sarnet’s November (based on the celebrated novel by fellow countryman Andrus Kivirähk), is set in 19th century Estonia.

Torn between christian faith and pagan rituals, a group of villagers, in order to survive, constantly cheat their masters, Jesus, the Devil and themselves, making various agreements toward whatever is the more convenient at the right place and the right time. In their survival schemes they get the help from magical servants called Kratts.

One of the most fascinating thing about November (as a North American viewer) is Continue reading