Fantastic Fest - Page 3

Tim League Interview: Alamo Drafthouse Founder Previews Fantastic Fest 2013

by Britt Hayes September 18, 2013 @ 9:10 AM
Annie Ray
Fantastic Fest 2013 kicks off this week in Austin, Texas -- every year, Alamo Drafthouse founder Tim League and his selection committee choose a variety of genre films to present to movie fans and Drafthouse devotees at the festival, which takes place this year at the recently opened Lakeline location in North Austin. Fantastic Fest is the kind of festival where you'll see everything from Keanu Reeves' new martial arts film, 'Man of Tai Chi,' to independent gems like 'Detective Downs' (a movie about a private investigator with Downs Syndrome), and festival favorites like 'Escape from Tomorrow,' which was filmed guerrilla-style at Disneyland.
We had a chance to chat with Mr. League about what we can expect at this year's festival, the movie he's most excited to share with attendees, and the big events he has in store.

'Room 237' Review

by Matt Singer March 28, 2013 @ 8:06 AM
Warner Bros.
[Editor's Note: The following review contains spoilers for 'The Shining.' I assume if you're curious about a documentary about 'The Shining,' you've already seen 'The Shining.' If I'm wrong, sue me.]
The Overlook Hotel does something to people. In Stanley Kubrick's 'The Shining,' it drives caretaker Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) mad -- turning his writer's block into full-fledged, kill-your-family insanity. In Rodney Ascher's 'Room 237,' six different critics, historians and fans of Kubrick's horror classic share their own theories about -- and obsessions with -- 'The Shining.' All tell much the same story: they saw the movie once. They couldn't get it out of their minds. They watched it again and again. They couldn't stop. They developed elaborate theories to explain the film's mysteries and to uncover its hidden meanings. They were trapped in the Overlook, lost in its hedge maze, searching for some elusive truth. They still can't get out.

'Wrong' Review

by Britt Hayes March 26, 2013 @ 8:22 AM
Drafthouse Films
Quentin Dupieux, the mastermind behind last year's cult hit 'Rubber,' has returned with 'Wrong,' an absurdist follow-up in keeping with his debut. When Dolph awakens to find his beloved dog missing, it sends him on a journey that will affect the lives of a lonely pizza delivery operator, an eccentric zen master and his own landscaper. Filled with quirky characters, 'Wrong' embraces an even quirkier world that feels familiar but just out of reach -- much to its detriment.

'A Field in England' Review

by Britt Hayes February 5, 2013 @ 10:19 PM
Drafthouse Films
British director Ben Wheatley isn't content to make the same kind of film over and over again. His last two films -- 'Kill List' and 'Sightseers' -- offered different tones and delightfully sinister surprises; the only consistency is Wheatley's attraction to dark, subversive material and his ability to capture that material with a particularly keen and appreciative eye. With 'A Field in England,' Wheatley returns with yet another unexpected work: an intense, abstract, and intensely abstract trip (literally and figuratively).

'Miami Connection' Review

by Matt Singer November 1, 2012 @ 7:00 AM
Drafthouse Films
Sight and Sound Magazine: it's time for a recount in your decennial poll. 'Miami Connection' is clearly the greatest film ever made -- at least on whatever planet it came from. Hilarious yet oddly touching, goofy yet totally sincere, this is one of the most entertainingly bizarre movies I've ever seen; not so much so-bad-it's-good as so-strange-it's-brilliant. The fight scenes are memorable, the dialogue is quotable, and the rock songs about tae kwon do and ninjas are impossibly catchy. Made and released in the late 1980s and then immediately forgotten, it would have been doomed to eternal obscurity if not for the efforts of Drafthouse Films, who recognized the inspired lunacy that everyone else had somehow missed. For their efforts, they've now got an unmissable cult classic on their hands.

'Paranormal Activity 4' Review

by Matt Singer October 17, 2012 @ 8:53 PM
Paramount Pictures
The capper to the second-to-last night of Fantastic Fest 2012 was a "work-in-progress" screening of 'Paranormal Activity 4,' the latest installment of the insanely lucrative found footage horror franchise. Since the movie is unfinished, it would be unfair to write a review.
Here, instead, are some notes on the film and the screening:

'Sinister' Review

by Jordan Hoffman October 10, 2012 @ 5:30 AM
Summit Entertainment
Ethan Hawke's Ellison Oswald may have the coolest name of a film character this year, but he's having a streak of professional bad luck. His first true crime book, 'Kentucky Blood,' was a best seller than accomplished what the police couldn't do in tracking down a murderer at large. That was years ago, however, and his follow up books haven't just been duds, they've led to wrongful actions that have put the public at risk. There's little love for him among police captains, particularly of the small town where he's just schlepped his family.
If you've ever seen a horror movie, you should know what happens next. Don't ever move to a new house. That's one of the lessons of the goofy, yet effective, supernatural horror flick 'Sinister.'

'Combat Girls' Review

by Britt Hayes September 28, 2012 @ 7:30 PM
EastWest Distribution
An angry and confused young neo-Nazi on a personal journey that will change their life doesn't sound like anything we haven't seen before, except in this case the angry and confused young neo-Nazi is a woman. 'Combat Girls' is a unique coming of age story that subverts expectations and transcends beyond the crude lifestyle of its lead to find a beating, raging heart.

Fantastic Fest 2012 Capsule Reviews: 'My Amityville Horror,' 'Paris By Night' and More

by ScreenCrush Staff September 27, 2012 @ 3:02 PM
UGC/Lost Witness Pictures/HI Film Productions
Fantastic Fest 2012 in Austin, TX is coming to a close. We've already seen a ton of amazing films that will surely catch your eye as well -- 'Frankenweenie,' 'Berberian Sound Studio,' 'Room 237,' 'Lee's Adventure,' 'Miami Connection,' to name a...

'Red Dawn' Review

by Matt Singer September 27, 2012 @ 2:22 PM
I've seen plenty of airbrushed actors in my time, but I don't know if I've ever watched an airbrushed movie before the new version of 'Red Dawn.' This remake of John Milius' conservative '80 classic strips away almost all of the material's political dimensions, turning a gonzo paranoid fantasy into just another slick action movie. The original was crazy and silly, but at least it was deeply felt. The new one scrubs and smudges the quirks away, along with anything interesting or edgy. It's pretty but plastic.