B+ Comedy thriller Written by Angela Cheng and Sasie Sealy Directed by Sasie Sealy It's rare for a comedy to turn into a thriller - especially a thriller that forces you to feel the losses that result from violence. And yet, writer/director Sasie Sealy manages that task with surprising flare. But she couldn't have done … Continue reading Crime and comedy in Lucky Grandma
As December approaches, the autumn glut of Bay Area film festivals falls to few and finally none. But the last film festival of the year is one of the strangest. The Another Hole in the Head Film Festival isn't like any other. The movies it screens are rarely about poverty, divorce, or existential angst. Characters … Continue reading Another Hole in the Head Film Festival
C+ Crime thriller Written & directed by Denys Arcand The movie gets off to a great start. Pierre-Paul (Alexandre Landry) explains to his soon-be-ex why, with a PhD in Philosophy, he's driving a delivery truck. He argues that dumb people do better in capitalism than smart people. His points and his examples (yes, Trump is one … Continue reading The American Empire falls with a dull thud
A Drama/Thriller Written by Wolfgang Fischer and Ika Künzel Directed by Wolfgang Fischer You can find a lot of movies about a vacation gone wrong, where the protagonist (or protagonists) must fight for their lives and the lives of those they love. But Wolfgang Fischer does something much more interesting in Styx. Aside from one … Continue reading Styx: How many can you save?
B+ Crime thriller Written by Fred Berger, Phil Hay, & Matt Manfredi Directed by Karyn Kusama Crime and grime penetrate Los Angeles in this very dark noir. The deeply dense plot works mostly as a structure for presenting atmosphere and character. But then, in the last few minutes, that plot suddenly becomes clear and everything … Continue reading Destroyer: Nicole Kidman as one tough dame
The last weeks of the year become a film festival desert in the Bay Area. 2018's last fest, Another Hole in the Head, closed December 12. But with the new year come new festivals. At least two will open in January. For Your Consideration Rafael, January 4 - 10 All sorts of rules control what … Continue reading Foreign Films & Crime-Soaked Movies: The first film festivals of 2019
Note: I updated this article on January 9. Sorry, but I have been asked to take down this review. When I viewed Destroyer in a press screening months ago, I was told that the film would open on Christmas day. So I set up my review to go live on December 20. I've just discovered Weeks later, … Continue reading Destroyer: Nicole Kidman as one tough dame