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Showing posts from October, 2016

"Attack of the Killer Donuts" Review - Rome International Film Festival (***)

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Justin Ray and C. Thomas Howell star in “Attack of the Killer Donuts.” Grab a beer and few friends because “Attack of the Killer Donuts” is all kinds of bizarre fun. This low-budget horror/comedy has all of the trappings of a late night, nothing-else-to-watch good time and what it lacks in actual scares it makes up for in more than a couple of laugh-out-loud scenes. A chemical mix-up involving a mad scientist (Michael Swan) and a donut shop causes several pastries to come to life in the form of flesh eating, growling little monsters. The donuts—who are mostly animated (a few times we’re blessed with actual prosthetic donuts and they are hilarious)—reek havoc around suburban Los Angeles. Our leads, Johnny and Michelle (played by Justin Ray and Kayla Compton) are at the center of the plot but it’s the supporting characters that help to offer up most of the laughs. There’s even a goofy cop duo! Unfortunately, there is the lack of actual scares. It’s clear that scaring people wasn’t first

"Cruiser" Review - Rome International Film Festival (**)

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Lori Beth Sikes and Shuler Hensley star in “Cruiser.” The found-footage horror film “Cruiser” explores a lot in its 80 mins—human suffering, predestination, evil and the perverse power of God. Sam Hensley Jr. wrote the film that stars his Tony Award-winning brother Shuler. The film starts as most any horror film, with an average guy living an average day. Rookie Officer Chip Tate’s cop car has just been outfitted with several cameras and he begins what appears to be a regular day on day on the job. Every day is typical, until it becomes the day you die. A routine traffic stop introduces our nameless villain. When Officer Tate (Hayes Mercure) asks his name, he merely replies that it doesn’t matter. Within moments our Cruiser murders Officer Tate and assumes his identity; a kidnapping and a series of traffic stop murders follow. The movie is slow to start, but it grew on the audience to a point. The Cruiser is a compelling character. He stops Tara Kirkland (Lori Beth Sikes), who assumes

Pablo Larraín's "Jackie" to Open Up Savannah Film Festival

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Natalie Portman stars in “Jackie.” Pablo Larraín’s highly-buzzed Jackie Kennedy Onassis biopic, “Jackie,” is slated to open the 19th annual Savannah Film Festival on Saturday, October 20, 2016. “Jackie” recently had its world premiere at TIFF, where it was bought by Fox Searchlight. The arthouse distributor is set to provide the film with a robust awards campaign, with Natalie Portman’s lead performance sure to receive the most attention. In addition to Portman, the film also features Peter Sarsgaard, Greta Gerwig, Billy Crudup, Beth Grant and John Hurt. The screenplay was written by Noah Oppenheim. Pablo Larraín is also keeping busy with a second film, “Neruda,” also seeing a release and awards push this winter.

Security in "Insecure:" Issa Rae Set for World Domination

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BronzeLens Artistic Director Deidre McDonald and “Insecure” creator and star Issa Rae. On Friday, August 26, a crowd gathered in Atlanta’s Georgia Pacific Auditorium for the Bronze Lens Film Festival’s First Glance Friday, awaiting the much anticipated HBO series “Insecure” from star-on-the-rise Issa Rae. The show opens with iconic LA spots and the extremely appropriate “Alright” by Kendrick Lamar. As the show played, it was quite evident that Issa Rae and “Insecure” will be ‘Alright.’ The show was funny, but it was more than just a series of one-liner laughs. “Insecure” is really real. The show centers around the ‘aggressively-passive’ Issa and her best friend Molly, who are navigating their late 20s in Los Angeles. Faced with the issues of the unmarried, educated black female, Issa and Molly entertain with their quick wit and unbridled truth. “As a black woman, the more educated you are, the less likely you are to get married.”  “Insecure” is reminiscent of Rae’s wildly successful w

The Problem with—and Promise of—Donald Glover's "Atlanta"

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Editor’s note: It is my privilege today to introduce you to Christina Nicole, our newest Reel Georgia team member. I’d safely describe Christina as a junkie—a film festival junkie—and a finely tuned barometer of what’s good. She’s got excellent taste, a fantastic demeanor and a clarion way with words. -CM “Atlanta” is not a comedy, but it is still good.   I have to shoot straight from the hip with this review. I didn’t like “Atlanta” the way I wanted I to. To quote “Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit,” “It was cool for what it was, but it wasn’t all that.” I am a Donald Glover fan. I like Childish Gambino, too, but I didn’t like the show. “Atlanta” is subtle. It is almost too subtle. You have to pay attention to catch all the political and topical references. I appreciated the intellect displayed in the writing, but the show as a whole fell short for me. The show is marketed as a comedy, but it wasn’t very funny. I barely chuckled. There don’t have to be back-to-back jokes or gimmicks to

"My Blind Brother" Review (***½)

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Jenny Slate, Adam Scott and Nick Kroll in “My Blind Brother.” Adam Scott, Nick Kroll and Jenny Slate star in this brutally honest comedy about disability. “My Blind Brother” dives head first into the subject and puts a fresh spin on the ‘slacker comedy.’ Adam Scott plays Robbie. He’s a star athlete and a local icon whose blindness only pushes him to do better. His brother Bill, on the other hand, is not quite as motivated. We get everything we need to know from our two leads in the opening scene, where we see Robbie—rocking sun glasses and a tracksuit—running along side his sweat-drenched little brother, Bill. The two are strapped together as Bill guides Robbie to the finish line. The surrounding crowd goes wild as they celebrate Robbie and completely ignore Bill as he collapses in an effort to catch his breath. Though the two brothers’ love for each other is obvious, Robbie’s endless determination is draining Bill. Kroll plays the constantly annoyed Bill perfectly and Adam Scott’s Rob

"The Light Between Oceans" Review (***)

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Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander star in “The Light Between Oceans.” Derek Cianfrance has brought us two of the most heartbreaking films in recent memory with “Blue Valentine” and “The Place Beyond the Pines.” The writer/director’s previous works have proven him to be an auteur with an eye for realism and a nag for telling sprawling stories about complicated people in complicated situations. And while his latest, “The Light Between Oceans,” seems to be right in his wheelhouse, the film is never quite able to be much more than a gorgeous oil painting filled with award-worthy performances. Based on the best-selling novel of the same name, “The Light Between Oceans” begins by introducing us to Tom (Michael Fassbender), a hardened and all-together numb war vet who has come back to Australia in search of peace and quiet. Tom, who resides on the coast and works the lighthouse, soon meets the adorable and impossibly hopeful Isabelle, played by Alicia Vikander. Tom and Isabelle quickly f