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Ah, another film festival and another coming-of-age story set in a decaying rural community. Even as a fan of the coming-of-age tale, I was just about to wash my hands of movies like this, but then King Jack went and won me over with its strong visuals and a breakout performance from Charlie Plummer.

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There are few people in this world who could be classified as true heroes – those who selflessly help others in need without asking for anything in return, many times at the detriment to their own wellbeing. Gennadiy Mokhnenko, the subject of director Steve Hooper’s latest documentary, Almost Holy (formerly titled Crocodile Gennadiy), seems to handily fit that bill. Spanning over a decade, the film looks at Mokhnenko’s work as a pastor and the founder of the Pilgrim Republic rehabilitation center, protecting the youth of Ukraine from addiction and the streets.

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From 2007 to 2012, the county of Bridgend, Wales, had 79 reported cases of individuals committing suicide, most of whom were teenagers who left no note and chose to hang themselves in the nearby forest. Director Jeppe Rønde, whose background is in documentary filmmaking, followed the teens living there for six years, compiling their stories for this film, titled Bridgend, a fictionalized version of a very real and very strange occurrence plaguing this county.

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Scherzo Diabolico, the latest film from Adrián García Bogliano, is a twisted tale of revenge that continually subverts the viewer’s theories about where it’s going and how it’s going to end. It’s a tough film to watch and an even tougher one to write about, considering the unique narrative path it takes, but this proves to be Bogliano’s best film yet, featuring a completely insane conclusion that shocked even a horror nut like myself.

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I feel like recently we’ve been entering somewhat of a renaissance in indie horror, with new and unique films popping up all over the place that defiantly rebel against the formulaic banality to which the genre so often falls victim. Michael Thelin’s feature debut, Emelie, is a film that fits the bill, delivering a tense, unnerving thriller that takes a fresh look at the babysitter horror story.

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It’s an unfortunate thing, but some of you younger readers may only know The National Lampoon as that company that made a couple good movies a long time ago and a slew of straight-to-video garbage since then. In actuality however, The National Lampoon was one of the biggest comedy institutions of the late ’60s and ’70s and helped kickstart the careers of some of the biggest names in the world of humor.


STUNG Review

I’ve always been a sucker for the creature feature; describe a movie as “giant killer (insert literally any noun in here),” and I’ll probably be excited to check it out – the campier the better. Such is the case with director Benni Diez’s feature debut, Stung, which involves giant killer wasps. It’s, gross, violent, silly and sometimes just plain stupid but in the best kind of way. Top it off with two completely ridiculously fun performances from Clifton Collins Jr. and Lance Henriksen, and you have yourself a bloody good time.

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Director Andrew Nichol has always had a penchant for creating films that shine a light on issues happening within our current political climate. Be it the rapid advancement in genetics (Gattaca), our voyeuristic nature (The Truman Show) or the always hot-button issue of gun control (Lord of War). Even when the movies aren’t great, he always takes an interesting approach.

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MAGGIE review

Have you ever wondered what it would be like if Terrence Malick directed a lo-fi zombie movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger? Well, wonder no more because Henry Hobson’s debut, Maggie, infuses much more Malick than Romero in this unique, but flawed, take on the zombie apocalypse.

Rather than yet another survival story featuring hordes of undead, Maggie takes a more intimate, emotional approach, by focusing the story on Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character of Wade taking care of his daughter, Maggie, played by Abigail Breslin, as she slowly turns into an undead flesh-hungry creature.


Podcast: Episode 164 – Tribeca 2015 Wrap-up

This week with the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival wrapping up, Adam and Kevin discuss some highlights from this year's festival and talk about tons of movies including Tenured, Necktie Youth, Applesauce, and Virgin Mountain among others.

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Tribeca 2015: APPLESAUCE Review

That’s a question you might ask yourself early on while watching Applesauce, the latest from writer/director Onur Tukel as it serves as the jumping off point for his tried and true brand of acerbic comedy. And, if you’re familiar with Tukel’s propensity to play rather unlikeable, yet somehow appealing, characters you might ask yourself “how in the world is Tukel playing a high school teacher?” Furthermore, what class demands him to teach these kids about empathy?

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Tribeca 2015: TOTO AND HIS SISTERS Review

Romanian documentary Toto and His Sisters (Toto si surorile lui) is a great example of how fact can be far more captivating than fiction.

Writer/director Alexander Nanau takes an unflinching look on the lives of three siblings – Ana-Maria (17), Andreea Violeta (14) and Toto (10) – who must take care of themselves and each other amid an abysmal, poverty-stricken, drug-riddled environment. With absent fathers and an imprisoned mother, the trio must find ways to feed and clothe themselves, get an education and avoid becoming pulled into the treacherous grip of heroin addiction, continuously looming over them.


Tribeca 2015: Award Winners Announced

The full list of award winners from this year’s Tribeca Film Festival have been announced, Dagur Kári‘s Virgin Mountain winning Best Narrative Feature, and Camilla Nielsson‘s Democrats winning Best Documentary Feature. Virgin Mountain additionally won Best Screenplay and Best Actor for Gunnar

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Tribeca 2015: MAN UP Review

The premise of Ben Palmer’s new romantic comedy Man Up is simple: Lake Bell plays Nancy, a jaded thirty-something looking to find Mr. Right and ends up stealing another woman’s blind date, who is a man named Jack (Simon Pegg). Love ensues.

Despite this bare-bones concept, the film proves to be an entertaining little romp, mostly due to the snappy dialogue and strong performances. Sure, it follows the typical rom-com formula, almost to a T, but it has fun doing so.