And Tribeca Film Festival 2014 is a wrap! While we put together our interview footage and write up some full reviews, let’s dive back into our mini reviews so you’ll know what movies to watch for as they nab distribution.
Preservation – directed by Christopher Denham (USA)
A disgruntled vet, his work-obsessed brother and his somewhat timid wife trek into an off limits nature preserve to live off the land, hunt with their dog… and fight for their lives!! And that’s pretty much the whole plot.
The film takes a great deal of time at the front end setting up every little thing that unfolds in the back end but fails to flesh out likable characters you’ll not want to see killed or present villains that elicit any emotion from the viewer whatsoever. Offering nothing new to a sub-genre that has plenty of titles to choose from, Preservation should be left out to rot.
“The Amazing” Randi aspired to be a magician rivaling Harry Houdini himself and accomplished just that before his life took a very different turn. Using his considerable gifts of deception and showmanship to reveal those who would deceive maliciously, James Randi becomes a name that strikes terror into the hearts of faith healers, possessed prophets and just about anyone claiming their “psychic powers” make them special enough to free you from your hard earned cash.
This is Randi’s story, from escape artist to high profile debunker, told with a startling level of honesty toward his own profession and life while covering his highly entertaining exploits. It’s an incredibly sweet tale you won’t soon forget.
I’ll admit to going into this film with very low expectations, having strongly disliked Grave Encounters. Extraterrestrial introduced me to a foursome of young, would-be partiers with very little chemistry among them, flanked by superior actors who aren’t given much to do. What held my attention for the duration were some killer alien abduction/space ship/alien creature effects which seemed to perform waaaaaay beyond the film’s ability to support them. You’ve got these pretty fantastic visuals as backdrop to a hackneyed message that “love conquers all,” a theme that is soon after pissed all over by the angry filmmakers, who seem hell-bent on proving why they call themselves “The Vicious Brothers.” In truth, there is very little that is vicious in this film… or scary… or even surprising, but those spaceships sure were pretty!
Our favorite tortured Greyjoy (Alfie Allen) from “Game of Thrones” dons the apathetic, poorly socialized, borderline monstrous demeanor of a highly active serial killer who could quite literally get away with murder amid the faux creeps wandering the streets on Halloween night. Though a bit one note (it IS a short so we can forgive this), The Body proves to be packed with charm, dark wit and some rather sudden ultra violence that will leave any horror superfan smiling from ear to ear.
Freaky… Horrific… Wildly Imaginative. One Please offers a glimpse into an almost overly normal town, seemingly ripped from a Norman Rockwell painting, where a child’s treat is paid for in a most ghastly currency. The stark contrast between the retro feel and bloody happenings is delightfully pleasing and highly palatable for fans of dark fairy tales. Seek this one out!
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