Greetings programs and welcome to this week’s episode of the Awesome Friday Podcast. Simon is back after his week off and we are talking about two new streaming releases. First up is the new Netflix Sci-Fi thriller Spiderhead, starring Chris Hemsworth, Miles Teller, and Jurnee Smollett. Following that we have Sundance darling Cha Cha Real Smooth, the sophomore effort from writer, director, and star Cooper Raiff and co-starring Dakota Johnson, now released on AppleTV+.
There are streaming links powered by JustWatch a little further down this page, and the episode should be live wherever you listen to podcasts (including on this page) now.
Continue reading “Podcast: Spiderhead & Cha Cha Real Smooth”
The best comedies are the ones with depth. The ones that layer together stories and satire and lay bare what the filmmakers feel about whatever subject they are tackling. Official Competition is one of these films.
The film opens in the wake of a billionaire’s birthday party, a man looking back on his 80 years and wondering about his legacy. What can he do to ensure he’s remembered? An idea comes to him: a film; A great film. A film directed by and starring the greatest talent available and drawing on a beloved novel as its source. Or maybe a bridge. A bridge would be good. But no, a film is the way to go, and he impulsively buys the rights to a noble prize-winning book, hires an award-winning art-house director, and the two greatest actors of this generation. Of course, when I say he does it impulsively, I mean he has his assistant do it.
Continue reading “VIFF ’21 Review: ‘Official Competition’ is a savvy, hilarious satire”
He friends, I made a thing. I made a list of upcoming film festivals for my own reference, and I figured that others might find it useful, too. I know there are ways to find this info, but I like having it all in one big list, and I figure I can’t be the only one.
This list is by no means exhaustive; it’s just the festivals that are presently on my radar. If you were wondering: yes, there are way too many for anyone to attend them all. If you know of a festival that I don’t have here, please feel free to shoot me an email or @ me on Twitter.
The list is presented in chronological order. Expected dates are present whenever they’re not available, and those dates are my guesses. I will do my best to keep this up to date on a monthly-ish basis.
You can find the list here. I hope you find it useful.
It’s never fair when a new film is compared to a classic, but that’s what I am going to do with False Positive. While this film cribs from many others, it is perhaps most obviously an homage to Rosemary’s Baby. They’re both films in which a young woman gets pregnant but not all is what it seems, and the array of slightly odd characters surrounding her life are clearly not telling her the whole truth.
Continue reading “Tribeca 2021 Review: ‘False Positive’ is a suitably creepy thriller with a scene stealing performance from Pierce Brosnan”
Celebrity deaths are strange. Many people feel connected to celebrities for many reasons, and each one affects us differently. Anthony Bourdain affected a great many people. The fast-talking bad boy of the culinary world, the man who spent 200 plus days per year travelling to show us the world we lived in, did not seem the type to take his own life. Yet, he did, and we are left with no answers.
Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain does not promise you those answers, as they are unknowable. What it does do is examine the life of a man who took everything he did as far as he could take it. A man whose propensity for speaking fast and frankly about his whole life, demons and all, made him an icon.
Continue reading “Tribeca 2021 Review: ‘Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain’ investigates the life and death of an icon”
“You finished first. Why’d you take it twice?”
This simple question asked of –but not answered by– the main character of The Novice might tell you all you need to know about her. In the films opening scenes, she is sitting at a desk, chewed up pencil in hand, finishing a test for the second time because she is cannot let herself be anything other than the best at what she does. Make no mistake, dear reader, this is not a story of admirable ambition but rather a story of obsession, the lengths one will go to because of it, and the effect one might have on those around them.
Continue reading “Tribeca 2021 Review: ‘The Novice’ is a searing portrait of obsession”
The cinema of the pandemic is taking many forms, and I think the long term effect on media is going to be an interesting one to pay attention to. The pandemic is going to touch every genre and it appears the next entry is the romantic comedy.
Continue reading “Tribeca 2021 Review: ‘7 Days’ is a sweet, pandemic inspired rom-com”
There are few things more frustrating than getting yourself hyped up for something and then not connecting with it. It’s a perfectly human thing to do; we love the things we love, and when something looks like a thing we might love, it’s natural to get excited about it. This is the case with myself and Werewolves Within, a movie based on a game where you sit in a room with a bunch of people and one of them is a werewolf. This premise, the single location mystery, is exactly my jam.
Now, the opening paragraph of this review might lead you to think that the movie is bad and let me stress right now that it isn’t. It has a lot going for it, including two fun performances and some excellent direction, and a few genuine laughs, but not enough for me to love it. In fact, barely enough for me to like it.
Continue reading “Tribeca 2021 Review: ‘Werewolves Within’ is fine. It’s fine. It’s totally fine, team.”
Science Fiction is the perfect conduit for social commentary. From Star Trek to Get Out, placing a theme within heightened circumstances is a good way to make it more relatable and universal and easier to reach a wider audience. No Running, the directorial debut from Delmar Washington, sets its sights on this goal. While its aim is high, it doesn’t quite hit the mark.
Continue reading “Tribeca 2021 Review: ‘No Running’ aims high but misses the mark”
Two young people in a convenience store. He asks Siri about the caloric difference between two snacks. She chimes in that he could just read the bags. Realizing that they’ve met before, he asks her out, but she won’t say yes until after the results of the pregnancy test she’s buying. This is the meet-cute in Mark, Mary, & Some Other People, and it’s adorable in its own way.
A year later, madly in love and married, one of them brings up the idea of trying ethical non-monogamy. Hilarity and headache ensue. Needless to say, this isn’t exactly your traditional romantic comedy, but it is a (mostly) fun one.
Continue reading “Tribeca 2021 Review: ‘Mark, Mary & Some Other People’ is all about sharing and caring”
We live in a world of celebrity chefs. A world in which there are entire television channels and a subgenre of documentary dedicated to chefs and food. There were chefs on TV before all this began, but one chef incited the world of food celebrity: Wolfgang Puck.
If you’re a fan of food television, there isn’t a name more synonymous with it than Puck. If you’re going to make a documentary about the first real celebrity chef, then you definitely want the team who made Jiro Dreams of Sushi and Chef’s Table to make it.
Continue reading “Tribeca 2021 Review: ‘Wolfgang’ chronicles the life of the first celebrity chef”
There is a scene early on in Poser in which Lennon (Sylvie Mix) and Bobbi (Bobbi Kitten) play the mirror game. As Bobbi moves, Lennon mirrors that movement until after a few minutes, Bobbi explains, Lennon’s movements will begin to inform her own. Then, after a few moments more, they won’t be able to tell who is mirroring who.
This scene is a condensed version of Poser, a story in which a young woman with difficulties interacting with others ingratiates herself in the Columbus, Ohio indie music scene by emulating the people she meets. If you’re picking up Single White Female vibes you’re not exactly on the wrong track.
Continue reading “Tribeca 2021 Review: ‘Poser’ is a captivating thriller that investigates the art of copying”
Good news, everyone! This year I’ll be covering the Tribeca Film Festival! For those of you who don’t know, Tribeca is an annual festival held in New York City. It was founded in 2002 by Robert De Niro, producer Jane Rosenthal, and philanthropist Craig Hatkoff and has become one of the more important festivals on the circuit. Needless to say, I am both grateful and excited to be covering it this year!
To kick things off, I joined my friend Thomas on the ForReel Crew & Cameos podcast, along with Taylors Beaumont and Baker from ForReel and Drink In The Movies, respectively, to talk about which films we are most looking forward to. The video for this discussion is about 50 minutes long, and you can find links below to all the participants.
Continue reading “Tribeca 2021: Most Anticipated Films with Thomas & Taylor from ForReel, Taylor from Drink In The Movies”
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