Spoilers: The Movie - Conner Williams
OK, if you've seen The Breakfast Club, you've seen Spoilers: The Movie. The thing is, you can say that about a number of movie pairs, and the material dealt with is a new update of that 30 year-old film, but there are some issues. It's as if the pacing is off, like the writing and editing wasn't mature enough to understand the film. The tools are there, but they're used without the experience to understand how to turn them into accents instead of support. Those points don't actually surprise me, the director is only 17 years-old! The raw material to be one of those great directors is there, and the acting in this is surprisingly fluid for a first-time director. The acting is, overall, decent, and the shooting is well-done, and I can't fault the way the plot flows out towards the sea. I am very much looking forward to further work from Conner Williams.
Update - Franziska Brändle
This is a German short that examines technology's pervasive nature in the world today. The graphics here are incredibly well-done, beautiful, in fact, and they take over the film, becoming increasingly difficult to maneuver around in the viewing, which is EXACTLY the point of them. There's a dark message, at least to this Computer Historian, that when we attempt to get away from technology, when we are celebrating our independence from the buzzing, beeping, and bright shiny rectangles of plenty, we invariably are actually digging ourselves deeper and deeper into them. This is a phenomenally well-done short. You can find out more (In German) at http://update-der-film.de
Red All Over - John Wayne S. III
Red All Over is a fine example of what is happening in African-American family drama. This is a strong entry in that milieu and one that I enjoyed greatly. The cinematography is strong, helped by some wonderful editing and a strong sense of how to make music improve a beat in the plot or a character's development. There is a heaviness to this film, but it never bogs down. There is some fantastic acting, though at times, it seems as if an actor will get lost into the material. There are moments that the tech wasn't up to snuff, but I was impressed with the rhythm and the flow, and especially the pacing. That's a key in when separates a good family drama from a weaker one - the ability to make me want to wade through the thicker parts of the story to make it to the outcome. Red All Over did that expertly. You can find out more at https://www.facebook.com/RedAllOverFilm/
Sin and Illy Still Alive - Maria Hengge
The drug film can be a touch one for me to watch. It takes naturalistic performances, smart, and not overly slick, cinematography, and an understanding that it is as much the human using as the drug used that leads to the downfall. The cutting here is what sets this apart. It's deliberate, measured, and while that does give us occasional pause, it allows the full weight of events to pass through the characters and the viewer. The performances are very strong, and the script is even stronger. The entire film feels as if its slowly sliding into a downer, which for the subject matter is impressive. You can find out more at http://abadonproduction.com