And so another year’s Seattle International Film Festival comes to a close. You might be saying “Hey! You only watched like eight movies? What kind of publication is this?!” Tut tut, readers. We here at Redefine watched a boat load of movies! We just couldn’t find the time/space/wherewithal to write about every single one.
But because we love you guys, and to prove to my editor that I really did watch all those movies I said I watched, here’s 29 mini-reviews of all the films I saw that I didn’t get a chance to write about.
Air Doll – Japan
Korean actress Bae Do Na (The Host) stars as a sex doll given a soul. “Nozomi” partakes of all the wonders of human life: some sunshine, a part time job, some casual sex, and murder. But does she deserve this gift? It’s like Pinocchio, if Geppetto gave him a rubber vagina.
Amer – Belgium
Giallo is more than just the color red and extreme close ups of sweaty women. There’s supposed to be a little bit of pulp in there too! All style no substance. Second portion is exceptionally long and drawn out.
Beyond Ipanema – Brazil
Brazillian music is cool. A bunch of Americans think that. Brazillians are surprised that Americans think that. A musical movement is born! Too bad it’s already over.
Cargo – Switzerland
What do you get when you cross Sunshine and The Matrix? An irredeemable, Hindenburg-esque atrocity of a movie. When it starts you ask “where is this going?” When it ends, you answer “absolutely nowhere.” Shitty European CG doesn’t help either.
Castaway on the Moon – Korea
Korea’s take on Castaway. Worthless man is trapped on an island in the middle of Seoul. Internet-living woman sees him out of her window. Woman wants a human connection, man just want Black Bean Noodles. Duck boat suffers.
The Concert – Russia
Charming, slightly cloying movie about an over-the-hill orchestra. Also, Jews being Jews. Take your parents, they’ll think you’re the best. The woman from Inglorious Basterds is gorgeous.
Crossing Hennessy – Hong Kong
Hong Kong’s take on When Harry met Sally. Asians feel love too! Especially over dimsum. Director Ivy Ho has a way with dialogue, but when the dialogue disappears, the movie plods.
Dear Lemon Lima – USA
Charming, adorable, cute, funny and earnest. Like all the non-sci fi parts of Donnie Darko. Even half-eskimo, suburban girls just wanna have fun! Fun movie for all ages.
Disco and the Atomic War – Estonia
Low, low, low budget documentary on propaganda experiments during the Cold War. More interesting than it sounds! Estonia is used as a media lab rat by the USSR due to its proximity to Norwegian radio waves. Communists want to see what all the fuss about, Estonians ask, “Who Shot JR?”
Hipsters – Russia
It’s hard out here for a teenager in Communist Russia. Glee meets Glasnost as young good-fer-nothing Russians trade their bootstraps for wingtips, wear Technicolor clothes. I personally liked the uptight Katya more than either of the leads.
Holy Rollers – USA
It’s hard out here for a young Hasidic ecstasy dealer. Jesse Eisenberg is probably a better actor than Michael Cera. The dude from the Hangover plays the best orthodox douchebag. Based on a true story.
Howl – USA
Pros: James Franco plays Allen Ginsberg. Cons: Like watching a Wikipedia article about Howl. Useless and disappointing if you’ve read the work. Who’s bright idea was it to animate Howl? Animation looks like a Fantasia fan-project loaded with cocks.
I Killed My Mother – Canada
It’s hard out there for a French-Canadian gay teenager. Pretty good movie for a 21 year old. Moms are the worst! Aren’t they? Main protagonist still comes off as a bit entitled and bratty.
K-20: The Fiend with 20 Faces – Japan
Batman Begins with a lower budget and a mounted camera. Kids in movies are still annoying. When did Steam Punk = Nikolai Tesla fan-fiction? There’s probably going to be a sequel.
Kanikosen – Japan
What the hell is this movie about? Proletariat prisoners on a crab canning prison ship invent unions, have dreams about tossing a beach ball. Chinese caricature on a Russian crabbing ship imparts valuable wisdom. I can’t tell if it’s interesting or not.
Like You Know It All – Korea
Talky movie about a young, shitty director and the shitty things he does. There isn’t a single likable person in this movie. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing! Also, film directors are all fucked up people.
Night Catches Us – USA
Philly in the ’70s never looked so cool. Good performances by all the leads, excellent costuming. Even better music. It’s hard out here for a young black man in a post-Panthers world (no joke).
The Oath – USA
Excellent documentary about reformed Jihadists. Abu Jandal might be the greatest motivational speaker of our time. He’s so good even I considered Jihad for a second.
The Penitent Man – USA
Fuck this movie. This is the movie the douchebag in your quantum physics class tries to make. Blah blah blah blah blah wormhole blah blah blah blah die. This is the worst movie Lance Henriksen has ever been in.
Plug and Pray – Germany
Could God build a robot so smart even God couldn’t beat it? Could man? SHOULD man? Also, the Japanese are still creepy.
Protektor – Czech Republic
Czech radio ain’t what it’s cracked up to be. Leading lady Jana Plodkova has gorgeous eyes, Protektor has gorgeous art direction. But ultimately, if you’ve seen one Nazis vs Films period piece you’ve seen them all.
Queen of the Sun – USA
Bees are really important. Bees are really in danger. Beekeepers are 95% crazy people. This documentary makes it’s point about half way through, and then goes off the deep end of bee admiration. Credits song is ridiculous, on par with the Monster Squad closing theme.
Rapt – France
French Asshole rich guy is kidnapped, no one cares. Criminals, frustrated that no one cares, release him sans a finger. Asshole levels up in assholery. Too Haneke or not too Haneke?
RoboGeisha – Japan
Unlike it’s nihilistic, unfeeling brethren (Tokyo Gore Police, Meatball Machine), RoboGeisha offers a little bit of heart and soul with its pop-culture detonation and gory slapstick. Exactly like aforementioned brethren, the movie lags a bit in the middle during the exposition. Bad guys: “It hurts when you cut me!”
The Sentimental Engine Slayer – USA
Mars Volta guy makes Mars Volta-esque movie about El Paso teen life. Masochistic to make, masochistic to watch. Joyless. It’s hard out here for a sociopathic, hooker choking, tranny fucking teen.
Skeletons – United Kingdom
Finally, a sci-fi movie that actually kind of works! Two dudes go around cleaning out people’s closets (read: secrets). Probably more enjoyable then that DiCaprio “I’m in ur dreams solving ur crimes” movie. Maybe it’s because everything sounds wittier with a British accent.
Some Days Are Better Than Others – USA
It’s hard out here for a twenty-something in Portland. James Mercer does a decent job, especially with the atrocious dialogue he’s given. Me and You and Everyone who watched this movie should demand their two hours back.
Vengeance – Hong Kong
Vengeance is not blind; it just has a memory problem. Old hitman seeking revenge for his daughter’s assault hires cool looking hitmen to kill cool looking hitmen. But sometimes even he can’t tell Asians apart! Lol! Nice to watch Johnnie To movie that isn’t about Triad politics.
William S Burroughs: A Man Within – USA
Burroughs is insane, we all know that. But did you know that he was like the King Midas of Insane? Everything he touches goes nutso. Even Peter Weller is batshit crazy now.
Whew! Glad that’s out of the way. See you next year, SIFF.