WASTED- The less I think about it the less I like it look at the waste of food in the world. Its flashy, an beautiful to look at but they don't really get too deep into things.
ANIMATED SHORTS CURATED BY WHOOPI G- The films all look good but half of the films are disposable. SUMMER CAMP ISLAND while wonderfully surreal an funny doesn't end, it stops. Clearly CArtoon Network has bigger plans for it. ODD IS AN EGG, about a boy with an egg shell head is charming but just misses being great, SECOND TO NONE is a funny black as night comedy about a brother trying to kill his sibling. It good but until the denouncement you know where its going. The gem here is DEAR BASKETBALL which had me in tears all 3 times I saw it (it was the subject of the Glen Keane Kobe Bryant Talk.
THE LAST ANIMALS- Is a very good doc on the death of rhinos and elephants. While preachy and uneven in spots its one of the best docs on the subject of saving animals transceding most similar films. (Ariela is going to do a full review soon).
LITERALLY BEFORE AARON - funny but often painful to watch film of a guy going to his ex's wedding.Its painful to the point of just being sad about what he does to himself (Ariela will have a review shortly)
AWAKE: A DREAM FOR STANDING ROCK- first two parts(films really) of this look at what happened at Standing Rock are just awful- the dreamy first film cleared much of the audience. The second is unfocused- However the third part is quite good as is the film's coda both of which should be seen simply as shorts. A a feature its a painful slog to get to the the good stuff. (No further review is coming)
The Kobe Bryant/ Glen Keane talk - was excellent- and all they really talked about was the short DEAR BASKETBALL which they ran twice - and as a result it made me cry 3 times in one day (A full report and a pictures post are coming)
ROCK AND ROLL - very funny farce that is damn close to tragedy... and is really strange. This story of the lengths one man will go to prove he is "rock and roll" has some great performances and some big laughs but the second half split audiences which has some people people really hating the second part despite laughing loudly. (Ariella will be reviewing this)
FRANK SERPICO is a very good look at Serpico and his life as told by the man. It was great to have him walking through his old haunts. This is going to play better if you don't know his whole story. Not quite the best of the fest one programmer told me but really good.
GET ME ROGER STONE- is a good look at the political fixer in the words of himself and others. A solid film for two thirds of its running time it kin of sputters in the final run to the end because Stone seems to have run ot of secrets or interesting things to say an do. (A longer review is coming)
ACORN AND THE FIRESTORM- is good look at the national community group that was brought down by You Tube videos that allegedly showed wrong doing. A good look at the organization and it's fall from grace that should have been great. Blame it on weak editing which doesn't tell the story compellingly enough. The downfall story seems much to jumbled to allow the film to soar.
BOMBSHELL-Excellent biography of Hedy Lamar and her need to invent. A great American Masters documentary that will bring her the fame she deserves. One of the best of the fest (A longer review is coming)
DOG YEARS- A good moving film of a once great star who is given a life time achievement award from a film festival and is sent spiraling back through his life. Burt Reynolds gives one hell of a performance. Heading in unexpected (and expected) directions the film is it's own unique thing and despite not wanting to the film will probably bring a tear to your eye. I have a great deal to say about the film, so a review is coming, but for right now know its a good film with great moments but not the best of the fest some friends had labeled it.
Look for the longer reviews soon.
(I should point out that Ariella will have a review of PERMISSION and AARDVARK soon.)