Film Festival

Full SHOWBUZZDAILY Virtual Sundance Reviews

Posted February 3, 2021 by Mitch Salem

This may be heresy, but the virtual Sundance Film Festival went so smoothly that if they offered it as an option in a hopefully pandemic-free 2022, I’d seriously consider passing up the freezing weather and the waits for delayed, packed shuttle buses to stay at home.  Sure, I’d miss the communal experience, but on the […]

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Film Festival

SHOWBUZZDAILY Virtual Sundance Reviews: “On the Count of Three” & “Ma Belle, My Beauty”

Posted February 3, 2021 by Mitch Salem

  ON THE COUNT OF THREE:  There was a well-deserved Sundance screenwriting prize for Ari Katcher and Ryan Welch’s script for Jerrod Carmichael’s big-screen directing debut, which threads an almost impossible needle as a comedy about suicidal depression.  (In an unintentional way, the film is a companion piece to the festival’s How It Ends, also […]

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Film Festival

SHOWBUZZDAILY Virtual Sundance Reviews: “Mayday” and “Prisoners Of the Ghostland”

Posted February 2, 2021 by Mitch Salem

  MAYDAY:  The fantasy whatzit is a Sundance staple, and Mayday fits into that category.  (Paradise Hills was a recent example from a past festival.)  Ana (Grace Van Patten), short for Anastasia, is an ignored and abused waitress who finds herself swimming through a portal to what turns out to be an otherwise deserted island […]

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Film Festival

SHOWBUZZDAILY Virtual Sundance Reviews: “The World To Come” & “Jockey”

Posted February 2, 2021 by Mitch Salem

  THE WORLD TO COME (Bleecker Street – March 2):  Although the story is set in 1856, this is 2021, so it’s not hard to see where Mona Fastvold’s The World To Come is heading.  Ron Hansen and Jim Shepard’s script begins in the dead of winter, in the wilderness that was upstate New York […]

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Film Festival

SHOWBUZZDAILY Virtual Sundance Review: “Judas and the Black Messiah”

Posted February 1, 2021 by Mitch Salem

  JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH (Warners/HBO Max – February 12):  The title refers to the FBI informant Bill O’Neal (played here by LaKeith Stanfield) and the Illinois Black Panthers leader Fred Hampton (Daniel Kaluuya).  Although Hampton was only 21 years old, he was so charismatic and successful–he had put together a local coalition that […]

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Film Festival

SHOWBUZZDAILY Virtual Sundance Reviews: “Eight For Silver” & “The Sparks Brothers”

Posted February 1, 2021 by Mitch Salem

  EIGHT FOR SILVER:  Sean Ellis’s 19th century werewolf movie takes itself very seriously.  Ellis has extensively revised the usual mythology of the genre:  the full moon doesn’t figure into things, the werewolf curse dates back to biblical times and relates to a set of silver teeth, there’s a political dimension to the story, and […]

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Film Festival

SHOWBUZZDAILY Virtual Sundance Reviews: “First Date” & “Pleasure”

Posted January 31, 2021 by Mitch Salem

  FIRST DATE:  Your regard for First Date is likely to directly relate to your nostalgia for the low-rent action comedies and Tarantino imitations of the 1990s and 2000s.  Those comedies were marked by idiot plots that piled on coincidences to justify rampant bloodshed, while no pseudo-Tarantino script would be complete without garrulous gangsters monologuing […]

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Film Festival

SHOWBUZZDAILY Virtual Sundance Reviews: “Land,” “Together Together” & “Marvelous and the Black Hole”

Posted January 31, 2021 by Mitch Salem

  MARVELOUS AND THE BLACK HOLE:  Goodhearted YA comfort food.  Kate Tsang’s feature debut is about 13-year old Sammy (Miya Cech), who has become surly and rebellious toward her father Angus (Leonardo Nam) and sister Patricia (Kannon Omachi) since the death of her mother.  Things become even worse when potential stepmother Marianne (Paulina Lule) enters […]

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