Category Archives: Film Festival Coverage

IFF2020: Movie Review – Climate of the Hunter (2019)

Climate of the Hunter (2019)

  • Director: Mickey Reece
  • Screenwriters: Mickey Reece, John Selvidge
  • Producer: Jacob Snovel
  • Cast: Mary Buss, Ginger Gilmartin, Ben Hall, Laurie Cummings

Premise: Two sisters, Alma and Elizabeth, are enjoying a stay at their own family cabin, eagerly anticipating the arrival of a man from their past, Wesley. It is rumored that Wesley’s wife, Genevieve, has ended up incapacitated in a mental institution, rendering Wesley, to some extent, a new bachelor. Through the time spent together, Alma begins to suspect Wesley may be a vampire, though she also suffers from mental health issues. Elizabeth is aware of Alma’s deteriorating condition but has her own demons to face in this gothic, psychological drama.

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IFF2020: Movie Review – Hum (2020)

HUM (2020)

  • Director: Henry Johnston
  • Screenwriter: Henry Johnston
  • Producer: Caleb Haydock
  • Cast: Tyler Ross, Sonaz Izadi, Andrew Oliveri, Bradley Grant Smith, Sierra Miller, Peter DeFaria
  • Cinematographer: Allen Chodakowski

Premise: Two years ago, a Chest appeared in the woods. It could not be moved. It could not be opened. Its contents were unknown. The Dead began to appear within the week. Today, David Parker, a police trainee, is tasked with guarding the Chest. For the first time since its arrival, the Chest has opened.

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IFF2020: Movie Review – The Last Christmas Party (2020)

The Last Christmas Party (2020)

  • Director: Julian Santos
  • Screenwriters: Kevin Nittolo, Julian Santos
  • Producers: Troy Enoka, Scottie Schwefel
  • Cast: Samantha Brooks, Anna Clare Kerr, Lainey Woo, James Williams, Martin Drop, Gabriel Armentano

Premise: THE LAST CHRISTMAS PARTY is a bittersweet holiday movie about the highs and lows of romance in college. The movie is told in nonlinear order and replays the same party from the perspective of three different couples. With its ensemble of characters, the movie paints a naturalistic depiction of young people in New York City, free from the usual nostalgia and cliches.

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The Obsessive Viewer Podcast – Ep 302 – Knives Out – HIFF2019 Final Red Carpet Recordings: Greener Grass, Samir, House of Champions, International Falls, Last Year at the Crossing, The Garden Left Behind, and Moonlight Sonata (Featuring: Kyrsten Lyster)

RIGHT CLICK IMAGE, SAVE LINK AS TO DOWNLOAD THE EPISODE…

OV302 – Knives Out – HIFF2019 Final Red Carpet Recordings: Greener Grass, Samir, House of Champions, International Falls, Last Year at the Crossing, The Garden Left Behind, and Moonlight Sonata (Featuring: Kyrsten Lyster)

Happy Thanksgiving (to those of you in the US)! In this special double parking lot special episode, Kyrsten and I have a laid-back non-spoiler review of Knives Out and then Tiny and I go into a spoiler review of the film! Then, to close out the episode, we have the remaining Red Carpet recordings from last month’s Heartland International Film Festival!

This week’s stinger comes from our Patreon-exclusive recording: 054 – OV B-Roll – “What is Pepperoni?!” – Family Guy, Movies We’re Excited About, Tiny’s Work Trip to Louisville – November 13, 2019

Runtime: 1:44:10 Continue reading

HIFF2019: Movie Review – In a New York Minute (2019)

In a New York Minute (2019)

  • Narrative Feature/Official Selection
  • 102 Minutes/USA/2019
  • Drama/Romance
  • Director: Ximan Li

Premise: “In A New York Minute” follows three strangers connected by a single pregnancy test. Amy is haunted by a past breakup that has manifested into an eating disorder. Angel is caught between a loveless marriage to an American businessman and a passionate affair with a Chinese writer. Nina moonlights as an escort in order to support herself.

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HIFF2019: Movie Review – House of Hummingbird (2018)

House of Hummingbird (2019)

  • Narrative Feature/Grand Prize Winner
  • 138 Minutes/South Korea/2019
  • Drama/International
  • Director: Bora Kim

Premise: A lonely 14-year-old, Eun-hee moves through life like a hummingbird searching for a taste of sweetness. Deprived of attention from her family, she spends her time finding meaning in the love and friendships of her peers. When Young-ji, a new teacher, arrives, she becomes the first adult Eun-hee feels really understands her.

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The Obsessive Viewer Podcast – Ep 298 – HIFF2019: Part II – Award Winners – Press Junket Interviews: House of Champions, Man Camp, Syndrome K, Moonlight Sonata, Ernie & Joe, We Shall Not Die Now, Standing Up Falling Down, Samir, and Going Attractions

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OV298 – HIFF2019: Part II – Award Winners – Press Junket Interviews: House of Champions, Man Camp, Syndrome K, Moonlight Sonata, Ernie & Joe, We Shall Not Die Now, Standing Up Falling Down, Samir, and Going Attractions

 

In part 2 of our coverage of the 28th Heartland Film Festival, I share the award winners from this year’s festival and I interview several filmmakers at the HIFF press junket!

This week’s stinger comes from my Patreon-exclusive Vlogs: HIFF2019 Vlog 3 – Always in Season (2019), Jump Shot, Whelm, Screening Mishaps – October 12, 2019

Runtime: 2:52:58 Continue reading

The Obsessive Viewer Podcast – Ep 297 – HIFF2019: Part I – Whelm – Filmmaker and Special Guest Interviews: Brendan Fraser, A New Christmas, Philophobia, Barefoot: The Mark Baumer Story, My Beautiful Stutter, Foster Boy, and More

RIGHT CLICK IMAGE, SAVE LINK AS TO DOWNLOAD THE EPISODE…

OV297 – HIFF2019: Part I – Whelm – Filmmaker and Special Guest Interviews: Brendan Fraser, A New Christmas, Philophobia, Barefoot: The Mark Baumer Story, My Beautiful Stutter, Foster Boy, and More

In part 1 of our coverage of the 28th Heartland Film Festival, I review the 100% Indiana epic thriller, Whelm, and I interview several filmmakers and guests on the HIFF red carpets, including a quick chat with Brendan Fraser!

This week’s stinger comes from my Patreon-exclusive Vlogs: HIFF2019 Vlog 1 – A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2019), Red Carpet & More – October 10, 2019

Runtime: 2:08:13 Continue reading

HIFF2019: Ben’s Column – Go Back to China (2019)

Go Back to China (2019)

  • Narrative Feature/Official Selection
  • 96 Minutes/2019/USA
  • Comedy/Drama
  • Director: Emily Ting

Premise: When spoiled rich girl Sasha Li blows through most of her trust fund, she is cut off by her father and forced to go back to China and work for the family toy business. Continue reading

HIFF2019: Ben’s Column – International Falls (2019)

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4.5 stars

International Falls

  • Narrative Feature/Official Selection
  • 96 Minutes/2019/USA
  • Comedy/Drama
  • Director: Amber McGinnis

Premise: A woman stuck in a small, snowbound border town has dreams of doing comedy when she meets a washed up, burned out comedian with dreams of doing anything else.

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HIFF2019: Movie Review – Last Year at the Crossing (2018)

Last Year at the Crossing (2018)

  • Documentary Feature/Indiana Spotlight
  • 75 Minutes/USA/2018
  • Education
  • Director: Kathy Bruner

Premise: An alternative high school in small-town Indiana is the last, best chance for four struggling teens to earn a diploma. Their dedicated school administrator holds out hope that this is the year they can overcome their obstacles. A heartbreaking and hopeful portrait of teens trying to rise above their circumstances.

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HIFF2019: Movie Review – Man Camp (2019)

Man Camp (2019)

  • Narrative Feature/Official Selection
  • 94 Minutes/USA/2019
  • Comedy/Drama 
  • Director: Nate James Bakke

Premise: It’s Man Camp weekend, the few days every year when brothers Adam, Tim, and Kevin head to the family cabin to memorialize their dad. When they arrive to discover their mom with some new guy she apparently plans on marrying, the trip becomes a wild test to determine his worthiness.

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HIFF2019: Movie Review – Whelm (2019)

Whelm (2019)

  • Narrative Feature/Indiana Spotlight
  • 114 Minutes/USA/2019
  • Thriller/History
  • Director: Skyler Lawson

Premise: “Whelm” is a thriller set deep in the Great Depression where two estranged brothers get tangled in a rivalry between a legendary bank robber and an eccentric young criminal. Through a series of bizarre occurrences, they find they are part of a larger historic scheme.

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HIFF2019: Movie Review – Going Attractions: The Definitive Story of the Movie Palace (2019)

3 stars

Going Attractions: The Definitive Story of the Movie Palace (2019)

  • Documentary Feature/Official Selection
  • 85 Minutes/USA, Australia/2019
  • History
  • Director: April Wright

Premise: “Going Attractions” celebrates the splendor and grandeur of the great cinemas of the United States, built when movies were the acme of entertainment and the stories were larger than life, as were the venues designed to show them.

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HIFF 2019: Ben’s Column – A Woman’s Work: The NFL’s Cheerleader Problem (2019)

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3.5 stars

A Woman’s Work: The NFL’s Cheerleader Problem (2019)

  • Documentary Feature/Official Selection
  • 81 Minutes/USA/2019
  • Directed by Yu Gu

Premise: Football and feminism collide in this documentary that follows former NFL cheerleaders battling the league to end wage theft and illegal employment practices that have persisted for 50 years. Continue reading