Category Archives: Matt Hurt’s Columns

HIFF2015: Movie Review – Superior (2015)

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  • Narrative Feature / USA
  • Director: Edd Benda
  • Writer: Edd Benda
  • Cast: Paul Stanko, Thatcher Robinson

This review is part of my coverage of 2015’s Heartland Film Festival in Indianapolis. Click here for more of my coverage of the festival. You can find my coverage of other Indianapolis area film and TV events here.

In Superior, best friends Charlie and Derek set out on a two-week long bike ride around Lake Superior in the summer of 1969. The pair are weeks away from going their separate ways (college for Charlie and Vietnam for Derek), and they’re determined to make their final adventure count. Continue reading

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HIFF2015: Movie Review – The Ambassador to Bern (2014)

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  • Narrative Feature / Hungary
  • Director: Attila Szász
  • Writer: Norbert Köbli

This review is part of my coverage of 2015’s Heartland Film Festival in Indianapolis. Click here for more of my coverage of the festival. You can find my coverage of other Indianapolis area film and TV events here.

The Ambassador to Bern is a dramatic retelling of an incident that occurred in the aftermath of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution. On August 16th, 1958, two Hungarian immigrants broke into the Hungarian embassy in Bern and took the ambassador hostage at gunpoint. This film tells a version or the story that happened on that day.

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HIFF2015: Movie Review – Embers (2015)

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  • Narrative Feature / Poland, USA
  • Director: Claire Carré
  • Writer: Charles Spano, Claire Carré

This review is part of my coverage of 2015’s Heartland Film Festival in Indianapolis. Click here for more of my coverage of the festival. You can find my coverage of other Indianapolis area film and TV events here.

Embers is a Poland and US co-production about the aftermath of a global neurological epidemic and how those who survive find meaning and connections in a world without memory. The movie follows several different perspectives that are independent of one another and collectively give a well-rounded view of how people are affected in this world.

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HIFF2015: Shorts Program 11 – This, That, and the Other

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This review is part of my coverage of 2015’s Heartland Film Festival in Indianapolis. Click here for more of my coverage of the festival. You can find my coverage of other Indianapolis area film and TV events here.

Unlike the Sci-Fi and Art Appreciation shorts, This, That, and the Other didn’t have a clearly defined theme. As such this block of short films included 7 varied and unique films. Read my thoughts on each of the short films below.
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HIFF2015: Shorts Program 10 – Sci-Fi Shorts

let's not panic

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This review is part of my coverage of 2015’s Heartland Film Festival in Indianapolis. Click here for more of my coverage of the festival. You can find my coverage of other Indianapolis area film and TV events here.

The 2015 Heartland Film Festival boasts well over 100 films in its schedule and many of those are short films. The shorts programs at Heartland group together films that fit common themes. Shorts Program 10 featured a collection of science fiction shorts. Continue reading

HIFF2015: Movie Review – Homeless (2015)

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  • Narrative Feature / USA
  • Director: Clay Riley Hassler
  • Writers: Anna Fields, Clay Riley Hassler

This review is part of my coverage of 2015’s Heartland Film Festival in Indianapolis. Click here for more of my coverage of the festival. You can find my coverage of other Indianapolis area film and TV events here.

In Clay Riley Hassler‘s Homeless, Michael McDowell plays Gosh (pronounced Josh), a teenager who’s homeless and struggling to improve his situation. We follow Gosh as he spends his days searching for a job until nightfall when he goes back to the homeless shelter. When he meets a single mother at the mall, things start to look up.

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HIFF2015: Movie Review – Monty Python and the Meaning of Live (2014)

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  • Documentary Feature / UK
  • Director: Roger Graef, James Rogan
  • Writers: John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin
  • Featured Subjects: John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin

This review is part of my coverage of 2015’s Heartland Film Festival in Indianapolis. Click here for more of my coverage of the festival. You can find my coverage of other Indianapolis area film and TV events here.

In July of 2014, the comedy geniuses of Monty Python reunited for a final ten show performance at The O2 in London. Monty Python and the Meaning of Live is an intimate look behind the scenes of that performance as well as a celebration of Monty Python and the incredible influence that the group had on comedy.

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HIFF2015: Movie Review – Fourth Man Out (2015)

fourthmanout

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  • Narrative Feature / Festival Award Winner / USA
  • Director: Andrew Nackman
  • Writer: Aaron Dancik
  • Cast: Evan Todd, Parker Young, Jon Gabrus, Chord Overstreet, Kate Flannery

This review is part of my coverage of 2015’s Heartland Film Festival in Indianapolis. Click here for more of my coverage of the festival. You can find my coverage of other Indianapolis area film and TV events here.

In Fourth Man Out, 24 year old Adam (Evan Todd) struggles with how to tell his best friends and his family that he’s gay. That’s the setup for Andrew Nackman‘s surprisingly poignant comedy exploring homophobia and the universally awkward feeling of dating in your mid-twenties.
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HIFF2015: Movie Review – Raiders! The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made (2015)

Raiders!

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  • Documentary Feature / USA
  • Directors: Jeremy Coon, Tim Skousen
  • Featured Subjects: Chris Strompolos, Eric Zala, Jayson Lamb, Angela Rodriguez

This review is part of my coverage of 2015’s Heartland Film Festival in Indianapolis. Click here for more of my coverage of the festival. You can find my coverage of other Indianapolis area film and TV events here.

Raiders! The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made tells the story of three kids in 1982 who set out to create a shot for shot remake of Raiders of the Lost Ark in Mississippi. The project lasted seven years and all that was left to film was one crucial scene. Now over thirty years later, the men have reunited to complete their remake of Steven Spielberg’s iconic movie.

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HIFF2015: Movie Review – Romeo is Bleeding (2015)

romeo is bleeding

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  • Documentary Feature / Festival Award Winner / USA
  • Director: Jason Zeldes
  • Featured Subjects: Donté Clark, D’neise Robinson, Molly Raynor, Deandre Evans

This review is part of my coverage of 2015’s Heartland Film Festival in Indianapolis. Click here for more of my coverage of the festival. You can find my coverage of other Indianapolis area film and TV events here.

In Richmond, California there’s a feud raging in the streets. Central Richmond and unincorporated North Richmond have been at war for so long that no one is sure exactly when or why the violence started. It’s in this world that we’re introduced to Donté Clark, a poet from Richmond who uses his passion to bring people together against the violence in his community. Continue reading

HIFF2015: Movie Review – The Truth About Lies (2014)

the truth about lies

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Narrative Feature / USA
Director: Phil Allocco
Writer: Phil Allocco

This review is part of my coverage of 2015’s Heartland Film Festival in Indianapolis. Click here for more of my coverage of the festival. You can find my coverage of other Indianapolis area film and TV events here.

The Truth About Lies is a comedy about liars, love, and what happens when people believe what you project about yourself. After losing his job, apartment, and girlfriend on the same day, perpetually immature Gilby lies his way into a temporary position in a company headed by his best friend’s brother-in-law. Things get more complicated when Gilby gets close to his best friend’s sister/his boss’ wife, Rachel.
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HIFF2015: Movie Review – The Big Lonely (2014)

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  • Documentary Feature / USA
  • Director: David Manougian
  • Featured Subject: Michael Nelms

This review is part of my coverage of 2015’s Heartland Film Festival in Indianapolis. Click here for more of my coverage of the festival. You can find my coverage of other Indianapolis area film and TV events here.

The Big Lonely opens with a statement saying it is a documentary shot entirely by its main character with no production crew present. As the film’s subject Michael Nelms sets a fire, the viewer is instantly immersed into this story of a man isolated and alone in the wilderness for almost a decade.

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HIFF2015: Shorts Program 7 – Art Appreciation

your catfish friend

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This review is part of my coverage of 2015’s Heartland Film Festival in Indianapolis. Click here for more of my coverage of the festival. You can find my coverage of other Indianapolis area film and TV events here.

Art Appreciation was the first shorts block I got to see at Heartland this year. It was a collection of 6 short documentary films all centered around artists with unique projects. Here is my breakdown of each short in the program. Continue reading

HIFF2015: Movie Review – dream/killer (2015)

DreamKiller

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  • Documentary Feature / USA
  • Director: Andrew Jenks

This review is part of my coverage of 2015’s Heartland Film Festival in Indianapolis. Click here for more of my coverage of the festival. You can find my coverage of other Indianapolis area film and TV events here.

On Halloween night 2001, a sports editor for the Columbia Tribune in Columbia, Missouri was murdered. The crime went unsolved for over two years, until Charles Erickson told police he didn’t remember the night of the murder but he thought he may have been involved. He implicated Ryan Ferguson, who was sentenced to 40 years in prison. Dream/Killer documents Ryan’s father Bill Ferguson’s nearly decade-long fight to get his son freed.  Continue reading

HIFF2015: Movie Review – Peace Officer (2015)

Peace Officer

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  • Documentary Feature / USA
  • Directors: Scott Christopherson, Brandon Barber

This review is part of my coverage of 2015’s Heartland Film Festival in Indianapolis. Click here for more of my coverage of the festival. You can find my coverage of other Indianapolis area film and TV events here.

Peace Officer is a powerful documentary examining the escalating militarization of police forces that’s been an increasing fixture in the US since the 1960s. The documentary is framed through the story of Dub Lawrence, a former sheriff in Utah whose son-in-law was shot and killed by SWAT officers following a standoff in 2008. The event spurred Dub (who established his county’s first SWAT team while he was sheriff) into an investigation of his own and eventually leading him to confront the hard truth about the state of law enforcement today. Continue reading