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Dances with Films reviews : No Alternative, At the Drive-In, Antiquities, I Am Famous

They’re a couple of weeks late, sorry!

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Dances with Films hosted a superlative and diverse mix of films this year – nothing unusual for a fest that’s increasingly become one of L.A’s must-attend events – and I was lucky enough to check out a few films. Here are those that deserve both momentous applause and a large audience.

 

No Alternative

D : William Dickerson

Based on his 2012 book, a powerful coming-of-age tale about the enduring struggles that hit most of us once we turn double digits (while serving as love letter to the grunge music scene he surrounded himself in in the ‘90s), writer-director William Dickerson’s ‘’No Alternative’’ serves – first and foremost – a showreel for the up-and-coming filmmaker, as well as the film’s leads Michaela Cavazos and Conor Proft, who authentically echo the voices of, well, many of us. There’s a mirror in this movie and most of us will see ourselves reflected back in it.

The film plays nothing but authentic – further indication that Dickerson is writing what he knows about. Here, he unleashes a confronting, captivating and ultimately unforgettable piece about teenage struggles, mental illness and the power of music – the best weapon for that over-thinking mind, those sullen eyes and hurting heart.

 

Antiquities

D : Daniel Campbell

A terrific companion piece to Brad Silberling’s ‘’Moonlight Mile’’ (2002), which also studied the effects of human loss sometime after the fact, ‘’Antiquities’’ gives “Walking Dead” alum Andrew J.West his finest part to date – that of a young man, grieving the loss of his father, who decides to move back home to not only learn more about his late pop but immerse himself in the new world (including working his father’s old job, at an antiques emporium).

Writers Campbell and Graham Gordy put pen to paper on a very unique, extremely well-written character piece that beautifully depicts the various eccentricities of human behaviour (the film diverts its attention from West here and there to focus on the various townsfolk) while serving up a sweet slice of pie so dearly needed in these troubled, tragic times.

 

At the Drive In

D: Alexander Monelli

A documentary about a group of passionate film buffs assisting the long-time owner of a drive-in theatre – that’s running short on dollars –  in his quest to get people through the gates again? Yes, you do want to see that… you just mightn’t be aware of it. There’s more humor, charm, emotion, drama and thrills in director Alexander Monelli’s love letter to – well, the small drive-in in rural Pennsylvania t the center of the movie – the love of film and the treasured places we see them in, than there is in most of Hollywood’s big studio blockbusters of late! This is a film to treasure, remember and spread the word about – – just like the drive-in itself. They’re both very special things.

Look for this one on my ‘top films of the year’ list towards the end of 2018.

I am Famous

D : Ismaël Lotz

A short film fixing not so much on the career of  Thomas F.Wilson (‘Biff’) after his role in the smash-hit “Back to the Future” films than the actor and comedian’s other interest – pop art.

With his charming and insightful film, Ismaël Lotz reintroduces audiences to a man that, though he may always be associated with his iconic role in one of the biggest films of all time, gets to demonstrate another of his talents.

You’ll appreciate the gifts of Tom Wilson even more after “I Am Famous”.

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Sonic going back to the workshop; moves to 2020

Paramount to spend more time perfecting the title character’s look

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Coming through on it’s promise to spend more time perfecting the title character’s look, Paramount has delayed the “Sonic the Hedgehog” movie until 2020.

After the release of the recent trailer, fans of the SEGA-game freaked on Twitter over the blue animal’s human teeth, calling them “creepy” and “nightmarish.” The filmmakers went into immediate damage control, promising punters they’ll fix the look.

The pic, starring Jim Carrey, is now moving from its November 8 release to February 14, 2020 next year so the blue guy looks better for y’all.

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Rocky 7!?

Sylvester Stallone says he has a “great idea” for another “Rocky” film

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While we’ll unlikely see Creed belting his glove again, Sylvester Stallone says Rocky Balboa isn’t out.

The actor  made the revelation today at the Cannes film festival, where his long career and latest ‘Rambo’ film are under the Croisette’s spotlight.

While ‘Sly’ hints that his participation in the “Creed” franchise might be two and out, the 72-year-old says a seventh “Rocky” film could be on the cards.

“I have a great idea for Rocky. He finds this fella who’s in the country illegally and it becomes a whole thing. It would be really phenomenal, really different”.

“It’s like a magician,” he continued. “Once you’ve seen how he does the tricks you’re not impressed any more. It’s the same thing with Rocky. You’ve seen everything, so you’re like, ‘How can it be different?’ That would be different. When you take him and throw him out of the country and he’s in another world. It could work.” he said.

Stallone didn’t say whether it’d be Balboa, who we last saw in 2018’s “Creed II”, training the immigrant.

The actor had intended for 2006’s “Rocky Balboa” to be the character’s swansong but returned to the role when the idea for the “Creed” films were presented to him.

Stallone was at Cannes to attend a a 4K restoration screening of his groundbreaking actioner “First Blood” and promote its fourth sequel “Last Blood”, which sees the long-suffering vet going up against cartels in Mexico.

“He goes out there and bad things happen,” Stallone said. “There’s going to be some serious vengeance in this movie. A lot of people are going to get killed.”

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ICYMI : Christopher Nolan’s new film gets title, full cast

The time-traveling international spy movie stars Robert Pattinson, among others

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Warner Bros have announced the title and cast of Christopher Nolan’s highly-anticipated new film, due July 17, 2020.
“Tenet”, which has just gone before the cameras, is said to be an action epic that combines the always entertaining elements of international spy missions and time travel.  The man with the megaphone is keeping a tight lid on the plot.
The cast, which includes many Nolan-staples, is headed by John David Washington and also stars Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Dimple Kapadia, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Clémence Poésy, with Michael Caine and Kenneth Branagh.
Nolan is shooting in the beautiful IMAX format with some 70mm thrown in for good measure.

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