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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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Meet the cast of The Craft remake!

The lead coven has been cast!

K.T Simpson

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The leads have been cast in the remake for “The Craft”, with Gideon Adlon, Lovie Simone and Zoey Luna joining previously announced Cailee Spaeny. Zoe Lister-Jones is directing the film for Blumhouse and Columbia Pictures.

The movie is a remake of the 1996 cult classic, which starred Robin Tunney, Fairuza Balk, Neve Campbell, Christine Taylor, and Rachel True. The story followed a newcomer at a Catholic prep high school who falls in with a trio of outcast teenage girls who practice witchcraft, and wage curses against those who tick them off.

Adlon currently stars in Netflix’s teen drama series “The Society”, and recently starred in “Blockers” alongside Leslie Mann, John Cena and Ike Barinholtz. Simone is one of the stars of drama series “Greenleaf”. Luna, a transgender actress and activist, made a name for herself by starring in “15 A Quinceanera Story: Zoey” that aired on HBO. She also starred in a short film, “Boundless”.

Thanks to Deadline for the news!

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Remake alert : Princess Bride, House Party

Two of your childhood faves are making a return to the big screen..

Caffeinated Clint

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An rumor concerning an inconceivable remake of 1987 classic “The Princess Bride” has sent fans into a dizzy.

Hidden in a Variety profile of the film’s producer Norman Lear, word that Lear has received numerous offers from some “very big names” wanting to “redo” “The Princess Bride” .

Cary Elwes, who starred in the original film alongside Robin Wright and Mandy Patinkin, was quick to pan the idea of a remake.

Meanwhile, New Line has commissioned a reboot of another classic — ‘90s hip hop comedy “House Party”.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Calmatic, the director behind the music video for “Old Town Road (Remix) has been hired to direct, with LeBron James – currently producing a sequel to “Space Jam” – producing.

Stephen Glover and Jamal Olori from FX’s “Atlanta” wrote the new script, one which hopefully features designated roles for Kid n’ Play.

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New Posters : Joker and Birds of Prey

New art has hit the web for the upcoming DC releases

K.T Simpson

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New posters for the upcoming DC films “Joker” and “Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of one Harley Quinn”) have hit the web, and both look jaw-droppingly fantastic!

Both films are highly anticipated releases in the next couple of months, with “Joker” hitting the screen first on October 4, and “Birds of Prey” early in 2020 on February 7.

The “Joker” poster is to promote the film’s IMAX release, which will appear in the theatres for one week. Joaquin Phoenix stars as the Joker (Arthur Fleck), alongside Robert De Niro, and is directed, produced and co-written by Todd Phillips. The flick also stars Zazie Beetz, Frances Conroy, Marc Maron, Bill Camp, Glenn Fleshler, Shea Whigham, Brett Cullen, Douglas Hodge and Josh Pais.

“Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of one Harley Quinn”) has Margot Robbie in the role of Harley Quinn (whom she played in “The Suicide Squad”), and also stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Huntress, Jurnee Smollett-Bell as Black Canary, Ella Jay Basco as Cassandra Cain, Ewan McGregor as the villain Black Mask, Chris Messina as Victor Zsasz and Rosie Perez as Renee Montoya. Cathy Yan directs from a script by Christina Hodson.

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