MovieCriticND's blog

Fashionista (Fantasia 2017)

Sometimes people are lucky enough to be able to turn a passion into a business. April (Amanda Fuller) is in that enviable position, as is her husband Eric (Ethan Embry), co-owners of Eric's Emporium, a resale clothing shop somewhere in Texas. As far as April's concerned, clothes are oxygen. She even tries to breathe them in sometimes -- she also has a passion for sniffing clothes that's vaguely disturbing. Admittedly I'm not the one to ask about anything clothing-related, since I hate shopping for them and have no idea what goes with what. Yes, I am female.

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Yes, April is buried somewhere under all those clothes.

Attraction (Fantasia 2017)

In any first contact scenario, there are about ten thousand ways for a great many people to end up dead and only a handful of possibilities where things go well. When a first contact begins with an alien ship crash-landing into the heart of a major city like Moscow, as it does in Attraction, the odds of anything good coming out of it go down considerably. To be fair to the aliens, the crash wasn't their fault -- though already damaged, the ship was still doing all right until the Russian military threw missiles at it.

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The colonel & the bureaucrat meet an alien. Nothing like a little first contact.

The Honor Farm (Fantasia 2017)

There's a lot of pressure on teenagers to have a perfect prom night, and the kids in The Honor Farm are certainly feeling it. Even if you're one of the relatively cool kids, as Lucy (Olivia Grace Applegate) seems to be, that's still no guarantee of a magical evening. Things start out pretty well, but when boyfriend Jake (Will Brittain) gets falling-down drunk, Lucy flees the prom in tears with best friend Annie (Katie Folger).

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The kids stare at the moon. They'd forgotten how psychedelic it can be.

Tragedy Girls (Fantasia 2017)

Teenagers tend to want their fifteen minutes of fame -- at least that much -- and the young people of the unremarkable midwestern town of Rosedale are no exception. What is exceptional is the lengths to which two particular young ladies calling themselves the Tragedy Girls will go to get that fame. McKayla (Alexandra Shipp, X-Men: Apocalypse), more commonly known as M-Kay, has the charisma, while best friend Sadie (Brianna Hildebrand, Deadpool) provides the brains, though she does also look good in a pixie cut, even if she does say so herself.

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M-Kay and Sadie, totally Best Fiends Forever.

The Laplace's Demon (Fantasia 2017)

The Laplace's Demon begins like a classic 1950's monster B-movie, as a group of co-workers led by boss Isaac (Walter Smorti) travel by boat to an isolated island, answering an invitation from a mysterious, reclusive scientist none of them have met. The island is really just a huge pillar of rock, improbably topped by a mansion that takes up every inch of flat surface. Cell service is naturally out of the question. There's even a storm brewing, insists the boat's captain, Alfred (Simone Moscato), who can't wait to dump his passengers and get home.

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Quick! How many pieces has this glass broken into?

Indiana (Fantasia 2017)

Supernatural 'hunter' shows and blogs of every description have been popular for a while now. Technology can make anyone into a hunter of ghosts, or at least a reporter of ghosts, since everyone has a camera. But I think it's also because that same technology -- yes, even the internet -- has made people feel more isolated. Having lots of distant friends can be a painful reminder that one is without any nearby friends, and it can be difficult to change that.

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Movie poster. Believe it or not.

Fritz Lang (Fantasia 2017)

First let me state that I cannot get enough of black and white movies. It isn't possible. Of course color had to muscle in and change everything eventually, but well before that was the seismic shift that was the invention of the talkie. The title character in Fritz Lang (Heino Ferch) was already a powerful figure in silent cinema -- Metropolis would have been enough to cement the reputation of any director / screenwriter -- but as 1931 rolled around it was time for him to make the leap and add sound to his next masterpiece, the classic that would be known as M.

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Filmmaker and murderer share the screen, though they haven't met yet.

Keres

There's an old saying that you reap what you sow, though unfortunately it's probably just as accurate to say that those around us reap what we sow. Sometimes it's dismissed as 'collateral damage', though in Keres it's described as an 'occupational hazard', even for those who aren't directly involved in that occupation.

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Movie poster. Not hell, but a reasonable facsimile.

The Wake

There are few things worse than having to attend a child's memorial service. One of those few things is having to attend a child's memorial service knowing that you're the reason said child is dead, as in The Wake. Tyler (Bryan Brewer) drove drunk one night and his car struck and killed young Zach Stevens (Jakob Ulrich). Why an 11-year-old was alone on the streets of southern California after dark is an issue that the movie doesn't get into.

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Casey and Tyler ponder their next doubtful decision.

The Haunted House on Kirby Road

The summer in between graduating high school and going on to college can be a strange one. Many grand plans are made for one last adventure with the old gang, but face it -- much of the time the old gang ends up hanging around in the usual places doing the usual things until it's time to say goodbye. For a while, it looks like that's what's going to happen in The Haunted House on Kirby Road, with everyone staring at each other until they all fall asleep from sheer lack of excitement.

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Truggers channels the 80's while Becca sits on his lap.