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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

TwoOhSix at SIFF 2014: Week Four


TwoOhSix at SIFF recaps all the movies I was able to see during each week of this year's festival. This "Week Four" edition includes movies seen between June 2nd and June 8th. You will not find any full reviews in these posts as many of the movies are waiting on domestic release dates. I will try to get all those reviews posted as soon as I am able.

Henry Lau in Final Recipe
Director Gina Kim has put together a fun cooking competition movie and has filled it with heavy doses of heart and humor. A teenager named Mark (Henry Lau) enters the Final Recipe competition to save his family's restaurant, but ends up discovering more about his family than he ever imagined. Lots of great cooking on screen and solid story. Very entertaining.

Intruders directed by Young-Seok Noh
Sang-Jin, a screenwriter on a deadline, heads to a secluded cabin to finish his story. Turns out to not be the best of ideas. Intruders, Young-Seok Noh's second feature film, is a very interesting mix of intense action and wry comedy. I was expecting this Cabin in the woods meets home invasion drama to be more deliberate and dry, but the humor and action keep things moving along nicely.

Time Lapse stars Danielle Panabaker and Matt O'Leary.
When three roommates find their neighbor's dead body in a storage unit, they check out his apartment to see if they can figure out how or why he died. What they find is a futuristic looking camera that takes pictures of events that happen 24 hours in the future. Time Lapse is a great science fiction concept with some really cool twists and turns all put together by writer/director Bradley King.

Carla Juri and Christoph Letkowski in Wetlands
"OMG!", "WTF!", "What just happened?!". I imagine those are some typical reactions to Wetlands. This movie does more to push the boundaries of vulgarity and on-screen sex than anything I've seen in a while yet Carla Juri is so charming as Helen, a teenager with some very interesting quirks, that you can't help but love watching it all unfold in front of you.

Essie Davis and Noah Wiseman in The Babadook
The Babadook was advertised a super scary twist on the classic boogie man bedtime tale. Honestly, I wasn't that scared by this film, but the acting performance by Essie Davis and the immersive sound design still made for a solid piece of entertainment. Davis is so good as Amelia, a mom still recovering from the loss of her husband, she completely draws you in during her emotional ride through the story.

Hiccup and Toothless return in How to Train Your Dragon 2
Sophomore slump is not a term that will ever be used to describe How to Train Your Dragon 2. This movie is absolutely phenomenal in just about every way it can be. The animation, story, and characters are all taken up a few notches as the action picks up five years after the events of the first. I don't even want to tell you anything about it, just go see it...now!

Nick Damici in Late Phases
Late Phases is the most recent entry into what may become a new genre that could only be labelled as "Elderly-People-Versus-Monsters-Horror-Comedy". Last year we had Cockneys Vs Zombies which was a riot and totally understood what it was trying to accomplish. Late Phases, on the other hand, suffers from a story that really isn't interesting at all (I fell asleep).

Gil Bellows, Katie McGrath, and Bok van Blerk in Leading Lady
Leading Lady is director Henk Pretorious's follow up to Fanie Fourie's Lobola which was last year's SIFF audience award winner. While he tries to keep the same heartfelt comedy formula in place that worked so well the first time around, this movie falls a little flat in comparison. I did enjoy the movie, it just didn't have the same magic I was hoping for.

Philip Ng in Once Upon a Time In Shanghai
Oh my goodness, what a way to end this year's festival. Once Upon a Time in Shanghai was so much fun I could barely contain myself. So much cheering and laughing going on, you could tell the whole audience was all in for this unexpectedly entertaining martial arts movie. Director Wong Ching-po does a great job giving us something new while paying homage to the past.

Thanks for reading my weekly  wrap up posts! Stay tuned for the TwoOhSix at SIFF awards post coming soon as well as full reviews of all the movies as soon as I am allowed to post them.




 


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