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  • The Prequels Strike Back: A Fan's Journey

    The Prequels Strike Back: A Fan's Journey

    Highly recommended — and not just because I was interviewed for the film. Bradley Weatherholt and co. do a great job of capturing some of the more compelling arguments for the re-examination of the Star Wars prequels. The film offers a voice to a side of fandom not often heard from and suggests a hopeful middle ground for viewers from all eras. Less of a "strike back" and more of a thoughtful, calm rebuttal, this documentary serves as a great starting point for any fan willing to give the prequels a second look.

  • Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

    Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

    ★★½

    Glimpses of fun mediocrity amidst an otherwise laughable mess.

  • American Fable

    American Fable

    ★★★★½

    SXSW 2016 — one of the most powerful films I saw at the festival. Described as a fairytale thriller, the movie is set in midwest in the 1980s and focuses on Gitty, a young girl whose world is turned upside down when she discovers a wealthy man is being held prisoner on her family’s farm. Eleven-year old Peyton Kennedy delivers an absolutely incredible performance, starring opposite Richard Schiff (“The West Wing”) and Kip Pardue. The film is Anne Hamilton’s directorial…

  • Teenage Cocktail

    Teenage Cocktail

    ★★★½

    SXSW 2016 — subversive, provocative, and more intelligently-crafted than it should be.

  • A Stray

    A Stray

    ★★★★

    SXSW 2016 — an interesting, at times humorous, story of a Somali refugee trying to honor his faith in a complicated urban world. Although cinematically bland, the film is an insightful and provocative exploration of Muslim life in America.

  • Claire in Motion

    Claire in Motion

    ★★★

    SXSW 2016 — typical indie drama.

  • In Pursuit of Silence

    In Pursuit of Silence

    ★★★★½

    SXSW 2016 — a beautiful and thoughtfully crafted film about the importance of silence in our lives and how easily it is destroyed in our modern world. It was a wonderful visual and aural escape from the frantic noise that permeated SXSW, yet I expect the deeper truths this documentary explores will stay with me long after this conference is over. Highly recommended.

  • I Am Belfast

    I Am Belfast

    ★★★★

    SXSW 2016 — the latest work from filmmaker and critic Mark Cousins. Here, he turns his lens on his home city of Belfast, Northern Ireland. Told expressionistically through the eyes of an aging woman who personifies the city, the documentary film beautifully captures this special place. Cousins weaves the history of Belfast in with fragments of his own narrative and gives voice to a plethora of locals as well. If you’ve seen 'The Story of Film,' you’ll be well-accustomed to…

  • Pet

    Pet

    ★★★½

    SXSW 2016 — Dominic Monaghan delivers a fun Norman Bates-esque performance in this surprisingly twisty and absurd horror flick.

  • Boone

    Boone

    ★★★★½

    SXSW 2016 — a beautiful and powerful documentary about a small local farm in rural Oregon. Focused on the three farmers who live on the land and work non-stop everyday to keep their business afloat, the film creates a truly intimate portrayal of a process that so many of us are totally removed from. While I know intellectually what happens on a farm, it was deeply affecting to see these three tireless individuals laboring day in and day out to…

  • Hush

    Hush

    ★★★½

    SXSW 2016 — A well-produced thriller about a deaf woman trapped in a cabin in the woods, while being stalked by a psychotic killer. It’s bloody, brutal, and twisted, but also quite well-executed. Director Mike Flanagan pointed to 'Rear Window' and 'Die Hard' as his two primary cinematic influences, and the inspiration shows. He combines Hitchcock’s classic approach to suspense with a very modern, visceral style that fits the material quite nicely.

  • Operation Avalanche

    Operation Avalanche

    ★★★★½

    Two days into SXSW 2016 and this is my favorite film so far. 'Operation Avalanche' is a goofy 1960s found-footage dark comedy about a team of CIA agents / wanna-be filmmakers who end up helping NASA fake the moon landing. The director and star of the film, Matt Johnson, actually secretly shot parts of the film at the Johnson Space Center, which was a treat to witness for this Houstonian. There’s also a delightful subplot involving Stanley Kubrick and impressive…