Fantastic Fest 2011 is all wrapped up but plenty of nostalgia lives on. Movie fanatic Nirvana is the best way to describe Austin’s September celebration of all thing cinematic. Crazy incredible flicks, copious libations, and truly good times with great friends were had over the 8 sleepless days. We had WALL TO WALL coverage over at Twitch including over 70 reviews. You can check out the full recap in Twitch’s Super Festival Wrap and some other good stuff in Fantastic Fest in Photographs and our Great Fantastic Fest Open Preview. But here for your (well my) convenience is a list of everything I saw and my initial tweeted impression. Enjoy!
LET THE BULLETS FLY – My Grade: B-
LET THE BULLETS FLY features some great performances but it’s a bit long & subtleties too easily lost in translation.
SLEEPLESS NIGHT – My Grade: B+
SLEEPLESS NIGHT is a polished French actioner w/ solid fight seqs & a good story. Great intensity but could lose few mins.
POLVORA NEGRA – My Grade: D
When FantasticFest is over, I’ll remember nothing about POLVORA NEGRA.
MILOCRORZE – My Grade: B+
MILOCRORZE is charming, stylish & super schizophrenic. Ishibashi is exactly the kind of filmmaker I hope to discover at FantasticFest!
The future samurai world part of MILOCRORZE has some of the coolest costume/makeup/production design I’ve seen. Drank it up.
UNDERWATER LOVE – My Grade: B
UNDERWATER LOVE: It’ll make you wet. …anyone? Sorry.
THE CORRIDOR – My Grade: A-
Wow. THE CORRIDOR is the first absolute must see of FantasticFest! Pass. It. On.
SNOWTOWN – My Grade: B
SNOWTOWN is an extremely impressive piece of cinema but wld have been just as effective & less exhausting w/ 30 mins trimmed.
ZOMBIE ASS – My Grade: B-
ZOMBIE ASS is basically live action tentacle porn w/ lots of fart jokes. So if that doesn’t sound awesome, u’ve been warned.
BEYOND THE BLACK RAINBOW – My Grade: B
BEYOND THE BLACK RAINBOW is a gorgeous color poem to 1980s sci-fi psychadelia but plot/trippedoutedness balance a bit off.
BEYOND THE BLACK RAINBOW could be edited into the greatest Chemical Brothers video of all time.
THE DAY – My Grade: B+
THE DAY is an excellent post apocalyptic actioner on a tiny budget. Lookin fwd to big things from new talent Luke Passmore.
SMUGGLER – My Grade: D
Rly disappointed w/ Ishii’s SMUGGLER. Perfectly good crime actioner ruined by more disgusting torture porn. Whats wrong ppl?
VERSUS – My Grade: B+
VERSUS is even more fun a decade later. Best Japanese zombie action extravaganza I’ve seen at FantasticFest (& I’m approaching dbl digits).
TAKE SHELTER – My Grade: A-
TAKE SHELTER a fascinating journey into a man’s soul. Brilliant filmmaking & acting. Exactly what I’d hoped to see.
PENUMBRA – My Grade: C+
It’s not unfair to call PENUMBRA an Argentine “Apartment of the Devil.” I liked it but wanted a bit more pace & originality.
CLOWN – My Grade: A-
CLOWN is pure Danish hilarity with way more heart than I expected. One of my faves so far at FantasicFest.
CARRE BLANC – My Grade: B
CARRE BLANC is a bold dystopian vision from to-watch newcomer Jean-Baptiste Leonetti.
HOW TO STEAL 2 MILLION – My Grade: C
HOW TO STEAL 2 MILLION is def not the best African film this year (see Viva Riva), but it is an impressive by-the-book debut.
MELANCHOLIA – My Grade: A
Put me down in the huge-fucking-fan category for MELANCHOLIA. Thought it was brilliant even if it is long. Potential Top10.
RETREAT – My Grade: B-
RETREAT features some impressive performances but doesn’t go quite crazy enough to make a lasting impression.
HEADHUNTERS – My Grade: B
HEADHUNTERS is a Norwegian action caper with a weird mix of heart & humor. Many like it but it was too uncomfortable for me.
LOVE – My Grade: C-
Had an extremely hard time staying awake 4 Angels and Airwaves film LOVE. It’s pretty but too much/not enough a nod to 2001.
MOVIES ON FIRE: 80s HONG KONG ACTION – My Grade: B+
I was skeptical about going to Hong Kong On Fire final film tonight but @Marshy00 prevailed. Forever grateful. Action PACKED.
BULLHEAD – My Grade: A
Wow Wow Wow BULLHEAD! Wow Michael Roskam! Wow Matthias Schoenarts! Late to the party bus but taking a seat at the front.
BULLHEAD is a brilliant crime epic fully deserving of Belgium’s Oscar submission. This year’s Animal Kingdom?
A BOY AND HIS SAMURAI – My Grade: B+
A BOY & HIS SAMURAI is a charming Jp family comedy, a clever commentary on modern gender roles but a bit short of fantastic.