Archive for June, 2014

h1

Heli

June 13, 2014

directed by Amat Escalante, 2013

Heli

Opening with a bloodied and taped-up young man laying alongside a dead corpse in the back of a moving truck, Heli wastes little time thrusting the viewer into its vicious portrait of violence and vengeance. Functioning primarily as yet another unflinching look at the crookedness of modern-day Mexico and the escalating collateral damage left behind by the country’s hellish drug trade, Amat Escalante’s (Los bastardoslatest film is a brutal art-house provocation more interested in images of suffering than positing its transgressions as anything more than shock value. It was for this film that Escalante won the Best Director prize at last year’s Cannes Film Festival, his win coming only a year after fellow native Carlos Reygadas won the same award for Post Tenebras Lux, a similarly themed and much-better film about patriarchy and random acts of violence in Mexico.

Read full review at In Review Online

h1

Ping Pong Summer

June 6, 2014

directed by Michael Tully, 2014

Ping Pong Summer

As an attempt to seemingly pack every piece of 1980s iconography and nostalgia imaginable into a 90-minute film, Michael Tully’s Ping Pong Summer finds itself reigning supreme. However, here’s a film that wants to have its cake and eat it too, hardly warranting a trip down memory lane as its onslaught of period details and inserts are unconvincingly stretched out to resemble a feature-length film. Clearly taking its underdog cues from something like The Karate Kid and consistently riffing on coming-of-age vacation comedies of past and present rather than existing as its own organic endeavor, Ping Pong Summer suffers from an awkward identity crisis that it never comes close to solving.

Read full review at In Review Online