Summer Film Festival 2017 – Day Two


Director: Dario Argento 

Screenplay: Argento and Franco Ferrini

Minutes: 116

Year: 1985

Score: 6.67

Release: Synapse Films

This is not Argento’s best movie. It is very enjoyable, don’t get me wrong, and some of the photography is quite remarkable; some of it is not though, an unfortunate equalizer.

The film stars Jennifer Connelly in a pre-Labyrinth role. Connelly plays the daughter of a famous actor and is sent off to a boarding school. At the school, she doesn’t make any friends and is quickly ostracized because she can communicate with insects. Yeah, it is a little strange. She uses her weird bug power to find a serial killer. It is not a very strong story. The film is very well made, though, as bad as it may sound. I recommend it, but remember that there are better Argento flicks.

Director: 4 – Cinematography: 6 –  Edit: 3 – Parity: 8 – Main performance: 7 – Else performance: 5 – Score: 7 – Sound: 6 – Story: 7 – Script: 6 – Effects: 9 – Design: 7 – Costumes: 7 – Keeps interest: 8 – Lasting: 10

The Zookeeper’s Wife

Director: Niki Caro

Screenplay: Angela Workman

Minutes: 126

Year: 2017

Score: 7.73

Release: VUDU

I really enjoyed this film, let’s get that out of the way first. But two things I need to get off my chest. One, Chastain’s accent is a little distracting, not bad, so to say, but she was the only actor with one. Also, I hate that poster, it doesn’t convey anything about the plot and is generally boring.

I find that whenever I am nitpicking smalls then the overall flick is quite good and The Zookeeper’s Wife is just that. This is, essentially, a biopic about what happened at the Warsaw Zoo during the Nazi occupation. I feel comfortable in issuing a general recommendation here. It is an important story.

Director: 7 – Cinematography: 6 –  Edit: 6 – Parity: 7 – Main performance: 9 – Else performance: 6 – Score: 7 – Sound: 10 – Story: 10 – Script: 8 – Effects: 8 – Design: 7 – Costumes: 8 – Keeps interest: 7 – Lasting: 10

Two-lane Blacktop

Director:  Monte Hellman

Screenplay: Rudolph Laughlin and Will Corry (story)

Minutes: 102

Year: 1971

Score: 5.00

Release: Criterion Collection

I think we are all lucky that James Taylor decided to stick to his day job. The high point of this film is a short scene with Harry Dean Stanton. The film may be culturally important but with the volume of road films you are better off looking elsewhere.

Perhaps I will appreciate it later, perhaps not.

Director: 5 – Cinematography: 7 –  Edit: 4 – Parity: 2 – Main performance: 4 – Else performance: 5 – Score: 6 – Sound: 5 – Story: 6 – Script: 5 – Effects: NA – Design: 5 – Costumes: 4 – Keeps interest: 7 – Lasting: 5

Cannibal Holocaust

Director: Ruggero Deodato

Screenplay: Gianfranco Clerici

Minutes: 95

Year: 1980

Score: 5.8

Release: Grindhouse Releasing

I am not sure what I can say about this movie which has either not been said, or will not make you question my sanity. This movie should be placed next to Salo as films a cinephile needs to have but cannot explain to their mothers.

This movie is gross as hell and should be jailed for creating the found footage style of filmmaking. But there is something special about this film that I cannot justify. It is so extreme and so nauseating that I cannot look away. There is a very specialized group of people to whom I can recommend this. I will say that Grindhouse’s release of this film is spectacular and the restoration is remarkable. For that specialized group, I very highly recommend this release. To the rest it is a hard pass.

Director: 8 – Cinematography: 6 –  Edit: 6 – Parity: 0 – Main performance: 5 – Else performance: 3 – Score: 6 – Sound: 5 – Story: 7 – Script: 5 – Effects: 10 – Design: 5 – Costumes: 4 – Keeps interest: 7 – Lasting: 10