SXSW Review: A Vigilante


A vigilante a new film starring Olivia Wilde where she is the equalizer for abuse women cross with the punisher. Wilde plays a woman that went thru a horrible experience of domestic abuse and when going to counsel and learning the stories of other women that had similar experience; She decides to make a difference by creating a special service to protect women from abusive husbands. All she ask for her service is a few bucks and food. She doesn’t kill the husband; but severely kicks their ass and gives them the option to give leave most of their money to their wife and kids and get the hell out of their life. The consequences of not following her instruction its lots of broken bones.

This film does not shy away from the violence. The violence is visceral; it has the feel of a 70s revenge film. At the same time a threat from her pass has returned and she must now save herself. Everything she has learn in her journey will be put the test.

Although, this sounds like is an action film is; is more of a drama. The fight is short and brutal; with them being one sided. There is scene in which women counseling group of domestic abuse. This were the most disturbing scenes in the film. I was not surprised that these stories told in the group were based on true stories that were discover from investigation from the filmmaker.

A surprising film; I was not expecting it to be this visceral; but at the same time not exploitative on the subject. A big surprise at the festival.


SXSW Review: A Quiet Place


SXSW started with a bang this year with the film A Quiet Place; A sci-fi apocalyptic film from Director John Kransinski. The film is a post-apocalyptic film about a family trying to survive in a world rule by monster that hunt by sound. In this world if you make a noise; you die.

The family consist of a mon and dad and their 3 kids. There oldest one is deaf and the cause of their most worry as she cannot discern if she makes a noise. The character is played by Millicent Simmonds a deaf actress. It adds to her performance. You can tell from her just movement that they cast a deaf girl. The parents are played by John Krasinski and Emily Blunt they do a great job as the parent trying to do everything possible to save their kids from the monsters. The child actors in this film are amazing. There great at expressing maturity in this dangerous world..

About 95% of the dialogue of this film is done thru sign language, which reminded me of this film I saw a few years ago the Tribe. As you don’t get spoken dialogue or loud sounds from the characters make poignant the moments were sound. It hits like a hammer the sound; after the film being silent. It was a great tool to create suspense. This film uses tension incredibly. I hope you get to see this film in a theater with a great sound system.  There were moments at my screening where you could hear everyone in the audience holding their breath; whenever the suspense ramps up.

They did a great job in showing a world where people do their everyday chores while not making a sound.  I never would have thought of the way they wash clothes and other things.

If you love Sci-Fi with a lot of drama, then this is a film you must seek out.

Top 11 Films of 2017

There were many films that I loved this year. This made it tough to narrow them down to a top 11 list, but this are film that I found to be perfect.

1) Get Out


One of the biggest surprises of the year. One of the most subversive horror films in year. I am happy when a film like this one is successful. It was one of the best experience I had at a theater this year


2) Tigers Are Not Afraid 


No film pull harder on my heart strings than this one. In a year with a lot of great Child performances; this one had the best one. The director Issa Lopez is one you should look out in the future.

3) Bad Genius


The best heist film I saw this year. It takes place in a high school and its about kids cheating of test.

4) War of the Planet of the Apes

war of the planet of the apes

It neatly ties all the knots of this trilogy and sets the future world of planet of the apes.


5) Dunkirk


I feel bad for you if you didn’t get tow watch this film in a big screen. Nolan knows how to shoot epic scenes. Its amazing the way in which the 3 stories of the Dunkirk evacuation are edited together.


6) The Shape of Water


Guillermo Del Toro gives us an amazing adult Fairy Tale. This is the closet we are going to get to Del Toro’s Creature from the black lagoon film.

7) Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri


This a great gray film, in which there not clear good or bad guys. It shows that life is more complicated that we think. I love this film does not take the easy way out in its choices.

8) Coco 


Its been a while since Pixar has made a film I love. This feel like a welcome return to the Golden Days of Pixar.

9) Logan 


It show you don’t have to follow the regular comic book formula to make a great comic film. A film that stands tall in taking comic book movies in a different direction. We get without doubt the best Xmen film of all time.

10) Most Beautiful Island


One of the most important film in the age of Trump. A great immigrant story, about a new arrival trying to survive in the USA.


11) Top Knot Detective


The funniest film I saw this year. I was also surprised that it has a great dramatic story. The only thing that disappointed is that I can’t watch all the episodes of this forgotten Japanese series.


Fantastic Fest Review: Top Knot Detective


          Top Knot Detective is the funniest film I saw at Fantastic Fest and one of the best I seen this year. This is an amazing documentary about a forgotten Japanese television I never heard from before. It’s supposedly one of the worst TV shows ever made. It’s a crazy show that features lesbian cannibals, penis monster, and time traveling baseball bats. We get to see footage from the show that were rescue by fans that recorded episodes in VHS tapes. Even with all the craziness in the show the behind the scenes stories of the making of this show are even crazier; especially from its creator Takashi Takamoto.

The show starred, written and directed by Takashi Takamoto. He is not the nicest guy; it seems that he always had to be the center of attention. At the same time, he has the loyalty and love of a small group of people that worked on the show. The one person of the crew that hates Takashi is His friend/rival Haruto Kioke the more talented actor/stuntman of the show; he is constantly berated by Takashi. Their relationship is the core of this story as it reminded me of one of the greatest Simpsons episode “Homer’s Enemy” Haruto is the Grimes of this story. He can’t believe a man as incompetent as Takashi can get the fame, the fortune and the girl.

The Show is about a Samurai that after his lord is murder, leaves his clan and becomes Ronin. Well I should say he decides to become a Samurai Detective. He roams the lands of Japan to seek vengeance on the person that kill his lord.

One of the best film about Japanese Business Media Culture. You see the way in which their stars are groomed and their reputation are protected. You get to see the way in which the entertainment industry can destroy the life of an actor after embarrassing their company. The thing I seen many of this film. You also get to learn about the way in which the entertainment industry is run in Japan. Which too many of us look like a parody of commercialism.

The film has a lot in common with films like The Disaster Artist and Ed Wood in that your following a person with lots of passion; but not the knowledge of how to make a film. There is bad edit, bad special effects and a crew member walking into the camera. The film takes a different direction when a murder plot occurs in the behind the scenes of the show.

Top Knot detective is a film that you must watch if you like watching films about filmmaking. This is a film that you can watch many times as you start noticing new things every time you watch it. Now, the film does not have any distribution. I hope they do as this one of the funniest films I seen this year.  Oh Yeah, I totally forgot to tell you everything about this documentary is fake.

Fantastic Fest Review: Haunters, The Art Of The Scare


              Haunters was my favorite documentary at Fantastic Fest. It was funny, educational and frightening. I am not joking when I say Haunters is one of the most terrifying films I ever seen at this festival. The terrifying parts are small; but quite significant; I will get back to it later

The documentary is about the people that work and create haunted house across the USA. We follow its history and design of them. This is the weird world of haunted house were people want to give you the ultimate scare.

We meet the creators of this haunted house and the workers that are dressed up scary costume and make up just waiting around the corner to scare you. You get to see a lot of the Haunters do this for fun; a lot of the spend their own money for this Haunted Houses. It also shows the dangers that people that work on this places face. Such a lady that has been injure numerous times by their costumers

One of the unique things about Haunters (which is only a small part of the documentary) was the coverage of Extreme Hauntings. I had never heard of them before. This was the most terrifying part of the documentary. This are Haunting were they torture you; I mean you get waterboarded, verbally abuse, fed you disgusting things and other awful things. I was disturbed by this segment; it made me avert my eyes from the screen.

The best example of an extreme haunting is the McKaney Manor. It’s a haunted house run by Russ McKaney, a former navy man and currently works as a wedding singer. He looks like the squarest person you ever meet; but he hides a completely different face. McKaney Manor is his love project. The only type of payment he accepts to enter his haunted house is can dog food; which goes to an animal shelter. People from around the USA and the World come to be frighten by McKaney Manor. The footage of the people going thru the Mckaney Manor looks like something out Guantanamo people get waterboarded, drowned, fed disgusting stuff, and verbally torture. It’s disturbing seeing the frighten look of the people being scare. They look like they are about to do die at any second. While this all happening, Russ is shooting it with a video camera that is close to your face. In my opinion, that if Russ wouldn’t be doing this extreme haunting, he would be a serial killer. He gets too into frightening people that come to his haunted house. Even with all the things they do; nobody has ever sued them. There are even people that return to be frighten again.

              Haunters is a great documentary is a fun documentary that takes a lot of different turns; including that is more terrifying that most horror films. If you want to know more about Haunted Houses Check out this documentary. It is now available for download in itunes.



              At SXSW, I got a chance to see an early screening of The Disaster Artist, which at the time had the working title THE MASTERPIECE. In attendance were stars of the film JAMES FRANCO and SETH ROGEN; but in attendance were also two stars from the Room; TOMMY WISEAU and GREG SESTERO.


              The Disaster Artist is an adaptation of Greg Sestero’s book of the same name; about the making of the film THE ROOM. A film that has become an underground cult film because its shoddy production, terrible acting and direction. It is a film that doesn’t seem that have been made by human beings.

The first thing to point out about the movie is its leading actor and director JAMES FRANCO. I am not kidding when I say JAMES FRANCO at a minimum deserves an academy award nomination for best actor for his performance as Tommy Wiseau. This role could have easily fallen into a Saturday Night Live parody. Franco makes Tommy look like a real human being; instead of a cartoon. There is a moment in the film in which Tommy (Franco) is at club and he is trying to impress by dancing to the song Rhythm of The Night. In that moment I saw the amazing effort Franco was put into this performance.

Besides Franco, the rest of the cast do a great job; Such as Dave Franco that plays Greg Sestero; A naïve young actor that wants to be an actor for a living; but is insecure. He meets Tommy at an acting class and its fascinated by his fearlessness. Greg decides to throw his luck with Tommy. Their friendship comes from the fact that there are constantly hyping each other. You love this character as he is like puppy dog. You want him to achieve his dream and not be destroy by Tommy’s decisions. Seth Rogen once again shows he is a great straight man in a comedy. He plays the script supervisor that can’t believe Tommy directing decisions. He is also suspicious of were Tommy is getting the funding to make this film.

I haven’t loved a film about bad filmmaking this much since Ed Wood. You get to see all the bad decision that lead to the making of the room. According to Franco they shot around 30 minutes of shot for for remake of the room. You can see the effort they actors put to reenact those scenes; as it is more difficult than you think to act badly. If your familiar with the Room you will see making of all its famous scenes, Like Hi doggie and the most awkward sex scene.

This is a great twisted comedy about people trying to reach their Hollywood dream. I was surprised to discover that Tommy is not the hero in this film. He is portrayed as a selfish jerk that is vindictive towards people around him. In a weird way, this is also a heartful story about two friend that took an unlikely route to reach their dreams of stardom and pull it off. I mean even though the room is a terrible movie. It goes them the fame they always craved. This film can be summed up by the line of one of my favorite comedies “Nothing Last Forever” You will get everything you ever wanted; just not in the way you expected.

The Disaster Artist will make you laugh and inspire you. I won’t be surprised if after watching it you would want to see the Room.

Fantastic Fest Review: Tigers Are Not Afraid


Written by Antonio Quintero

              Tigers are not afraid is my favorite film of Fantastic Fest 2017. The film was made by Mexican Filmmakers Issa Lopez. It’s a beautiful film; but also, an important film about the crimes that are happening to our neighbors to the south. I was aware about the violence occurring in Mexico due to the drug war; but I was not aware about the Children that have been left orphan on the street by the drug war; as their parents were taken by the Narcos and never heard from again.

              The film takes places in the town of anywhere, Mexico. It follows a young girl named Estrella. One day after coming home from school she finds her mother missing. After days of not hearing from her she goes into the streets to find her. In her journey, she meets group of orphan children living on the street. They lost their parents due to the Narcos. She joins them to survive on the street. They eventually get into conflict with their local criminal gang when they find incriminating evidence of the gang’s boss.

              Tigers are not afraid is a mixture of Fantasy and Neo-Realism, a combination of Terry Gilliam and Roberto Rosellini. In the film Estrella is having this moments where she is seeing supernatural images around her. It’s kept ambigious whether these images are real or only in her head. This doesn’t matter as it gives the film a fairy tale atmosphere.

              I see this film as a story about the way in which Children are affected when living in a war zone. In this environment of war; imagination is not just a flight of fancy; but a survival mechanism. The reality is so harsh for Estrella to face.

              This film has amazing cast of kids. We had a lot of good kid’s performance this year; such as in Strange Things and the It film; the cast of Tigers are not afraid joins this group of distinguish child actors. You will fall in love with these kids, they try to act tough; but then you see their vulnerability and realize there just kids. The film does not pull any punches, this children are in mortal peril from the Narcos.

The direction and cinematography are amazing. It reminds me of Spielberg’s direction in E.T. Were your seeing this film thru the eye of the children. You get this moment were you are just seeing the world were the kids are the only thing on the screen and you don’t see any adults.  Most of the adult are seen by them as a threat.

One of the best film I seen out of Mexico in a long time. If you have the opportunity to watch this film do not miss it. At the moment it has only been release in Mexico and its playing in a few festival thru out the USA. It has not yet gotten an official release in the USA.