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My Must-See Films At Fantastic Fest 2017

September 19, 2017

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Oh my.  Fantastic Fest is here!  I usually like to somewhat blindly jump into the fest and let the films surprise me, but this year I decided to take a different approach and actually make myself a short list of movies that I have to see.  Below you’ll find those selections.

PS – I used Noahphex’s Youtube compilation of FF trailers.  You should check it out!  He’s got just about all of the fest’s films there.

Blade Of The Immortal

I can’t believe this is Takashi Miike’s 100th film.  That’s crazy.  On a related note, this adaptation of the Blade Of The Immortal manga looks like a lot of fun.

Brawl In Cell Block 99

Vince Vaughn beats up a car in the teaser for this movie from S. Craig Zahler (he did the excellent Bone Tomahawk).  That’s some Street Fighter 2 kind of stuff.  I’m in.

Wheelman

I haven’t seen anything else by Jeremy Rush, the writer/director of Wheelman, but I really like Frank Grillo (Captain America: Civil War), producer Joe Carnahan (The Grey, The A-Team) and car chases.

Gerald’s Game

The teaser for his Stephen King adaptation by Mike Flanagan (Hush) makes me feel uneasy.  I’ll rally up though just so that I can watch Bruce Greenwood handcuff Carla Gugino to a bed.

Super Dark Times

Super Dark Times registers to me as a fairly silly name, but the movie actually looks like it’s a rather twisted affair.  I like it when coming of age movies go dark.

Good Manners

I love the mysterious tone that’s all over the trailer for this film.  I’m also really into the way the Fantastic Fest site describes it as a a “gothic fairytale for adults.”

Applecart

I can’t quite figure out why this is called Applecart, but it looks like a a pretty interesting horror film.  I can’t wait to watch everything go wrong for all the characters in it.

The Killing Of A Sacred Deer

I really love writer/director Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Lobster, so of course I’m excited to see his follow-up.  He has a super weird sense of humor that I just really enjoy.  Also, I’m intrigued by Alicia Silverstone’s supposedly awesome appearance in this movie.

The Square

Because Force Majeure is so damn great, I’m down to watch anything from writer/director Ruben Ostlund.  With that being said, I do hope that The Square is a worthy follow-up.

Downsizing

This one from Alexander Payne is the Fantastic Fest closing film this year.  It looks as charming as can be.

Bad Genius

i wanted to see this film before I even made it halfway through its trailer.  Down with standardized tests!

Ron Goossens Low Budget Stuntman

This is the latest from the team behind the really dumb but really funny New Kids films.  I won’t be missing it.

Blue My Mind

Here’s another Fantastic Fest entry that looks like a messed up coming of age tale.  I’m in!

The Cured

A movie that takes place after a world-conquering zombie virus been cured?  That sounds neat.

Les Affames

Here’s another interesting-looking zombie film.

The Merciless

Few things at Fantastic Fest go over as well as Korean gangster films.  This will be a lot of fun to watch with that crowd.

Gemini

I love the look and feel of this film’s trailer, and the Fantastic Fest site compares it to Drive, Nightcrawler, Heat and The Driver.  That sounds like a winner to me.

Darkland

Everything about this movie looks intense.  Guess I’ll have to drink during it.

There are a handful of films that don’t have trailers out, but I think they sound neat.  Here are those picks with links to their Fantastic Fest pages.

Thoroughbreds (black comedy!)
Revenge (survival horror!)
Anna And The Apocalypse (horror musical!)
1922 (Stephen King adaptation!)

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Happy Metal Fun Time (Chuck)

September 7, 2017

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I love all kinds of metal. I could list the 50+ genres that we metal folk have come up with over the last three decades, but it would be wasted on the passive music consumer, simply because they don’t totally describe the nuances of any particular soundscape that a band creates (other than Djent, because it is an onomatopoeia).  Unfortunately as we divided up our all-encompassing Metal titular reference, we parsed the audience into groups and many for the sake of an internet argument won’t admit that they cross out of their small chalk pentagram to enjoy something that isn’t cool enough for elites.

I take a different approach, if it is heavy, if I can jam to it, I will listen and enjoy it. The fundamentals! What I’m getting to is that clean vocals have become a non-starter for many metalheads, and there is even a website designating the negative connotation of clean singing. If a vocalist actually sings and doesn’t growl, bark, squeal or provide a guttural attack, then there is no way it could be metal. That simple approach is altogether juvenile and completely wrong. This month is just music from 2017 that prominently features clean vocals, yet is some of the best metal out there right now.  Naysayers can suck it up and deal.

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Happy Metal Fun Time (Chuck)

July 7, 2017

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I still have all my fingers and toes, which is more than I can say for some people after celebrating the 4th of July. It marks our independence as a nation, coming together in one voice and deciding our fate as a nation, not just a bunch of hicks who needed to get away from Europe. It also means that the year is flying by with impressive speed, and we need to take stock of where we stand after six months of music has been laid out before us.

So far I would say 2017 has been an average year for heavy metal, I know there will be those who think otherwise, but even the underground has produced some lackluster gems, and the mainstream majors have supplied some of the same tripe over and over again. I put together a list of my favorite songs of the year so far for you to peruse, I had a tough time narrowing it down to about ten bands, but after about 15ish, the quality went down dramatically. Maybe I’m getting old and tired of the same story, but honestly this is about all that really caught my ear (so far).

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Happy Metal Fun Time (Chuck)

April 7, 2017

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I had thought about doing Christian metal this month for Easter, then I thought about war music since we are bombing the Middle East again, but ultimately I have a ton of really excellent new tunes that I haven’t featured so far this year and since I waited till the last minute to put this month’s list together, it comes down to my own laziness and lack of creativity. I know, I should blow smoke up your ass and frame it as something else, but if metal represents (or should represent anything) it’s honesty in what we say and portray, so no bullshitting you about my playlists, Ever!

It has been a relatively quiet year so far, at least for decent metal releases, but rather than quantity, the quality of what has been hitting the shelves lately reaches new heights for the genre. Some stretching the boundaries of what we know as metal, others nestle into the finer aspects of defined genres. This month you get the music of 2017 that represents a little bit of both, enjoy!

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