Fantastic Fest 2018 News: “Luz” Acquired by Screen Media Ahead of US Premiere in Austin

By Liz Lopez 

“Luz” made its North American bow at Fantasia Film Festival, and will have its US premiere at Fantastic Fest this week. The film also played at Berlin International Film Festival earlier in the year and will screen as a part of the Sitges Film Festival next month. Screen Media announced via a press release it has acquired all North American rights for writer/director Tilman Singer’s audacious, psychotropic horror film “Luz,” planning a first quarter 2019 release in theaters across the US. Read more »

Austin Film Festival 2018: 2nd Film Wave Announcement

AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL CONFIRMS JASON REITMAN’S THE FRONT RUNNER AS CLOSING NIGHT FILM, ANNOUNCES SECOND WAVE OF FILMS FOR 25TH ANNIVERSARY LINE-UP

AFF ALSO HIGHLIGHTS EMERGING FEMALE VOICES COMING THROUGH ITS SHORT FILM COMPETITION

Source: AFF

Austin Film Festival (AFF), the premier film festival recognizing writers’ and filmmakers’ contributions to film, television, and new media, announced today that The Front Runner will serve as the fest’s Closing Night selection. Directed by Academy Award®-nominee and AFF alum Jason Reitman (JunoUp in the Air), The Front Runner stars Hugh Jackman as the charismatic politician Gary Hart, who was considered the overwhelming front runner for the 1988 Democratic presidential nomination when his campaign was sidelined by the story of an extramarital relationship with Donna Rice. The Front Runner will bow in Austin on November 1 with Reitman in attendance. Read more »

Review/Interview: THE PREDATOR

By Liz Lopez

Rating: B 

Some people that enter the movie theater to see the “new” feature film, “The Predator,” were likely not born before the original “Predator” 1987 film hit theaters. It starred Arnold Schwarzenegger and his mission takes place in Central America. When filmmaker Shane Black was an actor in the mid -1980s, he had the role of Rick Hawkins, but now in 2018, he is the director and co- writer with Fred Dekker (“RoboCop 3,” “Star Trek: Enterprise” TV Series) based on characters created by Jim Thomas and John Thomas. If anyone has even partially enjoyed any of the seven feature films about predators and aliens, then “The Predator” will be the sci-fi action film to catch as of this weekend. If an individual enters the theater just waiting to compare and conduct analysis with the prior films, well then there might be some disillusionment. If action is your thing, go for it – there is plenty of it. Shane Black and Fred Dekker have written a script that I found entertaining with the infusion of Black’s humor and the excellent cast enlisted to deliver it throughout. This film is not one that I will necessarily go back to the theater to view at full price, but it is definitely fun to watch on the big screen. If you have the opportunity to go see it, go to a matinee or the discount day available at your local cinema. Read more »

Review: A SIMPLE FAVOR

By Mark Saldana 

Rating: 3.5 (Out of 4 Stars)

Director Paul Feig, the comedic mind behind TV’s Freaks and Geeks and films Bridesmaids and Spy, makes his first entry in the mystery thriller genre and the results are fantastic. With A Simple Favor, Feig brings his comic talents to a story that even Hitchcock would savor.  The gifted director shows much versatility and prowess as he juggles both the dark and lighter sides of this story well and manages to leave audiences both flabbergasted and well entertained.  To make things even more enjoyable and enticing, the tremendous performances by both Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick make A Simple Favor a devilishly wicked and sweet dessert of a film. Read more »

Review: WHITE BOY RICK

By Mark Saldana 

Rating: 3.5 (Out of 4 Stars)

During the 1980s Detroit teen Richard Wershe, Jr. not only became a street hustler and drug dealer, he became the youngest FBI informant, all before the age of 16.  A new crime drama by director Yann Demange recreates these amazing events of Wershe’s life.  Though the film treads territory quite common to crime dramas, there is no denying the compelling power that Wershe’s story has. Certainly a cautionary tale (like most criminal stories), White Boy Rick, because of the writing of Andy Weiss, Logan and Noah Miller, the solid direction by Demange, and the superb performances by Matthew McConaughey and young actor Richie Merritt, makes for a gripping and entertaining piece of true crime cinema. Read more »