Thursday, March 7, 2013

Phil attends CINEQUEST 23: Day Nine-March 6, 2013

Greetings and salutations everybody! Welcome to Day Nine of my trip to Cinequest Film Festival! I once again another five films today and all of them were over at the Camera 12. How convenient was that? So as the old saying goes, let's get this show on the road!

Film number one of the day was MUMBAI'S KING (MUMBIA CHA RAJA). The film's about a young boy named Rahul. His family is very poor and he's tired of eating rice and chutney every single night. His father is a violent drunk, who hits his mom and tries to tie Rahul's hands together so can beat him too. This causes him to leave home and to live on the streets of Mumbai. With his friends, they take to the streets causing mischief such as stealing potatoes, pulling pranks, swimming, and beating up his own dad! Oh dear, did I say to much? Well, tough because the bastard deserved it!

I thought the film was very well made. Again I was reminded of the New Wave films while I was watching it; with it's non-professional actors, hand held cameras, and using real locations, the movie is a far cry from its Bollywood cousins! It looked real because it was shot that way. Good story, good acting, and good directing makes this a good film to see. The film will be screened one last time on Saturday, March 9th at 12:45pm.

The second film I saw was the awesome punk rock fueled drama DETONATOR. The movie focuses on Sully (Lawrence Levine), popular punk rock lead singer turned family man. Sully is living the American dream: a wife, 5 year-old son, house in the suburbs, and a mini van. In all intents and purposes, Sully has it made. However he's in limbo, torn between his new life and the romance of his old punk rock world. When his old bandmate Mick (Benjamin Ellis Fine) shows up on night, he sucks Sully back into their old punk rock world of parties, pranks, and stealing back their old demo tape from promoter Dutch (Robert Longstreet). By the end of the night Sully finds himself at a crossroads, contemplating on which road to take.

This was a very interesting film to watch. It reminded me of my youthful punk rock days, when all I did was hang out with my friends, steal punk records and tapes, going to shows and causing trouble. And Like Sully, one day you wake up and realize that you're an adult and discover that you're too old to be that young a stupid anymore. Plus with the film set in the darkness of the Philadelphia punk world, it gives the film that certain authenticity feel. Amazing acting from all three leads as well! Bottom line this was an awesome film! Two big thumbs up! Unfortunately, today was the last screening of the film (boooo!), but you can check out the film's official website at Also look for the film on Facebook and Twitter as well.

Film number three was again another drama entitled SOLACE. The film is divided into three story arcs featuring a different pair of characters, but they are all somehow connected in this strange web called life and coincidence. The film stars Robert Pralgo, Dupree Lewis Jr., Ric Reitz, Rhoda Griffis (from CONGRATULATIONS!), Russell Durham Comegys, and Dixie Light. To say anymore might ruin the film, so I'm going to leave it at that.

The film was written, produced, and directed by Vandon Gibbs, who has crafted an incredible, thought provoking, and highly entertaining film. The story is a work of genius; it's so simple and yet very complex and intricate. Beautiful cinematography, well established characters, and a unforgettable acting makes the film a winner! Unfortunately, today was the last screening of the film (noticed a pattern yet?), but you can check out the film's official website at

The fourth film I saw today was MY LOWER CASE UNIVERSE (MI UNIVERSO EN MINUSCULAS). The film's about a young girl named Aina who lives with her grandmother. She sets out to Mexico City in search for her long lost father. The only clue she has is an old, beat up picture with the address "37 Juarez street" written on the back. Problem is that there's a ton of streets in Mexico City with that name. As she sets out to look for that particular street, she makes some new friends along the way, who help her in her search for the right Juarez Street.

This was a such a beautiful movie to watch. Capturing the beauty of Mexico City with natural lighting, hand held cameras and the amazing performance of Aida Folch. It's a combination of the coming-of-age and the self-discovery tale. Folch was just wonderful to watch. We feel so sympathetic towards her that we really do hope she finds her father. Overall a very well-made and heartfelt work of art!The film will have one last screening on Friday, March 8th at 9:30pm. Also check out the film's official at as well as on Facebook and Twitter.

The fifth and final film of the day was the comedy OLD STOCK. Meet Stock Burton (Noah Reid). He's twenty years old, good looking, and living with his perverted grandfather at the Golden Seasons Retirement Home. You see, Stock became a hometown legend thanks in large part to an incident that forced him to hide out in his grandfather's retirement home. But life throws him an unexpected curve ball when he meets Patti (the lovely Melanie Leishman), the new dance coordinator. Soon Stock is forced to come to terms with his past so he can have a future with Patti.

Director James Genn and writer Dane Clark have crafted a well made, heart warming, and damn fine funny film. While we laugh at Stock, we're told in a series of clues that whatever had traumatized, he's still struggling with it. We've all had something to us in that past that had major ramifications later on down the road. However the key for release is to let go. Stock cannot let go of his past, which jeopardizes his chance with Patti. Both Reid and Leishman have great on-screen chemistry and do a great job of bring these characters to life. This was a fun film to watch. It's cute, it's sweet, it's funny, and it's a little sappy. And you know what? There's nothing wrong with that. However, today was the last screening of the film, but you check out the film's official website at And follow the film on Facebook and Twitter as well.

After the film, I headed on over to Maverick Meet-Up, which was over at Myth Tavern and Lounge on Post Street. And yours truly had a few shots, made some new friends, and chatted with filmmakers. 'Twas a fun-filled night!

Another day of moving watch here at Cinequest done, which now brings my total to 39 films! Remember the festival will be running till March 10th so there's plenty of time for you to join in on the fun here in Downtown San Jose! To view the festival's film schedule and purchase tickets and passes, visit their website at

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show! 

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