Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Phil attends Cinequest 24: Day 7-March 10, 2014

Hello everybody and welcome to Day Seven of my trip to Cinequest 24! I once again saw five films today so let's get this show on the road, shall we?

Movie number one was the Canadian dark comedy LAWRENCE & HOLLOMAN. Here is a classic textbook example of polar opposites based on their individual outlooks on life. Lawrence (Ben Cotton) is the every so lucky, optimistic salesman who life works out perfectly for him and is working on a promotion. On the flipside is Holloman (Daniel Arnold), one of the most cynical, unattractive, and suicidal credit collector who's life had given him a shitty attitude and a shitty outlook on life. When these two meet, life begins to get crazy, especially when bad things start happening to Lawrence!

Once again leave it up to those wacky Canadians for creating yet another hilariously funny and uniquely original feature! Both Cotton and Arnold are awesome in their respective roles and bring a lot of emotional depth to their characters. The film can also be seen as a cautionary tale: be sure your friends are your friends because they might be your enemy. With its smart script, witty humor, and marvelous acting, the film is pure comedic gold! Definitely worth checking out! 5 out of 5 stars!! Highly recommended!! Today was the last screening but visit the film's official website at

Up next I decided to see the SHORTS 7 PROGRAM: WAIT FOR IT...and here we go! 

ADRIFT: A beautiful and poetic montage tribute to the fog of the San Francisco Bay that passes along the coast and through the Golden Gate Bridge. Really beautiful short to see! Very tranquil!

THE BRUNCHERS: A thirty-something London couple go out to the new hip place called Toast for brunch, only to have it totally booked. The reason they wanted to go out for brunch: they wanted to look cool and hip even though they're getting older. I really liked this film and it's something I can relate to a bit. Plus lead actress Natalie Dormer is smoking hot!!

GOLDFIELD: Finding gold means you might be inviting death. Pretty cool short.

HALF SHAVED: What happens when, by pure chance, and barber meets his former torturer who just happens to walk in for a shave? The end results may surprise you.

ME + HER: A wonderful stop motion animation short about a cardboard couple Jack and Jill living in Cardboard City. When Jill dies, Jack goes to great lengths to preserve their love. Very touching!

MY FATHER'S TRUCK: A little Vietnamese girls plays hokey from school and rides along in her father's truck while he's working. He picks up good people, bad people, and does jobs that are complicated. A wonderful coming of age short film!

TRYOUTS: A teenage American Muslim girl who tries out for the cheerleader squad but when her head garb is called out, she solves this problem by thinking outside of the box and with some very creative teenage ingenuity.

SHORTS 7 PROGRAM: WAIT FOR IT... will be screened again at the Camera 12 on Friday, March 14th at 6:45pm and again on Saturday, March 15th at 1:45pm.

Up next was the SHORTS 3 PROGRAM: HUMOR ME which boasted some very funny and original comedic shorts!

#TWITTERKILLS: Chain smoking woman  Zoehas gets her Twitter account hacked into (or is it an evil presence) and all her dirty laundry it being twittered to all her 6,669 friends, including her sister! Oops!

BOWLING KILLERS: Two bowling champions who are also professional hitmen lose sight of carry out a contract before their big game later that night. Pretty funny stuff here folks!

DATE OF THE DEAD:  Struggling actress Jessica goes out on a date with a fellow actor named Jim. The problem: he's a zombie! Oops!!

THE GHOST PEPPER EATING CONTEST OF JEFFERSON COUNTY: A hilarious documentary about a bunch of locals eating all kinds of chilli peppers to wind a major prize. My mouth was on fire just by watching it! Ouchie that's hot!!


REEL LIFE: A man who knows he's in a movie goes out on a date with a woman from the "real world" and lunacy insures: lovely montages, cut away sex scenes, discovering he's only PG-13 so he can't do or show much. Hilarious!!

SUMI: A young girl who does variant jobs over the phone. Some of them are really kinky! And it also turns on her male roommate!

TEXAS: A family discussion takes place at the Texas and Oklahoma borderline. My second favorite short film in the program!

THANK YOU, CABBAGE: My favorite short of the program! An acclaimed female writer, who reinvents herself after discovering what an asshole her husband is....all thanks to a cabbage. Yup, this was some funny shit here!

SHORTS 3 PROGRAM: HUMOR ME will be screened again at the Camera 12 on Saturday, March 15th at 4:15pm.

Film number four was the drama/comedy THE DIVORCE PARTY. Happy partying couple Kip (Colin Owens) and Leena (Ashlynn Yennie) are getting a divorce, and you know what that means? Yup, it's time to throw a Divorce Party before they move out of the Bohemian apartment. Yet among the booze, live music, wacky best friends, and cupcakes, Kip decides to do whatever it takes to save his marriage with Leena, no matter the cost.

A true indie gem of a film! Director Edy Soto (making this his world premiere) keeps the laughs and drama close together that you find yourself laughing and crying simultaneously. Soto fills the screen up with three dimensional and fleshed out characters that make the movie so enjoyable to watch. The whole cast is phenomenal in the film which raises it to a higher level. A triumphant debut of a film!! 5 out of 5 stars!! Highly recommended!! Today was the last screening, but make sure you "Like" the film on its official Facebook page!

My fifth and final film of the day had a short before it. Another Ciniequest Picture The Possibilities (PTP) short, JASON AND ROY is about two best friends: one coming out as a gay man and the other coming out as a homophobic man.

The documentary feature BITE SIZE talks about one of the most critical epidemics facing American youths today: obesity. Shot over the span of a year, the film focuses of four kids who try to change their eating habits so they can not only look and feel better, but also not be picked on or bullied. With the dangers of temptations of snack foods lurking at the corner grocery store, at every fast food place, and in the cafeteria lunch line, these children must face their personal demons head on to not only shed their weight, but to also become a better person.

Like the doc film BULLY that played at Cinequest back in 2012, this film is a continuation of the trials and tribulations of what these overweight children must face day in and day out. Unfortunately, some of their parents aren't much help or support. One of the kids Emily, her parents send her off to fat camps and spend a lot of money on it, hoping the problem will be fixed when she returns. Moy's trying to lose his weight but his dad is not a positive role model because he's eating McDonald's while his son is eating healthy. Davion's problem is that whenever calls him fat, he looses his cool and gets into series of fights that could get him kicked off the football team. And KeAnna gets a little help from her principle. Director Corbin Billings captures it all in this powerful and riveting wake-up call to stop and end childhood obesity!! 5 out of 5 stars!! Highly recommended!! The film will be screened again at the Camera 12 on Friday, March 14th at 4:30pm.

And folks, there you have Day Seven of Cinequest 24! All together I've seen 32 films in 7 days. So far I'm right on track to reaching 60 films! Remember the festival ends on Sunday, March 16th so make sure you come out here to 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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