There’s a poignant moment in Still Alice wherein the titular character, played by Julianne Moore, says, “I wish I had cancer.” When you have cancer, everyone wears ribbons in your honor, raises money, and gives you their utmost sympathy and, more importantly, respect. Alice doesn’t have cancer. She has Alzheimer’s. Instead of being embraced by society, she’s made to feel embarrassed by the things she says and does. Instead of people’s sympathy, she gets their pity, which is not the same. And, instead of destroying her body, the disease takes away her mind, piece by piece.

Faults starts out as a broad comedy, then gradually transitions into a tense thriller, before finally ending up as . . . something else. It’s hard to say what. Regardless, though, the film manages to be entertaining and compelling throughout.

The official plot synopsis of Self Made heralds it as an Israeli body-switching comedy. I suppose this is technically accurate, but it’s also a bit misleading. It’s more like Trading Places or The Prince and the Pauper than, say, Freaky Friday, and even that’s not the most accurate description. This is a very quiet, subdued movie and different from anything I’ve ever seen.

There have been plenty of movies that blur the line between reality and dreams. There have been a fair few movies that blur the line between reality and film. Reality is one of the only movies I’ve seen, though, that blurs the line between all three.

Eden, premiering November 7th at AFI Fest 2014, isn’t so much a film as it is a journey. It doesn’t exactly have an arc, nor does it flow the way we generally expect films to flow. It’s a French film, with a different focus and a different feel than American films generally have. We watch the story unfold through a series of stops on the journey—fragments and increments that might not have a traditional Hollywood structure, but in the end, tell us everything we need to know.

The FFOW! series takes a look at that vast library created by the proud and the passionate: fan films. Whether the budget and talent is astronomical or amateur, FFOW! celebrates the filmmakers whose love of comics, books, movies, video games, and TV shows inspires them to join the great conversation with their own homemade masterpieces.


Director Vincent Tran has gained momentum this past year thanks to his very successful Supergirl fan film, Girl of Steel. (You can read my review here). His modern interpretations of DC characters strips off the colorful costumes and replaces them with logical and emotional motivation. The same trend continues in his newest film, a spinoff set in the same Tran-verse of DC continuity that promises even better stories.

Spoofs and satires about third-rate superhero teams are considerably more common than you would think. Even spoof reality show about third-rate superhero teams have been done multiple times before. Because of that, if a film chooses to go that route, it really needs to be something special in order to make itself stand out, and I’m happy to report that Real Heroes succeeds on that front. It’s unique, fun, engaging, and often laugh-out-loud funny.

My first impression of the film, Hollows Grove, was that it’s sort of like The Blair Witch Project meets Tropic Thunder; however, while that’s essentially an accurate assessment, it’s also a bit misleading, as the association with Tropic Thunder implies that the film is a comedy, which it definitely isn’t. Still, it does share some elements in common with both movies.

Echoes in an Empty Apartment is a dark story about unsavory people doing unsavory things. It’s got murder, sex, revenge, betrayal, and more, all with a gritty noir motif.

Despite the title clearly aping that of Affleck’s thriller about a missing child, Gone Doggy Gone is not simply a parody of the aforementioned work. Instead, it examines LA dog culture through a loving, yet critical, lens while simultaneously weaving a tale of flawed individuals unknowingly searching for healing. It’s not always a perfect journey, and people who have never wholeheartedly loved a pet may find the characters pitiable rather than relatable, but it’s a satisfyingly heartwarming ride where the doggy star manages to steal her scenes, yet still function beautifully as a plot device. LA couple Elliott and Abby Harmon appear to have everything they could want: matching cars; a cute house perfect for hosting parties; and high powered jobs. Their only real quirk is their obsessive care of their Yorkie Laila who is pampered like a human infant and boasts more stylish clothing than a celebrity baby. Jill, the Harmon’s dog walker/baby sitter, seems just as nutty for the tiny canine, happily referring to Laila as her BFF and using the tiny dog as a substitute for her lack of fulfilling human relationships. When the beloved canine disappears while in Jill’s care, the Harmons fly into a frenzy to get their “baby” back, regardless of the toll it may take on their ties to each other and everyone around them.

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