Lost LakeLost Lake is a head-spinning slasher film that keeps you on the edge of your seat right up until the shocking finale.  A new indie horror flick from Special Order Films directed by Marcus Nash, Lost Lake follows a young couple, Tricia (Katie Keene) and Jeff (John Shartzer), as they travel to a ghost town, just outside of Death Valley, CA, in search of their oddball uncle (Ezra Buzzington). 

 

Middle of NowhereI had the pleasure of seeing writer and director Ava DuVernay speak at the Film Independent Directors Series this past year. When asked how and why she got into filmmaking, her answers were, perhaps, a bit unconventional. DuVernay spent many years working in niche film distribution. She realized that not enough of the kinds of films she wanted to see were actually being made. So, she decided to do something about it. Now, a few years later, DuVernay has successfully written and directed her second feature film, Middle of Nowhere, a character-driven drama centered on an all-black cast. The film won the “Best Director” award at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.

The-Perks-of-Being-a-Wallflower-movie-posterHometown boy makes good. A phrase often uttered in tales of old, emblazoned on headlines of bygone reliquaries known as the printed page. Hometown boy makes. "Good" what? Good mix tapes? Good novels and films? Good at making allusions to the bitter sweetness and ennui of high school life? Milling around this question, I come to the eventual conclusion that this is my go-to answer . . . can't it be both?

On a Thursday evening in the hamlet of Homestead, right on the corner of Pittsburgh and Inspiration, my life was changed forever. I saw a movie. Big deal you say, but what this book and subsequent film reminded me is that every moment changes every one after. Aforementioned good-making hometown boy Stephen Chbosky was on hand to welcome and thank the many in attendance for this premiere. Particularly thanking the cast and crew from Pittsburgh and the surrounding areas, Chbosky had a particular shine of pride in his eyes and nostalgia in the timber of his voice. Reminiscing about growing up in Pittsburgh and the best mushroom soup ever made being only up the hill from the theater by his aunt. He went on to thank again those whose efforts made this endeavor possible. The thanks were soon returned . . .

PuppetMaster.finalThe 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.

 

 

Fantastic fan films premiered this summer.  By now, most everyone has hopefully seen Bryan Nest’s Batman: Puppet Master.  I made it this week’s FFOW!, because I finally realized why this Batman fan film made such an impact on this Batman film fan.

 

Safety Not Guaranteed ETThe story of this movie begins in reality. Years ago, a man placed an ad in a real newspaper looking for “someone to go back in time with” him. He went on to write, “This is not a joke . . . Must bring your own weapons. Safety Not Guaranteed. I’ve only done this once before.” Screenwriter Derek Connelly obtained the rights to this infamous ad, and it is now the basis of the surprisingly touching and completely entertaining film, Safety Not Guaranteed.

WW Balance of PowerThe 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.

 

 

So, now Superman and Wonder Woman got a “sweet thang” goin’ on in DC’s New 52 publication of Justice League.  This week, we look at the Amazonian Princess as she battles injustice and shares coffee with her Man of Steel.  

 

 

Star Wars vs. Star Trek*Please note that this article is an opinion-editorial.

Throughout my life and time in geekdom, I’ve come upon several people who have wanted to divide geeks into two camps: those who enjoy Star Wars, and those who enjoy Star Trek.  And, even within those divisions, more divisions have occurred: which Trek series is the best, which Star Wars trilogy is better, which books are more enjoyable to read, etc.  It is as though people feel the need to belong to a certain subgroup in order to find acceptance—heck, even the term geek has come to mean a clique in the past few years.  Well, as someone who is both a Star Trek AND a Star Wars fan, I’m going to tell you just which one is better: they’re both awesome, and they both suck.

MINOR HISTORICAL SPOILERS BELOW

 

Save the DateOne of a handful of romantic dramedies that premiered at Sundance 2012 is Save the Date. IFC acquired distribution rights for a possible release in LA and NYC this year. Despite a low IMDb rating, this romantic film has received positive, as well as negative, reviews. Deciphering why that is has led me to conclude that Save the Date is one of those middle-of-the-road movies, almost quite funny and charming, but something holds it back from really making an impression.  

Y posterThe 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.

 

 

This week, I decided to man up and watch the Y: The Last Man fan adaptation that has created waves online this summer.  Best.  Decision.  Ever.

 

Celeste and Jesse ForeverOn August 3rd, Sony Pictures Classics released Celeste and Jesse Forever to limited audiences in LA and NYC. The film, directed by Lee Toland Krieger (The Vicious Kind), follows the lives of two amicable exes, and soon-to-be divorcees, Celeste (Rashida Jones) and Jesse (Andy Samberg). After six years of marriage, Celeste, a marketing executive who studies trends, separated from sweet but career-stunted Jesse, a struggling artist. Although they have ended the marriage, they still get along as best friends do, and they spend an inordinate amount of time together. It seems the couple is unwilling to let go of their bond.

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