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Added by the giraffe on 6 Jun 2021 07:34
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Movies the giraffe watched in 2021: June

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Noteworthy: The best films I watched this month

The breakdown: 37 feature films and 25 Short films for a total of 62 films watched
60 first views, 2 re-watches
61 via streaming, 0 via DVD/BR, and 1 in the theatre
Decades touched: 1960s - 2020s

So it turns out if you give me a virtual film festival full of content I know nothing about I will watch as much as time will possibly allow. I could drag most of that section up here, but I'll try to refrain. My efforts to wipe out what was left for me in the Starz and HBO Max apps also helped me keep moving, though I did wind up leaving both services at the end of June with films left untouched from my queues. Actually, in the case of Starz I did start to watch Last Days of Disco but then realized I wasn't in the mood for wealthy white people whining about their minor troubles and turned it off, and I had technical issues that kept me from watching Call Me By Your Name, so technically I did touch those. With regard to Max, I did watch everything I hadn't seen yet and truly cared about getting watched, which means the rest were added out of curiosity. That's one service I'll likely return to in the future though, so perhaps those untouched films will be waiting for me. I didn't make many trips to the theatre, but then there wasn't much out I cared to see either. Theatrical releases are starting to pick up here, however, so I anticipate that changing in the months ahead...unless of course we find ourselves back in lockdown again due to variant strains of Covid. Time will tell I suppose. All in all this was a great month movie-wise and I'm thankful once again for the Chattanooga Film Festival. Hopefully next year I can go in person.
First viewing - June 29th

Hands down my favorite film I watched all month. Broadcast Signal Intrusion had me thinking at times of Zodiac, and I mean that as a compliment. I don't want to say too much as going in blind worked so well for me, so I'll just say that the film won me over and I can't wait to see it again. Ah, but apparently I was in the minority on loving it, so YMMV.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 4 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 10 IMDB Rating 7.8
First viewing - June 25th

Far and away my favorite short I watched during the fest, and I won't spoil any details here. The filmmakers were hanging around the Fest's Discord server, and I learned they intend to make it into a full feature soon. I can't wait.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 4 Average listal rating (3 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 0
First viewing - June 28th

I absolutely loved Night Drive. The only thing missing for me was that perfect 10 feeling. The cast is great, the story kept me engaged and was full of surprises, and best of all I now have a new non-traditional Xmas film I can add to my rotation. It's entirely my kinda jam, and I look forward to spending more time with it in the years ahead.

Night Drive will hit VOD on Aug. 6th.

Just a thought: I spent the first half of this film feeling like it was inspired by Collateral, which only added to my appreciation of it.
the giraffe's rating:
First viewing - June 24th

Scenes was the opening night film, and I wound up deeply loving and appreciating it. It's a thoughtful reflection on life during the pandemic, mixing intellectual musings, religion, and humor to great effect. The cast is stellar, and overall it was totally my cup of tea. I'll gladly revisit it.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 51 Average listal rating (30 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 6.5
Kajillionaire (2020)
First viewing - June 6th

I've seen some positive feedback floating around online for this one, and given the cast and the fact I've enjoyed some of Miranda July's other work I was willing to give it a chance. And I was pretty much blown away by the whole thing. It's intelligent, original, and heartfelt, brilliantly acted...I sat in awe for a while after it ended and it kept coming to mind after. Only thing missing was that perfect 10 feeling, so I'll definitely watch it again.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 2 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 9 IMDB Rating 6.9
Mister Limbo (2021)
First viewing - June 27th

For my money Mister Limbo was the better film of the pair (see DimLand notes below), thanks largely to the relationship between its two main leads. The story and characters kept me engaged, and I liked its ideas and the overall execution. I could have spent more hours with these characters, and thus I'll be adding it to my collection whenever that's a possibility.
the giraffe's rating:
First viewing - June 27th

I was pleasantly surprised when they announced "Where No One Will Find Her" as the fan-voted best student-produced short. It's truly excellent all around, a nice short thriller that works well start to finish. It was definitely in my top 5 shorts for the fest, and if this is any indication of what we can expect from Ahnmin Lee in the future he'll be a filmmaker to keep your eyes peeled for.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 180 Average listal rating (137 ratings) 6.4 IMDB Rating 0
Luca (2021)
First viewing - June 19th

The kiddo and I watched Luca together and we both really enjoyed it. It's well animated, richly detailed, and wonderfully funny and heartfelt. I got very caught up in the characters and their journey, and wound up loving it overall. It'd be an even better film, however, if Disney would allow their creators to go all-in on telling LGBTQ+ stories openly and honestly instead of forcing them to keep the truth in the background for fear of upsetting an ever-shrinking percentage of their audience. Sadly that's par for the course though, and I'm trying not to hold that against the final product.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 1 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 9 IMDB Rating 7.6
First viewing - June 27th

"Make a Wish" was also in my top 5 shorts, thanks to its devilishly clever story idea and stellar execution. Loved it.
the giraffe's rating:
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Home viewings

First viewing - June 2nd

Given that it's Pride Month I wanted to kick things off with something LGBTQ+, and opted to knock out the last of Almodovar's films that are on Max that I wanted to see. It's so short I probably could have watched it last month, but I'm fine with seeing it now as it serves as a nice bridge between this month and last. And it fit what I was looking for well enough. It's not great, kinda rough in fact...in some ways it felt like Almodovar's version of Dazed and Confused, though given the year it was made Linklater's film would have been inspired by this one and not the other way around. It's content to just hang back and watch its characters deal with everything going on around them, and it's never dull at all. The characters are memorable and feel real enough, and overall it's a fun time. It's nothing especially deep, but it's a good story and while I doubt I'd need to sit through it twice I might be willing to.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 211 Average listal rating (124 ratings) 6.1 IMDB Rating 6.5
Re-watch - June 3rd

OK, so really on this night I tried to watch Call Me By Your Name but for some reason the quality of the film via the Starz app is crap. Any time a character moves it's blurry, and that's just not good enough. The lacking quality is all the more baffling given that I switched to Higher Learning and it was perfect. I'd pulled it up just to test the quality, and wound up hooked in until the end. So I'm not complaining at all.

I feel like this film is undervalued, and I'm not entirely sure why. The cast is mostly solid, the soundtrack slaps, and it's thoughtful and entertaining. If it falls shy of greatness, it's probably because it's juggling so many characters that some of them get lost along the way, but overall I'd argue its strengths outweigh its faults. I think this was my third time ever watching it and I was so glad it held up as well as it has. If you haven't seen it I highly recommend giving it a look.

Just a thought: Turns out this was the first film I ever saw Regina King in.
the giraffe's rating:
First viewing - June 4th

"Is this my agent? I'd like to get out of this series please."

I really had zero interest in watching this, but since it was in my face all week I figured I'd give it a chance and make up my own mind. I wasn't going to give anyone extra money to watch it though, so I caught it via Max at home. I walked into it with ground-level expectations, and it managed to not impress me at all. As far as I can tell Michael Chaves has no idea how to build suspense or deliver scares. It's all imitation of what he's seen others do but without any of the craft of those who do it so much better than him. When James Wan was at the helm of these films, everything hit and those first two films got under my skin. Since then there's not a single film in the entire bloated franchise that's managed to do the same. Watching a Conjuring film should not be a passive experience, and that's all this was for me. The cast does their best with what they're given, and the film looks fine enough and moves fast enough that I wasn't itching to turn it off, but if that's the best compliments it can get from me then it's failed at its basic functions. If Wan has no interest in returning to the franchise (and at this point I can't think of a reason he'd want to), then I'm officially done with it.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 343 Average listal rating (191 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 8
First viewing - June 5th

Unsure if I just was not in the right mood for it, but for the most part I was bored out of my mind with Kwaidan. The film looks stunning, and on technical levels it's tough to complain about too much. Were it not for the outstanding visuals and my determination to see it through, I would have dropped the film for something else. Really I should have abandoned it, but I made myself finish it. I liked the 2nd tale best of all 4, and the final tale was amusing, but the 1st and 3rd tales were so glacially paced I could scarcely care about either of them. I even napped during the 3rd tale and didn't even care about going back to see what I'd missed. I can see why people would get a lot out of this film, but I can't throw my name in among them. Kind of a bummer, but it is what it is I guess. At least I've finally satisfied my curiosity and know what it's like.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 1557 Average listal rating (1084 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.7
Argo (2012)
First viewing - June 5th

I decided to have a Ben Affleck as director double feature on this Saturday night, and wound up having a pretty good time with Argo. The story is quite fascinating and the cast and crew are firing on all cylinders here. I was really amped up during the final stretch of the film, which tells you they did a great job of making me care about the characters and what they went through. I'm so glad I finally caught up with this film, and I'd gladly watch it again some time.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 1273 Average listal rating (803 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.6
First viewing - June 5th

I enjoyed Gone Baby Gone, though perhaps "enjoyed" isn't quite the correct word to use given all the time spent with such dark characters. I thought the story was well told, the cast was very very good, and I appreciated the ways it played out against my expectations. I also give it points for having the courage to look at police corruption within the context of the story its telling. It's absolutely worth a look, though I think one viewing is enough.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 1347 Average listal rating (904 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 7.3
Ronin (1998)
First viewing - June 7th

Some of you will recall voting for me to watch this film back when it was in my Netflix queue. I didn't get it watched back then because it left the service before I could sit down with it, and finally catching up with it I felt pretty bad about that. Ronin has some truly stellar action set-pieces, a solid cast all around, and the story has enough twists that it kept me engaged throughout. I thought maybe Sean Bean would factor into it more than he does, but that's fine. I don't know that I'd deem it great, but it's a good time and I'd sit through it again.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 102 Average listal rating (74 ratings) 5.6 IMDB Rating 6.5
House Party (1990)
First viewing - June 14th

Back when House Party came out I was too young to be able to watch it, and even if I wasn't I had zero interest in Kid & Play and thus likely would've ignored it. My lack of interest in them never changed in the years since. Max recently added the first 3 films in the franchise (apparently there are at least 4), and so I figured I'd finally give it a look. And if you've seen any other movie where a group of teens have a big party, you can pretty well tell where this will go. But hey, it's not a bunch of white people and that works in its favor. Most of the laughs come courtesy of Robin Allen and John Witherspoon, and the whole thing moves quickly enough that it's rarely dull. I have no interest in finding out how they managed to stretch it out into a series, but it was fun enough that it was worth a look despite the predictability. The soundtrack is pretty good overall too.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 73 Average listal rating (46 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 7
Crooklyn (1994)
First viewing - June 16th

Continuing my quest to catch up on more Spike Lee films, and this one was underwhelming. That's not the fault of the cast though, as they're all good in their respective roles and create memorable characters. And I got the feeling that the story holds personal significance to Lee, which I can respect. And I'll also give credit to the soundtrack which is full of excellent songs. But there are some aspects which are touched on without being explored satisfactorily, or moments that happen off screen which diminishes their emotional impact. So I doubt I'd sit through it again, but it had enough going for it that it was worth a look.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 2896 Average listal rating (1903 ratings) 5.5 IMDB Rating 6.4
Space Jam (1996)
Re-watch - June 17th

With the new Space Jam Legacy movie coming out I thought I'd revisit this film since I haven't seen it since it was in theatres. And I could just as well not have, but that wouldn't have satisfied my curiosity. The film has moments, most of them courtesy of Bill Murray. But it's mostly a mess. As a long-time fan of Looney Tunes, the fact that I don't laugh at the majority of their antics is a big big issue. The plot lacks focus, jumping between the preparation for the big game and the effect of stealing 5 dudes' talents on the entire NBA. And the bouncing back and forth kills the momentum of the plot every single time. It's pretty frustrating. But hey, that gives the new film a low bar to surpass, right? What I've seen looks like it has potential, but we'll see.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 736 Average listal rating (425 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.6
First viewing - June 18th

I thought I'd seen this as a kid, but if so it was only once as I'd forgotten all the details. Since watching it now seemed new to me I'm counting it as a first view instead. First off, it's refreshing to get an animated film that's neither Disney nor Anime. I haven't looked into it to see whether the creative forces behind Watership Down made other films, but what they've done here is impressive especially for its time. I genuinely cared about the characters and their struggle, though there were a couple of places where the film seemed to drag a little. And I've got to give it credit for starting the film with one animation style before shifting to the one used for the majority of the film, as well as for being brave enough to have so much blood in a film that seems kid-friendly. That latter aspect is why it turns up on lists of films that traumatize kids. It's not great, but it's absolutely worth watching. I kinda wish I'd been able to convince the kiddo to watch it with me, but maybe now I can encourage her to give it a look.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 77 Average listal rating (58 ratings) 5.2 IMDB Rating 5.3
First viewing - June 20th

I saw some positive feedback online for Monster Hunter, and since it was on the Starz app I opted to watch it with the kiddo. It's nothing great, but it was fairly entertaining. I'll gladly welcome an opportunity to watch Tony Jaa and Milla Jovovich in an action film together, and I enjoyed the chemistry and relationship between them. Perhaps the film would be better had they not been as concerned with trying to launch a franchise from it, as the ending was only partly satisfying by design. I doubt I'd watch it again, and I'm skeptical it'll get a sequel, but we shall see.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 849 Average listal rating (601 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.8
Dunkirk (2017)
First viewing - June 22nd

I figured I'd finally give Dunkirk a look even though I had zero interest in it. I'm not a big war movie fan, and I don't need another film set during WWII as the territory seems to be overly mined. But it's Christopher Nolan, and since this was the only film of his I hadn't seen yet I figured I'd give it a chance while it's on Max.

And despite my reluctance to watch it, it did wind up being worth a look. The way the film interweaves three related timelines was a bit much, but I guess it kept things interesting at least. The characters were fine, the action was well handled, and I was never bored with it. I doubt I'd need to sit through it again, but I didn't regret checking it out at all which is a minor achievement in my book.
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Big screen attractions

Films caught in a theatre
People who added this item 44 Average listal rating (30 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 7.3
First viewing - June 12th

So, yeah, we could have watched this at home via Max, but I felt it was important to support the film financially by taking the kiddo to see it on the big screen. And while I'm generally not a fan of musicals, I thought it was pretty good overall. It's a well-made celebration of Latinx backgrounds and struggles to live in New York, and some of the big numbers are pretty impressive. It does seem a bit overlong, and there's one moment that should hit emotionally but doesn't, and these issues keep it from being truly great. But I'm glad the kiddo and I went to see it.
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Chattanooga Film Festival 2021


Last year it's safe to say the highlight of my movie-watching was getting to attend the Chattanooga Film Festival virtually. So when they announced it was happening virtually again for 2021, I snatched up a badge without question. The only downside to this was that the festival wound up falling during a time where I wasn't able to request any time off so I could maximize what I could watch. Had I managed to get one full day off from work I would have at least watched all the new feature films they had to offer. Still, looking at this section it's hard to feel too bad about it.

Missing from the list are 4 short films, 3 of which do not have IMDb pages: "Out of Office" (watched after "Poor Glenna", meh-5/10), "Good Head" (watched before Black Medusa, super fun take on superhero movies vs. practical effects=7/10), and "Hold Music!" (watched after "A Machine for Boredom"; it's a claymation music video about hold music, which was also fun-7/10). The short film "Stuck" DOES have an IMDb page, but the site is currently refusing to add it for some reason (I posted to the forums, but by the time this list goes live I don't anticipate it being fixed). "Stuck" was watched before Kandisha and was among my favorites as it was amusing, hit home with me, and had exquisite special effects-9/10.
First viewing - June 24th

Since I had to work before I could dive into the fest, I started off with some short films as I waited for the opening night features to begin. I picked this one based on its title, which basically sums up what this short film was about. I was very entertaining and different, and I enjoyed it but was questioning at least one aspect of it after it ended.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 1 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 0
First viewing - June 24th

This is one of those short films that felt like it would benefit from a longer run-time, perhaps even a feature-length approach. I enjoyed it for what it was, but the more I've thought about it it needed a little more depth and detail to be fully effective.
the giraffe's rating:
First viewing - June 24th

"With Pleasure" was bonkers. Outstanding visuals, a concept I'm not likely to forget, and the dialogue plays like poetry. Definitely one of the fest's most memorable shorts.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 1 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 0
Cutter (2021)
First viewing - June 24th

Again the title is a strong indicator of what this short was about, and thus should probably have a content/trigger warning attached to it. I thought it was very well made all around, and they handled the subject respectfully.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 5 Average listal rating (4 ratings) 6 IMDB Rating 6.1
Teddy (2020)
First viewing - June 24th

After Scenes we got Teddy, and the two films could not have less in common. This one is a coming-of-age tale by way of a werewolf story, which had echoes of Raw (so if you dug Raw, give this a look). It's headed to Shudder before long, which is great because it'll find a solid fan base there. It's a good time overall, not quite great in my book but the fact I related to it at times did endear it to me. I'd at least watch it again.
the giraffe's rating:
First viewing - June 25th

The moment I got off work Friday afternoon I was itching to dive back in, and wanted to make sure I didn't watch anything too long that would prevent me from checking out The Pumpkin Pie Show at 6pm. Which meant it was time for a few shorts.

This one caused a good buzz among the festival-goers, so I figured I'd give it a look. It's wonderfully shot and acted, and fairly entertaining. Nothing great, but I liked it and could watch it again.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 1 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 6 IMDB Rating 8.5
First viewing - June 25th

This one I struggled to get into, though I respect its execution. It's about a guy and a shed and his means of grieving, well made but ultimately not my cup of tea.
the giraffe's rating:
First viewing - June 25th

After The Pumpkin Pie Show and dinner, I had a little time left before the night's feature films began. So, more shorts. Again the title gives you an idea, and I thought it was well-made for what it was. It paled in comparison to "Koreatown Ghost Story", but was worth a look.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 2 Average listal rating (2 ratings) 6 IMDB Rating 6.5
Weirdo (2020)
First viewing - June 25th

Maybe it was just because I was still riding the highs of my favorite short, or maybe because I caught it after The Pumpkin Pie Show, but I thought this was merely OK. Another short that's well-executed but nothing great in my book.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 16 Average listal rating (12 ratings) 5.4 IMDB Rating 5.4
The Old Ways (2020)
First viewing - June 25th

At 8pm they showed The Old Ways, which was a total blast. Possession films are a well-worn trope, but this one proves there are still ways to mine the territory that not only work well but set themselves apart from the pack. The cast is terrific, the story never misses a step, and it's got some great great lines in it. It's destined to find regular rotation for me during my Horrorfests once I can get my hands on a physical copy. Let that guide you into whether you want to keep it on your radar.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 1 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 0
First viewing - June 26th

As fate would have it I had a busy morning and afternoon, which prevented me from starting in on anything until after 3pm. And there was an event at 4pm I wanted to catch, so I gave this a look since it was longer (around 30 minutes). As a long-time fan of both heavy metal and horror, this was pretty fun. The acting could be better, but there are some gloriously gruesome kills (kudos to the effects team) and it doesn't take itself too seriously which kinda makes up for it. Plus Brent Hinds of Mastodon is playing himself, and I love that dude.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 1 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 0
Meat Lovers (2020)
First viewing - June 26th

This was super short and people kept talking about it, so I had to give it a look. And it was really fun, a total blast. Nothing deep or great, but I fully enjoyed it for what it was.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 1 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 4 IMDB Rating 4.6
First viewing - June 26th

Here we have the low point of the festival for me. I mean, look at that title...there's potential there. Trouble is the film is far too minimalistic and sparse in its approach. There were two or three scenes I thought were well put together, but everything around them is a total slog that never pays off. The characters are poorly established and lack depth. It's barely over an hour but felt like it went on for several. By the end I wished I'd watched any other film I'd wanted to instead.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 1 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 6.5
An Ideal Host (2020)
First viewing - June 26th

An Ideal Host is an Australian horror-comedy that has a clear inspiration from Carpenter's The Thing. If that doesn't sell you on giving it a look, I'm not sure what would. It's a blast from start to finish, perhaps a little rough in spots on the technical side of things, but charming enough that I barely minded its flaws. This is another one I'll be eagerly waiting to get my hands on a physical copy of. First though, it needs to get distribution into the world.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 11 Average listal rating (9 ratings) 5.8 IMDB Rating 5.7
First viewing - June 26th

This was one of three secret screenings, and was a very dark journey indeed (pun intended? maybe). The acting is stellar all around, and it's a tightly wound thriller. Bleak, but worth it in my book. I wouldn't need to watch it again, but if someone was curious and wanted me to sit down with them I could.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 2 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 5.6
Kandisha (2020)
First viewing - June 26th

Kandisha would probably better complement The Old Ways but it wasn't too drastic a shift from the film that preceded it. It's sort of a French version of Candyman, a little predictable but entertaining and not afraid to get dark. The cast is pretty good, and it's nice to see the film led by a trio of females. I'm not sure the film entirely follows its own logic though, which detracted a little. I thought it was worth a look though.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 1 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 6 IMDB Rating 8.4
Golem (2020)
First viewing - June 27th

"Golem" feels like a teaser for a feature-length film. I dug the visuals and the creature design, but there's not enough there to satisfy me.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 1 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.2
Hey, It's Me (2020)
First viewing - June 27th

Here's another short that feels like a teaser or test for a feature-length film. Getting a one-time-only phone call from your future self is a hell of a concept, and the whole thing left me wanting more. Should it evolve into a full movie I'd gladly watch it.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 1 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 0
First viewing - June 27th

Prior to the fest, their social media account encouraged everyone to make a double feature out of DimLand and Mister Limbo, so that's what I did to kick off my Sunday films-wise (the only full day I got to spend with the fest). DimLand is really interesting, the writer/director admitted his inspiration was thinking about what if the main character from Spirited Away grew up and tried to go back to her childhood home. It takes that idea and builds off it to create a truly original work with some impressive visuals and ideas. I didn't love it as much as others seemed to, but I respect the approach and would happily watch it again. Keep an eye out for it.
the giraffe's rating:
First viewing - June 27th

I mean, look at that title. You can't ignore a movie with a title like that. I had to watch it. And it's a unique take on the vampire myth while also working as an exploration of the difficulties of caring for someone disabled or with a long-term illness in your home. It didn't fully connect with me on a deep level, but I enjoyed it well enough for what it is thanks to the casting and a plot trajectory that's rarely obvious.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 1 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 0
Poor Glenna (2021)
First viewing - June 27th

This short was just pure cheesy horror fun, clearly inspired by Corman's version of Little Shop of Horrors mixed with a dose of '80s indie horror style. Nothing great, but a good time.
the giraffe's rating:
First viewing - June 27th

I did not care much for this one, but perhaps that's because I thought it was doing one thing when it was trying to do something else instead. Or maybe I just hoped it'd go a different direction. This is one of those films that makes me want to take away my daughter's devices forever, but it's not as endearing as Eighth Grade was. Mostly it reminded me of some of the horror-meme Youtube stuff I've seen, and I just don't need a movie made out of it. Thankfully I had the fest Discord chat to help keep me entertained, otherwise I would've dropped out of it.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 1 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 6
First viewing - June 27th

Duel on the River served as a nice palate-cleanser after the previous film. Super low budget, a fun little tale of a guy that buys a kayak and has to deal with a maniac on a boat his first time out, nothing exceptional but a more enjoyable time for me. The acting could be better, but for what seems to be a first attempt put together by a group of friends it's good enough. My only real complaint was with the sound recording...I kept having to adjust the volume throughout the entire thing, turning it up to hear dialogue then turning it down because the music was too loud. This was not an issue with any of the other films I watched, so clearly it's the fault of their sound guy and whoever edited it together. I doubt I'll ever watch it again, but it was worth a look.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 1 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.4
First viewing - June 28th

The last two days of the fest fell on work days, so I did my best to make the most of the little time I had left. Both days as soon as I was done with work I threw on a movie, had dinner after, then dove in to a double feature before getting around for bed, starting with an event screening and chasing it with something I'd really wanted to see.

This film was super quirky, almost to the point of being annoying at times, and yet it's charming enough and not taking itself too seriously which helps. There are some truly funny moments along the way, and the cast does a mostly good job. Ultimately I think it's just not entirely to my taste, but if you like quirky movies this one might just be to yours.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 3 Average listal rating (2 ratings) 3.5 IMDB Rating 5.9
Black Medusa (2021)
First viewing - June 28th

This was the third and final secret screening of the fest (I only watched two of them as I missed one). Visually it's astoundingly gorgeous. The sound design is impressive all around. And so on technical levels it's one of those films that really should be seen, plus it kept making me recall A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night in positive ways. I didn't care so much for the way the story was handled, however, between its reluctance to truly dive into the lead character's motivations and its occasional insistence on dragging out a scene for no clear reason. So despite what my rating below says of the film, I do think it's worth a look especially for my fellow cinephiles. Maybe you'll dig it more than I did.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 1 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 0
First viewing - June 29th

I saw some praise for this one on Discord, and since it was so short I caught it during a work break. It's an experimental short about man vs. capitalism, visually and thematically interesting. I don't know that it was essential viewing, but I appreciated what it was going for.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 1 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 0
Bed (2020)
First viewing - June 29th

I caught this short during my lunch break (FOMO is real) and it wasn't quite what I expected at first. It gets points for that. It's not great but it accomplished what it was going for I felt.
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