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9:00 AM on 03.07.2014

SXSW Review: The Infinite Man

Usually the first movie you watch for a festival is a bit of a let down. You're super excited for the festival to kick off and you've hyped yourself up so much that almost nothing is going to stand up to your expectations of ...

Matthew Razak


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Review: The Comedy photo
Review: The Comedy
by Allistair Pinsof

[This review was originally posted as part of our coverage for this year's South by Southwest Film 2012. It has been re-posted to coincide with the film's wider release.]

Hipster is a word that means nothing when said without resentment. We attach this ill-defined slur to anyone who tries hard to seem like they aren’t trying hard. It's a state-of-mind many adopt because it's the only way they can make sense of the world. Those with the time and money like to think the world is a joke, and they are the only ones in on it. It's better to not care than to actually try to be something real.

The Comedy is a character study of a tragically funny individual trying to make sense of the detached society that surrounds him. He's a total dick but one that is hard not to love.

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Review: Rec 3: Genesis photo
Review: Rec 3: Genesis
by Allistair Pinsof

[This review was originally posted to coincide with our coverage at South by Southwest Film 2012. It has been reposted to coincide with its wider theatrical release.]

As a sequel to two of the best found-footage horror films in recent memory, [Rec] 3 falls short in more ways than one. In fact, it’s one of the rare sequels that butchers the established fiction to the point that the previous films feel lessened in effect.

While fans have groaned at [Rec] 3’s departure from being a purely found-footage film, they should really be griping about its director. Without Jaume Balagueró, who co-directed the previous films, [Rec] 3 director Paco Plaza is lost. Instead of creating another uncomfortably intimate horror film, he has created one of the most tonally confused, brashly directed horror films I’ve seen in some time. It’s a bloody mess but not exclusively in the way a horror fan might expect.

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Review: Killer Joe photo
Review: Killer Joe
by Geoff Henao

[This review was originally posted as part of our South by Southwest Film 2012 coverage. It has been reposted to coincide with its theatrical release.]

I honestly don't know how to introduce this review for Killer Joe. It goes to extremes I've never been interested in (or still not interested in). However, because of the film's envelope-pushing nature, Killer Joe has gathered quite the name for itself here at SXSW. However, all of that hype tends to sway to either positive or negative extremes, creating one of the most polarizing films I've ever seen.

Not being familiar with William Friedkin or Tracy Letts, I had no idea what to expect from this film, other than Alex's frantic attempts to ensure I catch it and the brief synopsis on the SXSW website. Billed as "A totally twisted deep-fried Texas redneck trailer park murder story," I should have known better than to not take the tagline seriously.

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Review: The Imposter  photo
Review: The Imposter
by Allistair Pinsof

[This review was originally posted as part of our South by Southwest Film 2012 coverage. It has been reposted to coincide with its wider theatrical release.]

Everyone wants to believe in something. Sometimes, we try so hard that we feel a bit dumb in retrospect. The Imposter is a documentary about that, but more importantly it is a film that puts the viewer in the position of the dumbfounded.

As film-goers, we want to believe an interesting story. The more bizarre and true, the better. The Imposter is a tricky, manipulative film fully aware of audience expectations. It gives the audience exactly what it wants, while constantly shifting directions and tone.

By its end, I couldn’t help but smile at how well all parties have been duped, including myself.

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Review: Crazy Eyes photo
Review: Crazy Eyes
by Geoff Henao

[This review was originally published as part of our South by Southwest Film 2012 coverage. It is being reposted to coincide with its limited theatrical release.]

Crazy Eyes wasn't what I was expecting it to be. I thought it'd be one of those dark indie films that focuses on a realistic depiction of romance and relationships. In a way, that's exactly what it was... It was just... a way too dark and realistic depiction of the nature of relationships.

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11:00 AM on 07.02.2012

Clip: The Imposter

The Imposter is a documentary about the weird-but-true story of Frédéric Bourdin, a 23 year old Frenchman who convinced a grieving Texas family that he was their 16 year old son that had been missing for three ...

Liz Rugg



Review: Safety Not Guaranteed photo
Review: Safety Not Guaranteed
by Geoff Henao

[This review was originally published as part of our SXSW coverage. It is being re-posted to coincide with its wider release. For more on Safety Not Guaranteed, read my interviews with Jake M. Johnson and Karan Soni, Derek Connolly and Colin Trevorrow (writer and director), and Aubrey Plaza and Mark Duplass.]

I went into Safety Not Guaranteed thinking it'd be an awesome time-travel comedy. Wow, was I completely off. What it ultimately ended up being was a heartfelt comedy full of legitimate laughs and character. I know, spoiling how I felt about the film in this introduction isn't the usual style I use to write my reviews, but I just can't contain myself from expressing just how much I really liked Safety Not Guaranteed.

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Review: God Bless America photo
Review: God Bless America
by Geoff Henao

[This review was originally posted as part of our coverage of SXSW 2012. It has been reposted to coincide with the film's theatrical and video on demand release.]

I think that we live in a very jaded world where it's very easy to find something to hate in everything in pop culture. For example, terrible films make millions of dollars at the box office, millions of people vote for their favorite "singer," and millions of celebrity-obsessed gossipers practically run the internet.

God Bless America is the film for those of us who absolutely hate everything I just listed.

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Review: Bernie photo
Review: Bernie
by Geoff Henao

[This review was originally published for our South by Southwest Film 2012 coverage. It is being re-posted to coincide with the film's wide release. ]

Everybody knows that Jack Black is known for a specific type of character that he plays, creating a huge distinction between fans and detractors. In Richard Linklater's Bernie, he dials it back, but is it enough to sway the Jack Black haters? Beyond that, is it enough to even retain those that actually like Jack Black's particular flavor of comedy?

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Review: The Cabin in the Woods photo
Review: The Cabin in the Woods
by Alex Katz

[This review was originally published as part of our coverage of SXSW 2012. It has been reposted to coincide with the film's national release.]

There is so much amazing stuff going on in Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon's The Cabin in the Woods that I can't tell you about, and it's agonizing. This may be one of the best, most original horror movies I've seen in damn near a decade, and I can barely recap the trailer for you without giving WAY too much away. There's a mystery here that's more powerful than all the puzzle box marketing of all the J.J. Abrams films and televisions shows put together. I was talking to my brother, a writer at Culture Mob who's seen the film as well, and he describes it best: "It's Evil Dead meets another movie that you really can't guess and being told what it is ruins the surprise."

I'm going to do my best to not ruin the surprise of Cabin in the Woods. If you're a horror movie fan, though, this should be the absolute number one film on your radar this year, no excuses. And if you're not, you should still see it for a thoroughly Joss Whedon take on the horror genre.

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Review: Intruders photo
Review: Intruders
by Allistair Pinsof

[This review was originally posted as part of our coverage of our SXSW 2012. It has been reposted to coincide with the film's national release.]

Horror used to be a sandbox for great writers. Now it’s just a landfill where studios and audiences empty their pockets.

Great horror like The Sixth Sense, The Innocents, and The Others used horror to explore ideas and build a sense of atmosphere, rather than show some unusually good-looking times get chopped up. This is the same place that Juan Carlos Fresnadillo’s Intruders comes from. It’s high-concept horror free of gore and jump scares, but it fails to create a threat or conflict that will immerse horror and non-horror fans alike. It has big ideas to work with, but they aren't very good ones.

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SXSW 2012: A photo collection... kind of photo
SXSW 2012: A photo collection... kind of
by Geoff Henao

My SXSW 2012 journey ended last week, but as you may have seen throughout the week, the work was far from over. After all of the interviews, reviews, screenings, walking, sweating, crying, and bleeding, we can finally say goodbye to SXSW 2012. If you've missed anything, Allistair wrote a great SXSW 2012 Recap post that links to all of the amazing coverage we were able to do.

The one thing we were lacking, however, was a solid photo gallery. This is definitely my fault, because while I was taking photos whenever possible, I was only armed with the on-camera flash, which if any of you are familiar with, isn't the type of flash you want to use, especially in large theaters. So unfortunately, despite taking more than 150+ photos during SXSW 2012, these are the only salvageable ones. I promise I'll be better equipped for SXSW 2013!

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Flixclusive Interview: Omar Rodriguez-Lopez (Los Chidos) photo
Flixclusive Interview: Omar Rodriguez-Lopez (Los Chidos)
by Geoff Henao

[From Mar. 9th to 17th, Flixist will bring you live coverage from deep in the heart of Texas at South by Southwest Film 2012. Keep an eye out for news, features, interviews, videos, and reviews of some of the most anticipated films to hit the festival circuit in 2012.]

Omar Rodriguez-Lopez is a very passionate man. As a huge fan of At the Drive-In, I was never truly aware of just how passionate he is. Most may know him as a guitarist for At the Drive-In and The Mars Volta, but he's also an aspiring filmmaker, having written, directed, and produced a few films under the Rodriguez-Lopez Productions name. Read on as we discuss what drives him as a person and his thoughts on gender roles in society and how that translated into the dialogue being created in Los Chidos.

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Interview: Aubrey Plaza and Mark Duplass photo
Interview: Aubrey Plaza and Mark Duplass
by Geoff Henao

[From Mar. 9th to 17th, Flixist will bring you live coverage from deep in the heart of Texas at South by Southwest Film 2012. Keep an eye out for news, features, interviews, videos, and reviews of some of the most anticipated films to hit the festival circuit in 2012.]

Safety Not Guaranteed was one of my most anticipated films for SXSW 2012 and with good reason. When I'm not being serenaded by the prospects of some thought-provoking, cerebral indie film, I have a soft spot for character-driven comedies. With a cast that stars Parks and Recreations' Aubrey Plaza and The League's Mark Duplass, my expectations were high. Luckily, the film was able to match (and even exceed) what I was expecting.

Amidst the craziness that was SXSW, I was lucky enough to participate in a roundtable interview with Aubrey and Mark, where we talked about everything from the differences between working for TV and film to Aubrey's seduction scene. If you haven't yet, read the roundtable discussions I had with the writer and director of the film, as well as Plaza's and Duplass' co-stars, Jake M. Johnson and Karan Soni

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Interview: Jack Black (Bernie) photo
Interview: Jack Black (Bernie)
by Geoff Henao

[From Mar. 9th to 17th, Flixist will bring you live coverage from deep in the heart of Texas at South by Southwest Film 2012. Keep an eye out for news, features, interviews, videos, and reviews of some of the most anticipated films to hit the festival circuit in 2012.]

As fun as it was to talk to Matthew McConaughey and Richard Linklater, the "real" draw with the Bernie roundtables was Jack Black. Say what you will about his films or penchant in playing the same character type, the guy's charismatic and has an infectious personality. Read on to discover Black's newfound interest in gospel, the pressures of playing a real person, and what it's like bringing his kids to film premieres. Also, if you haven't yet, read my review for Bernie.

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3:00 PM on 03.21.2012

Interview: Jake M. Johnson and Karan Soni

[From Mar. 9th to 17th, Flixist will bring you live coverage from deep in the heart of Texas at South by Southwest Film 2012. Keep an eye out for news, features, interviews, videos, and reviews of some of the most antici...

Geoff Henao



Interview: Matthew McConaughey and Richard Linklater photo
Interview: Matthew McConaughey and Richard Linklater
by Geoff Henao

[From Mar. 9th to 17th, Flixist will bring you live coverage from deep in the heart of Texas at South by Southwest Film 2012. Keep an eye out for news, features, interviews, videos, and reviews of some of the most anticipated films to hit the festival circuit in 2012.]

On March 15th, myself and a few other reporters were invited to a roundtable discussion with Bernie director Richard Linklater and supporting actor Matthew McConaughey. Read on as Linklater sheds some insight on why he was attracted to the story of Bernie Tiede, what it's like working with McConaughey, and even McConaughey's thoughts on working with his Mom, Kay McCabe, who made a special cameo in the film.

[Header via Michael Buckner/Getty Images North America]

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Flixclusive Interview: Kirsten Sheridan (Dollhouse) photo
Flixclusive Interview: Kirsten Sheridan (Dollhouse)
by Geoff Henao

[From Mar. 9th to 17th, Flixist will bring you live coverage from deep in the heart of Texas at South by Southwest Film 2012. Keep an eye out for news, features, interviews, videos, and reviews of some of the most anticipated films to hit the festival circuit in 2012.]

Dollhouse premiered at SXSW on Saturday, March 10th. The film is about a group of Irish teenagers that break into a fancy suburban "mansion" with intentions of partying. However, one of the girls in the group, Jeannie, has some secrets she's kept from the others that eventually leak out throughout the night. If you're interested in reading more about the film, you can check out my full review.

I met with the film's writer and director, Kirsten Sheridan, at a cafe SXSW co-opted for the festival called The Hideout Lounge. During our 30 minute conversation, Kirsten and I wax poetic on the serious nature of filmgoers in Austin, life growing up in Ireland, and some insight behind the film itself. The longer, full interview, complete with insight on some of the spoilers will be published when Dollhouse is widely distributed.

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SXSW 2012: Best, Worst, and the Rest of the Fest  photo
SXSW 2012: Best, Worst, and the Rest of the Fest
by Allistair Pinsof

Against all odds, Geoff and I survived SXSW and managed to actually get some work done as well!

Between fine dining (Geoff says this Jack in the Box place has the most authentic burger in the city!) and late night parties, we also saw a great number of movies and conducted an insane amount of interviews at SXSW.

Read on to see our SXSW 2012 exclusives, highlights, lowlights, and inbetweens.

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3:00 PM on 03.19.2012

Interview: Writer and director of Safety Not Guaranteed

[From Mar. 9th to 17th, Flixist will bring you live coverage from deep in the heart of Texas at South by Southwest Film 2012. Keep an eye out for news, features, interviews, videos, and reviews of some of the most antici...

Geoff Henao



SXSW Review: frankie go boom photo
SXSW Review: frankie go boom
by Geoff Henao

[From Mar. 9th to 17th, Flixist will bring you live coverage from deep in the heart of Texas at South by Southwest Film 2012. Keep an eye out for news, features, interviews, videos, and reviews of some of the most anticipated films to hit the festival circuit in 2012.]

With a star-studded cast, frankie go boom should have been one of the best comedies of the year. With actors ranging from Charlie Hunnam to Chris O'Dowd to Ron Perlman to Lizzy Caplan, the cast itself should have solidified the film's success. However, in an attempt to be a different comedy, it ended up being more of the same type of comedy we've seen for years.

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