TMI Podcast: The Random Chat Show Talks the All-Time Greatest Best Movies of 2015. Ever.

This week on The Random Chat Show over at That Moment In, David, Melissa and I are looking back at the movies of 2015 and choosing our faves of the year. It all  starts with a little discussion on our bad cinematic experiences.  We have a little random movie trivia moment.

Do you have any bad cinematic experiences you’d like to share?  Tweet it to us and hashtag #movietheaterjerks.  We’d love to hear about it.
Also, which movies top your movie list for 2015?

Hope you enjoyed the show! 🙂

Fantasia Fest 2015: Cop Car (2015) & Black Eyes (Short 2015)

Now that Fantasia (for my rundown) is done and I had the weekend to recuperate a little (so very little), I can put my energy into getting last week’s movies reviewed and done! Moving along, the next movie is a break from horror and we jump into a thriller hosted by director Jon Watts and actor and co-producer Kevin Bacon. I mean, the Kevin Bacon, (you know, Footloose) was here in Montreal at Fantasia! Consider me excited! 🙂

We started with the world premiere of a short called Black Eyes. Its features the same boy that is in Cop Car.

Black Eyes

Alex discovers Alice trying to commit suicide. When she hesitates he offers another path. Using special effects makeup, the kids pretend to die and become zombies.-IMDB

Black Eyes started a little weird.  The chemistry was a little awkward but it turned out to be really fun and kind of a little dark humor given the premise of it all. When it ended, I liked it quite a bit.

Cop Car (2015)

Canadian Premiere

Cop Car
Director/Co-writer: Jon Watts

Cast: Kevin Bacon, Hayes Wellford, James Freedson-Jackson, Shea Whigham, Camryn Manheim

Two boys, Travis (James Freedson-Jackson) and Harrison (Hayes Wellford), run away from home looking for an adventure. They come across a cop car in the middle of nowhere and they even find the keys for it. They end up driving off with it to have some fun except what they didn’t  know is that this car belongs to the sheriff (Kevin Bacon) and he will do anything to get it back.

cop car

Cop Car is an intriguing thriller.  There is a lot of sounds and not so much dialogue. The deserted location makes for a nice emphasis on the small town boys.  Still, in between the physical nothingness, there seems to be something to read between the lines.  Like, what I noticed is that the adults are much more quiet.  They are deceiving and cunning.  None of the adults in this are saying the truth when they open their mouths.  There’s always a hidden agenda.  But against the boys, Travis and Harrison are young and simple and maybe even a little naive.  They want to seem like big boys but you can read them like an open book.  Its a movie that asks for the audience to read body language a lot, especially with Kevin Bacon’s character as the sheriff.  He almost has no lines but you can read his character more and more as the plot thickens.  That in itself makes this very engaging to watch.

cop car

For sure, you will wonder how the young boys are able to drive the cop car but lets put that aside as we suspend that disbelief. Even the director didn’t  want to ruin that magic when asked during the Q&A session.  You know, I didn’t even think about that while I was watching this.

What we have here is a great look at a talented small cast that can take a rather simple script and make it engaging. Allowing the audience to connect with the young boys as we watch them make some decisions and try new things that might make you fear for them.  Travis and Harrison, played by James Freedson-Jackson and Hayes Wellford respectively, are very fun to watch.  They are young boys and they want to look for adventure.  This might not be the adventure they are looking for but their characters are genuine and convincing.  They sometimes make you laugh because of the sporadic choices or the silly outbursts or their clearly inexperienced ways to deal with certain situations.  As they come across the sheriff and other characters, you watch them grow as the things get more intense and the situation becomes more serious.  At the same time, we watch their characters also shape up to be something more than what was in the beginning.

cop car

Now, time to look at Kevin Bacon. I’ve taken a few days (its like a week after I saw this movie) to kind of let the hype of being in the same room as someone as famous as Kevin Bacon die down.  The Q&A session was fantastic.  Kevin Bacon and Jon Watts are really great at answering the questions.

Before I get carried away, Kevin Bacon as the evil sheriff who is a little ruthless and deceiving and just all kinds of bad.  His character didn’t talk much but because he is such a good actor, he was able to show us through this body language and his expressions/reactions just the calm and collected guy he is trying to portray, a facade he has when he is in public while slowly as the situation intensifies, the real him pops up more and more.

Overall, Cop Car is a simple story but one that uses a great mix of sound, location and a minimal amount of characters to make it all work.  The character development and how we, as the audience, grows to care for the characters, is a huge plus.  It is well paced and at a very nice 88 minutes runtime, Cop Car gave us an increasing dose of tension and thrills as the plot thickens and a few surprise reveals. The kids may have taken the car for a joy ride but its one for all of us as well.

**Following that thought on the Q&A before, I wish that I could publish that one (and I’ll try to figure out how to make a Youtube video or something with snippets of the Q&As).  It was pretty nice.  People asked Kevin Bacon about the meaning of life (which we all laughed) and the difference between independent films and big budget films (filming done in 9 days versus 9 months and his words, “you don’t get paid”).  While Jon Watts got questions about “how he thinks it’ll differ for him in the experience of going from directing Cop Car to Clown to the upcoming reboot of Spiderman (he doesn’t know) and why he likes using kids in peril as central characters.  It was a pretty fun and memorable Q&A session. Sadly, I was seated pretty high up that my picture of them was so small and blurry, I didn’t post up the picture here but I’m still cursing myself for not bringing the DSLR.**

Fantasia Film Festival Line-up! :)

It’s the time of year again! Fantasia Film Festival hits Montreal starting the coming Tuesday (July 14th)!

After waiting for the site to get updated and the schedule to go up on Tuesday, I sat down for 2 hours looking at trailers, reading descriptions, seeing what fit in my schedule.  It sure took longer than I expected.  But then, last year probably took the same amount of time.  With work rush in the way, I have to make some choices that I didn’t really want to.  Some movies I wanted to see only  had time slots where I couldn’t go or it clashed with something I wanted to see more.

One movie, I did end up not choosing (because the chances of me getting tickets were also slim) was advanced screening of Ant-Man.  I’ll still go check it out in theatres if its still around after the festival but its okay.  There are a lot of great choices and some amazing hosts for certain movies.  With that said, I was a little nervous that I couldn’t get tickets for some of the movies.  Here is what the final line-up is!

Just a note: I don’t have particular preferences but I do usually go for less dramas and romance and more horror and thrillers.  I always choose one Hong Kong (China) production and try to dive into Canadian movies also.  Other ones, I try to keep an eye out for is Quebec production and animations that peak my interest but not necessarily included.

July 15

Kung Fu Killer (Quebec Premiere)

The Hallow (Canadian Premiere)

July 17

Cooties (Canadian Premiere)

July 19

We Are Still Here (Canadian Premiere)

Observance (World Premiere)

July 21

Anguish (World Premiere)

July 24

Tales of Halloween (World Premiere)

July 28

Cop Car (Canadian Premiere)

July 29

Bite (World Premiere)

July 30

Antisocial 2 (World Premiere)

Dark Places

That’s the line-up for now! 🙂 11 movies! That’s the same as last year.  I’m pretty happy that I managed to get all of what I wanted even though I hesitated a little during ticket checkout for Tales of Halloween and Antisocial 2. Those are kind of my wild card right there but after looking at the San Diego Comic Con trailer for Tales of Halloween.  It does make me a good bit more optimistic.  I haven’t ever dived into the world of horror anthology movies so this will be a fresh experience.  As for Antisocial 2, my review for Antisocial will go up some time next week, tell me that it doesn’t give you a creeping feeling of Resident Evil BUT I’m a huge fan of Resident Evil, seeing as its my guilty pleasure and all, that I’m willing to give this one a chance.

This year, the fiance is coming with me to see the Sunday two movies back to back night with We Are Still Here and Observance. And one of my good friends are going with me to see Cop Car.  I always love company in these things since everyone else seems to have company.  Not that I mind too much since I’m usually pretty hyped up about these events.

 

Moving along, there were a few movies I couldn’t see because of time constraints but these two were the ones that I felt like I will miss out the most:

Cruel

Cub

While there are movies that I considered and the trailers were rather intriguing but upon a second look at the trailers and discussing with my fiance for weekend showings, we decided to not choose those.  Whatever the reason, I do only have a certain budget so sadly, among a pool of potentially good movies, I had to make choices and hope that it would work out for the better. However, please take a look.  Maybe you can shed some light on some of these that I wasn’t aware of and I’ll add it to my viewing list.

Ludo (India)

Synchronicity (USA)

Momentum (South Africa)

Cherry Tree (Ireland)

Synopsis- via Fantasia Festival

Traders (Ireland) 

Synopsis – via Fantasia Festival

And there you go! My final line-up, potential candidates that didn’t make it (but your opinion and suggestions may change that) and movies that had scheduling conflicts.  As for one of the movies, I actually chose because I wanted to see it and then work my schedule around it.  But then, I really hope I’m sacrificing for the right movie… Either way, I need to be confident in what I’ve chosen. I really do like the looks of it all.  I think I’ll need to round up a ton of comedies to ease the amount of horrors sitting in this list.  If you had to choose one horror to get creeped out of, Anguish gave me chills and the first time, I didn’t even finish the trailer on my own.  My fiance claims I’ll stay up all night.  Lets hope that won’t happen. As for hosts, Tales of Halloween will have a ton including Neil Marshall.  I’d lie if I didn’t choose to see that movie because I wanted to see what he had to say about it. Then there’s Cop Car where Kevin Bacon will host along with the director.  Just a little highlight from what I can remember.

Yay! Festival season! 🙂 Its a huge reason why I feel so lucky to be living in Montreal!

Anyone going to be here for the Fantasia Festival? What are you seeing? Anything catch your eye out of this selection? What peaks your interest from this list?