Lucy’s Tale (2018) [Final Girls Berlin Film Festival]

“Growing Pains” Shorts Block

Director Chelsea Lupkin’s “Lucy’s Tale” is a short I hope to see turned in to a movie someday very soon. I think it has so much potential to become a twisted coming of age story about the birth of evil, as well as a story about body insecurity, sexual awakening, and the horrors of modern bullying. “Lucy’s Tale” suffers from a pun of a title, but once you get past it, Lupkin delivers a narrative that I wish was a hundred minutes and went further in to the story of Lucy.

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Lost Holiday (2018) [Slamdance Film Festival 2019]

I wish I liked “Lost Holiday” a lot more. While I think the premise has a ton of potential to be an off kilter drama mystery, it works a little too much in the bizarre comedy spectrum to really involve the audience. Michael and Thomas Matthews mix a coming of age comedy with a crime mystery, focusing on a gum shoe of a woman who has no idea how to keep herself from falling over, but decides to solve an unusual kidnapping that only sees her descend deeper in to catastrophe.

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Anna and the Apocalypse (2018)

One of the best movies of 2018, “Anna and the Apocalypse” is a movie that’s destined to catch on with midnight audiences, as it begs for sing alongs from an enthusiastic audience. John McPhail’s zombie horror musical is a pastiche of the best from the genres it puts on the big screen, delivering what is one of the pleasing and creepiest zombie movies of the years. “Anna and the Apocalypse” manages to be both life affirming and a spectacularly vicious zombie movie at the same time, with some of the more entertaining musical numbers and sequences filmed in a long time.

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The Five Choice Indies of 2018

As with every single year, we try to cover as much indies as possible, but we just never have the time to see them all, sadly. As with previous years, this top five comprises five of the best indies I saw all year. It’s not to say the films that didn’t make the list are terrible films, or that the films the other writers on Cinema Crazed enjoyed aren’t good, either. This is merely a subjective list of five independent films we highly recommend to you that we saw this year.

It’s good to remember this is opinion, and not gospel.

If you want to see what films the Cinema Crazed collective consider A+ Indies, visit the link included!

Also, be sure to let us know some of the best indie films you saw all year!

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Empire Records (1995)

Even for a nineties kid like me, I can fully acknowledge that “Empire Records” is a clumsy, tonally uneven, and terrible coming of age dramedy. It works hard to be as relevant and generation defining as “Dazed and Confused” or “Clerks,” but it comes up short as artificial and hollow, despite its great soundtrack. “Empire Records” even for 1995 is a pretty insufferable film that never quite finds humanity in its archetypes and cast of nineties youngsters. It’s hard to enjoy a film that features a fun sing along to AC/DC one moment, and a tear soaked nervous breakdown by one of the characters who pops pills forty five minutes later.

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I Wanna Hold Your Hand (1978)

I was never really sure what Robert Zemeckis intended with “I Wanna Hold Your Hand.” Was he showing us the sheer mania that erupted with the arrival of the Beatles, or is he purposely exaggerating the mania of the arrival of the Beatles? That sense of confused tone tends to keep “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” from turning in to a great nostalgia time capsule comedy (Ironically the great nostalgia time capsule comedy would eventually become Zemeckis’ film “Back to the Future”). Instead it’s merely an okay nostalgia time capsule comedy that reaches for the heights of “American Graffiti,” but never quite touches that high bar.

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Book Club (2018)

Much like every trend, America jumps on to what the UK did much better in film. After the rousing success of “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” films, America followed up with “Book Club.” There’s nothing wrong with a movie appealing to the older mature audiences in the mood for a good time that’s not centered on superheroes or animated characters, but “Book Club” is just such a waste of time. It takes a brilliant cast and wastes them in what feels like latter day Garry Marshall when he was trotting out awful holiday based ensemble films.

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Can’t Hardly Wait (1998): 20 Year Reunion Edition [Blu-Ray]

If I had to list five of the quintessential nineties movies that basically defined the decade, “Can’t Hardly Wait” would be on the list. It’s not just a party movie, but a movie that takes every single element of the nineties and stacks it together in to a ninety minute teen comedy. “Can’t Hardly Wait” is a movie I’ve had a long history of loving and hating. I spent my teen years watching this movie on cable at least thirty times, then grew to loathe it, and then many years later, I’ve kind of grown fond of it, and its simplistic yet grand premise. It’s not a funny movie, but it’s one that’s recommended if you want to check out what the decade looked like without artifice–*cough*EmpireRecords*cough*.

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