The Goonies (1985) [4K Ultra HD/Blu-Ray/Digital]

Even though I was born in the eighties, I don’t have a particular connection with “The Goonies” as while it’s mostly considered a masterpiece, I’ve only ever considered it just pretty good. Director Richard Donner’s adventure film is the Hardy Boys Meets Indiana Jones and for the most part it’s an entertaining call back to fodder like “The East Side Kids,” which keeps in line with Spielberg’s ode to his childhood cinema.

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For The Sake of Vicious (2019) [Fantasia Festival 2020]

The visceral raw energy and violence of Gabriel Carrer and Reese Eveneshen’s “For the sake of Vicious” is bound to be compared to the masterpieces like “The Green Room” very soon. The set up at least conjures up memories of “Assault on Precinct 13” except in a smaller scale. In either case, it’s a classic white knuckle home invasion siege thriller that spares no one, even when it successfully builds on empathetic and fascinating protagonists.

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A Witness Out of the Blue (2019) [Fantasia Fest 2020]

The official definition for this film is “[a] Hong Kong crime thriller about a detective and a parrot” and it honestly nails the film. It’s what it’s about with of course other factors involved like a criminal, some corruption, and a little bit of love possibly.

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Class Action Park (2019) [Fantasia Festival 2020]

Easily my most anticipated film of Fantasia Fest 2020, “Class Action Park” is not just a visit to nostalgia, but an exploration of a criminal who was able to do whatever he pleased at the cost of children and families looking for a good time. Once upon a time there was a place called “Action Park,” a large water and adventure park set in the middle of New Jersey. While it was the place of memories for many kids, it was also a hellscape filled with death, corruption, negligence, and a founder who would stop at literally nothing to protect his own interests. 

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Inmate #1: The Rise of Danny Trejo (2020)

Danny Trejo began his thirty year career as the epitome of the “That One Guy” actor, appearing in so many bit parts and yet he was so easy to recognize. But when he was suddenly catapulted in to fame, he became the idea of what many envision as the American Dream. He also became the quintessential prisoner makes good tale, and his journey is as riveting as you’d assume it is. For fans of the man like me, “Inmate #1” is a riveting and down to Earth exploration of Trejo’s journey of redemption.

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Feels Good, Man (2019) [Fantasia Festival 2020]

Director Arthur Jones’ documentary is probably one of the most important and depressing films of the last five years. It’s mainly a movie that doesn’t just touch upon the snowballing of a mascot for pure hatred and violence, but the horrifying power of the internet and its litany of sub-cultures. It also explores the little known fact that its original artist never intended to give it the kind of purpose that’s given it a notorious unstoppable life inside and outside of social media.

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A Night of Horror: Nightmare Radio (2019)

“On this stormy night, we are going to tell horror stories, because horror stories never end.”

I’m a big fan of the concept where studios or a collective of directors take various short films from indie directors and create anthology horror films in the vein of “Tales from the Darkside” or “V/H/S/.” The idea is a great one and opens up a broader audience, and allows them some great exposure. “A Night of Horror: Nightmare Radio,” is one of the many that’s come along, mixing seven stellar horror shorts told by a lone radio DJ in the middle of the night.

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