Veloce come il vento (Italian Race) (2016) [San Diego Italian Film Festival 2017]

A young race car driver loses her father suddenly. Having no mother in the picture, she becomes in charge of her younger brother when their older brother, an addict and ex-racer himself, becomes their legal guardian.

Based on a story by Matteo Rovere who co-wrote the screenplay with Filippo Gravino and Francesca Manieri and also directed, Veloce come il vento is a touching family drama with a hopeful outlook on things. The film throws many curve balls at lead Giulia as she is trying to win in car racing, but nothing is going to stop her from winning and keeping her family together. The film has its ups and downs and it works well on all fronts. The balance of good moments versus sad moments creates a dynamic storyline and gives plenty for the characters to bond over. The film makes good use of the drama and the few comedic moments and builds itself towards an end that is a touch sad, but also perfect.

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Inheritance (2017) [Brooklyn Horror Film Festival 2017]

After inheriting a very expensive house from the father he thought long dead, Ryan moves in with his girlfriend Isi. While trying to figure things out about his father, Ryan finds more than he bargained for.

Writer/director Tyler Savage creates a film that is very low key and takes its time to develop its characters and story. This leads to a slow burn of a film that is deliberate and works for the story. The film is one of those films that will take too long for some viewers but should delight those loving when films take their time and bring the creep factor in slowly and in small doses. This is not a jump scare type of film, but one that works on the psychological level of things. The story is mainly about Ryan and his quest to understanding why his father left him this how and why he stayed silent and away for so long. This is done through calculated reveals and scenes that are created with a great attention to details.

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La pazza gioia (Like Crazy) (2016) [San Diego Italian Film Festival 2017]

Two women interned in a psychiatric facility in Tuscany escape looking for a little bit of happiness.

Written by Paolo Virzy and Francesca Archibugi based on a story by Virzy who also directs, La pazza gioia is a lovely story of two women with not much in common coming together to try and find some happiness. Given that both are crazy leads to this being complicated by where they live and their issues as well as how they are viewed on the outside of the facility. These characters are charming even as their issues come to light and they are clearly not completely innocent. Their background is explored in a way that gives a view on mental facility patients that is not all negative. It’s a view on them that is gentle, loving, and caring. The characters are shown as humans first, crazy second. Their goals are like anyone else’s; they just go about things a bit differently. The way the film approaches mental health is refreshing as the story is not at the expense of the patients but respectful of them and their beings. They are fully fleshed characters and not caricatures of their issues, something that brings the viewer in and creates a story that is easily enjoyed while showing how hard life can be for people with mental problems and issues.

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You Should Watch “Freakish”

I’m not a subscriber to Hulu but my mom is, and she’s often on the hunt for horror series’, as someone whose own love for horror dwarfs my own. For the last year, she’s been insisting that I check out a show called “Freakish,” a show that she describes as a “great zombie show” and one I’d particularly love, since I tend to have a real weak spot for shows about zombies and the apocalypse. Hell, I am a regular viewer of “Fear the Walking Dead,” “The Walking Dead,” and even love “Dead Set,” so “Freakish” is kind of up my alley.

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When Witches Ruled the 90’s

After the Satanic Panic of the seventies and eighties, witches became a shockingly more popular aspect of pop culture and were more generally accepted. It’s almost inexplicable how and why witches suddenly became so prevalent in pop culture, but the nineties were all about the mythical figure and all kinds of TV shows tackled the trend in one way or another. Along with shows capitalizing on the trend, there were also a myriad shows and movies that pretty much centered on the witches trend. Before America paralyzed itself with ideas that witchcraft and paganism were ideas meant to destroy Christianity, the ideas of witches were always more family friendly or sought to appeal to the horror fan base.

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The Sand (2015)

I kind of appreciate what “The Sand” is going for. It tries to be a summer time survival movie that evokes “The Raft” from “Creepshow II” with a bit of “The Blob” for good measure. The problem is that it spends so much time on unlikable characters and ridiculous plot points that it feels like a sub-par prequel to a good movie. The film literally ends on a scene that made me think “That is the movie I want to see!” Set on the night after a graduation, a group of friends go out on to the beach for a night of drinking, and teenage antics. Little do they know that a small gooey ball they’ve discovered is some kind of substance that is alive, and has embedded itself in the sand.

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