Shorts Round Up for the Week (12/1/18)

Most of the time we get such a backlog of short films and feature length indie films that we work hard to take them all on and review them before the year is up. In what we hope will become a new feature, “Shorts Round Up of the Week” is a column where we’ll be reviewing a round up of short films of varying quality.

If you’d like to submit your short film for review consideration, submissions are always opened to filmmakers and producers.

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You Have to See This! Pieces of April (2003)

Katie Holmes was always prone to playing more glamorous and squeaky clean roles back in 2003, but for “Pieces of April” she’s the center of what is a unique Thanksgiving set film. Peter Hedges film is all at once a funny, heartbreaking, and thought provoking film. It’s a film about redemption, and ultimately about forgiveness. Can we forgive someone who has hurt us over and over? Can we forgive someone who almost went out of our way to hurt us in the past? Can we forgive ourselves for the heinous things we’ve done in the past to our loved ones, if we work hard at redemption?

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Science Fair (2018)

The digital release is available today on ITunes, Amazon, & Google Play. It will also be back in movie theaters this week. It’s currently playing in Los Angeles (LaEmmle Monica Film Festival), New York (IFC Center, Cinema Village), & San Francisco (LandMark’s Opera plaza). Look for Theater Listings Here.

Cristina Costantini, and Darren Foster’s “Science Fair” is a film that every family should take their children to watch. Not only does the National Geographic documentary explore the joy of learning, but the inarguable proof that education can enrich one’s life. “Science Fair” examines a part of the educational world that we don’t often see, exploring the very important yearly International Science and Engineering Fair that attracts 1,700 of the smartest students from 78 different countries around the world.

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The 20th Annual Animation Show of Shows (2018)

Opens at Laemmle Theaters in Los Angeles on December 14th, and at the Quad Cinema in New York City on December 28th. Learn More Here.

Since 1998, “The Animation Show of Shows” has been a small program line up that selects the best in animated short films from all around the world. It’s presented new and innovative short films to animation aficionados at animation studios and schools, as well as theaters in the US and around the world since 2015. 38 shorts since, went on to become Oscar contenders with 11 winning the Oscar. This year, “The Animation Show of Shows” is not bereft of diversity and bold new voices, and it’s all in all a riveting experience, with eyes on personal statements and meaningful ideas.

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The Grinch (2018)

After 1966’s “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” and 2000’s “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” we now have 2018’s “The Grinch” (I assume the next reboot will be titled “Gri”). Illumination Studios continues being the C grade Disney Strudios, adapting the Dr. Seuss tale if, for no other reason, than to have their own holiday title out for the market and appeal to a younger audience. There’s not a lot of reason for this adaptation, as Illumination doesn’t offer a new twist on The Grinch. Except for obviously omitting “Christmas” from the title, “The Grinch” is an amalgam of Ron Howard’s live action movie, and the original Chuck Jones short movie–except bland.

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Cinema Crazed’s 2018 Holiday Gift Guide

It’s that time of year already, where the holidays have finally crept up on us; it seems like time just flies and we’re back to trying to figure out what to get the movie lover in our life, or what to treat ourselves with. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Festivus, or just love the deals, this is our annual holiday gift guide with some suggestions for the respective movie lover, and pop culture fanatic.

Included in the guide are links to the products, and always remember, if you’re interested in helping us out, buy directly through us, and earn our eternal admiration.

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Teen Titans Go! to the Movies (2018) [Blu-Ray/DVD/Digital]

I’ve come to terms with “Teen Titans Go!” and I’ve especially come to accept it thanks to the shockingly good feature film. If there was ever a time where the superhero movie genre was ripe for parody and satire it’s 2018, and “Teen Titans Go! to the Movies” manages to do it better than anyone else. For everyone that’s come before, attempting to mock the whole appeal of the sub-genre, “Teen Titans Go!” captures the whole appeal and absurdity of the superhero movie and the superhero mythology as a whole. It also manages to cater to the hardcore comic book buffs in the audience, inspiring some great laughs from obscure references.

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The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (2018)

Disney re-visits their staple of public domain tales with another visit with “The Nutcracker,” a ritual that’s annual for most movie studios. No matter what year it is, some studio thinks they can offer an artistic, original, or hip take on “The Nutcracker,” and every year it’s terrible. Even with Disney injecting the classic ballet with the spectacle of Robert Zemeckis, the eccentricity/whimsy of Tim Burton, and a vague cribbing from 1939’s “The Wizard of Oz” (bordering on plagiarism), “The Nutcracker and The Four Realms” is a hollow effort to turn the musical composition in to a hit holiday movie. And perhaps a hit holiday movie franchise. You know they’ve focus grouped it and are planning parts two to seven, right now.

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