The 5 Choice Indie Features of 2019

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. For the first time ever, we’ve separated our five choice Indies in to Feature and Shorts categories. This will be five indie films we loved that are short format and feature format.

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 my own subjective list of five independent films I highly recommend to you that I 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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In “Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood,” Tarantino Takes the Piss out of Charles Manson

The Following Article contains massive spoilers to “Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood.”

In 1969, America was forever rocked by the vicious Tate-LaBianca murders which saw the Charles Manson family convicted for murdering five people including up and coming actress Sharon Tate. Decades later, Hollywood and many artists are still considerably fascinated not just by Charles Manson, but the Manson Family. On the anniversary of Sharon Tate’s murder, a lot of Hollywood jumped on the band wagon to find a way to highlight or explore the events leading up to her terrible murder. Except for Quentin Tarantino. “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” has managed to become yet another Tarantino masterpiece that has sparked endless discussion and arguments.

Despite the fact that Tarantino stages another alternate reality where the bad guys endured horrible deaths, “Once Upon a Time…” still managed to get approval from Sharon Tate’s family. And that’s probably because, refreshingly, Tarantino takes the piss out of Charles Manson and the Manson Family.

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Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood (2019)

Quentin Tarantino has always been a connoisseur of Hollywood and the concept of filmmaking and storytelling. There’s a certain peculiar magic that comes with creating a narrative and how it allows the creator to do whatever they want. With all of Tarantino’s movies, he’s paid tribute to ideas like Chopsocky cinema, gangster pictures, blaxploitation, and with “Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood” he pays tribute to Hollywood and the one and only Sharon Tate.

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JoJo Rabbit (2019)

Taika Waititi has always been a filmmaker that’s managed to challenge conventions and deliver tales that are always completely out of the ordinary. With “Jojo Rabbit,” it’s another in a long line of tales about the male ego and the weird world that they belong to. In Waititi’s case, it’s the briefly controversial “Jojo Rabbit,” a movie that received a lot of buzz for its depiction of Adolf Hitler. Once you got down to the meat and potatoes of the narrative though, you learn that it’s the destruction of Hitler and how he’s so uncomplicated that he’s reduced to an imaginary friend of a young child.

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TV on DVD: Toys That Made Us Season 1 and 2 [Blu-Ray]/Veronica Mars: The Complete First Season [Blu-Ray]

Linger on Youtube for a little while and you’ll likely find at least fifty toy collectors and or pop culture buffs that have a slew of videos looking back at classic toy lines and franchises. What makes Toys That Made Us: Seasons 1 & 2 such a unique series is that it attempts to offer up much more than memories. Creator Brian Volk-Weiss’s series could very well have fallen back on pure nostalgia, but instead opens up the scope of these world changing toy lines. There’s deeper insight, stark truths about how and why these toys were created, and a look in to the business of it all.

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Halloween in a Box (2019)

In 1988 my kindergarten class was having a Halloween party with just the class immediately after lunch. It was a very exciting experience for me considering I’d never done anything like that before. At the time we couldn’t really afford elaborate or huge costumes, so my dad bought me a generic mask in a box with the classic plastic smock. I was a mutant. So for a few Halloweens we opted for the sweaty plastic mask with no peripheral vision, and odd smock. That is until they were phased out. For years one of the highlights of Halloween was seeing the rows of boxes of plastics masks and smocks for various characters from Superman to Popeye.

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Night of the Living Dead ’90: The Version You’ve Never Seen [Paperback]

Full Disclosure: Although I am long time friends with author Mike Watt, I paid for the “Night of the Living Dead ‘90” paperback; the following review is 100% honest.

The making of “Night of the Living Dead” 1990 has become one of the most fascinating movie making tales of all time. George Romero teamed up with friend Tom Savini to direct an official remake of his 1968 horror masterpiece. What Savini found was no end of interference, intrusion and creative stifling from the studio that funded the film. Despite excellent creativity and clever ideas to bring to the table, horror icon Savini was turned off from filmmaking for so many years, and he wasn’t able to deliver the film he actually wanted. Ironically, “Night…” 1990 is widely considered a top shelf remake of the original, and is argued to be superior to Romero’s by some horror buffs.

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Iron Fists and Kung Fu Kicks (2019) [Fantastic Fest 2019]

So many times whenever a production company or director has chosen to explore the history and influence of kung fu movies, they choose the more obvious routes. They go about exploring how kung fu movies influenced Hollywood and Western cinema. What director Serge Ou does is explore the influence on Western cinema, and how kung fu movies influenced the entirety of pop culture as a whole. Everything from action cinema, modern movie stars, and even hip hop is explored here and how they took from the genre and it amounts to a very unique and creative take on the outstanding legacy of kung fu films and martial arts cinema.

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