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This is not a boxing film. Though it is about a boxer, and involves a major boxing match, it is not a boxing film. Journeyman, the latest feature written and directed by English actor Paddy Considine, is actually a heartwrenching drama about the struggle of those with mental disabilities. Considine plays every role – he writes, directs, and stars in this film as Matty Burton, a famed boxer who decides to go for one last match with a wise-mouth up-and-comer. This film is really not about how the match turns out, that doesn’t really even matter, and while we do get to watch the match, it is what comes after that matters. That’s what this film is actually about, and it is an impressive, emotional journey through one man’s struggle to stay himself. Considine’s Journeyman sets up the story by first giving us time to get to know Matty, who is married to a lovely and caring wife, as played by …

This Brazilian horror drama film falls under the category of WTF?!, but it’s so so so good. Good Manners, or As Boas Maneiras in Portuguese, is a film from Brazil set in São Paulo that is unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. If I am to sum it up in one sentence it would be: a Brazilian, lesbian, musical, werewolf drama. It’s kind of a horror film, but not really, much more of a drama with some horrific elements. Good Manners is the most clever, refreshing reinvention of the werewolf film in years. It will make you freak out and laugh and cover your eyes and throw your hands up aghast in bewilderment. The less you know about it going in, the more enjoyable the experience will be when you finally watch it unfold. So be careful with what you read. Good Manners, made by co-writers & co-directors Marco Dutra & Juliana Rojas, at times feels like a fairytale, but it’s …

What place does a broken cowboy have in this modern world? The Rider is a gem that will reward those patient enough to discover it. Filmmaker Chloé Zhao tells a story of an injured cowboy in contemporary times who has to deal with the trials and tribulations of life, all the while yearning to get back to the rodeo. This film won an award after first premiering the Cannes Film Festival, and I finally caught up with it at the London Film Festival. I wasn’t expecting to be so moved, so overwhelmed with emotions, yet I was wiping away tears by the end of the screening. Whenever a film hits me that hard and leave me sobbing by the end, that’s usually a sign it’s something special. This is one of those outstanding films to seek out and discover. Chloé Zhao’s The Rider is about a cowboy named Brady Blackburn, as played by Brady Jandreau, who is recovering from a dangerous …

Oh my do I love this documentary. It’s as close to perfection as any film can get, and it will fill you with hope and happiness. Jane is a documentary made by filmmaker Brett Morgen (of The Kid Stays in the Picture, Chicago 10, Cobain: Montage of Heck) that’s about the groundbreaking work of animal lover and activist Jane Goodall. As we all know, Goodall went out in the jungles of Africa in the 1960s and 1970s and lived with chimpanzees, studying them and observing how closely related to humans they really are. They shot tons of footage of her, but most of it was lost for years, until it was found recently. Morgen and his crew went through thousands of hours of this old footage and created this wonderful film about Goodall, about her work, about chimpanzees, and about her relationship with photographer Hugo van Lawick. It is sublime. There is so much I love about this film, but I’ll …

Brains roasting on an open fire; zombies nipping at your nose; yuletide carols being sung by the undead. Anna and the Apocalypse is a horror comedy film from Scotland that is, as far as I know, the first ever zombie Christmas musical. Yes, indeed, you heard that right – a musical set at Christmas about a zombie apocalypse – and it’s awesome. Well, it’s not perfect, but it is damn good and the whole thing is just so much crazy fun, that I can’t help but say I enjoyed this film from start to finish. It takes a little while to get going at the start, but once we get into it, Anna and the Apocalypse becomes an instant blood-splattered smash hit. It’s worthy of being called Shaun of the Dead meets La La Land, with wonderful songs and kills galore. Anna and the Apocalypse is about a woman named Anna (of course), played by Ella Hunt, finishing her last few …

The power of love. It’s such a relief to watch a film and discover it’s truly as wonderful as everyone has been saying. Joachim Trier’s Thelma has been getting rave reviews ever since premiering at the Toronto Film Festival and Fantastic Fest (Jeremy wrote a glowing review already). I caught up with the film at the Sitges Film Festival and it’s now one of my favorite films of the year, a wonderfully exhilarating, gripping sexual awakening story. Joachim Trier is a very talented Norwegian filmmaker who has already made a name for himself with the films Oslo August 31st and Louder Than Bombs, but continues to get even better with each new film he makes. Thelma is his finest work yet, one of the year’s best that is worth your time to discover. Trier’s Thelma is about a young Norwegian woman named Thelma, but of course, played by Eili Harboe. Raised by a Christian family, she moves to Oslo to study …

Bring down the whole damn house! Indie filmmaker Joe Lynch’s (Everly, Knights of Badassdom) new film is another violent, deranged, totally crazy, totally fun film titled Mayhem. The title, which is a bit vague, doesn’t have much to do with the plot – which is actually about a guy who works at a sleazy legal corporation that decides to take on the executives when a virus causes everyone to go crazy. I saw this film at 1AM with a crowd of horror fans at the Sitges Film Festival, which is the perfect time and place to see this kind of film, because they cheered at all the right moments. If you watch this one at home, it just won’t hit as hard, but it’s still a thoroughly entertaining horror action comedy mashup with a worthwhile message at the end of it. The concept for Mayhem is fairly simple, enriched with some fun characters. A corporate office building is quarantined when a …

Where did this film come from?! I finally caught up with a sci-fi feature called The Osiris Child, originally titled Science Fiction Volume One: The Osiris Child in full. This film is way, way, way better than it should be, and left me totally blown away. It’s not perfect by any means, but it is extremely impressive storytelling, with some cool ideas I have never seen before in any film. I can’t speak for others who don’t like it, but I can say this is exactly the kind of sci-fi I love. It’s remarkably ambitious storytelling on a galactic scale, created on a minimal budget, utilizing some sleek filmmaking tricks that actually make this successful. The world building (or rather, universe building) in this rivals Luc Besson’s Valerian, and in all honesty, upon first viewing I actually like this more than Valerian. I really, really enjoyed it – but I do not think everyone will. The Osiris Child is set in …

Based on the Philip K. Dick’s 1968 novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Ridley Scott’s 1982 science fiction thriller, Blade Runner, introduced audiences to a dystopian future where synthetic humans, known as Replicants, are bio-engineered for use in off-world colonization. When these Replicants go rogue, special police units called Blade Runners hunt down and “retire” them. Despite its initial lukewarm critical and commercial reception, Blade Runner has become one of the most influential movies of the last 40 years, pioneering what became an entirely new genre: neo-noir cyberpunk. 35 years later, thanks to subsequent releases like the 1992 Director’s Cut and the definitive 2007 Final Cut, Scott’s film is now heralded as a groundbreaking visionary masterpiece and one of the most important motion pictures ever made. Now, another visionary filmmaker, the Oscar-nominated Denis Villeneuve, attempts to honor the original film while expanding its influence with a sequel, the highly anticipated Blade Runner 2049. Directed from a screenplay written by Blade …

Justin Benson & Aaron Moorhead are a filmmaking duo that have quietly made some of the best genre films the indie world has seen in recent memory. Their first film, Resolution, switched up the game when it came to stories about storytelling, and Spring, for all its interesting & intelligent monster movie elements, is a heartfelt and beautiful tale of love. Their latest, The Endless, goes back to a storytelling well the team dipped into with their first film, but it plays on such an elaborately greater level that it becomes a beast completely unto itself. The Endless is a horror/sci-fi film like nothing the cinematic world has seen thus far and only serves to prove Benson & Moorhead as some of the strongest voices in the world of indie cinema. In the film, the two filmmakers play versions of themselves, Justin and Aaron, two brothers who ten years prior escaped from a cult located deep in the wilderness. Out of …