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Fantasia '11 Review: 'Retreat' Piles On The Twists, But Doesn't Deliver The Thrills

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • July 19, 2011 2:05 AM
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Writer/director Carl Tibbetts certainly didn't spare himself any narrative hurdles for his debut feature "Retreat." In fact, one could argue that it's nothing but narrative hurdles. The single setting film tosses together a psychological thriller, marital discord, sexual tension, an airborne virus and someone who may just be totally insane into a hearty stew that is unfortunately still somewhat flavorless. Curiously both overstuffed yet still empty, "Retreat" tries to be too many things at once and ultimately winds up having very little to show for the effort.

Fantasia '11 Review: 'Attack The Block' Is The Real Deal Bruv, Believe

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • July 18, 2011 2:41 AM
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We're just over seven months into 2011, and we've already seen a staggering number of alien-oriented films, and for the most part, they haven't been friendly. In "Battle: Los Angeles" a ragged military crew squared off against the space invaders, while in the upcoming "Cowboys & Aliens" Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford will use old-timey western know-how to fight off the creatures from beyond. But there is another interesting trend developing even among this this little niche of films: kids are frequently the ones being called upon to save the day. In J.J. Abrams' "Super 8" best friends and junior high classmates outwit their parents and the military to save their town and the Earth, and later this year, "The Darkest Hour" will find Emile Hirsch and Olivia Thirlby helping a group of youths against another batch of extraterrestrials. But between those two films will be the hotly buzzed "Attack The Block," a film that shares with "Super 8" a plot about some very young kids who find some very vicious creatures in their midst, but in all other respects is completely, refreshingly and excitingly different.

Fantasia '11 Review: 'The King Of Devil's Island' A Chilly & Compelling Nordic Drama

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • July 15, 2011 3:31 AM
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Stop if you've heard this before: an overbearing headmaster gets his comeuppance from his students after he pushes them too far, causing a violent uprising and revolt to take place. In literature and in films, variations on this theme have cropped up time and again usually with the same types of characters and signifiers, with the story and pacing playing out to the beat of a very familiar drum. And while on paper, Marius Holst's "The King Of Devil's Island" may seem like a trip down an already well-worn path, the film is a refreshing surprise that offers up a character-driven take on the genre that throws familiar notions of how this kind of story should play right out the window.

Cillian Murphy Thriller ‘Retreat’ Will Make World Premiere At The Fantasia Film Festival

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • June 27, 2011 8:14 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Kevin Smith's 'Red State' Will Open The Festival Before Its August Theatrical ReleaseWell, it's the middle of summer right now in Montreal which means the terraces are filled with folks making the most of the warm weather for their cinq a sept and festival season is in full swing, and one of the biggest to the city every year is the Fantasia Film Festival. Organizers have released the first batch of movie announcements and once again, genre fans will be very excited. But the most curious piece of news is a little bit buried.

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