Fantastic Fest: The Good the Bad and The Weird, Estomago, The Chaser, and Left Bank Reviewed

Day 2 for me at Fantastic Fest and I’m wiped-out again, so please excuse if my writing is wonky here in the wee hours of the morning. I was unable to get into the secret screening of The Brothers Bloom, but heard mixed reactions about it.  I’ll start with my faves and work down:

The Good The Bad and The Weird

THE Asian action-comedy-western to see this year, this ballet of bullets and laughs is the perfect movie to show at Alamo Drafthouse. Ji-woon Kim directs this masterfully, and proves that his A Tale of Two Sisters (a film I adore) was no fluke. Song Kang Ho, also in The Host, has the charm of John Wayne, and is becoming a great comedic actor.  Good. times.  Rating: 8.5/10

Estomago: A Gastronomic Story

This is the gorgonzola of culinary movies, being too adventurous and risque to win over mainstream audiences like Eat Drink Man Woman or Like Water for Chocolate did. But if you like dark-humor off the beaten path, and especially if you like to cook, then keep an eye out for this. It certainly captures the flavors of Brazil, some which most wouldn’t care to taste. Audience members ordering the set menu were treated to fried ants and pork butt if that gives you any idea. Rating: 7.5/10

The Chaser

This movie is sure to ignite discussion that could generate hype akin to Oldboy.  It is essentially a crime/serial killer movie, but very unconventional. Without giving away any spoilers, the tension really gets to excruciating levels towards the end of this movie, mainly because EVERYBODY is seemingly inept at their task. I really wanted to strangle some of these characters. And as the movie reaches for its conclusion, I was ready to throw my seat at anybody associated with it. But you’ll have to watch it for yourself to see if I got the chance. Rating: 7/10 

Left Bank

Very S-L-O-W. Nothing much happens in this movie until almost an hour and a half into it. The story recalls aspects of The Wicker Man and Rosemary’s Baby. Yes, the cinematography IS beautiful, and sporadic nudity keeps me awake, but get to it already! Once it ‘got there’, it was really interesting, even unpredictable. Wait for the DVD, so you can manually ‘get there’ faster, perhaps slowing down for the love scenes. Rating: 5/10

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