Fantasia International Film Festival 2019 review: ‘The Art Of Self-Defense’

Jesse Eisenberg has mastered playing the quirky, whipsmart, douchebag. In The Art of Self-Defense, he plays genuinely sweet, pushover Casey looking to stand up for himself after a brutal attack. He gets a lot more than he bargains for when he signs up for karate lessons. The film is an unapologetic look at toxic masculinity.  It’s over the top dark comedy is a political blowtorch. If you can’t laugh at this film you need the stick removed from your ass. The snark factor is so high that even Casey’s answering machine is kind of a dick. Imogen Poots is equally impactful with both her physical and emotional performance. The humor lies in the absolute seriousness in which the cast says their lines. The film appears to take place sometime in the ’80s by the look of technology and funny enough, the misogynistic dialogue is most likely insanely accurate. Eisenberg is undeniably incredible. He is vulnerable and fearless and funny as hell. The Art of Self-Defense absolutely belongs at Fantasia International Film Festival 2019. The timing of the film is sheer perfection and this fest has the right audience.

THE ART OF SELF-DEFENSE

Jeremy’s Review: Riley Stearns’ ‘Faults’ Gives a Killer Twist on Cult Life

faults posterCults are fucking terrifying to me. Watch Martha Marcy May Marlene and try not to be creeped the hell out. There is so much psychological warfare that goes on in these stories that it’s easy to question whether or not you would be able to resist the charms of a charismatic leader who says the right things to you at a possibly vulnerable time in your life. Hell, Scientologists have been milking this notion ever since its inception 3 million years ago to combat the evil Xenu. Films that depict cult life, the aftereffects or the process of removing someone from the grips of a cult can turn campy, silly and unintentionally funny (think of the Veronica Mars cult episode appropriately named “Drinking the Kool Aid”). The absurdity of how one falls into it is a foreign concept to many of us and that’s why they can easily stray into this territory. Riley Stearns, writer-director of the fantastic Faults, flips the script with these type of films/stories and gives us a fresh look perspective, one that is most deserving of your time this weekend. Read More →