This year at the South By Southwest film festival they screened over 130 movies of all genres from all over the world. No one is able to watch all of them, but I saw a good portion. This year’s selection was very strong, and overall I liked more movies than last year. I previously reviewed my personal festival favorites, but of course there are plenty of others. See what’s worth watching, or what to stay away from:
The Director & the Jedi (7/10)
Directed by Anthony Wonke, written by Tylie Cox, with Rian Johnson, Mark Hamill
An intimate look at Rian Johnson’s journey, a new director to the “Star Wars” universe, as he takes the helm of making “The Last Jedi.”
This documentary is basically a two-hour-long making-of the last installment of the “Star Wars” franchise. While offering many interesting and personal behind-the-scenes views, it hardly deals with the harsh criticism from hardcore-fans or the titular conflict between the director and his actor. If you liked “The Last Jedi,” this will be interesting for you, and it’s definitely intriguing to see a movie of this size being made!
Getting Over (8/10)
Written & directed by Jason Charnick, with Jason Charnik, Arnie Charnik, Raymond Charnik, Denny McLain, Stuart Birnbaum
A man discovers a box of interviews with his father, a lifelong heroin addict who died of AIDS in 1997. What he finds will uncover generations of family secrets, forcing him to redefine his own past, doubt his present and question his future.
This is an extremely powerful and personal documentary essay that is sometimes hard to watch, not for what you see on the screen but for the emotions that unfold in front of the camera. “Getting Over” is a great example of a documentary on a deeply personal subject that can help many others to understand and accept the behavior of an addict.
The Breaker-Upperers (4/10)
Two women run a business breaking up couples for cash, but when one develops a conscience, their friendship unravels in this offbeat comedy from the producers of “Hunt for the Wilderpeople.”
Even though Taika Waititi (“Eagle vs Shark,” “What We do in the Shadows”) was involved as a producer, this goofy comedy from New Zealand doesn’t even come close to the previous exports and indie-hits from the island. It surely has its moments, but overall this was one of the few films I was glad when the credits rolled. Many will like it, but for my taste it was way too silly and infantile.
Written & directed by Shana Feste, with Vera Farmiga, Christopher Plummer, Lewis McDougall, Bobby Cannavale, Kristen Schaal, Christopher Lloyd, Peter Fonda
Laura and her troubled son Henry are forced to drive her estranged, pot-dealing, carefree father Jack across country after being kicked out of a nursing home.
“Boundaries” is a feel-good movie with an amazing cast and many cute puppies that get rescued on the way. However, the believable characters and positive outlook are not enough to cover some lengths of the script, but overall it’s entertaining. Great cast!