I was invited to attend the 2019 Just for Laughs Film Festival this year and I watched and reviewed four of them.
Sometimes you see a movie and there’s an actor who you have never seen before who you think “holy crap, where did that person come from?”. They give a performance that you love and maybe it becomes the part that makes them a movie star, or maybe not. You know they came from somewhere though. Maybe it was an indie film, a festival darling, or both.
Thunder Road is for Jim Cummings the former of those two films. An indie film you should see now so that one day when he is a movie star you can say “I saw him when”.
Sorry For Your Loss
Movies that don’t evoke a strong reaction are the hardest for me to write about, but they are not the ones I like to write about least. The ones I like to write about the least are the ones I don’t like at all. It sucks to watch something that many people have put a ton of work into and to come away knowing that you’re going to have to tell people you can’t recommend seeing that work.
Unfortunately, that is what I am having to do right now. Sorry For Your Loss is not a good movie.
A man pulls into a service station because he’s having engine trouble. He parks the car, walks into the shop, and asks the man behind the counter if the car can be looked at because he thinks the engine is overheating. As he’s saying this, the engine explodes in the background. We’ve all had bad days, but this guy is having a really bad day, week, and present in general.
This is Jon, a man who is presently a wreck, distraught over losing his fiancée. He doesn’t know how to do it but he needs to get her back, and so commences a road trip during which he will find himself.
If this is all sounding familiar, well, it is a bit familiar. Lovable screwup goes on road trip with interesting misfits and figures out how to be slightly less of a screwup is not a new story by any stretch, but beautiful locations, a thrilling car chase, and a strong central performance make Pork Pie definitely worth your time.
Movies that don’t evoke a strong reaction are the most difficult for me to write about. It’s hard to not oversell the good stuff and the bad stuff and create an impression that something is better, or much worse than it actually is. Bernadette is a movie like this. It’s well produced, shot, and acted, and also is feels slightly confused about it wants to be.
That’s all I got to this year. Well, not technically, I did watch a fifth film but the less said about it the better. Still, I am looking forward to covering this festival again in 2020!