SF IndieFest 2013: “Sightseers”, “The Life and Times of Paul the Psychic Octopus” and “Manborg”

Sightseers

SightseersSTILL 1four-stars4It’s official.  When it comes to crafting original and satisfying content of the horror sorts, Director Ben Wheatley can be relied on to dish up the goods.  In this, his follow-up to Kill List, which was a supremely satisfying genre-bending fable of hitmen meets wicked wicca men, Wheatley has redefined the term “happy Camper”.

As far as dark comedies go, watching a young couple traverse the English countryside on a murderous holiday should never make me laugh as much as I did.  For those of you whose humor sensibilities don’t include scenes of people being beat to a bloody pulp, or just plain vulgarity, you might want to think twice about seeing Sightseers.  For others, myself included, prepare to have one bloody laugh after another.

Manborg

PROMO-STILL-1two-stars1My favorite balls out comedies always seem to have memorable one-liners, unforgettable hair cuts, and plenty of WTF moments.  Manborg meets this criteria.  Indeed, this homage to all things 1980s fantastical science fiction adventure plays right into the hands of my comedic sensibilities.

Unfortunately, the invasive CGI backgrounds used in every scene were reminiscent of something not even the worst made-for-TV movie on the Syfy channel would air.  Distracting and hard to ignore, try as I may, these visuals wound up ruining what could have been a great science fiction comedy.

The Life and times of Paul The Psychic Octopus

Das Oktopus-Orakel von Oberhausentwo-stars1All too often filmmakers will over stay their welcome by stretching out what should be 15 minutes worth of story to over a feature-length running time.  I’m not sure if that was the initial intentions of Documentarian Alexandre O. Philippe (The People vs. George Lucas) or not, but after the first 15 minutes of the movie, in where it is learned just how this octopus has arrived at his 15 minutes of fame, sadly, there was nothing else left to say.

The movie is not without its charming moments, but then again, there’s only so many “clever” ways to film reenactments (legos, paper art, etc.) before this shtick grows tiresome.  Whereas I can’t, in good conscience, recommend seeing this movie from start to end, I have no trouble advising people to leave after the reveal of how Paul became famous is shown.  Everything after that point, sadly, is redundant, much like the use of my word sadly, sadly.

Showtimes for Sightseers (See trailer here):

Saturday, February 9th – 9:30pm (Roxie Theatre)

Monday, February 11th – 9:30pm (Roxie Theatre)

Tuesday, February 12th – 9:00pm (Shattuck Cinemas in Berkeley)

Showtimes for Manborg (See trailer here):

Saturday, February 16th – 11:45pm (Roxie Theatre)

Tuesday, February 19th – 9:30pm (Roxie Theatre)

Showtimes for The Life and Times of Paul the Psychic Octopus (See trailer here):

Saturday, February 9th – 2:45pm (Roxie Theatre)

Sunday, February 10th – 5:00pm (Roxie Theatre)

Monday, February 11th – 7:00pm (Shattuck Cinemas in Berkeley)

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