Hey everyone! I know you are expecting more daily recaps of NYICFF but I must own my days have completely gotten away from me and I have only watched 1 movie since my last update on Sunday. I hope to be able to get some more in this weekend but there is only so much time in the day. Next week I have the SXSW festival and hopefully I will do better with daily updates there but again there are only so many hours in the day.
Nevertheless, I have some films I’ve been meaning to write reviews on for some time so I thought I would do one of my classic current mini reviews. If you’ve seen any of these let me know what you think. Enjoy!
The Legend of Hei
The Legend of Hei is the one film I watched this week from the NYICFF. It is a film from China about a world of demons and humans. One demon named Hei goes on a journey to protect his forest home and understand the humans. The main appeal of this movie is the gorgeous animation. The layered watercolor backgrounds are beautiful and the action is fast and stunning. The story was a little confusing at times but I am still glad I saw it and definitely recommend it.
6 out of 10
I actually have a fondness for the original Son of Bigfoot. It was such a pleasant surprise and I found great joy in recommending it as a hidden gem. So I was actually looking forward to this sequel Bigfoot Family. Unfortunately like so many sequels it was disappointing. The animation is impressive for the small budget and there are sweet moments of family but most of the movie gets lost in an uninspired and frankly irritating story.
Adam’s father Bigfoot goes missing at the hands of an evil oil man and Adam and his talking animals must go to save him. The whole scheme is over the top and the shenanigans get old fast. My advice is to watch the original and skip this unnecessary sequel.
3 out of 10
Spongebob: Sponge on the Run
I do not claim to have an extensive knowledge of Spongebob Squarepants but I have seen a few episodes of the show and both of the previous movies, which I have enjoyed. As a result, I was looking forward to this latest film and ready for some crazy fun.
Some fans might be upset this is the first in the series to be full CGI animation; however, I didn’t mind the animation. It is bright and colorful and overall looks cute. There are also a few laughs and Gary the snail is adorable. Unfortunately the story did not work for me and there weren’t enough laughs to carry me through.
I also thought some of the sections were in poor taste for a film for children such as the long section in a casino with characters gambling. It also wasn’t funny enough and the final third of the movie is nothing but a secret pilot for the new show Kamp Koral. Some die-hards might enjoy this but I certainly can’t recommend it
3.5 out of 10
Coming 2 America
The original Coming to America is considered a classic by many people. I had long heard about it but actually hadn’t seen it since this month preparing for the long-awaited sequel. While all the comedy in the original didn’t land for me but I found the sweet romance at the core to be charming and enjoyable.
Now we have the sequel Coming 2 America and all the players are back and clearly having a great time making the film together. It is particularly fun to see Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall back acting with each other and their chemistry is seamless. The new cast is also a lot of fun with Kiki Layne and Jermaine Fowler doing a good job.
I am honestly quite torn on Coming 2 America. It started off very sour- seemingly going through the motions of the previous film except for adding a sexual assault plotline that is supposed to be charming. No thanks. But I must say it won me over as it went along with it getting back to the sweet romance of the original film. I still don’t think there is enough good to recommend the film but it’s not awful like some other comedy sequels. It’s your classic mixed bag film.
4 out of 10
Murder Among the Mormons
I am not sure how much this docuseries will interest people not of my faith or from Utah but I certainly found it fascinating. I have long heard about the infamous forger and murderer Mark Hofman but it was cool to get to dive into the story and learn more. If you don’t know Mark forged a slew of historical documents including some involving the Mormon church or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints of which I am a member.
Some say he was the greatest forger ever but his crimes caught up to him and to hide it he started bombing people, killing 2 people and almost killing himself. This docuseries tells you all the sordid details like any good true crime series and director Jared Hess does a good job getting you back to Utah in the 80s.
My only criticism is the last episode was a little too celebratory of Hofman and his skills as a forger for my comfort level. I would have preferred they do less of that and tell us more about his victims and how their families kept on their legacies. At times it even makes the interview subjects uncomfortable talking about Hofman’s skills. Still definitely worth a watch.
7 out of 10