The Signal is a three-part anthology written and directed by David Bruckner, Dan Bush, and Jacob Gentry (not in that order, however.) It's about the fictional city Terminus and how its inhabitants go murderously crazy after seeing and hearing a mysterious signal. Stephen King's far superiour novel, Cell, was released a year before this saw its first festival screening.
As far as acting, special effects, and production values go, this was an ace production from start to finish. As far as the writing...in this case, they really should have made it one cohesive project. The segment that really brought down the tone was the middle, and more comedic, one. It was awkward and slightly annoying.
The title card and chapter breaks belong more to a 70s exploitation flick than a new millenium science fiction drama about our dependence on a signal, be it how many bars our cell phones have to the news being beamed into our living rooms. It could have worked, but it didn't. The cards' tone differed too much from the main film.
Overall: if the writing had been better, I probably wouldn't have started nodding off about halfway through. Good production value can't always make up for that and it doesn't here.
Nacht der Lebenden Loser (Night of the Living Dorks) is a German mash-up of Romero flicks and 80s American sex comedies. Three outcast teenage boys are accidentally turned into zombies when they die in a car accident. Everything's surprisingly great until they realize that they want to eat their friends, then it becomes a race against time to find a cure.
Okay, so I describe it a little better than the movie actually is, but it's fun, funny, and it looks like everyone was having a good time making it.
Overall: I recommend it!
The Church (a.k.a. Demoni 3) was written by Dario Argento (translated by Nick Alexander who frequently worked with Dario up until Alexander's death in 2004) and directed by Michele Soavi. It's about a Church that was built over a mass grave and becomes a portal to Hell.
This flick is right up my alley. It's got demons and an evil church, some pretty good special effects (the goat demon animatronics were good -- the teeth needed work, though), and Asia Argento, albeit a 14 year old Asia. However, it suffers from the Scott syndrome*: the movie is only an hour and 45 minutes, but it feels like almost three.
On top of the slowness of the film, some of the acting is made worse by the terrible voice-dubs of the Italian actors. Blue Underground made an absolutely excellent disc for Argento's Stendhal Syndrome with multiple audio tracks so I trust they either couldn't find or couldn't secure any sort of "original" soundtrack for it. The sound mix is good in spite of the poor voice actors.
Other than the aforementioned issues, and some plot leaps typical of 70s and 80s Italian horror cinema, this was a good movie with some pretty strong direction, great cinematography, and a story that pretty much always has me interested from the word go.
* What I mean by "Scott syndrome" is that Ridley and Tony Scott both have films in their repertoire that are only an hour and a half, but oh my God feel like forever. That's nothing against the actual flick. Legend is a great movie, but holy crap, it's looooooong. The Hunger? Beautiful, but it shaves a couple of years off my life.
Fly Me to the Moon -- 3D -- It's about the first flies on the moon. I watched it because, well, someone had to. When it comes to our one digital auditorium, unless we absolutely don't have time, everything gets previewed. Everything, including this painful mess that young kids might like, but adults are going to hate. I looked at my watch four times and the movie itself is only an hour and twenty-two minutes.
Now, when I said painful earlier, I meant painful. The quality of the 3D shifts from excellent to "OH GOD, MY EYES! MY EYES, THEY BLEEEEEEEED! AAHHHH!" This is the first flick with the Real-D system that has made my eyes hurt more than once during the course of watching the movie. Today, my poor eyeballs are a little sore.
The space stuff was awesome. Anything without the flies and maggots was great. I wish that Pixar had taken on this flick, rewritten it to exclude the insects, and made an animated version of the lunar landing. THESE PEOPLE TRIED TO MAKE MAGGOTS CUTE!!! THEY WERE DISTURBING!!! THEY GAVE THEM BABY TEETH AND THEY LOOKED LIKE REJECTS FROM THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE...AND THEY WERE MAGGOTS!!
Just a bad, bad flick featuring the voices of Christopher Lloyd as Grampa McFly (I'm not kidding...) and Tim Curry as Yegor and some other people, but these were the two voices I recognized right away (Curry took me all of two words, Lloyd took me about a minute.) I spent my childhood watching Clue, man. I love Clue. This fly movie? Not so much...