Charlie and the Hunt (2022) [Slamdance 2023]

UNSTOPPABLE SHORTS BLOCK 2
If you’re looking for a break from the heavier and political fare at “Slamdance,” Jenn Shaw’s “Charlie and the Hunt” is the perfect antidote. It’s rare that there are such wholesome shorts featured and it’s nice to see something a lot more about whimsy and the relationships that we hold near and dear to our hearts.

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Kids vs. Aliens (2023)

I’m a big fan of the “V/H/S/” movie series and one of my all time favorite segments is Jason Eisener’s “Slumber Party Alien Abduction” from “V/H/S/ 2.” It’s a chaotic, and creepy segment about aliens literally crashing a slumber party. So I was elated to see that director Jason Eisener of “Hobo with a Shotgun” was adapting that segment in to a virtual loose remake called “Kids vs. Aliens.” Suffice to say he and co-writer John Davies not only does justice to the previous short form segment, but might have just built an epic series.

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DC League of Super-Pets (2022)

I’m surprised it took this long for a super pets movie to be conceived by Warner Bros. It’s always been a recurring theme in DC Comics with superheroes having their own super pets. Hell, even Superman had a Super Horse at one time or another. In either case, “League of Super-Pets” feels like a next interesting step in the DC animated universe that I hope can continue in one way or another. While the movie isn’t perfect, it sure is a fun diversion with a neat narrative.

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Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama 2 (2022)

David DeCoteau’s low budget 1988 cult film “Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama” is one of my all time favorite video store gems, and the follow up to it has been in the works for almost thirty five years, oddly enough. I don’t know if we really needed a sequel, but nevertheless we have “Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama 2” as brought to us by director Brinke Stevens.

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Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)

One of the things I loved about “Love and Thunder” is that Taika Waititi holds true to the message that Stan Lee held for his heroes. Anyone can be Spider-Man. Anyone can be an X-Men, and in “Love and Thunder” anyone can be a mythic hero. While it does in a sense take away value from the concept of Mjölnir, the concept behind “Love and Thunder” is a wholesome one, one that celebrates its audience of children and inspires heroism in the vein of virtue and morality and less on revenge or malice.

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Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022)

Ryan Coogler’s “Wakanda Forever” is not the sequel we expected, it’s not the sequel anyone expected, especially with the untimely death of Chadwick Boseman. His loss left a gaping hole in film, and left sadly a budding franchise without its lead. “Wakanda Forever” takes the chance to not only act as a sequel to “Black Panther” but also act as a meditation on the ideas of grief, mourning, and the cost of losing those that we dearly loved in our lives who were important to many.

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Nope (2022)

“Nope” explores the idea of fame, and sensationalism among other things. Much of “Nope” involves Haywood and Emerald looking for that one big shot that can acquire dreams of wealth and notice. But when they contact an acclaimed wildlife filmmaker, he warns that sometimes fame is “a dream you can’t wait up from.” Keke Palmer and Daniel Kaluuya are wonderful in their respective roles as a pair of ranchers anxiously trying to keep their family’s ranch afloat after the inexplicable death of their dad (Keith David has a welcome cameo). Fate inevitably comes knocking down their doors, as they begin witnessing strange phenomenon in the skies.

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Pinocchio (2022)

Disney continues their latest studio motto of remaking and sequelizing everything that they’ve ever produced. The last being the horrendous “Lion King” CGI remake. Of course the Devil’s Advocate will explain that “Pinocchio” is more of another adaptation (one of three in 2022!) of the 1883 tale, but it’s a remake of the 1940 animated movie. Every character look like their animated counterparts, right down to Tom Hanks as Geppetto. God love Tom Hanks, he certainly tries his best here, and even does his best with the musical number he’s given. But it’s all an uphill battle for a lot of what is established here.

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