Thursday, September 30, 2021

Fantastic Fest: Cannon Arm and The Arcade Quest Review: The Best Video Game Doc This Year

Cannon Arm and The Arcade Quest
is a combination of Napoleon Dynamite + Wes Anderson + Werner Herzog. The movie takes you on a fantastical journey on one man's, no, a group of friend's quest to have their always-smiling-long-haired-friend Kim, beat the world record for playing the arcade classic Gyruss. (Kim is trying to beat his own record of 49 hours and make it to 100) Director Mads Hedegaard, who didn't even know much about video games going in, gives us a story more molded around friendship than trying to attain the high score. Although, we do actually see Kim trying to beat his own record.

A combination of everything I told you at the top, we get a doc that seemingly blends the best of so many films and the style of some favorite filmmakers. Mads Hedegaard, director, constantly narrates and explains what's going on like Herzog. Telling us the tale of friends at the Bip Bip Bar in Denmark, so quirky and different is this group of guys you would swear that is was a Wes Anderson film. Then, with the punk look only a 55 year-old grandpa can give off with long luscious hair ,you'd think you're looking at an older and wiser Napoleon Dynamite. Kim "Cannon Arm" might be the central figure of the film, but the film and him would be nothing without his main compadres Carsten and Dyst. And underneath them in the film's hierarchy, other friends that trickle in and out, that all want to help Kim get the high score. And they are characters unto themselves.

Hedegaard knows this and so we don't just follow Kim on his arcade quest, but see how his friends plan it out for him all while they also having their own world records for arcade games. Carsten, the big, mustachioed man, loves Bach and we see how his love of music theory connects to trying to get the kill screen in Donkey Kong. Dyst, shaved head with a long beard, is a world champion of Bubble Bobble and writes poetry. These two are portrayed as Kim's closes friends. And we see them together or find out what they're up to, the most often.

We have more friends that come and go and that would be my only real criticism of the film. I lost track of all of them and maybe so those the director. Mads, so delightfully shares what's going on by straight up telling us or showing us with fun visuals, but might have missed out showing off a more comprehensive friend chart or putting up the names of Kim's other pals a little more. The dude has a lot of dudes to hang out with.
The only other criticism is a question about a place. When some of Kim's friend's leave to go to a "moist bar", which doesn't make much sense as they're in a bar arcade already, we don't go with them. Not sure, what that is. People in Denmark might know, but not me. Keep googling it and getting cake recipes. I'm guessing it might be something dirty, so be careful looking it up.
Update: I asked the press for the film about the moist bar dilemma and they got back to me with what a "moist bar" refers to.
"It's a catch phrase the guys have come up with themselves. Basically, it refers to beer/alcohol. So 'moist' is basically 'great' or some other positive thing. And the moist bar they are referring to is a beer bar (a bar dedicated to lots of different beers from micro breweries)." -Thanks Austin

After training, never seeing any bit of Kim's biological family and learning why Kim wants to beat his own score... Oh, and the pompous jerk-tude of Billy Mitchell for a cameo. We see Kim attempt the ordeal of playing an arcade machine for 100 hours. And any world record attempt doesn't look fun, but it looks doable when surrounded by such great friends.

So many recent game docs have come out, going over how arcades are dying, game stores going away, the big fights between  console companies, then communities being rebuilt and arcade gaming remaining a part of the world. This one is all about the player and his friends. These friends met at an arcade and became friends because of it. And they stay quirky, strange friends as only sitcom-like characters can. But, what am I saying, it reminded me of my friends. 
It's dangerous to go alone, take a friend to see it.

Currently on the film festival circuit, we'll tell you when you can stream it or see it on the a screen near you.

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Hype: Marvel Vs Muppet Babies vs A24


Saw this one on Super Punch and couldn't resist sharing both.

Weekly What To Do: And The Oscar Goes To Creep LA

Jeez, Halloween is in full swing, we've got our Halloween Guide, if you need it. We've got Beyond Fest, one of the best film fest in LA starting this week. Oh, and the Academy Museum finally opens up. Hope you've had your Covid shot to enjoy it all. 
I know most of my friends have had the their shots and have visited Disneyland or our heading to it before the end of the year. It doesn't seem like it's gonna be the same as last year.
Open To The Public Sept 30th
6067 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036
Across from the Petersen Automotive Museum and adjacent to LACMA
Check out full preview here.
Adults $25*
Seniors (age 62+) $19
College Students $15
Children (age 17-) FREE**
Members FREE
The OscarsⓇ Experience + $15 per person***
*CA EBT cardholders receive free general admission.
**Free general admission for visitors 17 years of age and younger provided by an endowment in honor of Sid Ganis. 
Halloween Haunts & Activities
 Creep LA
Sept. 30th - Oct. 31st, 2021
The Three Clubs
1123 Vine St, Los Angeles, CA 90038

"Known for reimagining and redefining the theatre-going experience, JFI Productions proves this year will be no exception-- even during the ever-changing post-pandemic climate. CREEP 2021 is filled with intimate moments, deep connections and soul-shaking chills and thrills, all within the bounds of safety, compliance, consent, and, of course, facial coverings. But what’s Halloween without a good mask, anyway? This year, guests will find themselves in a multitude of surprising worlds including a lush and sultry bar, a desolate town-square populated with odd characters, and a world-warping haunted house with a mind of its own."
October 1- 31, select days 
Galway Downs
38801 Los Corralitos Rd, Temecula, , 92592
$25 + fees and up
Guests will pay a visit to a forgotten stop on the Butterfield Stage Route, just outside of Temecula proper. There sits a small town hosting its first-ever Halloween Harvest Carnival, but once you make it past the festive fanfare, you will discover that the town itself is really the haunted attraction! The town residents welcome you to Otis Hatcher’s twisted Halloween home at 301 Hyde Street, a brush with the spirit world beyond the veil at the town Crypt cemetery, and finally a perilous peek into the halls of Butterfield Asylum.
Haunt O' Ween LA
An Immersive Halloween Experience
Oct 1-31
6100 Topanga Canyon Blvd Woodland Hills, CA 91367
 An Immersive family friendly playground of Halloween adventures and fun! For 31 days we welcome families to interact and engage with EVERYTHING Halloween has to offer all in one place; pumpkin picking and carving, trick or treating, face painting, performances, games and food trucks.
October 1 through October 31
Daily from 6:00pm – 10:00pm
King Gillette Ranch: 26800 Mulholland Hwy, Calabasas, CA 91302
Weekdays: General Admission $34.99
Weekends: General Admission $39.99 & VIP Tickets $59.99 

"Nights of the Jack is the ultimate Halloween attraction for Angelenos and has become a staple of the Southern California Halloween season. Vast grounds of elaborate, larger-than-life pumpkin installations greet visitors as they walk through the trail around the history-filled ranch. Guests can treat themselves to hot cider, seasonal cocktails from the Spookeasy bar or festive fall treats while they feast their eyes on the spooky sights."

October 1 through 31 
10 a.m.–4 p.m. daily, with special entertainment and activities on weekends. 
All daytime activities are free with paid Zoo admission or GLAZA membership.
 The Halloween spirit is in full swing for 31 monstrous days this October, with special weekend entertainment and activities, including open-air live shows, special animal pumpkin feedings, themed photo ops, education stations, and much more.

Select Night Oct 1st-Nov 1st
Zombie Joe's Underground Theatre Group
4850 Lankershim Blvd
North Hollywood, CA 91601
$ 22.50

Zombie Joe's Underground Theatre Group’s ALL-NEW fun and frightening Haunted-Halloween Theatrical Attraction for 2021, steering theater-goers and thrill-seekers through a terrifying “Urban Death” Maze & Show of inexplicable horrors, unfathomable monstrosities, and the disturbed spirits that walk among us! 

*There's also a kid-friendly version at 7pm


Oct 1st-Oct 31st 

Beverly Center is getting in the fall spirit with the upcoming launch of its Second

Annual family-friendly pumpkin patch experience. From pumpkin carving demonstrations to live music, guests can enjoy Instagrammable photo moments and surprises and delights all season long! This year, Beverly Center will also offer an in-center fall-themed photo moment in Grand Court as well as pumpkin sales at its Concierge Desk – a true one-stop shop for all your seasonal needs.


October 2nd-30th, 2021
The Hive Gallery
729 S Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90014
An immersive journey into a werewolf family cabin.

Event Schedule

10/2 - Opening Reception pre-show 1-5pm, main event 8-11pm
10/9 - Transformational Film Fest: 12 hours of Horror 12pm-12am
10/16 - Moonlight Performances feat. Voice on Tape + more 8-11pm
10/23 - RPG Afternoon - Call of Cthulhu: Labyrinths & Lycanthropes, 3-6pm
10/30 - Closing Reception 1-6pm

Sat, Oct 2, 2021, 8:00 PM
Catch One
4067 West Pico Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90019

"Last year we lost many things from live entertainment to comic cons to Halloween itself. But... WE. ARE. BACK. It's been over a year and now it's time to celebrate in your favorite costumes with your favorite people! Enjoy a full night of live entertainment, libations, and immersive decor as we take scenes from some of your favorite fandoms and give them a Stranger makeover. When you hit the dance floor, you'll be entering the Upside Down so get your groove on, but beware the Demogorgons and mind flayers!"


9/29/21 - 10/11/21

The highest-attended genre film festival in the US, is excited to announce its complete slate of 2021 programming comprising 50 features, including 8 World Premieres, 4 US Premieres, and 17 West Coast Premieres. The 2021 Beyond Fest festival will screen at the Legion Theatre, Aero Theatre, and Los Feliz 3.

Sept 30- Oct 3
Raleigh Studios Hollywood
5300 Melrose Ave E, Los Angeles, CA 90038

The annual horror film festival is back at Raleigh Studios. More details on schedule and films as they come out.
Wednesday, September 29 from 4-7 p.m.
1190 Nagoya Way, San Pedro, CA 90731

Commemorating 65 Years Celebrating Food & Family™, the seafood extravaganza features live entertainment, photo-worthy moments, and more on the waterfront!

Director Julia Ducournau
Friday, October 1
7:15pm show w/Q&A
Sunday, October 3
4:30pm show w/Q&A
Titane is from Julia Ducournau, who gave us the coming-of-age cannibal horror show known as Raw. This film won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival. The director's in town for Beyond Fest, so this is a special extra engagement encase you missed the sold out screening.

TITANE: A metal highly resistant to heat and corrosion, with high tensile strength alloys, often used in medical prostheses due to its pronounced biocompatibility.
Largo, known for comedy shows, is back open and selling out shows. Grab some tickets before everything sells out. Many new shows from some of LA's top comedians. We see Bill Burr, Patton Oswalt, Pete Holmes and Sarah Silverman to name a few.

The  annual summertime series that begins August 27, 2021, offering guests a cinematic experience under the stars—with Coronavirus safety precautions in place—at the historic Hollywood venue. The season kicks off with the 2013 comedy This Is the End on opening night, followed by Bohemian Rhapsody, Birdman, Weekend at Bernie’s, and Pulp Fiction rounding out the opening weekend.



Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Academy Museum of Motion Pictures Preview: What's Inside Pt.2

 By Jonathan Bilski

We last left off, talking about the bun, now we get to the meat of the museum.
Check out the first part of the preview here

Open To The Public Sept 30th
6067 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036
Across from the Petersen Automotive Museum and adjacent to LACMA
Adults $25*
Seniors (age 62+) $19
College Students $15
Children (age 17-) FREE**
Members FREE
The OscarsⓇ Experience + $15 per person***
*CA EBT cardholders receive free general admission.
**Free general admission for visitors 17 years of age and younger provided by an endowment in honor of Sid Ganis.
As for parking, as of writing there doesn't seem to be a dedicated parking lot for the museum. The website says park over at LACMA or the Petersen, which seems a little crazy. There is a dedicated lane for valet and Uber/Lyft drop-off.

Opening up to the museum is hundreds of props, costumes and actual Oscars. This is a truly amazing collection for the Stories of Cinema exhibit.  Props from countless sci-fi and horror films are encased and to be looked at in awe.

The Bruce Lee exhibit gets a grade A. With a wonderful mirror tribute touch to remind us all of Enter The Dragon's final climatic battle.
And with a nice touch of last name, you can see Spike Lee's personal exhibit from Bruce Lee's.
These are Spike Lee's personal affects that he's loaning to the museum. Many posters from works that have inspired him and kind of show that he is a movie nerd.
Shift to almost the end of the exhibit is some eye-catching costumes including the Mayflower Queen from Midsommar. It's beautiful as it is scary, if you've seen the film.

Some life maks, to show how special effects make up works. Of course, Mel Brooks would make it in somehow.

 And The Wizard of Oz has it's own room, it's also the first film screening to the public at the Academy's Theater. These are just some pieces from the collection there.

With all the vast archives the Academy has open to it I find it so funny that they included a storyboard for Scary Movie 2, the scene where a pot plant smokes a person and sketch work from Shrek. Why?

More amazing pieces await you, I couldn't capture everything, you'll want to explore it all on your own. Except, those floors I talked about it Part 1.

A familiar background from North by Northwest.

If you want to take your time, please look at The Path to Cinema which shows off strange devices that showed off pictures before we really even had film. Many, just colorful lanterns. And, you can gander at some film footage from the late 1800's. Which is crazy to see in 2021.

You made it this far, so, I guess you've earned to see Rosebud. Watch more movies if you don't get the reference. And, I hope after going to the museum. you watch more of the films it shares with you and look into any of the aspects of film-making shown. The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures is open finally, starting this week.. Truly, a musuem LA needed and having a nice big theater attached doesn't hurt.