The 58th SF Intl Film Festival: Day 2 – Dave McKean’s “Luna” & Jon watts’ “Cop Car”

Cop_Car_03I was originally planning on only seeing one movie yesterday, but in typical dum-dum fashion I left my snare drumie drum at home. With band being cancelled I now had to watch two movies. Life is tough sometimes, I know. First up was the movie Luna. Actually first up was a complimentary IPA in the press lounge where I bumped into the filmmakers of Plamen, Andre Andreev and Dan Covert. I never heard of these guys or their movie before, but after one drink and a gentlemanly mini debate over whether or not Inherent Vice was actually a good movie or not it’s the least I could do to give them a plug. Their movie plays in the Shorts 1 program, which I will try to attend later in the festival. So having had my beer I moseyed across the street to my first Kabuki Theatre screening of the festival and watched Luna.

Luna_01four-stars4Here is a movie that takes place over the course of one weekend between two couples in a rather large yet cosy beach house, and I’ll be damned if the four lead characters didn’t drop a butt load of acid off screen somewhere at the start of this movie. I felt as if I was mindtripping through intense conversations, claustrophobic close-ups, alcohol-fueled philosophical debates, and loads of inner turmoil. Mirroring these elements (as one would expect from the director of Mirrormask to do) were a hearty visual feast for the eyes consisting of various animated styles, in-camera special effects and some truly incredible set designs, all of which made for a lot of ooh and ahh moments.

As much as I enjoyed this movie there were a few moments where it threatened to go all self-indulgent on me, but thankfully it never quite went there. Well, actually I could have done without the music video about the meaninglessness of words towards the beginning of the film. But nitpicks aside, ultimately this is a film about facing regret and moving on, which one would have to agree is a very hopeful and warm message. Speaking of hopeful and warm, that was exactly what I needed to be feeling as I left the Kabuki and headed across town through the wind and drizzling rain to the Roxie Theatre for Cop Car.

Remaining showtimes for “Luna”:
Tuesday, April 28th, 9:00pm (Clay Theatre)

Cop_Car_02four-stars4Yep, that’s Kevin Bacon. Yep, he’s playing a cop. Insert pig joke now.

This year SFIFF has four films in their Dark Wave section. For lack of a better term, and against both programmer Rod Armstrong‘s and my very own dislike for the label, these are all “genre” films. They are all being screened at the Roxie Theatre, which means, due to its close vicinity to the BART station (one and a half blocks) I now have a better chance of seeing these films and getting back to the East Bay before the last train for the night leaves. Wait a minute, all these all start at 11pm, and the last train leaves shortly before 1am. Being that I know these films are going to start at least 15 minutes later than the programmed start time that’s a little too close for comfort for my liking. Thankfully, last night I didn’t have to worry about that because I was driving. Hooray car! And while I’m at it (here comes the segue), hooray Cop Car!

Clocking in at a lean 88 minutes, Cop Car is a fun little action film about what happens when two 10-year-olds stumble upon an unoccupied cop car and then find the keys. As mentioned above, Bacon plays the pig, and seems to be having a fun time hamming it up in the role (See what I did there?). When it comes to movies like this, where a lot of the enjoyment comes from plot reveals, I always feel it’s best not to go into any details, not that I ever go into a lot of details with my reviews anyway. I will say this though, seeing Shea Whigham pop up in these types of films is always a good thing, am I right fans of Herzog‘s Bad Lieutenant? Also a good thing, getting driving tips from little kids such as, “R” means go back, and “P” means stop.

In summation, day two at SFIFF = best day of fest yet. Take that, Day 3!

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  1. Rock’s Report From The 58th SF Intl Film Festival: Dave McKean’s “Luna” and Diao Yinan’s “Black Coal, Thin Ice” | Filmbalaya.com - May 6, 2015

    […] I didn’t like this film at all. Like anything, there are moments where it’s good (I even and did go, “wow”), but that was really few and far between. I thought the actor choices weren’t up to par with some of the production design, but then again I salute the filmmaker for bringing this film to us. Sigh. I wanted more than the self feel good white people philosophy turned Tyler Perry classic. I’m not bashing Mr. Perry, he’s good at what he does (melodrama) I just didn’t expect it to come in this film. The elephant and dead horse in the room is a dead baby (I could be forgiving) and tears and tears and morose self-awareness and a dead baby (again). We get it! Flatly put, this film was very one note and never moved to a major. (Adam’s opposing view of this movie can be read here) […]

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