Wednesday, May 27, 2009

OPINION: Five Must See Films At This Year's Waterfront Film Festival...

The official lineup for the 2009 Waterfront Film Festival has been announced, and while the festival has a great lineup each year, this year has a few films that are must sees. That is why I am here. I will be checking out as many films as possible, and these are the five films that everyone must see while in downtown Saugatuck.

5. Children of Invention

USA, 2009, 86 mins, Color (Family Friendly)



Director/Screenwriter: Tze Chun
Producers: Mynette Louie, Trevor Sagan
Co-Producer: Dave Saltzman
Cinematography: Chris Teague
Editor: Anna Boden
Cast: Michael Chen, Tina Cheng, Crystal Chiu

Two young children living illegally in a model apartment outside Boston are left to fend for themselves when their hardworking mother disappears.

An interesting premise, upstart cast and crew, and a gorgeous visual style, this film is one that not only the avid film goer should see, but the family can get out and spend a great night together watching this interesting indie flick. I know I will.


4. Dare

U.S.A., 2009, 92 mins, Color



Director: Adam Salky
Screenwriter: David Brind
Producer: Jason Orans and Mary Jane Skalski
Co-Producer: David Brind
Cinematographer: Michael Fimognari
Editor: John F. Lyons
Cast: Emmy Rossum, Zach Gilford, Ashley Springer, Ana Gasteyer, Rooney Mara, Sandra Bernhard, Alan Cumming

The good girl, the outsider and the bad you've never seen them before. (Short but for more info click on the title)

This may be one of the most interesting films at the festival. Starring an interesting ensemble cast featuring Alan Cumming and Emmy Rossum, the drama Dare, based on a short film from director Adam Salky, is David Brinds look at what high school is like for three different teenagers, and their discovery that, not everybody is who they seem to be.

3. Peter and Vandy

U.S.A., 2008, 85 mins, Color (Sexual Content)



Director/Screenwriter: Jay DiPietro
Producers: Peter Sterling, Austin Stark, Benji Kohn, Bingo Gubelmann
Cinematographer: Frank G. DeMarco
Editor: Geoffrey Richman
Cast: Jason Ritter, Jess Weixler, Jesse L. Martin, Tracie Thoms

'Peter and Vandy' is a love story told out of order. Set in Manhattan, the story shifts back and forth in time, juxtaposing Peter and Vandy's romantic beginnings with the twisted, manipulative, regular couple they become. The film explores the question most couples ask themselves... 'How the hell did we get this way?'

This is the one that may be the most surprising. I don't know much about this film, but I do know that it stars one of my favorite young actors, Jess Weixler, who is most famous as being the main female lead from the great indie horror film, Teeth. Her involvement in this film, which sounds similar to that of a film like 500 Days of Summer, makes this one that may shock this festival. Don't be surprised if this one is raved about come the end of the festival.

2. Humpday

U.S.A., 2009, 95 mins, Color (Sexual Content, Language, Nudity)


Director/Screenwriter: Lynn Shelton
Producer: Lynn Shelton
Coproducers: Jennifer Maas, Steven Schardt
Cinematographer: Ben Kasulke
Editor: Nat Sanders
Production Designer: Jasminka Vukcevic
Composer: Vinny Smith
Principal Cast: Mark Duplass, Joshua Leonard, Alycia Delmore, Lynn Shelton, Trina Willard


Two guys take their bromance to another level when they participate in an art film project.

Beloved by film sites such as Film School Rejects, this is the much talked about bromantic comedy that has taken the internet by storm. I don't know much about the film outside of the fact that I haven't heard a single bad thing about this film, and that means it's one to watch out for.

1. World's Greatest Dad

U.S.A., 2009, 98 mins, Color (Sexual Content, Violence, Adult Content, Language, Nudity)


Director/Screenwriter: Bobcat Goldthwait
Executive Producers: Edward H Hamm Jr., Jennifer Roth
Producers: Tim Perell, Howard Gerter, Sean McKittrick, Richard Kelly
Coproducer: Sarah de Sa Rego Cinematographer: Horacio Marquinez
Editor: Jason Stewart
Composer: Gerald Brunskill
Cast: Robin Williams, Alexie Gilmore, Daryl Sabara

Lance is a high school teacher who protects his family from shame following the embarrassing accidental death of his son. Lance writes a fake suicide note to cover up the death, but without permission the note is published and becomes an unexpected hit. Keen to be a successful author, Lance produces an entire journal which he passes off as his son's.

Here's a scene...

Getting huge buzz out of Sundance, alongside films like 500 Days of Summer, this film was on the tips of everyones tounges after the storied festival. Directed by comedian turned film maker Bobcat Goldthwaite, this dark comedy starring Robin Williams takes a dark look at the relationship between a father and a son. This is the one film that, if it's all you can check out, you must give your 10 dollars to.

The full festival lineup can be found here:

Hopefully I will be bringing you reviews of these films, along with others when the Waterfront Film Festival hits the shore of downtown Saugatuck, June 11th-14th. Hope to see you all there!

Go see something good!

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