Nerd's Eye on the Los Angeles Film Fest: Three I Recommend, 11 to Watch

By Luke Y. Thompson in Daily Lists, Movies
Thursday, June 12, 2014 at 6:00 am

ANTICIPATED (In No Particular Order):

1. Love Is Strange.

John Lithgow and Alfred Molina get married.

No, it's not a comedy, as far as I can tell, and honestly, there's probably not much that's particularly nerdy about it...but still, it's John Worfin and Doc Ock tying the knot, so it has to be mentioned.

2. Earth to Echo.

Well, here's another test of the found-footage fatigue mentioned above. This is a film that looks potentially really dumb - kids encounter an alien who looks like a cross between Bubo and Wall-E's Eve - but I'm hearing that it actually does not suck, despite the circumstantial evidence above.

3. Gravity Falls Live!

Okay, this one's a bit local-centric, since not all of you will get to see Jason Ritter and Kristen Schaal do a live reading from an upcoming episode - but we will all ultimately get to see season 2, some of which will be revealed here.

4. Frank.

Michael Fassbender trades in his metal-bending powers for a giant fake cartoon head that he never takes off - a gimmick in the service of a struggling Irish band. Based on what we saw in Shame, his regular head just didn't measure up proportionately to his massive schlong, so maybe this is compensating.

5. Harmontown.

A behind-the-scenes look at Dan Harmon's live podcasts following his ousting from Community. The official synopsis describes him as "a riveting blend of righteous arrogance and destructive self-loathing," and that sounds about right for this site.

6. They Came Together.

David Wain's satire of romantic comedies sounds like it takes its primary inspiration from You've Got Mail - small sweet-shop owner Amy Poehler falls for corporate candy man Paul Rudd, despite the fact that their businesses are at odds. Most of the cast of the State and several ex-SNL'ers show up to skewer all the surrounding cliches, and I hope do a better job than 22 Jump Street. Wet Hot American Summer fans, this isn't a sequel but it's in a similar ballpark.

7. Walking Under Water.

If Waterworld ever happens for real, the Badjao will save us. A nomadic tribe that lives in the oceans off the coast of Borneo, their numbers these days are few, and this documentary takes a look at who's left and how they can continue their traditions when life in the tourism industry offers better paychecks and less drowning.

8. Recommended by Enrique.

I feel like this may be a cop-out, but I don't think I can do better than the official program description:

"An aspiring Hollywood actress working on her first feature--a no-budget horror flick oddly crewed by enthusiastic teenagers--and a cowboy on a mysterious job arrive in the small border town of Del Rio, Texas, each with their own very clear agenda. When the starlet's film director and the cowboy's associate both fail to appear, however, there's nothing to do but wait and see. Dusty Del Rio quickly becomes a strange way station where time seems to stand still and things are not what they seem."

Okay then. Sold.

9. Of Horses and Men.

"Bold, lusty and sometimes shocking, this unique examination of the relationship between two and four-legged beasts is not meant for the whole family."


"A wry look at animal passion, it conjures up images that, once seen, can never be forgotten."


Did somebody get the wrong idea from Equestria Girls last year?

10. Jossy's.

A team of five Japanese women are recruited to become defenders of the earth from giant rubber-suited monsters with names like StingBug and Mutant Mucus. But sometimes fighting gets in the way of their social lives, and if that means a few more monsters on the loose, so what? Possibly the Power Rangers parody we've always wanted.

11. The Well.

In a postapocalyptic drought, one well is worth its weight in blood. Or volume in blood. Mass, maybe? I don't know. There's water, and they're fighting over it. Sharing is caring, people.

For showtimes and ticket availability, head to the LAFF official website. For those reading from afar, I'm going to try to report back on as many as I can.

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