Marvel at Horror Film Unfriended, a Surprisingly Good Movie About the Internet

Categories: Film and TV

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Universal Pictures
Unfriended is 85 minutes of watching someone else use a computer.
On Voice Film Club podcast, we marvel at teen horror film Unfriended, and while it is "85 minutes of watching someone else use a computer," the filmmaker's adept at turning a screen into a natural storytelling platform: "Director Levan Gabriadze summons up exquisite unease just by the way a cursor darts about a desktop."


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Ex Machina Asks If a Robot Can Think -- And Is She Coming On to You? (PODCAST)

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Universal Pictures
Ex-Machina opens in Phoenix on April 24.

Reviews and discussion of Ex Machina, Dior and I, Clouds of Sils Maria, The Longest Ride, and About Elly are all on this week's Voice Film Club podcast, which includes Alan Scherstuhl and Stephanie Zacharek of the Village Voice, and Amy Nicholson of the LA Weekly.

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In Defense of Furious 7 (PODCAST)

Categories: Film and TV

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Scott Garfield. Copyright: © 2015 Universal Studios. All Rights reserved.
Brian (Paul Walker) and Dom (Vin Diesel) plot their escape in Furious 7.

Furious 7 and While We're Young are two very different movies — one's all synchronized driving and explosions, the other's all sorta-depressed New Yorkers who don't drive — but both receive generally positive reviews from Alan Scherstuhl and Stephanie Zacharek of the Village Voice, and Amy Nicholson of LA Weekly, who again get together via the magic of the internet for the Voice Film Club podcast.


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Darious Britt's Unsound Wins 2015 Phoenix Film Festival's Best Arizona Feature Award

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Courtesy of Unsound's Facebook page
Unsound blew audiences away during the 2015 Phoenix Film Festival.
It's hard to imagine how difficult it is to make a movie about mental illness, let alone how challenging it is to make that movie. It takes sensitivity, courage, and a great deal of accuracy at the very least to make the film believable, endearing, and relatable to the audience.

Tucson filmmaker Darious Britt did that and more with Unsound, which won 2015 Phoenix Film Festival's Best Arizona Feature award and captivated audiences during both screenings of the film.

Turns out, Britt, who wrote, directed, and starred in the film, succeeded in creating such a moving, accurate movie because he lived it.


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The Unfortunately Predictable Seven Hours in Heaven Premières at 2015 Phoenix Film Festival

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Seven Hours In Heaven/Facebook
Seven Hours In Heaven, shot in Mund's Park and Flagstaff, was sadly a letdown.
Seven Hours in Heaven was poised to be a film audiences could root for at the 2015 Phoenix Film Festival. Except for one, the cast consisted of local actors. It was filmed in Munds Park and Flagstaff. And it was created only a year after co-writers Colleen Hartnett and Kyle Gerkin were inspired by an entry in last year's festival.

But despite the film's potential, it left the audience in disbelief and wishing the creators had given it some more time.

Seven Hours in Heaven features three couples: Lisa (Colleen Hartnett, who co-wrote the film) is engaged to Cade (Aaron Ginn-Forsberg); Rob (John Crosthwaite) is married to Jane (Aria Song); and Melanie (Honda King) who is dating her daughters' caregiver Ryan (Mark Grossman). Lisa, Jane, and Melanie have been best friends since childhood and went to school with Rob.


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Bread and Butter's Real, Relatable Romance Isn't for Everyone

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Courtesy of Ph.D. Productions
Christine Weatherup and Bobby Moynihan caused the audience to swoon and cringe during the screening of Bread and Butter at the Phoenix Film Festival.

Tired of traditional, delusional romantic comedies, Liz Manashil took matters into her own hands.

Armed with her own experiences, Manashil wrote and directed her first feature-length film Bread and Butter. During the movie's 2015 Phoenix Film Festival screening, Manashil (known for Just Seen It) described it as a "healthy romantic comedy" full of delightfully delusional characters engaging in questionably healthy romance.

Bread and Butter follows Amelia Karinsky (Christine Weatherup), essentially a teenager trapped in a 30-year-old woman's body, and what she thinks is a love story between herself, the socially-awkward Daniel Lodgen (Saturday Night Live's Bobby Moynihan), and the clinically depressed Leonard Marsh (Micah Hauptman).

The rethought rom-com opens with the sounds of Amelia masturbating, quickly establishing that it is not your average Katherine Heigl joint. This was much to the dismay of two elderly women sitting nearby during the festival screening. The pair cringed as the film began and kept asking each other, "Is the whole movie going to be like this?"


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5 Must-See Movies in Metro Phoenix This April

Categories: Film and TV

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Scott Garfield. Copyright: © 2015 Universal Studios. All Rights reserved.
Brian (Paul Walker) and Dom (Vin Diesel) plot their escape in Furious 7.

A little romance, some drama, big laughs, car chases, cowboys, and more make up this month's lineup of must-see films in the Phoenix area.

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2015 Arizona Student Film Festival Winners Announced at Phoenix Film Festival

Categories: Film and TV

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Evie Carpenter
The 2015 Arizona Students Film Festival took place during the Phoenix Film Festival for the first time.
This year marks the first time that the Arizona Student Film Festival was featured as part of the Phoenix Film Festival, putting up-and-coming filmmakers right next to the professional entrants. The students did not disappoint.

With about 13 of the filmmakers in the audience during the March 28 screening, the crowd enjoyed 20 short films ranging from action to romance created by grade school through high school students. After the viewings, awards for each age level were handed out, including a Best Overall Film award and $1,000 scholarship.

While all the films were commendable and it wasn't clear exactly what criteria the films were judged on, it seemed like the judges were a little off the mark with their winner selections.


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10 Must-See Movies and Events at the 2015 Phoenix Film Festival

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Courtesy of Phoenix Film Festival
A theater full of festival attendees await the next show.

The Phoenix Film Festival may not yet be a major player in the worldwide film festival scene, but it might only be a matter of time until that is the case. In its 15th year of existence, the festival has once again pulled in an intriguing variety of studio-released fare, independent films, foreign entries, shorts and non-screening events. Though tickets are available as low as $13 for a single film, spring for one of the pass options and binge your way through as many as you can. Not sure where to start? Here are our top 10 picks for films to check out during the 2015 festival, which runs from Thursday, March 26, through Thursday, April 2. Pretend it's Netflix and just go for it.

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Here's Why Fox's Empire Rules (PODCAST)

Categories: Film and TV

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Chuck Hodes/FOX
Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard star in Empire.

There are five reasons why Fox's Empire has become a breakout hit, and on this week's Voice Film Club podcast, we run down why the show, introduced as a mid-season replacement, has surged to nearly 14 million viewers an episode by its eighth week.


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