Friday, June 1, 2018

Screenings in the Bay (Friday to Sunday): Upgrade, Best F(r)iends Chapter Two, The Pain of Others

Here I was expecting Leigh Whannell's Upgrade to be the highest recommendation on my list, but this weekend surprised me! Don't get me wrong, Upgrade is still sitting very high on my list, and you guys should all go out and see it as I think there's something in it for just about every genre fan, but then I spotted some found footage in the mix at the SF Doc Fest. Penny Lane, director of Nuts! from 2016, will be receiving the Vanguard Award for her film The Pain of Others, which was pieced together from clips found on YouTube. Similar to The Road Movie, but the subject of this film is an illness that no one seems to have an explanation for. I'm insanely interested!!

On top of those films, the Silent Film Festival will be going on all weekend, there will be more documentaries at the SF Doc Fest for two weeks, and the San Jose Super Toy and Collectible Show will be back at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds all weekend! 

Opens Today

Screening All Weekend (1hr 35min)
Action/ Horror/ Sci-Fi (Rotten Tomatoes)
After his wife is killed during a brutal mugging that also leaves him paralyzed, Grey Trace (Logan Marshall Green, SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING, PROMETHEUS) is approached by a billionaire inventor with an experimental cure that will "upgrade" his body. The cure - an Artificial Intelligence implant called STEM - gives Grey physical abilities beyond anything experienced and the ability to relentlessly claim vengeance against those who murdered his wife and left him for dead.

Only 2 Showtimes

Friday 1st @ 8pm (2hrs)
Mystery/ Suspense (Rotten Tomatoes)
The dynamic duo of Tommy Wiseau and Greg Sestero have reunited for a dream project, Best F(r)iends - Volume 2. Be one of the first to see the second part their new film, plus bonus content, coming to the big screen on June 1 and 4 only! As Sestero's drifter makes a run for it, he finds himself on an expedition across the Southwest, where he encounters wild and crazy characters through a series of twisted and dark foibles. While his misadventure teaches him a valuable lesson about friendship and loyalty, Wiseau's mortician carries the story home with more than a few surprises.

Screening All Weekend (1hr 48min)
Drama/ Thriller (IMDB)
Reverend Ernst Toller (Ethan Hawke) is a solitary, middle-aged parish pastor at a small Dutch Reform church in upstate New York on the cusp of celebrating its 250th anniversary. Once a stop on the Underground Railroad, the church is now a tourist attraction catering to a dwindling congregation, eclipsed by its nearby parent church, Abundant Life, with its state-of-the-art facilities and 5,000-strong flock. When a pregnant parishioner (Amanda Seyfried) asks Reverend Toller to counsel her husband, a radical environmentalist, the clergyman finds himself plunged into his own tormented past, and equally despairing future, until he finds redemption in an act of grandiose violence. From writer-director Paul Schrader (Taxi Driver; American Gigolo; Affliction) comes a gripping thriller about a crisis of faith that is at once personal, political, and planetary.

Midnight Madness

Friday 1st @ 11:55pm (1hr 35min)
Saturday 2nd @ 11:55pm
Comedy/ Crime/ Mystery (IMDB)
In this spoof of McCarthy-era paranoia and 1950s wholesomeness, the characters and plot are drawn from the popular Parker Brothers board game of the same name. On a dark and stormy night in 1954, six individuals with ties to Washington are assembled for a dinner party at the swanky mansion of one Mr. Boddy (Lee Ving). Boddy's butler, Wadsworth (Tim Curry), assigns each guest a colorful name: Mr. Green (Michael McKean), Col. Mustard (Martin Mull), Mrs. Peacock (Eileen Brennan), Professor Plum (Christopher Lloyd), Miss Scarlet (Lesley Ann Warren), and Mrs. White (Madeline Kahn). Two additional servants, the Cook (Kellye Nakahara) and Yvette, the maid (Colleen Camp), assist Wadsworth as he informs the guests that they have been gathered to meet the man who has been blackmailing them: Mr. Boddy. When Boddy turns up dead, however, the guests must try to figure out who killed him so they can protect their own reputations and keep the body count from growing.

SF Doc Fest

Friday 1st @ 9:30pm (1hr 10min)
Documentary (IMDB)
One man’s journey to find meaning in Bill Murray’s many unexpected adventures with everyday people, rare and never-before-seen footage of the comedic icon participating in stories previously presumed to be an urban legend. Whether it be singing karaoke late at night with strangers or crashing a kickball game in the middle of the afternoon, Bill Murray lives in the moment and by doing so, creates magic with real people.

SF Doc Fest - Vanguard Award

Saturday 2nd @ 5pm (1hr 11min)
Documentary (IMDB)
Morgellons disease first appeared at the start of this century. It predominantly affects middle-aged white women who all report the same symptoms. Sufferers have a crawling sensation under their skin that causes sores and thin worm-like threads grow out of their skin. Medical science has no explanation for the disease and specialists insist it’s a psychosomatic complaint, labeling it ‘delusional parasitosis’ or even ‘Google-chrondria’. Patients apparently convince themselves of the illness, often after having heard about it on the internet.

SF Doc Fest

Saturday 2nd @ 9:30pm (57min)
Documentary/ Drama/ History (IMDB)
Once exterminated from the lower 48 states, the Gray Wolf’s triumphant return to Yellowstone and the surrounding states has been characterized by many as, ‘the greatest animal conservation success in human history.’ However, to many others living in the areas affected, the story is drastically different.

North by Northwest (1959)
Friday 1st @ 7:30pm (2hrs 16min)
Saturday 2nd & Sunday 3rd @ 2:50pm & 7:30pm
Thriller/ Drama (Google)
This classic suspense film finds New York City ad executive Roger O. Thornhill (Cary Grant) pursued by ruthless spy Phillip Vandamm (James Mason) after Thornhill is mistaken for a government agent. Hunted relentlessly by Vandamm's associates, the harried Thornhill ends up on a cross-country journey, meeting the beautiful and mysterious Eve Kendall (Eva Marie Saint) along the way. Soon Vandamm's henchmen close in on Thornhill, resulting in a number of iconic action sequences.


The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)
Friday 1st to Sunday 3rd @ 5:30pm & 10pm (2hrs)
Thriller (IMDB)
The debate still rages as to whether Alfred Hitchcock's 1956 remake of The Man Who Knew Too Much is superior to his own original 1934 version. This two-hour remake (45 minutes longer than the first film) features more stars, a lusher budget, and the plaintive music of Bernard Herrmann (who appears on-camera, typecast as a symphony conductor). Though the locale of the opening scenes shifts from Switzerland to French Morocco in the newer version, the basic plot remains the same. American tourists James Stewart and Doris Day are witness to the street killing of a Frenchman (Daniel Gelin) they've recently befriended. Before breathing his last, the murder victim whispers a secret to Stewart (the Cinemascope lens turns this standard closeup into a truly grotesque vignette). Stewart knows that a political assassination will occur during a concert at London's Albert Hall, but is unable to tell the police: his son (a daughter in the original) has been kidnapped by foreign agents to insure Stewart's silence. The original script for Man Who Knew too Much was expanded and updated by John Michael Hayes and Angus McPhail. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi


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