Abraham Lincoln

RVIFF Reviews: A Master Detective, Trapped in a Screenplay, and Delicious Delicious Kaiju

September 18th, 2023 | Robin

A Ken and Robin Consume Media Special Feature

For the second year running, my wife Valerie and I are attending our own at-home film festival. It takes the place in our hearts and vacation plans formerly reserved by the Toronto International Film Festival. The Robin and Valerie International Film Festival is the cinema event you can play along with at home, with a roster of streaming service and SVOD titles. Its roster includes the foreign, independent and cult titles we used to love to see at TIFF, but cheaper, hassle-free, and on the comfort of our own couch. Daily capsule reviews roll out throughout the festival, with a complete list in order of preference dropping a day or two afterwards. Review ratings are out of 5.

I devoted RVIFF’s final day to films on the fun side that could still play a film festival. In tribute to the years when TIFF ended with a Gamera movie, I even found some kaiju to stomp it all flat at the end.

Inspector Ike [US, Graham Mason, 2020, 4] Perennial understudy (Matt Barats) enacts a clever scheme to knock off the lead in an avant garde theater company, not reckoning on the detecting powers of Inspector Ike (Ikechukwu Ufomadu), who solves a case every week and supplies a recipe to boot. Indie-scaled parody of the seventies NBC Mystery Movie keeps the deadpan jokes flowing.

Spoiler: Keep your recipe card handy. This week it’s chili!

Leonor Will Never Die [Philippines, Martika Ramirez Escobar, 2022, 4] After being hit on the head by a falling TV, a retired film director discovers that she is trapped in her unfinished screenplay for a violent action film. Metatexual fantasy about the eternal struggle between art and reality.

Accident Man: Hitman’s Holiday [UK, George Kirby & Harry Kirby, 2022, 4] Assassin Mike Fallon (Scott Adkins) suffers a role reversal when he must protect a useless mafia failson from the world’s top killers. Skillfully staged martial arts sequel is funnier, faster, better looking and weirder than the original.

Monster Seafood Wars [Japan, Minoru Kawasaki, 2020, 3.5] Rivalries between young task force members complicate the battle against gigantic—yet enticingly delicious—squid, octopus and crab monsters. Goofy quasi-mockumentary features suitably ridiculous people-in-suits style kaiju.

Tomorrow I’ll post my roundup of all the capsule reviews in rough order of preference.

Due to moderate demand, the RVIFF shirts I made for the two of us are available in the Ken and Robin merch store.

If you enjoy this special text feature of the Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff podcast and don’t already support our Patreon, consider tossing a few bucks in the tip jar. Or check out my book on action films and their roleplaying applications, Blowing Up the Movies. Or the roleplaying game inspired by the Hong Kong films I first encountered at TIFF, Feng Shui 2.

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