Abraham Lincoln

RVIFF Reviews: Riviera Betrayal, AI Autonomy, and a Classic Monster With Added Ultra-Violence

September 16th, 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.

Hit the Road [Iran, Panah Panahi, 2021, 4] Irritable father, worried mother, pensive college age son and his irrepressible brat brother drive from Tehran into the country on a mission of initially undisclosed purpose. Comic interplay adds vibrant humanity to a beautifully shot, naturalistic family drama with subtle political undertones.

The Artifice Girl [US, Franklin Ritch, 2022, 4] Law enforcement officials discover that a withdrawn computer scientist has developed a lifelike AI to entrap child predators—or is the revelation her idea? Taut dramatic SF thinkpiece structured as a three-act play.

Masquerade [France, Nicolas Bedos, 2022, 4] Kept man (Pierre Niney) of a wealthy actress (Isabelle Adjani) falls for a gold digger (Marine Vacth) and helps her snare her next target. Con artist drama of love, money and jealousy, shot with sumptuous old school glamour on the Riviera.

Project Wolf Hunting [South Korea, Hongsun Kim, 2022, 4] Extradited criminals staging a hyper-violent takeover of their transport ship discover that something on board is even more dangerous than they are. Extreme action horror reconfigures an underutilized classic monster.

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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