SUNDOWN MOVIE REVIEW
Have you ever been on a vacation so nice you think to yourself, “I should stay here. I should just lose my passport and plane ticket and never go home. Stay on the beach, drink my weight in margaritas, and toss my phone in the ocean never to be heard from again!” A dreamy dream of a dream, but not really plausible, unless you’re a multi-millionaire, like the main character of this film. And before you go and assume this is some sort of Adam Sandler movie made as an excuse for the Sandman to go somewhere tropical with his friends, let me stop you right there. This is a quiet, slow, dramatic character study that elicits comparisons to Ernest Hemingway novels, locale and booze included. Neil and Alice Bennett (Tim Roth, Charlotte Gainsbourg) are the core of a wealthy family on vacation in Mexico with younger members Colin and Alexa (Samuel Bottomley, Albertine Kotting McMillan) until a distant emergency cuts their trip short. Roth decides he’s going to forgo the trip back to just stay and hangout on the beach, drinking and napping and hooking up with a local shop girl. Melina, Frank, Marcos, and T.C. find themselves contemplating the meaning of life and death thanks to this existential tale. In the end, they may just have more to say about the movie than the movie has in dialogue.
DIRECTED BY: Michel Franco
STARRING: Tim Roth, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Iazua Larios, Henry Goodman, Albertine Kotting McMillan, Samuel Bottomley
T.C. De Witt (Screener Squad)
T.C. De Witt is a multi-awarded writer/director originally from Wisconsin and now based in Los Angeles. His life has been devoted to the arts since he was a child. He’s been a stage performer, playwright, stand-up comic, film and television actor, radio DJ, podcaster published author, recorded musician, and comic writer/illustrator. He is now a professional screenwriter and has been thriving for the past decade, regularly offering his talents to production studios in LA, Chicago, Milwaukee, and internationally in Sydney and Poland. He’s provided content for Amazon Prime, Netflix, and several YouTube partners. His films have screened internationally, and his stageplays have been performed across the country. In the last ten years, he has directed 57 films, 23 episodes of his series The One Minute Rewatch, 300+ episodes of podcasts, and his multi-award-winning short film Screen: Righter screened at the Festival de Cannes in 2016. He has released two feature films, The Princess Knight and A Christmas Sunset. He thrives on collaboration and the thrill of sharing stories in all forms.
Melina Eames (Screener Squad)
Melina first discovered that she carried the nerd gene at the tender age of four following her exposure to a little film called A New Hope. In the twenty-some years that followed, Melina continued to grow into her geek identity through the discovery of Batman, Mst3k, Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings and The Mandalorian. But perhaps her most significant discovery came at the age of fourteen when a night of YouTube mining led her to the review site of Spill.com. Melina became a devoted follower whose fandom did not end with the site’s demise. By then, it had worked its dark magic and left her with a love and appreciation for film criticism that she has yet to shrug.
Frank Calvillo (Highly Suspect Reviews, Screener Squad)
Born and raised in South Texas, Frank currently lives in Austin and has been in love with movies ever since his father showed him some Three Stooges shorts when he was five years old. Today he loves all kinds of film, regardless of era, country, budget or genre. He believes every film has an audience and is at least one person’s favorite movie. After writing for Sight & Sound and Slackerwood, he now writes for Cinapse where his increasingly random taste in all flavors of cinema (from Rashomon to Mars Attacks!) continues to thrive. His ultimate goal is to write a script for his boyhood crush, Michelle Pfeiffer.
Marcos Lira (Highly Suspect Reviews, Screener Squad)
Me? I come from the South, Out there, beyond the horizon by the big river. Out there where the bandits formed cities, and the gambling is legal. I got into movies like most nerds by watching Tarantino but fell in love with movies through Chinese Cinema for some reason. A few of my favorite things would probably be live music, new experiences, and belt-fed ammunition. You can catch this occasional podcaster, occasional other Marco and full-time human on any form of social media by typing jlmarcos62. Hit me up for music suggestions and bad jokes.
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