LAFF 2013 Reviews: ‘Goodbye World’ and ‘Fruitvale Station’
The Los Angeles Film Festival (LAFF) is already well on its way and it’s the perfect time to start talking about all the great films we saw there. The festival will last until June 23rd, so there is still time for you to catch a few movies if you want to.
In the meantime, let’s talk about two feature films playing at the festival, Goodbye World and Fruitvale Station.
In Goodbye World, a mysterious cyber-attack sends our civilization into chaos. Living in a remote country cabin, James (Adrian Grenier) and Lily (Kerry Bishe) and their daughter Hannah (Mckenna Grace) invited their college friend, Nick (Ben McKenzie) and his girlfriend Becky (Caroline Dhavernas) for the weekend, but when all hell breaks loose, it soon becomes a bigger college reunion when more of their friends show up at the cabin.
As the friends try to deal with what is going on out in the world, they must also deal with their own unresolved issues and past.
There have been quite a few post-apocalyptic films lately, and I personally haven’t gotten tired of them yet, so of course Goodbye World peeked my interest. While it’s not exactly post-apocalyptic, it is the beginning of a post-apocalyptic world. The interesting thing about it is that it mixes in a regular drama, filled with unresolved issues between the characters, which is the strength of the film.
These unresolved issues lay an engaging foundation into the story as the characters also try to deal with what is happening in the world. However, when the world comes crashing in, everyone has a different reaction to it and that’s also where some of the issues in the film for me were. While the interactions between the characters felt genuine, I would have liked for the film to explore their reactions to what was happening more. It almost felt like an afterthought to them, like it wasn’t a big deal and I guess I wanted more.
That said, because I’m such a huge fans of dramas that focus on relationships, I did enjoy the film. However, if you’re looking for a film that explores more of that post-cyber-attack world, you might be disappointed.
Still, I will say that Goodbye World is definitely worth a watch if you’re a fan of the cast and the story seems like something that appeals to you.
Goodbye World will have its second screening on Thursday June 20th at 9:40pm.
Ratings: 7 out of 10 stars
Fruitvale Station is a really powerful and depressing film. Directed by Ryan Coogler, the film takes place on December 31, 2008 and is based on the true story of Oscar Grant (Michael B. Jordan), a 22-year-old Bay Area resident, whose life came to a tragic end at the Fruitvale subway stop on New Year’s Day. You might be familiar with his story, but if you aren’t you should know that his death had a big impact in the Bay Area and the nation itself.
The film focuses on Oscar’s last day as he resolves to get his life back on track for the new year. And as we get further in the film, I was overwhelmed with such dread and sadness for his fate. It’s no secrets for fans of Michael B. Jordan (The Wire, Friday Night Lights, Parenthood, Chronicle) what an incredible talent he is, and I think this film might thrust him in the limelight when awards season comes. He really is amazing as Oscar and more importantly makes us care so much, which leads to the film’s success.
Surrounded by an incredible supporting cast including Octavia Spencer, Melonie Diaz, Ahna O’Reilly, Chad Michael Murray and Kevin Durand, Fruitvale Station takes you on quite a trip and it’s impossible not to feel touched by it.
Ratings: 8 out of 10 stars
You can watch the trailer for Fruitvale Station below.