Coherence

Edge of Tomorrow

May was a rough time for major releases. With The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and A Million Ways to Die in the West, the first month of summer blockbusting got off to a messy start and ended with an equally toxic finish. Although I’m not a fan of Godzilla and X-Men: Days of Future Past, they have their supporters, so maybe May wasn’t as bad of a month as I’m pegging it as. Maybe it’s just that when a studio comedy as tedious and frustrating as A Million Ways to Die in the West comes around, it’s always going to poison the whole calendar page. Thankfully this summer is about to receive a large improvement, because there’s a terrific blockbuster coming out this Friday. While the Tom Cruise-starring action movie isn’t tracking so hot, let’s hope the tides change and people flock to Edge of Tomorrow. Plus, there’s a solid amount of releases this month you should plan to see. Here are the must see movies of June 2014:

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Oscilloscope Laboratories

Thought-provoking science fiction is a tough genre to get right, apparently, so it’s always an immense joy to find a film that manages to both entertain and intrigue with a mind-bending premise. The majors occasionally get it right, but often it’s the smaller budgeted films that seem to nail it best. Case in point is the new film Coherence from writer/director James Ward Byrkit. It’s the kind of movie that benefits from viewers knowing as little as possible going in, so in lieu of a traditional plot synopsis I give you only the following “official” description. On the night of an astrological anomaly, eight friends at a dinner party experience a troubling chain of reality bending events. Part cerebral sci-fi and part relationship drama, COHERENCE is a tightly focused, intimately shot film that quickly ratchets up with tension and mystery.“ Check out the new trailer for Coherence below and then look for the film itself when it hits theaters and VOD on June 20th.

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piff37 remote area medical

The 37th Portland International Film Festival runs this year from February 6th to the 22nd. They’re screening 104 feature films and 24 shorts across those two weeks from countries as diverse as Afghanistan, Iceland, Nepal, and Taiwan. Check out the official site for tickets and/or more details. And what better way to lead off my coverage of an international film festival than with a look at three titles from the United States? Two of the films are slightly askew suspense thrillers, and one is a documentary that takes a very specific look at the sorry state of affairs that is America’s health care reality. First up is Coherence, a Twilight Zone-like tale in the form of a tightly wound thriller tinged with sci-fi and paranoia. It’s a smartly scripted, constantly moving film guaranteed to keep viewers on their toes and possibly on edge. Ti West’s The Sacrament sends a group of journalists to visit a religious compound in search of a missing woman, but they may need more than prayer to get back out again. As scary as those two try to be though, the documentary Remote Area Medical is far more terrifying. It’s also sad, inspiring, and eye-opening. Keep reading for capsule reviews of Coherence, Remote Area Medical, and The Sacrament, and follow all of our coverage here.

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best big bad wolves

Another Fantastic Fest is in the books, and once again we’re left counting down the days until next year. The fest continues to be the best week of the year for fans of the weird and the wonderful from all around the globe, and this year delivered on both counts. From Indian martial artists to detectives with Down Syndrome, from men reincarnated as flies to a blackly comic look at a school shooting, this year saw dozens of films that entertained, challenged, and amazed. Sure, there was also Machete Kills, but they can’t all be winners. Here are 9 that were:

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Coherence Movie

There’s nothing that gets a good group of friends riled up more than some bad news. For Emily (Emily Baldoni), the unpleasant scoop is that her boyfriend’s ex, Laurie, will be attending the same dinner party she is en route to. Also en route is a comet set to cruise by the earth and maybe, just maybe, cause a few things to temporarily go awry. The party gets underway slowly, wine is served, salad is tossed and the mention of some watered-down ketamine is bandied about. By the time everyone arrives, a fog of awkward tension has settled in. Also some cellphone screens have randomly shattered.

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