Sunday, January 29, 2012

sundance film festival 2012 DAY SIX: sleepwalk with me


So I drove home right after I saw this, actually i drove to a gas station, slept for 3 hours in my car, and then drove to san diego from park city. a 12 hour drive. i am just writing the review now, so i almost don't remember this movie.

very funny, it's the 3rd medium this comedian has done the story, previous a staged one man play, and a book, is now in big screen time. produced by ira glass and the "this american life" boat, the film stars Mike Birbiglia as a comic with a serious sleep disorder. This disorder had him jumping out of a second story La Quinta Inn, in real life!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

sundance film festival 2012 DAY FIVE: bachelorette


bridesmaids just came out last year and maybe it isn't the best timing for this bridal themed comedy, but i was still happy to see it, considering the cast. lizzy caplan, isla fisher(who hasn't worked in a while, after having borat's baby), adam scott, and james marsden. love it. sadly adam scott was not in attendance so i wasn't able to rape him.

this movie is fun. it's a good time to go out and have a laugh and personally i think it was a much better time spent that going to something like horrible bosses or hall pass. this is the ladies side of things. kirsten dunst heads up the cast as the leading lady and kinda of a bitch.

when the fattest and least expected girl in the friend group gets engaged first, kirsten is unhappy about it, but still pulls it together and takes on crazy bossy duty of being maid of honor. isla fisher and lizzy caplan's characters are a little more about having a good time when they get into town for the wedding.

after a stressful rehearsal and gathering, the three bridesmaids start doing blow and drinking together and end up being idiots. they fuck up the bridal gown. whoops, time to change into one of those "can't they fix the dress and make the wedding in time" movie. it's a race to the finish. these kinds of films are normally okay to be entertained for a while, but i actually found this romp pretty enjoyable. lizzy caplan and isla fisher are playing the same roles they always play, but it still works for the character types and in the context. i'm ready for isla fisher to start getting roles of non-bimbo proportions. lizzy caplan gets to make out with adam scott in this movie again. i love the chemistry those two have so it's okay, and if i was lizzy caplan, i'd take as many roles kissing adam scott that i could get my lips on.

james marsden is actually really great as a huge asshole in this, i for some reason really love him playing a prick. good for him! rebel wilson, who actually has a small part in bridesmaids as well, steals the show in each scene she's in. what a realistic spin. kirsten dunst really pulls through at the end and i'm almost always displeased with her performances. this script actually gave her something to do, maybe? or maybe after she worked with lars von trier, he just told her to stop sucking so much. and maybe she listening. i'm ready for her to go back to neil jordan. that's what we need!

while a bit predictable, still alright in my book and it was well received by the full house. with a women director/writer, i'm happy to see stuff like this coming out also, this wasn't a group of 20 somethings, it was like early 30's and i really like that as well. it made me feel like i still have more time before i have to grow up.

Monday, January 23, 2012

sundance film festival 2012 DAY FIVE: two days in new york


i was such a HUGE fan of two days in paris, this one better not let me down.
love julie delpy, really love adam goldberg. granted he's not in this sequel,
but chris rock has replaced him as marion's boyfriend/roommate.

this one is pretty chaotic. family all over the place and while the characters are screaming on screen, you sort of want to yell out loud yourself. marion is now raising a child from her previous relationship while dating mingus, an intelligent radio dj, black, who doesn't smoke pot.

as marion and her boyfriend visit her family in paris, this time her mother has passed and her father and sister come to visit her and there new little addition to the family in new york. french stereotypes are played out a lot more in this film than i remember in the the last, which was sort of okay, but i'd like to see jokes that aren't reliant on that sort of thing.

delpy and rock are actually really great, i haven't seen rock do a real acting role since dogma. Her sister drags along her current boyfriend who also happens to be an ex of marion's. this is odd of course, even in france. madness ensures just due to stress and chaos of having family visit and it sort of turns into a "family is in town" comedy.

new york is definitely not as strong as pairs, but it was laughable and enjoyable overall, good performances, humor, and a decently filmed and written story. I think Julie Delpi should turn this series of films into stage plays.

Chris Rock said that when he read the script he thought that Ethan Hawke must have been dead if Julie Delpy was approaching him for the role. I am so ready for Before Moonset.

sundance film festival 2012 DAY FIVE: kid-thing


yeah, this is the weakest thing i've seen so far and it still wasn't horrible. this is a film from austin by the zellner brothers. i went cause it said susan tyrell was in it and i'm pretty sure she hasn't done anything for a while and now that she's living in austin, i'm sure the zellners encouraged her to be part of something. (spoiler alert: only her voice is in the film, nothing else)

annie is a little tomboy girl, she's a little disturbed and has horrible redneck caretakers which are two dudes that pull their own teeth out and scratch off lottery tickets. so naturally, she's not the smartest child and most likely has some sort of mental disorder. she romping around the city breaking things, stealing, and being destructive in general.

i think this film would have been better if todd solonz directed it. the balance of playing it straight and making it uncomfortable wasn't enough for me. i want oddities. more of them! while messing around in the woods, annie hears a hallowing scream and discovers a women who seems to have fallen down a well. or has she?
maybe she's satan? annie doesn't know and doesn't get help like a smart person, she steal food and drinks for the women and keep in minimal contact with her over a walkie talkie.

*spoiler alert* (maybe)
this isn't addressed, but i think annie was imaging this women entirely. one reason being is that there was no end to the well, every time annie drops something into it, it NEVER hits the bottom. which means there couldn't be a fucking women stranded down there. i don't know maybe i'm reading too much into it.

the little girls performance isn't that special, it's mostly silent anyhow.
nothing that remarkable, just some artsy troubled child stuff.

this isn't anything special, and i've never seen a zellner brothers picture before even though a friend of mine is in one. HA! and actually, i'm pretty sure zack carlson is in this one as a chevron clerk. i could be wrong, i'm pretty tired. i don't know if this is artsy for them, but i'm guessing it's their attempt of being wes anderson.

sundance film festival 2012 DAY FIVE: under african skies


this was my first documentary and might be my only for this festival. i normally try to hit up as many crazy docs as possible. i love them and they have the hardest time finding distribution.

i wouldn't have watched this film had it come out last year. i hadn't fallen in love with paul simon's graceland album yet. i have grown to love it over the last 6 months and whole bunch. so naturally i wanted to see this film about the making of the album.

the film came together rather fast because paul simon and several people chose to commemorate the 25 anniversary. he planned a show in south africa with all the original artists that worked on the album and then a documentary was set in motion to capture the magic.

the film not only focuses on the anniversary and reunion, it completely covers the immense amount of controversy, i didn't know even existed. mr. simon chose to travel to south africa to record with african musicians during apartheid and a untied nations boycott of any collaboration to happen between african artists and anyone else in the world. this of course caused all sorts of protests, bomb threats, and negative impact on the part of paul simon.

the way the album was made was a huge departure from the way things were done back them, simple the recording, mixing, lyrics writing, was all done step by step and not together.

fun fact: paul simon has his own mixer do the sound for the film and it is awesome!
the amount of archival footage from the original recordings and live shows is astounding and a treasure to see.

it took a while but everything in the end worked out and the album remains one of the most loved still to this day. if you're a fan of the album, ladysmith black mambazo, or political artists affairs, this is the documentary for you!

sundance film festival 2012 DAY FOUR: this must be the place


look at that fucking poster! look at it again! so great!
first things first, i HATE the cure, more importantly robert smith. i can't stand him and his voice. I don't like sean penn very much either, although his performances have pleased a few times. Sweet and Lowdown, Milk, and of course Fast Times. so why would i want to see this movie? pure hilarity, at least for me.

this film was shown in 35mm format. kick fucking ass!

i don't know what to make of this film, it's really more like two films smashed together that should have nothing to do with one another. one being about an aging depressed gothic rock star(who's not robert smith) and his connections with people. The other film, is a avenge my jewish fathers torture in nazi germany movie. what the fuck? yes, both plots are happening and should could be entire films on their own. i don't know what is happening with this, however, i can say that i was entertained the entire way. another issue i had with this movie is that it didn't have too much exposition, so it made you think about what was going on, but it DID have 3 narrators. what? two of them pretty useless. cheyenne's(yes that's the rock star's name) wife narrates maybe 3 lines of the whole film and you're like, wait, what, who's talking?

sean penn is funny and i'm mostly sure he was trying to be, so that's good. good job sean! frances mcdormat, who once came to the Dobie and signed an ice cream sign, was phenomenal as usual. This is worth a good laugh, but it could have been about one of these things and not the other and been much for solid of a picture.
but shit, sean penn will probs get an ocsar for it. arg.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

sundance film festival 2012 DAY FOUR: hello i must be going


okay, so what did we learn from this film? I learned that if you're sad about your recent divorce at 35 and you start fucking a 19 year old, you will perk up a bit!
well, duh?

This wasn't a bad film, but just another example of how some good loving attention can bring you into being a real human again. i have always heard over the years that you have to love yourself before anyone else can. i say hogwash. having someone around that makes you feel good, because they like you for you, is a heavy petting for you ego.

i'm a pretty big fan of melanie lynskey, who plays the lead role. she of course bangs out a great american accent again and does a fine job as the leading lady. she's amazing in many pictures, yet still hasn't skyrocked to the next level she deserves to be at. from new zealand she got her start in peter jackson's heavenly creatures opposite kate winslet. blythe danner(the better end of the paltrow gene pool) also delivers another striking performance as her mother.

Amy(lynskey) is pretty depressed after her husband leaves her after cheating on her. that's understandable. she's moved back in with her rich ass parents who are doing their best to keep her alive and get her out of this messy funk.

+side note+ i hate listening to people's shitty opinions in line. HATE it! nobody gives a crap if you love sean penn's political outlooks. he's a schmuck, you're a schmuck. no one even seems to know the whole "robert smith" thing. they are just hear to jizz all over sean penn. ugg+

so, amy meets jeremy at a dinner party and he face rapes her. i love that. he then continues to make amy feel great and doing it does that. doing it in car especially. all of a sudden amy is sneaking around like a teenager and it's just precious and the audience wants her to go and get hers. naturally it causes a few problems when they get caught but the encounters really seem to bring amy into a new chapter in her life.

the nitty gritty: these kinds of films are whats wrong with real life love and relationships. every time i see a film like this, i sit there thinking, damn, i want that. i want to be swept off my feet by some handsome man that thinks i'm just wonderful or at least has the lusty motion for me. the matter of the fact is, it's NOT REAL, yes i'm sure there have been relationships like this in existence, but it's a rare thing. these movies fill our heads will false hopes and put out expectations on a pedestal that will never be reached. yes, i'm cynical, but shit, life is here and in your face, and unless your a perfect human mold, you're chances at this kind of love are a waste of a daydream.

so yeah, don't see this if you're sad a lonely and want someone to cuddle with. just got out, get drunk, and try to get laid, cause that's as close as it's going to get.

sundance film festival 2012 DAY FOUR: beasts of the southern wild


this wasn't one of my original picks, but as you know things get shuffled around and when i re-read the description it sounded all mythological and stuff. super interesting and that stuff floats my boat. speaking of boats. there's a boat in this movie constructed from a flatbed truck.

this story is empowering. through the eyes of a child named Hushpuppy who lives with her daddy in "the bathtub". This takes place in an alternative world, that's pretty much the same as us.

The main downfall of the picture to me was the lacking of mythos. It didn't need it at all and was used so little that it just seemed out of place. I'm not sure if it was there to prove a point, but overall, I don't think the film needed any of it. They didn't need to be from the "the bathtub", it could have just been about a poor father and daughter from Louisiana. With so many similarities to Hurricane Katrina and how those sort of natural disasters force people to rise us, throwing giant boars with tusks in this film for 10 minutes wasn't needed.

Hushpuppy was abandoned by her mother at a young age and has been raised by her backwoods, "I Got This!" type of father. He's raising his daughter in the tough love fashion. He is ready to make her strong, able to handle anything, and despite being an asshole, it works overall. When he leave Hushpuppy she's ready to conquer the world, with or without the help of anyone else. She's a fighter.

This is really just a coming of age story of a powerful girl and we move through the story with her and it's pretty moving and blah blah blah. What we really need to recognize is what an amazing performance was given by this little girl. As we know child actors are often terrible and cheeky, but this little spitfire with her nappy roots and white rubber rain boots is on the path to glory.

sundance film festival 2012 DAY THREE: snow, a lot of snow

dumbass me, figured, i'll get out of robot and frank and get to slc to see a film.

HA! snow storm in my face. as a texan i can honestly say this is craziest shit i have ever driven through. here are some nice gently snowy photos taken earlier in the day BEFORE the blizzard came in. I was too busy trying to not die when the snow storm hit, so there are no photos/videos of that.

so i took a ton of video, but i needed to mash it together and i can't do that right now, cause i didn't get movie maker on my computer and i can't seem to download it at this coffee shop. balls.

sundance film festival 2012 DAY THREE: robot and frank

first movie of the morning, failed at that, didn't get in.

wasn't going to mess up for the second movie, i showed up hella early.
they tell volunteers 2 hours, and i thought that's when they issued the tickets. no. they tell you 2 hours, and issue tickets at 1 hour before showtime. ball sack, not to mention we have to stand outside in a blizzard and i was wearing something like this:

it was cold, i was dumb. but luckily i only had to wait in it for about 20 minutes. thank you jack frost. oh, man i saw a clip of that movie, holy shit. out of control.


Dir. Jake Schreier
Starring: Frank Langella, Susan Surandon, Liv Tyler, James Marsden

Frank Langella, plays Frank. Yup.

This movie takes place in the future! Not by too much, just enough for there to be robots to support the plot. But who doesn't love robots? At least until they turn evil and try to kill us?

Frank is getting older and seems to have alzheimers, although that word isn't used in the film. His son (James Marsden from TV'sSecond Noah) attempts to take care of him as best he can while driving 10 hours each weekend to check up on him. I could never do this for my parents, I also can't stand the thought of my own mortality and having another persons in my face would be too much to handle. But most families tend to take care of each other, so yeah. His daughter, (played by Steven Tyler's daughter), is a traveling do-gooder. When his son brings home a robot aid to help Frank with his memory and health, Frank's daughter is not fond of the idea and neither is Frank. The case with memory loss often triggers anger and defensiveness and Frank deems himself, just fine.

Once Frank is left alone with robot, he takes it on as a companion that he can teach things to and sort of gets used to the routine the robot implements. Even his healthy gourmet cooking is slowly enjoyed. I will be first in line to by a cooking robot. Also, that crazy hairdo robot that used to be on the Jetson's. We slowly learn that Frank is a retired cat bugler. He begins to teach the robot to pick locks and how to plan a robbery. Since the robot has no moral compass of right and wrong, he sees planning heists as a helpful project and tool to help Frank's health and after all, that's what he's programmed to do.

The movie then turns into a sort of old man/robot heist film. Which is sort of equally charming and sad. For me, Frank's metamorphosis in the film made me change my opinion of him as well. I went full circle with his character, which isn't something I normally experience. From feeling pity for him, to cheering him on, despite making bad choices, and then back to sympathy. Frank becomes one of those characters that walks the line of a bad guy that you want to get away with it.
Call me negative, but who doesn't love those characters? It makes them more real, perhaps?

Overall, this is a pretty fun and unique idea and looks great. Wasn't too fond of the ending, but I never am, so don't count that against it. You have to love the buddy relationship these two have. Man + Machine. In the future, we won't even need dogs.

bonus: ana gasteyer shows up for a brief role with some amazing "future" hair. She for sure had the Jetson's hairdo robot.