A few days after the kickoff the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, deal-making is in full swing. The well-reviewed drama The Spectacular Now, by Smashed director James Ponsoldt, is headed to newish distributor A24, while the crowdpleasing comedy Austenland, from Napoleon Dynamite writer Jerusha Hess, is nearing a deal with FilmDistrict. Michael Winterbottom and Steve Coogan‘s The Look of Love had a mixed reception, but that’s not stopping IFC Films from closing in on a deal; the distributor also released the pair’s last comedy together, The Trip. Meanwhile, Anchor Bay has picked up two narrative features so far, the Dermot Mulroney-starring The Rambler and Leland Orser‘s Morning. (The latter is not playing at Sundance.)

Over in the world of documentaries, music-centric films seem to be doing quite well. Showtime has acquired the broadcast rights to the two-part documentary History of the Eagles, which will air on the channel February 15 & 16. Also headed to television is Pussy Riot — A Punk Prayer, which has been snapped up by HBO Documentary Films. Finally, Twenty Feet From Stardom, which follows some of popular music’s greatest backup singers, will get a theatrical release by RADiUS-TWC. And in non-music news, AMC’s Sundance Selects has grabbed Dirty Wars, about America’s covert wars, and The Summit, about climbers scaling the most dangerous peak in the world.

Hit the jump to read descriptions of the films mentioned above.

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We’re well through the first and second tiers of horror remakes, as we’ve seen new versions of Psycho and ’80s slasher series such as Halloween, A Nightmare on Elm Street, and Friday the 13th, not to mention remakes of slightly less well-knwon films such as The Hills Have Eyes and Piranha.

Now, with a remake wave that also includes Maniac, we’ve got a new version of Silent Night, Deadly Night. The 1984 original caused a minor furor less for its content (most of the people complaining never saw the original) but for the fact that the story of a serial-killing Santa was advertised during prime time.

I know there’s a war on Christmas and everything (sarcasm), but still, it’s difficult to believe that Silent Night, which remakes/updates the ’84 film, will create the same sort of furor. That said, the trailer for the remake makes it out to be a slasher in the modern exploitation mode with enough creep-out factor and weird intensity to satisfy fans of the genre. And why the hell does that voice at the end sound so much like Willem Dafoe? Read More »

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