Today brought a new round of announcements for the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, and there’s some fun stuff on the list. The films announced today are in the Spolight program, which pulls in films that have played at other festivals; the Park City at Midnight slate, and the few films programmed as part of Sundance Kids.
In the Spotlight list are films like the really solid revenge movie Blue Ruin and the super-odd and endearing S&M comedy R100, as well as Richard Ayoade’s The Double, and Tom Hardy’s one-man movie Locke. The midnight slate features The Guest, from You’re Next writer/director team Simon Barrett and Adam Wingard, and Cooties, featuring Elijah Wood and Rainn Wilson battling elementary school students transformed by a virus “into a feral swarm of mass savages.” And the kids program features the lovely-looking Ernest & Celestine, from the filmmakers behind A Town Called Panic.
The lineup is below, with as many photos as are available at the moment. Read More »
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We’re in the middle of a conversation about the best films of 2013, with several of those movies yet to go before wide audiences, and now it’s time to start thinking about what some of the best of 2014 might be.
The competition films for the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, scheduled for January 16-26 2014, have just been announced. There’s a lot to digest here, and a lot of unknown quantities. That’s the beautiful part about Sundance — no one knew, at this time last year, that Short Term 12, for example, would be one of the most heralded movies of 2013.
The header shot above is of Miles Teller (The Spectacular Now) and J.K. Simmons in Whiplash, in which Teller plays a drummer. I’m particularly interested in Cold in July, the new film from We Are What We Are director Jim Mickle, and Mr. Leos Carax, the doc about the director of Holy Motors, The Lovers on the Bridge and Pola X. There’s John Slattery’s God’s Pocket, with Philip Seymour Hoffman, Richard Jenkins, Christina Hendricks, and John Turturro, and so many more that I can’t process just yet.
We’ll be adding photos to this list as they become available. The full rundown is below. Read More »
The Alamo Drafthouse have announced they will be taking Austin’s Fantastic Fest on tour, showing movies from the festival at all Alamo Drafthouse markets over three weekends in November. Films include Big Bad Wolves, Borgman, Cheap Thrills, Confession of Murder, The Congress, Grand Piano, Journey to the West: Conquering The Demons, and Why Don’t You Play In Hell. Tickets are now available on the Alamo website. After the jump you can learn more and read the press release announcement.
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Posted on Monday, October 14th, 2013 by Angie Han
Most movies involving sentient, self-aware technology begin or end with the apocalypse. But in truth, those movies bear little resemblance to our actual, day-to-day relationship with technology. There are many jokes to be made about Siri’s similarity to HAL 9000 (and Siri knows all of them), but they haven’t stopped us from inviting her into our lives. And if we feel a bit anxious about that, it’s less because we worry she’ll go all SkyNet on us, and more because we aren’t sure what this dependence on our iPhones means for us and our relationships to one another.
It’s that uneasiness that Spike Jonze explores in Her, an unconventional love story about an operating system and the man who loves her. He is Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix), a lonely man who makes a living writing other people’s love letters for BeautifulHandwrittenLetters.com, and she is Samantha (Scarlett Johansson), the digital personal assistant programmed to meet his every need. Their meet-cute comes when he unboxes the software and answers a few questions about his relationship with his mother so the program can spit her out.
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Posted on Saturday, October 12th, 2013 by Angie Han
Captain Phillips is not an inaccurate title for Paul Greengrass‘ latest movie, but it is an incomplete one. While the drama does indeed chronicle the 2009 hijacking of the Maersk Alabama from the point of view of the titular hostage, this isn’t really an epic about a brave captain battling vicious pirates. (Or not just that, anyway.) It’s a tragedy about two men caught in a very desperate situation.
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Posted on Sunday, October 6th, 2013 by Angie Han
What separates the people we are from the people we wish we were? Is it courage? Money? Charisma? Imagination? The Secret Life of Walter Mitty poses that eternal question, and then glosses over it entirely so it can go live out its wildest fantasies.
[Ed: Of course, not everyone feels that way -- Peter's very different response can be found in spoiler-free video form at the end of this post.]
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Note: This review was originally published on January 20th 2013 during the Sundance Film Festival. We are reprinting it for the film’s theatrical release.
Movie fans have long known that Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a great actor. With Don Jon, the world will now see that he’s a talented writer and director too.
The film, his feature debut, focuses on a New Jersey-based ladies man who is hopelessly addicted to online pornography. A heavy and potentially uncomfortable topic for sure, but Gordon-Levitt handles it with an honesty and energy that makes it fun as well as easily digestible. The supporting cast, including Scarlett Johansson as a New Jersey princess-type, Tony Danza, Julianne Moore and Glenne Headly, only helps a film about objectification and media consumption feel so effortless and entertaining.
Don Jon is a high end Hollywood comedy masquerading as a Sundance film. Read the rest of my review, and watch a video blog featuring Peter Sciretta and Russ Fischer, below. Read More »
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In Machete Kills, director Robert Rodriguez once again celebrates guns, babes, and manly men. This sequel to Machete finds many ways to combine those three factors, offering a new permutation every few minutes. The action is dumb and goofy and very self aware, and Machete Kills is occasionally kind of a blast. The cast is game for anything, and few actors stick around long enough to wear out their welcome.
If only the same could be said for the film, which is long, soggy, and distracted by it’s own excess. Machete Kills is a two-hour Robot Chicken special that features humans instead of action figures, and its schtick wears thin well before everyone runs out of energy. Read More »