We all have our favorite “so bad they’re good” movies. They’re films with poorly written scripts and terrible performances, but huge entertainment value due to, or in spite of, near-total incompetence. Casa de mi Padre, Will Ferrell‘s Spanish-language comedy, was conceived and executed to be one of those films. It’s filled with totally self-aware mistakes in editing and production design. It has wooden performances and crappy dialogue. The idea was those gags, coupled with the fact that everyone is speaking Spanish, should be funny.

What Ferrell, director Matt Piedmont and writer Andrew Steele neglected to realize, though, is the reason “so bad they’re good” films usually gain that moniker is that the filmmakers crafted every moment with the best intentions… they just failed miserably. The Casa de mi Padre team is making a bad movie on purpose so those “best intentions” aren’t there. That, in turn, sucks the heart out of the film. As a result, it just lays on the screen lingering in mediocrity. And there are no “so mediocre they’re good” movies. Read More »

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The plot of the Duplass Brothers‘ latest film, The Do-Deca Pentathlon, more or less sells itself. In 1990, two brothers competed in a series of 25 events to decide who was better and fractured their relationship in the process. The film picks up over twenty years later when circumstances have pushed them back together to finally settle the score. The hope is, somehow, there will be a clear winner this time, lifting the black cloud that’s hovered over both of their lives.

And while that premise could easily have been a huge, broad comedy with big set pieces, under the pen and eye of Jay and Mark Duplass, The Do-Deca Pentathlon is deeply personal tale that pushes the humor back in favor of humanity.  Read More »

In the English language, the phrase Nature Calls has a few different connotations. The title of this film, which recently had its world premiere at SXSW 2012, refers to men going into the woods to become men. The woods, Earth, nature is calling them for something greater. However, the more appropriate connotation would be when the phrase refers to someone going to the bathroom. Because that’s more akin to what the film is.

Written and directed by Todd Rohal, Nature Calls stars Patton Oswalt as a Boy Scout enthusiast who takes a group of reluctant Scouts into the woods to try and revitalize his dying troop, only to be chased down by his anti-Scout brother, played by Johnny Knoxville. It also stars Rob Riggle, Maura Tierny, Darrell Hammond, and the late, great Patrice O’Neal, to whom the film is dedicated. As a huge fan of O’Neal’s, it truly pains me to say these things about the movie, but he would have agreed. Nature Calls is like an animal distracted by a shiny thing. It’s dumb and all over the place with nothing to say. Read More »

The worm is out of the sand. Mondo’s secret new gallery opened Saturday with a sci-fi themed show that left jaws on the floor and wallets extremely empty. Tyler Stout did his first Mondo poster since October, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn, Kevin Tong did Forbidden Planet, Martin Ansin kicked off a new Terry Gilliam Director’s Series with Brazil, Jay Shaw did David Cronenberg right with The Fly and Crimes of the Future, Phantom City Creative went all George Melies with A Trip to the Moon and much, much more: Akira, Dune, War of the Worlds, Planet of the Apes, The Fountain, Real Steel, it goes on and on, 38 in total. Check out those image and more after the jump. Read More »

I Was In A Movie At South By Southwest 2012

If you want to appear in movies, the absolute worst job you can have is writing about them. Writers don’t aspire to be actors because we’re not particularly photogenic and much prefer the experience of film from the outside looking in rather than vice versa. That equation flipped for me, though, on the opening night of South by Southwest 2012.

While most of the film fans in Texas were watching The Cabin in the Woods I was around the corner, waiting to see a poster documentary called Just Like Being There, which I appear in as myself. Watching yourself on the big screen for the first time is a once-in-a-lifetime, wholly new and crazy experience. An experience I thought I’d share with you all.

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‘Citadel’ Trailer: Fear the Youth Gone Wild

The SXSW Midnight entry Citadel is an Irish film that trades on very familiar horror/thriller subject matter: basic fear of generational aggression. There are plenty of films about roving gangs of kids/teens committing crimes and doing violence, and the basic fear even crosses over into real life media through reports of hoodie gangs and ‘wilding’ kids that show up every once in a while in major cities.

Citadel is a bit more personal, however, with vague shades of David Cronenberg’s The Brood. The film is about a man whose wife was killed in an attack by a pack of feral children. Now the same pack wants the man and his child, and he has to face his fear in a massive abandoned housing block.

The film is actually based on director Ciarán Foy‘s experience being attacked, and his fears that resulted from the event. Check out the trailer below. Read More »

As if movies like The Cabin in the Woods, 21 Jump Street, Rec 3: Genesis and The Raid weren’t good enough reasons to be excited for South by Southwest 2012, Mondo has just announced they’ll be opening a permanent gallery at the festival. Finally a place in Austin, Texas for people to go and check out Mondo’s own brand of bad ass, movie themed art at any time.

To kick it off, they’ll be opening a mystery show on March 10 at 6 p.m. Nothing is known about the show, but the invitation has a few cryptic clues. Check it out after the jump. Read More »

This year’s SXSW Film Festival will open in less than a month, on Friday, March 9, 2012, and run through Saturday, March 17 in Austin, Texas. The opening night film is the world premiere of Joss Whedon & Drew Goddard’s The Cabin in the Woods, and the rest of the film schedule includes pictures such as God Bless America, The Raid, and Midnight entries John Dies at the End and V/H/S.

Now the last wave of SXSW film programming has been announced. The lineup now includes some Sundance 2012 faves such as Searching For Sugar Man (review), Shut Up and Play the Hits (trailer), Safety Not Guaranteed (review), Sleepwalk With Me (review).

There are even quite a few other movies that don’t have titles beginning with ‘s,’ such as Todd Rohal‘s Nature Calls, featuring Patton Oswalt and Johnny Knoxville, and the restored version of Yellow Submarine.

You can find the lineup of today’s film announcements below, and check the entire schedule, complete with both screening and conference dates and times, at www.sxsw.com/film. Read More »

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