Wish I Was Here

Zach Braff‘s Wish I Was Here is now infamous because of the controversy surrounding Braff’s Kickstarter campaign. But let’s not allow that to cloud the real picture –Braff’s fans coughed up $3.1 million for his second feature film because they loved his first movie. Garden State connected with teens and college-aged twenty somethings in a manner that rarely happens, almost in the way that a song or a poem connects, rather than a movie. Fans have been waiting over a decade for Braff to go back behind the camera for a follow-up. This year at Sundance they got it.

Wish I Was Here is a real crowd pleaser, earning a standing ovation at the Premiere screening at Park City’s The Marc theatre. The film is very funny; when the lights came up I was hurting from laughter and sniffling a bit. (Must have been the cold temperature of Utah, right? Yeah that has to be the reason…) It is my favorite movie of Sundance this year (thus far).

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Skateland

MTV has released the official movie trailer for Anthony Burns‘s feature film directorial debut with Skateland, which premiered at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival . Skateland is a coming-of-age story which takes place in the early 1980s in small-town East Texas. Dramatic events force a 19-year-old skating rink manager named Ritchie (played by Deadgirl‘s Shiloh Fernandez) to look at his life in a very new way.

“Skateland explores the rupture of charismatic Ritchie Wheeler, brother and sister Brent and Michelle Burkham, and wise-cracking lady-killer Kenny Crawford’s seemingly complacent existence as they struggle with the collapse of their tumultuous home lives, the alcohol-induced idling of reckless adolescence, and the wane of their hometown hangout, the local roller rink. A story syncopated with moments of violent turbulence, of heartbreak and of new beginnings, Skateland immerses the audience in the brutal, but beautiful vastness of East Texas blue skies and the emotional claustrophobia of the bible belt. Enveloped by the brooding melodies and incendiary rock riffs of the early 80’s, Skateland is a place where aging values wrestle with contemporary pop culture to create a paradoxical balance between old and new.”

The movie also stars Ashley Greene (Twilight), Heath Freeman, Taylor Handley, AJ Buckley, and Haley Ramm. I’m usually a sucker for coming-of-age stories, and growing up in the 1980′s makes this all the more appealing. However, I screened this at Sundance this year and only mildly liked it.  Watch the trailer now after the jump.

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