I’m running way behind of Sundance reviews, so I’m going to a quick rapid-fire run down to get a couple films out of the way.
The plot synopsis for Adventures of Power is as interesting as you’ll find. The film follows a former mine-worker named Power, who is ridiculed in his small town for his air-drumming “skills”. But when Power discovers an underground subculture of air-drummers, he sets off to compete against a billionaire rapping cowboy named Dallas H in the air guitar world championships. Ari Gold writes, directs and stars in this dumb Napoleon Dynamite rip-off which attempts to do for the nonexistent sport of air-drumming, what the movie Dodgeball did for dodgeball. Surprisingly only a few of the gags contained within are chuckle-worthy. At the core of the story is a semi-sweet love story between Powers and a deaf woman (Shoshannah Stern). But this just isn’t enough to make this film worth your nine bucks. 4/10
Pheobe in Wonderland stars Elle Fanning, the young, cuter, not as freakishly smart, sister of Dakota, who was the talk of the town at last year’s festival with Hounddog (a disgusting film which explored child rape and has since never been released). Phoebe is a young girl whose obsessive compulsive behavior is getting her in trouble at school. She joins the school play and is cast as Alice, and goes further down the rabbit hole of depression into her own Wonderland. I really dug her performance in John August’s The Nines at last year’s fest, and we begin to see her true range in this film. Phoebe has incredible art direction, a couple nice performances, and a nice third act twist which you probably won’t se coming. 7/10
The line-up for the 2008 Sundance Film Festival was announced earlier this week. I just got my hands on a boat load of photos from the films in this year’s festival. We actually have too many photos to feature in just one posting, so we have divided this feature into a few parts.
Our second segment in the series takes a look at the films in the Dramatic Competition category. This year’s 16 films were selected from 1,068 submissions. Each film is a world premiere. The list of films includes: American Son, Anywhere USA, Ballast, Choke, Downloading Nancy, Frozen River, Good Dick, The Last Word, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, North Starr, Phoebe In Wonderland, Pretty Bird, Sleep Dealer, Sugar, Sunshine Cleaning, and The Wackness.
Also be sure to check out our Sundance 2008 Photo Previews for the Spectrum and Premieres.
Check out the photos after the jump. Click on the images to enlarge.
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Sundance Institute announced today the line-up of films selected for the U.S. and World Cinema Dramatic and Documentary Competitions for the 2008 Sundance Film Festival.
This will be my fifth year attending the festival, and I think it’s safe to say that this year’s festival is the most mysterious. Most of the films announced today I’ve never heard of before today. That’s not a bad sign. Actually, most Sundance enthusiasts would probably believe this to be an improvement, after the festival has faced criticism of being too star-centric, and becoming too mainstream. It seems like this year’s festival is more unknown. There appears to be more wildcards than in recent years, so it’s very hard to handicap the line-up. But here are a few of the films that immediately caught my eye. I’ll have a better round-up after the complete line-up is announced:
Chuck Palahniuk is my favorite author of all time. David Fincher’s adaptation of Fight Club is also one of my favorite films of all time. Clark Gregg’s adaptation of Palahniuk’s Choke starring Sam Rockwell and Anjelica Huston is so far my most anticipated film of the festival. Palahniuk’s dark humor is unmatched, and Sundance is the best place to premiere his latest film adaptation. Now if only someone would have the guts to make Survivor.
Good Dick: First time Scottish writer/director Marianna Palka’s love story between an isolated lonely girl and a video store clerk sounds interesting. Jason Ritter, Marianna Palka, and Tom Arnold star.
Elle Fanning (Dakota’s little sister) stars in Phoebe in Wonderland, about a little girl takes her already dysfunctional family down the rabbit hole when she seeks enlightenment from her unconventional drama teacher. Felicity Huffman, Patricia Clarkson, Bill Pullman, and Campbell Scott round out the cast.
Amy Adams and Emily Blunt are sisters struck by financial hardship, who start a biohazard removal and crime scene clean-up business in Sunshine Cleaning. Steve Zahn and Alan Arkin also star.
And everyone is talking about The Wackness, Jonathan Levine’s film about a troubled teenage drug dealer who trades pot for therapy sessions with a drug-addled psychiatrist, and in the process falls for the doctor’s daughter. The film stars Josh Peck, Ben Kingsley, Famke Janssen, Olivia Thirlby, Mary Kate Olsen, and Method Man. Olsen and Kingsley lock lips in one scene… ewwwww.
Full announced line-up after the jump.
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