Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Sundance - The movies

OK. I have been slack on blogging our Sundance experience. We were busy seeing movies and I just didn't get around to it. Now that our company has returned to Michigan and North Carolina and I am done seeing movies, I can try and catch up. I've listed the movies we saw and rather than try and describe what it was about and who was in it, I just hyperlinked to the Sundance site.
  • In Bruges - one of our favorites. An unusual mix of dark, a bit violence at times, comedy and character development. We figure this should get picked up for distribution. Colin Farrell and Ralph Fiennes as stars should help.
  • Frozen River - Good story. Almost every time you think you know what is going to happen, you're wrong. One boy (about 5 years old) who was in the movie was at the premiere. He went up on the stage and people wanted to take his picture. He was good about it, but like all stars, kept asking if he could leave. Can't see this one getting picked up.
  • Yellow Handkerchief - Deep look into the personalities of three odd characters. I enjoyed it, but it got slow in places. Could use 15 minutes pruned out of the middle. William Hurt is a tremendous actor.
  • Shorts #5 - the worst collection of shorts I have seen in four years of Sundance. There was only one short that we all thought was really good. Most were poor to mediocre.
  • Bottle Shock - Fun. Simple. Probably the closest thing we saw to normal commercial movies. Formulaic. Disney ending. Fun just the same. Bill Pullman as a lead should help get a deal.
  • Love Comes Lately - I didn't get to see this. I was with the guys seeing the crappy shorts program. The girls said this movie had no redeeming value whatsoever. It was terrible. Rhea Perlman should do a better job of picking movies to be in.
  • Sunshine Cleaning - While the guys were seeing Bottle Shock, the girls saw this. A great movie with an odd story line. Should get picked up for distribution. Make sure you click on the link to read about the story.
  • Transsiberian - Pretty cool adventure story. Starred Woody Harrelson and Ben Kingsley. Excellent acting by the female lead, Emily Mortimer. You can really feel her emotions as she gets wound into a set of unfortunate lies. Pretty awesome filming of the bleak Siberian wasteland.
  • Last Word - Another dark story with good character development. Ray Romano played a pretty serious role and did a great job with it. Also had Wes Bentley (American Beauty) and Winona Ryder (convicted shoplifter). Nice mix of a serious story with some good humor.
  • Hamlet 2 - If you liked Dumb and Dumber, you'll like this. It is a bit smarter with more clever humor, but it felt a bit like watching a Pee Wee Herman movie. We all laughed, but none of us ever care to see it again. Steve Coogan had the lead and seemed to have quite a following in the theater.
  • Escapist - John and I weren't feeling well, so we missed this late night movie. Everyone else said it was one of their favorites. We figured they were taunting us, but they swore it was excellent.
  • Sugar - This was a movie about a Dominican trying to get into the US baseball farm league. It is more about his personal life and struggles than about baseball. Most of us gave it two out of 4 stars. Not great, but enjoyable. At 2 hours, it could use some pruning. The most impressive thing was learning that the lead actor was actually a baseball player who had never acted before. He did a great job. You never would have guessed.
  • Pretty Bird - Only John and Patti caught this movie, right before they headed back to NC. They said it was a very good thing because the movie was terrible.
That was our movie list. Julie may see a few more as she volunteers over the next few days. If you want the complete list of Sundance 2008 movies. click here.
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