FILM THREAT’S SUNDANCE 2005 WRAP-UP

PREMIERES

HAPPY ENDINGS ^ Writer/director Don Roos has a gift for creating multidimensional, funny characters and putting them in whatever stories, no matter how contrived and manipulative, pop into his head…

LAYER CAKE ^ “Layer Cake” is by no means a “bad” film. In fact, there’s some great dialogue and some really intriguing scenes. Yet as a whole, it just seems like we’ve seen it all before…

THE MATADOR ^ It’s Brosnan’s refreshingly bold performance, probably his finest, that really makes this picture seethe and breathe with such nasty abandon…

3-IRON ^ If you love quiet movies, where the characters don’t need to speak to each other to establish relationship, carry the story and initiate action, then “3-Iron” is exactly what you’re looking for…

INSIDE DEEP THROAT ^ If “Inside Deep Throat” sheds light on anything, it’s the connections between the adult film industry and the Mob, and the naïveté demonstrated by the filmmakers in regarding their creation as “art” versus the obvious financial motives of the distributors…

DEAR WENDY ^ While the love for guns is well illustrated, the idea that building fear increases violence only comes through because it’s expected…

THE UPSIDE OF ANGER ^ Written, directed by comedian-turned-auteur Mike Binder, who also plays a sizeable role as an inappropriate boyfriend to one of Terry’s daughter, “The Upside of Anger” is a comedy-drama with plenty of sharply funny dialogue and uniformly good-to-excellent acting…

GAME 6 ^ Shot on 35-mm, the film looks great as an ‘80s period piece. The art direction creates authentic settings…

KUNG FU HUSTLE ^ “Kung Fu Hustle” is something you rarely encounter in theaters: a genuinely original comedy. Although designed to lampoon the excesses of the martial arts movie, the film is so rich with inventive sight gags and so deep in the scope of its action sequences that it goes far beyond the restrictive limits of mere parody…

THE BALLAD OF JACK AND ROSE ^ If it weren’t laughable enough to see a snake crawl out of a cage while a girl loses her virginity with an unexciting, unpleasant partner, the scene after, where she looks at her bloody sheet and does a happy dance, makes it hard not to laugh at out loud…

THE JACKET ^ You’ll either walk away with a headache,or praising filmmaker John Maybury for his unique narrative…and it is unique, but in my eyes, it’s also a big giant mess…

MARILYN HOTCHKISS BALLROOM DANCING & CHARM SCHOOL ^ “Marilyn Hotchkiss Ballroom Dancing & Charm School” is a refreshing piece of emotional warmth that won’t induce a syrup overdose…

NINE LIVES ^ Written and directed by Rodrigo Garcia (“Things You Can Tell Just By Looking at Her”), “Nine Lives” is no stunt…

LOVERBOY ^ Miraculously, six year-old Paul (Dominic Scott Kay) is not a spoiled basket case, but a smart, otherwise ordinary kid who wants to grow up…

HEIGHTS ^ In her best performance of three Sundance 2005 movies, Glenn Close stands out as a legendary actress who lectures at Juilliard about how it is hard to pull off Shakespeare in this modern age when passion has disappeared…

DRUM ^ Even in times of gross injustice, moments of humanity find a way of sneaking through. Film has always had a special power to emotionally communicate this, and Zola Maseko’s “Drum” is a solid work of classical storytelling that’s heartbreaking in its portrayal of Johannesburg at a time when its rulers had convinced many people that whites were born to command and blacks were born to obey and serve…

MIRRORMASK ^ I think the number one problem here is that there needed to be a more capable filmmaker on hand to direct. Dave McKean just ain’t cuttin’ the mustard…

THE CHUMSCRUBBER ^ The film exists in a landscape of similar houses, adults who don’t communicate with their children and high school students who medicate themselves with antidepressant pills to become numb to the outside world…

LACKAWANNA BLUES ^ Actor/writer Ruben Santiago-Hudson adapted his autobiographical one-man show to the screen, but maintained its loose narrative structure of life lessons and memories…

THE GIRL FROM MONDAY ^ A profoundly unnecessary movie, “The Girl From Monday” is an embarrassment for indie stalwart Hal Hartley…

REEFER MADNESS ^ From the opening musical number, which uses the living dead to serve as examples of the dangers of marijuana, you know you’re venturing into some very strange territory…

RORY O’SHEA WAS HERE ^ Despite its predictable plot turns, “Rory O’Shea” is a film you actually recommend to the folks and everyone goes home happy…

MYSTERIOUS SKIN ^ Without sounding cliché, this film really marks a turning point for Araki…

SNOWLAND ^ “Snowland” is a beautiful film, there’s no doubt about that…

Get the American Documentary Competition selections in part three of FILM THREAT’S SUNDANCE 2005 WRAP-UP>>>




Posted on February 1, 2005 in Festivals by
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