Tag: 2014 Sundance Film Festival

Sundance 2014: THE GUEST Review

     January 19, 2014

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From 1974 to 1988, director John Carpenter was pretty much unstoppable. His films were scary, funny, strange, and thrilling.  Adam Wingard’s The Guest feels like a lost Carpenter film from the director’s golden age.  The picture effortlessly moves between a …

Sundance 2014: A MOST WANTED MAN Review

     January 19, 2014

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The spy thriller genre—like all genres—has its fair share of tropes and clichés.  The best entries are ones that take the foundation of the genre and expand upon it or put a new spin on the material.  Director Anton Corbijn’s …

Sundance 2014: LOVE IS STRANGE Review

     January 19, 2014

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“Write what you know,” is a common piece of writing advice.  I don’t know how much of Ira Sachs’ Love Is Strange is autobiographical, but it feels true to life.  Boring, boring life.  Because the film feels true to life, …

Sundance 2014: THE SKELETON TWINS Review

     January 19, 2014

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Comedic actors moving into dramatic territory is not a new concept.  Many make the transition with ease, while some have trouble crossing over or getting audiences to buy into them doing “serious” things.  SNL veterans Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig …

Sundance 2014: BLUE RUIN Review

     January 18, 2014

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Fatalism is inherent in the revenge drama.  No one gets away clean.  Jeremy Saulnier’s Blue Ruin brings a unique spin to the revenge film by acknowledging the inevitable blowback and responding with a sad, reluctant sigh.  The movie is ominous, …

Sundance 2014: FRANK Review

     January 18, 2014

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“He’s the sanest person I’ve ever met,” band manager Don (Scott McNairy) tells keyboardist Jon (Domhnall Gleeson) about their lead singer and songwriter, Frank (Michael Fassbender).  Frank wears a giant fake head that he never takes off.  Lenny Abrahamson’s Frank …

Sundance 2014: I ORIGINS Review

     January 18, 2014

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The debate between science and religion has been going on for centuries.  It’s a struggle that not only manifests itself in the physical form of heated discussions and protests, but it also takes place within ourselves.  Writer/director Mike Cahill explores …

Sundance 2014: HELLION Review

     January 18, 2014

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Despite all of its wandering, loosely tied together stories and uneven pacing, there’s an odd sweetness to Kat Candler’s Hellion.  Rather than broken characters focused solely on self-help and improving their own station, it’s an attempt to salvage a family …

GOD’S POCKET Review

     January 18, 2014

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Following around sad characters does not make a story poignant.  It does not make it sorrowful or deep or compassionate.  In his feature directing debut, John Slattery has filled a tank with dirty water so his talented actors can swim …

Sundance 2014: LOCKE Review

     January 18, 2014

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When a film is executed under a series of conditions, it can feel like an exercise.  It can come off like a director running a test rather than telling a story.  But we also know that restrictions can spur creativity …