Saturday, January 21, 2006

Sundance Saturday

Well, the Sundance Film Festival has announced its film list, so you know what that means . . . okay, more than likely you don't. What it means is that Netflix has just been glutted with new movies now able to be added to your queue. Pretty massive list this time around; hope at least a couple of these pique your interest.

In the Name of the King: The good: Fantasy film starring Jason Statham, John Rhys-Davies, and Ray Liotta. The bad: Also has Burt Reynolds, which could be problematic, especially when you consider The ugly: directed by Uwe “Please, make him stop!” Boll.

Trust the Man: Indie comedy that gets placed in the queue due to the strength of the cast, in particular the presence of Billy Crudup and Maggie Gyllenhaal.

Strip Search: Made for HBO movie that explores the question of how much freedom is it safe to sacrifice in the name of security? Features Ellen Barking, Glenn Close, Patti LuPone, and Maggie Gyllenhaal.

The Nasty Girl: Foreign film about a girl whose school report unearths some nasty secrets about her town’s past during WWII.

Happy Feet: Animated film about singing and dancing penguins.

Tsotsi: Foreign film about a thug who discovers that the vehicle he has just carjacked has a baby inside.

Tristan and Isolde: Romantic period piece based on the time-worn tale of star-crossed lovers Tristan and Isolde

Idlewild: Musical set in the 20s starring Outkast; from the previews I’m not sure just how well their style of music really gels with the setting, but I’m willing to give it a chance.

Lucky Number Slevin: A case of mistaken identity gets Josh Hartnett mixed up in a mob war; also features Lucy Liu and Bruce Willis

American Dreamz: Spoof of American Idol with stereotypical Muslim terrorists thrown in for good measure. Stars Hugh Grant, who has become one of my favorite comedic actors ever since he dumped the fumbling, mumbling, namby-pamby routine and embraced his inner sarcastic jackass.

Friends with money: Indie character study starring three of my favorite actresses (Joan Cusack, Frances McDormand, and Catherine Keener) and one of my totally-ambivalent-towards actresses (Jennifer Anniston).

Art School Confidential: Another movie based on the comic book work of Daniel Clowes and directed by Terry Zwigoff, the men behind the quirky Ghost World.

Click: New Adam Sandler vehicle in which he receives a “universal remote” that allows him to control reality.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest: Loved the original, am hoping the 2nd and 3rd installments measure up.

School for Scoundrels : Jon “Napoleon Dynamite” Heder is a loser who joins a confidence-building class to help him meet the girl of his dreams, only to find out that his unscrupulous teacher, Billy Bob Thornton, has his sights set on her too.

Grounded for Life: Season 1: I didn’t get in on this show until it moved from Fox to the WB, but I grew to like it quite a bit; looking forward to seeing the early episodes.

Joshua : Horror movie about a man who returns to his hometown to face his demons.

Action: The Complete Series: One of those “brilliant but cancelled” TV shows that I missed out on the first time around; not sure how Jay Mohr managed to be in anything that’s considered “brilliant,” but I suppose I shall find out.

Cargo : Foreign thriller about a backpacker who stows away on a cargo ship after losing his passport, only to find that the captain is a few sails shy of full mast, if you know what I mean. And I hope that you do, because I really don’t know enough about sailing to know if that metaphor is even close to right, but by gum, it sounds good.

Darwin Awards : Film based on the idea of the world’s most idiotic deaths. Features an interesting cast, including Joseph Fiennes, Winona Ryder, and Juliette Lewis.

A Guide to Recognizing your Saints : Coming of age drama starring Robert Downey Jr., Rosario Dawson, Chazz Palmentari, and Dianne Wiest.

Half Nelson: Ryan Gosling as a troubled high school teacher who gets a new lease on life due to an encounter with a student.

The Hawk is Dying: Paul Giamatti as an auto upholsterer trying to raise a wild hawk. Film is notable for reteaming former Dawson’s Creek couple Michelle “Jen the ho-bag” Williams and Michael “Henry the whiny loser” Pitt.

Dark Hours : Thriller about a criminal psychologist and her family being held hostage by one of her former patients.

Little Miss Sunshine : Comedy featuring Greg Kinear and Toni Collete as pushy stage-parents of a potential beauty queen.

Illusionist: Period piece featuring Edward Norton as a stage magician who falls in love with an aristocrat, and whose attempts to win her draws the attention of police inspector Paul Giamatti.

Wristcutters: Romantic comedy set in a limbo populated entirely by suicide victims. Stars Patrick Fugit, Shannyn Sossamon, and Eddie “Crab Man on Earl” Steeples.

Sherrybaby : Maggie “If she’s in it, I’ll see it” Gyllenhaal as a woman trying to get her life back together after her release from prison

Night Listener : Psychological thriller starring Robin Williams as a radio host who is drawn into a friendship with a troubled listener played by Rory Caulkin. Also stars Toni Collete and Sandra Oh.

Stephanie Daly : Drama about a forensic psychologist (Tilda Swinton) investigating charges of murder levied on a teenage mother (Amber Tamblyn).

Special: Michael Rappaport as a man who believes that his anti-psychotic drugs are giving him super-powers and sets out to be a super-hero. Looks very bizarre, but the trailer definitely moved it to the top of my “must see” list.

This Film Is Not Yet Rated: Documentary that examines the MPAA’s rating system; as of this writing, This Film Is Not Yet Rated was rated NC-17.

No.2: Drama about a recently widowed woman (played by Ruby Dee, herself a recent widow) trying to move on with her life.

A Little Trip to Heaven: Noirish film starring Julia Stiles as a woman involved in insurance fraud and Forrest Whitaker as the investigator who gets involved with her.

Right at Your Door: Rory Cochrane as a man who loses it and barricades himself inside his apartment when there are reports of a dirty bomb detonating in his city.

Secret Life of Words: Drama featuring Tim Robbins as a man blinded by a fire and Sarah Polley as the nurse who cares for him.

Science of Sleep: The latest weirdness from Michel Gondry about a man trapped in his own dreams.


Walter said...

There are three problems with your most recent post:
1. It took me dang near 20 minutes to find it.
2. 3 words, Sundance Film Festival
3. My post that I would have preferred appear HERE... appears on the Bubblegum Tate Bspot.

home email I only check it on weekends.

You MUST visit a very clever Blogspot. "Thaddeus Deimos" This guy is good. It bit verbose, but very clever.

Walter said...

See todays Oklahoman... Front page. Historical Jesus going to trial in Italy.