Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Sundance Film Festival 2011! What MOVIES are YOU going to see?

Greetings Geekwads!  JeffroGee here!   

The excitement is building here in Park City, Utah as the Sundance Film Festival once again gears up for another year of offbeat indie films that hope to move, frustrate, and satisfy our hungry minds.  The streets are calm on this particular Wednesday, but as the day progresses this quiet mountain town will transform into a full fledged metropolis of Hollywood elites running to and fro in manic attempts to see every movie, attend every party, hand out every business card, and fill up every bag with as much free swag as is humanly possible.   

Some come to this festival to be intrigued by the films which is the true spirit of what Robert Redford intended when he brought the festival here.  Others may migrate from warmer climates to show off their cool winter hats and get into the open bar parties with no idea what independent film is.  In any case, Sundance has evolved into a magnet for those eager to find a unique experience.  And that is almost a guarantee with the many events that Sundance and the hundreds of other business entities attempting to get your attention as you hopscotch the snow and ice from place to place. 

I am here first and foremost for the films.  There is what appears to be a fantastic slate of films this festival that I would like to highlight.  We always have the movies we are stoked to see…but I have to admit that the ones I am the most excited for rarely end up getting my rave review.  Last year, I did not have the documentary CATFISH on my radar at all and it ended up being the darling of Sundance 2010!  I finally saw it and felt it truly lived up to it’s hype. Even if it is not real (this reviewer thinks it was too crazy to fake.) I found it to be a fascinating story.  In other years, I hobbled into films like Napoleon Dynamite, Moon, Saw, and Oldboy and left blown away.  You can never predict what is going to be good.  But here is a look at what is on my radar this year:


Kevin Smith directing a twisted horror film?  How can I not be curious about this one?  The story involves three boys going head to head with some sort of evil holy force.  Ralph Garman has an acting role here as a mute and Kevin Pollack, Stephen Root and John Goodman also have parts to play.  This one premieres at the Eccles Theatre on Sunday and if the Jets game is over in time you can bet I will be there!


*Warning: Graphic Violence*

Jason Eisner directs this Grindhouse concept of Rutger Hauer as an angry bum seeking vengeance against crime as a….HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN.  Eisner did a short film called TREEVENGE about Christmas trees killing the humans who pillaged their forests which was a blast of gore and fun so I am expecting a lot of fun from this one!


Michael Rapaport directs this documentary about one of the most influential rap groups of the 90’s.  I grew up blaring Tribe and as rap progressed I always felt they had a style and edge that so many others could never match.  Intelligent lyrics, a rare poetic style, mixed with jazz influenced beats and some crazy scratching that made up some great albums.  I still blast Tribe, it is better than most rap out there now.  The group disbanded in 1998 and it looks like actor Michael Rapaport was as big a fan as me because he took it upon himself to direct this doc about them.  This one premieres at the Temple Theatre on Saturday night and I am planning on getting there early!


I have no idea what to expect with this one.  Mike Cahill directs this “science fiction” romance starring William Mapother. But it looks like it could be an introspective sci fi piece that I would enjoy.

BEING ELMO:  A Puppeteer’s Journey

I am a little too old for Elmo.  I grew up in the era where Elmo was absent of the Sesame Street world.  But like most of us I love the Muppets world.  And this doc follows the story of how Puppeteer Kevin Clash grew up in Baltimore with the strange goal of wanting to work with puppets.   His story should be fascinating and the Q and A should be a trip as I expect him to bring Elmo along to be part of Sundance!


A western starring Michelle Williams about pioneers heading west along the Oregon Trail facing tumultuous times and intense conditions.  Kelly Reichardt directs this supposedly dynamic take on the west. 


Paul Rudd and Elizabeth Banks star in this film directed by Jesse Peretz about that crazy member of your family that always loves to make moments awkward. 


David Mackenzie directs Trainspotting alumni Ewan McGregor and Ewen Bremner on this romance thriller about a global pandemic.  Eva Green co stars?  I have to see this one!  I love everyone involved. 


A midnight screening.  I just liked the picture that goes along with this one in the film guide schedule.  Midnight shows are typically a lot of fun but sometimes they can be a little too moody or atmospheric which can influence sleepiness and crazy dreams.  But I see a girl with a shotgun and I think….I’ll give it a shot!


James Franco directs….well, I don’t know.  Apparently this is a live interactive piece that will happen around the festival.  I am intrigued…I hope I don’t have to watch someone cut their arm off live though…

Well that is all I have time to highlight now.  I am all about the NEXT category which falls under the category of films made for a supremely low budget.  I will be seeing  a lot of those as well.  But of course, it is Sundance and sometimes you have a day where you don’t get into any of the films you want because of how busy it can get , especially on this first weekend.  

The Racquet Club theatre is normally a big part of Sundance offering up a lot of seats to fest goers.  But apparently it is being remodeled which means less seats for the same amount of screenings which means…less chance of seeing as many films.  I will be updating here on POParitaville almost daily so keep checking us out! 

Here is to another great Sundance Film Festival!


  1. I'm soooo into Red State right now. What's gonna happen?

    xxx C

  2. We can't wait to see what's in story with 'Red State'.