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Sundance FF: Day 5

01.22.2004

I (JoBlo) wasn't able to get my ass up to Park City this freezing winter, but was lucky enough to receive an offer for coverage from friend of the site, Scott Weinberg, who will let us all know what the shit's going on up there. Read DAY 1/DAY 2/DAY 3/DAY 4 here. Here's DAY 5...

DAY 5:

Going in to Day 5, I had a solid handful of movies on my docket that I was quite excited to see, and I'm quite happy to announce that nearly all of 'em ended up rock solid! This year's Sundance is turning out to be a regular Horror Extravaganza, and I for one think it's a great thing indeed. I spent the day happily bounding from one screening to another and ended the day thrilled and satisfied. Here's why:

THE MACHINIST

Brad (SESSION 9) Anderson's latest features a shockingly emaciated Christian Bale as a haggard and haunted chap who hasn't slept in over a year, Jennifer Jason Leigh as a low-rent hooker with a sweet side, and Michael Ironside as a man about to lose his arm in an industrial accident. Anderson delivers the narrative in a rather nightmarish perspective, and the twisty-turny plot contortions all end up making sense by the end. It's part horror, part mystery, part psycho-thriller and quite rewarding overall. I still dig SESSION 9 just a bit more, but fans of that movie should absolutely find a lot to like in THE MACHINIST...not that the two films are really similar in any way.

SUPER SIZE ME

Now here's a fascinating, colorful, wholly enlightening and drop-dead funny documentary that focuses on the overall obesity of Americans...and how much the McDonald's corporation contributes to this problem. Get this: director Morgan Spurlock decides that he's going to eat nothing but McDonald's food for thirty straight days, three full meals a day. As we witness Morgan's rather unpleasant transformations, we get a solid series of lessons on the dangers of our fast food culture. This is easily one of the most entertaining documentaries of the last several years, and I predict that many, many people will soon be in strong agreement with me.

EULOGY

First, the cast: Zooey Deschanel, Ray Romano, Hank Azaria, Kelly Preston, Famke Janssen, Debra Winger, Jesse Bradford, Glenne Headley, Piper Laruei and Rip Torn. Add a healthy dose of dark and nasty humor to this fantastic ensemble (plus the fact that Preston and Janssen play lesbian lovers!) and what do you get? A mild disappointment, actually. Throughout its scant running time, the flick offers a solid helping of mild larfs along the way, although the movie as a whole is a choppy and inconsistent affair. Certainly worth seeing for the cast alone, but much of it simply doesn't work.

SAW

Hoo. Boy. Did I love this one!!! Of the other critic pals I have here with me, one also loved it...and the other sorta hated it. But if the idea of SEVEN meets CUBE by way of a Nine Inch Nails video (with a little SILENCE OF THE LAMBS sprinkled in for good measure) sounds like fun to you, here's one you may soon consider a "new classic". I'm not about to ruin any of the surprises for you (Lion's Gate snatched it up, so be patient), but as a lifelong horror whore, this movie grabbed me by the short & curlies and didn't let go until the phenomenally slick finale. Cary Elwes, Danny Glover and Monica Potter are your leads and the eternally adorable Dina Meyer even pops up for a few minutes. This one's gory and gothic, twisted and disturbing, smart and slick, and...shit, I loved it. Period.


-- Director James Wan & writer Leigh Whannell --

See y'all tomorrow!

-- Sundancin’ Scott  

Source: JoBlo.com
Tags: Hollywood

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