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Sundance FF: Day 6

Jan. 23, 2004by: JoBlo

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/DAY 5 here.

DAY 6:

For my final report, I bring you a quartet of disparate flicks; two big disappointments and 2 pretty good documentaries. As I scramble around trying to pack my luggage and snag some extra press kits (they help when you're trying to write 20+ reviews over one weekend) I realize how ready I am to return home to Philly, my own (NON-DIAL UP) computer, and (of course) my bong.

Although these reports have only offered a teeny taste of the Sundance offerings, I hope you've found them entertaining to read and informative enough to flag a few new movies when they make it to your neck of the woods - be it at the multiplex, the arthouse or the Netflix queue. Though there have been very few "hot ticket" titles this year, I must admit that the presence of so many groovy horror flicks has me quite pleased indeed. But here's the final four:

JOBLO NOTE: Let's give it up for Mr. Scott Weinberg, everyone!!! Thanks for the coverage, my friend...it was greatly appreciated by one and all. I'll have to get out to Philly one day and share that bo...bowling habit of yours. Cheers!

A PLACE OF OUR OWN

A workmanlike and admirable little documentary about Oak Bluffs in Martha's Vineyard, which was (for the longest time) the place for upper middle-class black families to spend their summers surrounded by people of their own race. Matty Rich's 1994 film "The Inkwell" offered a fictional visit with this fascinating locale, and this documentary brings its heyday to life in poignant and effective style.

TRAUMA

As a huge fan of Marc Evans' MY LITTLE EYE, I had this flick penciled onto my schedule several weeks ago. Unfortunately this psychological thriller starring Colin Firth and Mena Suvari is painfully dull for two acts...and irritatingly dishonest for the third. I suppose "psychological thrillers" are automatically allowed to combine dream sequences, stutter-step flashbacks and telegraphed plot twists, all in the name of being, um, "psychologically thrilling", but the movie cheats a lot and left me feeling annoyed and highly dissatisfied.

L.A. PLAYS ITSELF

Here's one you serious movie freaks should absolutely enjoy. It's a nearly 3-hour documentary about the many ways in which Los Angeles has been used (and abused) by filmmakers over the past 70-some years. Expect lots of fascinating trivia, movie clips and intriguing historical info. But go in knowing that it IS a long-ass movie, and also that the narrator (director/USC professor Thom Anderson) has a voice so amazingly sonorous that it may cause you to slip into a coma if you don't have some coffee nearby.

EMPLOYEE OF THE MONTH

I mentioned that "Trauma" has a few cheats here and there, but this movie has a finale so arcane, so protracted, and so ridiculous that it borders on the insulting. Aside from that, the first 70-some minutes aren't exactly anything to dance a jig over either. Matt Dillon, Steve Zahn and Christina Applegate star in the tale of one bank employee who is having the worst day of his life (by far), but the movie's full of unlikeable characters, drab dialogue and insipid plot contrivances. I hate to knock any movie starring Steve Zahn, but this one's the worst thing I've seen at Sundance this year. Expect it to go directly to video some time over the next 10 months or so.

Again, I hope the Schmoes have enjoyed these dinky little reports. I hope to be back in two months time to offer a similar treatment for the 2004 South By Southwest fare! Until then, enjoy your movies!

-- Sundancin’ Scott

Source: JoBlo.com

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