Sundance 2014 Review: MEMPHIS Is A Truly Mesmerizing Meditation On The American South

Dusk. A blue summer day ending on a worn and warm boulevard. The pin prick glow of street lamps dazzle in the distance. A figure lumbers down the block. A hat tipped to one side, he is lost in thought.... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Sundance 2014 Review: WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS Will Make You Laugh 'Til You Bleed

From the opening title card that reads "New Zealand Documentary Film Council," it's pretty clear that What We Do in the Shadows is not going to be your typical vampire movie. Co-directed by Taika Waititi (Eagle Vs. Shark, Boy) and... More »
By Ryland Aldrich   
  

Sundance 2014 Review: In THE SKELETON TWINS Bill Hader Elevates An Otherwise Pedestrian American Dramedy

I've been here before. This all looks quite familiar. It's not quite deja vu though. The window dressing is different. They've swapped a cute dog for goldfish. I think that's a new couch. But that's the same ottoman.Craig Johnson's The... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Sundance 2014 Review: COOTIES Delivers Bloody Laughs

What happens when the creator of Saw and Insidious teams up with the creator of Glee? Cooties happens, a gleefully bloody crowd pleaser of a horror-comedy weighted more towards the comedy end of the spectrum blessed with a sterling cast... More »
By Todd Brown   
  

Sundance 2014 First Impression: THE RAID 2 Is More Epic Than We Ever Imagined

What is perhaps the most anticipated film of 2014, at least for most of us at Twitch, made its world premiere this evening at the Sundance Film Festival and suffice to say, the sequel does not disappoint. Clocking in... More »
By Ryland Aldrich   
  

Sundance 2014 Review: LISTEN UP PHILIP Asks For Sympathy For The Asshole

A few years back Alex Ross Perry caught the eye of many in the American independent scene with his second feature, the delightfully awful (or is that awfully delightful?) The Color Wheel. A sibling road tripper with the penchant for... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Sundance 2014 Review: Thumbs Up For Roger Ebert Doc LIFE ITSELF

If you do what I do -- cherish film and have the chutzpah to tell other people what you think about them -- then you're almost certainly indebted to Roger Ebert. I've documented at length the effect that he had... More »
By Jason Gorber   
  

Sundance 2014 Review: CALVARY Is A Tragic, Devastating Masterpiece

John Michael McDonagh's 2011 directorial debut The Guard was one of the stronger debut films of recent years, combining as it did McDonagh's fabulous script, a strong but not overwhelming sense of visual style and a blazing performance from leading... More »
By Todd Brown   
  

Sundance 2014 Review: COLD IN JULY Is Dank And Sweaty And Fabulous

Stake Land and We Are What We Are director Jim Mickle exits his customary horror territory and heads for something altogether darker with grimy crime thriller Cold In July. Adapted from the novel by Joe R Lansdale, Cold In July... More »
By Todd Brown   
  

Sundance 2014 Review: Though Still Very Funny, THE TRIP TO ITALY Is A Pale Imitation Of The First

Michael Winterbottom's The Trip was an enormously pleasant surprise. The 2010 UK TV series - also cut into feature form for the international market - was built on what appeared to be the flimsiest of premises, featuring British comics Rob... More »
By Todd Brown   
  

Sundance 2014 Review: THE BABADOOK Is A Promising Debut From An Obvious New Talent

Australian writer-director Jennifer Kent makes a promising debut with The Babadook, a dramatic horror film that plays havoc with the ideals of family life and the love of a mother for her child.Amelia has not had it easy. Once happily... More »
By Todd Brown   
  

Sundance 2014 Review: BOYHOOD Is An Extraordinary Chronicle Of Growing Up In America

12 years off and on in production, and clearly in the works for a lot longer, Richard Linklater's latest is a rare cinematic feat for reasons that go quite beyond its already unorthodox shooting schedule. Call it "This American Boy's... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Sundance 2014 Review: WAR STORY, A Devastating Study Of Conflict, From Within

Mark Jackson did not so much as burst forth onto the independent film scene in 2011 with his brilliant first feature Without. Rather he made a careful set of imprints and impressions, distinct and measured, over the entire year on... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Sundance 2014 Review: FISHING WITHOUT NETS Expertly Expands the Somali Pirate Story

You'd be excused for a slight case of déjà vu when reading the description of Cutter Hodierne's feature debut Fishing Without Nets. Somali pirates have been a hot topic lately with both Danish film A Hijacking and Paul Greengrass's Tom... More »
By Ryland Aldrich   
  

Sundance 2014 Review: Wingard's THE GUEST is More Magnificent Midnight Madness

With the recent release of You're Next and contributions to the V/H/S and ABCs of Death horror anthologies, director-writer duo Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett are quickly becoming two of the most exciting filmmakers working in the genre space... More »
By Ryland Aldrich   
  

Sundance 2014 Review: WHIPLASH Confidently Marches To A Different Beat

It's a pretty quick turnaround to go from Sundance 2013 award-winning short film to Sundance 2014 opening nighter. But for 28-year-old director Damien Chazelle, when opportunity knocks, there's no need to bide your time. It's no surprise that Jason... More »
By Ryland Aldrich   
  

Sundance 2014 Review: LILTING Gets Lost In Translation

A quiet room, muted colors, old wallpaper from a bygone era. A hushed winter light drapes itself across the space. An elderly mother looks at her adult son and asks, "What's wrong?" The son insists nothing is, and he'd like... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Sundance Next Weekend 2013 Review: A TEACHER, Lessons In Obsession Fall Flat

Hannah Fidell's debut feature A Teacher charts the middle stretch of a student/teacher love affair. It begins well after the relationship has begun and ends in a low moment for high school AP English teacher Diana (Lindsay Burdge), but still... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Sundance Next Weekend 2013 Review: HOW TO BE A MAN Finds the Indie Raunch-Com Glory Hole

If we've learned anything from the Judd Apatow era of 21st century raunchy comedies, it's that there are few things funnier than an unexpected penis. When comedian Gavin McInnes's flaccid member shows up among the first few frames of... More »
By Ryland Aldrich   
  

Sundance 2013 Review: WE ARE WHAT WE ARE Is Tastefully Macabre

Let's get this out of the way right off the bat: We Are What We Are is not a remake. Differing greatly from the original Jorge Michel Grau Spanish language version, the creative team of Jim Mickle (writer/director) and Nick... More »
By Sean Smithson   
  
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