ENJOY THE SHOW
If you loved Grindhouse, then you're in for a treat. Hell Ride is a biker flick produced by Quentin Tarantino and directed by Larry Bishop that pays homage to the old school biker movies of the 60s and 70s. It's one 83-minute non-stop biker party that exploits the three Bs: bikes, beer, and booty. If you've been anxious for another edge-of-your-seat grindhouse fix until Tarantino and Rodriguez team up again for the sequel (if it ever happens), then this is it! I'll say it plain and simple: Hell Ride was a fuckin' blast!
The latest Chuck Palahniuk novel to be adapted is Choke, a film about a sex-addicted colonial theme park employee who chokes himself at restaurants to gain the life-long friendship of random strangers. This is no Fight Club, but the subject matter is not even remotely the same to begin with. However, it is a great film in its own right that entertains and delivers punches non-stop thanks to insanely brilliant Sam Rockwell. While I won't call Choke the best film of Sundance, and it doesn't play without some theme and tone issue, it is one of the better films this year.
Forget the Oscars, some tragic news has hit today - The Dark Knight star Heath Ledger was found dead in a New York City apartment this afternoon. The Australian-born Oscar-nominated actor was 28 years old. He was nominated for an Oscar for Brokeback Mountain in 2006 and also starred in movies like I'm Not There, A Knight's Tale, and 10 Things I Hate About You. This is incredibly tragic news considering Ledger was one of the better up-and-coming actors of his generation. The NYPD has said that drugs may have been involved in his death, but details are currently developing. The big question of the moment is how will this affect The Dark Knight?
In what I may already called the best sale of Sundance 2008, Fox Searchlight has bought Clark Gregg's adaptation of the Chuck Palahniuk novel Choke for a reported $5 million! The deal closed at 5AM this morning after the world premiere of the film last night at 8:30PM at the Racquet Club Theatre. We've been following this film for quite a while and also happened to be at that very same world premiere last night, and I will confirm it was a great experience with plenty of post-movie positive buzz. Get ready to see Choke for yourselves sometime this year!
The nominations for the 80th Annual Academy Awards were announced this morning, and without further ado we'll get right down to them. No Country for Old Men and There Will Be Blood are both tied with 8 nominations a piece, but Michael Clayton and Juno are strong performers as well. Obviously the Academy knows great movies a lot more than that shabby HFPA that runs the Golden Globes. The Oscars will air live on ABC at 5PM (PST) on Sunday, February 24th, 2008 from the Kodak Theatre in LA. The full list of nominees can be found below.
After the big Star Trek casting fiasco last October, it's now 100% confirmed that Chris Pine is playing Captain James T. Kirk in J.J. Abrams' Star Trek. With the release of the official teaser trailer this past weekend, the buzz on the film is quite high at the moment, and Entertainment Weekly couldn't pass up asking Chris Pine about the film while he was at Sundance. Although he didn't (and couldn't) say much about the movie, which is currently filming, Chris Pine did provide a great update considering there hasn't been much from him so far.
Look who we found at Sundance! In case you've been living under a frickin' rock, that's Rob from Cloverfield, aka Michael Stahl-David in real life. I'll get back to him in a moment. Of all the things that could happen at Sundance, getting a cold is probably the worst. All of that damn orange juice I downed before I left I guess didn't help, and now I've got a stuffy nose, headache, and watery eyes non-stop. I hate to complain and whine, but it really sucks being here like this. It's so much harder to get emotionally involved in movies now, but I still try, and today was an awesome day anyway! At least it ended with the badass flick Hell Ride!
Chronic Town is an interesting indie film about the isolated and crazed life of one individual in Alaska. I was honestly surprised by how great this was especially for first time director Tom Hines. Everything about Chronic Town is incredibly solid: the acting, the directing, the script and dialogue, the story, but if only Hines would have hired an actual cinematographer, it wouldn't have looked like a film made on my parent's video camera.
One of the few science fiction films playing at Sundance, Sleep Dealer is heavily inspired by The Matrix and Fritz Lang's Metropolis and is situated in Mexico. The film is basically a mash-up of all kinds of random visuals, from extensive CGI to lush colors and memory sequences, but doesn't ever set forth a real story. As much as I'm a huge science fiction, this didn't hit a note with me at all, and as brutal as it may be to say, I just can't stand films with utterly terrible production values.