Sundance Interview: The Killing Room's Jonathan Liebesman

Jonathan Liebesman

One of the more underrated films here at Sundance that has been on my mind ever since I watched it is The Killing Room. The film is directed by Jonathan Liebesman, only known so far as the guy who directed both Darkness Falls and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning. With this film, though, he's showing us that he's a much better director than you might have thought. I talked with Liebesman earlier today at Sundance about his films, including the upcoming Battle: Los Angeles, not only because I really wanted to chat about The Killing Room, but to give him a chance to redeem himself, as you'll see.


 Posted on January 18 in Interview, Sundance 09 | 3 Comments

Sundance 2009 Review: Derrick Comedy's Mystery Team

Derrick Comedy's Mystery Team

Last night's world premiere of Derrick Comedy's Mystery Team was quite an experience. Most people already know who the Derrick Comedy guys are, so seeing them finally take the leap from making YouTube videos to a full-time feature was quite impressive. But nothing can prepare you for this kind of never-before-seen crazy, kooky, and sometimes ridiculous, comedy that Mystery Team boasts. They've pulled it off - they've made a sketch comedy feature film that delivers consistent laughs for an entire 105 minutes. It's a different kind of humor, but it works. It looks like Mystery Team is on its way to becoming a hit.


 Posted on January 18 in Opinions, Sundance 09 | 8 Comments

Sundance 2009 Review: Jonathan Liebesman's The Killing Room

Jonathan Liebesman's The Killing Room

This is the first film from Sundance this year that really has no buzz even though it turned out to be a great film. The Killing Room is a very taut thriller based on the real life MK-ULTRA top secret government psychological program in which various volunteer test subjects are put in a tense situation. In The Killing Room, four people are brought into an all white room with a table and some chairs and given a test to fill out. They are told that they'll make $250 at the end of the day and participate in numerous phases. Just as the first phase begins, the leader pulls out a gun and shoots one of them in the head. And then we're off.


 Posted on January 18 in Opinions, Sundance 09 | 7 Comments

Bob $tencil Does Sundance 2009 - Day 2 Video Recap!

Bob $tencil at Sundance 2009

Bob Stencil returns tonight with a recap from Day 2 here at Sundance in Park City, Utah. Bob chats with the stars of Spring Breakdown in this video, including Rachel Dratch, Amy Poehler, and Parker Posey, as well as the film's writer/director Ryan Shiraki. As we mentioned last time, this is only just the tip of the iceberg. Bob has been hitting the town every night, including the Ray Ban party and the Def Jam party. There is plenty more to come over the next week and a half, so be ready for more. Tune in now to check out the latest Bob Stencil Does Sundance video and check back tomorrow for another. We hope you enjoy!


 Posted on January 17 in Bob $tencil, Sundance 09 | 9 Comments

Sundance 2009 Day 2: It Was Too Good to Be True!

Sundance Film Festival - Storytime

I knew it was too good to be true! I had seen four films and almost all of them had been good. But it was inevitable - I had to eventually see a bad one. Tonight it was Toe to Toe, a high school drama set in Washington D.C. about one very determined black girl and one very promiscuous white girl. It was one of those films that's so bad, you want to just leave halfway through. Unfortunately there wasn't much going on elsewhere, so I decided to sit through it. And it didn't end up going anywhere and took forever to get to the end. Although there are always plenty of great films here at Sundance, there are also plenty of bad ones.


 Posted on January 17 in Editorial, Sundance 09 | 3 Comments

Sundance 2009 Review: Lynn Shelton's Humpday

Lynn Shelton's Humpday

Thought it couldn't get any gayer than Milk? Guess again. Well, that's not entirely true, but the concept of Humpday may throw some audiences for a loop, but I promise it's worth it in the end. In short, when an old college buddy unexpectedly shows up late one night, his arrival causes his friend's happily married life to take a wild spin. The two male buddies decide, while inebriated and in the company of other gays, to shoot a gay porn together just to prove their love for one each other. Don't worry, it's rather light-hearted and tremendously funny and should please audiences in a way they've never been pleased before.


 Posted on January 17 in Opinions, Sundance 09 | 17 Comments

Sundance 2009 Review: Duncan Jones' Moon

Duncan Jones' Moon

It's very nerveracking having my third film into this festival be the one that I'm most excited to see. What if it's not that great? Will everything else here at Sundance look bleak afterwards? Thankfully that's not how it turned out, as I saw Moon today and thoroughly enjoyed it. My mind is a bit numb from the whole experience, which isn't actually a bad thing, primarily because the plot was so grueling yet engaging anyway. Moon is one of the few sci-fi features showing at Sundance this year and is a very intimate, low budget, yet fascinating film to watch. Not only does it look wonderful, but Sam Rockwell is flawless yet again.


 Posted on January 16 in Opinions, Sundance 09 | 29 Comments

Sundance 2009 Review: James Toback's Tyson

James Toback's Tyson

I'm not the biggest fan of documentaries so going into Tyson I was admittedly nervous that it'd be a very unforgettable film. While it wasn't exactly unforgettable, it wasn't that spectacular, and felt like of a documentary I'd catch on HBO rather than in theaters. That's not a compliment, but I still did appreciate director James Toback's very intimate look at the boxer Mike Tyson because of how personal it was. Toback and Tyson are friends and he was able to get him to open up to the camera in a way only a very close friend could. It was worth seeing if only to get an understanding of Mike Tyson that I didn't have before.


 Posted on January 16 in Opinions, Sundance 09 | 13 Comments

Sundance 2009 Day 1: Kicking It Off with Mary and Max

Sundance Film Festival

Seen above is a photo of our group eating lunch at one of my favorite restaurants, Davanza's, right off of Main Street in Park City. Clockwise from bottom left is Sean, Scott (from, Neil (from FSR), Peter (from /Film), Tristan, and our own Bob Stencil. Sundance officially kicked off today with the opening night film Mary and Max and before we caught that screening in the evening, we made our annual trek to Davanza's. It was literally the first place I went three years ago the moment I arrived in Park City for my first Sundance and obviously I haven't ever forgotten about it since then. Great place.


 Posted on January 16 in Opinions, Sundance 09 | 4 Comments

Bob $tencil Does Sundance 2009 - Day 0 Video Recap!

Bob $tencil at Sundance 2009

As promised, Bob $tencil has arrived here in Park City for Sundance and has already hit the town. The festival hadn't even started and Bob was out on Main Street making new friends, hitting on pretty women, and even partying with celebrities. Well, maybe pseudo-celebrities, as you'll see in this very first video. Since there wasn't much going on and Park City was rather quiet, this isn't exactly the most exciting video to kick things off with. But it's all just the beginning, as we've got 10 more days to go, and there is plenty more to come, including exclusive talks with Uma Thurman, Amy Poehler, and the guys from Humpday.


 Posted on January 15 in Bob $tencil, Sundance 09 | 17 Comments

Sundance 2009 Day 0: Welcome Home to Park City!

Sundance Film Festival

I've returned. I'm here in Park City, Utah and I feel like I'm home again. I'm only here for another 12 days, but it feels like I'm back where I belong. I love Sundance. It's plain and simple, I just love it. Our writer Marco described it best once in saying that it's like Disneyland for film geeks. If you ever went to Disneyland as a kid, then you know how ridiculously exciting that was for you at the time. Sundance is pretty much the same thing, per se, but for grown-ups who love film. It's my third year here and it's time to kick off the festival, ride the rides, see plenty of films, and give you the best coverage of Sundance that I can.


 Posted on January 15 in Editorial, Sundance 09 | 7 Comments

Look Who's Back - Bob $tencil Sundance Announcement!

Look Who's Back - Bob Stencil Announcement Video!

He's been taking Comic-Con by storm for years, now he's headed to Park City. That's right, Bob $tencil is going to Sundance! We thought we'd save this announcement until it was the New Year, as we wanted to start building up the hype once we had all the big December movies out of the way. And what better way to make this announcement official than launch a new video featuring Bob $tencil himself. He's whipped up a quick promo to let us know what has been haunting his dreams recently - just watch it. If you thought Sundance wasn't that exciting beforehand, just wait until Bob $tencil shows you what it's all about!



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