Sundance 2023: The Atrocious, Annoying Awkwardness of 'Cat Person'

Cat Person Review

Is this what dating is really like these days?! I can't believe it. I don't want to believe it. This cannot be real. Can it…?? I'm not one to be extra negative about a film, but I must get this off my chest. Cat Person is bad, really bad. It's one of the worst films I've seen at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival, not necessarily because the filmmaking is bad, but because the entire film is misguided. I didn't think they could extend the cringe and awkwardness of the original story (from New Yorker) this much and make it even more awkward to sit through. But somehow they did… It's such an uncomfortable watch. The film only features annoying idiotic cringe for two hours with absolutely nothing interesting or worthwhile to add or explore or consider or think about. I am shocked by how much of a mess this film is. It's not really about toxic masculinity, it's actually about a young woman who keeps making unbelievably stupid choices and never learning a thing from them. Her best friend is constantly trying to keep her from making mistakes, but she never listens to her… Ever.


 Posted on January 24 in Review, Sundance 23 | 1 Comment

Sundance 2023: Meet the Vuvv in Sci-Fi 'Landscape with Invisible Hand'

Landscape with Invisible Hand Review

Let's try to envision a scenario on this planet where aliens suddenly arrive, but instead of violently enslaving humanity and eating all of them, they just use cutthroat capitalism to enslave everyone, er, peacefully. No violence necessary, just obedience. Would our world look any different than it does right now? Probably not. Landscape with Invisible Hand plays with this exact concept, adapting the novella by M.T. Anderson into a rather funky sci-fi film. This is easily one of the most ambitious, high concept sci-fi projects I've ever seen at the Sundance Film Festival, produced as a "studio movie" by MGM and Brad Pitt's Plan B. Yet it fits right in at Sundance, somehow, because it's all about integrity in art and rejecting big money offers in order to continue making something that stays true to the purity of artistic expression. It's not an instant favorite, unfortunately, but it is fascinating and entertaining in an especially unique way. Those sneaky, slimy Vuvv.


 Posted on January 24 in Review, Sci-Fi, Sundance 23 | Comments

Sundance 2023: Chloe Domont's 'Fair Play' is an Extraordinary Thriller

Fair Play

It is time for men get out of the way of women. One of the best thrillers at Sundance this year is Fair Play, the feature film debut of filmmaker Chloe Domont. Sitting through this screening at Sundance 2023 was an experience of its own. It was the second screening (not even the first premiere!) and the audience still went nuts for it. They gave it two standing ovations at the end, shouting "bravo! bravo!" as the filmmaker & actors took the stage. And this was genuine applause, deserving enthusiastic praise for a film that rocked me to my core. The best part was listening to all of the audible gasps and uncomfortable shifting as certain scenes play out and the story unfolds, everyone's rapt attention fixated on the screen. Step out of the way Uncut Gems, Fair Play has entered the room. And she isn't going to take any shit anymore. This film deserves to be talked about and become a huge hit, shoving Gordon Gecko out of the way while proclaiming "it's my time now."


 Posted on January 22 in Review, Sundance 23 | 1 Comment

Sundance 2023: 'Deep Rising' is a Reminder to Protect Our Oceans

Deep Rising Doc Review

We must take better care of this planet. We must change our ways and save what we can before it's too late. We must stop treating this planet like an endless mine to make money from. This excellent documentary is a potent reminder we must do more to protect our planet and its natural resources from greedy investors and rich schmucks who simply can't give up their addiction to profiting off of Earth's offerings. Doc filmmaker Matthieu Rytz returns to Sundance (following his 2018 doc Anote's Ark) with his latest feature film titled Deep Rising, a documentary about a precious resource hidden at the bottom of the ocean. I'm always on the hunt for splendid documentaries at Sundance, and this is one of my favorites so far. Not only is it about something important, something I didn't know anything about before watching, but it's an engaging doc in every way. Featuring a score by Ólafur Arnalds, it's hard not to feel moved by this film and everything it's trying to tell us and remind us – this planet is a special place and we need to stop destroying the ecosystem.

We're Back in Park City - The Sundance Film Festival Returns to Utah

Sundance 2023 - Park City

It's so wonderful to settle into a screening and hear the buzz in the air before a film starts. To listen to the applause and laughter and gasps during a premiere screening. After two years of online screenings thanks to the pandemic, the 2023 Sundance Film Festival has returned with an in-person event in Park City, Utah this January. This is my 17th year covering Sundance, starting way back in 2007, and I'm happy to be back. Yes, as always, there's some generic frustrations with the festival (the local bus lines have changed, there's tons of standstill traffic already, the screening queues are a mess) but overall, it's exciting to see Sundance roaring back to life and bringing everyone together again to watch movies. It's cliche to say, but the glory of film festivals really is the experience of everyone traveling from all around to sit together and watch films together, as one big audience, participating in the magic of watching movies. That excitement in the air, the conversations with people in line or people sitting next to you, is what this is all about. Onward to the films.


 Posted on January 20 in Editorial, Sundance 23 | Comments

Incredible Teaser for Strange Retro Sci-Fi 'Divinity' from Eddie Alcazar

Divinity Trailer

"We are the beings that need to survive in order to keep this planet alive." An early teaser has launched for yet another upcoming Sundance 2023 film, this one titled Divinity, playing in the Next section at the fest kicking off this week. From writer / director Eddie Alcazar, Divinity is also produced by Steven Soderbergh, along with a handful of other producers. The short description explains: Two mysterious brothers abduct a mogul during his quest for immortality. Meanwhile, a seductive woman helps them launch a journey of self-discovery. It's a retro sci-fi thriller shot in black & white. Starring an impressive cast: Stephen Dorff, Moises Arias, Jason Genao, Karrueche Tran, Bella Thorne, and Scott Bakula. Sundance adds that "Alcazar leads a skilled team of creative collaborators to construct this world, and together they conjure a boldly lit black and white wonder with untold mysteries hidden in the shadows." With music by DJ Muggs & Dean Hurley. This looks wild!! You have to see this footage, punk sci-fi like we don't see anymore. Must see.

Our 10 Most Anticipated Films at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival

2023 Sundance Film Festival

It's January again, which means it's time for yet another Sundance Film Festival. After two years of only a virtual film festival, Sundance returns in 2023 to an in-person event in the snowy town of Park City, Utah. And we're back again! Ready to start watching, diving into the impressive line-up of films this year. This is my 17th year in a row covering this film festival; I'm always looking forward to returning and watching all the new films premiering at Sundance. Packing in as many as I can catch. Out of the 100+ films showing at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival, I've picked 10 films that I'm looking forward to seeing the most. To keep things well balanced, I've chosen 5 feature films and 5 documentaries from the line-up. For 2023, the fest is leaning heavily on unknown directors, first-time filmmakers, and gems with breakout potential. As usual with Sundance, you never can really tell what'll good or bad before, but here's my early picks anyway.


 Posted on January 17 in Feat, Indies, Lists, Sundance 23 | Comments

Sundance Adds More Films to the 2023 Line-Up Including John Carney

Sundance 2023 Films

More films! There's always more to watch, more to discover, at the best film festivals. The 2023 Sundance Film Festival has just announced an additional five new films playing at the festival this year (follow our coverage). These five are also world premieres, and they have secured a last minute spot because they seem to be high profile premieres that Sundance wants to feature at the festival. The two biggest new additions for 2023 are: Flora and Son, the latest musical feature from acclaimed Irish filmmaker John Carney. His big break was at Sundance way back in 2007, where he premiered the iconic film Once before going on to make Begin Again and Sing Street (another musical favorite). The other is Past Lives, the feature debut from filmmaker Celine Song, which seems to have some early Linklater vibes to it already, about two childhood sweethearts meeting up years later. Both of them are priorities on my Sundance schedule! More info below.


 Posted on January 4 in Indies, Movie News, Sundance 23 | Comments

Sundance 2023: Official Selection of All 99 Feature Films Announced

Sundance 2023 Line-Up

Let's find out what the next year in cinema looks like. Every new year brings us another Sundance Film Festival and with less than two months until Sundance 2023 kicks off on January 19th, it's time to find out what's premiering at this prestigious fest in Utah. Sundance has revealed their 2023 selection of ALL of their official feature films in the selection this year, including 99 films playing across these 10 categories (including their usual four Competition categories - now bumped up to 12 films in each), ranging from new documentaries to quirky comedies, compelling dramas, and everything else good. The 2023 festival is taking place both as an in-person festival returning to snowy Park City, UT, as well as a virtual festival with online premieres only available for the second half. Sundance is still one of my favorite festivals in the world, and we'll be returning for our 17th year in a row to cover it. View the entire selection of new films below to get a sense of what the 2023 line-up contains. Some of the most exciting offerings are in the Premieres category.


 Posted on December 7 in Indies, Movie News, Sundance 23 | Comments



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