Why Top 45?

These are the things that float to the top of my list of activities that I want to do for the year 2012 when I am 45 years old. The list is comprised of things that I have either never tried or have wanted to try and just didn't have the courage or time to do it. Follow along and watch my progress and feel free to comment or add words of encouragement to help keep me going for the next 365 days!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

SXSW Day 2 Recap

     First of all, I need to make a correction to my Day 1 recap, I actually saw 16 movies in all.  I forgot to count Iron Sky and I am counting Beauty is Embarrassing twice because I saw it all the way through, once alone and once with Andy.  I am not sure I can count Kid Thing since I was late arriving and ended up leaving after about 15 minutes since I didn't like it.  I will go ahead and count it since I will write a brief synopsis about it for Day 3.

Second, Saturday I saw 4 movies total...unless you don't count the movie, Iron Sky, that I didn't care for and ended up sleeping through most of it (it was a midnight movie, so give me a little slack, I was tired on top of not really liking the movie but more on that later. . . could have also been the warm cookies and milk that I enjoyed as the movie began.)  Andy and I almost went to see Killer Joe, starring Matthew McConaughey, which would have brought the total to 5 on Saturday, but we opted to get a bite to eat before the midnight movie.   Other than the porno showing on the bar TV at Jackalope, I am glad we took a break from the movies to get something decent to eat instead of more popcorn and protein bars.

Movie Reviews

The Imposter
Director: Bart Layton
Screenwriter(s): Documentary
In 1994 a 13-year-old boy disappeared from his home in San Antonio, Texas. Three and a half years later he is found alive thousands of miles away in Spain with a shocking story of kidnap and torture. His family are overjoyed to bring him home. But all is not what it seems. He bears many of the same marks but why does he have a strange accent? Why does he look so different? And why doesn't the family notice these glaring inconsistencies? It's only when an investigator starts asking questions that this astonishing true story takes an even stranger turn...
My Review-
WOW!  This is such an amazing story that I was blown away.  I also really liked the way that the filmmakers shot the movie with voice overs from the real people involved playing over dramatizations of various significant scenes in the story line.  From the Sundance guide: "Like his canny subject, gifted filmmaker Bart Layton (who we interviewed here) pulls off an astonishing coup. Buoyed by eye-catching dramatizations and an enthralling structure that crisscrosses time and place, The Imposter unfolds as a gripping thriller that leaves us dizzy, yet certain that truth is, indeed, stranger than fiction." The Imposter is one of my standouts from Sundance this year.
I tried to get a video clip from the film, but couldn't find one.  The website to read about it yourself is at http://protagonistpictures.com/films.php?film=theimposter 

Nature Calls
Director: Todd Rohal
Screenwriter(s): Todd Rohal
Determined to honor his father’s scouting legacy and mount one last comeback for his dwindling troop, Assistant Scoutmaster Randy Stevens (Patton Oswalt) pays a visit to his business-minded brother Kirk (Johnny Knoxville), who is throwing a television-themed slumber party for his newly adopted 10-year-old son at his McMansion. Randy pressures the boys to secretly ditch the party and join him on a weekend scout trip. Pursued by Kirk and his security guard (Rob Riggle), the adventure lands the boys in trouble at every turn, pits them against angry parents and park rangers, yet ultimately turns the group of sheltered kids into a troop to be reckoned with.
My Review-
I think the movie could have been better.  It felt a bit choppy and like the actors were acting in separate movies and there were scenes that felt over-acted to me.  I did laugh pretty well in several parts of the movie especially some scenes with the late Patrice O'Neal.  The Q & A afterwards was really funny especially two of the kid actors from the movie.  When they were asked if they peeked during the filming of a nude scene from the film, one of the kids said his mom made him read the bible when he got home and the other denied looking at first, then admitted to maybe peeking a little.  I would recommend this movie on Netflix, but not really make the effort to see it in the theater. 

Safety Not Guaranteed
Director: Colin Trevorrow
Screenwriter(s): Derek Connolly
“WANTED: Someone to go back in time with me. This is not a joke. You get paid after we get back. Must bring your own weapons. "Safety Not Guaranteed". I have only done this once before.”
When an unusual classified ad inspires three cynical Seattle magazine employees to look for the story behind it, they discover a mysterious eccentric named Kenneth, a likable but paranoid supermarket clerk, who believes he’s solved the riddle of time travel and intends to depart again soon. Together, they embark on a hilarious, smart, and unexpectedly heartfelt journey that reveals how far believing can take you.
My Review-
I LOVED this movie!!! It was probably my favorite of SXSW Film.  If you liked Lars and the Real Girl, Juno, or quirky movies like them, you would probably really enjoy this film.  You can hear the director from the movie discuss the movie in the clip below:

Iron Sky
Director:  Timo Vuorensola
Screenwriter(s): Michael Kalesniko, Timo Vuorensola
World War II did not end with complete defeat for the Nazis – some of them managed to utilize their secret technologies to flee to the dark side of the Moon.
There, deep within their swastika fortress, Schwarze Sonne, they have plotted the reconquest of the Earth for over 70 years. In 2018, the flagship of their space armada, the gigantic Götterdämmerung, is nearing completion, but when the next American crewed moon mission lands too close to the Nazi base for comfort, the plans are rushed forward.
My Review-
Well, since I fell asleep after about 30 minutes into this movie, I am not sure I am completely qualified to review it...What I do remember is that I had the expectation that it would be like Independence Day and it wasn't.  There was some really good special effects and such, but the actors and story line seemed lame in practice.   I am going to have to defer to Andy on this one since he was able to stay awake for the entire film.  You can see the trailer here:

That wraps up Day 2 of SXSW film for me. 

Day 3 and 4 reviews to come tomorrow!

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