O'Horten, 8/7 @ Salt Lake Film Society
August 7, 2009
A telling of the 2007 protests held against the military regime by thousands of Burmese monks.
Thousands of Burmese monks.
Anders Østergaard (Gasolin’)
SLUG Says: Shot with footage smuggled out of the country, this story sheds light on the rise against the military junta and a country’s hope for democracy’s return.
An account focused on the slaughtering of thousands of dolphins in the remote location of Taiji, Japan.
Louie Psihoyos (Directorial Debut)
SLUG Says: Finally arriving to mainstream audiences, this mesmerizing snap shot of life received nothing but accolades at this year’s Sundance.
G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra
America’s elite fighting force has given up on Bin Laden and is taking aim at the terrorist organization of Cobra.
Dennis Quaid, Sienna Miller
Stephen Sommers (The Mummy)
SLUG Says: Hasbro’s CGI attempt to regain my trust after this year’s Transformers debacle better pay off or I’m shopping in the Mattel aisle from now on.
Julie & Julia
Two women, separated by time and space, share a unique bond in the art of cooking French delicacies.
Meryl Streep, Amy Adams
Nora Ephron (Sleepless in Seattle)
SLUG Says: Charming Chick Flick Recipe – One cup of Streep’s talent, a dash of Adams’ adorableness, and a pinch of Stanley Tucci’s snide demeanor.
A Perfect Getaway
Four Hawaiian vacationers discover their all-inclusive package contains delectable food, alcoholic beverages, and vicious beheadings.
Milla Jovovich, Steve Zahn
David Twohy (Pitch Black)
SLUG Says: Please let Steve Zahn die first. Please let Steve Zahn die first. Please let Steve Zahn die first.
Sony Pictures Classics
A day in the life of a train conductor who realizes his life is meaningless and lonely. Sounds like a non-stop laugh-riot!
Bent Hamer (Factotum)
SLUG Says: Every story that incorporates a dog is usually entertaining. Remember Cujo? That shit was hilarious!
August 14, 2009
A mishmash of juvenile Disney wash-ups form a rock band to compete in the town’s most popular competition.
Vanessa Hudgens, Lisa Kudrow
Todd Graff (Camp)
SLUG Says: It hurts souls that David Bowie has anything to do with this tone deaf monstrosity. The end of days is near.
An alien race is held captive in Johannesburg in order to study and mimic their weapons technology.
Sharlto Copley, Jason Cope
Neill Blomkamp (Directorial Debut)
SLUG Says: If the Lord of the Geeks (a.k.a. Peter Jackson) feels comfortable attaching his name to this project, that’s enough credibility for anyone.
The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard
A silver tongued car salesman is hired to rescue a failing dealership before it’s too late.
Jeremy Piven, Will Ferrell
Neal Brennan (Totally Awesome)
SLUG Says: Eerily similar to Robert Zemeckis’ Used Cars, this unoriginal retelling is a coin flip away from being declared a lemon.
The subject of love and modern romance and their origins are fictionally captured by a curious documentarian.
Charlyne Yi, Michael Cera
Nicholas Jasenovec (Directorial Debut)
SLUG Says: Another Sundance favorite, the film takes a unique approach at revealing whether or not love really exists with the awkward idiosyncrasies of its cast.
A runaway goldfish princess yearns to be human as she falls in love with a young boy against her father’s wishes.
Liam Neeson (voice), Cate Blanchett (voice)
Hayao Miyazaki (Princess Mononoke)
SLUG Says: Miyazaki’s talent to transport adults back to their childhood with his transcendent imagination has never ceased to amaze.
The Time Traveler’s Wife
New Line Cinema
A librarian is cursed to involuntarily and sporadically travel through time, which places a noticeable damper on his marriage.
Eric Bana, Rachel McAdams
Robert Schwentke (Flightplan)
SLUG Says: Ok, so there’s no flux capacitor, Morlocks, or a silver suited George Carlin, but if the space-time continuum is being manipulated, where’s the sign up sheet?
August 21, 2009
Life-long best buds, Andrew and Ben, decide to take their friendship to the next level for the sake of an art project.
Mark Duplass, Joshua Leonard
Lynn Shelton (My Effortless Brilliance)
SLUG Says: Judd Apatow’s bromance films get bitch slapped with this awkwardly hilarious depiction of heterosexuality.
In the Loop
The ins and outs of stopping a questionable war are exposed from within the interior walls of the United States and the United Kingdom’s government.
James Gandolfini, Peter Capaldi
Armando Iannucci (Directorial Debut)
SLUG Says: Watching Tony Soprano as a foul-mouthed insubordinate general may be the only draw to this satire on political scandals and cover-ups.
The Weinstein Company
A squadron of Jewish-American soldiers is recruited to stimulate terror in the heart of Nazi-occupied France with every vicious act against the Third Reich imaginable.
Brad Pitt, Eli Roth
Quentin Tarantino (Reservoir Dogs)
SLUG Says: It was only a matter of time before Tarantino revealed his delightfully entertaining sadistic vision in the form of a World War II epic.
The Merry Gentleman
The Samuel Goldwyn Company
A triangular bond is formed between an abused spouse, a hitman, and the alcoholic detective following the trail of bodies.
Michael Keaton, Kelly Macdonald
Michael Keaton (Directorial Debut)
SLUG Says: I’m a sucker for hitman movies, and one that involves a suicidal killer draws me in like a fly to a neon-lit death.
A college graduate is forced to move back in with her unconventional family as she attempts to draw the roadmap of her life.
Alexis Bledel, Michael Keaton
Vicky Jenson (Shrek)
SLUG Says: Save your money and ask your deadbeat, alcoholic brother why he’s still living on your parents’ couch. It’ll probably make for a better story.
A magic rainbow rock grants wishes for a group of children, inducing pandemonium in a small suburban town.
William H. Macy, James Spader
Robert Rodriguez (El mariachi)
SLUG Says: Everyone relax. Let Rodriguez have some coveted playtime with his children and we’ll all be back within the limits of Sin City in no time.
August 28, 2009
Fox Searchlight Pictures
Adam, who’s shy and sheltered, journeys with outgoing and charismatic Beth down the amusingly chaotic road of romantic attraction between polar opposites.
Hugh Dancy, Rose Byrne
Max Mayer (Better Living)
SLUG Says: If Paula Abdul and that shit-grinning cartoon cat got anything right, maybe opposites really do attract.
The Final Destination
New Line Cinema
Like the three preceding films, a group of friends avoid their demise with a premonition and must escape Death’s unwavering clutches.
Nick Zano, Krista Allen
David R. Ellis (Snakes on a Plane)
SLUG Says: When will Death find the producers of this awful franchise and finish what we all know must be done?
Michael Myers celebrates his tenth round of slicing and dicing whiny victims unwilling to let the inevitable take its course.
Scout Taylor-Compton, Tyler Mane
Rob Zombie (House of 1,000 Corpses)
SLUG Says: A single revamp of a horror icon is good kosher fun, but recreating an entire franchise without bringing anything new to the table is pure laziness.
Sony Pictures Classics
A narrative spotlighting the Zaire 74 music festival that surrounded the infamous Rumble in the Jungle boxing match.
James Brown, B.B. King
Jeffrey Levy-Hinte (Directorial Debut)
SLUG Says: The Godfather of Soul and his congregation always make me want to dance, which can be distracting inside a theater.
The true story of a naïve hotel clerk who unknowingly set the wheels in motion for the concert that defined a generation.
Demetri Martin, Jeffrey Dean Morgan
Ang Lee (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon)
SLUG Says: From kung-fu fighting atop bamboo shoots to the revitalization of the modern day love story, Lee’s versatile directing mastery can’t be stopped.
August 4, 2009
Big Trouble in Little China (Blu-ray)
20th Century Fox
East meets West in this collision of cultures that takes one of cinema’s greatest action heroes, Jack Burton, and pits him against ancient, mythical black magic.
Kurt Russell, Kim Cattrall
John Carpenter (They Live)
SLUG Says: The lifespan of a film can be calculated by the number of its memorable quotes. BTILC is practically immortal, because it delivers them from beginning to end.
The Flight of the Concords: Season 2
HBO Home Video
Jemaine and Bret continue their musical journey in search of the American dream as two New Zealand folk singers trying to survive in the Big Apple.
Jemaine Clement, Bret McKenzie
SLUG Says: The quality of music may have drifted from the previous season, but the significant advancement in storylines mends any and all rifts.
Race to Witch Mountain
Two actors from The Children of Corn pose as aliens in search of their crashed UFO and use The Rock’s protruding muscles to help them find it.
Dwayne Johnson, Carla Gugino
Andy Fickman (The Game Plan)
SLUG Says: A modern recalibration of the 1975 Escape to Witch Escape offering nothing new except an attempt by Johnson to become a real actor by dropping his alias “The Rock.”
Sling Blade (Blu-ray)
After his release from a psychiatric hospital, a mentally handicapped convicted murderer settles in a small town and befriends a young boy despite the disapprovals of outsiders.
Billy Bob Thornton, Lucas Black
Billy Bob Thornton (All the Pretty Horses)
SLUG Says: If any man could terrify me as a spastic psychopath, Thornton would be that man … him and his creepy ass vile of blood necklace.
A Los Angeles Times columnist discovers an abnormal panhandling musician with an exceptional talent and publishes a series documenting their unique relationship.
Robert Downey Jr., Jamie Foxx
Joe Wright (Atonement)
SLUG Says: While both actors provide admirable performances, I preferred these characters more in Barry Levinson’s Rain Man.
August 11, 2009
Warner Home Video
A bitter and resentful businessman gets a chance to alter his past decisions and live out the life he always wanted.
Zac Efron, Matthew Perry
Burr Steers (Igby Goes Down)
SLUG Says: A storyline that has been done time and time again. Unless you’re only in it for Efron’s chiseled abs, you’re better off watching Tom Hanks’ furry chest in Big.
I Love You, Man
A socially inept fiancé seeks a prospective best man though a series of awkward yet comical man dates.
Paul Rudd, Jason Segel
John Hamburg (Along Came Polly)
SLUG Says: Riding the non-stop wave of bromance films, this one separates itself from the pack with a unique perspective and an appearance by Lou Ferrigno (a.k.a. The Hulk).
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Film Collection (Blu-ray)
Warner Home Video
The films that brought the 80s cartoon classic to life are packed together for the first time in high-definition.
Corey Feldman, Ernie Reyes Jr.
Steve Barron (Coneheads), Michael Pressman (Doctor Detroit), Stuart Gillard (RocketMan), Kevin Munroe (Directorial Debut)
SLUG Says: Go ahead and throw away the retarded time traveling third chapter, but gear up for the awesomeness that is the first film and Vanilla Ice’s glorious appearance in the sequel.
August 18, 2009
The Beast: Season 1
An undercover rookie FBI agent is assigned to inspect the debatable operations of one of their own seasoned officers.
Patrick Swayze, Travis Fimmel
SLUG Says: Patrick Swayze makes The Shield’s Michael Chiklis look like a giant pussy as television’s most badass law enforcement officer.
Dexter: Season 3
Showtime / Paramount
Miami Blood Splatter expert, Dexter Morgan, takes on an apprentice as he continues his nightly activities of disposing of the city’s less respectable inhabitants in his own fashion.
Michael C. Hall, Jimmy Smits
SLUG Says: Where CSI reveals how to catch the killer, Dexter explains in detail how to get away with the crime. Note to self: Fear anyone who is obsessed with this show.
The Simpsons: Season 12
20th Century Fox
The famous family at 742 Evergreen Terrace continue to never age as they endure an onslaught of silly escapades in various locations including New York City, Africa, and the year 1871.
Dan Castellaneta, Hank Azaria
SLUG Says: It’s amazing that as the series edges closer to becoming a teenager, where it starts to grow hair in funny places and liking girls, the writers continue to produce hilarious original material.
Last House on the Left
A band of cold-blooded killers accidentally find refuge in the home of one of their victims who are desperately seeking revenge for their daughter.
Tony Goldwyn, Monica Potter
Dennis Iliadis (Hardcore)
SLUG Says: Not every horror film from the 1970s needs a revamp. This one should have been left on the shelf in the land of mediocre obscurity.
August 25, 2009
A soft spoken teenager discovers the highs and lows of working at a local amusement park during the summer before heading off to college.
Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart
Greg Mottola (Superbad)
SLUG Says: As much as I love flicks with theme parks, this one fails to completely knock over all the milk jugs with an ordinary script and a performance by Eisenberg that was clearly written for Michael Cera.
Californiacation: Season 2
Showtime / Paramount
Alcoholic, sex-crazed, chain smoking writer Hank Moody is back to continue his desperate attempts to recover his ex-wife’s affection and his callous daughter’s admiration.
David Duchovny, Natascha McElhone
SLUG Says: The second season continues to deliver the laughs, but relies too heavily on the blood, sweat, and used condoms that were so effective in the previous episodes.
Two professional con artists endure a paranoid love affair as they go toe to toe against two multi-billion dollar corporations.
Clive Owen, Julia Roberts
Tony Gilroy (Michael Clayton)
SLUG Says: The multi-layered story structure is too complicated for its own good, but the fast-paced witty banter between Owen and Roberts is worth a look see.
House: Season 5
Tired of the mundane lethal diseases and bubonic plagues, House explores new dramas with an interoffice love affair and restructuring his dependable team.
Hugh Laurie, Omar Epps
SLUG Says: The fifth season effectively drifts from focusing on the simple road of new illnesses and realigns its bearing to spotlight House’s inner demons and failed attempts at humanization.
The polar ends of society conjure together in 1983 Los Angeles to reveal that the skeletons in their closet aren’t so different regardless of their financial differences.
Mickey Rourke, Kim Basinger
Gregor Jordan (Buffalo Soldiers)
SLUG Says: Any fan of author Bret Easton Ellis (Less Than Zero, Rules of Attraction, American Psycho) will find solace in this latest adaption of his work.
Lie to Me: Season 1
20th Century Fox
A private firm is hired by various agencies and individuals to assist with investigations by discovering the truth through observing body movements and facial expressions.
Tim Roth, Kelli Williams
SLUG Says: The series’ appears innovative, yet after five episodes of facial twitches and seat shuffling, I could say “I’d rather be working,” and pass a polygraph with flying colors.
Life: Season 2
Charlie Crews continues to clandestinely hunt for the men accountable for falsely imprisoning him for 12 years while remaining as an active L.A.P.D. homicide detective.
Damian Lewis, Sarah Shahi
SLUG Says: I’d say “Buy It!” if NBC hadn’t pulled the plug on the engaging series, but without an adequate conclusion, what’s the point?
Overture Films / Anchor Bay Entertainment
In order to provide for her son’s future, a single mother and her sister establish a cleaning company that specializes in horrific crime scene clean-up.
Amy Adams, Emily Blunt
Christine Jeffs (Rain)
SLUG Says: Adams’ and Blunt’s interactions, both outrageous and heart-wrenching, are so genuine one can only apply it to a personal relationship with a friend or family member.