The Raid 2: Berandal
Have you seen The Raid? Welcome to its 148 minute-long sequel. Still not long enough if you ask me… -RH
The Skeleton Twins
Bill Hader has already been quite forward about the fact that his big screen team-up with Kristen Wiig is not a comedy, despite its gifted comedic cast and a laugh-happy plotline (estranged twins reunite and stuff!). What will that even look like? -KE
The Anne Hathaway-starring drama sounds like the most Sundance film of Sundance this year, one that features unexpected accidents, PhD candidates, music, Bedouin tribes, New York City, more music, family dramas, a hot stranger, more music, and shocking revelations. Just read this line from the Sundance program: “…subway troubadours, scratchy tracks on a gramophone, late-night guitar noodling, and gentle hospital serenades create an organic musical landscape that paves the way to each character’s gentle awakening.” Good God, was this film literally made to play at Sundance?
Still, the fact that writer/director Kate Barker-Froyland could snag a star like Hathaway for her first film indicates that there just might be something special beating underneath all that aural noise. – KE
They Came Together
Wet Hot American Summer. Role Models.
Wanderlust. Well I’m no math whiz, but two out of three David Wain/Paul Rudd collaborations ain’t bad in my book, and with any luck their latest will be a return to form. It helps that Rudd is joined onscreen in this romantic comedy by Amy Poehler (who also co-starred in WHAS) and a bevy of hilarious supporting players including Christopher “Dick Cream” Meloni. I expect to laugh. -RH
White Bird in a Blizzard
Just get on the Shailene Woodley express, people. Just hop on board and surrender yourself to all the beauty and drama and pain and wonder and weirdness that a coming-of-age tale written and directed by Gregg Araki that stars Hollywood’s most up-and-coming It Girl can deliver. (Hint: we’re hoping it can deliver a lot.) -KE
Wish I Was Here
Located almost exactly next to the brainspace I dedicate to wondering if Kristen Stewart can actually act is a little chunk of matter dedicated to wondering if Zach Braff can actually write and direct. The multi-hyphenate debuted his feature film Garden State at Sundance in 2004 and, if we’re putting it kindly, he has definitely not lived up to the expectations that were heaped upon him after the beloved slice of fluff premiered.
That thing was a hit, you guys, and Braff hasn’t directed a feature since – take away from that what you will. Wish I Was Here has also already stirred up ire thanks to its tricky Kickstarter campaign, so Braff really is working uphill with this one. What’s the final result going to be? I can’t even guess, but I can’t help but anticipate it. -KE
Put aside the fact that writer/director Jake Paltrow is Gwyneth’s younger brother, and instead focus solely on the details of his new feature. Michael Shannon stars in this post-apocalyptic western as a man trying to protect his family and land from scavengers and other unwelcome guests in an ecologically-ravaged world. Nicholas Hoult, Elle Fanning, and Kodi Smit-McPhee co-star. -RH
The Sundance Film Festival kicks off on Thursday, January 16th and runs until Sunday, January 26th.