This may come off as a slightly pretentious and harsh article, considering the nature of the Sundance Film Festival and the labors of love that are the films that end up there, but it does not change the fact that I saw some duds over the past 12 days. I was overwhelmed by the amount of fantastic films that I had the fortune of screening in Park City — and while I found so many to love, there were also a few that put me to sleep. That’s not too bad either, considering plenty of other journalists just took to walking out. Me, I was always down for a nap.
So here you go, the five films that made me wish I didn’t wait in line for a half hour. Feel free to click the title of each film to read my full review. As well, pictures have been left out of this article to protect the innocent…
I may catch a lot of flack for this one, as the audience reaction to this film was very positive. My only explanation for that is that the audiences at Sundance have an unnatural amount of patience and I just don’t. Its easy to see the story, the message and the heart in this film, but the delivery is so bleeding slow that it had me questioning my own love of movies.
4. Adventures of Power
The story of a wannabe air drummer who goes from New Mexico to the Big Apple to save his crazy town with his “skill”, this movie had all the enthusiasm and none of the magic. Within the first 5 minutes of the film I saw Napoleon Dynamite in his 30s, a very funny concept that could have worked. From there though, it was nothing but a downward spiral of missed opportunities.
3. Blind Date
I gave Stanley Tucci’s film a chance, I really did. That was ultimately the issue — the fact that I didn’t walk out half way through like all the other critics.
2. Funny Games
Never have I held witness to such an incoherent, self-indulgent piece of poop as this movie. If there is one thing I can’t stand, it is when a film becomes aware of itself unnecessarily. The film starts out with some shock factor then gets burned by its own talkey nature, very slowly.
1. Downloading Nancy
What more can I say about Downloading Nancy? With all apologies to the filmmakers, I find this film to be absolutely useless. I can handle a film that covers disturbing material, I can handle a film that deals with the weirdos of the world, but I absolutely cannot handle a film that fails to deliver one ounce of entertainment value. If you liked this film, you need serious and immediate professional help.
Dis-Honorable Mention: The Year of Getting to Know Us
This film, one that I screened very late in the festival, was so bland, uneventful and misguided that I couldn’t even muster up the energy to write a review for it. Jimmy Fallon could not deliver a dramatic line of dialog if his life depended on it — every time he tried, it just sounded awkward, sending shivers down my spine.
To look back at all of my coverage from Park City, check out our Sundance 2008 Homepage.