Katie Aselton

review black rock

Here’s the thing. If your movie is going to feature two attractive women, completely nude, my first reaction shouldn’t be to laugh. And my second reaction most definitely shouldn’t be to hope they get dressed as soon as possible. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Black Rock is a new thriller with a fairly unusual pedigree. Katie Aselton (The League) stars and directs from a script by her traditionally light-hearted husband, Mark Duplass, and the resulting film is an occasionally successful hybrid of character piece and generic slasher. It essentially drops well-written characters into a highly traditional genre scenario, and while the combination has its benefits it also allows for more than a few issues.

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Black Rock

It’s funny that our last episode was called The Greatest Escape, because this week we’ll be talking about how to survive when someone who hunts people for sport is chasing you. Or, at least, what movies have taught us about it. Hint: your chances aren’t good. With Geoff on vacation, Brian Salisbury helps us out with his Count Zaroff impression and his latest research into the only way to enjoy M. Night Shyamalan’s The Happening. Plus, we top it all off with an interview with Black Rock writer/actor/director Katie Aselton (seen running for her life above) where we don’t ask her for fantasy football tips. For more from us on a daily basis, follow Brian (@briguysalisbury), the show (@brokenprojector), Geoff (@drgmlatulippe) and Scott (@scottmbeggs) on the Twitter. And, as always, we welcome your feedback. Download Episode #19 Directly Or subscribe Through iTunes

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Black Rock Trailer

As if relations between the sexes weren’t strained enough already, along comes Black Rock, a new thriller from writer Mark Duplass (from everything) and director Katie Aselton (The Freebie) that looks like it’s going to fan the flames further, ensuring that we get at least another year of clueless nincompoops publicly declaring their unsettling opinions about rape. The basic story follows three ladies (Aselton, Lake Bell, and Kate Bosworth) who trek out to an isolated island where they used to have camping trips when they were young; you know, to rekindle lost youth or something. When they’re out there though, the island proves to not be as isolated as they thought. They happen upon a group of three very male hunters (Will Bouvier, Jay Paulson, and Anslem Richardson), one of the ladies gets a little frisky with a bearded gentleman around the campfire, and then he gets way handsy and his buddies suddenly turn super-psychotic. While it doesn’t seem like this story ever reaches Straw Dogs or I Spit on Your Grave levels of grossness, things then degenerate into a battle of survival between the sexes that seems to have more than a little bit of that revenge movie/backwoods horror vibe crossed with a smidge of the Surviving the Game/Hunger Games man-being-hunted trope.

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Multi-hyphenate Katie Aselton returns to Sundance with her second film, a much different outing than her gorgeous and melancholy 2010 entry, The Freebie. This time around, Aselton has ceded writing duties to her husband, Mark Duplass, and the pair have made what will likely be referred to as “Deliverance for girls” for many years to come. But Black Rock is a twisty little horror outing that perhaps shares more with The Freebie than might be obvious from first blush. Both films hinge on interpersonal relationships, the confusion of behavioral signals and perceptions, and mistakes that have far-reaching consequences. Yet, Black Rock is most certainly a thriller and a genre picture, and its wooded island setting, thumping soundtrack (with remarkably sage picks from The Kills), and grim plotline only serve to show how well Aselton can cross genres with style.

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Welcome to Day Two of Kate Christmas. Yesterday, the 2012 Sundance Film Festival announced their first wave of programming, featuring twenty-six titles that will be screening in competition. While the arrival of those titles was enough to send me into a tizzy I have still not recovered from, today the festival has only piled on the pre-holiday goodies with the announcement of their Spotlight, Next, Park City at Midnight, and New Frontiers films. A few titles of note to get your juices flowing – Gareth Evans‘ The Raid (also known round these parts as “oh, hell yeah”), Andrea Arnold‘s take on Wuthering Heights, Katie Aselton‘s second directorial outing Black Rock (scripted by her husband Mark Duplass), Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie, Mike Birbiglia and Seth Barrish‘s Sleepwalk With Me (based on Birbiglia’s hilarious book), and Lynn Shelton‘s Your Sister’s Sister. Again, that’s just a taste, so check out the full list of Spotlight, Next, Park City at Midnight, and New Frontiers films after the break.

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Earlier this morning, my partner in LA film festival crime, the lovely Ms. Allison Loring, posted her list of Most Anticipated Films from this year’s upcoming AFI FEST presented by Audi. Of course, many of our choices overlap (Shame, Butter, Rampart), but we part ways when it comes to some of the smaller films at the festival. For all the big, Oscar bait flicks (J. Edgar) or the wang- and soul-baring Fass-outings (Shame again, always Shame), there are a few films that I’ve been positively rabid to see (Alps, Michael) that might not yet have the cache value and audience awareness of those other films. From the festival’s incredible list of 110 films, I’ve narrowed down my list to ten films that are my bonafide Most Anticipated Films of the festival. Like any list, I am sure that some of you perusing it will be displeased, weighing in on titles I’m a fool to miss. But hold your wrath for a few days, because many of the best titles of the fest are ones I’ve already seen, and those films might just crop up in an unexpected place (like, oh, another list). AFI FEST will run from November 3rd through the 10th in Hollywood, with all screenings taking place at The Chinese, the Chinese 6 Theatres, and the Egyptian Theatre. Tickets for all screenings are free (and available starting today, October 27, right HERE). The complete schedule grid is now online for the festival, which you can check out HERE. After the break, […]

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly round-up of all things interesting and wonderful happening in the world of movies. At least, that’s what it was born as. Lately it’s been feeling as if it might be more of a Rachel Weisz News After Dark kind of column. A Rachel Weiszsexual, if you will. And yes, that’s the technical term. It’s a tough affliction to live with. Because their just isn’t enough Rachel Weisz in the world. Luckily Hollywood is hell-bent on changing that… Guess what this week is… Rachel Weisz week. Based on a survey of our male 18-35 demographic, which represents a solid percentage of our readership, this is somehow preferable to all of my updates about Doctor Who. I don’t see why, as Doctor Who is excellent. But I can understand your affinity for Rachel Weisz news. Anyway, she’s not only in line to take a high profile role in Oz the Great and Powerful and The Bourne Legacy. According to a report from Cinema Blend, Weisz is high on the list to star opposite Johnny Depp in Rob Marshall’s remake of The Thin Man. Even though that film sound unnecessary, we just can’t say no to more Rachel Weisz… can we?

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Sundance

This year at Sundance, movie blogger turned filmmaker Scott Hutcheson, formerly of We Are Movie Geeks, put a bunch of the web’s most prominent (and up-and-coming) movie bloggers in front of the camera. Now the world has its first teaser trailer, for a film that will henceforth be known as Redford Sent Us.

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If you’ve been paying attention to my reviews, you’ll know already that I was a fan of Katie Aselton’s relationship comedy The Freebie. After seeing it, I also got a chance to catch up with Katie and her team.

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If there’s one thing that has come of the rise of the likes of the Duplass Brothers and the mumblecore (or something like it) movement, it is a slew of honest movies about relationships. But those Duplass guys should watch out, because Katie Aselton is about to take over.

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