King Kelly

Taken 2: iPad Boogaloo

This is not an article that makes wild predictions about the future. It probably won’t solve all of you movie-watching problems, either. It’s also not entirely about a movie in which Liam Neeson has a set of skills. It is, however, a cautiously optimistic piece about where the world of digital distribution is heading. We talk about it far too much as part of the debate over piracy. The notion that for producers of content to truly reach the plugged in generation, they’re going to have to fix the mechanism that sells us the content. It’s perhaps the worst conditions under which we talk about digital distribution. So many sides, so many emotions, so much grey area exists in the piracy discussion. And so often, it escalates out of control. But what about the optimistic side of digital distribution. What is it that people want most, if they aren’t simply after something free. It’s simple: they want it now. And more and more, we’re seeing distributors who are closing the gap between when things are in theaters and when you can have it in our home. In these instances, there’s cause for hope.

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King Kelly

King Kelly is a divisive movie, and it has an uphill battle to fight in order to win viewers. Why? Two reasons… first, it’s shot (almost) entirely on iPhones. And second, the title character is the most unlikeable creature to hit the screen since Honey Boo-boo. That uphill battle is one worth fighting though because it’s a movie worth seeing. Louisa Krause plays Kelly, a selfish, narcissistic, oblivious young woman who earns her money by way of a webcam sex show. She treats those around her as tools toward making it big with no thought given to their feelings or situations, she rarely shuts up and she’s a magnet for trouble involving missing drugs, threatening dealers and one highly unstable fan. Thankfully she’s also funny and more than a little sexy. It’s an admittedly tough sell that needs some nuance to persuade viewers to spare their time and money for the privilege of giving attention to a truly obnoxious character whose only desire is for more attention. And while the characters may appear blatantly and deceptively dumb the movie itself is actually a pretty smart critique of modern day America’s tastes. I found a lot to love when I reviewed it at this year’s SXSW, but unfortunately the latest trailer doesn’t quite get any of that across. Check it out after the jump. But please note that it’s very Not Safe for Work (NSFW).

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King Kelly Trailer

If modern technologies like video upload sites and HD video cameras small enough to fit into phones are scaring you because of the new possibilities they bring to narcissistic vanity goblins like Internet porn stars and reality TV actors, then King Kelly might be the scariest horror movie you see all year. But, if teenage-aimed movies like Project X, which glorify the most vapid and soulless aspects of party-obsessed youth culture, really get under your skin and make you mad, then King Kelly might be the funniest piece of satire you see all year. Shot entirely on iPhones and telling the story of a teenage girl who makes amateur strip videos (Louisa Krause) looking to get into the world of indie filmmaking (you know, so she can be famous), King Kelly appears to be a brutal skewering of the self-obsession and celebrity worship that’s running rampant in today’s culture. Thanks to advances in modern technology, nearly anyone can now take a shot at becoming famous (as long as they’re willing to humiliate themselves), and the effects of that seem to be a gradual poisoning of our society that’s not looking like it’s going to end anytime soon.

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This year’s SXSW may be over, but it’s certainly not forgotten. Another week of barbeque, buddies, beer, and – oh yeah – movies down, and we’re still recovering, both in terms of remembering everything we saw and attempting to pry ourselves out of our stretchiest of pants. As with any film festival, the stunning depth of films available to watch has resulted in a solid handful of serious favorites. This time around, our twelve favorite films of the festival include big studio comedy, intimate documentary, the best action film in years, true independent features, and even a picture made entirely on cell phones. Take a look at our twelve favorites from this year’s SXSW after the break.

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If you’ve been rocking back and forth with anticipation for The Raid: Redemption, your wait is almost over. It hits theaters this weekend (alongside another certain highly-anticipated movie), and to whet your appetite, we talk with writer/director Gareth Evans who dissects an action scene for us. Plus, Kate Erbland and Rob Hunter join us for the Movie News Pop Quiz and to share their favorites from SXSW that will be coming to your neck of the woods. Download Episode #126

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The so-called YouTube generation, aka the ‘Me’ generation, doesn’t get a lot of respect. To be sure, that’s 100% their own doing thanks to their decision to live in an egotistical video bubble. Technology has reached a point where anyone and everyone can get themselves onscreen regardless of talent or worth, and society does the rest. The American public eats up all manner of reality television in multiple forms from actual TV shows to nut-shot video clips to online porn sites to cell phone captures of self-important nonsense. It’s those last two mediums, the internet porn and cell phone video, that meet in the new film King Kelly to tell a story about one specific member of this vapid, selfish and ultimately lost section of the population. We follow Kelly through a one day period in July and witness nothing short of the decline of Western civilization. Well, maybe it’s a little short of that, but we do watch as Kelly finds herself caught up in a search for stolen drugs, threats against her life and the arrival of her number one (and highly unstable) fan. She quickly and consistently proves herself to be exactly the kind of brat to star in her own TV show on the E! Network. The film is shot almost entirely on iPhones, and you’d be forgiven for thinking that sounds like an immediate recipe for disaster. An obnoxious young woman who rarely shuts up as the lead in a film comprised exclusively of cell […]

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