The Freebie

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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This Week in DVD

Welcome to another light week of DVD releases! It may appear lacking in quantity, but it does feature the film that might be winning the Academy Award for Best Film in a couple months. No, not Piranha. David Fincher’s The Social Network reaches shelves just three and a half months after hitting theaters, and in addition to being an incredibly good movie it’s also the closest I’ve ever been to Facebook. Other titles out this week include a fantastic French romantic comedy (Heartbreaker), an animated flick nobody saw (Alpha and Omega), three TV shows you’ve probably never heard of before, and more.

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The Reject Report

The Machete Spanish title worked so well a few weeks back, we figured we should probably stick to a dialect a little closer to home this time around. Therefore, in honuh of The Town, as well the othuh fine films in contention this box office weekend, we’re shipping up to Boston, Dropkick Murphys style. It should be a fairly close race between the newbies. M Night is producing a horror film about some people in an elevator. Lionsgate’s got a new animated flick to drop bomb on us. Easy A is a nice throwback to John Hughes’s comedies. Some of them will hit the Green Monster (this week, that title denotes cold, hard cash) solid, and some will slip into the Charles River without so much as a whimper. Let’s see how it shapes up. It’s about to get wicked retahded in he-uh.

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I’ve never been this excited about South by Southwest (SXSW) this early in the year. Usually it takes at least a week of being back from Sundance to get intensely jazzed for the first of the big three film festivals here in Austin, but this year is different.

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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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