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Leslye Headland arrived on the cinematic scene in a roundabout kind of way. Her debut film Bachelorette divided audiences -Reelview's James Berardinelli gave it zero stars and labeled it "the worst movie of 2012" (we gave it a soaring review) though it's gone on to achieve a quiet cult status. Originally written as a screenplay then adapted for the stage, her raunchy theatrical production was discovered, altered back into movie form and green lit with an inspired cast (Kirsten Dunst, Lizzy Caplan, Isla Fisher, Rebel Wilson.) The outcome was a lewd female Hangover bursting with genuine laughs. In 2013, Headland got back on the horse for a new project, one that she just described as "When Harry Met Sally with assholes." And so came Sleeping With Other People, a satirically formulaic though gravely side-splitting whooper.
Read more: Sundance Review || "Sleeping...
Success and honesty have become diametrically opposed forces in 99 Homes, a one-percenter housing thriller that pits a wolf of real estate in the form of an e-cigarette munching Michael Shannon against a hardworking everyman day laborer (Andrew Garfield). Money though is a powerful drug. Opulence, an even purer form of intoxicant. And as Dennis Nash's (Garfield) desperate catches the sweet whiff of greenback wafting from the depths of Rick Carver's (Shannon) pockets, he becomes willing to trade in his common man status for the spade suit of an iniquitous property mogul.
Read more: Sundance Review || "99 Homes"
Metaphysical bodysnatching from the POV of the snatcher, Advantageous is a soft sci-fi-drama centered around a cool idea but repeatedly undone by shoddy execution, unconvincing performances and dreadful FX. Commendable though Jennifer Phang's mother-daughter relationship study might be in the context of Sundance's overabundance of father-son sagas, Phang is able to capitalize on the maternal bonds between ejector and ejected but has no idea which direction to take it in after it's been established. Instead, it's bagged up, zip-tied and casually thrown into an ebb of "does it really matter?"
Read more: Sundance Review || "Advantageous"
Michael Fassbender is a welcome addition to any film marque - independent or otherwise. From the jaguar-like way he carries himself to the silky, chop salad baritone of his voice, his dangerous presence is inimitable and essential (even through a paper-machie helmet.) Like the great Western heroes of lore, he saunters on spurs, a meaty cigar never far from his tobacco-stained mouth. He's a gunslinger even when he's not armed. In Slow West though, he is. He's very armed, and deadly cool.
Read more: Sundance Review || "Slow West"
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