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Holy Ghost People

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04/15/2014 | Comments 0

No Holds Barred

RLJ Entertainment's new Blu-ray for No Holds Barred begins with what seems like dozens of trailers for movies starring pro wrestlers from the WWE talent pool. Each flick went direct to home video, but once upon a time — aka 1989 — one had to go to the multiplex to catch such a spectacle.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

Knights of Badassdom

In 2008, the third act of the guy comedy Role Models used LARPing — live-action role-playing, that is — as a backdrop for our protagonists' lessons learned. Today, Knights of Badassdom extends that half-hour into a full feature, to the point where viewers are left not smiling, but exhausted. 
04/02/2014 | Comments 0

Switched on

Not everything on television has to appeal to mass audiences. In fact, with the further fractioning of viewership thanks to alternatives like Netflix and VOD, more series can afford to become more niche. Here are five examples of shows both past and present — and new to DVD and/or Blu-ray — that encompass some of the more outrageous ideas ever to go beyond boardroom discussion.
04/02/2014 | Comments 0

Confession of Murder

Seventeen years after slaying 10 women and getting away with it, the charismatic serial killer Du-sok (Park Si-hoo) comes clean with a Confession of Murder, in this 2012 South Korean crime thriller. He does so by publishing a book that dishes all the grisly details.
04/02/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Movies · Features · Brevity, thy name is...

Brevity, thy name is Sundance

See seven stories for the price of one in this year’s crop of shorts from the Sundance Film Festival.

Rod Lott December 14th, 2011

2011 Sundance Film Festival Shorts
7:30 p.m. Thursday, 5:30 and 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch

In its continued celebration of stories, per Robert Redford’s introductory narration, the Sundance Institute has packaged seven acclaimed short films from its 2011 festival into one feature-length presentation. The results screen Thursday through Sunday at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, and as with many such loosely themed compilations, the results comprise a mixed bag.

From England, “The Eagleman Stag” (pictured) is the only animated segment, not to mention the lone colorless entry. Although it begins promisingly with a fetus remarking, “Yes, this seems about right,” its story of a miserable life compressed into nine minutes is nothing special, even if the stop-motion papercut animation is. Sorrow continues in “The Strange Ones,” a tale about a man, the child traveling with him, and the stranger to whom the boy spills chilling secrets.

The first winner is Sweden’s “Incident by a Bank,” a re-creation of a real robbery, but shot from the street outside, leaving your mind to piece events together based largely on auditory cues. Sound familiar? It should if you attended OKCMOA’s Manhattan Short Film Festival in September, of which “Incident” was a part, but it’s worth seeing again.

Bound to be the audience favorite is “Worst Enemy,” starring “Saturday Night Live” veteran Michaela Watkins as an insecure, single artist who inexplicably believes she’s in need of a full-body girdle, in which she gets stuck. It’s written and directed winningly by Lake Bell, an actress (TV’s “Childrens Hospital”) who’s usually quite funny herself.

The only documentary is the five-minute “The High Level Bridge.”

Shown in competition locally at last summer’s deadCENTER Film Festival, it concerns a bridge in Canada notorious for a high rate of suicidal jumpers. Its highlight arrives at the end, when director Trevor Anderson flings his camera over the edge.

“We’re Leaving” chronicles what happens when an American redneck couple lose their rental and try to find new housing. It seems landlords don’t cotton to their decade-old pet alligator. Its dark-humored streak works to court audience favor.

The program should end there, but the longest has been saved for last. Unfortunately, it’s the weakest, too: “Deeper Than Yesterday,” a 20-minute Australian work about a Russian submarine crew who have been underwater for three months, and it shows. What they find floating late in the film should make you feel terribly queasy, especially since the not-quite-sane men deem it “a miracle.”

All told, the good minutes of the program outweigh the bad, enough for a slight recommendation.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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