The Mixed Tape


Sundance 2010 Day Three by Nolan Wilson Goff

Yesterday was the best day of films so far. Saw an incredible documentary and some great narratives. Not only did we see some great films, but we got to experience a midnight screening. If you havn’t heard of the Sundance midnight screenings, they are dedicated to fun genre films (thrillers, horror, and comedy) and feature dynamite crwod reactions and involvement. It was the single best movie going experience I’ve ever been a part of. Right now, I’m literally 10 yards from Mark Ruffalo, whose directorial debut premiered this week. I’ve heard his film, Sympathy for Delicious, is fantastic. Looking forward to another great day in Park City.

– Nolan

Hesher (directed by Stephen Susser) review by Nolan


Critics have been mixed on Susser’s directorial debut. Some don’t see much of a story. Well I did. Susser crafted an unforgettable character and Joseph Gordon Levitt gives a fantastic performance as the title character. It’s rare for a director to be able to craft a story around a child protagonist. The angst of Devin Brochu’s performance as the main character carries the film, and he plays a lifelike junior high student struggling to deal with the loss of his mother.  Natalie Portman and Rainn Wilson play supporting players, and both provide good performances. The film is an examination of grief, and how humans hide it. Grief stands as the elephant in the room in the film, and the thematic density of the film relies on the character of Hesher. Without giving anything away, the emotional core of the film is rooted in Hesher. See this film. It’s a fun ride, but in the end, it will hit you like car.

(Score: 8/10)

It’s A Wonderful Afterlife review by Trevor

A comedy in London  following an Indian mother who takes her obsession with her daughters marriage into the world of serial murder. A rather enjoyable movie, it would have been easy to forget except for a hilarious death scene that catches you off guard. It would be very hard to bring this to an american audience who doesn’t understand the culture and the humor in that culture.

(Score: 7/10)

Gasland (directed by Josh Fox) review by Nolan

This was a stirring documentary about the hazardous practices in which natural gas companies go about removing the gas from the earth. Hydraulic fracturing is contaminating the nation’s underground water sources. The effects of the chemicals used in this process and the natural gas are a serious hazard to humans, animals, and the environment. This is the best documentary I have ever seen, because of Josh Fox’s wonderful revealing story.  The narration is infused with humor, as Fox presents indisputable evidence of the fracking’s disastrous effect on America. He even holds a lighter up to a water faucet, and after several moments, flames erupted. Fox presents many more examples, and displays the bipartisan nature of the issue. This is unflinching, unrelenting, and unbiased storytelling. The best film I’ve seen at Sundance.

(Score: 10/10)

Holly Rollers review by Trevor


We follow Jesse Eisenberg as he falls away from Messianic Judaism. He is leaving his family and culture behind as he is tempted by money and ends up smuggling extasy into the country. A great and truly honest film that speaks truth to a world who values the sin our protagonist falls into. No matter what religion you follow  it is interesting to see the spiritual journey and how anybody can relate it to their own journey. Shot in 20 days. We witness the skill of new comer Director Kevin Asch in his debut film.

(Score: 7.5/10)

Tucker and Dale vs. Evil review by Trevor


Never had more fun in a theater. This took your typical horror movie and kicked it in the balls and laughed at it. Our lovable protagonists (Dale) Tyler Labine and (Tucker) Alan Tudyk are mistaken for crazy psyco killers. Their relationship is perfect and they play off each other so well. This is a must see when you are looking a fun time with friends and laugh for an hour and a half straight. (9/10)

More reviews coming later today!

Up Next For Us:

  • Blue Valentine
  • Four Lions
  • Sympathy for Delicioous
  • happythankyoumoreplease
  • Night Catches Us
  • Lucky
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Sundance Here We Come! by Nolan Wilson Goff

The Mixed Tape is going to the Sundance Film Festival. Sunday afternoon myself and Trevor will begin the trek to Park City, Utah to see the best in independent cinema. Stay tuned here for daily blogs on what’s good, what sucks, and any other news we can get our hands on.

Here are the ten films I am dying to see:

  • Blue Valentine (starring Ryan Gosling, Michelle Williams)
  • Howl (starring James Franco)
  • Buried (starring Ryan Reynolds)
  • The Runaways (starring Kristen Stewart, Dakota Fanning)
  • Hesher (starring Joseph Gordon Levitt, Natalie Portman)
  • The Company Men (starring Ben Affleck, Tommy Lee Jones)
  • Jack Goes Boating (the directorial debut of Philip Seymour Hoffman)
  • The Killer Inside Me (starring Casey Affleck, Jessica Alba, Kate Hudson)
  • The Romantics (starring Adam Brody, Katie Holmes)
  • Teenage Paparazzo (directed by Adrian Grenier, from Entourage)


5 Films This Summer You Probably Didn’t See by Nolan Wilson Goff

This past summer featured the fantastic (J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek) and the awful (Michael Bay’s Transformers 2). Amongst the successful box office hits, were many hidden gems that may have escaped the public eye.

Here are 5 films this summer that found critical success, despite their limited releases.

The Hurt Locker

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A near lock for a Best Picture nomination, Kathryn Bigelow’s brilliantly paced Iraq war thriller awed everyone who saw it. It featured fantastic characters with fantastic performances by Jeremy Renner and Anthony Mackie. “The rush of battle is often a potent and lethal addiction, for war is a drug.”

(500) Days of Summer

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This film is the best representation of post-modern love ever seen on screen. The performances by Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel, have been widely acclaimed, and for good reason. “This is the story of boy meets girl…but I must tell you up front, this is not a love story. It is a story about love.”

The Stoning of Soraya M.

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Wow. As heartbreaking as this film is, it is a story that must be heard.  The title says it all, and this film must be seen. You will be awed by the power of this true story, and the importance of journalism. The Stoning is a true example of the mistreatment of women in Muslim society, and Shoreh Aghdashloo’s breathtaking performance will floor you. “Voices of women do not matter in here. I want you to take my voice with you.”

Moon

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Starring Sam Rockwell and the voice of Kevin Spacey, Moon is the terrific directorial debut of Duncan Jones.  Moon is much like a interesting, action filled version of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey.  The film is essentially a one man show, but Rockwell’s performance grabs ahold of audiences and grants us entry into the psyche of his character. Aditionally, Clint Mansell’s score is the best of the year. 250,000 miles from home, the hardest thing to face…is yourself.

Sin Nombre

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The Sundance Film Festival darling, and directorial debut of Cary Fukunaga, is a foreign road movie detailing the trevails and passions of those venturing to the American border. Complete with gang violence and love, the story is a tragedy exploring themes of atonement and sacrifice. The greatest sin of all is risking nothing.

What was your favorite film of the summer?

-Nolan Wilson Goff

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