Efficient, nasty action scenes can't overcome mostly bland characterizations and a half-baked story.
Why is it that the culture surrounding art is so far removed from the process of making that art? I suspect this week is hell for many filmmakers here. The world you have to exist in as a great artist (one that values the interior over the exterior, the spiritual over the corporeal) is directly opposed the world you have to exist in to get your movie made. I wonder how many other people here are wondering what's wrong with them. How many people are pretending they love partying in order to not feel like a weirdo.
The Disney mystique is a secular religion so global, powerful and self-contained -- not to mention litigious -- that it practically courts desecration. Randy Moore's "Escape from Tomorrow," which just premiered at Sundance and is unlikely to come to a theater near you any time soon, is the boldest act of cinematic violation at least since the "Mickey Mouse Club" finale of Stanley Kubrick's "Full Metal Jacket" (in which scores of American soldiers in Vietnam adopted the show's anthem as a deranged battle cry).
The goodies are in! After a slow start, Sundance Film Festival 2013 has begun to offer real discoveries, even if the wait for that elusive game-changing masterpiece is by no means over. Still, there's stuff to enjoy in Park City and appetites seem pleasantly whetted.
At Sundance, going to the movies is a way of taking shelter from the surrounding snow and cold, and I find it amusing to see scores of cinephiles arguing about movies in their full winter attire. It's as if skiing wasn't enough: the real fun over here is to slide down the slopes of filmmakers' visions -- even if every now and then pain and bruises may result.
Today at Sundance I wandered aimlessly around a supermarket picking up different cheeses and putting them back down. I can never decide on a brie.
Cheese-less I journeyed to a bustling main street (a very steep hill) where altitude-acclimated rich ladies breezed by me in furry hats and sunglasses. They were having a good time.
At night, the ski slopes of Park City, Utah, are lit so beautifully they look like screens awaiting a projection from the sky. A moviegoer attending Sundance Film Festival couldn't wish for a better backdrop for a long trek home after the final movie of the day is over. Even if the film happened to be lousy, those huge mid-air patches of white seem to hint that the good stuff is yet to come.