Sundance 2013 Reviews: James Franco’s Porn-Soaked ‘Interior.’ And More

Our friends at Film.com review one of Franco's three festival flicks, plus the horror movie 'S-VHS' and a Dick Cheney documentary.

PARK CITY, Utah — Is James Franco’s “Interior. Leather Bar” really, as the actor told MTV News at the Sundance Film Festival, tailor-made for fans of the best-selling S&M book series “Fifty Shades”? Does the horror flick “S-VHS” deliver on the pants-pooping scares of its 2012 festival predecessor? Can a documentary made with the cooperation of Dick Cheney possibly present a fair and balanced picture of the former vice president’s time in office?

To answer such questions, we’ve turned to our friends at Film.com, who have been hitting all the hot Sundance films. Check out their reviews of the movies everyone in Park City is talking about.

“Interior. Leather Bar.”

What You Need to Know: “Part documentary and part narrative, it is the duo’s attempt to re-create 40 minutes of footage that was cut from the controversial ’80s film ‘Cruising,’ which stars Al Pacino as an undercover cop who descends into the world of gay leather bars in the hopes of catching a killer.”

Should You See It? “We’re watching real, un-simulated sex happen on screen, and the men are encouraged to be as sexually forward and conspicuous as possible. The film clocks in at only an hour, and it’s an interesting idea, but perhaps there is more benefit for James Franco himself in creating ‘Interior. Leather Bar.’ than for audiences watching it. It’s difficult to see this finding a wide audience.” — Amanda Mae Meyncke

“Ain’t Them Bodies Saints”

What You Need to Know: “While set in the 1970s, it has the spirit of the 1930s. [Casey] Affleck and [Rooney] Mara play Bob Muldoon and Ruth Guthrie, two characters that start off as something of a Bonnie & Clyde (or maybe the characters from Altman’s ‘Thieves Like Us’) and surrender during a shootout. Bob is sentenced to 25 years in prison, though pregnant Ruth is released. Through letters, we come to understand just how emotionally dependent Bob is on Ruth, but watching Ruth and their new daughter integrate back into society, we recognize she must eventually move to a new chapter in her life.”

Should You See It? “The point of this film is the spell it weaves and, by and large, it is successful. It’s the music, it’s the cinematography, it’s the score, it’s Casey Affleck’s hollow speaking voice — they all add up to something that resembles a fever dream facsimile of an eventful movie. Let me be clear: Damn near nothing happens during the film, but after a long enough exposure to them, you will feel for the characters, as if by emotional osmosis.” — Jordan Hoffman

“S-VHS”

What You Need to Know: “[Like the 2012 Sundance flick, 'V/H/S'], the collaborative horror anthology ‘S-VHS’…open[s] again with a framing device — two private eyes (who shoot everything, naturally) are on the hunt for a missing college kid. They enter a creepy house with TVs and tapes everywhere, and discover he was part of the underground of supernatural snuff video traders. This ties in a bit with the loose overarching mythology and, thankfully, is brief enough that we quickly dive into the four shorts that await.”

Should You See It? “‘S-VHS’ isn’t as pants-pooping scary as the first, but it is funnier, tighter and slicker. Somewhere out there is the perfect movie (‘Laserdisc”‘?), so let’s hope for a third in this installment.” — Jordan Hoffman

“The World According to Dick Cheney”

What You Need to Know: “[The film] is aptly named, as its chief strength is showing how hard the former VP works to control everything around him. It is perhaps too fleeting to really delve into the machinations and reasoning behind many decisions, but as a documentary, it’s a highly effective examination of his work in politics.”

Should You See It? “The film is good but leaves much to be desired, especially in terms of more direct questions about the invasion and occupation of Iraq. With a bit more focus and perhaps interviews with individuals named, such as George W. Bush or Scooter Libby, ‘The World According to Dick Cheney’ may have been an entirely different film. What we’re left with is harrowing, disturbing at times and a fascinating glance into a world that often remains hidden to average Americans.” — Amanda Mae Meyncke

The 2013 Sundance Film Festival is officially under way, and the MTV Movies team is on the ground reporting on the hottest stars and the movies everyone will be talking about in the year to come. Keep it locked with MTV Movies for everything there is to know about Sundance.