The fine folks over at Film.com headed to central Texas for a little something the locals like to call SXSW. Now that most of the movie-related festivities have wrapped up in Austin, it’s time we take a look at what SXSW turned up.
Clip past the jump for our roundup of Film.com reviews from SXSW!
“Haunter” – C+
Despite a fairly novel concept and Breslin’s solid work, it’s hard not to feel like “Haunter” continues the close-but-no-cigar tradition of Natali’s post-“Cube” endeavors. As much he cares to entertain heady concepts, it sometimes seems like they wind up every bit as trapped as his characters. — William Gross
“Evil Dead” – B
Given the climax’s unexaggerated torrent of blood, and the film’s generally proud sense of punishment, it’s hard to imagine that the audience isn’t tweaking for their fix of the red stuff more than any character on-screen is. To echo the sensationalist sales pitch of the original (“The ultimate experience in grueling terror!”), this team has decided to run with the tagline “The Most Terrifying Film You Will Ever Experience.” For all its gruesomeness, there’s little here that actually terrifies, but let’s face it: “Modern Horror at Its Most Devoutly Masochistic” just isn’t quite as catchy. — WG
“I Give It a Year” – B
Marking an improbable union between writer-director Dan Mazur (“Borat,” “Bruno”) and producers Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner (“Notting Hill,” “Bridget Jones’s Diary”), the frequently funny “I Give It a Year” strikes a welcome balance between the vulgar talents of the former and the dependable formula of the latter without ever fully subverting the expectations of a modern rom-com. — WG
“Some Girl(s)” – B-
However, exceedingly mannered line deliveries initially give these back-and-forths an overly rehearsed and theatrical cadence, an accent of sorts that the performers — all otherwise game for their respective roles in heartache — then struggle to shake. Whenever they do, though, “Some Girl(s)” settles into a suitably savage or funny groove. As presented here, it’s minor LaBute, but nonetheless short and bittersweet. — WG
“The Incredible Burt Wonderstone” – C+
Like the back half of its namesake, “Wonderstone” isn’t terribly hip, edgy or new itself, just amusing enough to pass the time. While Scardino and friends do manage to end the film on an admirably nutty note, this gathering of comedic minds ultimately fails to produce any true movie magic. — WG
“Spring Breakers” – B-
Gomez’ character just up-and-disappears and, I swear to you, I would not be surprised if it was because the actress only had a few days for “Spring Breakers” and had a prior commitment. The film’s scenario (I won’t even call it a script) is so free-form that changes like this don’t really matter. “Act like you are in a movie, or something,” the girls tell one another. The odd thing is, for a picture like this, one whose purpose, I believe, is to be critical of our consumptive culture, a film that’s eating itself is kinda perfect. — Jordan Hoffman