5. jOBS Creators.
The closing night premiere film of Sundance was the highly anticipated Steve Jobs biopic starring Ashton Kutcher. I left too early to see the film, but started checking the buzz online as soon as the premiere ended on Friday night. Reviews seem unanimously mixed, saying Kutcher actually does a great job portraying Jobs; unfortunately, the consensus also says that the film runs through highlights of Jobs' career like most biopics, without much depth. So we can look forward to a nostalgia trip from the Apple IIe to the iPod, but no new information. jOBS apparently shows Jobs crying and screaming, but glosses over his genuine problems in marriages and workplace relationships. Josh Gad has gotten high marks as Steve Wozniak as well.
4. Que - Cera? Cera?
Michael Cera had two films at Sundance this year, both from director Sebastian Silva. In Crystal Fairy, he plays an American who inadvertently hooks up with the annoying title character (Gaby Hoffman) during a drug binge. In Magic Magic, he plays a really annoying guy who makes a South American vacation hell for Alicia (Juno Temple). I got to interview Cera for both films, and on both occasions tried to get something about the new Arrested Development series coming to Netflix in May.
The first time, for Crystal Fairy, Cera was just making jokes. He claimed George Michael Bluth has an 18 minute shower scene that's worse than the extended rape scene in Irreversible. The second time for Magic Magic, I asked him how different it felt to have his own George Michael episode, since the new format is each episode focuses on one Bluth. Cera said it didn't feel like his own episode, because the other characters still overlap. He did say George Michael and Maeby (Alia Shawkat) are the most changed since the Fox series ended, since they are now in their 20s. He confirmed Gob (Will Arnett) has not changed one bit.
3. Disney Demons.
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This is the legend of Sundance 2013. Escape From Tomorrow is a dark drama filmed in Disney World without permission. And I missed it because I did not know that's what it was. Dude, you should maybe put that in the program guide so I know to add it to my schedule. The first audience members who saw the premiere were blown away by the concept, and felt they discovered a movie that no one else would ever see, since nobody can likely release it without getting sued by Disney. After all that buzz, subsequent audiences said it was overhyped and the concept wore thin after about 10 minutes. Since the only screening I could have possibly made was the day after I left Sundance, I may never know how awesome or overhyped Escape From Tomorrow is.
2. Juno What's Going On?
Juno Temple beats Michael Cera with three movies at Sundance: Afternoon Delight, Magic Magic and Lovelace. I interviewed her for Afternoon Delight, in which she plays a stripper, and Magic Magic, in which she plays an American tourist going mad. When I asked her about filming Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, she couldn't say much but she confirmed the following:
-She filmed for one day on a green screen.
-She's in one long scene and two more short scenes.
-She has a scene with Ray Liotta.
[director Robert Rodriguez also announced some additional Sin City 2 casting news at the festival - LYT]
In Maleficent, the Disney movie about Sleeping Beauty told from the wicked fairy's point of view, Temple said she plays a special effect and performed all her scenes in motion capture. She hasn't seen what she looks like yet and the film isn't due out until 2014.
1. Color Always Comes After Primer.
Perhaps only true sci-fi fans will know the names of Shane Carruth and Primer. If you don't, pretend you do and go look them up. Carruth's first film was an intellectual time-travel movie that made a splash at Sundance in 2004. With nine years to analyze and speculate, Carruth is finally back with a second film that bears a lot of scrutiny in his return to Sundance.
I can't claim that I completely understand Upstream Color, nor would I want to after only one viewing. I can assert that it's a beautiful assortment of interesting scenes, some with fascinating science fiction concepts and others simply dealing with the emotional ramifications of messing with people's minds and bodies. A few people walked out of the screening, and a few haters who didn't know what they were getting into complained, although how do you go into Shane Carruth's long-awaited second film at Sundance blind? For the people craving it, Upstream Color provoked fervent debate and fulfilled the promise of Primer.