The 10 Nerdiest Things At SXSW 2014

Monday, March 17, 2014 at 6:00 am

5. Harmontown

Harmontown_credit_Future_You_Pictures.jpg
Future You Pictures
Dan Harmon, girlfriend Erin McGathy and cohost Jeff Davis on the road in Harmontown

Dan Harmon is sort of the new Kevin Smith. Not only does his TV show Community give us entire episodes in 8 bit videogame or stop motion animation, but Harmon hosts a weekly podcast too. The Harmontown podcasts got famous when Harmon played an angry voicemail from Chevy Chase. During Community's fourth season, when Harmon was ousted before returning for the fifth, he took Harmontown on the road.

Harmontown, the movie, isn't just a video of Harmon's show or a behind the scenes puff piece on someone we all love. We really get to know our Dan Harmon, if it's possible to know him even more. We meet his girlfriend whom he takes on the road, and watch him play Dungeons & Dragons with dungeon master Spencer Crittenden. Harmontown definitely rolls a 20 for maximum impact.

4. Twitter Oreos

Who knew Oreo was at the forefront of both technology and snack foods? They came up with the best idea for corporate synergy ever. They printed Oreo cookies based on Twitter trends. You could even tweet your very own Oreo cookie.

Unfortunately, I never got to taste the Twitter Oreos. Their Trending Vending Lounge was by the convention center, which is actually a bit of a hike from the movie theaters where I was camped out. Still, the 3D Oreo printer is scheduled to travel the world, so it may be coming to a city near you.

By all accounts, Twitter Oreos tasted just like regular Oreos, which isn't a bad thing. Oreos are delicious.

3. Premature

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Remember in Groundhog Day when Bill Murray met a hot babe and asked her all sorts of personal questions, then the next time the day repeated he pretended he knew her and got laid? Premature is a whole movie about that part, and it's about hormonal teenagers so it's a raunchy teen sex comedy.

Rob (John Karna) is living the same day over and over again, and it's reset every time he prematurely ejaculates. The day culminates with school babe Angela (Carlson Young) inviting Rob to study and seducing him, so he has to keep trying until he gets it right. Of course, it's still a teen rom-com so you know that he's going to realize his cute best friend (Katie Findlay) was right in front of him the whole time, but it's funny to watch Rob fail over and over again. It's even funnier to watch him jerk off every time he needs a do-over.

Also look out for a hilarious cameo by Wash himself, Firefly's Alan Tudyk as a college interviewer who has crying fits every time Rob relives the interview. He is not a leaf blowing on the wind this time.

2. The Infinite Man

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The Infinite Man is one of the best time travel movies I've seen in decades. It's second only to Detention, which also played a prior SXSW, because The Infinite Man does not have a time-traveling bear in it. It does have a serious time loop that gets more and more complicated every time the characters go back and try to fix things.

Dean (Josh McConville) botches his anniversary weekend with Lana (Hannah Marshall), so he uses a time machine he invented to bring Lana back from the future and fix things. Pretty soon, past and future Deans and Lana are switching places and Lana's ex makes things even more complicated. If you've ever thought about using time travel to go back and save old relationships, The Infinite Man shows us how that's maybe not such a good idea. Just have a rebound relationship instead. Don't be time looping, people.

1. Godzilla's New Monster Foe Revealed

For one of its special event screenings, SXSW showed the original 1954 Japanese Gojira, which is still a really good movie. I had never seen it before, but the monster destruction is well-edited so it still works better than CGI, and the plot about scientists messing nature is serious. You know that already, though, so the big news was that after Gojira, director Gareth Edwards showed a scene from this summer's Godzilla.

The scene featured Godzilla's first full frontal appearance in the film, as he faces off against a new original monster. Edwards said this monster is called MUTO but wouldn't say what MUTO stands for. It must be Mutant something, right? I thought it could be a newfangled Mothra, because it had wings, but it's no moth. It has four long legs and it's all silver, even though some early spy pics showed it with red legs.

Edwards gave a Q&A after the clip received a well-deserved standing ovation. He said his sound designer won't tell him how he made the Godzilla roar until after the film is complete, and revealed that there is a 1954 sequence in his film, even though it is not a sequel to Gojira. Godzilla is now the number one summer movie to see for me; its epic destruction has a clear sense of geography, and the CGI doesn't overtly look like CGI. I'm just going to assume that Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures bred an actual Godzilla to star in their film.

Previously by Fred Topel

The 10 Nerdiest Things At SXSW 2013

The Top 10 Geekout Moments of Sundance 2013

The 10 Geekiest Moments of the TCAs


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