By Luke MacGregor
As we near the end of Sundance, our student ticket packages are in effect and it’s now all about movies. Yesterday, I saw four movies (in order), Zipper, Dope, Finders Keepers, and Christmas, Again. Three of those were very good, the fourth was not. Riding the bus home from Christmas, Again, a girl on the bus exclaimed, “Well at least I could understand it.” I’d agree, that was all the movie really had going.
Zipper, on the other hand is a powerful film about a married lawyer, running for congress, whose addiction to sex begins to tear apart his life. Lead by a break out performance from Patrick Wilson, Richard Dreyfuss, Ray Winstone, John Cho, and Dianna Agron create a believable cast, presenting a compelling story. Behind the actors, it’s clear that the screenplay along with the directing are unique and have been executed with taste and extreme thoughtfulness. Every scene of the about two hour movie has purpose, eventually accumulating the film into a fury of pity and shame. This film not just explores the rather risque topic of people jumping through the loop hole of sex with escorts, but it adds power with political association, keeping the audience on their toes as to what will happen next. My plain and simple opinion, watch Zipper.
Seeing Dope only an hour after Zipper, my standard for cinematography, acting, and film in general was high. Dope not just exceeded that standard, it obliterated it to the point that writing the review for Zipper only a day later seems almost impossible because all I can think about is Dope. This movie shouldn’t be called Dope, it should be called Fucking Amazing! I don’t believe there’s one succinct way of describing the film so that not one aspect (there’s thousands) of the film which makes it amazing is left out. That being said, I will give it my best: Dope explores modern and semi recent cultural, sexual, social, racial and comical boundaries that are present in the world and in particular the hip hop culture today. Plain and short, it’s funny, relatable, and inspirational. The screenplay is unique and beautiful, the actors are phenomenal, and the directing was so tasteful that every scene of the film seemed to flow more naturally than real life. Dope is an incredible film, my plain and simple opinion is that if you don’t watch it you’re stupid.
My next film that day, Finders Keepers, is a cute documentary that makes the audience laugh and cry. Being about a redneck who finds another red neck’s leg in a grill, this documentary tells a cute story through two people that the audience can’t help but laugh at until the tragedy in each of the people’s lives is portrayed, which then makes the audience feel bad for initially laughing. Both the leg finder and the leg producer have flamboyant personalities that warm the heart and present a way of looking at life that is rarely explored. My opinion of this film is that if you are open to red necks, intense confrontation, or have a natural inclination for empathy, this movie will fill your heart with warmth and you should watch it!
The last film I saw yesterday was Chirstmas, Again. My opinion of this film is that if you have seen 14/15 films and it’s Saturday, take the grade cut.
After wrestling with aggressive Sundancers, I was able to attain a ticket to Partisan for today and Hot Girls Wanted for Saturday (Yea baby!). Partisan is about a young boy confined to a secret society his father creates, eventually seeking escape. A powerful twist is that the father of the society (who’s an incredible actor) trains all of his children to become assassins who kill people outside the society who have mistreated people within the society. The best word to describe this movie is tasteful. For being a film about a society of trained assassins, it’s surprisingly mellow and it explores gentle topics such as the especially sensitive intuition of infants. My general opinion of this films is if you enjoy good cinematography wrapped together in a particularly independent setting, you will enjoy the depth and tastefulness of this film.
I’ve seen a sundry of exceptional films thus far, and some not so much (Christmas, Again *cough cough). I’m sad to be nearing the end of this amazing experience, however I have many well reviewed movies ahead of me tonight and in the last two days. Thanks for reading!