SXSW – Reviews Part 1

Here are just a few thoughts on the festival and the movies I’ve seen so far.

The BabyMakers – 2.5 out of 5 – A raunchy, farcical comedy starring Paul Schneider and Olivia Munn.  It picks up in the 2nd half as the main male character decides to steal back previously donated sperm from a sperm bank when he learns that his sperm count is now too low.  The raunchiness reminded me of There’s Something About Mary (but not nearly as good).  This movie was ok but not very memoable..

Indie Game: the Movie – 3 out of 5 – A good documentary about the making of video games. This is not about the big corporate teams that make games but the individuals who have grown up playing video games and now have a dream of creating their own games that will have mass appeal. This is about rue geeks/nerds who get caught up in their dreams with different levels of success.  The focus are the authors of Braid, Super Meat Boy or Fez. Has anyone played any of these games?

Waiting for Lightning – 3.5 out of 5 – This was a very entertaining documentary about Danny Way and his attempt to skateboard down a huge ramp and jump over the Great Wall of China!  It jumps back and forth between preparations for his jump and telling his life story.  His story is interesting with lots of obstacles he had to overcome.  Lots of great footage of his daredevil jumps (including successes and fialures and  jumping on to a skateboard ramp from a helicopter!) and his dedication to his sport(s).  It’s a great story and good tension as the jump approaches and the building of the giant ramp completes.  I give this one 4 out of 5 and recommend it for everyone – you do not need to like or even care about skateboarding.

Safety Not Guaranteed – 4 out of 5 – I really enjoyed this comedy. Excellent performances by Aubrey Plaza (similar to her Parks and Rec persona), Mark Duplass and Jake Johnson.  The plot focuses on 3 reporters following up on an ad looking for a person to join Mark Duplass’ to travel back in time.  But it’s really the characters interactions as they move forward with their lives and overcome some of their problems. The comedy is good and you develop a connection with the characters.  Definitely go see it when it comes out.  This had an excellent Q+A afterwards with the director and stars.

Girl Walk // All Day – 4 out of 5 – This is an exuberant, fun and totally unique ‘dance music film’ set to the latest mash up album by Girl Talk in the streets of NYC.  The music is awesome. There’s not much of a plot.  It’s basically just 3 people (other professional dances sometimes join them) as they dance to Girl Talks’s latest album throughout the  bustling city.   Some people join in, some are oblivious and some enjoy watching. The energy never ebbs. Some of the locations included the subway, Yankee Stadium (during a game), Staten Island Ferry and many more.  I wonder if this will have copyright issues with all the music but hopefully they have those resolved.  Below is a picture of several in the audience dancing during the final credits!

I did not see the Joss Whedon produced Cabin In The Woods as I am not a big horror genre fan but I heard a lot of good things about it from people on lines.  So Keep your eyes out for it.

For those in Austin, I attended a movie last night at the new Alamo Drafthouse Slaughter Lane.  It is the best drafthouse yet.  They didn’t put seats where the first 2-3 rows would normally be and each table is just for 2 seats so there’s no more need to climb past people or crawl under the table! Check it out.


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