I just wanted to update you guys with SOMETHING since I know you guys miss me so much while I am on vacation. I am sure I am losing tons of Twitter followers too because I am just talking about SXSW all day. It’s all a shame. I need to throw you guys a bone or something content wise. So I decided I would do mini reviews of the films I have seen and then drop a few red carpet shots to sweeten the deal. Okay, maybe you still don’t care… well you know what? I am sorry I can’t just post drunk and/or naked people all the time. Damn.
The first film I got a chance to see was also my favorite. It was James Gunn’s Super starring Rainn Wilson and Ellen Page. It was about a guy who’s wife left him for a drug dealer played by Kevin Bacon so he flips out and decides to become a superhero by dressing up like one and hitting people in the face with a fucking wrench. It is ultra violent, very funny and actually heartfelt. Rainn and Ellen are both pretty amazing it in and Kevin Bacon is an amazing bad guy. James Gunn used to work for Troma back in the day and if you know what that is than you will appreciate that this film is pretty much a Lloyd Kaufman movie if Lloyd had a budget, great actors and a little bit of restraint. It also happens to be a lot more thought provoking than you would expect from an ultra violent comedy super hero movie. It’s just simply very very good.
The next film I saw was Takashi Miike’s 13 Assassins. Miike is one of my top 5 favorite directors and I have seen at least 35 of his films and 13 Assassins is well up there with the best. It is a pretty typical samurai flick but with the twisted Miike touches you expect from the guy who brought you Audition and Ichi The Killer. You sometimes forget you are watching a Miike film until he throws a limbless naked girl bleeding from her severed tongue at you… maybe I have said too much. The film has great sword play, fantastic characters and some Ernest Goes to Camp like elements that make it really fun to watch. If you get a chance to see it you really need to do so. Sadly Miike couldn’t get out of Japan for obvious reasons so he missed the screening. I was pretty disappointed since I am such a huge fan but he sent a letter to be read to the audience that was extremely touching and he wanted us to all watch his movie and think about Japan in it’s time of crisis.
Next up I saw Paul the newest movie from the Sean of the Dead guys Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. It is about two comic book nerds from London who come to the states to go to Comic Con and then travel to a bunch of famous UFO sightings. On their journey they meet up with an actual alien named Paul who is voiced by Seth Rogan and is running from the government. The movie was funny and entertaining but I thought it was a little uninspired. One of the reasons I loved Sean of the Dead so much is that it was an interesting take on an over done genre. Paul was filled with pop culture references and cameos but it felt very much like Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back but without the great Kevin Smith dialogue. But then again maybe I am just not nerdy enough to appreciate all the Sci-Fi jokes.
Lastly I saw Paul Fieg’s Bridesmaids. I have seen trailers for this and it didn’t look that great but I was really hoping it would be good. I pretty much like everything Judd Apatow as produced but this was his first film targeted towards women. The TV show he is producing for HBO is also targeted towards women (It’s just called “Girls”) and Girls just happens to be written, directed and starring my friend Lena Dunham. I just know that Girls will be compared to Bridesmaids and so I was hoping it would be funny for Lena’s sake even though the two projects don’t have much of anything to do with each other. Fortunately Bridesmaids was hilarious. Kristen Wiig stars in this as the Maid of Honor in her friends wedding and it all becomes disastrous and then everything ends up okay in the end like pretty much every movie about a wedding but there are the laughs and strong character development you expect from Apatow’s film tree. This movie is going to make a star out of Melissa McCarthy who plays the brides tough and overweight sister-in-law. She kills in every scene and according to her IMDB is Jenny McCarthy’s cousin. Weird.
Kristen Wiig not only starred in Bridesmaids but was also Simon Pegg’s love interest in Paul. She also clearly hates me as you can see below…