Friday, January 19, 2018

Thursday Movie Picks #184: Sundance Favourites

Hello there and welcome to Thursday Movie Picks a weekly series where you share your movie picks each Thursday. The rules are simple: based on the theme of the week pick three to five movies and tell us why you picked them. For further details and the schedule visit the series main page here.


This week's Thursday Movie Picks is Sundance Favourites


I'm picking of course...favourites and you'll likely see titles that I've picked before because they're favourites.

28 Days Later... (2002)
I didn't even know this was even at Sundance. As the name suggests it takes place 28 days after a mysterious outbreak just as a coma patient wakes up to an empty London. Remember The Walking Dead has a similar beginning with Rick too. I don't know if season 8 got better since I dropped it after the first episode, but if it's as disappointing as I'm guessing, may I suggest watching 28 Days Later.

Brick (2005)
I was reminded of this again when a book I had read was compared to it. Anyway, Brick is about a teen investigating the disappearance of his ex-girlfriend. I think I first picked it up simply because it was then new at the rental store and oh what a surprise.

Once (2007)
It's about a busker and and an immigrant meeting and they start writing and record a demo tape together. Love, love, love the music in this. If you have never heard any of the songs, try Falling Slowly, it won the Oscars.

500 Days of Summer (2009)
It's a romantic dramedy about a guy who is a lot more in love with her than she is with him. It's sweet and funny and I love the soundtrack.

Another Earth (2011)
It's about a young woman trying to atone for an accident she caused set against the backdrop of the discovery of another Earth. Without being spoilery, I love the whole other Earth thing as details of it slowly becomes known.


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  1. I loved 500 Days of Summer and I really liked Once. I haven't seen 28 Days Later in ages but I remember liking it.

  2. Ohhhh, so I thought this theme was about this year - what we want to see.

    All great picks but Brick is a favourite.

  3. Brick is a wonderfully stylized throwback to classic noir and JGL is perfect in the lead. Of your picks it's by far my favorite.

    500 Days of Summer was okay and again JGL was very good I just wish another actress had played the lead, Deschanel's appeal escapes me.

    Sorry to say I hated 28 Days Later. The beginning was impressive but it took no time for it to go in a direction that bored me.

    I haven't seen the other two but Once has been on my too see list for a while.

    I had to do some research to figure out which films had actually played at Sundance, some I had thought did didn't but I was able to find three that I liked that won different awards there.

    Silverlake Life: The View from Here (1993) - Won the Grand Jury Documentary Prize at Sundance. Mark Massi and Tom Joslin are in a long time committed relationship, they have also both been diagnosed with AIDS which at the time was a death sentence. We live through their final journey with them. The film has touches of gallows humor but it is a harrowing, heartbreaking trip to an inevitable destination that will leave you emotionally bereft.

    Big Night (1996) - Won the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award at Sundance. Primo (Tony Shalhoub) and Secondo (Stanley Tucci-who co-wrote and co-directed this film) are immigrant brothers who operate an Italian restaurant in America. Primo is a culinary genius, but hot tempered and determined not to squander his expertise making the routine dishes that customers expect. Secondo is the smooth front-man, trying to keep the restaurant financially afloat, despite few patrons other than a poor artist who pays with his paintings. Their friendly competitor who owns a nearby enormously successful restaurant offers a solution, a special benefit lead by a big-time jazz musician who is a friend of his. Excitedly Primo begins to prepare his feast of a lifetime for the brothers' big night. Amusing comic drama with a terrific cast alongside Tucci and Shalhoub including Isabella Rossellini, Minnie Driver and Liev Schreiber.

    You Can Count on Me (2000) - Won the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award at Sundance. Independent, responsible Sammy Prescott (Laura Linney) is a single mother working as a loan officer in upstate New York who is at first delighted when her errant, feckless brother Terry (Mark Ruffalo) shows up unexpectedly for a visit after a long period of not being in touch. When his short visit stretches into an extended stay they both slowly begin to reexamine their lives as their childhood bond strengthens anew. Beautifully acted this is one of the best looks at sibling rivalry and connection ever made.

    1. I thought Deschanel was perfect in 500 Days of Summer, the role seemed like it was made for her.

  4. I love Brick, 500 Days of Summer and Another Earth. I didn't care much for 28 Days Later, but I'm thinking of giving it another chance since everyone else loves it. Haven't seen Once yet.

  5. I love every single film you chose here!

  6. Brick, Once, 500 Days! All wonderful!


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