This year, I was lucky enough to head up to the snowy Park City and check out the new crop of Sundance films. I saw 24 films in 9 days, pretty awesome! Here's my ranking:
1) Blue Valentine / best film here and may well be my favorite this year, can definitely predict Ryan Gosling's second Oscar nomination.
2) Tucker & Dale vs. Evil / hilarious film and deserves a big release and can't wait to see the sequel.
3) A Prophet / The French version of "The Godfather" set in jail.
4) Buried / A film taking place entirely in a coffin... and totally riveting.
5) Cane Toads: The Conquest in 3D! / Seals the deal for 3D for me, it's here forever.
6) Exit Through the Gift Shop / Banksy doc about Mr. Brainwash. Just awesome.
7) Winter's Bone / Saw this a bit too early in the morning, but it's got a great vibe, but not as good as her first film "Down to the Bone."
8) Cyrus / First of the mumblecore scene to make it to the big time (Fox Searchlight) and it works, a 50/50 blend studio & festival humor.
9) The Killer Inside Me / This film fails on so many levels, but is really compelling, the violence is ridiculous.
10) Temptation of St. Tony / Estonian "Bergman" meets "Lynch" film, funny & disturbing.
11) Bass Ackwards / A meandering film that kind of works, but not sure I'd want to see it again.
12) Daddy Longlegs / A great character and some great ideas but the filmmaking was a bit too sloppy for my taste, felt like a really indie 70's kid's movie.
13) The Kids Are Alright / Super funny, with lots of plot holes & what I predict may be a big leap in gay cinema.
14) Douchebag / My buddy shot this film, good structure but not a fan of this kind of low-fi handheld filmmaking.
15) Shock Doctrine / Seems like this year's "Why We Fight" and it's interesting to see how Obama's presidency is changing the ending notes of these political docs.
16) Splice / Strange ideas, weird execution and tonal shifts for days. Not sure this works at all.
17) Hesher / No story, great (one note) character from Joseph Gordon Levitt.
18) Skateland / Beautiful people making beautiful people movies set in the 80s. Story? No time, just look at how hot our lead and his lady lover is supposed to be.
19) Grown Up Movie Star / Amazing performance from the lead, nothing much else to say.
20) Frozen / Ridiculous.
21) Twelve / Chace Crawford wanted to get into this role and said during his Q/A that he was trying to lose weight and get into the role which was describe from the novel as "thin & pale as smoke." However, Joel Schumacher said to him, "don't lose too much weight we have to sell your fine ass." Good job Schumacher, you've made yet ANOTHER horrible movie.
22) The Dry Land / Everything I hate about independent movies, terrible & super slow guitar music, a slap you over the face message, sad acting & a director who doesn't understand what a camera is for.
23) Happythankyoumoreplease / No wait, this is everything I hate about independent movies, glossy camera with young and "fresh" actors talking about their feelings and believing they're still in some urban 90s film like "Reality Bites." Sorry, it's 2010 not 1994.
24) Lovers of Hate / No, I take it back - this is what I hate most about independent movies - people who should be thrown in Movie Jail and the keys thrown away. Made for about 5 dollars, with no originality and poop jokes passed off as a... THRILLER/SUSPENSE FILM... kill me like Casey Affleck does to Jessica Alba... no wait, never mind, I want to keep my jaw.