My day began with an odd film at the Paramount-- When A Man Falls in the Forest. I wanted to walk out of this movie about a third of the way through. I am glad I stayed, however, I still wouldn't say it was something I would recommend. Dylan Baker portrays Bill, a peculiar janitor that goes through the motions of life trying to not be noticed. He seems neither happy or sad. He does seem anxious most of the time though. Timothy Hutton is Gary, an old high school classmate of Bill's, who works in the building Bill cleans. Sharon Stone is Gary's wife Karen. My one prevailing complaint of this movie is the dialogue. While most people think that a lot of movie dialogue might be unreal and too sophisticated, I definitely thought this was the opposite. Call it too real, or just dumbed down, I don't know, but it just seemed too stutter-y. I would like to think that most people can be a little more descriptive when talking without sounding too out there and unreal. The quick and dirty - felt like a waste, but Mike really liked the "quirky" characters. Yah, k, whatever sir :D I say 4 out of 10.
Staying at the Paramount, we saw a completely different type of movie. A comedy called The Ten starring Paul Rudd and directed by The State alum David Wain. It is the tale of the Ten Commandments told in 10 short stories narrated/introduced to us by Paul Rudd. I don't know if it was because of the previous grim movie or what, but this was hilarious. It was a light movie, but well done, and very very funny. The director, writer, and Paul Rudd were on hand for questions afterwards. 7.5 out of 10.
And at the Paramount still, we watched Elvis and Annabelle. Elvis (Max Minghella, son of famed director Anthony Minghella), is an illegally practicing mortician in a small Texas town. Due to some odd sets of circumstances he meets up with Annabelle (Blake Lively from The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants), a pure Texas beauty queen that is now questioning what she truly wants out of life. I'll get down to it, I freakin LOVED this movie. It was such a unique spin on a somewhat standard Romeo and Juliet type story. The performances were insane. I seriously am willing to stake big money on the fact that Max Minghella will be a huge star. He is incredible, and it certainly doesn't hurt that he's very easy on the eyes. Like I mentioned previously, I also noticed the light scoring on this movie. The performances were allowed to shine. The cinematography was also incredible. I love the hues used.. especially when showing the different worlds of Elvis and Annabelle. Another great treat about this movie was that it was filmed in and around Austin, so it was nice to spot local things. A nice little cameo by the Paramount Theater was very nice considering that's where we were seeing it. The director, some producers, and the two stars were also on hand, but no questions were asked of them. Kind of a bummer. However, Max Minghella did say he appreciated the warm welcome they received while filming. 9 out of 10 from me.
We were with a friend at the last movie, and he was planning on heading to the Austin Convention Center to see the documentary about truck drivers, Big Rig. Mike and I didn't have any solid ideas on anything so we tagged along. Also, Mike is a GINORMOUS documentary buff, so I was willing to give in and see one for him. The film tracked several truckers and the culture that truck driving entails. Before the film, the director and producer said that 80% of the truckers in the movie were there in the audience. They had altered their routes or gotten different routes just so they could be there for the World Premiere of the film. I thought the subject matter was interesting, but I felt that the filmmakers did not do it justice. There were entirely too many insert shots of roads and trucks just driving and not enough time spent with the truck drivers themselves. I get the feeling they were going for with this style, but it just seemed like overkill. One of the sayings they had in the movie is "If you bought, a truck brought it". This is very true. They estimate that if all truckers were to go on strike or whatever that this country would come to a complete halt in 2-3 days. That is insane. What is also insane is that the truck drivers are responsible for paying their own gas. Big deal you might think? Very big deal. Say a haul gets a driver $800. That price has not changed as the gas prices have changed. So a tank of gas that might have cost $200ish before gas hikes, now costs them upwards of $400 or more. That is ridiculous. While I may have been disappointed in the film in general, I definitely feel that the subject is something worth addressing. 5 out of 10
As soon as that was done, the three of us booked it over to Alamo on South Lamar for the midnight screening of Undead or Alive: A Zombedy. Think western with zombies, but done very badly. The movie stars James Denton of Desperate Housewives fame and Chris Kattan, SNL alum. Right off the bat, I'm thinking, my gawd that is a strange pairing. I know this was supposed to be very cheesy and nothing crazy serious and certainly not era correct, but it still annoyed me to see Chris Kattan in a super cheesy bright colored joke of a western shirt. The next thing that annoyed me was the casting of Navi Rawat as a Native American. I know Americans aren't quite bright at times, but are we really not going to notice an India Indian in the role of an American Indian. I'm also going to consider the fact that it was midnight and I'd seen several good movies by this time, but still. I always liked Chris Kattan on SNL, I'm just curious why he hasn't really had much success since. Oh, that reminds me. The director and Chris Kattan were there, but this happened to be the one film where I forgot to bring my camera in. I won't make that mistake again. Seriously. 4 out of 10I will post what pictures I have later. Nothing crazy special, but still fun for me!