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SUNDANCE: Memento Man's top ten halfway mark, THE SLAUGHTER RULE and BARK!!!

Harry here with the latest report from Memento Man regarding his ribald days of debauchery in Park City, Utah... Home of Sundance. Well he had a fairly lackluster day of film, so he decided to retreat into the memory of days past to ponder the goodness upon which he dined. To give you a ranking of the latest dishes sampled in the frozen wastelands of SUNDANCE. And BARK sounds like an excellent stoned or drunk out of your skull flick with a line up of buddies and gals by your side in a similar condition. Or... it's just bad. We'll have to check it out. giggle.

Hey Harry!

I had a chance for a nap today so I'm in a much better mood as I'm writing this!


THE SLAUGHTER RULE was an OK film with a few very good moments, mostly involving Ryan Gosling, one of the legendary actors from last year's festival with his extraordinary performance in THE BELIEVER. Here Gosling plays Roy, a high school kid who accepts Gid's (David Morse) proposition to play quarterback on a six-player football team. Gid, then, is seen by the much younger Roy as everything from a coach, to a friend, to a father figure, to a frightening enigma. Yet the film suggests that there may be a chance for healing and understanding after all the fear, mistrust, and brutality of growing up.


BARK is a dog of a film. It made me want to howl in pain before it was over. (OK... this may be a little too easy. I'd better slow down before I start hounding you with bad puns.) But truly, this has to be one of the worst films of the festival. It starts with an interesting enough premise: Lucy thinks she's a dog and loves to bark, play with chew toys, and chew up paper with her mouth. Her husband, Peter, seeks out help for his wife--everybody from the vet (Lisa Kudrow) to a crazy mental-hospital worker (Vincent D'Onofrio) to a loser best friend (Hank Azaria) who all seem as crazy as Lucy the dog-woman. Yet everything about this film winds up going to the dogs: from the shredded mess of the script, to the fire-hydrant stiff acting, to the piss-on-the-carpet directing. Miss this film or you'll feel like you've ended up in the doghouse. This BARK really IS worse than its bite.


OK, this may be a bit premature, but I want to give a preliminary "Best of Sundance" list for those folks who are just joining us at the festival. I'll give the complete list on Monday after I've finished seeing the 30-plus films I'll be screening during the ten days I'm here. For now, here are the best films I've seen at Sundance so far (in order of preference):

1. One Hour Photo

2. Tadpole

3. The Laramie Project

4. Pumpkin

5. Stolen Summer

6. 13 Conversations about One Thing

7. The Good Girl

8. The Dancer Upstairs

9. Coastlines

10. Ernest and Bertram (short film that runs before Pumpkin)

From Park City, Utah, this is John Malkovich's masseuse, Memento Man, signing off!

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