James Bond will return….
There was no way to post a Bond movie yesterday, or really anything at all, unless I wanted to do it standing up. I just spent the weekend sitting in a folding chair with little back support, no neck support, and only Rachel’s moral support. And I’m thankful for the experience.
I attended the legendary Butt-Numb-a-Thon 1138 (or BNAT) in Austin, Texas, this weekend, and had my world soundly rocked.
The annual event is for Harry Knowles, self-proclaimed Headgeek of the internet and the founder of Aint It Cool News. I’ve been lurking on that site since the dark ages, so when this year’s BNAT application went up, Rachel and I gave it a shot and miraculously got in.
BNAT is a 24-hour film festival with no breaks between the films, a mix of obscure vintage films and world premieres. It’s Movie Geek Christmas. It’s sweet, sweet torture. It obliterated my ass.
In (basically) one sitting, we saw:
1. Faust (1926) – Not as great as Murnau’s Nosferatu, but an awesome achievement in mood, atmosphere, and nightmarish expressionism. A beautiful print combined with a live organ score. Fucking insane.
2. The Lovely Bones – This isn’t really Peter Jackson’s best work, although there are some big money performances from Stanley Tucci and Saoirse Ronan.
3. Girl Crazy – Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland in a slight comedy that clips along nicely thanks to some well-designed musical numbers and a big Busby Berkeley finale.
4. The Red Shoes – One of my absolute favorite movies of all time. Seriously. It also happens to be Martin Scorsese’s favorite movie, which foreshadowed our next film…
5. Shutter Island – A predictable script made better by Scorsese’s confidence and DiCaprio’s performance. The scenes with Jackie Earle Haley and Ted Levine steal the show.
6. Le Magnifique – Starts as an early 70s James Bond spoof, then turns into a more personal comedy about a struggling author trying to woo Jacqueline Bisset. The switch makes it a classic.
7. Micmacs – Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s first film since A Very Long Engagement. Babelfish tells me this translates to “Intrigues,” which is a sly joke of a title for a story about a “family” of discarded people who decide to use a junk pile and their talents to bring down two arms dealers. Very funny and quirky.
8. Frozen – A neo-Lifeboat from horror director Adam Green. Three friends on a ski trip get stranded in a lift chair with no hope of rescue and a storm closing in. Sent me out of the room and literally caused one attendee to faint.
9. Centipede Horror – No fucking way I was going to watch a Shaw Brothers gore movie about centipedes, sexual orifices, and all the possible combinations at 3 or 4 in the morning. Sat this one out in the lobby.
9 1/2. Iron Man 2 trailer premiere – Looks great, but it was just a teaser. Not sure yet if Favreau has topped his accidental classic.
10. The Candy Snatchers – A bizarre exploitation flick about three sleazeballs who decide to kidnap a teenage girl and do awful things to her while angling for a diamond ransom. Not enough soap in the world to feel clean after watching this.
11. Kick-Ass – The film doesn’t release until April 2010, it was a total surprise that we saw it, and yes, it blew the lid off the place. I’m not sure how this movie will play in front of a mixed audience, but my crowd of superfans ate up every bite. Two signs that this movie ruled. 1.) A speaker malfunction killed the screening for almost half an hour, letting the audience cool down… and it didn’t make a difference. When the film started back up, it’s possible that we liked it even more. 2.) During that half-hour cooldown, I didn’t hear one single conversation about Iron Man 2. I’m not saying IM2 failed to impress. I’m saying that Kick-Ass simply held its own and then some. Hit Girl is going to explode… and cause a shitstorm of controversy.
12. Avatar – Obviously I was interested to see what James Cameron had here, but I think we saw it at the wrong moment. The crowd was sleep deprived and nothing could have followed Kick-Ass and lived. I will say that I liked it, it actually had tolerable 3D, and I’m looking forward to seeing it again. (I won’t add it to the James Cameron project until it’s out on DVD.)
In the midst of all of these screenings, I had the fortune to meet several great writers, directors, and actors, and I met a ton of really great film nerds from all around the world. It was a hell of an event.
Oh, and Rachel chugged a beer with the guys from Broken Lizard.
And there was no way I was sitting in front of a computer to make a post yesterday, so that’s that. Thursday is our next Bond movie, and it’s a good one (a Roger Moore one, if you’d like a hint.)
See ya then.