Vail Film Festival movies not to miss
March 31, 2011
It takes a certain level of commitment and true grit to plant your butt in a chair and watch as many movies as we did in the last two weeks. There’s a lot of films – 67 of them to be exact – screening at this year’s Vail Film Festival. But believe us when we say we did it for you.
In what has become a tradition here at the Vail Daily, here’s are top picks for this year’s festival. It’s always a hard task to pick the best of the best, and there were some really tough calls, but in the end we’re confident that the following are the films you should not miss.
Happy movie watching!
The tagline for this dark and daring thriller is “Beware The Hero,” and it quite accurately sums up the psychological tension of “Boy Wonder.” At first it looked this movie would be “Kick-Ass” part two, but as turns out, it’s nothing like last year’s super-hero blockbuster.
“Boy Wonder” forgoes comedy to take a turn deep inside the fractured psyche of vigilante Sean Donovan (a perfectly cast creepy Caleb Steinmeyer), who as a young boy witnessed his mother’s murder during a car jacking gone horribly wrong. Now, 10 years later, Donavan has honed his body and mind for revenge on the man he believes killed his mother. But first he gets practice by killing other small time criminals in his city.
Hot on his trail is detective Teresa Ames (Zulay Henao), who thinks that Donovan’s quiet student act is just a ruse and that he’s the one responsible for the vigilante murders. “Boy Wonder” is full of twists and turns that will keep the viewer guessing who the good and bad guys really are right up until the surprise twist ending.
See it: 5:30 p.m. today at The Sebastian or 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Cinebistro.
“Falling Overnight” is not so much a romantic comedy as a film about bad relationship timing. It’s the simple story of boy meets girl, falls in love. The pair are instantly attracted to each other then spend an amazing night hanging out, talking, laughing, getting to know each other and riding bikes through the streets. Now rewind to the morning before they met when the boy prepares to undergo risky brain surgery the next morning, a surgery that could end his young life. Eventually, girl learns of said surgery and freaks out that she wasn’t let in on the secret from the beginning. Now what do they do? Stay together and face the future together or cut it off before either one becomes any more emotionally attached to the other? Strong performances by Parker Croft and Emilia Zoryan elevate “Falling Overnight” past other recent rom-coms to make it endearing and believable.
See it: 6 p.m. Saturday at Cinebistro.
Samantha (Miranda Kent) and Ben (Reid Scott) have been together for five years. She’s a scientist working on a project to cure birth defects in children; he’s involved in Asian studies. Everything in their lives is going as planned, but Samantha is worried that there’s no scientific way to prove that they are right for each other. So she sets out to run a series of experiments with other men, testing their strengths and weaknesses against Ben’s to find out once and for all if they are indeed soul mates, all at the peril of their relationship.
“Losing Control” is packed with laughs, a great cast and just enough sub-plots that the film never lulls or gets too complicated. A worthy experiment that proves science can be funny.
See it: This is the festival’s closing night film. It will screen at 8 p.m. Saturday at Vail Mountain School.
“The Clean Bin Project”
“The Clean Bin Project” is one of those rare documentaries that make you feel like you can do something about the problems in our world. An ordinary couple decides to live waste free for an entire year. That means not buying junk wrapped in plastic, no fast food meals, nothing that could contribute to our ever-growing landfills. In their quest to do their little bit to save our environment, the couple recycle everything that can possibly be recycled, compost food waste and learn that people’s consumerist natures are rapidly destroying the world. This educational and often humorous film proves that the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, but is each of us willing to take that first step?
See it: 3:30 p.m. today at Cinebistro; at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at Cinebistro.
“Delicious Peace Grows in a Ugandan Coffee Bean”
If you want proof that people of different faiths, even the volatile mixture of Christians, Muslims and Jews, can work together in peace to achieve a common goal, look no further than this inspiring documentary. See what happens when one Ugandan coffee farmer of Jewish faith unites neighboring Muslim and Christian farmers to form the Delicious Peace Coffee Cooperative. These farmers work together to get fair prices for their product and improve the lives of the farmers and families of the co-op, as well as spread peace throughout the world, one coffee bean at a time.
See it: 4:45 p.m. today at The Sebastian or at 2:40 p.m. Saturday at The Sebastian.
This amusing, flippant look at the history and future of long boarding in Australia takes the viewer on a road trip through the country’s cities where the sport is elevated by up-and-coming talent and competition between the athletes is intense. “Skate Australia” attempts to prove to the rest of the world that extreme long boarding is just as legitimate a sport as snowboarding and that the athletes involved in the sport aren’t crazy, but just out for a good time.
See it: 9:45 p.m. today at The Sebastian and noon Sunday at Cinebistro.
“Scent” is both morbid and passionate, and it’s that paradox that makes the film so repulsive and touching. When an old man’s wife dies in their house, he tries to keep her memory alive by keeping her body around. Adhering to a daily routine, the man changes her clothes, bathes her and even tries to serve her tea. But as his family and neighbors attempt to intrude on his life, he slowly comes to grips with the fact that his wife is gone and that he must let her go.
See it: 3 p.m. today at The Sebastian and 2:15 p.m. Saturday at The Sebastian.
Some of us here at the Daily are suckers for zombie movies, and while “The Interview” only narrowly fits into that category, it’s close enough to win us over. This post-apocalyptic zom-com is a hilarious take on America’s crumbling economy and job market and couldn’t be more relevant to society at this time. When a young man, possibly one of the last on the planet, heads into a virus-decimated city with zero population for a job interview at a pop radio station, he is grilled by the station’s manager and only remaining living employee to see if he’s up to the task. Brisk, hilarious dialogue drives this wonderful short film and even with all the other great zombie, end-of-the-world movies and TV shows out there, this one still manages to glean a little originality from the genre.
See it: 12:15 p.m. today at The Sebastian and at 1:15 p.m. Sunday at The Sebastian.