Austin Film Festival: Day 2
Ryan Revolver

Movie: Stakeout


Synopsis: High school best friends Cyd and Sarah make a game of staking out parties, until one night when one of them actually goes inside.


Reaction: This was my favorite flick outta the other shorts that made up the Shorts Program 9. Stakeout was fresh, and highlighted the perplexities of high school. It was slightly sad, as you recollect how you drift apart from friends, whether in high school or after.


Stakeout - ★★★




Movie: Sparrows Dance


Synopsis: An agoraphobic actress who hasn't stepped outside in over a year finds her comfortable routine broken when her toilet overflows. When a saxophone-playing plumber shows up, they strike up an awkward friendship. As their romance grows, the actress and the jazz man try to build a relationship within the walls of her apartment. Will she make it out the door for his first professional gig? A tender movie about love and fear.


Reaction: Boring, boring, boring. Slow, slow, slow. Stagnant, stagnant, stagnant. I patiently waited for something to happen that would turn the movie around. That something never came. Shots were incredibly stale. There was only one scene where a slow pan in is used-every other shot was mounted on a tripod. The only redeemable attribute to Sparrows Dance was Paul Sparks. The acting was fine, the reason this movie doesn’t work is because of poor direction. Ugh, I found another film to add to my “12 worst movies of 2012” list. Even the sex scene was boring, slow & stagnant. I don't know how I didn't fall asleep during Sparrows Dance like I did when I watched Total Recall (2012).


Sparrows Dance - ★




Movie: Junk


Synopsis: Two B-movie co-writers, Kaveh and Raul, must reconcile after their long-languishing film, ISLAMA-RAMA 2, finally makes its festival debut. Negotiating their way through pushy agents, brutish bodyguards, cutthroat colleagues, prima donna actors, and overly eager festival volunteers, the former friends piece together absurd horror film pitches for a mysterious speaker keynoting the film festival. A ridiculous comedy about friendship, love, and crappy movies by the team that brought us 2009's Zombies of Mass Destruction.


Reaction: It might be a little early to say this, but this just might be the best film from the festival. Tongue-in-cheek racism runs rampant, and it works. A film-festival inside a film is a clever idea. The inner working of the screenwriters mind was comfortable territory dashed with cut scenes of what they were thinking about writing for the next movie. Film festivals are easy for the audience, there downright hell on filmmakers. Laugh out loud good.


Junk - ★★★★


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