Austin Film Festival: Day 3
Ryan Revolver

Movie: George Lucas in Love


Synopsis: Ever since making the rounds through the festival circuit in the late '90s, GEORGE LUCAS IN LOVE has garnered deserved recognition for its creative take on the inception of STAR WARS. Sit down with writer Tim Dowling and producer Joseph Levy as they reflect on how they find inspiration and how you can use your short film as a calling card to launch your filmmaking career. This panel features a special screening of the re-mastered, never-before-seen version of GEORGE LUCAS IN LOVE


Reaction: Walking in to the screening, I was unaware that it was a short (so sue me). The short was really swell; there were plenty of references that even the casual Star Wars aficionado would get. Even Lucas' movie Howard the Duck had a mention. Some of those involved with the film were there for a Q&A. They told the audience that Lucas loved the film, but corrected them on inaccuracies that were in it.


George Lucas in Love  - ★★★




Movie: The Missing Piece: The Truth About the Man Who Stole the Mona Lisa


Synopsis: In 1911, an unlikely thief stole the world's most famous painting right from the Louvre in broad daylight. It may be the greatest little-known art heist of all time, and even the thief's only daughter doesn't know how or why he did it. After being obsessed with Vincenzo Peruggia's crime for more than 35 years, writer/director Joe Medeiros pieces together the mystery of Da Vinci's masterpiece gone missing, solving the case a hundred years later.


Reaction: I didn’t even know the Mona Lisa was stolen in 1911. Holy crab-apples, Batman. If public schools would have shown more documentaries to me when I was growing up, maybe I wouldn’t be so stoopid. Playing detective, and being more human than Michael Moore, Joe Medeiros sets off to Europe to play Sherlock Holmes. Photos of the Italian thief are manipulated in a Jib-Jab style of animation; which was a real neato way of reenacting the life of Peruggia.


The Missing Piece  - ★★★


Movie: Silver Linings Playbook


Synopsis: Pat Solatano (Cooper) has lost everything—his house, his job, and his wife. He now finds himself living back with his mother (Weaver) and father (De Niro) after spending 8 months in a state institution on a plea bargain. Pat is determined to rebuild his life, remain positive and reunite with his wife, despite the challenging circumstances of their separation. All Pat's parents want is for him to get back on his feet and to share their family's obsession with their favorite Philadelphia football team. When Pat meets Tiffany (Lawrence), a mysterious girl with problems of her own, things get complicated. Tiffany offers to help Pat reconnect with his wife, but only if he'll do something very important for her in return. As their deal plays out, an unexpected bond begins to form between them, and silver linings appear in both of their lives.


Reaction: Stop the damn presses! You have to check out Silver Linings Playbook when it hits theaters November 21st. Seeing Jennifer Lawrence in this has redeemed her (in my heart) from being in Hunger Games. Bradley Cooper is so delusional, yet focused, it is unbelievably spectacular. I clapped at the end of the film, and I never do that. I will be very surprised if Silver Linings Playbook doesn’t get at least one Oscar Nomination, same can be said with Argo. The supporting cast was in fine-form. Robert De Niro, Jacki Weaver, and Chris Tucker helped the dysfunction of family (and extended family) grow quite large.


Silver Linings Playbook  - ★★★★

Movie: I Do


Synopsis: A romantic drama about a complicated love triangle. To stay in the U.S., gay Brit Jack convinces his lesbian best friend Ali to marry him. Things get messy when he falls for a sexy Spanish architect, while his commitment to his brother's widow complicates his decision either to stay or to follow his lover. This beautifully shot and acted film expertly details some of the unnecessary complications that prevent so many people from finding happiness in this country.


Reaction: Complicated love triangle is a friggin’ understatement. This movie was too sad and depressing for my taste. There is definitely an audience for I Do. I wouldn’t want to go through the rejection and turmoil with Jack again.


I Do  - ★★1/2  


Movie: Allegiance


Synopsis: After being granted a questionable transfer that will keep him stateside as his National Guard unit deploys for Iraq, Ivy League Lieutenant Danny Sefton becomes the outcast of his unit. When their medic, Reyes, is not given a similar transfer despite having a son recently diagnosed with a terminal disease, Sefton becomes embroiled in a last-minute AWOL attempt. Caught between his loyalties to the fleeing soldier, his unit, and his fiance, Sefton finds himself on the front line of a battle he never expected. An action-filled drama about duty and friendship.


Reaction: When I read that Shad Moss (a.k.a. Bow Wow) was in the film, I scoffed. Little did I know that he would change my perspective with his exceptional performance as the medic, Reyes. Sefton was the Serpico of the New York National Guard-everybody was hating on him. Sefton’s replacement, the hardass Chambers, is all camo and no heart. I liked everything about the movie, except the last 10 minutes. The movie redeemed itself (of the last 10 minutes) in the final scene with Sefton and Reyes.


Allegiance  - ★★★


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