Movie: Holy Ghost People
Synopsis: In this psychological thriller, nineteen-year old Charlotte enlists the help of alcoholic ex-Marine Wayne to find her estranged sister who has gone missing deep in the Appalachian Mountains. Their search leads them to the Church of One Accord and an enigmatic snake-handling preacher named Brother Billy, who’s devoted congregation of outcasts knowingly risk injury or death seeking salvation in the Holy Ghost. What Wayne and Charlotte uncover during their time on the mountain - about themselves and the nature of faith - will shake them to their core, as the mystery of Charlotte’s sister and her fate unravels…
What I thought: Simply put: was a so-so film (as was three-quarters of what I viewed on SXSW Film Day 742). Bunch of snake charming maniacs; somewhere along the blood lines we are related to these men & women of the mountain (Sugar Mountain as they called it). The Church of One Accord’s congregation was creepy, perfect for creating the sense of fear for the viewer. Brother Billy was creepy, once again perfect for the viewer’s growing dread as the suspense built towards the climax. With that stated, I just didn’t connect to this shaky-cam Appalachian adventure. It seemed promising, but Holy Ghost People didn’t get heavy until the very end. It should have been more risk-taking during the middle and then my attention wouldn’t have wandered to what I was going to do for lunch.
I will say one thing positive about Holy Ghost People-the Smiling Bobby character was interesting (as evident by his pet name).
Synopsis: Reincarnated follows Snoop Dogg on a spiritual journey as he immerses himself in Rastafari, explores musical and religious histories deeply rooted in Jamaica, and reemerges from his experience as "Snoop Lion". Recording an album with world-renowned hitmaker Diplo and his Major Lazer production team, Snoop draws on recent personal experiences for lyrical inspiration. An exploration of modern Jamaica and meetings with the Nyabinghi Rasta and the family of urban legend Christopher Dudus among others also influence Snoop's new view of the world. He is leaving behind his days as a gangsta rapper and re-emerging as an avatar for peace, extolling the virtues of the Rasta lifestyle.
What I thought: I guess I expected more from Snoop Dogg and company than constant blunt smoking and saying “Jah”. Twenty years in the music industry I think Snoop has earned the right to go down to Jamaica for a month and cut a reggae record with producer Diplo. Of course Snoop learns about the origin of a Bob Marley lyric, gets to meet Bunny Wailer, and of course tours a ganja farm in a pristine Jamaican jungle. I guess he did all those things to get closer to Rasta, and to make a better reggae album…produced by a white guy! HA! I am comfortable with a bad ass opening shot of a Dre/Snoop concert. I’m even comfortable with Snoop somehow getting California bud into Jamaica. I’m not comfortable with Snoop as an abstract philosopher.
I think the Paramount was pumping vaporized THC into the theater because I had a strong craving for Doritos Nacho Cheese throughout the whole screening.
Movie: Reality Show
Synopsis: Reality Show is a darkly comedic satire that follows the exploits of reality TV producer Mickey Wagner and his amoral attempt to re-invent the reality genre. Mickey's revolutionary idea is to pick an average family and put them under all-encompassing surveillance... without their knowledge. Unfortunately Mickey soon realizes that the family is boring. In a desperate attempt to salvage the show, Mickey begins to interfere by injecting conflict to create drama. As the show gets better, the family starts to disintegrate. Mickey rationalizes that all will be OK in the end, for once the episodes begin airing, fame will heal all the wounds.
What I thought: This satire of America’s fascination with reality is a smile inducing fun ride. A nerd led voyeuristic journey that resembles a real life game of The Sims. Watching the perfect suburban family -mold being broken by Mickey was friggin’ awesome. Mickey is diabolical, and reaches a God like state as the family falls apart. This is definitely something to watch again to catch something you might have missed. Reality Show is just a guilty pleasure movie, perfect to watch when you’re having a bad day-because the family is going through something much worse.
Movie: The Rambler
Synopsis: Upon release from prison, a solitary man known only as “the Rambler” embarks on a mysterious journey en route to reconnecting with his long-lost brother. Traversing treacherous back roads, lost highways, and isolated small towns, he unearths a multitude of bizarre and wickedly depraved slices of Americana.
What I thought: *be positive, be positive* Okay-Dermot Mulroney was gritty and raw as some vagabond in this modern Wild West adventure. Not very talkative, he crosses paths with all these characters. This Lynchian-like film didn’t provide any enjoyment outside Mulroney’s performance. If I could have I would have stood up with a double barrel shotgun and put The Rambler out of its misery with some buckshot. When David Lynch does something confusing in a movie, it makes sense. When this movie does something confusing on screen, I furrow my brow in frustration. From the beeps in the sky, to the horrific hallucinations, I was waiting for the credits to begin to role. When I thought the movie was over-I was inundated with another segment that I got nothing out of. *sigh*