October 26, 2016
        Viola Davis will be campaigned in Best Supporting Actress for "Fences"                Mel Gibson to be Honored with the Hollywood Director Award at the 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Michael Moore drops a surprise new film with "Michael Moore in TrumpLand"                Hollywood Contenders: New Oscar Predictions for October                Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant, Naomie Harris, Lily Collins get Honors at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                "Manchester by the Sea" leads the Gotham Award nominations                Tom Ford, Marc Platt and Kenneth Lonergan to be Honored at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Tom Cruise is in his action hero comfort zone with "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back"                "Moonlight" could be A24's big Oscar horse this year                Ewan McGregor steps behind the camera with "American Pastoral"                Hollywood Contenders: A second crack at Golden Globe predictions for 2016                "The Accountant" seeks to help give Ben Affleck another blockbuster                85 countries will be competing for Best Foreign Language Feature nominations at the Oscars                Tom Hanks to receive Hollywood Actor Award for "Sully" @ Hollywood Film Awards                "Certain Women" showcases Laura Dern, Kristen Stewart, and Michelle Williams        

Sundance Failures: “Ledge,” “Cedar Rapids,” “Salvation,” “Future”

By Roger Friedman

HollywoodNews.com: I told you all about the really good films we saw at Sundance 11 –”The Details,” “The Devil’s Double,” “Higher Ground,” the Morgan Spurlock and Harry Belafonte docs, etc– and some of the even mildly interesting ones– “Martha Marcy Ray Marlene,” and so on. Here are a few of the failures, even those now bought for distribution.

Agonizing and disappointing is the only way to describe Miranda July’s “The Future.” Her “Me and You and Everyone We Know” was so much fun a few years ago. And “The Future” had promise galore. It’s narrated by a cat, so you know it’s eccentric. But it is a ghastly enterprise that has a little promise and goes nowhere. With July (real name Miranda Grossinger) and Hamish Linklater, it seems like the couple is cute and so is the premise. But there’s no there there. The movie also jumps the shark when Miranda’s character, for no reason, cheats on Hamish with a stranger. Just pfeh.

“The Ledge” was a mystery to me. Charlie Hunnam and Terrence Howard alternate storylines. The former wants to commit suicide. The latter was cuckolded by his wife. Enter Liv Tyler, who needs to pick better material. (She has so much potential, but no defined screen persona.) This film also has the worst lighting and production values. Yikes. None of it makes sense. I won’t give the ending away, but you will never see it either. This was a script either not thought through, or birthed in a haze of substances.

I could barely tolerate “Cedar Rapids,” a forthcoming Fox Searchlight film that seems like a branch of “The Office.” Fox Searchlight did pick up the very interesting “Another Earth” and “Homework,” two strong titles. They also debuted Tom McCarthy‘s “Win Win” which is a win win. You can’t have everything. As usual, Ed Helms from “The Office” is a naif. John C. Reilly is a lout. The whole thing looks and sounds like an airplane movie. Sigourney Weaver, I know it’s tough out there, but really this is not necessary. Anne Heche needs to do serious dramatic work in indies. I still believe in her.

Equally quease-making was Greg Kinnear in “The Convincer,” with Alan Arkin helping to make this “Little Miss Sunshine” reunion collapse. This is supposed to be a ‘sting’ kinda movie with a big reveal toward the end. It’s too late. Bad title, and weird plot line about a rare violin. I don’t want to see Greg Kinnear thinking up any more get rich quick schemes, okay? Bob Balaban was very good as the violin appraiser. Otherwise, “The Convincer” strikes a sour note.


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About Roger Friedman

Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411.com column in April after 10 years with Fox News where he helped create Foxnews.com. Friedman’s prior experience on the Internet is with MSN’s Cinemania column. Friedman also wrote the Intelligencer column as a contributing editor at "New York Magazine," where he covered the O.J. Simpson criminal trial. In addition, Friedman has been involved in book publishing and filmmaking (Only the Strong Survive). For more about Roger go to Showbiz411.com

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