SXSW Part 4: The Final Chapter

22) Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil
Yet another midnight film using the VS naming structure. Only here, it doesn't work. Luckily, this is the only grip I have about the movie. T&DVsE is destined to be another legendary horror/comedy in the vein of Shaun of the Dead. It's equal parts hilarious and gruesome. If The Pink Panther were about a serial killer, it would be like this. It also addresses one of the most common horror tropes that pisses me off: Why the hell are all the college students fucking douchebags? Here, we see a group of eight going camping in the woods. All eight are materialistic, airheads, and judgmental of the Appalachian populace around them. After a couple of misunderstanding with Tucker and Dale, a pair of woodsmen refurbishing a long-abandoned cabin, a series of accidents begin to transpire. And of course, because Tucker and Dale are the outsiders, they shoulder the entire blame. Tucker and Dale try to figure out what the hell is going on while trying to avoid any future calamities. Alan Tudyk is great as Tucker, and Tyler Labine is sure to be thrust into prominence with his portrayal of Dale. The entire film is about communication and judgments. We're quick to assumption, especially in moments of fear, and we forget that even off-looking people are still people. Except frat boys with popped callars and shell necklaces. They suck.
Final Score: 5/5
In a Word: Doozy

23) Waking Sleeping Beauty
This was the last film I saw at SXSW. I stayed an extra half a day in Austin just for this one film. As a result, I had to drive through an ice storm on the way home. I nearly crashed three times. But was it worth it? Probably not, but I enjoyed the film nonetheless. Waking Sleeping Beauty is a documentary concerning The Disney Animation Studios, particularly from 1984 to 1994. During this period, Disney animation went from an absolute low to the strongest juggernaut in Hollywood. The director stated he wanted to take a new direction in documentaries by avoiding two major pratfalls: First, no talking heads. Second, no old people reminiscing. It's probably my already biased opinion towards the subject matter, but this new technique worked. I loved every single moment, and it never left me dissatisfied. It even reinforced my personal dislike of Jefferey Katzenberg, and how he shouldn't be allowed anywhere near animation. It did stop right after The Lion King debuted, which started a slippery slope again for Disney, and it did paint Michael Eisner a little too Messianic, so it's not the absolute truth. But I still enjoyed it, regardless.
Final Score: 5/5
In a Word: Colorful

...And that's my SXSW experience. It was absolute heaven, and one of the greatest weeks of my life. Assuming things go well in the upcoming year, I will be returning. Until then, I'll spend my time detoxing and acclimating to movie theaters which do not deliver beers and hamburgers to my seat.

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