Final day at Sundance: Safety Not Guaranteed, Shorts V, Tim & Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie

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Turns out Kalsulke is the cinematographer for Safety Not Guaranteed, our 8:30 a.m. screening. It's a delightful film about Seattle-area magazine reporters investigating a seemingly crazy guy’s ad in a local paper seeking to recruit a partner for time travel. Things are not what they seem in this film, and we have to give Ben credit: The film is fantastically shot. Safety Not Guaranteed has to be one of the quirkier love stories we have seen at the fest, and rising starlet Aubrey Plaza does an amazing job as the romantic lead opposite Mark Duplass (who happens to also be the Executive Producer).


After Safety, Chris wants to try and squeeze in another screening, and since he has never seen a shorts program at Sundance he decides to try for Shorts V, which is at our hotel. This set of shorts was grouped with a theme of “the edge of cinema,” and it definitely pushed some boundaries. The primary reason for checking it out was the inclusion of the locally shot “Foreplay: Tampa.” Unbeknownst to Chris, this was a wild romp of graphic (and humorous) gay sex in the University Mall men’s bathroom — complete with a Jesus money shot. We hope the folks at TIGLFF pick this up for the 2012 festival. Some other highlights in the reel included “Tumult” (which juxtaposed Braveheart and a modern day bus tour), and the cleverly sketched “Life and Freaky Times of Uncle Luke,” which was based on the Original ODB, Luke Campbell of 2 Live Crew fame.


Our last Sundance film this year is Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie. Studded with cameos from Jeff Goldblum, Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, and Zach Galifianakis (among others), we expect it to be funny. The film has a few laughs, but the plot (Tim and Eric try to make a billion dollars by renovating a run down mall to pay back the Shalaaang Corporation in Hollywood) is surprisingly unfunny. The main problem is the humor that typically works well for T&E’s 12 minute spots on Adult Swim wears one out in an extended setting.


During the Q&A, Chris asks if the filmmakers have a favorite scene from the movie. Eric says it’s the one where they dramatically transform themselves into regular guys before leaving Hollywood to go to the mall. We are given T-shirts when we leave: a cartoon wolf with pizza, which was a scene from the film. Nice.


Tim and Eric


As usual, Sundance was a great (albeit exhausting) time. Our top film picks this year were: Robot and Frank, Wrong, Excision, Safety Not Guaranteed and Beasts of the Southern Wild.

click to enlarge Safety Not Guaranteed cast and crew - Jennifer Dietz
Jennifer Dietz
Safety Not Guaranteed cast and crew

click to enlarge Safety Not Guaranteed cast and crew - Jennifer Dietz
Jennifer Dietz
Safety Not Guaranteed cast and crew

We pull somewhat of a Sundance all-nighter: After not getting back to our hotel until nearly 3 a.m., we are back on the shuttle at 7:30 a.m. to see Safety Not Guaranteed. On the bus, we run into Ben Kalsulke, who filmed Chris at our house for the short film, "The Dude." This was back in February during Lebowski Fest. We’re not sure if he recognizes us, but Chris shouts hello anyway.

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