Getting ready for the snow

One week from now, the Sundance Film Festival will be underway, and we'll be there, as we have been since HitFix went online on December 15, 2008.

Six years and a month, then. That's how long we've been doing this. I was at Ain't It Cool for 12 years. That means I've been writing about film, pretty much non-stop, for 18 years now. I am overwhelmed when I think back on all of those adventures, all of those films, all of those filmmakers, all of those festivals, all of those interviews, all of those readers. All of those readers.

I like this moment in the film year. I've seen one or two things I've liked so far, and I'm about to have my first big movie buffet of the year. The truth about film festivals and film festival coverage is that it's never the stuff you guys read the most or that you respond to the most. What it does is it gets me off to an early start for the year. Sundance movies will trickle into the theaters from February through December of this year, and the more of those films I see at the festival, the fewer of them I have to see later, when things get hectic. It also gives me some sense of what the year's going to feel like, what sort of conversations we might be having as the year unfolds.

I've been watching some DVDs and Blu-rays this week. Finally saw Terry Gilliam's “The Zero Theorem,” and while I didn't think it was bad, it still felt like Gilliam on autopilot to some degree. It's familiar ground for him, and he's certainly able to create a visually arresting landscape for the film to play out, but one that it feels like we've seen from him before. Maybe it's a little bit more extreme here because of the CGI that Gilliam appears to have finally embraced, but the ideas are very similar, and Gilliam's fetishes are on full display. I think Christoph Waltz is starting to look to me like a guy who has one speed, one thing that he does. He's a ham, through and through, which is exactly why he's so delightful sometimes. It can be a hindrance, though, and I'm not sure I find him particularly empathetic as a lead.

I also tried to watch “The Humbling,” the Barry Levinson film starring Al Pacino, and it makes me very sad. I tried three times, and then I just gave up. Nothing about it worked for me. I can't write a review for it, because I don't feel like I saw it. I tried. Didn't work. And so I'll just have to leave that one alone when it finally rolls out in theaters.

My Kindle is overstuffed right now with great stuff to read, books and scripts alike. I'm excited to read some of the pilots like “Minority Report” and “Preacher,” and I'm very excited to read Pierce Brown's two novels and “The Girl With All The Gifts,” all three of which are already loaded up.

I've also read a big fistful of scripts over the holidays, mainly for things that are coming out this year that I'm super-excited about or things that are in development that have me intensely curious. Top of that list? Edgar Wright's “Baby Driver.” All I'll say about it is that it made me ridiculously happy, and no one else on Earth could have come up with it other than Edgar. It is a musical, but a brand-new kind of musical.

To give you a taste of what to expect, why not enjoy a video that Edgar directed that just happens to star the two guys from “The Mighty Boosh”?

Seriously. It's going to be stupid how beautiful this movie could be.