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Skull-Face Island SXSW 2013: ‘The Spectacular Now’ / ‘The Lords of Salem’
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Adam Frazier   |  @   |  
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Skull-Face Island Banner

Last Time on Skull-Face Island: Faithful robotic butler Mar-10 took Adam on a magical, mysterious journey to Austin, TX, to fulfill his destiny by visiting the South by Southwest Film Festival. David, worried that he may have inadvertently killed Adam using a voodoo doll, is searching the island for his lost companion. During all of this, Tim was drunk and hallucinating after drinking two-too-many Skull-Face Island Iced Teas…

Today’s Episode: We find Adam safe and sound in Austin, TX, where he is attending movies at SXSW. Mar-10 left to take care of some robot business, but gave Adam a special two-way radio to communicate with Tim (who has become a raging alcoholic) and report his moviegoing experiences.

We join Adam now as he contacts Tim with mini-reviews of James Ponsoldt‘s Sundance hit, The Spectacular Now and Rob Zombie‘s latest horror flick, The Lords of Salem. We’ll also check-in on David’s Adventure: The Mystery of the Missing Adam

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SXSW 2013 Review: James Ponsoldt’s ‘The Spectacular Now’
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Adam Frazier   |  @   |  
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SXSW The Spectacular Now

The Spectacular Now
Director: James Ponsoldt
Screenwriter: Scott Neustadter, Michael H. Weber
Cast: Miles Teller, Shailene Woodley, Brie Larson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Kyle Chandler

Directed by James Ponsoldt (Smashed), The Spectacular Now stars Miles Teller (Footloose) as Sutter Keely, a charming high school senior who lives in “the now.” Sutter is the life of the party – a kid with no plans for the future other than holding down his job at the local men’s clothing store.

Sutter’s lack of ambition might have something to do with being an aspiring alcoholic – carrying a flask of the hard stuff with him at all times. He finally hits rock bottom after being dumped by his girlfriend (Brie Larson) and wakes up on a lawn with Aimee Finicky (Shailene Woodley) standing over him. Aimee’s the shy, nice girl who reads science-fiction manga and works her mother’s paper route. While Aimee has dreams of escaping her dead-end small town, Sutter lives in the absorbing delusion of “the spectacular now,” and yet somehow, they’re drawn to one another.

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‘Smashed’: Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s Breakout Performance
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Adam Frazier   |  @   |  
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Smashed: Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Aaron Paul

“That’s the problem with drinking, I thought, as I poured myself a drink. If something bad happens you drink in an attempt to forget; if something good happens you drink in order to celebrate; and if nothing happens you drink to make something happen.” ― Charles Bukowski

Director James Ponsoldt‘s first feature-length film, 2006’s Off the Black, featured Nick Nolte as a bitter, flustered high school baseball umpire and alcoholic. His second film, Smashed, stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World) as Kate Hannah, an elementary school teacher struggling to come to grips with her increasingly troublesome dependency on alcohol, even though her binge-drinking husband Charlie (Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad) doesn’t see a problem with it.

After a night of heavy drinking, Kate is forced to confront her alcoholism when she vomits in front of her 1st grade class. A precocious young student asks Mrs. Hannah if she’s pregnant, and in a moment of panic she explains the sudden, uncontrollable regurgitation as morning sickness. Her boss, Principal Barnes (Megan Mullally), is delighted by the news that Kate is pregnant and buys the lie hook, line, and sinker.

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Movie Review: Smashed
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Seandps   |  
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Smashed Movie PosterSmashed
Directed by James Ponsoldt
Written by James Ponsoldt and Susan Burke
Starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Aaron Paul, Octavia Spencer, Nick Offerman, Megan Mullally
Super Crispy Entertainment/Sony Pictures Classic
Rated R/85 Minutes
Limited Release: October 12, 2012

Smashed deals with married couple Kate and Charlie, played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Scott Pilgrim vs the World) and Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad), who seem to spend a lot of their time drinking. But after a few scary moments for Kate, waking up on a couch in the middle of nowhere, she decides, along with help of a fellow co-worker, Dave (Nick Offerman, Parks and Recreation), that AA and her sponsor Octavia Spencer (The Help), might be a wise decision. But when you take away one of the things they have in common, can their marriage survive as her life changes for the better or worse?

We have had many movies come out that deal with alcoholism and its affects on people and the people who love them. I guess for me, the one that comes up right away is Leaving Las Vegas, which deals more with a guy who is ready to check out and doesn’t feel help is going to make things better.

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