Sundance: "Hounddog" Is A Dog; "The Nines" Scores High

by | January 23, 2007 | Comments

Read on for some short reviews of films playing at Sundance: "Hounddog," starring Dakota Fanning, is a cliched stab at Southern Gothic with echoes of Faulkner, and "The Nines," starring Ryan Reynolds, is a trippy, thought-provoking meditation on the nature of creation.

"Hounddog" has been one of the most talked-about films at Sundance, particularly because it has been suggested that it’s a movie in which talented Dakota Fanning branches out; however, to quote the titular song, "They said you was high class/ Well, that was just a lie." "Hounddog" is from the overheated and overacted school of Southern drama, filled with stereotypical characters, pseudo-poetic dialogue, and heavy symbolism ("Hounddog"’s biggest deviation from formula is that it features a killer R&B band that plays into the dead of night, presumably on call should 12-year-old girls need help with their personal problems). Fanning stars as Lewellen, a girl obsessed with Elvis who lives with her no-good father (David Morse) and her strict grandmother (Piper Laurie). She plays the character as a cross between an innocent child and a wise strumpet; as a whole, "Hounddog" seems conceived simply to give her a role to flex her pre-teen acting chops.

Robin Wright and Dakota Fanning in "Hounddog"

The film has generated its share of controversy due to a scene in which Fanning’s character is raped (it’s handled without exploitation). Kiddie porn it isn’t. Unfortunately, "Hounddog" isn’t much of anything. It doesn’t really resonate as a coming-of-age story, a family drama, or an exploration of the 1950s Southern experience, leaving precious little left but the controversy. Ultimately, "Hounddog" is pretty mangy.

Melissa McCarthy and Ryan Reynolds in "The Nines"

"The Nines" is one of those movies that will be the subject of endless interpretation; personally, I just enjoyed the ride. The film is a three-act meditation on reality and the nature of creation with apocalyptic and quasi-religious overtones. In each of its chapters, Ryan Reynolds plays some sort of creator, be it an actor, TV writer, or videogame designer; Hope Davis and Melissa McCarthy each vie for his attention and throw his world into flux in various ways. Like "Mulholland Drive," there’s an ominous tone and a sense that everyday events may hint at something harrowing. All of the actors are fine, particularly Reynolds, who shows impressive range throughout. "The Nines" is a solid head trip.

Check out our full Fundance at Sundance coverage!

Tag Cloud

ratings Set visit San Diego Comic-Con Drama Toys game show strong female leads IFC Western travel cinemax 20th Century Fox Mary poppins Lucasfilm APB Bravo Rom-Com Star Wars Netflix DC Comics Paramount crime drama FOX Shudder Sundance Now comiccon NBC TIFF dc ABC Family DGA streaming First Look Red Carpet 2015 Polls and Games romance Superheroe History Nominations adventure Reality Comic Book Sundance doctor who DirecTV Adult Swim Disney Channel Food Network unscripted theme song Character Guide E! facebook Winners FXX miniseries crime thriller Pop spider-man witnail Mudbound BBC NYCC TNT Cannes PaleyFest sports anthology award winner psycho diversity thriller political drama Song of Ice and Fire 21st Century Fox Awards green book biography GoT Musicals See It Skip It Dark Horse Comics 2018 Teen Animation TCM CBS All Access FX zombie space Ellie Kemper Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Acorn TV supernatural binge social media comic Stephen King Spectrum Originals television Watching Series Masterpiece Pirates National Geographic Premiere Dates Podcast Crackle TV Land Warner Bros. Rocketman Epix Film Festival Horror LGBT Fox News Disney El Rey spinoff Schedule Cosplay CBS Emmys Trophy Talk BET Star Trek cooking Amazon Prime Box Office richard e. Grant Trailer period drama Holidays 2016 Opinion Photos Brie Larson 007 American Society of Cinematographers Women's History Month Elton John Sony Pictures dramedy disaster dceu nature Cartoon Network based on movie Thanksgiving Paramount Network Lionsgate teaser singing competition Valentine's Day Rocky TruTV Countdown Trivia elevated horror Esquire DC streaming service Sneak Peek robots VICE LGBTQ docudrama DC Universe 2019 Kids & Family anime festivals Chernobyl The Witch TV ESPN Shondaland Fantasy discovery casting sitcom Grammys Spring TV vampires TCA Anna Paquin aliens PBS Superheroes Action SundanceTV Biopics Rock Universal Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt SXSW dragons mockumentary true crime Infographic serial killer Marathons finale TCA 2017 talk show Video Games jamie lee curtis Reality Competition Lifetime Extras Certified Fresh The CW Nickelodeon justice league RT History Showtime TLC Nat Geo politics BBC America Music GIFs hist Ovation toy story transformers Writers Guild of America Starz SDCC Hulu Mary Poppins Returns Sci-Fi CW Seed IFC Films Summer YouTube Red war Tarantino VH1 Winter TV cults Walt Disney Pictures Comics on TV Pet Sematary Calendar 2017 zombies Country YA Interview Christmas harry potter Year in Review ITV animated medical drama Syfy E3 historical drama YouTube Premium science fiction zero dark thirty natural history Logo Mindy Kaling Pixar WGN Vudu HBO blaxploitation Marvel what to watch Mary Tyler Moore AMC Comedy Spike Captain marvel MTV USA CMT OWN Election RT21 composers crime psychological thriller Awards Tour CNN police drama Britbox MSNBC Black Mirror The Arrangement X-Men Oscars Best and Worst USA Network Musical cats Apple mutant President Martial Arts Freeform 24 frames Creative Arts Emmys spy thriller Comedy Central Ghostbusters Tumblr Pride Month Tomatazos Fall TV crossover adaptation Amazon MCU boxoffice technology Heroines ABC Mystery cops Super Bowl sequel New York Comic Con A&E 45 golden globes GLAAD TBS Columbia Pictures Quiz