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Baghead 

Wednesday, Jul 23 2008
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Basically, this is a movie in which two half-assed couples—barely lit old flames Matt (Ross Partridge) and Catherine (Elise Muller) and more-like-siblings Chad (Steve Zissis) and Michelle (Greta Gerwig)—decide to spend a weekend in a middle-of-nowhere retreat to write the Great American Independent Film. Things go awry, however, when their backwoodsy brainstorming is interrupted by a dude with a paper bag over his head—ah, the makings of your conventional horror pic (yawn). Only brothers Jay and Mark Duplass—last seen stuffing their Puffy Chair—aren’t making a horror pic; the movie’s about as scary as a shadow puppet. Rather, it’s an indie about indies—meta, right? But also mighty effective if you’re into idle, drunken chit-chat about getting laid while waiting out the bogeyman in the bushes. The movie’s better in its first half, when it pokes gentle fun at the film-festival circuit where Baghead’s been stretching its legs since it debuted at Sundance in January. But I would love to see the overwrought bit o’ nonsense shown during the film’s opening minute, when the foursome attend a film-fest screening of We Are Naked. Best joke in the picture.
Aug. 1-7, 2008

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Robert Wilonsky

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