"Best $2k I Ever Spent!" Hidden Gems Of Sundance 2011

by Alex Gilman · January 25, 2011

Lost in all the talk of the parties, the celeb sightings, and the slopes of Sundance 2011 is the surprising revelation that they actually still show movies! This year, the talk of the festival is Kevin Smith's controversial Red State, which radical religious groups are already protesting. But it's not the only controversial political film of this year's festival...

Here's a look at a few of the other movies generating controversial buzz:

Countdown!

Starring Keith Olbermann

When Olbermann abruptly announced his departure from MSNBC last week, the internet was abuzz with speculation over the timing. Was he secretly fired over long-simmering behind-the-scenes tension with the network? Was this a principled act from a bold pundit, or a self-aggrandizing piece of theater? The answer is now apparent with the Sundance premiere of Countdown!, a gore-splattered movie adaptation of Olbermann's long-running political commentary show.

Directed by Tim Robbins, Countdown! follows the story of Ken Uberman (played by Olbermann), the only honest journalist in a corrupt political dystopia. When the evil warlord Rick Cheney (played by Richard Dreyfuss) steals the Constitution and threatens to use it as a lobster bib, Uberman has no choice but to take up arms and fight for freedom- after the legal 5-day waiting period, of course. Although detractors of the film point out that Olbermann has been a vocal gun-control advocate, Olbermann promises that the movie is "super badass," and that the love scenes with a Rachel Maddow lookalike are "pure fantasy with no relation to reality."

Bieber Fever

Starring Dustin Hoffman, Cuba Gooding Jr, Justin Bieber

When a Radio Disney satellite crashes down in the midwest, it carries with it a rare space fungus that causes all people exposed to start growing uncontrollable man-bangs and silky smooth alto voices. The Center for Disease Control dispatches a disaster recovery team, but are they too late to stop the Fever? Early audiences are buzzing about the shocking ending, where the team, unable to stop the spread of the disease, must pilot a large nuclear bomb into the sun in order to wipe out all life on Earth.

The Hangover 2

Starring Paz De La Huerta

Although there were widespread rumors that the plot of this sequel to 2007's immensely successful comedy hit would feature the original cast in Thailand attending Stu's (Ed Helms) wedding, it appears to have been a successful ruse.

The actual film features Paz De La Huerta (of "Boardwalk Empire") waking up the day after the Golden Globes in the dumpster behind Randy's Donuts in a ripped gold dress. As she attempts to piece together the evening, she realizes that her dignity is missing. Her quest to remember the evening and locate the missing dignity takes her on a series of wacky adventures involving the Chateau Marmont, the Santa Monica Pier, a missing elephant from the LA Zoo, and Kobe Bryant. In the end, everyone learns an important lesson about friendship, love, and doing tequila shots without eating dinner.