When in the world did it get to be the day before the SXSW Film Festival starts? I've been getting organized and ready, and so have the other Cinematical writers who are coming to town. We are going to be all over this fest like barbecue sauce on Texas brisket. (Don't tell me that you don't think sauce belongs on brisket, I don't want to hear that kind of perverted talk.)

Trying to decide which films to see has been at least as difficult this year as it has been in the past. Sam Raimi or Sacha Baron Cohen? Kathryn Bigelow's latest film, or Tobe Hooper's first? Office Space or Observe and Report? There are documentaries about mushrooms and Martin Scorsese movies, conspiracy theorists and film critics. And of course I want to see some of the big splashy premieres at the Paramount, but can't bear to miss any of the indie films I might not get to see again -- gaaaaaaah. I've made a list of a few of the movies we're looking forward to seeing this week. If you're coming to Austin, I hope I'll see you there.

  • I Love You, Man -- I have a confession to make. I saw this comedy at Butt-Numb-a-Thon in December, so I already know how funny it is. And while I'm not reviewing it here, consider this: I'm probably going to see it again when it opens SXSW at the Paramount on Friday night. And it's not just because of any theoretical Paul Rudd crush, either (although he is very cute in this one).
  • The Hurt Locker -- Kathryn Bigelow's latest film, a thriller set in Iraq, is generating lots of SXSW buzz. When he saw it at Toronto last year, James Rocchi called this drama "an assured, confident, swaggering piece of moviemaking." I really wish the one SXSW screening wasn't at the same time as a special screening of Eggshells, Tobe Hooper's first film from 1969 ... I may have to flip a coin.
  • 500 Days of Summer -- When Erik Davis reviewed this romantic comedy at Sundance, he called it an "anti-fairytale" and "a pretty fun flick." Sounds like a good film for the closing night of SXSW. The movie stars Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
  • Winnebago Man -- This documentary about finding the guy who was a hit on YouTube with his profanity-laden sales pitch is having its world premiere at SXSW.
  • Humpday -- I like Lynn Shelton's films, I like Mark Duplass, and Erik's review at Sundance convinced me I want to see this movie about two guy friends who consider having sex together on film.
  • The 2 Bobs -- Parts of this movie were filmed near my neighborhood, so I want to see it partially out of sheer nosiness about the locations. But it also sounds like a fun, fresh comedy from Tim McCanlies, writer-director of Secondhand Lions and the guy who scripted a movie that makes me cry if I even walk past it while it's playing, The Iron Giant.
  • Best Worst Movie -- Okay, so Cinematical's Scott Weinberg appears briefly in this documentary. That shouldn't affect your decision to see this movie about Troll 2, a strange little horror film that's amassed a cult following. The first screening of this movie at SXSW will be a double-feature with Troll 2.
  • Drag Me to Hell -- Sam Raimi is bringing a work-in-progress cut of his latest film to SXSW for a midnight screening. That's right, I may actually stay up late enough for a midnight movie, and a horror movie at that. Don't faint, Weinberg. The trailer is very convincing.