Sundance: Jessica Alba and Kate Hudson's 'Killer' is brutal; Banksy draws artful buzz

kate-hudson-casey-affleck-the-killer-inside-me-320.jpgThe audience at the Sundance Film Festival got comfortable indoors to watch "The Killer Inside Me," but soon found themselves shifting uncomfortably in their seats.

Michael Winterbottom's latest film centers on West Texas deputy sheriff Lou Ford (Affleck) who's revealed to be a psychotic killer.

The adaptation of the Jim Thompson noir novel from 1952 does not spare the viewers from seeing both Jessica Alba and Kate Hudson's characters getting brutally beaten in detail by the sheriff. The scenes were so unsettling, The Hollywood Reporter's Risky Business blog described it: "It's ultra-real, excruciating to watch and, in some viewers' minds, inexcusable."

It appears that "Killer" has raised the debate again about violence in film, whether or not it is necessary or just glorified.

Other Sundance snippets:

 - Artist Banksy wasn't to be seen for the screening of his movie "Exit Through the Gift Shop," but his guerrilla art installations have been popping up around Park City, which has created quite the buzz. [ Los Angeles Times]

 - Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling are great as a blue-collar couple in "Blue Valentine," but the storytelling just appears to involve lots of useless hand-wringing. [ NPR's Monkey See blog]

 - Kristen Stewart's most buzzed-about film "The Runaways" comes off as a little glum. [ HitFix]

 - John Wells' ("ER") feature directorial debut of "The Company Men" is a "superbly observed movie" starring Ben Affleck, Tommy Lee Jones and Rosemarie DeWitt that follows the declining fortunes of Global Transporation Systems. [ Entertainment Weekly]

 - Finally, Microsoft founder and recent Twitter convert Bill Gates was on hand in Park City to support director Davis Guggenheim's "Waiting for Superman," a documentary about the "terrible" U.S. public school system. [ ABC News]

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Photo credit: Revolution Films

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