Mountainfilm Festival announces full line-up of guests and films

The 2011 edition of the Mountainfilm Festival is now just a week and a half away, and to celebrate the big event, organizers have launched a newly designed website. Perhaps more importantly however, they’ve also shared the complete line-up of films that will be shown, as well as the guests that will be on hand.

Held annually in Telluride, Colorado, Mountainfilm is now in its 32nd year. The event has become one of the top adventure and outdoor film festivals in the world, drawing top filmmakers on a yearly basis. This year’s line-up includes a dizzying array of films ranging from the critically acclaimed Buck, which profiles real-life horse whisperer Buck Brannaman, to Swiss Machine, a 25-minute documentary on climbing phenom Ueli Steck. Other titles include A Perfect Soldier, which tells the tale of a man who was conscripted into the Khmer Rouge army at a young age, and Into Darkness, a short film that explores amazing cave systems. There are literally dozens of films scheduled to be shown, with topics ranging from the environment, exploration, travel, culture, and more. To view the entire line-up, click here.

Mountainfilm will also play host to a number of great guests once again this year, with the likes of actor/director Harry Shearer and environmentalist/writer Terry Tempest Williams. They’re joined by a host of adventure athletes such as climber Renan Ozturk and paddler Chris Korbulic, amongst others. For the complete run down of the special guests, click here.

This year’s festival is set to take place over the Memorial Day weekend, running from May 27-30. Passes are still available and can be purchased online here.

Video of the Day: Brett Erlich’s Unconventional Travel Tips

Movies are full of wild ideas about travel. From Airplane! to Castaway, there’s no shortage of bizarre travel tales in cinema. Thankfully, Current packed many of those moments into this video from The Rotten Tomatoes Show starring Brett Ehrlich.

So, whether you want to ride a dragon, pilot a plane or just get from Point A to Point B as dramatically as possible, look to the movies for your travel tips. It’s where you’ll find the most realistic suggestions.

If you have a great travel video that you think we might enjoy, share the link in a comment below. We could feature it as our next Video of the Day!

A travel guide to the 2011 Oscar movies

The 83rd annual Academy Awards are coming up in a few weeks and the Oscars race is on. This year’s nominations contained few surprises, with many nods for Brit period piece The King’s Speech, Facebook biopic The Social Network, and headtrip Inception. While 2010’s ultimate travel blockbuster Eat, Pray, Love failed to made the cut, there’s still plenty to inspire wanderlust among the Best Picture picks.

Read on for a travel guide to the best movies of 2010 and how to create your own Oscar-worthy trip.

127 HoursLocation: Danny Boyle’s nail-biter was shot on location in Utah’s Blue John Canyon near Moab and on a set in Salt Lake City. Go there: Should you want to explore Moab’s desert and canyons while keeping all limbs intact, check out Moab in fall for bike races and art festivals.

Black Swan
Location: Much of the ballet psychodrama was shot in New York City, though the performances were filmed upstate in Purchase, New York. Go there: To see the real “Swan Lake” on stage at Lincoln Center, you’ll have to hope tickets aren’t sold out for the New York City Ballet, performing this month February 11-26.

The FighterLocation: in the grand tradition of Oscar winners Good Will Hunting and The Departed, the Mark Wahlberg boxing flick was filmed in Massachusetts, in Micky Ward’s real hometown of Lowell, 30 miles north of Boston. Go there: For a map of locations in Lowell, check out this blog post and perhaps spot Micky Ward at the West End Gym.

InceptionLocation: The setting of this film depends on what dream level you’re in. The locations list includes Los Angeles, England, Paris, Japan, even Morocco. Go there: There are plenty of real locations to visit, including University College London and Tangier’s Grand Souk. Canada’s Fortress Mountain Resort where the snow scenes were shot is currently closed, but you can ski nearby in Banff.

The Kids Are All Right
Location: Director Lisa Cholodenko is a big fan of southern California, she also filmed the 2002 Laurel Canyon in Los Angeles. Go there: Love it or hate it, L.A. is still a top travel destination in the US and perhaps this year you can combine with a trip to Vegas, if the X Train gets moving.

The King’s SpeechLocation: A prince and a commoner in the wedding of the century. Sound familiar? This historical drama was shot in and around London, though stand-ins were used for Buckingham Palace’s interiors. Go there: It might be hard to recreate the vintage look of the film, but London is full of atmospheric and historic architecture and palaces to visit. If you’re a sucker for English period films or places Colin Firth has graced, tour company P & P Tours can show you around many historic movie locations like Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice.

The Social NetworkLocation: Another Massachusetts and California movie, this very academic film shot at many college and prep school campuses, but none of them Harvard, which hasn’t allowed film crews in decades. Go there: If you enjoyed the Winklevoss rowing scene, head to England this summer for the Henley Royal Regatta June 29 – July 3.

Toy Story 3 – Location: The latest in the Pixar animated trilogy is set at the Sunnyside Daycare. Go there: Reviews are mixed, but Disney’s Hollywood Studios has a new Pixar parade, to let fans see their favorite characters in “person.” Visit any Disney gift shop to make your own toy story.

True Grit – Location: The Coen brothers western remake may be set in 19th century Arkansas, but it was filmed in modern day Santa Fe, New Mexico and Texas, taking over much of towns like Granger. Go there: If you’re a film purist or big John Wayne fan, you can tour the locations of the original film in Ouray County, Colorado.

Winter’s Bone – Location: Many moviegoers hadn’t heard of this film when nominations were announced, set and shot in the Ozark Mountains in southern Missouri. Go there: The difficult film centers around the effects of methamphetamine on a rural family, but travel destinations don’t get much more wholesome than Branson, Missouri. Bring the family for riverboat shows and the best bathroom in the country.

[Photo by Flickr user Lisa Norman]

Crocodile Dundee pub is for sale

Want to buy a piece of movie history? Wrestle crocodiles and relive the 1980s? Now you can, because the Walkabout Creek Hotel, location of some of the most memorable scenes from the 1986 hit film Crocodile Dundee, is up for sale.

Located in the small town of McKinlay in Queensland, northeast Australia, it’s on the Matilda Highway and gets good business from both Australians and tourists. It was previously named the Federal Hotel but was called the Walkabout Creek Hotel in the movie. When the movie became a hit the owners changed the name. It was originally built in 1900.

Needless to say, the place is filled with movie memorabilia and is a pilgrimage site for movie buffs visiting the Outback.

Crocodile Dundee, a sensitive and realistic portrayal of Australian rural life (sarcasm) was part of the boom in the Australian film industry during the 1970s and 1980s. The boom started when the eerie 1975 mystery Picnic at Hanging Rock received international acclaim. The working class drama Sunday Too Far Away became a hit that same year.

Mad Max came out in 1979 and launched a trilogy of hugely popular films. Plans to make a fourth Mad Max film experienced long delays and now it appears the fourth movie will instead be a remake of Mad Max 2 (released as Road Warrior in the U.S.) and will be titled Mad Max: Fury Road. It’s due to be released in 2012.

Gading Movie Review: Hot Tub Time Machine

We don’t talk about movies much here at Gadling (though we make exceptions when it comes to OnDemand and George Clooney). Recently, however, we were captivated by the trailer for a travel film that left us ready to camp outside our local theater. When a travel film like this comes along, it’s hard for us not to sit up and take notice. And this past weekend, that movie finally hit theaters and demanded our attention. That movie? None other than Hot Tub Time Machine. “But it’s not a travel movie,” you say? Well, it’s called “time travel” not “time staying in one place.” Time travel is the ultimate trip. Rather than just looking at a map and selecting your next destination, you have the entirety of history (and, theoretically, the future) at your fingertips. So, with the excitement of time travel piquing our interest and 80s nostalgia luring us in, we caught a matinee (hey, movie tickets are expensive) of Hot Tub Time Machine over the weekend so that we could share our thoughts with you.

Is it worth your entertainment dollar? Does it capture the zeitgeist of travel? Did we laugh a lot? Keep reading to find out.The film stars 80s movie veteran John Cusack, The Daily Show alum and comedic spitfire Rob Corddry and The Office’s scene stealing Craig Robinson as three old friends who have drifted apart since their heyday in the decade of decadence. Joining them is young Clark Duke, who plays Cusack’s character’s nephew. After Corddry’s character ends up in the hospital, the friends reunite for a weekend bender in their formerly favorite (and now dilapidated) ski town. And, as you probably know by now from the trailer, they end up in a hot tub that is way more than just a seedy, bubbly cauldron of sin.

Where HTTM excels is in its commitment to simplicity. There’s no techno-jargon or flux capacitor. If you’re looking for explanations of the space-time continuum, you’ve purchased tickets to the wrong movie. The writers have basically decided that some movies take place in New York and others take place in the past. The 1980s serve as the location and getting there is less important than what happens there. And, as a comedy, this is a fantastic strategy. Rather than ask the audience to believe a sci-fi explanation of time travel, just get to the punchlines.

And there are plenty of punchlines. Without going over the top with nostalgic 80s references, the film captures the mood of the decade (and the campy comedies that it birthed) through great costumes, classic music and sly references (Karate Kid fans should pay attention throughout). The 80s jokes never have a chance to get old as the dialogue is just clever enough to keep you engaged in the characters. And with a classic (some might say clichéd) storyline centered around missed opportunities and friendships, the plot is an ode to many of the movies that made Cusack famous.

Sure, the film slows down a bit in the second act, but it wraps things up well before you have a chance to get bored. Despite it’s campy title, it’s actually a more subdued comedy than The Hangover. HTTM keeps things simple, starting with its title and continuing through its jokes. But simple isn’t bad. Simple is classic. Just like the 80s.

We’re giving Hot Tub Time Machine 4 chlorine tablets (out of 5). It’s a fantastic comedy and a genuine travel movie. Hot Tub Time Machine is rated R and currently playing in theaters nationwide.