Bitch magazine’s Theresa Basile recently decided that this movie treated “faked suicide as a mere sitcom quirk” and how this is a “problem” but failed to give any explanation why, instead asking, “I don’t think I need to explain why, do I? Good.”
Well, yes, you do.
Let me be clear: you don’t need to explain it to people who agree with you, but rather for the people who don’t. That seems to be the general problem these days with leftist online rags, and I am sorry to say that this particular blog post to Bitch Mag falls into this category of knee-jerk, a very common modern reaction to anything non-PC or otherwise non-compliant to modern leftist standards and ideals. I might even go so far as to say that it’s useless anger taken out on an otherwise decent indie movie, maybe as a scapegoat to push a common recent social agenda of supporting “suicide survivors” as people in need of our help and support. I might add that I view it as a very noble cause….and because of that it seems a terrible way to push it would be to get angry with people who take suicide too lightly. There is a time and a place to get involved in the cause. Is an indie movie really going to be your instrument?
At the core, it’s just a movie. The writer, after all, is trying to be creative. By taking issue with something that actually *CAN* be trivialized due to the fact that many, MANY people attempt suicide to get attention, a movie critic opens themselves to the susceptibility of movie review trolling. And that is not to say that there aren’t real suicide attempts being had, because I know first-hand that there are, I’m just saying that maybe this character is making fun of the people in the real world who take suicide so lightly that they use it as a way to get something.
Also, suicide is not funny. But joking about dark things has always been a way of coping, sometimes even radically so. This realization may give you the skin to withstand treating such a dark subject as hoax, maybe just for one movie.
Are you one of the fans of zombie movies? If your answer is YES, then you can’t miss this zombie short film: “Project: S.E.R.A.”. The story is about a girl, Gillean Eames, wakes up in a abandoned warehouse and witnesses her father got injected a biological virus and eventually turns into a zombie.
The director and writer of the movie, Benjamin Howdeshell whose also well known as assistant editor of “Resident Evil” series, “Death Race (2008)”, “Season of the Witch (2011)” and “Step Up Revolution (2012)”.
“Project: S.E.R.A.” just has 10 minutes length story; however, it not only has the special effects and sounds as Hollywood movies, but also has an extraordinary exciting story. Benjamin Howdeshell used different time lines and contradicted colors interlaced an entertaining and vivid piece for audience. The story has all kinds of elements that zombie movie fans will like, such as conspiracy, zombie turning process, hot girl with guns, and 360 degrees zombie shooting scenario!
Not bad, huh?!
Some people might have the question about the tile “S.E.R.A.”. What does S.E.R.A. mean? According to Benjamin Howdeshell explanation, S.E.R.A. represents “Simpson Eames Regeneration Agenda”. I can’t wait for the next one~!
(Note: Simpson Eames is the father of Gillean.)
Julia Voth as Gillean Eames
As a Canadian actress, Julia’s likeness is used for the basis of the character Jill Valentine from Capcom’s survival-horror video game series “Resident Evil,” starting with the 2002 remake of the original game.
Looking for a Billy Zane noir movie that I couldn’t remember the name of, I stumbled upon this lost mid 1990s b-movie. I’d be lying if I said I’ve ever even heard of the title. There are a lot of great things that stand out in this movie, from the screenplay to the direction to the performances by all the actors to the cinematography and even to the soundtrack at some times. Cameron Diaz and Billy Zane have clear a chemistry and being so young and vibrant, they are a treat to watch interact on the screen. What’s great about the screenplay is that it moves quickly without feeling rushed and as a viewer I feel entertained and enthralled even before anything big happens 18 minutes into the film. And then it turns into a whole new film altogether.
Substance is lost when it comes to the aftermath of the discovery of Billy Zane’s character Kent by Harvey Keitel’s character George. The story doesn’t move as fast as I would like at this point and is a little redundant albeit entertaining for a good 30 minutes or so while the characters struggle with making the choice to either be honest but ostracized by the media or being dishonest and safe in the privacy of their lives while committing a serious crime. If the movie had explored this idea more thoroughly, philosophically and darkly, it would have continued into what it started out to be. But it soon moves away from the creepiness and thrill of the desperation that overcomes one of the characters and brings out a cold-blooded side with a stark intent on covering everything up and into a campy dark comedy starring Cameron Diaz (at least this was before she got big), and I have to say her performance turns to utter crap by the end of the movie.
While this movie is charming and entertaining overall, what bothers me about it is probably the same issue that most critics would have: there are times when it is very serious and times when it’s extremely campy. The musical score is probably mostly to blame for this, but it could really just be that the producers were looking to make something accessible by too many markets instead of just sticking to one. I can imagine the script originally being a thriller and being amalgamated into what it became. Some examples of this are the beginning being a very serious and drama-oriented mood which prepares the viewer for a murder mystery, then turns into a would-be black comedy with no real jokes for the rest of the movie, studded with moments of a classic horror film format. Again, it’s difficult to fit this movie into a specific genre and that makes it difficult to swallow as a viewer. The best movies, the ones that have won the awards for best picture usually, are the movies that don’t fail on this account. Even if you were to make a movie that is cross-genre and/or unique in terms of genre-fitting, it should still carry through from beginning to end in some cohesive format. Without it, as a viewer, I feel cheated or tricked into watching something that I wasn’t truly interested in watching from the beginning.
Judging by the attendance in the movie theater on Friday night, the 14-30-something ‘Twilight’ fans are getting their R-Patz fix from ‘Remember Me’, considering that approximately 95% of the audience was female between the ages of 14 and 40 and the remaining 5% (including my husband) were their male counterparts, dragged along for “date night”, otherwise known as “sit next to me while I swoon over Robert Pattinson, since ‘Eclipse’ doesn’t come out until June 30th. Further proof is the fact that the audience whooped and cat-called (yes, I said cat-called) when the preview for ‘Eclipse’ came on before the movie began, and there were whispers and catty comments about Kristin Stewart’s hair throughout the clips for her new film, ‘The Runaways’, in which she portrays a black, mullet-haired Joan Jett.
But if they were looking for Edward, they were to be only partially satisfied in their lust for the teenage vampire. Although many of Pattinson’s mannerisms as brooding, bad-boy character, Tyler, in ‘Remember Me’ were reminiscent of Edward Cullen, he definitely showed another side of himself (aside from not sparkling in the sunlight).
The movie itself was entertaining, smart and even fairly funny at parts despite its tragic plots surrounding sadness and loss, with mildly impressive showings from big names Pierce Brosnan and Chris Cooper. Newcomer Emilie De Ravin did an adequate job of portraying the motherless girl, raised by her father and afraid of relationships and finally finding love, but the spark between Pattinson and De Ravin was majorly lacking. Well, aside from the sex scene, which was pretty steamy, and threw those lustful ‘Twilight’ fans a bone, showing Rob P. naked in the throes of passion. Hot. Very, very hot.
But what really made the movie was the ending. It was an ending that grabbed you from behind, gutted you utterly and completely, and made you wonder how in the world you didn’t see it coming. Some are saying it hits too hard. You can be the judge, but one thing is for sure, Remember Me will be remembered. Not for outstanding acting, nor for witty dialogue. But for an ending that sticks with you, as a great twist or an appalling denouement. Either way, it has left an impression, which to me, means the movie did at least part of its job.
In this fast-paced courtroom drama noir remake of the 1956 film, Peter Hyams (End of Days) recruits Michael Douglas, Jesse Metcalf and Amber Tamblyn to star in a crime triangle where young, pulitzer-thirsty investigative reporter C.J. Nicholas (Metcalf) falsely implicates himself in a murder of a young street hooker to bring down a corrupt district attorney (Douglas). Peter Hyams has a knack for telling the story with ease, leaving no questions to the audience accept for the important plot-driven ones. At times the movie causes quite a stir and there’s no doubt that you’ll be rooting someone on during a chase.
Michael Douglas is confident and intimidating as usual. He’s one of these actors who manages to own the screen whenever he’s on it, and so does his character for that matter. A dauntless and presumptuous lawyer, Mark Hunter leads the District Attorney’s office in an undefeated-championship strategy for the office of governor and is being accused of planting evidence in order to win his cases. If this weren’t a remake, it might have sounded cliche, but we can look the other way instead. Meanwhile, C.J. Nichols decides he’s found a way to prove the corruption in the D.A.’s office and sets out to do it in a most unorthodox method of setting himself up for murder. Unfortunately for him, the corruption is quite heavier than he anticipated and he finds himself imprisoned for longer than he anticipated.
Jesse Metcalf is as strong an actor as Douglas as he portrays a conflicted but calculating and eager young journalist. The film allows both him and Douglas to show how the desire for fame and success can overshadow morals and ethical behaviors, sometimes just for the chance at finding the answer to a simple question. Proof is what everyone is after in this striking film and, for me, the proof I got out of it was that everyone in the movie can act and act well.
If Amber Tamblyn keeps going on this path, she is going to find herself with an even stronger career as well. Not only is she sexy and bold, but she pulls off almost every side of a young, dress-for-success female attorney and when it comes to her romantic involvement, her actions are quite believable because of her emoting and delivery. If she doesn’t get more work because of this film, I’d be very surprised.
While the editing is seamless, it sometimes lacks the time it takes for a break-taking moment to sink in, such as the romance between Metcalf and Tamblyn, most likely an intentional tool to keep the audience engaged with the real plot. However, it runs the risk of losing the audience’s connection with the developed characters, such as Metcalf’s supporting co-star Joel Moore who’s character is increasingly crucial to the plot, yet tossed to the background with no recoil from his best friend. This found me disappointed and mistrusting of how the rest of the movie would pan out. This is a common mistake that many filmmakers persue, especially in action flicks, a genre which Hyams is no stranger to. When is Hollywood going to understand that human life is valuable to the audience and when taken into consideration makes for a deeply felt connection with the audience and thus a better film?
Alas, the important part of this movie is the end, and it’s hidden well. Many times a director may attempt to throw the audience off with shots of various characters making suspicious faces, and instead this movie is, start to finish, completely in the moment with no looking back or over-indulging in mystery. This is the greatest part of Hyams’ direction and thus the greatest part of the movie.
“It’s ten o’clock at night. The dull dudes on the planet are sitting in their slippers and sipping their Sherries. But the people who love to rock and to roll are ready to ride the rocking rollercoaster once more.
“You are listening to Radio Rock, and I am The Count, and I’m counting you in as we count down to ecstasy and rock ALL DAY AND ALL OF THE NIGHT.” – The Count
In times tinted gray by a government’s disdain towards rock music, the Britain of the 1960’s seemed to be a place dull beyond imagination. People had only news and classical music as respite from their boring lives. The 2 hours of rock music were heavenly but short-lived. Yet from within the darkness, one ray of light shone through, captivating audiences all over Britain with 24-hours broadcasting of rock music every day, defying the protests of the British government. This is the premise of the film, Pirate Radio.
Seeing the title, the thing that immediately comes to mind is the assumption that rotten people are messing with one of our most essential means of communication. And yet the film isn’t about some mindless sabotage plan or some dastardly scheme to hypnotize the world through rock music. In fact, it is about something for the good of society, to bring rock to people who need uplift in spirits and to bring colour to a gray nation.
The film details the antics of a motley crew of rogue deejays and their efforts to keep broadcasting the rock music to the public whilst defying government minister Kenneth Branagh’s consistent efforts to shut down their station, Radio Rock. Quite a handful, but the cast of Pirate Radio manages to do all this with hilarious results.
The film begins by introducing us to Carl (Tom Sturridge), a boy sent by his mother to live with his godfather upon the ship which doubles as a radio broadcasting station. Then it moves on to introduce the rest of the cast, including Rhys Ifans as Gavin, “King of The Airwaves” and Phillip Seymour Hoffman as The Count, an egoistic American DJ and Jack Davenport as the strangely named civil servant named Twatt. The cast is too varied to be completely listed, but every single one played their part very well.
The reason for this may lie in the fact that the film’s director, Richard Curtis, sent them to “boat camp” before filming the movie. The actors were made to live and rehearse on the ship on which they would be performing. Cast and crew slept in small cabins and rehearsed throughout the day. In the evenings, they would eat, drink and play darts. During the camp, the actors really bonded and got the opportunity to meet ex-pirate DJ Johnnie Walker as well as Radio 2′s Chris Evans, to study various forms of broadcasting.
Philip Seymour Hoffman, who plays The Count, turned out to be a natural DJ. Due to scheduling commitments he started on the production several weeks after shooting began. This meant that he had only one hour to learn how to be a DJ. However, with his reputation of taking risks and constantly pushing himself to do better, he not only managed to play the part, but excelled at it.
However, the film garnered mixed reviews from different sources partly due to the broadness of the film, including some sexual references and coarse language. In fact, Pirate Radio is an attempt to salvage the failure or the first film, The Boat That Rocked. The changes included shortening of screen time among other things. Still, many sites have a positive take on this film. The strength of this film is definitely in the soundtrack, which includes many songs from the bygone era of the 1960’s from The Beatles, Rolling Stones and other bands you may have forgotten. The immortal spirit of rock is demonstrated clearly both in the soundtrack and in the film and it is a rewarding experience for any movie-goer in my opinion. In other words, IT ROCKS, literally!
Oi, I just watched Zombieland and I’m pleased to say I didn’t spend any money on it as I would have felt it wasted on the talented actors who made a boring zombie flick. Making zombie movies is like being in a punk band: unless you’re cross-genre, there’s nothing you are going to write that hasn’t been written before. We’ve all heard the political dissent, we’ve all heard the three chord song structures, and we’ve all heard the fast drum beats on every song from a band before. So if you’re doing it, you’re doing it just to add to the universe, not so much to affect it in some huge profound way. That’s how I see Zombieland.
It’s sorta upsetting, to be honest. A friend of mine from Emerson College had once told me that voice-overs in movies were a cop-out, and I never stopped agreeing with the sentiment. A narrator isn’t needed if they’re just going to explain what’s happening on the screen, for one, and if they’re going to give boatloads of background information then why not just leave the story in the book instead of attempting to squeeze so much into an hour and a half? Zombieland was more the former and it became so much so that I almost walked out, but decided to multitask with a text-convo instead.
The thing that this movie lacked the most was zombie fighting. Zombie movies are about killing zombies and there just wasn’t enough of that here. Instead, the emphasis is on the charming and unlikely college romance that buds between the nerdy protagonist and a random hot chick he finds on the street. He’s literally one of the last men on Earth and the other one is Woody Harrelson, so…. why is she falling for the nerd? Not very realisti-..Oh, right, it’s a zombie flick. Ok, but then there’s this random scene where Bill Murray shows up as himself and the theme from ghostbusters takes up a good minute or two. THAT feels a little bit like a cop-out, and it takes away from the film since now I’m thinking about another film.
Zombie movies are notoriously bad. The strange thing about it is that one of the first was Zombi 2 1979 which was actually well directed and well acted and can be watched as a serious film much like the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. It’s true horror and makes your skin crawl just like a good ol 1970s grindhouse flick should. This emphasis on the joke of these movies takes away from the art that went into the originals (think about the special effects in those movies). Zombieland had some gore, but it was mild. The zombies were the fast-running kind just like 28 days later, which movies have been ripping off ever since. And then you have this geeky college kid telling geeky college kid jokes over the whole thing. It was embarassing, in a way. Worst of all was the lack of originality throughout the whole thing. The narrator’s rules on living in zombieland weren’t as funny as they tried to be and nothing in the plot was anything we haven’t seen before in other movies.
All in all, I found it to be a waste of time cuz it was only mildly entertaining at best and should have been a waste of the production company’s (Columbia I think) money, but instead profited $40 million most likely due to advertising, or maybe people just seem to like this sort of crap. Either way, I’m not surprised, nor was I entertained. Now, you wanna see a good zombie flick that pokes fun of zombie flicks, go see Planet Terror..
Arguably the best line in the movie, “You better hold on tight, spidermonkey,” says Edward as he climbs up the bark of a redwood with Bella on his back. And as they continue on through the forest, jumping, flying, arriving at high mast to overlook a scene of enormous, mountainous beauty, you would never guess that it was all CGI. These days, however, I’m beginning to accept that most of it is. See: Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings, although Harry Potty is worse in that it’s overly colorful and horribly childish. It’s actually quite disturbing to find so many comparisons of Twilight to Potter, most presumably due to the furor engulfing followers of both. Is it too much to recognize the vast difference between the two? If I were part of the production of Twilight, I’d be pretty annoyed at America (although I can think of a kajillion other reasons to be annoyed at America, but that’s beside the point).
Fans of the book would be horrified at the adaptation on the screen. What is a clumsy, humorous protagonist character in the book is portrayed as sullen and lost, only to be found by her true vampire love (awe), which was probably what Melissa Rosenberg (screenwriter) wanted and Stephanie Meyer (novelist) hates. If you hadn’t read the book (and I hadn’t, sorry) then you might actually enjoy it far more (like i did).
The problems in the movie have nothing to do with acting or portrayal; nobody overdoes it, nobody falls short. Neither does any cinematography exhibit a lack of skill. The downfalls are found in the teeny-bopper, sexy soundtrack and the tag-line dialogue in the villains. This is a movie for 13 year old girls. And its overtones of sexuality are a little.. vague. My point being that if you’re going to go that route, why not go all the way and have some lesbian kissing? That way you’d reel in not just the girls but the boys too!
Alas, I’m glad you didn’t, because while the ridiculousness of the plot — girl is lonely, girl meets boy, boy is vampire, vampires are dangerous, girl learns the hard way.. and nothing has a logical explanation to it… maybe that’s what makes it good, that it’s a fantasy.
One of the most important concepts some filmmakers have trouble understanding is the color scheme of the storyboard. Twilight does not make this mistake. While it’s vivid, dreamy, and dark it’s also very colorful without losing faith in itself, a forest hue bundle that never fades. Another great example of this is Memento and, in fact, there’s some talk of it in the DVD extras. Ultimately, color-scheming is a marketing ploy and you can see the same scheme on the website for New Moon, although New Moon has a more sepia tone drawn in. Yet another example is The Illusionist. Come to think of it, the color scheme is exactly the same in the Illusionist.
Anyhoo, this is not an A1 movie. Neither is it bottom-of-the-barrel. The toughest part on the filmmakers must have been squeezing a 544 page book into a two hour movie, which is sort of long for teenagers. However, it reels in your inner teenage girl and doesn’t tire, even through the credits while Radiohead plays (scarily) and then moves to one of the worst Linkin Park songs I think I’ve ever heard.
Dr. Henry Carter, a disillusioned celebrity psychiatrist in Los Angelos who’s wife recently died, is lost in a downward metaphysical spiral — and smoking boatloads of marijuana. Waitaminute, this almost sounds like the recipe for a Seth Rogan flick, but it’s instead quite a somber film from up-and-coming director Jonas Pate with the cross-story feel reminiscent of Crash. The stories of Carter’s patients, Jack, Shamus, Patrick, Kate and Jemma, intertwine as they all cross paths at the shrink’s office. The correlation I see to Crash is the moral dilemmas they are faced with, inherent of the theme.
Steven Holden of the NY Times calls it “a contemporary Play It As It Lays”, a 1972 movie about a Hollywood actress who undergoes psychiatry at a sanitarium, searching for meaning in her life only to find that it’s up to her to make it. While there’s overtones of the 1972 film in that it speaks about the stresses of not only the south Californian celebrity and community’s lifestyle, I find the Crash comparison much closer for the simple fact that Play It As It Lays is much more focused on one person. More like Crash, Shrink moves between the problems of several people, but it isn’t as culture-based and is more generational such as mid-life crisis and relationship fidelity as well as teenage rebellion and disenchantment. Unfortunuately it doesn’t have a solid theme for them all which proves how Crash’s racism theme won it an academy award. The struggles that people encounter on the road to success and stardom outline Shrink’s plot and make it a sort of “awe, poor hollywood people” type thing instead of anything that the rest of the country can relate to.
While all the stories have their own intriguing plotlines, the main chronicle of Henry Carter is the most fulfilling. At this point, we all know Kevin Spacey can act, but he once again manages to really pull in the viewer to his painful world as he portrays someone battling his demons in an escapism to an rather unlikely drug addiction, marijuana. It’s actually humorous to find those scenes of seeking counsel from his dealer, the guy who’s not his friend but whom Henry tries to treat as one, an all-too-familiar scene from any pot-smoker’s life.
There are some writer tricks that make me gag toward the end, including the mis-direction trick (without giving it away, here’s an example: “I’m sorry to inform you but your husband isn’t ok..[insert gasp from would-be widow]… in fact HE’S GREAT!”) and that particular one happens literally 3 times in a row, scene after scene right until the end where everything ends hunky-doory. I realize that it’s Hollywood, despite being an independent film, and that as producers of the film they need to think of a way to make money to justify their expense in making the movie. But I’ll never accept quickly typing up a movie’s plots with “everything always works out in the end” type of fantasies as “good art”. A good film is something like As Good As It Gets, where there’s multiple plot lines that are intertwined but the focus never direly leaves the protagonist as it did in Shrink, and in the end, it may have been happy for Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt’s characters to go for that walk, but it was only a walk — the emphasis was not on them suddenly becoming girlfriend and boyfriend but on them getting over themselves and spending quality time together. The result of that early morning stroll to the bakery wasn’t getting married, getting that great job promotion, overcoming a fear of heights or anything. It left a lot up to the imagination and THAT’s why it was a happy ending.
Shrink, on the other hand, seemed like it was desperate for a happy ending and it actually made me bummed out to watch. And I’m sure I’m not the only one. It’s as if I was lured into watching what I thought would be a great book only to find out it was only ok. And as Dr. Henry Carter says on national television as he gets closer and closer to a complete breakdown in his life, I would say the line Don’t Buy This Book more or less sums up my feelings.
If Mel Gibson didn’t have an edge of darkness in him, he wouldn’t be perfect such a role as this. A detective who’s lost his activist daughter by way of corporate espionage shotgun blast right at his front door when she comes to visit (I didn’t give this away, it was in the trailer). It’s all pretty and nice until that happens and suddenly it’s yet another thriller action flick starring Mel Gibson — or is it?
Corporate espionage is a fascinating subject and Hollywood knows that it’ll bring the intellectual out to the theaters (or at least to the DVD store). From Michael Clayton to the International to the Constant Gardener, the past decade alone has brought us some good films that have decidedly cast a darker shadow on the big guys. E! Online says it’s simply “more paranoia from Mel Gibson”, but I’m not exactly sure what they’re referring to. The only conspiracy movie that stands out in my mind is conspiracy theory, and it’s not even that serious of a movie. Edge of Darkness, on the other hand, looks fairly original, less demeaning and more mentally stimulating, and it’s not surprising with the director of Casino Royale and screenwriter of The Departed (not to mention Ray Winstone who’s career as an actor is full of strong supporting roles which he always pulls off with ease).
It’s nice to see Gibson acting again, though, and taking a break from producing. He outdoes himself in his work as a producer on Passion of the Christ and Apocalyptico — both movies are extreme, but incredibly artistic for a Hollywood hunk. Some would disagree with me on this, but he’s not a terrible, nor even a mediocre talent. His acting in Payback might be his darkest and in Edge of Darkness he seems to have a similar damaged persona going on. What I like from the trailer is that there appears to be some strong development of his relationship with his daughter before the murder. Whether or not this is carried out too briefly in the actual film is what I’m afraid of.
While trailers are meant to double as a quick plot summary and marketing tool, there are some unfortunate cliche taglines in Mel Gibson’s dialogue that make me roll my eyes, such as “Fasten your seatbelt” and “I’m a guy with nothing to lose”. But then there’s a good one towards the end that, while may be corny, works real well if this is to be a dirty harry sorta thing: “You gotta decide if you’re the one on the cross.. or the guy bangin’ in the nails.” Haven’t had enough of Jesus yet, Mel?
In one clip, Gibson’s character knocks over an operating table in a room where a doctor with a face-mask is, alluding to the possibility that the cover-up he is uncovering is led by powerful men who find it necessary to alter his brain chemistry or otherwise mess with his body to aid their corruption. This sort of conspiracy always makes me wonder why the evil-doers would go that far if they could just kill the guy and be done with it, especially when there’s all sorts of other killing going on. Alas, we shall have to wait to find out just how important it is to them for him to stay alive and, as a fan of conspiracy theories, I think it’ll be worth the wait.