Monday, February 11, 2019

Two-Paragraph Review: Overlord (2018)

Overlord is a great movie and there should be no doubt about that - it’s one of my biggest positive surprises in this hybrid horror genre since Bone Tomahawk. Its director, Julius Avery, does a precise and very technical, but at the same time bold and unexpected slalom run through horror, war movie, and splatter adventure comedy genres. In the film, there are parts that are in equal measure worthy of Saving Private Ryan, Inglourious Basterds, and The Dirty Dozen.

At the same time, Avery managed to make a really good movie without the use of practically any big actress or actor. Regardless, through the use of plenty of German and French being mixed up with the English language, its cast pulls off an engaging movie. The plot tells the story of a small band of survivor paratroopers on a mission to blow up a Nazi installation on D-Day - there, however, they find things much more dangerous than a radio jamming facility.  In the hell ride that comes after this discovery, the actors and Avery do much more and present it as a great and very gory adventure. You don’t want to miss out on this gem of a film, especially if you find war films and those from the WW2 era at list slightly interesting.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Short Film Review: Hang Up! (2018)

Watching Hang Up! is like unintentionally allowing a sense of sheer darkness to envelop you. The story of the film is concealing simple - Gary, a middle-aged man accidentally drops into the phone conversation that his wife Emelia is having with another person.

He tries to get her attention but fails, but before he can hang up, his entire day, week, month, year and even life change forever.

The movie is focused on the barest and most minimal cinematographic elements. Most of the 13-minute run time is simply the narration of the man’s wife and the other person on the line, followed by the silent’s husband’s reaction and shots of his office. Yet, saying that this mixture becomes a combustible material in the mind of the viewer is an understatement.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Documentary Review: Minding the Gap (2018)

Copyright: Hulu
Growing up might be hard, but skating towards adulthood seems to be even harder in Minding the Gap. This documentary came about through 12 years of footage of the kids who lived and breathed skating in their hometown of Rockford, Illinois which was even then considered one of the prime Rust Belt locations.

Driven by dysfunctional families where violence was an apparent norm parent-children relationship, three friends try to find an emotional valve, a meaning of life and a chance for a better future in each other and their wheeled boards.

Bing Liu, the director of this fascinating documentary, managed to take the notion of a skate video and blew it up out of proportion in the best possible way. The movie opens like any film shot on a skateboard that follows people riding their own.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Two-Paragraph Review: Bird Box (2018)

There’s one thing you need to know about Bird Box and my review has to start by focusing on it: it’s fun to watch and engaging as a well-crafted horror at its most basic cinematic level. However, saying that, I also have to underline that the movie is not by any means an above-average post-apocalyptic film. In fact, it includes many things that make it something of a high-budget B-movie with cheesy dialogue and senseless characters. This is seen in the film's dorky humor and unnecessary exchanges between the characters that occur when the apocalypse starts - the event represents the appearance of invisible creatures whose sight makes the same person immediately commit suicide (unless you’re a homicidal psychopath, then you’re just employed as interns by the same demons/aliens/something else).

The flashback moments are in contrast with those segments where the plot takes place in the present time, where Sandra Bullock's Malorie tries to save herself and her two kids - here, Bird Box resembles the much better A Quiet Place in many ways, working as almost an homage. But, the flashbacks to the start of the event are worthy of the worst moments the worst films that M. Night Shyamalan created, including stupefying and forced drama, there to complement one-liners straight from scriptwriting hell. However, ultimately, the film is still enjoyable as a horror survival and there’s no way to deny this.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Two Paragraph Review: Sicario: Day of the Soldado (2018)

Many have wondered, not without reason, why did the Denis Villeneuve’s original film need a sequel. In truth, it didn’t, but it would be hard to argue that the first film is some kind of once-in-a-lifetime release, even though it is really good. Sicario: Day of the Soldado is in many ways a rehashing of the same story, which now adds a bigger global angle that came along with the introduction of a strong political overtone. From a certain vantage point, it could be said that the Stefano Sollima story is more critical towards the real-world War on Drugs, but in either case, it makes little difference.

This film is primarily an action thriller, based on tense scenes and short but violent gun battles. It is geopolitical to the core, so there is plenty of headline-like elements that connect Mexican cartels, Somalia ship hijacking, ISIS and the CIA. But, like the plot itself that revolves around the kidnapping of a cartel boss for the purpose of starting a war in the Mexican underground, Sicario: Day of the Soldado feels like a cross-section of all these geopolitical issues. Furthermore, the plot as well seems to be a cross-section of a broader story that is never fully shown to the viewers. If the movie was not good in its primary genres, all of this would end up being frustrating. Because Sollima, the film is well-made - it is just hazy in its narrative but still engaging just as much as the one Villeneuve made three years ago.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Crowdfunding Push: The Great Heartbeat

The realm of human emotion and experience is one of the huge uncharted frontiers we’re, as a species, are only starting to discover. A new documentary movie is looking for support to make one such exploration -  The Great Heartbeat aims to look into the realm of love and its impact on the way we function both a society and individuals. Here is how the campaign for the same film defines itself:

The Movie is Called The GREAT HEARTBEAT is about spreading LOVE throughout the world In Unity. A Human Journey to Remember Who we Really Are and in every step of the journey we find that the Connection that everyone has in common in the world is LOVE and through that HEART Space that Sacred Place finds that people are the Greatest Gift to this world and in Love & Unity with the Creator is the Bridge to Peace on Earth. A Quest to bring that Vision to Reality ONE Connection at a time.