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.  

Monday, December 10, 2018

Indie Showcase: Paraplegics List (2015)

This independent action horror is a good example of the long tradition of experimental films in these genres. Instead of going for a tried and tested formula of making a low-budget but a standard movie (like Last Shift, for example), the director of Paraplegics List Shafeeq Muhammad decided to take a different approach with this release. Here is how the film defines itself:

Three urban detectives in conflict with each other must hunt down a mythological clown killer who preys on the unsuspecting disabled all while balancing their personal lives. In the meantime, recent savage tortures/killings go on unresolved in the Chicago Hood crime scene. Time is running out as more victims become more frequent and they try to avoid being a part of the paraplegics list.

The plot reads as a strong homage to the entire movement of exploitation flicks of the 1970s and 1980s, especially because of the horrendous idea of a serial killer hunting the disabled. 

Friday, December 7, 2018

Forbidden Power is out on Vimeo on Demand!

Movies, Films and Movies already covered the Forbidden Power film a few months back. This science fiction mystery thriller by Paul Kyriazi is definitely a release that has easily set itself apart from the rest of the global independent scene thanks to both its topic and the ambitious delivery. On the festival scene, it already got a range of nomination and won Best Special Effect and Best Young Performer on the AOF MegaFest.

Now, the same film has appeared on a new online streaming platfrom. The entire Forbidden Power is now available on Vimeo on Demand, where it can be watched or streamed to a smart device. Overall, I'm genuinely impressed with this Vimeo service so if you did not try it out so far, checking out Forbidden Power is the perfect moment.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Film Review: Dark Fortune (2016)

Copyright: Corinth Films
There’s a strong and hard-to-pinpoint sense of terror that runs deep in Dark Fortune. At moments, this hard-hitting family drama could be even confused for a toned-down horror film, all thanks to that existential fright that reverberates through not just the plot, but the characters themselves. In the film, the feeling of being scared of something is almost visceral for the viewer. The same emotion does not come from monsters, but something much worse - buried memories that have so much hidden power over the lives of those who suffer from them.

The film, directed by Stefan Haupt, is set in Switzerland where a psychologist Eliane gets an emergency call. Her hospital just received Yves, a young boy who is the only survivor of a car crash that took the lives of four other people - his parents and siblings. Now, he is alone, left with only his aunt and grandmother, who are actively feuding about his future.