Sunday, February 23, 2014

Film Review: Lone Survivor

Copyright: Foresight Unlimited
If you know how the movie ends, does it spoil all the fun? Well, no. A lot of times the movies start from the end of the story and work their way backwards. Lone Survivor is a type of film, which doesn’t regard the intrigue of the end as something really important. The whole plot of a Navy Seal mission in Afghanistan that went from bad to worse is a true historical event and is well-known, even notorious because of the lost American lives (Afghan live were also lost in great numbers, but those guys don’t have Hollywood so screw them).

Peter Berg directed this film in a way that is extra safe. It focuses on the camaraderie and the almost suicidal willingness of the Navy Seals when it comes to following orders. Berg stays away from the question what were those guys even doing in the Afghan mountains, fighting a war against the Taliban. To the soldiers, those enemies could be Martians or the British regulars; it just doesn’t matter, because they have to die.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Film Review: Devil's Due

Copyright: 20th Century Fox
As I watched the first few minutes of this film, I realized that the biggest horror would be if the movie continued in the same fashion as the beginning. Here we are shown private footage of Zach and Samantha, a young couple that gets married and goes to their honeymoon in the Dominican Republic.

We see them having fun, goofing around with each other and enjoying the Caribbean setting. Also, any sex they might have filmed was obviously diligently deleted, because everything they do is very PG13.

This part of the film is appallingly lifeless. Allison Miller and Zach Gilford, who play the couple lack chemistry most of the time, and seem like home schooled rigid Christians who took off their purity rings, folded their signs against abortion and same-sex marriage and started to pretend that they are spring breakers living in the moment.

Even worse is the fact that Gilford tries to present his character as that laid back guy who always has a smart remark but is still a great and caring partner. Instead he presents a preppy obnoxious jackass.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Film Review: Charlie Countryman

Copyright: VVS Films
Fredrik Bond is obviously a guy that appreciates the visual side of things. In this film, his main character, Charlie a young man from the USA who learns from the ghost of his deceased mother that he should travel to Bucharest, is a person that enters a world of different sights and lights. That world, however, is erected on a very bad script.

In fact, on several occasions Bond doesn’t even bother with the script. Instead, Charlie simply takes drugs or gets beaten up by Romanian thugs, and his experience becomes a music video, followed mostly by Moby music.

It’s not odd that the director is partial to Moby’s song. After all, he did shoot one of his videos called Moby: Play back in the day when Moby was still in the sphere of media existence. This happened in 2004, and after it Bond did (at least according to his IMDb resume) nothing, until somebody gave him the resources to shoot Charlie Countryman. In the last 10 years, his talent didn’t mature, and it looks like Bond perceives film making as a task of adding sporadic conversation to one long music video.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Film Review: Big Bad Wolves

Copyright: Magnet Releasing
Here we have a thriller that was most definitely created outside of Hollywood. More importantly, it’s created outside of regular sphere of Western artistic thought. This Israeli film set in the same country and dealing with child serial killings is something that is quite different.

Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado who directed Big Bad Wolves first set their movie apart by using black humor and restricting information to the audience. The first point presents itself as a really offbeat, quirky tone that the film carries in its roots. The humor Keshales and Papushado use is almost vaudevillian: some scenes are followed by weirdly calming music, like the tunes in the old cartoons. In other, bleak deeds are stopped and interrupted by funny, childish ringtones that are followed by odd conversations on cell phones that involve worried mothers and soups.