Thursday, May 29, 2014

Alone - A short movie by Dillon Schohr

Dillon Schohr is a filmmaker from LA who made a short post-apocalyptic short film about a lone man trekking through the desert. The film features a very good soundtrack which works perfectly with the barren desert scenery. For me, its biggest drawbacks are an ambiguous storyline which kind of works against it in the end, as well as the final montage. Still, Alone is an interesting short piece, and you can watch it here.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Film Review: Dust of War (2013)

Copyright: Dust of War (2013)
Dust of War is an action adventure that works perfectly in concept. In a distant future, an alien invasion decimated our planet, and now, warring tribes fight over dominance while the mostly unseen, yet much feared alien masters pull the strings. A girl called Ellie is the key for the salvation of the entire humanity, but she is being held in a camp controlled by a ruthless warlord. Two mercenaries are sent on a covert mission to save her from a very unpleasant future, and give man a fighting chance.

Andrew Kightlinger, a veteran of several short features, directed Dust of War as his first feature length film. It’s obvious that Kightlinger worked diligently on the screenplay and polished it to action perfection. Every known and needed element is present in this film, starting with the damsel in distress.

Also, almost every imaginable post-apocalyptic character is in the script, and even the main antagonist called the General has two separate henchmen lieutenants that slowly build up their unique brand of evilness, and are bound to perish in two distinct but gruesome ways. Able, the main mercenary is quiet and lethal, while his older, cynical partner is everything but quiet. There is even a Native American tracker in the film!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Film Review: Godzilla (2014)

Copyright: Warner Bros. Pictures
This is a movie which I get, and at the same time I am left wondering if I truly get in the way its creator shaped it. A few years back, Gareth Edwards directed Monsters, a monsters flick, which really wasn’t about monsters at all. In the same fashion Godzilla 2014 really isn’t about Godzilla.

Somehow, I think that this movie is mostly about large-scale things that happen behind actors back, way beyond in the distance. This feeling of “destruction is so large that even those miles away are affected” is interesting, and Edwards really didn’t want to get rid of it (it was present in Monsters too, but everybody thought it was due to a small budget). In this film, he can show whatever he wants, but he still decided to hold back on destruction as long as possible. Godzilla 2014 can even be called a destruction tease.

The story of the film is full of people who just about manage to do something before everything gets annihilated by ancient monsters. Its characters are fluid, and their tasks get filled in when they arrive at a certain place. For example, Aaron Taylor-Johnson character Ford starts out as a loving father and a husband, then he is an angry son who turns into a reluctant explorer, then a bomb technician, a random child protector and savior, followed by a railway scout and finally he transforms into a special forces member.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Film Review: The Monuments Men

Copyright: 20th Century Fox
This wasn't the way to make a war film, or any other kind of film. The Monuments Men just doesn’t know how to connect the audience with its characters or its topic, although George Clooney tries desperately to do this. But, he does it by the old Hollywood playbook, first by introducing a merry band of men that are to form an Allied unit in the last stage of the 2.

World war, tasked with the protection of cultural treasures of Western Europe. Then Clooney, playing the lead character and directing at the same time (when you’re good looking you can do anything), further develops his Dirty Dozen Artists and Museum Curators, giving us the French guy, the Matt Damon guy, the Funny guy and the Cynical guy to somehow bind us to them.

This doesn’t work. There are too many of them, and it doesn’t matter that Bill Murray and John Goodman play them, they aren’t relevant enough to become important. Even worse, Clooney sends some of them to a secret mission in the German occupied France, and naturally this adds to the incoherence of the film.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Film Review: Dead in Tombstone

Copyright: Universal Pictures
I must say that I didn’t have very high expectations from this film. One look at the poster is enough for a decent plot summary, which includes a bandit coming back from hell to seek revenge on those who betrayed him.

But, honestly, I must say that I was pleasantly suppressed by the result. The director Roel Reine, who is no stranger to these kinds of films, quickly realized what the strong suits of this movie are: Danny Trejo and Mickey Rourke. First one plays Guerrero De La Cruz, the outlaw who gets killed and meets Lucifer, played by Rourke. With these two in a movie, it’s not possible to have a total flop.

Dead in Tombstone relies primarily on the western part of the story. The horror part, portrayed mainly by Rourke and his depiction of a soul-greedy Satan, staggers behind, and the action is mostly represented by gun, knife and fist fights. The production values of the film very solid for a DVD movie, and it was mostly filmed in Romania. The scenery is very nice, and the good people of Romania even built a little town in the prairie, which gets gradually destroyed in the course of the day which De La Cruz spends back among the living.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Melody of Love (TV series)

Copyright:  KBS1
Daytime soaps long time ago became a world trend from many TV networks. South Korea, with its expanding film production and many promising names (Joon-ho Bong and his Snowpiercer is first that comes to mind) is also a big producer of TV shows in this format. Melody of Love is a perfect example. This soap opera focuses on characters and their emotional relationships, but also includes a lot of music as a background story.

The storyline of this South Korean daily TV show drama follows the lives of several young people. They are all in their twenties and trying hard to begin their real adulthood. But, this turbulent period is a challenge for them, both in their professional and personal lives.