Monday, September 29, 2014

My Roommate: The Heavy Sleeper - A short thriller

A few months ago, I wrote and featured a short film called Alone. It was made by Dillon Schohr, a young US filmmaker, and set in a desert, post-apocalyptic landscape. Now, Schohr created a new film, this time setting it in a regular suburban environment, when a young man takes his new friend home, assuring her that his roommate is a heavy sleeper.

Once again, Schohr created a compact piece which this time plays on suspense, but the thing that really binds it all together is the fact that the main character is called Patrick and works in mergers and acquisitions. This alone should be enough of a hint, but there are others in this short thriller that you can watch below.

If you want me to feature your short film, contact me right here.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Film Review: Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

Copyright: Dimension Films
Frank Miller makes really good comics, and Sin City is no exception. First film, directed by Robert Rodriguez caught the world by surprise, but the second part seemed as if it might never get to the theaters at all (seem that way to me at least). Now, it’s here and it looks as if it spent last 9 years reading prison novels, drinking moonshine and working out using cans filled with concrete. The story of the new installment follows several narratives and it does this with the ease and confidence of a true champ.

Unlike the first film Sin City 2 seem more focused on the subtle (in Sin City terms) emotions, mainly loyalty and these ties (friendship, family or sexual love) that simply refuse to dwindle and die. It tells stories, including one about a woman who holds power over men, about a son who deems to reclaim respect and about frat boys who wanted to set homeless people on fire in the neighborhood where Marv drinks.

From the first moment, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For aim big and aim bloody. The interesting technique of black and white that are colored only for added emotional impact still works so well that I didn’t even noticed it until those colors remind me that I’m looking at a different kind of film. Rodriguez does wonders with gory violence and unbound, but still somewhat vintage sexuality, produced exclusively be Eva Green and her several erotically overcharged alter-egos.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Film Review: Edge of Tomorrow

Copyright: Warner Bros. Pictures
Tom Cruise fights aliens in a mechanized suit where one day replays itself over and over again.

Although the one-line plot summary cover the story top to bottom, this film is actually pretty good, mostly because of its brilliant editing. Cruise plays Major William Cage, a former PR guru turned public affairs officer who cozily follows an alien invasion of Earth from the position of a soldier who never saw any fighting. Unfortunately, he is ordered to take part in the invasion of Europe, the alien's main stronghold, and descends on a French beach along with the rest of the Alien D day attacking force.

He is killed immediately, and this is not a spoiler. Instead of going up to heaven to meet Elvis and Bruce Lee, Cage is back at the staging ground where he started his last day. He dies the second time around too.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Film Review: The Quiet Ones

Copyright: Lionsgate
As a twist on the old story “is he/she possessed or is there some other explanation”, the Quiet Ones drives on the same fuel as many other films, adding the obligatory “based on true events” mantra at its beginning.

In the story, a very motivated professor by the name of Joseph Coupland who dabbles in paranormal psychology looks for a cameraman who will aid him in his research. When he finds Brian, a willing young man to fill this role, he begins to tell his tale to the new recruit, as well as the entire audience.

In his care is a girl named Jane who is severely disturbed and suicidal, and who believes that an evil entity resides inside of her, enabling her to become violent, telekinetic and much worse. Coupland, on the other hand, is certain that her negative energy is producing all these occurrences, and is bent on proving it. When the community at Oxford decides to cancel his research, he moves his entire team, along with Jane and the new cameraman, to an isolated country house, ideal for research and terrible things happening to everyone.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Film Review: The Rover

Copyright: A24
When David Michôd created Animal Kingdom, I was truly impressed. This unspectacularly-looking crime thriller set in the contemporary Melbourne had a really disturbing feel about it, and I couldn’t put a finger on it. Its tense atmosphere, inhabited by cryptic yet totally understandable characters stayed in my mind for a long time, so naturally I was excited about seeing The Rover.

Partly, I expected something in line with Mystery Road, in the sense that the film would utilize the very familiar feel of the Australian outback, where tough people live in a hard land. The setting of the film, which takes place 10 years after an unexplained economic collapse, seems to further underline my expectations. Michôd is obviously not a big fan of anything that might look like oversimplification, we regularly see in other movies, especially when it comes to the thing that people feel. 

Because of this, The Rover isn’t a film about tough people. It’s a film about people who stopped being human in today’s standards a long time ago, but who still continue to live and breathe. Now, they are surrounded by violent deaths and total senselessness in any moral or philosophical way (on a second thought, maybe we are always surrounded by this). Eric is the main protagonist of the film, a loner who gets his car stolen by a small gang of men.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Watch "A Public Ransom" on Third Viewster Online Film Fest

No too long ago, I reviewed a small indie thriller called "A Public Ransom" directed by Pablo D'Stair. 

Although I wasn't overly impressed by the end result, I was impressed by the enthusiasm which has gone into making it, especially a very intriguing plot and a elaborate script. Now, the film is featured on the Third Viewster Online Film Festival and can be viewed online freely in the coming days. If you're interested in the early works of people like Jim Jarmusch and a minimalist neo-noir setting, you should check out "A Public Ransom".

Monday, September 8, 2014

Film Review and Ending Intepretation: Coherence

Copyright: Oscilloscope Laboratories
Simple plots and heavy physics was the combination that created the incredible film Primer. Not so long ago, its director Shane Carruth created Upstream Color, but his new science fiction film took a more symbolic turn (although it’s still an awesome film).

Coherence is a film that could have been perfectly in line with his older Carruth’s film. Its tale is extremely simple, and takes place during one night at a dinner party where old fiends converge to relax and catch up. Above them, an unusual comet is passing by, and its effects alter reality itself, as the guests soon begin to realize.

James Ward Byrkit made this film as his directorial debut, and he created something deeply impacting. By using a single house and its exteriors, he made due with a very solid acting crew that is, unfortunately, very far from Hollywood stardom (Maury Sterling is the most famous one in the cast, along with the veteran Nicholas Brendon). Maybe thanks to this fact, everyone had a point to prove, and they definitely did it with this movie. Coherence uses the paradox of the multiverse and the now very known (but rarely understood) thought experiment called the Schrodinger's cat.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Film Review: Night Moves

Copyright by Cinedigm
For a neo-noir, especially one dealing with home grown militants, Night Moves presents an unexpected setting. The film takes place in a beautiful countryside of the northern US, in tranquil pine forests, where everyone and everything seems peaceful, apart from the main characters, who boil with rage against modern society.

Jesse Eisenberg Dakota Fanning (who was great as a sarcastic but very young and ultimately confused Dena) and Peter Sarsgaard present three characters who desire to make a difference when it comes to the humanities attitude toward nature. Their means, unfortunately, is eerie similar to the one used by Timothy McVeigh, although their targets differ – the eco-militants in Night Moves plan to blow up a hydroelectric dam, seeing it as a monument of nature’s destruction.

One of the most important things that the movie does lies in its depictions of the characters as a part of that world. They are not lunatics or sadist, and they are definitely not broken inside. We as an audience don't get to see how they became what they are, but in their predetermined mindset, they are very stable and ideological secure (to a point). This makes them dangerous, without making them some kind of emotional strangers with whom we can't relate to.