Friday, January 30, 2015

Film Review: American Sniper (2014)

Copyright: Warner Bros. Pictures
There are three types of men, American Sniper teaches us. These are the sheep, which can’t defend themselves, wolves who are the predators, and the sheepdogs. The last kind of people is “blessed with aggression”, but only uses it to protect the sheep.

The sheepdogs, however, apparently also make substantially problematic main characters in war dramas. From the beginning, we watch Chris Kyle, the deadliest recorder sniper in the US history, fights his way through life and war. Kyle is a simple dude who only wants to protect his buddies in the field of battle, and does the same with a very clear consciousness.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Film Review: The Taking of Deborah Logan (2014)

Copyright: Millennium Entertainment
There is a hint of great filmmaking in the Taking of Deborah Logan, but only when it is observed as a whole. During the film itself, many tropes and plot devices of the horror genre are there. In the movie, there are CCTV cameras that menacingly swivel around while we wait for things to jump into the frame, or analogue telephone switchboards that seem to be present in the film only so some kind of unearthly entity could make a call to it.

But, in spite of them, the film is actually very savvy when it comes to the choice of what should and shouldn’t be exploited in it. Primarily, unlike most found footage horrors, it knows when and who to land a very deep-rooted fright, even though it manages to do it only once in full force and does it right before it ends (which is for me one of the creepiest, did-I-just-saw-that moments in recent horror films).

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Crowdfunding push: The Fastest, Most Romantic Love Yet

With the title like The Fastest, Most Romantic Love Yet there should be little doubt that this Kickstarter campaign is aiming high when it comes to the plot of the film it was designed to support. Regarding its core narrative, its official page explains the plot like this:

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Crowdfunding push: Albion

After We Are Soldier, here is another Sci-Fi short that seems really interesting. It includes crash landings and ancient relics, which is a solid starting point while adding the Arthurian legend sprinkles even more flavor onto it. This is what the official Albion Indiegogo page states:

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Film Review: Taken 3 (2014)

Copyright: 20th Century Fox
The Taken franchise seemed very interesting back in 2008, when it brought a cool and minimal plot, featuring the ideally cast Liam Neeson as Bryan Mills, an ex-something-dangerous-and-murder-enabled man, but also a dad whose daughter gets kidnapped in Paris. The rest of the film covered Bryan hunting and killing his way to the end goal.

In this constellation, Taken worked perfectly while it balanced between ultraviolence and a regular action thriller. Neeson, who became very proficient in this type of role, which variation was recently seen in the A Walk Among the Tombstones, added the right kind of style and sealed the deal. The sequel pretty much did the same thing, but Taken 3, the ending of the trilogy, goes completely off its old playbook and because of that, ruins the fun.

Now, Bryan is his home in the Los Angeles area, where he lives separated from his wife, trying to be a good dad to her college-going daughter. One day, all this goes to hell when he comes back home and finds something terrible in his bed. The police burst in, believing he is responsible for the crime they find. Bryan does his ex-something Kung-Fu and flees the scene, determined to get to the truth by producing a pile of corpses that belong to one or another East-European crime syndicate.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

MFM Interview: Onur Tukel

During the past year, the horror comedy that impressed me the most was, without any doubt, Summer of Blood. I found this film insanely funny and engaging, while it was also totally offbeat, which is for me a great combo. Recently, I had a chance to talk with its creator Onur Tukel and got to learn more about how Summer of Blood got made, but also more about his take on horror comedies in general and his future plans. Read on for more!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Film Review: Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

Copyright: Walt Disney Studios
Guardians of the Galaxy movie is a merciless beast. It mainly targets the generation that fondly remembers the 80’s, but does this in a sort of haze. In this memory mist, things like cool cartoons and funky music are present, while things like chemical attacks of Iran-Iraq war are inconspicuously missing.

This comes from the fact that this nostalgia is being sold to people who were kids in that weird decade, or just leaving their true childhood. Those born in the early 70’s have nothing to do in this historical fantasy, mainly because they most likely didn’t play with spike-hair trolls or weren’t that amazed when they got their first Walkman in 1986.

In many other aspects, the film is coldly calculated to please its demographics. It plays on its own absurdity and lack of fame when it comes to popular culture (not many have heard about characters like Rocket before 2014) and its distance from much bigger franchise series made by Marvel. On the other hand, it dumps names, places and characters seemingly without any sense of tact, even to those viewers who are not familiar with the wider universe (who are the majority). But, with much cunning and no apparent strain, it is feeding every part of the demographics, like a great Pixar film, giving chunks to kids, teenagers and adults alike.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Film Review: The Retrieval (2013)

Copyright: Variance Films
There is no doubt about it - this film presents a harrowing experience. It is set in a horrible time, when the American Civil war entered its last, but still very bloody phase. More importantly, it examines a horrible relationship of slave masters and their slave controlled by fear which wasn’t often presented in films.

Its story revolves around two slaves by the names of Will and Marcus, who are commanded by a slave bounty hunter Burrell to enter the area behind Union lines. There, their mission is to somehow lure an old runaway slave, and now a free man called Nate, back to the Confederate-held territory. There, Burrell simply plans to kill him.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

So bad it’s good: The Hobbit - The Battle of the Five Armies

Copyright: Warner Bros. Pictures
Yes, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies movie has a lot of things in it, or should I say a LOTR of things (I had to make that pun). It has a dragon, armies one, two, three, four and five, and possibly six and seven, but this is more a question for all those Tolkien strategy masters out there.

It has magical stones, magical rings and a whole bunch of magical riding animals, starting with wolves, and going all the way to riding mountain goats, moose and even riding pigs. In the story, characters fight evil Orks while they lose their footing, and then other characters also fight other evil Orks while they also lose their footing in a slightly different manner.

The film has all these things, including never-ending battles where swords are mostly used clubs or metal planks (hey, the budget of the film was enormous, but no one can make that many engaging/not silly sword fights) but in spite of all these things, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is about one thing, and one thing only – a character named Alfrid.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Crowdfunding push: We Are Soldier

Military science fiction is a genre where independent films of the 21st century really entered a new domain of possibilities. Recently, I wrote about a miniature masterpiece of effective cinema called Mis-Drop and it perfectly shows indie potential when it comes to these kinds of stories. Now, a project about a similar militarized dystopian future needs help with its completion. The official We Are Soldier Indiegogo page states:

A former violent criminal, forcibly reprogrammed to be a mindless Battle Drone, regains his self-awareness in the heat of battle and must escape the clutches of his own forces whilst maintaining his newly-found humanity, or die trying.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

The Best Movies of 2014

In the last 12 months, humanity received another year’s worth of movies. Some of those were complete nonsense wrapped in a super-serious packaging while others had everything in theory, but still somehow became less than awesome. But, 2014, like the previous year, also brought about some absolutely brilliant films and movies which maybe aren’t perfect, but include elements or novel ideas that in my view deserve truckloads of praise. In the same year, Movies Films and Movies blog also added some new features, like the Crowdfunding push section and interviews with figures from the movie industry. But, when the year is done, the focus should be on the films which impressed me the most, so here is my list of the best movies of 2014 which I saw (I’m sure I missed plenty great ones, but those will be seen in 2015).