Saturday, May 30, 2015

Film Review: Kung Fury (2015)

Copyright: Laser Unicorns
Like all great plagues in history, the 80’s nostalgia was also gaining strength unseen and hidden, sprawling in the corners of the public collective consciousness. It started with the demonic resurgence of pixel art, a form of visual design that people in the gaming industry happily buried more than two decades ago. This spread to VHS tapes, vintage computers and many other things which are now cool as cucumbers only because the generation that grew up in that period (like me) entered their fourth decade and is prepared to pay money to see more of this falsely golden decade. But like Mary Schmich remarked long ago, nostalgia is essentially a process of recycling that turns old memories into overpriced notions which we cherish.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Film Review: Poltergeist (2015)

Copyright: 20th Century Fox
Poltergeist from 1982 is one of those films that are etched into the hearts of many generations. Here, Spielberg showed how horror and utter amazement can go hand in hand while it also generated incredible amounts of money. Naturally, topping that for any would-be re-imagining is a pretty big deal, which is why, it seems to me, the creators of Poltergeist 2015 really didn’t even try.

I have to say right off the bat that I really loved this film. It has some awesome visual moments, mainly where the light from objects is used as a material element, not as something untouchable. Here, the director Gil Kenan really presented some impressive moves, which are not overproduced or hammered upon the audience by the 3D setting.

At the same time, many problematic things that often show up in horror films, like obnoxious little children or the irresistible need to make the actions of the protagonists logical (they never are and we’re never convinced as the viewers by the explanations) are completely excluded. From the first moment a child disappears, the parents are like: “This is supernatural. We have to call the Ghostbusters.”

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Film Review: Ex Machina (2015)

Copyright: A24
When I heard about Ex Machina, I was really looking forward to seeing it, mainly because of one name – Alex Garland. 

As an experienced writer, Garland worked on a number of sci-fi-ish things, including excellent films by Danny Boyle. But, when I saw it, I realized that the whole film indeed resides on a single name, but that’s not Garland, but one of its three main actors, Oscar Isaac.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Film Review - Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

Copyright: Warner Bros. Pictures
At one point in the Mad Max: Fury Road, a character calls bullets “anti-seeds” because you plant one and then watch something die. This is not a big part of the film, nor did its director George Miller put some special emphasis to this idea, which is delivered in less than 20 seconds and then never mentioned again.

But, as soon as I heard it, I thought to myself that this is a pretty interesting idea, but more importantly, one that I never heard before. It made sense instantly while, at the same time, it was very original and funny in a dark way. I had one of those “why didn’t I came up with that idea first?” moment. Its morbid, biting, and comical wisdom is like the entire film. In it, there is nothing spectacularly new or never seen before. But, as a whole, it’s an anti-thesis to the idea that big blockbuster films need to be stupid or made by Christopher Nolan.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Crowdfunding Push: The Chair

The Chair, a new horror that focuses on the gritty, dark corners of a human mind is currently looking for funding on their Kickstarter campaign aimed at completing its post-production tasks. It states:

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Coming Soon - Mad Max: Fury Road

The critics who managed to see the film love it and all the footage and trailers we saw pointed to the same conclusion - Mad Max: Fury Road will be one hell of a film - from the violence to the beautiful cinematography and crazy action choreography, it's all here. It is coming out in a matter of days, so be ready to start planning to go and see it once it hits the theaters on May, 15. 

To get into the mood (unless you want to stay pure until you see it on the big screen) here is Mad Max: Fury Road Official Retaliate Trailer.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Film Review - Kingsman: The Secret Service

Copyright: 20th Century Fox
This movie is best described as unexpected. This is true for several layers of it. On a global narrative level, it provides a plot about Eggsy, an ordinary yob from London, who one day gets drafted into Kingsman, a non-governmental, secret spy service. 

His mentor is Harry Hart, his complete opposite - he is a gentleman from a bygone era and an individual who is determined to get the job done, even if that means repaying a man who saved his life almost 20 years ago. While he tries to mold Eggsy into spy material,  Richmond Valentine, a hugely successful tech entrepreneur, dreams about saving the world in a way that seem to be leaving plenty of corpses in its wake. Soon enough, the Kingsman take notice.

Here, the regular elements of a fish-out-of-water and a tradition James Bond plot are mixed, but throughout the film, they are constantly reshuffled and dealt over and over again, which produces a really high level of engagement. The director of Kingsman: The Secret Service Matthew Vaughn guides the film as if he is influenced by both larger than life spy films and modern, edgy sitcoms (where things like fisting or anal sex jokes are not a big deal) which makes the plot development a process that just can’t be predicted. The comic elements of the film, especially their offbeat and adult nature, provide a lot of fun during the action scenes, but also when the action dies down.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Film Review: Last Knights (2015)

Copyright: Lionsgate
One of the things that really produced a whole lot of problems for Last Knights is everything about it apart from the film itself. First of all, it has a horrible title, which sounds really similar to First Knight, Last Samurai and anything else that is “last” and includes men wielding some kind of swords. Then, it poster features Clive Oven and Morgan Freeman looking all serious while riders do serious stuff behind (or in front) of them.

Finally, the film’s trailer and synopsis suggest a variation of the 47-Ronin story, which was all done before and never lead to stellar results. When I saw this, I immediately thought that the film is trying to imitate, at least on the surface, those much more famous films, like B-production movies often do.

So, there is no doubt that the casing of this product isn’t much. But, this film is no B-production ripoff. Thanks to the cinematic gods of irony, the movie Last Knights is actually really good. First of all, its dialogs are brilliantly written. The film carries a basic story about a discredited feudal lord whose knights, mainly their commander Raiden, get without a retainer, their jobs, and their honor. Of course, an evil and corrupt official is behind all of this and Raiden does not seem like a guy who lets go of stuff easily.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Coming Soon - Avengers: Age of Ultron

Copyright: Walt Disney Studios
Finally, the day when we see Vision as a movie superhero has arrived! At last, the vision (pun intended) of that purple man with godlike powers and a nice spandex suit will rain upon our brains via our optic nerves, where it will be, without any doubt, imprinted for ever and ever. Of course it would. After all, we're talking here about Vision, a man who is like Batman, Jesus, Nikola Tesla, and Superman, all rolled up into a single figure of unprecedented importance. Many real-life events fail in comparison when they are stacked up against Vision.

With its divine appearance, the dream of countless generations who shivered in the dark caves, wondering when will they see Vision, the most relevant fictional character in the history of humanity, will thus be realized. Behold – today, on May 1st, Avengers: Age of Ultron is getting released in movie theaters around the world, but more importantly, the same film will feature minutes upon minutes of Vision footage, including those that show him slightly levitating above the floor.