Friday, October 30, 2015

Coming Soon: Fingerface

When it comes to low-budget films, it's possible that Andrew Dawson managed to break the mold. This filmmaker created a feature-length romantic comedy using only his own fingers and a whole lot of hours of creating scenery, filming and doing everything else a film needs. According to the Fingerface official site, the plot of the film goes like this:

After losing his job, Giles does the only logical thing. He gets very, very drunk. And in the haze of the bar he sees a girl. Not just any girl. Giles is sure that she’s the girl of his dream from the night before. Her name is Stephanie and it turns out that she’s a lot harder to impress in real life than in dreamland. To win Stephanie’s heart, Giles has to travel the world, turn his back on his friends and give up his other dreams of becoming a musician. But is she worth it? And is Giles really in love, or is it just good, old-fashioned lust?

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Film Review: The Visit (2015)

Copyright: Universal Pictures
M. Night Shyamalan is a polarizing figure, which some adore and many others shun. 15 years ago, he burst onto the scene with a one-two punch that included The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable, one of the most impressive mystery films of the late 1990’s. But then, as the age of the 21st century came about, Shyamalan kind of lost his touch, or was unable to evolve it into the new age, constantly reverting back into his comfort zone of early X-Files episodes, both in terms of narrative and visual delivery.

His subsequent films all lacked that synergy that could combine a twist-based idea with an interesting and attention-worthy movie plot. Instead of that synergy, most of them just ended up being a Twilight Zone episode turned into uninteresting films. Other, none-mystery films like After Earth were just horrendous and should be forgotten as quickly if possible. But now, out of nowhere, 15 years after losing artifact of cinematic super-power, Shyamalan found it in the most unlikely place – a horror comedy from the found footage genre.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Film Review: Dope (2015)

Copyright: Open Road Films
It’s both strange and interesting to see that for the upcoming generation of teens, mainly those born in the late 90’s, the same decade is slowly becoming a part of an urban legend. Like the 80’s for those who are 10 or 15 years older, the time period that has passed since then allowed this decade to receive a shiny gloss that makes it look very appealing. Dope is not a film about the 90’s nostalgia, but the fact that it does include it as one of the main plot points shows that its creators and producers were able to recognize emerging trends. Fortunately, they didn’t ruthlessly exploit them but instead coated the bitterness of the film’s core message in an easily salable form.

It’s only when Dope is inside of our bellies that we recognize the grim topics it explores – mostly the rampart 2.0 racism that still dominates over the African-American and Latino communities in the biggest US cities. Its director Rick Famuyiwa is by no means a household name, but after this film, it is undoubted that he will receive plenty of exposures.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Film Review: Pay the Ghost (2015)

Copyright: RLJ Entertainment
Since Nicolas Cage became a one-man-meme generator a couple of years back, a notion has grown in the public consensus that the man simply can’t act very well or according to the designated character. Of course, this idea elegantly ignores films like Vampire's Kiss, Wild at Heart, Raising Arizona, Guarding Tess, Leaving Las Vegas and Adaptation. 

Yes, it’s true that his choice of films in the 21st century wasn’t exactly stellar (Bangkok Dangerous, for example) and his manic energy often comes out in sublimely weird ways, but essentially, in my opinion, Cage has absolutely nothing to prove anymore.

Now, he obviously works using the Michael Cain rule of accepting all that is offered to him in his price range and Pay the Ghost is strangely one of the best films he participated in over the last few years.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Film Review: Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation (2015)

Copyright: Paramount Pictures
The latest installment of Mission: Impossible franchise seems determined to impress right from the first minute. As the well-known images of Tom Cruise hanging from an ascending cargo plane appear on the screen, along with a visceral feeling of anxiety (the director Christopher McQuarrie knows his action sequences), the audience is left to witness a film flawlessly made for the 5-second attention span generation.

As the story progresses, there is no time to slow down the action or take a break. The thriller and action modules just come one after another, linked together by a vague plot about a terrorist organization wanting to change the world for the better by killing important people and blowing things up.

Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt runs around once more, looking fit and stylish, strangely untouched by over 20 years since the first Mission: Impossible films both in stature and the way he presents his character. In the subsequent 2 hours of Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation, several fantastic segments take place, covering everything from suicide bike chases to suicide breath-diving hacking intrusions.