July 26, 2010

The Commune (2009)

I was fortunate enough to obtain the chance to watch this film via a contest which was held over at
Day of the Woman. BJ-C ran a contest which was fairly simple: just e-mail her and say you want the DVD. I thought, sure, why not...I never usually win anything anyways (the last thing I ever won was an autographed JASON X script. Yeah, something to totally gloat about, I'm sure.) And low and behold, I wound up being the lucky winner. What I received was a THE COMMUNE DVD, a Peace Sign necklace, as well as a personal note from the director herself, Elisabeth Fies. I thought it was genuinely great to see an Independent Filmmaker going to this length with this film, truly showcasing that their first project is definitely a labor of love.

The simple quick synopsis for the film is as follows: A young virgin finds herself isolated in a remote commune of religious "family" members with a sinister agenda to ensure their supernatural survival. With the horror of entrapment, sacrifice and familial dysfunction as Jenny confronts the evil that is her father and his new family. Now, from what BJ-C had told me about the film, she said I was really in for a treat along the lines of the slow-burn aspect as The Wicker Man and Rosemary's Baby. I loved those two films, so I was really expecting to enjoy this film.

I really, really wanted to like this film. It had it's moments, I'll give it that (the way certain scenes are shot, imagery, etc) but I think the slow-burn aspect of it all...hindered my enjoyment. Yes, I love character development and all that stuff, but when it comes down to building up to something, I expect it to totally blow me away...but sadly I saw the ending coming a mile away, so it didn't really affect me the way I think the filmmaker had intended.

Some of the acting was a little blah for me as well. Granted, yes, the members of the commune were supposed to come off that way, but when it came down to it, I think they were trying a bit too hard to get a "weird factor" out of their characters. When we're first introduced to Jenny, I couldn't stand her. It took me a long time for me to really even care about her, so watching a film in which I really don't care about any of the characters is really hard for me to keep interest in.

Seeing as I foresaw the ending, I honestly don't understand what all of the other reviews are getting at when they say that it's a "Raw, sick, twisted and disturbed" kind of film. I just never got that feeling out the film whatsoever.

I will hand it to Elisabeth Fies though, seeing as this is her first outing as a Filmmaker. She knows how to write Character Development and work with the camera, as well as lighting and things of the sort. You can tell she knows the shots she wants, how she wants them to look, and it overall looks fantastic.

All in all, if you're in the mood for something different, and love supporting independent filmmakers, I say go for it.

July 8, 2010

The Wolfman (2010)

Let it be known that I am a sucker for the old school Universal Horror Monsters. Frakenstein, The Wolfman, Dracula, etc. So, when sitting down to watch 'The Wolfman' my mind was filled with the sense that this new remake may have come off as a bit tacky, and that was my biggest concern. But, after watching the film, I can honestly say that I was VERY impressed.

Benicio Del Toro does an amazing job as Lawrence Talbot, the role once held in high regard by Lon Chaney, Jr. He played the part perfectly, and there were times when watching it that I could see a vague hint of Chaney in his performance. Anthony Hopkins did a pretty solid job as well as John Talbot...but that's always to be expected from him. The film looked wonderful as well. From the locations, cinematography, and over all look of the film was great. It oozed mysteriousness and carried with it a very foreboding feeling the entire picture.

Rick Baker did a great job with his makeup effects, as I genuinely love his style. He clearly has respect for the legend Jack Pierce, and the make-up is fantastic. I'm not a fan of CGI, but the use of it here didn't really bother me as much as I thought it would. I also thought that a lot of Bakers makeup effects and such would be trimmed and replaced with CG, but I was happy to see a good amount of his work still evident.

I wish that they used more of Maleva the old gypsy, which was a key character in the original.

Overall, all I can really say is that it's a fun horror/action film. Great acting, the sets and visuals are superb, etc. There are also some pretty nice kills in this one for those of you who are wondering how vicious they've made The Wolfman this time around...rather than strangling his victims. While the film can be fun, the plot suffers a tad bit, due in large part to it's pacing, which eventually leaves some plot holes. Regardless of that, it's just fun.

July 3, 2010

Thoughts on the "Let the Right One In" remake...

Now that the teaser/international trailer has been released for the Americanized version of Let the Right one in, I felt the need to post my thoughts on it in much greater detail than just a sentence.

As a huge fan of the original film as well as equal if not slightly a bigger fan of the book (which I read after seeing the film)...I feel slightly conflicted. When I first heard heard that they were remaking this, I immediately hated it. Sight unseen. However, when I read multiple interviews and articles stating that it would be a re-imagining with differing plot points and NOT a direct remake, I was slightly encouraged.

Now that the trailer is out, it looks a hell of a lot like a remake to me. Like shot for shot in some instances. So, what's going on?

Also, using “From the Director of Cloverfield” to sell a movie is the equivalent of saying “From the mind of Diablo Cody.” It just doesn’t work. Also, a better music choice should have been used. Really doesn't set the tone for what the story is.

In the original they removed most of the trans-gendered pedophilia from the book, but they did not remove ALL of the transgendered pedophilia from the book, which just made a few scenes kind of confusing, but none to really over analyze. I will say that having read the book after seeing the movie was, well, different. And by different I mean Holy Shit, there was far more transgendered pedophilia than I was expecting.

I’m sorry, but are there really that many people who want to see this particular swedish vampire movie but don’t know how to read or have an aversion to dubbing? What is the reason for making THE EXACT SAME MOVIE in English?

I told them not to go there, but Hollywood went there.

What's going on?!

I'd just like to take some time to clear up the reasons as to why I haven't been giving this little ol' blog as much attention as I once did.

The past few months have been really hectic for me. I've had to relocate my living environment, as well as get my act together in the whole employment side of life. That has all worked out for the better, as I am now trying to stabilize two jobs. As of recently, any free time I have is practically devoted to sleep, or just simple relaxation.

I did a couple of quick entries lately, but not ones I am entirely happy with. I would love to be able to get back to the constant posts that once filled this blog, but my personal life has become my main priority. I have responsibilities to take care of, mostly for my future.

But don't you fret my little droogies, soon enough posts here shall become frequent, as there is no way I will ever let go of my Horror Blogosphere friends. I'm here to stay.

In fact, due to a recent contest I won over at Day of the Women, my nearest movie review will be of "The Commune."