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Showing posts from 2015

Housebound

Another excellent horror film from Down Under (more specifically New Zealand, I believe) -- the third I've seen this year from there. The other was Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead, and The Babadook. Those two were excellent. So was this one.

The opening scene is a man and a woman breaking into an ATM machine. The man proves to be somewhat useless, here, as he accidentally knocks himself out with a sledgehammer. The woman, on the other hand, springs the cash and drags her mate to their escape vehicle... only to get stuck on the speed bump when the engine stalls. Cut to the courtroom, where the unsympathetic judge frowns upon the usual methods of treatment and sentences the woman to eight months of house arrest with her mother.

I believe that horror films can be serious or funny or both; this film is both. They can be transparent, or hold their cards close to their chests; this film doesn't tip its hand. I started watching it expecting a serious film about a haunted house. The early…

The Admiral: Roaring Currents

This movie was great. Granted, I notice a pattern in Asian films to have a big chunk of exposition at the start, essentially delivered in a storybook fashion. Not a huge fan of that, to be perfectly honest, but given that this film was over two hours long and the prelude section lasted probably about three or four minutes of that, it's a very minor gripe.

Also notable is the acting lead, Min-Sik Choi, who I recognized from "I Saw the Devil" and "Oldboy." He's a very talented, diverse actor and here, demonstrates further flexibility as the grizzled, old warrior. He's more complex than you might think, and at times does hard things that might make you doubt him. But as Kambei Shimada said in "Seven Samurai": "That's war!" It's not all sunshine and rainbows, boys and girls. Frankly, I preferred a slightly ambiguous, "hard" character like this over something more obviously "good." And him having to inspire his…

Preservation

This film was a lot of fun, and honestly I went in a little skeptical because, well, Netflix didn't give it four stars or higher. However, I have to say that this was one of the most enjoyable horror films I've seen in years. Why? Well, honestly, I prefer a certain style when it comes to horror. In this case, the film made excellent use of the foreground and background, inserting or taking away what we expect or don't expect into a shot. It did this without relying on sound effects (or jump scares, as they're pejoratively labeled, nowadays). Even John Carpenter used sound effects in his masterpiece, Halloween, but plenty of shots didn't, and were more effective. Preservation had this same technique down pat, and I was mesmerized by how many creative ways it would play with viewer and defy expectations.

For example, the opening scene in the film takes place inside a moving car, with two brothers singing a song as they drive through a forest. The cameraman is positio…

Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead

I've decided to create a blog for movies that I watch. Just new movies, for the time being. I haven't spent as much time doing it (watching movies) as I have in the past, but am trying my best to sit through a new film every day.

The last film I watched was called Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead. It was recommended to me by Netflix, which does this based on films that you rate; the more you rate, the more "accurate" the recommendations. In this case, it hit a bull's-eye, because this movie was great.

So what constitutes great in zombie films? There's plenty of sub-genres. This one was a comedy of sorts (many are) and as it just so happened, it was pretty damn funny. Part of the humor was in the dialogue (with one character in particular being especially hilarious) and also in the visual gags. The action was hyper-choreographed, zany and over the top in a way that I haven't seen in earnest since Peter Jackson's Dead Alive or Sam Raimi's Evil Dead series…