Saturday, February 28, 2015

Film Review: Wild Card (2015)

Copyright: Lionsgate
Wild Card is one of the films that can be listed under the Neo-Statham movies. In these films, it seems like Jason Statham is trying to slightly get away from his previous batch of action films while he still remains grounded in the action and thriller genres. He tries to make this work by playing action guys who are not into being actions guys, but are into drinking and wasting their life. Redemption is a great example of this trend and it definitely continues with the Wild Card.

In this movie, Statham plays Nick Wild, a washed-out Last Vegas tough guy who works as something between a low-level bodyguard and a private investigator (which he claims he is not). The purpose of these jobs is to allow him to drink and gamble, both of which are going into the red for Nick (although not in a extent of the character Bruce Robertson from the movie Filth).

One day, Holly, one of his friends from the Las Vegas strip nightlife, tells him that she was assaulted and molested by a mobster and his goons and begs him to help her get back at them. Nick is dismissive at first, knowing the connection of the mobster in question, but then reluctantly agrees.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Film Review: Board to Death (2015)

Copyright: Broken Lens Production

A lot of cool sounding things come from Board to Death, a short indie neo-noir thriller made by a Broken Lens Production, a production company made up from young filmmakers. The film’s director Dammie Akinmola created a very simple thriller black and white piece about a crazed husband who is determined to kill all those who have disrespected his beautiful but very insidiously quiet wife.

With this film, Akinmola showed that he really can pack a tight frame and position the camera (and even its motion, which is always tricky for small productions) so it shows all the hallmarks of the noir genre.

At moments, the film seems like a raw version of Sin City: A Dame to Kill For before the CGI is plastered over the actors. Here, the film really shines as a mute piece about a dangerous man in bleak surroundings.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Film Review: Suburban Gothic (2014)

Copyright: New Normal Films
Praise is the horror comedies, the long-lost genre that was perfected in the fires of the 80’s. To watch Suburban Gothic is something like being transported back to that golden era, but while keeping hold onto the humor and the weirdness of the modern age.

Thanks to this distinctive groove, which is both wacky and enticing, its director Richard Bates Jr. made, first and foremost, a great comedy. In it, there are threads of terror, but also (totally unexpectedly) of drama that offers real emotional impact (if only for seconds).

In the film Raymond, a young man with a very hip sense of style (which is also prone to attracting bullying) returns to his small-town parent’s house after he receives his MBA. There his parents greet him while he is quietly devastated by the notion of living once more with his condescending, covertly (or not so covertly) racist and verbally abusive father Donald.

He tries to make the best of it, but he soon begins to realize that something is amiss in his old home. At the same time, memories of his childhood, filled with ghostly apparitions, begin to return.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

MFM Oscars 2015 Predictions

Copyright: ABC
Oscars 2015 are just a day away, so it is fitting that I place my bets on the winners of the upcoming 87th Academy Awards. With some great films and great performances, I will do my best to pick out the names that I believe have the biggest chance of bringing home the gold figures.

This year will probably be remembered for a lot of films in the Best Picture category which seem as if they are not the regular AAA Hollywood type movies. While this is refreshing and interesting, the Academy is still that well-known grand old place where constant work and dedication to the standard motion picture business are rewarded, so I'm making my assessment not only on the films themselves, but also previous work that the filmmakers, writers and actors invested in this incredible branch of the entertainment industry.
Like always, there will be a lot of trade-offs because many films are nominated in several categories, which makes prediction really tricky. For those categories where I’m not completely sure, I will split my chances by choosing two winners with a 30-70 percent chance of getting an Oscar (and lower my chances of looking dumb). Here are my picks of the Oscars 2015 nominations.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Film Review: The Imitation Game (2014)

Copyright: The Weinstein Company
Alan Turing had it rough, but it was all kind of worth it. This is, in a nutshell, the idea that I got from the film The Imitation Game. This story about the king of computer geniuses of the first half of the 20th century is very polished and the cherry on its top is Benedict Cumberbatch, who is a great actor and the next gigantic crush for all those boys and girls who really loved Ryan Gosling before he became really popular.

Yes, everything is here and all it very compacted and easily digestible, but somehow, for me, something was very lacking and very off in this film. Its director, Morten Tyldum, had a similar effect on me with his previously best-known film Hodejegerne. In it, just like in The Imitation Game movie, I have a feeling that Tyldum strives for bedazzlement and charm, all in a desperate attempt to leave the audience without too many questions, mainly, what did we really learn about its main characters?

Sunday, February 15, 2015

MFM Interview: Ferand Peek

Ferand Peek is the director behind the excellent independent sci-fi short film called Mis-Drop. The piece, apart from being very engaging to watch, also offers a glimpse into a combo of filmmaking techniques that offer a way of producing a movie that both looks and feels like its counterparts from the big production companies. I got an opportunity to talk with Peek about Mis-Drop and other things, especially those concerning the production of this little sci-fi gem.

Movies, Films and Movies (MFM): Mis-Drop is one of the most interesting Sci-Fi short that came out in recent years. Tell us more how this film came about? Who had the initial idea and how did the project move forward after that?

Monday, February 2, 2015

Film Review: Inherent Vice (2014)

Copyright: Warner Bros. Pictures
When it comes to reclusive literary geniuses from the US with inkling for deconstruction of worlds where their characters reside, Thomas Pynchon and Cormac McCarthy could be the ideal contenders (I’m not counting J. D. Salinger in here mainly because he doesn’t fit in my main idea, so I will ignore him). In recent years, McCarthy got two phenomenal adaptations that made a huge blessed dent in the hull of the modern cinematography, even its mainstream aspect.

First one is The Road, which is the less known sibling of the pair, while No Country for Old Men already became a modern masterpiece (and it totally deserved this, at least in my view). Hopefully, the Blood Meridian (one of the finest fiction books that came out in the second part of the 20th century from the US) will also become a movie, and this too has the capacity to make something extraordinary.