Thursday, 24 December 2009
Thursday, 3 December 2009
Saturday, 21 November 2009
Thursday, 19 November 2009
On first setting eyes on Edward Bella asks the question ‘Who’s he?’, from that moment we also want to know the answer. Hardwicke uses a close-up of Bella’s face, as the music becomes a lot more intense when Edward walks into the room. The tension builds as there is a mid-shot of Edward’s pale yet perfect body, then there is a tracking shot of Edward’s face to see every reaction possible. We’re not given a moment to rest and there is a gently released close-up on each of their faces. It’s a good job they’re pretty with all these close-ups…
The couple are also placed in a lot of dimly lit situations, which are normally quite romantic; as in the restaurant or on the stand filled with fairy lights at the prom. It creates an idealistic view that every girl wants – to be wined and dined by a mysterious, romantic man (well, vampire…). There is a particular scene which is completely captivating, the famous first kiss scene in Bella’s bedroom. The camera remains static on a close-up two shot of both their faces. They gradually begin to get closer, and without any music to distract you from the situation you’re only focused around the action about to take place. When their lips finally meet it is passionate and exciting. But suddenly we’re taken away from it by Edward flying backwards. It basically just leaves you wanting more.
The banter between the two is great. ‘Your mood swings are kinda giving me whiplash’ or ‘so the lion fell in love with the lamb’ are just two of the great quotes this film has created. And with the passionate tone apparently continuing through the second installment, we’re bound to be quoting this film for another year until we’re given Eclipse, the penultimate movie in the series.
Sunday, 18 October 2009
Thursday, 15 October 2009
Sunday, 11 October 2009
Sunday, 20 September 2009
Sunday, 13 September 2009
They all use the same technique – Dark room, girl with no clothes on holding a huge blade, silence, loud bang, oh she’s dead. Right, so some who really dislike these movies need to open their minds a little. They’re fun at heart. In no other genre could you laugh at someone burning to death in a tanning machine than in one of these horrors. The acting is terrible, the camera shots are basic, but it takes us into this unthinkable world that dramatises everything. They’re like soaps but on a much gorier level.
And to be fair, these movies usually kick start an actor’s career. Anyone heard of Johnny Depp? Yep, his first film was A Nightmare on Elm Street. Brittany Snow, she was in Prom Night. Possibly one of the most predictable horrors about, but now she’s planned to do several films in the next 3 years.
They’re great, really. There’s no better way to spend an evening than to rent out a couple of these poor horrors and cringe away. Not at the blood, at the storyline! They’re not scary either, once you’ve seen a couple you begin to pick up the signs and start predicting who’s going to die next. It’s great for socialising.
As horrors frequently go main stream, a film genre of horror-comedy has arisen by them taking the techniques and manipulating them. One of the best scenes in Severance is where a huge spider is climbing up a girl’s back, she’s in a dark room, the tense music is going and then when she sees the spider, instead of screaming, she strokes it! Brilliant.
We’re even being given 3D horrors which explore a whole new realm of badness. So instead of shunning these cinematic creations, embrace them and let them live on! They’re all a bit of fun, and a hell of a lot funnier than some comedies around.
Thursday, 10 September 2009
Tuesday, 8 September 2009
Saturday, 5 September 2009
It’s the very beginning of chapter 15 - 01:04:14 to 01:06:55. Follow it along as I depict the filming of this all so brilliant sci-fi.
So yes, this film has used a ‘handheld’ camera all the way through. They call it handheld as it has the result of what seems to be a home video camera. It’s designed it give the movie a very action packed and realistic feel. The camera actually used was an extremely expensive one, usually sat on a tripod. This is because clearly the quality of the picture from a feature film camera is of much better condition than a home video camera.
We see an extended shot of the dropped camera on some wreckage. It’s dark, the materials are torn apart and the only sounds we hear are birds flying past and wind. It’s a very isolated shot. We aren’t given any other picture for a good 15 seconds. It makes you feel almost claustrophobic and you gain a real sense of destruction from the image provided to you. It makes you believe what the alien is causing is very serious and confusing as we don’t really understand what the material is that we’re looking at.
We begin to hear the walkie-talkie in the background to give some sort of evidence that there is widespread panic. It mentions that the alien is still alive, but it’s almost hard to focus on what it’s receiving as you’re so confused by the picture. This film was great for putting in subtle clues throughout to give away the story. You’ll need to watch it a good 10 times before you fully understand the story.
The material begins to move, and as it does the camera falls with it to make us believe this is a home video camera filming. A huge Hollywood camera wouldn’t fall so easily, but obviously it’s being encouraged to move by the cinematographer.
We hear the girl panicking and screaming at the boy who seems to be in pain. She’s trying to move him but we don’t quite gain access of this image, which again makes the situation unsettling as we do not know what’s actually going on. The camera begins to move a little more dramatically as she tries to move the boy, and it almost matches the panic given from her. The image is distorted, and the girl really seems in trouble.
Very quietly we hear from the walkie-talkie ‘god help us’ – Something unusual to hear through one which makes the situation that even more scary and realistic. Films like to portray a sense of reality, and with someone stating this over a walkie-talkie makes it seems more believable as they’re reacting like any sane person would.
We can see an image of the boy who’s hurt. His t-shirt is covered in mud and he has scratches all over him. He’s been thrown about and this kind of makeup makes us understand his pain a little more. He couldn’t have a crisp white shirt has it wouldn’t be possible with the situation he’s currently facing.
As the camera is being pulled about we see a quick shot of a dead body – A small but big gesture towards the danger of the situation. As the man is being pulled by the apparent camera man, the camera seems to hang directly in the centre of the screen, on his face. We see the reaction to his pain and relate to that. Whenever an audience are given a close up of an expression, you can’t help but react in the same way. He’s in pain, and the audience feel this by only being able to focus on his face.
As they stop moving the body, the camera drops on the floor. This looks like a fairly casual shot, but actually it’s been framed perfectly – It’s known as the ‘golden mean’. The camera image is in thirds. The third on the left are the people, the other 2 thirds are of the scenery. We see the people in the foreground and are able to focus around their anxiety, and then we see this city which is destroyed.
The scene isn’t at all pleasant. The buildings are on fire, smoke is coming from all over, and the people are worried. The girl holds the boy’s head for protection, and offers the audience their relationship. She is caring over him and is obviously helpless but trying to protect him. We then see two army fighter planes fly fast into the city – Something which would normally not be witnessed. By the audience seeing this it makes it seem that even more terrifying that the army have to be involved. The noises from these planes are so loud that they seem invading and add to the scare factor.
The group of people move from where they have been resting, and we see the wreckage from the helicopter crash. It shows what this group have faced, and is a real indication of yet more destruction caused. They seem to run away from the camera, but as one person realised they run back to retrieve it. As the camera is picked up clumsily we hear a scream from the girl. As the boy who’s filming looks up, the camera follows him. The picture becomes unfocused, and then refocused again. This makes the whole armature filming aspect seem more likely, plus providing that handheld feeling again.
As the alien is revealed, we see the dirt. The dirt was a very good way to make the picture seem real. We’ve seen the damage that’s been caused; of course the glass over the lens of the camera isn’t going to be crystal clear. By having these specs on the camera (which have been edited on afterwards) creates the feeling of carelessness. These people don’t care if the camera is dirty; they’re trying to save their own lives. All these little elements really help set the scene.
The reveal is done very slowly, so the audience can finally gain a good picture of this creature that caused so many problems. The footsteps shake the camera and are very loud. This creates an illusion of the power that this alien has. The screen is completely filled by the alien, showing the greatness of it. Behind is a very cloudy sky as well. We couldn’t have a clear blue sky here because it isn’t a nice setting. Grey is a dull colour, and to have that for the sky makes the whole situation that little more depressing.
As the alien looks down, we notice the boy whose filming is talking to himself as he is panicking. Suddenly the alien leaps down and for a second we have a clear picture of the face. This particular filming is almost POV as it is exactly what the boy would be seeing. Up until now we have just been witnessing what they’ve been seeing. It’s not necessarily been filmed to make you think you’re that person. It’s almost like this camera is you, and you’re in the situation as well!
As the camera gets pulled up and down, in the dark and in light we hear the girl once again screaming to create a sense of urgency and more panic to the situation. We hear smashing, see the body being swung, and his arms and legs appear. It’s all very confusing, and you just want it to stop.
When the image finally does stop it’s dropped next to the boy. For an extended time it tries to either focus on grass, or on the boy’s face. It becomes uncomfortable as you realise what you’re seeing isn’t necessarily you involved, but it’s what this handheld has picked up. The changes on focus make it seem real and quite disturbing. Plus, with the face being centre to the screen there is no one else to watch, so the audience have to sit and watch this camera focusing awkwardly.
We hear the girl yet again screaming and running over. She knocks to camera out of the way, and as it jolts it cuts to a black screen. But before it does that bars appear to show the connection cutting to add that final piece of editing to make all this filming seem like it’s happening from an inexperienced cameraman.
Hopefully that’s enlightened your viewing of Cloverfield a little, and you’ll think about all these different elements that go into a film to make it great! Enjoy District 9.
Friday, 28 August 2009
Tuesday, 25 August 2009
Monday, 24 August 2009
Sunday, 16 August 2009
Saturday, 15 August 2009
Monday, 10 August 2009
Wednesday, 5 August 2009
Thursday, 23 July 2009
Sunday, 19 July 2009
Tuesday, 14 July 2009
Monday, 13 July 2009
And of course, Johnny Depp is outstanding. He's cool, exciting, an icon. Many people have debated the fact that this is just another film glamorising a criminal, and it really does. But even so, he can just take a character and make that film solely dependant on whoever it is. You become caught up in his life, especially the love between him and Billie (played by Marion Cotillard). It really is a true love story showing this criminal's caring, attentive and frankly over protective side. Although Edward Scissorhands creates an almost poignant feel towards his acting abilities in love, the relationship between these two is way up their in his top love stories.
You may gain a sense of catharsis when you hear Christian Bale's acting, taking you back to the Batman movies. His voice sometimes slips into tight suit and mask mode, meaning his husky tones can be quite hard to understand. Nonetheless, he plays his part just as well, giving a tone of desperation in finding John Dillinger (Johnny Depp).
The seminal use of editing in this film is by no means good. The transition from one camera to the another can sometimes be a bit too obvious, and some scenes you can clearly see the use of sets, and the sound can become a little undefined, but this doesn't mean it is unpleasant to watch or to listen to. It's a proper 1930s gangster film for this modern audience. We haven't got men dressed in tracksuits, in too noisy to listen to cars. We've got smart looking men and women, listening to very appropriate music and drinking to enjoy rather than to get drunk. This is what a gangster film should look like. No one is seen taking an unbelievable amount of drugs, they all seem proper - Which could be why this film is so fun to watch, because it's so unexpected.
There are moments of gun shots that make you jump, the action is constant throughout, with a good amount of dialogue too. It is a good film, despite what you may have read. You just need to stay focused and enjoy what's being provided, rather than expecting a huge production for a film set in the 1930s. Films Depp are in tend to be quite slow, when he is the main character, as well. It's just the fact that he's so good at creating these characters that people have become so caught up in his world. They expect more, when actually he's providing everything an audience needs.
I can imagine this film would be just as good to watch on DVD, but go to the cinema anyway, it's a good 2 and a half hours of entertainment.
Sunday, 28 June 2009
Saturday, 27 June 2009
Friday, 26 June 2009
This isn't particularly entertaining unless you're very interested in George Bush's life. Films such as Ray that have shown us their life are usually entertaining and enjoyable to watch. This isn't really. Because you almost know what's happened in his life partially from the media, the film as it's developing doesn't get anymore exciting or fascinating.
It's shot beautifully and the colours are crisp, so this does make it quite pleasing to the eye. Oliver Stone (the director) is clearly interested in American history as he has directed and produced films such as Nixon, JFK and World Trade Centre. And you can see this through the film. It never strays away onto topics of irrelevance, it sticks clearly to Bush and his life. So you're definitely get what you paying for.
The actors involved are also pleasing to watch during the film. Not necessarily physically, but the way in which they portray the various characters. A lot of research has gone into this. We have people such as Elizabeth Banks, James Cromwell and Ellen Burstyn playing family members, as well as Josh Brolin who plays George.
It does drag though. It's like a documentary with very good cameras. You're sent back in time, then to the present, then back again - Little snaps shots of all the events that have made him who he is now. It doesn't get confusing, it just because unoriginal and dull. However, if you are interested in this president I would say to watch it. It's literally all about him. I know it sounds silly considering that's what it's aims were, but a lot of films side track and create multiple plot lines. This sticks to Bush from beginning to end, accent and all. If you're also into politics you may enjoy it.
Ultimately though, this is a film with little happening, monotone voices and little soundtrack. It's very slow and it's quite samey. You realise you're watching the 'behind the scenes' of his meetings, which aren't completely true because only officials were involved in these meetings, so basically you're watching a lot of made up meetings.
Monday, 22 June 2009
Sunday, 21 June 2009
The music and sets are extremely accurate, and really does make you feel as if you're sitting in the 1970s. Along with this the acting is brilliant. Sean Penn can usually take any character and really bring them to life, and he has done it once more. But it is not just him that makes the film believable to watch. His team which includes James Franko and Alison Pill make this a pleasure to watch, and a real emotional roller coaster. You see the trials and tribulations they faced. And as these characters are based on real people, the film is that more inspiring and exciting to watch.
You get a real sense of community, and from the real footage you know the movie isn't exaggerating the story one piece. The little profiles at the end of the film are a lovely touch to it as well. I didn't realise this was based on a true story, so if you didn't you know now. It really makes the film eye opening to see how people were treated, and how strong they were.
The only thing that lets it down is the fact that it is slightly repetitive, but I guess that is what it felt like for Harvey Milk and his team with what they faced. It does become a little duller towards the middle, but only for half an hour. Once that is over you begin to love the story again and the events that are uncovered once more.
It's shocking, fun, saddening and creative. It's a real unique Hollywood film, with a true life story that makes you want to stand up and make a change. No matter if you're straight, bi, gay or a lesbian you will feel some sort of sense of drive when you watch just how hard these characters had to work to be accepted. And it really does make you appreciate how, in most cases, society has accepted these sort of situations today. Yes you still get the homophobic people but they're usually just insecure with themselves anyway. Maybe if they watch this film they will think twice about their beliefs.
If you fancy watching a refreshing and inspiring story, really please do watch this.
Sunday, 14 June 2009
I'm sure if you know the typical story of a romantic-comedy you can guess the ending, and just about every other aspect of this film actually. Although some of the antics are quite shocking, especially seeing as it's an 18, this film isn't anything new. It contains funny moments, it contains a love story, it's typical of its genre.
It doesn't really hold your attention all that well. The story isn't fast paced enough and what you're watching becomes quite boring. It's a shame really, because the actors involved are brilliant in these sorts of roles but the script just isn't exciting enough to keep you entertained the whole way through.
You could say this is more a love story for men. The situations that Tank (Cook) creates, and the topics of conversation he has are aimed at the male audience. He's crude, rude and down right mean, which obviously the boys are going to find hilarious because it's quite slapstick. In terms of the predominant audience, females don't seem to be catered for all that much, apart from a wedding scene towards the end. Romance doesn't really feature in this film, and it's really only the desperation that a few of the characters portray in the film which creates the romance.
I was surprised to see this film as an 18, but from the very beginning you can understand why the BBFC had a little trouble with this being a 15 or 12. Tank uses the C word multiple times throughout the film, along with lots of other profanities you wouldn't expect the Queen to say in her Christmas speech.
This film isn't original, very entertaining or hysterically funny. It's a mediocre creation aimed to provide an easy viewing with a few little giggles maybe for a first date. Just make sure you go for a really good meal afterwards because it's pretty appalling to watch what goes on through most of it.
Friday, 12 June 2009
Tuesday, 2 June 2009
And the action involved is a lot more sinister. The director Tomas Alfredson hasn't been scared to use blood, breaking bones and very tense night scenes. And as the young boy is bullied, you really see the torment that he goes through, giving it a sense of realism to this very vampire world.
In terms of the special effects, they are very lacking. This film obviously didn't have a Hollywood budget, and a particular scene with cats doesn't give you the scare factor, but almost provides some sort of dark comedy due to the poor editing. It could have been much more effective to just leave the cats hissing, rather than pouncing on the vampire. Other than that this film is very effective and unique.
Some could call this film slow because in parts, if you're not interested in the originality of this kind of cinema, it doesn't provide the usual plot points a mainstream film would have. The films leaves it very much for you to decide what is going to make you jump. There is lack of music and camera shots making it a very lingering film which does add to the apparent slowness. But if you're willing to try a new experience then really, you have to watch this.
Straight away you'll see the deviation from American cinema because it really puts you straight into the gore. From then on you see what cinema has to offer if you really pay attention. This film doesn't give you every ounce of information, you have to work it out a lot yourself. It's not enigmatic, it's just very laid back with a real tense undertone. As the camera shots are so long, you have a while to take in the scenery yourself, rather than being given establishing shots and codes. It's a very good experience for a film in general.
Swedish cinema has been known for its slow pacing of films and this certainly lives up to its reputation. And being one of the most highly regarded films this year - Opening the Freight Fest, and creating frenzies for film reviewers around the world, it really has made a mark for this foreign cinema. With Sweden producing even more films in the future, this is definitely going to be one of it's trade marks.
So if you fancy a change and don't mind subtitles, go for it!
Sunday, 31 May 2009
This is a British film, so with that comes the very real and raw filming that British cinema tends to have. It's not as slick as Hollywood cinema, but as some people do not like this, I however do. It brings a sense of authenticity to the film which is so hard to come by, especially on horror movies. And with it being filmed around London impressively with nobody else on scene means it's even more mind blowing. This is probably why 28 Days Later has become a bit of a cult - Purely based on it's originality and brilliant cinematography.
Not only is the film like eye candy, the actual story, when it came out, was very new. We hadn't seen a film where it focuses around one man trying to find out what's happened to the abandoned city. Now there are many films that can give you this story, but if you watch this you will see how it is really done. It's intense, it's exciting, it's scary, it's emotional. This isn't your typical 'I'm going to kill everybody in sight' horror. This is a, if you can believe it, sophisticated gore fest.
It's definitely not one for the faint hearted. If you're easily scared I wouldn't see it because it will give you nightmares. But if you're one for the horrors you should give it a watch. And even if you have already seen it, watch it again. You're more than likely to have seen a few more horrors now. Watching this brings a breath of fresh air that you just can't seen to get from cinema much nowadays. And it's a film you can watch over and over again, and appreciate even more over time.
Danny Boyle directed this film. He's probably more known for Slumdog Millionaire now, but really you can see how film is his passion. He makes the experience a completely new one for you when you watch his films. He's also directed The Beach which is quite good in it's own little way. He knows how to capture an audience, and target the right people all at the same time. You really must give this a watch if you're not too scared to be in for a fright.
It's edgy, it's cool, it's brilliant. What more can I say?