Monday, 17 January 2011

The Rebound [DVD Review]

It's very rare that within 20 minutes of a film I want to turn it off. The Rebound created one of those moments in which I felt my life would not gain any satisfaction from watching the story. However, I was wrong. I did get some sort of appeal picking out everything that's bad with the story and finding ways to make it better. The boring tale, the unappealing cast and the lack of structure to the narrative made this not only uninteresting but difficult to sit through.  

I'll go in easy with the negatives to start off with. Catherine Zeta-Jones provides the 21st Century Mum, heartbroken and hard working. Justin Bartha (the only factor that makes this film even slightly worth watching) plays the puppy dog life loving ex-student. Together they clash, which isn't exactly what you want from a rom-com. I think I have more chemistry with a straw than they do together. Separately the characters work better and their lives become more interesting. But don't take those words too literally. "More interesting" means the bore of their non-existent love life makes anything else worth watching. 

This is a very generic genre, and with the repetition of the same story told over and over, there have been some interesting variations of the outcome from events and the character profile to breakaway from the cliché. Sadly, this is as predictable as it can get, and everything you would expect the characters to be so they are perfect to the opposite sex, they are. Catherine Zeta-Jones is interested in sport, yet a little bit feminist. Justin Bartha is sensitive and caring, yet still a bit of a lad. It's a universal audience appealer, but actually the rating is 15. Why? Because there's lots of swearing. I thought there was at least going to be a decent sex scene, but other than seeing the cheating husband gain some mouth action, there's nothing. 

What makes this film even worse is the fact it's badly, very badly structured. The events that occur don't flow well in order to build up their relationship, which therefore creates an awkward tension when it comes to understanding who and what they are. Yes we get a sense of their background, but together they just do not work. The end montage with the resulting meet almost made me want to be sick from predictability. The story didn't seem rushed, but it just came across as a mix-match of events that somehow resulted in them being together. 

Bart Freundlich directed and wrote this film. With his input on both the major factors of the movie meant the resulting product was disappointing. He's relatively new to the scene of film making, so lets just hope this is a giant learning curve. 

1 Star

This redeems herself:

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

The Reef [DVD Review]

Der dum... Der dum... Der dum, der dum, der dum! Shark? What? Where?! Get out of the water! Ever since Jaws, whenever a shark is mentioned, it's very hard to resist (well, for me anyway) making the noise of the main tune this influential film made famous. And when another sea based horror is created, comparing Jaws to it is inevitable. Sadly, nothing has or probably will ever compare to the original story; much like The Reef...

This mundane tale of 5 Australian adventurers taking to the sea in order to deliver a boat turns into a drive from hell as the boat capsizes, leaving 4 members of the group to flee to an island they visited earlier in the day, and the other to sit on top of the boat and pray for someone to find him. 

If you think it sounds predictable and cliché, you'd be right. But there is some value in this film. To sit and not think about anything, watch relatively attractive people on screen and enjoy the almost thrilling edge this film has makes the hour or so that it is bearable.  

The build up to the moment the shark bites is a bit of a let down. The first 45 minutes of the film holds potential to scare you to your core, leaving you uncomfortably concerned for the situation. But as the attacks happen, the action is fast, the detail is little and the reaction seems calm. There's no drawn out scenes of the body being dragged around, no extended shots of the person dying slowly. Really, this shark is efficient in it's killing, which lets down the cinematic tension it could probably provide. 

The director of this film (Andrew Traucki) also brought us Black Water, another silly little horror involving lots of water and "true events". His direction varies from good to bad. Good being the under water shots. They're distorted leaving your mind wondering as to what's happening in the vast shots of sea water. The bad involving a lot of establishing shots emphasising their isolation which become repetitive and almost comical towards the end. If only he paid more attention to the 'scare tactics shots' rather than the 'proving the budget he has shots'. 

It's not all bad... Considering this film is based on "true events", when it actually finishes, you're left in limbo. As the feature is short, you expect a little more from the story. Leaving the tale unsatisfied without a round up of events, or happy Hollywood ending means actually it plays on your mind a little bit, which I guess makes it slightly more successful than it first proves to be. You want to research about the characters and find out who and what was real. There's impact somewhere... Shame it wasn't during the actual film.
Two Stars.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Is Kick-Ass actually a biopic?! [Feature]

One of the most popular films of 2010 seems to have taken over 10 people's lives quite literally. CNN reported that in Seattle, there is a real life Kick-Ass type character fighting crime that usually passers by would just ignore. Phoenix Jones is apparently the name you call when in trouble.

Phoenix JonesOne man reported that whilst his car was attempting to be broken into, a figure "wearing this skin-tight rubber black and gold suit" came along and chased the criminal away. 

Every night Phoenix walks into a comic book store, changes his clothing to the appropriate superhero latex (through a hidden door, I might add), and patrols the streets waiting to solve crime. He believes he's proving to  the average person that they don't have to walk around, see bad things and do nothing. You would say that when your weapon of choice is a taser, and you've also got mace spray with protective bullet proof vests and metal shields - That's not usually the gear I'd wear if I was on a night out, besides the latex, of course. 

It sounds completely unbelievable, far fetched, and maybe this guy has a screw loose, but if he and his 9 other companions have prevented crime and kept people safe so far, this Kick-Ass wannabe gang is doing an alright job for me! It would be interesting if Kick-Ass actually turned into a biopic told before the real life events had actually happened. I'd like to know who Hit Girl is. 

Watch the CNN report here:

Monday, 3 January 2011

Kelly's Filmy Things #6

"The Round Up Blog of 2010"

We've all eaten our mince pies, we've all celebrated the new year, so I thought maybe now's the time to reflect upon an emotional roller-coaster of a year for The Film Obsession and me. 

Starting off in January (Because that's the most chronological order you can do when writing about a year), I celebrated my 20th birthday, had gone into the 2nd term of my first year at Sussex University, and was trying to make the blog a little bigger. 

From then until April I was reviewing films and started my obsession with Twitter, to which I have now made some excellent friends. That one little social networking device can bring wonderful things, as I am about to explain...

By the time May came round, I thought it might be an idea to start a YouTube page giving my thoughts and opinions on films of the moment. Although it was (and still is) cringingly horrible to watch myself back, the videos produced a lot of views with just under 10,000 watches. I've paused for now, but 2011 has come along bringing with it a sparkly new video camera, so look out for more of those! In this month as well, I had finished my first year of Film Studies and got a job at HMV in Brighton, Churchill Square!

As I carried on vlogging and blogging, the views on this website started to rise a little which meant I had some sort of following. Then the lovely Phil and Kat came along (on Twitter) asking for writers to contribute to Blogomatic3000. I applied and after a trial week of successful posts, they let me write my words on their website! July was when the posts started to fly in... This was the month that I posted the trailer analysis for Paranormal Activity 2, which is now the most viewed blog on my website with over 30,000 views. Ridiculous, right? I still find it hard to imagine people who I've never met reading my work. It's a lovely, silly feeling, that is. 

August was really special. Blogomatic3000 sent me to my first press screening, which was Scott Pilgrim - One of now, my top 10 films. I was sent screeners of Kandahar Break, Love Life and Night Before The Wedding to review by American film companies, and met my good old buddy Monty who I would be nowhere without at press events. And then September came round which caused even more of stir as I exclusively interviewed David Whitney (the director of Kandahar Break) and went to the launch party of StreetDance 3D! Plus, getting into the London Film Museum to meet the team behind Blogomatic3000 was great fun! We geeked out probably as much as we could over film. 

October came and I started back to University, now in my scary, everything counts, 2nd year. But this was the ultimate month for the blog. I hit 10,000 views which was incredible and I only went and got a press pass for The London Film Festival, to which me of all people, was allowed to sit in the same room with the likes of Keira Knightly and Hilary Swank - Now THAT is absolutely bloody amazing. Another amazing thing is I met some lovely people at the festival including Hemanth. His laugh is like Buble's voice to my ears. And I met (finally) the brilliant HeyUGuys team who are literally the nicest people ever. 

After this immense month I actually did have to start doing proper work for a proper degree, so the posts die down a little towards the end of the year. One last junket I did get to attend was the Paranormal Activity 2 event, in which a hotel was paid for, a screening at Paramount Studios was taken place, and a Paranormal reading of ghosts and spirits in the London Tombs occurred. I've literally never, EVER, been so terrified in my life. Without the help of Jo, I think I would of actually passed out, but she kept me grounded... Until we ran from the room, and when I say ran, I believe neither of our feet touched the floor at one point we moved so fast. 

How immense is that? Me, a girl from Crawley who moved to Brighton to study film is hanging around with top journalists? It's just crazy. I'm not showing off in this blog, I'm giving a sense of my appreciation and love for what I do. It's overwhelming the amount of privileges I've been giving and can only hope that 2011 brings with it even more heart stopping excitement (Because when I was gazing into Andrew Garfield's eyes at the Never Let Me Go conference, my heart did stop). 

Happy 2011 everyone!