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Paranoid Park

Paranoid Park

(2007)
18 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes

This movie really disappointed me. The storyline was great and some of the acting was too- particularly the young guy in the lead. But the director obviously got it in his head that he wanted to make an arty film about skateboarding so the editing ruined the whole film.

The long takes of nothing in particular, the dodgy cuts and the weird angles could have worked for some films but definitely didn't in this. The second half of the film got lost among the artistic aesthetics.

I thought it was interesting that casting was done through Myspace as most of the actors were pretty good. With the exception of Taylor Momsen who was just awful, it made me cringe to watch her.

Stay away from this movie unless you want to see it just so you can talk with your indie friends about how arty and awesome it is. And if people don't like it it's just because 'they don't get it'.

Wendy and Lucy

Wendy and Lucy

(2008)
18 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes

This American Indie film stars Michelle Williams and a dog, and that's about it. For Michelle to single-handedly hold the whole film together required some strong acting on her behalf and she definitely pulled it off. OK, so it's not the most upbeat of movies but it was honest and simple and very well done.

Wrong Turn 2: Dead End

Wrong Turn 2: Dead End

(2007)
18 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes

'Wrong Turn 2? was a low brow, high-gore, very entertaining film. The opening scene where a young actress driving a red mustang gets chopped in half right down the middle sets the scene for the rest of the film. The level of gore is comparable to Hostel and The Hills Have Eyes, perhaps even more gorey than that.

It is 'I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here' meets 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre'. The mutants are far from scary- more amusing than anything. It's great to see Henry Rollins kick some mutant ass with dynamite and a bow and arrow. Watch it if you like bad but hilarious horror films.

Drag Me to Hell

Drag Me to Hell

(2009)
18 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes

'Drag Me To Hell' was amazing!

If you haven't seen 'Evil Dead', don't see 'Drag Me To Hell' because you will come away thinking how lame and ridiculous it is. It's not your average gore-fest, it's comical, suspenseful and absolutely nuts all rolled into one. Pure Sam Raimi goodness.

All the great elements from 'Evil Dead' are there- the shaky hand-held point-of-view camera shots, the use of really loud noises at appropriate moments, cheesy one-liners, the medieval curse theme and heaps of other stuff- but it is new so the special effects are better, the acting is better and the whole thing is more polished. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it was a better film, but it was a great homage to his earlier work.

The audience in our session were great to witness- there was laughter one minute, screaming the next, people walking out because they hated it, people clapping at the end because they loved it. This just reiterates the fact that it's not for everyone- but if you're into Sam Raimi and horror films that go beyond the usual slasher-fest, go see it!

There was suprisingly little gore, but it managed to be completely scary through the use of shadows and sound- so I guess the lack of gore isn't a bad thing. The gore that was there was pretty disgusting- I won't ruin it for anyone, but lets just say I've seen enough vomit to last me quite a while.

The main actress Alison Loman was perfectly cast- she was a great combination of sweet, shy and innocent (at the start) and ass-kicking heroine with enough panache to give 'Evil Dead"s Ash a run for his money by the end.

There were a few scares that didn't quite work, and a few moments I found a little lame, but that's all part of it. Anyone wanna come with me to see it again?

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

(2009)
18 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes

I could fill up this entire post complaining about how much was left out of the book, but I think whenever a book is adapted into a film, it will always be a different take on the story and can't possibly be completely true. So in saying that, I thought HP6 was actually very well done- there was a great balance of darkness and humour and the characters are developing the way they do in the book.

Particularly Draco's character- I thought the split between wanting to please Voldemort and being terrified was well done by Tom Felton. It was long (nearly 3 hours) but there was a lot to cram into that time and it was worth sitting through. The special effects are notably better as each film comes out- so much so that the earlier films are almost laughable now to go back and watch.

The only negative thing I really have to say about it is that the final scene was so epic in the book- a big fight at the top tower where Dumbledore is killed, that the movie version was a bit of an anticlimax.

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