Bellflower - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Bellflower Reviews

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August 1, 2013
Audacious, low budget and stunningly rendered. Evan Glodell creates a story so intimate it pushes beyond uncomfortable. As one watches this "boy men" deal with the emotions of growing out of their friendship and as one friend dips deeply into a romantic relationship their adolescent games take a turn toward a dark reality.

This is an absorbing and experimental look into the psyche of an immature man's first heartbreak. And, that psyche and subsequent examination is totally apocalyptic in tone and atmosphere. Dark and penetrative - this film packs a might punch. Unforgettable.
July 30, 2013
Intense movie that turns out to be a roller coaster of emotion. Well done and out of the ordinary, but it certainly doesn't leave you in a good mood.
½ July 24, 2013
Illuminates a highly-charged part of the modern male psyche and the restlessness of a very specific kind of young adult.
½ June 30, 2013
While the dialogue tends to drag at times and some of the performances are underwhelming, it's the sheer exuberance of this debut -so perfectly matched to its subject matter- that raises it above its indie peers.
½ June 30, 2013
BELLFLOWER is definitely worth a look. This isn't the masterwork declared by so many critics but it is an excellent first film and a true American indie. A type of film that rarely gets theatrical distribution anymore. Evan Glodell (who directs, writes, acts, edits....) is a truly gifted filmmaker who deserves to become a master. The cast, the editing, and especially the cinematography by Joel Hodge, are all quite sublime. You must see BELLFLOWER in theaters to appreciate it's look, tempo, and mood. But please go in expecting a super first film but not a masterwork. Let's all give Glodell the room to grow as a filmmaker and make his masterpiece later.
½ June 30, 2013
Despite a promising introduction, Bellflower is a muddled movie that simply lacks the energy and the boldness of this specific genre.
Super Reviewer
June 27, 2013
I'm gonna do something I never do: completely use someone else's brief plot synopsis to describe things. Here it is, courtesy of the film's official site: Bellflower follows two friends as they venture out into the world to begin their adult lives. Literally all their free time is spent building flame-throwers and weapons of mass destruction in hopes that a global apocalypse will occur and clear the runway for their imaginary gang "Mother Medusa". While waiting for the world to end, their call to excitement comes unexpectedly when one of them meets a charismatic young woman and falls hard in love. Quickly integrated into a new group of friends, they set off on a journey of betrayal, love, hate, infidelity and extreme violence more devastating and fiery than any of their apocalyptic fantasies.

The film was made by Oscilloscope Laboratories, and this is the fifth film of theirs I've seen. I've yet to be disappointed by them. This is a real labor of love, and it shows. Evan Glodell not only wrote, directed, and stars, but he also designed and built the camera that was used, as well as the car and the flame thrower, both of which were totally functional.

What we essentially get is a kitchen sink melodrama done as an edgy indie with apocalyptic tones. I liked that. It's not an uplifting film, but if you want something that's dark, gritty, and unique, then this is a film for you.

The cinematography and editing are pretty good, there's an intense mood and atmosphere, and even a subtle bit of humor. I applaud the actors greatly, especially Jessie Wiseman who isn't a typical studio film beauty, despite the fact that she is gorgeous.

The broad plot isn't the most original, but it's done in a neat way, so I can forgive it. If you want to see something a little out there, then look this one up.
½ May 25, 2013
If this can get picked up by Sundance, ANYTHING can.
½ May 21, 2013
I didn't fully like "Bellflower", in fact I'm not sure if I even like it all that much. While that may be the case, I do fully respect the film. It's wholly unique. I've never seen this story, let alone seen it made this way. The cinematography is just plain different. The fact that it was shot for $17k makes thinking about the film jaw-dropping.
½ May 19, 2013
I quite enjoyed this movie until it got to the last half hour when it got so strange I'm still not sure what was going on. Despite this I still couldn't take my eyes off the screen, it's a unique film that has an interesting look. If you can tolerate the number of times the main characters refer to each other as dude, then it's worth a watch because you won't have seen anything else like it this year.
Super Reviewer
May 6, 2013
This film was absolutely fantastic. Dirty camera lenses, blurry and over-saturated scenes, a non-linear plot with text-named segments held together by a loose grip on reality--it's an indie art-house enthusiast's wet dream. Netflix subscribers, get on this while it's up.
½ April 16, 2013
Few things are more exciting to me than a talented new independent filmmaker, one who brings a God-given mastery of his craft and a fresh perspective to this over-saturated medium the seems hell-bent on repeating the same formulas. Evan Glodell is such a talent; he makes it abundantly clear that he knows what he wants from his movie on a technical level. Having seen Bellflower, his directorial debut, I can state with ease that he is a born filmmaker. Yet, I must observe that he is not yet a great storyteller.

Bellflower is one of the best looking movies I have seen in a very long time. Shot in a washed-out, over-exposed hues that make everything look like a state of stalled, permanent sunset, it accents a world in which his characters seem to have reached the same plateau. His story tells of the aimless, meaningless lives of Aiden (played by Tyler Dawson) and Woodrow (played by Glodell), two friends in their early twenties who don't appear to have jobs, but have the time and the money to spend building incendiary devices like flamethrowers. Obsessed with the Mad Max pictures, their current project is to modify their muscle car - named "Medusa" - so that flames will shoot out the back. To their surprise the darn thing works!

Aiden is somewhat of a loose cannon. while Woodrow is a little more reserved, though not by much. They seem more at ease with one another than they do with anyone else. That's where the problem lays, especially after Woodrow meets Milly (Jessie Wiseman), a pretty blonde that he runs into at a cricket-eating contest (you heard me). This is not the last time that he will discover how impulsive she is. Milly and Woodrow quickly develop a sweet, tender romance based on the fact that, despite the vast differences in their personality, they seem right for one another. Yet, Woodrow's eyes for his new girl are blinded to her impulsive nature and, with that, she eventually breaks his heart.What happens next I won't reveal but will say that I didn't really believe. Sure Woodrow is heartbroken but his response seems a little off-kilter, or maybe it shouldn't be, given what he does with his spare time it might seem right in line. When he loses Milly, the movie excelerates to a manic speed that seems overwrought, and the movie gets very violent and very bloody.The technical side of the film suggests a story that would seem better constructed. Here is a movie about a group of aimless and demoralized young people whose lives have no more purpose than drinking, having sex and building flamethrowers (we get to see them do ALL of these things), but it never really finds the right pace at which to tell their story, at once it is has the leisure pace of day-to-day life and then it wants to be an insane post-apocalyptic psycho-drama. That tone-shift, for me, throws the movie off balance. The look and pace of the latter half of the film is suppose to suggest that that getting your heart broken is no less than an emotional nuclear holocaust, but we are put through a series of scenes in which we aren't sure what is real and what is not. That makes the narrative a little muddy.

The story of the relationship between Woodrow and Milly is interesting up to the moment that she betrays him but then the movie becomes overwrought, with characters acting out with violence and bloodshed. The third-act of this movie is exceedingly unpleasant. Personally, I would rather Glodell had thrown away the entire business of the flamethrowers and the car, and just dealt with the relationship on its own terms. To me, all the pyrotechnic stuff just seems like a device.

I don't know, maybe younger viewers will get more out of this film than I did. Glodell is a talented filmmaker (he actually built the camera he uses in this film) and he shows that he has the stuff to become a pure film artist. I just think he needs a great screenplay at his disposal. As I watched Bellflower, I thought of the work of Quentin Tarantino, and observed that I wasn't a fan of Reservoir Dogs, his first feature film, but he followed it up with brilliant work like Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown and Kill Bill. Maybe Glodell's next film will be better.
½ April 7, 2013
Not sure exactly what I was watching by I was engaged nonetheless. If I could take one thing away from this movie. It's to not fall in love or you are gonna go crazy when the girl ends up breaking your heart. And I guess I'll have to watch Mad Max now to see why these two guys loved the film so much. The camera work and cinematographers did a great job in delivering some great shots.
April 7, 2013
Chaotic and beautiful.
Super Reviewer
April 6, 2013
By day, Woodrow(Evan Glodell, who also directed, co-wrote and co-edited) and Aiden(Tyler Dawson) like to audition for "Jackass" by playing around with destructive toys in southern California.(Children do not do this at home.) By night, they go to a bar where Woodrow competes against Milly(Jessie Wiseman) in a cricket eating contest.(By the way, don't do this either.) After they have a few beers to wash down the crunchy insects, Woodrow asks Milly out to a date but she wants to go someplace cheap. So, he suggests this place in Texas that serves day old meatloaf to which she agrees.

"Bellflower" readily disproves the old romantic axiom to find a woman who will eat crickets, and love will follow. It does for a while but as shown in the prologue, problems arise. At least, Milly warned Woodrow. But even early on, he shows a propensity for violence, as neither he nor Aiden are the kind of sensitive new age guys who don't know who play in the Seattle Kingdome. And as a filmmaker, Evan Glodell is smarter than to glorify their antics. He also succeeds in getting their apocalyptic fantasies right but not in the details of the reality, like what they do for money or even what year this is supposed to be, with its outdated cultural references and technology. And then there is the distressing reinforcement of the stereotype that all male geeks hate women.
April 4, 2013
Even if you like it or not you won't take your eyes off this film for sure
March 27, 2013
Decent film with some good acting from a couple of good friends who have an unhealthy interest in building Mad Max inspired machines including a Flamethrower called Madusa. But things change when one of them falls in love setting of a chain of events which neither intended. Good film and debut from Evan Glodell.
March 23, 2013
The apocalypse is all the rage these days. Before and even after the infamous day of December 21, 2012 there has been a large quantity of apocalyptic films and books and they're all starting to mesh together. Movies such as Seeking a Friend for the End of the World and books Like Disaster Diaries, they all feel kind of the same, but I will say that this one is not like that. This highly original and interestingly crafted composition on the end of everything really sticks out and holds it's own against the rest of them. Although the writing wasn't always as cool as it's portrayal, the film still rises above it's occasional flaws with it's stylistic directing and it's incredible final act. It all centers around to friends who are preparing for the impending disaster that will end civilization as we know it. It Chronicles the situations that these people get into, the people they meet, and the decisions they make. It also brings a bit of a mind game to the table with ideas that may make you second guess what you just watched. The acting was fine, the directing was great, and this really creates Evan Glodell as a real talent to watch for in the future.
½ February 11, 2013
Different, interesting, refreshing, and amateur. It's a tough film to rate on the first go-round. I had next to zero idea what the film was about. Bellflower aims to sum up the forgotten youth culture of high school burnouts and film school rejects who spend there time building and playing with weapons and pyrotechnics. Where do these people go in their adulthood? They fantasize about the end of the world, and how they'd be the ones to rule it, but what if the apocalypse never comes? The main characters actions are predicated on the idea that it will. The plot meanders at times and it's filled with first time, non professional actors, but its daring script and influences make the film stick with you long after it ends. Great camera work and cinematography from first time director Evan Glodell gives great promise for future directorial efforts. Wonderful original score to boot. Bellflower feels like a 90s indie film in the vein of Clerks by way of Mad Max. If you can stomach its amateur filmmaking feel, it is totally worth checking out. The more I think about it, the more I'm liking Bellflower.
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