Brittany Runs a Marathon
John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum
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In 1954, Japan unleashed a legend that is unlike any other. With the film Gojira (re-edited in America as Godzilla: King of the Monsters), we got a movie character that has became part of our national lexicon. You mention the word Godzilla to anyone, and what they start thinking of is cheap suits, cardboard building, horrible acting and English voice actors, and B-Movie material. It was only in the hearts of those that studied the film history of Godzilla that we knew what he was: a metaphor for the dangers of Nuclear radiation and the consequences of tamping with the natural order of our world.
In 1998, we got the first American Godzilla film, and it was popcorn entertainment that destroyed the hopes of Godzilla fans. We fans hoped that, with the first American film, we can introduce to everyone the true side of Godzilla. Instead, we got a disgraceful film that made the fans even more of a joke. For years, Godzilla fans rejected the film, claiming it to be an abomination.
Then, around 2012, we got news of another Godzilla film being made. Once we saw the Comic Con footage, we got into a frenzie of hype: it looks as if they done it right. With the marketing and us being able to see more of what Garth Edwards (director of Monsters) has done, it was a blessing to us.
Today I finally saw the film, one of the most hyped films of my life. The end result was me being astounded and shocked with what I was seeing. This Godzilla film not only does the original classic justice, but goes in and ends up making it relevent for today's society. I could go into a complete analyze of the themes of this movie and how they are related to today, but I am sure you can figure that out yourself.
I am going to assume that you want to know all about the title creature: Godzilla. There has been complete backlash over how little of Godzilla we see, but from what we see of him is all we really need to see. There will be a lot of comparing between this film and the original, and it has about equal screen time in both films. The point of a Godzilla film isn't really to see Godzilla destroying the city, as much as how humans react to such a disaster happening in our world. With this film, I felt as if they showed how we would react, but the emotional aspects are not really noticeable. The first act of this film shows some emotion when Joe Brody (Bryan Craston) is trying to figure out what the government is hiding from the world, but then there really isn't anything I found worth whiled. The main issue with this film is how bland the humans are, not really doing anything to make us attached to them.
But in the grand scheme of things, that is really minor. I won't discuss the other kaiju that are in this film, but as pure spectacle, this film nails everything on the head and doesn't disappoint. In terms of how good a Godzilla film, I view this as one of the best films in the series. Hopefully any sequels are able to go in and be able to make us have some great characters, because there is one (which is a re-imagining of a character from the original) that has some potential. That is the best way to sum this film: wonderful Kaiju film that has potential to be great.
I love musicals. I don't know why it is that I love them, but something about a world where everyone tends to break out into song and dance just captivates me. It's indescribable. Like, take a musical like 'Repo! The Genetic Opera', for example. In that film, while no where near as great as the film I am reviewing (though I do rank this higher on my list of favorite films), the world and the idea of the film is what makes me love it. The fact that people sing in it tends to just add more to the greatness of their world (not always the case in some musicals, like Les Miserable).
When I was younger, my father introduced to me various different musicals, the main two being The Who's Tommy and Pink Floyd's The Wall. What separated them from other musicals at the time was how they started off as concept albums, but then became great films. I always love knowing what it is that tends to go through people's minds when they hear music, seeing what images the artists that they are listening to come into play. Now, this trend of adapting albums into films wasn't short lived, and I think we know who to blame (the only time, in my knowledge, the Beatles have screwed up).
But then, lo and behold, one of my all time favorite bands wants to bring back this style.
I tend to see myself as having a personal connection with the Finnish Operatic Metal group Nightwish. I remember being in Middle School, and next to Dio era Black Sabbath, the lyrics of Holopaine and the voices of Tarja Turnen and Annette Ozone got me through so much. Like all fans of Nightwish, the first Annette album 'Dark Passion Play' didn't do that much (though now it has really grown on me). It would not be until the album 'Imaginaerum' that I finally came to terms with her being the voice of Nightwish (until she left the band and we now have Floor Jansen doing vocals).
The album of Imaginaerum is as near a perfect album as one can get. As a concept album, the story of finding your imagination and your childhood is shown clearly while every song being great on it's own terms. While listening to the album, you get these images of dreams, nightmares, love, and lust in your mind and it is done so vividly that you can't help but love them and the songs in general.
Hey, you know what would be great? A film adaptation. Thankfully, we got just that.
It is not easy for people to really track down and watch this film, unless you have no problem pirating the film off some sites in okay quality. But, I did what I could and I saw the film a year ago. Even now, the film is still stuck in my head.
The story of the film is basically a poetic of suffers dementia goes through his memories to find out who he is, why he can't remember anything, and this mysterious snowman that talks to him. I was surprised that this is what Tumous Holopaine (who acts in this film, along with all the band members) had in his mind and I was blown away. The fact that this is what he thought of kind of shows me his own mind and how he thinks. A reoccurring theme in the music that he write is that of innocents and childhood and dreams, themes that this film showed. It was a delight to see such things with his music playing.
But, we all know that the scene that stole the entire film is that of the 'Scaretale' sequence. Of everything, that is the scene that still makes me speechless. Not only is it wonderful to hear such a great song being performed, but how it was shot, the costumes everyone is wearing, and even what the main female character does is just... breathtaking. I know it is a dark and kind of horrifying scene, but it just takes your breathe away because it represents that song so well.
Every scene in this film really does pack the emotion of the song from the album it represents. Sadly, only two songs (Scaretale and Slow Love Slow) are performed int the film, but the score for this film goes back to the original album and just breathes new life into this music.
I know of all my reviews, this one might get some people mad because I keep going back to the album. I won't apologize because it is impossible not to talk about this film without mentioning the album. Does this film work on it's own? Without a doubt. This film is just one great musical/ fantasy film and, in a way, a great look into child psychology with the main boy (Tom) and his Snowman plus his relationship (Tom's) with his father and when Tom is older and with his own daughter. If this film would have been more successful, then this could have started such a revolution of musicals being darker and more serious without it being annoying. This film is, beyond under-appreciated.
Note: This is one of the rare times I can not give a star rating to a film.
If you are not a fan of horror films, then this is a film I have to urge you to turn away from. Never seeing even a frame from this movie, I heard about it via Facebook and one of my friends mentioning how disturbed he was by the second half of the film. Being intrigued, I decided to watch this film, wanting to see what it was about. What I experienced was a horror show of the highest order, being so freaked out that I felt my stomach turn and rattle with sickness.
The story of this film is very basic, which is a good thing. The moral of this story is one we all know, but never actually take into consideration: the idea of stalkers/ predators being anywhere. That is what this film is about: the tale of two missing girls. What I did like about this movie, and what was used to it's advantage, was how it was set up. his film is a collection of found footage, webchat footage, news reels, and some still photographs (which, I swear to you, will never leave your mind). Being a fan of found footage films, it is nice to see one done as differently as this one because it really works to it's impact. It starts off kind of happy, then disturbing during a party scene, then a sense of suspense, then a light comedic moment, and then... I am not even going to bother to describe.
Which leads me to the acting. For the first 2/3, the acting of this film kills it. No one is really that good, with some mediocre performances from Amber Perkins. Seriously, this chick knows how to run this film and it is clear over how she is able to give it her all. Even more during the last 22 minutes and the horrors she goes through.
As I am typing this review, I can't even think straight over how deranged, grotesque, and sickening this film is. Even more over how true and realistic this film tends to be. There is no happy ending, everything is left up to imagination, and then you are left with the haunting still images of a tortured girl BDSM styled, a decomposed corpse, a brutal rape sequence, and so much more that I can't even say in this review. As I am wrapping this up, I am talking to a friend of mine about this movie. All I can say is: if you are easily offended or hate horror or anything mentioned in this review, keep away from this movie. If you can handle it all, then best of luck dealing with this film.
Holy. Crap. What happened, Tom Hooper? How could you go from a masterpiece like The King's Speech and make something that was great into something that was boring? Yeah, the performances were decent enough (mainly loved Hathaway) and it looked gorgeous, but I just found myself bored and annoyed. Now, I love operas. I love musicals. But, Les Miserable has, what I call, 'The Phantom of The Opera Curse'. Basically, this is when there is a stage opera that is so bloody good, but then the film adaptation sucked. That's what happened here. I tried my hardest to not compare this to the stage production because I know there will be differences, but the magic of the opera got lost somewhere in the transition. Sorry, but having a clear mind going into this film and knowing that this will be an opera, my opinions I had before this film are still the same: overstuffed and over hyped.
Ever get the feeling that you have wasted about 10% of your life on a film? Yeah, that was my reaction to the latest film in the infamous 'Children Of The Corn' films. Here is the thing people: after eight bloody films, most of which are so bad I can't stand them, why would you want to carry on this dead beat of a horse? Actually, I don't even like the series, so why am I even wasting my time with this film? The answer is simple: I kind of liked the second adaptation from Stephen King's original short story, so I had some hopes. This film destroyed all those hopes.
The first, and main problem, is that this doesn't even follow the mythology of the original story. In fact, except for a very terrible beginning, this film doesn't even remotely feel like it is part of the same series. To put it mildly, this is one of those films you see on television at three in the morning when you can't sleep due to insomnia. Nothing good, nothing decent.
My only main question is simple: who's idea was it to even make this film? Who wrote this garbage and thought it would work? Because, sorry to say this: nothing in this film works. The acting is stale, the script is laughable, nothing is scary, and it is kind of insulting to fans of horror, Stephen King, and to Children Of The Corn in general.
As you can tell, I have nothing good to say about this film. It's bad, it's awful, it needs to be burnt forever. Take my advice: just skip this film. If it is on television, you will get a more better horror story watching the news channel.
With me being something of a fan, a lover if you will, of The Beatles, this has been a film I have put off watching for quite some time. The reason was really due to reviews I had heard from other Beatles fans that felt that this film was flat, unoriginal, and butchered songs that have changed the idea of this world. Being bored, I decided to give this film a shot and, to sum it all up, this film has a very bad reputation. I am not going to sugar coat it: this is a gorgeous film that, while it has a cliched plot, does treat the material in a fresh way, gives new life to such classic songs that we have all adored, and presents it in a rather interesting way.
One thing that came to mind while watching this was the jukebox musical 'Moulin Rouge!'. In a way, both films are the same in terms of structure, how everything is set up, and the extremes it treats it's music. Only difference here is that all of the songs are by the same artist and there is a somber tone from beginning to end. Yes, the main plot and story is one we have all heard countless times (two youths from different backgrounds falling in love while fighting a cause), but then again, what do you expect? With the plot in mind, it does fit to use The Beatles as the main back drop simply because The Beatles were all about peace, love, and freedom among people in nations corrupted by hatred.
The main surprise for me, while watching this film, was the interpretation of The Beatles's music and how they are presented. There is something funny about art: no two people will have the same opinion of a piece of music. To some, Beethoven's Ninth Symphony tell the story of a great war while to someone else they believe it tells of death, destruction, and hatred. Same with The Beatles. For the most part, this film did not show how I imagined the songs to represent, but that was what was so interesting about this film: you get a new perspective on almost an entire separate genre of music and, in doing so, the songs build a new meaning.
Another shock was how talented and random the cast is. Among the main people we are with, my personal favorites include angelic Lucy (Evan Rachel Woods), Sadie (Dana Fuchs), and Jo-Jo (Martin Luther McCoy). The main reason is due to how they represent their songs and the power of their talent. But when you throw in random people in like Bono from U2 and Eddie Izzard (in my personal favorite scene in the entire film), what you are left with is one cast that is abnormal, odd, but so fun to watch.
Rethinking about this film, this is a musical that goes perfectly with the sub-genre of musicals I have given a name to called 'The Bohemian Musical'. Basically, the plot is simple: random people meet up, they start fighting for a cause, and it ends either in tragedy or in a very bitter sweet format. Musicals that come to mind include the formally mentioned Moulin Rouge! and Rent. But with 'Across The Universe', it takes this structure in a way that is new, fresh, and beyond fun to watch.
Okay, to get this out of the way: this is a Beatles musical that is perfect for those that want to know about why The Beatles were so good, the impact it has left, and a sample of the timelessness of the music that was made over the period of eight years by four young men from Liverpool. Now, as a Beatles fan, I adore this film. As a film fan, this is a flawed film at times. But, the flaws this film does have (like the slow pacing, kind of wooden characters, cliches) can be excused by how gorgeous this film is.
As of the time I am writing this review, there are two main problems that teenagers are facing: questioning their sexuality and the feelings of depression. From what I have seen in my almost eighteen years of life, it is quite sad a depressing to think about those that are left alone, isolated from the world because they feel that no one understands them, that no one can be their for them. If a teenager is questioning his sexuality, then he/ she feels even more alone if the parents try to tell him that he is just confused, doesnâ(TM)t know what it is that he/ she is talking about. So, what do people do when they feel like they are not wanted? They either tend to get depressed and/or suicidal or find others like them so that they donâ(TM)t feel alone. Suicide Room is a film that handles these themes and offers one of the most bleak looks into the life of a homosexual teenager that is stuck in a world where he is not wanted and the addiction to a false reality that consumes him.
Dommink was, at first, like any other teenager: friends, popularity, parents, name it. His parents are always working, so there is that huge wall that separates them and to make him feel loved, he is allowed to get everything he has ever wanted. Thus creating a spoiled brat. Now, go to his schoolâ(TM)s prom set one hundred days before their final exams. While having a few drinks and smoking a bit, he does this dare in which he has to make out with one of his friends. However, while doing so, he starts to realize that he is actually gay. And once footage of the two of them kissing hitâ(TM)s the internet, it is safe to say that all hell breaks wide open in his mind as he starts this downward spiral of hatred and isolation. His parents? Donâ(TM)t care. His friends? Rejected him. Alone and confused, he learns of a game called â~Suicide Roomâ(TM) where there are teenagers like him that are wanting an escape. The rest of the film only gets darker and darker from that point on.
One thing about the film in general that I must applaud on is how serious and bleak director Jan Komasa takes the material. From viewing this film, it is clear that he does have a deep understanding of the themes, knows how serious the situations are, and is never afraid to show how things really are. As a bisexual teenager and someone who knows people that are beyond similar to Dommink, regardless if it is with sexuality and/or internet addiction, this is heavily appreciated. He is not afraid to show how teenagers are treated in todayâ(TM)s society and this is something that the world needs to see.
Now, for Jakub Gierszalâ(TM)s performance in this film as Dommink, I am pretty much glad to say that he does his job well and with dignity with a touch of realism. I personally feel that he captures the mental mindset of how teenagers work in these situations and presents a clear picture of all of this. Being the first time I have seen him perform, I am beyond thrilled by this performance.
I donâ(TM)t really have much to say other then: this is probably one of the most important films in recent years that involves teenagers. Films rarely touch down into this dark of subject matter (teenage isolation and insanity), and for a film that also adds the themes of sexuality confusion and addiction, this film just captures it all perfectly.
Back in the eighties, films could be bad because they were fun to watch. If there was a bad film, you can expect it to be campy, enjoyable, and filled with actors that would later grow up to be use sensations. Plus, some films that were okay would later become staples in Pop Culture. As such with Joel Schumacher's The Lost Boys. The film was good by itself, help spark the vampire revolution, and to this day has only aged like wine in terms of being good. However, like with most films of the past decade, there had to be a Hollywood sequel to cash in on the love of the original. Some of these sequels have been good. Some have been bad. Lost Boys: The Tribe is a film that fails on all levels except for one.
First off, I do not really see the point in continuing this story. It ended at the end of The Lost Boys, there was nothing left to tell, so why was the point? Besides the money that they hope they would make (enough to finance a sequel). But in reality, it was to cash in on the Vampire Rennassance that was sparked in the mid 2000's. So, seeing this film as a modern vampire film, it does get some point of returning to the vampires that were grotesque, evil, cold, and just plain mean spirited. These vampires are as I described them, but they also resemble the vampires of today. The types that look like they are waiting to be in some teen magazine you would find in a drug store. If this film is creditable for anything, it would be that it showcases this generation's views of vampires and how the true vampire fans are expecting the return of real vampires. However, that would be one of only two good things about this film.
The other good thing is Corey Feldman as Edgar Frog. Being the original vampire hunter from the first film, it was a huge breath of cold air to see him in this film thirty minutes in. In fact, next to the vampire designs and the soundtrack, he is the only real reason why this film is barely watchable. He does not take this film seriously, he knows it will not be as iconic as the original, but yet he has fun with it. He tries to make the film enjoyable somewhat, and while his attempts are honorable, it just fails.
And this is when the film goes down hill. Okay, first off: this film is cheap as crap. I mean, it feels like a made for television film you would catch late on Syfy when they are about to start showing nfomercials of weight-loss pills. Nothing about this film is pleasant to look at, nothing screams that this film was treated with love and care, and watching it, nothing about it keeps you interested. Plus, with the direction, the film goes no where and what we are left with is a dull, lifeless (no pun intended) film that you can pop in at any moment and know exactly who is who and what is going on. Also, the script of this film is so diluted with plot holes that it starts to become embarrassing. We are never told how the vampires even came about in this film, what was up with Tom Slavini's cameo at the start of the film, and how this film is even connected to the first film besides Frog. Then you have how this film goes against it's own logic in terms of the mythology of the first film. And do not get me started on how bad the script is. Half of the dialogue that is said is copied from the first film, the other half reads like someone trying to make the film hip and cool by adding in numerous profanity and scenes of nude women with hopes that it can cover it up. Film lesson: nudity, gore, and profanity do not make a good film.
The acting in this film is why we have the razzies. Nothing, at all, is acted out, nothing is notable, even the main actors are a bore. And this is sad considering Angus Sutherland (half brother of Kiefer Sutherland from the first film) is in this film blaming the same role as his half brother. I mean, my word! How much more bland can one get with this film? With the others, they are not even worth my time trying to figure out their names. They were all picked for sex appeal and that is that.
Looking at the director of this film, it comes to no shock that the director of the third 'From Dusk Till Dawn' film made this movie. Okay, listen to me: you can not direct vampire films. You can direct their action scenes, but not entire films. The Lost Boys was a film that was distinctively Stomacher, and here it is destroyed. However, while I despise this film, I can not completely hate it. The reason why is because this film is a staple in vampire history as showing what has happened to the vampire genre in the new millennium. This film looks and feels like a cheap porno, is cardboard, and is easily forgettable with the only redeeming quality being Corey Feldman's role.
From the time that Francis Ford Coppola made The Godfather Trilogy, there has never been any crime saga that could, at all, shine a light to those three films. Yet, here we are with, what I am considering, one of the best films of the year. In the course of almost ten years, Christopher Nolan not only revolutionized the idea of making a comic book film, but also impacted film history in a way that only few film makers could have ever attempted. The end result is one of the finest, most breathtaking, staggering, dark crime sagas of all time.
The first thing I need to get out of the way is my own personal preference of the film. While the film itself is beyond wonderful, almost great, I say that Nolan repeats the mistake that Coppola did in terms of making a part two. Like with The Godfather: Part II, Nolan set the standard too high when he made The Dark Knight. When that film was made, it was clear that this film will not, at all, be as great as it's predecessor. But can you really blame the film makers for this? The main purpose of this film, besides giving Bane a proper film adaptation, was to tie the series back into the first film. In doing so, this film shows off Nolan's talent by how he takes characters that we have forgotten, pity events that were not huge and ties it all in. But another thing that also shows is the respect he has for the characters. The thing that made me realize this is how he ended this film. It will be a great sin to reveal what happens, but I will say that he respectfully concludes this film in a way that no director would ever even consider continuing this saga. However, my main complaint for his directing is how he doesn't really make the characters outside those that were in the series from the first film multidimensional. What made the other films great was how dimensional the characters were, how layered. Here it is like everyone is only programmed to do one thing and while we might get some back story on the characters, it doesn't really add anything.
As for Bane, all I am going to say is that I was beyond shocked when I first heard it was him. Let me get this clear: I have never NEVER read any of the DC comics this is based on. I am not a comic reader. So, my only idea of Bane came from the one Batman film that is dead to us all. Seeing this version, I still wasn't convinced that this will be good. But then I got to see and hear Bane in action and, for me, the greatest shock came in his voice. I won't say what exactly, but I will say that I was heavily reminded of Anthony Hopkins in his portrayal in The Silence Of The Lambs. Tom Hardy gives this performance a certain creepiness in how he handles Bane and, thankfully, does not give in and make him out to be a total brute like he would have been. Bane has some credits that make him contrasting to Heath Ledger's The Joker, but the main problem with this character is that he is flat. Okay, he is a terrorist that is trying to destroy Gotham, he has part of The League Of Shadows, and he is physically stronger than Batman. What else about him? Well, I would of liked more dimensions to his characters, but that is just me. As for the acting of Bane, Tom Hardy dissevers some credit here for his performance.
I have always liked Catwoman from the time I saw her in Batman Returns. While that version is still my favorite, this performance of Selina Kyle (she is never refereed to as Cat Woman) gets heavy credit for Anne Hathaway. Seeing her, I always had a smile on my face and it was not due to me thinking down below. I was smiling because of how she transformed herself into this role, how she created her reflexes and made it so that she is Selina Kyle. In a way, part of me wished that Nolan would have went and developed her a tad bit more. But, for what little I did get, I am satisfied.
For Christian Bale, while it did take me some time to get use to his voice (I can never understand why he did that exaggerated growl), I doubt I need to say anything about his performance here. From start to finish in this entire trilogy, he went and just carried the film and it is a wonder how he did go completely insane in this role. Not only physically demanding, but he makes the film emotional and that alone is a shock. As with Heath Ledger, Gary Oldman, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Tom Hardy, and the countless other cast members that have been under the direction of Nolan from Batman Begins till now, they own this film saga and (with the exception of Ledger) they make this film something else.
As I said at the start, this film saga is going to be my generation's crime myth as how The Godfather was for our parents. Nolan had a love and dedication to this character of Batman and it is completely heartwarming to see such a person give this much respect and love to this franchise. While with this particular installment there are some small issues I have, like with character development and a few editing problems, this film is not only satisfying but will leave a huge smile on your face as you leave the theater.
And here we go. Thinking back on it, it probably is one of the best things for Godzilla to end up having it's numerous sequels, but at least I can safely say that this is one of the better ones. Being made right off of the coat tails of the original, I think Honda figured that he would not be able to make a Godzilla film that would be able to top the original in terms of theme, experience, and just pure film making. Instead we get something that, to me, feels like this is Toho's answer to all of the Universal monster mashes of the forties and fifties.
The main problem with this film is that the entire idea of Godzilla is lost. Yes, this does contain some of the characters from the previous film and the main idea that Godzilla is a metaphor for nuclear testing is mentioned in a creditable performance by Takashi Shimura (Dr. Yamane in the first film), but the direction and the story never really does anything with it and treats it like it's not important. I am not really clear as to why Honda decided not to really focus as much on that like he did the previous film, but there you have it.
But let us be real here: there is only one real reason why anyone would consider seeing this film. The fight scenes between Godzilla and the opponent he is set up against. This idea would later put a staple on the giant monster genre, and for the first opponent being Anguirus. I will admit that he is okay as another monster that was, like Godzilla, awoken by atomic testing back in WWII, but I am left wondering: why are they all of a sudden being discovered? Why are they as of now fighting? Why did they not fight when the original Godzilla was awoken? Well, at least this film gives a reason as to why they are fighting. But the other things I am left wondering. I will say that it was interesting to see Godzilla having his first fight and it was nice to see Toho trying different ways of staging and filming the fight scenes, I just wish that the plot and idea of the film in general would have been given more thought.
As for the other parts of the film, it is all more or less the same as the original. You have the score by Ifukube, Honda directing, and great special effects for the monsters. My thing as a film lover is just that I wanted more of plot and idea for the film instead of something that feels like a run of the mill monster bash. Is this film worth watching? I honestly say it is not. Entertaining, sure. But not a film I would revisit anytime soon. Please note: I am not saying it is bad. Just not really my type of giant monster film.
A rather large part of my childhood has always been The Addams Family. From the time I was in elementary school, there was just something about this bizarre family that sparked my love and appreciation for all things dark and creepy. Plus, let's just say that after seeing Morticia Addams I finally became a teenager. Plus, with the original show being Black and White, it just gave all this dream like appearance and tone that just made the show even more enjoyable. Around the early half of the new millennium, I saw The Addams Family (film) and I remember falling in love with the movie. Then for a few years I never saw the film until it came on uncut one night a couple of days ago. Watching it, I mainly found myself rethinking of the early days of my love for the macabre and why I loved the film so much. However, due to me having a critical brain with films, I was left analyzing the film and it's worth. From a critical perspective, I was a little unsatisfied.
Okay, I guess that the main problem with the film is just the direction. I mean, the main story of Fester returning to the Addams after so many years is presented well enough, but there are so many elements that scream that the director was trying to make this into a huge theatrical experience (mainly with the ending). The rest of the film was okay, but the ending confrontation just felt a little off. I get it that the Addams will always be for one another, but how it was staged was not at all what I would have liked. Glad they were able to keep some of the dark humor intact.
The other main problem I had with this film is that one of my favorite parts was not developed as much as I would have wanted: the Addams in the real world. There is a part in the film that involves the Addams being thrown out of their home and trying to make it as real people. Those scenes were probably the best in the entire film. However, those scenes I wish would have been more developed. To me, they just scratched the surface and never got that deep into anything. What we do see is not only hilarious, but insightful as to how clueless and lost our macabre clan is without their home and family. In all honesty, that is one section I wish they would have shown more of.
I know I have been bashing this film, but trust me when I say that there is a lot of good with this film. Mainly with the cast. At my core, I will always adore the original cast that made up the Addams. But this film does what all film adaptions of a television series needs to do: appropriately update the look of the characters. My favorite of them all has to be Wednesday Addams. In the show she is shown as a little sweet, innocent girl. Here she is completely brutal and down right horrifying for a little girl. That is one of the main updates I like. The other is the performances by Raul Julia (Gomez), Angelica Houston (Morticia), and Christopher Lloyd (Fester). The reason why these three stick out is due to how much they become their character, how believable they are, and to top it all off how much fun they make the film. With the casting, they were spot on for almost every character.
The other thing that does make this film enjoyable is the attention for detail. One of the things that made the show wonderful to watch was how extreme the background and details were. Things like moving plants, odd noises, bizarre family members, all of that is present. If you do adore details in film, then this is a film that will require multiple viewing for you will miss certain elements here and there that just enriches the entire experience.
So, in retrospect, this film has great nostalgia value, but as a critical piece, there are some elements I wish that could have been improved on. Now, is this film worth watching? Without a doubt: yes it is. Granted, it is lacking in some areas that would have been wonderful if fulfilled. But, for what it is, it is pretty good.
Little known secret about me: I am obsessed with literature. Maybe it is a thing that came from my father, maybe it is due to me actually paying attention in school, I don't know. But what I do know is that Midnight In Paris is precisely the type of dream I would have and that is the best way to describe this film: a literature and art lover's day dream. It is of no secret that Woody Allen would have a strong appreciation for literature and art (as his previous films have shown us), and I would consider this to be 2011's love letter to art and who else then one of the most gifted writers in cinema to present this?
The story is one of charm. Owen Wilson is getting married and one night outside of a church he gets into a car that is filled with people he knows but never met. Some of these people includes the Fitzgeralds, Cole Porter, Hemingway, and countless others. It is never said if they are just parts of his imagination due to his love for Paris or this is really happening (I have my own opinion, but that is for later) and the film never gives an answer. But what I do know is that Allen never spends time on the idea if this is really happening or not. For the story, that is not important. What is important is his experience in Paris and how life changing it is.
As I said, Woody Allen is one of the most gifted writers in cinema and this film, being his 41, is probably going to be his best film of 2011 â" 2020. I just can't see him topping this film in terms of writing and crafting. What really makes this film work is, not only the mature way it is told, but how this is a film that can connect with anyone from the film geeks to the people that just see a film for entertainment. Allen is the type of writer that, ironically enough, would have been better if he lived in the 1960 â" 1970s before everything became mindless entertainment (even though he did start writing scripts at that time). Here he is able to craft a film that grabs your attention and refuse to let it go. His direction of how he tells this story is that of a dream: how he changes the setting from modern day to the 1920s plus how he has each of these wonderful historic figures comes to life and his ability to pull the acting out of the actors.
The other main power that this film has is Owen Wilson's performance. I am not his greatest fan, but here he is able to not only make the character lovable, but he is able to make him be able to connect with the audience and that little hidden desire we all have: leave our present and go into a time that we think is much better. But, now here is the thing: there are flaws with that wish. The present is unsatisfying for everyone because we are always living in a form of a renaissance and with this film, it proves that because Wilson wants to live in the 1920's but everyone he meets wants to live in a much different time frame. Also, as his character puts it, the present is unsatisfying because life is unsatisfying. Almost every character you meet has this theory pushed into their brains, but it is Wilson's performance that embodies it and the way he does so is simply fantastic.
I know that, from how this sounds, I make it sound like that this is the first time a director has done this. I know that is not true. But in, what I am calling, the French Academy Awards (where a good chunk of films were somehow related to France/ French culture), this is probably in the top three films along side films like The Artist and Hugo. As I am writing this review, I have yet to see Hugo, but I am finding it a tad bit hard to believe that any of those two films can be this wonderful on a personal level. Critically, I liked it. Personally, I want to live in this film.
From the time that Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy had become a world wide accomplishment in crime fiction, there has been a rather large productions of crime fiction films being adapted into cinema. One of which is the Red Riding Trilogy, originally written by David Peace. Now, I know that it is something of a bold statement to say that these crime novels were adapted purely based on the success of Stieg Larsson's novels/ films, but in a way, that seems to be the main idea. Mostly due to people wanting to have a new found taste in crime. But, this is about Red Riding: In The Year Of Our Lord 1974.
Okay, first thing that I need to talk about in terms of this film, and one of the main slashes against it, is how difficult it is to understand anything that any of the characters are saying. Now, this is mainly a problem due to how thick their accents are. The plus about this is that it allows the film to have that dark, British atmosphere that just makes things all the more creepier. The negative is that you can not understand anything that any of the bloody characters are saying. So, take it as you will. Me personally, I liked it because it just added to the atmosphere and the acting itself explains what the characters are saying.
With the direction, nothing really stood out. I mean, yeah, this film was gorgeously shot and the idea of having all the gruesome details spoken about and never shown really did add a good bit to the film. But there are some things that the film could have done without. Mainly talking about the six or more sex scenes that occur. I am glad that you never see anything too explicit, but after a while, it does kind of get irritating and starts slowing down the pace.
The one thing about this film that I need to speak of is up and coming star Andrew Garfield. Prior to this film, I saw him in David Fincher's The Social Network and he was fantastic in that film. But here, he is able to steal the show. What mainly impresses me is how he was able to copy the British dialect, the presence, and basically become a character that I doubt he could ever really pull off. But here he did. At the time this review is being written, he is currently promoting his film The Amazing Spider-Man. It is a pity that most American audiences will know him for being in red and blue tights and not as a deranged, sex loving journalist. He is, and will probably be, the main reason why most people will want to see this film and he does not disappoint.
In the end, I am a sucker for crime fiction and what we have here is a rather nice, dark start to a film series that chronicles that corruption of the law, the Yorkshire Killer, and the way how anyone tries to stop the hero. Yeah, the film is hard to watch due to the dialects and how thick the accents are, but if you must, put on subtitles and watch this film. Trust me: you won't really be disappointed. Yeah, it is not great or a masterpiece, but it is worth a watch.
It is my understanding that film is the ultimate form of medium, the one form that can capture any moment of time no matter what. With some films, they don't only capture a moment, but becomes a moment. This happens when a film impacts history in a way that nothing is ever the same and everything has to copy it. This is the case with Alfred Hitchcock's immortal film Psycho. Me being a fan of horror films, it would be a sin to never have seen this film. Thankfully, not only have I seen this film (if I never did, I would not be writing this review), but after reading the original novel by Robert Bloch, it is safe to say that this is one film to expect in years to come.
I first became acquainted with this film one night on some film channel while I was bored. Like everyone else, I have known the famous shower scene and knew of Bates's secret. However, even if you are aware of that, Hitchcock made a film that still shocks you the first time you see it. The way this is done is due to how much he plays you into the films role. He makes you feel for Janet Leigh in this film and then is able to quickly turn the tables to make you feel for Norman. He does this completely by playing into your mind and making you fall for what you see. Now, you can deduce somewhat of what was going on, but due to so many people not doing that, you never can tell the signs and that is what makes this film work: Hitchcock never really gives any signs as to why all the events are happening until the last five to ten minutes.
Plus, another factor on Hitchcock's part that makes the film work even more is how he chose to have the film made. As it is stated, he made this film cheap. He used his television show crue, worked for a little under a million, slowly gave the crew the script so that way they will be shocked on camera as they were by the script. Then you have how he advertised the film by telling that no one should speak of the film, that no one would be allowed to be seated, etc. What this did was not only create an atmosphere of fear that would later impact the audience, but also filled the seats in the theater. Then you have how people would later try to copy of the film. In that way, Hitchcock not only gave birth to the modern horror genre, but also started the idea of how to promote the film.
In that way, he changed the course of film history.
But what makes this film work even more is three things: the score by Bernard Herrmann, the performance by Anthony Perkins, and the wonderful script by Joseph Stefano. With Herrmann, there are only two pieces that needs to even be mentioned. The first is the opening credit music. A frequent collaborator with Hitchcock, it is somewhat amusing to hear the path of insanity that Herrmann adds to his music while adding a dash of paranoia. Like with how Hitchcock directs the film, Herrmann, in a way, co-directs with just the score. Even more with the shower sequence. By never really hearing Janet Leigh screaming as she dies, we hearing the screaming of the violins. In all honesty, that is way more effective then hearing her scream. When you hear her scream, you only end up associating the scene's sound to her screaming. But make it be associated with violins screaming, what you are left with is a universal subconscious of terror when you hear a violin screaming. You get reminded of the terror of the shower scene.
Anthony Perkins is one of the reasons why this film is even still around and is a darn good reason. It mainly has to deal with how he presents himself from the film, knowing the horrible truth. But what really makes this performance effective is how you can never really get a feel over what is going on. He keeps everything mentally inside of him and with that, we are left with the portrait of a regular man you could meet that might have a secret. He plays Norman Bates as a regular guy. Nothing really suspicious. With that, he just sells this film.
Stefano has a way of adapting the novel, but the few changes he does make actually make things better for the film. The first is the physical idea of Norman. Stefano changes Norman from a fat nobody to a respectable looking somebody that you would not mind sitting down and having a chat with. Stefano writes the film in a way that you makes everybody likeable in one way or another while slowly allowing them to spill their true identities out. With this writing style, what we see is the truth of humans: we rarely allow our true self to be shown out of fear of what other people think. With Marion Crane (Janet Leigh), she slowly allows the truth as to why she is running away to bleed out. She is afraid of being looked down on be people and wants to hide the truth. With Norman, while he does show blankly that he does care for his mother and will do anything for her, his other secret is always conceal due to his fear of people thinking he is a freak. In terms of the script, Psycho's main message is that we are all afraid of what others will think of us and, as humans, we do everything to hide our true selves. Regardless if it is if public or private reasons.
Alfred Hitchcock made Psycho the way he did, and I really doubt that he did not know what he was doing. He was a smart man and the way he presented the entire idea of Psycho is nothing short of pure genius. But as to why this film is still around today is due to how he was able to play with the mindset of the audience, how he was able to make them more afraid of what they would never see verses what they can see. Most of the horrifying images that made this film the way it is, you never see. He plays you like a piano and pulls out all of the stops to make this film effective. Like a god of film, he made something that is still a staple in modern cinema. And rightfully so due to this film constantly being considered his masterpiece (which is not really saying anything due to how many other great films he has).
I might as well say that I am a man that has read his own fair share of Sherlock Holmes tales and has seen quite a few interpretations of the famous detective. With me, his brain and his powers of deduction have been something of a complete influence on my life as I strive to be more like him and it is easy to see that both Guy Ritchie and Robert Downey Jr. have tried to do so and what we get from them is a version of Holmes that is like the original character, yet refreshing to watch. Sherlock Holmes is timeless and always will be, but what this film does is brings the character up to date and sets it in something of a steampunk like setting (well, has the influence with the overall look). One of the main advantages that this film has is that it is not really based off of any particular, but goes back to the characters, uses certain ones from various tales, and creates a fresh, and in some respects original plot. Now, this is a plus because when watching this film, if it was a strict retelling of any of the original stories, then it would not really have worked. There is something inherently Victorian about Sherlock Holmes, and having him now be in turn of the century England, it helps a great deal with how he is presented: an alcoholic, Bohemian in style, basic lunatic half of the time while having more gadgets then I can even remember. But what sells this film, more than anything else, is the performances of Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law. The chemistry between these two constantly had me laughing from start to finish because of how close they are. In the books, it was hinted at that there was something of a 'bromance' between the two of them, but they kept things strictly professional. Here, there is really nothing professional and what we get is one of the most humorous, refreshing teams I have seen in a long while. With Downey, he has basically been playing this character for some time: sarcastic, a tad bit insane, but all together completely unique. But what sells the performance even more is with how he takes some of Holmes's trademark qualities (antisocial, never fits well with the public, no one really understanding him) and breathes new life into them. Plus, there is just a subtle dark humor quality that does lighten the mood of the film up. In short, this is a dark, brooding film and if it was not for the odd humor it would be something of a bore to sit through. With Judd Law, I have seen him in some films, but here he feels more at home by playing a Watson I have been expecting and wanting: willing to do anything for Holmes, but is questioning why he does so. This is mainly shown halfway into the film where we start to see Watson wanting to leave this life and to have something of a regular life with a wife and maybe some demon spawns. I am not that familiar with the films of Guy Ritchie, but Sherlock Holmes is easily one of the most entertaining films I have seen from 2011. The main reason why this works is due to the wit of the script, the chemistry between the leads, and how Ritchie does update the film for modern times. I might as well say this now: never expect a straight adaption of Holmes for it probably will never work. With the way films are now a days, the way people want crime tales, Holmes is best left alone and in the original stories and novels. But should he be attempted to bring to the screen, this is how it needs to be done.
This is the type of film I have been waiting for in the horror genre. Being a fan of the older horror films of Universal and Hammer Studios, this is a giant canister of fresh air in horror films. In this film, you will not find any real resemblance of modern horror. Only pure horror that creeps into your skin and makes you want to have the lights on. This is a ghost story of the highest order and one that shows that there is some hope for horror.
What makes this film work as a horror film of the olden days is how Gothic it is and how it pays tribute to the olden Gothic films that shaped cinema. The best example will be with the start of the film that plays very much like the tale of Dracula: a businessman is going to a forbidden place that is frowned upon by village people and his presence causes chaos and panic for everyone. I have yet to read the original novel or the first film adaption, but based on this film, I am having to praise James Watkins on his direction of the film by keeping things dark, hiding things in shadows, messing with your mind, and making the atmosphere so thick you can hardly breathe. But mainly with how he makes the house where the action is centered around the main star. This being a haunted house tale, it is important that the main house is the center of attention and Watkins keeps that up from start to finish.
Okay, I am going to need to state this now: this is not a Harry Potter film and if you are one of those viewers that is just seeing this for Harry Potter, then I pity you. Daniel Radcliffe uses this film as a way to separate himself from the film series he will always be remembered for, and for the most part, he is able to portray his character with a mature feel. However, I personally say that this film is too early for him to do. Yes, he has aged a lot but he still has that feeling of Potter. Mainly due to the final film still being present in people's minds. But for what he can do as an actor, he does a rather good job. Probably much better than what was required.
Right there, that is the thing about this film that just adds to it: the performances from the supporting cast is beyond wonderful. Probably more so than what was really needed. To me, it was like everyone knew that the true star of this film was going to be the house (and still is) and they all wanted to try and up the ante. Now, is this a bad thing? No. However, it just stands out a lot to me.
In the end, I will admit that I was left with a huge grin on my face and a bit of a chuckle. As said at the beginning, this is the horror film I have been praying for. It's creepy, spooky, basically everything Tim Burton tries to do but can't anymore. If this film does not get nominated for best art direction then I am going to be beyond disappointed. However, I will say this: I was expecting Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee to pop out at any given moment.
Before this review starts, I have to get one thing clear: by no means do I have anything against the military. In fact, some of my closest friends are, in one way or another, associated with the military via being part of ROTC or having parents stationed. So, for me giving this film a negative review is not based on any hatred. It is due to my own thoughts of this as a war film. I think it is. With Act Of Valor, I am kind of tied in what this is meant to be. Part of me feels like this film is a propaganda film marketed at teenagers to get them to join the military. Another part feels like that this is meant to be somewhat of a documentary on what a typical day in the life of a navy SEAL is meant to be. Then you have the part that is suppose to be a tribute. From my perspective, only the first idea of what this film is appears to be accurate. Looking over what the makers of this film said, this movie featuring active SEALs is meant to be a tribute to all of those that are associated with the Navy. Watching this film, I donâ(TM)t see how this is a tribute. The main reason why is simple: this is not a tribute or war film. This is an action film like you would find in the 1980s. In fact, this film feels more like it is aimed at tribute those films then tribute the military. Here is my thing: if this is a military film, where are the parts that show the consequence of war? That is one factor that is constantly missing. With this being a look at the life of the military, you would expect them to add in the human factors of the film and give the complete picture. But just like any government, they only show what the public will want. So, on to the film itself, I will praise the production quality and look of this film. Honestly, I do like the idea having non-actors in the roles and using real ammo in the guns, making things as real as possible. While watching that, I will admit that I did feel pumped up and excited for what was going on. But then, there is no pay off. Yeah, people get hurt. But in terms of this film, do we really care? We are never given a chance to know any of the people, we donâ(TM)t really feel for any of them. They are just here to be pawns for the plot and that is that. This is a short review because you canâ(TM)t really review a film that focuses on action and not on the human element. Honestly, I had some high hopes for this film and the producers were given a giant opportunity here: present an accurate portrayal of war and what it is like to be in the military. You wonder why films like Apocalypse Now, Full Metal Jacket, Platoon, Paths of Glory, and The Hurt Locker are remembered, and that is due to them showing exactly what happens in war. This film is presented as such, but what we are left with is a film aimed at getting teenagers excited about the military, something of a weak tribute to army personal, and something of a let down for me. In all honesty, I actually expected something more. If you are a fan of action films and elements of Grind House war films, then you might like this. If you are interested in the military/ part of ROTC if you are in High School, then this film you need to add to your collection. But just remember: you are only getting what they want you to see. Not all there is.
No adaptation is perfect. To say that would be a statement that would cause complete and total chaos among all that are in love with whatever material you are talking about. However, in terms of Death Note, while this is not a perfect adaptation, it is an improvement over the original source material. So, does this follow the original manga/ anime? Not really. Doing what Rob Zombieâ(TM)s Halloween II would do, this film follows the life that the first film had and carries it on. In doing so, what I have here is something that beats the original source material, makes the story much better, and in my opinion, the most definitive version of the story of Light, L, Misa, Ryuk, Rem, and the Death Note. Shususke Kaneko is mainly who I have to thank for this adaptation and how it came out. Picking up right where the last film left off, Kaneko does not go back and reestablishes the characters. He just takes the film and launches it and while going on for the ride, he unleashes the paranoia and fear that Light goes into from the start. Masterfully balancing scenes, tensions, and the overall performances, Kaneko delivers a film, that I am bold enough to say, could actually be a contender to rival Gamera III: Incomplete Struggle or Godzilla, Mothra, and King Ghidora in terms of being his best. The main reason for how he handles this film is his ability to keep the tension fresh at all times, knows when to explode the shocks, and how he has his main three actors act towards the two Shinigami/ Death Gods in this film. But the best showing is of the last thirty minutes. I wonâ(TM)t ruin the film by saying what Kaneko does, but even if you know the ending to Death Note, you wonâ(TM)t see this coming. The acting in this film is more tighter than in the first part, but that is mainly due to the adding of Erika Toda as Misa Amane. With Ekria, Tatsuya Fujiawa, and Kenichi Matsuyama, we have three beyond talented actors/ actress that just breathes new life into their respected characters. Like with the first half, my attention goes to Matsuyama for his portrayal as L. Like I said in the review for the first half of this film (I am going to have to put both Death Note films together as one film), Matsuyama gives a more dedicated performance than what we needed for L, and it is a shame that he is not recognized as much as he should for this film. With Toda and Fujiawa, I was actually delighted with how they handled their scenes with the Shinigami and not making it all look like they were an army of idiots talking to themselves. The acting in this film is so much better then needed, and that just adds all the more power to Kanekoâ(TM)s story telling. For the special effects for the Death Gods, I still love how they decided to handle Ryuk and Rem. Mainly because they do not try to make them realistic. That is where the fun of watching this film comes from: they just stand out in a rather nice way. With a typical director, he would have the special effects be realistic to the point that they just become creepy. But here, they are creepy to an extant, but they have this cool factor about them that makes them entertaining to watch, plus the amount of emotion they have to the point that you start feeling sympathy and compassion for them is also something I was not expecting to find in this film. Towards the end when one of the two main Death Gods dies, it actually pretty sad due to how much you grow to care for them, due to how much of themselves we see. As with the acting, this is all due to the greatness of Kaneko. I know that a good chunk of this review has been me boasting on the direction of Shusuke Kaneko, but he is what makes this film good. No, not good. Great. Like with Quentin Tarantinoâ(TM)s Kill Bill, Death Note: The Last Name is a complete level higher than the first Death Note film, but the sum of itâ(TM)s parts is so much more pleasing and wonderful then they are separate. If one must watch this film, make sure you have the first film and watch both back to back. The third Death Note film (L: Change The WorLd) is a totally different subject matter.
To say that this is a sad and sadistic film would be an understatement. Tasteless would be more. In fact, to even recommend this film would go against all of the morals that I have in terms of me being a film critic. Yet, the part of me that is not a film critic absolutely adores this film for those very same reasons. The Devilâ(TM)s Rejects, the follow up to Zombieâ(TM)s House of 1,000 Corpses is quite a step up for Zombie as a film maker and as a writer. All that I loved about the first film is here, but so much more. The first thing will have to be how much his direction has changed. Watching this film, I was reminded a good deal about Francis Ford Coppolaâ(TM)s The Godfather. How so? Simple: they are both about families that we are raised to hate, yet we love and sympathize with them. In The Godfather, we are shown into the world of the Corleone family and their crimes and we come to accept that that is good. Here, it is the same way: Zombie throws us into the world of the Fireflyâ(TM)s and we accept their brutal, deranged life style to the point that we care for the entire clan. Yes, they torture, kill, and in some instances sexually dehumanize people, but we still love them regardless and hope for the best. It takes a certain degree of talent to make such unlikable people likable, and Zombie has that gift. What he also has is a gift for getting great performances out of people. Mainly with Sid Haig, Sherri Moon Zombie, and Bill Moseley. In the first film, they were okay as performers. Here, they captivate their roles to the point that I was starting to believe that this was how they really are. Even more Moseley. I donâ(TM)t know how they drew their inspiration, but with this film, it is complete convincing. Now, I mention Moseley due to the complete reality he gives his character. I was stunned. Here he is, this grotesque character, when in reality he is the polar opposite. I loved his performance simply due to how convincing he is. The cast in this film does their job right and pitch perfect. As with 1000 Corpses, the script to this film is still laced with dark, witty dialogue that I could just hear over and over again. But what is the high point is the part that involves law enforcement to call in a film critic to try and explain the Marx Brotherâ(TM)s films to everyone. First off, who does that in real life? Second, this I like due to it showing off Zombieâ(TM)s influences and his love of cinema. Even more when the cop is about to kill the critic for insulting Johnny Cash. That entire scene isâ¦ just beyond hilarious to hear and see acted out. With other scenes, it is just wonderful. Complete with all the â~Fâ(TM) bombs you could wish for. I know I made a comparison between this and The Godfather. I know some of you are thinking that I am considering this a great film. I am not. What I am calling it is one of the most entertaining horror films to be made in the past few years and, as of now, Rob Zombieâ(TM)s masterpiece. He takes this film and brings it to the most extreme he can in the horror genre and leaves it to be the best it can be. So, I am giving this film a high review and rating due to it being what it tries to be: an entertaining ode to extreme horror. For being what it tries to be, it is worth a watch.
For me at least, I find it hard for me to go into any form of detail about this film without first talking about the director. I am something of a mediocre fan of Rob Zombie. I mean, I like his music well enough and as an artist, I have respect for him. With my first two Zombie films I saw were his Halloween films, I got it that he loves paying tribute to the horror films that inspired him like he did with the lyrics to his music. What makes this film different from the Halloween films is how he handles the material he was given. Now, this is by no means a great film. In fact, as a film itself it is mediocre. Yeah, it has a great cult following, but as someone that knows what Zombie was going for, and what this film tried to do, I will not say it is great. But it is BEYOND fun to watch. With Zombie, if you have seen his music videos, the direction is not any way, shape, or form better than what you have already seen. But what makes this film great is how he has the film laid out. Taking ideas from directors, he never tries to improve the horror genre. In fact, he seems to want to create a hour and a half love letter to the obscure, low, disgusting horror films that you only hear about via horror geeks. The purpose is simple: wipe out the way horror films have been created as (soft core porn) and return them to the grotesque, evil, and just plain sadistic way horror (mainly slasher films) was meant to be. But what makes me love this film to watch is how funny the dialogue is. From the get go, it is shown that if you are looking for sophisticated characters, those that you can attach yourself to and see different angles to, then you have the wrong film. This movie gives each character one personality and it is either annoying or fun. As to which one is which, well, just look at who lives and dies. With this, the acting is not all that great, and should not have been great. In this type of film, great acting would kind of kill the overall feel that it was trying to achieve. This is Zombieâ(TM)s directorial debut, and as such, he does have one main problem: LOTS of dropped ideas. Part of the plot of this film is to have a character known as Dr. Satan and his exploits. You only see him once in the entire film and his appearance is something of a buzz kill. Then you have the murderous family parts, the cops parts, and all of this that is later replaced with attention being focused on the gore shots. Okay Zombie, as a film critic, here is some advice: only keep the subplots that will work and develop them. I know I said that this was just a fun film and one to not take seriously, but with huge plot holes that donâ(TM)t go anywhere, plot devices that really serve no purpose, it kills the film for me. But the best thing, and the part that redeems this film, is just the dialogue. I know I kind of already touched on this topic, but I just canâ(TM)t love the words in this film enough. Mainly with the Firefly family, the dialogue just goes and destroys every stereotype imaginable for a backwashed family in the middle of no where. Now, why I love this is due to how natural it flows from the actors. Mainly with Bill Moseley (known for The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, Repo! The Genetic Opera, and The Devilâ(TM)s Carnival) and how he allows his character to take over. It is truly hysterical. In the end, this is how a typical debut for a director should be: try everything you want, just be prepared to have the film hated. However, given the giant cult fan base this film has, that is not really the case. But for me, I am kind of in the middle with this film. The cinema snob in me wants to bash this film, calling it trash. The film geek in me wants to love this film for how funny it is, how much it pays tribute to films I love, and just the chance to see the great Rob Zombie make a movie. With this film, I am going with my film geek side. Now, am I saying go out and watch this film? Only if you can handle a LOT of gore and weird images. If you can handle it, make sure you have some fried chicken ready and sit back for one interesting and loving film.