So it’s been a while since I’ve put anything up on the blog and for all my faithful readers I apologise for that one. The one/two combo of Meet the Spartans and feeling sick all last week, was big enough to just derail my writing. While being sick is easy enough to understand to not wanting to write, it’s weird a movie would have that big effect on me.
Since that movie I didn’t watch or didn’t feel like writing for seven or so days. Sure it gave me a rant, but it’s disheartening to be so knocked back by a movie. It shouldn’t happen. People shouldn’t be affected by such things, but there you have it. It took a movie I promised to see with my girlfriend from knocking me out of my stupor. I’ll get to that movie tomorrow, for now I thought I would concentrate on getting some of my backlog of movies to review out of the way.
There’s the intro, onto the main event.
This Spanish found footage zombie film is excellent, and if you are thinking of seeing the American remake Quarantine please don’t. This is a far superior film with better acting, tenser scenes, and subtleties that make the plot more coherent. It’s a simple set up with a documentary crew going on a ride along with Fire Fighters. Getting to the scene things aren’t what they seem, and soon the crew, the Fire Fighters and the tenants of the unit block are locked in under the guise of quarantine.
Not everything is spelt out in the movie, the origin of the zombie infection is hinted at, but the movie is more intent on living in the moment rather than trying to construct a back history. Characters range from annoying to likeable and do seem to represent the broad spectrum of humanity. Tip of the hat to Manuela Velasco as Angela Vidal, as the centre she is able to walk the line between annoying documentary host who smells a story, and put upon woman who wants to save people if possible while surviving herself. She represents a solid centre, of a good movie. Can’t wait to watch the sequel.
A cowboy in a world where guns are outlawed, and a samurai who doesn’t like using swords, find their paths are intertwined in this tale of revenge and redemption. With a set up like that, I would normal expect myself to get excited, however after the let down of Way of the Warrior, I was worried that I might be delving into a movie that puts style of substance. Thankfully thanks to a wonderful sense of simple style, and actors who really embrace the story, a world is created that has some deep themes and fun times.
There is a motif of the world being represented as a pop up story, or made of origami. It creates a visual style that is simple to create and yet effective. The film makers seem to understand that they can’t have the special effects pulling the audience out of the experience. As stated above the actors are all great in this movie and seem to be really rolling with the movie. I’m always a bit iffy on Josh Hartnett but he was great in this, as was Gackt. Woody Harrelson is the star however as The Bartender, his role is interesting as he isn’t the main character, yet manages to be the heart of the story. Those who liked Way of the Warrior would do well to watch this, it’s an excellent idea brought to reality with strong vision.
POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold (2011)
Morgan Spurlock, director of the documentary Super Size Me comes back with a story on product placement in films solely funded by product placement in this documentary. It’s an interesting idea, and I can’t deny that I had fun watching the movie, yet in the end it felt like a hollow experience and didn’t really put light on anything we didn’t know or could find out with 3 minutes research on the internet.
It may sound cruel but I call Morgan Spurlock’s style of documentary the ‘Duhcumentary,’ because he often seems to want to deal with topics that people already know about. So while the experience of watching this is fun, it’s hard to really give it props as it fails in what I believe to be the fundamental reason of a documentaries existence. But if you enjoyed his previous works, then you’ll like this. Morgan definitely knows how to give people information in an entertaining manner.