Director: Daniel Nettheim
Starring: Willem Dafoe, Sam Neill, Frances O’Connor, Morgana Davies, Calian Mulvey, Finn Woodlock . Australia . 1h 42m
Based on : The Hunter by Julia Leigh
It’s not often a wild storyline produces such a masterpiece of a movie but there’s a lot to be amazed about in this redemption thriller surrounding the extinct Tasmanian tiger a biotech company and a hippy conservationist family living in the Australian sticks.
Heavily based on a book of the same title by Julia Leigh, the film managed to capture the essence of the original novel and sets it perfectly in the lush wilderness of Tasmania, it doesn’t look like the typical Australian film and is quite refined, with it’s far out story, which is empowered enough that at times it’s easy to find it plausible.
A weathered and extremely diligent mercenary, Martin David (Dafoe) is hired by a military biotech company called Red Leaf to go to Tasmania, gathers samples of the Tasmania Tiger, with a further instruction to kill all the reaming tigers so their rivals won’t be able to get ahead of them in the game. Now I’m pretty sure that the Tasmanian tiger has been extinct since the olden days, the last remaining tiger looked as if it were photographed in the late 1800’s to my untrained eye. But here we have a race to a fabled last remaining tiger and to harvest it for a lab. Continue reading The Hunter (2011)
Director : Randall Cole
Starring :Nick Stahl, Mia Kirshner, Devon Sawa . Canada. 1h 26m.
The found footage Canadian thriller stars Nick Stahl and Mia Kirshner as an unhappily married couple whose lives are turned upside down after they are tracked and eventually infiltrated by an unknown stalker. The film has a low key release and is fairly average in most aspects. Continue reading 388 Arletta Avenue (2011)
Director : Lech Majewski
Starring : Rutger Hauer, Michael York, Charlotte Rampling. Poland/Sweden. 1h 36m
It’s always interesting for a art nut like myself to discover something about an era of art, an artist or in some cases just one single painting being extracted in the wonderful world of cinema. It’s not like someone ever sits down to paint something that’s going to take weeks or months or even years for the sake of painting, yet when you find out the details behind some of the epic masterpieces it can be quite breathtaking and you need to look at the painting again. While I’m hugely into art and it’s history, I’m still in two minds weather these make good movies or not!? Continue reading Młyn i krzyż – The Mill and the Cross (2011)
Day 20 of 31
Grave Encounters – (Horror, Supernatural, Found footage, 2011) (18) D: Colin Minihan, Stuart Ortiz and others P: Shawn Angelski, Michael Karlin and others C: ben Wilkinson, Sean Rogerson, Ashleigh Gryko, Merwin Mondesir. 1h 32m. USA.
One of the most easily accessible and favourite found footage horrors, that is literally spread very thickly over YouTube in video’s claiming to have real ghost footage, so I feel like I’ve done myself a disservice by not watching this sooner because it now plays out like a YouTube best ghost clips real and at various points throughout the movie I was in full dejavu mode. Still it’s an uneasy yet engaging supernatural movie. Written and directed by the Vicious Brothers and premiering in 2011, it strives to and succeeded to deliver a few new haunts to the found footage genre. Continue reading Grave Encounters (2011)
Day 5 of 31
Director/Writer/Producer: James Bickert
Starring: Jett Bryant, Madeline Brumby, Paul McComiskey. USA. 1h 21m.
I wasn’t prepared for this film.. so let me prepare you for this film. I chanced upon it in HMV in the horror section and looking like a cross between Baytown Outlaws, Pig Hunt and Devils Rejects.. but while it’s brilliant in it’s own rights it’s just not like any of these films.. it’s not like any other film… thankfully..
The Impalers are an outlaw motorcycle gang who are constantly on a full on GTA style rampage with a rival club Satan’s Own. And after riding through some nuns and fighting this gang the surviving members seek refuge in a secluded cabin deep in the mountains. The family who were having a small celebration in their cabin are soon preyed upon by the rebel biker gang but a mysterious girl who is locked in the basement holds secrets to a flesh eating monster lurking in the woods and a nazi mastermind behind all sorts of wrongness.
There is no safe haven, every level of wrongness is explored in a similar vein as to other modern comedy exploitation movies such as Hobo with a Shotgun (2011) similarly both films pay little attention to making the film look retro with a few grain lines that are soon disregarded, but unlike the original exploitation films this just rips everything apart in a parody so bad it’s good. Continue reading Dear God No (2011)
Director : Giles Borg
Writer : Stephen Leslie
Starring : Joe Anderson, Ricky Tomlinson, Laura Fraser, Autumn Federici, Billy Zane, Luke Evans. UK. 1h 26m.
The second full length film from budding director Giles Borg takes a much darker and diabolical path, but retains a healthy humorous streak. Personally I was quite smitten with the film and have enjoyed it several times, the humour is deathly dark and some of the surreal scenes near the end of the film are executed with a great attention to detail.
John (Joe Anderson) is addicted to gambling, it’s all that he and his friends do together, gamble down the tracks as often as they can and reap the rewards or drown their sorrows as a team, until one fateful day when Stan, their loyal bookie is missing and a blond bombshell is takes his place, this gorgeous stranger turns out to be the “new Stan” (Autumn Federici) who offers the boys good odds on bets they simply can’t refuse. Lured into big payoff bets set by the ever demanding Stan, John is slowly spiraling into a surreal and dank future that seems to be controlled by Stan’s ever growing need for power and control, how long can John keep going until he gets the big win of his dreams? Continue reading Flutter (2011)
Director – Abel Ferrara
Writer – Abel Ferrara
Starring – Willem Dafoe, Shanyn Leigh. USA. 1h 24m
I had been looking for this film for some time, I rekindled my love affair with the unusual character that we know as Willem Dafoe when I watched The Hunter (2011) and Antichrist (2009) and remembered how his presence always added a bit of skinny charisma to any film. So I got busy on Amazon and started searching for his back catalogue. 4:44 Last Day on Earth came up and sounded like an amazing spiritual adventure, so it was the top of the list…. but it was strangely hard to find! Anyway I have it now and I’ve watched it and.. I’m not all that impressed. Continue reading 4.44 Last Day On Earth (2011)
A tragically stark and bleak movie set to a haunting soundtrack and blistering natural soundtrack depicting a curious what happened next story that finalises the end of something.. I’ve been meaning to watch this film for such a long time, it sounded intriguing and I have a soft spot for black and white (long drawn out) movies.
The Turin Horse is very much a film makers film, it’s one of those film with lots of laurels that the average joe is going to frisbee the disc in disgust after the first 20 seconds. For me it’s a poem, meticulously composed by cinematographer Fred Keieman’s ever detailed eye that casts dark shadows over a story about the end of a world, if not the world. Continue reading Turin Horse (2011)
Dir: Matt Westrup /UK?/ 2011
Without any blood or gore this poignant short from young director Matt Westrup slowly unfolds a fairly realistic and dangerous. In the form of a private hearing/inquest Dr William Ackerman (John Mawson) details his research into a appearance of mutants in and around London. in between his presentation to Under Secretary Johnson (Robert Rowe). We’re treated to some very stunning shots of advanced robotic police in a futuristic London, these shots are more than stunning, they are damned perfect. Westrup’s expertise is visual effects and his handiwork can be seen on his site and in films such as Underworld Evolution (2006). There is a bit of bullshit at the end about medicines that are not being screened that could cause these mutations and while it’s fake we are all aware of bogus drugs being available online and the dangers of bath salts, so who’s to say that in the future that we won’t find something more damaging to the human physiology!? But those creatures, how fucking freaky are they. It opens up whole kettle of fears, not knowing who could turn next, not knowing if you’ve taken something yourself? It’s a really good short, it has great effects, great pacing and tells a awesome science fiction story.
Dir: Emlyn Boyle/USA?/2011
Accomplished artist and poet Emlyn Boyle has created this dark and delightful animation set to a self written poem, in the style of Tim Burton or Gorey, comes a simplistic yet haunting gothic take. Of a creature who creeps and stalks it’s victims by night.
The story is reminiscent of European folklore, especially the Scandinavian tales of various forest creatures although European stories rarely have a happy ending, on the other side One Winters Night will leave you guessing what might happen next, I adore it, it really does show you how to expand art through different mediums and that you don’t need to be an expert in Maya to do it. The rustic charm runs throughout and I hope to see more from Emlyn.