Tag Archives: 2011

388 Arletta Avenue (2011)

388-arletta-way-i

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)

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Młyn i krzyż – The Mill and the Cross (2011)

the-mill-and-the-cross

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!?

Without diving deeply into the artist’s personal life but with some quirky and lively anecdotal excerpts of family life, children squabbling, and tumbling out of bed, breakfasts being eaten and blessings over the family table, the film aims to details the features of the work, the drive behind it and ultimately expressions of divine intervention.

From the initial introduction the remarkable  accomplishment of the jaw dropping visuals  is very apparent and if you only see the  introduction scenes then the film will remain with you forever as they are exquisite.  The rest of the film is like watching the paint settle into the masterpiece, it’s not like watching paint dry, instead you are gradually walked through the initial concept sketches and inner musings of the artist and strife of every single character within it, each journey explained, including the tortured man (check out the painting here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Procession_to_Calvary_(Bruegel) ). The artist Pieter Bruegel the Elder, skilfully acted by  Rutger Hauer and is patron Nicholas Jonghelinck is sternly portrayed by Michael York and the feminine aspect of the movie is played by the most stunning Charlotte Rampling her steely eyes peer judgements at Rutger as the Virgin Mary giving advice to the artists throughout his journey through his own painting. Do masterful pieces of artwork demand such a film? The canvases of concern are The Mill and The Procession to Calvary,  the later depicts a Dutch crucifixion masterpiece created when Flanders was under brutal Spanish occupation. But it’s not a simple as painting a crucifixion painting, and without going into detail the film shows the symbolism of the characters in relation to the current persecution of the people of flanders against a similar strife that happened when Jesus was carrying the cross.

Every aspect of the film is enchanting it really does bring the entire painting to life although at times did remind me of the Storyteller series it’s obvious green screens and lots of CGI in order to create backdrops but they are very accurate and seem only enhance the practice of bringing the art to life. Like any work of art it comes together piece by piece which makes for a slow paced movie but it does build into this great crescendo as this masterpiece is solely piece together from the sum of its parts.

“This is like watching a painting dry” – but in a good way

Pieter Bruegel the Elder himself is mostly concerned; not with the main subject of Jesus being crucified But instead with the world that he is passing and the people who usually go  unnoticed and in spite their massive numbers are the actual  focal point and it’s not a huge canvas considering how many people are involved in the very end we see it right next to the Tower of Babel painting in a museum.

Exquisite  attention to the  minute detail to create the world around the painting but ends up in the painting the clothes are designed by  Dorota Roqueplo  helps bring this reality into existence.

Ultimately this isn’t going to be everybody’s cup of tea not everybody isn’t art not everyone cares about the history of a single painting but you can’t deny is the artistic qualities within the film. Even some of the “still” moments are totally consuming,  this should definitely be considered a breakthrough piece for the director and every moment of the film is extraordinarily spellbinding and wondrous it’s literally like having a dream with the artist while painting has been created.

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Rating 7/10

R The Girl with the pearl earring (2003),
L  – Artist Biographies
5sRutger Hauer, Michael York, Charlotte Rampling

Grave Encounters (2011)

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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.

Grave Encounters

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)

Dear God No (2011)

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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.

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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)

Flutter (2011)

 

flutter
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)

4.44 Last Day On Earth (2011)

4.44

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)

Turin Horse (2011)

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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)

The Gate

the gate short

https://youtu.be/yqyQmecxub4

Duration 8:19

Dir: Matt Westrup /UK?/ 2011
Link: http://mattwestrup.com
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.


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R: 8/10

One Winters Night

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http://youtu.be/aP4CL4GSIAE
Duration 7.07

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.

One Winters 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.

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R:7/10

Séance : The Summoning (2011)

Seance the summoning

 

Séance : The Summoning (Horror, Thriller, Supernatual 2011) (18) D: Alex Wright: W: Alex Wright: C: Bobby Campo, Nazneem Contactor, Chris Olivero, Devon Ogden 1h 25m. USA.

TAGLINE : Dare to Play

Synopsis: Four Friends decide to record themsleves having a séance. When they summon a demon by mistake they’ll have to find a way to drive the demon out before it destroys them all.

Occult thriller with a few cheesy predicable scares in-between the illogical and shoddily researched scenes. A group of young friends decide to record themselves having séance, the head honcho Eva (Nazneen Contactor) is trying to prove that is a supernatural arranges for her friends including a born again christian and budding film maker to go along for the ride, when one of the group starts showing disturbing signs and the group end up fighting for their lives or souls.. I’m not entirely sure as the movie is all over the show.

 

As much as I adore horror it’s films like that make it hard for me to defend the genre. The fore and effects are good quality, that can’t be denied, they look good and the cinematography is spot on giving some interesting shots and is a little experimental at times, although the acting , script, plot, occult references, situations are all trashy.

 

The film start out with a christian getting her tarot read but a bargain basement Marie Laveau who later casts a wiccan circle to start a séance over a ouija board. All the typical shit plays out, there is a lot of screaming a LOT of screaming it seems to be utilised as an indication that the scene is supposed to be scary.   While the movie takes ages to warm up when the plot finally gets started everything becomes back-story as if it’s being written as the movie was mid production. Suddenly the sceptic has a dodgy past and more and more gets dredged up from the past. Another annoying factor is that the film keeps switching between live action and handy cam; I guess it wasn’t decided on the format?

 

All of the gore scenes no matter the level of artist effects are all show horned into the story and are mostly unnecessary, along with all the inaccurate bullshit it’s hard to sit through at times.

 

The story itself has potential, even as a low budget movie, it could have been done so much more, the atmosphere is brooding, as most of the film is set in the morgue. The gore scenes are pleasant enough but the build up to them is dismal and seem to all end with a howl.

 

Ultimately what it offers is wiped out by the crap you have to trawl though to find it, whatever it is.. I’m still lost as to if they summoned a demon/devil/spirit/entity/ghost? I don’t think anyone knew in the first place. Basically it’s just not worth it.

 

 

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Rating : 2/10

 

R: Dead Mans Hand (2007), Séance (2006), I am ZoZo (2012), Haunting in Connecticut (2009), Long Time Dead (2002)

 

Q: I could have made you a queen!
TIL: You don’t need to be a priest to preform an exorcism, cutting is a sign of demonic possession.
BS: This film doesn’t have one.
L: Ouija Films, Occult Films
DGI: Knock a shot for every scream! Then keep drinking until the movie is good!