A grief stricken Isabelle (Gallerani) checks herself into the Rosewood asylum to find a cure for her melancholy, her dedicated brother Robert (Pease) is deeply concerned about how the death of their parents have affected her and checks in on her and the history of the asylum despite being urged by the trusted Dr Torrington (Roberts) that it’s the best hospital in the country. Isobelle becomes a patient under the highly talented and slightly eccentric Dr. Carin (Franco) and his creepy surgeon sidekick Dr. Lemelle (Nelson). As Isobelle starts to become aware that there are other women at the asylum who seem second class, injured and shabby the crawl the halls, but she’s promised that she won’t have to be around them and her care is seperate but she strikes up a friendship with them. Continue reading The Institute (2017)
Directors: Severin Fiala, Veronika Franz
Writers: Veronika Franz (screenplay), Severin Fiala (screenplay)
Starring: Lukas Schwarz, Elias Schwarz, Susanne Wuest. Austria. 1h 39m
In the heat of a long summer, twin boys impatiently await the return of their mother after her cosmetic surgery. Her return doesn’t bring the happiness you’d expect from a mother returning to her 9 year old children, instead they suspect another person has taken her place and search for the truth as her reactions to them are tragically different from what they remember, who or what is really under the bandages. Continue reading Ich Seh Ich Seh- Goodnight Mommy (2014)
Director: Karyn Kusama
Starring: Logan Marshall-Green, Tammy Blanchard, Michiel Huisman, Emayatzy Corinealdi, John Carroll Lynch. USA. 1h 39m
A dark and creepy movie with insipid atmosphere that will seep into the psyche not only of the characters involved also the audience.
A young couple Will (Logan Marshall-Green) and Kira (Emayatzy Corinealdi) travelling to an evening dinner party after receiving a lush invitation, en route they hit a coyote, which becomes trapped under the front tire and will has to take a tire iron and put the animal out of its misery,has there’s nothing you can do for it, this bloody prologue to this creepy movie is more poignant than you could ever imagine. Continue reading The invitation (2015)
Director: Terence Fisher
Writer: Night of the big heat by John Lymington
Starring: Christopher Lee, Patrick Allen, Peter Cushing, Jane Merrow. UK. 1h 34m.
You know that feeling when you buy a DVD with the title Island of the Burning Damned, get past the menus and the film (finally) starts, then you’re presented with a title of Night of the Big Heat and you suspect something is wrong.. but all the actors seem to be present.. Humm.. Why do they release films with two different titles anyway it’s confusing for us retards.
That aside this cryptic sci fi thriller has a heavy noir undertone which is quite unusual especially for a film of this time period but it works well as hot flustered temperatures play a key role in this intrepid space horror. Continue reading Night of the Big Heat (1967) AKA Island of the Burning Damned
This gripping and very surreal drama is thought provoking and entertaining, there have been many books written about luck and how it can be manifested using charms and striking bargains but director/ writer Juan Carlos Fresnadillo had amazing fun playing around the the idea of an underground group who trade in luck.
A casino owner and head of this luck cartel, Samuel Berg (Max von Sydow) is amazingly lucky, not only did he survive a concentration camp but he constantly wins at his favourite game of Russian Roulette. His prized worker is Federico (Eusebio Poncela) a man who has the ability to steal people’s luck and is often dispatched to keep the odds in the favour of the casino. After a disagreement the two fall out and Samuel steals all of Federico’s luck and discards him, Federico then set’s out to find the luckiest man alive, a recent plane crash survivor in order to get enough luck to return and beat Samuel at his favourite game. He and Tomas (Leonardo Sbaraglia) to have to go through many trials to increase and prove the levels of luck in order to win the right to play the game. Continue reading Intacto – Intact (2001)
I managed to totally lose my original post and so here goes again..
I had a request for a movie review, not so strangely from the person who suggested that I did this blog in the first place so here goes, and if you have any requests please let me know in the comments..
It Follows is to Hipster as Donnie Darko was to Emo, There are a lot of trendy elements and the atmosphere is hazy, a lot of the film is filmed at twilight or night which adds to the mysterious atmosphere of this psychological horror.
Jay (Maika Monroe) goes on a date with a jock Hugh (Jake Weary), things go well but after sex, instead of the obligatory ciggy, he knocks her out, ties her up and takes her to an abandoned building, when she awakens tied to a wheelchair, the rules of the film are laid out. He’s given her a sexually transmitted curse and now there will be a “monster” after her, it’s slow but will constantly chase her and can look like anyone. Once this is done the lass is released, her friends gather around and try to protect her. Is it possible that a creature like this exists if it does how do you fight or kill it? Continue reading It Follows (2014)
This film is a strange prequel to the classic Moby Dick story, this monumental account of the Essex, a whaling ship from Nantucket whose destruction by a rogue whale inspired Herman Melville to write my personal favourite story of all time. Telling the story of the story being retold to Melville… I’ll explain, Melville turns up to spend the night talking with Thomas Nickerson (Brendan Gleeson) to gather information about a book he has in mind, The disgruntled Nickerson who was only a young boy (acted by Tom Holland) at the time of the Essex’s last voyage re tells everything that happened in total clarity inspiring the timeless novel.
Combining some surprising techniques in filing detailed angels and movement, and with a great dash of CG, this film successfully re creates what you can imagine a remake of Moby Dick would look like, but instead it’s glorified origin movie. Owen Chase (Chris Hemsworth) is refused to command his own ship due to a broken promise and not having a decent family name, but as he has more experience than fragile blue blood Captain George Pollard (Benjamin Walker) a power struggle commences between the men, with the captain making some retarded decisions, until they are attacked by a white whale!! But don’t think that you know how the story ends this is VERY different to Moby so get ready for a wild ride. Continue reading In the Heart of the Sea (2015)
At first I was put off by the title and due to the era of the movie I was expecting some possible comedy cheese thrown into a mindless movie. I was very wrong. While the movie is low budget the effects are quite adequate for the what is required and the film is quite brilliant. Obviously this is coming from a gore loving horror fan who appreciate good/bad movies, so bare with me.
The main character Steve (Alex Rebar) is an ill fated astronaut in this gross and trashy Z production camp horror flick, there is a fair share of nudity and lots of slime and body parts. After Steve West returns from space, he is highly radioactive and starts to melt, after seeing his floor pizza visage he breaks out of hospital and goes on the run, freaking out many a naked couple and a great old crazy couple along the way, as his need for human flesh starts to consume him.
It’s repulsive and if you’re able to switch off your brain (nothing is really explained, it just happens because movie) and ignore the retarded script, there is a lot to enjoy in this movie.
Parts of it remind me of the ridiculous nature of Motel Hell (1980). The film gets darker and more desperate as Steve develops into this melting mess of a creature.can he ever be rescued, is there a cure for this bizarre “disease”? The ending blew me away, it seemed distant from the rest of the film. Thoroughly good film though.
L – Incredible Movies, Doomed Astronauts, 70’s Sci Fi, 70’s Horror
A – How our fear of space has crafted Cinema
5B – Alex Rebar
Full movie review coming soon.
Please note this post discussion is a post discussion, therefore it’s full of spoilers it discloses information about the ENTIRE film (yes including the ending) and these following movies,Groundhog day (1993), Devil (2010).
So if you’ve not seen them it’s probably better not to read on..
The Coen’s deliver another poetic surreal drama in the guise of the melancholy comedy musical drama that is the life of Llewyn Davis, or at least a pivotal few days…
WHAT IS INSIDE LLEWYN?
It’s the obvious question right? No it isn’t but it makes for good movie chitchat. It’s just a title right, but any title about the forlorn Llewyn could have been chosen. So what does this film reveal about what is really inside Llewyn davis?! To be honest I don’t think that i have ever worked it out. Personally I see the film as a justification of the magic of the entire Greenwich Village folk seen as being “born” out of Llewyn. Bare with me, this is a far out idea. I mentioned it slightly in my review, but it seems like the pathetic llewyn is suffering as a mother would in childbirth a recurring theme in the movie, and fun as lot at the end Bob Dylan appears then he gets his final beatdown in the alleyway by the faceless hulk. Boom!! Folk Scene is here! So the birth of the folk scene was a baby inside Llewyn.. Yeah I told you the idea was far out.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE CAT /CATS
Personally I can’t stand cats and they contributed to the only cringe worthy scenes in the film. But was the presence of the cat all that significant or just a Coen red herring?
The cat escapes at the beginning, Llewyn’s luck starts to change and go downhill not that he was flying high to start with. He ends up leaving the apartment and starts his journey chasing the cat. It’s alike the chasing of the white rabbit, down the hole Llewyn goes..
While having a caustic discussion with his ex he spots a cat, runs out and chases it, again getting out of his rut and back to his destiny.
Later on, it’s discovered that the cat is not the cat! How can the cat not be the cat!? Holy shit. Llewyn had gone down the wrong path, picked up the wrong cat, where is the real cat?! Whose cat had he stolen?? This scene was particularly funny and bizarre as Llewyn decides to kick off against an overly nice couple who ‘s couch he started out on, and in the melodramatics and whaling that concur it’s discovered that the kitty has the wrong tackle, oh shit not again dude.
Later on Llewyn is travelling with another cat? This one mimics his every move and is one of the best scenes in the film. I doubt it was planned but it’s simply magic, he ends up leaving the cat in the car, hitching a ride. While driving his ride, he almost hits another cat or the same cat? What’s going on?! This film has way too much pussy.
Llewyn assumes it’s the list cat and carries on. When he returns to his friends apartment their cat has returned and all is well. Them the movie starts to repeat itself…. But in this time around Llewyn stops the cat from escaping. And despite everything cycling around again… There is no destiny run from Llewyn.He doesn’t have a great adventure he just gets his ass slapped down.
It’s probably a red herring but… It’s an interesting one.
CURSED BY THE DEVIL?
Is Llewyn cursed?! It’s a little something that crops up in the movie that’s simply too hard to ignore.
Let’s play out this scenario, LLewyn is going through a rough time, more so than any mortal man. Now it’s not a black cat that has crossed his path but at first I thought the cat had carried away his luck when it darts out the door. Then John Goodman turns up in the guise of a eccentric jazz musician called Ronald Turner! He’s so very unusual and does threaten the young folk singer with a curse of bad luck. From that point on you can’t help wondering if the curse worked or if Goodman is actually the Devil! It’s a long shot but I’m just chucking it out there, he’s the most useless devil if he is one as he’s a fucking junkie who nearly OD’s.. But we can’t forget that the devil got caught stealing in Devil (2010). I quite like that Llewyn leaves him and the cat in the car when he legs it for his freedom.
But why does history start repeating!? Or does it??
The first time around we see the beating in the alleyway, cut scene llewyn wakes up and his life is a mystery then when we see the beatdown the second time around there are differences, the music being the significant one. But the scene continues. The first time i saw it I thought the beatdown guy was John Goodman at first. The cut scene is the most important part. it’s not a continuation. The coens don’t do anything by mistake and are very clever into grabbing your attention and hurling it around. Here’s what I think!
Ignoring the beginning.. Llewyn wakes up and then everything else runs up to that point where he gets the beatdown in the alley way, the beginning is merely a transition but not in a coherent theme, it’s a taste of whats to come, a very dramatic one, showing you to look out for this point. It’s an interesting way to introduce a character, check out this guy getting his ass whopped. then look at him being a loser and feel sorry for him, so why was he getting beat up he’s not that bad, he doesn’t deserve that.. then wham he’s a total tosser to the folk singer doing exactly the same thing as him, okay he’s had a bad week and was drunk but no call for that behavior man. and boom! payback and the end to a beautiful week. One other clue is the conversation about when llewyn is told he has a space at Papi’s to play a gig, he says he was there less than a month ago, if it is a loop then he would have been there less than a week ago.
I don’t think it’s a case of Groundhog day (1993) just some interesting cut work, for what reason I can’t work out.
Is Llewyn dead? I love dead characters so i try and play it all in, but I don’t think Llewyn died in the alleyway after his injuries although it could play into the the whole theme of redemption, after all he does seem to be living through, uncovering and facing all of his mistakes both past and present. I don’t think he passed away and this is some sort of redemption, I can see why some people have jumped to that conclusion, as there is a chance of him learning from mistakes and getting things right. You could also class it all as a vivid dream.
I dont see the film as carrying on in anyway, the luckless Llewyn has run his course and done his duty, I suppose future stories could illustrate him finding out more about being a father and take that route of him trying to do the right thing, although if his luck holds out then it might be just a tragic as this. the alternative is that he just bums around doing what he did in this movie and that doesn’t need to be repeated.
The Coen’s always find really strange pivotal points to write their movies around. Let’s face it stories only really work when something bad happens, but for llewyn… Everything bad happens!! While this is still very interesting it’s strange that so much has gone on that we discover by the way of off the cuff remarks, like Llewyn’s ex, the pregnancy of yet another ex and other fuck ups along the way. Maybe he was a different person then, or even further back when he was a sailor and decided to give it all up for the folk scene. There is so much backstory and character to this that it captures the imagination.
WHAT I LIKE
I’m slightly biased when it comes to the Coens as I adore a lot of their work, there are no prizes for working out that I’m not a fan of a lot of their comical work.. Still they have a lot of Je ne sai quoi and constantly astound me with movies that I adore without really understanding why. The appeal to my senses. Llewyn Davis, has this odd dreamlike state to it, often enough you’re brought back to reality with a slap of venom from the moody bitch of an ex girlfriend Jean (Carey Mulligan) or a quip from the know it all oversized John Goodman.
I love the trip up of the repeating history and potential I also devil character or curse involved. It’s just so detailed and well acted. The scenarios are surreal and just remarkably recognisable.
WHY IS LLEWYN A JERK
From the onset of the film Llewyn is subject to a run of bad luck, he gets his ass whooped at the beginning (end) and you start to feel sorry for him, until his past catches up and then you realise what a jerk he is. Half of me does wonder if it’s a continuation of his terrible mojo but there are certain things he could have handled better.
Get gets a chick pregnant and pays for the abortion then has nothing to do with her afterwards
He gets another chick pregnant and offers to pay for “another” abortion (he needs another form of family planning). He signs away the rights to a song that’s about to hit it big, and constantly insults innocent people around him.
At some points it’s really hard to watch Llewyn struggle against all odds, but as the obstacles start to mount against him he’s inner rage begins to grow slowly turning him into a jerk which in turn causes more stumbling blocks.
Overall I adore the film throughout, it’s a thrilling and beautiful drama with a hint of black comedy enough for a stickler like me to enjoy without any struggle.
Llewyn is kinda my hero, yes he’s flawed but he’s got a lot of heart. He did use the very last of his money to pay for an abortion to appease a girl who obviously hated him, he went to the ends of the earth to be recognised as a folk icon. He gets drunk and insults people, I don’t have to be drunk to insult people but I’d like to have a drink with Llewyn.
Overall the movie is golden from beginning to end, I honestly couldn’t stop watching and adore it as much as I adore a lot of the other Coen movies, (I’m feeling a list coming on here.. ). The film submerges you into a piece of history in a strange and surreal way. It’s filled with beautiful moments, and black comedy, just enough music to capture the folk scene but not enough to make it into a musical or a “show”.
LINK – Original review
Into the Wild (2007) (Biography, Adventure, Drama, 2007) (15) D: Sean Penn W: Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer P: Sean Penn C: Emile Hirsch, Marcia Gay Harden, William Hurt, Vince Vaughn, Kristen Stewart, Hal Holbrook. 2h 28m. USA.
Synopsis : After graduating from Emory University, top student and athlete Christopher McCandless abandons his possessions, gives his entire $24,000 savings account to charity and hitchhikes to Alaska to live in the wilderness. Along the way, Christopher encounters a series of characters that shape his life.
TAGLINE : Into the heart Into the soul
Sean Penns 6th film comes in the form of a nonlinear biographical road trip detailing the inspirational and curious life of Christopher McCandless played by the young multitalented Emile Hirsch. Boasting a bittersweet and soulful and soundtrack from Eddie Vedder and detailing the literary works of Jon Krakauer. Penn manages to draw together the details from the book to form an almost romantic optimistic view on this quite scary mystery filtered through an ever changing landscape.
Starting off near the end and skipping forwards and backwards throughout the timeline is always a little confusing but for this story where no one fully really knows what happened or why, it doesn’t hinder how the storytelling at all, it does mimic the way that the story was revealed in real time. Christopher (Emile Hirsch) is shown through various stages of this life, but is constant in his need to live his life on the hippy trail, without money or fancy cars, his strong sense of life and living outside of what we accept as the norm.
Abandoning his (oppressive) parents, keeping in touch with his sister through letters and hitting the road Christopher spends the film living off the land and picking up jobs and survival information for his Alaskan dream. Constantly avoiding convention he works in burger places, learns how to crop and enriches the lives of everyone he meets while keeping his distance from personal relationships he learns how to work leather while reminding the aged Hal (Ron Franz) that there is life is outside the workshop and shouldn’t be put off doing something new until another day, instantly recognising problems between Rainy (Brian Dierker) and Jan (Catherine Keener) his love and understanding bonds him with the couple throughout the film and they almost adopt him. Vince Vaughn manages to inspire him and teaches him how to work the fields before his arrest.
He questions everything, in one great scene he just wants to canoe along a river, but there is way too much red tape, waiting lists, instructions and laws which to Christopher and anyone who thinks about it, it’s just pointless, so he goes alone, lawless and courageous.
Switching between the stark contrasts of hot happy scenes in the desert with friends and laughter and the sorrows of the snowy lonesome Alaskan wilderness the film is almost split between the two parallels all surrounding the man and his environment.
The beautiful road trip turns into an isolated nightmare. As Christopher collects his worldly possessions, some money and a few books, he heads into the frosty wild. The movie starts to change pace and mood as it details a desperate challenge of survival. Even though scenes of this have been seen throughout the movie in the latter half it really focuses in on his desperate plight. The connection he had with nature soon unravels and everything changes, depression, starvation and his grasp on his personal ideology start to fall away.
The film comes across as being honest, in relation to it offering no answers just a recount of known facts. It does romanticise along the way, capturing little golden moments. There is some interesting effects using two different scenes cut on the screen which give an impression of what’s going on around Chris and what he’s concentrating on. Ultimately everything rotates near the end and as Christopher loses his grip with the natural world he does make a very poignant realisation about love and a very detailed case study of a very distinctive individual.
V : I tracked this movie down after seeing a photo of Christopher McCandless in one of those “haunting last photos” videos on YouTube, when I found out a tiny bit of information about Chris’s journey into the wild and tracked down the movie and book. No one knows the full story and I like that this movie doesn’t try to give any answers why any of this happened and just documents the life of a very unusual character, it doesn’t try to sensationalise anything. It is a slightly frustrating movie in that it really focuses in on him getting to Alaska more than him being there, with me being a morbid girl, I must say that I am more interested in the Alaska chapter more. On the whole it’s still a cinematic dream and gorgeous movie filled with great characters and an unforgettable story. Hopefully it will open a few eyes to the fact that life can exist outside the norm and it’s free to be a good human being, hopefully it won’t put anyone off going it alone. It’s a great homage to Christopher.
R: Hunger (2009), This must be the place (2011), Nebraska (2013)
T : Based on a True Story. Father details on the demise of Christopher here from the new yorker http://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/how-chris-mccandless-died
Q : “When you want something in life, you just gotta reach out and grab it.”
OST: Unique Eddie Vedder OST throughout.
TIL : I must admit that i learnt a lot from the movie but there is a lot more in the book (as always).
BS : I really enjoyed the scene when Chris returned to Rainy and Jan, it gave off some really good vibes of friendship. Chris has only known the couple for a short while but they had bonded together in such a solid way it was like meeting up with your oldest bestest friend and was utterly charming.
DGI : NONE
5B : William Hurt, Sean Penn,
L: Based on a real story (and kept it real).
PD : Coming Soon