July 14, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Lunopolis: Conspiracy Dreams Created With Care
(– ***Spoilers For The Above*** –)
Lunopolis is on the of the best films I have seen in quite some time. Let me calm your excitement now, this is not a movie I would call a crowd pleaser, in fact, it at times seems to prefer to scare off any popular audience it may have won with its first thirty minutes of run time. Its narrative jumps from shaky cam thriller, to conspiracy documentary, to science fiction action film. I, finding great enjoyment in a good old fashion conspiracy theory, found this film to be at the apex of films based on the subject. It not only excels at creating, or recreating, a believable world of conspiracies for its theorists to inhabit, it pays homage and touches on all the “real” conspiracies that have preceded the film. Director Matthew Avant has clearly spent a lot of time delving into the world of conspiracies and folding them into his own story, in a gorgeous documentary style film that lags a bit in the middle,but bring everything together in a satisfying, and dramatic conclusion.
There is an imaginative quality to the film, a sense of wonder and excitement that is greatly missing from Hollywood film making. The film unfolds from beat to beat, with genuine surprises and holds your attention to the mystery as we travel with the protagonists, and learn only what they themselves learn. It sounds simple enough, but it seems Hollywood has forgotten how valuable mystery is to any medium of storytelling. This is not a problem here, as we learn more about the story and the world in which Lunopolis takes place,that world unfolds unto us and builds a huge story that could be a 200 million dollar blockbuster itself, though we will have to settle for this low budget version for now.
The effects are sparse, I’d say probably averaging one per act, but when they occur they are filled with meaning and beautifully rendered. The designers get it right, partially because of a small budget, but partially, i’d like to think, because effects are more effective when serving the story rather than themselves. That is to say, when a story is engaging in and of itself, the use of cgi or what have you, are not the sole reason for the films existence. Therefore if the storytelling is sub-par, I don’t care how amazing your visuals are, your movie will still be sub-par. Whereas if the story is good, but the cgi is lacking or few, the film will still triumph, as I will have been entertained,and vindicated and rewarded for watching your film. Hollywood seems content with tricking audiences to go see movies based on marketing that focuses on cgi, rather than on great characters and competent storytelling. This has been met with varying degrees of success, some huge highs, but also some lowest of lows.
All that to say that this film, exceeds where most Hollywood films fail. It’s thoughtful, well crafted, well written, created with care, and does not rely on cgi. Instead it relies on the curiousness of people, which unfortunately will not yield much in terms of profit, however I for one hope Mr. Avant to make another film asap. Until then, I’ll have to settle with watching Lunopolis again. Which is available on Netflix streaming right now.
4 out of 5 stars
- Hollywood Films – The Land Of Remakes, Book Adaptations, And Sequels/Prequels (geekforcenetwork.com)
- Dear Film Makers #3: Shaky Cam Addiction (reelfix.wordpress.com)
- Losing my wood for Hollywood (saysemily.wordpress.com)
- Violence in films: is it time for Hollywood to say ‘cut’? (theweek.co.uk)
- Stuck with bill, Munsey Park changes village filming policy (newsday.com)
- Crowdfunding Expert Kendall Almerico Discusses Crowdfunding Of Actor Max Martini’s Movie (prweb.com)
- Hollywood Films – The Land Of Remakes, Book Adaptations, And Sequels/Prequels (dogearsandbookmarks.wordpress.com)
- Cardiff set to star in ‘Wales’ first action film’ Kamikaze (walesonline.co.uk)
- Putting Hollywood’s biggest bombs back together (velocitypictures.wordpress.com)
- Sorry, girls: ‘It will take about 700 years for women to be equal to men in Hollywood films’ (independent.co.uk)
September 18, 2012 § Leave a Comment
I haven’t done a review for a while, because I’ve been thinking about my format and how I want it to look, and what I want to say. I suppose being honest is the best way to go.
I saw Prometheus on opening day at the IMAX. I followed all of the marketing for the past two years, leading up to the release, looked at all the pictures, watched the trailers over and over again, and was way over hyped for it. I was looking forward to it. As the film began I remember thinking that I was experiencing something that I had not experienced in many many years. A film was actually delivering on its promises. The cinematography is gorgeous, the 3D is prevalent but not gaudy and in your face. The effects are breathtaking and masterfully rendered, the score is engrossing and meandering, and the acting is honest and for the most part ‘unhammy’. I thoroughly enjoyed the film and by the time Shaw is having the surgery I was wincing and gagging but smiling from ear to ear. This was disgustingly satisfying. And as we all emptied the giant IMAX theater I left thinking that everyone leaving with me had just had one of the great movie going experiences of our lives. Boy was I mistaken.
Much to my surprise the majority of the people hated it. Had I missed something? Did my cinema I.Q. drop sometime between walking into the screening and walking out? How could I have had the exact opposite reaction to a film than seemingly everyone else in the world? And it was not just the general movie going public that I disagreed with, it was critics and cinephiles, and film geeks just like me. Was I wrong? Was the feeling in my heart, that child like feeling that Prometheus had given me, was that somehow wrong? This had never happened to me before. Usually if a movie is bad but I still enjoy it, I will admit that it is not really a good movie, and I can understand the majority of the world hating it, but I still enjoy it for my own personal reasons. But this is not the case with Prometheus. It is technically well made, in every aspect, and the script is clear cut and efficient. No fat, no extraneous storyline or overreaching themes. Its a straight up Science Fiction horror film. Some kind of strange Frankenstein monster in reverse. And I love every minute of it.
This past weekend I showed my girlfriend the movie for the first time. (She dodged it while it was at the theater, she thought it looked too scary for her). But i finally got her to watch it, and she said she really enjoyed it and thought it was scary, which is what I thought she would say. But then she provided some interesting analysis. She said she did not like how Holloway died. She said he should have lived until the end and sacrificed himself to save Shaw. Is this the answer? This tiny bit of subverted story telling? Is having the “love interest”(as sparingly as the love story is utilized in this film) die too early and in an unromantic and quite startlingly abrupt fashion the reason that this film was so criticized and poo pooed as light summer blockbuster fluff? Obviously many people have cited the many many questions raised by the film that go unanswered, to whom I say this is a movie not a text book, either you enjoy it and go for the ride or you don’t. The fact that the storytellers chose not to explicitly define every cryptic moment and spoon feed us every answer to every question should be celebrated, not derided. I suppose my question is if it had ended in this more conventional way, would general audiences have enjoyed the film more? I still think the film is spectacular and looks gorgeous in Blu-Ray, and I marvel at the achievement accomplished by everyone involved. I think history and public opinion will change on this one upon repeat home viewings. FRONTROW
- James Cameron Talks ‘Prometheus’ & ‘The Avengers’ (screenrant.com)
- ‘Aliens’ Director James Cameron Reviews ‘Prometheus,’ Tried To Buy Rights To ‘Jurassic Park’ (slashfilm.com)
- PROMETHEUS – 10 Minutes of Deleted Scenes (geektyrant.com)
- Fox sets early window for ‘Prometheus’ (variety.com)
- ‘Prometheus’ Blu-ray To Feature Nearly 15 Minutes Of Footage Deleted From Ending (slashfilm.com)
- Prometheus, thoughts… (cubicgarden.com)
- Prometheus 2 Is Happening (gizmodo.com.au)
- Prometheus puts the Giger back in Alien (kamikazeearth.com)
- Damon Lindelof On ‘Prometheus’ and Marketing in the Digital Era (screencrave.com)
- ‘Prometheus’ DVD/Blu-ray Deleted Scenes Revealed (screenrant.com)
February 17, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Check out these movie posters. There’s more over at http://www.thepopcornjunkie.com
February 15, 2012 § Leave a Comment
New Spider-Man trailer, with a few new scenes.
February 13, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Could be fun.
- ABRAHAM LINCOLN: VAMPIRE HUNTER – First Footage from the Film Revealed! (geektyrant.com)
- Seth Grahame-Smith: ‘Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter 2′ is a Possibility (screenrant.com)
- Watch the First Footage from Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (dreadcentral.com)
- Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (quarterquell.wordpress.com)
- Abraham Lincoln Running with his Vampire Hunting Axe (geektyrant.com)
- Take a Look Inside Our Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter Image Gallery (dreadcentral.com)
- Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (disclose.tv)
- ‘Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter’ Images: President with an Axe (screenrant.com)
- ABRAHAM LINCOLN: VAMPIRE HUNTER – 5 More New Images (geektyrant.com)
- Honest Abe Has An Axe To Grind In These Stills From ABRAHAM LINCOLN: VAMPIRE HUNTER!! (aintitcool.com)
February 13, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Of course the issue of racism must be brought up when ever talking about The Phantom Menace. There are three main characters in the film that can be seen as racial stereotypes. Watto the junk dealer is supposed to be seen as Jewish, The Neimoidians, whom are the evil Trad Federation are supposed to resemble a caricature of some sort of homogeneous Asian stereotype, and of course Jar Jar represents some sort of minstrel show, Stepin Fetchit African American stereotype. While the characters themselves are terribly written and 1 dimensional, and this should be enough to offend any first year screenplay student, it is the overt similarities to old Hollywood stereotypes that is offensive to the respective nationalities. Some claim that there is no race involved here and that these are just alien creatures with strange accents and have nothing to do with the stereotypes they seem to resemble quite well. You be the judge. Is this racist or just coincidence?
Neimoidians at 3:30
Jar Jar at 2:23
David Chen has a good article about this.
- Simon Pegg on The Phantom Menace of the Day (geeks.thedailywh.at)
- Why You Should (or Shouldn’t) See ‘Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace 3D’ (hollywood.com)
- Sweded Phantom Menace Trailer of the Day (geeks.thedailywh.at)
- Film Review: Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace 3D (filmophilia.com)
- Did ‘Phantom Menace’kill ‘The Matrix’? (popwatch.ew.com)
- ‘Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace’: The Reviews Were In! (moviesblog.mtv.com)
- Awesome Fan-Made STAR WARS Art for THE PHANTOM MENACE (geektyrant.com)
- Phantom Menace 3D Review of the Day (geeks.thedailywh.at)
- Simon Pegg Hates ‘Star Wars: The Phantom Menace’ (moviesblog.mtv.com)
- New ‘Star Wars’ app: These are the Droids you’re looking for (reviews.cnet.com)
February 13, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Now this looks like something I could get excited about. Surreal.