How to Bore and Irritate People. Twilight (2008) Review

After writing such positive reviews on The Act of Killing and The Revenant I thought I’d select a piece I could really nit-pick.

Having never seen it or read the book it was based on and hearing nothing but terrible things about it, Twilight seemed like a good choice.

Now I know people may criticise me for picking an easy target but having spawned four sequels and a huge fan base I presumed the film would’ve gotten a few things right.

Well…it got some things right…but not a lot.

Twilight pic
Do I even need to caption this?

The premise concerns a teenage girl, Bella (Kristen Stewart) moving into a new town in a new school and getting involved with a mysterious boy, Edward (Robert Pattison).

She soon discovers Edward is a vampire apart of a clan residing in the town. As their romance flourishes, another clan of vampires appear and cause conflict.

The biggest and most devastating problem with the film is the characters.

None of these people seem to care about anything. The dialogue never implies tension or concern. There are many occasions in the plot where the characters could’ve been challenged or startled but they’re always giving the same robotic expression.

I don’t want to criticise the actors because to be honest with characters this badly written the performances would’ve been terrible anyway.

Most of the special effects are laughable. There’s a scene where Edward carries Bella on his back and sprints through the forest at immense speed.

The way Bella remains completely stationary while Edward is dashing over such rough terrain is hilariously unnatural.

All right, I stated the film got some things right. One being the visual look.

Twilight is beautifully cold and dark. The greys of the woods and school and town create a wonderfully moody atmosphere. A visual atmosphere that deserved a better story.

Some of the cinematography is quite nice. At the beginning there are a lot of helicopter shots of the forest and town which establishes the setting pretty well.

Billy Burke gives a noteworthy performance as Bella’s father.

Don’t get me wrong most of the time he’s just as robotic as the other characters but Burke does convey the concern and warmth of a divorced father trying to make up with his daughter.

Apart from those elements the film is painfully boring. With its poorly defined characters I cannot recommend this at all. Trust me, its not worth it.

Twilight earns a god awful 3 out of 10.

Yeeeaahhh Leo Should Get That Oscar. The Revenant (2015) Review

I think it was Roger Ebert who once said what makes a film great isn’t what its about “but how its about”.

The Revenant, directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, is a prime example of a film that perfects possibly the most important elements of art; organisation and presentation.

The Revenant pic
It was brilliant but disgusting.

Based on Michael Punke’s Novel and inspired by the experiences of frontiersman Hugh Glass, the film concerns the revenge quest of a fur trapper tracking the men who murdered his son and left him for dead.

This is the premise of a hundred Westerns, like Mad Max: Fury Road the story is nothing new.

However like Fury Road the film presents the tale in a unique way.

The Revenant is the most human, bloody and organic Western I’ve ever seen.

From the brilliantly shot point-of-view action scenes to the gory make-up effects to the characters’ breaths fogging the camera lens, The Revenant does everything to express the physical experiences of the characters.

Not many films, let alone a Western, have ever felt so fleshy.

The performances are great. I don’t think that should be a surprise for anyone.

I don’t really care if Leonardo DiCaprio wins the Best Actor Oscar or not as I think most Award Ceremonies are biased.

I don’t think a piece of art has to be nominated for an Award to be good.

If Leonardo DiCaprio does win the Oscar I wouldn’t be surprised as he pretty much gives the performance of his career.

His reactions and expressions make the painful scenes painful.

Tom Hardy is actually unrecognisable as John Fitzgerald. This is probably due to how well he mastered his American accent.

He didn’t fall into the trap most English actors do when attempting another accent, he sounds very convincing and different.

All in all The Revenant looks to be one of the greatest Westerns of the decade along with Django Unchained. Its bloody, epic, authentic and very difficult to forget.

The Revenant earns a remarkable 9 out of 10.

The One Documentary Everyone Has To See Before They Die. The Act of Killing (2013) Review

The Act of Killing is probably the best documentary I’ve seen.

It establishes the subject and context clearly and conveys the changes and revelations the characters experience while the events take place.

The Act of Killing pic
DAYUM

The film is about a group of friends who partook in the execution of thousands of people in Indonesia between 1965 and 1966. They agree to tell their story, in graphic detail, and to re-enact their killings as genre films.

In my view a piece of art can be seen from many angles but for me the affect of The Act of Killing can be seen from two specific angles.

One angle is political.

The film can be seen as a representation of a brutal and ruthless regime. It displays the protagonists expressing their views on communism and their government. Their views are, lets say, not very democratic.

The fact that a regime like this exists is disturbing.

The other angle is personal and concerns the human condition.

While the executioners are reflecting on their crimes the question of whether they feel guilty or not is always present.

This question is what makes The Act of Killing so intense and challenging. Is it possible for a person to kill and not feel guilty? Could a person like that exist?

I won’t spoil it but the answers that are presented are shocking.

I highly recommend this film for anyone. Especially for those who don’t like documentaries because this one, as I said, is probably the best I’ve ever seen.

The Act of Killing earns an incredible 10 out of 10.

P.S. I finally made another Counsellor 6 video! You can see it right here.

Why Mad Max: Fury Road was the Best Film I saw in 2015

Of course Mad Max: Fury Road isn’t the best film of the year.

In my view trying to find a film that is better than the thousands that came out in the same year is as pointless as determining whether a year was good or bad.

But I gave this post the title it has for a reason.

Out of all the films I saw in 2015 Fury Road seemed to get the most right.

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But what can I say that hasn’t already been said?

Well unlike Amy which tried to present the rise and fall of Amy Winehouse yet focused too much on her destruction and less on her background and youth,

and Inside Out which while succeeding in conveying the virtue of sadness relied too much on clichéd sentimentality for its emotional hook and convenience in its plot,

Fury Road knew what it wanted to be and made sure it was.

The film told the classic tale of a small group of bandits trying to overthrow an evil king in a unique and fresh post-apocalyptic setting with strong, empathetic characters (both male and female).

Most people are familiar with the traditional myth narrative but seeing it take place in a post-apocalyptic desert makes it more interesting and refreshing than in a typical setting such as space like in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Speaking of the setting, Fury Road pretty much reinvents the apocalypse genre.

This world is not simply a wasteland where people use junk. They use junk and build things with it. All the weapons, cars and clothes are made from everything.

The characters, while not that three-dimensional, have weaknesses and arcs that are conveyed and understood immediately.

Max is a loner and can’t relate to anyone.

Furiosa is obsessed with running away from her enemies.

Nux has been brainwashed by his leaders’ faith and has little independent thought.

They’re all easy to sympathise with.

Those are just a few things Fury Road gets right. I wouldn’t call it a classic but its damn well close and it deserves to be remembered.

If you don’t believe me or the thousands of raving reviews, watch it yourself.

Mad Max: Fury Road earns an outstanding 8 out of 10.