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Probably my favorite Vamp Flick
I am not a huge creature-film fan. Over the past several years, however, the zombie genre seems to have been reinvented through many surprisingly good films which I have enjoyed thoroughly: 28 Days/Months Later, I Am Legend (unless you call those nasty guys vamps), the series Walking Dead, and even comedies like Zombieland and Shaun of the Dead. That's a quality list that could go on.
Vampire movies have never struck a chord with me, though, until lately. Let the Right One In was a gem of a film, a great take on a genre, and just as that blended vampires with coming-of-age drama and angst in a gripping way, Daybreakers did the same with vamps and sci-fi action.
I think this movie has its flaws, sure. Willem Dafoe's character is a bit over-the-top, although he does have some memorable lines. The ending, while interesting, is perhaps a bit drawn out, but only in the typical action-film sort of way, in which shocking scenes have already desensitized the viewer as a matter of course (this film provides plenty of those jumping-out-of-your-seat moments). I had a few questions about the storyline, but is that such a bad thing?
No, the great things about this film far outweigh the bad: the effects are spectacular; the plot is engaging; the action is brutal (which I like); and the acting is even good. I can honestly say that when I saw Daybreakers at the theater, I believed it to be the best vampire film I'd ever seen, and after a length of time has passed, I still can't think of another that I prefer. Sure, other vampire movies have had better actors and bigger budgets, but the classical romantic/queer Dracula movies don't work for me. I will never watch a Twilight movie, and I was a little too young to get hooked on Lost Boys. I don't think vampires are "sexy"; I've just never bought into that line of thinking. That being said, I think that what you should take from this review is that your personal preferences will dictate how much you enjoy this movie as much as the actual movie itself. It is a high-quality film, and if you love sci-fi, action, and blood, you'll love Daybreakers. If you only tolerate these things and place a more of an emphasis on dialogue and dramatic acting, you will enjoy it somewhat less. Either way, it's definitely worth a screening.
Bold effort, lighthearted delivery
I think some of the previous reviewers totally missed the point of this film. The filmmaker expresses his own views initially and sporadically throughout the movie, not to persuade anyone that he is right about everything; rather, he wants other Christians to stop acting like they are (by judging and attacking rather than loving). He "gets it". This documentary was not meant to be a hard-hitting expose, but a lighthearted attempt to stimulate discussion about Christianity and show empathy for the anti-Christian sentiment and examine the reasons it exists. I really enjoyed it, and I don't think the title or tag line was misleading at all. It never felt preachy at any time. Great doc.
180° South (2010)
Was this a real trip?
I love the cinematography, the images of the mountains and the wilderness, and the idea of recreating a famous climb. What actually happens is that the plot takes on a bunch of debris and junk as it goes along, like a runaway snowball, and the idea that that snowball was supposed to be part of some epic snowman is practically forgotten.
This movie has strong points, don't get me wrong. I just grew tired of it. At first, I thought the two old guys were cool. Then, later, I find out that they are a couple of millionaires, which I suspected by their lack of concern for anything but dicking off and the environment. Watching the face of one of them as he blankly stares out the window of his plane he's flying around made me mad. I'd give anything to be in a plane in Patagonia, doing what he's doing, and he looks bored out of his mind. These young hipsters are no different. The main dude who hops on the boat seems like a really cool guy at first, working for his dinner like a normal person. Then, the mast mysteriously breaks on his watch, and he has to stop at Easter Island where he immediately meets a hot island girl who just happens to surf and want to go with him..??? They meet up with his buddies and the old guys later and just kind of dick around and bitch about the environment and surf. Oh yeah, they eventually attempt to climb the mountain.
Amid all of this "self-discovery" is a soundtrack full of some really cool tunes that don't seem to belong. They are all dreamy and slow and sad and make me feel like the filmmaker wants us to think his journey was more special than it actually was. I felt like I had been asleep after this was over, dreaming about special, privileged people doing things I only wish I could do. Then I woke up and went to work so I could support my family.
The Promotion (2008)
A very serious comedy...
The beauty in this picture is that it masquerades as a serious film, while the dialogue and content are very light-hearted and everyday-silly. People who buy into the dramatic close-ups and pans and slow-mo shots (coupled with a brilliantly dramatic score) are going to be greatly disappointed when the craziest thing that happens is someone getting slapped or belted with yoo-hoo. Judging by some peoples' comments about this film, this is exactly what happened to them. It is not propaganda about corporate America, or a dark dramedy that fails to shock us, and thereby has no worthwhile value; it is simply a light story that is meant to entertain us only as much as we are willing to let it. When you contrast that with the seriousness of the camera-work, the editing, and the music, what you have is a fantastic movie- one which I thoroughly enjoyed. Lili Taylor's accent was annoying, yes, and the film could've been a little shorter in length perhaps, but when I tried to figure out what scenes I'd cut if I could, I drew a blank. I felt they were all relevant to the story. I loved this movie.
Trailer Town (2003)
A triumph of independent cinema!
I've watched thousands of bad movies. B-movies. Artsy movies. Hollywood propaganda. Why do I think Trailer Town is different? It's fresh. It's ridiculous. It doesn't even try to pretend like it has a place in your DVD player. It's so uncool that it's cool to the highest degree. How many movies do you know of that have a fecal fetish, a foul-mouthed poet, and people reading lines one at a time off cue cards for a bottle of whiskey? It's truly amazing in its simplicity, and it made me want to pursue a career in film, oddly enough. If this guy can just string together a bunch of shocking nonsense and put some sped-up music to it and make me laugh so hard that I almost have an aneurysm, then why can't I do the same thing? I love the old guy, Billy. He's a pro. And Stanley's poem about anal sex is brilliant. What a gift. This movie is the best kept secret in America. Enjoy!