09
Feb
12

Dark Days

The Documentary that I would like to recommend is Dark Days directed by Mar Singer. Dark Days  tells the story of homeless people that live in the tunnels of the New York sub way. There is no law no convention and no sun light int those terrifying depths, but the people that live there seem to appreciate the isolation and the life style associated with it. Aside from perfectly capturing a unique and completely engrossing way of life, the film is beautiful. Every shot is carefully framed  and the subject matter begs to find a screen. Dark Days is a must for any fan of Docs.

 

13
Dec
10

A House Divided

I just finished a house divided, and I must say that for a student film I was very impressed. The production quality of the film was obviously very high and the piece was very stylized. The idea of making a ultra dark alternative history about Old honest Abe is very unique and has instant draw for any audience. The film its self was very violent and as such, I cant advise this film for any younger audiences. This film acts like a mash up between Inglorious bastards and Ichi the Killer. The places where the film could have used improvement are were the finer details. It seems as though the film makers were rushed for time towards the end of the film and as such, some of their shots and edits suffered.  I was really impressed with the range and durability of the lead actor Will Neff, with that said his co actor Ben Stanly was certainly no slouch and played a truly maniacal villain. The direction of the film and the production were also equally impressive. I would give this film a 4/5 as it is unique and entertaining, but not quite fully there yet. If you have ever wanted to see President Abraham Lincoln kick some ass then make sure not to pass on A House Divided.

13
Dec
10

Reflection on a house Divided

As I put the finishing touches on a house divided, I must say that the first emotion I’m greeted with is relief. This project was such a massive undertaking, and to say that I’am exhausted would be an understatement. I was the major actor in this film, not because I wanted to be, but for safety reasons, as we did not feel comfortable having an actor do the stunts that I performed. This semester I think that most of my major growth as a film maker occurred behind the camera, and in the editing sweets. My comfort using a camera and final cut grew immensely. Also the amount of planning that went into my productions has changed entirely. I used to be a heavy proponent of gorilla filming, and on the fly editing, but there comes a point when this method is no longer effective, mainly when trying to accomplish a larger production or when working with multiple talents. With that said A house divided  could never have been accomplished without a massive amount of foresight, our actors, costumes, set and equipment all were prepped in advanced, and as a result the shots look very polished and professional. Looking to the future I think this will remain my largest challenge when attempting to take my film making to the next level. I have a tendency to fly by the seat of my pants, and I have to learn to appreciate that the other parties involved with my project might not have the same mentality. Also I tend to love my ideas, and to love your work too much can lead to poor decision making. If I can detach myself from my projects and look at them more objectively I will be able to cut the fat of things that really aren’t good enough to be in the film. This film was a fun learning experience and I hope that some one (other than myself) can really get a kick out of it.

29
Nov
10

Drunken Master (1978)

This week I watched Drunken Master, which is one of the first films of the now super famous martial artist Jackie Chan. Drunken Master follows the story of a young martial artist that is trying to master the martial art style of the “8 Drunken Gods”. This powerful style demands strong wrists, strong kicks, and also you have to be completely black out drunk. That’s right, the majority of the film is Jackie Chan chugging dangerous amounts of alcohol and then whooping peoples asses. For any fan of Kung Fu movies this should premise should have instant appeal.

 

Let me preface my review of this film by saying that I’ am a huge martial arts fan, and that if you are not, then I would recommend that you already give up on this film. The reason being, the plot along with many other aspects of this film are completely ridiculous and would not appeal to someone looking for a serious film. Let me assure you, this is no crouching tiger hidden dragon.  However, if you do enjoy kung fu movies Drunken Master is about as good as it gets. Absurdest villains, death defying stunts, beautifully choreographed fight scenes  and of course over dramatic acting with bad voice over work. Anyone who loves Kung Fu knows that the best movies in the genre are slightly campy, and let me assure you this film is pure camp gold. With that said the choreography in this movie is staggeringly beautiful and wildly impressive. Its easy to see why Jackie Chan became a movie god in china, and you can clearly see his love of film and obvious references to his heroes Buster Keaton and other physical comics of the silent era. If you enjoy seeing people getting kicked in the head then look no farther because this movie is a 5/5. If you don’t enjoy that type of thing… avoid drunken master like the plague.

17
Nov
10

MegaMind

This week I saw Will Farrell’s new animated feature Mega Mind with co stars Brad Pitt and Tina Faye. Megamind begs the question what if a super villain was ever to win,what would befall the world then?  Within the first 20 minuets of the movie Metro Man(Brad Pitt)  is defeated by his arch nemesis mega mind( Will Farrell) and MetroCity is left with out a super hero. What ensues is super villain hilarity.

Mega Mind was Hilarious!  Let me just start by saying I’am a huge will Farrell fan, and this film wont disappoint any one else who is. The best thing about this movie however is the sound track, Its is laced with brilliant classic rock tracks as well as some Michael Jackson, and it really helps to push the energy of the film. I don’t really know how to evaluate direction on an animated feature, but there was nothing that I could really find wrong with the movie. This movie was wildly entertaining, and is fun for all ages. I give it a 4.5 out of 5 and recommend it to any one going on a date night or looking to see a family film.

15
Nov
10

Throne of Suds

My group just finished our narrative and it feels like I just completed a marathon. We all loved our piece, but it was a MASSIVE undertaking and damn near killed us. The name of our film is Throne of suds, and it was based on a screen play that I wrote a year ago. It was a delight to be able to see something that I wrote and really loved be transformed form its page state to the silver screen. I would say that our biggest challenge was managing our cast for the film which included over 20 roles. To get people to every shot was a grueling experience. Individually I served as the director for the film and the biggest challenge I faced was having to bend the vision of the film I had in my head to fit the limited resources we had to make the movie. Working with the talent was  a challenge, but I really believe that my direction was on point and that I was able to get some pretty command performances, especially from John Neff. We had 7 locations in the film and well over 30 set ups.  My producer and my art director were unstoppable, and  really credit the success of the project to them thanks Greg and Matt

10
Nov
10

DUDE BASEketball

This week I watched  the classic comedy from the late 90s: BASEketball.  Written by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the creators of the South Park series, this wildly hilarious film follows the story of three friends that invent a new game that becomes a national sensation. That game is baseketball, a sport in which guys with bad knees can compete on the same level as guys all geeked up on steroids. As the game grows in popularity, the three main characters muct deal with the trials and tirbualtions of fame, as well as the strain on their love life. All of these issues come to a head when the Milwaukee Beers take on the Dallas Felons in the Denslow Cup  (The word series of Baseketball).

I loved this film. The style of humor is perfect for “dudes”, and if you even remotely enjoy south park, then you will most certainly enjoy Baseketball as well.  As far as the direction of the film is concerned, I believe the directors greatest challenge/ success was managing the many cameos he has by professional athletes that have limited acting ability. I’m sure that getting Dale Ernheart to have perfect comedic timing is no easy task, and getting reggie jackson to call one of his fans a useless little shit is equally difficult. Zucker must’ve had to utilize multiple takes as well as coax his talents to give the performance he needed. I give this movie a 5/5 for comedy but a 1/5 for tastefulness. This plot is crude, no doubt about it, but if fart jokes don’t offend you, you will laugh until your sides hurt.