NOTE: No trailer today because it offers mild spoilers I would strongly suggest avoiding.
First and foremost, if you are depressed or hate crying, run like hell from this film. If you enjoy a good cry and you obsess over sociology, look no further. ”Dear Zachary” is an intensely unique story from the perspective of a best friend attempting to tell a young Zachary about his late father. The difficulty with the film is that the death of the father was a rather unfortunate and somewhat mysterious story. As the best friend looks further down the rabbit trail he begins to discover more interesting details and tragedy and showcases this information through stories told by friends and family of Zachary’s father. The final result is devastating, unjust, corrupt, and disgusting. There is more or less no satisfying take away from this film. However, the story is so fascinating I could not pry my eyes away and felt compeled to immediately share this film with a friend who constantly updated me throughout the film followed by a text from his wife who thanked me for ruining the rest of her week. I can say that this movie didn’t ruin the rest of my life, but it did expand the boundaries of what I thought was humanly possible and confirmed my suspicions that people are legitimately insane.
Initially I thought this was a stupid “chick flick” film like a New Years Day or Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants or some madness like that. Then after watching the trailer I thought I was getting myself into a heist movie. Turns out neither were entirely true but as a whole, I was pleasantly surprised.
18.104.22.168. tells one story in four parts. All the characters are unique and interesting so in a way, it’s like getting four films for the price of one. Then once you’ve seen how the four girls have gotten where they are, it ties it all together with a grand finale and everyone mutters to themselves, “wowwww. Very cool.” I can promise the muttering portion of the film, I watched it alone and texted my wife updates about what I found interesting. But I’m sure someone “oohed and awed” somewhere.
The other exciting part about this film is that it was written, directed, produced, and played by Noel Clarke who you may recognize as Rose’s boyfriend Mickey from season one of the recent Doctor Who series. He plays a bit of a dirtbag in the film, which was unfortunate, but he does a great job, and seeing how he’s grown over the past decade peaked my interest at the very least. It’s always nice to see someone take a step out of their shell and do something ambitious like write, produce, and direct a feature film when most people only know you as a throw away character in a sci-fi television series.
BROAD vs. NICHE – I just mentioned in a different post that I consider British to be a niche area, but this was enough action/adventure that I could place this in more of a broad audience genre. There was something for everyone and it never got too dark that I had to throw up any cautionary comments so I say go for it, but maybe not for the kids. You see a naked butt at one point. Very risqué haha.
WATCHABILITY – I tried to do chores during this film and quickly lost myself since there is a time traveling aspect to the writing. They show the full three days worth of perspective than start back at the beginning for the next girl. They make a fairly clear point of this but I missed the part where they make the point and for a moment I thought it was just a film about how everyone hates one of the girls. So definitely offer this film your time, but know that the beginning twenty minutes or so lack some of the energy you’ll find later that really carries you through the film.
WHEN TO WATCH – I would watch this with a buddy. You may not capture the attention of an entire room, but I don’t think anyone will be too disappointed if you introduce them to this film. If there is absolutely nothing else to watch, I would definitely say at the least give this film a try. I enjoyed it and could see a lot of others saying the same.
So happy to finally stray away from the normal magnet film, but once again we’re stuck on the topic of Misfits. Honestly, I’m not sure who reads any of this to begin with so I don’t know why I’m so apologetic. But if you read this blog at all, you should be ecstatic to hear more Misfits references anyway. You should be watching it and it’s all free on Hulu last I checked and you have plenty of time to catch up before the next season.
I tried explaining “Killing Bono” to a friend the other night because it’s based on a true story, but the title feels slightly exaggerated. Certainly no one tried to kill Bono. It feels like a weird rip off or a crazy idea worthy of a script at the least, but it turns out from what I can tell this is inspired by true events and fell somewhere along the lines of a darker “Almost Famous”.
The film follows two high school bands with a splash of dramatic irony. During the formation of U2, Bono asks Neil if he would ever consider letting his younger brother Ivan play in his band instead. Neil is more of a jealous dreamer who translates his optimism into success and essentially tells Bono to piss off. Then as we all know, U2 gets famous and Ivan is none the wiser.
From this point on, Neil spends his entire life hoping to validate and redeem his poor decisions he’s made for himself and the success of his brother by pulling off schemes and deals that send the brothers into a downward spiral that put them both in an awkward position where it appears that the only remaining option is killing Bono. See what I did there?
BROAD vs. NICHE – This falls somewhere in between but anytime the film is British I always assume it requires a certain audience. Also, the darkness of the film places it into the “not for everybody” category so to be safe I’d say this is a niche film but I think it’s an accessible film for most audiences, you just may not enjoy it all too much.
WATCHABILITY – The film has some slow moments and spends a lot of time building tension over building a wow moment. There are a handful of exciting twists and turns, but it won’t have you engaged as much as it will have you anxious. You know the title of the film and as you spend more time with the characters you begin to see the socio-path in Neil and you start to see that anything is possible and in this film that’s not necessarily a good thing. Things are more likely to turn sour than sweet so you’ll spend most of your time hoping for a moment of relief that may never come.
WHEN TO WATCH – Eh, whevever. Who cares. I think it’s an enjoyable film and was pleased to have finally see it, but at the same time, I would almost suggest watching this on your own. It’s definitely not a party film, it’s just something enjoyable to pass the time, and British people are just awesome. I will say that it was a satisfying film and did not leave me feeling depressed or robbed of my time. At the same time, you may find yourself giving this film more attention than you planned. I watched it on the way to bed when all chores and thoughts were finished and found myself staying up a little later than expected to finish the film. So maybe play it then, on the kind of weeknight when sleep feels like defeat and you need a reason to stay awake.
“Timecrimes” is a movie I liked that I’m having a hard time describing. It’s not a typical drama because the protagonists and antagonists are less traditional, sometimes they are one and the same, and in other cases your enemy is just time. But not like the way Justin Timberlake had to face time in “in Time” which was greatly punned and as you can tell by Justin’s follow up film (there wasn’t one) “In Time” was only so good.
I don’t want to give too much away, so note that I’m going to give away a mild spoiler in the sentences to come. I can tell you now that I do recommend this movie so if you would like to see for yourself, then go for it. If you don’t mind having the first 15 minutes of the film explained, then continue reading. Ok, here it comes… spolier city. So “Timecrimes” is about an everyday man who travels back in time, against his will and unintentionally. Hector, your protagonist in the film, sees a woman through the woods strip naked which peaks his interest. As he investigates further down the rabbit hole, he finds a bandaged man assumedly raping this girl because he is violent and oddly dressed. For a moment, it feels like you’re watching a horror film. While running from the bandaged man, Hector finds himself in a new circumstance where he has traveled through time, and the rest of the film analyzes new perspectives and angles for what has happened throughout the course of that day.
I liked “Timecrimes” because it takes a simple principle like time travel or “killer on the loose” and it adds new dimensions to an old tale. It presents fear in a new way and plays a little on the idea of chaos and how human kind handles tragedy. I know I’m speaking vaguely here, but the way that Hector grows and develops as he learns more about his experience through repetition is so fascinating but to describe it would give away a majority of the film. Also note, however, that the film does feel a bit slow because it plays like a riddle that you are constantly trying to solve. The difficulty with time travel that we can all relate to, is the old “butterfly effect” principle. If I drive a car, will I cause an accident that would have otherwise been prevented. And if you cause an accident, what will repairing that do? Hector faces all this and more, in “Timecrimes”!!! Also, it’s another “MAGNET” film, but trust me, I was just as disappointed with myself as you are.
BROAD vs. NICHE – I would place this in either category. The entire film is in spanish so that kills a large audience there. It’s also rather intellectual and somewhat slow, so boom and boom. But as a whole, the concept isn’t too hard to digest considering it’s about time travel so I feel comfortable suggesting this to large audiences but I’m sure there are a handful of folks that won’t enjoy it.
WATCHABILITY – I will admit, that at times the film felt slow, but I was constantly engaged. Some moments were more satisfying than others, but the film carries a lot of tension that helps take you through to the next scene. With time travel, every event as simple as shutting a door can feel monumental or epic and watching how the different time lines affect each other is a lot of fun. So overall, it’s half and half.
WHEN TO WATCH – When you have some time to think about what you’re watching. If you understand Spanish, I say go for it whenever, but in truth it’s still a thinker. This is the type of movie you can’t just hop off and clean some dishes during because every event matters. I’d say a weekday evening when you’ve got little on your mind and want to distract yourself from sleep and another days work in the morning. It’s an eventful film that will leave you feeling satisfied with wasting your time.
Ok, so the trailer is kind of garbage… or at least I think it’s garbage. It looks like a made for tv film that you want to miss, but perhaps that’s just the kind of film I enjoy. Regardless of how little you know about a film, there’s always a handful of buzz words that guarantee a film is going to be interesting. After browsing through a handful of red box descriptions I saw “futuristic prison outbreak in space” and knew I was in for some sort of a treat. Turns out, I was pleasantly surprised with a touch of quality.
It doesn’t take more than a few frames to catch the well rounded nature of this film. Yes, it’s going to be an action adventure “Die Hard” in space kind of movie. But rather than play on the intensity or fear of the situation, Lockout offers a sarcastic comedic hero and directing that mimics a toned down “Crank”. They pull off a fast ‘Save the Cat’ and within the first 5 minutes of the film you’ve got a great cast of compelling and unique characters with obvious stakes that places the plot in motion and guns a blazin’.
With “Lockout”, I don’t promise anything too original or life changing, but it was definitely an entertaining flick. And considering I had watched “Bad Ass” and “Detention” in the same day, it was a great relief to start the film and feel excited to take it all in. Great cast, great fun, great film.
BROAD vs. NICHE - Hurray! I finally offer another broad audience film. Of course, if you’re not interested in sci-fi or action/adventure then no this is not for you, but at least it’s not “Spork” or “RoboGeisha” which I recently discovered was not a film for everyone (still not convinced). “Lockout” is the kind of film you can play at a party and people are going to treat you like a hero… I think. I’ve been wrong before i.e. playing RoboGeisha for 15 strangers did not go over so well at a wedding in Kentucky.
WATCHABILITY - Oh yes! This is my favorite. Half the time, I don’t care if your film is garbage, just being able to sit through the whole thing is half the battle, especially with the amount of garbage you have to sift through these days. “Lockout” was fantastic. You’ll know what I’m talking about if you pick up this film. The opening scene hit my humor right at the core and from then on they had me by the… what I meant to say is that yes, this is super watchable. Loved every minute. Actually stopped what I was doing to sit down and enjoy this film opposed to finish chores or grab another high score on Flick Kick Football for iPhone.
WHEN TO WATCH - Man, like I mentioned literally before you read this, you’re going to want to sit down and enjoy this film. Spend some time with it, buy it a few drinks, buy yourself a few drinks and find some friends to enjoy this one with. I had a good time with it and I think you will too. I would put this up on a Friday / Saturday night, or perhaps if you like to shut in during the week, I think you’ll find this an enjoyable film. I’d even suggest you make a date out of it.