|Page 1 of 4:||   |
|Index||37 reviews in total|
If you type in Dean Teaster on IMDb you get the page for Dean West. Mr. West produced, co-wrote the story, co-directed, and acted in Dean Teaster's Ghost Town. Not only that but the major characters in the story are named Teaster as well! So I guess I can assume that this is Mr. Teaster/West's movie. Actually it's his first movie. He had a co- director but his name is not all over the credits like Teaster's. This all leads up to an important question: Does he know anything about film and story structure? Judging by this movie I would have to say no. But don't take my word on it. Check out most of the previous comments. If you do you will notice a very common theme running through all of them. Mr. Teaster/West does not have a clue as to how a film should be assembled. If the flow of individual scenes are not rough and jarring they are too long and vapid. There are cuts in the wrong places, no cuts where there should be, and disturbingly few masters used and when they are they are not in the correct position. Take it form a film school graduate, Mr. Teaster/West and his editor need to go back to film school. This time pay attention to film basics 101. Take notes
After checking out the previous comments I see that I am not alone in my views of this movie. On the first watching I was confused and disappointed. So after watching it a second time I took some time and tried to figure out what was wrong. The comments here only helped to confirm my conclusions. Have you ever bought a plastic model of a car, opened the box and visualized what it would look like completed? Now imagine giving that model to a five year old and let them put it together unsupervised. When it's done you will have a fairly good idea what Ghost Town looks like. Each scene seemed to have all of the basic requirements to create tension, build the story, and advance the character arc. I could see all of the individual small parts just like looking at a plastic model straight out of the box. And just like that model I could envision the final product fully assembled. But for Ghost Town that is where everything falls apart. You can "see" the whole story, which is not overly complicated or deep. But it looks like it was assembled by a five year old. That creates a great deal of frustration on the part of the viewer. It is one thing to watch a bad movie. It is quite another to watch what appears to be a good movie put together with little understanding of plot, timing, or character development. Watching each scene you can "feel" where it is supposed to go, but each time the editing sends it way off track. Like a previous comment I suggest that you never let the editor near another movie again. At least not until he goers back to school and learns how a movie should be assembled. Otherwise you end up with a plastic model that doesn't quite match the box cover art!
I agree with Lawrence. I saw this at AOF. The editing was extremely difficult to digest, very D grade and amateur editing. The scenes drug on, very painful at times. They almost had a story and characters were just lost. It's a shame cause some of the shots were really, really nice and this movie could of been OK with some proper, professional, post talent. Rating this a ten is very humorous, very few ten professional movies exists, and it is very obvious that these must be people from this production rating it. That's OK, everyone wants their movie to be the best ;) but this film is far from a ten but a very good try for real amateur film makers. It looks like a first film but apparently it's not the companies first attempt. They are really going to have to step it up and make QUALITY projects if they want to compete and play with the big boys. It's a bummer to see the director also commenting on this page defending the movie, that will surely loses the integrity of the project fast. Directors should step back and let the film speak for itself and let the peoples honest judgment take play, people are smart they will tell you what they like and don't like. :) On a good note the setting was nice and the costumes looked great and some of the characters were really fun but should of been given a little more time to develop, seems like some characters had too much of the screen and others needed more. Very Confusing. Needs serious tightening and attention. Hope this is constructive criticism not to be taken to heart. Good luck on the next project! JBerg
First off let me tell you I worked on this movie in a small capacity. I have worked on quite a few television shows and movies in the North Carolina area over the years. I usually don't comment on these things for obvious reasons. But in this case I feel I should point out a few "behind the scenes" items and let you come to your own conclusions. For an smallish independent movie it was quite well organized and planned out. Usually these things are often disorganized messes due to the lack of experience amongst the producers and crew alike. This was not the case. I could see that this feature was going to turn out quite well. It wasn't going to start any fires, but it should have been a decent little story. But this did not happen. I remember many days and nights on the set were miserably cold and/or wet. I also remember that the "second" director (his first time according to IMDb)was often missing on set for long periods of time. I remember this as it was noticed out by several other members of the crew as well. The bulk of the work was done by the first director and the crew, all of whom were very professional and diligent. Yet the first thing I noticed was that movie title has the "second" director's name prominently displayed above the name Ghost Town. Quite strange. Somewhere along the line what I witnessed on the set was not translated into what I just watched.
They may have tried hard,but there is a rash of inexperience both in front of the camera and behind it that kills the film almost immediately and makes the viewer wish he had chosen something else to watch.Even the more experienced actors like Rance Howard and Bill McKinney come away looking bad because of the painfully ridiculous dialog written for them by the film's inexperienced script writers.The story is interesting enough,though,and would probably have come out looking a lot better with a more seasoned crew in charge.While it might be true that this film was not intended to be a blockbuster,it still has to be entertaining,and it comes up painfully short.
About 20 minutes into this movie you begin to wonder just what is going on. What should have been a straightforward western tale of revenge is muddied up by poor storytelling. Too many cuts back to the back story and confusing choices of shot selection constantly nag at the viewer. Just when you think you have an idea about what is going on, the editor throws something totally irrelevant on the screen and you are left wondering what happened? This is incredibly frustrating! I can "see" the story on a basic level. I can sense what the film is trying to do. But it as if the editor is purposely trying to throw a wrench into the works. I am left with a simple question: Why would he do that? Nothing is more straightforward than a western. The good guys and the bad guys are easily distinguishable. And the plot is usually quite linear. Why then would you take a simple story such as this and assemble it in such a dyslexic manner?
First of all let me tell you I teach several film classes at a
prominent university. One of those classes involves an emphasis on
western archetypes in American film. So naturally I'm always interested
in any new western that comes out. Ghost Town peaked my interest as it
appeared to be a throwback to the classic western. Being as it is and
independent film, obviously shot on a lower budget, it is not without
it's faults, but unfortunately the major problems are not related to
limited funds. The first thing you notice is that it is titled Dean
Teaster's Ghost Town. This begs the question: Who is Dean Teaster?
According to IMDb this is the first movie he has ever directed, and he
did not direct it alone. If you are going to put your name on the title
like this, you should actually be somebody. In other words it should be
a selling point, not just an ego boost. Once I go into the movie I was
pleasantly surprised at how it was shot. The angles, composition, and
camera movement were all quite reminiscent of westerns of the 40's and
50's. As another commentator noted, I picked out several instances of
whole scenes that were obviously influenced by pictures like High Noon
and The Searchers. Bill McKinney, the perennial western bad guy for the
last 50 years turned in a very good performance. Herbert Coward, DJ
Perry, and Rance Howard all turned in credible performances that added
to the classic atmosphere of the movie. The one major problem that
Ghost Town had, and judging by previous comments I am not alone in
this, was the lack of coherent storyline. It was, at times, difficult
to follow the plot. There were so many times when the scenes were
apparently pieced together with little regard for the story. The most
glaring aspect of this was the constant cutting back to an image of the
"dead Suzie Teaster." After several viewings and a close perusal of the
credits it became clear that Suzie Teaster was played by Tammy Stephens
Teaster. Yes, the main characters have the same last name as the
director (who also plays Digger?) And this actress is somehow related
to him as well. Confused? Nepotism in film is nothing new. Minor roles
are often filled with wives, uncles, sisters and brothers. The problem
here lies in the lack of restraint. Judicious use of minor characters
is essential for a smooth flowing story. Unfortunately "Suzie Teaster",
who does not have much of a full blooded Native Amercan look as much as
a a Florida tan, appears way to often, and at inopportune times, which
further muddies and confuses the plot.
Ghost Town has all the essentials for a good solid western. A better eye for editing, concentrating on the story, could make this into something very good. As it stands right now, it appears that one of the director's has an ego problem that spoiled what could have been a true classic.
Went to see this one at the film festival the other night. First of all let me say I'm a huge fan of westerns. I like to think I've seen enough to know what I'm talking about. I have to say Ghost Town was beautifully filmed. The shots, while somewhat limited, take me back to some of the classic westerns like High Noon and Winchester 73. In general, it has the feel of those old westerns, both in the characters and in the pacing. The characters are truly straight out of the old school of westerns. The good guys are good, the bad guys are bad, and there are no in between shades of gray. It was nice to see Bill Mckinney again. He has to be one of the greatest villains of all time, and has cemented his legend in the western genre. The proble4ms with Ghost Twon are found in the telling of the story. It needs serious reediting. I can see the story, right beneath the surface, but it gets lost in a bewildering series of out of context flashbacks, and numerous confusing cuts back to an "native American woman" that is not central to the tale. If this problem was fixed with a bit of judicious editing I think you would have a much better example of the classic western updated to the 21st century.
I hope it doesn't take a brick house to fall on you Teaster before you realize you've got a problem! Look over the comments posted here. Study them carefully. Not the ones written by your friends and family, (those are quite obvious) just the ones written by independent viewers. Don't worry I'll wait... Do you see a pattern? Do you see what it is that you did? What's the word? Let me see if I can remember it... Oh yeah, editing! Can you learn to edit? The arguments are split on this one. Some say you either have it or you don't. It's an artistic skill that can't be learned. Other's claim you can learn, but it is a slow painful process. Judging by Dean Teaster's Ghost Town I don't think we can wait the years it will take you just to come up to adequate. On the plus side you make Ewe Boll look good! Check this out if you don't understand what I mean: http://www.petitiononline.com/RRH53888/petition.html
To the editor of this movie I offer this: Film editing is the art, technique, and practice of assembling shots into a coherent whole. Judging by this simple definition is is easy to note the lack of coherency in Ghost Town. Strike one. Deeper definitions of film editing stress pacing, balance and rhythm. They liken editing a movie to creating a musical composition. Again this movie disappoints. Ghost Town stumbles along more like a drunken sailor rather than a beautiful symphony. Strike two. Finally, other definitions note that editing, when done well, is an invisible art. If the editor has done his job well, the story will appear almost seamless. A film that tells a complete story in a logical and consistent manner, using harmony, rhythm, and appropriate pacing. By the comments listed here it is obvious that the editing job is anything but seamless. Instead we have a poorly constructed quilt that is barely held together with fraying thread of clashing colors. Strike three.
|Page 1 of 4:||   |
|External reviews||Parents Guide||Official site|
|Plot keywords||Main details||Your user reviews|
|Your vote history|