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|Index||54 reviews in total|
Bellflower is a very good low budget film. Evan Godell wrote, directed and stars as Woodrow in this movie. The acting was a bit poor but the screenplay was excellent. This is what I would use as an example of a movie that has an excellent plot and horrible acting but completely pulls it off. Much like Medusa, the acting is hard to look at during some parts of the film but when looking at the film you see something that is incredibly beautiful that will ultimately end up harming you in some way. Bellflower is extremely dark and will get under your skin for days. From start to finish Bellflower is a visual work of art. If the acting were better, I could see this being one of the best dark films I have ever seen. Unfortunately, the acting is so bad that it is very tough to get past. This has to be one of the best low budget efforts I have ever seen and should be seen by any aspiring director. Evan Glodell's Medusa ultimately becomes the star of this film because the vehicle provides the best performance and it by far one of the most amazing works of art on wheels. Who doesn't love a car with a flame thrower for exhaust pipes?!
When I saw the trailer I was very excited about this film I think that is the apocalyptic film that the indie movement need to do when the panic is close. But when I see the movie I don't see a apocalyptic film I see a film about love and how be without it could may you think the world is over. In other worlds maybe also can we understand this movie as a apocalyptic history of love a cross-genre between apocalyptic dreams and a psychological introspection. But beyond the love and then hate story there is important point the friendship between two male friends appear as mature and deep relation. The screenplay is really intelligent. The cinematography of the film is remarkable. The actors were fit in the characters. Evan Glodell made with this film a successful debut.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I had high hopes for this one. Pretty good ratings and a neat plot
Long story short: I didn't finish it.
It starts out rather slow, but pleasantly so. You get used to the visuals (that I thought were a little overdone - like those instamatic iPhone pics that people think are artsy) and appreciate them, mostly, and you get a feel for the characters. You start to like the two dudes, their quirkiness and maybe even start to relate to them a bit, if you are/were quirky in your youth.
Up until the point where the main dude gets cheated on by his girlfriend. That's when things fall apart. Or at least they did for me, since I had to fast-forward the screaming girl parts (couldn't stand it) and I got lost in what was real and what not. Suddenly the movie jumps around the time-line, main dude goes mental, then he doesn't ... I didn't understand it and I didn't try to, in the end.
If this is a first for the director, it was very well done. I actually think the acting was pretty good, too, except some scenes seemed a little improvised (like the girl-fight scene, too much use of one single word and it seemed like this was the first take) and wooden. The visual style was neat, too, in a way. Like I said, overdone but not bad for the plot.
But as for the finale, I would have probably appreciated a linear storyline a lot more than this knotted up thing.
4 out of 10. Had a lot of potential, couldn't deliver it all, but OK all in all, even if I didn't finish it.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
So, basically, you could follow around an 18 year old that has no
responsibilities, with a camera for a few days, and this is basically
what you'd get. This film comes off as a full length student film,
which I think, based on the info here on IMDb, it basically is.
The film bears earmarks of less than professional filmmaking. There is dirt on the camera's lens during several shots in this movie, while opposing angle shots don't have a dirty lens, which identifies the dirt early on, as a total rookie mistake. (It doesn't do anything for me artistically) It's just plain, careless camera work, and lack of budget for a reshoot. Generally, even your lowest budget indie film(which i guess this is, so I'll give 'em credit pulling that off.)wouldn't permit shoddy camera work to this degree.
The first thing that cued me to recognize the amateur quality of this movie, was the opening dialog's audio, which is just strangely in your face. I don't know if it's poor mics or, crappy sound equipment, but something about the audio lets you know right away, that this is not professionally produced.(I'm thinking, maybe they didn't have directional mics, or they overdubbed a lot of scenes and didn't add score or any effects on the voices.)--> (update 1/2/12) I realized what it is; they overdubbed too directly into, and too close to the mics without pop filters.
The camera work and editing was decent, aside of what I mentioned before. As far as inciting incidents go, this one came about halfway into the film.(I wasn't sure it would ever come.) The opening hook is poor. "I'm building a flame thrower," and something about a car. I felt like, all that was, was some inside message between the screenwriter and his real life best friend???.... That's your opening hook??? (Believe me, ... that isn't enough, to create a box office smash. )
... Then 50 insipid, dull, monotonous minutes of young adults, doing what, I could walk outside and watch young adults do, outside my door. It's just irrational, idiot kids, being, ... idiot kids. (Sort of talentless on the acting end.) If you just sit and watch your roommates(at age 18), ... it'd be about the same as watching this movie. Maybe a little less violent.
The film introduces chapters as if it were following some kind of act structure, which it ... isn't. I'm surprised this film received any accolades of any type, unless Hollywood, just sees this kid and wants to let him in for some obscure reason. I won't say there is "NOOOO" talent. There is some. It's just kind of buried under, a bunch of tripe.
Some will say that the director is some indie film innovator, but he amounts to little more than a trite screenwriter that has a lack of education to that effect. That's just the facts, and the fact that the film receives any attention at all, is beyond amazing to me. I can only imagine the politics, ... i assume half the attention it's gotten comes from the production company's, promotional contracts, with their associates. I'm surprised a production company bought this film, but it happens?
Again, the film world has their obscure politics as to why things do what they do, and it's usually promotion related.
Reviewed January 2012
Very simple, predictable and gets stuck in second gear. It has an effective screenplay but at times felt a bit amateurish. Features an excellent central character added with very good performances makes this rough journey not too uncomfortable.
Woodrock (Evan Glodell) and Aiden (Tyler Dawson) are buddies for life who spend all their time building up stuff for their post- apocalyptic imaginary gang 'Mother Medusa' which highly inspired by the concepts of Mad Max. Woodrock is the likable young and shy guy who happens to meet Milly (Jessie Wiseman) a free spirited young woman when he goes against in a challenge to eat live crickets for a $50 coupon prize. Sparks fly between them and they run away for a dinner half way across the country, buy a mean motorbike, eats in the scariest restaurant going around getting punched in the face at the same time while leaking both ways. Then things end bad bringing out the worst among each of them.
One thing strike to the mind that is not convincing. None are shown how they earn their livelihood but keep on spending. Each character is very likable in their own way but director effectively manages to show their extreme dark side in sporadic scenes. The super cool background music that elevates the movie in the trailer is missing for most part. More emphasis is given to style and impact than practicality towards the end.
A simple story with an unconventional but effective backdrop, though extremely under-utilized stays afloat with brilliant performances from unknown faces.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Welcome to Bellflower Street. Home to a host of twenty-somethings
loosely defined as the Y Generation. No one seems to work. No one goes
to school. No one has any definable goals at all.
Instead, our characters wander from bar to bar, party to party, and each other's beds whenever it pleases them. No one considers the consequences. No one cares. For them there is a complete disconnect to anything outside their own selfish feelings and wants. Everyone is everybody else's fair weather friend. Emotions rule and common sense is a thing unknown. There is no other world worth considering save their own.
At the center we have Woodrow (Evan Glodell) who chums around with his best pal Aiden (Tyler Dawson). Woodrow is a bit of an aw-shucks kind of guy who giggles a lot and speaks with all the unformed glob of a twelve year-old. Aiden is far more focused and harbors a fascination with the Apocalypse, spending hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars designing and building military-grade flame throwers as well as tricking out an old Buick Skylark with ample horse power and gadgets suitable for the likes of Mad Max as well as James Bond.
I found Aiden a complete mystery. He has what is known as invisible means of support. He has by his own admission, "A lot of time on my hands" and also evidently considerable funds to throw around on his inventions. How does he get his money? We don't get to find out.
On a redundant night out from their slummy, lower middle class digs, Woodrow and Aiden find themselves in one of their favorite dives where Woodrow meets Milly (Jessie Wiseman). Milly is girlishly too-cute-to- pass-up, reeks of sexuality, is tough and mentally high-functioning. Her character essentially amounts to the equivalence of an intelligent biker chick sans the bike. Her and Woodrow hit it off immediately and begin dating, with their very first meet-up resulting in a spontaneous road trip from California to Texas. Yes, Texas.
What a street-smart girl like Milly sees in the klutzy goofball Woodrow is hard to understand. Perhaps she needed a break from her regular type of guy. Maybe she's bored. Or maybe she's unconsciously trying to hurt someone else.
If so, her ex-boyfriend Mike (Vincent Grashaw) is that someone else.
A romantic item in the past, Mike and Milly still co-habitate as roommates, but are clearly no longer lovers and haven't been for a long, long while. A highly uncomfortable and tense situation for Mike, but no matter: Milly couldn't care less. She doesn't help the already dark atmosphere of Mike's mind by happily sharing news of her new beau Woodrow, causing Mike to visibly shrink into deeper levels of anger and depression.
He sulks and silently fumes while still paying the physically absent Milly's half of the rent, because, you know, she has far more important things to do then pay attention to silly ideas like maintaining respect for an ex-lover's feelings or fiscal responsibilities.
And nothing good will come from it.
Everybody in this story drinks. A lot. Especially Woodrow and Aiden. Copious amounts of beer and whiskey are consumed 'round the clock with perhaps a break only to take a shower or sit on a toilet. Drinking and driving is normal, and even a home-cooked breakfast is served whilst throwing back a bottle or two.
To be in your early twenties again armed with ignorant bliss and a strong liver.
Emotional immaturity mixed with the chronic boozing makes for predictable and terrible results as most of the main characters descend into their individual self-destructions, while two of them carry out vengeance against one another that is hair raising to behold. The story thoroughly held my attention throughout.
I was amazed to learn the entire film was shot on the thinnest shoe string possible, a mere $17,000. I don't exaggerate in hazarding a guess if the biggies in Hollywood would have attempted the same screen play, it would have cost at least 200 times as much with predictably dubious results.
I can only describe this film as a purposely tainted gem. Lost members of a generation held up raw for all to see.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is a movie developed by a group of people that think if a film
contains vague dialogue, random incidents, out of focus camera angles
and covering the screen with film grain rather than a good plot that
it's going to be a cool, edgy original film. SPOILER ALERT: ITS NOT!
Everybody's acting in this film was more painful to watch than witnessing how veal is made. And listening to them deliver their dialogue was about as bad as listening to fingernails on a blackboard.
But acting and delivering lines aside, the characters were Grade 'A' delinquents; all of them were reprehensible with no redeemable or likable qualities whatsoever. Their main goal in the movie was so adolescent for their age, it was laughable and embarrassing.
I would think that's the best way to understand this movie would be to be stoned out of your mind which I am NOT advocating anybody do.
So in my opinion, watch at the risk of wasting your time. Meanwhile, Bellflower has been uprooted from my queue.
Bellflower may not be a great film, but I am certainly intrigued by the
director and this warped style. The storytelling can get mucked up most
of the time, and a break happens halfway through the film where a
character (or should I say characters) do things that just make the
film go in a total other direction with little motivation, and it
doesn't really have an ending. But for a film made for 17 grand, it's
audacious as hell. The acting is generally interesting and when it goes
into wild territory near the end it certainly makes an impression - I
sometimes get "YOU DID THIS TO ME!" in my head at random times due to
how forceful this guy delivers it. I don't know if it all works, but it
looks and feels like few other films released in 2011 or any other year
really. It's like a buckshot from the heart and solar plexus of a guy
raised on a lot of Mad Max and mumblecore movies.
I want to see what Glodell does for his second or third film, when he matures (at least somewhat) as a director/writer/actor/flamethrower-maker. It's the highest 7 out of 10 star recommended movie in a while.
I've watched quite a lot of post-apocalyptic style movies, and as a big
Mad Max fan I had some hope for this.
It's, sort of okay... ish... maybe.
The story is good, the production style and suchlike are really nice, it could've been a great film, and it has some merits (dreamlike, hazy, first-person, tilt-shift etc.). It only really seemed to get interesting in the last third or so though.
This film is really low on stunts, car related or otherwise.
To compare with Miller's style (it seems a bit of a sin to compare them but... anyway... it clearly pays some homage) this film focuses hugely too much on the characters speaking to each other, having relationships and suchlike. There's not really any clever use of visuals/audio to progress and expand the story in ways that words take much longer to achieve, which would've also left more room for some action or horror or suspense or anything interesting at all.
It takes up a huge proportion of the film building these characters, with predominantly awful cringe-worthy acting (to me it felt like proper trash for the most part. There aren't many films that I struggle to watch all the way through, but this was one of them and I'm still not sure it was worth it) and that somewhat ruins what seems to be a story with lots of interesting elements. I think the characters and the story they're in is good, but this film nor it's actors do them much justice at all.
I wanted more of the car, the flame-thrower and the stuff that we're supposed to believe these guys are really passionate about, but they don't play much of a part at all. I wanted to see glimpses of how the relationships between these people led them to do crazy stuff, but with more of the crazy stuff. We don't really see anything interesting or empowering from the guys or the girls unfortunately. That could be okay I guess, but we don't see anything very interesting at all!
Or perhaps rather, we see a potentially interesting story drawn out for the length of a feature film, with excess focus on all the bits that could have been put across much quicker, which would've left more room for interesting stuff.
The decent into madness is where it get's interesting, but this seems to come far too late in the film, and even then the actions of the main characters seem entirely frustrating.
I thought a lot more would get torched with flame-throwers and there'd be a lot more car-action, along with some good humanist stuff, but it wasn't to be found here.
First I would like to thank the Coatwolf crew for being the inspiration
behind my career path. This film is an epic "mad Max" flavored story
that leaves you wondering "WTF just happened" Who cares, lets watch it
again. Evan Glodell directs a perfect piece. From the gritty, handmade
yet beautiful cinematography (Joel Hodge) to the amazing, unique sounds
of Jonathan Keevil. Definitely a talented group. My goal as a filmmaker
is to create something that will have a fraction of an impact on
someone that Bellflower has had on me. Thanks again for this film. I
cant wait to see what's next.
P.S. Propane IS for pussy's. Jeremy Snyder, RileyHouse Productions
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