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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Post-apocalyptic movies normally attract my attention and enchant me in
general. It shouldn't necessarily be a movie where you are treated all
the time with images of total destruction, oncoming hordes of aliens or
virus mutated zombies. But this movie really was a slow nerve provoking
film that looked more like a road movie or a travelogue on Travel
channel that was poured into a cinematic form.
A large part of the film is used to show how the two main characters, a press photographer and the daughter of a newspaper magnate who somehow ended up in South America, are moving from place to place to reach a secure America lying behind immense walls. This travel-images are then interspersed with images of them staring to the horizons, beautiful nature images and impressions, inadequate conversations with the locals and the interplay with Mexican soldiers and mercenaries who sometimes act sometimes in a really hilarious way.
The monsters reveal themselves from time to time. Either it's in a CNN-like way with television reports and eventually close ups at the end of the movie. Mostly you can only hear them making sounds like whales in the distance. The aliens look like walking squids on stilts with an arsenal of disco balls stuck to their bodies. In appearance it was quite something that originated from films out of the years 60-70. Not exactly terrifying.
The acting was at times touching, but several times it was just plain boring. The daughter Samantha is a real babe and seems to move around like a model in the jungle. Her acting is limited to an engaging smile, sadly wiping away a tear and walking around in total amazement. A kind of Paris Hilton and someone who, despite her engagement, is attracted to someone else real quickly and starts to get feelings for that person.Photographer Andrew is a very confident guy who constantly tries to be funny and attempts in a terribly predictable way to fall within the grace of his lovely traveling companion .
Spending $5000 on a ferry ticket and then they can't take this ferry because Mr. photographer got drunk and ended up in bed with a beautiful local girl who stole his passport. This seemed so stupid to me that I couldn't even believe it. They were forced to pay $ 10,000 then and take the most dangerous road to cross the country.
The end at the petrol station was the highlight of the movie. Apparently the aliens have abandoned the infected zone. That wasn't so difficult when you look at the huge gateway in that immense wall. I got a "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" feeling at the gas station and thought that the aliens would start singing after they were fed with the light and suddenly would embrace each other warmly.
In other words: pretty disappointing for me, but Mexico does look beautiful at times !
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This movie was perhaps the most boring movie ever made. I swear to god,
the script was written by teenagers in high-school. They went on and on
and on about the most vacuous, ridiculous, childish things... like they
were trying to flirt or something - but they were in the middle of a
life threatening crisis! Yeah, that's a great time to have a laughing
contest! Mother of god.
The plot didn't develop... it went nowhere... it promised big things, but came up with a big 0... It's like when you sit down on the toilet because you think you need to poop, but no poop comes out.
This movie was all shitting, and no poop.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Kaulder and Sam make their way from Mexico to the United States. She is
the daughter of his boss, who runs a large publishing business. The
father charges Kaulder to bring Sam home to the States safely. That's
the whole film.
Their main problem is that many dangerous extraterrestrials lie between them and their destination. Transportation is hampered, and what transportation there is is illegal and expensive.
In Mexico, they encounter delays from a railway being out, from someone stealing their passports and a ferry ticket, from using an illegal personal charter. They see evidence of aliens in abundance during their journey. They lose their guides during an alien encounter at night. They collect what supplies they can from the bodies, and start out on foot. They make it to the border of Mexico and the USA.
Surprisingly, no one is manning the guard posts on the giant wall constructed to keep the aliens out. There has been an incursion by the aliens and a retreat by the humans. They see jets flying in the distance. They keep walking through bombed out housing and dead aliens.
They find a gas station with power. They phone 911, and get a promise of an Army escort to come soon. While waiting, they make some other calls: Kaulder to his son who does not know that Kaulder is his father; Sam to someone, probably her fiancé.
They hope to be home in one day, but the aliens have other ideas. Will both of them make it?
Cinematography: 6/10 Mixed bag. There is night filming that is just poor, some hand-held footage I could have lived without, and also daylight shots that are gorgeous.
Sound: 8/10 Adequate.
Acting: 8/10 There are two principal actors and a number of bit parts. Fortunately, the leads could carry most of the film.
Screenplay: 8/10 Good plot flow. Fairly simple story, but it does not drag.
SFX: 8/10 Not the greatest I've seen, but more convincing than not. Lovely ending.
This movie sounded kind of daft, and I just tuned in to pass the time, if I could stand it. Was I surprised! The movie is really a very small drama, about two people, who feel like real people, in a harrowing situation. The acting was great. The creatures' presence was more looming in the atmosphere, on the soundtrack, than seen, until the end. These characters express real emotions, and finally wonder instead of fear before the magnificence of nature. The real monsters might not be who you think. Give me a film, with people, whom I can believe in any day over World War Z with its unbelievable macho movie star hero. I guess that's OK for the poor kids raised on video games, but I want to see real people.
Monsters is a film that is ultimately made greater by its limited
budget, much like masterpieces of the past such as Psycho and Jaws.
While not nearly reaching the caliber of either of these cinematic
behemoths, this independent sci-fi flick wisely hones in on the human
element of an alien takeover in its aftermath rather than spending its
time showing effects-heavy shots of CG creatures deforming entire
cityscapes. This is very much a drama about how people bond under
extreme circumstances, all the while touching upon themes such as
immigration, corruption, and profiteering during large-scale crises.
Independent films using mostly unproven actors is always a sketchy affair, but Monsters largely makes it work. The two leads have their own distinct agendas and flaws and are even slightly unlikable at the film's start, but this is very much a story about moral growtha post- adolescent bildungsroman, if you will. Their physical journey mirrors their personal development as well as their relationship with one another, and despite a few instances of weak writing or delivery, they both behave like real people.
The film is, for the most part, slow-paced, though not insufferably so, and when it does show action it does so with a level of restraint that enables the film to neatly sidestep the pitfall of unintentionally comedic B-movie bloodshed. In a movie that relies on a more grounded tone throughout, this is paramount. While it's far from perfect, Monsters is a low-profile film that packs more of a punch than many of its triple-A peers, and that alone is merit enough to go see it.
...that's how I would describe 2010's "Monsters" in a handful of words.
The story's about a reporter and a woman he leads through a quarantined
area in northern Mexico where octopus-like aliens dwell. The aliens
took root in this area after a NASA probe crashed in the area
containing alien samples.
Much has been made about the extremely low-budget of this film, costing around $800,000. "Monsters" is an excellent example of how a quality movie can be made with such a micro-budget. Although this is a small film (as opposed to a blockbuster) it's Grade-A at heart. In other words, it's not a Grade-Z Sy-Fy film like "Mega-Cleavage Vs. Gatorade." "Monsters" is an intelligent sci-fi adventure with some elements of horror. Despite the title, the monsters are mostly unseen until the last act, where they evoke more of a sense of awe than horror. Speaking of which, the creatures are highly imaginative and the F/X are convincing. What impressed me most was how the film convinces the viewer of the strange situation with little things (e.g. signs, checkpoints, quarantine walls, etc.).
"Monsters" is somewhat reminiscent of 2008's "Vinyan", although the theme is completely different. They both have a vibe of realism, mystery and jungle adventure.
You'll notice that the "infected area" is in northern Mexico along the border of the USA. This reveals the obvious symbolism of America protecting its southern border from illegal aliens (or "undocumented workers", take your pick).
The film runs 94 minutes and was shot in Guatemala, Belize, Costa Rica, Mexico and Texas.
This movie feels like it was a bit wrongly advertised and the name
Monsters doesn't fit well at all.
This really isn't a monster/alien-movie, although there are aliens on earth while the story takes place there isn't really much alien-action going on in this movie.
It's more of a drama about 2 people crossing a war-zone that just happens to be between alien and man and not between 2 countries.
It takes like an hour before there's really any alien action going on, so if you're looking for some "human kicking alien butt" kinda movie I'd suggest looking elsewhere.
But for me I found the movie entertaining and good plus it takes an interesting approach to aliens "attacking" earth, perhaps even a more realistic one that what other movies before it has had to offer.
Although there are some plot holes that made me think why don't they do this or that it didn't throw me completely off-guard from enjoying the movie, and that is because the 2 actors in the lead did a good job and were interesting enough for me to keep my interest going.
I can't say that everyone will like it but I did.
Some viewers clearly have a mispronounced idea of how movies work.
First things first, 15k budget... that automatically cuts out any
extended action sequences, any rewrites, any supporting cast, really
anything you'd expect in a typical monster/horror studio production.
The man(Gareth Edwards) seems to have done the vast majority of work to produce this film. To not understand or appreciate what an accomplishment that is is to be something of a juvenile audience member. Our personal viewing history gives us an idea of what to expect, this is what is implied by a film giving the audience the proverbial wink wink, "you know what's going to happen next, and we know you know".
That's where this film and any film made for less than a cheap new car, a year of school, not even a down payment for a house become art house, thoughtful films instead of studio fluff weighed down by trying to meet every viewers expectations. This film soars above that because it so different.
Balls. That what it takes to make a film like this. And two talented hard working, poor actors. Preconceived notions about what a film is only ruins the experience.Made For 15k. Plenty of 50million movies fail to match it. Never thought I'd categorize this as Romantic Guerrilla Disaster flick, but that's what it is. And is all the better for it. Haven't you already seen War of the worlds or the umpteen alien disintegration ray/ Empire state building Explosion/abducted creepy greys flick? This is artful and has heart.
Incidentally I thought Dark skies was pretty good too.
I'm not even sure how I'm going to produce the mandatory 10 lines of
text to post this review. They won't accept any less...
But the truth is, - there's nothing to say about this utterly UNREMARKABLE movie, except that it's boring, forgettable, and lame.
It doesn't deserve to be summarized in more than one word. The word is up there is capitals. There's nothing else to be said about it.
I must've drifter off at least 10 times throughout the movie. It was so tremendously BORING, it was actually painful to endure.
It's not a terrible movie or anything, but it's just TOO boring.
I had turned it off twice before, because I couldn't manage to stay awake/pay attention -- it was so dull. I finally managed to see the ending today, and... it did not change my mind about this movie at all.
It's one of "those" movie -- you wait for it to get better, but it never does. It doesn't get better or worse; it just goes nowhere -- and in such a painfully long, boring fashion.
It drags on, and on, and on, and on, and on... Yawn. Enough about it now; recalling details from this cheap and uninspired flick sends me to sleep.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I had never heard of this movie or read anything about it but went into
this with an open mind anyway. When the movie starts you get the
impression that it's a "found footage" type of thing, as they actually
play the end scenes first and it has that whole shaky handy-cam type of
feeling, however you're then taken back in time to the events leading
up to that final moment.
Watching this I never got a feel of Cloverfield or District 9, but there are definite elements of The Mist and also the animated movie, Final Fantasy, in the portrayal of the aliens in how they move and look, and also how they don't really seem malevolent but are almost unaware that their very presence is detrimental to human way of life. The movie alludes to the point that the aliens are attracted to either light and or electrical currents, so attacking cars at night with headlights on may or may not be deliberately violent.
One thing that struck me as odd, was that this movie is set 6 years after the aliens first appearance, (which was after a satellite or probe came crashing back to Earth in Mexico), and as the aliens are active mostly at night, it seemed strange that in 6 years the military never managed to locate where these aliens hide during the day, given their immense size, and just start a saturation bombing campaign. The whole of northern Mexico is a quarantine zone, and in 6 years you see where extensive vegetation has already started to take over once inhabited areas. Why would the U.S spend billions erecting a 50 foot wall across their entire southern border, instead of devising a plan to just wipe out the invaders. None of the creatures are able to fly, if that were the case a wall would be pointless, so how is it they were able to bring down a jet fighter? As witnessed later in the movie, the aliens are not indestructible to our weapons and throughout the movie their intelligence is limited. Humans have managed to bring other species to extinction, why are we unable to do anything about these? There are far too many unanswered, yet straightforward questions with the storyline and doesn't bother to want to answer any of these questions. Another problem with it is that it never really gets going and just plods along. The actors are not engaging in anyway and seem rather bored from beginning to end. It had so much potential but seems to lack any real plot. At one point I wasn't sure if I was watching a movie or a documentary. In addition there are also undertones of American/Mexican border politics where Mexican border control successfully extorts thousands out of the 2 U.S nationals who are trying to get back into the U.S and to imagined safety.
I guess this is worth a look at least once but I wouldn't go out of my way to track this movie down, there are far better alien invasion movies out there.
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