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I just saw it and really liked it despite all the negative things i
heard about it. I liked it more than Tetro (6/10) and Youth without
youth (4/10), Coppola's last two movies.
Twixt was like watching a PC adventure game like Phantasmagoria or Garbiel Knight adapted into a movie (showing only the video parts of the games). It was intriguing and had very nice digital cinematography and Gothic horror atmosphere. Plot and setting reminded me of In the mouth of madness as well as Twin Peaks. It was also nice to see Val Kilmer again.
As much as i love his masterpieces from the 70's, this small personal movie was also very interesting (though of course i'm not even comparing them). Coppola does what he wants to do, not caring about money and reviews and i respect that. A similar case (minimalistic too) was with Soderbergh's Bubble.
Overall i gave it a 6.5/10.
p.s. I read some people say that it is incoherent and the plot doesn't make any sense. I didn't have a problem following the plot and i understood what happened in the end quite easily. It isn't explained very clear (wisely in my opinion) but all the hints are there.
The "Godfather" Trilogy, "The Conversation," "Apocalypse Now" all
films by Francis Ford Coppola that DON'T come to mind when watching
Coppola's latest directing venture "Twixt." This film recently
screened at the San Francisco International Film Festival and I eagerly
attended. Bottom line? If you're expecting anything close to the
aforementioned films, you're going to be disappointed.
Coppola has said in interviews that he's only making "personal" films from now on - maybe too personal. While there are elements in this film that show the master has not lost his touch, this film borders on the incomprehensible. Is it a comedy? A horror film? A psychological drama? A fantasy? Your guess is as good as mine - and, apparently, the cast's, as three participants in the film in attendance said as much in the Q&A that followed the screening. Actors Bruce Miroglio, Anthony Fusco, and Don Novello all had the same reaction after screening the film (only their second opportunity.) First, it was nothing at all like the film they saw a few months ago and Coppola was obviously still tinkering with it. Second, it was a helluva lot funnier than they remembered it.
Confusion maybe the theme of the film, but should that confusion have extended to the cast and, ultimately, the audience? One of the things the audience was confused about was that it was a 3-D film. Everyone eagerly played with the glasses until an announcement was made that there were only two short sequences in 3-D, and that it would be clear when those times were. That still didn't stop people from flipping the glasses on and off in a futile attempt to add some dimension to the film.
Coppola's choice to use 3-D does say something, though. Consider his contemporary - Martin Scorsese. Scorsese embraced the technology, used it to great effect to enhance his storytelling in "Hugo," and foresees using the process for all of his future projects. (We'll see.) How does Coppola use it? As a gimmick. An effective gimmick, but a gimmick none the less. Scorsese used it to draw you into the world of "Hugo." Coppola's use actually, and purposely, takes you out of his. Interestingly, only one of the two sequences was filmed using a 3-D camera. The second was added in post-production.
It really wasn't necessary, as the look of the film is one of its assets. Visually entrancing, and wonderfully atmospheric, the film has a cinematic look unlike anything else Coppola has done - even "Dracula." As for the cast, Val Kilmer giver a lead performance that almost redeems him from the trainwreck that is "The Fourth Dimension." I could have done without his umpteenth Brando impersonation, though. Uniformly fine work from the supporting cast helps. It's always good to have Bruce Dern back on screen portraying one of his "slightly-off" characters.
The script is the film's Achilles Heel, if Coppola even had one. I don't need every element of a story to be spoon-fed to me, but give me something to chew on, please. "Twixt" leaves too many threads dangling from the seams that are obviously fraying in this film. The parts are all there, they're just waiting to be sewn together in a much better fashion. Its ending is abrupt and confusing. As Miroglio said when responding to an audience member's comment that he really didn't know what happened at the end, "Francis' response would probably be 'GOOD!'" Maybe for him, but not for an audience. Coppola says he got the idea for the film from a dream of his. Coppola's turned his dream into an audience's nightmare. Does he even care?
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I love all kinds of movies from all genres whether they are mainstream
released or independent distributed. A good movie is a good movie. Out
of all the genres, I have always enjoyed a good horror movie. But even
more, I enjoy mysterious Gothic horror movies!
My real rating is around 8/10. But I was so disappointed with all the negative reviews that I put 10/10 to help with the low score. I read those reviews and expected to hate the movie. But I ended up enjoying it! This movie is, like many reviewers have stated, very different from Francis Ford Coppolas previous works. Mr. Coppola has directed some of the greatest films ever made and many were destroying this film because it wasn't like the rest of his filmography. I bet if you didn't tell someone that Francis Ford Coppola directed this, the reaction would be different. This happens to be one of the best Horror films in recent memory. If you didn't know, a small aspect of this movie is based on the death of Francis son. That alone is interesting to know! I can see why this wasn't released nationwide in theaters because of it's independent art house feel. But I still thought this was better than a lot of the Horror movies that were graced with a nationwide theater count. This is a great ghost, murder mystery movie with mesmerizing Gothic visuals. It almost had a 90s feel. The vibe of the film with its small town eerie setting reminded me of the John Carpenter classic "In the Mouth of Madness" at times. The acting is decent. Val Kimmer is okay as the lead and Elle Fanning is showing that she has more acting capabilities than her sister Dakotah. Ben Chaplin does a great job as the ghost of Edgar Allen Poe. The make-up effects for the ghostly character V and others were simple yet haunting and clever. The cinematography is nicely done. One other memorable aspect of the film was the eerie soundtrack. It is beautiful and creepy at the same time which helps with the tone of the film. This movie as a whole reminded me of an R rated Goosebumps movie. I mean that in a good way. Many are saying the story is downright stupid or doesn't make sense. Well honestly, I love the dreamy incoherent plot. I could understand completely what was going on, but sometimes I just got lost in the artsy visuals that I didn't really care whether the story made sense or not. This is labeled as a Horror movie and I at first expected more scares. But when I first watched it, I only jumped one or two times, and never saw anything that frightened me. I felt a little disappointed at that and felt I had wasted 16 bucks on this movie. Then after the ending, I just felt an uneasy feeling brought to me from the film. I felt creeped out. This movie isn't terrifying, but after much thought, it was scary at times. Twixt sticks with you after the ending. That's what is masterful about this type of horror. I also realized that this movie really gets better with multiple viewings! Twixt is receiving tormented reviews right now, but I can tell that throughout the years the reviews will get more and more positive. This isn't a mega masterpiece, but it is a good enough movie to have positive feedback. I seriously cannot get over the amazing Gothic visuals during the dream sequences! I really hope the score of 4.9/10(current score when I typed this review) goes up to at least a 6/10.
I am confident in predicting this film will gain a cult following eventually. I'm saying you should give this a try before assuming it is bad because of the negative reviews. You might like it, you might hate it. But if you want a nice visual treat of a Horror/suspense movie, then rent or buy this. Turn off the lights, and enjoy the mysterious ride!
"Maybe this is what I need, this story." Hall Baltimore (Kilmer) is a writer that has seen his recent sales drop. He begins to travel from town to town promoting his new book with book signings no one cares about. When he comes to a small town he meets the sheriff Bobby LaGrange (Dern) we is interested in writing with him. When he shows Hall the town's most recent murder victim he becomes intrigued. After learning of the town's past Hall becomes obsessed with his new story idea and wants to find the truth. I was torn before I watched this. I am a huge Coppola fan, the Godfather is my favorite movie, but the fact that Val Kilmer was in this made me a little leery. After about 20 minutes I found out that Coppola out-ways Kilmer. The movie is very interesting and sucks you in enough to keep you watching and wondering what is going to happen next. A somewhat original idea but the writing and story make it seem fresh and exciting. This is easily Kilmer's best movie since Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and Coppola's best since the Rainmaker. While the movie isn't for everyone I think it is worth seeing and it's nice to see a horror movie that isn't just how many people can we chop up in an hour. Overall, a movie I liked but again isn't for everyone. I give it a B.
The plot: A writer on a publicity tour stops in a small town and finds
creative inspiration in the mysterious happenings.
Twixt is about the creative process. If you're put off by Coppola's more indulgent films, then you're simply not going to like this one, either. Early on, it becomes apparent that this is going to be a postmodern take on Gothic tales: the film opens with a hokey narration, the town is full of quirky stock characters, and the "real world" sequences play out like an interactive story. As the film progresses, these elements grow stronger, and a surreal element breaks down the barriers between reality, dreams, and fiction. This may leave some viewers exasperated or confused, as it's a far more experimental and indulgent story than something like, say, The Godfather or Bram Stoker's Dracula. What we see is a writer trying to deal with writer's block, guilt over his daughter's death, and how to make sense of the jumble of ideas that he's got in his head. Coppola seems uninterested in telling a straight-ahead Gothic story about a homicidal priest vs vampires, but I think this is the story that audiences wanted. They're unconcerned with the creative process, themes in Edgar Allan Poe's work, or metafiction.
There are many beautiful shots in the film that make use of digital effects. Val Kilmer wanders through his dreams in a black and white world that makes occasional use of striking, bold colors. The effect is similar to the semi-monochrome of Sin City, though it's used more sparingly. Unfortunately, as striking as the cinematography is, it doesn't really live up to the legendary expectations that many have come to expect from Coppola. Like Scorsese, he seems to have became a victim of his own early success, doomed to be forever judged harshly for anything that falls short of pure genius.
Val Kilmer is obviously looking a bit older, and, yes, he's gained some weight. Regardless, I found his performance to be pretty good. I was never a huge fan of Kilmer, but he's a likable guy, and he imbues this character with the same likable qualities. His performance is a bit muted and introspective, but there are occasional hammy moments, such as when he does some rather amusing impressions during a drunken scene of writer's block. Bruce Dern was really great, and I loved his character, a spunky and reactionary sheriff who served as the foil for Kilmer's character. Dern got to be as eccentric and lively as Kilmer was quiet and repressed, and it was fun to see them work off each other. The others were good, but Dern was just so much fun that I kept wishing he'd show up in every scene, do something crazy, and keep the film a bit more lively.
For fans of Edgar Allan Poe, Gothic horror, and literary analysis, this is a fun film. Others will probably be a bit disappointed. The pacing is significantly faster than Coppola's 70s work, but it's still a bit leisurely, and the lack of a coherent narrative may alienate people who just wanted to see vampires vs serial killers in a small town full of secrets.
Best known as the director of classics like "The Godfather" and
"Apocalypse Now", Francis Ford Coppola has directed some unusual movies
in the past few years: "Youth without Youth", "Tetro" and now "Twixt".
What's particularly interesting about this movie is that Coppola uses a
trick that he previously employed in "Rumble Fish": color objects
standing out starkly amid a black and white setting. This could draw
your attention to the object...or to the object's color.
It's not really a scary movie. Unsolved murders are a common theme in movies. But each character has something perplexing about himself or herself. Just which kind of secret does each of these individuals hold? I recommend the movie. I guess that you could say, it's an offer that you can't refuse.
First thing is first. Do Not go into this movie expecting Godfather or
Apocalypse now material. Those were Coppola's masterpieces and no one
will ever make anything quite like those films. Okay? Okay.
I have been waiting for this film for quite the while. I saw the trailer when it came out and was very excited. It was a long and hard search to find this film but I found it eventually. My hopes had been really high since the trailer, but then I saw some of the reviews which just had nothing but awfulness to offer this film. So I lowered my expectations, and still watched it only to be confused. Not by the film itself, but by the fact that it got bad reviews and ratings. I could see what some people didn't like about it, but I didn't notice anything that would have given such an undeserved wave of hate.
I think that this movie is good for people who appreciate obscurity and uncertainty in films. Most of these are hardcore film buffs. This film was very visually fantastic and was very haunting from the start. Val Kilmer surprised me with his acting in this one. He was cocky, depressed, and stressed all at once. Bruce Dern as the kooky sheriff was great as well. All of the cast did good, and same goes for the directing.
In the movie Val kilmer starts to have these dreams, and my god these dream sequences are glorious. They are visually very pretty yet spooky. The encounters with people are creepy and quirky. Even the scenes in which he is awake share the same qualities, but there just not as intense. The story felt like homage to Gothic horror films, and there was some vampire content in it. Francis Ford Coppola has been making more personal films, and yes it's noticeable. In a specific scene, I won't reveal, was not really needed and felt like a filler.
This movie sort of feels like a really cool dream. Which makes sense knowing that Coppola got the idea from a dream which might throw some of you off, but I loved this film and recommend to all.
I have eagerly been waiting for the last two years for this film to be
released, for no reason other than to add it to my collection of Tom
Waits featured films. A shallow and callous reason that may be, but
bear with me.
A couple months ago I had the pleasure of a good friend praising a film he had just seen called 'Tetro', a Francis Ford Coppola fanatic, he encouraged me to watch it, saying it will change my opinion on the famed director after my disappointment in 'Youth Without Youth.' Needless to say, he was right, and my eagerness for the arrival of this film increased immensely.
I watched the film last night, somewhere between twelve and one in the morning, trying to get the mood just perfect. From the opening narration (yes, it just so happens to be Tom Waits) the film grasped every bit of my attention. From the beautiful photography, to the moody music, to the ever entertaining Val Kilmer sitting behind a desk ready to sign copies of a book that no one will ever read, this film was a delightful treat, and what I had built up in my mind the last couple months, this film delivered and then some. It is greatly entertaining, with elements of horror, comedy, mystery, and hints of David Lynch's Twin Peaks, it is a film I am proud to add to my collection. I don't like horror films, and this film is so much more than that. While, at times, the horror elements may have been a bit over whelming, the film changes pace just in time, just as you're about to be pulled out of your comfort zone, cringing and clinging to your sofa. So don't let the marketing turn you away.
This is a beautiful film, and wonderfully entertaining. If you're an on and off Coppola fan like me, a Tom Waits fan, or want to see the only good Val Kilmer performance of the last decade, I highly recommend this film. In a world full of recycled ideas and unknown and untalented directors, how a little gem like this directed by the great FFC went so long without distribution is beyond me. Do yourself a favor and watch this film.
This is Coppola cum David Lynch. In fact, if this were directed by Lynch it would be hailed as a return to form from the master of the surreal, however Coppola can't seem to catch a break. I've been a big fan of his revitalized art-house film making, admiring Youth Without Youth, and really loving Tetro. Here he continues the trend with a surreal film right up the Twin Peaks alley. It is gorgeously shot, the dream sequences are visually astounding, Coppola playing with blacks and whites, and touches of vivid color, providing a lucid experience. What's more is that this is an extremely personal film for Coppola, with themes of selling out as an artist, losing a child, and confronting failure. It has some great acting, providing Val Kilmer with is first decent role since Felon, and much to his own surprise, he still has it. He is in turns funny, but also hopeless and adrift. Drunk, tired, and distracted as the bargain basement Stephen King. When he roles into town to sign books at a hardware store, the local sheriff ropes him into the haunted towns history. Through a series of strange experiences, and lucid fever dreams (a drunken dream inspired the film) he uncovers the dark secrets of the town, meets Poe, and confronts his long buried feelings. It's a pleasure to watch something so pulpy, abstract, and full of atmosphere.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Coppola's exploration of the writer's process set against a vampire
murder mystery evokes 1408, Twin Peaks, and of course the works of
Edger Allen Poe. It is Poe's ghost that leads Val Kilmer on his dream
world explorations of the underbelly of a small town "where people go
to be left alone". In this blue-lit version of the town Kilmer meets
Virginia, a porcelain Elle Fanning who may, or may not be the sole
survivor of the town's serial killer. Eerie, pulpy and just a little
great, Twixt is a modern AIP second feature. Another film demonstrating
that film obsession can live through VOD.
Also interesting is that the film was made almost entirely on Coppola's own property in the North bay.
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