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Wolf Creek (2005)
Let me preface my comments by saying that I am not a horror movie fan. This genre doesn't really appeal to me. Having said that, this is the most bone chilling, horrifying movie I have ever seen. Technically the movie was well made. Camera work was effective, and scenery shots were a nice addition. Acting was spot-on, and is the way I'd imagine young tourists to behave. Others have commented on it being slow, but I think that it was necessary to get an understanding of the characters in all of their banality, and to lull you into a false sense of security. The dialogue, by being so understated and 'unclever' gave it an incredible edge of realism. By the time we find out that the 'friendly' mechanic had dark ulterior motives, I was hooked. The movie was completely unrelenting, and gave little sense of hope at all as the story progressed. Just as I would expect something good or positive to emerge, it tread into much deeper and darker territory. It was both frightening and frustrating. There was almost nothing that one could redeem after watching this, which I think was the filmmakers intent. I wouldn't call this entertainment, but certainly a film that achieved it's goal.
It's only once in a while that a film comes out that can make me laugh from start to finish. And this is one of them. The film works so unbelievably well because of the rapport between the 2 main actors. Kumar (Kal Penn) has such an expressive face it works a treat in many of the scenes. Harold's (John Cho) cautious and somewhat uptight approach to situations contrast with Kumar's more laid back attitude leads to great interplay between the characters. The characters appear intelligent and have charisma, and they do seem to have an uncanny sense of what is funny and what works. The film rocks along at a cracking pace and you're left with a smile on your face as they reach the goal of their journey. Many of the cameos were lost on me (being an Aussie viewer), but the scene with Neil Patrick Harris was a nice surprise!
2 big thumbs up!
Apocalypse Now (1979)
One of the greats
As Captain Willard lays on his bed and watches the fan blades spin round, it triggers off memories of the helicopters and a past mission that he was once part of. It is this extremely effective and entrancing opening sequence that quickly establishes Apocalypse Now as a movie for the mind.
The viewer is taken on a strange journey up the river to meet an enigmatic figure known as Kurtz through the eyes of Willard (as narrator). On the journey we gain an insight in to the many dark facets of war and the effect that it has on one's humanity. Whether it be the insanity, the humour, the surrealness etc. It all comes across very effectively, with the characters in this film refreshingly real and the dialouge pertinent and on occasion genuinely funny.
Apocalypse Now does not make the mistake (as many other war films tend to do) of manipulating you into thinking a particular way, rather it is open-ended enough for you to draw your own conclusions. We are made to feel part of the crew and witness as they do and to have our own perceptions on the events as they occur. I tend to see a movie not that one watches, but experiences.
The technical aspects of the film are amazing. The cinematography is breath-taking with each scene exquisitely detailed both visually and sonically. The use of natural light in many scenes is superb (such as the mango sequence) while the music highlights the mood perfectly (The Doors was a perfect choice for the opening). The action sequences were superbly edited, especially the helicopter attack sequence coupled with Wagner blaring in the background which adds to the thrill of that scene.
Not a completely realistic film, but I don't believe that that was the vision or the intent. If you crave realism, go rent Platoon as a companion piece to this. When I first saw this film (which wasn't that long ago) I knew it would be one the greatest films I'd ever see just from the first 5 or so minutes. It's a far-reaching film that delivers on all counts.
nice piece of 80's action
This is definitely one movie that I never get tried of watching. Plenty of carnage, machine-gun deforrestation, terrific scenery, corny (but fun) one-liners and Arnie doing what he does best.
The musical score of the film is terrific and exhillerating, and really adds to the mood of the film. The direction was handled well and rips along at a cracking pace. The special effects are also very good considering how old the film is.
My only drawback is that one of the characters was wearing an MTV t-shirt. Was probably considered cool in the 80's but looks really lame now.
All in all, a great film for blokes.
I knew this film would be hard to follow in the footsteps of 2 prior outings, but I had hopes that it could re-kindle the awe I had as a child when seeing T2. This film had nothing worthy of it. The acting was rather bland and uninspiring, the dialogue lacked punch and the hunour was quite corny (even though I laughed a few times). This film lacks the drive and dark edge of the prior two films. In fact it didn't seem to add or build up to anything significant at all. It seemed like a re-work on T2. To excuse the plot holes and actors that did not reprise their roles we were given new information, which changes the way you view T2 from now on.
The inability to connect with the characters makes it less appealing aswell. They were too jokey with one another which lowered the suspense of the dramatic moments. The part where John Conor puts a gun to his head and threatens to pull the trigger made me cringe and laugh at the same time.
An unnecessary addition to the series. 4/10