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Could have been great if Part 1 was never made.
Having finally gotten to see this movie after watching part 1 a year or so back, I was of the opinion that not only is it a very different film, but it would have been far better and harder hitting had the first never existed.
Think of it this way, with the first movie existing as it does, the nature of this film changes almost entirely. This film is about a man who becomes sexually obsessed with the first movie, which we have all seen. This means that we know what the film he is obsessed about contains.
Now consider if we had never seen the first movie. The nature of the film changes entirely. Now we have a film about a man who lives a bleak and disturbing existence after an abused childhood. He happens across a film containing images we never see, all we know is that it depicts a group of people sewn together in a human centipede. We can only imagine what level of horror this film contains and thus his obsession is all the more vile and mysterious. Is it a snuff film? Is it a depraved porn film? We can't be sure, and that makes it frightening. So inspired by this film of unknown horror the character decides he will recreate the human centipede to live his fantasy and escape his miserable, bleak existence.
Ultimately he gets his wish and achieves this object of his desire, shortly before his own creation becomes his end.
The film becomes a harrowing story about a man who lives a tortured and hopelessly barren life, inspired by some unknown film to create the object of his fantasy which ultimately descends into a nightmare which well be his undoing.
The film could have been a modern day Eraserhead, in fact I saw many parallels between the two.
Sadly however, since the first film exists, we have all seen it and thus the film is simply about a man who watches what we know to be a mediocre horror flick and seeks to recreate something we have already seen, just more graphically, and so it comes off as just gratuitous.
Had the first film never existed, and had there been no footage from the film Martin was watching shown, this film could have been a horrific masterpiece.
It could have been a mysterious and dark trip into a sexual, violent nightmare.
If only Tom Six had made this instead of the first I would recognise it as a masterpiece of modern extreme horror/drama.
Instead it became a gratuitous, self indulgent mess that could have been something great.
America had American Beauty, England has Cashback
After seeing the intriguing cover art for this movie, I decided to rent it, expecting a light-hearted and somewhat comedic flick about a cashier who likes to imagine his customers naked and then draw them as a distraction from his personal problems and inability to sleep.
What I got was something else entirely. An emotional and existential drama about love, loss and finding the beauty in every moment. The story focuses on a young man who, after a very nasty breakup, finds himself unable to sleep, obsessed by his ex girlfriend and how quickly she has moved on. To deal with his insomnia, he starts working the graveyard shift at his local Sainsburys. He soon begins to look for ways to pass the time in his mundane existence without sleep, and discovers that imagining he can stop time helps pass the time faster. With time stopped, he begins imagining that he can undress his customers and paint them in varying degrees of nudity. When his obsession turns to a fellow checkout girl, the reasoning behind his obsession with the female form, and his real dreams in life are revealed through a series of haunting and beautiful flashbacks, alongside a growing drama among his colleagues.
Cashback is one of a minority of great, contemplative movies. I think the best comparison would be something between American Beauty and The Rules of Attraction.
If you want a movie that will make you think, make you question and make you feel in ways you may never have before, this is it. The only criticism I have is that it wasn't up for BAFTA's or Oscars, and that's a criticism of the judges, not the movie. My vote was only reduced to a nine since a few scenes tried to move too far in a comedic direction which I felt didn't fit well, but I'm willing to look past that since the movie as a whole was so well structured.
If you are a fan of art in movies, or movies which will make you think and feel, Cashback is for you.
9 out of 10
A Clockwork Orange (1971)
We've created a monster...
Clockwork Orange stands firmly between two genres. On the top, it is very much a shock movie, a fine example of exploitation cinema.
However, when we consider the film in another way, as a drama that uses shock as it's driving force, we might realise that there is more to this story than what had first disgusted us.
Alex is what you could quite certainly call an anti-hero. His interests are certainly on the wrong side of most people's ethics. He likes to spend his time raping, fighting and gang-banging his way through life. However, we have to wonder, is he truly evil? Even Alex himself has limits, and when he is forced to breach those limits, a change happens in him.
Suddenly he is betrayed by his friends. Finding himself in a whole world of trouble, his character is literally tested. What we witness in the ensuing time raises a very poignant question; is it right to force a person to be "good"?
If we take away free will, what else do we take with it? Surely a person without free will is not a good person, but a good THING, a thing that works to our perception of goodness, a clockwork orange. We can program a machine to suit our needs, but can we program a human being in the same way?
As evil as we perceive Alex to be, who is more evil? Alex, or the system which takes his free will as punishment for his actions? When we take away the very things that make us human, do we create a monster, or a machine?
And is it better that some people live their lives as such? Maybe yes, maybe no, but the ultimate question is; does the punishment fit the crime?
That's for you to decide.
World Trade Center (2006)
Truly dismal, truly offensive cash-in
Before you see this film, be prepared for the fact that for a great amount of it, you will be watching two to three men trapped in rubble and simply talking to each other.
While the message of bravery and survival were prevalent in the film, I couldn't help but feel that this move was, for want of a better word, unnecessary.
I felt like I was being told a story I already knew.
For that reason, I would say that this film greatly felt like a poorly written, and poorly thought out, cash-in on other peoples loss and tragedy.
The story didn't need to be told, We'd already witnessed it and heard it many times over.
I won't deny that it had good features and a good message of triumph over adversity, but the script lacked real drama, which is a shame considering that (or so I believe) the characters are based on actual people. What I mean to say is that the real life struggle was somewhat diminished by poor writing and presentation.
The biggest flaws I put down to one simple point, the film was far too soon after the actual event. Anyone old enough to see the film at it's time of release was old enough to remember the real event. This film will not have any real impact until at least the next generation, when people watching it did not witness the actual event.
I Am Legend (2007)
The Pearl Harbour of Horror Stories...
This being one of my all time favourite sci-fi/horror novels, I was supremely disappointed to see how the makers of this film missed the point so completely and blatantly. The features that made the novel just so amazing are just plain not there, such as the idea that the vampires were sentient and had their own society, Neville really being the last man on earth, the idea that there is no cure because the vampires are NOT virus or infection sufferers, and the poignant and profound ending wherein we see the vampires' society takes over the world, leaving Neville as what vampires are to us, a legend, and something to be feared that must be destroyed. Instead of all this genius, originality and deep meaning we were shown in the novel, we instead get 28 Days Later... In New York. The film, while certainly action packed and exciting, had NOTHING to do with the original novel and this to anyone who has read the novel, will be a great disappointment. This should have been 28 Days Later 3, because it bears about as much resemblance to I Am Legend as it does to Bambi.
The Hamiltons (2006)
Awesome, Slick and Emotional
This movie embodies all that is right with horror as a genre. It was suave yet brutal; cool yet graphic. The main characters, a family who on the surface appear to be brutal murderous animals, gain a real depth and profoundness and definitely found a way into my heart, especially Francis, the quiet, submissive character who becomes the object of our affection, surrounded by his brutal family. As the film goes on, the family bombard us with the classic "we do this to survive" lines, reminiscent of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. It is not until we discover that in the case of this family of deep, suave, almost lovable by the end, Porphyric Haemophilliacs; the statement is very true and Francis' transformation is almost heart rending. Never has the idea of vampires been so awesomely presented and given such depth. Sure they are sick, but lets face it, they ARE cool and slick, and we love them. I sure did.
A truly amazing movie
I don't understand all the bad rep this movie has gotten. It was one of the most beautiful movies i have ever seen. If they crossed the beauty of Final Fantasy with the brutal, cold profoundness of Metal Gear Solid, you would get something like this amazing movie.
People are always saying its nothing like BR, i think it really is. People watch these movies with nothing but bloodthirsty ignorance. These movies aren't about violence. These movies are a message about the evil and brutality of war and the tragedies of innocence lost. What we are supposed to see in this movie, like the first, is that war is tragic because we are all human, and no one has nothing to lose. When you place human against human, there can be no victory; this movie and the first show this fact more profoundly than any i have ever seen. It is only in a war, that we realise how hopelessly human we all are.
i think a good quote to use at this time (although i cant remember who said it) is this: "War does not determine who is right, only who is left." Ten out of ten, a beautiful masterpiece of a movie.
Cannibal Holocaust (1980)
What in the hell was the writer/director thinking?!?!? How did filth like this EVER get produced!?!?!? Why do people watch sick garbage like this? its nothing more than foul, putrid filth. I swear, the guy who made this film should have been put away a LONG time ago. im sorry i ever watched it. i enjoy a violent horror movie as much as anyone else but this just goes too far by a LONG way. If you want to watch it be my guest, each to his own eh? but there are some things that just take violence and gore way too far, and this is one; and to top it all off, there's a right way to show some things and a wrong way, and by this i refer to freaking RAPE scenes, in my mind there is nothing sicker than rape. if you include that sort of things in a movie, take a page out of Clockwork Orange's book, THAT is the right way to use such a theme, Don't GLORIFY IT, Don't try and pass it off as porn, Don't show it grapically (what sane person wants to see that???) AND Don't try and make it funny somehow, its just not and never will be. this film should be destroyed like the filthy sick-fest it is.