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Other Space (2015)
Funny Show, Great Pedigree.
This show had me the moment I heard Crow's voice. If you've been paying attention to indie comedy, you'll recognize most of these people. If you watched Freaks and Geeks, you already love this show. The negative reviews are probably from people who find the Fast & Furious movies thought provoking. I need to write a few more lines of text for my review to clear, so here are other funny ad hominem attacks on this show's detractors: Big Bang Theory goes over their heads. They say things like "that's so random" when they don't get a reference. When they feel angst-y they listen to Hannah Montana's later stuff. Michael Bay is their hero.
So yeah, Other Space is funny and if you don't like it you're probably a toolbag.
Død snø (2009)
Evil Dead Snow
This may not be the first movie to put a pomo-quasi-ironic-self-aware spin on the classic zombie movie genre, but it's definitely the most recent. Dead Snow is what you get when you take Evil Dead, throw in Nazis and replace the woods with
well SNOW-covered woods. That's not to say it's regurgitated tripe (of which there is A LOT in this movie). It casts a knowing wink to it's inspirations (Sam Raimi and Peter Jackson should be collecting royalties) but it treats its subject matter with the utmost sincerity and production value. This isn't just a couple Norwegians with an HD cam. There is a lot here. Great guts, good costume work, a pumpin' soundtrack and *GASP* witty dialogue. The pacing is spot on (though some may complain that things go into zombie frenzy mode a little to quickly) and the movie never outstays its welcome. My only gripes would be that there is just a little too much scene lifting (at least 3 evil dead homages by my count, maybe more) and the editing is a little wonky at times (when did those people start running? methinks we forgot to shoot an establishing shot). Gleefully made with wit and love and guts, Dead Snow is an import zombie flick that won't transcend the genre, but is just damn fun enough to be a great addition.
Never seems to be in Kontroll
I went into Kontroll with no expectations and was quickly a fan of the characters and cinematography. We're introduced to the "who the hell would work here" world of the Hungarian subway and we're given a few archetypal characters (the rookie, the reluctant hero with the mysterious past, the buffoon, and not one but two veterans). All of the promise of the first act, however, quickly dissipates into an overwrought poorly-edited and very confused film.
The plot SEEMS to be about a random psychopathic killer. Then the hooded killer goes missing for the rest of the movie until he's needed to wrap up a plot point in the last ten minutes. He doesn't even kill anyone we care about (Bootsie could've been edited out of the movie and it would make no difference).
Then the plot SEEMS to be about the horrible life of a subway worker. We're given two (maybe three) montages of how menial and soul-sucking the work is. We get it, it's a horrible job. What we don't get is why the protagonist stays. We don't need to know what he's afraid of (success? his parents?) but we do need to know why he puts up with his job for so long. We're given more than a glimpse of how strenuous it is, so it's definitely not the lack of pressure.
Then the plot SEEMS to be about a guy falling in love with a kooky girl (she wears a bear suit! how non-threateningly quirky! someone get Zach Braff on the phone) and falling head over heels for her, because she's cute and of course her obvious mental illness is alluring.
All of this would be great if Kontroll actually did anything meaningful with these elements. Instead, it tosses them into a salad with a bit of "love conquers all" dressing. It could have easily been 20 minutes shorter and twice as good. It seems the director fell in love with all of his footage and didn't know what to dump. A chase scene is exciting. A five minute chase scene, where no one is running through glass or doing parkour or shooting bullets or doing something more than just running is boring. And (spoiler) I don't buy the killer being Bulcsu's "split personality." He has no signs of derangement and the film doesn't give us any other clues that it may be him. The killer is a cheap plot device to load interest into the front end and provide a "symbol" for the protagonist at the end.
There are three very good ideas for a film in this movie, but the filmmakers never wrangle them in and take control of a steady direction. This could be a film about a subway pusher. A film about a guy overcoming failure to win a quirky girl (seen that one a million times). A film about working in a hostile and unrewarding environment. There's a way to incorporate all of these themes into one film, but Kontroll never seems to find out how to do that.