Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
Stake Land (2010)
A zombie film you've seen before - countless times
If I wanted, I could detail the entire plot without the need to do a spoiler alert. It's completely predictable and there's nothing to spoil.
First off, I say "zombie film" because they aren't vampires, they're zombies. Only rather than stabbing them through the head, you have to get them through the heart. That's the only difference. Otherwise they do not act in any way different to a regular zombie or anything like a vampire. Just cashing in on Twilight...
You've seen this film before. That is if you've seen a film in which a famous but mysterious stranger (in this case simply called "Mister") is accompanied by his young companion as he rids the world of evil while being completely bad ass and speaking in a low gravely voice and not bothering to ask women their names when he sleeps with them. This ultra cool, ultra hard character happens to be played by the screen writer. Wonder how he got that role... Or if you've seen a zombie film with a heavily pregnant woman or an African American ex soldier. Or a nun getting raped. Yeah, what an inventive way to show that those men are REALLY evil. Not like it's been shown before in Eastwood's Two Mules for Sister Sara (1970) or Kietel's Bad Lieutenant (1992). Oh, and a group of Christian nutters are thrown in as well for good measure. The clichés keeping rolling on.
The narration by Connor Paulo gets very tiring as well as it's excessive and is used as a substitute for decent directing or storytelling. The most basic rule of script writing is to say as little as possible and use the imagery to show the story.
Some people have criticised this film for "taking itself too seriously". Although I can see this, nun raping as prime example, that is by no means its most serious flaw. The Road, I am Legend and Let The Right One In have done very good takes on the zombie apocalypse/vampire genre in a serious light without drawing similar accusations. The only difference with this one is it doesn't do it well and overplays certain aspects.
All in all, avoid.
Snow White and the Huntsman (2012)
Pretty to look at but no real substance. Kind of like Snow White
A feature film by an advert director. It shows. There are a lot of nice shots, great imagery and brilliant CGI but it all feels thrown together without any real uniform idea. Think Lord of the Rings merged with, well, Snow White (1937). It feels very much like they were just ticking the boxes: a beautiful princes for the girls? Check. A rugged warrior for the boys? Check. Loads and loads of fight scenes for no apparent reason (don't get me started on the troll), again for boys? Check. Some fairies for the girls? Check. They couldn't decide which target audience to go for and so just went for both and failed miserably.
And then we come to the acting. Charlize Theron's evil Queen Revanna just throws a tantrum every now and then. She shouts a lot but you never really feel she's actually angry.
Her brother is pretty mush the same just a little creepier.
Kristin Stewart just does classic Kristin Stewart and drifts through the film without any real character except being slightly upset about what's going on.
Chris Hemsworth's Huntsman is probably the best of a bad lot but even his accent changes from Yorkshire to Scottish to American in a single sentence sometimes.
I blame the director for this as the cast is full of good actors but Sanders seems content at letting them give simple performances.
The writing is the worst. It's corny and makes no real sense. How it took so long to find that nail I will never know. How a man can be in love with a memory of an eight year old girl is just creepy and don't get me started on the troll. There are also some brilliantly awful lines (e.g. Huntsman: "You're trouble you are"). The only character development is done with the Huntsman but it's done so rapidly and swings between such extremes it borderlines on ridiculous.
Essentially, is enjoyable for the ride but ultimately forgettable as it has no substance.