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The Mist (2007)
Dark and Riveting Suspense Thriller with a Brutally Bleak Ending
'The Mist' (2007) was directed by Frank Darabont and is based off a short story of the same name by Stephen King which can be found in the collection 'Skeleton Crew'.
It's about a bunch of people who get trapped in a supermarket by a mist containing deadly creatures that rips anyone who goes outside to shreds. It's also about how the people in the supermarket are affected by this. Different people respond in different ways. People are distressed and becoming frequently more irrational as the film progresses. There's the main character, David Drayton, who's the calm and rational person who's trying to do the right thing. There's also a crazy religious woman reminiscent of the mother in 'Carrie'. She riles things up by trying to convince everyone that this is an act of a vengeful God. She becomes crazier as the movie progresses.
The monsters look obviously computer generated, therefor not as convincing as I would've liked, however, they would've looked amazing if they'd looked realistic. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes. There's even a scene which plays on our common phobia of creepy-crawlies.
'The Mist' is a tense and riveting suspense thriller with vivid characters and despite an impending sense of dread manages to be scattered with funny moments throughout.
The biggest punch of all is in the ending, which is one of the most brutally bleak endings I've seen, partly because it's so unexpected and comes as a visceral shock to the viewer. If they had all been killed by the mist, it would've seemed almost happy in comparison. Though the ending made a huge impression on me, it left me with a bad taste and is not an ending one wishes to linger in the imagination.
The soundtrack is great, adding to the film where needs be. At the end, it uses a song called 'The Host of Seraphim' by 'Dead Can Dance', which makes its tragic ending all the more haunting.
Bold, Ambitious and Controversial. The Requiem for a Dream of Blockbusters
After the commercial and critical successes of 'Black Swan' and 'The Wrestler', Darren Aronofsky has gone for something more ambitious. Darren Aronofsky has managed to make a film on an epic scope whilst also remaining true to himself. It's both epic and fantastical whilst also being intense and emotional, intimate and thought-provoking.
This film is receiving a lot of harsh criticism, mainly from religious fundamentalists which I feel is unfair. Noah isn't originally a bible story anyway. The bible was just one of the several sources this film was inspired by. I was watching this film with a friend, and we both loved it. I predict the rating will go up and this film will become a cult classic once the initial shock dies down. For any atheists thinking of missing this film, I suggest you see it. The film hardly bares any resemblance to the bible.
If people have certain expectations about a movie, then they want it to fit into those expectations. The thing that's alienating about 'Noah' is that it tries to be everything, an action, adventure, epic, disaster, war, thriller, horror, romance, drama and fantasy.
There are a lot of ideas thrown into this film, some of which work better than others, but it held my attention from beginning till end. Even its flaws are interesting.
Some of the CGI looks a bit comical and unconvincing such as the rock creatures and the snake. There's a silly scene where Noah's grandfather is on the ground searching for grapes right in the middle of a massive flood and battle. It's arguably forced towards the end.
Before they build the ark, not a lot happens. It's basically just setting the scene and the characters. There are flashbacks and visions of people drowning in the flood which are horrifying and convincing.
There's an amazing dream sequence where the forest is on fire, and some other visually amazing scenes throughout the film which I won't spoil for you.
After they build the ark, the villain, Tubal Caine plans to invade the ark with an army. First he gives a monologue, followed by an epic battle and flood sequence which is really tense and exciting. There's a huge army trying to invade the ark as the flood is happening and Noah with the help of the rock creatures tries to fend them off. As the flood waters are rising, water shoots up from the ground and destroys the land. There's a terrifying image of people clinging onto rocks for their lives as the waters are rising.
You'd think the flood would be the climax of the movie, but it's when it really gets going. Once they get on the ark, Noah tells his children a story involving a stunning animated sequence of the creation of the universe and the evolution of man.
From here on, the film becomes really dark and intense, almost like a horror. I won't tell you what happens, but I was on the edge of my seat. With a thunderous score and an unsettling performance by Russell Crowe, it has the intensity of 'Black Swan' and 'Requiem for a Dream' mixed with the raw emotion of 'The Wrestler' and 'The Fountain'.
The score's fantastic, at times tense and exciting, and at times emotional or inspirational.
Darren Aronofsky has created a bold, controversial and ambitious film that pushes the formula for a big studio blockbuster and left me with loads to think about once it was over. You could say this is the 'Requiem for a Dream' of blockbusters.
Action/adventure popcorn movie for the masses
Peter Jacksons 'The Hobbit' trilogy is really way behind 'The Lord of the Rings' trilogy in terms of quality. Firstly its being stretched out as long as 'The Lord of the Rings' trilogy, which is way too long for such a short book. It misses important points in the book and replaces them with over blown, drawn out action sequences. Way too much use of CGI. The sets look really fake and plastic, like a theme park. The soundtrack is uninspired as well.
Ideally 'The Hobbit' would've been made as one film before the 'Lord of the Rings' trilogy as a prelude to 'The Lord of the Rings' trilogy.
Overall, this film really lacks the magic, adventure, epicness and emotional depth of 'The Lord of the Rings' trilogy and I feel that Peter Jacksons uninspired and just in it for the money.
Fight Club (1999)
If you judge this by its title and think it's just about fighting then you're wrong, this is so much more. It's a complex and intelligent psychological thriller with a brilliant twist and a great soundtrack. It just keeps getting better and better as the film moves on. This is easily one of the best films, if not the best film I've ever seen in my life. I'm sure enough people have gone into the plot so I won't need to do that, but it's definitely an exciting and thrilling experience as well as making a big impact and goes beyond where most films go. it was on my mind all day the day after I watched it. Whatever you do, watch this film.