Monthly Archives: March, 2014

Live Tweet Review: Raiders of the Lost Ark

raiders poster

You guys are all apparently fans of Indiana Jones. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) was one of the three 1001 films that you chose for me to live tweet and until recently the franchise was equal leading the poll for what franchise to review next. Here is my tweet review, hope you enjoy. Aiming to get around to tweeting the other two that you voted for ASAP.

Like what you read? Then please like Beermovie.net on facebook here and follow me on twitter @beer_movie.

Freddy’s Dead

Elm 6 poster

Given this is the sixth film in the series, my highly scientific ‘odd numbered films of the series are awesome’ Elm Street theory suggests that Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991) should be rubbish. And it is.

The first signs were actually pretty good in this. The obligatory quote about sleep (Nietzsche this time) was followed by the Freddy Krueger quote “welcome to prime time bitch” which I thought was a cool little self-referential touch. Then it gets even more intriguing with science fiction elements being incorporated into the narrative. We are told the film is set “10 years from now”, all the kids of a town have been murdered and a mass psychosis has gripped the adult population. This start really grabbed me for the first five or so minutes. Then the film just stumbles into utter blandness. There is a highly comedic (I’m talking Wizard of Oz parody) Freddy with no menace at all, a total tossing away of the sci-fi coolness, woeful acting, I think they started screwing with the mythology again but I was too disinterested to really care and a total lack of realism that just makes the entire film feel off somehow.

Elm 6 nintendoSo about half an hour in, the above is what I was feeling. This was on track to be the worst of the series and just another woeful even numbered entry. Then something strange happened. Namely, the first ‘kill’ in the film is probably the best that the series has had. The first kid to go down is Carlos and he meets his end amongst a barrage of originality that had been nowhere to be seen up until this point. The sequence utilises sound in a creative way that you really need to check out, rocks some truly uncomfortable gore, weaves in the serious (mummy issues) and the comedic (Freddy toys with his victim which makes him even more menacing) without missing a beat and finishes with a ‘pin dropping’, head exploding moment that I wanted to stand up and applaud. Where had that been? This is soon followed up by another really original kill. The ambitious video game/trippin’ balls sequence is perhaps not quite as sublime as the one it follows, but it is still a refreshing jolt and also further teases out the parent issues that are an overarching theme of the film. Bringing this return to form to its high point is a great twist that I definitely did not see coming as director/writer Rachel Talalay totally flips where the film is going on you. I don’t really recall any major twists in the earlier films. But this one is fantastic and sets the film up for a really intriguing closing act.

Carlos meeting his fate

Carlos meeting his fate

Whilst the themes of the film are still relatively well delivered through the closing section, overall after so much great work, the last 20 minutes returns to dire standards.  The narrative just sort of degenerates again, and wastes the momentum that the big twist had set up on some unnecessary exposition. Effects wise this closing section, especially the (theatrically) 3D stuff at the end is terrible. I’m not sure if it was terrible back then, but on my pretty sharp 2D blu-ray release, it jars. Definitely some of that is down to the fact that the sequence was clearly designed to be seen in 3D. But it also just looks really cheap, not to mention they have to somehow get a character to wear 3D shades in the plot which is an abysmal moment. But there are better moments for the effects work throughout the film. Through the dire early section, the creative use of the effects is one of the few joys. As always with this series it is the practical effects that are far more authentic and effective that the computer generated ones.

You know it is really quite hard to accurately sum up feelings toward a film that is two thirds rubbish and one third fantastic. Even though my overall rating is relatively low, I still have to recommend giving this one a watch if you are a fan of the series and have not seen it. Amongst the rubbish are some of the series’ most inspired moments.

Verdict: Schooner of Carlton Draught

Next week I will be reviewing the final ‘canon’ film in the series. Hey if anyone out there wants to review the shitty A Nightmare on Elm Street remake, then fire an email to drinkingbeerwatchingmovie@gmail.com.

Check out the rest of my Elm Street reviews here (decided to do up a little table ranking their awesomeness):

1. A Nightmare on Elm Street
2. A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors 
3. A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child
4. Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare
5. A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge
6. Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master

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Trailer for your Weekend: Harmontown

Now here's some poster originality

Now here’s some poster originality

It’s a long weekend in these parts, so I am a little behind. Here is this week’s trailer though. Dan Harmon is a pretty controversial figure. Most would agree that he is somewhat of a genius. At its best, Community is about as inspired as TV comedy gets. But Harmon has also had his share of personal demons and explosive professional relationships. Harmontown is a doco that will take a look at the man’s issues. It looks like an intriguing project, especially for fans of Harmon like myself. My only concern is that it does seem to be a  project managed by Harmon and his crew. So let’s hope that the portrait is pretty warts and all. I really like what the trailer is laying down though, from the interesting talking heads right at the start on. What do you guys think, both of Harmon’s work and this film?

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Poll: Which franchise should I review next?

AVP poster

Hey guys. Hope you are all well. Life keeps getting in the road of me watching and reviewing the next A Nightmare on Elm Street film. But I am getting there, and have been really enjoying reviewing a franchise on a weekly basis.

As such I thought I would chuck a poll up and have you dudes decide which franchise to review next. Initially I thought I would just put a few choices up. But as I got going, I realised there are just so many awesome franchises out there that I would be happy to review. So you are spoilt for choice.

Here’s the deal, you can choose up to three of the below, to hopefully enhance your chances of seeing something you are keen to be reviewed. Whatever wins, I will start reviewing weekly once I am done with the Elm Street films. There is a slight caveat in that if I am not able to easily source the franchise that wins, I will move down the list. But I reckon I should be able to pick up everything here.

Sound off in the comments about what you chose and why. Also express your displeasure if I left something off here that you love. I will probably run a similar poll every time I need a new franchise to review so always good to have more suggestions.

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Computer Chess

Chess poster

Computer Chess (2013) is one of the more hyped indie films of past year or so. As such, I was pretty keen to take a look-see when it began a limited season at Arc Cinema here in Canberra last week.

The title is not some obscure reference that you have to tease out of the film’s content. Awesomely, It really is all about computer chess, taking place at a tournament where boffins do battle to see who’s computer chess program reigns supreme. Production values, sets, costumes and even more creative, underseen elements such as the 4:3 aspect ratio and the fuzzy low res feel of the shooting are paramount in creating a totally immersive period piece. As far as I recall, the year is not specified, but dialogue in the film reveals that it is set in either the late 70s or early 80s. I mentioned the word immersive and it is really accurate actually. I don’t think I have been caught up as much in the ‘period’ of a film as this one for quite some time and director Andrew Bujalski has done a really great job of achieving that. The narrative, like quite a few indie films of recent years, starts off relatively straightforward before becoming almost unhinged as things become totally off-kilter and something goes horribly awry in the world (or at least the prism through which we are viewing the world). The film uses mainly non-professional actors who were proficient in the technical babble that drives the story along. Use of non-professionals often really bothers me, but not here. Here it works really well and adds a realism to the film that would not have been there I suspect had standard actors been used. Something else that works brilliantly is the fact the film incorporates the line “the sweet spot is three scotches” which is essentially my motto in life.

chess girl

So after all of that, especially the scotch line, it pains me to report that I really was not that fond of Computer Chess. I really like avant-garde, experimental type storytelling. But I always find it a bit hit and miss what will work for you and what will frustrate. Unfortunately this is an example that just really frustrated me. I was really into it when it was playing it a little more straightforward. I thought it might be building to a thriller with a dark ending or even a totally warped take on the underdog sports film. Unfortunately my personal reaction was that it just sort of petered out into oblique nothingness. This was quite possibly amplified because of how enthralled I was by the opening 30 odd minutes. I was so engaged by a film whose composite elements felt like they should be totally boring in isolation. That early period flew by, but the rest really dragged on. Usually films that whirl into arthouse absurdism really do it for me, but I was enjoying what came before the whirl so much that it was a big let-down when that happened. Even very strange, idiosyncratic filmmaking still works best when following a core narrative, which is where this falls down.

I loved the arch-style, but that may bother some. Many will love the randomness that the plot descends into, but that is what bothered me. Definitely more interesting than a vast majority of films out there. Unfortunately just not a real winner for me.

Verdict: Schooner of Carlton Draught

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All the things I tweeted about the Oscars whilst claiming to not be tweeting about the Oscars when I was meant to be working

I hate the Oscars. I know some people love them and that’s totally cool. But I got on my high horse and said I wouldn’t be tweeting about them except for two thoughts… and then proceeded to retweet about them endlessly. Here are the results. Given my stance, it is mainly just people bagging on the whole thing. So perhaps a different Oscar’s review post than the norm. At one point I was not going to post this due to the massive two hour gap in my tweeting (the day job got disgracefully busy at one point). But then Dave Zirin posted a tweet that made me laugh for about a minute straight, embarrassing myself in the office (it is fourth from the bottom if you want to skip to it). So I wanted to get that tweet out there.

Your weekly Elm Street review is on its way. Just been a touch busy so it will be a day or two late. Hope you enjoy these tweets to tide you over.

Like what you read? Then please like Beermovie.net on facebook here and follow me on twitter @beer_movie (and of course you probably should follow all the people above as well)

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit character posters

jack ryan poster

This may seem like a bit of a strange post. Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014) has already been and most likely gone (depending on where you are) from cinemas. But I stumbled across these randomly the other day and thought I would share them for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I was a big fan of the film. I thought it was a really fun and well made old fashioned spy film. Secondly, I like the use of text on the posters. It looks a little different for starters. And the also function almost like a teaser trailer for the film. Giving hints to the differing aspects of each of the four characters.

What do you guys think of these, especially in relation to the film if you have seen it? Apologies for the tiny posters all. WordPress did not want to play nice and it was getting late on a work night. Except for Chris Pine, WordPress wanted you to know he is the star.

First up is Kevin Costner. Great to see him working a fair bit at the moment.

jack ryan costner
Next is Keira Knightley who plays Jack’s wife, a character perhaps not quite as intriguing as the words “accomplice, asset, weapon” suggest.

jack ryan kneithly

Kenneth Branagh awesomely plays the bad guy. A Russian of course. Love the inclusion of the word “capitalist” here.

jack ryan branagh
Lastly is Chris Pine, a man who offends some with his lack of charisma. I don’t mind him and thought he was decent enough in this.

jack ryan pine

Just a reminder, it may be a quiet couple of weeks on the site. I have a fair few day job (lame) and sporting commitments coming up. I have also had the first episode of the Beer Movie Podcast recorded for weeks and still not gotten around to editing it, so need to get on that.

Like what you read? Then please like Beermovie.net on facebook here and follow me on twitter @beer_movie.

 

Trailer for your Weekend: Godzilla

godzilla march poster

I rarely feature multiple trailers for the same film in this segment. Actually I think that Godzilla (2014) is a first there. I liked the teaser, which I looked at here, but I utterly love this full length effort.

For starters it is just so badass. We get to see a bunch of action, Cranston, Kick Ass and FREAKIN GODZILLA. But I also think this is one of the better examples of how to really do a great trailer of recent times. There are not spoilers for the entire narrative as is so common. But at the same time, the trailer manages to hit the viewer with some wonderful little plot points, such as the bit about the Pacific nuclear tests. Bring on this film basically. With the director and this trailer, I could not be more excited for it. You guys psyched too?

Also, anyone else notice that the sound effect at the start of this is exactly the same as the ones that were in the Pacific Rim (2013) trailers? I got two words for you: crossover film. That would be mind numbingly sweet.

Just a reminder, it may be a quiet couple of weeks on the site. I have a fair few day job (lame) and sporting commitments coming up. I have also had the first episode of the Beer Movie Podcast recorded for weeks and still not gotten around to editing it, so need to get on that.

Like what you read? Then please like Beermovie.net on facebook here and follow me on twitter @beer_movie.