A Place For Film Lovers

Friday, August 26, 2016

Shorts! Four Films That Show Us That There Are Better Films Out There




Freaks of Nature (2015)
 
I was excited for this film. Everyone who saw seemed to like it and the reviews were good, but I have to say that it didn’t live up to the hype. That is not to say the film is bad. It isn’t. I think that the trailers for the film did not represent it correctly.

The film is about humans, vampires, and zombies living together until aliens show up and throw everything into upheaval. Everyone is blaming everyone else for everything. Vampires are blaming humans for lacing their blood with garlic, etc. The aliens put a real clog in the machinery of this town.

The problems with the film are the aliens and the story line that the filmmakers decided to follow. 
They had plenty of material with the town itself and its inhabitants, why go with something that should be in a sequel, not the original. The entire time I was wondering if I had missed something, only to realize that there is no more than what we get. I liked the stuff with the town and wanted to know more, but we are left with a really dumb plot involving aliens and rib meat.

The make-up effects are really good here, but the film has a tv feel to it. The entire film felt like a SyFy Original or something that AMC would greenlight. I never really felt like I was watching a film that was supposed to play in theaters. That could be down to how the film was made or the look that the filmmakers wanted for the film. Maybe they saw this film as a gateway to a series of sorts. If that were the case then I could see why the filmmakers went with this story, but as it stand now the film is almost recommendable, but not quite. I would say it is worth a rental.

Jungle Book, The (2016)

Disney is going to remake every one of their animated films at some point and this remake of The Jungle Book leaves a lot to be desired.  We get a sense early on in the film that the filmmakers are really proud of the work that they did on the film. The look to the film is impressive, but it is also drab and depressing. Almost everything we see in the film is CGI and most of it reeks of it. This means that the young actor who portrays Mowgli has nothing to interact with, making his performance very wooden and unimpressive.

The voice actors don’t get off easy either. While Bill Murray and Idris Elba do fine work in their roles, Ben Kingsley and Scarlet Johansson do not. Kingsley voices Bagheera like he is about to take a nap. Kingsley is a great actor, but here he comes off as a man who could care less. Johansson also gives a lazy performance. She does have a great voice that has been used better in other films (Her comes to mind), but here she seems to be reading the lines without a care for how they are used. Not once did I believe that she was putting Mowgli under any type of spell, maybe putting people to sleep, but no spell.

I wanted to like The Jungle Book. The film has a director, Jon Favreau, who has proven himself a good director multiple times and the cast is great, but the film is a slow, paint by numbers exercise in how to spend $175 million on an animated film that has a live action element. The film looks like of a film like Mary Poppins; a little bit live action and a ton of CGI. This film is depressing and slow and not worth watching. This is the second Disney film that I have seen that everyone but me went crazy over.  Kids will like this film, but what do kids anyway?

Shrek Forever After (2010)

What has happened to the Shrek franchise? The first two Shrek movies were great entertainment. Shrek the Third was not as good as the first two, but it had it's charms. You could tell that the filmmakers were running out of ideas with Shrek the Third. Now, we know for a fact that the filmmakers have no fresh ideas with this movie.

This time Shrek finds himself bored with his family life. He wants to go back to being a regular ogre. He runs into Rumpelstiltskin, who makes him an offer he can't refuse. Shrek can be a regular ogre for one day in exchange for a day from his life. Shrek sees this as a fair deal and signs the contract.

Of course, Rumpelstiltskin has devious plans in store for Shrek. Shrek finds out that the day that was taken from him was the day he was born, thus making him non-existent. Shrek must make friends with all the people from his normal life in order to return there.

My main complaint with the movie, other than it being incredibly unfunny, is that every movie revolves around Shrek's hatred of his life. I understand the movies are called Shrek, but every movie has him complaining about how his life is and then, by the end, realizing that his life is good. Could the filmmakers come up with with something different? It seems they can not.

The filmmakers have finally ran this series into the ground with Shrek Forever After. The story is 
terrible, the jokes painfully unfunny, and the whole sense of fun has been sucked away. What we are left with is a movie that is on life support. It is time someone pulled the plug and put everyone out of their misery.

Experiment, The (2010)

The Experiment is a remake of a German movie that I have no plan on seeing. Not that I don't like German cinema. It's just that I have no faith in this material. If the original is anything like this movie then I have to ask what people saw in it.

This version stars Adrian Brody and Forrest Whitaker as two strangers who are among a bigger group of strangers who decide to answer an ad they saw in the newspaper. The ad is for an experiment that offers the people who participate two weeks of work for $1000 a day. I would have answered this ad too.

The subjects are broken up into two groups, the guards and the prisoners. I forgot to mention that this experiment has something to do with the prison system, but what exactly the experiment is about is anybody's guess.

That's really the problem that I had with the movie. We have no idea why this experiment is going on. There is some stuff at the end of the movie that is supposed to tell us what the experiment was all about, but it really doesn't. We the viewer are left to decide why this was done. What kind of crap is that? We just watched all this shit for nothing?

This movie should have been a scathing statement about how we treat others when given power that we don't normally have, but we already know what would happen. We have seen a lot of documentaries about the human condition so this movie seems pointless.

There is no reason to see this movie. There is very little entertainment value here and we have seen better performances out of these actors in other movies. I hated this movie with every fiber of my being and feel that I wasted precious time watching this movie. Do yourself a favor and pass this one. You will thank me later.
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