Rian Johnson proved with his directorial debut, Brick, that he can take a classical Hollywood era genre and create something, fresh and exciting while still maintaining what makes the genre great. And with The Brothers Bloom he’s done just that to the heist genre. It a summer littered with stale films Johnson has crafted one of the most creative and fun films of the decade. Continue reading The Brothers Bloom (2009)
Director David Slade’s directorial debut was the egregiously overlooked Hard Candy, a film I regret not getting around to revisiting for my Ellen Page marathon. It’s a fantastic film that relies on creating conflict more on the threat of violence than its actual practice. That doesn’t stop the film from being disturbing and brutal, if anything it enhances it. Unfortunately, David Slades next film, 30 Days of Night, demands much less tact and much more blood, creating a picture that fails to effectively use his skills. Continue reading 30 Days of Night (2007)
Sometimes a film has such a deep interest in its world that it suffers from existing in ours. The universe of Underworld is most definitely one of these as the war between Vampires and Lycans (werewolfs) takes place in our world. The fact it’s set in our world only takes away from the feud and heightens the ridiculousness of it all. It seems like a film better suited its own reality, especially since humans barely figure into the film at all. In fact, it probably would have been even better if they had found nonhumans to cast as well. Continue reading Underworld (2003)
Dracula: Pages from a Virgin’s Diary is not only one of the most compelling titles for a vampire film but also a silent, black and white ballet on film. Yes, it’s a strange mix, especially considering this is a fairly recent film. But for the classical vampire lovers such as myself that is part of the appeal. These choices are helpful in differentiating it from the slew of modern vampire flicks by employing the aesthetics of classic vampire flicks.
Night Watch had an interesting style and an excellent second half but really was incoherent as you never got a sense of what was going on. Fortunately, Day Watch avoids the mistakes of its predecessor by actually having a decent setup as well as a coherent plot. Part of this is due to the fact that the film has the second half of Night Watch to build upon. But it also just doesn’t stretch out the first half like the first film did. It simply goes, not bothering to ambiguously fill out all the little bits of the world (which I won’t bother to do either so go read the Night Watch review). Continue reading Day Watch (2007)