Film Review : The Third Man (1949)

IMDB Score – 8.4
RT Score – 100%

Academy Award WINNER for Best Cinematography
Academy Award Nominee for Best Director (Carol Reed)
Academy Award Nominee for Best Editing

IMDB TOP 250 – #76

Ahhh, Noir. It’s a genre I haven’t quite tackled as much as I would like too but this is certainly a great example of how good a Noir film can be. The film revolves around Holly Martins, a mystery novelist who travels to Vienna to see his friend Harry Lime. Upon arrival he finds out Lime was killed in an accident but the evidence doesn’t sit well with Martins. The film progresses as Martins tries to find out what really happened.

I’m going to get my only gripe with the film out of the way now. The music. The film had this weird carnival music in the background of a film that was actually very dark in subject matter. It wasn’t enough to take me out of the movie but it just didn’t fit with me. The mystery of what happened to Harry Lime is a good one. The viewer generally doesn’t know why the pieces don’t fit and in my case, was very interested in seeing Martins piece them together. Orson Wells, who plays Harry, dominates the entire film even though he is barely in it. It’s an iconic role for somebody with such little screen time. Reminded me a little of Anthony Hopkins in Silence of the Lambs. The whole movie revolves around a character who is barely present. The visuals in The Third Man were also very nice and got really stunning as the film progressed. Overall it was a fantastic Noir film that will probably catapult me into the genre a bit more.


Film Review : Prince Avalanche (2013)

IMDB Score – 6.5
RT Score – 84%

I’m calling it right now. Paul Rudd is going to break through with an amazing acting performance in the next year or two because he was pretty fantastic in this. David Gordon Green directs this after having two monumental bombs in The Sitter and Your Highness. I haven’t seen his previous films but I enjoyed Pineapple Express enough to give this a watch and was pleasantly surprised. The film revolves around Rudd and Emile Hersch as two road workers painting lines and pasting reflectors on a stretch on roads leading in and out of the Texas wilderness. The film doesn’t really give us more than that story wise but the magic is in the visuals, music, and conversations that the two of them have. Both give very low key but enigmatic performances. Rudd plays a loner out to make money for his family at home. I understand that sentence didn’t make sense but that’s his character. Hersch plays the brother of Rudd’s girlfriend and is basically an idiot with a heart. The two play off each other very well and both deserve credit for their performances.

The film is a bit of a mystery though. It’s very odd in the way the two of them interact with the only other characters in the movie. Green usues some interesting techniques to film some of the conversations and you never really know if the two are meeting some off people during their job or if they’ve gone crazy from isolation and inhaling fumes. Green directs with a great sense of nature and incorporates a GREAT score by Explosions in the Sky. Overall the film worked for me and is a great subtle film to enjoy and kind of lose yourself in the wilderness with two very good actors.


Film Review : Europa Report (2013)

IMDB Score – 6.5
RT Score – 77%

I love sci-fi films. Hell, I’ll watch pretty much anything set in space which explains the awful decision to watch Apollo 18 a couple days ago. I don’t know what it is but I’m just fascinated by anything being set in space. I love the loneliness the characters have to deal with and if they are’t dealing with that then they’re most likely dealing with f’in aliens. This film is subtle. It’s technically a found footage film but instead of the camera being held by an idiot ala Randy Marsh the footage was literally found by the private company who paid for this space mission to Europa, one of Jupiter’s moons. The crew is made up of a bunch of science folks and engineers played greatly by some great actors that I haven’t seen in a movie in a while including Shartlo Copley (District 9), Michael Nyqvist (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), Anamaria Marinca (4 months, 3 weeks, 2 days), and Christian Camargo (Dexter’s brother).

I found the film to be a highly suspenseful and creative piece of sci-fi. NASA actually worked with the filmmakers to make sure that the look and language of the film matched the real thing. What that gives the viewer is a very realistic look at what a voyage like this would be like. Some of the film looked like you would be watching it on CNN and that gave a very real feeling when shit started to hit the fan. I’ll be the first to admit that the story was full of plenty of holes but the end result was still a very harrowing film that kept you on the edge of your seat for most of the time. The acting was great and the ending hit home without coming off too cheesy. You really can’t ask for more in a low budget sci-fi film about space exploration. Fans of Moon and Sunshine will love this film.


Film Review : The ABCs of Death (2012)

Netflix Watch Instant
IMDB Score – 4.8
RT Score – 38%

You know, I’m really starting to wonder why I put myself through this. Why do I watch these shlocky horror films that I know I’m going to hate? I think it may be a morbid curiosity to find that one modern horror film that falls past all teh rest and becomes good. Maybe it’s my ignored but deeply fond love of bad movies. Whatever it is, it still leads me to watch crap. And this is crap. The film has a good idea in which 26 “directors” have a letter of the alphabet and are given complete artistic reign over what they do with it. The results are abysmal. They range from the absolutely bonkers to the very horribly produced, to the not scary or funny at all, to the not so bad. The not so bad happens to be about three shorts. I’ll let you know which ones they are now…

D is for Dogfight
T is for Toilet
X is for XXL

That’s all. D os for Dogfight was actually pretty damn impressive and worth a search on youtube or a fast forward through through the film. The rest of the film just flat out sucks. If you’re going to watch it at least get really drunk with your friends that way you’ll have a fun time laughing.


Film Review : Before Sunrise (1995)

IMDB Score – 8.0
RT Score – 100%


I’ve always been a fan of Richard Linklater. With this series I’m finally going to get to completing viewing his entire filmography besides a select few but these films being the most needed of a watch. I think I put them off for so long because for the longest time I avoided anything romance related like the plague. This is what it’s like being an immature man whose only idea of cinema is plot twists and explosions. Over the last year or two I’ve been catching up with some of the more “essential” romance viewings and have started to learn that I have missed out on some great films over the years. This movie for example caught me off guard as I ended up loving the film. It tells the story of Jesse, an American on board a train travelling through Europe who has a chance meeting with Celine, a french girl travelling home. The two spark up a conversation and that’s pretty much what happens for the rest of the film, conversation. The two, who obviously share a special connection, talk about past love, philosophical ideals, and the people who pass them on their adventure. Honestly that write up dolls up this movie too much. It’s the simplicity that really impresses me with this and I’m sure will impress me with its sequels Before Sunset and Before Midnight, the latter of which was just released this year. It’s certainly a film for everybody but you have to be ready to just sit back and listen as there really isn’t much to watch other than their movement from bench to bus to bar. The relationship that is created though from this one night is pretty special to watch though.