Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Silent Hill

"Mother is God in the eyes of a child."

-Silent Hill

In the spirit of Halloween, I've been in the mood lately for scary movies. So, I decided to re-visit one of my favorites based on the video game. (By the way, I'm a big fan of the video game. I've played Silent Hill 2, 3, and 4. Now, I'm currently on this one).

When it comes to horror type movies, I enjoy psychological thriller type films that have more to do with the mind - less blood and gore.

As a fan of the game, I really enjoyed watching this movie. The above quote sums it up quite nicely. It's basically about a mother caring for her child. And, the journey that leads them to the eerie place called Silent Hill.

If you've ever played the game, you'll be able to relate a lot to the film. I really enjoyed watching the different scene changes between daylight and night fall thus turning into what is called "nightmare mode." The whole beauty of the series is the psychological factor and questioning - Is what I'm seeing real? Or, is it all in my head?

I don't want to go into too much detail about the movie as I wouldn't want to spoil it for you. Though, I can say it's one of those movies that just needs to be seen rather than heard.

Honestly, I didn't have really high expectations for the film the first time I saw it. Since I'm a fan of the video game, that was a major part of my decision to go ahead and see it. Now, I'm glad I did.

It's probably one of the few films out there based on a video game that is actually good (in my opinion). I've seen other movies based on video games and I've been mostly disappointed. But, not with this one. It was really an enjoyable film from beginning to end.

It had a good story line and it captured my attention during the entire movie. Plus, the special effects along with the music and sound effects were great. Along with the scene changes, I really enjoyed the whole tone and feel of the movie. I was not disappointed.

As for the ending, it really played true to the eerieness of the film as well as the video game. I don't want to spoil it for you but let's just say it really brought together the real world with the imaginary world. And, this brought about a very spooky feeling.

If you're in the mood for a horror type (psychological thriller type) movie, I definitely recommend this one.

(Note: For another perspective on the movie, check out my tweep's, Action Flick Chick, review).

Happy movie watching!

Video Link

Monday, October 26, 2009

Short Film - Night of the Living Bread

Since we were on the topic of zombies in my last film review, I thought I'd post up this short spoof based on the movie.

(Note: It's more relatable if you've seen the film - it basically goes through a lot of similar scenes).

Check it out!

(p.s. If you have a project(s) you'd like me to check out (i.e. fan trailer, short, spoof, animation, etc), feel free to contact me. I'm always on the lookout for fresh stuff from emerging filmmakers!)

Video Link

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Indie Film Trailer - My Name Is Francesca

I thought I'd post up this film trailer for the short submitted by my tweep, Jeremy Hyler (thank you!). Check it out!

"Francesca (Rebecca Bruder) is a girl with issues. Check the film out! It's currently in festivals."

If you would like to see the short, you can find it here.

(p.s. If you have a project(s) you'd like me to check out (i.e. fan trailer, short, spoof, animation, etc), feel free to contact me. I'm always on the lookout for fresh stuff from emerging filmmakers!)

Video Link

Monday, October 19, 2009


"You can't trust anyone. The first time I let a girl in my life and she tries to eat me."

- Zombieland

Ok, I have to admit - I don't consider myself much of a zombie fan. Though, I will see a zombie flick from time to time when the mood strikes me. With Halloween coming, I thought it would be a perfect time to go out and see this movie.

Since I heard a lot of good reviews about the film, I decided to check it out. I'm definitely glad I did!

The quote above sets the tone for the entire movie - it's a little bit of horror meshed in with comedy. It does have a lot of action and kept my attention. It's very unique in it's own sense. When I see zombie flicks, I automatically think it's only going to be scary. This was not the case with this film.

Watching this movie is like being on a roller coaster ride - it has its ups and downs, its twists and turns. There are a a lot of funny moments mixed in with traditional horror scenes. I especially enjoy the part that involves Bill Murray - I felt very nostalgic seeing him on the screen again. (If you've seen the film, you'll know what I'm talking about).

Apart from the comedy and the horror, it also had a message. It made me think and appreciate the little things in life. It also challenged the audience to think that If you've lost everything and have nothing to lose, what else is there? It definitely conveys a sense of courage to get its message across about standing up to your fears no matter how scary they might be.

Speaking of "fears," let's talk about the zombies themselves. These zombies weren't the stereotypical type, like the ones in this movie. These zombies were not slow at all - they were fast, extremely fast. They could run. And, they had teeth - very sharp ones. Plus, they could really bite!

Coincidentally, I saw Night of The Living Dead (NOTLD) again before seeing this movie. The zombies in NOTLD were not even as fast or as close to the zombies portrayed in this film. Watching NOTLD and not being much of a zombie fan, I thought all zombies were all the same - kind of slow and not as violent. Though, it definitely was not the case in Zombieland.

Overall, I enjoyed the movie. The comedy mixed with zombie horror produced an entertaining kind of movie with a sense of humor and style.

Speaking of style, I really enjoyed the special effects (especially the slow motion) in the beginning of the film and through out. Plus, it made me nostalgic seeing Bill Murray on the screen along with seeing childhood treats such as Twinkies and Sno Balls. (If you've seen the film, you'll know what I'm talking about. Hmmm, maybe another reason to go out and see it!)

If you're in the mood for a horror type film that can make you laugh, I recommend checking this out!

(Note: For other perspectives on the movie, check out the following reviews from my tweeps:

Action Flick Chick - Review Link
Zen B. - Review Link
Karen - Review Link

Happy movie watching!

Video Link

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Short Film - Paranormal Activity Trailer Spoof

Since I reviewed the film in my last post, I thought I'd post up this funny spoof based on the movie.

(Note: If you haven't seen the film yet, there are some scenes they re-enact that are considered funny for those who have already seen it)

(p.s. If you have a project(s) you'd like me to check out (i.e. fan trailer, short, spoof, animation, etc), feel free to contact me. I'm always on the lookout for fresh stuff from emerging filmmakers!)

Check it out!

Video Link

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Paranormal Activity

With Halloween coming up, I decided to get in the "spirit" of things and go see this movie.

I have to admit, when I first saw the trailer I thought this movie would be about aliens - I was wrong. I don't want to spoil it for you, but it's more about the "paranormal" in the realm of films such as this one. Enough said.

This is definitely a documentary style type of film. It reminds me of the style of The Blair Witch Project - same concept and style. Though, just in a different setting. The entire movie takes place in one location - a house. Not a haunted house, but an ordinary house. What attracts the paranormal is not the home itself, but the inhabitants of the home.

If you plan to see this movie, I have to warn you - it's very slow. It's definitely not a big budget type of movie - not much action and no music whatsoever. However, if you enjoyed Blair Witch you might just enjoy this one as well.

The beginning sets the tone for the entire film. To me, it seems more like reality tv - you get to know the main characters and exactly what they are experiencing. Through their experiences, the story unfolds and builds up slowly - this is not an action movie.

Throughout the movie, you are given bits and pieces of the story. I really liked the way sound and lighting were used to set the tone and communicate feelings to the audience. And, little by little the "paranormal" makes an appearance. But, not in the way you expect. I don't want to ruin it for you but let's just say it asks the question "Is my mind playing tricks on me?"

To me, this is a movie you watch with a group of friends. It definitely has it's moments. In the beginning and up to the middle, it really had some comedic moments. I found myself (along with the people in the theater) laughing at some parts and commenting. Some parts in the beginning seemed scary to the main characters but not to the audience - it had more of a comedic effect. Let's just leave it at that.

However, towards the end it does get more serious and more scary. Since I saw this in the theater, I am glad I did. If I had watched this at home, it might have been more scarier for me since the film does take place in a home. (If you've seen the movie, you'll know what I'm talking about).

Was this a scary movie? Yes. Though, it it did not get scary until the end. To be honest, I don't recommend seeing this alone - it's more a movie to see in a group. And, if you get scared easily and it's hard for you to sleep after watching scary movies you might not want to see this at night. Let's just say the scary moments still were in my mind after seeing the film. And, I saw this late at night too!

I'd say this is a movie just in time for Halloween and for those who would like to get into the "spirit" of things. It's definitely low budget and not over the top spectacular. But, it's one of those films that does have an effect.

If you're in the mood for a horror type movie, you might just want to check this out!

(Note: Since the film resembles the documentary style of Blair Witch, the camera shakes a lot throughout the film. Personally, I was able to adjust to it though for some people it does make them dizzy).

Happy movie watching!

Video Link

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Short Film - Lemonheads

Since I've been feeling nostalgic lately for one of my favorite candies as a kid, Lemonheads, (along with my tweep, Kelly, who also likes them too), I thought I'd post up this short film about this classic candy. Check it out!

"A short story/animation of my personal favorite candy, lemonheads. This was a spot done for my Cine for Commercials class".

(p.s. If you have a project(s) you'd like me to check out (i.e. fan trailer, short, spoof, animation, etc), feel free to contact me. I'm always on the lookout for fresh stuff from emerging filmmakers!)

Video Link

Monday, October 5, 2009

Julie and Julia

Ok, I have to admit - I've been wanting to see this movie for awhile. Though, I was advised not to see it by some who told me it's a pretty predictable movie. I mean, I guess it's the story of the girl turned blogger turned writer who eventually got a book deal. So, what else could there be right? Not exactly.

To me, it wasn't about knowing what was going to happen. Yes, I do admit that most of us bloggers have heard the story of Julie Powell. Though, I still wanted to see it. And, I'm glad I did. It was very entertaining from beginning to end.

Basically, the story was about two people - Julie Powell, the government employee turned blogger and eventually writer, and Julia Child, the famous American chef. Now, Julie was very unsatisfied with life and how her career turned out (I'm sure a lot of people can relate) and wanted more in life.

On the side, she knew she liked to write as she had currently been writing a novel on the side. Though, reality hit and she found herself in a government job she didn't like very much and needed a way to cope.

So, she decided she wanted to learn how to cook specifically French cuisine from Julia Child's book, and write about her experience in her blog titled "The Julie/Julia Project." She set a deadline for herself: 365 days, 524 recipes.

Throughout the movie, we learn of Julie's experience cooking and learning the recipes while at the same time attempting to maintain her full time job, keep up with her friends, and sustain her marriage. Though, she found herself always looking forward to the end of the day where she would attempt a new recipe and then write about it in her blog.

Slowly but surely, Julie began to have a following of dedicated readers who read her blog. At first, only a few people including her mother read her blog. One of my favorite parts of the movie was where she received her first comment (something I think every blogger can relate to). The anticipation and energy when beginning a blog and starting to have readership can definitely be a thrill for a lot of bloggers.

With the other story, we follow the life of Julia Child as she begins her quest as an American chef in France. It was very interesting to watch the humble beginnings of this great chef and how she grew professionally. I really enjoyed watching Meryl Streep, she did a fabulous job and gave me a good laugh - great performance!

As the story progresses, we find out more about Julia Child's personal life and the struggles she faced. I guess, at the time there was a lack of information out there about French cuisine written in the English language. Also, the industry was dominated by male chefs so it was interesting to see how she dealt with her male classmates while attending the famous Le Cordon Bleu University.

Both the stories of Julie and Julia were very interesting to watch. So, you might be asking yourself what do these two stories have in common except for the fact that Julie had been learning how to cook recipes from Julia's book?

To me, it's more of a story about having a dream, wanting to do something meaningful in life and sharing it with the world. Anyone who has ever had a dream can definitely relate to this movie. There are a lot of "naysayers" out there who may always say it's better to be practical than to dream and have your head in the clouds. But, this movie really showed that anything can be possible despite what others say. And, I think that's something that is somehow lost along the way as we reach adulthood.

Both Julie and Julia shared their dreams with the world. Julie wrote about her experience cooking in her blog, while Julia wrote a cookbook and had a television show to share her dream of cooking. Both wanted others to share in their dreams and experience what they've experienced. They both truly reached out to the world sharing their dreams with anyone willing to listen.

For all the dreamers out there, I think the message in this film is that it's never too late. Anything is possible. Anything. Yes, there will be obstacles that can get in the way. But, if you keep at it despite the odds you will eventually get there. And, if you need support and help along the way there will always be someone there listening.

If you're in the mood for a "feel good" type movie, I definitely recommend this one!

(Note: For another perspective on the movie, check out my tweep's, Clarabela, review).

(p.s. Many people have asked about the book vs. the movie. I did pick up the book before watching the movie, it did have more swear words in the book. Some people were turned off by the book but enjoyed the movie. I think Amy Adams really made Julie Powell's character more likeable. If you're interested in reading more, here is an interesting article with a discussion (see the comments).

Happy movie watching!

Video Link

Saturday, October 3, 2009

There Will Be Blood (2007)

I first found out about this movie while reading this book.

While reading the synopsis, it really sounded like something I'd be interested in. (I think I've mentioned here before how I enjoy watching movies where I learn about business).

This film happens to take place at the beginning of the century, a time where opportunities were plentiful and some of the wealthiest families today made their millions (who are now worth billions). It truly was an exciting time in American history.

Basically, this movie focuses on oil men and their quest to find oil and strike it rich. (Sounds similar to the gold rush too!) And, this is the time where Standard Oil is the big kahuna when it comes to oil and has already been well established.

Though, there are still some parts of America at the time that have been untapped - mainly in the West. And, this is where the oil men seek opportunities and begin looking for their pot of gold. (aka oil)

It was very interesting to watch this movie and see how the oil business worked back then. Basically, the oil men would find a piece of land they thought had some oil (based on sample testing) and would offer to lease the land from the landowners (usually farmers) for a small fee. In addition, the oil men would offer the landowners a royalty fee (or percentage) of the profits if they found any oil on their land.

Most of these landowners were farmers who lived very simple lives. And, they did not have the equipment or the manpower to drill for oil. The money the oil men would offer them seemed to good too pass up. In reality, the oil men would offer a really small fee compared to the profits they would actually be making off of the oil. The main character, played by Daniel Day-Lewis, said in one scene he was making $5,000 per week as an oil man with his operation. That's a lot of money, even today!

However, drilling for oil is a very dangerous job - many lives were at stake (thus the name of the movie). So, it was the oil men who were taking the risk. The landowners simply allowed them to use their land. So, in a way it was a win/win situation for everyone.

The film did go into the pros and cons of the oil business and in running a business in general. It was very interesting to watch. There were some moments of the film where unexpected things happened - its all a part of the kind of life we choose.

I really enjoyed the movie. Though, I have to warn you - it's not for everyone. It's more of a history piece than anything else. In my opinion, I think you need to be interested in history to enjoy the film. It is quite long (over 2.5 hours), though it takes you through the history and evolution of the time period which I really enjoyed.

If you're in the mood for a history type film and have an interest in business, I recommend checking this one out!

Happy movie watching!

Video Link