Sunday, October 31, 2010

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Movie Review of Deadline

Yours Truly has just returned from a Steampunk Halloween party in Old Town Sacramento and has just washed the ghoul face right off of his own face. Wait a minute, I already have a ghoul's face. Well, no, not quite; more of a freek's face. I didn't misspell "freek". "Freek" is what I call a geek and freak in one; and so People like me can have the best of both worlds (as well as many others too)! Well if you really want to freak out this Halloween, then read on to the following movie review!

There’s been many horror films about houses haunted by the ghosts of murder victims that lead the living to their murderer, but Deadline has a little bit of a different take on this subgenre.

In director Sean McConville’s movie, the murderer is revealed slowly but surely through video tapes that a screenwriter (Brittany Murphy) finds stashed away in the attic of an old Victorian house that she is staying in. This is done with some help of the murder victim’s ghost (Thora Birch, Ghost World, no genre relation), of course. As Alice, the screenwriter, discovers the murder victim’s, Lucy’s, past that consists of a failing marriage to an abusive husband (Marc Blucas), the two women are presented as doubles to each other. Therefore we see that Alice’s past failed marriage is very similar to that of Lucy’s, Alice also having had an abusive husband. The use of the doubles characters helps develop the character of Alice giving her sympathy for Lucy and motivating her to discoverer her murderer.

The suspense is done very well making the viewers not want to leave their seats until the end. The setting of the house is made really good and fitting for a modern gothic horror film with its dark, labyrinth-like layout, which much like in the late Stanley Kubrick’s Shining, the camera moves us through. The transition between scenes of Lucy’s past and the present scenes of Alice’s life is very smooth and quick nearly tricking the audience into thinking the two women are one person. The plot unfolds at a pace that holds the audience’s suspense. The acting is overall good too, especially that of Thora Birch who can play the part of a ghost really well in this, uh, kind of real ghost world. The graphic violence is kept to a bare minimum and for good reason since the movie emphasizes story and character over visual action. Yet the special effects are produced very good for this kind of film.

I strongly suggest this film, especially if you’re a fan of gothic horror and paranormal fiction. This is a movie that you will not find any critical appraising blurbs for on its DVD’s box and so is far too underrated in my opinion. This is one that is good to watch for Halloween as well as anytime of the year!

Monday, October 18, 2010

My Art Work

Here's some Hallowday artwork of mine, as well as one year round one (the Jolly Roger Flag in Space!). I'll try to post some more soon.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Movie Review: "District 9"

I watched director Neill Blomkamp’s District 9 on DVD last month and was not disappointed. It was very upsetting in many parts, yet because of that these parts contributed to the movie’s realistic view of social injustice. The characterization was well rounded and supported by good acting. The plot held up and moved along well. The movie was filmed in a style similar to that of Cloverfield—news footage realism. The difference between these two films is that while Cloverfield is in the style of a homemade movie, District 9 is in the style of a professional news report/documentary. It’s a style comparable to that of Orson Well’s radio production of War of the Worlds which was done so realistically the masses tuning into it late thought it real live news coverage.

The movie begins with interviews that ask both experts and common people their opinions about an alien race referred to by the derogatory name, “Pawns”. Nearly all the opinions are bad, many of them racially stereotyping. A government agent, Wikus Van De Merwe (Sharlto Copley), of an alien regulation bureaucracy known as MNU, is attempting to relocate the aliens who have been refined to a ghetto. In doing so, he is infected by a biochemical engineered by the extra terrestrials and, because his own government turns against him, he takes refuge among them.

While there are some similar plot elements to those of Avatar, especially the themes of social justice, the film’s plot still has its own uniqueness contributed mostly by the idea of the oppressed race coming to Earth rather than vice versa. Because of these themes, the movie reflects both the issues of apartheid of the producers’ country, South Africa, and immigration issues such as the ones here in the U.S. and the social injustices these issues bring.

The special effects were really good, especially the creature design. The interaction between the human agent and the alien he takes refuge with is worked out really good making the audience care about where the relationship is going. The aliens, having so advanced of technology, using weapons that graphically show a person’s guts exploding sort of gives the movie away as an excuse for a mere gross-out. However, this flaw does not outweigh the many other, better made elements of the film.

The movie ends in such a way where a sequel can easily be produced, since not all of the issues, especially ones on individual character levels, come to an overt conclusion. If a sequel were to be made it would be really interesting to see which direction it takes the storyline in. The sequel can easily be made into one of high quality like the original, but unlike most sequels it probably wouldn’t beat the original as far as the integrity of the movie itself goes. As far as the box office goes? That’s another story. Literally.