TrolleyDaves Film 2009 #2

Discussion in 'General Off-Topic Chat' started by TrolleyDave, Jan 26, 2009.

Jan 26, 2009

TrolleyDaves Film 2009 #2 by TrolleyDave at 6:55 PM (1,034 Views / 0 Likes) 14 replies

  1. TrolleyDave
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    Former Staff TrolleyDave Philosolosophising

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    <img src="http://pix.gbatemp.net/61451/cin.gif" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    Welcome to the latest edition of TrolleyDaves Film 2009! There weren't alot of films released the last week so I've decided to review some old classics. I did want to get a review of The Wrestler done but won't have time for a few days. You should see it if you can though, a great movie with outstanding acting from Mickey Rourke.
    There's also a stellar review from p1ngpong for the Beat Takeshi classic Brother. I aspire to write reviews that well! And my thanks go to p1ngy as well for the great new banner! Want to write a review of your favourite film for the next post? Just drop me a PM.

    <b>Movie News</b>
    <i>Half-Blood Prince Footage!</i>
    Ok so it's partly in Japanese but let's face it, us poor people in the west have had very little shown to us about the new Harry Potter film. Our friends in Japan have been a little more lucky though, so for your entertainment here is some Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince footage, introduced by Daniel Radcliffe himself!

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    <i>Dakota Fanning and Twilight sequel rumours</i>
    Rumour has it that Dakota Fanning will star in the next Twilight film. While this is not exactly true, it is apparently in the works. I wasn't a big fan of the film myself but thought it may interest others.

    <i>Heath Ledger oscar nomination</i>
    While it's not really news, or all that surprising, it's been confirmed that Heath Ledger has been post-humously nominated for an Oscar in the category of Performance by an actor in a supporting role.

    <i>Wolverine has problems</i>
    Well, not Wolverine himself obviously. No, the Wolverine film has hit delays as etensive reshoots have begun. There are several rumours going around as to the cause of the reshoots, the most likely being that they're adding more scenes involving Ryan Reynolds.

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    <b>Reviews</b>
    <b><i>Gangster No 1 (2000)</i></b>
    Director : Paul McGuigan (Smokin' Aces)
    Stars : Paul Bettany (First Knight, Wimbledon), David Thewliss (Naked), Malcolm McDowell (A Clockwork Orange, If...)

    <img src="http://i180.photobucket.com/albums/x9/dro1d_2007/gangster-no-1-poster-1.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    In a small snooker hall in 1968 a gangster named Fat Charlie approaches a young man and tells him to go see Freddie Mays. Freddie Mays, "The Butcher From Bakersfield", offers the young man a full time position on his "staff" and so begins his rise to the top. It's a simple gangsters tale but Gangster No 1 is anything but a simple film.
    The films visual and audio style is both a nod to the British film style of the 60's and 70's but also unique in it's own right. Alot of the camera work is shot in the 60's low/high angle style, giving it an almost sci fi feel, while at the same time using modern techniques for the violence. So the camera meanders from angled, laid back shots to tight, paranoid shots. The film has a very retro feel to it while at the same time never once letting you forget that you're watching a modern film. The use of musical cues is also very similar, with the use of eclectic style jazz and modern horror style fills helping to accent the emotion.

    <img src="http://ia.media-imdb.com/images/M/MV5BMzM2ODEyMzA3Ml5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwNzgwNjY2._V1._SX485_SY320_.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    One of the things I love about this film is that the visual and audio style is just as important a part of the storytelling as the acting and dialogue. While the film probably would have worked if filmed in a completely modern style, filming it like this changes it from being an excellent movie to being a modern masterpiece. I'm not trying to imply that the story or acting is weak though.
    It's far far from it. Even though each of the characters are brutal in their use of violence, the characters have a real depth to them that is unusually high for a gangster flick. The relationship between the main character, played by Paul Bettany in what is undeniably his best performance, and Freddie Mays, played by David Thewliss, is complex.
    Paul Bettanys character, the gangster equivalent of The Man With No Name, has a strange attraction to Freddie Mays. At first he's attracted to the ruthlessness, the money and the power. Over the course of the film we see that relationship change. Slowly we're led to believe that he's become attracted to Freddie Mays himself as we see him become incredibly protective and eventually jealous of Freddies girlfriend. The jealousy eats away at him like a cancer and forces him to make a play for Freddies seat of power.
    Words can not describe how good Paul Bettany is in this film, even more so when you compare it to the many romantic comedy roles that are his bread and butter these days. In Gangster No 1 he's cold, ruthless, psychopathic and at the same time still very likeable. There are three scenes where Mr Bettanys talent for the menace shines, and once of these scenes is a great example of how brave Paul McGuigans film vision is.
    I won't go into detail about the scenes as I don't want to spoil anything for you, but mention the line "Look into my eyes" to any fan and they'll know what you mean! The scene containing the brave filming style though does deserve a mention though. I won't mention the why but I will mention the how. There is a scene filmed entire;y in first person, the scene in question is a reasonably mild torture scene. While being brutal and violent, the scene itself isn't particularly sadistic.
    No, Paul McGuigan doesn't need to rely on cheap gimmicks that shock and offend you through the twistedness of the violence. No, Paul McGuigan puts us in the shoes of the victim. This helps us to feel the fear, the animosity and the menace that is the casual use of violence. It's a very unique scene, and it's style could have been a big miss in the hands of a less talented director. McGuigan has obvious vision and knows exactly how to put it on film.
    The dialogue also deserves a mention. The story itself is helped along throug the use of first person narration, told with great flair and style by Malcolm McDowell, and is the recounting of his younger self, played by Paul Bettany. The film often let's you forget this though, the narration never intruding into the storytelling. Instead it's used to highlight certain emotions, certain patterns of thinking or to help add depth to characters. Alot of times in a film like this the narration tends to be used sloppily, usually used to tell the parts of the film the director either couldn't or couldn't be bothered to film. With Gangster No 1 it's weaved carefully into the story giving it an almost visual novel feel.

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    Everything about this film is quality and there isn't a single negative thing I can say about it. It truely is a modern masterpiece, unfortunately is also pretty unknown. Alot of people I meet have never heard of it or seen it, it's a severely underrated film. If you're looking for a top quality gangster film, a film with great characters or just a very well told story then this is a film for you. This should have become the modern Long Good Friday but instead has become a cult classic. Go out and get it now and help get it the recognition it deserves.

    Rating : 10/10


    <b><i>Redneck Zombies (1987)</i></b>
    Directed by : Pericles Lewnes
    Stars : Tyrone Taylor, Lisa M. DeHaven

    <img src="http://www.revenantmagazine.com/redneck-zombies-dvd-coverscan.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    I'm a sucker for a good zombie, hell I'm a sucker for a bad zombie movie. So I thought I'd bring Redneck Zombies from Troma to everybodies attention. Most people probably already know who Troma is, but for those that don't Troma are the king of trash, the president of b-grade horror and the prime minister of bad acting! This doesn't make it a bad thing. No, far far from it. Troma know their movie quality is sub-par and the embrace it like a badge of a honour.
    They make the movie knowing it's bad, so instead of going for oscar winning scripts and special effects they go for gags and twistedness. This they do well. There aren't many horror fans that haven't heard of Troma, and there aren't many that don't love at least one of the Troma classics.

    <img src="http://xbox360media.ign.com/xbox360/image/article/873/873085/on-the-dlc-redneck-zombies-20080509042115313.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    So is Redneck Zombies a Troma classic? Well no. It's no Toxic Avenger, Tromeo and Juliet or Class of Nuke Em High. The film itself looks like it was shot by a first time director using a handicam. The special effects are decent but not up to the usual level of Troma goriness, although there is some good gore in there.
    No, I'm afraid it's not a Troma classic in the true sense of the word. I do love it though! All the typical Troma humour is in there, with some great outrageous characters that most definitely are of the usual Troma standard! As is the storyline!
    Do you really care about the storyline? Is it really essential to the viewing of a decent Troma movie? No, not really! A family of moonsine producing good ol' boys have their still shot up by a local compeiting moonshiner. Not so happy with this they force him to go out and get them a new barrel they can use for their still. Wandering and wondering where he's going to get a decent barrel luck happens along his path in the form of a barrel of toxic waste being driven by a soldier to a disposal site. The barrel accidentally falls off the back of the jeep.
    Stolen at gunpoint by the rival moonshiner he gives it to the other family to use as their still. Unable to read the biohazard warning on the side of the barrel they hook it up and being producing their deadly zombie producing moonshine. Which is unfortunate for our heroes, a group of friends who happen to be camping in that neck of woods.
    That's basically the story, although it really could have been told like this "People go camping, redneck zombies attack them"! The story isn't deep, but if you go into a Troma movie expecting a deep story then you've really come to the wrong part of Blockbuster.
    The film does have some classic Troma moments and elements. It is gorey, there's plenty of blood and guts to satisfy your schlock horror needs. It's just that it looks cheap, even for a Troma movie. They use alot of flashing effects and fade to black and white shots to cover it up, making it look even more tacky. The zombie make-up isn't anything spectacular. Ranging from original Dawn of the Dead quality to just had your face painted at the local shopping mall quality. It only serves to add to the funniness of the whole thing though, they know it's crap and they use it in their favour.

    <object width="425" height="355"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/d67GIEq_hvM&rel=1"></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/d67GIEq_hvM&rel=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="355"></embed></object>

    It is a funny film though. There are alot of great jokes in it, and there's a surprising amount of subtlety for a Troma movie. You'll love the mushroom backed zombie autopsy, and keep an eye on the ever changing t-shirt. The redneck characters themselves are funny as, and the rival moonshiner with his necro traits never fails to get a laugh. There are a couple of very out of place and very disturbing moments in it that remind you that you're watching a horror film. The tobacco man is a scene that springs to mind, you'll see what I mean if you watch it.
    All in all it's an above average watch for a low budget, no production value having film. If the budget was just a little higher, and it was shot on film instead of video it would probably have become a true Troma classic. As it is though it's just an above average Troma film.
    Of course if you don't like Troma you'll come away emotionally scarred looking for a refund, but it's not Tromas fault you don't have a sense of humour.

    Rating : 7/10

    <b><i>Brother (2008) (Written by p1ngpong! <img src="style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/yaypsp.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":yaypsp:" border="0" alt="yaypsp.gif" /> )</i></b>

    <img src="http://www.timeout.com/film/img/dvd/63934/cover.w200.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    Written and Directed by: Takeshi Kitano

    Stars: Takeshi Kitano (Battle Royale, Zatôichi), Omar Epps (Higher learning, House M.D.)

    IMDB: <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0222851/" target="_blank">http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0222851/</a>

    <u><b>Plot:</b></u>
    Takeshi Kitano stars as Yamamoto a high ranking and respected Japanese Yakuza. He is forced to fake his death and flee Japan after his boss is killed, he arrives in Los Angeles where he meets his younger brother. He discovers that his brother and friends are small scale drug dealers, who are bullied and disrespected by their more powerful suppliers. Under Yamamoto's guidance their petty drug operation grows into a powerful and organised multi-ethnic crime syndicate, which is large and powerful enough to ultimately war with the Mafia.

    <object width="425" height="355"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/L_7W0chc92Y&rel=1"></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/L_7W0chc92Y&rel=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="355"></embed></object>

    Written, directed and starring the legendary Japanese writer, comedian, actor and director "beat" Takeshi Kitano Brother is a film which pulls no punches. A masterpiece in film making, this story of a Japanese Yakuza forced to flee his homeland for America is a definitive example of how a gangster film should be made. Mirroring the plot of Scarface, of a foreigner going to America and rising to the heights of power through crime, it manages to match and even better any film made by more famous directors such as Coppola, Scorsese or Tarantino.

    Directed in a film noir style, this film contrasts itself with still calm moments, touching and humorous moments and moments of extreme violence and tension. Yamamoto is the epitome of a brooding, silent, calm Yakuza, who can explode into violence at any given moment if provoked, offended or threatened. Yamamoto's character, of a world weary hardened criminal contrasts nicely with the naive, nervous and colourful petty criminals he takes under his wing, and guides to power.

    The title "Brother" is fitting on many levels. Not only because two of the central characters are brothers, but because this is a story of how a ragtag group of petty criminals join together under Yamamoto's big brother like fatherly command, and learn the meaning of love and respect for each other. Yamamoto manages to forge these men together, who should be divided by race and culture, into a family. Who are so devoted and loyal to each other, they are willing to lay down their lives for one another if need be. A broad spectrum of ethnic groups bind together here, Japanese, African American's, Hispanics and Caucasians are all part of the crime family. The bond these men share is one of the best aspects of the film in my opinion. You see relationships formed in very subtle ways, whether it be through a game of basketball, through gambling or even through frolicking on the beach together. Even though these men are criminals you cant help but to like them, almost every member of Yamamoto's crime family, no matter how small his role, is likeable in his own way. I must say this is one of the few films I have seen where you feel the bond of the characters so strongly, and care for and like the characters so much. Its amazing how this is achieved, because there is not much dialogue between them that would suggest this, a lot of the emotion of the characters is portrayed visually and in a low key manner.

    Ironically though Yamamoto's main relationship is not with his brother, but in fact his brothers friend Denny (Omar Epps). When they first meet they clash, to put it mildly, I wont spoil what happens. But slowly Denny learns to respect and love Yamamoto. Their two characters, worlds apart and opposite in almost every way compliment each other magnificently. And their bond makes the films ending all the more touching.

    <img src="http://www.crapfilter.net/images/kitano.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    Visually this film is very unique, its very minimalistic. Every scene is tightly framed, almost story board like, with minimal movements. This leads to the more graphic violent scenes having a much greater impact. For ten minutes you will see the characters doing mundane things, gambling, chatting smoking cigarettes. All of a sudden the calmness is broken with the sound of gunshots and scenes of violence. And although brutal and graphic, you never feel the violence is over the top, as you would with say a Tarantino film.

    The reserved nature of the film, its main characters, the genuine affection between them and the method the story is told is where it triumphs. It is what sets it apart from similar, more well known films of the genre such as Scarface or Pulp Fiction. Much of the story is told visually, if you turned the sound off and watched this you would still get the plot, and feel the emotion. This is a modern classic and one of the finest crafted films you can hope to see. The care and love Takeshi Kitano put into this work bleeds from the screen and keeps you focused on the story, from the beginning to the end. I cant recommend this film highly enough!

    Ten out of ten! <img src="style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/yaypsp.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":yaypsp:" border="0" alt="yaypsp.gif" />

    <b><i>Disaster Movie (2008) - Quick review</i></b>
    Directed by : Someone who deserves a plague upon their house.
    Stars : Some people who will probably never work again.

    No, just no. Stay away from this film like it's a shady old man in raincoat. Saying that though, at least you'll get a chuckle from the old man and you'll only be about the same emotionally scarred speaking. Don't even watch this film just to see how shit it is.
    This film is the equivalent of watching paint dry. It's so bad I would rather play every Imagine and Petz game end to end until completion. It's so bad that if there really is a heaven, when you get judged you will never ever be able to explain this action away and you will go to hell. If you see it on the shelf in a rental place take it straight to the counter and demand compensation for the emotional injury caused just by the fact that it being on the shelf is a insult to peoples film viewing tastes.
    Even the film handicapped wouldn't enjoy this. If you were high on magic mushrooms you still wouldn't get a laugh out of it. Just stay away from it.

    Rating : It doesn't even deserve a rating, clip or movie poster.
     
  2. Hadrian

    Former Staff Hadrian Better than Craigslist

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    I agree with the Disaster Movie review, us on IRC bitched about it yesterday.

    Will check out Redneck Zombies as its one of few more famous zombies movies that I've yet to see and I usually like Troma movies as they are what they are and never pretend to be anything else.
     
  3. TrolleyDave
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    Former Staff TrolleyDave Philosolosophising

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    I wouldn't have watched Disaster Movie except a mate kept saying "Let's watch it". I don't usually mind a film like this, I even laughed at Meet The Spartans, but this was literally the single worst film I've ever seen in my life!

    That's exactly why I like Troma myself They're films made just to be entertaining, well if you like the genre anyway. You'll like Redneck Zombies, it's got all the makings of a Troma classic story, character and gag wise. Some of it's just downright freaky though, and the freakiness happens right in the middle of the comedy! Remember to grab a copy of the US version if you do watch it, the BBFC went to work on it like a YTS hairdresser. There's about 10 minutes cut out of it.
     
  4. X D D X

    Member X D D X GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Wow, nice Reviews!
    I've never even Heard of Brother, I must check it out, it looks really nice.
     
  5. VVoltz

    Member VVoltz The Pirate Lord

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    Nice thread!
    I was just thinking on opening a topic about Heath Ledger. I think he deserves the Oscar, do you know who else is nominated?
     
  6. FAST6191

    Reporter FAST6191 Techromancer

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    Thanks for this TrolleyDave and contributors.
    I had seen brother already but I will agree with what you said on it (also you put 2008 in year), some interesting twists in that one (the bit where he finds his girlfriend is my favourite).

    I have yet to see redneck zombies but my experience with low budget horror films has been incredibly hit and miss lately, dance of the dead was great but another I watched was awful (set outside Seattle again Nazi zombies), outpost was good but whatever the sci fi channel passed off that I ended up with made me want to headbutt the screen. The Vanguard I thought was really mediocre film while Insanitarium I actually did not mind all that much.

    I will take you up on Gangster No 1 though, I have still got some stuff from last time to watch though.
     
  7. TrolleyDave
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    Former Staff TrolleyDave Philosolosophising

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    I've got Dance of the Dead sat here but haven't had a chance to watch it yet. Redneck Zombies is uber-cheaply made but still a really good watch. I can't really even compare it to anything as there's nothing else really like it! I never saw Outpost, it sounded alot like a cheap rip off of The Keep. I might have to check it out now though. Haven't heard of the other two though.

    You should definitely check out Gangster No 1. I'd never heard of it til a mate loaned it to me and it completely blew me away. It's probably the most original British gangster movie I've seen. If it had got a bigger release and more publicity I think it would have overtaken The Long Good Friday as the seminal British gangster film, well in my opinion anyway. It has more style, more tension and a much more intense story line.
     
  8. p1ngpong

    Supervisor p1ngpong Legit Boss Harold

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    Very nice reviews on your end man, this collaboration turned out great!

    I need to watch Gangster Number 1 again, its one of my favourites, its a great original British gangster film.

    Going back to your previous film review thread, I watched Ip Man last night. Awesome film, reminds me a lot of fearless but with better action and story.

    Cant wait to work on the next instalment with you! [​IMG]
     
  9. Szyslak

    Member Szyslak Nudibranch Lover

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    Very nice reviews and information guys! Well done. I really like where this is going.

    I definitely need to see Gangster No. 1. Looks solid.

    Cheers guys.
     
  10. p1ngpong

    Supervisor p1ngpong Legit Boss Harold

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    Bumped for justice! [​IMG]
     
  11. Hillsy_

    Member Hillsy_ GBAtemp Regular

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    Worth seeing if you get the chance.
     
  12. TrolleyDave
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    Former Staff TrolleyDave Philosolosophising

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    Hopefully I'll be reviewing it for the next one! Definitely a must see. I was expecting something completely different then what the film was. I was kind of expecting something glitzy and feelgood but it turned out to be really low key and realistic.
     
  13. Hillsy_

    Member Hillsy_ GBAtemp Regular

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    [​IMG] Yes, recommended film, but many won't probably see it.
     
  14. kobykaan

    Member kobykaan GBAtemp Addict

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    too late already watched disaster movie quick shoot me!!!

    my thoughts were .... how many times can they churn out these so called comedy flicks of mashed up other films .. ie SCARY MOVIE 1-4 ....SUPER HERO MOVIE ....MEET THE SPARTANS etc etc too many of them now they are all starting to suck [​IMG]
     
  15. Satangel

    Member Satangel BEAST

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    Nice work TrolleyDave, I downloaded and watched Gangster No.1 thanks to you, and loved it!
     

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