Sunday, October 30, 2011

Vantage Point

While the overall premise of the film is interesting, this movie was not executed in an interesting way.
Vantage Point shows us a terrorist attack on the President of the United States from several different characters’ point of view.
The idea of this movie was to take a scene and show it from several different perspectives that would slowly reveal to us who was behind the attack. That would be interesting, except for the fact that there were too many different points of view, and not enough interesting moments happening between them. Each viewpoint is started with a few-second countdown to 12:00 P.M.. After three times, I groaned when this scene would pop up again. After three viewpoints, you just want to know who did it and you really, really don’t want to see the attack again. Of all the characters in the film, only four of them are interesting enough to follow. The others just add monotony to the film. Cut their scenes out and it would have been a much smoother and exciting ride. No offense to anyone, but I would definitely cut out the little Hispanic girl from the film. She was so annoying! And when she ran out into traffic and just screamed for five minutes while the ambulance slowly came at her... just ticked me off.

**Spoiler Alert**
Yes, I know that without her jetting out in front of the ambulance the bad guys would have likely escaped, but it was still annoying to have to watch.
**End Spoiler Alert**

Another disappointment of the film for me was the Control Room scene with Sigourney Weaver. If you are the director of a live broadcast involving several world leaders, you would not be as relaxed and motionless as the people in that Control Room were in that scene. Weaver would be constantly talking to cameramen, yelling orders to crew members, watching each TV screen for better camera angles, and she would certainly NOT have time to take a phone call during the show! Someone did not do their research.
Sorry, I’ll step down from my soap box. Overall, the film had some interesting plot twists and exciting moments, but it was too redundant to be an enjoyable watch.

As far as questionable content:
Since the film deals with terrorists, there are some disturbing images, violence and profanity throughout.

P.S. - The image in this post is copyrighted by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Cloverfield

For most people, you either loved this film, or you completely despised it. As for me, there were things that I loved about this film, and things that I didn’t care for. Cloverfield follows several twenty-somethings as they try to escape a city being attacked by a giant Godzilla-like creature.
I think that this film was a landmark in motion picture history in two ways. The first landmark is how they campaigned for the film. It was brilliant. Successfully keeping this movie in the dark, they released a trailer that showed us very little and only had a date instead of a title. People who looked up this date online found a website that only had a couple pictures. From here, the advertisers used a number of techniques to publicize the film and pique audiences’ interest. The main website would be updated occasionally with pictures that gave clues about the stories. Several of the characters had MySpace pages and online video blogs. There were several fake news and business websites created to help give further background to the story. All in all, it was an amazing form of advertising that got audiences excited for the film and accounted for a great deal of profit that the studio could not have made any other way.
The second landmark is the way they filmed the movie. This is where most audience members grew to hate the film. The movie was filmed as if we saw everything from a handheld camera being used by one of the characters. This added a great deal of realism and believability to the story where we felt like we were watching a YouTube-like video of an actual event. But this also meant that there was a lot of camera-shake in the process and anyone who had motion-sickness did not make it far into the movie. While it's true that The Blair Witch Project started the hand-held technique, I believe it was this film that showed the true potential and effectiveness of filming in this form. It was this film that started the hand-held craze and later inspired other films like Quarantine and Paranormal Activity.
Aside from that, the movie itself wasn’t all that good. The movie echoed Godzilla a lot, so we felt like we had seen this film a dozen times before. There was really nothing to new to see. Another thing that bothered me was the lack of background story in the film. A lot of the background information was covered in the campaign sites for the film, but if you never looked at any of those, you were left with a lot of questions.

**Spoiler Alert**
Apparently, - and they don’t tell you this in the film anywhere – the object landing in the ocean at the end of the film was a failed satellite that crashed to the earth and awoke a monster that had been hibernating underwater for thousands of years. The monster was supposed to be a baby looking for its mother.
**End Spoiler Alert**

Overall, the movie was a good thrill ride with lots of good special effects and scares, but not good enough to be seen over and over again.

As far as questionable content:
There is some violent monster mayhem, a couple of gore moments (one person is attacked by a monster and some blood sprays on the camera; a person explodes behind a curtain; one character is chewed up in the monster’s mouth) and some profanity throughout the film.

P.S. - The image used in this post is copyrighted by Paramount Home Entertainment.