Sunday, July 31, 2011

Celluloid Freaks Podcast Postponed One Week

Due to several unfortunate situations Celluloid Freaks will be postponing the first podcast episode by one week. Episode one will now be reviews of Cowboys & Aliens, The Change-Up, and Rise of the Planet of the Apes.

Thank you for your patience.

I will continue posting written reviews of movies new and old in this blog. For my star ratings I use Wingdings in order to make the stars. If your browser doesn't support that font (I've noticed I can't see the stars on my iPod Touch), then just imagine those strange symbols are stars!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Review: Cowboys & Aliens (2011) dir. John Favreau

The following review is spoiler free and is meant to be read BEFORE seeing the movie, as opposed to the upcoming podcast episode, which will contain spoilers and an in-depth discussion of this movie

Cowboys & Aliens is a movie that has absolutely no depth. Each character is an archetype that has existed in many other movies (and other media), and each character goes through the same beats that you have seen one thousand times before. There is an attempt at character development with Harrison Ford’s Dolarhyde, but it feels false, manufactured, and forced into this film in order to make an emotional payoff work (it doesn’t).

There is also my least favorite convention in movies: a character is keeping a secret from another character… for absolutely no reason. It serves to keep the audience in the dark so that the reveal of the secret works dramatically (again, it doesn’t). This secret would have been very useful to the characters much earlier in the movie but it can’t… just CAN’T… be revealed yet. Either the main character “isn’t ready yet” or the secret-bearer doesn’t know if the main character “can be trusted,” etc. It is an idiotic practice and it should be stopped.

However, despite all of my griping, there is still a tiny bit of fun to be had watching this movie. Most of it has to do with the actors, who are just fun to watch. It just goes to show that if you have characters who are only two dimensional, you might as well cast the roles with actors and actresses who are eminently watchable. Harrison Ford’s smirk is sometimes worth the price of admission, Daniel Craig plays a stoic badass to perfection; Olivia Wilde is as sexy as always; Sam Rockwell is subdued but still good; Clancy Brown is nigh unrecognizable and his character is a cliché, but he demands all attention when he is on screen; and Keith Carradine is a wonderful presence as always.

My final verdict is that Cowboys & Aliens is a watchable movie, made so by the performers and having absolutely nothing to do with the writing. The visuals are also nothing special, and I believe that John Favreau did a much better job with Iron Man.

Rating: ««

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Celluloid Freaks will begin: July 31st, 2011

With the feed up and running, I'm making preparations to start Celluloid Freaks soon. I have my audio recording and editing software ready, and I just need time to get everybody involved prepared and up to speed.

After the "staff" records one or two practice episodes, we will be ready to go. The first film we will be reviewing is "Cowboys & Aliens." I sure hope it's worth it!

As far as the format goes, the show will focus mainly on reviewing each movie we see with no spoilers. If the reviews require us to give spoilers, we will have a warning beforehand, and we will also label the episode with a spoiler alert.

Occasionally we will have different features on an episode such as a top 5 list (how original...) or Best/Worst Movie Ever, which involves somebody claiming a movie is the best movie or worst movie ever, at which point we have to watch it and decide for ourselves.

So stay tuned, everybody. Please enjoy Episode 0 in the meantime. It is in no way a representation of what Celluloid Freaks will be like, but I hope you like it nonetheless. And spoiler alert for "Shaun of the Dead" and "Hot Fuzz," too!