Page 1 of 2
Posted: Sun Aug 29, 2010 10:44 am
Looked good, sure, but wasted without a worthwhile story.
Posted: Sun Aug 29, 2010 1:14 pm
jonbly wrote:Ew, romance.
Looked good, sure, but wasted without a worthwhile story.
jonbly, I really like your reviews, they make me smile, and they make the films come alive ... I didn't get to see Monsters, but I kind of guessed it would be like your review says it was, I still think I have to see this though, as everyone i know says i should!
Posted: Sun Aug 29, 2010 2:00 pm
Thought Monsters was a lovely little film. Like a cross between Lost in Translation, Stalker and Thin Red Line with the occassional (and stress 'occassional') giant octo-aliens.
People have made comparisons to District 9 from the trailer but it really is nothing like D9, if anything it is more like Lost in Translation. This is not an action film, it's not a horror film, it is more of an ambient journey through a part of Mexico about two people coming to terms with what is important in their lives (again like LIT) but set against the backdrop of new life forms appearing in the world and the subsequent paranoia and mis-information about this species and how this can affect the lives of those caught in the middle.
There were some well observed points about the nature of news reporting from disaster zones - why we see so many images of destruction and not enough images of hope and happiness. The characters evolved in a realistic way and their simple actions such as sifting through camera equipment to find a rain coat to put over the body of a dead child were understated and touching.
The final 'set piece' goes against expectations and results in a touching moment of clarity and beauty that cements the relationship and understanding of what is possible in this 'new' world.
Some people are going to find the film dull, boring, navel gazing, void of action scenes as I think they will be expecting something akin to D9 or Cloverfield, not sure how this will play in multi-plexes as it is very much an art film.
As for me I thought it was beautiful little meditation of a film.
Posted: Sun Aug 29, 2010 2:20 pm
I thought I Spit would have been the biggest crowd pleaser for 9pm on the Saturday Frighfest (the biggest slot in the festival) but it's bound to sell out, whatever gets shown. I think, as a film fan, I like the sound of this movie, but at a genre fest, I'd want something a bit more horror-filled, but I can see why it was promoted to the top slot, it's getting a lot of buzz, and appeals to a general audience, - it gets the Empire busy on a Saturday night!! I quite liked ISOYG being on earlier, it meant I could go to the pub after and threaten the barman after watching and being influenced by a video nasty. Maybe seeing Monsters would have made me a better person!
Posted: Mon Aug 30, 2010 9:15 pm
i thought monsters was a really cool film, but you have got to wonder what a 12A cert film is doing in the prime slot of a horror film festival. especially one with very little violence or blood or horror.
still good though, something i shall see again when it goes on general release.
Posted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 12:11 am
This years 'Heartless' - boring & couldn't see what all the fuss was about. A tedious love story with a couple of giant electric squids thrown in!!
Posted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 9:22 am
Monsters its not horror it has its sci-fi elements but its about relationships,the couple, the people,the land and the creatures.
For me this worked really well and i was absorbed into the film,i came away thinking i had seen something quite special,and i came away thinking it had a feel of Crash about it and The Motorcycle Diaries,the creatures looked menacing but were they a danger or was it the governments & miltary reactions that were putting people more at risk?
Posted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 9:45 am
Quote: the creatures looked menacing but were they a danger or was it the governments & miltary reactions that were putting people more at risk?
Yes that's the way I saw it too, the creatures were sort of more like Elephants in Africa in that they are large, can be threatening, do destroy crops and can kill but are not evil or intend harm. The fact that little is known about them has lead to the belief and paranoia that they must be destroyed.
The militairy evacuate areas and then bomb the shit out of the creatures which causes more pain and distress to the population than possibly even the creatures. The scene with the creature caressing the TV screen or being drawn to the lights of the jeeps was more out of curiosity (and possibly to mate) than it was out of evil intent but when people retaliate by opening fire is when the monsters attack and people are killed.
In a way this is a little like the Romero zombie films in that it is the people (the living) who are making the situation worst and not the 'monsters.'
I thought it was a great little film that took a different spin on the monster genre and the media's portrayl of disaster areas as well as being a hopeful adult love story and an interesting travelogue, a journey film.
It was certainly a more interesting well scripted layered film than say The Dead that I also saw at Frightfest.
Posted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 10:20 am
Agree with you Howl.
This was definitely in our Top 3 of the weekend.
(Remarkably me and the Missus agreed on top 3 - a frightfest first!).
I saw a friend who did the music for this before the screening and he said "But it's not a horror film!" and I said that Frightfest is much wider than that, and having seen it, it definitely belongs at the Festival. The film it reminded me of most was Until The End Of The World. Someone who'd only seen the trailer for Monsters asked if it was like Cloverfield, so I told him it was to Cloverfield what Once Upon A Time In The West is to My Name Is Nobody (I like both, by the way).
Posted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 12:34 pm
the landscape is pure eye candy.
And while in some shots the CGI'd everyday aspects of life with the monsters looked a bit too CGI'd, overall it clicked nicely.
Obviously, there is (quite) a bit of hype based on the 'he made the FX on his laptop', but this really only 'hype' if you don't think about it: a) laptops these days aren't bad, they can hold their own when it comes to using modern CGI programs; and b) in the end in a laptop vs render farm clash it would really come down to complexity of the scene and the time it takes to render.
So no, don't fall for the hype, enjoy the beauty of the movie instead
Posted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 2:06 pm
This strange hype that has been going about about how hard it was to make two of the films shown at Frightfest - Monsters and The Dead was beginning to annoy me after a while, whilst I respected the films some of the blurb going on was just hype or attention grabbing.
Lots of people face adversity in their jobs or for their art BUT at the end of the day the art or the film has to stand up on its own merits. In some cases I began to hear more about the story of how the films were made than the actual story of the film, yes this can be fascinating in Coppola's case in Heart of Darkness or Richard Stanley's tale of woe in The Island of Dr Moreau but how about talking about the message of the film itself and how that message is trying to engage with its audience, this obsession with budgets and so on just distracts from the final film.
Posted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 3:17 pm
I really liked this one, I thought it was beautiful little film. But I also thought it suffered from being shown after ISOYG and I don't think it was a horror or even a sci-fi and didn't really fit in the festival.
Posted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 4:17 pm
The title was very misleading (much like the trailer I've seen). I'd read little about it before going in to watch it so was expecting a totally different film to the one I got. Instead of an Aliens/Predator monster mash up this belonged more in the CE3K/Abyss category. It took me about half the movie to finally click and then I got it and started enjoying it for what it was. Ended up getting a 7/10 from me, and I liked the subtle hints at the downbeat ending after it seemed to be finsihing on an upbeat note. But it's going to struggle to find the right audience with that title.
Posted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 9:24 pm
I too felt a bit of frustration that a film called Monsters didn't really have much in the way of monsters in it. If they'd called it Monsters: A Love Story I might have enjoyed it more, and not felt a little disappointed. Certainly the effects are terrific, and it's a perfectly decent film, but it's not really the kind of movie I was expecting at Frightfest
Posted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 9:48 pm
Monsters was a very romantic film - the 2 central characters didn't need to escape the chaos around them so much as they needed to find each other. I don't agree with anyone who says this sort of film shouldn't be shown at an event like Frightfest; the reason I'm drawn to the horror genre is that it has a lot of guts, it's frequently transgressive and filmmakers can explore unusual ideas within it because the genre actively encourages weirdness. The climax of the film, after the 2 main characters see the alien creatures perform their strange mating dance, was horror in a pure emotional form - there was no need for blood to be spilled.
Awesome movie. Giant fucking space squids. How can you not love giant fucking space squids.