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Saturday, March 3, 2012

Submarine and Bellflower

I have been putting off two movie reviews for some strange reason, but without further ado here are reviews for Submarine and Bellflower.

Submarine: This film can best be described as a coming of age story that is not exactly coming of age...if that makes any sense. The film centers around a young school boy who doesn't exactly have a great life (in essence he is a loser). His home life is boring but not bad, it is just school that sucks from being bullied to the butt of all jokes. He soon falls in love with a strange girl named Jordana and in order to impress her he picks on a heavyset girl. His strategy works and he gets to "date," Jordana. Throughout most of the film we follow their relationship and at the same time the relationship of Oliver's parents who seem nothing short of his mom cheating on his dad. So while in his relationship he is trying to watch over his parents. After Jordana's mom gets diagnosed with cancer she wants Oliver to visit her mom in the hospital and when he does not show up or answer her calls she breaks up with him. The story goes from there but I don't want to spoil the rest.

The visuals in the film are quite good short of a few unnecessary zoom in and outs which I almost want to feel good about but I just hate zooms (personal nitpick of mine). There are some cool effects done such as the frame staying still while the camera pans around the screen. Overall the cinematography is pretty spot on and quite beautiful (especially the beach scenes between Oliver and Jordana). The acting is well done across the board and the dialogue is great. This film captures the awkwardness of young love and of discovering sexuality for the first time amazingly; the fast talking dialogue only enhances the great effect. The story is really well put together and keeps pace throughout. I even wanted to mention the typography used which was very French New Wave, so I do love that. The ending to me though was very poetic but it left me wanting a little bit more but it is a fun watch that is not hilarious or laugh a minute but I think you will get something out of it. Rent it sometime.

Bellflower: This is a film that is both great and flawed at the same time. The story centers around a guy named Woodrow and his best bud Aiden who want nothing more than to live in a post apocalyptic wasteland much like the one envisioned in Mad Max. Woodrow ends up finding love at a bar during a cricket eating competition with a girl named Milly. Their first date Milly wants to go to the worst restaurant Woodrow knows of which he claims is out in Texas, so from California they go all the way to Texas to eat at this terrible place. On the way back they decide to trade in a car for a home built motorcycle and everything is great. Fast forward to months later things aren't as great as they were, Woodrow seems suspicious of Milly who is keeping her phone away from him. He lies and tells her that he is going to be away for a few days and then hours later comes back home to discover her having sex with another man. Things blow up and Woodrow speeds off where he is hit by a car on his motorcycle (which he is wearing no protection on). Now Woodrow has to deal with a terrible injury and the fact that Milly was cheating on him. From there comes some pretty shocking elements of the film which simmer down to a very almost silent style ending.

As far as the film goes the style and storytelling I both love! The story is great and is filled with the whole emotions of being a young adult, finding yourself in the world, and the downfalls of relationships. The way in which everything comes to a close is a very almost Fight Club kind of ending where you question all of what happened at the end, for me it was a great moment of realization that is a metaphor to me for the uncertainty of life as a young adult. The biggest issue and flaw of this film to me was sound design which I felt was really badly done, I don't know if it was a boom issue or microphone issue or even a post issue but the sound was like listening into a tin can at times. I had 150 dollar headphones in, the nice ones and it sounded bad which is a shame because the visuals and storytelling are awesome. The acting is good throughout except almost at the very end which felt like the actors didn't know what to do (maybe it was the first day of shooting). That being said it is still a great movie to watch especially if you are a young adult. Find it somewhere online and give it a look see.

Thanks for the support,
Daniel Hess

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