This is great filmmaking. The acting of Morgan Freeman, Gene Hackman, Richard Harris and Clint Eastwood is as good as these four greats can get and they are supported by a highly dedicated cast. The screenplay is perfectly written with as much memorable dialogue as some of the greatest films ever made. Quite simply, this is one of the greatest films ever made.
The entire film draws a clear definition of William Munney as perhaps the evilest man to ever live and what we the audience sees is a person we can relate to on many levels. In Eastwood’s character we see our own darkest sides, our own mistakes and the unintended consequences that unknowingly follow our decisions.
At the beginning we see a struggling man looking to avoid the ways of his past, something which he may have seen as the easy road at the time but now is or has been in his self administered rehabilitation with his farm and his children. Here the struggle may be too much to handle and he justifies his decision in returning to his old ways to make it through the impoverished times that have followed his wife’s death. The psychology is not obvious in this film but runs far deeper than most films by a mile. We set the stage to see an efficient assassin that has turned around return to the world he did everything to avoid, and return he does.
The most incredible dynamic here is that Munney is the clear villain in perspective, but that Hollywood cliche is more blurred here than any other movie I have ever seen (even the Godfather). The man we essentially find ourselves rooting against (Hackman) is a man of the law but ironically we find ourselves caring for the killer played by Eastwood. He is an anti-hero in which we must question our justification in liking him. The idea of revenge seems as natural as breathing in this setting, so we cheer as this killer steps onto his stage one last time to show his would be contenders who is the baddest cowboy of them all. It is what Westerns are all about.
In addition, the film appreciates the beautiful North American landscapes like very few films do and does so with brilliant artistic photography and the soundtrack’s emotional one string notes add to the raw style of the film. Eastwood’s direction suggests a man who truly loves the Western and he is the king of that genre, sorry Duke.
My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.
3:10 to Yuma is about Ben Wade (Russell Crowe) and his band of thugs who have repeatedly orchestrated several robberies in Arizona in the late 1800s. It is also about Dan Evans (Christian Bale), a self-deprecating rancher who is doing what he can within his own ethics to get his family by, but he is failing. Evans first meets Wade when he and his sons witness one of his gang’s robberies. Soon, Evans visits the town of Bisbee alone to confront a man he is in arrears with and he happens upon Wade and his gang again, who had drawn the authorities out of town after having Wade’s top goon Charlie Prince (Ben Foster) inform the authorities of the latest robbery and saying that Wade’s group headed elsewhere. Evans leaves and meets the Bisbee authorities when they see him helping a wounded bounty hunter, who Wade and his men shot during their robbery. Evans informs them that Wade and his men are indeed in Bisbee. Evans actually plays an active role in apprehending Wade, and he agrees to assist in escorting Wade to the town of Contention, where Wade will take a prison train to his inevitable execution for his many murders and robberies. That train is the 3:10 to Yuma and the movie’s primary focus involves the ride to Contention and the various encounters with Wade’s pursuing gang and many other enemies along the way.
3:10 to Yuma is a well polished piece of western cinema. If Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven was an elegy to the once alive and well American genre then I guess 3:10 to Yuma is an fitting in memoriam. It’s a remake actually, although almost unrecognizable from the original 1957 western. Other than what amounts to being a fairly unsatisfying conclusion, 3:10 to Yuma was one of the best films of 2007. There are many things to praise here. James Mangold (Walk the Line, Copland) puts together a fun and entertaining shoot’em up that also happens to deliver in both style and substance. The characters are great here and the performances are handled well enough that I was a bit surprised that we didn’t see two or three get credit in the award season that year. Also noteworthy is that the screenplay may very well be the unsung hero.
Christian Bale repeatedly solidifies his reputation as a great actor by, in my humble opinion, actually upstaging Crowe. Part of that is the character of Wade, which I’m almost tempted to say was written to be an ego-booster for Russell Crowe. I’m not one of those people who tries to bash Crowe though, he is amazing in this too. His presence is formidable in anything and the character of Ben Wade definitely calls for it. The best performance in this film and who I think deserved to have been rewarded with a Golden Globe or an Oscar nomination was Ben Foster as Charlie Prince. He is incredibly scary and one the best villains to come along in some time. Gretchen Mol and Peter Fonda were very good in their limited roles as well. Overall an overlooked and impressive ensemble for this somewhat under appreciated movie.
Still, the film does seem anti-climactic and maybe upon another viewing I’ll concede that the ending was satisfying, but for now it really is that alone that keeps 3:10 to Yuma from getting a perfect rating.
My rating is 4 out of 5 stars.
I was once asked what my favorite western is. It is a complex question because it is undeniably an important genre. I grew up enjoying Unforgiven, which is a nearly perfect film but I also understand the appreciation for films like The Searchers and Once Upon a Time in the West. If you want to define There Will be Blood or El Topo as westerns then they certainly make a case as well. However, the western that hit hardest and seemed most compelling and personal to me is McCabe & Mrs. Miller. The characters are rich, real, and endlessly fascinating, and of course the bonus is that Robert Altman directed it, so that means the depth of the cast goes beyond the primary characters and even beyond the supporting cast, as in any of Altman’s movies even the guy chopping wood in the background probably has something more interesting to say than anyone in today’s average Hollywood investment. Everything is in its right place in McCabe & Mrs. Miller and watching it is as if the story was happening all along, and then one day Altman and his crew showed up to film John McCabe ride into town with his cards and fancy clothes and then another day they were gone, leaving the cold northwestern town of Presbyterian Church to trudge along toward a more civilized future all by itself. Altman is one of the finest American filmmakers of all time and it is no wonder he creates such a masterful western. It is also no wonder he did so however the hell he wanted. Good for him and he is obviously missed greatly.
Altman makes it clear that the idea of heroism in the west is in all likelihood overplayed but he doesn’t take that message to the point where it may offend much of his audience as he had in other films. He shows McCabe’s charisma to be his greatest asset above all while his stealth and wit are what guide him in the film’s outstanding snowbound climax. His actions would get his hat shot off by Eastwood’s Blondie from The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly, and no matter what character John Wayne’s playing he would’ve referred to McCabe as yellow. There is also a scene in McCabe & Mrs. Miller when a young gunslinger confronts another young man on a bridge. The two are far enough away that their captive audience cannot likely hear what they are saying to each other. The gunslinger doesn’t defeat his opponent with his hand speed but instead with his sharp tongue and sheer drive to prove to his watchers that he is a killer not to be trifled with. To us of course, his actions show very little genuine courage and are even outright vile. Altman is right to play down the virtue of courage as commonplace in such an uncivilized and violent domain, and it is one of several reasons this film challenges the many mainstay conventions of the western.
This 1971 film takes place in the very early twentieth century in northwest United States, as clever gambling man John McCabe (Warren Beatty) rides in to make a dollar on a gullible mining town’s mostly male population. Beatty is just a few years removed from his performance as Clyde Barrow in Arthur Penn’s Bonnie and Clyde and you can see some of Clyde’s aggressive nature surface between McCabe’s drunken lamentations about having poetry in him. He puts together a brothel but is soon upstaged and assisted greatly by Constance Miller (a dynamic Julie Christie), an English opium addicted alpha-female that becomes McCabe’s associate and business partner. Mrs. Miller knows her way around the whoring business. A mining company soon arrives to purchase the town and McCabe denies their offers and sets off a violent chain of events.
Christie’s Mrs. Miller is not only the best performance by a female in any western I’ve ever seen but it is quite possibly the most powerful fictional female character conceived in the genre. This also might be Warren Beatty’s best performance. The persistent use of just three simple Leonard Cohen songs in the soundtrack is beautiful in every scene we hear them. And finally, enough cannot be said for Altman’s naturalistic storytelling and ability to manage a scene. He did this right after M.A.S.H. and it really is Altman in his prime and most generative phase. This is in so many ways an unconventional western but it still somehow manages to deliver an astounding climatic showdown in the film’s final minutes. McCabe and Mrs. Miller is as gorgeous as it is devastating.
My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.
There you have it. I think along with Winter’s Bone, 127 Hours, a cute little Norwegian mockumentary about trolls, and Miike’s amazing samurai epic 13 Assassins, Rubber is one of the film’s that stood out for 2010. This is not just an outstanding satire of less than desirable films that are the result of consumerism, but Rubber manages to skewer all of Hollywood at large. It is both a film-within-film kind of commentary on some of the mediocrity mainstream film-goers will accept as worthy filmmaking, but it also manages to stand as a straightforward entertaining yarn provided you can appreciate absurd dark humor. It is full of appropriate metaphors while also remaining true to the genre it primarily targets. Fans who appreciate horror-comedies and the humor within ridiculous science fiction concepts will understand what Rubber is setting out to do, but in the end Rubber’s intentions are even clearer; taking itself seriously would be the biggest violation toward reason of all.
Rubber starts out with a fantastic monologue by Stephen Spinella, who is absolutely on the ball with the film’s overall thesis and delivers a remarkably enthusiastic performance. He is apparently telling a story about a murderous tire with psychokinetic powers and he is staging a live performance in front of about twenty or so gluttonous audience members who spectate from the desert with their binoculars. Several lines suggest that they are actually watching a movie. Its obvious mockery will rub some viewers the wrong way, especially while at the same time it is contrasted by a tire blowing people’s heads up repeatedly, which of course I found wildly funny. Absurdist work is always polarizing and I’m sure many will not feel compelled to appreciate Rubber’s odd narrative, but I sure did.
The film is meticulously handled. Every single character, every single line, every single shot in Rubber is handled as a part of the film, but it is the way in which its title character is humanized that makes Rubber a special film. He is a lost character within the desert that must dust himself off and keep soldiering on. He is ignored and misunderstood by those who would not think twice but throw him onto a pile with others of his ilk and light him ablaze. In the end he is bent on bringing with him the apocalypse aided by his fellow rubber friends and his powerful telekinesis. It is exactly that kind of sternness in Rubber coupled with its genuinely hilarious slapstick in other moments that make it simply unforgettable, but above all else Rubber remains a poignant commentary on movie making in general. Rubber is capable of a lot more than meets the eye and it will no doubt become more widely appreciated in the coming years.
My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.
Curiosity has always been my primary reason for discovering, watching, and analyzing unique things; including of course films. I can only think of a few occasions where my curiosity drew me toward something I wish I didn’t experience. A Serbian Film is one of those films and probably along with Salò the only actual work of fiction. It troubled me. Something about my mood just wasn’t the same a day after watching it. I’ve seen Mordum, Slaughtered Vomit Dolls, Irreversible, Sweet Movie, The Baby of Macon, The Guinnea Pig movies, Men Behind the Sun, and many more. Those are all hard movies to watch but this was different. This put my mind at intense unease and put an uncomfortable feeling in my gut. It could be akin to viewing such non-fiction atrocities like the Dagestan massacre video at the beginning of the Second Chechnyan War or the Dnepropetrovsk maniacs in the Ukraine who video-taped and photographed their killing spree in 2007 (one video of which made it to the internet). That’s how unsettling A Serbian Film was, but in the spirit of William Castle and Wes Craven, remember and repeat; it’s only a movie, it’s only a movie.
A Serbian Film is also not necessarily out of the realm of possibility despite having scenes that are uncalled for and at times just laughably deranged or absurd. I simply wish I could somehow erase A Serbian Film from my memory. With those kinds of warnings I’m sure many hardcore gore fanatics are now curious while reading this, but I strongly caution that even you absolutely do not want to see A Serbian Film.
Miloš is a former porn star with a wife and a young boy. His life has obstacles, most of which is probably his brother who seems to fancy Miloš’s wife, but it all changes when Milos is given a very high paying job offer for more pornographic work, with a catch that he is not to know what is going to happen as the film is made. The film’s director is extreme to say the least and Milos finds himself in a world of child pornography, necrophilia, rape, and even outright snuff films. Needless to say the film’s arc lends itself to some shocking images but even with that in mind the film goes far enough that we have to think is it being intentionally controversial and provocative. It wants you to hear someone say its the most horrific film ever made but it is intelligent enough to not only get away with accusations of being gratuitous in some circles, but it is also intelligent enough to enhance its horror with great efficiency. The story itself also plays on the urban legend of snuff films of course, and even though that has been done before, it is done far better here. I’ve always wondered if there could be a market for sick films like that and this film’s very existence and potential for success might make a case that there is. Strangely enough and strictly on a technical level all around, A Serbian Film is actually pretty well done.
There are messages in A Serbian Film that probably have merit. The idea that it reflects a self-deprecating view of its namesake country, the paranoia toward its authorities, and any possible general moral decay there are all present in the film, but I simply do not buy the idea that its messages warrant this degree of shocking content. I don’t find it too surprising that some viewers will find that enough to justify its gore and sexual transgressions, so perhaps you may if you decide to challenge yourself with seeing this movie. But that I can assure you is simply a pointless exercise and this kind of shock value is of really no value at all. Do not see A Serbian Film. Seriously, you will regret it.
My rating is 2 1/2 out of 5 stars.
Gaspar Noe’s Irreversible is about as polarizing a film as you can get. People have walked out on it. People have denounced it as pretentious and vile trash. People have described it as mere exploitation disguised as subversive art. It has been called misogyny and it has been called pro-violence. What it is and what it means to be is an authentic rape/revenge tragedy film, and content like that just wouldn’t excel if it didn’t make you squirm toward questioning its motives. It may rationalize violence and provide an explanation but it is by no means a film that exploits or supports it. Noe has since run out of gas with his seven year feature film hiatus that finally came to an end with the recent mediocre indie Enter the Void. It makes me think that Irreversible was the sole product of his most generative phase, and it shows. The concept and writing here stick in your mind despite taking second place to the often appalling but obviously effective visuals. It makes me think Irreversible may come from a lifetime of brainstorming.
The movie counts backwards from one tragedy and to another as we see what caused the first inexplicable and horrific sequence to occur, and then each and every scene before that. It is intense, entertaining, shocking and edgy as hell. Films like this push the bar far enough and are done with just enough mainstream appeal and raw talent that they gain some steam and attention; and then they permanently transform how we view, enjoy, create, and even despise cinema. This film is about as ugly as you can get but doesn’t seem to wallow in any of its content to the point where it could be deemed gratuitous, no matter how long it really lingers. It’s easy for some to turn away and say this is awful garbage for showing you things you do not want to see (e.g. realistic rape and murder) but it is still important to allow total freedom of expression; and Noe’s work, whether intentionally or not, makes him an advocate for such expression. He is also technically as strong as anyone in Hollywood, but is fully aware that computerized special effects often need restraint to be truly effective. His discretion in that regard is innovative and he deserves credit there.
The infamous rape sequence that led to many viewers walking out of the theater seems to have an amazing effect on the audience. I have a mini-cinema in my house and I show this movie to people as often as I can. The same thing happens. Just as the rape scene reaches a point that makes us uncomfortable enough to consider getting angry with the movie and leave the room, it ends. I’m inclined to say that this is intentional. Rape should never be expressed in a film in any other way, and neither should murder for that matter. It should make us uncomfortable and scared. It should conjure real life visions of like-wise sequences if we’ve ever been so unfortunate to experience them. Most movie-goers today though are so desensitized to violence and its consequences, that it takes a sequence like this to get under our skin. Make no mistake about it, if a movie that handles subject matter like this gets under your skin then it has done it’s job better than most. Irreversible is a hugely effective indictment of the vile things that any humans, even good ones, are capable of doing to one another.
My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.
The Troll Hunter or Trolljegeren is a Norwegian monster movie portrayed as if it is real recovered footage of a man who hunts trolls and the student journalists who follow him. It is written and directed by André Øvredal, a name to keep an eye on for sure. Here is a film that works with a modest budget and takes an absolutely absurd concept and somehow forces it through as realistic a lens as possible. Sure, it’s easy now to just brush off these mokumentary movies as gimmicks, because there have been quite a few of them from Man Bites Dog to the Blair Witch Project and to the more recent Quarantine (or the superior movie Rec that it was based on). There have been misses of course with this method but more often than not its use has been effective in making a scenario seem more authentic and the horror of it all the more compelling and enjoyable. I’m past believing the mokumentary set-up is hackneyed now. It seems to me a very legitimate way of making movies seem more real, especially in an age where computerized images dominate big budget Hollywood pictures and unwittingly request that real cinephiles stretch our suspension of disbelief well beyond at least my own comfort zone. So I’m a proponent of the possibilities of the mokumentary horror film after watching this little gem that contains all the elements to make every frame fun and believable. It is particularly highlighted by Otto Jespersen’s Hans; the film’s title role. His dead pan demeanor and casual actions in bizarrely twisted situations bring a welcome dry humor that had me chuckling regularly as I enjoyed The Troll Hunter. Jespersen offers up a Bill Murray-like performance in a role that is clearly not written for a comedian, but is most definitely and quite potently delivered by one. He is terrific in this movie.
A group of naive student journalists sets out to track down and document a supposed bear poacher. This is Hans (Jespersen) and he is very reluctant to respond to their inquiries about his activities. They follow Hans all over Western Norway until they finally discover what he is really doing. After they figure this out he lets them follow and film him as he goes about his unique occupation. The moment when the students know for sure what Hans is really up to will test your imagination or make you laugh hysterically, or maybe even a little bit of both. At that moment I wasn’t really sure what I was watching but I knew one thing; I loved it.
The natural performances by the rest of the cast are not to be overlooked. These are talented young actors that help make the film much more than a simple one trick monster movie. The Troll Hunter should also be commended for being shot on location in the mountains of Western Norway. It couldn’t have been an easy shoot for anyone but again it lends itself in an attempt to make an off-the-wall concept filmmable and compelling. I suspect massive international attention for The Troll Hunter soon enough, and it deserves it. This has cult classic written all over it.
My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.
The Host is a South Korean film that contains a surprisingly strong sense of character development and even some emphasis on humor. Ultimately though, The Host will be quickly recognized as one of the most effective monster movies in decades. I’m not exaggerating; it is a shining example of a film that makes me wonder over and over again while watching it, why doesn’t anyone make movies like this anymore? Evidently, South Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-ho (Memories of Murder) does, and The Host quickly became the highest grossing South Korean film ever made.
The Host opens with an American ordering the removal of many gallons of formaldehyde. He orders his assistant to pour the toxic chemical into the drain, which will ultimately place it into the Han River. We are then introduced to the protagonists of the film, a South Korean family, two of which run a snack bar in front of the Han River. A giant creature comes out of the river and snatches up a little girl who is part of this family. The family grieves her loss while the government converges onto the scene and begins to indicate that the monster may be the cause of a new virus and that anyone who had contact with it should be quarantined. The family receives some indication that the little girl is alive and so they opt to make an effort to save her. Many scenes with the monster follow and it doesn’t disappoint.
Monster movies of old invoke feelings of fear, excitement, action, and suspense; but have traditionally required more imagination than other genres. If there is mystery about the monster or we don’t see it as much we quickly creep into the horror genre, but The Host does not do this. If there is no mystery we run the risk of seeing something we don’t believe and that is when our imaginations must take over. The Host doesn’t need its audience to do that either. It is shear madness and we are compelled to believe this is real. The drama assists tremendously and the comedic aspects serve to make the characters even more enjoyable while placing the film into a fairly convincing frame. The first time we see the monster is in broad daylight and it attacks crowds of people along the shore, only to submerge again. There is a moment in Jurassic Park where I felt an amazing sense of hope in great filmmaking combined with great technology. It is the first time we see the dinosaurs. Since that time I’ve grown a bit cynical toward technology’s role in film, but The Host reinvigorates that hope. It is great action, great drama, great comedy, and great horror all mixed together.
The front of the box on the DVD indicates that The Host is on par with Jaws. As someone who believes Jaws to be among the greatest films ever made it would take time to concur with such a statement, but The Host is definitely worth viewing.
My rating is 4 1/2 out of 5 stars.
There are many things being said about Cloverfield and most of them are good. I don’t want to retread many of the points other people have made in reviews throughout the internet, but because I absolutely loved it I’m probably going to cover some things that have already been said. Suffice to say, Cloverfield, along with perhaps the South Korean monster movie gem The Host, is without a doubt the best monster movie to come a long in a very long time. Were it not for the persistent “shaky” camera work criticisms it’s getting, I would expect Cloverfield’s reputation to enter the Jaws echelon in the coming years. It had reached that degree of horror and suspense for me but time will tell.
Cloverfield is intentionally framed in a very unique way. The audience becomes aware that what they are watching is supposed to be real recovered footage taken on the film’s main character’s camera. His name is Rob Hawkins and some of the earlier footage on the camera shows him with his girlfriend Beth. The more recent footage shows a surprise going-away party in Manhattan that Rob’s friends and his brother Jason threw for him after he got a promotion. He is ultimately relocating to Japan. We find that Rob is no longer with his girlfriend at the time of the party, and just as Rob’s friend Hud (the guy filming most of Cloverfield) and his brother talk him into patching things up with Beth, something goes very wrong in Manhattan. What happens after we meet these people, and maybe even begin to care about them for 84 minutes, is where the horror begins. I’m not going to say anything else about the film, because it is entirely worth seeing without knowing anymore than I have already revealed.
The comparison’s to the William Castle-like marketing gimmicks of The Blair Witch Project a decade ago are fair comparisons in many respects, but given that movie’s long-term unpopularity I think it is important to step in and acknowledge that Cloverfield is far different in many ways as well. I firmly believe it will have great longevity. It uses this sort of Cannibal Holocaust/Blair Witch Project style not as a way to market it to us as if it is real, but to merely place a monster movie in as realistic a frame as possible. For that, it does work. I don’t think great acting was as necessary here for me because I wanted to believe it was real, so some of the acting that may have been bad was forgivable enough to forget. Although, Lizzy Caplan who played one of the main characters Marlena was actually very good. Call me a thrill-seeking cinephile searching hard for a scare, but I wanted to buy into Cloverfield and I was sold to it very quickly and very easily. No reason to be cynical when all I came to see was a fun monster movie. It is more than fair to say I got what I wanted.
Many critics are also mentioning the parallels with the attacks on 9/11. I think it was Ebert who said the film “evokes” 9/11 and that is right on point. It does evoke feelings during those attacks and I’m not sure if Cloverfield would have been filmed the same way without it. For many young American’s the only similar large scale tragedy we have seen was thru the lense of a news camera on the day of those attacks, and Cloverfield uses that effectively to force us to empathize with a city under attack by a gargantuan monster. In Cloverfield we get the news coverage, the exploding buildings, the frantic behavior in not knowing what is happening and what could happen next, the poisonous dust from collapsed buildings filling the streets, and perhaps most iconic of all was the destruction of another New York landmark, the Statue of Liberty, which is handled by this monster in the exact same way Conan the Barbarian handled Thulsa Doom.
So there is more than one way to put this monster movie formula into a convincing paradigm and the makers of Cloverfield are quite resourceful in doing so. The film also somehow managed to tell a nice little story. There was a lot happening in Cloverfield and certainly more than enough to keep you very entertained for an hour and a half. It was a great cinematic experience and I offer a very high recommendation.
My rating is 4 1/2 out of 5 stars.
Monsters is a slightly misleading title for a film that requires and elicits the imagination more than most of its intended audience might like. It attempts to create real characters in a compelling atmosphere. That atmosphere is partly unique from most films because of the hugely significant land octopi walking about just below the United States border with Mexico. This doesn’t dwell on the science fiction or even on the massive chaos these monsters bring to the civilized world on a daily basis, but instead focuses on the journey of its two primary characters. Given that the performances work and the environment was just believable enough, the monsters in Monsters are actually quite frightening. There’s something about giant monsters that calls upon feelings of awe and fear instead of just suspense, mystery, gore, and the other mechanics of horror films. Monsters could be a modern King Kong or Godzilla, it might even at times work as well as 2008′s Cloverfield or 2006′s The Host. However, it is boggled down in making a heavy-handed message that is not only too obvious but by the film’s last moments it actually seems to back away from making its point fully, either that or it fumbles in making it effectively. The ending is flawed for a lot reasons, least of which for me was the fact that Monsters doesn’t bring enough of its monsters to the screen, but that is important to note for those looking for a fast paced action yarn. I forgive that because the movie is overall pretty well done and the special effects, albeit by no means seamless, make due and then some for its extremely modest budget. The film cost less than $500, 000 to make. To say that effort made up for the lack of funds is an understatement.
A deep space probe from NASA crashes into Mexico and unleashes an army of terrifying alien life forms whose rapid procreation is a major threat to humanity. The military answers with strikes against the monsters. Andrew (Scoot McNairy) is a photojournalist escorting Samantha (Whitney Able), a pretty and seemingly unhappily engaged girl whose father has requested that Andrew get her out of Mexico and home. Their journey is the film’s arc and it actually works really well microcosmically, as opposed to the big budget alien invasion films we’ve seen over the years with stereotypical characters and questionable aliens.
Overall, the special effects are effective but at times imperfect. The performances are very strong and the story works well as a vehicle to make the alien invasion believable. The constant feel of the monsters imminent attacks work for every scene in the movie and make the film unique and memorable. It adds suspense effortlessly. Finally, the film’s biggest strength is that it is all shot on location. An amazing feat for its young British director Gareth Edwards. He’s actually working to reboot Godzilla for Legendary Pictures and given the movies that they fund I’m sure he’ll have an extraordinary budget to work with. If he can use his pennies as wisely as he does here and maintain this effective and appealing style, then monster movie fans may be in for a very special treat in a few years. In the meantime, I’m giving a solid recommendation that you see Monsters.
My rating is 3 1/2 out of 5 stars.