Tuesday, October 15, 2013

FILM REVIEW: Violet & Daisy




Violet & Daisy is a 2011 Crime Comedy starring Saoirse Ronan, Alexis Bledel and the late James Gandolfini. It was written and directed by Geoffrey Fletcher and actually released on 5 June 2013. This review contains spoilers so please be aware of that while reading through it.

PLOT

Two teenage assassins accept what they think will be a quick-and-easy job, until an unexpected target throws them off their plan.

WHY I WATCHED

I broke my cardinal rule with this film in that I saw it on the front of IMDB and decided to check out the trailer which for those who read my reviews often is generally taboo with me. Still the trailer sucked me in and I decided then and there that I had to watch this very weird very interesting film. Plus I always take a second look at films with Saoirse Ronan I even liked The Host and though I never really watched Gilmore Girls I heard enough about it to take notice of Alexis Bledel.

WHAT I THOUGHT

Violet & Daisy is one very weird film and in that it succeeds in being very entertaining. The problem with a lot of films these days is that they are just too predictable, the guy is going to get that much too hot girl, one man is going to take down 100 ninjas and so on and so on. This film is in no way easy to read, it asks a lot of questions and just about answers them by the end.

Not everyone is going to be able to root for two teenage assassins working for the mob but if you can then you can sit back and watch their witty unreal banter with a real smile on your face. Premise aside though this film does stay with the weird all the way through. For instance the film is divided into chapters with I guess what could be called themes as they are highlighted at each intermission.



There are a few inter-related stories running through this film though to be fair James Gandolfini’s character is the only one we really get any back story on. I was left with questions about Daisy was she just na├»ve or is she developmentally challenged? She was so sweet you couldn't help but be on her side throughout the film.
The chapters are interesting and do a bit of jumping around in time over some seminal scenes that happen during the film at first it is maybe a little confusing but you get the idea soon enough and from then on it works pretty well and sort of sends the film off towards arty but thankfully steering clear of pretentious.

Violet is a bit of enigma made even more so by that Boston accent that keeps coming and going throughout the film, is she a sociopath or just a woman who likes her work. I am not sure but she does make for an interesting character who you want to learn more about but unfortunately don’t.

I can’t really talk about a film like this without talking about the violence therein; it is on the fantasy side of things meaning violence with seemingly no consequences. If that is a problem for you then this movie is not a good choice.

Best Part

Saoirse Ronan she just has something about her that makes you like her.  She seems to be exceptionally good at choosing her projects (The Host was good I’m telling you) and she is great in this role.

Worst Part

The lack of any meaningful back story to either of those girls rankles with me I think I could have definitely gotten more out of this and invested more in Violet and Daisy if I had known just a little more about them.

Conclusion

Overall I would say that Violet and Daisy is an engaging film well worth a look. Don’t go in expecting an action epic instead settle in for a film with some thrills and spills which sucks you in and hits you right in the feels.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

+1 (Plus One) Movie Review


Plus One (+1) is a Sci-Fi/Thriller released on 10 March 2013. It was written by Bill Gullo and Dennis Iliadis and directed by Dennis Iliadis. PLEASE BE AWARE OF SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.



PLOT

Three college friends hit the biggest party of the year, where a mysterious phenomenon disrupts the night, quickly descending into a chaos that challenges their friendships -- and whether they can stay alive.

WHY I WATCHED

I don’t know about this one really, this film doesn’t have any actors and actresses I closely follow. The premise was what dragged me in I prefer plot outlines like the one above nice and vague and I’m not someone who will watch a trailer unless it is something quantifiable like X-Men or The Avengers as we all know what is up with that except all too often I think trailers take either all the best scenes or make the plot and likely ending of the movie so obvious it renders watching the movie pointless.

WHAT I THOUGHT

I love it when I can go into a film like this not knowing anything with no hype to ruin things and just watch and come to my own conclusions. The setting at a house party is interesting it has been done before but it really works here where a number of different stories weaved together.
The film is certainly not perfect the whole random falling objects with strange powers. It is never explained although the last scene might go some way into offering a bit of an explanation.
The actors do a great job of throwing a little life into characters that are always going to veer towards one dimensional because of the lack of back story we are privy to. You end up liking some and probably hating others.


To the story itself David is a very messed up very sad individual. It seems like the writers wanted to envision the worse possible boyfriend, the stalking, drop your friends for your girl type. I didn’t like him from the moment he did the weird stalker turn up at his girl’s big competition and even less when he lip locked that girl (how much can you love your girl if you can’t recognise her from behind).

Teddy and Allison are much more likeable and were what kept me invested in the ongoing craziness as the party and the sci-fi craziness both reach their crescendo. Teddy shines as a guy with the confidence of ten men and Allison with her dialogue that wouldn't feel out of place on a Whedon project is just that cool geek we all wish we knew.


The pre-meditated murder of David’s girlfriend is controversial but I can see why it is in their as the whole theme of the movie is just like she said that of replacing someone which seems to be the choice David made as soon as he understood what was happening. At the beginning of the movie you might be fooled into believing that he is just a hopeless sap in love but by the end we see something a lot darker though the heavy hints start much sooner than that.


In closing if you want a thriller with a sci-fi twist all wrapped up in what had to be one of the biggest house parties ever then you won’t go wrong with this. I had a great time watching it.