With so many movies logging 2½ – 3hrs standard these days, its easy to forget how good, simply, a movie at an hour half can be. Again, very straightforward, well executed story delivered with a minor twist, the inspiration for the film, The Archer is a great survival/revenge story well worth a view.
Wrong Turn makes the right moves. Bolstered by well-defined, inclusively diverse characters, an efficient-yet-deliberate pace and a consistently foreboding tone, the story is intriguing and – God forbid – sometimes thought provoking. Equal parts brains and blood make this a pleasant surprise, a welcome change in direction and the best film in the franchise…by far.
Aside from some rain, there’s no further “plot” beyond this, nor does the film come to any sort of resolution. It’s like watching my daughter play Bloodborne for an hour before she gets bored and quits. But even that game has something resembling a story. All Crazy Samurai: 400 vs. 1 has to offer is the novelty of its gimmick, which wears off after about 10 minutes.
It used to be that Jackie Chan could elevate mediocre movies into something at-least watchable, using his physical skills, congeniality and comic timing to maintain audience goodwill. But he hasn’t appeared in a decent film for quite some time and Vanguard doesn’t reverse that trend. No one is expecting a return to his glory days, but it’d be nice if he occasionally appeared to be trying.
Whether or not you align with the experimental nature of the film, the technical prowess (even for a short so isolated and simplistic in scope) is remarkable. ChewBoy productions remains an ambitious, uniquely bizarre, indie film group unafraid to embrace the delightfully weird Duplass-ian grassroots that make experimental film so interesting. The Zizz is one part The Puffy Chair with a small dash of Last Year at Mariebad and slight tonal similarities to THX 1138. It’s an enigmatic amalgamation of themes that universally offer solace in understanding—an acknowledgement that the internal dilemmas, the suffering we feel inside, may actually be a shared experience. Perhaps, in that way, The Zizz (in what it represents) doesn’t have to feel so daunting.
Dugan does deserve props for one thing…he managed to attract a pretty decent cast. I’m not sure how he pulled it off, because Love, Weddings & Other Disasters is…well, a disaster. It’s an interminable, laugh-free endurance test with artificial characters, erratic pacing and moments of shallow sentimentality. The most prominent name in the credits gets most of the blame.