Sunday, November 23, 2014

Theatre Fantastique (2014)


Oh joy, up-and-coming young indie filmmaker Ansel Faraj has again been struck by the delusion that he can adapt things! Forgive my anger, but with his Doctor Mabuse films, this schmuck has done serious harm to the franchise! Mabuse films are extremely, absurdly infrequent, so when the first in twenty-four, technically fifty, years are dreadful and unfaithful betrayals to the source material, then you can see that I would be quick to anger and frustration, especially when Faraj's follow-up project, web series Theatre Fantastique, is so bad too!...

The Madness of Roderick Usher


Sickly Roderick Usher is in his gloomy home, awaiting an undertaker to take his deceased sister away...

This is a pretty uneventful short. It's a bad adaptation of Edgar Allen Poe's The Fall of the House of Usher, as it doesn't cover all the story's bases, thus leaving the plot both lacking and unexplained. I guess Faraj must have found Christopher Pennock sitting in an armchair in a nightrobe more irresistible than a real plot!

The look and set design of this short are lousy! The only real set is a darkly lit room with a few curtains, while everything else is terrible green screens, and embarrassing photoshop CGI. This is so cheap that the film can't even be bothered to show the sky by shooting the camera at it! Neither is an actual doorway used for a doorway! Jesus, Faraj, I get that you probably only had ten bucks to make this film, but believe me when I say it costs zip to film clouds, and someone walking into a doorway!


Ansel Faraj's obsession with dark green-lit rooms is back again here, no matter how little sense it makes. If there's no light in the room save for a single candelabra, then where the hell is the bathing green light coming from?!

The direction here is meh, while the editing is passable for the most part. For the most part! There's a painfully obvious re-use of a scene from the beginning at the end.

Christopher Pennock is decent here. The guy can be a good actor, even if his overacting does get the better of him sometimes (such as it did badly in Doctor Mabuse: Etiopomar). Elyse Ashton, who I've spoken positively of in the past, is sort-of wasted here. She makes for a decent physical presence, but gets practically zero dialogue. And finally, J.R. Cox is dull. He's an ok actor, but he lacks presence.

Nosferatu: Beyond Death


That title card is made with the airbrush tool on Microsoft Paint! How frakkin' cheap can ya be? Was it seriously too taxing to make a real title card?! My loathing for these shorts aside, I'm at least respectful enough to consider them real films, so Faraj, why don't you actually put some damn effort into your projects!

This movie is basically a seven minute vampire bloodletting fetish video. There's no plot, and there's little-to-no dialogue! I suppose that latter point is because the film is striving to evoke a silent film feel for the film. This would make sense if the film wasn't 1, in colour, 2, in HD, and 3, lacking in intertitles!


After the four-and-a-half minute mark, we get actual dialogue, and a scene in black and white (though not in a belated attempt to evoke silent films). What little excuse there is for a plot is next to nothing, and the small smatterings of dialogue are as vapid as they are fleeting. As for the adaptation aspect, this short comes across like something made by someone who has never seen Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror, and has only looked it up on Google Images.

The make-up for Nosferatu is decent, but despite the effort that went into putting it together, the short has him do nothing but bite a woman for the short's entire runtime! What a waste!

The rest of the effects are horrid. Actors don't match up to scale with the outside locations the green screens are projecting, there's a vampire flying scene worse than the one in Die Hard Dracula, and worse, there's castle CGI so bad that the opening from Castlevania 64 looks better! Oh God, I wish I was joking! And then there's the inside of the castle, which looks more akin to a friggin hotel room!

A Descent into a Maelstrom


Ugh, let's start of with the fact that this short has almost nothing to do with the Edgar Allen Poe story of the same name. That was about a shipwrecked mariner's desperate struggle in a raging ocean. There were no zombie ghosts present, of the aquatic variety or not!

After the relatively grounded first couple of minutes, the plot to this short gives into chaos almost immediately, and when it finally stops, we're delivered an abrupt and cliched twist ending, that has nothing to do with the Poe story. Worse still is that the short has the balls to have the lead quote Poe's 'Dream within a dream' poem verse, as if quoting Edgar Allen Poe will somehow magically make this movie relate to him.

The writing, when not a total entropic mess, is repetitive like crazy!

Jackson Gutierrez is a passable actor, but the repetition in the beginning and ending really screws over his performance. Christopher Pennock lets his overacting side loose for this short, and the result is exactly what you'd expect-Bad! And finally, Kelsey Hewlett (another Faraj regular I've spoken of positively before) is wasted. At least I'm sure she had fun being a sea wraith, even if the short did nothing with the concept besides point the camera at her while she cackled evilly.


The direction here is bad! I'm aware that the film's middle section is meant to be chaotic, but that doesn't change the fact that it's still a jumbled, eye-straining mess. Especially irresponsible is the flashing at the start, which is sure to be uncomfortable for anyone with epilepsy (and that is the second GODDAMN time that I've had to give an epilepsy warning for one of Ansel Faraj's movies!).

The effects are nothing. The mise en scene is again a small dark room. Surprisingly, however, there's extremely little green screen work here! The film still looks like cheap garbage, but it at least looks like real cheap garbage!

Another bad effect is a brief shot of the ocean's depths. With it's immobile fish, and the friggin' visible window, it looks like a still image of a museum exhibit trying and failing to pass itself of as the ocean!

The Happy Home of the Murderous Mahones


Wow, this sure is a sudden detour for Theatre Fantastique! We've suddenly gone from ooky Gothic tales to a suburban American black comedy!

As this short actually has a plot, I can actually give it a summary! An old married couple are at each-other's throats, literally. Intent on murdering one another, things are complicated when they accidentally kill a visiting church member...

The plot here is bare and over too quickly, with no surprises in its ending. There are also some annoying aspects, like-Why do they want to kill each-other? Never explained. Also, they keep getting interrupted by a neighbour friend as they're trying to dispose of a body, and this is presented as a big deal, even though this problem could be easily solved. Just tell her you can't see her now, and to come back another time! It's not that difficult!

There's nothing worse than an unfunny comedy, and thankfully this short isn't quite that bad. Don't get me wrong, it's not funny, but it's merely boring, rather than absolutely wretched and unwatchable.


This movie's sense of humour is very poor, and it seems to be hoping that the situation alone can carry the humour throughout, along with a load of swearing, as if that will make the movie funny, rather than merely immature.

The acting isn't that great, but it's not terrible either. As for Ansel Faraj regular Nathan Wilson, he isn't that good, but due to his 'aw shucks' type character, there's at least life in his performance, unlike other roles I've seen him in.

This is the second-best entry in Theatre Fantastique, courtesy of it actually having a plot, and not having terrible effects (that is to say, it doesn't have any to begin with). It's still crap, though, and its story and tone are incredibly ill-fitting for this series.

Madame LaSoeur


This is by far the best short in this series. At sixteen minutes long rather than seven or eleven, it's long enough to develop its plot, and the story is, *GASP*, actually decently written! It's even got a neat twist! Sure, it's a bit cliche, but not painfully so, and it wasn't really obvious!

Unfortunately the atmosphere to this movie is what drags it down. Part of it is good, but the constant 'scary face' jump-scare flashes aren't frightening, but rather annoying! Also not so good is the end of the conclusion, which didn't make much sense. I guess demons are just untrustworthy dicks.

The actors in this short awesomely includes both Kelsey Hewlett, and Kelly Erin Decker! Woohoo! Of course, also in the cast are Christopher Pennock, Jerry Lacy, and other Faraj regular Derek Mobraaten to weigh things down. Thankfully, the latter three, as well as Lara Parker, act decently, and while Lacy's delivery sometimes stumbles, he's not bad.


Kelly Erin Decker is stylish as the titular spiritualist, and acts well. Kelsey Hewlett is this short's villain, but that doesn't mean she's utilized a lot. She's incredibly wasted, to the point that I feel really bad for her. We don't even really see her, as basically all of her appearances are brief transparent flashes.

The effects here are quite decent, and there's little-to-no use of all-encompassing green screens!

This short isn't great by any means, but it's a more than serviceable way to kill a quarter of an hour! I recommend it!

Overall

This is a pretty rotten set of shorts! The adaptations are barely middling to dreadful, the acting ranges from decent to mildly annoying, the direction is oftentimes not-so-good, and the effects are completely embarrassing! It's especially annoying when you consider other extremely low-budget TV shows and movies. Classic Doctor Who, The Final Sacrifice, and many other things I could name all had extremely minimal budgets, and oftentimes were barely allowed just one take to film in because money was so tight, but they pulled through to provide its audience with a visually appealing production, with its decent, albeit sometimes laughable, effects. Classic Doctor Who did use green screens here and there, but never for whole locations (bar one episode) all the time, and when they were used-and I can't stress this next point enough-they didn't FUCKING glitch out! Ansel, dude, get your goddamn green screens fixed! So yeah, the effects in Classic Who were sometimes bad, and sometimes hilarious, but they were always really there, and they never fell apart on screen!

There's one episode left of Theatre Fantastique, and it comes out on December the 5th, so I'll watch and review it then. Until then, this collection of Theatre Fantastique shorts is listed on its Vimeo home as Season 1. Please God let there not be a Season 2!...

Saturday, November 22, 2014

The House That Would Not Die (1970)


Ugh, that's a title that just punches you in the face, isn't it! While grammatically correct, The House That Would Not Die is a title that just feels off due to its drawn out nature, and from this point onwards, and going to contract it to a more comfortable form.

Ruth Bennett and her niece Sara have just moved into a new home, left to them in the will of a relation. The house seems fine at first, but soon shows a disturbing side as Sara is possessed at intermittent moments by the spirit of a woman named Ammie. Ruth, and neighbours/new friends Pat, and Stan, don't know what to think at first, with Pat believing Sara is a latent schizophrenic, but they soon realize the ghostly truth. As the possessions get worse and more violent, everyone must find out the truth behind Amie and her obsessive father's spirit before it's too late...


The House That Wouldn't Die is a tense and softly eerie ghost story. I'm tempted to say that it's more of a ghost tale than an outright horror film, but I don't wanna sounds like one of those pretentious dicks who hate all horror films except certain ones, which they do their best to classify as 'thrillers' or other such 'acceptable' genres rather than horror. Still, that's what the film is like. It has no body count, instead relying on its plot, creepy atmosphere, and subtle scares to carry it, and it works fantastically! Anyone who says G/PG rated horror films can't work are dolts!

The story to this movie is a well-written one, following the characters as they realize what's going on, and investigate to find its cause. The characters are likeable, and realistic, thankfully. When there's clearly nasty ghost activity, they believe it for one (thank God!), and want to leave and move away! Also thankfully, the reason they do stay is also a well-crafted one.


The mystery here is very well-handled, with a good dripfeed of information. We don't get too much at once, or too little. The answers are revealed well, and best of all, the ending not only didn't piss me off, but it's also not abrupt! A 74 minute TV movie with a well-paced ending! GASP!

The House That Wouldn't Die is replete with ooky and tense scenes, all of which are directed very well! The scoring is suitably spooky, as well as more softly upbeat come the end.



The acting here is all very good, from Barbara Stanwyck, to Richard Egan, to Michael Anderson Jr., and a debuting Katherine 'Kitty' Wynn (The Exorcist) does fantastically! Especially good is Richard Egan when he's possessed. He's quietly evil, and it works wonders for the film's atmosphere. There's one scene that's not so good though. It's a dream sequence, and the slow motion renders the acting hilarious! And Kitty Wynn's over-the-top gesticulations and facial expressions don't help.

For a TV movie, the direction here is quite good, as mentioned above. There are some scenes that are shot very stylishly! One of my only issue with this movie are a few segues, which are very abrupt and/or disorienting. For example, a character picks up a scroll, the camera zooms-in on the parchment, zooms out and suddenly the characters are reading the scroll in a totally different building!



There's also a dumb scene involving a family bible with a stricken out name. A character manages to rapidly and easily shave the ink off, off of three hundred year old paper no less, leaving no damage to the page, and exposing the hidden name! Bullcrap!

The House That Wouldn't Die is a highly entertaining ghost story, and I can't recommend it enough! It's well worth a watch for horror fans out there!...

Alice in Wonderland in Paris (1966)


Alice in Wonderland in Paris! That's...not a good title! In fact, this film is also know as Alice of Wonderland in Paris, which is an improvement. So what is this movie, you ask? Alice in Wonderland in Paris is a 1966 Czech-American animation, and while some don't view it in the most charitable of lights, I do...

Alice is sitting at home, reading about the literary adventures of French schoolgirl Madeline, and wishes to be in Paris. Just at that moment, a French mouse named Francoise comes into the house, having made a wrong turn in his cheese delivery. Alice befriends him, and asks to be taken to France and shown around, an offer Francoise accepts as long as she tries some cheese. Along the way, the two tell each-other fairy tales, and stories of both the past and present...


This is a movie that is loathed by many, but time has been kind to it. It's considered to be bizarre for one, but it isn't in the slightest. And if you think this is bizarre, then you ain't seen nothin' yet concerning this franchise! Hell, isn't the point of the franchise to be bizarre? That and to deride modern mathematics, and produce more distaff horror adaptations than anybody ever wanted. Like I said, time has been kind to Alice in Wonderland in Paris, and its current reputation, while still obscure, is a much more warmly received one, and for good reason.

However, if there is one problem some may have with this movie, it's that it has nothing to do with Alice in Wonderland. However, come the end, I felt that it did. I won't spoil how, but the story mirrors two literary adventurous girls, in a way that provided a pretty nifty conclusion, that I feel justifies the title.


The majority of this 52 minute film is made up by five short stories, about 8 minutes each. The first story, about Anatole the cheese testing mouse, is quite a nice story, both amusing, and cute! It's not too short, nor does it drag, and once it's over, you feel sad...Ok, ok, I'll stop rhyming.

The Madeline story is also pretty nice, and while you'll want to violently murder Pepito throughout its running time, he does become likeable come the end (well, as much as a character without any technical real dialogue can be.) This short produced lots of nostalgia for me, as I haven't seen the old Madeline cartoons since I was a kid! Putting rose-tinted glasses aside, it's an amusing short, with quite good rhyming!

The Frowning Prince story is decent, but the dialogue/voice acting is very repetitive, and while that is part of the joke, so it would seem, it doesn't quite work. Still, this is an ok parable, and never annoying or infuriating, though its ending is pretty baffling, sudden, and unexplained.


The Many Moons is possibly my favourite in the movie. It's a simple tale about a sick princess who wants the moon to be brought to her, and it's sweetly intelligent, in a dumb kind-of way. It's A Rashamon-type story, and is amusing althroughout, with a great ending! There's also some amusing dialogue, such as when the king asks his Lord Chamberlain "Yes, the moon. Get it tonight. Tomorrow at the latest.", and the court wizard's monologue "I have worked a great deal of magic for you in my time, majesty. I have squeezed blood out of turnips for you, and turnips out of blood. I have produced rabbits out of silk hats, and silk hats out of rabbits. I have conjured up flowers, tambourines, and doves out of nowhere, and nowhere out of flowers, tambourines, and doves!".

The final story is another Madeline one, and this one isn't quite as good, as it's not long enough, and thus compact and a tad confusing. On the subject of Madeline, it's funny, when I'm actually emotionally mature enough (that is to say, not a dumb kid) to accept and appreciate a 'girly' show like it, I'm far too old to watch it!


The stories actually tie into the story, thankfully, and are not random cartoons from different sources all edited into a jumbled whole. While the stories' content may be pretty random, they do tie in in various ways, whether it be continuity in the animation, or aspects of the movie's characters. Especially good is the ending, which is a montage of new footage that in a way acts as an epilogue, with us seeing the various characters later down the track, which is very good seeing as The Frowning Prince ended on such an abrupt note, and it offers a nice look into the legacy of Anatole.

The animation in this movie is very good for what it is! It's old type animation, for sure, but by no means bad, and to put it in perspective, it's better animation then, say, the crap in The Flinstones cartoon from the same time period, and that was certainly a bigger production than this little thing. Of course, Tom and Jerry as well as Looney Tunes are both insanely better looking, but again, those are much bigger productions. The animation here is fluid, and remembers continuity, little and big.

The music here is very good, and there are a couple of neat songs!


Throughout this whole movie, I only found one scene that was in any way amusingly odd from an adult perspective. In this scene, Francoise offers Alice size-altering 'magic mushroom' cheese! Also, in that same conversation, he says he got the magic mushrooms from Wonderland, then mentions Alice having been there...How the fuck do you know Alice was in Wonderland, mouse? Not ten minutes ago, you had no idea who she was! Stalker!

Overall, this is better than Alice in Wonderland: An X-Rated Musical Fantasy, better than Jan Svankmajer's disturbing puppet-terror flick Alice, and it's a whole hell of a lot better than that...film that I dare not say the name of, lest I foul a review for this fine movie!

To finish, Alice In Wonderland in Paris may have a horrible title, and it may have fuck all to do with Alice in Wonderland, but it's a sweet and amusing film, and if you have young kids, I highly recommend this to show them!...

Friday, November 21, 2014

Rock n' Roll Space Patrol (2005)


Rock and Roll Space Patrol is a title that may elicit two responses from whoever reads it. The first being an ecstatic "Oh my god, this movie sounds friggin' awesome!" and the second being a resigned "...This is gonna be too good to be true, isn't it". If you thought the former, then I am sorry, because the answer is invariably always the latter. Films with ridiculously cool sounding titles are usually either disappointments, or even worse! Today's film is one such example. It's not awful, but it does no justice to its title of Rock and Roll Space Patrol...

In space sector 219A, a backwater planet is in tatters after it was swarmed by an infection that left the populace mindless, thanks to the machinations of the diabolical Dr. Spider Jones, aka Dr. Lloyd Blaster, and it's up to space ranger Buck Fiesta and planet native Red Arrow to take back this world's society and restore order to the populace, foil Spider Jones and his nefarious Icebox Fusion, and restore the natural balance of rock and roll!...


This is not a good film by any means. It's shot on video, has awful effects, and is only a sci-fi movie if you take the actors' word for it (a fate you'll recall I felt equally short film The Rising Light narrowly avoided). There are zero scenes in space, and it's all shot in rural American suburbia, which is genuinely supposed too pass for a futuristic colonisation on an alien planet! What is this, a live-action Battle  of the Planets?!

I'm not sure if this is meant to be a comedy. If it was, then the makers forgot to incorporate the 'rather important' aspect known as humour. I'm not saying this film is unfunny, it just simply lacks jokes of any kind, perhaps only relying on it's not-even-trying 'special' effects to generate all the laughs.


The story here is pretty nothing. For the first several minutes, there's no plot, and what little plot there is is slowly advanced as the movie goes on, with very little meat on its bones, culminating in an absolutely baffling ending!

While the end to the climax left me thinking nasty thoughts, the fourth-wall breaking reader of the story-within-a-story, the 'Distinguished Gentleman's' monologue at the end is actually kinda fascinating, and while his revelation of the story's ending's true outcome is irksome at first, his suppositions of the nature of storytelling and inaction as the only solution to avoid inevitable failures of action is quite interesting, as are the other cryptic and thought-provoking things he has to say! Unfortunately he's cut off by the ending credits mid-sentence because the film is trying to be coy! Goddamnit movie, you were actually genuinely interesting there for the first time and you blew it! Well even if he wasn't cut off, this artistic ending evaluation wouldn't offer anything new to the film on a rewatch, nor does it help the ailing script, which, no matter what, is just plain lifeless. This is beyond a shame, and Rock and Roll Space Patrol is just wasted potential in every conceivable way!


The movie's dialogue, what little there is, is meh, but some lines from the ending monologue are great! "You know, friends, I love a great story. A great story does more than just kill an hour of your day-It can make you a better person."

The effects in this movie are of course beyond dreadful, with there being no outer space (besides the stylised and cartoon-y opening credits), ninja warriors being guys in decorated paper dinner plate masks, a car being a 'turbo spaceship', a fridge acting as an evil science generator, and a campfire that doesn't even have a real flame over it, but instead some photoshop trickery! The worst is the roboputer (Yes, really!), which is a silver-gloved hand in a tissue box, while its keypad is a post-it cluster with pen scribbles.

Now, what I suspect is that the makers of this film had about twenty dollars and a rental camera to make this movie, so they decided to deliberately use obvious regular everyday objects as stand-ins for sci-fi stuff, as one big in-joke, but this ultimately doesn't work. If this film was more broadly a comedy, it could be a friggin' hilarious aspect, but as it stands, the movie comes across as both laughably cheap, and laughably dumb, no matter which intent, be it comedic or serious, you see the movie in.


The acting here isn't that bad, thankfully, but the crap sound quality make it hard to hear them most of the time. Special kudos goes to Glen Perkins, who's very good as the 'Fine Intellectualized Gentleman'. If his IMDb page is to be believed, this is his only role, and that's a shame.

The music is middling. The main theme is almost groovy, but lacks any lyrics besides "Rock and roll, space patrol!" repeated a dozen times, and is thusly lacking. Other songs (of which there are only two!) throughout the movie actually have lyrics, but are short, and merely ok. For a movie called Rock and Roll Space Patrol, it's annoyingly lacking in rockin' tunes.


Rock and Roll Space Patrol is not a good movie by any means, and if it's a deliberately so-bad-it's-good movie, then it's still a failure on various grounds. I advise that you don't bother with this film, and instead go listen to some Billy Joel's Still Rock and Roll To Me instead. Hell, that's probably an alternative even the makers of this movie would support!...

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Rising Light (2013)


Would it be bad form of me to deliberately seek out more works of Ansel Faraj knowing I'll likely loathe them? Nah, probably not. After all, if the guy's remaining filmography is as bad as his dreadful Doctor Mabuse movies, then they have whatever harsh things I can say coming! Granted, I hope the rest of his films are good, regardless of my feelings towards the schmuck (for giving the Dr. Mabuse franchise a severe compound fracture, that's the kindest thing I can call him), but I'm wary all the same. So what do I have to say for his 2013 effort The Rising Light?...

Daniel, the son of a mystic star, has been sent on a mission to Earth to give a silver 'gift' to 'The Dreamer' in order to save mankind. With only two days to live, Daniel must act quickly to find the Dreamer and prevent eldritch evils from crossing over into our world. Unfortunately, while he thought he found help in the form of a man named Alex, he's really no comrade at all to Daniel, and his intentions are in no way noble...


The Rising Light is a zero-budget sci-fi 'road movie', which is to say that as much as Faraj says this is a road movie, it really isn't in any shape or form, as there's little traveling, on-road or otherwise, and the lead is only briefly with a road-trip buddy before he's abandoned and betrayed by him. The plot is a sci-fi fable, and at first I was afraid that this would be set entirely in woodland, and a couple of tourist attractions, with only the actors' word for it that this is meant to be science fiction, but whether it be nifty locations, or horrid CGI green screens, The Rising Light actually does go to the stars! Thankfully, while these locations are both fleeting, and absurdly fake, respectively, at least they're here. If The Rising Light has one positive, it's that it doesn't pull a rock and roll space patrol.

A lot of filming in this movie is done in front of green screens, even though these are of real, easily-accessible locations (I guess the costs of filming permits are to blame in this case, although maybe it was just to help with the CGI). In due part because of this, I take issue with the 'On location' credits listing at the end. At your studio is not filming at location, just as much as shooting in front of a green screen facsimile of a place doesn't count!


This film's plot is pretty bare, and extremely unexplored at only 52 minutes long. According to the official Hollinsworth Productions summary, The Rising Light "...blends 50's sci-fi with existential themes, the exploration of an outsider, and a study of loss and failure". None of that came across to me. There seems to be absolutely nothing of 1950's sci-fi (though the effects are on par with Robot Monster, but I'm sure that's not what Ansel Faraj had in mind by that summary's meaning), and as for the themes, if they are here and were too subtle for me to understand, they're not well-crafted, and should have played deeper into the plot, and not be so darn vague and underutilized.

The dialogue here is stilted and so is the acting! Neither Nathan Wilson or Derek Mobraaten are very capable actors, with Wilson being particularly bad! He is in serious need of a DVD of Starman, so he can watch a real actor do fantastically at playing an emotionally alien alien without being wooden. Of course, that's if I'm not being too generous by assuming that he's intentionally playing such a role. He could just be that bad of an actor, and Ansel Faraj is that bad of a director that he likely doesn't even notice! His direction didn't seem to do any of his actors any favours in his Mabuse movies!


Linden Chiles (R.I.P.) is pretty decent, and certainly the best actor in the movie, while Kathryn Leigh Scott is also good. As for John C. Smith, he's unfortunately continuing his career trend of being utterly wasted by Ansel Faraj, which is a shame, as he's a fun actor, and he's an Aussie, which is always cool seeing in genre films.

The writing here is pretty meh. We get lines both hilariously bad, and just plain grammatically incorrect, from "You can't trust anyone in life. Even in outer space, they'll stab you in the back.", to "You have powers beyond no-one!" Err, you mean anyone, Ansel?

The main character of Daniel is both boring and stupid. When briefed on his mission, he's told to be very careful about who he trusts and reveals his true self to...and the very first person he meets on Earth, he instantly spills the beans to! Dumbass!  He even realizes his mistake, yet continues to make it! And of course, this turns out to be a bad mistake! The remaining characters are all pretty bland and/or unexplored.


Ansel Faraj's direction is ok, but the editing in the chase scene at the end is terrible, and there are many scenes that are crazy overexposed! I took a screenshot of the sky at one point, and is was so pure blindingly white that when I pasted the image to both MS Word, and Paint, it literally perfectly blended in to the white of the pages, to the point where I wasn't sure at first if I'd hit paste properly!

The effects are not good. The majority of effects are the green screen backgrounds, but there are some different ones in other parts, such as the sometimes-negative look of the villain, and other stuff. The only practical work is the make-up for a particular character at the end. Oh, and by the way, Ansel, if you're reading this review, know that the use of green screens is CGI, so don't try and claim your films have none when they're filmed almost entirely in front of it! Also, photoshop CGI effects are CGI too. I'll tell you what isn't CGI. Actual real effects!..


The score, largely (or entirely) made up of archive music, is decent, and the main theme is quite nice, and softly beautiful!...The first goddamn time anyway! Thankfully it doesn't repeat too much.

Overall, The Rising Light was neither terrible, nor particularly boring. It's not good, but it's not dreadful either, in part due to the fact that Ansel Faraj hasn't seen fit to butcher an existing franchise this time round. I don't recommend it, but if you have time to kill, and for some reason don't feel like watching a real movie (that is to say, a good one, particularly with more of a real plot than this), then I guess you could stand to give it a watch.

To finish, I am glad I sought this movie out. After all, it gave me the opportunity to say "I get it, he's fucking human bigfoot in the negative zone. Do something!", and really, is that not a victory of sorts?...