Thursday, May 28, 2015

Princess: A Modern Fairytale (2008)

Number Rolled: 19
Movie Name/Year: Princess: A Modern Fairytale (2008)
Genre: Fantasy
Length: 88 minutes
Rating: PG
Production Companies: Princessa Productions, Treehouse North Productions
Executive Producer: Craig Berenson
Director: Mark Rosman
Writer: Heidi Ferrer
Actors: Nora Zehetner, Kip Pardue, Nicole Gale Anderson, Deborah Grover, Matthew Edison, Mayko Nguyen, Shileen Paton

William is a little lost. He’s not sure where his life is supposed to be going. When his friend drags him to a ball and he meets the strange princess, however, his life begins to take a definite direction.

Although the story told within Princess: A Modern Fairytale is good on paper, the film doesn’t really hold up to the possibilities. Even for a TV film.

The CGI was ridiculous. Charmed started in 1998 and had plenty of mythological/magical creatures in it. Even without the technology of today, they made their creatures so much more believable than this film did. Perhaps the director believed the terrible graphics would add a campy charm to the movie. They were very wrong.

On top of that, the acting was stiff and unfortunate. None of the actors really pulled off their parts, but the worst was definitely Nora Zehetner (Maron, Heroes, Grey’s Anatomy). At times she looked like a marionette with no joints carved into her limbs.

Children should enjoy watching this ABC mess, but their parents might find it growing old very fast.

I would like to state that if this were a book, I would happily read it. I bet it would be amazing.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – None
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 41%

Netflix’s Prediction for Me – 2.4/5
Trust-the-Dice Score1.5/5

Movie Trailer:

Monday, May 25, 2015

Open Windows (2014)

Number Rolled: 79
Movie Name/Year: Open Windows (2014)
Genre: Thriller
Length: 100 minutes
Rating: NR
Production Companies: Apaches Entertainment, Atresmedia Cine, La Panda, Sayaka Producciones Audiovisuales, SpectreVision, Wild Bunch
Executive Producer: Garrett Basch, Pau Brunet, Ricardo Garcia Arrojo, Nahikari Ipina, Daniel Nosh, Josh C. Waller, Elijah Wood
Director: Nacho Vigalondo
Writer: Nacho Vigalondo
Actors: Elijah Wood, Sasha Grey, Neil Maskell, Nacho Vigalondo, Ivan Gonzalez, Jake Klamburg, Daniel Perez Prada, Adam Quintero, Trevante Rhodes, Scott Weinberg

Nick has won a dinner with his favorite actress of all time. Unfortunately, when he gets to the hotel, he finds out that it’s been canceled and he won’t be getting to meet her after all. That’s when someone lets him in on a plan that allows him a peek into her life.

I got to watch something completely new tonight. When you’ve watched a certain number of films, it becomes almost repetitive. A choice of two or three different recipes per genre. Open Windows, however, was definitely new to me.

The plot was fantastic, but it took me a little bit to get into it. I’m confident that if I had known that it was shot almost entirely through webcam before I turned on the film, I would have gotten into it quicker.

I was impressed with the acting. Elijah Wood (Wilfred, Grand Piano, Pawn Shop Chronicles) I expect nothing less from. The big shocker was Sasha Grey (Entourage, Would You Rather, The Scribbler). She was absolutely believable. I know she’s had serious roles before, but this is the first one I’ve seen her in. I didn’t really expect much from the former porn star, but she pulled it off and made me care. I wouldn’t mind seeing more of her in the mainstream.

Critics and audience seem to dislike this movie quite a bit and the main complaint I saw in the reviews was that the film was disjointed and confusing. I have to disagree.

Being shot with webcams, it does possess a shaky cam kind of feel. That also means that it’s almost completely first person. The audience only sees what the main character sees. That’s a limited way of getting information to the viewer. I feel that needs to be taken into account. You only see what Nick sees and hear what he responds to people with. That’s it. Instead of feeling disjointed to me, it felt voyeuristic. Like I had found a way to see into his computer and was silently watching things happen.

I didn’t find it confusing at all. There was sufficient fore-shadowing without it being so blatant that it ruined the ending. As for the ending, it really wasn’t that open ended if you think about it.

I believe people were just a little put off by the format. I got used to it and wound up really enjoying the film.

It wasn’t perfect, but it was pretty damn good.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 33%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 21%

Netflix’s Prediction for Me – 3.3/5
Trust-the-Dice Score4/5

The Random Rating: R

Movie Trailer: