Monday, February 21, 2011

Something To Look Forward To...

Another foreign film doing something original. And it looks awesome!

Frozen (2010)

It's that time again. Final Girl Stacie Ponder, has invited us to "watch a movie together." There are some rules though:

1) You have to remember to actually do it (I have missed the due date more than once).
2) We all reconvene at Stacie's place, to share our thoughts.
3) B.Y.O.(whatever you're into).

It's really a good time, though occasionally things get out of hand. I'm waiting for the month when Stacie provides all the guests with mysterious little floating coffins inside a bigger coffin...

Anyhoo, onto the feature: Frozen (2010)

Adam Green is a strange case. He's hard to pigeon-hole. There are few people that I talk to that like all of his stuff all at once. He's got the over-the-top grotesquities of the Hatchet series. Then he's got the low-key subtleties of Spiral. With Frozen we get yet another side of Green's storytelling skills.

(obligatory quick rundown of plot, even though we all know what's what) Frozen is about 3 college students who are left stuck on a ski lift over the course of a few days.

Frozen gives us a character driven dramatic piece, where gross things happen. We learn to like the characters (for the most part) and we really do root for them to escape this horrible situation. I admit, the aforementioned situation seems a bit silly when describing the film to others. Only when watching the film does it become "real." The cast plays it straight, and the situation that once seemed ludicrous becomes something you'll think about every time you ride up a ski lift.

The whole movie takes place on a mountain. I can't remember where this mountain is supposed to be, or if it's even a real-life mountain or a fictional place. I guess that doesn't matter. What matters is the situation we are presented with quickly deteriorates over the course of a short while. Nothing these characters do can improve their situation without serious consequence.

The film is good. But not great. Everything was shot well. It was well acted. There was great tension where appropriate and their was a great sense of hopelessness throughout. It's the little things that drag it down a notch. Why wouldn't these characters huddle together? Why wouldn't they cover their exposed skin? Little things like that are what I thought about after the film. It's still an effective film, but it's the details that people notice, you know?

At the end of the day, I can recommend this movie (and have). It's tense enough, and bloody enough to satisfy most horror fans without going too far for other types of movie fans. It's survival horror, and that's what strikes a chord with people: "What would I do in a situation like this?"

Looking around the interwebs, I found a cool fan produced movie poster for Frozen:

Not too bad, methinks. Artist Kevin Tong goes a different direction than the official movie poster (at the near-top of this post) while keeping all the main elements intact.

As always, I've enjoyed my time "watching a movie with the gang." I'll look forward to the next Film Club. I wonder what hospitality our host will provide next time.

 Oh, and you can also find Stacie here and here.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


2010 wasn't really a great year for movies. Or was it? I was looking through my movie collection wondering what happened with 2010. There wasn't a lot of gold to be found, but there was plenty of silver and bronze.

Maybe our beloved genre had a weak showing last year. Maybe this year will be better. Only time will tell. All I know is that while 2010 wasn't the year for tour-de-force cinema, it certainly was a fun year at the theater (and at home).

I kept saying to people that 2010 was the year of the action movie comeback. There were a ton of action movies that hit this year, and it kept things fun. And while the action genre overshadowed the rest (as far as my small scope perceived anyway), there were a few good comedies, horror movies, dramatic pieces, and documentaries. The point is: The more I kept digging, the more good stuff I found. Some great stuff, but mostly good stuff.

This certainly isn't an exhaustive list, by any means. This is just what I had the most fun with, or took the most from. And there are a few movies that I really enjoyed but would be ashamed to say so (Clash of the Titans, anyone?). Also, the small screen saw a giant release this year: The Walking Dead. While it was only 6 episodes long, it was still quite a big deal.

Bottom line: 2010 wasn't the lost cause that I thought it was after all. In fact, I really quite enjoyed it.