Bad Movie Logo
"A website to the detriment of good film"
Custom Search
HOMEB-MOVIE REVIEWSREADER REVIEWSFORUMINTERVIEWSUPDATESABOUT
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?
July 25, 2014, 11:15:25 AM
529935 Posts in 39998 Topics by 4996 Members
Latest Member: amc131
Badmovies.org Forum  |  Movies  |  Bad Movies  |  Indie and Art House Fare - Enjoy or Annoy « previous next »
Pages: [1]
Author Topic: Indie and Art House Fare - Enjoy or Annoy  (Read 1017 times)
ulthar
Frightening Fanatic of Horrible Cinema
****

Karma: 320
Posts: 3793


I AM serious, and stop calling me Shirley


WWW
« on: April 12, 2013, 11:45:39 PM »

I really like when film makers push the envelope and stray from "formulaic" movie making.  Sometimes the risk pays off, sometimes it does not.  I tend to overlook a lot of 'technical' faults that Indie and low budget movies may have if the pay off is there in other ways.

Only rarely do I find an Indie film that annoys the crap out of me.  Usually, it's when the director is just trying too hard to be 'hip' or edgy, but there can be other problems I cannot overlook as well.

Thought it would be cool to have a thread dedicated to Indie movies that take risks (hence the art house inclusion in the title), those that "work" and those that don't.  One way we could do it is each person include one of each per post, but that's not really a "rule."

I'll start from two recent viewings.

Enjoy: STRICTLY SEXUAL (2008)

This one was a pleasant surprise; it was far better than I anticipated.  It has the distinction of having been at one time (and may still be) the most watched movie on Hulu.  I'm sure folks are lured in by the title and the premise; that's fine.  This one pays off in big ways.

The premise is simple.  Two young women meet two men and essentially hire them to be their live-in "on call" sex partners.  Drama ensues.

How does it pay off?  This $100,000 budget movie has more character depth among our four leads than just about any movie I've seen in years.  Whether the acting is hit or miss is your call, but the characterization is there; these characters are "real."

With that, each character has true arcs.  Not a one of them is the same person at the end of the film as at the beginning.  One of the men is played by Stevie Long, the film's writer.

Definitely worth a watch.  4 out of 5 for some very solid writing and engaging execution.

Annoy:  FRIENDS (WITH BENEFITS) (2009)

This is not the one with Mila Kunis.

This "film" was awful.  I had to force myself to finish watching it, and that's pretty rare for me.  The only reason I DID finish it was to include it in this thread with a fair shake.

Chloe and Owen are in "med school" (not really, but that's what this film wants us to believe) and they have been friends since early childhood.  They agree to become 'friends with benefits' so they can satisfy their primal urges without having to take the time to date and all that.  You know, because they are in "med school" when they are not drinking and partying with their friends and she's not working on her band getting ready to TOUR!

The best thing I say about this one is that I thought the acting was pretty solid.  I've got no gripe with the acting.  And that's the ONLY good thing I can say about it.

Gimmicky title cards, camera work and editing/compositing rarely work well even if the story is good.  This one has a lame, predictable story - well gee willikers, they were secretly really "in love" the whole time?  No one would have EVER guessed that!  And it falls apart and arrives at a STUPID, ASININE conclusion at the end that NO ONE, not even a 10 year old, could not have seen from the moment they agreed to their plan.

From it's completely irritating and overdone Indie Pop soundtrack, to the camera/editing work to the characters jumping completely around (who is gay, who is straight, who is bi, who really cares?), to the fact that these are supposed to be "adults" in their mid-twenties but this whole train wreck reads like a high school angst movie (and not a good one)....I just could not stand it.

1 out 5...being generous for the acting.  I love when movies take chances and try to give the benefit of the doubt with the flaws.  This one is just plain flawed.

I have a few more to post about, but I'll let some others have a turn.
Logged

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Professor Hathaway:  I noticed you stopped stuttering.
Bodie:      I've been giving myself shock treatments.
Professor Hathaway: Up the voltage.

--Real Genius
Allhallowsday
B-Movie Kraken
*****

Karma: 1527
Posts: 10679


Either he's dead or my watch has stopped!


« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2013, 09:31:37 PM »

Alright... I went to see whatsit?  COLORADO LOVE... no, BROKEMYBACK TRYIN' T'MOUNT'IM....  TeddyR  BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN !!  Seriously, there is much to recommend this movie, and I have long crowed how I like "motionless" films that capture atmosphere I guess... the sheep go up the mountain (twang) the sheep go down the mountain baaah-haah (twang).  I did not like that movie. 
Logged

If you want to view paradise . . . simply look around and view it!
ulthar
Frightening Fanatic of Horrible Cinema
****

Karma: 320
Posts: 3793


I AM serious, and stop calling me Shirley


WWW
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2013, 08:50:03 PM »

Annoy:  FOUR LOVERS (2010)

FOUR LOVERS is a French film about wife swapping.  It's NOT about polyamory, as some reviews have stated (which I interpret as an attempt to polish the theme a bit).

This movie annoyed me for several reasons.  It's attempts at being "artsy" are just too heavy handed.  I'm sure the rolling in the flour scene was meant to say something, but for the life of me, I just cannot figure out what it is.

My enjoyment of FOUR LOVERS was doomed from the beginning.  There was no preamble, no discussion (even off screen presumably) that these two middle class couples would trade partners.  Both seemed to be well in their individual relationships...there was no apparent turbulence there, neither were presented as into the swinging lifestyle, and I gathered this was the first such 'adventure' for both couples.

So, imagine this.  You are married and you invite a couple over for dinner (you only know one half of said couple from having just met in a superficial business setting).  After the fact, you learn that your spouse has kissed the person in the other couple.  You are angry, of course, but shake it off.  A few days later, you go out for drinks with the couple again, it's brought into the open about the kiss, and...

Wife Swap.

Really?  No "WTF, BUTTHOLE, YOU KISSED MY WIFE" or "So, did you like kissing her?" or "Would you like to do that again?" or ANYTHING?  The answer to your wife kissing another man, whom she had JUST met an hour earlier is to swap spouses for SEX?  No more dinners or drinks, no more discussion, just, "Hey, you go home with her, I'll go home with him"?

Sorry...I don't buy it.

The film seems to follow Rachel as the main character, as she gets very slightly more development and depth than the other three.  She sets the 'rules,' of which they don't really have any, and she later changes them.  We get a few more glimpses into what is going on in her mind over all this, but even this is not very clear.

Just when you think the group is forming some sort of relationship at a deeper level, or that the film is going to explore the relationship at a deeper level, it all falls apart...not the the relationship, but the narrative.  It's almost as if they got tired of making the movie and decided to stop before really finishing the tale.

I have to admit, the plot went in a different direction than I thought it was going to go.  I don't want to give any spoilers, but I think the ending was very weak and as such, the film ended up not saying anything of significance at all about this kind of relationship - and, I happen to believe that "my ending" would have made a much bolder statement on the topic than the film's resolution ending up making.

I could not help hating these characters a little bit for the way they treated their children.

FOUR LOVERS is a pointless movie that purports to set up a look into the dangerous path of 'opening' a marriage, but in the end says nothing whatsoever.  Blandness is a cardinal sin for me in a movie.  No character arc, no changes, no growth (however you may define that), just...well, nothing.

0.5 out of 5.
Logged

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Professor Hathaway:  I noticed you stopped stuttering.
Bodie:      I've been giving myself shock treatments.
Professor Hathaway: Up the voltage.

--Real Genius
Chainsaw midget
Just Another Guy
Frightening Fanatic of Horrible Cinema
****

Karma: 256
Posts: 1848



« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2013, 09:00:23 PM »

Quote

I have to admit, the plot went in a different direction than I thought it was going to go.  I don't want to give any spoilers, but I think the ending was very weak and as such, the film ended up not saying anything of significance at all about this kind of relationship - and, I happen to believe that "my ending" would have made a much bolder statement on the topic than the film's resolution ending up making.
I never intend of watching this movie nor do I know anyone that would ever force me to watch it with them

Spoil away. 
Logged

Terms & Conditions:  By reading this signature, you, the reader willfully acknowledge that you owe me a dollar.
ulthar
Frightening Fanatic of Horrible Cinema
****

Karma: 320
Posts: 3793


I AM serious, and stop calling me Shirley


WWW
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2013, 10:14:35 PM »


Spoil away. 


Okay, well, since most other reviews mention the ending anyway, I may as well.

They realize this whole wife swapping thing was not a good idea, and agree to never see each other again.

Yep.  That's "exciting."

"My Ending" would have had them realize things were not going quite right, but going into a kind of "group marriage," actually more akin to the whole polyamory thing everyone claims the movie is anyway. 

They TRIED to set it up as each individual was "in love" with both lovers (real spouse and swapped spouse), but it failed to come across that way in the film...for me at least.  To me it was just a set of affairs that everyone happened to know about; throughout the "openness," there was too much jealousy for this to be called polyamorous.

As the sexual romp proved unsatisfying, perhaps the real, deeper 'feelings' supposedly developing, the love, could have led down a more daring path.

As it was written, we don't even get this as a cautionary tale; it's completely dead.  All plot, no real "theme."

Logged

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Professor Hathaway:  I noticed you stopped stuttering.
Bodie:      I've been giving myself shock treatments.
Professor Hathaway: Up the voltage.

--Real Genius
RCMerchant
Bela
B-Movie Kraken
*****

Karma: 0
Posts: 10649


"Charlie,we're in HELL!"-"yeah,ain't it groovy?!"


WWW
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2013, 02:24:43 PM »

I would call NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (1968),the TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE,EL TOPO,THE END OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION,GUMMO,ALUCARDA,CRIMINALLY INSANE,in fact lotsa ulra low budget movies-as indies. As far as artie...ehh...? Old porno was considered art-like I AM CURIOUS YELLOW -which sucked. Most Fellini films suck-except 9 1/2-and only cuz it had Barbra Steele. OH! I like UN CHIEN ANDALOU (1929).

Logged

\"Supernatural?...perhaps. Baloney?...Perhaps not!\" Bela Lugosi-the BLACK CAT (1934)


Interviewer-"Does Dracula ever end for you?"
Lugosi-"No. Dracula-never ends."





http://www.tumblr.com/dashboard
http://www.tumblr.com/dashboard
http://rcmerchant.tumblr.com/
FatFreddysCat
Frightening Fanatic of Horrible Cinema
****

Karma: 141
Posts: 1753



« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2013, 10:13:43 AM »

I've given "art house" films a try from time to time. Usually I end up wondering why I even bothered, though. Two fairly recent attempts that come to mind:

I have a "Vampire collection" DVD that includes a 1994 film called "Nadja," which definitely qualifies as "art house." The film was produced by David Lynch, is in black & white and resembles one of those artsy-fartsy Calvin Klein TV commercials from the 90s stretched out to feature length. It's a fairly boring story about a female vampire - supposedly a descendant of Dracula, if memory serves - who gets involved with a bisexual New York City housewife, much to the chagrin of her husband and uncle, who's a descendant of Van Helsing. Or something like that. It's been a while since I've seen it so I may be forgetting stuff. Anyway, making it through this movie was like pulling teeth. Not only was it very talky and not very linear, but every so often the picture would suddenly become grainy and pixellated for no apparent reason and would stay that way for minutes at a time. I thought there was something wrong with the DVD at first till I read up on the flick online and learned that the director shot those scenes that way on purpose, with a Fisher Price kids' camera. The reason for WHY he did so is unclear, but if his intent was to antagonize the crap out of an already frustrated and bored audience, it definitely succeeded in my case....


About a year ago I borrowed a movie from the library called "The Scenesters," which was supposedly a hipster comedy about low budget filmmakers. To pay the bills while they try to get their indie film off the ground, two dorks take a job as videographers for the LAPD, shooting film at crime scenes. If memory serves they end up using some of the "real" crime footage they shoot in their movie and end up inadvertently solving a string of "hipster murders," or something like that. I honestly can't tell you much more about the movie beyond that because it was forgettable and has already faded from memory....all I can tell you is that it was slow and full of snarky, supposedly "funny" dialog that didn't make me laugh once.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2013, 10:25:15 AM by FatFreddysCat » Logged

Check out my CD and Movie Reviews on HubPages:
http://fatfreddyscat.hubpages.com/
Mofo Rising
Global Moderator
Frightening Fanatic of Horrible Cinema
****

Karma: 433
Posts: 3122


My cat can eat a whole watermelon!


WWW
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2013, 02:31:43 PM »

In general I enjoy art house films, but that's probably because I only see the ones that interest me. Questions I ask before seeing a movie: "Is this movie solely interested in the relationships between people?" and "Is this movie meant to be a commentary on Hollywood?" If either is the case, I generally pass because I know I'm going to dislike it. Not hard and fast rules, as I've certainly enjoyed movies that break both of them.

Anyway, I'll start with one I detested.

The Addiction (1995) by Abel Ferrara

Ferrara is a director whose films I find range from okay to bad. The Addiction is about a young woman who is a philosophy student at NYU. (Alarm bells should be ringing in your head at that.) She is attacked by vampire one night and the rest of the film involves her moral breakdown into vampirism.

Not so bad you say, "I recall Vampire's Kiss being goofy fun." Well let me remind you she is a philosophy student at NYU. The majority of the film involves the main character and her endless dirges of "philosophical" conversation. If you're at a party and somebody quotes Nietzsche at you, just walk away. But you can't do that for this movie, because it's the entire point of the movie. Well, I suppose you could turn it off. Or better yet, never watch it.

Also, the effects of vampirism are presented as being a heroin-like addiction for all the vampires. So not only are these philosophical conversations boring, they're druggy philosophical conversations. I've never pulled a tooth from my own head myself, but I'm sure it would be preferable to ever having to listen to those again.

Badly shot, badly acted (and there are good actors in this movie), bad story, bad idea. I really hated this movie.
Logged

Every dead body that is not exterminated becomes one of them. It gets up and kills. The people it kills, get up and kill.
zombie #1
Frightening Fanatic of Horrible Cinema
****

Karma: 331
Posts: 2370


Oookaay...


« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2013, 06:50:17 PM »

Good: Valerie And Her Week Of Wonders
Very weird, possibly an acquired taste, but for me one of the most vivid, intimate, and haunting films I've seen.

Bad: Liquid Sky
Horrible pretentious flip flop that goes on forever. Annoying characters, woeful attempts to be avant-garde... One of those films that seems to hate the viewer.
Logged

"A whale's throat and blow hole are not connected, therefore escape is impossible.  "
Derf
Crazy Rabbity Thingy
Proofreader
Frightening Fanatic of Horrible Cinema
****

Karma: 384
Posts: 2428


Lagomorphs: menace or underutilized resource?


« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2013, 03:09:09 AM »

I picked up a couple of indie films at a local Blockbuster closing. The first, Beasts of the Southern Wilds, tries to be, according to the blurb on the cover, "A triumph of the human spirit." It involves a small girl who lives with her father on an island known as the Bathtub outside of New Orleans. The folks on the island are extremely poor, mostly living off the land. The child, who goes by the nickname Hushpuppy, explores and makes observations about her life, some of which are amusing, some of which are not quite as deep as the writers thought they were. Since it is trying to be an artsy film, tragedy after tragedy befalls Hushpuppy, including a hurricane which floods the Bathtub, leading to the death of everything on the island and the forced evacuation of the residents, and the death of her father to some mysterious illness, most likely tuberculosis. She manages to survive, of course. I didn't see the ending, and I don't really think I care enough to go back and finish it. I will say that the performances are really good, as are the production values; it is a really well done movie. It just didn't click with me enough to make me really care about the characters, which may be partially because I have a Literature degree and am sick of stories that try to move me by showing quirky characters going through tragedies.

The second movie from that sale I watched was Dust Up, an indie flick that really wants to be a clever, insightful hipster flick. To describe it, it sounds like it ought to be good: a marine turned pacifist now lives in the middle of nowhere doing odd jobs as a high desert handyman. His best friend is a Native American (complete with beaded costume) who has abandoned his tribal lands because he got tired of the bickering over dividing out the casino money. They encounter a woman whose husband is a speed freak roadie for an apparently nonexistent band since he pretty much exclusively hangs out at a crowded club run by a psycho ex-marine who doles out drugs in order to keep the crowd under his control. Sounds like a fair set up for a b-movie, right? We have the elements for an entertaining movie, and things even develop right along b-movie lines: the roadie gets into too much debt to the psycho, the pacifist marine comes to the rescue, things escalate until there is lots of violence. People are killed and the psycho marine tells his "followers" that society has collapsed and that they must follow his leadership. Things come to the inevitable conclusion, with lots of violent bloodshed along the way. It would have worked if they hadn't tried to be hip and clever. The "humor" just didn't ever quite gel for me outside of a few mild chuckles. Maybe if I'd watched it with friends it would have been more fun, but overall the writers just seemed to be trying too hard, and they failed. Not miserably, but they failed nonetheless. Again, the performances and production values are excellent, and the violence is over the top and well done. I really wanted to like this movie. I don't hate it, but all I'm left with is a feeling of "meh."

I got a few others, one or two of which are also artsy, indie films. I'll post about them once I've watched them.
Logged

"They tap dance not, neither do they fart." --Greensleeves, on the Fig Men of the Imagination, in "Twice Upon a Time."
Trevor
Adorable Chief Troublemaker at Badmovies.org
B-Movie Kraken
*****

Karma: 827
Posts: 10687



WWW
« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2013, 07:52:43 AM »

INDIE:

The Curve aka Dead Man's Curve: an independent film dealing with the 4.0-your college room mate commits suicide and you go straight to university urban legend. Good movie and an absolutely chilling last couple of minutes.  Buggedout

ARTHOUSE:

The Crimson Rivers: a truly creepy movie with a dash of humor, based on the French best-selling thriller by Jean-Christophe Grange.

I liked them both.  Smile
Logged

Allhallowsday
B-Movie Kraken
*****

Karma: 1527
Posts: 10679


Either he's dead or my watch has stopped!


« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2013, 03:47:46 PM »

I would call NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (1968),the TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE,EL TOPO,THE END OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION,GUMMO,ALUCARDA,CRIMINALLY INSANE,in fact lotsa ulra low budget movies-as indies. As far as artie...ehh...? Old porno was considered art-like I AM CURIOUS YELLOW -which sucked. Most Fellini films suck-except 9 1/2-and only cuz it had Barbra Steele. OH! I like UN CHIEN ANDALOU (1929).
It's 8 1/2
I love LA DOLCE VITA
I love LA STRADA
I love FELLINI SATYRICON

Ergo, your "ass smells like sh!t".   Wink TeddyR 
Who loves ya, baby?
Logged

If you want to view paradise . . . simply look around and view it!
RCMerchant
Bela
B-Movie Kraken
*****

Karma: 0
Posts: 10649


"Charlie,we're in HELL!"-"yeah,ain't it groovy?!"


WWW
« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2013, 06:37:36 PM »

Yeh-only you can humble me,Hallows-I love ya man. Smile
Logged

\"Supernatural?...perhaps. Baloney?...Perhaps not!\" Bela Lugosi-the BLACK CAT (1934)


Interviewer-"Does Dracula ever end for you?"
Lugosi-"No. Dracula-never ends."





http://www.tumblr.com/dashboard
http://www.tumblr.com/dashboard
http://rcmerchant.tumblr.com/
fulci420
Bad Movie Lover
***

Karma: 25
Posts: 390


« Reply #13 on: May 11, 2013, 12:56:42 AM »

Ok I'll do one for each for a couple of directors

Terrence Malick
Love Tree of Life, saw it yesterday for the first time and thought it was one of the best movies I have ever seen.
Hate The New World which I found completely dull and pointless.

Steven Soderbergh
Enjoyed Bubble which I thought was an interesting experiment in improvised dialogue and non actors.
Was annoyed by Full Frontal and thought it was a failed experiment in improvised dialogue with real actors.

Gus Van Sant
Enjoyed Gerry which had almost no dialogue and was mostly Casely Affleck and Matt Damon just wandering around the dessert.
Hated Elephant which I thought was just a mess.

Pretty much love all the Michael Hanake and Krysztof Kieslowski films that I have seen so no annoyance there.
 

Logged
Pages: [1]
Badmovies.org Forum  |  Movies  |  Bad Movies  |  Indie and Art House Fare - Enjoy or Annoy « previous next »
    Jump to:  


    RSS Feed Subscribe Subscribe by RSS
    Email Subscribe Subscribe by Email


    Popular Articles
    How To Find A Bad Movie

    The Champions of Justice

    Plan 9 from Outer Space

    Manos, The Hands of Fate

    Podcast: Todd the Convenience Store Clerk

    Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!

    Dragonball: The Magic Begins

    Cool As Ice

    The Educational Archives: Driver's Ed

    Godzilla vs. Monster Zero

    Do you have a zombie plan?

    FROM THE BADMOVIES.ORG ARCHIVES
    ImageThe Giant Claw - Slime drop

    Earth is visited by a GIANT ANTIMATTER SPACE BUZZARD! Gawk at the amazingly bad bird puppet, or chuckle over the silly dialog. This is one of the greatest b-movies ever made.

    Lesson Learned:
    • Osmosis: os·mo·sis (oz-mo'sis, os-) n., 1. When a bird eats something.

    Subscribe to Badmovies.org and get updates by email:

    HOME B-Movie Reviews Reader Reviews Forum Interviews TV Shows Advertising Information Sideshows Links Contact

    Badmovies.org is owned and operated by Andrew Borntreger. All original content is © 1998 - 2014 by its respective author(s). Image, video, and audio files are used in accordance with the Fair Use Law, and are property of the film copyright holders. You may freely link to any page (.html or .php) on this website, but reproduction in any other form must be authorized by the copyright holder.