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Review of Bellflower
December 1, 2011Posted by on
Definitely a hard movie to rate and I feel that I may ramble. I’ll take the challenge.
What’s the film about? Two best friends, Woodrow and Aiden, love building things, especially awesome things that shoot fire. They are heavily influenced by Mad Max and imagine/expect an apocalypse, at which time, they will be prepared with their creations and attitudes. In between these imaginary/expectant apocalyptic visions, Woodrow acquires a girlfriend and begins having issues. I am going to include spoilers because I find it hard to talk about an entire movie without mentioning the ending. Woodrow (played by
Evan Glodell, also the director) is occupied by anger and rage and the story ensues. The entire film is definitely indie, no big names or music. The camera work and colors are exemplary and I would love to see more of these visions.
So what makes the film good or worthwhile watching? The characters show their love/hate quite strongly. It reminds me of Frankenstein, how love and hate are nearly the same thing, and truly the opposite is apathy. The loved and hated feed off of each the exact same way.
The movie ultimately as a split-ending, i.e., did it really happen? Which leaves a necessary sense of ambiguity. I like it– the entire time I thought that his anger and rage is pulled to the extreme and thought “how could anyone possibly go from action-to-action so full of rage?”. In reality, the violence depicted is the imaginary hero of Woodrow, Lord Humongous (LH; who coincidentally is one of the antagonists in Mad Max). LH would have done all the violence, and gotten revenge, but Woodrow didn’t because he is not LH. It’s sad but I feel for the guy.
Also wrapped up in the film is what I understood as a bare bones relationship story. In a relationship, a lot of stuff goes down every day, but not all of it is important. In the film, we see everything that we need to see to understand the motives and actions, of the characters. So yes, it is a love story. Awwww, love…
Throughout the entire film I wanted to see all the characters mature, get a job, forgive, and get on with life. Quite often, I can’t stand characters and feel that if I had a personal relationship with them, I would have left them or jumped ship. Like Pinnochio, if I were Gapetto would have burnt that marionette the first time he acted up.
Anyways, the cool thing about the movie is the muscle car, which (disappointingly) isn’t introduced until the last half. It is awesome and many people will only watch this movie for the car. The team actually built the car for the movie so its nice to see directors putting their passion into film. It shoots flames, has a smokescreen, and is painted black with the words MEDUSA written across the sides. Much more intimidating than my Ford Taurus with a vegetarian bumper sticker.
And I loved the characters. They are tough, standing up for what is right and look awesome. Their is quite a unique story around his beard. In the beginning Woodrow looks so clean and almost preppy. By the end, we see him with the combination of tattoo, blood, and facial hair. The ex-girlfriend humiliates Woodrow to a point which the movie drives at as awful. You simply must see the movie to get the impact of the action. In reality, it’d be a great joke but in the context of the movie, its awful and hurtful.
Any problems with the movie that turned me off? How could they be drinking in every scene?! I mean drinking is fun and all but I noticed quite a bit of irresponsibility, especially with their funding. How are they able to go to bars, buy alcohol, and build a flamethrower and car? Too many plot holes. Which cause this movie to be a bit too unrealistic. It isn’t a bad thing, but it was too disconnected to reality.
There is a distinction that I like to cite often between movies that are cinematically good and those that I love and enjoy. This movie ranked higher on the cinematically good scale (4/5) than on my scale of pleasure (3/5). Do I recommend it? Only if you can and really want to appreciate films. If not, go watch Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome or the Road Warrior. Much more entertaining and fun.
* If you any of you are wondering about the title, it’s the street in which the cheating girlfriend lives.