- 30 Movies From Bifff 2012 -

May 23rd, 2012 by Vomitron

EXTRATERRESTRE

  30 Movies From Bifff 2012     extraterrestre poster02 83x120 thriller reviews sci fi romance reviews horror fantasy drama comedy action Director: Nacho Vigalondo
Writer:
Nacho Vigalondo
Release Year:
2011
English Title:
‘Extraterrestrial’

When Julio wakes up in the apartment of the beautiful Julia, both have no recollection of how they ended up together the previous night. While trying to get acquainted for the second time and figuring out whether they’ve had a passionate night together or not, they discover they’ve missed out on something else the night before: the streets are empty and a giant spaceship is hovering above the city. Things get even more uncomfortable when Julia’s annoying neighbor Ángel comes nosing around. And like that’s not enough, Julia’s boyfriend, Carlos, is about to make an appearance also…

  30 Movies From Bifff 2012     Extraterrestrial 01 300x151 thriller reviews sci fi romance reviews horror fantasy drama comedy action

Slightly disappointed again, folks, but that’s due to having too high expectations for this one. Nacho Vigalondo pleasantly surprised me previously with ‘Timecrimes’ (2007), so naturally I was looking forward to seeing his latest effort. A sci-fi/comedy, no less. My two main gripes with ‘Extraterrestrial’: For a situational character-driven story, the characters aren’t all that memorable and it takes too long for the film to go anywhere. This being said, it’s not a dull film and it maintains an amusing tone throughout. The whole alien invasion angle is really just a background story of which we learn very little, so don’t get your hopes up on seeing spectacular events; it’s just not that kind of film. As to be expected, the cast does a decent job. The interactions between our principle trio (Michelle Jenner, Julián Villagrán & Carlos Areces) are often funny, but real fireworks just never seem to happen. All-in-all, a commendable, amusing movie; just not the big nifty surprise that ‘Timecrimes’ was.

  30 Movies From Bifff 2012     Extraterrestrial 02 300x127 thriller reviews sci fi romance reviews horror fantasy drama comedy action

Rating:   30 Movies From Bifff 2012     star thriller reviews sci fi romance reviews horror fantasy drama comedy action   30 Movies From Bifff 2012     star thriller reviews sci fi romance reviews horror fantasy drama comedy action   30 Movies From Bifff 2012     star thriller reviews sci fi romance reviews horror fantasy drama comedy action   30 Movies From Bifff 2012     halfstar thriller reviews sci fi romance reviews horror fantasy drama comedy action   30 Movies From Bifff 2012     blankstar thriller reviews sci fi romance reviews horror fantasy drama comedy action


POONGSAN

  30 Movies From Bifff 2012     Poongsan poster02 84x120 thriller reviews sci fi romance reviews horror fantasy drama comedy action Director: Juhn Jai-Hong
Writer:
Ki-Duk Kim
Release Year:
2011

The titular character, nicknamed after the brand of cigarettes he smokes, is a courier/smuggler who operates between North & South Korea. Skillful as he is, there’s no assignment he can’t handle. From delivering letters to escorting refugees across the border. Mysterious as he is, he never speaks a word. When he’s hired to transport the lover of a diplomatic defector from Pyonjang to Seoul, he pulls it off in less than three hours. But unforeseen circumstances will have their way when feelings start to bloom between Poongsan and the woman. While Northern infiltrators & Southern secret agents are battling it out, Poongsan & the woman get caught in their web of kidnapping, torture and murder.

  30 Movies From Bifff 2012     Poongsan 01 300x162 thriller reviews sci fi romance reviews horror fantasy drama comedy action

Asian genre cinema in general has its ways of introducing us to protagonists often much more intriguing than what we usually get to see in Western cinema. And this is no different in ‘Poongsan’. Kye Sang Yoon delivers an outstanding, impressive performance as the silent Poongsan. You sense this kind of profoundness to his character, yet all these emotions ranging from sadness over indifference to sheer anger are being conveyed without the use of a single word. The screenplay is from the hand of Korean master filmmaker Kim Ki-Duk and offers a cynical take on the complexities between North & South Korea, in the end not even devoid of a sense of humor. Skillfully directed by Juhn Jai-Hong, a former assistant-director of Ki-Duk, ‘Poongsan’ transcends even its general label of tragical action-drama, as the story is injected with not too subtle political hammerings, a dash of doomed romance and some torture & thrills. If you like Korean cinema, ‘Poongsan’ is very much worth a watch.

  30 Movies From Bifff 2012     Poongsan 02 300x162 thriller reviews sci fi romance reviews horror fantasy drama comedy action

Rating:   30 Movies From Bifff 2012     star thriller reviews sci fi romance reviews horror fantasy drama comedy action   30 Movies From Bifff 2012     star thriller reviews sci fi romance reviews horror fantasy drama comedy action   30 Movies From Bifff 2012     star thriller reviews sci fi romance reviews horror fantasy drama comedy action   30 Movies From Bifff 2012     halfstar thriller reviews sci fi romance reviews horror fantasy drama comedy action   30 Movies From Bifff 2012     blankstar thriller reviews sci fi romance reviews horror fantasy drama comedy action


RETREAT

  30 Movies From Bifff 2012     Retreat 2011 poster02 81x120 thriller reviews sci fi romance reviews horror fantasy drama comedy action Director: Carl Tibbetts
Writer:
Janice Hallett & Carl Tibbetts
Release Year:
2011

Because of their marital problems, Martin & Kate retreat to a house on an isolated Scottish island where they once lived happier times. While trying to work things out, one day they’re startled by the coming of a blood-smeared soldier, Jack, who collapses on their front lawn. When he wakes up, he informs the couple that a deadly virus is roaming the mainland and it won’t take long before infected people will reach the island. Jack wants to turn the house into a stronghold, maintain his position and kill everyone who might try to enter. But is he really telling the truth about this whole virus situation?

  30 Movies From Bifff 2012     Retreat 01 300x168 thriller reviews sci fi romance reviews horror fantasy drama comedy action

Let’s throw a bunch of characters together in a confined space and see what happens, part 3. The confined space in this case being a house on an isolated island near the Scottish coast. Cillian Murphy, Jamie Bell & Thandie Newton are able to carry the movie – being the capable performers they are – but with the minimal plot running around in circles nothing of what they do or say seems to make any difference, in the end not making you care too much about their fate. The lack of tension throughout the film isn’t really a problem, since the script tries to focus more on the psychological relationship between our three main characters. But in this department, the film sadly doesn’t pack too many punches. Things never really get disturbing, which is a missed opportunity given the paranoiac nature of Jamie Bell‘s character. ‘Retreat’ is well-made and the abrupt ending was a favorable thing, catching me off guard and making me realize that I actually did care about what happened to Thandie Newton‘s character. But the film just isn’t special enough to turn it into something memorable.

  30 Movies From Bifff 2012     Retreat 02 300x168 thriller reviews sci fi romance reviews horror fantasy drama comedy action

Rating:   30 Movies From Bifff 2012     star thriller reviews sci fi romance reviews horror fantasy drama comedy action   30 Movies From Bifff 2012     star thriller reviews sci fi romance reviews horror fantasy drama comedy action   30 Movies From Bifff 2012     star thriller reviews sci fi romance reviews horror fantasy drama comedy action   30 Movies From Bifff 2012     blankstar thriller reviews sci fi romance reviews horror fantasy drama comedy action   30 Movies From Bifff 2012     blankstar thriller reviews sci fi romance reviews horror fantasy drama comedy action


IRON SKY

  30 Movies From Bifff 2012     Iron Sky poster01 80x120 thriller reviews sci fi romance reviews horror fantasy drama comedy action Director: Timo Vuorensola
Writer:
Johanna Sinisalo, Jarmo Puskala & Michael Kalesniko
Release Year:
2012

Forget what all you might have learned in your history class about the Nazis. What really happened to them after their defeat in 1945? They escaped to the dark side of the moon. And now they’re back, more hungry than ever for world domination. Of course the world has changed a bit, but will the people of earth be ready for a those crazy Moon Nazis to invade earth…?

  30 Movies From Bifff 2012     Iron Sky 01 300x180 thriller reviews sci fi romance reviews horror fantasy drama comedy action

‘Iron Sky’ is definitely a crowd-pleaser; that’s the least you can say about it. Just how it should be, since 1/7 of its budget was raised by crowd funding, mean that one million dollars came from worldwide fans wanting to see this movie made. All the money was put to good use, as the movie’s stuffed with special effects and spectacular scenery. Being an absurdist sci-fi/action epic, most of the humor is coming from political satire, with a highlight being the scenes where word leaders (including the Sarah Palin inspired character of the U.S. President up for re-election) sit down and debate the Moon Nazi problem at hand. Most of the time, the gags hit their mark and ocasionally they’ll have your head shaking. The screenplay’s filled with a whole heap of amusing nonsense and director Timo Vuorensola keeps a swift pace to the mind-boggling events. Cult actor Udo Kier chips in his weight as Moon Nazi leader Wolfgang Kortzfleisch and the whole cast for that matter is clearly having a great time as well. ‘Iron Sky’ pretty much succeeds in being the laugh riot it wants to be and Finland produced a cult favorite with it. Job well done.

  30 Movies From Bifff 2012     Iron Sky 02 300x180 thriller reviews sci fi romance reviews horror fantasy drama comedy action

Rating:   30 Movies From Bifff 2012     star thriller reviews sci fi romance reviews horror fantasy drama comedy action   30 Movies From Bifff 2012     star thriller reviews sci fi romance reviews horror fantasy drama comedy action   30 Movies From Bifff 2012     star thriller reviews sci fi romance reviews horror fantasy drama comedy action   30 Movies From Bifff 2012     star thriller reviews sci fi romance reviews horror fantasy drama comedy action   30 Movies From Bifff 2012     blankstar thriller reviews sci fi romance reviews horror fantasy drama comedy action


ELEVATOR

  30 Movies From Bifff 2012     Elevator 2011 81x120 thriller reviews sci fi romance reviews horror fantasy drama comedy action Director: Stig Svendsen
Writer:
Marc Rosenberg
Release Year:
2011

Nine people are in an elevator on its way up to a company party. Amongst them, a little girl who decides to play a prank by pressing the emergency stop button. With the elevator stuck, tension rises between the nine passengers. But things are going to get a lot more tense even, as one of the passengers is carrying a bomb and the clock is ticking…

  30 Movies From Bifff 2012     Elevator 01 300x124 thriller reviews sci fi romance reviews horror fantasy drama comedy action

Let’s throw a bunch of characters together in a confined space and see what happens, part 4. The confined space in this case being… an elevator (duh!). Now, the concept of this film has been done better already. Just take a peek at a film like Rigoberto Castañeda‘s ‘Blackout’ (2008); it’s tighter and more interesting. ‘Elevator’ sure isn’t a bad film, but the script offers little to no surprises and it feels stretched out, so they’d at least have a movie running over 80 minutes. Granted, the mixed bunch of characters are interesting: the big company boss and his granddaughter, a claustrophobic Jewish comedian, a popular female journalist, an Iranian-American security agent, an obese executive and his ambitious colleague, the elderly wife of an investor and a pregnant lady. Needless to say conflicts arise between these characters and Marc Rosenberg‘s script favorably exploits them. But things never really leave the realm of predictability and the material seems to dry up instead of developing during the movie’s running time. It’s worth a watch, due to good performances and the urge of wanting to know how this will all turn out. But in the end, as often the case, ‘Elevator’ remains nothing too special.

  30 Movies From Bifff 2012     Elevator 02 300x174 thriller reviews sci fi romance reviews horror fantasy drama comedy action

Rating:   30 Movies From Bifff 2012     star thriller reviews sci fi romance reviews horror fantasy drama comedy action   30 Movies From Bifff 2012     star thriller reviews sci fi romance reviews horror fantasy drama comedy action   30 Movies From Bifff 2012     halfstar thriller reviews sci fi romance reviews horror fantasy drama comedy action   30 Movies From Bifff 2012     blankstar thriller reviews sci fi romance reviews horror fantasy drama comedy action   30 Movies From Bifff 2012     blankstar thriller reviews sci fi romance reviews horror fantasy drama comedy action

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