Monday, February 2, 2015

Review of "54 Days" - A Successful Experiment in Rugged Filmmaking

At the beginning of this gritty Sci-Fi drama, diplomats are fleeing Beijing and Moscow as Washington is increasing sanctions against the East. Meanwhile, a posh party among social elites is getting underway on a downtown Sydney rooftop. Just as things seem to be getting off to a good start – boom! International war breaks out and everyone must flee for shelter against nuclear and chemical weapons!

The main characters, led by Nick (Michael Drysdale), find their way to an old bomb shelter and lock themselves inside, barely in time to protect from a chemical agent that has been dropped on major cities worldwide. Cutoff from the world, these 5 survivors must find a way to survive until the fallout has dissipated safely, though they don’t know when that will be. Lack of resources leads the survivors to succumb to their primal survival instincts, and things begin to turn deadly.

Review of "How I Buried My Ex-Boyfriend's Body"

“The perfect crime… kind of… not really”

An action comedy from Fat Foot Films, directed by Dennis Nadeau, “How I Dumped My Ex-Boyfriend’s Body” (HIDMEBB) tells the story of Maxine and Shae as they look for a way to discretely dispose of a dead body, Maxine having accidentally killed her ex-boyfriend during an argument. Missteps along the way push the girls to ask Shae’s cousin Mikey (who has underground connections) for help. He recommends a “fixer” by the name of Tony, a cleaner for the mob. When Tony shows up, he is not at all what the girls expected, but does his job disposing of the body and covering all their tracks. The girls mistakenly believed that Tony did the job as a favor, when in reality, now they owe Tony $10,000, which they don’t have. This sets them off on another adventure to try and get that money before Tony comes back to collect.  All along the way, Maxine’s weird neighbor with an obsessive crush, Roger, bumbles in & out of their mess, creating even more missteps for our leading ladies.

This was a fun and raunchy comedy, made on the lowest of budgets. All the proper elements of a film combine well to prove Dennis Nadeau is a talented comedy director. While some of the story jokes are easy to pre-read, that doesn’t make them any less effective. The pacing of the action along with the camerawork and editing are spot-on for good comedic timing. The dialogue between the characters is witty and fun all the way through, however, I got the feeling (correctly) that even though the lead characters are women, the script was written by a man.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that (as George Constanza would say), and I know many women that are as crude or worse than their male counterparts, but it seems men have a tendency to steer any situation towards a dick joke when possible. However, in this case, I think it worked in the film’s benefit to have leading ladies rather than leading men, as it would have been a sausage-fest otherwise, but also it’s nice to see women in less stereotypical roles.