These are films reviewed on the cult movie podcast Junk Food Dinner ( www.junkfooddinner.com/ ).
A love story with apocalyptic stakes.
Two friends spend all their free time building flame-throwers and weapons of mass destruction in hopes that a global apocalypse will occur and clear the runway for their imaginary gang "Mother Medusa".
Made on a shoestring budget, with handmade cameras and fully functioning apocalyptic props, Bellflower is the type of film where much of the discussion seems to be about its production rather than the film itself. Personally I don’t care if it was made for just $17,000 or was filmed with one-of-a-kind equipment, when the end results are this mind numbingly bad all the quirky production stories count for nought.
Bellflower is essentially a mumblecore romance with a revenge fantasy twist. Woodrow and Aiden are two best friends suffering from arrested development. They spend their days building flame throwers and preparing for a Mad Max post-apocalyptic future. Then Woodrow meets a girl, she cheats on him and then he becomes a…
It always breaks my heart when I see a concept so interesting to me slowly start to raise the gun to its own head and slowly start to pull the trigger.
WHY, BELLFLOWER! WHY! YOU WERE SO GOOD. YOU HAD SO MUCH TO LIVE FOR. WE COULD'VE SAVED YOU.
After a clunky start, Bellflower hits a unique groove that starts to resemble a real indie film; the one you expected from reading the synopses and looking at the visually striking poster. It really is a new age love story told through a vintage, burnt lens that makes it look like grainy, bottled wildfire. Its an intense and visually arresting look that is a little odd at first but you learn…
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Bellflower has a very distinctive look, think Instagram retro vibe, thanks to a unique camera set-up. This does not necessarily detract from the rest of the film but does highlight where else things are going awry on screen. Shot on a very low budget, you can tell where the money went and where it did not. The acting is pretty wooden throughout, characters lacking emotion or connection with each other, add to this some underwritten, unappealing, vacuous personality on display and you have nothing to really invest in.
On paper the plot seems intriguing (Mad Max obsessed friends are challenged by the intervention of one getting a girlfriend) and when I first caught a glimpse of the trailer I was…
Ugh. That is the general feeling I had after watching Bellflower.
There are a few very brief glimpses of concepts and shots that could have been used to put together a compelling story, mostly involving some admittedly impressive pyrotechnics and shots of the Medusa car.
Those things don't matter though as everything is an unorganized mess. There are "chapters" so as to pretend like there is some sort of narrative in place, but really all Bellflower is about is despicable people doing terrible things to each other.
Bellflower is a film that I find extremely difficult to rate because, while watching it, I went from loving it to hating it and then back to loving it and so forth. I waited a few hours before writing this review so that I could reflect a little bit on what I had seen and try and come up with a satisfactory review. Bellflower is, to put it simply, the most hipster movie I have ever seen. It is incredibly pretentious at times, many of the scenes are filmed with a dirty lens, the entire movie looks slightly yellow, like you're looking through cheap, yellow sunglasses and the music is all done by bands that you've probably never heard of.…
Wow, that was weird film. I'm not really sure that I liked this film, but I liked the experience of watching it. One thing is certain: it's pretty original.
Two twenty-somethings hold onto their childish fantasies of being the coolest guys around after the apocalypse, only to have everything explode in their faces in the apocalypse of their personal lives. Glodell seems to strive for the mythic in his tragedy of Dudes and their toys, Bro's & Bitches, but the characters are so foolish as to be laughable. The height of achievement for Aiden, for example, is to stop in small towns and show off his cool car and flamethrower. And Milly is nothing more than a white trash manic pixie dream girl. Glodell's Woodrow almost has a redeeming sweetness, until he turns self-destructive and goes on a rampage in the ridiculous last ten minutes. The whole thing is actually made more risible by the innovative photography, giving the landscape a depleted, world-on-the-edge-of-destruction vibe. Soap operatic rather than mythic, it's pretentiousness only reinforces how empty and idiotic is the behaviour of these people.
I absolutely love this movie. From the story behind it; how they made this movie with a 17,00 dollar budget. How they built the car, the flame thrower, shot that propane tank with an actual shotgun, etc. I think Evan Glodell as time goes on and he makes more films could become the next maverick filmmaker like Tarantino. More than that though; the film has layers and depth to it. From the love story developing in the beginning chapters to the insane, crazy, awesome, thrilling, suspenseful, and even heartfelt action of the last two chapters. This film will throw you for a loop if you haven't seen it before. Also the cinematography by Joel Hodges is amazing in this film; how he manages to catch all the little things and the symbolism of them is superb. I highly recommend this film to anybody who is into indie films and is looking for something off the beaten path.
Review for Battleship Pretension (August 31, 2011)
There's definitely something to be said for making a film that looks as good as Bellflower on a $17,000 budget. However, appearances will only get you a person so far. My car's technically proficient, too, but I don't want to watch it run for 103 minutes. Bellflower is a well-constructed monument to ugliness. Its marble is polished up nicely, but the statue itself is two bros holding a gun in one hand and their junk in the other.
Writer/director/lead Evan Glodell stars as Woodrow, an agreeable young man living in a poor area of Los Angeles. Without a visible source of income, he and his friend Aiden (Tyler Dawson) are obsessed with Mad Max and are preparing for the apocalypse.…
Weapons (knives, firearms)
idk. that was kind of all over the place. also all the characters look the same. I expected it to be better..
There were pieces of a movie here, but an awful lot of uninspiring ones with the few interesting moments. Yes the cinematography, production design and music were interesting and often times beautiful. But it wasn't enough to sustain a good cinematic story for me. Felt like a short film / music video stretched out over 105 minutes.
I heard a wide array of reactions to this film, some loved it and others loathed it.
I can see why some liked it, but I had no connection with the lead characters. They were annoying f'ing hipsters that apparently had no goals other than to look cool. From a character standpoint I'd have love to turn the flamethrower on all the unlikable characters in the film.
I guess I got some of the reviews wrong as I came into this movie expecting the to be set in a pseudo-apocalyptic future. But I didn't get that at all.
I guess I fall right in the middle at 3 stars.
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