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.…
Very dark film and the ending kinda pisses me off but I love the unique vision. Great cast of unknowns and the movie zips right along. And it has some bad ass cars.
Nine Things About the Movie "Bellflower" [USA, 2011]
1. I usually find romantic dramas to be predictable and boring. But this movie is a rare exception.
2. It’s about two best friends, Aiden and Woodrow, who moved to California together to make their lives different. They spend their spare time (which they have a lot of) fantasizing about what they would do during the apocalypse. They build “Mad Max”-inspired cars and flamethrowers as their hobby.
3. Woodrow falls in love with a girl named Milly, and Aiden starts spending time with a girl named Courtney. They embark on their respective relationships, which are realistic and heartfelt. But halfway through the movie, things go bad. There is cheating, car accidents, brain…
Bellflower is a film without consequences, a film about characters who live day by day in a visually dusty and hazy world.
Woodrow is not a hero; he not only gets blood on his hands, but he lives a terribly unsatisfying and dangerous life of drinking and playing with fire. In fact, all the characters are rather despicable and constantly choose ill-formed decisions while physically and emotionally harming one another during the duration of the film. And then there are moments of genius realism such as the development of a relationship. Woodrow and Milly make themselves appear bolder and fearless in order to make a lasting impression on one another as they drive to Texas from California for a "dirty…
Read my DCist review.
What started off with promise and hope slowly turns into a spiralling out of control disaster. I think I know what or where the director wanted to go, but stepping on the accelerator halfway through kind of disrupted the whole flow, and the editting did not help.
Petrolheads with relationship issues. Whilst you could accuse the plot of being thin, this film is fresh as, saved by a big heart, intimate engaging performances and a unique style due in no small part to the tiltshift digital camera the director built himself from scratch for the film, the 'Coatwolf Model II'. The only grumble I have is that there is no behind the scenes information on the DVD about the camera he built to shoot the film, you have to go online to find out about it. If you do have the DVD though make sure you watch the Medusa special feature which gives a whole new insight into the character of the car. Flamethrowers, broken hearts and apocalyptic expectations in middle American suburbia. What's not to like?
Bellflower follows two friends as they venture out into the world to begin their adult lives. Literally all their free time is spent 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". While waiting for the world to end, their call to excitement comes unexpectedly when one of them meets a charismatic young woman and falls hard in love. Quickly integrated into a new group of friends, they set off on a journey of betrayal, love, hate, infidelity and extreme violence more devastating and fiery than any of their apocalyptic fantasies. Often life's simplest and most obvious truths are the hardest to see, but…
It has its charms, but it mostly felt like a really expansive undergrad video final. Pretty let down.
- The Super Inframan
- Cheap Thrills
- Enter the Void
- Evil Bong
- American Reunion
- Searching for Sugar Man
- The Imposter
- Too Big to Fail
- The Girl
All re-watches are excluded.
- American Heart
- A Woman Under the Influence
- 4:44 Last Day on Earth
- Animal Factory
- Being John Malkovich
The term 'independent movie' doesn't mean anything at this point really, and is certainly not a particular genre. Most of…