Film Reviews by Drumhum

Welcome to Drumhum's film reviews page. Drumhum has written 5 reviews and rated 104 films.

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The American Battleship

This is NOT "Battleship".

(Edit) 02/11/2012

Ok perhaps the joke is on me but I thought I was going to watch the budget busting film "Battleship" staring Liam Neeson et al. Instead I watched this movie.

"The American Battleship" is made by mockbluster movie makers Global Asylum who are in the business of ripping off major blockbuster films. Their other top releases include "Snakes on a Train", "Sunday School Musical" and "Transmorphers".

The whole film has clearly been shot on an ancient ship now tourist attraction. They actually manage to explain away the fact that the ship has lots of museum style information boards and posters dotted around the place by suggesting it is doing its last voyage on its way to becoming a tourist attraction museum. Once it sets sail you never get to see through any window or out-to-see in a convincing sense as in reality you'd be looking at dockside buildings. The set has probably never sailed for years. But they have some aerial footage of a battleship they cut to from time to time. in fact they use the same shot over and over again. Its like a war version of "the love boat".

It has the feel of 70's made for TV movie, with some truly hilarious computer graphics. Its funny because you get the feeling that someone really did try their best with this but only had a few hundred dollars to play with. And for that matter they probably did a pretty good job! You feel like you shouldn't be laughing for some reason. (I guess I'm talking about "cringing" really)

I love the fact they actually use certain "special shots", such as of explosions and big gun fire, more than once. I'm sure one clip was used at least four or five times. They obviously could only afford to make a bang go off once!

There are just too many hammy moments to mention.

For some reason I am left giggling, having had the most surprising of evenings. Its almost been a refreshing experience to see such low production values. I say "almost" though. Overall its a terrible film.

Apparently, Universal films are going legal on their ass over this. And I can't blame them. the fact they use almost the exact same graphics in their promotional pictures is going to get plenty of folk watching the wrong movie. There seems to be more than just harmless fun going on here.

Maybe I'm out of the loop and and should have been wise to what is going on with this movie but I think CinemaParadiso should make it clear that this film is not, er...that film!

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Battle in Heaven

like it or loath it

(Edit) 23/08/2006

You can read the plot outline elsewhere I'm sure. This is what I thought as as someone who looks for films that are "different".

This film could never be called "glossy". You will not be sitting back admiring glorious cinematography and sumptuous vistas. Its an intimate film about ordinary folk in extraordinary circumstances. The aspect of kidnapping happened before the film starts so don't expect any "action" from that aspect.

Read the reviews and you'll find a very mixed bag of opinion. Discuss it with another viewer and you may well end up arguing, with one saying it was "just c**p" and the other saying it was "genius"!

The acting is not what would normally be termed "good" as the actors are not professional, but there is an honesty there that is typically missing from other films. Its like the actors are the actual people that this story is about. You are unlikely to associate with the characters, or particularly like any of them, but you are somehow rewarded by being able to view them or "be with" them during the story.

It seems the director/writer has given great thought to every millisecond of this film. He's worked with perfectionism every step of the way from casting to editing and we can judge whether he is any good because of this. IMHO he'll never achieve the household name status of Spielberg or Kubrick etc but then I suspect he'd never want (or admit to want) to be. I can imagine those household names watching this film with interest though.

Its clear that "guerrilla" film making has been employed. the scene involving a large crowd is not a load of extras but the real thing. The camera was mounted on a wheel chair rather than a dolly etc etc. If these sorts of details interest you then the movie is heartily recommended.

I find it hard to say whether I liked or not but I'm glad I watched it. I'm not sure I would recommend it to many but I might find myself suggesting it to some. It would suit those that watch film for more than just "entertainment". If the explicit sex it contains (which, trust me, is about as erotic as watching paint dry) is in any way an issue for the viewer then I feel the whole film is simply not for them. The slow pace, short script, the bleakness etc is the stuff most films purposely try to avoid, but here its almost the whole point.

Even under the exceptional circumstances, the people are just people, life can overwhelm and we feel sorry for them perhaps for this reason.

Watch it with an open mind, forgetting other's opinions, and you may, like me, find reward in this film.

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Exte: Hair Extensions

Rubbish subtitles

(Edit) 03/12/2010

There is certainly "something" about this film. It's great how the hair takes on a character of it's own. The crazy premiss somehow works.

What really p***** me off is the terrible subtitled translation. I can't speak Japanese but I can sure tell it's a rotten translation. I just don't understand how such translations get made. It kills the film.

Recommended? No. Unless you speak Japanese.

It takes far too much interpretaion to properly engage. And as good as the film is, it's not good enough to be worthy of the effort.

Don't rent this on a whim. If you know what you want and know what you're getting then you may well enjoy it.

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The Thirteenth Floor

Its just bobbins

(Edit) 23/02/2007

I imagine this film to be the result of a bunch of well connected "media types" having too many wines one night coming up with a well hackneyed "sci-fi" idea. They gathered together a good film budget due to their great connections, hired good crafts people (it does look good) and generally followed the book on "how to make a high budget film".

So they did it right? No!

The end result is inordinately mediocre. It feels like it was made by committee and lacks the strong focussed vision of the better (director lead) films.

My observation was confirmed when I listened to a bit of the directors commentary. There was clearly a lot of re-shooting and changes made due to their findings from focus groups and test screenings.

The "hero" is two dimensional. Tall dark and handsome in true hollywood fashion, but lacking any sort of distinction or character. He has no flaw or significant "special feature" that the poor actor could exploit. The only thing going for him is his dress sense.

Most films go through some sort of market research or testing process of course but simply pandering to the findings regardless, just result in this sort of pap.

The script is terrible in places. I kid you not, this is some dialogue....

(accompanied by some lovely romantic music and big close up face shots, spoken in hushed low tones)

"I fell in love with you"

"You don't even know me"

"Yes I do. I've watched you: Your kindness, your dignity... I fell in love with you even before I met you"

"How can you love me? I'm not even real. You can't fall in love with a dream."

Yes folks its bad and not in a funny way.

The thing that irritates me is that it could have been so much better. There is just some sort of talent missing in the making of this film. A great shame.

Really, this really was a waste of time - there are far better films to spend a tiny bit of your life on.

I guess if you feel like watching something completely lightweight, then you might like it, but then such viewers rarely want the complicated aspect of virtual reality and what exactly defines "true life" to wrestle with.

I'm sorry, its just bobbins.

Its like an extended episode of E.R. with a bit of Star-Treck (TV) thrown in. Its not exactly terrible viewing but surely movies are supposed to be, well, different to average tv?

Oh and for those that compare this to the Matrix... oh god, I've spent long enough on this film as it is to got there.

3 out of 5 members found this review helpful.

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Day Watch

Inexcusable subtitles.

(Edit) 05/02/2008

This movie is simply wonderful and even better than the first of this trilogy. I really have a big problem with how this film is often compared to the matrix as it really has nothing at all to do with that film. Its an "urban" fairy-tale, modern and contemporary but not Matrix-y!

Unlike so many hollywood stuff the viewer is not patronised with an easy to follow plot with nice "reminders" of what's happening. The story twists and turns and never stops moving for a moment. This film requires concentration and full commitment but you will be fully rewarded by the end or this 140min epic.

It starts almost immediately where the first film ended. You really need to see the first before this one but that just makes it better. This not just a different story with the same actors/location - its a true follow on.

One MAJOR GRIPE.

My copy from Cinema Paradiso did NOT feature the wonderful subtitles that english people were provided for by the film makers. Buy the movie (or watch on the cinema) and you have amazing fully animated text like you've never seen before. It really adds to the film for those of us who can't speak Russian (!).

The fact this copy has just plain boring white tele-text style subs, was a huge disappointment for me.

I strongly recommend you DO NOT RENT THIS FILM for this reason - but buy it!

2 out of 2 members found this review helpful.