Off The Radar: The Cabin in the Woods (2012)

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Roze-Rating: 5 / 5

It’s everything a film should be, it’s fun, scary and the right amount of freaky. In terms of total theater experience Cabin in the Woods is the perfect example of how to execute that without taking itself too seriously. It is no exaggeration when I say that you will experience so many emotions just in the hour and a half run time. You’ll feel suspense, fear, laughter, disgust and maybe the odd “WTF?”. On the surface it feels and looks like a typical horror flick. There’s even the cliched group of characters you so often get in these type of films. We have the jock, the nerd, the party girl, the stoner and of course the black guy. But when we are introduced to them, we know something is off as they are all academic and actually care about their studies… whaaaat? Yes on the surface they look cliched but that first introduction to their intellectual personalities is what makes us care for them so much (you’ll see). As the movie progresses we get a real sense of the satirical approach to these characters and the genre in general which makes it hilarious but opens our eyes to the “logic” we so often see in these films.

What makes this film so special is it’s unpredictability. I mean if you judge a book by its cover then you probably wouldn’t think that with this film, even the film title is cliched. My advice when watching it is to have an open mind and enjoy the chaos. This is honestly the best horror flick I’ve seen and will be in my best films of all time list. It’s about time we got a truly innovative, fun movie. Mainstream film makers should strive to produce pieces of gold like Cabin in the Woods. If you’re still not interested in seeing this film, I have one word for you… “Merman”.

Pitch Perfect (2012)

91328_galRoze-Rating: 4.5 / 5

The film follows Beca (Anna Kendrick) and her reluctant journey to college. She’s an outsider and can’t seem to find her own kind around the campus, until one day a struggling acapella group preach for her help. She learns to develop her hidden talents while making life long friends in the process, but her edgy style eventually conflicts with the leaders old fashioned mindset, which might be the solution to their trophy drought.

I thought this film was going to be a musical, thank fack it wasn’t, can’t stand them. I tried watching High School Musical once, literally couldn’t get through more than five minutes, but that’s probably a bad film to start with. Anyways, this is a genuinely funny film which has a really cool take on the acapella phenomenon. It was really refreshing to watch a film with modern music given the acapella treatment then mashed up with more music. I’m just thankful that they made it about the music but not to the point where they were singing through the story. It had a street feel with the underdog theme, which we’ve seen loads of times, but it was a lot harder to notice than other films. This is helped by the added comedy, weird ass characters and a romance sub plot.

The film was a lot funnier than I expected it to be. I think that’s why I was so surprised by how entertaining it was. All the characters were memorable and strange in their own way, which is why the cast should take a well deserved bow for playing them with commitment. Rebel Wilson totally steals the show though, her quirky, odd-ball humor fits in perfectly, making it possibly the best comedic character of the year. Adam DeVine makes a memorable debut performance playing a character he knows all too well from his Workaholics comedy series. But the most surprising performance of them all has to be Anna Kendrick’s. We’ve seen her play a lot of timid, goody two shoes characters and seeing her play a rebel with an attitude so realistically, showed she has diversity. Oh and she can sing.

Definitely the most surprising film of the year for me, and it makes me crave more films like this, I might even go watch all the seasons of Glee… Or not.

End of Watch (2012)

End-of-Watch_05Roze-Rating: 5 / 5

The film follows the journey of two LA police officers to fame. Officers Taylor (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Zavala (Michael Pena) are loyal partners who continue to impress their peers and superiors after making high status arrests and rescues. Eventually their motivation and high ambition put them on the radar of a massive drug cartel who aren’t massive fans of their hero antics having prevented them a lot of money. The story doesn’t just explore the gangster culture of LA and the dangers of police officers, but it explores brotherhood, loyalty and the heartache of their loved ones.

End of Watch offers so much, it has action, style, interesting characts, drama, it’s an all round great film that uses the found footage style appropriately. The action is extremely realistic which means it isn’t just relentless gun fights but it captures the heart thumping tension of making an arrest, really showing the unpredictability of thugs. This really aids the intentions of the film, which is to expose the reality of police officer life, which is why you get to also see the boring side of the job; paperwork. The two main characters are awesome, they are extremely likeable and they share a bond that you wont see in many films. The chemistry they share is so real that you root for these characters without thinking about it, and it makes you even more worried about each hostile encounter they face. This is thoroughly due to the great performances by Michael Pena and Jake Gyllenhaal, who keep growing on me, especially Pena who really show’s his full acting abilities. There are also some really enjoyable appearances from Anna Kendrick and America Ferrera, despite smaller roles, put in good performances.

The plot is quite simple, two cops ambition and initiative make them famous in the best and worst of ways. It literally follows them through their high status arrests until they are wanted by a massive drug cartel. I really like the way they went about filming this, using the found footage style as well as normal filming. It really helps make the film that much more realistic and puts you in the shoes of the police officers. Since everyone is familiar with the cops series and cop video’s on youtube where they film themselves from inside the car, everyone can relate and are already aware of what a cop video looks like. It makes the film a lot more gripping and grittier.

Overall awesome film with a lot of emotion, tension and grit. Definitely in the list of the greatest cop films around. You will also see a man with some real talent with the word “fuck” I wonder what his audition was like…