Movie Review of “Resolution”: Rozencranz and Gildenstern Are Dread

20 07 2013

This 2012 indie production is elegant in execution. The producers had access to a half-built cabin in a canyon, so they wrote a script using it and some easy to get 30 year old media players. They kept the cast to two main, and about three supporting characters. This simplicity yielded an honest experience in “Weird”.

In fiction, “Weird” is used to define just H.P. Lovecraft and stories that made mankind insignificant in a boundless universe. The best examples of this in movies would be “In The Mouth Of Madness” or “Dark City.” Key elements to Weird are the questioning of reality (not just identity or space/time), or questioning how humanity has defined reality’s major players. “Resolution” is billed as a horror movie in ITunes and Amazon. It is not, but it is Weird.

The movie begins with a twist on the bro-buddy movie: old school friends get together to reminisce before an impending wedding. However, instead of a week of babes and beers, one friend turns the tables to get the other friend clean from his meth habit. As the duo engage and banter over a week, someone leaves clues that their canyon is the site of unusual activity, and that the two are being watched.

So begins a slow descent into a recursion and reframing of reality. In other movies, this would have been hack and cliché, but “Resolution” has two leads who are engaging and believable. What kept “Rosencranz and Gildenstern” from being horrific? That those two were witty, slender, and familiar characters whose menace was a light mental exercise. “Resolution” has fully-fleshed, worried people trying to make sense of increasingly surreal circumstances.

As an aspiring writer and film-maker, this movie provides so much inspiration. “Real” is a construct no matter your location or budget. The characters were not obvious copies of the writer’s friends like with Kevin Smith. The actors were given a range of emotions and had the skills to convey them. The editing had no cheap shock scares or audio tricks.

This is a solid, innovative movie. The creeps are there. They are not lasting, but they are surprising.

Here’s one of its trailers:

Going To Movies With Me Is Problematic…

13 10 2012

…because I walk out of them. I do not see the point of wasting my money plus wasting my time plus annoying myself further sifting out the merits from the deficiencies. I recall walking out of “Two Days In The Valley” (weak Tarantino rip-off), “Coppola’s ‘Dracula'” (ridiculous and Keanu Reeves’ accent), “Rango” (predictable and riddled with in-jokes), “Sucker Punch” (need I explain?), and most recently “Prometheus”. Perhaps I go to see movies when I have low blood sugar, or when I’m feeling down. Maybe I’m just real picky. I wish I had the patience to see the good in crap like many of my friends can. But I’m surly.
Today I walked out of “Seven Psychopaths”. It was a convergence of what I dislike most in movies 1) weak Tarantino wannabes (hello Guy Ritchie), 2) flat characters (they’re mobsters! who love animals! wacky!), 3) best friend characters I want to punch (Sam Rockwell is a convincing actor, which made me want to punch him even more), and lots of other things. The cast had some of my favorite actors, but the directing was uniformly uninspired.
I saw “Sinister” instead. I went in 1/2 hour late, but I had seen the commercials and knew what the plot was. And it was good.
Ethan Hawke is convincingly stubborn, self-absorbed and manipulative to be the movie Stupid White Guy. The plot is by the numbers “find clue > be concerned by spooky > have suspicious moment with fake scare > repeat” but that’s okay by me, as I love old “Night Stalker” episodes. Then, in the last 20 minutes, the Big Bad was a surprise and the Chekov’s Gun folded in with subtlety.
Tomorrow I go on stage for the first time in eight years with my 301 Level Improv Comedy Class. They are a fine bunch and I’m looking forward to it. I hope to have video for you.