The Unearthing, directed, produced, edited, and flat-out hustled by Tristan James Jensen, is a coming-of-age, supernatural discovery film done on a shoestring budget that surprised a lot of filmgoers at this year’s Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Film Festival. The movie stars local actors Riley Yearly, Angelina Masciopinto, and Kaleb Miller. It was filmed on location in Stillwater, Minnesota. You can watch the trailer here.
Posts Tagged ‘jason a hill’
Category Essay, Film Reviews, Most Confusing Films of All time, Movies I Didn't Get, Movies I Got
By Jason A. Hill & Ezra Stead
No Country for Old Men, USA, 2007
Written and Directed by Joel and Ethan Coen
Based on the Novel No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy
[Note: “An Argument” is a new feature on Movies I Didn’t Get, in which the site’s founder and owner, Jason A. Hill, and head editor, Ezra Stead, debate the relative merits (or lack thereof) of various beloved movies on which they disagree. Please feel free to get in on the argument in the comments section below.]
JASON’S ORIGINAL REVIEW: I didn’t get this movie. I wanted to, and I was fully engaged as I watched the film. However, by the “end” of this film, the only way I knew it was over was by lights in the cinema coming up, and for a film that wins Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Supporting Actor, I really expected a lot more. Of course, I saw the movie before all of that.
No Country for Old Men is full of excitement, suspense, and action, but I got the feeling that there was something deeper going on under the surface and I was expecting some revelation at the end. What I got instead was that feeling you get when you’re at a big concert and the headlining band comes out on stage two hours late then leaves the stage after one song as the lead singer throws the mic down and flips off the crowd. At first, everyone thinks it’s a great gesture, but after a while they start to feel conned. Read More
By Jason A. Hill
Prometheus, USA, 2012
Directed by Ridley Scott
Much has been said about Ridley Scott’s career of late. Even though he’s given us such great additions to the Sci Fi lexicon as Alien (1979) and Blade Runner (1982), much remains to be concluded concerning his legacy or if he can return to his former glory. Unfortunately, Prometheus does not help the conversation in his favor. Prometheus is visually stunning and the FX are what you would expect from a big-budget film, it’s ambitious and epic within its context, performances by Noomi Rapace and Michael Fassbender are memorable, but the film slowly falls apart in its far-reaching themes and illogical plot.
By Jason A. Hill
Winter’s Bone, USA, 2010
Directed by Debra Granik
Much has been made of this film after it won the Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic Film and the Best Screenplay Award at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. It also received two awards at the 2010 Berlin Film Festival and Stockholm International Film Festival, where it won awards for Best Film and Best Actress (Jennifer Lawrence) and the Fipresci Prize. It has earned seven nominations at the 2010 Independent Spirit Awards, including Best Film, Best Director, and Best Actress. It may not do as well at the Oscars, but I would say most of what the film has received has been earned.
For me, however, I have to take a step back and wonder if director Debra Granik actually knew more about the people she was portraying. Although the film is technically sound and her story structure is strong, the underlying genuineness of these characters rang hollow to me. The overall dark tone of the film also struck me as a little over-the-top and done for dramatic effect. Read More
Category Film Reviews, Movies I Didn't Get, Movies I Got
By Jason A. Hill
TRON, USA, 1982
Written and Directed by Steven Lisberger
TRON: Legacy, USA, 2010
Directed by Joseph Kosinski
TRON: Legacy has its moments and I admit it is entertaining, but the film falls flat on a weak plot that is little more than a facsimile copy of the original. The original TRON had interesting characters to carry its plot, but Legacy‘s characters will need the 3D dressing to un-flatten these performances. If you saw the original, nothing in this film will surprise you. It seems to be playing on old TRON fans’ curiosity of what they can do with the new CGI, whose best achievement is a young Jeff Bridges’ face. As for new viewers to the franchise, it may entertain but this film plays more like an all-night rave than a plot to save the world from digital oppression.
When the original TRON was released in 1982, computers were still a new thing in pop culture and video games were enchanting a new generation of gamers. It was able to capture a wave of interest in the new technology, as well as the culture, of imagination and the possibilities of technology. The film invented a new form of special effects and took CGI mainstream in a way that didn’t exist before. People often wonder why a film like TRON, with its fairly pedestrian plot, became such a cult phenomenon, but the original TRON was well ahead of its time in every way. Read More