Tag: Devin

White Chicks – Movie Reviews by Devin

Devin reviews the film White Chicks. Notorious for being hilarious (and probably not your typical comedy) the film is packed with statements about philosophy and racial politics. Take a peek!

17th July 2021

By Devin

White Chicks

“Your mother is so old, her breast milk is powder” – Tiffany Wilson, White Chicks

The last time I tried to write a film review of White Chicks I had to take a hiatus after hitting many writing blocks. I have now gained the emotional strength to attempt to fully review this film. I will not leave this computer until I finish this blog. Either the blog gets written or I die. (Editor’s Note: we are glad our movie guy did finish his blog because we don’t know what we’d do without him!)

Art I tell you, ART

Now you may ask what is all this fuss about. Surely it is just a film. No. It is not just a film. It is an artistic statement. The difficulty I had in previously writing this review was fully capturing every philosophical aspect of the film in a respectful and fulfilling manner. After watching the full 1 hour 55 minute run time, I did consider a great many things.

Money, money, money, and racial politics?

First of all, I considered the fact that on the long film production line this film was chosen to be made on a $37 million budget film. White Chicks had a box office of $113.1 million. Wow.  

Its satirical nature is a genuinely insightful commentary of racial politics. Albums like Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly pale in comparison. No pun intended. The cinematography, acting, editing and the like were all average. Like 99% of films, the script was the most significant part. Containing black people pretending to be Mexicans and white Americans, fart jokes, and Terry Crews, the film is a statement that one can only fully understand by genuinely watching the film. 

While I have given this film a hard time, there were some moments I believed to be genuinely humorous. This film falls under the category of ironic watching with the central idea that a studio genuinely decided to fund this film, and it paid off.

Fight Club: Film Reviews by Devin

The first rule of fight club is don’t talk about fight club. The second rule is you can only talk about fight club if you are writing Decablogs about fight club. Hence, here is a blog about fight club.

29th June 2021

By Devin

The Fight Club of Revision

I must attribute my absence to the massive wave of work in the ocean of revision and exams. Thankfully, I was not pulled under and drowned. Now I have a whole sunny summer to relax on relatively dry land. Despite this mini dark age of film blogs, I did watch a few films here and there.

A Fight Club of Dead Poets?

Looking back, I think the two best films to me were Fight Club and Dead Poet Society. The two primary films for guiding male youths through the deadly maze called life – what wonderful influences. Whilst both films were incredible, I think, with my Decaqualifications to back me up, that Fight Club stands as a stronger film. However, this is probably due to the fact that Dead Poet Society gave me flashbacks to GCSE English as if I was a war veteran traumatised by ‘Nam.

Brad Pitt’s Abs

Another possible reason I preferred Fight Club was the attractive lure of violence, anti-consumerism, and Brad Pitt’s abs. Fight Club is everything a teenage boy would want from a film. However, some have been critical of the film, theorising that the film misled some viewers and that they missed the anti-consumerist messaging. This point is neatly presented by the rise in real-life fight clubs. However, I believe the vast majority of viewers understood what the film was attempting to say.

The film follows a discontented white-collar worker as he meets a soap salesman named Tyler Durden and forms a relationship with Marla Singer. The film plunges one into a world of explosions, comedy, terrorism, and philosophy.

Fight Club

Oh Yeah, Movie Stuff

The film has solid acting, editing, CGI and boasts many famous quotes such as: “I felt like destroying something beautiful” and, “The things you own end up owning you”. However, I felt that there was a great deal of irony when millionaire actors spout anti-capitalist messages. A great example is when Brad Pitt states, “We’ve all been raised on television to believe that we’d all be millionaires and movie gods.” Despite this mild nit-pick, Fight Club is a great film. However, if you don’t like violence, I would not recommend it.

Sincerely,
A dope motherfucker called Devin (insert Devin’s page)

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Psycho

4th May 2021

By Devin

Over the years, I have heard some incredible things about Psycho. I had heard it had revolutionised the film industry and practically created the slasher genre. I had heard that it was hated by critics, but over time its genius was appreciated more and more. Like most people, I knew about the iconic shower scene but wished to see more. I wished to see Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpiece. So, I watched it. I watched it on a Saturday night with the lights turned down, curled up on the sofa, munching on some Oreos. 

The film opens up with an attractive young man and woman in a hotel room. They would like to be together, but his debts weigh him down. So, she decides to steal money from where she works. The film then follows her as she flees. She then has the misfortune of entering the Bates motel, where she meets Norman Bates, the proprietor of the motel. The rest is history. 

Over the years I have heard film critics complain about crappy jump scares which ruin modern horror films. Psycho is the perfect guideline for tensions and jump scares. The film offers an overall ominous vibe from the get-go. An incredible score complements the twists and turns of the story. That and the unnerving acting from Anthony Perkins. I left the film shaken up and enlightened as to what a masterpiece truly is.

However, I must say I did take baths for a while. And every shower, when I wash my hair with shampoo and I am forced to close my eyes, I am compelled to open them to see if a shadowy person is looming over me with a kitchen knife in their hand.

Editor’s note: it was also the first movie to include a flushing toilet!

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Clerks

27th April 2021

By Devin

Clerks is a 1994 buddy comedy film that was written, directed, and co-produced by Kevin Smith. Considering that the budget was kept to $27,575 by certain cost-cutting techniques such as using stores where Kevin Smith worked in real life and shooting in a cheaper black and white film, a gross of $3 million in theatres is very impressive. Rightfully, it has become a cult classic and a notable landmark in Indie films, mainly due to the fact that Kevin Smith maxed out five credit cards to fund this film, showing and inspiring determination and love for cinema.

It follows Dante Hicks and Randal Graves, two clerks (hence the name) throughout a single day after Dante is called into work on a Saturday. The most notable concept of this film is that it hooks you with X rated and dark humour while appealing to your emotions with Dante’s complicated romantic relationships and his deep philosophical discussion with Randal about the philosophy of being a clerk and whether he should improve his life. Despite the inherent randomness of the film, which is cut up into chapters each starting with a different title, these two strands interweave at key moments in seamless ways.

While the characters, themes and plot of the film are very solid, I can understand why some people would not enjoy the film considering its niche and dark humour. The directness and explicitness of the humour in the film will make some people laugh out loud and others shake their heads in embarrassment. I would recommend watching this film with a crowd of people who you know have this type of humour.

In conclusion, this is a very humorous and interesting film that is considered a staple in cinematic history, as indicated by the fact that in 2019 it was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress. However, I recommend choosing very carefully who you watch this with.

Her

20th April 2021

By Devin

Her is a 2013 film written, directed and produced by Spike Jonze and stars recognisable actors such as Joaquin Phoenix, Scarlett Johanssen, Amy Adams, Olivia Wilde and Chris Pratt. It entails the story of a man who after a rough divorce with a childhood sweetheart, downloads an operating system and falls in love with it/her. Despite many great actors and an interesting concept, the film received widespread critical acclaim upon release and had grossed $48 million dollars on a budget of $23 million when I started watching the film. I thought I had made a huge mistake.

One thing that I wish I had known before watching the film with my parents were the very awkward and loud verbal sexual encounters or “phone sex” scenes that the film has. If anyone had been listening at our front door, they would have thought that our family collectively watches adult movies together. Another criticism of mine would be that when an actor was physically alone in a room and talking to an AI without a body and only a voice, I felt a certain awkwardness and discomfort due to my expected norm of seeing two actors physically together in the same room.  However, upon completion of the film, I realised that that was the point.

The movie forces the viewer to think about many philosophical questions related to AI while they are watching this film. To be honest, it is quite an unsettling but interesting film about a possible not so far off future that will probably be reached in my lifetime in which AI are intelligent and sophisticated enough to form meaningful relationships with humans. 

To conclude this is a great film that turns the concept of a love story on its head to ask philosophical questions about a future that is not too distant. However, I would recommend that when certain scenes come on, turn your volume down.

Akira

12th April 2021

By Devin

While many debate whether Akira is a good film due to its bizarre plot, one thing cannot be contested: the cinematography, full of colour and expression, is beautiful. Despite the fact that the post-apocalyptic cyberpunk action film came out in 1988, it is a timeless film that was way ahead of its time. It was directed by Katsuhiro Otomo, written by Otomo and Izo Hashimoto and based upon Otomo’s epic 1982 manga of the same name. The film is all hand-drawn at 24 frames per second. The film, therefore, has incredible attention to detail. Whether you enjoy the plot or not, its colour and fluidity of movement are uncontestable. 

The film follows the story of a biker gang, with the two main characters Kaneda and Tetsuo, in dystopian 2019 Neo-Tokyo filled with corruption, riots, new religious movements and scientific military experiments. However, the film is only based on part of the manga, leaving those who have read the behemoth of a manga more satisfied at the ending of the film due to a fuller context of the plot.

The main problem with the film is not the fact that it was based on the manga but rather that it leaves full explanations and key moments to the manga while only bringing hints of those aspects to the film, leaving many viewers feeling puzzled. While some can analyse some coherent meaning behind the film and reflections into Japan before, after and during WWII, the plot breaks down due to insufficient explanations and characters that seem unnecessary. If you would like to watch around two hours of beautiful images, a coherent plot up until the 80-minute mark and the inspiration for Kanye West, the Matrix or Inception, or would just like to know what the fuss is all about, this is the film for you. Be careful, if you watch this and blink, you’ll miss hundreds of hours that the artists poured into those frames.

Ed Wood

11th April 2021

By Devin

“Ed Wood” is a 1994 film directed by Tim Burton starring Johnny Depp. Despite incredible critical acclaim and developing a cult following, it tanked at the box office. However, that does not deny its genius. It tells the tale of Edward D Wood Jr, considered by some to be the worst director to ever live. Shooting off minimal budgets, stealing props, filming illegally, he created a large number of camp films. Films that are so bad, they are quite enjoyable. The film documents his creation of three films, his relationship with Bela Lugosi, the fading star of the original 1931 Dracula film and Ed Wood’s transvestite nature and the effect of that upon his romantic relationships.

There are many merits to this film. It is a very humorous and heartwarming film with beautiful black and white cinematography which add stylish additions to the aesthetics of the film. With an outstanding performance by Johnny Depp, this is a very well rounded film and a good investment of 2 hours.

Furthermore, I consider this film a gateway drug of some sort to Ed Wood’s own films, which would be inaccessible to most people who have the fortunate or unfortunate chance of stumbling across his films. The three Ed Wood films shown being shot are, “Glen or Glenda”, “Plan 9 from Outer Space” and “Bride of the Monster”. They are all free on YouTube and very fun watches due to the amateurish nature of Ed Wood’s film making. “Bride of the Monster” and “Plan 9 from Outer Space” are decent camp films with a generally coherent plot and are ironically enjoyable to watch. On the other hand, “Glen or Glenda” is an incoherent mess that made me think, “what the hell am I watching?”

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