Category Archives: Insight and Links

Discussing things I’ve heard or read about and want to share

Blog about the Blog

So this is a bit of a blog about the blog.

Have changed and added a few of the pages at the top and really am looking to change the direction of the blog slightly as well. Want the blog to focus more on all my creative endeavours and stuff I like, rather than just writing.

I know blog’s are meant to be more of a niche subject wise but just have too many ideas in too many area’s at the moment and am keen to do and share.

So I guess it’s slightly turning into more of a journal but will still have blogs about particular subjects or insights into past experiences.

Am hoping to build on the blog plenty this year with regular updates and new content. Am excited to share things in my future which I’ll go into when the time draws closer. Feel there’s a lot I want to achieve and this blog is a good way of recording some of them ambitions and sharing the experiences. (And hopefully offering some advice or transparency to things as well).

So yeah… that’s my super short blog for today.

Stephen

Film That Make Me Want to Travel

If I was ever going to write a different type of blog it would be a travel one. It’s the only other thing in life that gets me more excited than films and creativity.

Sadly I haven’t traveled to much of late but in my younger years I took every chance I had to see a bit more of the world. I’m sure these days will return again soon and I will fully take advantage, they have too.

For the moment I can somewhat torture myself by watching films that just absolutely make me want to jump on a plane and experience everything. Most of them aren’t really globe-trotting movies, there’s just certain vibes in these films that I adore and make me reach for my passport.

So here is my top 5.

5. Ghost World

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Ghost World involves no real travel at all but there’s just a certain urgency about the film that makes me think of travel. The characters are conflicted on what they want, with Enid looking for more adventure and Rebecca looking more to settle down. You can just see how Enid feels so clearly when they look to get jobs and a place and have responsiblity. The desire to bolt is strong. Just something about the film that lets off this travel vibe through-out and the desire to experience everything the world has to offer.

4. Y Tu Mama Tambien

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For me this is the perfect travel movie. Covers everything I want in a film genre and characters. Have always had a soft spot for road trip movies and adore these very real characters. The tone is very up and down but love to watch the development of the two guys as they learn about life while being on the road. Features some gorgeous scenery and beautiful moments. One of my favourite films.

3. Lost in Translation

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I’ve watched this movie so so many times. The travel vibe is strong in this one. Can feel myself packing my bags the second the dvd starts. It’s probably not the best sign how much I can identify with all the characters in this film but is just one of those movies that come along and just gets you (Much like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind). Like this film could be made specifically for me. I love the colours and vibe in this movie immensely. When they’re out and about on the streets enjoying themselves I just can’t stop smiling. Honestly believe this will be a film I’m still watching 50 years from now.

2. Before Sunrise

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I’m a big fan of the sequels as well and tend to always watch them as a trilogy but the first one is just incredible. Possibly the most romantic film I’ve ever watched. There can’t be too many people alive that don’t want to experience this type of day (or maybe I’m just weird). The characters are so incredibly real, the city is its own thing within the film, the support characters add to the flavour of everything. Even the train at the beginning has a magical quality about it. I’ve been to Vienna and love the city so just find it to be one of those films that I can truly identify with on every level.

I remember being at a low point in my life many many years back working a job I hated opposite a train station. This film would just run through my head constantly as I sat eating lunch watching the trains go. I swear if I had ever brought my passport to work I would have ended up in Austria again by the end of the shift (With even more debt on my Credit Card).

And the number one film that makes me want to travel the most:

Into The Wild

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I’m fully aware of the controversy towards this character, and have read the book as well so know a little more. But I don’t care. I could never up and leave the way he did but at the same time I get it. I root for him the entire movie. To make such a brave decision (which it is despite how cruel it feels to others in his life) and to set about experiencing life the way he does is just amazing to me. I think the fact that it’s real, or at least based on real events, gives it that added power.

Much like another film (and book) I like with a similar name “Wild” it makes me want to do the Pacific Crest Trail, but also to just get out there and experience loads outside my comfort zone. This film gives me an excitement rush and an anxiety attack at the same time.

I find this whole movie to be just beautiful. Has a direct line to my heart and puts me in a zombified state for days after watching it.

Stephen.

New Page for Old Short Films

Just a quick blog. Been meaning to do this for a little while and now finally have. Have got together a lot of my old DV Mission shorts along with a few other bits including a link to my award-winning 50 kisses film and have created a page for them.

Is located at the top of the blog next to the about page or linked here:

Old Shorts and New MV

Will try in the future to do a blog on each project but that will be over a fair bit of time I imagine and will also see if I can find any other work to add.

Stephen.

(Is hard to believe that my short film Accidental Death is 8 years old.)

Horror Movie Day

Ever have them days where you wake up and think, I’m going to watch horror movies all day. I do, a lot. Having done plenty of five or more marathons before I decided this time to do a little mini review of each. Nothing to in-depth. Just my feelings on each film.

In the past I used to rent 5 for £5 for 5 days at blockbusters, grabs some snacks and watch them all in one evening, but blockbusters is long gone now, and so are them sort of nights so have just started in the morning and going to see how many I can get through before I end up writing a little myself.

Reviews may contain minor spoilers.
First up  Emelie


Directed by Michael Thelin, Written by Richard Raymond Harry Herbeck and Michael Thelin

I really enjoyed the start of this film, the first half had plenty of intrigue and Sarah Bolger had a real good mystery about her on the screen but the film totally lost me in the third act. I liked the games with the kids and the fact that she was mentally torturing them, it felt different in a genre that’s had plenty of films down the years but once the lights went out in the house it became more familiar but at the same time confusing. Was hard to keep track of what was happening and rather than build suspense it lost me. I liked the horror being there for all to see and didn’t feel the lights going out added anything. Overall I liked the film but just not enough considering the start 5/10

 
Next up Charlie’s Farm


Written and Directed by Chris Sun

I love the whole teens getting hacked up by slashers genre. Stick a bunch of teens in the woods and unleash hell on them and I’m good to go. This is exactly what this film is. The gore and kills are pretty awesome and the aesthetics of the Farm are great. I don’t think they overly cared about the build up to the teens getting there or developing any kind of character or relationships within the teens, they just wanted blood. Personally I prefer to care about the characters at least a little before they’re massacred but this was more of an effects and gore show reel. That said it was pretty fun and I knew what I was getting when Tara Reids character was the smartest. Bill Moseley cameo was great, always a fan and the Jason in jokes with Kane Hodder where kinda fun if not a little telegraphed like everything else. But like I said, was enjoyable. 5/10

Rogue

Written and Directed by Greg McLean

As I’m a fan of pretty much every horror it won’t come as a surprise for me to say that I love monster movies. Have an idea for one myself but that’s for another time. With a good director and strong cast I expected a fair bit from this one and wasn’t disappointed. It took its time to build the characters and then ramped up the tension as the Croc arrived. The set pieces where cool and had a good mix of kills. The last 20 minutes got rid of the tension is favour of a pretty typical ending but can’t overly fault it for that. I liked it and would easily watch it again. 7/10

Next up White Settlers

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Directed by Simeon Halligan, Written by Ian Fenton

So this one wasn’t to subtle with the theme to put it mildly. They even put it on the poster which I can’t say I’ve seen to often. That said home invasion movies always scare me and this one was no difference. The build up to the invasion was really well put together, kept me on edge and really gave a good feel for the characters. Maybe because of the theme it was good to see one of the couple actually being a bit of a dick as well. When the cat and mouse stuff kicked in it was pretty cool but kinda done already with things like Eden Lake but overall I really liked this one, despite being English. 7/10

Holy double home invasion bill batman, next up Hush

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Directed by Mike Flanagan, Written by Mike Flanagan and Kate Siegel

So was told about this movie not to long ago and wanted to catch it. Horror films are often a mirror to society so it’s no surprise that more films about disabled people or people with mental problems are coming out. Think it’s very close to being a sub-genre into itself with Don’t Breathe ruling the box office and this sounded like a great one.

The film itself, Loved it. Just an inspiring movie really. Minimalist in ever since. Barely any dialogue or characters and shot in a single location yet everything felt so incredibly well put together and clever. I don’t want to see too much about the film as think it’s best just to go in not knowing much but I don’t think any one will be disappointed with this film. Would love to read the script. 9/10

Next up Invoked

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Director Humberto Rosa and Thairon Mendes, Written by Humberto Rosa and Aaron Gibson

Pretty by the numbers this one, seen it all before, but in fairness it was made for no money whatsoever. Grave Encounters for me will always be the top film in this found footage abandoned building genres and this one like many others tries the same sort of things and while the scares are decent at times the characters are all pretty annoying. Once again if you care about the characters everything else feels that bit scarier and sadly running around for an hour asking if each other is doing this doesn’t really work. But for no money whatsoever they gave it a go and I always like seeing that 3/10

Lastly Starry Eyes

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Written and Directed by Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmyer

I could probably write a whole article about this film as I do love these sort of movies and the themes so I’ll try to keep it short. I think they done a lot right with this film and look forward to seeing what they come up with next. The last 3rd got a little lost in slasher territory, and possibly was a little preachy depending on point of view, but before that I loved the whole Mulholland Drive meets Rosemary baby thing they had going on. Reminded me as well of an Anime I love, Perfect Blue. Think the story could have been a little tighter like the films I mentioned above and can throw Black Swan into the mix as well but I really did like it a lot and thought Alex Essoe was great. 8/10 for me and really am looking forward to whats next from these guys.

Ok one more… can’t help myself, Holidays

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Written and Directed by a whole host of people. (Anthology Film)

I’m a sucker for anthology horror films so had no choice but to watch this the second I noticed it. As always was a mixed bags and my favourites are probably different from others. For me the stories I enjoyed the most where Valentines Day, Mothers Day and Christmas. Have to say though I thought the quality was pretty high through-out and can see myself watching this again  7/10

So turned out to be 8 films in the day with an all day marathon. Wasn’t quite going for that but couldn’t stop.

Not sure if I’ll do one of these type blogs again or not, might see the reaction for it first but do know either way I’ll be doing more days like this in-between writing and working.

My favourite film of the day was Hush. Second Starry Eyes. All in all a good day of film watching.

Stephen