Movie Review: We Make Movies (2016)

Full disclosure: The people who made this film offered me a free copy of it in exchange for me reviewing it. And since I’m a greedy sucker that doesn’t say no to a free movie, accepted. I just wanted to let you know that. I’m not letting the kindness/generosity of the filmmakers cloud my judgment of the film, but I still felt like it would be best for you to know about this sponsorship (for lack of a better word). Alright, let’s review this thing.

Ladies and gentlemen… “We Make Movies”.

Stevphen (Matt Tory) is a young, ambitious, and kind of arrogant filmmaker who wants to make a movie that he can show at the local film festival. So he gathers a bunch of friends to make this “masterpiece”. And we then follow them through the ups and downs of this process. And this plot was handled quite well. I found it quite fun to follow these people go through all the steps of making an ambitious movie on a ham sandwich budget, with all the problems that comes with it. It’s quite entertaining following the “behind the scenes” antics of this crew. It even manages to be a bit inspiring with how they never give up despite clearly running into more problems than Wile E. Coyote. The plot here is simple, but good.

The characters here are all distinct, interesting, and quite entertaining. Matt Tory plays Stevphen (no, I didn’t have a stroke, that’s how it’s spelled), the determined yet arrogant and selfish director of this “masterpiece”. He’s a fun character even if he is a bit of a dick. And Tory is good in the role. Jordan Hopewell plays Donny, Stevphen’s nerdy friend that is helping him out on this movie, and while he is portrayed as the typical nerd character, they don’t overdo it and he never feels annoying… as a matter of fact, he’s quite fun. And Hopewell is good in the role. Jonathan Holmes plays Garth, another friend of Stevphen’s, a slightly more serious and logical man. And Holmes is good in the role. Zack Slort plays Leonard, a “method actor” that the crew brings in to play the main role in their film. He’s kind of pretentious, but that’s what makes him fun. And Slort is good in the role. Anne Crockett plays Jessica, a young woman that joins the production to be their film’s female lead. And Crockett is good in the role. We also have Matt Silver as Curtis, a dude that shows up every now and then throughout the movie. he’s very chill and Stevphen just doesn’t like him. And Silver is good in the role. Really, all actors in the movie do well for themselves.

When it comes to the music in the movie, there is no real original score, but they instead used music from various artists throughout. But there’s not too much music in the movie, it’s used pretty sparingly. And that is fine, too much music might not have worked with the movie’s overall style. But when music was used it was used well.

The movie was written and directed by the star, Matt Tory. And I think he did a really good job here. The movie is shot documentary style, with fake interviews and everything. I think this style really helps the movie out as a “normal” directing style wouldn’t have worked that well with the story they wanted to tell. And since this is a comedy we should talk about the jokes… and they’re funny. And while I admittedly never had a laugh out loud moment at any point, I still found myself laughing at most of the jokes. And the ones that didn’t get a laugh at least got a smile out of me. The humor (to me at least) was never boring or cringey, it was genuinely funny. It’s also a sense of humor that actually gets elevated by the mockumentary style.

This movie barely exists on the sites I usually refer to in this little “critical reception” section. At least it exists on imdb.com where it (as of writing this) has a score of 8,3/10.

“We Make Movies” is a fun little indie comedy that I really enjoyed. It has a good plot, good characters, good performances, good music, good directing, and really good comedy. Time for my final score. *ACTION!*. My final score for “We Make Movies” is a 9,57/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “We Make Movies” is now completed.

Once again, huge thanks to the filmmakers for giving me a free copy of the movie! Really appreciate it! Now, if any of you reading this wants to check it out, you can find it on Amazon.

Movie Review: White Hunter Black Heart (1990)

Obsession. A word we more often than not see as something negative. In a lot of cases that negative connotation is justified, considering some people being obsessed with certain otehr people or various things that could hurt them. But obsession isn’t all bad… I think.

Ladies and gentlemen… “White Hunter Black Heart”.

“White Hunter Black Heart” follows the story of John Wilson (Clint Eastwood), an eccentric movie director as he travels to Africa to shoot his new movie. However, when in Africa he is more obsessed with hunting and killing an elephant rather than making his movie. And I think the plot here is really interesting. It’s really a character study of this maverick filmmaker and how his obsession creates a lot of trouble. And by a lot of trouble I don’t mean a wacky comedy or an action movie, this is a drama. I mean trouble more in the sense of the production of his movie not going as planned. And it’s quite fascinating to watch.

The characters in thsi movie are fine. None except maybe two of them are particularly interesting. The first one is the character of John Wilson who’s played by Clint Eastwood. This man is really obsessed with hunting down and killing a fucking elephant, and feels okay with halting production for god knows how long until he actually gets his kill. And Eastwood is great in the role. His character clearly doesn’t give two shits about what other people think about what him, and Eastwood portrays that perfectly. The other interesting character we have is Wilson’s friend, Pete Verrill, played by Jeff Fahey. At first he just goes along with Wilson’s ideas/antics, but gradually gets more and more skeptical about it. He’s basically the normal guy who’s there to balance out Wilson’s crazy shit… and Fahey is really good in the role. All other actors in the movie do a fine job, even if their characters are a little bit uninteresting.

The score for the movie was composed by Lennie Niehaus and I think it was pretty good. It worked well enough for the movie and fit the African setting very well. Good job, Niehaus.

This movie was directed by Clint Eastwood and he did a pretty good job with it. The shots look pretty good and scenes flow very well. What’s interesting about this movie is that it apprently was inspired by real life writer/director/actor John Huston. Apparently something similar happened when he was making some movie back in the day. Now, when I say “inspired by” I mean “inspired by”. His antics were simply used as inspiration for this rather than this being a full-blown bio-pic. That said, I haven’t doen the full research about the subject and I will probably not do it… moving on!

This movie has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 88% positive rating. On Metacritic it doesn’t exist. Roger Ebert gave it 3/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,7/10.

“White Hunter Black Heart” is an interesting characy of this director and his obsession. It has a really good plot, pretty good characters, really good performances, good music, and good directing. Time for my final score. *Clears throat*. My final score for “White Hunter Black Heart” is a 9,44/10. So I’d say that it’s worth buying.

My review of “White Hunter Black Heart” is now completed.

So remember, kids: Don’t try to murder elephants.