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Bellflower (Blu-ray/DVD Combo)
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1. I usually find romantic dramas to be predictable and boring. But this movie is a rare exception.
2. It’s about two best friends, Aiden and Woodrow, who moved to California together to make their lives different. They spend their spare time (which they have a lot of) fantasizing about what they would do during the apocalypse. They build “Mad Max”-inspired cars and flamethrowers as their hobby.
3. Woodrow falls in love with a girl named Milly, and Aiden starts spending time with a girl named Courtney. They embark on their respective relationships, which are realistic and heartfelt. But halfway through the movie, things go bad. There is cheating, car accidents, brain damage, and betrayal.
4. The last half hour of the movie splits into two different timelines, and it is up to you to decide which one is the real one and which one is imaginary.
5. The movie works largely because of the two lead actors. Tyler Dawson plays Aiden and Evan Glodell plays Woodrow (Glodell also wrote and directed the movie). It’s one of the best portrayals of adult male best friends I’ve ever seen. They perfectly illustrate the young adult male psyche dealing with love, friendship, and the realization that idealism rusts away, that changing where you live doesn't change who you are.
6.The cinematography by Joel Hodge is very unique. Beautiful macro shots combine with dirty lenses and grungy perspectives to give the film a look I’ve never seen before. It was nominated for the Independent Spirit Award for Best Cinematography.
7. No matter which version of the timeline you believe, if you watch all the way through the credits you may get confused again.
8.Read more ›
Bellflower is badass.
But to go into further detail for those who need more convincing, this film swallows you into a separate existence of envious invention. Shot on a homemade camera, it follows two dudes as they build homemade flame throwers to attach to their reconstructed apocalyptic car, aptly named Medusa. The cinematography is mind blowing, with hazes of golden yellow lurking in most scenes, which perfectly compliments the amount of fire and explosions. In all honesty it's a real bummer that more people haven't seen this, as I fully plan on forcing it onto my friends. The cars, the flames, the soundtrack (!!!!), the painful demise of a relationship, everything about this film is tangible and personal. Initially I wanted to see this because I am a lame girl and I thought it would be an edgy, indie romance sort of vibe, and I liked the homemade aspects of its production. Instead I found out that I want a flame thrower. And a car with a secret whiskey spout for mid-ride pick me ups. But instead I just got the movie on dvd.
Maybe I should not tell you much about the film's second half, where you will see some terrible events that might or might not happen. All I can say is that, compared to the first part, of which content is raw and real, the second part is unnecessarily confusing. This part could be much better with a simpler narrative or tighter editing.
Despite the real flame-throwers used in the film, "Bellflower" is a drama. Made on a budget of 17,000 dollars, this would be easily characterized as "one-of-a-kind" film. The film's orange-tinted photography is unique, to be sure, and so is the black "Medusa" car, but the film's story is at its heart a pretty orthodox one, about friendship between males with nowhere to go. If Lars von Trier directed a bromance, perhaps it would be something like "Bellflower."
"Bellflower" has distinctive visual qualities that alone are worth watching, but its narrative needs improvement.
One thing that "Bellflower" captures very well is the downside of that "free-spirited" girl who captures the imagination and heart of the introverted guy. She's great, and fun, but a girl who loves to do whatever comes into her head at any given time will sooner than later move on to someone or something more interesting. However, that's where this movie starts to break down. It starts off energetic and fun, loses its way in the second act, and doesn't start to come on strong again until the end of the second act. The characters start to break character, and continuity breaks down, before you start to have an idea as to why. I knock off two stars primarily for these reasons.
The 30-minute "making of" featurette is almost better than the movie itself. It gives you a raw, unvarnished look at what it takes to break into the movie business. The writer/director lives in a garage in conditions barely better than a homeless man. The team scrounged semi-abandoned office space as a production headquarters that they at times lived in; they barely had money for food; and, after the SXSW debut of the film, they didn't have enough money to get home but for an unsolicited $1000 cash from P Diddy. What they had was the burning desire to make a movie, and because they were dirt poor and broke they had no option but to succeed. Young people who dream of hitting it big in Hollywood need to watch this.
This is worth a rent, but I would definitely rent it before I bought it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great style executed perfectly
Visually one of the best looking films I've seen in a long time
An excruciatingly pedestrian (High School) student film with some interesting ideas and a few nice FX.
I couldn't sit through this movie. Read more
To be brief, I don't regret watching it at all. The characters had depth. The acting was weak. The story was interesting. You might love this movie. I say check it out.Published 8 months ago by M. Mandt
The film is crass and the play between characters is immensely interesting. It's worth a view. Independent and wonderful. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Ishmael
Very heavy movie. Made no sense the first time I watched it, so I recommend seeing it twice. It is a movie about friendship, although the relationship with Miley appears to be the... Read morePublished 9 months ago by RB