Saturday, 21 April 2012

Midnight in Paris: Inspiring

Sometimes I really don't feel like I'm in the mood for a particular film, even if I haven't seen the picture before.  Often because the director makes hard to watch films or because it looks like a genre that isn't my usual cup of tea.  Since I decided to write about film only when I wanted to write and not because I wanted a highly read blog covering new releases this has happened even more.

I avoided Midnight in Paris on its release because Woody Allen's particular brand of comedy hasn't always tickled my funny bone.  To be honest I have a conflicted opinion of the man himself.  He always seems fantastic on film but guarded under interview (not surprising when you consider his choice of wife/daughter).  But whatever my reasons for not watching the film until now, it is now watched, and very much enjoyed.

Allen has a clear love of the arts, of music and of literature, he is a creative man after all.  But as much as his passion for these things shines through, so does his nostalgia for the French New Wave in cinema, the time of the true auteur.  His shots are reminiscent of Truffant and Godard, his use of shot composition, colour and light reminded me of 'Pierrot le Fou' as did the opening credits (to be clear though, the two films are nothing alike).  If you love classic film then you will love this.  However if modern cinema is your particular bag don't let this put you off, because there are close similarities to current greats like Wes Anderson, taking classic film making and bringing it to the discerning masses.  Also it having Owen Wilson and Adrien Brody both present make immediate comparison inevitable.

Midnight in Paris is funny, touching, romantic by one meaning of the word and beautiful.  Overridingly though, for me at least, it was inspiring.  I think that whatever your creative outlet, you will find something in this film to push you on.  I am not a writer yet during this film I was running through opening lines for my first novel (don't hold your breath).  I am a painter, not a very good one, but a painter nonetheless and as soon as I have finished this review I will run upstairs to my studio (spare room) and paint and paint and paint.  I will paint while tapping my foot to Cole Porter and Gershwin, and drinking tea (that last bit has nothing to do with the film).  Watch this film then go create.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Back with a Vengeance!...

Maybe 'Back with a Polite Smile..' would be a more accurate title.

I started this blog a year ago.  Five months later I stopped.  It was my intention to just unload my thoughts about films that I'd seen, nothing more, nothing less.  The blog it's self wasn't that important to me, I was writing about the films that I saw to make me think more deeply about them and so hopefully get more out of the viewing experience.

In fact the viewing experience was not enhanced, quite the opposite.  I could walk out of the cinema thinking about how exciting a film was and by the time I was turning the key in the ignition I'd have picked it apart and be focusing solely on holes in the plot or a wooden supporting cast.  Case point: I loved Limitless as I was leaving the theater but within minutes I'd considered it's inadequacies so much that when people asked me what I thought I slated it, heavily.  I stand by my review on this website, but I apologise to those few people who decided not to see it because of my few minute rant outside HMV back in May.

The point that I am trying to make is that reviewing films made me like them less, so I stopped.  But I'm going to try again, I'll approach it differently and I'll go with my gut feeling.  I won't necessarily review any film that I see either, if I have something to say then I'll say it, if not, I won't (no filler, woop!).

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Thor: sore with a lisp

Often the anticipation of a film can end up ruining the experience, this may well have been the case if on my first two attempts to see the film I had succeeded.  The first time it was only showing in 3D, and having left the house without my wallet I was fifty pence short of the extra cost.  I wasn't too fussed, I hate paying extra to see an effect that will inevitably inspire a rant or two and I wanted to see Hanna anyway, so I did.  The second time I was late, and an incredible specimen of a snaking queue meant that I would have missed the first ten minutes of the film, so again I went with another option this time involving more wine and less popcorn.  On Tuesday I finally got to see Thor, anticipation curbed, objective head on.

Of all the Marvel franchise Thor is probably my least favourite.  It's the story that relies most on fantasy.  Of course we are talking about superheros and there is little subject matter that relies more heavily on fantasy, but it is a particular flavour unlike any other.  We have fantastic characters that have come about under freakish circumstances that reside in the real world.  Whereas Thor's home world plays a part throughout the comic book adventures.  We often get the point of view from Odin (Thor's father) at home in Asgard, which gives the reader a whole other perspective to think about.  Of course the story is also rooted in Norse mythology, and as such it is familiar with most.  These points move it down in the ranks as far as I'm concerned but will make the film more accessible to people who may not already have such an affinity with the Marvel world.

There are differences between the graphic novels and the film, Thor has no alter ego in the motion picture and because of this his love interest has had a change of career.  Nothing too major and by making Jane (Natalie Portman) a scientist rather than a nurse it becomes easier to write valid contribution for the character.  Having said that, the writers seem to have ignored this fact, Portman comes across as dizzy and clumsy from start to finish.  In fact all three scientists on the whole seem nonplussed, Prof. Selvig (Stellan SkarsgĂ„rd, who I always confuse with William Hurt) is resigning and a bit useless, where as Darcy (Kat Dennings) is simply useless although she does deliver one or two good one liners.  Which brings me to the comedy in the film, of which there is plenty.  From locals struggling to budge thors hammer to S.H.I.E.L.D agents descriptions of the most recent residents of New Mexico, humor definitely plays a part in keeping your attention for just short of two hours.  Thor (Chris Hemsworth) slamming about like a viking and raising eyebrow to the skies when a roll of thunder bellows also cause a wry grin. In a fairly tongue in cheek role he acts well.  His performance will see him in working in Hollywood at least for the time being. Loki (Tom Hiddleston, Thors brother) goes through a lot in the film, some of which could maybe have been saved for a later chapter.  Anthony Hopkins plays a very good Odin, which was a relief because he either hits the bulls eye or misses by a country mile.  The last character I'd like to mention is Volstagg of "the warriors three" this role must have been written for Brian Blessed, he's 74 this year but he would have been awesome nonetheless, Ray Stevenson just appears to be doing a poor Blessed impression.

For all it's faults I still enjoyed Thor.  If I'd seen it in 3D I don't think I would have.  I like the Juxtaposition between the highly polished, beautifully designed Asgard and a sleepy, dusty New Mexico town.  Though I do think it was holding back, The Avengers film will be with us soon and I expect to see the founding member putting his hammer to much greater effect next time.

You will more thank likely like this if you like super hero films.

You definitely won't like this if you're thinking that Brannagh is going to add a Shakespearean twang to the Marvel galaxy.


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Monday, 16 May 2011

Harry Brown: My first DVD review

So far, with the exception of two or three articles, I have been predominantly focusing on spoiler free cinema release reviews.  This is not reflective of my viewing habits, so, with a view to writing more I'm going to start a series of DVD recommendations.  I'm going to try and depend less on marks out of ten so much because that system makes it difficult to be objective, instead I will finish each review with a why you should and why you should not see a film section too.  Also, there may be a spoiler or two in there, although I will give you advance warnings.  So without further ado, here's Harry Brown.

Ken Loach has for a long time been a favorite of mine, his gritty truthful takes on 20/21st century Britain leave you both desperate and nostalgic.  During the first half of this film Daniel Barber (in his so far only feature film) does a very similar job, and does it well.  

We meet Harry Brown, his wife in hospital, taking the long way round to be with her, avoiding the local youth.  Lingering shots of his lonely life, struggling out of bed, eating solemn meals.  Drinking alone in the local pub, waiting for his only friend to join him for a game of chess. ** SPOILER START **  Without giving too much of the game away, Harry soon loses his wife, he witnesses a violent attack in the courtyard outside his Elephant and Castle tower block flat, and then to top it all his only his friend taken from him.  While mourning, a drunken Harry becomes the victim of an attempted mugging.  Exit Ken Loach enter Guy Ritchie.  This really is where a line is drawn in the film.  Michael Caine's expression leaves Harry Brown behind and becomes Jack Carter all over again.  Shots go from brown and grey and start to include stalking, horror inspired, dark frames tinted with ambers, reds and blues.  Harry becomes sadistic in his plight to gain vengeance, as he get's a view deeper and deeper into London's violent undercurrent he becomes more and more his former Marine self, but where will it all end? ** SPOILER END **

Largely the acting is superb, Michael Cain delivers convincing performances on both sides of his persona.  David Bradley (the caretaker in Harry Potter)'s desperate performance tugs at the heart strings.  Emily Mortimer (Lars and the Real Girl) is good, but as a detective that has requested this, one of the worst beats in London lacks development.  Plan B (Ben Drew) is unbelievable when put besides such fine acting talent, for one whose career is built on modern British youth dialect/accent his delivery seems contrived and unnatural.  The best performances in the film come from Sean Harris and Joseph Gilgun who are scarily believable, while I hope a little over the top in their depictions of drug/arms dealers.

DVD extras are pretty good, the commentaries are candid and often funny and the interviews give perspective to the area in which the film is shot.

If you like gangster or retribution films, you'll like this, it's a like a hard Gran Torino or Kidulthood meets Get Carter.

If you like Ken Loach then the second half will let you down, so don't expect your perfect film.

I very much liked it. 


Sunday, 15 May 2011

Hanna: An action film about music

One of the first things I thought about Hanna, before seeing it, was that I could guess the shock ending...  I was wrong.  Although, Joe Wright isn't exactly one for a twist ending, he is a story teller, and he tells it well.  

There are obvious comparisons with this film, Luc Bessons Leon and La Femme Nikita being the most clear.  Studying Bessons style, Wright's take on the unlikely killer pulls no punches, but with his history in period drama (Atonement, Pride and Prejudice) I would expect him to have delivered more character development.  Having said that, it could be argued that this, his fourth feature film credits the viewer with a brain of his own.  Rather than developing the character before our eyes, he uses metaphor and script to imply adolescence and inexperience.  Sets include a Hansel and Gretel-esque cabin in the woods and a defunct fairground.  The main foe, Cate Blanchett, is referred to as "the witch".  Hanna herself is scared of the things that have been neglected in her education, fast cuts and erratic pans put us into her panicky position.  Her upbringing and education become clear without the need for flashback or montage.

When we meet Hanna, she has never heard music before, asking "What does music feel like?" the answer comes as a dictionary definition.  From here the film has a subplot told in tune.  The soundtrack really is great, featuring the Chemical Brothers it often emphasises and sometimes juxtaposes scenes, there is harsh and fast music, slow and sweet, dance, rock and classical.  Activity takes on rhythm.  One character even has a signature melody, which adds a very creepy tinge to the whole proceeding.

I think it's pretty clear that I liked the film, and there are many reasons for this.  Look out for the fight choreography, it is second to none, I'd be surprised if none of the actors picked up real and painful injuries.  Saoirse Ronan, who plays Hanna is very good, she's sweet and innocent, naive and deadly.  Tom Hollander is super freaky, he reminded me of the boys in the Austrian film Funny Games (later remade in Hollywood).  The direction is good and the on location shots are done delicately and well.  Often films set in many different countries become touristy, this does not, it relies on language, culture and script to let us know where we are as and when we need to.  

All the good stuff said though, I wasn't as convinced as some about the greatness of the film.  Eric Bana wasn't as bad as he was in Hulk, but only because he was forgettable.  He had some good scenes too, this could really have been a film to bring him up the Hollywood ranks.  Cate Blanchett was a great foe, we've seen her do hard before and she does it well, but she acts with a very thick southern U.S. accent which leaves you staring at the screen thinking "she's is acting with a funny accent":  The thing about this point, is that I get the feeling that it was a considered decision to give her such a thick regional tone, and I can't for the life of me figure out why.  Finally, Hanna's allies in the story are a middle class British family on their travels.  They don't inspire sympathy and they are completely unlikable but ashamedly with that comes believability.

I like the film but was left wanting.


Saturday, 23 April 2011

Source Code: Quantum Leap on Groundhog Day

This is proper sci fi, not a war movie with robots instead of terrorists, not a love story with an alien attack subplot, proper sci fi.  With talk of quantum mechanics and alternative time lines and ideas of inner space the main plot is well thought out, given a few minutes thought it would tie your brain up in knots.  Fortunately though, some very good writing convinces you that you get it long enough for you to stop thinking about it.  Very impressed.

The film begins with the score (and the shot) hitting you like Vertigo,  director Duncan Jones has either  been inspired by the infamous Mr. Hitchcock or Hanna Barbara cartoons (pure sensibility makes me suggest the prior).  The setting too is clearly an homage to Hitcock's Strangers on a Train, although these aren't the only influences to be noticed.  I am reminded one of my favourite writers, Phillip K. Dick who incidentally penned The Adjustment Bureau, released recently; obviously Quantum Leap with a deeper sense of morality and urgency; Groundhog Day;  The Outer Limits; anything that has ever touched on time travel.  This is hardly an original plot but it delivers it very well.

Jake Gyllenhaal is great, bringing the confused, higher sense of being of Donnie Darko to meet the "be all that you can be" of Jar Head.  You believe his confusion, supported by clever camera angles, his perplexed look is reminiscent of a young Dennis Quaid.  His dynamic with Michelle Monaghan is electric, I get the feeling that the two of them had a lot of fun making this movie.  She is comfortable on screen and I'm in no doubt that this film will land her many more great roles.  The same applies to Vera Farmiga who manages to convey emotion while preserving her military cold front.

Source Code delivers what so few films do these days, everything.  There's life and death, ethical dilemma, action, philosophy, romance, explosions, paternal angst, social commentary and even art.  Yes that's right, art, if you search the 6outof10 blog you'll find a happy little article I've written about Anish Kapoor.  The very same appears quite heavily in the film, his bean sculpture in Chicago being used as a metaphor for transforming the world from one state of affairs to another, brilliant.  All this and it manages also to be quite a light film, it will never be a chore to watch, which is good because it is almost certainly a film that will develop with multiple viewings.

I'm a fan 8/10

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Limitless: Limited

The title makes it sound like I didn't like the film, not so, I really enjoyed it.  But it could have been so much more.

It plays like a superbly complex book, which is no problem.  But when converting complex text to film, a decision has to be made; do you make the film long or episodic or do you chop bits and pieces out of the storyline.  This is a big decision and Neil Burger (The Illusionist) made it badly, or maybe not.  Mistakes could have been in the writing, direction or editing, but it's his name on the poster so I'm blaming him.  The problems I have are two fold:  Firstly, a very dramatic (like, the biggest kind of drama) subplot is started but not concluded.  And secondly, super good comic-bookesque scenes demonstrating newly found abilities wet your appetite for a meal that never arrives.

Problems aside though, the film is fast paced and frantic, you can't take your eye off the screen.  There is some very good cinematography showing the streets of Manhattan as you've never seen them before.  Rober De Niro is in it... awesome.  Bradley Cooper proves himself as a proper actor, believable performances on both sides of his super intelligent almost super human/down and out, slobby, hack writer personality.  Very good.

It will undoubtedly keep you talking all the way home.  If this were a a critique rather than a review I could go on for pages and pages, one very true thing about this story, is that the possibilities are Limitless.

6/10.  Bad decisions can't go unpunished.

A slap dash review this time, but I have a film to watch.  Let me know your thoughts, this is a conversation I could have over and over.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Trilogies, tetralogies, pentalogies plus. The world of the sequel.

I’ve watched a lot of sequels in preparation for this, and by and large they start well, some even end well, but let’s face it, most are poor quality money-spinners.  Some are episodic, some ignore the initial plot, and some are simply more of the same (remakes in one or two cases).  But what makes a good sequel?  Does the saga need to be one flowing story?  Does the lead character need to be the same?  Can a sequel trump the original?  And do particular genres lend themselves better to sequels?  I've had a look at the best and worst film series in modern cinema (there are quite a few), but do any maintain greatness throughout?
Alien covers the most bases in one series, so here’s my brief synopsis on the highs and lows of the cult series:
Alien (1979).  Ridley Scott, in only his second major film release and amid a Star Wars frenzy delivered a very different science fiction; Sci. Fi. Horror.  “In space, no one can hear you scream”.  It was ground breaking, Scott pioneered modern film psychology.  Extreme wide, dark and lingering shots, give the feeling of solitude.  A lack of outside perspective gives an understanding of their distance from home.  Eerie tones and creepy silences leave you on the edge of your seat.  The film is scary, but it doesn’t rely on gore or shock, instead embracing cinematography and direction.  This isn’t about one film though, it’s about four films (soon to be five). 
Aliens (1986), James Cameron directing this time.  With recent success on The Terminator two years prior, this film had Cameron’s signature all over it.  Aliens is an action film more than a horror, it is full of one liners and big guns, it is not intelligent film making, it is exciting film making.  This point along with the presence of Bill Paxton makes it possible to see this as a dumbed down version of the original (sorry Bill, I still love you in Club Dread).  Don’t get me wrong, I love the film, one of the greatest action films and one of the best sequels too.  Overall, a triumph.  But you can switch off your brain.  Oh and I wasn’t a fan of the fluffy ending.  Anyhow, on we go.
Alien³ (1992), David Fincher.  I like Fincher a lot, but this really had its flaws.  He obviously didn’t like the soft end to the second film either as he killed off two of the survivors in the opening sequence.  He’s trying to bring back the horror factor that made the first film so good, so the ship crashes into a space prison full of sex-starved murderers and rapists.  Not the kind of characters that you grow to love or are even a bit bothered about when they inevitably kick the bucket.  Ripley makes uncharacteristic decisions; this is the woman who was so insistent on quarantine in the original, now sitting down to eat with the worst criminals in the system, one of which she decides to bump uglies with.  All this odd stuff, just makes it impossible to relate to the characters or respect their decisions.  Add in some poor graphics and (some) bewildering shot composition (the shot when Ripley jumps into the lead, seriously, what the hell?) and you have a pretty rubbish sequel.
Alien: Resurrection (1997).  Jean-Pierre Jeunet, unrecognizable from his later triumphs in Amelie and A Very Long Engagement.  With Ripley good and dead at the end of the third in the series, resurrection is the only way to go to cash in on the brand (by this point even the worst Alien orientated films would be guaranteed profit makers on their opening weekend alone).  So 200 years after her death some bright spark decides to clone Ripley to get at the Alien inside her.  After seven failed attempts, Ripley’s back… sort of.  The design of the film is like a Terry Gilliam vision of the future meets a Frank Miller version of the original films, I love the mad scientist outfits.  But that’s where the love stops.  The script seems like it’s been revised and revised and revised.  Its cheesy lines cheapen the rare poignant scenes.  Winona Ryder appears to have been cast merely to help ensure the box office, and the rest of the cast is forgettable, only Hell Boy’s comic sexism sticks in mind.
So, there we have it.  Sequels can be great, they can be bad and they can be awful, all in the same series.  Hopefully they can return to greatness too, and with Ridley Scott back on board for the 5th in the series hopefully Alien will do just that.  All pointers about the film make it look interesting to say the least.  Ripley has been laid to rest which as it’s a prequel is probably best.  The Space Jockey seen on the ship found in Alien is thought to be the focus, maybe as a race who engineered the aliens themselves?  What this makes me think is that maybe this episode titled Prometheus (the titan who stole fire from Zeus and gave it to mankind) will be that holy grail of the sequel… Original.

Not all series are the same though.  The Harry Potter heptalogy gets better as you work through them, the first being dire (re-watch it if you disagree, you’ll surprise yourselves) and although not my particular bag, the later ones are quite enjoyable.  The Lord of the Rings trilogy is basically one massive film, so one film can’t exist without the others.  Evil Dead 2 is a ground breaking awesome horror film that is simply Evil Dead with a budget.  Evil Dead 3 is a random sequel to say the least but continues the greatness.  James Bond with its 22 (soon to be 23) films and six incarnations are all so different to each other that you judge them each on different merits.  Often modern sequels (especially comic book adaptations) use the first film to introduce all the characters and so miss the mark on the story line, for example X-men 2 massively trumps X-men.  Some sequels only hint at their nature as a follow up, Enemy of the State is widely regarded as a sequel to The Conversation, even though officially it is not and the only common character (Gene Hackman) has a different name, he is clearly the same character and the later film even includes a still shot of him in the original.
Horror appears to be the genre of choice for the sequel, but lets not convince ourselves that they are all good.  Even great horror institutions like Friday the 13th can be butchered, Jason X sees Jason Voorhees way in the future, in space being made even stronger and more death proof with the accidental use of nanobots (his mother would be proud!), in short, it’s proper pants.   But what this particular genre has on its side against all others it the way it makes money.  They don’t rely on the box office, they rely on purchases, first VHS now DVD.  This makes less money but horror has a committed following, so if you keep giving them material to purchase they will keep buying it.
The horror sequel almost exclusively needs to have a familiar character.  Jigsaw, Freddy Krueger, Critters, Candy Man, Pin Head, the list goes on and on and on.  In this fact though, horror is not alone.  Buzz and Woody, John Maclane, Connor MacLeod, Shrek, Marty McFly, Indiana Jones, almost every successful sequel franchise has common characters.
As for what makes a good series, it seems to be that there are no particular rules that say that a sequel must be in keeping with the original directorially, however changes in actor especially when the character remains the same are difficult to accept (a recent example is the character of Rachael being played by both Katie Holmes and Maggie Gyllenhaal in the new Batman franchise).  Changes in genre too are OK as long as you don’t go too far.  Horror to action is clearly OK, suspense-thriller to rom-com might not work so well.  Above all, there needs to be good films in there, it doesn’t really matter where in the order they come, as long as they are there.  With all this in mind here are a few of my choices to inspire you:
The best action film series has got to be Die Hard, every film in the saga has its fans and its critics, importantly the later films are strong.
Family trilogies are difficult but in my humble opinion is Back to the Future beats all others, it’s a close call between this and Indiana Jones, but Huey Lewis gives it the edge.

The best epic production, even with the sacrilegious prequels Star Wars will always beat the likes of Lord of the Rings & Harry Potter.
The best comedy is clearly the Naked Gun trilogy, no two ways about it, and don’t even think of arguing with me!
Horror is difficult, but I’m going for Evil Dead, they’re ground breaking, cult films that are responsible for so much.  That & I really want Bruce Campbell to like me.
OK, so that’s that, I've said my peice.  I like sequels, and wether you like them or not, they're here to stay.  Let's just hope that in years to come we won't feel the need to cringe everytime we hear about a re-hash of an old favourite.

Your thoughts?

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Anish Kapoor: Flashback

I rarely review art or exhibitions, it is a very difficult thing to do without alienating a section of (or even all of) the potential audience.

Art is often an inapproachable, difficult subject.  Particularly with modern art in mind it can also be very elitist, if you don't understand it, then you don't deserve to understand it.  Bullshit.  Art is for all, and with that in mind, we need accessible art.  By which I mean that sometimes interactive, sometimes pretty, impressive or interesting works are important in their own right.  That is not to say that art should be simple, no one wants, or needs to be patronised but sometimes blurring the line between the meta-physical and physical making a comment on the place of the archetypal alpha male in modern society communicated via the language of alternative dance can even for the best of us, be just a little contrived.  But great modern art can convert, it can be awesome, a little contrived, deep, beautiful and interesting, it can embrace the viewer.  Rothko made modern art accessible for me, by forcing me to be immersed in his work, by standing where he would have been.  I think Kapoor would have too, he was just beaten to the punch.

Anish Kapoor (CBE) is a Turner prize winning sculptor who has lived in London since the early 70's.  I don't like all of Kapoors work, piles of pigment don't really do it for me.  I do quite like his wax/wood or metal sculpture but purely on an aesthetic level.  But what really does it for me, and what I think will impress the dubious, the nervous and the unbelievers out there is his chrome sculptures.  Examples of these can be found currently in Manchester Art Gallery, his plates.  As you walk into the room it is a simple hall of mirrors.  As you move they do, picking up details in light and physical form, whispers from the other side of the room are clearly audible.  Stand a foot in front and you are immersed, your peripheral vision is full, you enjoy a total experience where slight movements change the art before you.  As you back away, the images you see drop away to leave the concave surface transformed, it is now a full view of the work behind you.  It is a personal experience, one that no two people will experience identically.

My co-conspirator, my five month old son, Felix, in this room had a smile from ear to ear, his eyes wide, occasional squeaks and giggles letting other patrons know he was impressed.  Getting down to his level, I saw glimpses of him in the top of the plates, a lava lamp melting pot of light fittings and building detail in the rest, not to mention the odd lanky figure.  Felix has no pompous notions of art, he is incapable, but he knows when something is fun, and he lets us know.
So if nothing else, if you're in Manchester and find yourself with a bit of time to spare, listen to Felix and go have some fun...

Flashback is on until the 5th of June and is free to enter.  

N.B. don't just Google him, go to the gallery, you need to experience the scale or it just won't work.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Catfish... don't watch the trailer

This is just great:  One of the most surprising Documentaries I've seen.

I can't go into much without giving the game away but here's what I can say:  It's a doc about an eight year old girl who paints a copy of a new york photographers picture hundreds of miles away.  He becomes friends with her family on Facebook and we see the relationship grow.  

It made me laugh out loud, it made me squirm in my seat and it is surprisingly poignant.  The guys who made it, Nev Schulman (who is also the photographer), his brother Ariel and friend Henry Joost, have a great chemistry.  They handle everything they come across in much the same way as I hope I would in the same situation.

I can't say much more without spoiling the adventure, give it a go, you wont regret it.

7 out of 10,  and seriously, I mean it, don't watch the trailer.