I took in two VERY groundbreaking movies tonight. I have to congratulate them for being original – both in VERY different ways. That said, as in the title of the post – this isn’t always a good thing. The bottom line is that the art of film making got a few bumps forward this week.

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First off is Cloverfield. Five minutes into the film, I leaned over to Tony D. and said, “It’s Blair Witch with a big budget.” And you know what? It works. The effects in Cloverfield are great. The acting is good, the story is serviceable. It is groundbreaking in how it melds the reality genre with a big budget effects film.

Sure, the setup is tedious and the plausibility of some of the character actions is waaaaay beyond ‘a stretch’. The bottom line is that it is an engrossing film that keeps your interest right up to the final second. While I did see the end coming, it was not a letdown.
RATING 8 out of 10

rambo-iv1.jpgNext up was Rambo. The tagline reads “Heroes never die… They just reload,” and while Stallone reloaded a tired franchise, there was indeed something groundbreaking in this schlock as well – the ultra-realistic images of weapon damage. Never before have I seen a film that portrays the weapons of war so utterly deadly as depicted here. I can’t even begin to describe the scenes, as to do so would likely give my blog an R rating. If ever there were a film that simultaneously glorified violence while also making a case against using guns to settle differences, this is it. The damage inflicted to the human body is so realistic and intense that it feels like you are watching a snuff film.

Don’t get me wrong – this is NOT a top notch film. The story is the same formula as every other tough guy movie. The acting is decent in places, laughable in others, but even during good moments, can’t salvage the dialog. This is First Blood on steroids (or human growth hormone) and raw human flesh – bad, but devastatingly groundbreaking.
RATING 6 out of 10