Monday, October 22, 2012

Melancholia and the Quiet Earth Movie Reviews

Melancholia (2011)

Melancholia is a rather intriguing independent movie starring Kirsten Dunst (Justine), Kiefer Sutherland (John), and Charlotte Gainsbourg (Claire).

The movie opens up seemingly happy and a bit comical as we see two newlyweds, Justine and Michael, on the way to their wedding reception. After a series of funny and "cute" married couple moments they wander into the reception about an hour late.

It is there that things begin to take a turn for the bizzarre as we see Justine's true traits come out while around other people. She suffers from some sort of depression or bi-polar disorder and can't make any rational decisions once she gets into one of her moods.

What is supposed to be the best day of her life turns into a total disaster and embarrassment as the wedding and hours old marriage comes to a crumble...but wait, that's not the main plot of the movie.

Justine's brother-in-law, John, is a scientist, and along with the rest of the world has seen a new planet in the sky, Melancholia. The planet is a greenish hue and appears to be moving past the Earth when suddenly it changes direction and starts on a collision course that will wipe out humanity.

The rest is up to you to see! No spoilers here! However, Justine's character becomes a background to the bigger problem at hand, and her sister, Claire comes to be more prominent in the second half of the movie.

The film is actually quite fascinating and visually beautiful with vibrant colors and an opening and closing montage that really makes you happy to have HD. Dunst easily becomes one of the most disliked characters to ever be on screen, and that is due to her superb acting. She makes you hate her, and that's the point.

IMDB - 7.2/10
TheSIBandGuy - 3.5/5

The Quiet Earth (1985)

This is a very unknown gem of a movie made in New Zealand on a budget of $1,000,000. The movie has no major stars and only features three actors the whole movie. It is one of the most simple movies I've seen, yet is so effective in it's storytelling.

The Quiet Earth opens with a man waking up to a world where he is the only person left. As weeks go by he descends into a mild insanity as he can't figure out how to cope with being the "ruler" of the world. Eventually he finds a woman and they quest off together until they run into a renegade of a man.

The movie is devoid of much sound and music aside from what they are listening to themselves within the movie. It's just an empty movie just like the world they inhabit. It sounds boring, but it is incredibly awesome to watch.

You grow attached to the main character, Zac Hobson (Bruno Lawrence) and want to see him succeed in this end of days scenario.

The cause of this human wipeout is a bit confusing to follow, but in short it has to do with some sort of time-warp dimension that scientist were fooling around with. The results of this experiment vanished everyone save for a few people who were experiencing things at the right time.

One of the best scenes of the film is the closing title screen when Zac finds himself on a beach and on a new planet. Saturn is rising in the horizon and there are breathtaking cloud formations rising with the sun – truly a great outro for a crazy film.

IMDB - 7/10
TheSIBandGuy - 3.5/5

I chose to group these two movies together for the obvious end of the world situations, but also for the character development and unresolved issues of the players involved in the films. Melancholia is two totally different movies. The whole first half it shows you a clearly not all there Dunst while in the second half of the movie shifts to the other characters and the diasater at hand. There's no cure or hope for Dunst except for her waiting to die.

In The Quiet Earth, we see the main character Zac unable to cope with himself. He tries to play the survival card and look for others but fails. Dunst thrives by herself, Zac truly comes alive when he has a companion, opposite spectrums.

Overall, these are must see movies if you are looking for low budget well made quickies. Both movies start off slow, but give them time and you'll get sucked in.

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