Friday, January 8, 2016

“Dog Years” DVD (director: Warren Sroka and Brent Willis)

Smart and emotive indie

This little indie film comes across with little fanfare or notice, but damned if it doesn’t deliver with an entertaining and complex storyline that I fell into right away. Featuring both directors (who are also the writers, commendably) in the lead acting roles, “Dog Years” is the tale of a pair of estranged American brothers who find themselves together in Tokyo (both for different reasons), and working to resolve their family issues in very different ways.

The pair don’t get along, being of completely different temperaments and attitudes. Elliiot’s dismissive attitude towards his brother Ben’s overbearing positivity is gradually eroded, until he starts to see a light at the tunnel during his business trip to Japan. Ben’s relationship with the culture also becomes strained, but the brothers come to terms with their predicaments in different ways. This is a story of human interaction and maturation, and it works pretty well.

Billed as a sort of comedy-drama, even on the packaging, I found “Dog Years” to be a bit more serious than that. It’s not perfect, but there’s solid acting and a great story here that make for a really enlightening and engrossing watch. No spoilers here, but suffice to say, this is a completely worthy little indie film with much to offer. Nice work, guys.

Monday, January 4, 2016

“Eyes Of The Woods” DVD (directors: Miguel F. Valenti & Darrin Reed)

Flawed monster mess

Another troubled horror film suffering from the usual limitations ...poor audio, poor acting and lackluster, well-tread and derivative storyline. You've already seen this movje, in other words, and done much, much better.

The positives? The monster effects are pretty solid, and the gore is splattery good, with some nice head splittings and bloody sprays. A shortage of breastage hurts this, too, especially as there are several lovely young ladies who tempt but never quite get nekkid. The bloody topless blonde is an unexplained anomaly, making no sense at all, and it's all we get of the boobs. Call me sexist, but in this kind of trash film, there are certain, uh, “needs”. There are some choppy edits, some pretty blatant film “stops” or skips, and plenty of technical belches that really show a lack of care.

A shame, as this one shows some promise. As it stands, though, this is a weak and flawed film with really no memorable angle, sadly.

Fade To Black / Central Film Company