Bellflower is a story of two mostly likable Mid-western guys (Woodrow and Aiden) that moved to California. They have an obsession with Mad Max and want to be the leaders of the own post-apocalyptic army which they have dubbed “Medusa”. They spend most of their time playing with fire, guns and cars. They meet a crazy girl and things get “real-life” dramatic ending in violence.
…Or maybe not. It’s “artsy”.
OVERALL: I didn’t like this movie. It’s more notable to me for the camera they built to shoot it with which gave the film a unique feel.
I don’t want to be mean, because I’m not about tearing people down, especially when I know how much work goes into a film. I heard secondhand that this cost just shy of $20k to make. That is amazing and admirable.
This movie would have worked well as a short. The story only picks up and gets interesting over halfway through and then only about the last 20 minutes or so breathe any sort of life on the screen. I heard someone describe this style of indie film as “mumblecore”. I think that fits perfectly. It’s kind of interesting to look at for a little while, but the acting, directing and dialogue are so unfocused and sloppy that you quickly lose interest. It’s like when you find that you have a voicemail from someone you know that was left inadvertently. You can hear people talking, and you sort of have a challenge trying to figure out what they are saying and if they are actually talking to you, but then you realize it’s just a boring everyday conversation about something mundane and you stop listening and delete it. That’s what 80% of this movie feels like.
I was excited at the prospect of fire and guns and cars that shoot fire and the whole “Mad Max” obsession. I am also into all of those things. But this movie wastes them and tries instead to make you realize how much it sucks for a young man in today’s world with love and betrayal and friendships and blah blah blah. I kind of expected Woodrow to stop and say “I’m just so angry and young and angsty and confused!” while shaking his fists at the sky. These types of “youth in turmoil” statements work in movies where you care about the characters and the drama is set against some other forward moving factor: a war, a civil movement, a change in family (divorce, death, remarriage), going to college, etc. But this angst and aimlessness is the focus of this movie, which means it crawls along at a snails pace for the viewer. It’s like watching the channel in some apartments where you can see who is down at the lobby door.
But on the plus side, the car (Medusa) is pretty sweet.
This trailer actually makes it look really cool and action packed. Well done, marketers!
ACTING: I give respect to the lead Evan Glodell (he is also the director). He is a likable chap and I could see him playing both a good-natured everyman and a darker more sinister character, both of which he kind of gets to play in this movie. The rest of the cast is OK for this indie type of movie. Nothing great or amazing, but they show up and do the job.
FAMILY FACTOR: Strong language and brief bursts of violence abound in this flick. There is a bit of nudity and sexual situations. It’s not a movie for kids by any means.
SEE IN THE THEATER: If you like to support indie cinema. I think Evan Glodell has a future in movie-making, even if this film didn’t really gel into something interesting.
Bellflower is running in limited engagement all over the country RIGHT NOW. Check here for where it is playing near you: http://www.bellflower-themovie.com/theaters/