and it looks worse than most in the genre:
What happened to the Gotti thing with Travolta?
I’m fond of this genre when I watch them though I don’t overly go out of my way to see them. I know that sounds weird but basically the gimmick doesn’t impress me so much as how its worked with, which I find continually fascinating.
Anyway, I disagree with you and I think this looks a lot better than Paranormal Activity or V/H/S. I like it because its not quite so paranormal, for one, and because the ‘confiscated footage’ stuff is fun to play with. I think Quarantine was a masterful approach because of the idea of it being a reportage from a single camera (and yes I know it’s a remake of [REC] which I haven’t seen and will gladly give it the same credit for being the originator of the concept of the how the footage is ‘reported’), I think Diary of the Dead was great because it was about naval-gazing YouTube generation, I’m eager to see Cloverfield essentially as a play on the special effects in ‘handheld found footage’ somewhat the way District 9 and Trollhunter turned out to be, though District 9 was just really good storytelling and Trollhunter allies more with Big Man Japan in the wackiness and fun with cultural monsters aspect.
WHEW. Point is that within this subgenre of ‘found footage’ is a lot of room for interesting ideas, and this one seems to be playing with environmental issues, government conspiracy, and infection in a way that makes it profoundly more interesting to me than most of the rest, which are more like exercises. In other words, of ALL of the movies I cited, this one seems to closest resemble District 9, which is easily one of the best of the genre (even though it didn’t adhere closely to the first person perspective at all).
HATE this genre. My main man Brian DePalma managed to make his worst movie ever using the found-footage device (Redacted) and I don’t hold much hope that Barry will fare any better.
“Based” on a “true” story!http://www.treehugger.com/clean-technology/bizarre-tongue-eating-parasite-discovered-off-the-jersey-coast.html
An unlikely fit for director Barry Levinson that indeed turns out to be a poor one, “The Bay” is a gruesome but uninspired environmental-disaster thriller that’s an unconvincing example of the overexposed faux-found-footage horror subgenre. More icky than suspenseful, with little cumulative narrative muscle, it’s an OK-at-best time-filler more suited for home formats than theatrical exposure.
Framed as documentary video leaked online by a survivor, pic chronicles a deadly 2008 incident that’s since been hushed up by the Feds. July 4th festivities in Chesapeake, Md. (actually Georgetown, S.C., standing in) curdle when citizens begin suffering outbreaks of ugly boils, vomiting, bloodletting and worse. Turns out the culprit is a pollution-bred isopod that’s infested the bay, its maggot-like larvae turning into cockroach-like flesh-eaters. Major characters — none very interesting or well acted — include the blind-eye-turning mayor, a novice TV reporter, and yachting yuppies-plus-baby. It’s “Jaws” meets “Parasite” meets “Contagion,” a retread mashup to which Levinson brings little flair for action, menace or scares. Even within a multiformat quasi-reality context, the pic has a cheap feel.
Camera (color, HD), Josh Nussbaum; editor, Aaron Yanes; music, Marcelo Zarvos; production designer, Lee Bonner; art director, Stan Flint; set decorator, Glenn Peison; costume designer, Emmie Holmes; visual effects, Hydraulx; sound (Dolby Digital/SDDS), Jonathan Gaynor; supervising sound editor/sound designer, Mariusz Glabinski; re-recording mixers, Reilly Steele, Dominick Tavella; assistant director, Urs Hirschbiegel; casting, Ellen Chenoweth, Amelia McCarthy. Reviewed at Toronto Film Festival (Midnight Madness), Sept. 12, 2012. Running time: 84 MIN.
Levinson? Revered by whom?
Bugsy is really good though.
MATT: Apparently Gotti is still being made?
POLARIS: You seen that Devil Inside Me? It’s absolutely terrible.
The found footage genre is morbidly fascinating though, i’ll give you that.
by Warren Beatty for one (and at the height of his considerable talents). Beatty went looking for Levinson to direct Bugsy.
Plus Levinson was very well liked after Diner, Good Morning Vietnam and Rain Man
Bugsy is his masterwok.
Critics praised Avalon quite a bit too.
I have a soft spot for Toys
“You seen that Devil Inside Me? It’s absolutely terrible.”
As much as I dislike these “found footage” horror films, I like the idea that audiences are willing to watching something that wasn’t filmed on the most expensive cameras in the world. Granted, I know a lot of the footage is shot by expensive cameras and then digitally altered to look “worse”, but it still gives me hope.
^^yeah, but most of those films are low budget by even indie standards.
The Devil Inside cost one million only.
“Bugsy is his masterwork”
I prefer the theatrical cut to the director’s cut though. That suicide scene is completely phony imo.
@PolarisDiB – I agree with your opinion of Diary of the Dead. My issue with the genre is that the conceit of having the first person POV is never able to fully sustain itself without breaking that POV in some way with edits or blending it with a traditional narrative. With that said, I have enjoyed some of the films like Chronicle or District 9. Horror is a much more difficult thing to maintain. The first REC is pretty good, but sequels usually mean diminishing returns.
Levinson is a pretty good filmmaker, more a director of his time than anything. Diner is still a nice little film. Most of his work is hokey and sentimental, with the exception of Bugsy, which was largely the work of Toback and Beatty.
I’m not sure why he chose this type of genre to visit for his next film He seems to excel in working with actors and dialogue instead of shock and suspense. He could very well make a film within this sub-genre that might focus on the lives of a group of friends without having the horror element.
The only found footage film I’m looking forward to is the “Untitled Steve Quale Tornado Thriller,” due out next year. I loved how Quale’s slick direction revived the “Final Destination,” with a breakneck fifth installment and eagerly await this one, but try not to let my hype and expectations get the best of me.
“My issue with the genre is that the conceit of having the first person POV is never able to fully sustain itself without breaking that POV in some way with edits or blending it with a traditional narrative.”
That’s why I’m morbidly fascinated with them… see how the director literally contrives to fit everything into an almost excessively limited structure for him or herself. Hence, other people don’t like it because it comes across as contrived, and my point is, “Right, exactly.” As a filmmaker I love the exercise. As an audience member I totally relate to why people wouldn’t care for it.
Quarantine is thus far the best result I’ve seen for sustaining the POV and giving good reason to. I have not seen [REC] but I’m presuming it does so as well based off of Quarantine. The thing that’s really great about Quarantine is that the cameraman is not some prole with a phone camera or student filmmaker but a professional news cameraman who is used to experiencing horror through the framing of his lens (well documented psychological thing). At various points he uses the camera to be able to see in ways he couldn’t normally, such as when he turns on the night vision function and leads the reporter through a pitch black room (sort of done in 28 Weeks Later with a sniper scope but much, much better done and less obnoxious with the whinging and tears), and at one point (my favorite and the reason why Quarantine won me over as the awesomeness it is), he crushes a zombie’s head with the camera so we see the thing getting smashed step by step like a POV of the fire extinguisher from Irreversible. Call me sick but that sort of splatstick always gets me slapping my knees with laughter.
Anyway, in the very center of Quarantine is an ‘interlude’ where this professional cameraman finally has some downtime and decides to take b-roll. He shoots some angles of a woman laying on a medical cot. Once again, for a regular audience member, what’s the point? The woman’s already been revealed and these slow sweeps over her body don’t offer anything narrative. But from a filmmaker’s perspective, you’re damned right the professional cameraman would take the downtime to shoot b-roll, if only to distract himself from the horror and the other worried and anxious people around him.