Long story short – these are the best DTV films I’ve seen in a long time, and more than worth your time. See my full reviews my clicking the graphic below!
I don’t know if I was in an overly generous mood or something, but I saw two of the absolute best DTV movies I’ve ever seen today.
END OF THE LINE (2007)
I jumped at one of the scares in the first thirty seconds of End of the Line. I kind of blew it off as the sound being too high on my stereo, because, while the scare was good, there was no way the movie following the scare could be that good. I was happy to find out I was wrong. End of the Line is suspenseful, well-written, tense, scary, and best of all, original. While it’s probably not fair for me to call it a DTV (it was released theatrically in Canada), it was released straight to DVD here in the states. I won’t lie, it does have a couple of the small DTV trappings – some of the acting is uneven, some of the gore and effects not-quite theatrical quality. Still, the faults of the film are pretty inconsequential when the rest of it is this good.
End of the Line begins when one of nurse Karen’s (Ilona Elkin) patients throws herself in front of a train, believing she is being followed by a creepy man in a trench coat. That night, while Karen waits for the train, lost in her thoughts, a tall blonde man comes up and starts harassing her. She’s saved by a man named Mike, who accompanies her on the train. But a couple of minutes into the ride, someone pulls the emergency brake, and suddenly, pagers are going off all over the train. It’s time for the members of a homicidal religious cult to do what “the lord’s bidding,” in time for the Apocalypse that they believe is coming.
…and I’ve probably already said too much (though that’s just the first fifteen minutes or so). The less you know about End of the Line going in, the better. I was truly caught off guard with the way the story went, and really amazed that a film that no one has ever heard of before can be so damn good. Definitely worth picking up – this is a survival horror movie done right!
Check out the official site for more info, and I’ve put the trailer below, because you should check it out before seeing the movie. The problem is that it gives away WAY too much. You’ve been warned!
Paul’s Awesomeness Score – 9 out of 10 (yes, really)!
I think that Alan Moore is overrated. Sure, when he’s good, his stuff is pure genius, but the problem is that he’s wildly uneven, with some of his stuff downright awful. That being said, it’s funny that as much as Hollywood loves Alan Moore, Alan Moore hates Hollywood. Which makes it ironic that a film that so accurately captures what I consider GOOD Alan Moore (it’s homage that borders on plagiarization, really) isn’t based on something he wrote.
Like End of the Line, it’s probably best to know as little about Franklyn going in as possible. And again like End of the Line, it’s probably not fair to call Franklyn a DTV when it was released theatrically in the UK, and hasn’t had a US release date announced (though I anticipate it’ll be direct-to-DVD). Franklyn is one of those films that you hear nothing about when it’s released, but will become a cult classic years from now (like Dark City). In fact, if you take Dark City, and throw some Watchmen in, by way of V for Vendetta, and actually toss a little modern day arts film human drama in there, you might start to see what the makers of Franklyn are going for. It’s a weird mix to say the least, but it works.
Franklyn jumps between four stories:
- Ryan Phillippe plays Preest, a masked vigilante detective who searching for his nemesis on the streets of Meanwhile City, a future metropolis where it’s actually illegal not to belong to a religion. Imagine Tim Burton’s Gotham City mixed with Blade Runner, with Rorschach running around.
- Meanwhile, in modern London, Bernard Hill (Valkyrie) plays Esser, a man searching for his homeless son.
- Sam Riley is Milo, who just got dumped by his fiance, and is desperately trying to find his first love.
- Emilia (Eva Green from Casino Royale and The Dreamers) is an art student who makes art projects out of her suicide attempts.
I really don’t want to tell you any more about how these four stories have anything to do about each other. This isn’t something like Love, Actually, where everyone knows everyone in the end or something like that. This is more like an actual good version of Southland Tales. It’s really well done to see how the present day storylines have to deal with the futuristic world ruled by religion.
As you can tell by the excellent cast, the acting is definitely all top-notch. The cinematography and set design are gorgeous. The world of Preest is amazing to look at, and will make you wanting to spend more time learning more about it. This is only the second film by director Gerald Mcmorrow, but I’ll definitely be keeping my eye on him. If you like your fantasy films well written and don’t mind a bit of a mind-screw, you absolutely have to check out Franklyn.
Official site here. Trailer that gives away WAY TOO MUCH below!
Paul’s Awesomeness Score – 9 out of 10 (yes, again)!
Buy End of the Line using the link below!