AFTER THE DARK | BLU RAY REVIEW & AWESOME GIVEAWAY

We review a few films from Eagle Entertainment. I have once described them as the best distributor of B Grade straight to DVD content. Some of them I loathe and some of them I like but then this little gem popped up on my radar and I was keen to see it. I have to be honest, I thought I would give it a shot because of Rhys Wakefield, I think the kid can act, he has been in some questionable films that looked great (SANCTUM says it all) and in my shallowness I just like watching him on film – he is gorgeous. So I put this film, AFTER THE DARK (originally titled and a much better title, THE PHILOSOPHERS), into the player one Friday night, poured the wine and then sat mesmerised for 102mins. The film was a “teen” film but it was incredibly thought provoking and I fell in love with it. AFTER THE DARK released yesterday in Australia on DVD and BLU RAY, it is rated M and I highly recommend it. Now the great news is that our friends at Eagle Entertainment have given us not only 5x COPIES ON BLU RAY, they have also thrown in 5x MINI POSTERS OF THE FILM, AUTOGRAPHED IN PERSON BY THE DELIGHTFUL LEAD STAR, SOPHIE LOWE. Find out how to win after my review.

 

AFTER THE DARK  DVD COVER IMAGE
AFTER THE DARK | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW AND GIVEAWAY | AUSTRALIAN DVD COVER

 

REVIEW BY JASON KING

It is the last day of philosophy class for this group of 21 students in Jakarta. It is set slightly into a just a bit odd future and the students are certain class is over and it is going to be a bludge day. Not so thinks teacher Mr. Zimit (James D’Arcy) and he decides to set up some discussion on the possibility of an apocalyptic event. Twenty one students and a huge underground shelter that will only allow for ten of them to enter to emerge a time later (it was a year or few). Everything from this moment is then about who should enter, what should be done with the people left outside or inside and what will happen while they are all stuck on the inside. The good news is we do not just watch them sit in a classroom debating, we see each of the attempts at their apocalyptic survival.

To mix it all up Mr. Zimit gives everyone “random” slips of paper – these pieces of paper contain random occupations for the people that help them distinguish, based on occupation, who is more valuable to have inside the shelter. Who would be, a midwife or a poet? A military person or a chef? And so on.

 

AFTER THE DARK MOVIE IMAGE
AFTER THE DARK | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW AND GIVEAWAY | THE CAST DECIDING LIFE – PETRA (SOPHIE LOWE) AND MR. ZIMIT (JAMES D’ARCY) AT FRONT

 

I never went to university but philosophy has always interested me, I have read some reviews of the film from people who studied philosophy and they have torn the film a new one. The film is not without flaws and I honestly do not care too much about other critics’ thoughts, but the film kept me questioning and pondering and then requestioning and then realising that you cannot accurately predict the actions of people – they are so bloody unpredictable and what if the guy running the show, Mr. Zimit, is himself slightly rigging the entire thing based on his own agenda. It is for this alone and the discovery of people, their faux occupations and the passion from the students that got the film over the line.

John D’Arcy is a tool in the film, he is a teacher in love with a student, or is it just respect for his A+ student, regardless it made him smarmy, egotistical and self appointed leader and control freak, in the classroom this works, in a post apocalyptic survival group it does not. While he is a tool he is great at it – his roles are vast including MASTER AND COMMANDER, HITCHCOCK and CLOUD ATLAS and his elder strength is kind of the glue (the tooley glue) that holds the group together. It was great seeing Daryl Sabara back onscreen – the little Spy Kid is all grown up and suited his part as one of the students.

 

AFTER THE DARK MOVIE IMAGE RHYS WAKEFIELD
AFTER THE DARK | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW AND GIVEAWAY | JAMES (RHYS WAKEFIELD)

 

Ginny Weasley (Bonnie Wright) and Cormac McLaggen (Freddie Stroma) also prove to be a great Harry Potter reunion on the film, although their parts are a bit smaller. I enjoyed Sophie Lowe as Petra although her character, or portrayal, is quite sluggish and oft times removed from the soul of the film. As said I love watching Rhys Wakefield onscreen and he is a good leading man, my one issue is a hypothetical spanner in their perfect plans during one simulation – Wakefield’s character, James, is possible gay and ends up with another character, (I think it was Andy – George Blagden), they are discovered in a bed together and they are meant to be kissing. It is a poor simulated kiss where you see the back of one guy’s head and the top of the other guy’s – they clearly do not kiss. As actors I have seen many many straight guys, young and old, do a kiss for the camera with another guy, this clearly could have been done, they were not asking for porn blow jobs on set. It was a minor grievance but a let down, and not just because I wanted to see Wakefield kiss a guy haha.

What I truly liked about the film was that all their philosophical discussions could be undermined at every turn by any character, there is always an arc of right and wrong, we all know it, but the arc is based on a self deliberation of the “greater good.” This will never take into account the actions, agendas and emotions of the individual. I loved watching great laid plans torn assunder by emotion and belief.

 

AFTER THE DARK MOVIE IMAGE JAMES D'ARCY
AFTER THE DARK | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW AND GIVEAWAY | MR. ZIMIT (JAMES D’ARCY)

 

The ending is not perfect, it is a bit too Hollywood, but I liked it, in this new age we do not all have to have the hideous reality of doom and sadness. Director John Huddles delivers a very different and intriguing entry into the canon of “teen” films, it was great to have a film with thought behind it and still a lot of action and a decent screenplay, looking forward to seeing more from him.

I would see this one for a film to think through, it is also shot superbly with some great sets and some superb graphics of apocalypse. Think of the film as an Intelligent Big Brother set in The Twilight Zone :). Its one other issue is market – I do not see heaps of teens flocking to see it, unless they come for the cast, it worked by getting me there. But the film does have enjoyable thinking, something most teens do not directly seek out. I think adults will enjoy it but by the end they may be longing for more adult company. I think the people who will enjoy it are basically just people who enjoy a good movie and don’t mind some fun thinking. If you can’t wait get out and rent it now and enter away to win your own copy.

 

4 Pops

 

With special thanks to EAGLE ENTERTAINMENT to win one of the 5x BLU RAYs of AFTER THE DARK PLUS AN AUTOGRAPHED MINI POSTER FROM LEAD ACTRESS SOPHIE LOWE you need to either like and share this post on Facebook or retweet/ favourite it on Twitter, you then need to answer the following question. 

Firstly, just an FYI on how to increase chances of winning a salty comp; commenting on the review generally holds you in better stead of winning as opposed to just comp sexing :)

WHAT IS THE BEST PHILOSOPHICAL FILM OF ALL TIME AND WHY? For me 2001 or DONNIE DARKO or BEING JOHN MALKOVICH win this one – try this link for some help if you need it – HERE

If you do not have Facebook and Twitter then you can still enter, leave your entry below and email me at jkdigitaldesigns@gmail.com telling me you don’t have social media 

Prizes will be awarded based on skill and selected purely on the thoughts of the judges, said judges being the Salty Kernels, more likely ME.

The prizes will be sent in the next week or two. Good luck! Oh, and minor housekeeping – huge apologies for overseas readers, this competition is only available to Australian residents.

 

 

Privacy Preference Center