Welcome to Film Swappers, where Chris and Branden force the other person to watch any movie of their choosing. The only rules are that the films chosen have to be one that the other person hasn’t already seen, and they must be watched and reviewed.


Film Swappers #3
Dread (2009) and Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)

Dread_PosterTitle: Dread (2009)
Director: Anthony DiBlasi
Runtime: 94 minutes
Viewer: Chris

Pre-Viewing Thoughts
Once again Branden tosses me a film I’ve never even heard of. I didn’t know what to expect other than some horror elements.

Summary of Film
Three college students set out to document what other people dread most.

Chris’ Take
I really enjoy the work of Clive Barker, but, sadly, I don’t get a chance to read most of his stuff. So imagine my excitement when I saw that he wrote the original story that Dread is based off of. Of course, this also meant to me that I shouldn’t expect a whole lot.

The fact that this was part of the After Dark Horrorfest series in 2011 also lowered my expectations. I haven’t fully enjoyed any of the films that the series has produced to date, so, within the first few minutes, my expectations sank pretty low.

Color me surprised because I really enjoyed watching Dread. While the film isn’t scary, it does offer some “gross out” moments that were nicely done. The acting is decent, the pace is solid and I actually enjoyed the final few moments, thinking “wow, that’s pretty twisted”.

If you’ve seen Pathology and enjoyed that film, then you’ll most likely enjoy Dread. It shares some common themes, and while I didn’t like it as much as Pathology, I’d still recommend it as a film to check out. Just turn off your brain a little and don’t expect any scares. I watched the film via Netflix Instant Queue. IMDB says that there two different cuts of the film, and the one streaming on Netflix seems to be the shorter cut.

three_stars


Breakfast at TiffanysTitle: Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)
Director: Blake Andrews
Runtime: 115 minutes
Viewer: Branden

Pre-Viewing Thoughts
I was ecstatic that Chris decided to go classic with this week’s selection. Breakfast at Tiffany’s is one of those films I always felt ashamed to admit I hadn’t seen. In fact, not only had I never seen Tiffany’s, this would be my first foray into the world of the famous Audrey Hepburn. Boy, I need to thank Chris for that!

Summary of Film
A beautiful New York socialite with a history of dating less-then-stellar men for their money, meets the new neighbor in her apartment complex, and takes an immediate liking to him. Her past and her potential future bring about fear of commitment, and of admitting whom she really is. This causes clear problems for the two, and a relationship that feels inevitably perfect may never come to be.

Branden’s Take
I have fallen in love, and her name is Audrey Hepburn. Hepburn is an absolute goddess, and I loved her character from the moment she took the first bite of her donut in front of Tiffany’s. Hepburn is able to create one of the most memorable women I’ve seen in cinema in my years of studying the art, and the fully fleshed out script backing her up is just the gravy.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s, unlike Bear City, is about as traditional as one can find when it comes to romantic comedies. It is fascinating to see where a lot of the genres tropes started, and though I am now used to a lot of these moments, Breakfast at Tiffany’s is able to make them feel new, and even magical. The film just makes me smile, and Audrey Hepburn is a major reason why.

Her relationship with the man-whore/writer, George Peppard, is incredible. The two are destined to be together from their first moment on the screen, and the roller coaster ride to the finale is a joy to watch. Aside from Hepburn and Peppard, Mickey Rooney plays one of the more racist roles I’ve seen in a while as Mr. Yunioshi, an Asian tenant in the apartment complex where Holly (Hepburn) resides. See, she always loses her keys, so she just rings Mr. Yunioshi’s bell until he answers, swearing at her in broken English. Rooney is definitely humorous, but if this character was in a new film today (which it never would be), there would all sorts of civil rights groups protesting the film.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s had me hooked from the start. Hepburn is an absolute gem, and she drives the film, along with Peppard, brilliantly. I turned to my girlfriend about halfway through the movie and asked her if she could think of any modern actress that has the screen presence, charm, or beauty that Hepburn has in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and we couldn’t come up with anyone. Hepburn gives new meaning to the phrase “they don’t make them like they used to”.

To call Breakfast at Tiffany’s anything less than delightful would be a crime. This is a bonafide classic that everyone with a heart needs to see.

four_stars


Thanks for reading Film Swappers! You can follow Chris on Twitter @Wolverinefactor.

Branden Chowen
Editor-in-Chief at Cinefessions

Branden has been a film fan since he was young, roaming the halls of Blockbuster Video, trying to find the grossest, scariest looking VHS covers to rent and watch alone in the basement. It wasn’t until recently, though, that Branden started seeking out the classics of cinema, and began to develop his true passion for the art form. Branden approaches each film with the unique perspective of having studied the art from the inside, having both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in acting. He has been a film critic since 2010, and has previously written for Inside Pulse Movies, We Love Cult, and Diehard Gamefan. His biggest achievement as a film critic, to date, has been founding Cinefessions and turning it from a personal blog to a true film website, housing hundreds of film and television reviews, and dozens of podcasts.