Timur Bekmambetov

Timur Bekmambetov

Timur Bekmambetov Quick Links

News Pictures Video Film Quotes RSS

Unfriended Review


OK

The main achievement of this gimmicky horror is that it manages to hit all of the essential scary movie beats as the story unfolds in real time on a computer screen. Essentially a combination of the found footage and teen slasher genres, the movie relies a bit too much on loud noises for its most frightening moments, but director Leval Gabriadze also builds a terrific sense of suspense as the plot escalates. And by presenting it on a normal laptop screen, the film both looks fresh and has an eerie timeliness.

That laptop belongs to Blaire (Shelley Hennig), a teen who's having a lusty chat on Skype with her boyfriend Mitch (Moses Storm) when they're joined by their lively friends Adam, Jess and Ken (Will Peltz, Renee Olstead and Jacob Wysocki), and later by Val (Courtney Halverson). But there's also a mysterious unknown caller online who begins to taunt them about the death of fellow student Laura (Heather Sossaman) exactly one year ago. Is Laura's ghost using social media to get even with the teens who used a viral YouTube clip to drive her to take her own life? Or is someone else hacking into their system, controlling their screens and playing a game that threatens to kill them off one by one?

All of this plays out on Blaire's computer screen as she clicks from window to window using iMessage, Google, Instagram and Facebook to fill in the story with video, news stories and images, plus a panicky visit to Chat Roulette to get some help (as if!). The screen flicks around, showing conversations within chats as Blaire's mouse-control gets increasing shaky. So even if the plot itself is essentially a rehash of I Know What You Did Last Summer and Paranormal Activity, it generates plenty of overwrought emotion and scary jolts along the way.

Continue reading: Unfriended Review

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter Review


Good
A riotous combination of rah-rah American patriotism and overwrought special effects nonsense, this cheeky bit of fantasy history is rather good fun. Yes, it's also completely ridiculous, but the visual flair and fast pace keep us happily entertained.

Young Abe Lincoln (Walker) is determined to get revenge against the sinister Barts (Czokas), who had something to do with his mother's death. But it turns out that Barts is immortal, so Abe's new friend Henry (Cooper) trains him in how to fight vampires. Meanwhile, Abe pursues a career in politics, marries Mary (Winstead) and discovers that the alpha vampire (Sewell) is using the Civil War as a cover for bloodsuckers to take over America. Along with his intrepid friends (Mackie and Simpson), Abe sets out to turn the tide at Gettysburg.

Continue reading: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter Review

Picture - Tim Burton, Timur Bekmambetov , Monday 18th June 2012

Tim Burton and Timur Bekmambetov - Tim Burton, Timur Bekmambetov Monday 18th June 2012 Twentieth Century Fox Presents The Premiere of Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter at AMC Loews Lincoln Square

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter Trailer


As a boy, Abraham Lincoln learns from his father, Thomas, that vampires are real. Worse still, it was vampires that took the life of Abe's mother, Nancy, rather than 'milk sickness' as he previously believed. The news, understandably, shocks Abraham, who vows to avenge his mother and hunt down and kill vampires.

Continue: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter Trailer

The Darkest Hour Review


Grim
An intriguing idea and inventive visual approach is let down by a script that runs out out of steam before it ever reaches full speed. There simply isn't enough to the characters or plot to hold our interest.

Sean (Hirsch) has accompanied his pal Ben (Minghella) to Moscow for a work pitch that immediately goes awry. Drowning their sorrows in a hip bar, they meet hot tourists Natalie and Anne (Thirlby and Taylor). But a citywide blackout signals the arrival of alien creatures that aren't much more than pulses of light and energy. And they're intent on obliterating humans. So these four young people start an odyssey of survival, meeting a variety of colourful characters along the way.

Continue reading: The Darkest Hour Review

9 Review


Good
Inventively animated with a striking attention to detail, this offbeat thriller might have trouble finding an audience, as the sweet and scary elements sit rather awkwardly alongside each other. But it's still ambitious and engaging.

Number 9 (Wood) is a brave little creature who wakes up into a decimated city where meets the inventive 2 (Landau), who's promptly captured by a scary monster. Soon 9 finds a community led by conservative leader 1 (Plummer) with his muscly/dim bodyguard 8 (Tatasciore) and obsessive sketch artist 6 (Glover).

It's the friendly 5 (Reilly) who accompanies 9 to rescue 2, and along the way they meet swashbuckling 7 (Connolly) and bookish twins 3 and 4. Together they need to figure out how to stop a voracious soul-sucking machine.

Continue reading: 9 Review

Day Watch Review


OK
We feel the pull of the metaphorical light and dark everyday: Should I lie? Steal? Cheat? Have that second bowl of ice cream? Or should I do the "right" thing? Taking this push-pull of desires and ideals and applying it to the supernatural is the crux of Day Watch, the second film in the Night Watch series. Unfortunately, like its predecessor, Day Watch gets caught up in its flashy, over-the-top visual effects and misses the thematic mark. But that's what you'd expect from any other big budget "blockbuster."

As follow-up to the first major release of a Russian film after the collapse of the Soviet film industry (Night Watch had a budget of $4.2 million), Day Watch does an admirable job of keeping the pace brisk and the action constant, despite the fact that the film is built upon flimsy plot devices. The film follows Night Watch protagonist Anton as he attempts to reconnect with his son Yegor, who defected to the dark side, while pursuing a relationship with a new trainee in the Night Watch -- a group that polices the dark supernatural beings (the dark police keeping tabs on the light side is the Day Watch).

Continue reading: Day Watch Review

Picture - Timur Bekmambetov, James McAvoy, Thomas... Berlin, Germany, Tuesday 10th June 2008

Timur Bekmambetov and James McAvoy - Timur Bekmambetov, James McAvoy, Thomas Kretschmann Berlin, Germany - Photocall for the movie Wanted at Adlon Hotel Tuesday 10th June 2008

Timur Bekmambetov and James McAvoy
Timur Bekmambetov and James McAvoy

Night Watch (2004) Review


Good
Once it receives its long due stateside release, the smash Russian fantasy epic Night Watch will inevitably be compared to The Matrix, most likely because of all the people running about a modern-day city (wearing sunglasses at night, no less) doing battle with forces that normal folks can't even see. Also, the film was a box office hit and the first in a planned trilogy. But truth be told, Night Watch has much more in common with the worlds created by fantasy novelist Neil Gaiman, most especially his classic Neverwhere (filmed for British TV) about a secret world existing just below the surface of everyday London. The two works share an abiding interest in the careful creation and delineation of complex universes of the unreal - not to mention a love of dark, shady places, and large-scale struggles between good and evil.

A sonorously narrated prologue gives us the lay of the land. In the world, there are humans and there are Others - who can pass as humans but are in effect a grab-bag of seers, wizards, shape-shifters, and vampires "as varied as the stars in the sky." The Others are divided up (easily enough) into those that serve the Dark and those serving the Light. A long time ago, they fought each other to a standstill in a massive battle, and so established a truce whereby they could co-exist with each other, only they each had to basically leave the humans alone. To ensure that each side is living up to its end, they each patrol the human sphere, Dark Others on the Day Watch and Light Others on the Night Watch.

Continue reading: Night Watch (2004) Review

Night Watch Review


Good
Once it receives its long due stateside release, the smash Russian fantasy epic Night Watch will inevitably be compared to The Matrix, most likely because of all the people running about a modern-day city (wearing sunglasses at night, no less) doing battle with forces that normal folks can't even see. Also, the film was a box office hit and the first in a planned trilogy. But truth be told, Night Watch has much more in common with the worlds created by fantasy novelist Neil Gaiman, most especially his classic Neverwhere (filmed for British TV) about a secret world existing just below the surface of everyday London. The two works share an abiding interest in the careful creation and delineation of complex universes of the unreal - not to mention a love of dark, shady places, and large-scale struggles between good and evil.

A sonorously narrated prologue gives us the lay of the land. In the world, there are humans and there are Others - who can pass as humans but are in effect a grab-bag of seers, wizards, shape-shifters, and vampires "as varied as the stars in the sky." The Others are divided up (easily enough) into those that serve the Dark and those serving the Light. A long time ago, they fought each other to a standstill in a massive battle, and so established a truce whereby they could co-exist with each other, only they each had to basically leave the humans alone. To ensure that each side is living up to its end, they each patrol the human sphere, Dark Others on the Day Watch and Light Others on the Night Watch.

Continue reading: Night Watch Review

Timur Bekmambetov

Timur Bekmambetov Quick Links

News Pictures Video Film Quotes RSS