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174. Birdemic: Shock and Terror (-#5)

Hosted by Andrew Quinn and Darren Mooney, and this week with special guests Donal Smith and Donal Sweeney, The 250 is a (mostly) weekly trip through some of the best (and worst) movies ever made, as voted for by Internet Movie Database Users.

This time, James Nguyen’s Birdemic: Shock and Terror.

Software salesman Rod has the perfect life. He has just closed the biggest deal in the history of his company, which has itself just been bought out by a giant conglomerate. More than that, a chance encounter with an old school friend leads to a blossoming romance with a Victoria’s Secret model. Everything is going well, until death swoops in from above.

At time of recording, it was ranked 5th on the list of the worst movies of all time on the Internet Movie Database.

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Non-Review Review: Horse Girl

Horse Girl is certainly an ambitious work, if not an entirely successful one.

Directed by Jeff Baena and co-written with star Alison Brie, Horse Girl is essentially a study of a socially awkward young woman who gradually loosens her grip on reality. Sarah is a charming and isolated young woman. She works a steady job at an arts and crafts shop, to which she seems quite suited – she’s immediately able to identify the best paint for a classroom setting. She lives with a roommate who clearly harbours some affection for her. She assists at the local stables. She even attends weekly dance fitness classes.

Horsing around.

However, beneath the surface, Sarah is increasingly isolated. She lives in a world of her own, absorbed in her supernatural procedurals, lying about the extent of her social circle, and haunted by dreams that don’t seem quite right. Sarah increasingly begins to feel that there is something very wrong with the world, as she experiences lost time and lucid dreams. Naturally, things only escalate from there.

Horse Girl plays with some interesting ideas, and approaches its subject matter in interesting ways, but it suffers a little bit too much from a suffocating sense of forced whimsy. Horse Girl premiered at Sundance, and for all its ambition, it is very much a “Sundance indie.” There is constantly a sense of a more interesting film bubbling beneath the surface, waiting to get out, but never quite able to materalise beneath the trappings of its own particular brand of independent cinema.

Getting it all back to front.

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Is Four Lions This Year’s Team America?

We like to laugh at the things that really scare us – as if giggling in the face of death and destruction somehow removes them of their power. Or maybe it’s just an acknowledgment of the truly perverse sense of humour which underlines so many aspects of the modern world. Still, years after Team America: World Police demonstrated that nothing is truly sacred and gave us lines like ‘hey, terrorist, terrorise this!’ or ‘durka durka mohammed jihad’, it’s reassuring to know that the war on terror and religious fundamentalism aren’t taboo subjects. A comedy about a suicide bombing training camp, I’m quite interested to see how Four Lions turns out – if only for its fascinating pedigree.

A box office bomb or an explosive hit?

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