Based on the Dark Horse comic series "The Mask". This movie follows a new character, Alan, who finds there is a thin line between hero and monster. This bloody adaptation blends the story ...
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A young archaeologist believes he is cursed by a mask that causes him to have weird nightmares and possibly to murder. Before committing suicide, he mails the mask to his psychiatrist, Dr. ... See full summary »
During a sultan's dangerous upheaval in the year 3477, a scrappy thief from Hong Kong is inspired by an ancient sage and enlists the help of his shady friends to trick the Princess of India into falling in love with him.
Based on the Dark Horse comic series "The Mask". This movie follows a new character, Alan, who finds there is a thin line between hero and monster. This bloody adaptation blends the story elements created by Mike Richardson with the stylistic overtones from the 1994 film version of "The Mask".Written by
As an enthusiast of "The Mask", so many of the filmmakers creative decisions left me scratching my head. It was hard to decide to do an analysis of this movie as a fan film short or as an official entity. Since this was heavily sold to us as an "OFFICIAL" movie, I'll just review it as such. I'll try to be as enthusiastic as possible, but at times it's hard. Stupid me, the lack of legibility on the IMDB poster should be good foreshadow of what was to come. With "OFFICIAL" stamped all over the place, I'm sure neither Dark Horse or New Line would ever stamp approval on this by fear of association, and not a good one.
They sold us up on Dark Knight style cinematography in the trailer, which we got, and pretty much absolutely nothing else. The story, direction, writing, characters and motives have the depth and the flavor of a rice cake.
From behind the scenes video and pics, seems the filmmakers prided themselves most on making production bloated and cutting edge. I kept getting that "we're so smart and qualified" vibe that just did not end up translating to the final project at all. Looks like they hoped for the expensive tech to do the storytelling and execution alone, but doesn't matter when you only have a murky HD upload for a final product.
The film reaked of a TV movie or a lifetime movie. Found it ironic how the female lead kept whining and calling everyone "annoying". She was describing herself perfectly. Maybe that was the joke?
The lead is a Kevin Costner lookalike. I would like to see him run free given competent directing. The opening movie voice over is a great example of this. Lifeless and wooden. I think they did the voice over in one take with no director available. Gotta love lazy and inconsistently used voice over, right? You got it here!
Settings don't make sense. Why is the police waiting room right next to a jail cell? Liability! Earphones while also holding up a phone? Stop asking questions now.
Big head or "The MASK" is largely poorly lit to hide glaring imperfections in makeup (maybe why we didn't get the 4K cut with those turbo cameras?). He looks like a thrown together Comicon dude kids take pictures with. The head shape isn't there, the color green is why too dark (probably the only shade Walmart had?) With other elements of production value being "so high", makeup was definitely overlooked entirely. Noticed CGI smoothing on the makeup job in closeups when it couldn't be hidden by lack of lighting alone. Then seeing bumps and seams (probably from the mold) really sucked the magic out of what's supposed to be an amazing, powerful entity. Like seeing the strings on Godzilla. I've seen other fan efforts pull off the makeup far better, but not at the level of this cinematography (primarily in night shots). I think the cinematographer was out of his league in the best way possible.
Something that bothered me most... the actors constantly change who play Big Head. The Kevin Costner lookalike goes home and stand-ins play him. Maybe the lead didn't want to wear it? Very strange creative choice indeed to swap a main character to a scrawnier smaller actor whenever the mask is worn, especially considering the football shoulders of the comic Big Head.
But props to the actor who played big head in the final act one-on-one with the mob boss.
We try for a feel good moment at the end in the final scene neighborhood but there is nothing to feel good about. A selfish character who we were never engaged in enough to care about, killing gangsters we never knew. The musical tone changes drastically and hilariously.
The 80's basement CGI for transformations was bold (better to just cut to a flashing wall?) But perhaps intentional for a throwback retro 80s feel? Trying to find the best logic in the intention. The quality of the initial mask grab was noteworthy.
Again, the beautiful cinematography of the end scene are quickly foiled by the laughably strange end credits with its hilariously over sized Fisher price size and font combined with the reporter footage that looks like it was shot for a high school project reminds us this was indeed a fan film.
I've seen much more character depth achieved in other mask fan projects in the same amount of time. But I think they thought they could fool us of its absence of substance with cinematic style.
The Vikings stuff is easily the best done, but sadly is the most out of place. This origin story clashes with the demon possessed cult worshipers that the original comic had in place. This was how the evil nuances of Big Head was explained. Why bring the Vikings into it just because Hollywood did?
If you can turn your mind off, you can enjoy this maybe. But I prefer the trailer, and then leaving this whole thing alone. The feel of the finished product was a very different animal.
The inexperience of the director and writer, casting mistakes and other fundamental issues cannot be hidden under the beauty of the cinematography alone. As good as it is, that's just too much slack to pick up.
The Good: Captures the selfless, mindless mean spirit of the comic.
The Bad: Many tonal issues. Amateur can't be hidden behind pro cinematography.
Looking good in this case is not being good.
I was expecting Dark Knight but got a C-level Troma. Lloyd Kaufman would love this. I think the only thing that stands this one out from the fan cluster is the amazing cinematography, which the excessive likes and views have accepted for substance. People seem to be eating this up, misled in assuming this was an "OFFICIAL" work as I once did. Classic Hollywood bandwagon effect? You think it's good? I do too !!!
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