(ru) wrote: Hoping to find some impressive Australian cinema, Canopy sounded to me like a film worth a go.I can't begin to tell you just how underwhelming Canopy was.I can't necessarily say that I hated the film, I just don't have luck finding a reason for it to have been made.Canopy came out around the same time as life-threatening survival films Riddick, Gravity and All is Lost, so it seems to be attempting to capitalise on the genre during a resurgence period. And so on behalf of director Aaron Wilson, Canopy is an ambitious move since the idea of a soldier surviving in the wilderness of a Singapore jungle during World War II has a lot of potential. Unfortunately, he is too inexperienced as a filmmaker to ensure it succeeds.For one thing, the film is not convincing. Despite capturing the great look of the Singapore jungles to ensure that audiences believe the setting, there is one major flaw and one minor flaw. The minor flaw is that if you look closely, you can see that the visual effects are fake. The major flaw is that the jungle is not the slightest bit convincing as being a war torn land. Considering the fires and crashes that are going on around the wilderness that the two main characters trek through, there is not a single sign that a war is going on in the setting. The jungle is completely untouched and there is not a sign of wreckage, a bullet hole or a single damaged tree anywhere. All I saw was a man walking through grass and trees in a soldier's suit, and so I didn't feel anything believable. All I saw for 84 minutes was a man waking through a jungle, I didn't see a soldier facing the despair of a war torn fight for survival. Considering that I'm a big fan of the survival genre because I enjoyed the aforementioned three films with All is Lost being one of the finest films I have ever seen in my life. Canopy is a new low point for the genre handled by an ambitious but inexperienced filmmaker. The best thing that Canopy presents is the ambitions and potential of Aaron Wilson, but not his best talents or his eye for detail. While the cinematography is decent because it captures the appeal of the setting, it does not help to make things any more convincing. For me to feel the true intended effect of Canopy I would have to find the film convincing or feel that everything was intense enough to believe, but it was neither of them. As well as not being convincing, there was no tension for me in Canopy. Usually the cinematography could have enhanced the intended atmosphere by taking the right angles and moving along quickly when the characters run. In actuality, the cinematography moved along too smoothly and gentle to capture the intended atmosphere and instead it just slowly reminded me of the film's lack of convincingness by slowly revealingly more and more the way that the jungle was untainted by the war. Seriously, not even one fallen tree. I mean the atmosphere didn't feel threatening so as a survival film, Canopy was a failure. It is clear that the film was crafted on a low budget, but it could really stand to use some of what little money was in the budget to actually make it more convincing. There was nothing intense for me in Canopy, and to add to that was the acting.Khan Chittenden takes on the lead role of Tim, the Australian soldier fighting through the Singaporean wilderness, but he never feels like one. The entire time, his performance simply felt artificial. I mean he faces a limited character who says nearly nothing due to the lack of a script, but the majority of the time his physical reactions to situations seems like all he is doing is experience a prolonged walk through the jungle. He never convinces viewers that he is in any threatening situations because he just seems constantly tired and finding the work tedious. Canopy does not serve as a front for his talents, and by the end of the film I has forgotten what his face looked like or cared enough to find his character compelling whatsoever. Khan Chittenden simply does not make Canopy any more convincing than it already fails to be, and so watching him tiredly walk through a jungle for 84 minutes does not constitute sufficient entertainment or justify its short but slower than glacially paced story movement or the fact that the musical score is not effective enough to help the atmosphere at all.Also, the film is not entertaining. As a survival film, the focus of the story is simply on protagonist Tim trying to survive, but this time around the drama wasn't compelling enough for me to care, and the visual aspects of the film were consistently repetitive without showing many threats in the environment aside from a few Asians wandering around with guns. The next minute Tim and his Chinese pal are sleeping in the most obvious place, then they've gotten busted and next minute the entire film is over. What an underwhelming 84 minutes that was. Nothing really happens in Canopy, and the atmosphere of the film couldn't justify its lack of dramatic stimulus, ineffective visual experience and the fact that it is so goddamned slow that when I walked out of the film I felt like less had been covered in 84 minutes of Canopy than in 10 minutes of Riddick. If audiences haven't been taught about the nature of World War II, then the lack of historical context in Canopy will drive viewers to further disappointment. I was already disappointed enough though, so this part find really bother me. It did reinforce the lack of intelligent writing in the film though.And third of all, Canopy was thoroughly confusing. For a film where nothing whatsoever happens, Canopy managed to create a structure to it where the lack of dynamics even made things collapse on itself. Towards the end of the film, the protagonists are sleeping in a ridiculously obvious place, and suddenly the narrative path just collapses. Things begin to senselessly jump around in a random time warp which adds nothing to the film and just makes it worse and less of a film than it already was. This isn't an act of art, this is the act of a senseless filmmaker attempting to kill time by creating a moment where literally nothing is sensible. I can't even begin to explain how stupid things became at that one moment, and that is when I took away the final star from Canopy. Everything was confusing and pointless, and since more than an hour of boring nothingness led up to only this, it is safe to say that Canopy was terrible. It didn't have a plot, it was bereft of thrills, the story wasn't convincing and the visual experience was weak.So while not as bad as the average Baz Luhrmann film, Canopy is one of the worst Australian films I have ever seen. I don't hate the movie, I just find it boring, unconvincing and unnecessary to have even been made in the first place
(ru) wrote: Amazing movie, great storyline, plot, characters. The ending was pretty relaxing, leaving with a feeling of comfort. Uncle Black was a great guy, wish I could meet him.