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Showing posts from January, 2017

Children of Men Review

Children of Men is a 2006 sci-fi drama written by Alfonso Cuaron/Timothy J Sexton/David Arata/Mark Fergus/Hawk Ostby and was also directed by Cuaron. The film was a box office bomb, but over the past 11 years has gained a cult following.

Story
The year is 2027 and the human race is completely sterile; not a single child has been born in 18 years. Everything has gone to crap, the governments having resorted to totalitarian tactics.However, former activist Theo has been tasked with escorting a pregnant girl out of the country as fast as he can. This is the last hope for the human race and he's all that stands between us and extinction.

The premise for the story is prime science fiction material; use a disaster involving science to tell a story about humanity and its nature. However, the film doesn't seem to have a lot to say. There are social themes touched upon like totalitarianism, immigrant persecution and poverty, but the filmmakers don't really have anything unique to sa…

Why Birth of a Nation is a Dangerous Film

In a bizarre turn of events The Birth of a Nation has unintentionally played itself. To understand what I'm saying you need to know the plot and the production history of the film. The premise is based around an 1831 slave revolt led by Nat Turner, a slave preacher whom plantation owners of the area used to keep their slaves in a state of submission. After seeing too much atrocity done to his people, Turner rounded up a group of slaves to kill as many white people as possible. The film was conceived by the director/writer/producer/star Nate Parker as a way to have white people "come to repentance" as he puts it, thought it seems more like a catharsis and possibly narcissistic project for Parker than a message of equality.

The similarities between the film and the events that inspired it are uncanny; both were poorly conceived catharsis projects brought to life by their creators without much thought put into the consequences of their actions. Next to somebody like Martin …

Trainspotting Review

Trainspotting is a 1996 dark comedy drama written by John Hodge/Irvine Welsh and directed by Danny Boyle, who would later go on to direct Slumdog Millionaire. The movie has gained a large amount critical praise and a dedicated cult following. It's also one of the few internationally recognized non-Hollywood films.

Story
There isn't much structure to this movie. Most of the film is just going through the life of recovering drug addict Renton (Ewan McGregor) and his friends as they go through many misadventures. It has a main goal in the last 20 mins of the movie, but it feels really out of place compared to the rest of the film, which was just Renton dealing with his drug addiction.

The film has the demonization of drug use very much at the forefront. Horrible things happen to those who are constantly using heroin; a baby dies from her abandoning mother's lack of attention, somebody who starts heroin halfway through the film gets HIV and dies from it, etc. The theme is a war…

The Godfather Review

The Godfather is a 1972 crime drama written and directed by Francis Ford Coppola and co-written by Mario Puzo, who also wrote the novel the film is based on. The film has been praised as one of the greatest films of all time, earning 3 Oscars, mounds of critical and audience praise and becoming so iconic you can't escape references to it even at a young age.

Story
Don Vito Corleone is the head of a powerful crime family in New York City. After he is shot and nearly killed, his reluctant son Michael begins to slip into the Family's dark business.

The characters, while none of them are likable, are at least interesting to watch. There's a guy with major self control issues, a portly hit man who also teaches the men how to cook, etc. The main focus of the story is on Michael and he's probably the most interesting out of the ensemble. He goes through a Breaking Bad-esq type decline from timid war hero to ruthless gangster and even though it's not done as well as Breakin…

Watchmen Review

Watchmen is a 2009 superhero film written by David Hayter/Alex Tse and directed by Zack Snyder. This is an adaptation of the famous Alan Moore graphic novel of the same name, which Snyder actually used as the film's storyboard. Despite painstaking effort being put into making it as loyal as possible to the comic, the movie has an infamously polarizing response from both critics and audiences.

Story
The film takes place in an alternate version of the 1980s where Richard Nixon is still the president, superheroes actually existed in the past (but are now forcefully retired) and the Cold War has reached the point where nuclear Armageddon is imminent. One night, an ex-vigilante named the Comedian is killed and the masked psychopath known only as Rorschach believes that something sinister and evil is just around the corner...

What bothers me about this story are the themes presented to the audience. The film is extremely dark and nihilistic, taking a Freudian psychological approach to hu…

American Graffiti Review

American Graffiti is a 1973 teen drama/comedy written and directed by George Lucas, cowritten with Gloria Katz and Willard Huyck and produced by Francis Ford Coppola. Though this is Lucas' premiere film before Star Wars and it garnered massive critical praise. It was nominated for 5 Academy Awards, including Best Picture of that year.

Story
The film takes place over a single night, the last night of freedom for five recently graduated high school students. Each of them has their own set of stories throughout the evening; one is trying to find a beautiful woman he saw, one is saddled with looking after a 15 year old girl, a couple tries to figure out their relationship and a nerd tries everything he can to get laid.

In spite of so many plots and subplots going on it never feels cluttered and you feel like every character gets their appropriate moment to shine and their arcs are all well paced throughout the film. However, I feel like some of the arcs were left behind while others we…