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Showing posts from February, 2018

Bioshock Infinite Review

I've never actually reviewed a video game on this blog before, but it was either this or watching the 4 hour long director's cut of Kingdom of Heaven and I was not in the mood for that, not when there's Avatar to be binged.

The reason I've never reviewed a video game is because 1) I don't know a thing about game design whereas I've at least taken classes on film production and 2) even though I find video games to be an enjoyable pastime in and of themselves I have never found a game that was worth really digging into thematically or story wise. That is, until I played Bioshock Infinite. This isn't just a game I think is good; it's the game that I play when I need to remind myself that despite all the micro-payments and mindless multiplayer shooters flooding the market, gaming has just as much potential to be a platform for high art as any other medium. It's my gaming equivalent of Citizen Kane, the game that made me realize just how engrossing, crea…

Fight Club Review

I was originally going to do this weekend's review on 2001: A Space Odyssey, but between school and catching a decent night's sleep I couldn't really find time for watching a 3-hour long meditation on the existence of humanity. Then, I thought I could do a review on The Dark Knight, but nothing I could say about that felt too revelatory; everybody and their grandmother knows why that film was good and they don't need to hear it analyzed by everybody and a lackluster film student. So I was sitting around wondering what I could possibly do for this week's post when I saw my Blu-ray of Fight Club, untouched since the day I first took it out of the Best Buy bargain bin. My mind thusly made up, I popped it in and was treated to one of the bleakest film experiences I've ever had.

The premise is that our unnamed narrator (Edward Norton) is nihilistically tired of life and looking for something more fulfilling than sitting on his couch all day and ordering more furnitu…

Battle Royale Review

My immediate thought after watching Battle Royale is that it's a lot smarter than it needs to be from a financial standpoint. No matter how intelligent and sophisticated humanity likes to think it is it takes very little for us to be taken in by art with no value past fulfilling our most basic, primal desires. This can be evidenced by the popularity of such mediocrity as the Spartacus TV show and, alternatively, Sex and the City. My point in explaining all of that is to point out that if Battle Royale was just about a bunch of Japanese high schoolers forced to brutally slaughter each other in a dense forest with guns, knives, crossbows and swords it would've been a smash hit regardless of how little it had going on thematically. This makes the fact that the writers and director decided to make what could've just been another Japanese action film a sophisticated satire all the more admirable.

The premise might sound strangely familiar to those of you who were around during …

The Florida Project Review

I would describe The Florida Project as Lilo and Stitch if they took the sister dynamic in that movie to its realistic extreme. Both films are about a relationship between an adventurous and emotional little girl and their older, unstable female guardian that ultimately ends in tragedy. However, whereas the tragedy in Lilo and Stitch was diverged into a happy ending by typical Disney logic of "all endings must be happy endings", Florida Project almost feels like a slap in the face to that very concept and not just because it takes place right next to the Most Magical Place on Earth.

The premise is a lot more like a setup since the film doesn't have a plot or even story to speak of until the last 20 mins. Moonee (Brooklynn Prince) and her mother Halley (Bria Vinaite) live in a dilapidated motel, managed by Bobby (Willem Dafoe), right next to the Magic Kingdom in Disney World. The film chronicles the steadily declining emotional and mental states of its characters until it…

Planet of the Apes Review

I am of the mind that no matter how good Planet of the Apes is nothing would have come of it had the first film not been released in America during the 1960s, a time of massive social upheaval that sought to throw off traditional American standards held by the previous generation in favor of... well, nothing in particular. The film is fairly unsubtle about it's desire to appeal and pander to the beliefs and aesthetic tastes of a late 60s young adult American audience, who were more than likely looking for rebellious media that their parents definitely wouldn't approve of. Thus, when they heard about a film with an anti-fundamentalist message told through the imagery of monkeys, gun fights and women in animal-skin bikinis they turned it into a huge hit and ended up unintentionally launching a franchise.

Just in case you've been in a five decade long coma and are unfamiliar with the franchise the setup is that an astronaut named Taylor (Charlton Heston) crash lands out of hy…