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Thread: Lord Rahl's Cinematic Review Repository

  1. #61
    Boustrophedon's Avatar Grote Smurf
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    Default Re: Lord Rahl's Cinematic Review Repository

    AWW YEAH another review curious for this one and I had never heard of it before. I'll try to find time to watch in soon I don't know that much about McNamara either so I'm sure it'll be interesting..

  2. #62
    Lord Rahl's Avatar Behold the Beard
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    Default Re: Lord Rahl's Cinematic Review Repository

    It's definitely worth the watch. I began watching a bit of it sort of just to humor Wild Bill Kelso because he recommended it but after several minutes I wanted to keep watching and watch it all.

    By the way, I saw Drive recently so I'll review that next.

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  3. #63

    Default Re: Lord Rahl's Cinematic Review Repository

    I bought Fog of war on VHS for a few bucks a while ago and have watched it a couple times a year since,fantastic doco.
    A few things i really liked about it is you don't need to be a history major or anything like that to enjoy it and take in all he is saying,he is very much a straight up sort of guy and explains everything in a clear way.When watching it i found the guy to be extremely intelligent with no BS attached,which just made all his lessons more poignant,especially the one about the Cuban missile crises when he explains how close we came to destroying civilization.
    And the music was top notch for a doco.

  4. #64
    Lord Rahl's Avatar Behold the Beard
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    Default Re: Lord Rahl's Cinematic Review Repository

    I agree with everything you said. It's good for those who are extremely knowledgeable of the events McNamara was involved in as well as those who know little. McNamara also seems extremely genuine in his recalling of the past and lessons that he learned and wanted to express.

    Now, to my review of Drive!

    Drive (2011)


    Drive is one of those movies that stands out in a summer full of absolute trash movies. Finding a truly enjoyable and impressive movie during the summer, it seems, is sort of like panning for gold. You have to sift through and discard the dirt in order to find what has true value. After seeing both Conan the Barbarian (2011) and Drive, I believe I've seen two movies on the opposite sides of the value spectrum. Conan was dirt, rubbish. Drive was good, outstanding.

    Let me talk about Ryan Gosling first. In a way I consider him a sort of Leonardo DiCaprio right now, that is, he is mostly known as a heart throb, eye candy for women to see in their terrible romantic comedies. That's what most guys think of him as and therefore most guys will simply dismiss any new movie that he is in. That is how I felt with DiCaprio for so long after Titanic. That's all the girls talked about even though his acting in it was pretty laughable at times (although not totally his fault). I loathed the guy. Then DiCaprio started to be in movies that weren't just for women to look at his boyish face. He starred in The Aviator, The Departed, Blood Diamond ("bling bang"), Gangs of New York, Shutter Island (that you can pretty much guess the twist just from the trailers), and Inception. After all of that I thought he redeemed himself as an actor. This is what I think Gosling has done with Drive. No longer will I think of The Notebook first when I hear his name. That's quite an accomplishment from doing one movie.

    But Drive is so much more than Gosling. A handful of things really stood out to me. The cinematography, the sound, the music, and the "feel" all had an affect on me. That's why the movie was a gem in this summer of movies.

    Drive has a mysterious yet relatable and likeable protagonist in the "Driver" or "kid", as he's called in the movie, played by Gosling. He doesn't say much and when he does it's usually a one word answer. The opening scene has the driver helping a couple of thieves get away from a place they just robbed. The scene involves some impressive driving abilities and knowledge of police efforts to find and chase down crime suspects in a car. Within the first few minutes of Drive I knew I would like it. The direction allows the audience to take in the moment. Overbearing action music and quick edits aren't found in Drive. Director Nicolas Winding Refn lets his shots last so that tension is built up through inaction much like it's done so masterfully in the Coen Brothers' No Country For Old Men. The sound impressed me right off the bat as well. Just listen to the helicopter fly over. I don't think I've seen a movie that had it sound so realistic (or loud).

    It is the interesting and engaging opening scene that sets a great tone for the rest of the movie. It had me wanting to see more and wondering who exactly this "Driver" was.

    Here's a shortened version of the opening scene:
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    After awhile we find out the driver is a Hollywood stunt driver who also works at a car shop run by Shannon, who knows the stunt driving business as well and wants a future with the "kid", played by Walter White...I mean Heisenberg...I mean Brian Cranston. All of the supporting cast are excellent, but let's be honest, it's hard to not have an excellent supporting cast when you have both Cranston and Perlman in it. Shannon has some not-too-honest friends who can put up a lot of cash for anything and that's why he proposes his friends buy a stock car for the kid to race.

    That is one side of the driver's life. The other involves him at his apartment complex where an attractive young woman with a son lives nearby. I was a little apprehensive of what might happen with the obvious romantic interest but Drive didn't mess it up. Their growing relationship wasn't full of cheesy dialogue or other stereotypes that plague many movies. Their relationship felt both coincidental as well as organic. They gravitated toward each other simply because they were both there. During their scenes is where the awesome 80-ish music plays. In this way the movie has a nostalgic feel even though the music is contemporary, and I will say that even though some of the music can be classified as a bit "poppy" and/or "girly" it's just so damn catchy and groovy to not like. I had Drive music stuck in my head for two straight weeks after seeing the movie. But everything, as is inevitable whenever romance comes into the story, isn't perfect for the driver and we learn that Irene, played by the cute Carey Mulligan, has a husband returning from jail...and the men in jail want money.

    That complication gets Gosling in trouble. This is also where the gorgeous Christina Hendricks makes her appearance. Too bad she isn't in it for long. I remember the first scene of violence when I saw it at the theater. It was gross, grotesque, and made an old woman sitting up front react with an exclamation that didn't even make sense for the scene. The rest of the violence in the movie is just as shocking and brutal. Razor blade down the forearm, literally kicking in someone's head into a pulp, head exploding from a shotgun at close quarters, and more! The gun shots are disturbingly loud just like in real life. I can't tell you how much that added realism helps the movie. Probably halfway through the movie there's a car chase showcasing more of the driver's awesome skills. Thank God the slow motion was used well in it. Where Michael Bay and Zach Snyder use slow motion seemingly every other shot, Refn actually uses it mostly in non-action scenes and sparingly when the action happens but to good effect.

    All the while through the movie I kept wondering more about Gosling's character. On one hand he seems like a regular hard-working guy with little ego or want of action but on the other hand he knows how to flee successfully from police, knows how to defend himself against gunmen attacking him in a hotel room, and isn't afraid of any criminal no matter how powerful or dangerous they really are. So, what is his past? How does he know all of these things? This is why the driver is such a mysterious protagonist.

    In a way he is like Eastwood's "Man With No Name" in some of the Westerns he was in. He doesn't talk much and doesn't really want to involve himself in things but on the other hand he is a total badass. I wouldn't say this mystery is a negative, though. The driver is a man caught between two lives. He wants to be a regular guy but for some reason he can't. He can't get rid of whatever his past was. He's a character in transition. In this way the movie is a sort of character film. It might involve action and crime but, although Gosling's character is minimal in his speech and emotions, in the end it's about the driver's character.

    I mentioned the "feel" of the movie. Because of the way it's shot, the music, and the brief but shocking violence it has an artsy feel about it that makes it unique. It stands out from the crowd of other similar movies. Perhaps you could compare Drive to Fast Five. Fast Five is fast-paced (who would have thought?), loud, and action-oriented. Drive is mostly slow-paced (but in a good way), excellent with its use of sound, and focused on the characters. The whole movie is shot beautifully too, with Refn's long shots helping the audience to take in the beauty. I seem to remember an orange light being present in most every shot in about the first half of the movie while the story was optimistic. Leaving the movie there was one word that I could best describe it. Cool.

    No movie is without it's flaws, though. I did feel like the last third of the movie did not keep the same interest with me as the first two-thirds. Not that I didn't enjoy it. I just felt like as the movie became more complicated and then came to its conclusion that the charm had worn off a bit.

    To paraphrase our good friend OTZ,
    If you stop thinking of this movie as an action flick, or a crime drama, and see it for what I think it is - as a character film, then it is so much better. Driver could be a psychopath - or more likely a sociopath, trying to overcome his natural instincts (a la the scorpion) - but we see by the end of the movie that it's an impossible task. He is what he is. This is apparent through the entire movie with the dialogue and his actions being enablers or reinforcing the fact that this "kid" is governed by instinct. Even when he makes an effort to normalize himself, he just can't do it - he even attempts to get the people around him to understand what he is. For example, the scene with Benicio, Irene's son, where Driver asks the kid why the shark is the bad guy in the cartoon. "I'm a shark, but I don't think I'm a bad guy." He is confused why Irene doesn't understand him. He shows genuine care for her but also beats the life out of men right in front of her. His world is not the same as hers. Driver perhaps doesn't understand love, he doesn't understand compassion - he thinks logically/rationally, but he makes an effort to give people what he thinks they want (but fails).

    Again, the mystery of Driver.

    Just go see this movie. It's unique in several ways whether it's the sights, sounds, and style. Rarely do I find a movie is truly worth the ticket price but Drive is an exception. And if you see it, don't be surprised if you become addicted to the music and immediately download it so you can drive around in your car feeling like a badass.

    4/5 Stars
    Last edited by Lord Rahl; January 27, 2012 at 03:11 AM.

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  5. #65
    pchalk's Avatar Domesticus
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    Default Re: Lord Rahl's Cinematic Review Repository

    Refn can make some odd films but u could never call him someone who makes cliche anything. Nice review, u def got me wanting to go see it

  6. #66
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    Default Re: Lord Rahl's Cinematic Review Repository

    Perhaps y'all will like this review.

    Inglourious Basterds (2009)


    Quentin Tarantino's movies are outlandish, violent, full of dialog, and often divisive. To put it bluntly, for most people they either love his movies or hate them. I'd say I'm somewhere in the middle. I like some of his movies, Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs, for example, but I also dislike some of his movies as well, like Death Proof. So, I was a bit iffy on whether or not I wanted to see Inglourious Basterds. What eventually convinced me was simply that it is a WWII film. As someone who is very interested in military history and WWII, I couldn't pass it up.

    Immediately in the movie it has the trademark Tarantino style. We see the chapter title and loud Spanish guitar music plays. This continues throughout the movie, the chapter titles and seemingly unrelated music. Sometimes I find the music Tarantino uses takes me out of the movie. I understand that he has a unique style but his movies are always pushing the envelope in many ways and because of that it doesn't always work for me. Thankfully, the music in Inglourious Basterds didn't irk me. What else is trademark Tarantino? Dialog. Like Tarantino's use of music, his writing, that more often than not includes very long scenes of dialog, unusually long. This can turn me off as well. I remember getting very annoyed at the dialog in Death Proof. However, in Inglourious Basterds I found every single drawn out scene of dialog to be enchanting. I think much of it has to do with most of the film being in foreign, to Americans, languages, mostly in German and French and a bit in Italian. Personally, I've always been a sucker for Deutsch and I loved hearing so much of it used. People may complain about having to read so much subtitles, as was a common gripe for those who saw Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, as I remember (Idiots!), but if people don't have the patience and the intelligence to read when they're hearing great dialog from great actors in another language...then I'll just dismiss their opinion on that matter.

    In the beginning of the film we're introduced to Colonel Hanz Landa, played magnificently by Christoph Waltz. It's the part that made Waltz's career and rightfully so. He's terrifying, extremely intelligent, hilarious, captivating, and one of the best villains you'll ever see in a movie. He was the most compelling villain I'd seen since 2007's No Country For Old Men, but where Anton Chigurh was so affecting in his minimalism, nihilism, and seeming lack of character, Col. Hanz Landa, "The Jew Hunter", was affecting because of his immoderation, his extroversion, and overbearing character. He is one of those villains that you both love and hate him. You'll be disgusted by him one moment and then laugh at or with him the next. He may be evil, he may be a Nazi, but he's fun to watch. He's complex. He hunts down Jews and yet respects them. He's just damn good at his job.


    Look how freaking awesome his pipe is.

    One of Inglourious Basterds' strengths is in its multitude of very interesting characters. Col. Hanz Landa may be the most memorable of characters in the movie but there are many others, even the most insignificant, that add depth. There are the American “Basterds” that include Jewish-American soldiers, played by such actors as B.J. Novak (The Office) and Eli Roth, best known for his extremely violent and controversial exploitation horror films, as well as the heavy drawlin’ Tennessean Lieutenant Aldo Raine, played by Brad Pitt. These Nazi-killing men terrorize Nazi soldiers behind enemy lines. These are supposed to be the guys that you “like” more, right? They’re the Americans, the good guys, they’re the most relatable. Well, I actually found their characters to be the least interesting, to be honest. While they were the least interesting they were still…interesting. It seems their purpose in the movie was basically for laughs and intense violence. Eli Roth plays a “Basterd” known as “The Bear Jew” who talks in a no doubt purposefully terrible Yankee, I’m thinking it was a NYC accent but I’m not sure, accent and kills Nazis with a baseball bat. Pitt’s character talks extremely awkwardly with the drawl, almost as if it’s a joke, and carves swastikas into the foreheads of Nazis the “Basterds” keep alive so they will forever be seen as a Nazi. While I always enjoy a good American drawl and gory violence, compared to the other stories in the movie the Americans were boring, really. Not that they were a terrible part of the movie, they just didn’t interest me nearly as much as the non-American characters. I have to say, all of the American characters in the movie are pretty comedic in how they talk and act. I guess Tarantino wanted to have Americans laugh at themselves.

    But the story does get interesting with the “Basterds” when Michael Fassbender and Diane Kruger get involved. Fassbender masterfully plays a British officer with a mind for cinema (and if you’ve seen the movie you know how awesome he says “cinema”). He gets sent on a mission, from Churchill himself and a cameoing Mike Myers as a British general, to join the “Basterds” and the lovely Bridget von Hammersmark, played by Kruger, so they can discuss the plan to blow up much of the Nazi high command, including Hitler, at a film premiere in France (I’ll get to that later). They all meet in a local French pub and that is where perhaps the best part of the movie happens. The pub, supposed to be empty, is full of Nazi soldiers celebrating the birth of a baby, one of the soldier’s. The good guys attempt to have a discussion of infiltrating the film premiere but are interrupted by the drunken new father. They try to get him away, and at this point the movie audience is mostly at ease, but then a Nazi Gestapo officer who was unseen in another room walks in and involves himself. What follows, and for those who have seen it, you understand, is a masterful mix of extreme tension and comedy. I don’t want to give it away but it was one of those rare scenes in a movie where I thought, “Wow, that was awesome,” after, and that’s hard to do with me.

    The last characters we have are the main protagonist, Shosanna Dreyfus, whose family was found out and killed by Hanz Landa, and the young soldier turned movie star and Nazi hero, Private Frederick Zoller. Shosanna owns a cinema and while taking down letters out front she is approached by young Zoller who attempts to flirt with her. She has none of it because of her obvious dislike of Nazis, but her meeting with him changes her life forever. The private, whose bravery in a three day battle against hundreds of Americans convinces Joseph Goebbels (if you don’t know who that is then go read a book) to make a movie of it, persuades Goebbels to change the film’s, titled A Nation’s Pride, premiere venue to Shosanna’s quaint cinema, all the while Zoller repeatedly attempting to gain the affections of the then secretly Jewish “Ada Mimieux” (she changed her name). This is where interesting characters continue for the movie. Shosanna is stoic and not influenced by Zoller’s advances. Zoller is not openly proud of his celebrity, because he gained it through mass bloodshed, but he has to deal with it on a regular basis and tries to use that fame to win over Shosanna. He even brings her, she actually goes very much against her will, to see Goebbels himself so they can discuss changing the premiere’s venue. It is while she is there, at a restaurant, that Hanz Landa shows up and also where another genius scene occurs. Landa gives Mademoiselle “Mimieux” a light interrogation, about her past, her parents, and such…but all the while he has ordered strudels with cream. By actions alone it seems so innocent but because of the character of Hanz Landa and some intelligent camerawork and direction by Tarantino, the close up of the food and the subsequently loud eating of Landa, the innocence and easiness is stripped away. Tarantino knows Westerners don’t like the sound of others eating and he uses that annoyance to add depth to the scene. I bet most people who saw the scene were very uneasy but past the obvious reason, Landa, they didn’t know why.


    There are other good and great scenes but I don’t wish to explain them all. I’ll say that Inglourious Basterds, unlike all other Tarantino films, had scenes that flat out impressed the hell out of me. It wasn’t so much his usual perpetuity of film homages (word?), rather, his well-known dialog at a very clever and affecting level mixed with true emotion. Sometimes in his films I feel like the dialog, music, and violence makes for poor characterization but not in Inglourious Basterds.

    One thing I’m uncertain of is Tarantino’s “message” in the film. While the Nazis are mostly cruel and unlikeable, the protagonists do not convey a totally separate characterization. Landa hunts down Jews, Hitler acts like a child, Goebbels is a whining, loud, and egotistical loon, and the Major Hellstrom is pretty much a bastard, but what redeeming qualities do the “good guys” have? The “Basterds” kill and scalp almost every Nazi they see, Fraulein Hammersmark kills the Nazi soldier/new father at the pub for no good explained reason, and Shosanna is dead set on killing everyone at the movie premiere. Not that I’m saying killing Nazis is inherently a bad thing, but in some ways the protagonists are just as brutal and just as sadistic as the Nazis in the film. Perhaps the most balanced character was Frederick Zoller who had to deal with his massacre-gained fame, was obviously not proud of it, and who, I thought, genuinely tried for Shosanna’s affection even though he was denied time after time, a persistence that ended up having multiple bullets in his back. His conflicted character in a way made him more human than all of the others.

    Despite that lack of understanding on my part, or perhaps it is a flaw in the movie, Inglourious Basterds is definitely a movie I’d recommend, am I’m someone who doesn’t like all of Tarantino’s movies.

    4/5

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  7. #67
    Boustrophedon's Avatar Grote Smurf
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    Default Re: Lord Rahl's Cinematic Review Repository

    I have to agree that Frederick Zoller and Hans Lada were far more interesting than Aldo Raine, Pitt's worst performance methinks. I loved this movie because of all its foreign languages and it definitely was a great strength.
    The portrayal of the Americans was really weak if you ask me. No character whatsoever. In fact I came to despise them for their bland roles. The actors playing Shoshanna and Lada were the best of the whole movie, if you ask me. Anyways great review and I agree on most things

    One last thing:
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    what did you think of the closing scene with the soldiers shooting in Hitler's face

  8. #68
    Lord Rahl's Avatar Behold the Beard
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    Default Re: Lord Rahl's Cinematic Review Repository

    That's what confused me so much, that Tarantino would have all of these characters that I thought were the best of any of his movies and then the Americans in it are so dull and cartoonish. It doesn't make any sense. And it feels so forced that he had to have them do it on purpose, especially Pitt whose character was like a caricature of the stereotypical American. He can play goofy parts, like in Burn After Reading which he was awesome in, but in Inglourious Basterds...I have to think of it as a joke (almost) in order to enjoy it.

    And yes, the use of foreign languages was awesome, especially since it was done so well by all the actors involved. Did you know that Christoph Waltz doesn't even speak Italian but he spouted it off near the end of the movie to the three "Basterds".

    About the final scene...
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    ...when I saw the movie in theaters I sort of didn't believe it was happening, because Hitler obviously didn't die, but by that point I was already used to the intense violence in the movie so it didn't really bother me. You have to admit the two "Basterds' using those mini-guns on their fists was pretty awesome. I didn't hate that scene but I definitely didn't think it was that great.

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    Default Re: Lord Rahl's Cinematic Review Repository

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Rahl View Post
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    ...when I saw the movie in theaters I sort of didn't believe it was happening, because Hitler obviously didn't die, but by that point I was already used to the intense violence in the movie so it didn't really bother me. You have to admit the two "Basterds' using those mini-guns on their fists was pretty awesome. I didn't hate that scene but I definitely didn't think it was that great.
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    I watched IB the first night it came out with a few friends, the theater was PACKED. It was funny, the first part where the two basterds burst into Hitler's box and kill him didn't get much of a reaction. I think it happened too suddenly for people to take in what just occured lol. There was this muffled kind of confused laugh throughout the theater, followed by some chatter as more than a few people turned to their friends and asked "wait was that Hitler that just got shot??" But then later, when it cut to the shot of Hitler's face being shredded, it was like the fricken Super Bowl. "YEAAAHWOOOOOOOEWWWWWWOOOoooooOOHHH!" hahahaa I'll tell ya I'm not big on crowds or watching films on their opening nights but that was an experience.



    And Rahl, a question if I may. Well, first of all lemme say that I agree with all of your reviews, maybe a little higher or a little lower on a few of but, hey whatever. But any ways, my question is: what are your "5/5" movies? Do you have any that you will post sometime? Or are you one of the people that would only ever give a 4.9/5 because you believe that perfection is unobtainable?
    Last edited by The Doubtful Guest; October 17, 2011 at 10:55 PM.




  10. #70
    pchalk's Avatar Domesticus
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    Default Re: Lord Rahl's Cinematic Review Repository

    Christoph Waltz made the movie for me as well as all the other german actors i was familiar with from german movies i had seen whenever i go over to germany. i guess thats a bit more sentimental value for me. Brad Pitt was pretty funny too at times imo and i loved the mike meyers cameo. I feel like tarantino did a better job with the dark humor in this movie.
    Last edited by pchalk; October 17, 2011 at 11:52 PM.

  11. #71
    Lord Rahl's Avatar Behold the Beard
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    Default Re: Lord Rahl's Cinematic Review Repository

    More on the scene...
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    ... Ah, I see what you mean about how people were cheering. I'm pretty sure that happened when I was in the theater too. I guess since I'm a history guy knowing that he committed suicide and then had his body burned to ash with gasoline is too real in my mind for me to really accept what happened in the movie.


    My reviews, or at least my ratings, change over time sometimes. For example, when I first saw The Dark Knight I thought it was really, really amazing. Well, it is really good but now that I've seen it several times I've noticed some stuff I don't really like. The same goes for 2009's Star Trek. I'm a huge Trekkie and I was very entertained by it the first time I saw it. Now that I've seen it several times the story makes me want to rip my hair out. Other times I know a movie isn't that good but for some reason I'll like it more than I should.

    Have I ever given a 5 out of 5? Hmm...I don't think so. It's sort of like my beer reviews. I'll rate a beer 4.5/5 or higher (if I want to but not at 5) very rarely. What is a perfect beer to me? I don't know. So what is a perfect movie for me? I'm not sure. Perhaps Ben Hur would be closest. A perfect movie... I don't think there is one. Every movie has flaws in it. There are movies I'd give a 5/5 just because I like them so much but reviews are not only about how much I like them. I have to be critical of them too.

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  12. #72
    Påsan's Avatar Hva i helvete?
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    Default Re: Lord Rahl's Cinematic Review Repository

    I would be highly interested in hearing your opinion on Children of Men (2006) As that movie is what I regard out of my experiences as closest to a 'perfect movie' Most certainly one of the best post apocalyptic films ever made.

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    Default Re: Lord Rahl's Cinematic Review Repository

    Quote Originally Posted by Påsan View Post
    I would be highly interested in hearing your opinion on Children of Men (2006) As that movie is what I regard out of my experiences as closest to a 'perfect movie' Most certainly one of the best post apocalyptic films ever made.

    Oh my ing God, my friend and I saw Children of Men in the theaters and we were blown away. Awesome direction, great acting, subtle yet impressive political messages, and this,


    ing massive Pink Floyd reference!

    But honestly, it blew me away. So now you know what I think of it. I may watch it again and then review it. I'm surprised I haven't yet.

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  14. #74
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    Sorry for the length of my reviews. I just can't help myself, especially when writing about a movie I've seen so many times.

    Ok, so I just put in Children of Men to watch it (again) as I write the review.

    Children of Men (2006)


    There are a lot of movies that are entertaining, that you "like", that are "fun", that you didn't mind paying the $8.50 (or whatever insane prices they have these days) for, but there are few movies that are truly impressive, at least in my mind. When I saw Children of Men with my friend at the theater, I was, and so was my friend, truly impressed with it.

    Despite how good of an overall film it is, Children of Men is perhaps most well known for its visuals. The overall cinematography, the production design, the extremely lengthy and seemingly one shot scenes, and imagery. Within the first couple of minutes the movie already shocks the audience. It's a great introductory scene that sets up the entire movie. Theo Faron, played by Clive Owen, goes to get a cup of coffee, having to squeeze himself through a mass of people whose eyes are stuck to the television where the news breaks the news that the youngest "child" on Earth has died, and goes outside to properly prepare his coffee to drink, all the while the camera pans around so the audience can see the movie's version of London in the future. Traffic goes by, advertisements flash, national security advisories scroll, two people embrace each other with a hug, and then...


    Not to mention the screaming woman who walks out carrying one of her arms.

    Then the movie titles show. It's an unexpected and shocking beginning to a movie, and by no means the last impressive scene. Most everybody talks about the car scene, but there's also the uprising scene (where the music right at its beginning makes you feel an intense feeling of "Oh !") and the all-too-realistic baby birth scene (except for the amount of time it takes for Kee to have the baby). If you haven't seen the movie, I would recommend not to watch those clips because it would ruin the experience a bit when seeing it the first time. Really, Children of Men is full of scenes that are much longer in length than most movies. If you want a lot of quick edits then this isn't the movie for you. Many scenes are also shot with a more hand-held feel to it that adds a certain amount of realism that's not seen in many movies. The movie has scenes you'll want to watch again and again, not only because of the content in them, but because of how well it is shot as well. Children of Men is like Coen Brothers or Kubrick movies in that the way it's shot makes it stand apart from most of the movies out there.

    The imagery, mostly political, in the movie is memorable as well. Throughout the film there are national security, the movie takes place in Great Britain, advisories that are shown on TVs. They inform those who see and hear them that not reporting for pregnancy tests is against the law, that harboring illegal immigrants is a crime, and other things. Add to that the Abu Ghraib imagery, for example, and there are plenty of modern references to terrorism, immigration, and other issues. While the imagery may be a bit extreme, it does make sense for the movie's setting and isn't too extreme to make it unbelievable. Children of Men is a movie that deals heavily with modern political and ethical problems we face, though set in the future, and I generally don't like movies that have significant political and/or ethical messages. More often than not the message(s) feel(s) forced and I can't properly appreciate the movie, but with Children of Men that is not the case. It feels different but all-too-familiar. I'm pretty conservative but the excesses of the British government shown in Children of Men doesn't offend me in any way.

    Then there is the greatest piece of imagery probably in movie history (I'm joking, obviously...but totally not)


    Seriously, the greatest. Not the greatest Pink Floyd album, though.

    I'm not really sure why Clive Owen doesn't get bigger or better roles in more movies these days. I'm much more confused why he didn't become the new Bond. Anyway, he does an excellent job in Children of Men. He's a protagonist that I very much relate to in many ways. Theo is a sort of average guy, trying to live his pretty much meaningless life, who is very much indifferent from all the apocalyptic events going on around him. He's fed up with all of the political and religious movements and doesn't want to be involved in anything. His politics and morals are his own. But the circumstances in the movie force him to be involved in the middle of it all. Still, he doesn't side with anyone. He doesn't really like the government because he sees what immoral things it does, but he doesn't side with "The Fishes" either. He doesn't trust them because, I think, they're too radical. They want to use the child as a political tool. Theo's indifference with everything brings some good sarcastic jokes about that fit in perfectly with the movie. It all feels very natural. But Clive Owen's character isn't all about being an indifferent jerk. He does care for things, mainly his estranged wife, Julian (Julianne Moore), and for the new child brought into the world. Most of Owen's movie characters are pretty platonic, and to a certain extent the same can be said of Theo in Children of Men, but unlike most of his other roles he does show a wide range of emotions.


    Fantastic little scene there. He showed emotion like a man does. He tried to keep it in but just couldn't and broke down.

    Other actors are no less impressive. Julianne Moore does a stand up job, though her limited screen time does make for a surprise. One surprise, and perhaps it's not so much of a surprise after all, was Michael Caine. Not that I think he's a poor actor. It's just that his role in Children of Men is so different from all other roles I've seen him in, although I'll admit that I've not seen many movies with him. He plays Jasper, an old hippy who is a longtime friend of Theo's. He's fun, loving, very much into the future politics, grows his own marijuana, and even asks for people to pull his finger because he has to fart. He's still an English gentleman in the movie, like every role I've seen him in, but he's also very childish in some ways. Oh, and has anyone else noticed that Jax from Sons of Anarchy plays the blond and dreadlocked Irishman "Fish" in the movie?!?! Honorable mentions go out to Peter Mullan who plays a hilarious yet unnerving immigration cop, Syd, Chiwetel Ejiofor as the stolid yet corrupted Luke, and Claire-Hope Ashitey as Kee, who does an excellent job of acting as if she is very much helpless, confused, and...pregnant.

    I believe one of the reasons why Children of Men works so well for me is because of all the details throughout the movie. You have the scene where Theo is kidnapped and then put into a room where the walls are covered in newspapers from the time. If you look closely enough you can read some of the headlines detailing what the film’s setting is like. There’s also the fact animals like Theo. Jasper’s dog obviously likes him, when he goes to “The Fishes” farm the Polish farmer’s dogs like him, and as the farmer says, “They don’t like anybody.” Later on as “The Fishes” debate on what to do with Kee’s baby a cat purrs at Theo and jumps on his leg. Then there’s Theo’s search for adequate footwear during much of the movie. Jasper’s sandals just didn’t cut it and finally he gets some tennis shoes from friendly Russians (listening to Shostakovitch’s 10th Symphony, 2nd movement!). To me all of those plus more I did not mention adds a certain depth to the movie that few movies have and that makes for the movie being interesting through multiple viewings.

    There’s a lot more I could say about Children of Men, including the soundtrack, many of the themes included throughout the movie, and more, but my review would be endless. Let me just say that it is one of my favorite films. I know some people who don’t like it because they feel as if it was made to win Oscars, as if the awesome lengthy scenes are somehow pretentious, but I don’t understand that. It’s a movie that deals with many of today’s political problems in a fictitious yet easily comparable and believable way, and does so with realism, expert artistry, and an amazing attention to detail.


    #fugeeface

    4.5/5
    Last edited by Lord Rahl; December 14, 2011 at 02:12 PM.

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  15. #75
    Hobbes's Avatar Vicarius Provinciae
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    Default Re: Lord Rahl's Cinematic Review Repository

    Huh, that's a coincidence: a local station will be broadcasting this today.

    It's a great movie, I remember watching it with father, and I was really stunned by the way the scenes were filmed!

    BLM - ANTIFA - A.C.A.B. - ANARCHY - ANTI-NATIONALISM

  16. #76

    Default Re: Lord Rahl's Cinematic Review Repository

    I have to comment this
    as I remember (Idiots!), but if people don't have the patience and the intelligence to read when they're hearing great dialog from great actors in another language...
    I don't get it why is it such a problem to read the ing subtitle . The germans are over dubbing all american movies and of course butchering them in the process ...

  17. #77
    Lord Rahl's Avatar Behold the Beard
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    Yeah, I don't understand it either. I've heard some say, "I don't want to read when I'm at a movie!" I don't even know what that means. If reading some well-written dialog helps you understand and enjoy the movie then why do you not want to do that?

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  18. #78

    Default Re: Lord Rahl's Cinematic Review Repository

    Pure idiotism . Imagine growing up and never hearing really Eddie Murphy's voice .

  19. #79
    Hobbes's Avatar Vicarius Provinciae
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    Default Re: Lord Rahl's Cinematic Review Repository

    May I suggest a movie? I recently watched "A Dangerous Method" and I absolutely loved it. The acting is great, it's as if Jung and Freud come to life in this one. Keira Knightley is also good in her portayal of a mad woman.

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  20. #80
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    Dude, I want to see that because I'm a big fan of Mortensen and what few movies I've seen Fassbender in I've enjoyed. Plus it's Cronenberg, it's about Freud and Jung, and Viggo looks ridiculously awesome in it. I think if I do review a movie soon it will be either Brazil or Black Swan because I watched both recently.

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