The effects driven retelling of the largest man made environmental disaster in U.S. history; Deepwater Horizon is more akin to ‘Snakes on a Plane’ than the human interest story it tries to be. Minimalist in its storytelling, Deepwater Horizon is a bit confusing at times yet, it still is an effect no-nonsense thriller. That could be good or bad, depending on your expectations of the film. This isn’t an emotional docu-drama, nor is it a bloated CGI fest. (OK, maybe a little) Deepwater Horizon, like so many other calamity films places a bunch of likable characters on the precipice of sudden disaster. Though the film stars Mark Wahlberg, Kurt Russell and Kate Hudson, the real star of the show is the ill-fated semi-submersible oil rig.
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There are two very interesting stories being told within The Free State of Jones. The bulk of the film tells the story of Newton Knight (Matthew McConaughey), a field medic for the Confederate Army during the height of the Civil War. As the war raged on, Knight deserted his company and defended his and his neighbours’ property from pillaging Confederate cavalry. The penalty for desertion (and most crimes under the CSA) is death; so Newt ran. With the help of friends, Newt joined a band of runaway slaves, hiding from trackers in the swamps. The group grew larger as more deserters and runaways sought refuge from the all consuming war. 5 became 10 and 10 became 100 and soon the ‘colony’ sought more permanent dwellings. Eventually, after overtaking the small town of Ellisville, ‘The Knight Company’ sought to secede Jones County from Mississippi and become The Free State Of Jones.
However, as I’ve stated; there are two storied being told in this film. In late 1948 Newt’s Great Grandson Davis also fought for his freedom. Given the common knowledge of Newt Knight’s second marriage to a former slave, Davis was dragged into court to prove his ethnicity. It’s a rare occurrence where a child’s paternity wasn’t a of the father’s, but of the mother’s identity. If proven to be technically black, Davis could face serious jail time for marrying his wife, Junie Lee Spradley, a local white woman. Continue reading “Movie Review – The Free State of Jones”
They say everything happens for a reason. Every little thing that we experience in our lives may. So finding something that can be considered a lucky charm is not unheard of. It’s our natural instinct to assign some kind of meaning to an object to make it more personal. And I suppose in times of war and combat, when you find something that you can associate with the good fortune of coming out unscathed when so many other people do not, is something to be very happy about and is worth being treasured.
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