The movie “Exodus: Gods & Kings” was swimming in controversy, well before its release. #BoycottExodusMovie has been trending online for months, though it’s unclear what impact it could have at the box office. The outcry is just. How can a big budget production, set in ancient Egypt, not give a single speaking role to a person of color. Used as background filler or lowly servants and slaves; the diversity in the cast, rivals that of “Birth of a Nation”. The old-school Jim Crow era casting aside, “Exodus” gets a lot of things wrong with the story. I’ll acknowledge the attempt to stray from the holy source material of the 1956 DeMille epic. I will not forgive the omissions of key plot points in the story. To say that “Exodus” takes liberties with the story is a bit of an understatement; after the revisionist history route instead, the movie sells you on the idea of the second greatest story ever told. This time in 3-D. Continue reading “Movie Review – Exodus”
Leave your opinions of torture at the door, this is a film where they’re going to be used. Let’s face it. Waterboarding was used. To great extent during many years. And too much extent. And this is a film that does not flinch when it comes to showing it used in some gritty scenes. The key goal, the search for Osama Bin Laden. The cost of getting there…there is no cost.
From the moment it opens to its climatic end; Zero Dark Thirty and it’s director Kathryn Bigelow (K-19: The Widowmaker & The Hurt Locker) puts you through the ringer emotionally. Unfortunately for Bigelow, this film has been subjected to extra scrutiny. It’s unflinchingly realistic depictions of waterboarding, less than humane conditions at unnamed CIA “Black Sites” and suicide bombings is where Bigelow excels. However, it draws its greatest criticisms from these scenes. So much criticism that, the Intelligence Committee will investigate Zero Dark Thirty filmmakers’ CIA access.
Zero Dark Thirty is nothing if it isn’t meticulously put together, and that seems like enough to qualify this smart, painstaking film for my top three of 2012, if not the last five years, particularly because of how scrupulously it treats such a delicate topic without catering to any obvious agendas. Though Oscar buzz has been surrounding this thing almost since its inception (which was initially slated to be a different story, since writing commenced before Osama bin Laden was killed), it breaks what might be considered the traditional mold for awards season, a stoic beast amongst a barrage of emotion-rich fare. That said, the film is a cinematic masterpiece that will probably get shortchanged in some category by the Academy (seeing as Kathryn Bigelow claimed hers for The Hurt Locker four years ago, typical politics have inevitably kicked in. She wasn’t even nominated this year for what is superior to her previous work). Thankfully, politics is something this film lacks almost entirely; it is primarily objective, purposefully unsensational – with perhaps the exception of its final 30 minutes – and unapologetic in almost every facet of the story. Continue reading “MOVIE REVIEW: Zero Dark Thirty”
Writer/director Peter Hedges’ family fantasy/drama The Odd Life of Timothy Green is enjoyable enough, but often feels like it’s dying to be a more serious movie. The story revolves around Jim and Cindy Green (Joel Edgerton and Jennifer Garner), a couple who discover that they can’t conceive children, and who, in a very bizarre and desperate moment, decide to compile a list of traits that describe their perfect child – right down to scoring the winning goal in a soccer game (which they both act out with disturbing zeal). They put the list in a box and bury it in their backyard. The result is a ten-year-old boy, who appears miraculously in the house after a – pardon the lack of a better word – ‘magic’ rainstorm. He is covered in mud, with a built-in vocab to boot. From the ivy attached to his legs, we can only assume that he sprouted from the ground like a plant. Continue reading “MOVIE REVIEW: The Odd Life of Timothy Green”
I can picture the meeting with the Universal Studios executives in which one of them threw out the idea that â€œevery successful film deserves a prequel and a reboot.â€ Let’s be honest about one thing.. Hollywood is about making money. Some criticize the lack of originality that comes out of Hollywood these days. In a way I’ll agree. There are too many sequels and reboots of franchises in which we see the same story retold and envisioned. But, in this case, the idea of creating a prequel that will directly lead into the original that was filmed 19 years earlier is an intriguing one.
The audience at a recent screening of Matthijs van Heijningen Jr.’s The Thing (hereafter referred to as The Thing 2011) sounded a little like this:
(raucous chatter) (cackling and heckling) (several voices saying stuff like â€œOh, why’d you do that?â€) (more cackling and heckling) (screams)
(audience gets quieter)
(repeat cycle of silence and screams for a little while)
You see, there seems to be no difference to some people these days between going to see a movie in a theater or watching it on your couch. People talk, text, offer their own critiques on the movie as it’s happening, tell you what’s going to happen next, and all other manner of rudeness. In horror movies, where the audience is populated by people looking for a thrill ride with gory parts to make them squirm, the audience noise can be louder than the film itself sometimes. When a movie shuts down a rowdy audience, there’s something good about what’s being thrown onto the screen. However, The Thing 2011 may only be good for its fright scenes and not much more.
Why do we do the things we do? What makes us passionate enough to overcome adversities? Truthfully that’s a question in which the answer is probably different for everyone who would ask that of themselves. But when times are tough either emotionally, financially, or in any other way, many of us get the courage and passion that can drive us to become better then we currently are. Essentially, we become our own warrior.
Lionsgate is going to offer you the opportunity to see their new film Warrior before everyone else gets to it!