Welcome to The Ideology Of Modern Cinema

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Akira (anime) film analysis part 3: An overripe fruit

The sprawling metropolis of Neo-Tokyo is an example of a sophistication in technology and how densely populated it is. The entire setting, like the real Tokyo, is very large and overpowering, and features streets drenched in neon lighting and corporate signs. The setting is visually stunning and is very Blade Runner and cyberpunk in its design. the surface of Neo-Tokyo is the usaul concrete jungle of skyscrapers and industrial buildings, but beneath is a vast network of wires, pipes, circuitry, technology and energy conduits which are just as overpowering as the city itself. Clearly it takes a lot of man power and energy to keep this city running, perhaps a little to much. This is the common groundwork for any cyber punk orientated work, which in this case is an over reliance of technology and the constant desire to update and discover more.

The city is saturated, not just in its setting but also how its society functions. The maximum potential has been achieved and the revolution of the people is going to bring it down to square one, repeating the process of maturing and rebuilding after destruction or revelation has been achieved. When something is full it needs to be emptied, which is exactly what Neo-Tokyo needs, its needs to empty its self and fill up again. Even at one point in the movie a character suggests a similar outlook. The character Nezu says "This city is like an overripe fruit".

The idea of reaching maximum potential is conveyed with the character Akira, and the fact that this last great discovery within old Tokyo is what destroyed it, and started the next stage of the destruction cycle, rebuilding. The social boiling point has been met within Neo-Tokyo, and it will result in change and a new order, only for it to boil over again and change again.

Akira (anime) film analysis part 2: The Highways of opportunity

Kaneda and his biker gang are an example of the part of a society that is oblivious to the bigger picture or simply just doesn't care. There is a revolution occurring all around them and political struggles present, but yet they seem to care more about wrecking havoc and fighting in gang wars with other biker gangs. This is common with most teenagers and youth in general. Before they have fully understood the complex world around them, their first main objective isn't to plan a career or to fully prepare, but to discover knowledge or pursue early social lives. This is what Kaneda and his gang are, they are careless free thinkers who spend there time freely riding through the streets and highways of Neo-Tokyo on there bikes. This is their only real output in a country that's crumbling to pieces around them, they haven't found an exact place in main society yet, so they choose to rebel against it.

The films opening bike scenes summaries there delinquent lifestyles fairly clearly, showing them taking part in brutal and uncompromising bike chases and fights with a rival biker gang. There is a section of the chase that shows there detachment from their modern society even more. During their chase they start to ride towards old Tokyo as they ride across the deserted highways that lead there. This symbolically suggests the wish to return to an old way of life, and a wish to move away form the complexities and dangers of the modern Tokyo they inhabit. The highway they ride on while heading there is deserted, it is only them and the rival biker gang present. The way this sequence shows only the youth inhabiting these highways leading from an old society to a new one suggests there freedom and mindset.

Riding around on there bikes is almost like a form of escapism as they ride around almost aimlessly ignoring the complexities of their surroundings and engaging themselves directly into what ever ignites their interests. Because of there status as rebels, they are unbound from their modern settings, and because of that they have opportunity's to set their own future. This is the theme of maturity that is present throughout the movie, and it doesn't just apply to teenagers. It also applies to the changes society and near enough anything can go through, whether it be understanding of the world as a whole, social and political movements, and how we function as a species. This idea of maturity and change also applies to the theme of destruction and revelation, and how destruction and revelation can open up a whole new perspective to work from.

Akira (anime) film analysis part 1: The cycle of destruction

One of the first scenes the viewer is a faced with is the destruction of Tokyo at the hands of Akira. It is this scene that starts off the cycle of destruction. This event precedes the main story, but becomes prominent again when the exact same event occurs at the end of the film. This idea of time repeating its self is what sets up the main idea of destruction as a continual cycle. This cycle isn't dictated by anyone other than those who choose to repeat mistakes, either intentional or accidental. The main story's continouse use of imagery and themes regarding revolution, teenage delinquency, and political incompetence is all one huge build up to the inevitable destruction that happens at the end of the film. Even the films tag line in the trailer and on the poster mentions destruction " Neo-Tokyo is about to E.X.P.L.O.D.E".

The idea of destruction suggested by the film is that destruction of any kind, either physically or within society or politically, is more of a new beginning rather than a permanent end. Tokyo was destroyed and rebuilt, only to be destroyed again in the exact same manner. The destruction cycle would then mean that the society that is left from Neo Tokyo will rebuilt again, and as before there will be problems which will destroy it again, either physically or through problems of its economy. It will then be rebuilt again, and the cycle will keep going as long as there are people willing to rebuilt it.

The build up to destruction of any kind can occur both physically, economically, or sociologically. All three of these things are prevalent in Akira. Neo-Tokyo is going through a political crisis, and that crisis is causing the public to revolt. The revolution is causing chaos in the streets and in turn the police are enforcing a heavy crackdown. And combined with that is anti social devastation from delinquent biker gangs that wage war against each other. Its things like that which are the build up to destruction, and from this destruction there will be huge changes.

Akira's end credits show that Tetsuo, after being taken away from Neo-Tokyo, became a big bang which created a new solar system and universe. This also heavily suggests a cycle of destruction, and how destruction isnt a complete end. For Tetsuo to create this new universe he had to be the cause of the destruction of Neo Tokyo. The final result is that from the destruction of a city, a new universe was created.

Akira uses the idea of destruction as being a form of inevitable change for society, or even an entire civilization. It shows how from the ashes of destruction at the end of a social boiling point, there can still be the ability to recreate and rebuild. Akira's destruction of Tokyo is like a symbolic revelation that marks huge changes, out with the old, in with the new. To rebuilt something to be better or different it must first be destroyed and then rebuilt, which is exactly what happens with Tokyo in the film. It suggests that when politicians cant fix the problems, when the people rise up, and when chaos erupts that there has to be change through a great revelation, which acts as a symbolic form of destruction.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

The live action Akira movie, a sign of even more Hollywood incompetence.

The synopsis for the america live action Akira movie was recently released, and it brings a few unwelcome changes to the source material along with it. here is the synopsis.

"Kaneda is a bar owner in Neo-Manhattan who is stunned when his brother, Tetsuo, is abducted by government agents led by The Colonel. Desperate to get his brother back, Kaneda agrees to join with Ky Reed and her underground movement who are intent on revealing to the world what truly happened to New York City thirty years ago when it was destroyed. Kaneda believes their theories to be ludicrous but after finding his brother again, is shocked when he displays telekinetic powers. Ky believes Tetsuo is headed to release a young boy, Akira, who has taken control of Tetsuo’s mind. Kaneda clashes with The Colonel’s troops on his way to stop Tetsuo from releasing Akira but arrives too late. Akira soon emerges from his prison courtesy of Tetsuo as Kaneda races in to save his brother before Akira once again destroys Manhattan island, as he did thirty years ago."

The first change that is clear is the changing of Kaneda from a teenage delinquent to a bar owner. This was probably done due to the actors being older, but that doesn't mean he still cant be the leader of a biker gang. The opening bike sequence from the anime is a fantastic display of kinetic action and brute force on bikes. It demonstrated the harsh gang violence situation plaguing Neo-Tokyo, and at the same time further conveyed Akira's themes. Changing Kaneda to a bar owner possibly means a sequence like this will not be appearing, but also means that some of the source materials themes will be missing, which is very disappointing.

The other disappointing change is that the film be be set in Neo-Manhattan rather than Neo-Tokyo. once again this removes the heavy Japanese themes form the manga and anime. The setting of Neo-Tokyo explores themes ranging from the atomic bombing of japan all the way to its post war crisis. You cant just abolish those themes in favor of a different setting, because in the process you make the prevalent themes form the source material completely pointless.

Tetsuo's role is also different. He is Kaneda's brother and he is being used to release Akira, rather than going on a rage fueled rampage due his inferiority complex. He did seek Akira in the source material, but it was because of his own curiosity on the powerful being. This synopsis seems to suggest that the colonel and military want Akira to be released, while in the source material they are hell bent on stopping it. It says "Kaneda clashes with The Colonel’s troops on his way to stop Tetsuo from releasing Akira but arrives too late.". Why would the troops stop him from preventing Akira's release? do they want Neo-Manhattan destroyed?. This also changes an aspect of the colonel's character. His character dislikes what his country has become, but he will do anything he can to stop its destruction. Here it seems like he is trying to release Akira to destroy Neo-Manhattan for unknown reasons.

The synopsis doesn't mention any of the political aspects of Akira, such as the revolution and the failure of the country's leaders to maintain the country's economic problems. If this means that those aspects will be also absent then it is another set of themes that will be missing.

In conclusion this short synopsis reveals a huge amount of things that have been changed and abolished. So far this film seems like a huge insult to all of Akira's fans and its legacy. It also seems like Hollywood doesn't understand the films themes, or why they resonate with an audience. Its seems like they saw the keywords "government" and" destruction" and pieced together the plot from that. Akira is a lot more than just a story about a rage fueled teenager using his powers to destroy things, its also about the nature of civilization and how tampering with a greater power or failing to control one can lead to civilizations destruction. It portrayed the apocalypse as the end of a civilization, but also as the start of a new one, where society can rebuild as long as competent people lead the revolution.

 It almost showed destruction and economic turnmoil as not being the ultimate end, but being the a way into a new beginning. It treated it like a cycle where the end is still followed by a beginning in which a new society rises from the ahses and rebuilds itself. The manga and anime's themes still have meaning today, with economy's in disaster, revolution in the streets, and the military crossing the line. only time will tell if the film will be any good, buts whats for certain is that Hollywood is about to E.X.P.L.O.D.E.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Avatar is an overrated, expensive, and average level film that is not as good as it is made out to be.

Avatar was hailed at the time of its release as a brilliant new addition to cinema, with its ground breaking CGI technology, to its heavily marketed 3d gimmick, It was seen as a successful film on many levels. Even I was impressed by it……for the first 5 months. Its was only after viewing It again on blue ray that I fully realised that the film was nothing more than a derivative, expensive, B grade film with a paint by numbers plot that is barely original by today’s standards.

The films story of a heavy military presence on an alien planet was a good set up for a genuine study of characters and the war ideology. But instead what we got was a sense of morals so thinly veiled that it comes off as pretentious rather than thought provoking. There is only good and bad in this film in terms of its characters morals, there is no grey ambiguity. The military is presented as completely arrogant and as the main antagonist, while the native Na’vi as the protagonists. The fact that the military is just straight up bad is one of the films major problems in my opinion, as its could have been a great exploration of how war can be fought with two different perspectives, but from the same people. The fact that in war there are those who fight for freedom and honour, but within that same sector, there are those who murder and destroy which in the process makes what their country stands for completely different.

Vietnam is a great example of this, as during that war there were a lot of massacres of innocent people at the hands of US troops. But this was only a small minority, not every single soldier. Avatar portrays it so that almost every soldier present in the film is some brainwashed patriotic moron. The films supposed allegory on the war on terror and the war in Afghanistan is so blatant in its symbolism that it barely counts as an allegory, its more of a plot point than anything.

The film utilises the worn out premise of the soldier that fights his own people, a premise done many times over the years. Its story is almost a exact copy of the one from Dances With Wolfs, and its themes are not balanced since there is no moral ambiguity, despite the fact that it references things that feature the exploration of moral ambiguity, such as Vietnam and Afghanistan. The film plays out like a watered down morality lesson for 5 year olds, and it patronises its audience with its bold observations of the American military, while showing disregard for the fact that not every soldier in the US army is a murderer.

James Cameron’s filmography includes The Terminator and Aliens, two films that had subtle allegory’s that encouraged though on some level. But James Cameron’s Avatar is not on the same level, as it makes its points so basic that it completely destroys the themes that it tries to convey. Films like Apocalypse Now have brilliant subtle themes and symbolism that is rewarding to analyse, and is at the same time a fascinating exploration into war hypocrisy and how an individual can change the conducts of war for their own agenda.

Overall I find James Cameron’s Avatar to be an overrated film that uses cliché and 1 dimensional characters to be its antagonists. Its story has been done many times before, and its themes ,symbolism, and allegories are so obvious and paper thin that they fail to convey on a level that is rewarding or thought provoking.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Alien VS Predator film review

what do i think about Alien Vs Predator? the 2004 action/sci-fi/horror film directed by Paul W.S. Anderson, well lets start with the premise. The film is based off and around the Alien Vs Predator franchise which consists of comic books, video games, toys, and books. It ,as the name implies, is about the two infamous alien species having a war with each other. Now, this may seem like a dumb idea, which it is, but the comics and other Alien Vs Predator themed things are great, its just the movie that makes me want to quote Hudson from Aliens by saying “game over man, game over“. Ok so whats the story about, the story involves the discovery of a mysterious pyramid hidden blow the artic. This plot point soon involves a team of archaeologists from the Weyland Yutani Corporation(oh dear the references to the previous films in the franchise have begun, barf bags at the ready people) who go to take a look inside the pyramid. Unknown to them though is that the pyramid belongs to the predators(or the Yujuta if you want to be a nerd about it like me)who use the pyramid has a breeding ground for their prey the aliens(xenomorphs). Alright then simple enough but theirs one problem……………..
IT SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I am a huge alien/predator fan so I feel it is my job to inform you that the amazing plot points in this film are complete bull.

Amazing plot point number 1
Predators built pyramids
(really? Did they invent the light bulb as well? How about the modern car do I thank them for that too?)

Amazing plot point number 2
Predators helped humans in the past
(oh yes of course they hunted the humans and then skinned them as a way of showing friendship they even sometimes RIPPED THEIR SPINE OUT!!! In order to build a trusting business partnership, yeah that seems about right to us predator fans doesn’t it)

Amazing plot point number 3
There are hieroglyphics depicting the species as being at war on earth for centuries
(yes hello Mr Scott hi sorry to bother you but I just called to inform you that aliens have been on earth for centuries, so you know that near enough makes the continuity of your movie and the other movies pointless ,oh and spread the word on to Mr Cameron would you please, thanks bye)

Are you seriously telling me that they’ve been here this whole time? Where they hiding out in Jay wick or something while Sigourney Weaver went as far as 3 sequels(with Aliens being one of the only good ones)in order to keep them contained. I understand that the predators have been here all this time but the aliens being here has no way of helping continuity or story structure. Any way lets move on to the characters and oh boy are they an interesting bunch. Ok so we have Alexa our strong heroin and Ellen Ripley replacement for the film, we have Sebastian a archaeologist who acts as a hieroglyphics translater, and Charles Bishop Weyland the billionaire head of Weyland industries who starts the team in order too……….wait a minute this guy seems familiar oh yes of course this is supposedly the role model for the Bishop android that is featured in Aliens, and he even looks like the android because the android was designed to look like him. They even got Lance Hendrickson to reprise the role, wow mr Paul W.S. Anderson you sure do know fan service even if it is completely pointless and redundant.

 Moving on, there are more boring cardboard cutout characters but we don’t need to know about them because they are killed off pretty quick (hooray). Lets talk about the action, its mediocre at best, its not terrible but it not exactly great or interesting its just a load of flashy effects and bad editing, but at least its not as dull or in your face as Alone In The Dark, speaking of the dark the lighting in this film is terrible you can barely see anything and perhaps that’s a good thing, I understand that darkness adds atmosphere but at least let me see what’s going on most of the time even if it does suck.
Actually now that I think of it the premise and the characters don’t come together too great , its actually quite funny, I mean the teaser trailer could have gone like this
ALIEN VS PREDATOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
ITS TOO AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I could write a better story than that, in fact I think most people could.

Ok lets talk about the writing I will summarise it in two ways, crap ,and full of references to the previous movies in the franchise. These references include lines from the other films such as, ok everyone all together now “YOUR ONE UGLY MOTHER FU…………..” and then the line gets cut off in order to achieve a PG13 rating, oh the wonders of censorship, because that’s what the true fans want to see, a toned down and clean cut Alien/predator movie.

Well overall, wow what a dull mess, its bad but not Alone In The bad or even Street Fighter bad. it’s a good B movie I guess but I call it a S movie(can you guess what the S means). Well anyways some of the references are a nice touch and remind us of how great the other movies are compared to this. I don’t recommend it but if you are a Alien/Predator fan it might be worth a rent since you might get something out of it, or if you don’t mind B movie material like this and enjoy those types of films then you are the audience this film aims to please. I mean as much as I hate this movie it does have some strong points, the special effects are great, especially the animatronics used for the Aliens it gives that classic Stan Winston and 80 film effects feel that is much more interesting than cgi. Also the set design is not too bad and the ending with the queen alien is much better than the combat throughout the rest of the movie even if it is short.

This review is entirely my opinion and a lot of people will like this movie. I don’t like it due to its inconsistencies with the franchise and its lack of decent thrills but this movie does have an audience of people who will like it for what it is, a mindless crossover movie with a simple beginning, a simple middle, and a simple end, the reasons I don’t like this movie is because I am someone who likes their movies to have depth and a inspired production as well as respect for the franchise its making money off of. But if you enjoy mindless plot points, mindless action, and mindless ideas, this film is for you.

Reservoir Dogs film review

Reservoir Dogs is the 1992 crime film written and directed by Quentin tarantino and produced by Harvey Keitel and Lawrence bender.

The film focuses on a group of criminals that are assigned to carry out a heist with the intention of stealing some valuable diamonds. But during the heist they are stopped by the police who to the surprise of the group, knew they were coming. The group retreat back to their warehouse hideout and begin to become paranoid and question who it was in their group that could have possibly tipped off the police to the groups heist plan. This sets off a situation of mistrust, confusion, and bloodshed among them as they try to figure out who could possibly be the mole amongst them.

The first brilliant things I noticed with reservoir dogs was its writing and the casts performances. Tarintino’s witty and interesting script is brought to life by the casts flawless performances, especially Harvey Keitel’s performance. Tarintinos great and unique character situations are amplified to a higher level of greatness by how the cast interact with each other while in their roles, and by how the cast are clearly having fun with Tarintinos witty dialogue.

While the film features a fairly simplistic scenario and story, it is in no way a empty concept. The film chooses not to show the heist itself, a choice that focuses the audiences perceptions on the paranoia and mistrust of the characters during the aftermath of the heist. This is a great way of turning what were believed to be professionals into temporary enemies as they suspect each others involvment in the heist tip off. The action present in the film is also classic tarintino, with bullets flying and blood running.

The film also features tarintinos iconic non linear storytelling, in which each member of the group has their own back story which explains their involvement in the group. Another tarintino trait that is present is this film are Mexican stand offs, something which are possibly homages to old westerns, which tarintino is a fan of.
Overall I highly recommend this movie. The cast is worthy enough of a watch all on its won, but its also cript and his talent as a director that really shine through. The film is an impressive feature film debut for Taritino that has many quotes and scenes that have become iconic over the years since eit was released. The film features a brutal, uncompromising, witty, and thrilling portrayal of honour amongst thieves, and mistrust amongst thieves.

V For Vendetta film review

                                                                                                                                    Video Review

V For Vendetta is the 2006 dystopian thriller film directed by James mcteigue and produced by joel silver and written as well as produced by the matrix creators, the wachchoski brothers. It is based on the graphic novel of same name which was written by watchmen writer Alan Moore.

The film is set a dystopian England that has given up its liberties, rights and freedoms to a totalitarian society run by a party known as Norse fire. The film follows the character of V, a masked vigilante who wants to remove Norse fire from power to bring freedom to the country. His plot is soon intertwined with another character evey, as he decides to let evey help him in his plan to remove Norse fire from power.
As a film, this film is not bad, but as an adaptation it is a travesty to the original source material. It abolishes the books original theme of anarchy vs. fascism, and instead features a conflict between liberalism and neo conservatism. These changes are minor but are still unnecessary as the original Anarchy and fascism theme was filled with moral ambiguity but with this adaptation it is made clear that Norse fire are antagonists while v is a protagonist. The films script is written is a way where v is the clear and decisive protagonist, where as in the book he was more of an antihero, with his morals and motivations being shaded in gray ambiguity.

The cast do their part as the characters they are portraying and for the most part the characters are intact from the source material. Each performance is good and is one of the films few strong points. However a major complaint I have when it come to the films characters is the changing of the character of Adam Susan. In the book he was portrayed as a leader with some semblance of subtlety and depth, while in the film he is nothing more than another cliché big brother type that has his talking head displayed on giant monitor screens.

The film aims to be more action asked than its source material, a decision which was highly unnecessary, as it distracts from the story. For example there’s an action sequence at the beginning of the film that lasts longer than it did in the book, and while this doesn’t slow the pace of the story too much, it is still unfitting because this sequence lasted a page in the comic, but about 3 minutes in the film. With all that aside the action is still well directed and some of the set pieces are entertaining.

A strong point about the film is its soundtrack. Its features music such as Tchaikovsky’s 1812 overture and has the rolling stones song street fighting man playing over the end credits. The music is relevant to the films theme and story and adds something good to the film.

Overall I found this film to be a good film that has themes of revolution, power, and freedom, but as an adaptation I personally found it to be a complete mess. The film only kept a basic outline of the original concept, and I personally found that it didn’t encourage the same level of thinking towards its themes in the same way the graphic novel did. The moral ambiguity of the comic is an important part of how the audience perceives the characters and their actions as well as their beliefs, and since their moral ambiguity is partially absent form the film, its means that the themes that the film is carrying over from the book do not always translate in the way they were intended to be.

To those who haven’t read the comic, the film will work and its themes can resonate with the viewer, but to a fan of the graphic novel the response could be fairly mixed, as some will like the new direction taken by the film, while others will not. I highly recommend reading the graphic novel first if you want to see both interpretations of the story. But to those who don’t, the film is still watchable.The films themes will appeal to many and the film does have some truly memorable moments which make it worthy of watching.

Alone In The Dark film review

Boring, forgettable, poorly made and just a very poor adaptation of the video games. This movie aims to please no one.

Alone in the dark, is the 2005 action/horror film based on the ‘Alone in the dark’ video game series.
This film is directed by Uwe Boll, someone who is known as one of the worst directors of all time, along with Ed Wood.

The film plot (as identified by the 5 minute opening text that was added when the test audience complained about the films stupid and confusing narrative) is about an ancient race called the Abkani, and how they opened a path to a dark world which allowed a bunch of monsters into our world.

The film starts with paranormal investigator Edward Carnby (Christian Slater) returning home after finding an Abkani object. While on his way home he is attacked by an unknown man who appears to be after Edward’s artefact. After a boring and unimaginative fight scene Edward dispatches of the mysterious attacker who appeared to be able to survive multiple gunshots for unknown reason at this point in time.
Edward is then involved in a plot involving the Abkani, monsters, a mad scientist, and his childhood in an orphanage which was home to many experiments on the children there, and to be honest this is where the movie really suffers, its story,

It’s convoluted , hard to follow and down right stupid, to the point where the mindless action seems to be more of a story than the films narrative itself.
It gets to the point where the plot is so poorly written that the audience is literally ‘alone in the dark’.
The performances are terrible, especially Tara Reid as Edward’s explorer friend Aline Cedric, who does not seem to try at all. Another interesting thing about her character is that she is supposed to be a smart and scientific character. Director Uwe Boll’s way of making the audience believe this is by making her wear a pair of glasses, and as we all know anyone who wears glasses has to be smart and brainy right ?
Tara Reid already has no credibility in being this supposedly smart character so the glasses certainly are a waste of a prop, and time
Another problem is the action. It’s just a mess of gunfire and explosions with the occasional rock music filling in for most of the scenes audio. As a whole the action is boring, and nothing above average. This film is supposed to be a horror as well but I did not get scared once or even closely to becoming scared. The only dawning horror I felt was watching this awful movie.

It also has no connection whatsoever to the video games it is supposed to be based on.
The only thing left in this adaptation are some of the characters (about 2) from the games themselves. The games were inspired by the works of H.P. Lovecraft, but none of that potential makes its way into this film.

Overall this movie is loud, obnoxious, boring, unentertaining and just down right terrible. Bad acting, bad direction and bad movie action makes this possibly one of the worst films of all time.

This film belongs in a cesspit and not in your DVD collection.
This move has no good points, not one, and leaves you unentertained .
The movie crashes and burns a mere 10 minutes in (5 minutes for narration and another 5 for a lousy car chase).

Do not see ‘Alone in the dark.
Do not buy it.
But if you want to see how bad it is (like I did) you can get some good unintentional laughs out of its awfulness, and that’s about it.

Inception film review

                                                                                     Video Review

Inception is the 2010 science fiction action film written, produced and directed by Christopher Nolan.

I will start by saying that this film is phenomenal in its craft, its ambition and its directing, it is a thrilling concept that offers incredible action sequence but also offers a thought provoking story and narrative that really makes you think about the ideas it portrays. The action and story narrative is perfectly blended and incorporated so that one aspect does not overshadow the other. It is always great to see a film that has exiting sequences while maintaining a clever, philosophical, and a intriguing exploration into its ideas and concepts.

Inception follows the character of Dom Cobb who is a unique type of thief called an extractor, an extractor is someone who can enter another’s unconscious mind and explore their dreams in order to find certain things that are hidden within their thoughts. Don Cobb is given the chance to go home to his children in America who he has been isolated from as long as he does one important thing, which is to carry out an inception. An inception is the opposite of extraction, instead of extracting an idea he has to plant one. It is a dangerous and risky job but Dom accepts the job in order to see his children again. But later on things become much more dangerous as Dom Cobb has his own personal demons In his own mind and dreams, as well as his goal being guarded with obstructions that threaten the entire operation and quite possibly him and his extractor teams life.

That is just a basic premise of the story but it is a lot more complex and full of depth than that, I cant mention much more without spoiling the plot completely. The story is an intriguing and character driven journey that is filled with many great set pieces, story’s arcs and themes. Christopher Nolan knows how to write a great script and it really shines through. It was proved with the Dark Knight that he can create a real world Batman story filled by real world themes and ethic character driven situations that create a new type of comic book film, and it is proved with his film that even his own original ideas are just as fresh and ambitious as his previous films. He offers a surreal but clever idea of how a dream can work and the realities of that dream, the way dreams are structured and created and most importantly how they can be explored.

The films cast do a great job of portraying there characters, each with different personalities and roles that contribute to the story. it’s the journey of the characters that plays a big factor in the film.

The action sequences in this film are amazing. Superbly directed and filmed, and made exciting and thrilling with gun fights, car chases and close combat that offer great action set pieces. Christopher Nolan clearly knows how to direct even the most complex action scenes with great pace and detail.

The music by Hans Zimmer creates great Atmosphere that accompany the films theme of dreams and its surreal ideas.

The special effects are filled with scale and depth with cgi being used very well in order to create sequences of incredible design and imagination.

Overall this film is an incredible experience with a story that offers so many questions and themes that can be analysed and discussed. Action is exiting and thrilling, and its characters have depth and development. It is one of those films that makes you think and challenges you with it bold and ambitious concepts and ideas. Its writing is inspired and fresh and its production has a great deal of thought put into it.

Inception is one of those films that challenges our perception of things which is in this case dreams, it shows us a complex and surreal concept that explores the notion of a dream and how one simple idea spreads like a Bactria or a virus and when that idea is fully developed and fully understood it will never leave the mind. Dom Cobb is a very interesting character with great motivations and personal traits that I wont spoil as they are a big part of the story. The films perfect mix of action, character motivations and philosophy make it one of the best films of the year.

Predators film review

                                                                                                                                 Video Review

Predators is the 2010 horror action sci film directed by Nimrod Antal and produced by Robert Rodriguez. It is a true sequel to the films Predator 1 and Predator 2.

The story of this film starts with a group of human characters that range from mercenaries to doctors finding them selves on a strange planet that they have no knowledge of. Upon exploring the strange world they soon realise that they are not alone and are being hunted by the planets hostile inhabitants. The group have to adapt to survive and try to outwit what is hunting them .

First off I will say that this film is defiantly not a bad film or a bad sequel, its characters are interesting, its action is exiting and well directed, and the special effects are well used . The story is simple and it takes the franchise back to its classic beginnings that the first 2 entry’s established, this is defiantly a true and worthy sequel to Predator 1 and Predator 2.

The film features a classic predator soundtrack with classic predator action and effects that make the film feel like a natural part of the film franchise. All the bad ideas and continuity from the Alien Vs Predator films have been abolished making the film a true and original Predator film that offers new thrills. A great part of the film in my opinion is the music, its classic predator with all the familiar riffs and music cues including a few new ones that bring back that Predator film feeling in all its iconic glory. The film features many references to the original films that are great to see and hear. The choice of music during the ending credits was also interesting and a nice idea as well as a funny reference to the first film.

The action was thrilling and brutal just like the original, plenty of bullets and gore to entertain those who like action. The inclusion of the use of a Gatling gun was a funny reference to the originals iconic shooting into the jungle scene. Despite its 15 rating the film does not push back on violence like the Alien Vs Predator films did which is a good choice and kept the classic violence from the originals intact.

The performances from the main cast was very good, especially Adrian Brodys character Royce who was a great protagonist and a gear character just like the protagonists portrayed by Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny Glover in the originals. Each character has a different story that creates a varied group of characters just like the commando team in the original predator.

The use of practical effects and natural environments was brilliant and offered a classic and authentic feel. Animatronics are mostly used but the occasional CGI is used as well, although its only used at the right moments where it needed creating a great balance between natural effects and artificial effects that still feel like a classic Predator movie.

Overall this film was defiantly a great film and sequel, it has the classic Predator feel and design to it that offers a bold and exiting new entry into the classic film franchise.

Clash Of The Titans film review

Clash Of The Titans is as shallow and uninspired a film can get, all it is an hour and 50 minutes of CGI, terrible character development, and a main character so uninteresting and pointless that he might as well be a card board cut out. The film is directed by Louis Leterrier and stars Sam Worthington as Perseus, Liam Neeson as Zeus and Ralph Fiennes as Hades. There are more characters but they honestly get barely any screen time, Danny Huston for example plays Poseidon and he only gets 1 line, no seriously one line, in the original film he was at least a supporting character. All the actors and actresses portraying the gods appear to be mute for the entire movie as they do absolutely nothing to advance the plot or even help the movie for that matter. I mean why would you get all these people, dress them up like prats and then make them gawp at the camera for most of the movie, Its not interesting or resourceful, that money used to pay those people could have been spent on a better movie experience. The film is a remake of the Ray Harryhausen produced classic that was released in 1981, and I can easily say that after watching the original I personally think that the original is a far superior film, the original has all the things that the remake lacks such as character development, a solid motivation for each character, a interesting and diverse cast of characters, and a much more inspired production. The original was great on it own and their was no need for this modern Hollywood turd of a movie.

Does the movie industry have no original ideas now, all it is remakes and the occasional direct to DVD sequel. We need much more creative film making than this, im finding my self watching classics of the past just to watch a good movie, films such as the Akira Kurosawa samurai movies, or the Sergio Leone spaghetti westerns. Films that actually went down in history as something to be remembered and honoured, but now what do we have, Twilight , High School Musical, all this pointless and meaning less junk that floods the film scene and turns the movie goer experience into a raving nightmare of musical numbers and melodramatic vampire romances, what happened to movies they just stopped becoming entertaining. Its thanks to people like Quinton Tarintino that films are still somewhat what fresh as he is a director who pays homage’s to all the classic films of our time, from the westerns, to the samurai movie, to the revenge flick, to the pulp crime stories of the past. Watch pulp fiction or kill bill or even reservoir dogs and you will witness the greatness of film history that is now days overshadowed by the current idea of a movie. All this vampire obsession is turning into a genre I like to call Vamploitation. Its where you take the idea of the vampire and try to exploit the success of the twilight franchise in order to make a quick profit.

Any way the plot of Clash Of The Titans goes like this, Zeus conceives the character of Perseus with mortal which makes Perseus a demigod, Perseus and his mother are cast away as outcasts because of this and are set adrift is a casket in to the ocean. They are later found by a couple who after realising the mother is dead decide to adopt him as their own( reminds me of Superman). Mean while people are angry at the Gods which makes the Gods respond by killing many people. Perseus now an adult is fishing with his family until they are killed by the means of Hades. This angers Perseus and makes him set out for revenge on the Gods. Meanwhile on mount Olympus Hades plans to over throw the current Gods by tricking Zeus into releasing the Gods greatest weapon the Kraken in order to destroy cities and kill in order to create despair and darkness, which makes Hades Stronger. After a while Perseus comes across soldiers who he joins to help stop the Kraken that will soon be released, which if it does will claim the life of the requested sacrifice Princess Andromeda. This sets them off on a quest for Medusas head which along the way involves giant CGI scorpions and tons of unforgettable and unoriginal characters.

While my brief synopsis is not very easy to follow that’s because the movie is not easy to follow, it’s one of the few times I have seen such a shallow movie have such a complex and confusing narrative. They have changed so much from the original in ways that it completely destroys many plot points form the original that were necessary to the overall experiences. For example in the original Andromeda is Perseus’s main reason for embarking on this quest, but in this movie Andromeda is now a simple and barely mentioned plot device that in a strange way acts as a secondary motivation that’s barely expanded on. You don’t feel like this character exists as she is barely featured, it mostly focuses on a new character created for the film that wasn’t in the original called Lo. Lo is the replacement for Andromeda in the quest for Medusas head and does nothing new to the film or even becomes an interesting character. There’s a scene where she is killed and I didn’t even care because I didn’t fell connected to this barely mentioned, and waste of a character. You didn’t care when she was dead because like most of the characters in this film there practically dead anyway since they don’t do anything for the film, I almost expected them to be CGI as well because surely no one would pay an actress just to mysteriously stare into the camera using her most bland facial expression. And the funny thing is that’s practically what they did, I mean why bother with all these character if all their going to do is die or speak uninspired dialogue. My favourite character trait in this movie is Hades since he speaks with this raspy wheezy voice as if he just smoked a whole pack a cigarettes. The idea of Gods smoking is a strange but compelling image because even Gods need to relax after a hard days work of committing genocide to the race they helped create. And for some reason all the Gods apart form Hades wear this really shinny armour which makes them look like vampires in the sunlight or something, also it looks ridiculous I mean even a rock group wouldn’t wear stuff like that on stage it just makes the Gods seem like walking headlights. I recommend wearing shades so that you don’t lose your eye sight to the Gods destructive shinny armour. Also I think some of the actors playing the Gods have fake beards which is possibly the worst costume choice I have ever seen, well apart from the eye exploding radioactive armour that the Gods wear.

I will now talk about the action sequences in this movie and also about how bad some of them are. There is a scene where they fight these giant scorpions that lasts what feels like a decade of dramatic set pieces and people getting thrown across the screen as if they were made of paper, its absolute chaos, pillars are smashed people are killed swords fly all over the place as if they having a seizure. And while all this was happening I realised something, the 3d effect was barely used in scenes that could have utilised it perfectly, what’s the point of converting this film into 3d if your not going to create exiting 3d set pieces. On the subject of the 3d in this movie all I can say is that’s its down right pointless, I saw it in 3d to get a better movie experience( strangly enough I was exited to see this movie before I realised it was a turd biscuit). Any way the 3d is no Avatar experiences, the reason is because the film was not filmed using James Cameron’s 3d camera technology meaning it was converted to 3d after the film has finished production. This choice was made because of the success of Avatar and its 3d. Anyway the action is mindless point less and incredibly over the top for a Greek mythology themes movie.

The acting is terrible, these characters are not given any personality or any interesting performances and this makes the characters nothing more than devices used for the sole purpose of action sequences and poor writing. Perseus is such a bland character compared to Harry Hamlin’s portrayal of the character in the original film. All Perseus does in this movie is kill things and that’s about it. While the other characters are their to either be killed or to make really bad attempts at comedy. You could easily make the film with hand puppets and static images and it would still be the same movie, that’s how bad and pointless the performances are in this movie.

And the choice of music is just ridiculous, it uses a remix of a rock song………in a Greek mythology setting, are you kidding me, that makes no sense because it does not fit the movies theme or ideas, what kind of crack were they smoking when they decided on that music choice. The imagery in this movie can be good at times but most times it looks like they took too much inspiration from lord of the rings and decided to just use the same environment.

Overall this movie actually baffled me because it was a good example of what a modern Hollywood piece of crap it actually was. It blew the lid of the crap barrel and reached a solid 10 on the diarrhoea meter (ironically diarrhoea is a Greek word ). This movie made me think about how movies today rely on style over substance and completely offer no sense of depth or creativity. Watch the original it has more depth and creativity than this movie. The original features a great cast, great visual effects by Ray Harryhausen which are done mostly with stop motion animation which I find to be one of the best practical ways of creating the monsters for the film. The original is a more complete experience and a much more compelling one as well. These remakes are getting out of control and they seem to get more popular over time which offers the question what other classics are going to be remade? And should you see the originals first, defiantly see the originals first as you will find no matter how old or how outdated the classics may be they still shine through movie history with films such as the original The Day The Earth Stood Still or even films such as the original Nightmare On Elm Street. The classics are always usually better than their modern day counterparts. Overall I recommend the original Clash Of The Titans and not the 2010 remake. After seeing this film I started seeing other films deemed classics, films such as the samurai movie Yojimbo directed by Akira Kurosawa and western such as The Good The Bad And The Ugly directed by Sergio Leone, now those are movies. The remake of Clash Of The Titans is a perfect example of a film in which the original is still a classic even till this day.

Pulp Fiction Review/Analysis

Quinton Tarintino’s 1994 film Pulp Fiction still holds up today as a modern classic. Its non linear storytelling and compelling characters offer an experience that’s unique and interesting. The films writing and direction is brilliant right from the start, as Tarintino’s witty dialogue and brilliant cast are brought together with fantastic results.

The films storys are a trilogy of shorts that all link into each other in some way. Story 1 deals with Vince Vega being given the job of taking a crime boss’s wife out to dinner, story 2 deals with a heavy weight boxer refusing to take a dive and taking the dive money anyway, and story 3 deals with an accidental bullet to the head and the need to then dispose of the body.

The storys seem simplistic from a glance but once viewed up close are actually fairly deep and often allegorical in nature. A great example of this is the boxer’s story, called The Golden Watch. The Golden Watches main theme is honour, honour that is represented with a watch that was passed down from people who fought in wars and all valued the watch. The stories central character called Butch is as much a warrior as his previous relatives were, as they were soldiers when owning the watch. The entire story plays out like a war, with Tarintino cleverly and subtlety portraying scenes as if they were metaphorical war zones, ranging from sneaking through a hole in a fence, to the sound of radio chatter and airplanes flying overhead.

(image above) The fence looks very similar to barbed wire.


  (image left) Butch goes through a hole in a fence as if infiltrating an enemy stronghold.

Each story has their own theme. There are technically 5 stories in total, but one of them acts as an introduction, introducing 2 hit man characters that are part of the film main cast, and the other acts as an epilogue that follows on from the films very first scene in which a couple plan to rob a dinner. The 5 stories all have a theme in common, with the themes following as judgement, loyalty, honour, respect, and finally redemption. This set of themes are practically religious in nature, with the one of the films main characters, called Jules encouraging the religious symbolism even more with his observations on the subject.
One of the films most talked about aspects is what is the contents of a briefcase that Vince and Jules were set out to retrieve. It has been debated over the years, and according to an early script the contents was going to be diamonds. But in the final film a gold glow was added and can be seen shinning out of the brief case as it is opened so that only the films characters can see what’s inside. People have speculated that this almost god like glow( there’s that religious subtext again) is what people want to see when they look inside. For example, Vince see’s drugs, since he is a frequent drug user, Jules see’s enlightenment, something he has been seeking, and one of the robbers see’s money, the thing they are after.
 (image above) Vince looks into the briefcase

Overall, Quentin Tarintino’s Pulp Fiction is an entertaining, deep, and brilliantly performed piece of cinema that is possibly Tarintino’s best film so far. It uses simplistic pulp crime stories as a basic outline for its many themes and references, and the final result is certainly a good one.

Thursday, 30 June 2011

Transformers Dark Of The Moon REVIEW / RANT (Possibly one of the worst films of the year so far)

Transformers Dark Of The Moon is a perfect example of what happens when you give a 46 year old man child 195 million dollars to make a movie. The film is an 155 minute long mess of explosions, card board cut out characters, and bad comedy skits that disrupt the pace of the film is favour of getting a few cheap laughs with its human characters.

The films story is almost an exact replica of the story that the previous two films had, and its human characters are once again focused on more than the transformers themselves, making them secondary characters in their own bloody movie. For the first hour and a half all the film does is focus primarily on its human cast. It isn’t until the 2 hour mark that the final act quickens the pace and leads into a unsatisfying conclusion where it appears that every single Michael bay movie makes some kind of cameo.
The characters are still just as annoying as they were before, except this time we have more of them. For example there’s a new character called Jerry Wang……….and he nicknames himself…Deep Wang……I am dead serious. And he repeats that name about 3 times, while at the same time straddling a character in a bath room stall and announcing his name as Deep Wang. I mean come on you cant honestly tell me that the writer thought that this was funny, calling someone Deep Wang, oh and the characters Chinese so that the Wang name sounds somewhat plausible. Although I would imagine many people would be offended by that name choice, especially if they are Chinese.

They get Leonard Nimoy of Spock fame to do the voice of one of the Transformers, and at the same time reference Spock as many times as they can just to remind you he was Spock. But the most insulting thing is that they make his character say an iconic line form Star Trek 2 The Wrath Of Kahn and take away its context. The line in question is “the needs of the many out weigh the needs of the few”, a line that is spoken randomly by Nimoy’s character on the spot in this film just so that it could be another Spock reference.
Another insulting aspect of this film is its use of referencing disasters and using them as a way of visually portraying symbolism. For example in the film a shuttle explodes, and it is shown in a way that mimics the destruction of the challenger space shuttle in 1986. 9/11 is also prominently referenced, with the final action sequence taking place in a destroyed Chicago which is described as being ground zero by one of the characters.

The film also doesn’t know what tone its portraying. In parts of the film there are people being turned to dust and then in other parts we have comedic moments where someone is being straddled in a toilet by someone called Deep Wang.

The films final act is just a load of redundant explosions and CGI that is surprisingly uninteresting, and the films ends without properly concluding the trilogy as a whole. Michael Bay has stated that this is the last film in the series, but yet it doesn’t end as if it is, it just ends with no proper form of epilogue. I got thrown of guard by the end credits because of how inconclusive it seemed, I was just sitting there watching the ending then all of a sudden DIRECTED BY MICHAEL BAY crashed onto screen without any sign of a proper ending.

This was more a rant than a review, but in all honestly the film is really terrible. It’s a slight improvement over Transformers Revenge Of The Fallen, but barely. One scene that was particularly pointless was a scene where someone fires this grappling hook into a transformers eye, only to be swung about as the transformer stumbles around in a comedic manner. Eventually a marine grabs onto the other guys legs telling him to let go of the wire, while the other guy refuses by going nooo nnnnnooooo no no nnnnoooo in the same way he always says no in the other films. This goes on for about 3 minutes before he finally lets go, and then 30 seconds later the transformer finally explodes from a bomb planted on it. The mini script for this scene is basically “let go of the wire” “no” “let go of the wire” “no” “let go of the wire” “no”. imagine that for 3 minutes combined with a transformer stumbling about going “my eye” “my eye” “my eye”.

Also the patriotic nature of the film is pretentious and laughable. For example in the final scene of the film there is a tattered American flag blowing in the wind in clear view, and the patriotic attitude of the characters is hilarious. There’s a scene where the troops are being addressed with the standard cliché “ were not promising you will make it back” speech, and a soldiers reply to it is “ they attacked America…….of course were going to help”. I have never seen the US military dramatised is such a way since the OORAH! Heavy weapons military from Avatar.

In conclusion the film is an insult to the mind. They cast a model with no acting experience in a leading role, and didn’t even attempt to make her character anything more than a cardboard cut out. They try and make her character seem somewhat intelligent, in one scene they give her a file of documents and a pair of glasses in an effort to portray her as someone who isn’t a moron. The glasses then disappear after this scene is over and she never wears them again. I have looked at other people's reviews in which the reviewer said that people were applauding when the film was over, applauding? Are you joking?, is this really what the art of film making has come to?. The story is terrible, The characters lack any form of depth, the comedy over shadows the story and the characters, and people applauded?, and this wasn’t any old kind of applause, this was a standing ovation, unbelievable.

Its thanks to directors and writers like Quentin Tarintino and Christopher Nolan that talent in films is still strong, and that the quality of films still has a standard in a market saturated with films as bad as Transformers Dark Of The Moon. And another thing, 155 minutes?, are you telling me that Transformers Dark Of The Moon had a story so good that it needed to be told in 155 minutes?, really?…..really?. If you really want to watch a robot themed film, go watch Terminator 2 Judgement Day, trust me, its much better.