Category Archives: Film

the Hunger Games

A great film to hit our screen this past week is Hunger Games, a great little adventure flick jam packed with social commentary, political comparisons and a good old fashioned tale of survival and morality and how the two may clash when they meet.
Now, as the film begins you learn that the land has been stricken with a massive famine that send the outreaches, or twelve districts out of the city, into revolt. There actions are defeated and are forgiven on one condition. That each year each district will “donate” one boy and one girl to partake in a battle to the death with each other. A sort of – twenty four people enter, one person leaves – typed vibe. The concept immediately took me back to the 2000 film “Battle Royale” where all the naughty kids were brought to one island and forced to kill each other. The last one standing survives. The difference in concept is that Hunger Games is so heavily based on the importance or the power of reality television whereas Battle Royale was rather chaotic in it’s depiction of trying to regain order to a generation lacking respect and purpose.
So if what is the film trying to say about reality tv and our passion for watching?
First it speaks to capitalism, and how if something is profitable in a capitalistic world then it must not only be done but exploited to the maximum too. This begs the question, if it were not profitable would it be done at all? If a rhino’s horn was worthless would they still be killed? And at what point does morality out way cash?
Second, it speaks to uncontrollable urge to watch even if we know we shouldn’t. It’s driving past a car accident, hoping no one is hurt but still looking at the ordeal to see if you can spot a lifeless body. We have a desire to look, however in this case our desire to look keeps the game in play and in turn twenty three teenagers will die. So at what point is our urge to watch partly responsible for the demise in societal morality?
Third, the film depicts the game as a sport. Testing the might of the poor districts against each other. So if the game is merely a sport what are the cameras? Why is watching each second any more important than just knowing the outcome?
To spite all the thinking one can do throughout the film about the world, politics, desires, animosity, capitalism and dominance, it is still a very cool film to watch. The action is raw and thrilling. The emotions are baser yet profound. The world in which the story takes place is amazing, like a circus, with wild colours and outlandish costumes. Packed with great performances from Jenniferr Lawrence as Katnis Everdeen, the strong willed, brave and level headed heroin of the story. Backing her up is her mentors Haymitch (Woody Harrelson), Effie (in Elizabeth Banks most unrecognizable role) and Cinna (Lenny Kravitz).
The love story was a total yawn festival, and the ending was completely ridiculous. I mean the idea of making all this commentary about capitalism and then leaving the ending so open ended, begging for a sequel… The whole thing just reeks of capitalism. But for now, enjoy the fun futurist adventure flick Hunger Games before it becomes a sappy teen romance wank, and even hearing the name Hunger Games sends your stomach into a fit.

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Mirror Mirror

Mirror Mirror on the wall… I see a double yawn!

This was my initial response to the idea of making the classic Snow White and the Seven dwarfs into a film with over the top costumes and a childish approach to the story. In fact I was more than pleasantly surprised when I learned that the camp story was pushed to the max in order to bring the ever so subtle satire behind the dialogue to life.

Don’t let this one fool you, it’s a good laugh – and for all the right reasons.

The story starts off with an awesome little animation, to spite Julia Roberts infamous voice that breaks that suspension of disbelief, nonetheless I was hooked. Roberts pulls off a great performance as the deeply sarcastic evil queen, which transcends the tired story of an evil queen into one of a timeless tv show villain we all love to hate.
Nathan lane as the henchman – too good. His camp behavior is a far cry from the scary puppet who bends over backwards to please his evil queen. And again, the story manages to take the idea of the henchman and give him a fresh face.
Snow white – who on first appearance one thinks is this Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs or Frida and the Seven Dwarfs, as her eyebrows are rather distracting – becomes a really wonderful character as she tries to fight back, giving a little bit more strength to that silly damsel in distress look.
One might think that the eye candy in the film will stem from the Prince but oh how wrong one would be for thinking like that. And cue my new little man-crush. One of the seven dwarfs called Wolf is so sexy. Damn that little man made me salivate and that was way before he exposed his beefy chest. Granted, I am a sucker for a beard but this little man is packed with muscle power that you too will find yourself thinking… I wonder what shagging a small he-man would be like? Kinda like having a horny smurf going at your body like a miniature power tool…

All in all, it’s a fun little film packed with great lines that are guaranteed a giggle, outfits that sparkle and amaze, and a cast worth watching till the end. So if you are in the mood for something lite and fun… And if you are one f those peeps that finds Julia Roberts funny, then this one is for you. But remember what film it is, family, so too early a viewing might include too many kids, too late a viewing might have too many adults. So go catch it with a blend of young and old to bring the magic of Mirror Mirror to life.

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The Protagonist

I stumbled onto this documentary called “The Protagonist” by Jessica Yu which I really had no idea what to expect. Without going into research mode and trying to find out more about the film I simply began watching. As it starts out we are introduced to two rather effeminate men so I immediately think it is going to be a gay doccie about battling our own personal demons but as the story moves along we find out that there are four characters. A self hating homosexual, an effeminate boy raised in a non violent home, a soft boy raised in a violent home and a boy who develops into a violent political guerilla.
Now the interesting point is that they are all very different people but there emotional connections to the choices they made in their own personal steps of life are identical. Son what I really enjoyed about this was the deeper look into us as men and what drives us to be what we want to be in the eyes of other men.
If you follow the men’s stories you will find how some facts contribute to two men (at least, sometimes all four) making a decision based on that fact, only different choices with different effects yet the same outcome. For instance, the homosexual man and the man that stabs his father in the neck (the soft boy in a violent home), both men are raised under strict religious conditions. The homosexual turns to God to “cure” his homosexuality and the other man turns away from God as he battles the idea of feeling good about defending himself and stabbing his father. The effect, they both become very destructive to people around them. The one trying to convince other gays they are sinners and the other terrorizing people in bank robberies. The end, they were both torturing themselves.
If you get the chance to watch this, go for it.

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Remaking History for the Youth?

2011 just kinda swooped right passed my nose without a single horror film to rant and rave about. With that said, however, i do believe some magic came out of the art house sector of filmmaking in terms of horror. “We Need to Talk About Kevin” is a drama in essence but pushed to the max when it comes to the real life horror of regret, remorse and reevaluation of ones own choices in life. It’s a representation of a horror kid and the mother that made him so. And although the film is remarkable it is not really a “scary” movie. The horror lies in the real emotion behind horrific events and definitely worth a viewing for all horror fans.
“The Innkeepers” managed to slip in to my viewing schedule and I was not pleasantly surprised, rather, my expectations were met. The story is a bit of a drag, and some of the sub-plot seems a little retarded but I was scared out of my pants. The simplistic attitude for the horror figure shook me to my core. And although the old man scared the he’ll out of me, how she landed up in the basement (again) is a little unfeasible, so while the scariest moment was happening I was almost lost just because I don’t believe she would have gone back down into the basement – unless she is just a dumb ass bitch, which I did not get. I liked the character, so needless to say the end disappointed me.
Another almost great film is “The Woman”. A cool little film on dominance, male dominance and trying to crack the whip of control. The story sucks you in with all the characters having some sort of interesting underlying message but when it comes to the end the filmmakers kinda went for gore over a coherent story. In all the mayhem of the film’s climatic ending the audience is left very disjointed from all that emotional ties to the characters and we are left with what? Swaying from side to side in a cradle of mediocrity, drifting down slowly towards an unfulfilling ground.
“The Human Centipede II” is so awful that I don’t want to talk about it. It’s really an uncomfortable to watch and from the bottom of my gut I would strongly recommend not viewing it at all. The imagery stains the brain in a very unnecessary way that I don’t want to complain about the film, rather just forget it.
And I will have quick rant about all the remakes. Most of them have sucked, some surpasses the original and I do believe the revenge films are hitting it on the mark. Revenge films are interesting plots mainly because you take a protagonist and you break them down to the point where revenge is all that is important. In so fact turning the protagonist into the antagonist and persuading the audience to root and cheer for the (revenge) killing. It does not follow a normal structure to story telling and the revenge films of the seventies, they are just better to watch now. The actors are better and the films have lost that stark bitterest unwatchable feeling. As far as “The Last House on the Left” and “I spit on your Grave” are concerned, I am of the opinion that the remakes are much much better. “I Spit…” manages to not “rape” the audience like the originals uncut version but manages to keep that hatred you feel for the men therefore making the revenge session feel like a thrilling roller coaster ride.

Here’s to a hopeful year of scary films.

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