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Blog // Thoughts
August 1, 2006

Multiple Micro Movie Reviews – Part Two

Good Night and Good Luck – Wore it‚Äôs contemporary polemic a little too obviously, but still critically engaging. Taken along with the excellent but overlooked Fail Safe, it forms a growing corpus of post-cold war critical works that reflect on the present by seeing how current events were foreshadowed in the recent past. A must […]

Good Night and Good Luck РWore it’s contemporary polemic a little too obviously, but still critically engaging. Taken along with the excellent but overlooked Fail Safe, it forms a growing corpus of post-cold war critical works that reflect on the present by seeing how current events were foreshadowed in the recent past. A must see for those interested in media ethics.

5×2 – Dark but wonderfully revealing story about a failed marriage. Like Memento the story telling device both wears thin and becomes restricting. However, the thrust of the film, that relationships make more sense when told backwards and that blame and failure are seldom what they seem was well made.

Hotel Rwanda РI expected so much and it failed to deliver. Such a wonderful and powerful story was crippled by the way it was dumbed down (it was like Schindler’s List in Africa!). As the film unfolded I kept wondering, who is this film aimed at; surely no-one is unaware of the history here? Anyway, the DVD redeems itself with two documentaries about the making of the film and the return of Paul Rusesabagina to the scene of the original story. THAT was really moving and powerful stuff.

The Constant Gardener РVisually stunning but poor for all the same reasons that so many hollywood issue movies are poor. The final revelation was no revelation at all and in the end you are left with nothing but limp characters and well composed images. Good if you want a facile non-demanding rant against globalization and “evil” multinationals, but if that is your thing you hardly need a platform to rant from, do you? Then again, if you liked the English Patient, you will probably think it is wonderful.

Saw II – Grim, dark and uneasy viewing. However, that is compensated by an interesting, if a little too predictable treatment on the idea of “the unexamined life is not worth living.” The problem with being a thinking person’s horror movie is that, in the end, it is still just a horror movie. But, if you can stomach the opening scene, it is worth a look.

Serenity – The film that should not be from the TV series that almost never was is a riveting piece of thoughtful sci-fi. Space as a western frontier is a theme borrowed from other works, but developed with freshness here. The ensemble is strong, the dialogue zippy (Whedon does it again) and the plot moves enough to keep the interest. Obviously you will care more about the characters if you saw the TV show Firefly, but that is not a prerequisite. Lots of religious and ethical themes to consider here in one of the most interesting sci-fi films in a long time.

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