Monday, January 11, 2021

Fahrenheit 451 (1966)

The message of Fahrenheit 451 is that the end of books is the end of philosophy. If this movie is any indication, cinema plays an equal role in dumbing everyone down. Just as characters in the film are manipulated by news broadcasts, reality programs, and sports, the audience is lulled into a sense of mundane, everyday occurrence.

The director was not able to create a feeling of urgency, making totalitarian censorship look like your local trash service. In this way, the film encourages literacy, urging people to read the book rather than watch the mediocre movie adaptation.

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Sunday, June 21, 2020

The Last Days on Mars (2013)

The Last Days on Mars is a mid-size action sci-fi film in the typical niche of such fare, a niche which this critic is no stranger to. We used to call them “summer movies”. Now they’re called historical artifacts.

Zombies are once again on Mars. Terraforming hasn’t happened yet, and the space suits actually look like they work. Space zombies presented as hard science may be a hard sell for some people, but if you want to see the details of the space zombie fungus, the Mars habitats, and all the other cool space visuals, this movie was made for you.

2013 was a strange year for film.

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Monday, April 6, 2020

Shin Godzilla シンセイキ・ゴジラ (2016)

It’s impossible to be an edgy hipster filmmaker without making a few enemies, so how Anno Hideaki succeeded at anything is a mystery, but the world is glad he did.

The original Godzilla movie was a parable about the experience and effects of invasion. What this parable represents is so fundamental to Japanese culture that by now, Godzilla is passe, even schlock. You’ve probably seen clips of the ridiculous battles between rubber suit performers in the Godzilla sequels. The franchise is out of control.

Anno-sensei knows this, which is why Neon Genesis Shin Godzilla is not about the drama of a giant lizard, but the process of dealing with the giant lizard. It’s the smartest possible approach to the franchise, and as is usually the case with this caliber of talent, it’s a masterpiece.

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Monday, August 19, 2019

The Machine (2013)

Still reeling from the catastrophe that was Alita: Battle Angel, I decided to revisit a festival darling from 2013. Like Alita, The Machine stars a sexy robochick, and like Chappie, it pulls no punches. Unlike Alita and Chappie, this movie doesn’t suck.

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Sunday, August 4, 2019

The Tangle (2019)

I recently had the pleasure of viewing The Tangle at a film festival several times. It’s a near-future post-singularity murder mystery. Beyond the logline, it’s a deep examination of mankind.

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