Elysium

 

Elysium:

In a world divided, a working class civilian fights for his right to live by bringing equality to the lives of a vastly over populated and slummed down planet earth, from the wealthy elite who reside in a space station orbiting the ravaged earth.

Matt Damon’s character really doesn’t have anything special surrounding either his current state or even his barely touched on back story. His characters precipice merely exists to show the films expanded portrayal of poor healthcare due to overcrowded hospitals, exploitation of the working class as well as the dire flood of immigration.

Neill Blomkamp is phenomenally known for his realistic touch and portrayal of real world problems, emphasised throughout the beauty of which his films become. The South African Director is also best known for District 9 and Chappie, both profound Interpretations of South Africas historical and cultural neglect shown through dystopian science fictional portrayals.

Matt Damon’s character in Elysium placed to show portrayal of the very lower class shows the very realistic divide of which this world is unfortunately facing more and more each day as corporations and conglomerates vastly scavenge the world of everything they can get their hands on for profit. With the ever growing wealthy elite living on the outskirts of earth’s atmosphere, looking down on the barely inhabitable state of which they’ve left it in.

This action packed science fiction film has space travel, robots, ruthless mercenaries and a good old good versus evil plotline, with a rather bland character met by the redemption of fellow characters seeking the same goal, really helps make up for the lack of story line visage, but redeemed when focusing on the moral of the overall story.

All in all I would recommend this film due to its catastrophically satisfying visual design and the most realistic animation and computer generated effects I have ever seen. Culturally appropriate with regards to real world problems and their rather scary but accurate portrayal of what could possibly be.

Wonder Woman

 

Wonder Woman:

The new addition to the DC Extended Universe in which Diana, an Amazonian warrior princess, meets with the struggling conflict that lies beyond the sanctuary of her homeland. Choosing to side with an American spy (Chris Pine) once her homeland came under threat of the world war that was ravishing Europe,  Diana coalitions with a band of heroes to further rid the planet of the suspecting God Ares and bring peace at last, to the world.

From start to finish, you can’t deny the movies beauty can have you immersed in seconds, but the unfortunate addition of the plot, screenplay and pretty obvious “hidden” political agenda can have you almost gagging in regret. I for one will always defend that there should always be a female role model, hero and someone for all genders and backgrounds to look up to but the screenplays portrayal of DC Wonder Woman just throws a heavy handed feminist agenda straight into battle.

For reasons such as her character throughout previous comics and her not so well established back story may play a hand in the naivety once she is revealed to the outside world but unfortunately one woman with an unnatural ability, sparkly bracelets and Captain Americas Shield doesn’t hold up to be hero in my eyes.

By all means this movie meets the parameters of a cinematic adaptation of a comic book superhero but the unfortunate input from the director Patty Jenkins, who ironically left the production of a previous Thor film over “Creative Differences” which by watching Wonder Woman and seeing the previous film and collaboration she has had with previous struggling female characters, doesn’t surprise me in the slightest.

If you want a female hero, look at Ellen Ripley from Ridley Scott’ Alien, Sarah Connor from James Cameron’ Terminator Trilogy and even The Bride (Beatrix Kiddo) from Quintin Tarantino’ Kill Bill.

Wonder Woman:

The new addition to the DC Extended Universe in which Diana, an Amazonian warrior princess, meets with the struggling conflict that lies beyond the sanctuary of her homeland. Choosing to side with an American spy (Chris Pine) once her homeland came under threat of the world war that was ravishing Europe,  Diana coalitions with a band of heroes to further rid the planet of the suspecting God Ares and bring peace at last, to the world.

From start to finish, you can’t deny the movies beauty can have you immersed in seconds, but the unfortunate addition of the plot, screenplay and pretty obvious “hidden” political agenda can have you almost gagging in regret. I for one will always defend that there should always be a female role model, hero and someone for all genders and backgrounds to look up to but the screenplays portrayal of DC Wonder Woman just throws a heavy handed feminist agenda straight into battle.

For reasons such as her character throughout previous comics and her not so well established back story may play a hand in the naivety once she is revealed to the outside world but unfortunately one woman with an unnatural ability, sparkly bracelets and Captain Americas Shield doesn’t hold up to be hero in my eyes.

By all means this movie meets the parameters of a cinematic adaptation of a comic book superhero but the unfortunate input from the director Patty Jenkins, who ironically left the production of a previous Thor film over “Creative Differences” which by watching Wonder Woman and seeing the previous film and collaboration she has had with previous struggling female characters, doesn’t surprise me in the slightest.

If you want a female hero, look at Ellen Ripley from Ridley Scott’ Alien, Sarah Connor from James Cameron’ Terminator Trilogy and even The Bride (Beatrix Kiddo) from Quintin Tarantino’ Kill Bill.

Split

 

Split

Split premises around the study of monitoring the mental instability of the brain housing more than one personality. Dennis (played by James Mcavoy) is a patient under the study of said illness and soon becomes dangerous once a dominant personality kidnaps and holds hostage three unsuspecting teenagers.

Whilst watching the rather interesting development of James Mcavoys character portraying an overall number of twenty four personalities can be amusing as well as partially disturbing.

Once the more dominant personalities start displaying themselves throughout the film, the aura of the film definitely takes a turn towards a darker precipice.

M. Night. Shyamalan has once again thrown his infamous science fictional twist within this film, keeping up with his previous successors, The Sixth Sense and Signs. However, the extraordinary twist towards the ending reveals that only is this film geared up to the teeth awaiting a return at a later date with an even more raw personality, but the return of another infamous M. Night. Shyamalan character, with the mention of Mr Glass from previous film Unbreakable, revealing that Unbreakable is a standalone sequel to Split and that they are most definitely within the same universe.

Throughout this psychological horror, you will witness a rather different twist on a mental illness being implemented into a film, showing that even the same character can be the villain and the hero.

I personally found the film a fantastic representation of how mental illness has its own demons but there’s always a voice crying out in the background as the worst of it is taking centre stage. With mental illness being a very common found problem within 21st century culture, I believe many can see and understand the unfortunate representation shown throughout James Mcavoys performance. However the relation and almost mental understanding that Casey (played by Anya Taylor-Joy) has with one but possibly multiple different personalities that James Mcavoy portrays, is definitely an interesting factor to bare-in mind, even though argument could be made that Anya Taylor-Joys character could just be relating with the personalities in a bid to somehow befriend and escape but could also be another means of a deep and genuine understanding, if not connection between herself and the beast that is yet to arrive within James Mcavoys Character.

Shaun of the Dead

 

Shaun of the Dead

Two friends are caught facing a world changed as the human populous become ravaged, flesh craving zombies, struggling to save friends and family, a pub calls as refuge, seeing the apocalypse through.

Shaun of the Dead is a fantastic, British, black comedy starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost as they tough it out during a zombie apocalypse that shakes London and the rest of the world, bringing humour, classic rock ballads and foreshadowing to the extreme.

Shaun and Ed are just your typical barely middle aged, lifelong mates, sharing a house in the middle of London and facing your everyday challenges such as domestic issues, cranky roommates and just the annoyance that is growing up. Watching the progression of these two lovable characters show comical but also partially relatable reactions to the world turning into a frenzied cannibalistic all you can eat buffet.

Seeing Shaun’s character progress from an apathetic and a simply existing character, to taking charge and finding himself unlocking characteristics that well and truly came to the aid of those he’s leading to safety and seeing Ed’s character remain the nonchalant, similar apathetic character he was from the start, rose to the heroic aid of Shaun nearing the end.

Edgar Wright, also famously known for producing and directing the remaining films of the Cornetto Trilogy, Hot Fuzz, At Worlds End as well as the TV show Spaced, leaving an astounding portrayal of foreshadowing has myself and no doubt many other avid fans, more than satisfied. “You know what we should do tomorrow? Keep drinking. Have a Bloody Mary first thing. Get a bite at The King’s Head. Grab a couple at The Little Princess, stagger back here and bang! We’re up at the bar for shots. How’s that for a slice of fried gold?” Just that line there has to be my favourite line of foreshadowing I’ve ever experienced.

If you’re a fan of dark humour, the fantastic bromance of Nick Frost and Simon Pegg or just the amazing talents of the Artist that is Edgar Wright, I highly recommend this film to anyone considering.

Accepted

 

Accepted

Accepted has to be one of my all-time top favourite films, the progression of Justin Longs character from scraping the bottom of the barrel at High school, to the spontaneous promotion of being the founder of South Harmon Institute of Technology.

The Story of a high school failure Bartleby Gaines (Played by Justin Long) faces the struggling climb of reaching college, burdened by the constant flow of rejection letters and the disappointment of ones parents, Bartleby takes it into his own hands with the help of fellow struggling students, dire for a place, they take it into their own hands to create a fictional college, leading to the trickery of ones parents to starting a highly accomplished fictional college.

The character Bartleby Gaines (Played by Justin Long) inspires to me to no end. Regardless of having the confidence and sheer dumb-assery to create his very own fictional college and resorting to restore an old abandoned mental hospital and actually creating this fictional college a reality for not just himself but for hundreds of fellow young adults looking for a future and a feel of succession in a world where those who are so willingly able to try and never give up but to be shunned from society due to a piece of paper declaring them unable to fit in.

The way that director Steve Pink and writers Adam Cooper, Bill Collage and Mark Perez, collaborate to create the movie that is Accepted, is beyond phenomenal. The portrayal of struggling graduates applying for successful colleges within America and the never ending struggle that is the education system and it’s set rules that are so unjustifiable will always relate to the way the education system is ran within the UK and my own personal experiences throughout facing the torture and patronising way it’s performed.

Culturally, this film emphasises the amazing possibility that could be a whole new way of education, students teaching students, especially when it comes to cultural differences, states of mind and allowing the mind explore and define itself by choice and freedom, not by being held to a pre-planned curriculum and meeting standards already set, just to have zero gain once you leave to be hopefully accepted into torment that is a corporate consumerist existence.

Blade Runner 2049

 

Blade Runner 2049

Blade Runner 2049 is the continuation and sequel to the original Blade Runner film released in 1982, a futuristic neo-noir science fiction/fantasy film, following K, (played by Ryan Gosling) a Blade Runner that hunts down and retires rogue Replicants, comes across the buried body of a Replicant which appears to have given birth, following this apparent impossible phenomenon, K’s superior, in a desperate attempt to silence any knowledge of this escaping, sends K on a mission to retire this naturally birthed Replicant child. However not all goes to plan once the plot thickens and K is left questioning his entire existence and not just what, but who he actually is.

Blade Runner 2049 impacted me on an emotional level, solely from an audio perspective. The use of sound and music used in this film had me gaining goose bumps by the minute, the borderline cross between ambient with a futuristic sound, some parts however give a subtle hint of the music genre synth wave, giving it just that perfect setting to coincide with the 1982 version of Vangelis, which is experimented on by the unique score of Benjamin Wallfisch’s composition.

K, the main protagonist of this film really stands out due to his nature of being a Replicant himself. Completely love deprived by fellow man, he seeks the comfort of a visual replicant that almost seems to be sentient throughout her existence with K. Due to K’s nature and as previously shown in the original Blade Runner, K is completely aware of his existence as a replicant but falls under the illusion from multiple situations that he may just be something more than what he was born to believe. This given drive throughout the film as K believes he is gaining more and more knowledge upon what he really is, sets an amazing precedent of what’s actually set to come. Bringing back the original star of Ridly Scotts Blade Runner, Rick Deckard (played by Harrison Ford) to really add and complete the film and feel the magnetised attraction between K and Deckard to reveal the jaw dropping finale that brings the reality and sought after outcome of the original film.

Denis Villeneuve, the Director, recently well known for directing Sicario in 2005 and Arrival in 2016, which hold rather different plot lines and quite different in genre, non the less are incredible films, strongly driven by suspense and incredible character building, putting the protagonist in incredibly stressful and life changing situations. Denis Villeneuve has without a doubt kept the same finesse and aura that Ridly Scott originally intended and succeeded with when creating the universe that is Blade Runner.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi (SPOILERS!!!)

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is the second instalment to the sequel trilogy and the eighth episode to the Star Wars franchise, placing itself structurally in the centre for the lead up to the final episode of the sequel trilogy, having Rey (played by Daisy Ridly) pursue training as a jedi from jedi master Luke Skywalker (played by Mark Hamill). Fighting conversion and moral feelings, Rey is conflicted between loyalty towards Luke Skywalker or to join sides with her evil counterpart Kylo Ren (played by Adam Driver). The First Order losing strength in the galaxy, throws all they can towards the Rebels who are on their last leg to make The First Order meet the same fate as The Empire.

Having follow the multiple stories being played throughout the film, this sets a typical standard throughout any Star Wars film, Rey being trained by a Master Jedi, Finn (played by John Boyega) and Poe Dameron (played by Oscar Isaac) travelling and fighting to keep the Rebellion alive and the plot progression by the enemy Kylo Ren and Emperor Snoke (Played by Andy Serkis).

Throughout watching this film, putting my excitement and Star Wars  Fanboy attitude aside, viewing the progression and base plot of the film, quite often similarities are shown and quite hard to miss if you’ve previously viewed the original trilogy. As the first scene commences, flashbacks towards the Empire Strikes Back are almost imminently distilled by watching the Rebellion base be discovered and attacked by The First Order. This however is definitely not the only resembled scene that can be compared between the two films.

The Similarity Chart:

  • The opening scene, Rebellion Base is attacked
  • Rey and Luke travel to seek training from a Jedi Master and uncover a cave that resembles the dark side
  • Luke and Rey receive force visions and return to the fight
  • The sub plot of 2 main characters travelling to city of wealth to meet a specific character that could aid them in the fight against the enemy and are surprisingly met by the dark side though out their stay, as well as a droid helping them to escape
  • The reveal of ancestry between Luke and Rey
  • The use of snow speeders and the sand speeders to take down giant walkers attacking the rebel base
  • Luke and Rey are both offered to join the dark side and rule the galaxy but both refuse
  • Luke and Rey both mentally meet and communicate with their dark side alternatives.

However, with all that being said, The Last Jedi also takes memorable scenes from the prequel trilogy as well as the final episode of the original trilogy.

The Last Jedi being directed by Rian Johnson, previously known for directing Looper and 3 episodes within the Breaking bad series. With this being the first time working on a science fiction/fantasy film of this scale, especially with it being a Star Wars film, its noticeable by the comedy and slight change of feel whilst watching this latest instalment that it’s definitely not favoured by most heavy Star Wars fans like myself. However, I do see the increase in comedic effect during the film could be forced and just too much but it definitely took the franchise in a same but also different direction which, I for one, am rather excited to see what latest episode will reveal.

 

 

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