Tag Archives: Michael Fassbender

Twelve Years A Slave

I followed up Dallas Buyers Club with TWELVE YEARS A SLAVE. I had been eagerly anticipating this film and only now finally had a chance to see it. I figure those who would have seen it have already seen it, so I doubt I’ll sway anyone either way. Steve McQueen (who directed the excellent HUNGER and the interesting SHAME) has crafted a meticulous, painterly and harrowing portrayal of Solomon Northup, a black freeman who was kidnapped into slavery and endured all manner of denigration and degradation under several masters. Chiwetel Ejiofor brings humanity and a great reserve of strength to the role, and if nothing else this film is a very sobering lesson in American history that many would rather not stir up. There wasn’t any moralizing or cathartic bloodbaths as per DJANGO UNCHAINED. Alas, if only this film had more stirring moments such as Django I would have been more moved and made heated, but its restraint and gravity held back far too much. For those who think I would have desired more shootouts or more violence to arouse my passions, that is not the case. It was sad, and melancholy, and preserved under glass. I didn’t walk out of the theatre pissed off or bothered, and that’s too f**king bad.

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Film Review: Prometheus IMAX

So I went to see PROMETHEUS  again in IMAX 3D.  Well, a quasi-IMAX, but it was larger and brighter than the first theatre I saw it in, and the sound was quite loud and enveloping.

Some films need to be seen writ large and loud and bright, and Prometheus is certainly one of them. Ridley Scott packs the frame with all sorts of details, and the effects are quite brilliant and feel organic to the film vs. being tacked on. Lots of seamless integration, notably with the Engineers and the android David’s latter decapitated state towards the end. The CGI enhances the prosthetic effects in both cases. The landscapes and spacescapes are rather bleak yet awe inspiring in their scale.

On my first viewing I had issues with the script, thinking it was rather sophomoric and underdeveloped. On second viewing, and given humanity’s demotion to mere laboratory experiment, I feel that the characters and their often trite or even risible dialogue was more fitting. We deserve no better, and the lack of sentimentality is quite refreshing, the matter-of-factness of our origins barely noteworthy. The editing felt more crisp and precise given my reinterpretation, not seeming so arbitrary or oddly cadenced as I first experienced. I still cannot stand the geologist and the biologist, two clowns masquerading as scientists. They were begging for death! At least they meet rather nasty ends (tee hee) so I’m alright with that, and the geologist gets killed in a way reminiscent of the Thing, that scene was quite brutal and intense. When faced with sickness one must kill it and burn it as much as possible!

David the android as essayed by Michael Fassbender is still the best character hands down. His mix of perfect professionalism and oddly childlike wonder (and lack of trustworthiness) always keeps one guessing. I could have watched half an hour of his activities whilst the crew was still in cryosleep, who knows what other secrets and fantasies he had in his mind! I’m very pleased that he shall continue onto new adventures with Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace), the Christian faithed scientist who is driven by an interesting blend of scientific curiosity and religious belief. They make for complementary travelling companions, not fueled by greed, ambition or love. Yes, I am rooting for a sequel as the concept alone would seriously blow my mind.

I must say that after I saw this film, and several others that will be reviewed shortly, I was once again faced with my own questions about our existence. I’ve been in a very existensialist mood for some time, which can open gateways to creativity and understanding so long as it doesn’t grow mired in massive depression and desperation. Very few think about why we are here, how we got here, how anything existed beforehand. When I hear the saying, “God always was”, even before the creation of the universe (and perhaps many before this one), it sends me into a massive tizzy. It puts us all in perspective though, which is what brings me back to reality. I mean, what is there to complain about when you take the very broad picture. It means nothing. It means everything. My head is imploding upon itself now, time to take a cold shower!

Viewed on June 20th, 2012 at the Rave Cinemas in Fort Wayne IN

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I followed that up with Ridley Scott’s PROMETHEUS in 3D. I will say now that the projection was rather dark, and I will likely revisit this film at an IMAX screen down the line. Visually it is quite impressive, as expected. Thematically it tackles a lot of subjects, often adequately, often banally. The script is the weakest link here, it feels like a first draft from a pair of amateur theorists. What was needed was to have a master thinker really sink his/her teeth into the material, which is an impossible wish of course.

I’m glad I saw it, don’t get me wrong, and the film really picks up halfway through when the horror kicks in. It was a treat to see Michael Fassbender as the android David, he is easily the most thoughtful and fascinating character here. The other actors are solid enough, they just have less interesting characters to essay. It ends on an open ended note, and to be honest I’d REALLY love to see what David and Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) find on their future explorations.

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