An isolated house in the middle of nowhere. A boy and a mother occupy it. A man visits them to ask the boy history questions. If the boy gets it wrong, the mother gets punched in the face by the man. The man fucks the mother, the boy builds a snowman before sneaking back into the house to hear his mother threatening to tell this man’s wife and kids that the boy is his. The man flees. The boy cries after him. The mother and boy follow in their Volvo. A long driving sequence. The mother gives up somewhere during this long driving sequence. She lets go of the wheel, the car cruises onto a lake. The boy pulls the hand break. The car stops, the ice breaks. The boy gets out, the mother stays in the car. The boy watches close by while the car vanishes and the mother drowns. I wish the boy would have drowned too. Cause then he wouldn’t have grown up to become the Snowman killer and I wouldn’t have had to sit through that awful movie following that actually interesting opening scene.
Somebody spoke the words X-Men is my favorite superhero franchise and I choked a laugh because it was the funniest thing I’ve ever heard. Not funny ha-ha, but funny sad, because clearly, they are missing out.
This week, for some odd reason, felt rougher than it should have felt. I only had four days where I had to go to work, but for some reason these days managed to train me empty. But I won’t let it phase me, and I’m excited to have three days off to catch up with my posts, and possibly read a book or two.
*Quote by William Shakespeare
By the third part I find it very difficult to come up with any additional things to say, so for those who happen to end up here with no back story to this what so ever, check out part 1 and part 2. And yes, this is the third consecutive day I’m posting a TOP 10 list – and no, this won’t be the last, two more are coming after the weekend, so the end is near, bare with me.
400 might not be an important number to some but for me it actually is somewhat special. I have been waiting for it for quite some time now actually, the big round number of 400. Seeing the number getting closer and closer just made me realize that I’m almost at 500, then, soon I will be a 1000 and then.. I don’t know. Okay, I might me exaggerating because getting to 400 has taken me almost three years. On this rate, it will take me forever to get there but I’m ready for the ride, it’s been so fun so far! As the number got closer, I thought why not celebrate it with something special since I haven’t done it with my other hundred posts. Plus, I had a lot of time with all my school work, deadlines, additional obligations and an up-coming trip… Kidding but I still had a lot of fun putting the alphabet together, had some issues with couple of letters because some didn’t have enough options, some had too many. To be fair, a lot of my favorites were left out but overall, I think it worked out well. It consists of movies, directors, actors and actresses who’s lives revolve around movies.
Before you jump into a fringe about the fact that I’m reviewing this amazing film in 2012, keep calm – I have seen Fish Tank about three to four times and when I discovered I hadn’t reviewed it yet I was very surprised. The movie not only marks the beginning of my Andrea Arnold fascination, but it also brought Michael Fassbender into my life and it is only fair if I review Fish Tank (better late than ever), as it has become one of my favorites of all time!
With all my heart and all my brain matter, I will confess loving Michael Fassbender until my eyes and ears can no longer enjoy his presence. Sounds a bit too dramatic? Alright, I will rephrase my thought: I think I love Michael Fassbender!
Now as we have that personal and presumably very awkward moment out of the way, there is an important task at hand and that is one of putting down thoughts about the movie Shame.
Ridley Scott is a name every person slightly interested in movies should have at least heard of, movie lovers should know it by heart and be able to list his movies in their sleep. But despite his long list of movies he has directed over the years, he has still not made it into my list of favorite directors. This, as I tend to think, is because he is the kind of director who doesn’t write his own movies, a thing I seem to appreciate the most in my favorite directors. Scott is passionately focused on directing, I give him credit for that, his main interest towards the visuals and the cinematography only makes him better at it. But is he the kind of a man who can take a script and make it stand out, this is a matter of further discussion.
Low spoiler alert – vague hints about the plot.
Before taking on a more in-depth analysis (the use of the word analysis might be too bold here but I’m gonna run with it) of Prometheus, I have to say that I have no bad feelings towards Scott’s directing abilities that have entertained me in many occasions. His latest adaption, boldly called “Ridley Scott’s Prometheus”, is a visual treat but falls short when it comes to the characters and the script. That said, a movie that serves as a prequel to the well-known movie Alien (1979) still seems elegant and beautiful but it all has less potential to work when the storytelling is weak. Frankly, the scenery and especially those shots in the cave, were literally saving me at times when I wasn’t motivated to pay attention to the dialogues and conversations. I find my reaction to be a logical response to the story because one of the writers of Prometheus was the sole-writer of The Darkest Hour, a movie I didn’t like at all. A fact I was luckily unaware before I saw the movie but sort of a proof, for me, that the story was a bit weak and unable to add something to the audio-visual experience Scott had created.
So was the movie better because Scott is able to use his abilities to craft an amazing story out of a mediocre script? To be totally honest, I think he did make the movie better than it would have been in the hands of another director, because if we strip the whole plot down, there is definitely not a lot of a story to tell in two and a half hours. Scientist find proof that life on Earth was created, they go to find the creators, they find them dead, a little bit of drama, alien issues and final “battle” basically ends the movie but not before we get a glimpse of the alien baby. The whole point of human origins is daring, people created by human-like aliens is an A+ starting point, but like The Darkest Hour had some interesting ideas regarding the engineering of the aliens, the idea in Prometheus starts to cool down after the discovery. Then, as the story starts to inject some background stories to the characters, things slow down even more before a lot of questions, that remain unanswered, surface.
As said, Prometheus is the story before the Alien and it takes place in the year 2093 where two scientists, Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green) with a team of 17 are traveling to a destination they believe to be the place of their engineers. After finding several cave paintings on Earth they believed it to be a message and since a very wealthy man Peter Weyland (Guy Pearce in disguise: took me almost the entire movie to realize it was him) is seeking eternal life, they have gotten a team of experts and a spaceship called Prometheus to go look for answers. The fact that there are 17 members is pointed out but worthy to mention are only five, out of which one stood out by a mile. Two and a half hours of sci-fi was my own personal kind of paradise just because Michael Fassbender was there to play the soulless android David – the stand out performance in the entire movie.
The reason Fassbender’s character worked that well was the fact that he is not only a great actor but his role was well written. This is mostly because he was a controversial being with no emotion, and there was no need to add him a human-like back-story like Prometheus did with Shaw (Noomi Rapace). She wasn’t bad, I would say Repace was better than Shaw (at this point I find it difficult to explain) but even when Fassbender was only a head, he outplayed her and stole the spotlight. Shaw’s boyfriend Holloway was heroic when he basically let himself be killed after he got infected and that was the hottest he ever looked (if you know what I mean). Other roles worth mentioning included the team leader Vickers (Theron) and the ship’s captain Janek (Elba) but only because they had more relevant roles to the whole plot. Though I like Elba a lot I think his character was a bit too American-hero for my taste, while Theron portrayed a woman who did exactly what I thought she would do – run scared and die stupidly.
Concluding this post, I would say that Scott is the king of visuals and for me, the images that were created on the screen, next to Fassbender of course, made the movie. It was less about the story, which of course had its appeal from the whole origins point of view, but more about how everything looked and felt like. The underground cave and tunnels, the dogs that mapped the area and of course the holographic memories which were especially elegant when David was exploring the plan/map of the creators. That was also the only time I felt the 3D effects, which like everywhere around the world, are forced on by almost totally eliminating the 2D screenings. Was I frustrated by the 3D? Not so much, but I felt like Scott was being careful with it and that might of eliminated the typical 3D effects that had annoyed me in the past. The holographic map thing was breathtaking, I just can’t stop mentioning it because I still picture it in my mind and let it be the final thought in this post – Fassbender and the powerful holographic storytelling…
Images from Prometheus homepage.
To follow the oh so late The Rum Diary trailer I decided to post a much newer one. Shame is the second movie of the British movie-maker Steve McQueen following his first movie called Hunger – I sense a theme already. He is the director and the writer for both of these movies and that’s not the only thing in common between the two: Michael Fassbender portrays the main character in Hunger and in Shame as well.
Michael Fassbender is on a high right now, his movies turn out from right to left and for me it’s easy to like his characters and also Fassbender himself. Therefore I think I’ll watch McQueens previous work and then Shame which tells a story about a brother and a sister (played by Carey Mulligan) who are beginning to live together and that stirs up some problems. Shame premiers on Decemeber 2nd.
PS: The poster for Shame is absolutely fabulous and since I already started to post movie posters in a larger scale I thought it would be a shame if I didn’t post Shame’s poster like this. Besides the poster also some storyline to the movie, shame between the sheets – I wonder who is this man who feels ashamed,,,