Entries tagged with “Hollywood movies”.


Movies about the late 60s or early 70s become more and more epoch films. They describe a time when dollars were kept in boxes to be used by kids ten or fifteen years later and still have some value, when smoking in restaurants and working places was the norm, when journalist used typewriters and lead was making the printing industry a health hazard, when people used public phones and put coins in them to get a dialing tone, and when parking places were available in Manhattan. And yes, a time when women were an exotic presence in board meeting rooms (unless they were serving coffee) and when printed press mattered. Yet, understanding the past seems essential to make sense of our present, including some of the wars of today that seem to have been fought forever (or at least since half a century ago). These include the need and right for a free press to tell the truth even if this is inconvenient for the government, and the need and right to have women who make key decisions at the higher levels of our society and institutions. These make the story and the essence of ‘s most recent film The Post.

 

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt6294822/mediaviewer/rm198401792

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt6294822/mediaviewer/rm198401792

 

The Post is actually ‘The Washington Post’ whose story we follow until the very moment that starts the Watergate case, one of the most famous cases in the history of the United States of America and of printed journalism. Before the newspaper became famous it was a respected but rather small and ‘local’ liberal newspaper, run for long time as a family business. They were not the first to write about the Pentagon documents but had their opportunity when the NYT were preempted to continue the publication by a judge order. The risks they took were both economic and personal and the film describes the crucial week when the decisions of the owner of the newspaper () and the editor-in-chief () promoted the Post on the national scene and wrote a page of courage in the history of the American journalism and democracy.

 

(video source 20th Century Fox)

 

Of course, the two principal theme resonate today but in a different context. There is no need for a journalist or for a TV reporter for any citizen of the US or of the world in order to make their opinion known or generate news. The problem is not in making the news public, but in filtering between fact and fake. Yet, the right of saying what is right and true even if it comes in conflict with the interests of the rulers is still a critical problem. So is the role of women and the attitude towards their contributions. Women are no longer a rarity at decision levels, but they are still under-represented, and other factors of the relations between the sexes in the centers of influence became a priority lately. I would say that of the two strong political messages of the film, the feminist one was better presented, and no little credit belongs of course to . I was not enthusiastic with the level of the cinematographic execution of the story overall. I expect more from a film directed by Spielberg than plain and clear story telling, but he seems to have decided to let the things run and speak for themselves on the screen. A classical political story about good journalism deserves a classical cinematographic approach Spielberg may have thought. Yet, some of the technical details overwhelmed the story, and a few moments were too ‘classic’ in style to my taste. The three minutes dialog between Kay Graham () and her daughter compete for Spielberg’s worst three minutes of film in his whole career. On the other hand is – again! – stellar in his acting. He IS Ben Bradlee, the journalist professional and the citizen. This is one of the several reasons to see this film, which may end by receiving more honors that it deserves, for various reasons.

‘Topaz’ is quite different than most of the previous movies in the filmography of  and also lacks the (American movie) stars in its distribution, as his fans were accustomed in the 20 or 30 years that preceded its release in 1969. These may be two of the principal reasons that the movie is less credited in by the critics and historians of cinema. There are, however, sufficient reasons of satisfaction for the movie fans, and the film does not fall in my opinion lower than ‘Torn Curtain’ that preceded it by three years, and also brought to screen a Cold War spy story. On the contrary, I would say.

 

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0065112

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0065112

 

The film brings to screen a novel by which tells a true story of a Soviet spy ring in the high French political environments during the critical days of the Cuban missiles crisis. The events in the fall of 1962 that brought the world closer than ever to an atomic war were since then the subject or background of many books and films, but Hitchcock was the first well-known film director to bring what was at that time very recent history to screen, in a moment when the story was still under censorship in France. However, this was not in the area of comfort for Hitchcock who liked to be very involved in the writing of the story and building of the suspense, an opportunity that was lost with ‘Topaz’ . This may be also why there is less Hitchcock thrill in this film than we are used. There is yet quality, but more in the details than in the overall architecture.

 

(video source Alfred Hitchcock TV)

One of the best parts of the film is the rendition of the atmosphere of the time and places where the action takes place. Washington, Moscow, Copenhagen, Paris are all well served by filming on location, the only exception is Cuba, for obvious reasons. We can say that Hitchcock was a pioneer (also) of the international spy thriller, and we can only imagine what would have happened if he had been trusted with a James Bond movie. He also uses in a flawless manner the combination of documentary clips cut and edited together with filmed fiction. The lead actors are not doing great service to the movie, but we can see a progress and less stiff acting than in previous films. It is with the supporting roles that the good surprises appear, with the beautiful and exotic in the Cuban episode, and the French stars and giving style and credibility to the French episode of the action. It is in the humor of dialogs and situations, in the use of music (composed by Maurice Jarre) and in the creative games of colors that we find some of the Hitchcock touch. Otherwise, we can just enjoy a good action movie based on a Cold War story which has the merit to have been filmed at the time of the Cold War. Not a bad film, but not really one of the best Hitchcock films either.

 

 

I love seeing films half a century after their initial releases. It’s not only a cinematographic experience that in many cases brings up unexpected gems, but also an opportunity to compare the acting and directing styles, the technical means, and the perspective on events, which some were actuality at the time the films were made and became history since then. In some cases it’s also the opportunity to compare a fresh viewing with our own memories about the film, although this is not the case here with Torn Curtain , a late film by , whose Cold War theme seen from the Western perspective had no chance to pass the filter of the censorship in my native Romania at that time.

 

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0061107

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0061107

 

There are many interesting elements in this story about a an American scientist (,) who plays spying games and simulates a crossing of the lines to East Germany in order to discover the status of a key weapon in the rockets arsenal of the Communist block. When his unknowingly fiancee () joins him against his will, his mission becomes more complicated. It’s at the same time a psychological thriller (the fight of the minds between the American professor and his East German counterpart), an action movie, and a relationship story with some of the Hitchcock touch. As in many of his films, Hitchcock succeeds wonderfully in the thriller part, partially succeeds (or partially fails) in the action area, and fails completely in the romantic zone.

 

(video source Video Detective)

 

50 years later, the very interesting part of the film is the rendition of the Cold War atmosphere. I have seen several films about that period, some more recent, and I was surprised how well Hitchcock succeeded to catch the feeling of the area without falling in any black-and-white clichees, describing a world close to what I knew, with people living under the pressure of a dictatorship, but still managing to joke, eat, drink, dance even under the scrutiny of the portraits of Karl Marx. There are less credible scenes – for example the whole auto-bus episode (why were these people traveling together at all?), but they belong to the action part of the script. Acting is decent, with Newman and Andrews doing what I remember they were supposed to do, but the most wonderful surprise is a poignant scene with the Russian-born actress which some may remember from Zorba the Greek . Her role there was unforgettable, so is the one here if you have the chance to see the film. A few daring Hitchcockian camera takes build the thriller part. A film to watch, especially if you are Hitchcock fans.

 

I have somehow missed ‘Now You See Me‘, a very entertaining movie directed by when it was released four years ago. Luckily, it’s one of those movies that do not lose their appeal that fast, and then it’s summer time, so the right time for fun and entertaining films. The only detail that seems overcome by time in this film is the usage of phones phones with geo-positioning systems.As smartphones took over the market, and applications as Google Maps became ubiquitous, the cops using keyboard based not-so-smart mobile phones seems to have happened twenty and not four years back. It’s kind of a lesson for film-makers which may find more and more difficult coping with the pace of progress of our smart gadgets. Maybe the sequel avoids this mistake.

 

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1670345

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1670345

 

Now You See Me‘ combines two genres – the big robbery and the magicians movies, with more emphasize on the later. ‘The closer you look, the less you see’ is the key saying of the film which tells the story of four magicians with different specializations brought together in a team that combines huge magician shows a la David Copperfield with bank robberies. They are supported by a finance tycoon (), followed by a former magician () whose pastime is exposing on TV the tricks and frauds of magicians, and have of course all the FBI and Interpol on their tracks. The roles of manipulators and manipulated, suspects and innocents change all the time, and as in a good magic show we are never sure what we exactly see on screen.

 

(video source Movieclips Trailers)

 

The story may have a few holes that cannot be filled even by magic, but the convention works well, and is well supported by the actors. Watching and is always a delight in this kind of roles that they enjoy playing in this epoch of their careers. The rest of the team does a good job as well, with special mentions for  and . ‘Now You See Me‘ is a film to enjoy, like a good show with magicians.

 

The action thriller The Call which takes place in the Los Angeles area brings to the center of the action a category of people who seldom appear on screens in most of the movies dealing with police work – the emergency call responders. The opening scenes of the film do a fine job not only in describing the atmosphere and (2013 level) technology at the 911 LAPD response center, but also of defining the job, the responsibilities, the professional and human qualities that are required from the people whose voices one first hears when placing an emergency call. It’s a good start for an interesting action movie, that could have been quite special. Unfortunately, director  and his team did not succeed to make it one.

 

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1911644

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1911644

 

The development of the story is rather interesting. Jordan Turner ( in the lead role) is an experienced emergency operator who had made one fatal mistake returning a call in a situation that allowed for the caller to be kidnapped and murdered. Many months later, she finds herself in a situation that seems similar to the incident that continues to track her day and night. It’s her opportunity to do things right, and to save lives. The dialog between the operator and the kidnapped teenage locked in the truck compartment of the car of the abductor is well built, has tension and catches the attention. The problem is that the script authors did not dare to build all or most of the film on the call itself. At some point in time they may have felt that the accumulated coincidences could not hold the story any longer, and they switched the call off. From that point farther the film became just one of these many action thrillers in which usual people become unexpectedly heroes. The issue is that in order to make these happen the script authors had to invent more coincidental situations, plus to build some reasoning for the motivation of the kidnapper. All these are just usual action stuff, and not very good one.

 

(video source Movieclips Coming Soon)

 

delivers good acting as she always does, but she seems to be in danger of accumulating roles that look too much one with the other. The rest is just another action film, especially in the last third of the screening time. It’s a pity for the film that promised so much at the start. The good thriller about the emergency responders is still to be made.

So we bought our tickets and our medium sized popcorn box (usually lasts about 15 minutes in the movie), grabbed the 3D spectacles and sat in the theater to watch Wonder Woman. That’s the way to do it. Each genre has its rules and one needs to know a minimum of them before entering the cinema theater or starting to see a movie on TV or on his/her preferred viewing device. When I chose to see a super-heroes comics inspired movie I do not expect a lot of realism or credibility from the story, and these are not the films where I am looking for lessons about life. On the other hand I am ready for fun entertainment, for action and special effects, I hope to see a coherent story with actors performances that make me care about the characters. I do not care about the laws of physics, but I hope there will be some humor and that the good guys will eventually prevail.

 

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0451279/

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0451279/

 

Many of the super-heroes movies nowadays do actually carry some cultural background, it’s just a different type of culture, and it helps, although it is not mandatory, to know it. ‘Wonder Woman’ is a character that combines the mythology of comics stories with the other mythology, the ancient Greek one, the one we read about and maybe learned about in school. Invented during WWII, at a time when women were playing an increasing role in supporting the war effort, mostly by undertaking the roles played in economy by the men sent to fight, but not on the first line of the front, the character of princess Diana (yes, this is the name of the character) carries a strong feminist message. The authors of the script and director moved the origins of the story to the end of WWI, the war that was supposed to end all wars. By the way, hard to believe that this talented director is at her only second film, and that 14 years passed since her remarkable debut with Monster. They brought the princess from her isolated island somehow hidden in the mist of mythology, in a tentative to really end all wars. We all know that the tentative failed. In the process the hero will learn a few things about men and evils of mankind, will avoid and block a whole arsenal of bullets and bombs and will kick many bad guys to dust.

 

(video source Warner Bros. Pictures)

 

I enjoyed ‘Wonder Woman’ because of a few good reasons. The feminism of the message is never dogmatic and almost always impregnated with a dose of self-irony. who plays the lead role may not be a great actress, but she has the looks, is very well fit physically and typologically for the role. The film is very much the story of her coming to age while learning to understand mankind and fighting on the side of the good guys. She does it with the smile of a teenager on her face and radiates optimism and belief in truth which somehow becomes credible and succeeds to overcome the horrors of the carnage fields of the world war we see on screen. While playing well on the mythology grounds, the story has enough humor to avoid being dry or pathetic and lets us understand we are still in fantasy land. I also liked the special effects, especially in the opening scenes when the Amazons fight the uneven battle with the war machines created by men since they were lost in history. The color palette of the cinematography was well adapted to the different phases of the story, although the 3D spectacles made it (again) too dark – there is something that needs improvement in the technology here. I also liked two of the supporting actors – who succeeded to be the nice guy without being over-sweet (also because of the dose of humor invested in his role), and especially which I have seen previously in Fargo and who develops to be a formidable actor. I liked less the other characters, especially the bad guys, who were, well … cartoonish. The end of the story was a little disappointing. It looked like one of these epic superheroes endings, but the careful preparation and building that preceded prepared me for something better. It leaves however clearly the path open for the sequels and I will be making reservations when pre-sales tickets become available.

 

The opening sequences of director ‘s The Descendants include a short (maybe less than one second) image of a powerful and beautiful woman surfing on the waves around Hawaii. For most of the rest of the film the woman will lie in a comma on a hospital bed and she will eventually die. What happens when a dear and close family member is suddenly taken by fate (a surfing accident in this case) from among us? How does the husband, how do the kids cope? Do we ever end discovering who the closer human being to us is? The answer this film gives is no, even after accident and death do us apart, we may not end discovering who we live or lived with.

 

spurce http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1033575/

spurce http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1033575/

 

I am no big fan of this genre of movies. I can cope with death on screen in horror flicks, action movies or westerns because I know that they are fiction. It’s more difficult to deal with such subjects in a realistic contemporary story, and none of the ‘romantic’ comedy or melodrama genres films succeed to my taste unless they are really very good. Actually one of ‘s previous films, the 2002 About Schmidt was one of these due to the extraordinary performances of and . Here we have in the role of the real-estate owner and super-busy professional whose wife accident brings back to the earthly dealings of coping with his two daughters – one just our of the teen years, the other just before her teen years – and a complicated property heritage selling in which family interests conflict with the keeping of the Hawaiian tradition and attachment to the land. Clooney is better in my view in emanating authority than emotions, his sense of humor helps him overcome the limitations of his acting skills, but in this film I had the feeling his playing on the emotional cords did not completely succeed.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3R7OzS54hbo

(video source Fox Star India)

 

Yet, there are a few real good moments. I mentioned the opening scene which kind of opens the path to what follows. The performance of (as the younger daughter) when learning about her mother’s fate is simply amazing. is also acting well as the elder daughter. Moments of real truth surge here and there, when some of the supporting actors (like ) are left to express their emotions in the patterns dictated by the story. Hawaii gets its opportunity as the background of a real American story and I can just hope that more movie makers will come here for other reasons than filming beaches and waves. The good moments mix however with a too high dose of melodrama, expected turns of the story, sit-com like approach to dramatic situations. The Descendants promise much, deliver less, and its initial success seems to fade, like one of these beautiful color photos whose contrast fades in time blurring the persons and the landscape.

 

Here is a very strange combination. Actually let me formulate this as a question. Can a team of film makers take a completely ridiculous ‘kaiju’ (Japanese monster) story, combine it with a sweet and teary romantic story, and make out of the combination of the two an entertaining movie? The answer is yes, the name of the film is Colossal, written and directed by the Spaniard director at his second film in the American studios.

 

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4680182

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4680182

 

Monster stories are usually laughable. This one is so unbelievable that I will not spend any time analyzing it. The script takes no pain in making it otherwise, and no efforts were made either for creating special effects that would be any better than the ones in the classical Japanese or American movies of the genre from the 60s or 70s. There is a romantic story here, about an alcoholic messy girl () returning twenty years or so later to her small, frozen in time childhood city, after breaking with her boyfriend in New York, meeting a former elementary school colleague, and trying to make sense of her life. And than, while she gets even messier and more drunk, strange things start to happen. None of these are bright and convincing, and yet the combination works.

 

(video source Movieclips Trailers)

 

What is the secret? It may be in ‘s acting, or maybe in her eyes, the biggest on big screens since Goldie Hawn. Her counterpart – as the bar owner Oscar who ends in a very different place than where he starts – provides also a nice acting performance. It may be in the touch of humor that makes the unbelievable seem … well … reasonable? It may be in the fact that there is a touch of humanity and emotion that is being added to all the incredible events taking place on screen. It may be to the fact that the rules of the horror genre are never taken too much in serious and that they are so barely and rudely exposed that they invite the viewers to understand that this is just another story about monsters made of clothes or paper and cities made of wrapping boxes. It may be the combination of all these, or something else, but whatever it is, the film is very watchable, odd, and funny.

 

 

 

I was quite curious to see Manchester by the Sea which was considered one of the best movies of the year and received two Academy Awards. Overall I was quite disappointed (relative to the expectations and the fuzz) and I believe that the success of this film is due merely to the dry season that was 2016 for the American film industry, with a selection missing movies that were both ambitions and well made, and with criteria for promotion and selection as nominees dominated by non-cinematographic arguments.

 

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4034228/

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4034228/

 

There are certainly many reasons for the film to be interesting. The script is well written (director has authored several smart scripts beyond the ones of his own movies) and builds carefully the characters while gradually dissipating the fog around their past and the reasons they behave as they do with a mix of the progressing story and flash-back scenes interleaved in a clever manner. The atmosphere of the small town by the sea not far from Boston is well described, the characters that populate it are credible, and the cinematography is so poignant that it makes us feel the cold, the wind, the proximity of the sea. All these cannot however hide the thin content of the story – a mix of a tutoring story of a teenage boy orphaned by his father and of guilt caused by the responsibility of a terrible tragedy in the past of the uncle assuming the parenting. One way or another all characters in the story are marked bu grief – how they cope with it and what are the consequences of the disappearance and absence of the dear ones differs. The problem is that the story is thinner than the materials it is built from, and the characters are less interesting from the moment we understand their stories. I happened to see this film three days after 20th Century Women which was also bringing to screen a piece of life including the story of coming of age of a teen boy. What a difference between the characters in the two movies, between the rich and interesting universe of ‘ film and the dry and empty world of the world described by  !

 

(video source Movieclips Trailers)

 

What about acting? A lot was written and said about ‘s performance which earned him the Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role Academy Award. I appreciate his acting of a man who hardly survives the grief, but there is nothing unexpected or interesting in the character. He is under shock, he has accesses of violence, he tries to do best to help his nephew, but is and will be forever marked by the tragedy of his life. All these are obvious. Are these worth an Academy Award? I doubt. Young provides actually a good counterpoint with some unexpected but well placed humor for a teenager who sometimes acts as the adult in the difficult relationship with his uncle. The rest of the cast does well, with being wasted talent in a film that is not bad, but is certainly overrated and in many moments simply boring.

Îmi place sezonul cinematografic de primăvară, în special cel american. Mă refer în mod special la piaţă cinematografică americană, deoarece această este influenţată foarte vizibil de Premiile Oscar, care în ultimii ani sunt decernate la sfârşitul lunii februarie. Din această cauză, multe dintre filmele lansate în lunile premergătoare festivităţilor de la Dolby Theater din Hollywood (şi perioada se extinde până la şase luni!) ochesc premiile, îşi modelează temele, jocurile actoriceşti, viziunile regizorale, chiar şi atitudinile politice după gusturile membrilor Academiei. După sfârşitul lui februarie apar filmele mai eliberate de aceste constrângeri, cele pe care producătorii îşi iau riscul să le lanseze într-o perioadă în care ştiu că pot fi ‘uitate’ de cei care vor propune listele de candidaţi la râvnitele statuete. Trei dintre filmele văzute de mine în ultimele săptămâni (sau poate doar două dintre ele, primul fiind ceva mai ‘convenţional’) aparţin acestei categorii de filme care nu ţintesc şi nu aspiră la vreun Premiu Oscar. În schimb ele sunt toate legate de temele ştiinţifice şi implicaţiile lor pentru viaţa noastră de azi şi pentru viitorul nostru care sunt subiectele principale ale rubricii CHANGE.WORLD.

 

sursa imaginii http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4846340/

sursa imaginii http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4846340

 

Foarte puţine filme s-au ocupat până în prezent de începuturile programului spaţial american, şi mă întreb de ce. Avem de-a face cu o adevărată saga americană aşa cum îi place Hollywood-ului, care a avut loc la un moment istoric despre care încă ne amintim mulţi dintre noi. Este o poveste cu eroi celebri şi anonimi, o poveste care începe cu disperarea şi teama provocate de sovieticii care luaseră avans în cursa pentru spaţiu (cu lansarea satelitului Sputnik şi cu trimiterea primului om în spaţiu) şi se termină în triumf cu aselenizările din programul Apollo. Şi totuşi, Hollywood-ul încă nu s-a prea ocupat de această perioadă şi nu a făcut filme despre această poveste şi oamenii care au făcut-o posibilă. Filmul ‘Hidden Figures’ (‘Cifre – dar şi figuri – ascunse’) umple doar parţial o parte din acest decalaj, ocupându-se de un aspect puţin cunoscut al primelor programe spaţiale, dintr-o perspectivă specifică, cu accent pe un episod neaşteptat şi necunoscut – prejudecăţile rasiale cu care se confruntau şi pe care au trebuit să le depăşească primii contribuitori afro-americani la programul spaţial. El spune povestea (până acum) puţin cunoscută a unor eroi, care nu numai că erau „de culoare“, dar, de asemenea, se întâmpla să fie femei.

 

sursa imaginii http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4846340/mediaviewer/rm1049245184

sursa imaginii http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4846340/mediaviewer/rm1049245184

 

„Hidden Figures“ este un film de ficţiune bazat pe cartea documentară ‘ Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race ‘, scrisă de Margot Lee Shetterly. Autorii scenariului şi regizorul Theodore Melfi au fost extrem de atenţi la detalii, situaţii şi dialoguri cu scopul ca acestea să fie cât mai aproapiate de ceea ce s-a întâmplat în realitate. Reuşita lor în acest sens a fost confirmată de eroii care au trăit perioada (inclusiv, se pare o scenă care arată foarte a la Hollywood, dar se pare că s-a întâmplat în realitate, cu astronautul John Glenn pe rampa de lansare a primul zbor solicitând calculele de traiectorie care urmează să fie verificate de „fata“ pe care o întâlnise în sala de şedinţe de pregătire). Au fost reconstituite în detalii clădirile, coridoarele, camere de lucru, toaletele (!), locurile de parcare de la sediul NASA din Virginia acelor ani. Ceea ce este şocant astăzi mai ales dintr-o perspectiva ne-americană este măsura în care segregarea şi discriminarea rasială era incă o parte a vieţii şi a sistemului legal cu puţin mai mult de o jumătate de secol în urmă, în ţara care era liderul de blocul democrat în lupta împotriva comunismului, şi care concura cu Uniunea Sovietică pentru a trimite primii oameni în spaţiu.

Tonul „de inspiraţie“ domină filmul, iar privitorul are senzaţia că aproape fiecare cadru, atitudine a personajelor sau dialog este în conformitate cu concluzia pe care filmul îşi propune să o transmită. O abordare mai realistă sau mai neutră ar fi făcut în opinia mea ca mesajul să fie mai convingător. Mi-a plăcut în schimb cum au fost construite personajele, faptul că cele trei femei care sunt eroinele filmului au fiecare propria ei personalitate, talentele şi căile proprii de confruntare şi depăşire a prejudecăţilor. Cele trei actriţe – merită să le menţionez numele – sunt Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer şi Janelle Monáe şi sper să le văd în mai multe filme (bune) în viitor. Actori cunoscuţi cum sunt Kevin Costner şi Kirsten Dunst apar în roluri secundare şi fac o treaba bună. ‘Hidden Figures’ este un film solid şi în unele locuri emoţionant, dar nu se poate desprinde de convenţiile de gen şi stil pe care se pare că autorii înşişi şi le-au impus.

 

sursa imaginii http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5442430/

sursa imaginii http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5442430/

 

Dacă în ‘Hidden Figures’ totul merge până la urmă bine şi se termină cu bine, nu la fel stau lucrurile în drama spaţială ‘Life’ (în România titlul sub care este difuzat filmul este ‘Semne de viaţă’). Va amintiţi faimoasa lege a lui Murphy? „Orice lucru care poate merge prost, va merge prost.“ Aplicarea ei cinematografică în genul filmelor ‘horror’ spaţiale pare a fi filmul regizoruluiorului Daniel Espinosa. Ce se întâmplă dacă cele mai rele presupuneri şi cele mai profunde temeri legate de contactul lung căutat şi aşteptat cu viaţa extraterestră vor deveni realitate? Această pare a fi premiza filmului, subliniată de o execuţie care face reverenţe unor predecesori renumiţi ca ’2001: A Space Odyssey’ a lui Stanley Kubrick şi ‘Alien’ a lui Ridley Scott, dar o face cu o altă dozare a componentelor, adăugând câteva ingrediente proprii care fac filmul interesant şi palpitant.

 

sursa imaginii http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5442430/mediaviewer/rm3097821440

sursa imaginii http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5442430/mediaviewer/rm3097821440

 

Regulile de ficţiune fantastică sunt bine respectate aici. Acţiunea începe în atmosfera familiară şi confortabilă a unei staţii în spaţiu la întoarcerea din Marte. Expediţia a fost un succes, în bagaj se află şi prima dovadă a vieţii extraterestre. Ştirile sunt primite cu entuziasm pe Pământ. Times Square se umple cu spectatorii entuziaşti ai transmisiilor în direct de pe staţia spaţială internaţională. Reportajele amestecă ştiinţa cu trivia despre introducerea şi eliminarea de alimente din corpul uman, în condiţii de imponderabilitate, iar copiii de şcoală sunt cei care dau un nume familiar („Kevin“) noii formă de viaţă adusă de pe Marte. Se întâmplă însă că această celulă vie foarte inteligentă are puterea de a se transforma în câteva minute de timp pe ecran într-o maşină de ucis, care va începe prin a devora unul după altul pe membrii echipajului a căror misiune de a asigura o protecţie a Pământului şi a vieţii de pe planetă este în pericol. Dintr-o dată consecinţele par mult mai grave.

Pentru un film serios de science-fiction scenariulul are găuri uriaşe şi abundă în gafe ştiinţifice, dar acest lucru devine secundar din cauza dezvoltării bune a personajelor. Destul de neobişnuit în filmele genului, vom ajunge să-i cunoaştem pe cei şase astronauţi, iar atunci când încep să moară decese eroice dar oribile, deja ne pasă de ei. Jocul excelent al actorilor contribuie la reuşita filmului, cu Jake Gyllenhaal excelând în tipologia ‘băiatului-de-care-ne-pasă’ . Decorurile încearcă, de asemenea ceva special, această staţie spaţială are o mulţime de coridoare tubulare care da o senzaţie de labirint claustrofobic, imponderabilitatea este sugerată spectatorilor prin utilizarea poziţiilor în unghi ale aparatului de filmat, şi atmosfera este dominată de o paletă de culori care par negativul sumbru al non-culorilor reci din filmul lui Kubrick. Nu voi spune mai multe despre cum se termină filmul decât că acesta a fost unul dintre cele mai neaşteptate şi tulburătoare finaluri pe care l-am văzut în ultima vreme. Încă un motiv bun să nu pierdeţi acest film, mai ales dacă va plac genurile science-fiction şi de groază.

 

sursa imaginii http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1219827

sursa imaginii http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1219827

 

Nu am văzut filmul original, un anime / manga japonez cu acelaşi nume, care stă la baza producţiei ‘Ghost în the Shell’ (‘Fantoma din Carcasă’) şi acest lucru poate fi un avantaj sau un dezavantaj. Am citit unele articole care compară cele două filme, şi care de asemenea, se referă la seria de benzi desenate creată ulterior, precum şi la seria de mare succes „Matrix“, care a preluat aparent multe idei de la ea. Mi se pare că mă pot bucura şi aprecia filmul regizorul Rupert Sanders chiar mai bine fără această comparaţie, deşi poate îmi lipsesc unele dintre nuanţele sau diferitele direcţii din lucrarea originală.

Ceea ce poate s-a schimbat în cele două decenii de când lucrările japoneze originale au fost create este faptul că o mare parte din tehnologia care este descrisă în film a devenit realitate, iar pentru restul, fezabilitatea este un fapt confirmat. Organele artificiale sunt acum tot mai pe larg folosite în înlocuirea ţesuturilor afectate de boli sau accidente. Ştim mai multe despre modul în care funcţionează creierului, modul în care informaţiile circulă între creier şi corp, precum şi modul în care acţiunile mecanice ale corpului uman sau ale protezelor artificiale sunt controlate. Transplanturile de creier nu a fost încă executate pe oameni, dar sunt considerate realizabile, şi la fel, în viitor, implantarea creerului într-un organism complet artificial. Ca şi în film, mulţi dintre oamenii sunt sau vor deveni hibrizi cu un procent mai mare sau şi mai mare de piese de schimb înlocuite.


sursa imaginii http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1219827/mediaviewer/rm1181746688

sursa imaginii http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1219827/mediaviewer/rm1181746688

 

Filmul se ocupă de un viitor în care primul implant cerebral este făcut într-un corp artificial. Acest lucru face din eroina principală (Scarlett Johansson), un fel de super-erou, o armă vie pentru a lupta împotriva teroriştilor. Doar că fosta ei identitate („fantomă“) apare în ‘flash’-uri din ce în ce mai dese şi mai consistente, şi în timp ce ea îşi recapătă treptat identitatea umană, realitatea din jurul ei devine mai puţin conectată la adevăr. Ceea ce urmează este o combinaţie de film de acţiune (sau chiar de acţiune cu super-eroi) şi genul de science-fiction inteligent, care are loc într-o lume în care oamenii coexistă cu hibrizi, sau poate mai bine spus aproape orice om a devenit, de asemenea, un hibrid. Este un film care reuşeşte atât să distreze cât şi să pună întrebări dificile despre evoluţia viitoare a omenirii şi relaţiile cu maşinile gânditoare create de oameni. Ca şi explorarea spaţială, acestea sunt teme pe care le abordăm şi le discutăm des în rubrica CHANGE.WORLD.

 

(articolul a aparut in revista culturala Literatura de Azi – http://www.literaturadeazi.ro/ )