The Imitation Game (2014) – IMDb

via The Imitation Game (2014) – IMDb.

This new preview clip of The Imitation Game, the upcoming biography ...

Upon watching The Imitation Game I found myself liking the movie very much. A man named Alan Turing is a bit of an awkward person who was not popular in school. He is a genius and not at all normal. Alan didn’t succeed at making friends, however, where he was unsuccessful his mind and bold honesty will take him far. Actually only until he was 41, sadly, besides that he left his footprint in history. And that ladies and gents was Christopher. Mr.Turing was hired by the secret British service for his brain to solve the enigma and help win the war, with a hand full of other crossword enthusiasts and mathematicians. He left us with a sort of digital brain that will later lead to more important research. This contraption he made was named Christopher, a machine that could decode. This machine’s purpose was to crack Hitler’s enigma which was, at the time, said to be unbreakable. The codes were hidden Nazi plans and if the codes are cracked, Britain not only would save lives but would have a better chance of winning the war.

Whenever I watch a movie that has one small line: Based on True Events or along that matter, I can’t help but look at it like a dog listening to a high pitch sound. Is Hollywood serious about this or are they trying to make another dollar by attracting the masses by entertainment? Unfortunately, that is part of the case. After watching the entertaining Imitation Game, I looked up some reviews, a lot were like me who enjoyed the movie but others were heavy on how frustratingly inaccurate it let itself become. Apparently, the  Polish created the first enigma in the 1930s and then the Germans took it and made their own improvements. Alan Turing didn’t work on his machine alone but had help by others, plus people who were part of the decoding team weren’t even acknowledged in the movie. Among other hiccups, the other reviewers detailed it better but it doesn’t hurt to do a little research (if only Hollywood did). Does Hollywood believe there are no other historians out there who would crack their movie and find their lies? There are facts in history that be found by a click of a button or whipping out your phone. Hollywood likes to remember history a certain way which sacrifices historical accuracy for entertainment (Pearl Harbor). I think it’s funny how some historical fiction gets more history right than a movie based on an actual event.

Regardless of the history, although important, this is a good flick. I must mention the writing first, which is smart and very fun. There was a lot of word jugglery that made sense for each person and will leave you chuckling at perfect moments throughout the story. “Sometimes it is the people who no one imagines anything of who do the things that no one can imagine.” The movie touches upon many subjects: Machines, Man, Secrets, Lies, Truths, and what makes us think differently. Some subject matter went deeper than expected, like accepting the people who are not ‘normal.’ The performances weren’t hail worthy, except maybe Benedict Cumberbatch, but they all succeeded what they set out to do. Matthew Goode’s (Watchman)  character, a womanizer, stood out to me as a calm, cool person who you had earn his respect before he accepted you. But as cast in all, they all had good chemistry. 

The Imitation Game is worth a watch for it’s entertainment value, and a couple historical nods. With a brisk pace and a high prduction, you can find yourself in enjoyment. And most importantly, stay different my friends.

Cannibal Holocaust (1980) – IMDb

via Cannibal Holocaust (1980) – IMDb.

 

It has been a week since I last saw Cannibal Holocaust. Needless to say the horrific images are still buried in my brain. 35 years after it’s initial release, this ‘video nasty’ still shocks viewers and I don’t believe that will end any time soon. Few movies have left me sitting long after the credits. Few movies have left the movie swirling in my head still as I think to myself: Wow, what did I just watch? or Gee, this movie was deeply disturbing, or better, That was a profound experience. Movies like The Living and The Dead, Irreversible, and The Hunt have all left me with this. Cannibal Holocaust will leave you feeling depressed and filthy. Like a tribesman just gutted you and packed you full of mud as you are helplessly tied, then he laughs as you watch him eat the organs he tenderly took away from you.

The reviews and trailers can not prepare you for this. Much like the film crew the movie is based around. The story is centered on a young documentary crew going to the Amazon to film a native cannibal tribe. This cannibal tribe, however, is in unmarked territory. But wait! They brought a guide, so of course they will be safe… They go missing. Another small team is assembled to go search for them. This is mainly how the movie begins. You meet this crew who are on the rescue mission, then meet the tribe and find the film entangled with human bones. After they retrieve the film, they proceed to watch in horror what really happened to the documentarians. The whole structure of Cannibal Holocaust is great. It’s probably my favorite part of the movie, just watching the events unfold and learn the natives’ costumes. Once you reach the ‘film’ it’s shot like a found footage movie. Way before Blair Witch Project there was this, and must say it was handled expertly. But this is much more than a horror movie, more than an exploration in a jungle. It’s a film that explores human beings in a primitive state posed to being civilized. But who is civilized?

Weren’t we once savages? Director Ruggero Deodato makes us ponder many different subjects coursing through the film’s veins. One major controversial question is ‘did the live animals need to be slaughtered on film?’ Maybe it would have garnered more of an audience if not so. The native cannibal tribe did not accept our modern currency so instead Deodato offered them animals. These animals are killed on screen. Most notably the turtle scene, which holds up to its own grotesque rep. Turtles are one of my favorite animals and it was sad to see it butchered on screen. This is probably the worst part about the movie, which keeps you from cheering at the end when the film crew get what they deserved. Yes, the crew deserved their life-sentenced-punishment. It’s not just found in the conclusion while watching the found footage cam; where you see these young people mistreat the natives and disturb the peace. It is shown and understood when you see the rescuers being accepted as visitors; only because they expressed a much more human side and respect, like being bare naked and wearing no fear. In a way, the two storylines are parallel. If you are brave enough, and are not squirmish and can take the pain the movie does so well of inducing, you will see what I mean.

I do think the landscape could have been utilized better. Like I wanted to see more of what the land was like there, above, below, in the trees. But the movie did a good job of making you feel like dirt.  In short, Cannibal Holocaust is a masterpiece. Not just as a horror but a social commentary drama. A much disturbingly, aching, nasty, raw masterpiece, standing on its own pillars. A few things I have learned, in our civilization we are focused on violence, very similar to how this movie is portrayed. Another thing I learned from this movie is that knowledge is pain. When the Professor (part of the rescue team) shows the editors back in the states the film clips that were uncovered, the editors wanted to see more and more of what happened. They wanted to distribute the footage for money, caring little for the lives that were lost. When they came to the end, the editors insisted on watching the rest and sell it to the world to eat up. So, the Professor put it on… Afterwards the editors looked at each other and walked away with out a word. One of them calls up the studio and tells them to get rid of everything. We are left with one final question: Who are the real cannibals?

Taxi Driver (1976) – IMDb

via Taxi Driver (1976) – IMDb.

taxi_driver

I had the intent of watching Taxi Driver as a psycho drama with a man killing people but what I got was probably one of the most sanest people who observed his surrounding and was misunderstood. When you’re alone, in silence, you create ideas and moments that possibly could enrage you. Or maybe you just think of how messed up your country is and want to flush it down the toilet. I’m not saying I think of throwing on a cape and becoming a hero but loneliness is a tough thing to tackle. Taxi Driver is a film that took me by surprise; I don’t usually watch a popular-household-movie-title because I’ve read so many reviews and heard so many great things about the movie that I decide to watch a lesser known movie. But this one, not at all as I expected. I knew I would be watching a character study but not one that expressed itself like the way it did. Perhaps I didn’t read enough reviews; this movie, however, fits well with my collection.

Small on story, top class acted and heavy on a character driven film, this has become a favorite of mine. This is a story of a man, Travis Bickle (Robert Deniro) who is lonely, he can read people, he knows himself and feels the energy of emotions. In his world, he knows what’s right and wrong, or to what he believes. There is no one else, except this beautiful blonde he has kept an eye on for quite while, long enough to know she is lonely and unhappy even though she is surrounded by a crowd of people, and a goofball coworker. After Travis stops being a creep and gets up to ask her out, a magnetic bond occurs. He then introduces her to the world he wish he knew and the world he lives in. She, just like the cold others, scoffs and walks away without a word to discuss the meaning between their relationship just because she didn’t understand and didn’t like what she saw. Afterwards, is a sequence of events that shape him more and more.

You watch Travis live as a loner. He works nights as a cab driver and takes supplements to stay awake. Sometimes coffee, yea, and he talks to fellow nightshift cab drivers but not so much. They’re just there, really. Wizard tries to give insight but both him and Travis exchange what they really mean unclearly to each other. Whenever Travis reaches out, its like he forces himself back into loneliness. A lot of it is the job he carries on his shoulders. An ex-marine working for any hours plus holidays all week long, just trying to keep busy. There are many great scenes in this movie, some are more subtle than others. Like when Travis sits outside a building in his cab and a policeman comes and tells him to move away because it’s a no parking zone as the window is being rolled up; it’s like his glass window separates his reality from their’s. I recommend you watch the special features as well, it gives a very good insight on the film.

I highly recommend you watch this tour de force, noir film. I believe everyone could relate to this film and learn something from it. Some distant than others but even they can grasp the concept of being alone. I would like to thank my dad for offering this movie to me awhile back for my pleasure of viewing but I’m glad I waited and procrastinated watching other movies, after the years I found great appreciation for this film. Sometimes you have to wait and let time decide. Two of my other favorite flicks are About A Boy and Big Lebowski, not at all dark or noir-ish as Taxi Driver but they are centered on lonely people who stood up for something. With that to the side, this is a really well written film. This is an important film in cinema history. It’s a character study that shouldn’t be taken lightly. It should be understood and observed, much like Travis, maybe people will understand one another better. The flow in the film is perfect, the shots are colorful and engaging. I loved the jazz soundtrack throughout the film and I love anti-hero stories and this fit the bill. Movies that feed my mind and soul are devoured by me. Taxi Driver is an experience I won’t forget and I will be watching this again soon. Enjoy.

Old Boy

On my way home the other night, I ran into an old friend and got into a conversation about movies. We came to terms on getting munchies and watching one of the movies I hyped my friend into watching. The movie was called Old Boy. Fortunately, this is not the American remake with ‘The Goonies’ Josh Brolin. I’m talking about the dark, twisted original Korean flick the Americans wish they have made. Basic premise is a man named Dae su is imprisoned in a room for 15 years and does not know why. He is released and meets a cute young girl who aids him. From here, Dae su is on a search to find the man who held him captive and more importantly Why? My friend was hooked from the start, asking that big question: Why? Ha, let me tell you, it is a ride. And I wouldn’t suggest it to the faint of heart; the movie is disturbing and will stay with you for a long time. That being said, I enjoyed it. If you are looking for something different, dark, and powerful look no further.