Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The Girl with All the Gifts



The few zombie movies that I like offered solutions to the problem rather than just be running away: I am Legend had a cure and in World War Z, Brad Pitt discovered a means of defense. Knowing that the heroes of a zombie genre can do nothing but run away feels restrictive. I am the one that feels tired for them.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Passengers - A Nerdwriter Rearrangement


One of the YouTube channels I follow, Nerdwriter actually made an edit at 2:56 which takes out the romance - an angle that didn't work - and give the movie a more mysterious tone.

Limiting Passengers to romance was the movie's undoing.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Sully


Only death exempts the mind from wandering into the what-if especially having been so close to death.

Even after successful water landing on the Hudson River Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger’s (Tom Hanks) sees himself still crashing into buildings, which could have happened had he strayed off the river.

The story of that fateful flight is very straight forward. Capt Chesley Sullenberger, his co-pilot and First Officer Jeff Skiles, and three stewardesses were manning the US Airways Flight 1549 in a routine flight between New York to Charlotte, North Carolina. The flight had 150 passengers on board.

Barely minutes after take-off, Flight 1549 endured bird strikes that took out both engines. Capt. Sully, basically left with an oversized metal glider, had the choice of either Laguardia or Teterburo to make an emergency landing. After going through a series of parameters, quickly and mentally, he glided the airplane into the river.  The plane suffered a breach but was relatively intact albeit sinking. Only the quick response of New York’s emergency services and nearby boat ferries managed to end this incident at zero casualties.

Under creative liberties the filmmakers avoided the simple straight forward. The story of Sully starts days and months after the incident. Everything is framed with the investigation of Capt. Sully and his First Officer Jeff Skiles by the National Transportation Safety Board.

The NTSB is an American agency that determines the probable cause of the accidents and issues safety recommendations aimed at preventing future accidents. A plane dived into the Hudson; an investigation is just standard procedure.

So the start of the film wherein Capt. Sully is seeing himself crash into a building is not just a result of shocked nerves after having faced death so close; he really has to replay the incident over and over again because he’s under investigation.  The investigation also has an added benefit to the narrative as it provided a pretext to see different points of view which should culminate in a full factual picture of the incident.

Besides Capt. Sully there is his crew, the passengers of US Airways Flight 1549, the ferry boats of the Hudson River, and the City New York. Sully is a story about community as much as it is about the man. Despite being a plane crash it was a feel good moment for New York especially with its bad history with airplanes.

Unfortunately under creative liberties the movie might have made a casualty of the reputations of the NTSB panel making the investigations. Based on a Bloomberg article, the NTSB has said they were not consulted in the making of the film. Filmmakers on the other hand replied that the story was in Capt. Sully’s point of view.

Story wise, without knowing what went on in those hearings; I thought it outrageous that the investigations can boil down to simulations vs. an experienced pilot. I didn’t think it possible because I doubt NTSB would dare politically with the incident practically deified as the Miracle of the Hudson. Besides even if they dared can it really be possible to favour simulations over an experienced pilot?  Or is it a case to case basis?

I also thought than in a post September 11 world there is fear against a piloted projectile such as an airplane. Those fears are what I was thinking of every time the story cuts into Sully’s nightmares. September 11 comes to mind also in cuts of the citizens watching the Flight 1549 going down; like you can almost hear them say, ‘not again’.  And yet with all this history the investigation hinges only on the Flight 1549’s ability to make the airport or not?

Acting wise, what negative can I say about Tom Hanks? He exudes hero even without the physicality of someone like Tom Cruise who is more an action hero.  Tom has a face you’d just believe whether it be stranded on an island or piloting a plane to the river. Tom has a brilliant support cast led by his first officer played Aaron Eckhart and his wife played Laura Linney.

Creative liberties run amuck or an expression of the pilot’s point of view? As always back reading is advised before swallowing hook line and sinker any information coming out from true-to-life flicks. Bottom line is whatever comes out of Hollywood are just movies.

Remember


Remember has the basic elements for a comedy if only Christopher Plummer didn’t look so feeble. A man hunting another man, problem is the hunter is afflicted with dementia. It’s like 50 First Dates in a retirement home only that the hunter does not recall love everyday but revenge.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Kong: Skull Island


Kong: Skull Island started with the obsession of Bill Randa (John Goodman) but unfortunately got dominated by the obsession of Col. Preston Packard (Samuel L. Jackson) to kill Kong all throughout. I haven’t been to a mission even remotely similar to the one in the movie but unless it’s a war I don’t see how Col. Packard, a Vietnam veteran, can hijack the mission and thereby the story.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium, #1)

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My review comes from one who has seen the David Fincher adaptation first hence the lacking of any mentions of excitement that comes with knowing something new. Instead I will just mention what I find different and often richer.

The Last Jedi - teaser



What can be deduced from the trailer and much publicized by articles, bloggers, and snippets months before is that not much time has passed since The Force Awakens.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Passengers


The beginning was deceitful albeit out of desperation; the chemistry between stars is suspect; and the ending just cuts off suddenly which they meant to be heart-warmingly positive but ended only to make story too good to be true even for a sci-fi flick.

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Swiss Army Man


Although not obvious at first, Swiss Army Man can be described in one quote given by its leading character.

“You know, I’d always hoped that right before I died my life would flash before my eyes and I would see wonderful things, but as I was hanging up there I didn’t really see much of anything, but I did see you.”