Red Sea

Red Sea

If you told me 10 years ago that I'd prefer watching outright chinese commie propaganda more than most of what comes out of Hollywood, I'd have called you nuts. While I'd previously seen Wandering Earth and a few other movies originated out of China, and you could see the worldview/assumptions working in the background, it wasn't until watching Operation Red Sea - filmed entirely in cooperation with the PLA Navy as a "Chinese Navy Seals go to the Shores of Tripoli" - that I'd watched such an obvious and forthright propaganda film to push Chinese interests, attitudes, and aims.…

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Interstellar, Again

Interstellar, Again

MOTW has a post up on "Peak Hollywood" and how everything coming out in the near future is a sequel. I fully agree that Interstellar is likely the best film of the last several decades. Dunkirk was also amazing. Time to queue it back up and watch it again. Don't miss the link to the review by John C Wright. As an aside, the number of clueless idiots who bashed on the treatment of love in teh film as "new agey" still shocks me.…

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Pop Kult

Via Castalia house, an excellent post on how pop culture is more accurately, as Brian Neimeier puts it, Pop Kult (or "Cult"). The Epistle of Captain America – The Pop Cult is Truly a Cult That said, I do think he's overlooked something: When my viewers were upset about the corporate destruction of Star Wars, calling the franchise a cultural institution, I thought it a bit hyperbolic – after all, these are just stories, and you can’t uncreate what George Lucas did. I see things better now. Star Wars is part of the religious reverence for popular franchises. When Disney…

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The War to End All Wars

The War to End All Wars

The short version? Go see 1917. It's a solid war movie. If I had a quibble it's that they compressed nearly 24 hours into just a few while at the same time, except for a period of unconsciousness, showing you the events in two apparently continuous shots. There was certainly less overt antiwar messaging than I would have expected. The background music, while not Zimmer, is similar to his more recent soundscape-style work. From a technical perspective, it's an amazing achievement of steadicam work.…

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Norwegiean Cinema: A Bit of Dark Humor.

Norwegiean Cinema: A Bit of Dark Humor.

If you're looking for a couple of the films I mentioned, you may come across several others. One of which involves a snowplow driver who goes on the vengeance trail to kill the drug dealers who murdered his son, sparking a war between two factions of drug dealers. If you're thinking, "But, that Liam Neeson movie, Cold Pursuit, isn't out yet," you'd be right. I'm talking about the Norwegian movie that inspired it, with the english title In Order of Disappearance who's original title translates more literally as "the work of idiots." First, the bad. This is a Nordic film.…

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Norwegian Cinema: The Wave

Norwegian Cinema: The Wave

My introduction to Norwegian cinema didn't start with the recently mentioned Kon Tiki. For that matter, it didn't start with the movie I'm discussing today, but if I recall, with either the Netflix series Lillyhammer, or a dark little piece called Headhunters. While both were okay, the first one that actually impressed me was a disaster movie I found mentioned over on Quintus Curtius's blog called simply The Wave, or Bølgen. The movie is inspired by several rockslides which, in the confines of the narrow fjords, have caused huge title waves, killing dozens of people. Similar events included the Lituya…

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Steaming Pile of Nope

It's sad how quickly it's obvious that something is just going to be pretentious trash for IYI's. Director James Gray (The Lost City of Z) has said he wanted to make a film that depicted space travel as realistically as possible "and to basically say, 'Space is awfully hostile to us.' It’s kind of a Heart of Darkness story about traveling to the outer edge of our solar system." The official synopsis strikes just the right note of vague grandiosity: "Astronaut Roy McBride (Brad Pitt) travels to the outer edges of the solar system to find his missing…

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Chernobyl

Chernobyl

The series on HBO has come to an end, and while in some ways it suffers from the usual dragging pace of binge-watch oriented series, and the previously mentioned "lets make a representative scientist character, who know more than all her coworkers, a woman" - significantly toned down after the introductory episode - is still a solid retelling of the Chernobyl disaster. The infogalactic article is a long one covering the accident in more depth as well as alternate hypothesis regarding the sequence of events and responsibility/issues. Long story short - a perfect storm design flaws, piss poor training,…

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