Wednesday, June 29, 2022
Monday, June 27, 2022
Wednesday, June 22, 2022
Tuesday, June 21, 2022
A military operation uses a Predator UAV to track a group of highly wanted terrorists to a house in Kenya where a couple of suicide bombings are being prepared. Since the Predator is equipped with a couple of Hellfire missiles, and there is an imminent threat, the logical thing to do is to blow up the house from the air.
However, there is a problem. A little girl from the same neighborhood starts selling loaves of bread baked by her mother just outside the house with the terrorists inside. The conflict of the film is what to do about the little girl? This is a decision that goes up and down the command chain and gets debated hotly as a moral conundrum.
The movie also uses a couple of micro-drones disguised as animals that may not really exist. We don't know for sure what secret technology the military may have.
Is this an anti-war film? Maybe. But it also debates the morality of fighting a war with drones from thousands of miles away where the participants are safe from the consequences.
The tension in this movie is fantastic. It also shows how competing political interests might fight over life and death decisions. Although this is a work of fiction, it is easy to imagine that scenarios like this have played out for real.
Sunday, June 12, 2022
Almost all of the movie's technology feels like science fiction. The plot revolves around killer nanobots that can assassinate specific people or groups based on their DNA. We also see a variety of Bond gadgets that don't seem realistic at our current level of technology. As unrealistic as all this technology is, it will likely seem outdated in a couple of decades. For example, I think that the future of biotechnology won't be nanobots, which in science fiction are typically presented as all-powerful capable of doing almost anything, but instead will be actual biotechnology using genetics and microorganisms.
There is a scene early in the film where a Bond car is shown to be bulletproof, despite having normal-looking windows. Real bulletproof glass can be up to 3.5 inches thick. I would not expect thin car windows to withstand a massive barrage of bullets as they do in this scene.Daniel Craig is great as Bond. Christoph Waltz has a really good but all too brief scene as Blofeld. Lashana Lynch is good as a female 007, but Rami Malek steals the show as the new creepy villain. He will be playing Robert Oppenheimer in a 2023 film.
Saturday, June 11, 2022
For some people, one or more of these flaws is a deal killer. They rejected the movie completely. However, for me, these are all minor problems because the rest of the movie is terrific. It has great themes, terrific imagery, plenty of action, and much character drama. The rest of it is what a Star Wars movie should be. I was annoyed like everyone else with parts of it, but I was thoroughly entertained nevertheless.
I think that The Last Jedi is the best of the sequel trilogy. The first film was too much of a repeat of the original Star Wars movie. The third film, episode 9, although somewhat entertaining, is not very logical and for me the most disappointing of all 9 films.
Friday, June 10, 2022
Saturday, June 4, 2022
Friday, June 3, 2022
Sunday, May 29, 2022
Wednesday, April 20, 2022
Thursday, March 17, 2022
Sunday, March 6, 2022
Friday, February 18, 2022
I rewatched "Contagion" after seeing it in the theater when it came out ten years ago.
I have never seen a more prophetic movie in my entire life. At least 80% of the film seems applicable to the current COVID-19 pandemic. The biggest difference is the deadliness of the disease, which instead of being about 2% for known cases is around 25%. But detail after detail comes up that I only recently learned about during the COVID crisis.
The movie has an 85% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, although not all the critics were equally enthusiastic. The audience score is only 63%, so I suspect that the subject matter might have turned off some people. Rotten Tomatoes describes it as, "Tense, tightly plotted, and bolstered by a stellar cast. Contagion is an exceptionally smart -- and scary -- disaster movie." I agree. It tells a fantastic story. My favorite movie critic, Richard Roeper, gives it 5 out of 5 stating, "Contagion" is a brilliantly executed disease outbreak movie."
Perhaps the problem with the 2006 film is that it was an attempt to make a more modern Superman movie. Something that fits into a post 9-11 world. It has a more realistic feel to it compared to the 1978 original, although the year 2006 no longer feels modern. The movie is starting to feel dated.I like the movie. I like the many themes it touches on. I love Kevin Spacey's performance as Lex Luthor. Somehow the execution is faulty. Its ideas are better than its implementation. Everything rushes by too quickly.
The film really is a bit more glum. It turns into a well-made soap opera. There is an extreme emphasis on a love triangle between Superman, Lois Lane, and her new husband, as if dealing with relationships makes the movie more modern. It is a more emotional take on Superman, but interesting nevertheless.
The movie is essentially a sequel to Superman II. Brandon Routh looks similar to Christopher Reeve who played in the previous Superman movies, but he doesn't look as muscular as Christopher Reeve did. He doesn't fit the muscular image of Superman that audiences are used to.
The movie sets us up for a sequel that never came. Superman Returns was supposed to be a reboot of the franchise, which got rebooted again in 2013 by Man of Steel. Apparently, this wasn't the Superman we were looking for.
However, the high production quality and good acting make this movie worth watching. Jeremy Irons is delightful as Chamberlain. George MacKay and Jannis Niewöhner are good, playing their characters as people a little in over their heads. Hannes Wegener is great as a sadistic SS officer who is a former classmate of Paul's but suspects him of being part of a cabal.
The movie has been called revisionist because the ending portrays Chamberlain as being more clever than he may have actually been. According to the film, Chamberlain made the peace agreement with Hitler to buy time for England to prepare for war.