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View Full Version : Children of Men: How to make Tenshi teary, stunned, & moved in 2 hours or less.



Stick
7th January 07, 01:52 AM
http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a78/tenshirisu/story.jpgSo tonight I decided to go see a movie around 7:30. I get to the theater in Chinatown and go to buy my ticket, only thing is they're sold out till the 10:30 show; so I buy my ticket, give too much money to hobos on the streets, talk on my phone, and enjoy this unusually warm DC night walking around the capital building. Long story short, 10:30 finally rolls along and I sit down for probably the best movie I've seen in ages.

I'd seen Alfonso Curon's work before in Harry Potter & The Prisoner of Azkaban, it was impressive. I'm no film student, but I know what I like and I know when someone has made something better than everybody else- Azkaban is visually superior to the other Potter films; this director makes really pretty pictures.

Right from the get go, Children of Men grabs you with what will be its trademark: oners. That is to say scenes done all in one take, where the camera never cuts away to another angle, everything is fluid and the camera is following the characters and the action as though it were in the hands of a journalist on the battle field. The first take on this, the bombing of a cafe that the protagonist, Theo, just got his coffee from is shorter than those that follow. Each action sequence seems to become increasingly complex and take more time, the sheer amount of planning involved in these scenes is absolutely staggering; by the time the final such sequence is complete you should be sufficiently amazed.

I should note, the theater I was in had truly excellent sound. I hope for your sake you see this film in a theater with damn good surround and audio quality. The bullets, the explosions, the screaming, the crying, the everything that makes noise is truly stunning. This is one of the few times I've come away from a movie and thought, "that sounded so real".

For those not in the know, the premise for this film is fairly simple; everyone on Earth is inexplicably infertile. There are no pregnant women, no babies, no children, no one under 18 years of age walks the Earth as every country and every person on it slowly sinks further into hopelessness, madness, and ruin.

Theo works as a government stooge, but all he really does is go and get stoned with his buddy Jasper- played by Michael Caine- out in the woods. One day he is suddenly and violently picked up by masked men on the street and brought before the mother of his dead child- played by Julian Moore. She needs Theo and his government connections to get someone to the coast, off of England, and to a mysterious group of scientists known as "the Human Project"; the person in question is the first pregnant woman in 18 years.

The flight that ensues is pretty much just amazing. Everyone is after this girl, rebels, religious groups, the government- everyone wants her for something. As she and Theo flee across the country, as we see more and more of just how truly sad the entire world is, your heart- or at least my heart, some of you Sociopaths don't seem to have hearts- is just steadily hammered down into your stomach until you just about can't take it anymore.

As I mentioned in the thread title, I did tear up a little. I will not try to explain the moment that got me all shivery and filled me with hope- see this movie and you'll probably know which scene I'm talking about. In the face of seemingly overwhelming sorrow, this movie manages to raise your spirits by the end, and it is well worth it.

Hell, I had to go to the bathroom for the last thirty minutes of this movie and I just couldn't bring myself to leave. If that's not a tribute to how good it is, I don't know what is.

And here, for those who need a little something more, the preview


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BTW, Clive Owen is the god damn man!

WarPhalange
10th January 07, 04:18 PM
Wow, I had thought this was going to be another "ok, it's WAR in the middle east!" movie.

Stick
11th January 07, 12:38 AM
So, is that to say you saw it or that my review has enlightened you?

BTW, youtube kicks ass, here are some examples of that awesome cinematrography.

First, the spoiler free, really short version.

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Second, astounding road ambush scene. Love how the camera is jus sitting in the car like a 6th passenger. Fairly spoilery.

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Third, the glorious ten minute, spoileriffic version of that first video I put up there. Oh... and it's like in Russian or something, but that doesn't really matter.

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Fucking amazing.

WarPhalange
11th January 07, 03:24 AM
I haven't seen it. And won't. But at least now when people ask me if the movie is about the war in the Middle East, I can reply with a stern "No."

DAYoung
11th January 07, 05:51 AM
Dai, this is an excellent review, and I'd like to see the film.

But I'm genuinely curious: How in the name of Anaximander the Almighty do you watch films in a cinema? Wouldn't the bright light be enough to send you batty? And even without the photosensitivity, does it all make sense?

Stick
11th January 07, 09:14 AM
I sit in like the third row, and it isn't all that bright. As for making sense, sometimes I can't read subtitles or other on-screen text- say a letter or sign.

Phrost
11th January 07, 09:24 AM
Dai, this is an excellent review, and I'd like to see the film.

But I'm genuinely curious: How in the name of Anaximander the Almighty do you watch films in a cinema? Wouldn't the bright light be enough to send you batty? And even without the photosensitivity, does it all make sense?

Whoa, name dropping Anaximander. When I was 15 I wanted to change my name to that.

I remember fuck-all about his contributions to philosophy though.

Neildo
11th January 07, 12:26 PM
I'm much too cheap to watch movies in theatres.

I'll be watching this movie tonight anyways. *evil grin*

DAYoung
11th January 07, 05:30 PM
Whoa, name dropping Anaximander. When I was 15 I wanted to change my name to that.

I remember fuck-all about his contributions to philosophy though.

Very important. In Anaximander you find the world's first bona fide metaphysical idea: the apeiron, or 'boundless'. He was the first Presocratic to genuinely do away with 'stuff' (e.g. the world is fire, the world is water, the world is...) and develop a law-like principle at the foundation of all things.

bob
11th January 07, 06:20 PM
Very important. In Anaximander you find the world's first bona fide metaphysical idea: the apeiron, or 'boundless'. He was the first Presocratic to genuinely do away with 'stuff' (e.g. the world is fire, the world is water, the world is...) and develop a law-like principle at the foundation of all things.

Dammit DA, I accidentallly learned something just then. On the internet! You must post a picture of a scantily clad female as penance for this.

DAYoung
11th January 07, 06:28 PM
http://cartelen.louvre.fr/pub/fr/image/3765_s0002117.004.jpg

James Pradier, 'Three Graces', 1831 (Louvre).

Stick
11th January 07, 06:32 PM
By Jove, they aren't clad at all!

bob
11th January 07, 06:35 PM
But that's....

Never mind.

Incidentally, nice review Dai. You've inspired me to want to see this.

Derreck
14th January 07, 07:28 PM
The movie was fantastic, and I honestly think it's one every person on earth should see. Well-reviewed, sir.

Seraphim
15th January 07, 09:51 AM
I watched this last night with some friends.

The camera work was amazing, so was everything about this movie.
Go see it!

Sirc
25th January 07, 03:18 AM
My only complaint with this movie is that it had an agenda. I hate movies with agendas. I mean it was a GOOD movie, but holy fucking shit, I haven't been to a movie in YEARS without there being some bullshit social commentary in it. I liked this movie except for the stupid agenda it had.

DAYoung
25th January 07, 03:25 AM
SirC, truth has an agenda.

Live with it.

Sirc
25th January 07, 05:14 AM
SirC, truth has an agenda.

Live with it.

Yeah but I don't want to pay $10 to get an blatant agenda from truth. If I want to watch a movie that poorly gives someone's opinion, I'll go watch documentaries. If I pay you $10 for a sci-fi/action movie, I want to see a Sci-Fi/Action movie. What happened to movies like Rambo and Rocky and Aliens? Movies where they were just telling a story, something that made you feel good about going to watch a movie? Not some movie where you come out of the theatres angry at someone or wanting to overthrow a government based on a movie.

After I watched Rambo, I wanted to go thank a Vietnam Veteran for their service. When I watched Rocky, I wanted to work harder and achieve something great. After I watched Aliens, I wanted to high-five humanity for ingenuity and willpower to live. I hate partisan bullshit and how it splits people. I swear to God if this bullshit keeps up we're going to have a civil war on our hands.

DAYoung
25th January 07, 05:34 AM
I agree entirely.

I was joking, but I think you've just demonstrated the difference between art and craft.

Sirc
25th January 07, 05:49 AM
After this ranting (forgive me, I'm getting ill and I'm irritable), I realized something. I realized that I'm more pissed off by the fact that I have to deal with assholes who create their views based on a fucking MOVIE, written by some guy who has no reason to do any sort of research or gather any sort of empirical evidence to prove his point. No, you have some guy who thinks, "Man, I'm such an angsty motherfucker, I need to write something really fucking angsty and how much I hate the government! I hate everything! And I'll have the CGI team do some cool stuff and add in some minor plot details. Awesome. Print and cut."

Bullshit. Fucking bullshit.

DAYoung
25th January 07, 05:54 AM
There's a difference between having an agenda (which is inevitable) and contriving one into an artwork.

The former is the spur to creation, and the latter is often its undoing.

Sirc
25th January 07, 06:33 AM
Stop saying what I'm trying to say much more eloquently. Damn it.

DAYoung
25th January 07, 07:11 AM
Sorry. If it makes you feel better, I can't do jump spinning kicks any more.

Sirc
25th January 07, 01:34 PM
Sorry. If it makes you feel better, I can't do jump spinning kicks any more.

Yes, that makes me feel better.

Now give me a picture so I can photoshop you into this one:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v340/sircnay/sbk01.gif

Seraphim
25th January 07, 08:57 PM
Yes, that makes me feel better.

Now give me a picture so I can photoshop you into this one:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v340/sircnay/sbk01.gif

Thats a sharp looking kick there sirc. I would +rep you..if I hadn't neg repped you all those other times.

Perhaps after I've spread some rep around, I'll visit you again.

Cheers.

Commodore Pipes
19th February 07, 06:23 AM
... you have some guy who thinks, "Man, I'm such an angsty motherfucker, I need to write something really fucking angsty and how much I hate the government! I hate everything! And I'll have the CGI team do some cool stuff and add in some minor plot details. Awesome. Print and cut."

Bullshit. Fucking bullshit.

Did you think it was more critical of government than the 'freedom fighters?' Because though I agree it was pretty critical of right-wing politics, leftists came off even worse.

WarPhalange
19th February 07, 02:26 PM
Yeah but I don't want to pay $10 to get an blatant agenda from truth. If I want to watch a movie that poorly gives someone's opinion, I'll go watch documentaries. If I pay you $10 for a sci-fi/action movie, I want to see a Sci-Fi/Action movie. What happened to movies like Rambo and Rocky and Aliens? Movies where they were just telling a story, something that made you feel good about going to watch a movie? Not some movie where you come out of the theatres angry at someone or wanting to overthrow a government based on a movie.

After I watched Rambo, I wanted to go thank a Vietnam Veteran for their service. When I watched Rocky, I wanted to work harder and achieve something great. After I watched Aliens, I wanted to high-five humanity for ingenuity and willpower to live. I hate partisan bullshit and how it splits people. I swear to God if this bullshit keeps up we're going to have a civil war on our hands.

Alien had the questions "what is human?" and "what is life?" and also showed a female as the hero. It's actually a pretty deep movie.

Sirc
19th February 07, 10:39 PM
Alien had the questions "what is human?" and "what is life?" and also showed a female as the hero. It's actually a pretty deep movie.

Yeah but it was really subtle about it. This was like, "LOOK AT ME AND MY DEEP AND MEANINGFUL SYMBOLISM! I AM TOTALLY NOT FISHING FOR IT AT ALL!"