Blackfish (2013) – Like Free Willy but much, much darker.
I have a healthy respect for the sea and all the really big stuff that lives there. I’m wary of it to the degree that evolution intends and respect its wonders from the inside of a boat. For me, watching the documentary Blackfish was therefore a difficult combination of being really shit scared of killer whales (they’re big and might eat you) and being amazed by their beauty and power. I also left the cinema feeling angry that some prat would think it’s OK to put them in a paddling pool and defend that action in the face of overwhelming evidence that this makes them (understandably) violent.
However, mainly I just felt sad. The huge males with their floppy fins reflected their deflated lives in a painfully visible way. The floppiness is understandable as instead of the highly emotional family based existence they enjoy in the wild, they are ripped apart from their kin and forced to perform tricks for fish rewards at Seaworld. So when the burly, bearded dude talked about his experience kidnapping baby orcas in the wild and couldn’t hold back his tears, I was right there with him.
To see something so majestic brought so low is heartbreaking and barbaric. It is certainly something future generations will look back on with disgust. I for one am glad I have never been to Seaworld.
Main super power: being really, really, ridiculously good-looking.
Man Of Steel (2013)
It was my whole-hearted intention to write an informed and witty post about Man of Steel. However it turned out Henry Cavill’s face, and shoulders, and hairy chest are all really distracting and subsequently I forgot to pay attention to funny things which I could take the piss out off (as is the style of this blog).
I do remember finding it terribly underwhelming that Superman’s (Earth) dad had to die saving a dog from a tornado. Seriously. A dog. He wasn’t even a particularly cute dog. If it had been a puppy (maybe a pug) then I think it would have added some much needed depth and realism to the film.
BTW he’s not as American as he looks. Superman is definitely English this time around.
I also noted that both of Clark Kent’s dads (Earth and Krypton) had previously played Robin Hood – one as an American and the other as an Australian doing a sort of Northern English accent attempt. Conclusion: English Superman’s dad is American / Australian Robin Hood. Yes, that is my take home message.
Can I just say, strong hat game from everyone.
Always wanted to see Harrison Ford in a wide brimmed hat and trousers too short for him? You got it pal.
Ford plays our hero, a Philadelphia cop who has to protect a small Amish boy and his mother from his corrupt colleagues. The child is the only witness (get it?) to a murder which would scupper the dodgy police officers’ plans to get their hands on lots of money. The best way for our hero to protect his witness is to pretend to be Amish obviously. He rides in horse-drawn carts, milks a cow and dances with the boy’s mum. I think the last part is just because he fancies her. It certainly isn’t very Amish anyway.
Watching Harrison Ford raise a barn is pretty much one of the best things ever. Witness is therefore an excellent film purely for the fact that it provides this. His carpentry skills are deftly revealed whilst he repairs a bird house for his Amish lady host. (FYI Ford is a carpenter for real too, one of the many ways he’s like Jesus…joking. Jesus never punched any Nazis). A couple of scenes later he’s in his shirt sleeves, tool belt strapped on and raising an Amish barn with Viggo Mortensen. No lie, he is in this film too.
To conclude, if you enjoy Harrison Ford’s slightly sweaty, manly chest I thoroughly recommend Witness. There is also naked lady chest involved but I’m less concerned with that.
Cloud Atlas (2012)
I wasn’t particularly excited to see Cloud Atlas. The adverts made it seem convoluted and self-indulgent. I couldn’t see where the real emotion would shine through in so many storylines and time frames. Not to mention the fact that, although excellent actors, Tom Hanks and Halle Berry aren’t really a duo that get me jazzed to go to the cinema.
How silly I feel now, having truly enjoyed the film and being firmly suckered into its karma message…. possibly shedding a tear near the end. The whole film looked beautiful and left me feeling genuinely overwhelmed but in a good, non-burdensome, partly cathartic way. I especially enjoyed the aesthetic and tone of the futuristic Seoul portion of the film and would have happily sat through an entire 2 hour movie of just that (but I am really into Korean stuff… and dystopic futures).
The themes of love and power, freedom and slavery were affecting; whether the person being denied their freedom was a black man enslaved in the Pacific Islands, a woman confined to a futuristic pod living only to serve beverages or an older gentleman in a retirement home. So let’s be nice to each other? Yeah?