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sunsetshoegazer

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5 reviews in total 
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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
A fantastic look at horrific realities of corporatism... my only fear is that it will not find an audience outside of those already to the left., 27 February 2010
9/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The Corporation tries to explain to a mainstream audience what left-wing sociologists and philosophers and anti-consumerist publications have been saying to those already politically inclined - why are corporations so powerful, and why are they so dangerous? This long documentary generally cuts out the jargon and vocabulary that makes political media sometimes so difficult for an apathetic perspective, but at the same time isn't patronising or overly preachy. Instead of having the moral depth of an afterschool special, it presents a number of anti-corporatist figures (Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn and Naomi Klein are among the most notable) who try and explain the destructive and cruel nature of corporations.

The most clever idea of the film is to compare corporations and their anti-human actions to a human being, to develop on the notion of Corporate Personhood - the fact that a corporation is legally recognised as a person. With this in mind, businesses are analysed like a human being would be, and here we come to a disturbing conclusion - corporations, with their disregard for other human beings, have similar patterns of functioning to that of a psychopath.

As excellent as this documentary is, however, my concern is that those who will watch it and enjoy it and talk about it will be those who already are to the left and are interested in politics. This is true with me - I'm an anarchist, and if I wasn't into activism I wouldn't have heard of it. So here's to hoping the power of word can give this film the breakthrough it deserves, because it's a much better alternative perspective than the sort of half-baked, wishy-washy sentiments expressed by Michael Moore in 'Capitalism: A Love Story'.'

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
One of the greatest works of anti-fascism ever, 27 February 2010
10/10

American History X is a classic. It's one of the strongest arguments against racism, Nazism and intolerance ever on the silver screen, and what makes this story even more horrifying is the fact that it's based on a real event.

Edward Norton was robbed of an Oscar. His performance in this film is absolutely haunting - but really, the acting is excellent all-round. Edward Furlong is fantastic as the conflicted yet gifted Danny Vinyard.

This is a film that is powerful, frightening, moving and heartbreaking. It's a tale of a family torn apart by hatred and the relationship between two brothers. There are moments not easy for those with weak stomaches, but it is something you must see.

0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Loud, obnoxious, 27 February 2010
1/10

The idea of a Transformer film isn't really such a bad one. There's so much potential for eye-popping action and there's a cool sci-fi element to the franchise. I remember the cartoon and the toys. I kinda liked them. This could be alright! Whoops, Michael Bay directed it? Oh well, forget any hopes.

Seriously though, there is absolutely no substance whatsoever. I'm not expecting The Godfather, but I'm expecting a film that's entertaining beyond robots fighting and things blowing up. I mean, it tries to pass cheesy jokes and bad references as some sort of charm. And I don't care about Shia LeBeouf or his love interest... who doesn't do anything. Hooray for strong female characters. I can't even remember their names.

Really, absolutely awful.

43 out of 59 people found the following review useful:
Embarrassing, 27 February 2010
1/10

The first Twilight film was really terrible, and had some moments of unintentional comedy, but this was actually much worse. I spent the entire time just cringing at the poor lines, the acting, the God-awful treatment of mythology, the misogynistic, patriarchal and abusive undertones throughout the film, and the terrible special effects for such a blockbuster series.

A lot of people will dislike so much scorn directed to a film that's just a fun watch - I understand this argument but there's a difference between fun and forgettable and just being complete trash. There are incredibly entertaining movies that aren't Shakespeare but don't actually manage to offend my intelligence and my gender. This isn't one of them. Additionally, popular culture affects our world view more than we can sometimes imagine. Media should be analysed because it's influential.

And it confuses me how this could be so popular. Edward, Bella and Jacob are some of the most unpleasant and unappealing protagonists I've ever encountered in popular fiction. Bella is shallow and yet pretentious, while Edward is controlling and demeaning. These are not people that you would like if one of them wasn't a vampire and the other was snogging them.

One of the worst films I've ever seen, and it's something devoid of both artistic merit and any sort of meaning, message or thought. It really sucks that young women are enjoying this franchise and seeing Edward and Jacob as the ideal love interests.

EDIT: A lot of people giving this film positive reviews are trying to dismiss criticism by saying it's a 'film for the women/girls/ladies'... have any idea how much that furthers stereotypes? I know more than one guy who loves Twilight, and more than one girl who loves *enter generic action movie which people think only men like*. Come on people move behind this shallow 'Boys like this girls like that' already. Popular culture should be analysed, and it sucks if you think just because it's developed for one gender in mind it gets some sort of free pass for being sexist, badly written, poorly acted drivel. It sucks if you think this sort of tripe should be 'for the girls'. Another card being played is the 'Is Romeo and Juliet bad because its unrealistic?' question. Romeo and Juliet, though, is about the tragedy and immaturity of the two young lovers. The relationship fails and ends in such disaster because of the way they rushed and were consumed by lust. And it's one of Shakespeare's most heavily critiqued plays - a lot of people have criticised it. So if the Bard himself is not above disapproval then why should something like this be exempt?

Akira (1988)
2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
The animation isn't the only amazing thing... Spoilers throughout, 26 February 2010
10/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

AKIRA is, despite its fanfare and acclaim as the "big anime", still highly underrated. It's a gem, and a movie that slowly drags you in. Beyond the jaw-dropping animation, bloody violence and nightmarish ending (famous enough to be parodied in an episode of South Park (Trapper Keeper), and cartoons such as The Powerpuff Girls, Dexter's Laboratory and Invader Zim), it is a movie that is deeply human, and greatly philosophical. This is a character movie, a film about people, as dystopian fiction has classically emphasised the destruction of humanity and relationships as one of its major themes. In the same few minutes that we hear fantastical theories of human evolution and see a portrayal of a world devastated by nuclear war, we also see the disenfranchised youth of Neo-Tokyo and the friendships that arise in such unsettling times. Interestingly, two of the biggest criticisms of AKIRA conflict: one is that the plot is incomprehensible and too heavy, and the other is that the plot is a poorly made backdrop for explosions and other eye candy, and while the film is stunning to just look at, there's a lot, lot more going on.

When we examine great works of fiction that deal with fascist societies, authoritarianism and social decay, we will find that the vast majority of these works contain a considerable deal of violence. This is not a coincidence; look at Winston Smith's visit to Room 101 and Offred's viewing of the men hanged for being homosexuals and women killed for being independent in the modern classic Handmaid's Tale. These elements are commonplace in literature and live-action, but the level of brutality in AKIRA, the way the cops treat civilians, the Cronenberg finale, is virtually unheard of in first-rate animation. The disgusting form Tetsuo takes at the end of the movie sees him as a giant, mutant baby: and isn't this symbolic of what Tetsuo was trying to run away from? He wanted to be independent and an adult and all powerful, and ends up becoming infantile, all-consuming and a burden.

The characters in the film are somewhat condensed compared to the manga (which is even better, and even bigger) but are still believable and very human - the ultimately caring Kaneda who is outwardly overconfident, outgoing and sometimes cruel, the angst-ridden, lonely Tetsuo with the inferiority complex, the brave, self-righteous and yet naive nature of Kei, the wise, idealistic, loving personality of Kiyoko. These are rich characters. In fact, one of the major subplots surrounds the Colonel's authoritarian and pro-active personality clashing with the government authorities, and how he gets increasingly infuriated with what he sees as the 'dreaming' and foolishness of the scientists he engages with. It's hard to see this as short of depth.

Of course, much has already been said about the groundbreaking animation. This film has around 160,000 unique stills, and much of the movie takes place at night, which is traditionally something animators avoid because of the colour demands. It was also one of the first Japanese animations to pre-record voices before beginning the animation process, which, while already common in the US at the time of production, was new in Japan. The end result is absolutely vivid, dark, and sometimes terrifying, but always wonderful. The iconic opening bike chase is referenced in Kanye West's 'Stronger' video, as well as the scenes where Tetsuo is undergoing military experimentation. Also adding to the great atmosphere is the haunting soundtrack composed by Shoji Yamashiro and performed by Geinoh Yamashirogumi.

The powerful chants in 'Tetsuo' have recently been sampled in acclaimed musician Panda Bear's 'Comfy In Nautica'.

This movie is complicated and bursting with themes, but I cannot stress enough that it is a movie that needs repeat viewings. It has a lot to say, and it is admittedly very difficult to understand in the first watch. People talk about themes of human nature often, but then complain about violence in films such as AKIRA and other controversial pieces of art. While some films masquerade under the pretence of making statements but are exploitative and ultimately trash, AKIRA is a phenomenal exploration of humanity and the downfall of civilisation.

The number of different conclusions and interpretations of this film, from an analogy about the war crimes in WWII Japan, to the enormous troubles of youth, to even a critique of modern consumerism and capitalism itself (!) show how thought-provoking this film is.

To end what was never meant to be so long: An epic masterpiece, and one of my all-time favourite films.

10/10