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People Prefer Superheroes Shows
I was uncertain whether to watch this TV series or not. I kept looking at the IMDb rating and thought to myself, "Well, 7.6, must be OK, nothing extraordinary." But then I started having a suspect, "Why are all these TV shows about superheroes rated so high from 8.5 to 9.2? That's odd because encouraged by the high rating, I have tried watching all of them but got bored after 5 minutes."
The thing is I have understood that the majority of people are not too keen to put too much thoughts into what they are watching, but rather interested in pure entertainment. Amazing special effects, great acting, and even interesting stories but personally I like to watch shows that leave me something and keeps me thinking.
"3%" does just that. Every moment of the show results in an original outcome. It kept me wondering all the time what I would do if I were in one of those situations, and the answers I came up with in my mind were never what I was expecting but always surprised me (with some exceptions, of course, like when Michelle betrays Bruna). The audience has to put a lot of thoughts in why a situation evolved that way and I understand most of the people do not like to do that exercise.
Of course the show has its plot holes, but who cares. Ultimately, it is not about the future, science fiction, or the story line, but rather about questioning some cardinal points of our worldwide societies.
The TV show made me continuously wonder whether I was leaning towards the Cause or the Offshore and I flipped my position many times. After all, I well think this must be the ultimate goal of the show, remark that the line between what's right and wrong is very blurry and ideologies may generally have noble intentions but fail along the process.
Viaggio sola (2013)
A Feminist Manifesto
The movie was excellent. Deeper than I had expected, philosophical and sociological. It might well be a good manifesto for feminism, which is the aspect I enjoyed the most.
There were scenes that felt almost like a documentary to me, as I was taken by learning what a hotel inspector does and how.
I also loved the questions she would then start asking herself (out loud for the audience) about the meaning of her life in the same way she had conducted inspections in the 5 star hotels.
The conversation between a wife and her husband not feeling attraction anymore to make love after many years of marriage was very realistic. There, it was clear be a woman writing/directing the movie.
Not a masterpiece but well done Maria Sole T.
Hitting the Apex (2015)
Turned my Opinions on the Riders Upside Down
Let me start with a premise: I am an Italian and a huge fan of Valentino Rossi (will get back to this later).
It is not easy to make a film with six protagonists, but the attempt was absolutely successful, and indeed a more-than-2-hour long film was needed in order to cover their stories thoroughly.
This film is so good that in my opinion it deserves an Oscar. It is unfair, though, that just because of the subject (racing) this documentary will probably not even receive a nomination. I bet technically horrible documentaries, but with a more popular subject, will make the nominees. "Amy", for instance, which is interesting obviously because of Amy Whinehouse, who I love as an artist, but the documentary is just a collection of footage edited with no meaning or apparent order and without conveying any message. "Hitting the Apex", instead, is film writing at its best, interesting as a watching a fiction movie. The first and last parts of the film are pure poetry. Music is a killing and builds up the tension in tremendous ways. Great is the idea of having an actor (Brad Pitt) narrating the movie. It makes a huge difference.
The brilliant idea of this documentary of focusing on these six pilots made me grow huge respect for all of them indistinctly.
I have seen the fights between them, the many times they sent each other to hell, but I have also seen tremendous respect for one another. A couple of examples: Pedrosa sincerely pay tribute to Simoncelli, Rossi tipping the hat for Marquez and saying he is a hell of a pilot (in very positive terms).
These are men that love what they do. They do it despite the risks that racing such fast bikes may bring. They do it because it's passion that drives them, reason why I totally respect Stoner's retire decision. He made very valid points and we should really reflect on the fact that though more TV appearances, more camera view angles, and press coverage, made this show more enjoyable to us, they are also taking away something from them and their life beyond riding their bike.
Now, going back to my premises and the title of this post... Needless to say I was very disappointed when Rossi lost the 2015 championship because Marquez decided that he had to attack him in all possible ways in that penultimate race. We were all very angry at Marquez here in Italy and easily dismissed his racing style as a deliberate act of helping Lorenzo win the championship. After watching this documentary, I feel I owe, not all, but at least some apologizes to Marquez. He is a very fast rider who goes at maximum speed regardless of the context or whether the points he earns make any difference. Marquez is a biker that runs very fast even when the practice session is over. A man that takes down even his own teammate. All this to say that, sure, his riding style is often outrageous and dangerous to the others, but he is young and does it all the time regardless. Therefore, I am certain there was no combine between the Spanish riders. And I am not even sure at this point, after seeing the friction between Lorenzo and Marquez, Pedrosa and Marquez, that Marquez would want Lorenzo to win just because they are both Spanish.
Therefore, I wish Marquez all the best for his career and hope he will be the next Valentino Rossi. Meantime, I have grown to be a huge fan of Lorenzo thanks to this documentary. He has appeared to me as a true professional of this sport. Meantime, however, I would like Rossi to win one more championship before his retirement.
Good luck to all of them (not just these 6 pilots) and thank you so much for all the fun they make us have every other Sunday.
Racing Extinction (2015)
A Completely Dishonest Documentary (as The Cove was BTW)
A documentary is supposed to document and inform but this film it is just the opposite of what a documentary should be.
Instead of focusing on one aspect, the documentary goes in circle presenting all the ways we as humans are managing to destroy the Earth's ecosystem. It presents points already made by several other documentaries but without stating anything new.
It presents some valid points about what's wrong with the way we treat animals, and how we have screwed up at a global scale, but when it comes to point fingers at actual people, they prefer to blame some remote village of Indonesia where people hunt manta rays in order to survive as they find it difficult to grow plants in there. The message seems to be: the world is screwed but let's start fixing it by ruining some countryside people's livelihood. Killing manta rays is wrong, they are cute, they are innocent, but leaving people starve and live in poor conditions, that's fine. Who cares?
In the same village, they show these fishermen going out fishing on their little boat, struggling to catch the manta, doing everything with their bare hands, and audience is supposed to feel sad? The commentator even tries to convince us that we should be disgusted by the fact that the fisherman kills the manta by sticking a long knife in its brain. Perhaps, for the wealthy western commentator, it is easier just to walk in the supermarket, buy his plastic-packaged minced meat of an animal that he never saw alive, doesn't know in what miserable conditions it lived and doesn't even know how it was killed. That hunting scene actually just makes one respecting more these fishermen.
Shall we talk about the white guy that saves a poor manta ray caught into a fishnet or something? Oh yes, he is the big hero. So cheesy. Cheesy as the director being interviewed and crying in front of the camera. Actually that's not cheesy, that's just dishonest. I don't doubt that he was crying for real, but you are the director of the film for god sake. You should be honest enough to leave that part out.
Why this kind of activist documentaries are always one sided? They find all the possible western people to interview to support their statement, but they cannot get some Asian experts to stand up for the poor people?
If killing whales and dolphins is wrong, why before traveling to the East, they don't travel within the USA (Alaska for example) or Northern Europe? Perhaps because they speak English, are well educated, and it is going to be more difficult to sell their dishonest activism?
When it comes to criticize the western society, they use some stock footage or they leave it to the commentator to describe how bad the western world is. But when it's about China or Indonesia, they use cheap tricks of hidden cameras to film poor and uneducated people that obviously don't have the ability to defend themselves with words as they are not able to debate and express their point of view with clarity. Why they don't go bother the big western corporations with hidden cameras and annoying interviews?
In fact, why they don't even bother dubbing the interviewed Asian people but leave it to unreadable white subtitles on white background?
Towards the end, the documentary turns out to be just an advertisement campaign for Tesla cars. And be clear, I support Tesla and would love to own one, but it just felt like Tesla came out of the blue. There was no point to put it in the film in my opinion.
Environmental activism is a good thing. Especially with the filmmaking support. But when one does it with intellectual dishonesty, it does more harm than good.