Beasts of No Nation-A Movie Review

 Culture, Movies  Comments Off on Beasts of No Nation-A Movie Review
Dec 152015

BeastsofnonationFollows the journey of a young boy, Agu, who is forced to join a group of soldiers in an unnamed West African country. While Agu fears his commander and many of the men around him, his fledgling childhood has been brutally shattered by the war raging through his country, and he is at first torn between conflicting revulsion and fascination Depicts the mechanics of war and does not shy away from explicit, visceral detail, and paints a complex, difficult picture of Agu as a child soldier.

Director: Cary Joji Fukunaga
Writer: Cary Joji Fukunaga (screenplay), Uzodinma Iweala (based on the novel by)
Stars: Abraham Attah, Emmanuel Affadzi, Ricky Adelayitor, Andrew Adote

Runtime: 137 min; Rated: NOT RATED; Genre: Drama, War; Released: 16 Oct 2015

We heard about this movie being on Netflix after hearing an interview with Cary Fukunaga on NPR’s Fresh Air. We started a little late last evening, and I didn’t expect to finish watching it before going to bed, but I couldn’t stop watching. While based on a novel, it was, from all I’ve read, a realistic portrayal of the life of child soldiers, and it is a sad life. Continue reading »

District 9 – A Movie Review

 Culture, Movies  Comments Off on District 9 – A Movie Review
Aug 232009

District 9 Movie PosterThirty years ago, aliens made first contact with Earth. Humans waited for the hostile attack, or the giant advances in technology. Neither came. Instead, the aliens were refugees, the last survivors of their home world. The creatures were set up in a makeshift home in South Africa’s District 9 as the world’s nations argued over what to do with them.

Now, patience over the alien situation has run out. Control over the aliens has been contracted out to Multi-National United (MNU), a private company uninterested in the aliens’ welfare — they will receive tremendous profits if they can make the aliens’ awesome weaponry work. So far, they have failed; activation of the weaponry requires alien DNA.

The tension between the aliens and the humans comes to a head when an MNU field operative, Wikus van der Merwe, contracts a mysterious virus that begins changing his DNA. Wikus quickly becomes the most hunted man in the world, as well as the most valuable — he is the key to unlocking the secrets of alien technology. Ostracized and friendless, there is only one place left for him to hide: District 9.

Genres: Science Fiction/Fantasy; Running Time: 1 hr. 53 min.; Release Date: August 14th, 2009 (wide); MPAA Rating: R for bloody violence and pervasive language.

Starring: Sharlto Copley, Jason Cope, Nathalie Boltt, Sylvaine Strike, John Sumner

Directed by: Neill Blomkamp

Lay and I went to see this movie at an 11 AM showing last weekend. I’d read all these great reviews, and thought it might be a decent film. Unfortunately, I was somewhat disappointed.

This was clearly a political parable, and I think this is what makes everyone rave about the film. I agree It was an interesting story from that perspective and had all expected ingredients including a hapless bureaucrat, an evil corporation, and nasty mercenaries. It is an examination of how we treat people we don’t like, and how we prefer to get our problems out of site.

The best science fiction challenges us to look at ourselves from a different perspective, and provides a story that is, with a some suspension of disbelief, plausible. This movie did none of those things. The story was an excellent depiction of how we treat others we consider “less” than us, but it was obvious in that respect. The primary story line was so full of holes as to become distracting.

Here’s a list of some of those holes:

  1. The aliens have an arsenal of many different sophisticated weapons beyond our technology, but never use any of them to demand better living conditions. Instead they trade them all for cat food.
  2. The ship seemingly doesn’t function for three months where the aliens are starving before humans go and cut a hole in its hull. But is the able to revived work more than 20 year later?
  3. It seems unlikely one alien and his son could run the whole ship, and it doesn’t seem they took any food.
  4. Why isn’t a large section of JSB, located directly under the ship, worried that ship may lose power can land on top of them?
  5. The smart alien and his son spent 20 years finding pieces of their own technology that contain a fluid they use to get their “control module” back off the ground. Why are any pieces of the ship missing? There is no mention of the command module being damaged, nor the main ship.
  6. It seems unlikely so many of the aliens would be so unintelligent. If so few of the aliens have the knowledge of how things work, how can they manage 100’s of thousands of the dumb aliens along with the ship?
  7. It seems unlikely that humans and aliens would so easily be able to understand each other’s language. We can’t even figure out Dolphin-speak let alone an extraterrestrial language.

I’m very glad we saw the movie at a reduced matinee price. I suppose it’s worth putting on your Netflix list, but I would have been disappointed if we’d payed full price.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars6 Stars7 Stars8 Stars9 Stars10 Stars (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 10)

Weekly Weirdness for July 4th, 2008

 Congress, Crime, General, Places, Politics, Society, Tampa  Comments Off on Weekly Weirdness for July 4th, 2008
Jul 052008

Nelson MandelaNelson Mandela Can Now Travel to the U.S. (From the BBC)
I didn’t know this, but apparently our illustrious Department of Homeland Stupidity classes Nelson Mandela as a terrorist. It seems DHS classed everyone ever in the African National Congress (ANC) a terrorist. Fortunately, Congress and the President passed special legislation that will allow him to visit the U.N. Headquarters in New York without a special waiver from the Secretary of State. I’m sure glad we got around to clearing that up.

Pot Grower Puts House on Market is reporting that Evarista Ruiz-Ortiz, 36, of 1741 W. Powhatan had 39 pot plants growing in her house. The article doesn’t say how the police found out, but she’d tapped directly into the overhead line for power, and had the house listed for sale. Maybe not he brightest person on the planet. But then again, times are tough, you gotta get gas money somehow.

Naked Man in Downtown Palmetto
There’s a report from the Sarasota Herald Tribune of a nake man run amok in downtown Palmetto. It appears he disrobed in front of some woman in a store while she was in the restroom (I didn’t quite understand that). The lady ran out and the store manager confronted the guy. Apparently, he calmly walked out of the store to the street, where the spectacle promptly caused a couple of traffice accidents. The most interesting part of the story is that the police drugs and alcohol didn’t appear to be involved.

News Bits for the Week Ending May 6, 2007

 Election, General, Humor, Legislature, Politics  Comments Off on News Bits for the Week Ending May 6, 2007
May 072007

Just a couple of items from this past week caught my eye for inclusion here.

A gang stripped a South African man before supergluing him to an exercise bicycle while they ransacked his house, according to a report Thursday.

SAPA news agency said the attackers, dressed in suits, hijacked a man in his 50s and forced him at gunpoint to take them to his home in Johannesburg.

“The victim was then forced to strip, after which he was superglued to the seat of an exercise bicycle, his hands were superglued, as were his feet and then his mouth was superglued shut,” SAPA quoted Mark Stokoe, a spokesman for emergency services Netcare 911, as saying.

State Shoves Its Way To Front Of Primary Line

TALLAHASSEE – Floridians will choose their presidential primary candidates on Jan. 29 next year and then vote with paper ballots in the general election, says a bill that lawmakers sent to Gov. Charlie Crist on Thursday.

The Jan. 29 primary date makes Florida the first large state in the country to vote for presidential nominees, bypassing several states that recently have moved up their primaries to Feb. 5.

Legislators and Congress members say that will help them push presidential candidates to support Florida priorities including a national hurricane catastrophe fund and keeping oil rigs away from state beaches.