Here are three feature length films shown at the Traverse City Film Festival. Great films all.
I was reminded somewhat of Roger Rabbit by the plot: humans living uneasily with a race of nonhumans. Interactions between the two cultures are fraught with moments of humor, sweetness, violence, and even cruelty.
I actually preferred Batman v Superman and the recent Fantastic Four over Captain America: Civil War. While I respect how Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans have managed to create likable personas for their characters, in CIVIL WAR they are swimming upstream against an almost suffocating tide of fan service and entangling toy sales marketing.
What is on display here is a technocratic approach to filmmaking driven by a checklist of sights, events, and characters that a committee decided need to be on display.
Don’t let the stick figure animation fool you. This is one of the most sophisticated science-fiction films I’ve seen since Her and Ex Machina. And it’s only 17 minutes long.
This movie wonderfully answers the burning question, what would happen if some really good comedy writers made a faux reality documentary about a group of 4 vampires living in the middle class suburbs of Wellington, New Zealand?
I don’t think I’ll be submitting myself to this cinematic torture again. I guess I prefer my spirit to be uplifted, not crushed, even when the crushing is beautifully and artistically portrayed.
Oddly enough, as much as this show twists history, I think you will appreciate it even more if you do know the details of the events that are being twisted.
What propels the movie way beyond what might have been just another exploitation of over-privileged middle-aged angst is the movie’s tight focus on the relationship between Rock’s character and a sharp and attractive newspaper interview played by Rosario Dawson.
What propels the story along are the twin realities that (a) this story is true and (b) Japanese prison camp conditions really were this horrific. Jolie’s almost documentary approach lets these things speak for themselves. You can’t help but be moved by the results. I certainly was.