Summer of Family Movies

Summer movies3

Recently I was going over the upcoming summer movie slate and trying to make my predictions on what will hit and miss at the box office. I’m notoriously awful at these predictions but it is fun nevertheless. While going over the releases it occurred to me how many family films are being released this summer. 2015 summer had 8 family films- Avengers: Age of Ultron, Tomorrowland, Jurassic World, Inside Out, Minions, Ant-Man, Fantastic 4, and Pixels. Some might count Mission Impossible 5 but I think that is a stretch. In comparison this year there are 4 just in May.

First let’s talk about the animated films. There are 5 (6 releases but Sausage Party  not family friendly.) These 5 are: Angry Birds Movie, Finding Dory, Secret Life of Pets, Ice Age: Collision Course, Kubo and the 2 Strings

Then we have comic book movies. I’m not counting Suicide Squad because I think that will be a pretty hard PG-13. There are 3 films: Captain America: Civil War, X-Men Apocalypse and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Out of the Shadows.

We have other live action family films. (I’m not sure about Warcraft family friendly status as I’ve never played the game). But here’s some of them that could attract a family audience:Alice through the Looking Glass, Ghostbusters, Independence Day: Resurgence, The BFG, Legend of Tarzan, Star Trek Beyond, Pete’s Dragon.

That’s 15 movies, almost double what we had in 2015 using basically the same criteria. Even if a few turn out to not be family films it’s still kind of amazing. That leads me to my next question- which will rise and which will sink?

I mean just Disney alone has 5 films within all of their brands and one of them has to strike out. Will it be Pete’s Dragon? Will it be Alice Through the Looking Glass? The BFG? That last one would make me sad because The BFG is the one non-sequel/remake of the group but the book is less well known than Roald Dahl’s others and it doesn’t have a big star like Johnny Depp or Robert Redford.

Other interesting films to look at is the nostalgia wars. Will Star Trek Beyond, Ghostbusters or Independence Day: Resurgence be this year’s Pixels or Terminator: Genisys to bomb at the box office or will they be huge like Jurassic World?

You have 2 video game movies with Angry Birds Movie and Warcraft that will be interesting to watch and 2 studios, Illumination and Liaka, trying something new with Secret Life of Pets and Kubo and the 2 Strings. Will audiences embrace new or flock to known properties like Ice Age Collision Course, X-Men Apocalypse and Finding Dory?

I’m really curious to see how it all plays out. What do you think? What will be the big hits and misses for family films 2016? Have I left something out? Let me know in the comments section. It’s all speculation so let’s have fun talking about it.

Man Who Knew Infinity Review

Man-Who-Knew-Infinity-posterToday I had the chance to see the new biopic called The Man Who Knew Infinity. While nothing too spectacular it is a solid inspirational true story about someone I knew nothing about before seeing the film.

Infinity stars Dev Patel as real-life mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan who grew up in a poor neighborhood in Madras, India but had a knack for numbers and mathematical formulas. He even believed the formulas came as visions from God to him, and he knew he needed to share them with the world.

infinity2He also gets married to a gorgeous Devika Bhise who starts off doubting his endeavors but ends up supporting him going to England and meeting with professors at Cambridge. I thought her and Patel had a nice chemistry together and kind of wish the movie had just been about their relationship (of course that wouldn’t be true to life but I would love to see something else with the two of them in it).

infinityRamanujan meets a professor named GH Hardy played by Jeremy Irons (I guess this is his year for biopics with already appearing in Race). The two men become friends despite their cultural and religious differences. Ramanujan is all about the new idea while Hardy encourages him to find the proofs behind the inspiration.

inifnity3To be honest, this is where the movie lost me a bit. They weren’t successful in explaining the math to a math moron like myself and I got a little bit bored watching them at chalkboards working out equations. I’m sure what they were doing was groundbreaking but since I don’t understand the math or concepts it was hard to get excited. Theory of Everything had its problems but it at least made tough concepts easier to understand than this did. Same with Imitation Game.

infinity4The Man Who Knew Infinity ends up being a tragedy but that part of the film is highly predictable. Still I didn’t mind it following basic, by-the-numbers biopic formulas. I don’t need every movie I see to be new and different.

On the whole it is dry during all the math talk and the conversations between professors about whether to ‘grant the Indian fellowship’. That was boring but the relationships were good and the performances sincere. I liked supporting work from Toby Jones, Jeremy Northam, Stephen Fry and Arundhati Nag as Ramanujan’s mother.

Bi0pics on big names like rock stars, generals and inventors are great but I also enjoy these more obscure films as well. The Man Who Knew Infinity tells a good, if standard story and I’m glad I saw it.  I would recommend it a rental when it comes out at the Redbox or a stream on netflix.

Are any of you seeing The Man Who Knew Infitity? What did you think? What’s your favorite biopic? Walk the Line and My Left Foot are two of my favorites.

Overall Grade- B-

Liebster Award

liebster awardI was recently tagged in the Liebster Award by my friend over at Jason’s Movie Blog. This is kind of like a movie tag where a blogger friend will have 11 questions and you create your own questions.  I just recently tagged pretty much everyone I know in the Walt Disney Tag but I will at least answer his questions.


Here are the ground rules for the Liebster Awards….

Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you
 Answer the 11 questions the blogger gives you
 Nominate 11 bloggers that you think are deserving of the award
 Let the bloggers know you nominated them
 Give them 11 questions of your own
 And post it on your blog!

Question #1

Favorite Movie of All Time?

Pixar’s Up. It’s a movie I could watch every day of my life and never tire of. I love how the relationship between Ellie and Karl continues throughout the whole movie. It reminds me that love continues on as long as we remember them. It’s a beautiful study of regret and grief and how to forgive yourself for the things that don’t work out in life. In my views a perfect film.

up14Question #2

Favorite Movie Scene?

Breakfast at Tiffany’s the cab scene. To me the best writing in a movie I’ve ever seen:

“You know what’s wrong with you, Miss Whoever-you-are? You’re chicken, you’ve got no guts. You’re afraid to stick out your chin and say, “Okay, life’s a fact, people do fall in love, people do belong to each other, because that’s the only chance anybody’s got for real happiness.” You call yourself a free spirit, a “wild thing,” and you’re terrified somebody’s gonna stick you in a cage. Well baby, you’re already in that cage. You built it yourself. And it’s not bounded in the west by Tulip, Texas, or in the east by Somali-land. It’s wherever you go. Because no matter where you run, you just end up running into yourself”

It’s a film that takes two characters who are walking contradictions. They are both lonely and extremely manic at the same time. They are both needy and aloof. This is what makes them interesting. The film is a reminder that even the screwiest of us can find salvation through love. This final scene is perfection. “No matter where you run, you just end up running into yourself”. Plus, the music, perfection.

Question #3

Last Movie you saw in theaters?

Angry Birds. It wasn’t very good. Can read my review here.

angrybirdsmovieQuestion #4

If you had the chance to meet one actor or actress in real life….who would it be?

Might seem like an odd choice but I would pick Patricia Heaton because I admire how she has kept her Christian beliefs and stayed a working actress. That’s tough to do.

patricia heatonQuestion #5

What was your favorite movie of 2015?

Inside Out and I like it more each time I see it. It has become my go-to movie and I find myself watching it every couple of weeks.

inside out5Question #6

Star Wars or Star Trek? Star Wars. I’ve actually only seen 2 Star Trek things in my life. However, I am starting a new set of podcasts next Wednesday with my friend Tom Gunn looking at all the Star Trek films.  Would love for you to join us

That said Star Wars is awesome. I love the space opera and adventure and all the characters. I guess the prequels are kind of lame but still doesn’t tarnish the brand in my eyes.

star warsQuestion #7

When did you start blogging?

I started blogging 8 years ago over on my other blog

8 yearsQuestion #8

Why do you blog?

I don’t know. My life would be a lot lonelier if I didn’t blog and it feels cool to find other weirdos that like the same stuff I like. Also I enjoy writing and crafting persuasive essays that get my opinion across. I’ve seen the quality of my writing improve over the years which is cool.

Question #9

If you could visit any movie world in real life, what would it be?

I think I would go to the world of Jane Austen because any magical place has evil and is actually quite fraught with peril. In Jane Austen’s books/movies everyone is polite and says nice things even if they don’t mean it. Worst thing that could really happen to you is you don’t get married and someone says something mean about your mother. Otherwise a lot of tea and talk. I could live with that. pride and prejduce3ps. Anyone else super excited about Love and Friendship coming out?

Question #10

What do you collect? Physical copy of movies or digital downloads?

Physical Copy although I have over 500 digital movies in my collection. Still I love special features and the HD quality of bluray. Here’s a video where I go over my Disney blurays.

Question #11

What movie are you looking forward to seeing?

Highest up on my list is probably Moana, Rogue 1, Dr Strange and Kubo and the 2 Strings.

moana4As far as my tags I really just feel like I tagged everyone this weekend so I will leave these great questions open to any of you that wants to answer them.  Thanks for tagging me Jason. It was a lot of fun!

Angry Birds Movie Review

angry-birds-movie-posterSo I decided to rest over at the theater tonight and watch the new animated release The Angry Birds Movie. I have never played the game before and had mixed responses to the trailer but after being pleasantly surprised (one of the few) by Ratchet and Clank, I was hoping for the same with Angry Birds. Unfortunately I left feeling mostly disappointed.

Not that Angry Birds is a complete loss.  The animation is pretty good particularly with the texturing on the feathers.  It looked lush and they capture the fast movement of the birds very well. I also was fine with all the voice talent although the celebrity aspect of it did nothing for me.  There were a few good jokes and kids will probably have an ok time.  This is not Norm of the North bad by any means.

angrybirdsmovieUnfortunately that’s about the end of my praise.  The film centers on a bird named Red who you guessed it is angry all the time. Going into the film I figured he would learn his lesson by the end and stop being angry. Instead Angry Birds makes the strange choice of having the kind, happy birds actually be gullible and stupid.  The movie confuses confidence with anger and the stupid nice birds learn to be angry. Isn’t that a strange message for kids? It’s one thing to have a character named Anger in Inside Out as a piece of a healthy person but to have the main moral emphasis of the movie be promoting anger is very weird.

angry birds2Just like Minions last year Angry Birds uses a lot of music cues to get supposed humor. I don’t think any of the songs will be that familiar to kids (bands like Pete Townsend, Ozzy Osbourne, the Carpenters and more) and  I don’t even think these artists are that popular with young Moms and Dads so who they are trying to appeal too? Wouldn’t it make more sense to have bands from the 80s or 90s if you were appealing to the parents? Current artists if you were trying to appeal to kids?  Regardless, the music jokes were loud, forceful, stretched out and unending. I got tired of them after a while.

These pigs come to steal the eggs of the birds. All of the birds but Red are charmed by the pigs because of the great dance party they throw.  Red’s cynicism and grumpiness gets a little old after a while. It felt like certain scenes such as the hoedown party lasted a long time.  There were also uncomfortable adult jokes which I really hate in movies aimed at families or children. These weren’t just subtle but out there jokes about sex, mating and harvesting eggs. That’s unseemly in my opinion.

The-Angry-Birds-Movie-eagleRed goes to find an eagle that is going to save them but this sequence felt very drawn out and it separates the lead characters from the conflict with the pigs leaving said conflict and villains underdeveloped. The eagle potty humor and other jokes did nothing for me.

The final action scene was kind of fun and I’m told uses elements from the game in a very clever way, but that can only take you so far. I felt like the characters were shouting at me a lot and I grew tired of that.  I wanted the story to breathe more and calm down.

angrybirds3Overall, it’s harmless. Some small kids will enjoy it but the shouting, overbearing music and the strange message about anger are big problems for me. Ratchet and Clank is a silly simple space adventure where this is more caustic and frustrating. I can see why some enjoy it but it was just not for me. I’m actually a little disappointed as I am always pulling for smaller studios to make a dent in the animation scene.  Unfortunately Lego Movie this is not.

It was also frantically edited so I felt a little jerked around with everything happening on screen.

I’d be willing to forgive a lot if I wasn’t so annoyed by the characters and other choices made within the movie. Too bad!

What did you think of Angry Birds Movie?

Overall Grade- C

My youtube review

Health Update and Walt Disney Films Tag

Hey guys! Just wanted to give you an update on my health and do a little tag. I just posted this week my 20th Disney Canon review on my youtube channel. This means I have finished the movies of Walt Disney’s lifetime. So I have come up with a little tag based on these 20 films.

I would love for any of you to give your answers. Put it in a post or just put in the comments section.

1. Favorite Fantasia short?
2. Favorite Disney short? (if seen Wartime films pick one of them if not another fav)
3. Lady Tremain/Cruella/Maleficent or Evil Queen better she villain?
4. Disney film you loved as child that doesn’t hold up well?
5. Disney film you didn’t love as a child but like as adult?
6. Cinderella, Aurora or Snow White?
7. Favorite Alice in Wonderland character?
8. What do you prefer Dumbo or Bambi?
9. Rank live action remakes- 101, Alice, Jungle Book, Maleficent, Cinderella
10. 101 Dalmatians, Aristocats, or Lady and the Tramp?
11. Of all the shorts which do you think would make the best feature film?
12. Favorite and Least favorite of first 20 Disney films?
13. Thoughts on Walt Disney?
14. Out of first 20 reviews what film have you not seen that you want to see? Or what review did you learn something new/see it in a new way?
15. Coachman/Stromboli/Monstro/Honest Fox- best Pinocchio villain?

Thank you for all the kind words and prayers in my behalf.It has been one of the worst illnesses of my life, but I am on the other side of it and improving. I am so grateful for all the support from all of you and the incredible kindness of my boss and coworkers.I am allowed to recover and get better. Hopefully it will keep improving through the weekend.
I hope you all have good health and avoid this nasty bronchitis that I got. Sure love ya!

Talking Harry Potter and Chamber of Secrets

Quick post today.  Just wanted to share with you guys my friends and my discussion on the 2nd Harry Potter movie- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. I’m battling a bit of an illness but I think it came across pretty well. What do you think of this movie? I found it was more stale than I remembered it. Hopefully the next one will be stronger as it was always my favorite. I would love your feedback.

Captain America: Civil War Themes (Spoilers)

civil war3Hopefully most of you have watched my initial reaction review to Captain America: Civil War.  If you haven’t here it is again.

Now I’ve had the chance to see the movie twice and have more detailed thoughts. This is a spoiler filled post so stop now if you have not seen the film.

Captain America: Civil War can certainly be enjoyed on a base level. It’s fun, has great action and quipy dialogue that keeps things from feeling too morose. You have engaging actors and their characters who we have gotten to know over 12 films and some new presences in Black Panther and Spider-man. However, I am going to dig a little deeper and talk about themes of friendship and agency within the movie. If you want to just enjoy the movie then that is great but this might not be the post for you.

cap and bucky
Steve’s friendship with Bucky has been a part of his story from the beginning.


Friendship is probably the more obvious theme within the film. We even heard in the trailer Steve saying “he’s my friend” and Tony replying “so was I”. Clearly there is a dynamic of friendship that is tested between the 3 main characters- Bucky, Steve and Tony. However, you also have other friendships that are explored- Rhodey and Tony, Natasha and Clint, Sam and Steve, Steve and Peggy, Steve and Sharon, Scarlet Witch and Vision, Natasha and Steve etc. All of these friendships are tested with the Sokovia Accord.

Aristotle said there are 3 types of friendship (yes I am going to relate Marvel to Aristotle deal with it). There are friendships of utility, pleasure and virtue. A utility friendship is one “that can be easily dissolved and done away with when a more useful version comes into place”. You could argue that Ant-Man and Spider-Man are friendships or relationships of utility in the film. They are helpful but not essential to any of the other players.

Then we have friendships of pleasure. “These types of friendships are built around love or passion for similar things”. Most of the Avengers relationships are this type of friendship. They love similar things- mainly avenging- and that bonds them together. I venture to say most of your friends are friendships of pleasure. They are very valuable and are an essential part of a happy life. Black Panther is kind of an outside observer given he doesn’t really have relationships with any of the other characters.

Here’s where things get interesting. The top level of friendship is one of virtue. “This is that rare friend which supersedes friendships of pleasure or utility. This is that bond which is practically sacred it is so special”.

This is where we get the main conflict of Civil War. At the beginning of the film Steve has had to see his most treasured friendship of virtue die. This leaves him with only one left and that is Bucky. Everybody else it turns out is a friendship of pleasure. He values Tony and even Natasha but when push comes to shove he values his friendship with Bucky more.

The same thing can be said for Tony and his parents. It might sound odd to say a parent is a friend but when it comes down to it Tony is willing to do anything to avenge his parents. They are more valuable than any other relationship. Steve even tries to explain to him that Bucky didn’t know but his love or friendship for his parents is stronger than any such logic. You can also tell from his heartbreak that Pepper is one of those virtuous relationships. Rhodey is but not as much as the others.

Steve has had to see all his friendships of pleasure die, and that is why he is so focused on saving Bucky. It’s a survival instinct in a way. By saving Bucky he is in a way saving part of himself.

When Tony and Steve come to blows at the end it is especially heart breaking because they are two people who have lost everything. It’s what makes it so gripping and emotional.

Tony begins to lose control and doubt his decisions early on in his story
Tony begins to lose control and doubt his decisions early on in his story


The other main theme of the film centers around agency. When I first heard that Tony was going to be signing the Sokovia Accord I didn’t know if that made sense with his character. Shouldn’t it be Cap who goes along with the government with Tony being the fast-talking outlaw? This is where looking at their films comes into play.

Tony starts out Iron Man not caring about the ramifications of his choices. He sells arms to terrorists. He lives the high life at others expense and he doesn’t care. Then he is imprisoned and becomes Iron Man. In the second movie he has let the fame go to his head but he has started to take more accountability for his choices. He stops producing arms and is trying to make a difference. Then in the Avengers he faces Loki and has a team to support his choices, but Coulson dies and the battle is only narrowly won.

Iron Man 3 comes next and the stresses of making heroic choices is starting to get to him. He has panic attacks and starts to doubt his abilities. Pepper is hurt and he is fooled by the Mandarin. Then in Ultron he see’s the vision of his dead friends and mass suffering all around him. This inspires him to make Ultron and it goes disastrously wrong. So, think about it. You have a man who’s agency has led to disaster.

It starts to make sense now. A man who has a history of panic attacks and bad decision making wants to let other people make the choices. That sounds great! He even tries to limit Scarlet Witch’s choices in the guise of ‘protecting her’. In his mind choices are dangerous and prison is safe.

Let’s look at Steve. His growth is a bit simpler. He started with the morality of a soldier. There are good guys and bad guys and he wanted to be a good guy. He volunteers for the experiment and helps defeat Hydra. But not before he saw how governments can be used to control and manipulate- even his own government in some ways.

Then in Winter Soldier he saw a stalwart organization like Shield get infiltrated by Alexander Pierce. No wonder he doesn’t want to give his decision making ability over to the accord. It makes perfect sense.

You can even see how Tony’s decisions in Age of Ultron creating Ultron would make Cap suspect of even his own organization, the Avengers. He says at the end ‘the Avengers was always more yours than mine” speaking to Tony. No, Captain America must be allowed his agency, and he will not give that up to any group or person- even the Avengers.

Why? Well, that’s where we bring it back to Bucky and friendship. Steve has had to see his one remaining friend lose his agency. As the Winter Soldier, Bucky has essentially become a robot and as his friend of virtue that would be incredibly painful to watch. Of course, Steve is going to do anything to save his friend and that means protecting him and bringing back his agency.

Tony and Steve's different stories is what leads them into conflict
Tony and Steve’s different stories is what leads them into conflict


And so this is where we get our conflict for the film. We have two friends of pleasure that are motivated by deeper friendships of virtue that they will not put aside, no matter what. Then you also have Tony’s history of panic and his poor choices making him seek for control; where Steve has only seen that control go awry.

The two gather friends to their side and punch it out with Steve basically winning because it is his movie after all. 🙂 Now the Avengers are basically a pack of vigilantes which is what Secretary Ross said they were to begin with. It should make the future with Infinity Wars Pt 1 and 2 very exciting.

What do you think of my analysis? Did you see these themes of friendship and agency within the film? Am I overthinking it? Let me know what themes you saw. Thanks!

Summer Box Office Predictions

summer 2016

My friend Conrado just put up his summer box office predictions. You can read them here.  I’m normally awful at box office predictions but the more we discussed it I figured I should offer up my best guess just for fun and give my reasons for my guesses.

Here goes!

  1. Captain America: Civil War it opened huge and even bigger overseas. It will cross the 1 billion mark before weekend 2 and there is no competition then. Movies people like have had great legs this year (Zootopia, Deadpool, Jungle Book) so I think it could even do well against Alice and X-Men which I think will underpreform.
  2. Finding Dory- all of Pixar’s sequels have done well and this is to a beloved classic, Finding Nemo. You have a celebrity voice cast who are going to promote including Ellen with her platform. I can’t imagine it doing badly. It would have to get totally panned by critics to keep people away and that seems unlikely (even dreaded Good Dinosaur has a 74% on RT).
  3. Suicide Squad- people love the Joker and have responded well to the trailers. I could see a backlash from Batman v Superman but it seems like everyone is pulling for this to be the savior of DC.
  4. TMNT: Out of the Shadows– The first one made a ton of money and Michael Bay associated films seem to be critic proof and always do well at box office. This one has fan favorites Krang and Bebop and Rocksteady.
  5. Independence Day: Resurgence- We are in a nostalgia age and I think people will flock to what I’m sure will be a dopey, fun popcorn flick.
  6. Jason Bourne- This movie has everything going for it. Matt Damon back and Paul Greengrass directing. I have a feeling it will get good reviews and people will want to see it. Plus, it comes out a weekend where the only other major opening film is Bad Moms. Look at what Matt Damon just did in The Martian and this is an established brand. It will do very well.
  7. Central Intelligence– All you have to do is look at Kevin Hart’s Ride Along and The Rock’s San Andreas and we know this movie is going to do well. San Andreas was so stupid and yet it did very well and people like Hart’s comedies. The two of them should be critic proof.
  8. Secret Life of Pets- I debated whether to put this one or the next Ice Age movie because those do so well overseas. Illumination is a marketing machine and I think people like movies about pets. It will be interesting to see how Illumination does without the comfort of the Despicable Me characters.
  9. Pete’s Dragon- This is a bit of a risk but Disney has already hired the director of Pete’s Dragon for their Peter Pan project which shows they have some faith in the film. And it’s main competition the weekend it comes out is Sausage Party. These Disney remakes have just done so well, and I think this one will continue the trend.
  10. Sausage Party- Speaking of Sausage Party this is my risky pick. I just saw the amount of money an R rated comedy, Deadpool, made and I think Sausage Party could follow suit. Kids see Pete’s Dragon. Adults see Sausage Party. It has a lot of big names in the cast and the trailer was received very well.

There’s a bunch of big ones I left off my list. I’ll explain why.

X-Men Apocalypse- pains me to say it but the reviews have not been good. X-Men movies have never done as well as MCU films and I think people will keep going to see other established films like we saw with Jungle Book or Zootopia already this year.

Alice Through the Looking Glass- same with Alice. Reviews don’t look good and I don’t think this is critic proof. The first movie made a ton of money but that was in the hey-day of 3D which is kind of old hat now. I hear very few people buzzing about it and when I suggested it for Church Movie Night there was an audible groan.

Ghostbusters– This had the most disliked trailer in youtube history. I think it will be the Pixels of this year. Good in concept with a decent director and it bombs.

Ben Hur- See box office for Point Break remake. People don’t want this and sword and sandles have not been doing well (see Gods of Egypt box office).

Kubo and the 2 Strings– I desperately want this film to do well and be Liaka’s first huge hit but audiences have shown themselves resistant to non-CG animated films. The only one to do any business despite being fantastic is last year’s Spongebob: Sponge Out of Water and that was only because it was advertised as CG. It’s sad but true.

Star Trek Beyond- This does come out on a good week with only Ice Age: Collision Course as competition, but I don’t feel any buzz or excitement about it. I feel like a lot of people didn’t like the last entry and aren’t excited about this one. Plus, marketing has been lame.

BFG- This is a wild card and I think it will do well but I couldn’t fit it into my top 10. There’s so much family entertainment this summer. It has Steven Spielberg behind it but no major stars like a Tom Hanks. I feel like it is one of Roald Dahl’s lesser-known books. Critics will make a big factor in this ones success I think.

Legend of Tarzan– It comes out the same weekend as BFG so one of them could soar and one sink. I don’t think both will do well. The trailers look good but it couldn’t make my top 10.

So there you go. Now watch me totally be proven wrong as is usually the case with box office predictions! What are your top 10 predictions? Share in the comments section.

Hit Me With Your Best Shot: World of Tomorrow and True Skin

This week for Hit Me with Your Best Shot Nathaniel over at Film Experience has given us a different task. Instead of our normal film watching and picking a great shot, we are asked to look at 2 short films and pick shots. Both shorts are scifi films and I think they are both fine but not my favorite.

True Skin-

This 6 minute short is by Stephan Zlotescu and it has recently been picked up as a series for Amazon and I can see why. It feels like a pitch or pilot for a TV series rather than a stand alone film.

True Skin is about a future society where augmenting our bodies is the norm and only beggars and outsiders have their natural bodies. Our main character has journeyed to Bangkok to get a chip in his eyes and when it is installed he realizes he is going to die. But in the world of this movie it is actually a good thing because he can take the step ‘to live forever’ as a robot.

It does look very impressive and is an intriguing premise but to me that’s all it was is a premise. That leaves me feeling slightly unfulfilled but I’m sure the upcoming series will fill in all the holes and tell the actual story.

For what it is, it’s pretty creative and I’m glad I watched it. I thought this was a pretty cool shot of the lead character just after he installs the new eyes.

true skin best shotWorld of Tomorrow-

I’ve talked about World of Tomorrow a little bit in my reviews of 2015 animated shorts but never given it a complete review. The truth is I never did because I kept waiting to understand why it is as brilliant as I keep hearing. It seems like kind of similar to Watership Down- a book and movie I didn’t get at first but eventually it finally clicked. It could happen with World of Tomorrow but as of my 10th viewing I must be honest- I don’t really get it?

Directed by Don Hertzfeldt, World of Tomorrow,  still seems like a lot of science fiction mumbo-jumbo that is more trying to appear smart rather than actually being smart.

Basically the story is a little girl meets a clone of her future self. She finds out about the new world of cloning and is shown 3 memories from her upcoming life.

The first memory is Emily visiting an exhibit in a museum displaying a male clone named David.

The second memory is of Emily’s first job programming robots. Emily falls in love with a rock and is fired. Then the third memory she falls in love with a clone of David named Simon.  This is after falling in love with a fuel pump.

Emily is hoping to get a memory that only Emily Prime has and warn her about appreciating life because there are only 60 days left on earth.

I don’t know. I guess World of Tomorrow is just smarter than me because I don’t get it. Yes, appreciate the moments of life- how profound…I can learn that from a Hallmark card. I don’t see why this is so brilliant?

If you want to watch something great about memories watch Hirokazu Koreeda’s film After Life or Albert Brooks’ Defending Your Life.  Those have much more nuance and subtlety about life, memories and living well. Even Inside Out was much more insightful on this topic with the memory balls and core memories. None of those films are trying so hard to be important like World of Tomorrow is. They are just good stories with characters we get to know, so we care about their memories, the world building and what is happening to them.

I really have tried to love World of Tomorrow. I don’ t hate it but I fail to see what makes it as special as other people seem to think it is. I’ll let you know if on subsequent rewatches it finally clicks for me but for now that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Anyway, for my best shot I have the scene where Emily falls in love with the fuel pump just because I thought it was weird.

world of tomorrow