summaparker

a comprehensive investigation of a skewed psyche.

Month: March, 2014

Armchair Critic… Gandhi…

Armchair Critic is a series of film reviews concentrated on films from the past, present, and future. (Future: Not released to the general public at time of publication.) Some may be one sentence long, others several paragraphs. Warning some reviews may contain Spoilers.

Mahatma Gandhi, perhaps the single most recognizable figure in history as the father of nonviolent civil disobedience, is the subject of Richard Attenborough’s 1982 film Gandhi. The film follows Mahatma Gandhi’s life, starting with his assassination in 1948, then jumping back in time to 1893 and the inciting incident in South Africa. A young Gandhi well working as a British Educated Barrister is forcibly removed from a train because of his skin color. This event inspired Gandhi to speak out against practices of discrimination and social inequality first in South Africa, then in India, with Gandhi peacefully leading the people of India to independence from British rule. Brilliantly acted by Ben Kingsley with strong supporting performances from Martin Sheen, John Gielgud, Candice Bergen, and Edward Fox. Attenborugh’s thirty-two year old film is just as relevant today, as when it was first released. A must see, especially for those of the younger generations, who may not be familiar with Gandhi, or his truly awe inspiring life.

 

Armchair Critic Contracted

Contracted.

Independent horror film with a interesting story line. Suffers from lack of realism concerning medical aspects of the story and poor acting in some spots. Overall leaves you feeling creepy and infected. Worth the watch.

Out of The Furnace

Armchair Critic

There was a lot of Oscar buzz prior to the release of Scott Cooper’s second film Out Of The Furnace. Christian Bale as Ronnie Baze would get a best performance nod, and Casey Affleck was a shoo-in to win Best Supporting Actor for his performance as Rodney Baze Jr. There was some talk that even Woody Harelson might get a nod for his portrayal of Harlan DeGroat. Nada… Nothing… Not a single nomination from the Academy. I was puzzled and spent several nights reviewing the film in my head to see what went wrong. Besides the bullshit politics that go with any type of recognition from The Academy, I believe that the authenticity of the film is what derailed it. The first time I saw this film I was bothered by the realism, how the story moved. It moved like real life. The pacing took me out of the story, and reminded me that I was seeing a movie. The strange thing is that when I watched it for a second time this didn’t happen. I am not sure if it was because I knew what to expect or that my first viewing was filled with preconceived notions of what a film should be. I am now fairly certain that the latter was the case. This only made me further appreciate the brilliance of the film. Coopers first film Crazy Heart, a portrait of a aging, alcoholic Country Star Bad Blake played brilliantly by Jeff Bridges rumored to be modeled after Kris Kristofferson, took the academy by storm. I am fairly certain that Cooper was held to a higher standard this time around. We are often used to seeing the films that deal with sensational subjects, things we don’t experience in everyday life. Out Of The Furnace was inspired by events that took place around The Rust Belt, and in particular the town of Braddock Pennsylvania. It is the story of the working man that believes in America, and the American Dream. It is a cautionary tale about the consequences of that dream being a illusion and what happens when we are forced to live with that shattered illusion. At its core Out Of The Furnace is a scathing indictment of American Apathy. A culture of who gives a shit?, A culture that sends our young men and woman out in the world as soldiers to do horrible things to other human beings, to defeat the so called enemies of America. A culture that just doesn’t care and doesn’t want to be bothered by trivial things like the decay of the human soul from easily labeled disorders like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

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