Saturday, March 28, 2015

"Insurgent" (2015) - Kate Winslett, Naomi Watts, Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort

Directed  by Robert Schwentke 
Written by Brian Duffield, Akiva Goldsman 

What a brilliant concept.  It creates a visual world of down-to-earth reality with video-game CGI effects.  It's like a sim world within a sim world.  It forces you to ponder the nature of reality as God's chess game and humankind becomes the chess pieces.  Not necessarily a new concept, but what makes it brilliant is the techno flavor... is life just a video game and "God" is the geek player?Hmmmmm.   Nevertheless, the acting is well done.  Winslett is an excellent villain, and Woodley the reluctant but inevitable heroine.  I love how young women are the heroes of the New Age... Katniss in Hunger Games and Tris in the Divergent series.  It lends credence to the New Age pundits who say that the New Millennium has launched us into a new Matriarchal paradigm.  The world is no longer a cut-and-dried and white, good and bad.  We are leaving behind the Patriarchal view of one system dominating over all where countries and people must battle for supremacy, and the issue is settled with war and destruction.  In the Matriarchal paradigm, the process becomes more womblike: The sperm of new ideas merges with the egg of tradition, and the result is a combination of both to create something uniquely different, yet familiar.  This film exemplifies that idea brilliantly.  Change can be slow and evolutionary a la Darwin's principle.  Or... it can be quick and violent. While this film isn't perfect, it does depict perfectly the quick and violent way of effecting change.  It's an engrossing movie, filled with adventure, romance and heroism. If that's what you like in a movie, this is a must-watch.

IMDB page:

TAGS:  Sci-Fi, Thriller, Adventure, Shailene Woodley, Kate Winslett, Naomi Watts, Ansel Elgort, Theo James, Akiva Goldsman, Robert Schwentke, Brian Duffield 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

TV SERIES: "The Moon Embracing the Sun" (2012)

Available on Netflix.  Basic Setup:  Two brothers are in love with the same woman, and she reciprocates the love of one brother and becomes friends with the other. But, of course, there are complications. One brother is the King of the Korean Joseon Dynasty, and his older brother cannot become Crown Prince because he's illegitimate, but nevertheless, unless there's an heir, the prince is still next in line to inherit the throne. The teenaged Crown Prince's beloved is chosen to become the Crown Princess, but royal political intrigues cause her "death," which is actually faked by the Chief Shaman to protect the destiny of the Joseon Dynasty. In short, it's a Korean version of "GAME OF THRONES". There are no dragons, but there are demonic possessions, murders and politics. The struggles and pains the royal brothers experience generate passions beyond endurance, and I found myself sobbing along with them. I couldn't help loving them both as, eight years after the "demise" of the crown princess, beset by amnesia, she returns to the royal court as a shaman, and is caught up once more in the court political intrigues. The Crown Prince is now King, and while he has a Queen, he cannot bear to consummate the marriage, and so there's still no heir. Absorbing, emotionally involving, filled with high jinx and conflicting moralistic choices which the royally-restricted King must make, this is a "must-see" for those who enjoy good old-fashioned drama. The acting is top-notch, and I admired how men could sob openly and still retain a strength of character and "manhood" that absolutely captured my heart. I truly loved the #1 advisor to the King, who, contrary to most Top Advisors, is filled with comedic charm, warmth, and human frailties... all exceeded only by his passionate loyalty to the king. Yes, It's melodramatic, but, ah, so well-done.

imdb site:
TAGS:  Fantasy, Romance, History, South Korea, Soo Hyan Kim, Ga-in Han, Il Woo Jung

Monday, March 2, 2015

"Jupiter Ascending" (2014) Channing Tatum, Mila Kunis, Eddie Redmayne, Sean Bean

Directed and Written by Andy and Lana Wachowski

Incredible CGI scenes. A really hot Channing Tatum as a Lycan (human whose DNA has been spliced with wolf DNA). The costumes are gorgeous and truly worthy of Sci-Fi fantasy. Sean Bean makes a great hero mentor for young Channing Tatum.  Mila Kunis is humble and beautiful as a beleaguered princess catapaulted to royalty who must save the people of Earth.  Eddie Redmayne is a villain in this one and brings vulnerability to his role. This feels like a potential franchise film. A little too much exposition which distracts from the flow of action, but ultimately it's an entertaining and fun Sci-Fi movie.

IMDB Page:
TAGS:  Channing Tatum, Mila Kunis, Eddie Redmayne, Sean Bean, The Wachowskis, Sci-Fi movie,  Fantasy