Saturday, March 10, 2007

Children Of Men & 300
CHILDREN OF MEN is a grim accounting of what the future might have in store for us.

Based on the novel by P.D. James this film explores a world in the not too distant future where infertility brings our civilization to its knees.

I appreciated the fact that Britain was chosen because it is a relatively manageable sized place that could conceivably lock down...unlike the USA or Canada which would be impossible to shut down.

This film explores the many themes that I love to rant about on my blog and transports us to the future where everything from xenophobia to pollution is explored. I thought that the infertility of mankind and the implications of that specific blight was an amazing avenue to explore.

On top of this all immigrants are rounded up and deported in an effort to preserve what little is left of the world we know.

A heavy handed government wields a gigantic armed force of soldiers and police to protect itself.

There are thousands of castaways fighting back and making what is left of London and the countryside a very dangerous place to live.

Of course there is the prerequisite enclave of a pristine 'Upperclassic Park' that is maintained beyond the reach of the great unwashed who are roaming the streets and subways in various gangs, ethnic hideouts, and underground militant factions.

It is not as out there as 28 Days Later (sorry no zombies) just desperate people reduced to taking extreme measures in order to survive.

As always the miraculous birth of child
(Hollywood only has 3 story lines..
the boy meets girl,
buddy movie and
the solitary saviour theme)
sends our very flawed hero, brilliant, everyman, Clive Owen, on an amazing excursion through insurmountable odds.

Saturday night number one son and I took in 300.
A video game like slaughterfest with slo-mo decapitations and frame by frame battle scenes detailing a historic battle between the crazy Spartans and the empire building Persians.

This is a visually stunning computer enhanced (blue/green screen) movie that retells of a historic encounter of freemen against tyranny..
in full comic (graphic novel) hyperbole.
For those of you who enjoy stylised war movies this is your baby!
I was actually relieved that it wasn't ridiculously dumbed down and that an honest effort to bring in some dramatic elements was made.
If you liked Sin City chances are you will enjoy 300.
Those of us who love period & costume pieces that are resplendent in historical settings know all too well that we can't always be choosy. While watching 300 I recognised several 'nods' to other recent time travelling movies like Gladiator (Golden Fields), Alexander (Horse Rearing) and Troy (Spear leap).

I was enthralled by the sheer spectacle and having grown up with the Films of Directors such as Sam Peckinpah/Scorcese/Tarantino/and the endless parade of others..sheesh..
I have been clinically desensitized enough to be able to just sit back and cheer for the Greek underdogs.
If you have ever read anything about how ferocious the Spartans were you will appreciate the the efforts made to bolster the authenticity of this movie.

I always enjoy intelligent or stylish movies that delve into either an unfriendly future or look back at our savage past. Both of these films were easily two of the most powerful cinematic journeys that I have ever taken in recent years.



  1. Best of the lot is a movie called Shaun of the dead (in the vein of 28 days later)... If you get a chance see it... it is billed as a romantic comedy... with zombies:)

    We probably will never make it to the silver jump suit future, we will destroy ourselves well and truly before then...

    War, famine and climate change, not to mention the obesity epidemic, people eating themselves to death...

    Thats our future there. Half the world starves to death the other eats to death..

    Nothing like a positive outlook on life:)

  2. I saw Aeon Flux which also dealt with infertility in the future. Don't remember but actor looks like Clive Owen.

    I think we are going to plod along until we destroy ourselves.

    Which is such a depressing thought on a warm and sunny Sunday morning.

  3. Pretty grim, eh? But if you think about it, mankind already has
    a bounty of heterocidal techniques
    at the ready, and hasn't been able
    to look to any other species to
    keep populations in check. Famine,
    disease, plagues, conventional wars- none of the old standbys is
    able to tighten up the gene pool,
    at least, not in proportion to the
    earlier applications of these
    corrections. India and China have,
    after millenia of making an art of
    self-deprivations, finally emerged as consumers in the western scale.
    Thus, if everyone decided to stop
    their militaristic expressions and
    instead, shake hands, all that would be accomplished would be the final loosing of the genies restraints. The one unacknowledged
    benefit is, mans penchant to force
    becomes more irrelevant as the days pass- Katrina and dozens of
    "minor weather quirks" have shown that by comparison, our dust-ups
    really are works of impassioned amateurs,for sheer destructiveness.
    And, we're excruciatingly slow learners, after a few millenia of
    "business as usual".

  4. I do think that humanity plods on and takes as much as it can bear until it explodes.
    Before the advent of telecommunications and nowadays the internet, news travelled very slowly and it took people a long time to act or react...
    There are mini explosions happening right now in many corners of the world. If a madman gets hold of a weapon of total anihilation, then we can anticipate a catastrophic future.

  5. I'm glad you saw CoM. Wonderful movie.

    I enjoyed 300 as well. Again, we posted on the same subject, but I think you beat me to the 300 post by about half an hour, so damn.

    But it was a fun movie to watch.

    More fun than CoM. Although CoM was fun too just because it looked so good. The editing was great, and made the film that more enjoyable.

    I really have nothing bad to say about either film. I'm glad I saw both - in theatres.

  6. Catastrophe, and it can't come soon enough. I will embrace my demise, if it comes along with the eradication of our race.

  7. aidan,
    Don't Stop Me NOW!!!
    My kids and I loved Shaun..what a hoot!
    You have a realistic view and most people like the sugar coated version...we love happy endings but all of the other species who got a crack at world domination had sudden expirations..the Permian must have really been something...
    anyway hopefully I (or any of my kids) won't live to see it.

    Yeah sorry it is pretty depressing I should have just left it at the theatre...but those dramatic thought provoking stories make you realise how horrible life was and the future looks equally bleak..this period, for some of us anyway, has been relativelyy incident free...tick tock..

    So you are racing headfirst into the future? Let me know what you see.

    Yes Gaia could shake us off in a couple days if she wanted to...I am quite keen on seeing th effects of another 2.5 BILLION people all of a sudden consuming goods and services like North Americans..what kind of pressure will that put on out resources when we waste so much with our 330 million???

    That's why I live in the middle of nowhere! What self respecting Madman would waste his time on Whateverpeg?

    Children was great..I thought that it was handled quite responsibly...300 was a testosterone rollercoaster ride! They don't make men like that anymore..and if they did we wouldn't be here!

    I have just the song for you,

    Sunshine, lollipops and rainbows,
    Everything that's wonderful is what I feel when we're together,

    Brighter than a lucky penny,
    When you're near the rain cloud disappears, dear,
    And I feel so fine just to know that you are mine.

    Just kidding...I'm not brave enough to push the button but I understand your frustration..
    I just want all of the assholes eradicated.

  8. gotta see it then. Sounds like something I'd enjoy watching.

    Abt the future...Im not bothered abt it much HE...cos the present itself is hard enough. I'm someone who lives one day at a time.


  9. have to wait for the dvd. the sensors here would have butchered it to pieces.

    Children of men is cool. The design was very good, transforming the city into a dark future.

  10. i thought 300 was a visually beautiful movie for the most part, although i have to wonder how a head that has been decapitated by a downstroke (from a chainsaw armed drone (who looked exactly like a frank miller drawing)) manages to go up, unless it bounced off the ground first, i guess. stuff like that takes me right out of the movie. thankfully, i went with three guys, otherwise i would have had to suffer through two hours of 'oh, reyspoutine....', and rightfully so, perhaps.
    loved the raining arrow/laughing spartan scene.

    i do worry though, how many american kids will see this movie and read it as pure, direct allegory. there was so much parroting of bush administration lines that i was expecting to see an american flag flying somewhere in the background.

  11. keshi,
    One day at a time eh? It is easier to know where you are going if you know where you came from.
    You can change the future but not the past.

    The censor board is strict there I take it...a futurist like yourself must appreciate all of the thought and detail that went into C O M.

    I think that 300 may be a portent of the future of is one thing to create shiny spaceships but this had a computer enhanced human body in nearly every shot..and it was physically perfect..every frame.

    I don't know if there can be any nod to Bushism since these Spartans were fighting against an empire...I think that it would sell better from an Iraqi angle.

  12. We will crib, we will rant, we will rave but we will plod along..

    The fact is we ourselves do not want anydrastic changes.

  13. gautami,
    You will and I will but it's the fanatics who want to invoke change at any cost that scare me...hopefully the more information that circles the globe the more moderate the majority of humans will become...
    *crosses fingers and secretly doubts what he just typed*


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