Trumbo (Aristotle Score: +15)

Trumbo is the biopic of blacklisted screen-writer Dalton Trumbo. The film features a dark era of 20th century American history of McCarthyism. The film has very strong characters, well acted with powerful themes and a well writ script earning 4, 5 and 6 points for a total of +15. There are no negative aspects about this film.

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The Revenant (Aristotle Score: +11)

The Revenant tells the true story of Hugh Glass’s heroic survival and redemption in 19th Century Wyoming, starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

Hugh Glass suffered among other unfortunes, being mauled by a bear. Te plot is told in 3 acts which I call: Attacked, Alive, And Attacked.

The film is shoot with beautiful long shoots that starkly contrast the majestic beauty and horror of nature. The movie is masterfully produced and has one of the most shocking animal animations I’ve ever seen. scoring 1 point for spectacle and 2 points for production.

The score uses music extremely sparsely, yet the soundtrack lives with nature and ambiance earning another 3 points and the themes both visual and narrative are strikingly full earning another 5 points.

The film lacks a little on script, plot and character development, so it fails to earn any points for those categories, giving The Revenant a total score of +11.

The has violence and blood and should not be viewed by sensitive viewers. There film doesn’t have any real negative and many great positives and I’d highly recommend it.

Thanks for visiting CinemoFreak! And I hope you enjoy your movies~

Luke, I am your Daughter

Since the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens there have been many fan theories about the parentage of Rei. The movie strongly suggests that she is the daughter of Luke and, in fact, the film labors to make the point (similar to how Anakin was laboriously portrayed in Ep 1.)

I think the strongest possibility is that she is Luke’s daughter, perhaps leading to a reveal scene in Ep 8: “Luke, I am your daughter.”

If she is Luke’s daughter, why doesn’t Han or Leia recognize her? Well, it’s possible that Luke impregnated a woman and simply didn’t know. Following this idea down the Star Wars themes, lust and passion can lead to the Dark Side and is pointed as one of the major factors to leading Anakin to the Dark Side. Is it possible that a female Dark Side user, perhaps even a Sith, seduced Luke sexually as well as from the Light Side to the Dark Side. Once impregnated with Vader’s grandchild the female Sith could have left, never to see Luke again.

Other theories I’ve heard are that she’s a Force Birth, or a clone, perhaps of Anakin himself.

What do you think?

Thanks for visiting CinemoFreak! I hope you enjoy your films~

The Future of Mega-Franchise Trailers

2016 is an important year in advancing huge, endless mega-film-franchises such as Marvel, DC & Star Wars, not to mention Ghostbusters, & Harry Potter and Hunger Games prequels. As more and more IP try their hand at establishing a universe for an endless film franchise it would be prudent to recognize the vital difference in these types of films and the necessity to market them differently.

There is significant excitement as the trailers are released for these upcoming mega-franchises. There is a lot of online chatter and speculation on one side and a lot of concern about spoilers on the other side. It’s very different to market an original stand alone film than a mega-franchise, just like it’s different to market a sequel. Previously, the closest we’ve had to marketing for a mega-franchise would be a trilogy.

I think that with established mega-franchises there presents an opportunity to create a new concept of marketing.

Marvel has discovered that using post credits scenes to promote future films works very well at fan retention and, in fact, the post credit scenes have become some of the most beloved and anticipated aspects of Marvel’s installments.

I think that the trailers for mega-franchises could be original content, not from the film, that operates as a prelude. The fans are going to watch the trailers, and we want to have significant content in them, but we don’t want it to spoil the movie at all.

For example, at the beginning of Star Wars Ep3 the scroll says General Grevious has kidnapped Palpatine. But the viewer had never met Grevious or heard about the kidnap. In a situation like this a prelude could be filmed that depicts this event and is split into three sections to be released like trailer chapter stories. As the months before the film release passes, the fans could already be immersed and engaged.

What do you think? Would you like having prelude chapter trailers instead of standard content from the actual film?

Thanks for visiting CinemoFreak! and I hope you enjoy your movies~

1st Order Easter Eggs…[Star Wars Thoughts]

Hello film friends! Like you, I’m getting excited for The Force Awakens and have been watching the films as well as the animated series, Rebels.

I’ve noticed that asterix looking symbol for the 1st order appearing often in Rebels. For example it is on the Inquisitor’s sleeve, and often on cargo and such. Does any know what the symbol means in Star Wars lore, or how the 1st Order will relate to the Empire?

I have also been thinking about the highlight of Ep3: “Execute Order 66!” The context of the 1st Order and “Order 66” seems to be intrinsically different. But I wonder, is the “1st order” in anyway relevant to “order 66?”

What do you think? Or what do you know? But please, no spoiler until after the 18th 😉

Thanks for visiting CinemoFreak! and I hope you enjoy your movies~

Saving Languages through Sci-Fi & Fantasy? [STAR WARS THOUGHTS]

I heard a soundbite of composer John Williams discussing his score for Star Wars Ep7 and he mentioned writing a leitmotif for Snoke (I believe) that is a choral arrangement in Sanskrit.

This got me thinking about the reason behind him using Sanskrit. On the surface it seems like a great language that could sound like an alien language to Americans, which would be cooler than something culturally recognizable, like Latin for example. However there are a few reasons why Sanskrit might not be the best long-term choice for a source alien language in the Star Wars IP.

The first reason is because Sanskrit is very culturally relevant and recognizable in India. Currently China is a very desirable market for Hollywood and Star Wars is being heavily market in China and Japan. India has it’s own film industry. Bollywood seems “just fine” without Hollywood and is in fact a much larger film market than Hollywood is, however if Disney hopes to bring the subcontinent in as viewers, it might be best to not have Sanskrit as an alien language.

The other reason I think Sanskrit might be a bad choice is because it is a Proto-Indo-European (PIE) language which makes it similar to all other PIE languages, including English. For example, father in German is vater, and in Dutch it is Vader. So Darth Vader from the beginning meant Father. Father in Latin is pater and in Sanskrit it’s pitr. This should demonstrate how linguistically similar Sankskrit actually is to English, and therefore not a great source for an alien language.

All this got me thinking what would be a good language to use in a sci-fi or fantasy film franchise? I realized that this presented an opportunity for Disney to provide a valuable cultural service to the world as they crank out multiple, endless film franchises.

In America there are literally hundreds of languages from the Original Nations (Native Americans) endangered to go extinct. Initially these languages would make great alien languages because the are not PIE based. These languages only have a few speakers left and will be gone forever if there is not a way devised to preserve these languages. There is a true need for researchers to catalog the vocabulary and necessary grammatical syntax of these endangered tongues for their cultural value.

I hope that, if this happened, it would bring interest and respect to these forgotten languages and not the opposite (that it might seem somehow racist.) I’d hope that, like Klingon, it would inspire people to learn how to speak in, perhaps, “Mandalorian,” which could maybe be Zuni for example, (but a more endangered tongue.)

I wonder if a change.com petition to have Disney help preserve endangered languages through cinema would be motivating enough for them to hire a linguist researcher.

What do you think? Do you care about alien languages? Are you interested in saving endangered tongues? Would that add any interest to the films for you? Would it detract from the films? Do you think it might come off a bit racist like Nute Gunray in Ep1? Would you support this idea?

Please leave your thoughts!

Thanks for visiting CinemoFreak and I hope you enjoy your movies~

The Walk (Aristotle Score: +10)

The Walk, starring Joseph-Gordon Levitt and directed by Robert Zemeckis, is the true story of Philippe Petit’s famous high wire walk between the Twin Towers in 1974. I really enjoyed the film from beginning to end and its a rare gem that is mature yet family friendly. For the visual aspect I’d buy a ticket for a matinee, perhaps in 3-D.

The film unfolds over four acts that I’d call 1) The Dream, 2) The Plan, 3) The Set-Up & 4) The Walk. The act 1 hook is strong and the final act climaxes and resolves very satisfactorily.

The film is an understated visual delight. The period piece production is impressive and the score slides effortlessly from mid-twentieth century in the first act moving into mesmerizing minimalism for the stunning climatic walk. The script is pretty good, with memorable turns of phrase, such as “the artistic coup of the century.” (+1, +2, +3 & +4)

The themes are pronounced but not many, and the only real character is our protagonist and perhaps his crotchety mentor. Joseph-Gordon Levitt’s performance is amazing, he really sales the movie with his strong character, however no other memorable characters emerged. Also, while the movie is captivating and very enjoyable, the plot points are not complex and the vital parts are previously known to the viewer. For these reasons The Walk is neutral and get not points for these categories, making its total +10.

Thanks for visiting CinemoFreak and I hope you enjoy your movies~

 

Thoughts on Marvel’s Greater Cinematic Universe

A frequent curiosity is how much the Marvel Cinematic Universe will continue to overlap since creative direction has been split between Kevin Feige on films and Neil Perlmutter on television, including NetFlix.

I’ve heard a number of perspectives. Some think the NetFlix series is too gritty and realistic to fit in movies like Infinity War. But we must remember that if we didn’t already know that Iron Fist is a confirmed member of NetFlix’s The Defenders, we’d likely venture his character way too imaginary to fit with DareDevil. But Iron Fist will be a member of The Defenders as confirmed again just this week.

I’ve noticed larger themes that promise to tie ABC’s, NetFlix’s and Marvel Films narratives far closer during Phase Three.

Since he’s already been mentioned, let’s begin with Iron Fist. This character’s origin is connected with a mythical city of KundLun that exists in another dimension where he learns magical martial arts. The idea of other dimensions is already presented in Thor, but will be much deeper developed in Dr. Strange already crossing Iron Fist into the worlds of multiple Avengers tales. Also, in ABC’s “Agents of Shield” there is a city of Inhumans that appears to be alternatively in another dimension or in China. This always seemed peculiar until I thought of KundLun and wondered if the Inhuman town in China at the end of “Shield” Season 2 was, or is, related to the mystic city of KundLun where Iron Fist learns Qigong and Martial Arts. So Iron Fist, just by his innate character, connects all three platforms together.

Another connective thread lies with the mystery of Peter Quinn’s father. We learn at the end of Guardians of the Galaxy that StarLord’s father was not human, but his identity remains a mystery. Well, it has been hinted that it’s the original Captain Marvel who empowers Carol Danvers to become Miss Marvel, the likely plot of Captain Marvel. In this narrative Captain Marvel is a Kree alien, likely an ancient Kree. This explains why Peter’s mother said his father was an angel and why he can hold the infinity stone. It ties Guardians to the upcoming Captain Marvel film, but also asks what will happen in Guardians vol 2 and Infinity War which Captain Marvel will release between the Infinity War parts, perhaps making it like a midquel to infinity War. And since Infinity War is a cosmic war with Thanos, its clear that Guardians will become closely tied to Avengers in Phase 3.

Thor has connections to Guardians as well, especially in the Thor 2 post credits scene where Thor’s entourage visits “The Collector” from Guardians. Now with Hulk to be in Thor 3 and the foreshadows of Hulk in space or perhaps a Planet Hulk type story, I wonder if that too will be tied into the Gaurdians/Infinty War/Captain Marvel story line.

So how does this fit with the television series? Well “Shield” has become solely about Inhumans created from exposure to Kree DNA beginning long ago. How that fits into Guardians, or if Captain Marvel has anything to do with the terragens creating Inhumans, is yet to be revealed. But since the film to follow Infinity War is Inhumans it’s definitely going to all connect by then. So ABC’s narrative is clearly going to be tight with the upcoming films.

The other story arch being told currently in ABC’s “Shield” is a portal to another dimension. This other dimensional quality connects with all other alter dimensional narratives, from Thor to Iron Fist and Dr Strange, once again tying together all three platforms.

What other potential leads will connect the various Marvel Video platforms together? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Thanks for visiting CinemoFreak and I hope you enjoy your movies~

Star Wars Episode 3 Revenge of the Sith (Aristotle Score: +8)

Star Wars Ep3 is by far the best of the prequels. With impressive visual effects, sets and score it earns positively for each category. (+1, +2 & +3)

Like all the prequels, the script has terribly crafted segments, creating more lines memorable for being bad than good. The worst perhaps being “From my perspective it is the Jedi who are evil!” What a laughably impersonal line in a death sequence. The poor script also creates poor characters, sometimes flat & wooden and often with confusing motives. (-4 & -6)

Ultimately, the plot points of the arch, which concludes the origin story of Darth Vader, are thematically powerful. (+5 & +7)

Is DC’s Film Advertising Purposeful?

As I discussed in “Doomsday Daydream” many fans are let down by the seemingly huge spoiler of Doomsday in the upcoming Batman V Superman Film. I’m curious about their marketing choices and wonder if they are reactionary to online fan discussions.

I personally knew little about the film until I started watching Collider Video’s wonderfully entertaining YouTube channel about movie news and speculation. There I learned that Zod actor Micheal Shannon had told a magazine about having flippers on his hands for some of the movie which spurred speculation that he was to play Doomsday. Like many others, I was excited about the prospect, but let down by the 2nd trailer’s reveal… and I wasn’t the only one.

So I wonder what led to the decision to reveal Doomsday. I saw Micheal Shannon on @Midnight just nights before the reveal of the 2nd trailer getting help from Chris Hardwick to walk back the “flipper story” saying “it was obviously a joke, Zod would never have flipper hands.” So what are we to believe? The first story by Micheal Shannon that is supported by the 2nd trailer, or the insistence over and over again to the contrary of the now released Doomsday footage?

And what about the Suicide Squad & Jason Todd theory? Will the next trailer for Suicide Squad reveal that Jared Leto is indeed playing Jason Todd? If so, will that be an even bigger let down than the Doomsday reveal?

So what is motivating DC’s “Film Universe” marketing division? Are they reacting to our online chatter by confirming suspicions, to our great disappointment? Is it possible that Doomsday is a vision or dream as I discussed previously and that Darksied is the actual third act villain in BvS? They have “confirmed” that the para-demon scene is a dream, but are we to believe them after they instructed Micheal Shannon to lie blatantly?

I’m worried about DC’s upcoming films. They’ve got a lot riding on their 2016 releases. It’s no secret that Man of Steel was intended to be a bigger hit than it was, and that creating a larger cinematic universe is a huge undertaking. What many fans might forget is it’s also a huge risk. If the fans have accurately guessed both big reveals of their upcoming films and they verify it months before any releases, will the entire slate of projected films be actually green lighted?

I’d love to hear what you think… Is DC panicking and making poor decisions or masterfully misleading us? Do you think there’s a chance these movies won’t succeed to launch the “Film Universe” they are aiming at? Are you let down by the Doomsday reveal, and if so, how does that change your feelings about the theory of Jason Todd being Joker in Suicide Squad?

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy your movies…

Sincerely,

CinemoFreak~