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Blinded by the Light
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2 gangs of teenagers spend their summers playing war games in the woods only they take it very seriously, risking friendships and lives along the way. Their imaginary weapons are replaced with the real thing on screen, perhaps a comment on teenage attitudes towards violence or maybe just to help the viewer realise how seriously the players are taking this game, it's never really explained. For anyone familiar with the many war films that have been released over the years, you will find many familiar plot strands and cliches, from the obsessive military strategist who is willing to sacrifice his own men for the win to the crazed rogue soldier who no longer plays by the rules and goes full Colonel Kurtz. I thought it was a well played out film obviously made by people with love for the genre.
Honestly, this is a really cool concept for a movie. A kids' game of Capture the Flag where make-believe and reality merge where the kids weapons, made of sticks and rocks, become actual guns and grenades in their own imagination. So, really, it's a film about the importance of fostering kids' imagination and letting them be creative in their own way. But, oddly enough, it's also about how kids grow up in a violent environment, right down to the very games the play and how that fosters a mentality where they grow up to think that war is perfectly normal. It's not like the film explicitly states this, I think it lets the film play out without interjecting too much of an agenda into it, but it's something that you definitely pick up on as you see these kids pretty much behaving in ways that adults do when put in the same in, obviously, more serious situations. So the film definitely works in a number of different ways. It's also got a surprising little narrative arc when it comes to the PK, Skinner and Kwon. So I like how they explore that and PK's willingness to sacrifice his best friend in order to win the game. It does come across kind of silly, when the only way you can be killed is being throw with a balloon full of some red-like liquid resembling blood, but it does say a lot about the type of person PK might grow up to be if he goes down this path, particularly if, if his intelligence at strategy is to be any factor, he becomes a high-ranking soldier at one point. The willingness with which he is able to sacrifice those closest to him in order to win a battle is definitely not one of the positive parts of his personality. So I thought that was cool, but I think the movie does do a good job at being entertaining as well. It's a good movie, but I don't think there's really enough here to justify this as a full-length movie, it has a sort of samey feel to it, there's not a whole of thematic variety in the film, though I did really Jess' arc as the person who's been most affected by the casualties of war as she keeps seeing someone, her crush, that isn't there as he was "killed" earlier in the game. I thought that was clever and might've been some of the best stuff in the entire film. But, really, this is a movie that doesn't really come together as well as its concept might suggest. This was, honestly, better suited as a short movie as opposed to a full-length one. With that said, however, I still quite enjoyed this movie. It might not be perfect, but they do find a way to make it entertaining while also being slightly thought-provoking. This isn't Ex Machina, after all, but it does bring up some interesting questions, so I'd recommend it. It's not great, but there's some good stuff here that audiences will enjoy.
Wasn't Sure Of Itself, Was It Satire? Was It Serious? Continually Loses Pace & Direction, Lacked Finess, At Times Looking Like A Comically-Bad Dystopian-Thriller, Where Others (Lord Of The Flies, Hunger Games) Have Performed The Genres Far Better, This Was Laughable & Quite Lame.
If I let my 11-year-old self float to the surface, I really like this. I'd completely relate with everything. Forts, hideouts, competition with your buddies, girls to secretly desire, Capture The Flag, fake weapons, strategizing, cussing like a drunken sailor!
As an adult, I still like it. It's rookie kid actors sound like rookie kid actors, which can distract. And the paint ballon was a grenade and the kill shot, which I found odd. There are few little points like that. However, it does a pretty good job capturing the imagination of kids with several solid character arcs. Awesome way to spend a super-low budget, too.
Okay movie that showed how some kids actually are given the situation but the ending felt very sudden with no proper conclusion :( great idea but not done as well as I had thought it would have been :(
A good idea spoiled by poor direction of he acting and a lack or care of the plot.
Really thogh movie but like fruit.
An amazing movie about adolescent imagination and ego.
In the tradition of 'Mean Creek' and 'Lord of the Flies' comes a poignant dark comedy that puts a timely spotlight on the games kids play and the consequences of seemingly innocent actions when fun gives way to danger--War ... It's child's play!!
Unique, engaging, and sinisterly fun.