PODCAST - https://soundcloud.com/ryangunasekera/rogue-one
A good friend of mine made the insight after episode 7, "You can see what they're trying to do, they're establishing the new universe to compete with Marvel."
After watching Rogue One, all I can do is commend their work. I'm not the biggest Star Wars fan, but even from my cursory knowledge, the links are there to give the hint of nostalgia combined with every modern CGI enhancement imaginable.
Every aspect that anyone has enjoyed about the franchise is there, from comic relief to strong female leads, and of course, Darth Vader.
With a Hans Solo back story coming up, I can't help but believe that Star Wars will begin to overtake The Avengers, both at the box office and in our public consciousness.
PODCAST - https://soundcloud.com/ryangunasekera/hacksaw-ridge-2016
As always, the story drives greatness in movie making, and it truly is an incredible story being told here. Even today, the idea of a non violent soldier joining the military to save others would likely be viewed as a comedic idea.
Mel Gibson is truly able to bring to life, what the terrifying reality of that soldier's experience was, in the middle of one of the most brutal battles of the Pacific. The battle scenes bring back memories of Saving Private Ryan, whilst Gibson uses a touch of 'The Passion of the Christ' in delivering nuanced, Christian imagery from behind the camera.
Long after stepping out of the cinema, the message that will stay with me and many others, is one of integrity, values and ethics. Beyond the production value, these are valuable lessons for all of us.
PODCAST - https://soundcloud.com/ryangunasekera/deepwater-horizon-2016
When Marky Mark, Kurt Russell and John Malkovich join forces there's a nostalgic, '90's action genre vibe in the air. Deepwater Horizon largely lives up to those expectations.
Whilst the combination of strong southern accents in the first half, and an exploding oil rig in the second half may make following specific dialogue difficult, the mise en scene and powerful performances from Malkovich et al more than compensate.
The majority of the audience (myself included) will likely never see an oil rig, let alone have our courage tested the way the Deepwater Horizon crew did. For just bringing those events to life on the silver screen, this film is worthy viewing.
PODCAST - https://soundcloud.com/ryangunasekera/captain-fantastic-2016
I'm a strong believer in finding the rational middle ground. Sometimes, to do that, you need to hear extreme perspectives at both ends of the spectrum.
We have a lot of societal problems in western culture. Though most recognise that to some degree, our solution would not be (myself included) to live a hunter/gatherer existence in the forest, whilst home schooling our children in everything from Ancient Greek philosophy to the US Constitution.
Whilst the ending (spoiler!) is far too 'Hollywood neatly tying the ends together', there is an important message there; There are practical steps we can and should be taking to correct some of our problems in society today. If just a few people walk out with that message, consider this movie a huge success. ?
PODCAST - https://soundcloud.com/ryangunasekera/sully-2016
This is a great movie, that needs to be accepted without desire to seek out ulterior motives. Sadly, Eastwood's genius in movie making has been overshadowed by his political actions of recent years, thus some feel the movie is vehicle to advance libertarianism against the perils of over regulation.
Its a great movie, about a real life hero. Eastwood's steadfast directorial hand, and Hanks' genius as he transitions towards elder statesmen roles ensures that we feel every ounce of courage exerted that day to save 155 souls and potentially many more from certain death.
There are few directors with the skill to be able to pull off moments such as turning government agency review meetings into epic theatre. Whilst this may mean the tone of those meetings was altered for the silver screen, it in no way changes the courage of those who saved all those lives. That's what we should celebrate. :)