His Dark Materials
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It's a 2 hour film, but it took me over 4 hours to watch it because I kept having to take sanity breaks.
I was overwhelmed by a virtual avalanche of inaccuracies (factual, historical, scientific), distortions and "Hollywood moments" which all rang so false in the face of historical knowledge, and in many cases, common sense, that I would have to periodically walk away and calm down. And do some research to check some details - love the Internet.
Yes, I know the film is not a documentary, I know that there is such a thing as dramatic licence and artistic licence and so forth, but - Holy Fuck - this was not, as advertised, a "dramatic biopic"; it was fairytale. The impact was doubled by the hideous dumbing-down of everything. Everything was a caricature. There are no real, 3-D people in this film. There are only goodies and baddies. The goodies are always right, and the baddies are always wrong. In fact, some of the goodies have magical powers and do things that are ridiculous and impossible - sort of the cerebral equivalent of action heroes in a Chuck Norris film, I suppose. There are 2 speaking part baddies who get redemption at the end of the film by seeing the error of their ways and finally behaving nicely. Ta-dah! Redemption level achieved. Lesson learned. Example set. Didn't see that coming, did you?
The central theme is that both black people ("coloreds") and women were treated unequally at the time in the US, and the film lays this on with a trowel. And then a shovel. And then a series of dump trucks. OK, the film-maker is entitled to emphasis his point, and these things were true in many aspects of everyday life, and this would be a fair enough take, except for one important thing. The average viewer would come away thinking that racial segregation was endemic at NASA, which is actually the opposite of the truth. NASA was a federally-mandated equal opportunity employer (one of the first), and in fact, set up by Johnson that way to provide opportunities for education, employment and advancement for blacks. Yes, there was one "Colored Women's Bathroom" (left over from the old NACA days), but it wasn't 1/2 a mile away, and the sign wasn't dramatically knocked down with a tyre iron in front of a breathless audience by the head of NASA (or Kevin Costner). As usual, the truth was more prosaic. Its existence was mostly ignored, and the sign was eventually removed with a memo. Apparently this tyre iron scene in the film had US audiences cheering. Cheering. Did they think it was real? Or even remotely likely?
The logic wouldn't fool a 12 year old.
While this film provides, apparently, many uplifting moments, I found it so contrived and false and wrong (unintentionally in many places) that I was alternating between outraged gasps and laughing out loud. I know that this is a common experience for those of us with an interest in history, but there is one difference here: many of the the people who worked there at the time are still around, and they must love that they're all being painted as misogynistic racists.
Most people don't read books or even articles. The film is what they will think was the truth. That's sad.
I could list all the distortions, exaggerations, and stupid scientific/factual errors in this film, but that will have to wait until I have a few hours spare.
I have not seen this film.
Bond is back on form with a story that not only makes sense, but links together the previous 3 films and delivers hard-core spy action that has that distinctly British feel. Craig is excellent as usual, Waltz only slightly disappointing.
This is a good fun film, more so for those of us who are long-time fans of the books. There are a few changes to the story, but basically, they got it right. The cast is excellent, the visuals spectacular, and the thrills and spills exciting. There are just enough twists to make it unpredictable, and just enough clever, subtle references to things only a fan would understand to satisfy the hunger for things Barsoomian.
We've waited 100 years for this movie, what a shame that Disney botched every other aspect of the show.
** SPOILERS ***
Visually, a feast, but a leisurely script leads to a muddled climax.
Some of the original concepts seem to have been dumbed down for audience acceptance. Programs, formerly living a uniquely digital lifestyle, sipping energy from pools, worshipping users, are now like regular dudes with funny clothes. They work, sleep, eat, drink, and go to clubs.
Perhaps this dumbing down is why this film poses more questions than it answers.
Why has the digital world taken on analogue characteristics like dust, atmosphere & functionless water?
Why do the digital Recognizers, previously smooth, humming machine menaces, now have exhaust flames & jet engine noise?
Why do light cycles sound like they have gasoline engines?
How can a totalitarian digital society have "homeless" programs (who drink from brown paper bags yet)?
How were the Isomorphic algorithms going to change the world?
Why do all the programs now leap around and pose exactly like Asian martial artists? Just, why??
When young Flynn switched off the server, was the world destroyed? (if so, shouldn't he have waited, in case there were still some of those useful ISOs surviving, especially since he (and the audience) have no clue as to how to use them?)
If hours in the digital world were minutes in the real one, and in the real world it's been 15 years, does that mean that old Flynn has been trapped for up to 900 years? (which might explain why he's channeling The Dude from "The Big Lebowski")
The biggest disappointment for me was the almost complete absence of the title character. By the end of the film, I still wasn't sure where Tron was. I had to read some summaries on the Internet to find out.
I was a fan of the original Tron. Original ideas have been dropped for populism & eye candy. This is a disappointing followup.