Two days after staking a claim that it is foolish to criticize filmmaking via peripheral criticisms, David Poland takes "Children of Men" and its proponents to task by saying it "isn't" the film many critics have found it to be.
Children of Men is not a movie about an intelligent species dealing with the pressing fear of its own extinction.
Children of Men is not a movie about the inhumanity of man to man, though that is a constant theme, as Cuaron evokes every historical memory of state oppression from the jewish holocaust to Abu Gharib.
Children of Men is not a movie about how people who desperately need to share in hope in order to survive are too caught up in their petty daily grind to see that it is about more than that, and in the process destroying the hope they are so desperate for.
Children of Men is not a satisfying action movie, moving the McGuffin from one place to another against all odds, to a satisfying conclusion.
"Children of Men" is actually all of these things in small or large ways, but specifically it is about the necessity of hope in the universe. It is about what Pandora captured in her box at the very last moment, and the idea of a world where that fleeting notion escaped with all the other ideals of the world. At its core, that is the horror "Children of Men" explores. And it does so brilliantly.
This was actually a pretty good column until this willful digression, which ironically recalled Monday's proclamation from Poland: "...I will continue to struggle with my tone and theme until I actually go to web-print." Well, keep up the good fight, then.
And who in the hell is still touting "Blood Diamond" as Oscar bait?
Emanuel Levy keeps altering his review ratings, kind of swaying with the eventual en masse critical assessment. First "The Black Dahlia" went from an "A" to a "B+," and now his "A" review of "Flags of Our Fathers" gets demoted to an "A-." Weird.
Shouldn't you make a stand if you like a film no one else is crazy about? Isn't that the essence of the thing?
She's just sexy when she gets this riled up.
But then again, sometimes these "to the tune of" reviews can crack you up. He's totally hyperbolic on his apparent hatred of "Bobby" (at least in my opinion), but hey, I'll link it nontheless because it gave me a chuckle:
Meanwhile, in reality (well - MY reality), "Bobby" is one of the best films of the year. And a definite Best Picture contender (which "DCP" seems to concede in his humorous pan).
This is the third time he's struggled to write SOMETHING about Todd Field's "Little Children" when New line has been pretty plain about wanting no commentary until the film bows at Telluride.
Anyway, my review, held as promised (you know - ethics), will be published 9/2, so be on the lookout.
I've made it known that I'm no huge proponent of "Miami Vice," opening wide today. But reading A.O. Scott's review of the film this morning, I find myself highly irritated that he dumps so viciously on actor Colin Farrell. Farrell is the best part about "Vice," truly an actor amongst the best of his generation, yet Scott can't seem to focus on much beyond the poor lines Michael Mann gave him to utter in the film as valid assertion of his supposed failure to become a movie star. I'd venture he's most certainly on the rise, and he's inching into Christopher Walken territory, where he makes any film automatically a notch better simply due to his involvement.
...we're going to see "Snakes on a Plane" popping up on a few top ten lists at the end of the year?
Every once in a while, a few critics embrace something so woven into "genre" that it becomes a phenomenon unto itself. It happened with "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl," which secured the #1 spot from the New York Times's Elvis Mitchell in 2003. "X2" and the "Spider-Man" films, though not specifically the sort of "romp" material I'm talking about here, had their champions in the critical community as well. Ditto "Batman Begins" and "Sin City," the latter just missing the top ten most critically acclaimed films of 2005, if you go by Engin's comprehensive collective. Let's also not forget "Kung Fu Hustle." But I think "Pirates" is the more apt comparison.
I don't know, I just get the feeling we're going to see this thing turn up on a list or two from critics who appreciate a balls-out good time. Am I off my rocker?