|Title:||Children of Men|
|12.11.06||Alamo South Lamar|| OK this is a great movie. Trailer, be damned, this is a great movie. Good story, great acting, impeccable direction, and wonderful aesthetic. I really can't say enough good about it so this note will probably be pretty short because praise gets pretty boring pretty quick. It's just way better than I thought it would be and really really well done. There are a couple scenes that all play in one take (or you know, separate shots digitally stitched together to seem like one take) that do a great job in really engaging you with the action. Really like surprising breathtaking edge of your seat type stuff. This may sound odd at first but I was really reminded of the video game Half-Life 2. |
The big thing with the Half-Life games is that they never take away your control as a player to look around. So where most games would have a controlled cutscene where important information is fed to you, Half-Life never stops time like that. The effect is that some things happen out of the corner or your eye or get obscured by other things going on. So the way Cuaron structures a few sequences in this movie (mostly action scenes), it feels very much like the camera is playing the movie like a video game, following Owen around in a consistent virtual world and catching whatever various events it happens to catch (and it also helps that certain sequences in Half-Life 2 mirror certain sequences in this movie very closely (rebels conducting urban warfare in battle-damaged buildings)). Of course we know it's all planned to show us exactly what the director wants to show us, but it really doesn't seem that way. The only other film that comes to mind is the D-Day sequence in Saving private Ryan, where you constantly have stunts and effects going on in the periphery. Oh, you know... Battle of Algiers as well. The warfare stuff in that. Actually, you know, I'd say it's not too far off to call this movie a sci-fi version of Algiers.
But the movie's not just these amazing action scenes. There's a real story and real social commentary going on here as well as funny characters and more standard future-y products and technology and whatnot. Again, really great movie. Don't believe the trailer.