Tag Archives: alfonso cuaron

Michael Bay: Futurist

pathsof

Paths of Movement + Dynamic Sequences, 1913 | Transformers: Dark of the Moon, 2011

Editor’s Note: John D’Amico’s piece, Michael Bay: Futurist, is no longer available on this site because it has been selected for inclusion in a upcoming scholarly print examination of the films of Michael Bay which is slated for release in mid 2018 via a major publishing house.  The book will feature a wide range of new perspectives about Bay’s work from a range of scholars, cinephiles, and filmmakers.

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A Rebuttal to ‘Gravity: A Lifetime Movie in Space’

gravity2


Gravity (2013)
Directed by Alfonso Cuarón
Written by Alfonso Cuarón & Jonás Cuarón
90 min.

The following is a rebuttal to a recent Smug Film review, ‘Gravity: A Lifetime Movie in Space‘. Mild spoilers.

Gotta disagree on all counts.

Let’s go through it. The 3D diorama effect was kind of essential here, because it’s a film in a setting where people are literally thin slices floating on a plane of nothingness. It created strong contrasts between Bullock and the stars, debris and earth, and even the thumb-printed glass of the helmet and the actor’s faces. There’s one moment where a space station, a person, and the Earth are all in frame, separated by hundreds of miles, and all perfectly in focus because of a lack of atmospheric distortion. The 3D made that distance come alive in a way it can’t in 2D. It’s about gulfs, impossible blank gulfs, and that’s why it’s one of the only truly essential uses of 3D I’ve seen yet. About the only other one I can think of is Cave of Forgotten Dreams, which used it to bring out distances of millimeters of depth on a wall. Seems like 3D is at its best when it’s working with the very small or the very large.
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Gravity: A Lifetime Movie In Space

Sandra Bullock


Gravity (2013)
Directed by Alfonso Cuarón
Written by Alfonso Cuarón & Jonás Cuarón
90 min.

Mild spoilers ahead.

Wow. I guess the moon really is made out of cheese.

That was my immediate thought at the end of this movie, as a sea of applause erupted in the theater, or more accurately, an archipelago of applause. In its sparseness, I knew that I was not the only one who felt this way, which was a relief, because after the damn-near unanimous praise this thing had been receiving as of late, I fully expected the hive mind crowd to suddenly and collectively smell my distaste and crawl over the seats, and each other, to come rip me apart limb from limb. Instead, I merely had to endure the requisite long line to exit the theater, and then the long line down the countless escalators leading back to Earth, during which everyone seemed unusually quiet, stuck in their own minds, trying to process their feelings. Not in the way that occurs after a Haneke film or something; this was different. It seemed as though many, including myself, were wondering if they’d seen the same movie that the professional critics and faceless fanboys online had seen.
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Pacific Rim Is The Dullest Movie You’ll Ever See About Giant Robots Fighting Sea Monsters

PACIFIC RIM
These characters are so. Fucking. Boring.

Pacific Rim (2013)
Directed by Guillermo del Toro
Written by Travis Beacham & Guillermo Del Toro
131 min.

Warning: spoilers ahead.

2013 was supposed to be the year that saved big screen science fiction. When this summer’s lineup began filling out, I had more anticipation for this movie season than I’d had in years. Names were popping up like Blomkamp, del Toro, Shyamalan (fuck the haters), Abrams, Cuarón, Wright (and Pegg and Frost), and startlingly, there seemed to be more original properties on the horizon than sequels/adaptations: Elysium, After Earth, Gravity, Pacific Rim, Oblivion, Ender’s Game, Star Trek Into Darkness, The World’s End, etcetera. From what I saw of the trailers, these movies didn’t look like your typical disaster porn invasion movies, á la, Battle: Los Angeles or Transformers (except Pacific Rim, though its premise justifies, and even necessitates it) nor were they part of the insufferably relentless deluge of Marvel/DC sequels and spinoffs (except Into Darkness, whose trailers gave it the tone of a Dark Knight movie; y’all looking forward to Thor: The Dark World?). I loved the designs I saw in the Oblivion trailer, I liked the visual approaches of After Earth and Ender’s Game, and I love the idea of Sandra Bullock leading a stranded-in-space drama.
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10 Subtitled Movies For People Who Hate Subtitles

stalker

Stalker (1979). Not all subtitled movies are this, people.

Personally, I’ve never understood the hatred people have for subtitles. Sure, there is a level of inconvenience that comes with being unable to focus entirely on the visuals, since your eyes have to dart between it and the text. I mean, you’re watching a movie because that’s what you want to do—watch something, not read it. However, it seems to me in this age of text messages, the internet, scrolling news tickers, and billion hit Youtube videos from around the world, you’d think we’d be over the stigma of subtitles by now.
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