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Anyone see Children of Men yet? - Page 3

post #31 of 50
Saw it yesterday. Nowhere near as good as it could have been but I wasn't that disappointed. Still, there were just way too many fancy coincidences for me.

By the way, what was the deal with the visible blood (or whatever it was) on the camera during that insane action scene near the end of the movie? That somewhat ruined it for me because it was already hard to suspend my disbelief for this movie and that scene made it even worse. Guess I'm nitpicking, but I just couldn't get over it
post #32 of 50
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SptsNaz View Post
By the way, what was the deal with the visible blood (or whatever it was) on the camera during that insane action scene near the end of the movie? That somewhat ruined it for me because it was already hard to suspend my disbelief for this movie and that scene made it even worse. Guess I'm nitpicking, but I just couldn't get over it
It's a common film presence born at least with Robert Capra & WWII still photography. Saving Private Ryan copied it all over for instance. I guess it's what you're use to, but it's only as referential as hand held work in that you're reminded (or not) of the camera presence.
post #33 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by blessingx View Post

Well Ed you're judging before you've seen it. Risky. Let me go on record and say Children of Men IS the Blade Runner for the 21st Century. Course Blade Runner isn't really the Blade Runner of the 20th. As much as I like BR, its overrated. BR is about looks (which you referenced). That's fine in film. Shakespeare was about the delivery. But BRs plot is only about three steps ahead of another great, though simplistic, cinematic world, RoadWarrior. BR is talked about as having a great story for some reason. So it had one of the first (though not first by any means) future-is-hell backdrops. Cool, but that's not difficult to achieve, it's just seemingly less revolutionary now than BR was for those force fed Star Trek and Star Wars. Lots of Noir and Westerns both painted ugly futures. If you want to say CoM is no BR in the aesthetics department, fine. Exaggerating a bit, that's close to arguing with someone who likes Merchant -Ivory films for the "castles and dresses." I'm not sure what to say there. On the story - CoM IS the new BR (at least if I want to play devils advocate) because as BR dealt with A.I., CoM deals with fertility. Both take place at those origins. Both are about life. Both look forward while referencing their creation date (as all great "future" Art/art does) and specifically the 40s. And they both follow a distant lead as he begins to care. BR wasn't thought of that highly when it was released. We'll see what happens to CoM (though I'm not expecting the same). To be fair, you could also say (though less parallels) CoM is the Casablanca of the 21st Century.
Oh please, I mentioned Design and Styling. Unless they hid all of it, Children of Men looks like a B-movie compared to Blade Runner. I'm not saying all "B-movies" suck, I'm just saying that you are comparing a Ferarri Enzo to a Honda S2000. They both make drivers happy, but on two completely different levels, and two completely different budgets.

Let just take a visual comparison, shall we.

Blade Runner

Weapon Design



Vehicle Design



Architectural and Environment Design



Costume and Prop Design




Children of Men

Weapon Design


Vehicle Design


Architectural and Environment Design


Costume and Prop Design




I'm sure Children of Men is a good movie. And I'm sure I'll enjoy it, but let's stop with the Blade Runner comparisons. To compare the two is laughable. The Visuals are as much a part of a movie as the story. If visuals never mattered, I'd listen to radio dramas and read books instead. And sure, one without the other makes for a mediocre movie. Just look at the most recent three Star Wars movies.

-Ed
post #34 of 50
Thread Starter 
Ed, we may be just arguing two related, but only indirectly, points here. If so sorry. But it's not that "the visuals are as much a part of a movie as the story" (emphasis added). 2001 may be the most visual major released film of all time. It's what is done with the design. The dunes aren't what makes Lawrence of Arabia special (the horrible 3 Godfathers is just as impressive there). It's just a tool. I have a feeling a difference in visual focus may mean we have very different "best of" lists (three of my faves - The Third Man, Wings of Desire, Lawrence - all are at least as visually interesting as BR - and still not 50% of the appeal). It's also likely why we disagree with BRs higher reputation than its early history. I referenced your comparison on design, but I think it isn't the only one to make between the films. Thus my comparison. If the review toted in the ads "It is a "Blade Runner" for the 21st century, a worthy successor to that epic of dystopian decay - Los Angeles Times Kenneth Turan" can be taken for face value, to assume the reviewer must be referring to "design & styling" (though I know you initially were possibly separately) could be an indicator of how weak you may feel the rest is. I'm sorry, but to resort to the lesser lights of gun and car design (was hair styling next?) in evaluating BRs greatness and why a CoM comparison [in any matter] is "laughable" again shows we look at film very differently. Maybe Kenneth Turan does too. We may still be talking on different spheres here, but you see the possible connection, right? It's could be a "worthy successor" on some level, no?

Anyway, here's a segment of the full review. You make your own conclusions on the basis of the comparison.

Quote:
The best science fiction talks about the future to talk about the now, and "Children of Men" very much belongs in that class. Made with palpable energy, intensity and excitement, it compellingly creates a world gone mad that is uncomfortably close to the one we live in. It is a "Blade Runner" for the 21st century, a worthy successor to that epic of dystopian decay.

Like that earlier film, "Children of Men" is based on a novel (P.D. James this time, not Philip K. Dick) and deals with the question of the future of human life. It brings so much urgency to the possibility of the world ending that we feel the kind of terror we would if the scenario were taking place tomorrow instead of 20 years in the future.

Also, in Alfonso Cuarón, "Children of Men" has a strong director with a powerhouse visual sense who is at home with both action sequences and philosophical concerns. Cuarón, with such widely diverse films as "A Little Princess" and "Y Tu Mamá También" behind him, demonstrates once again that no genre is beyond his mastery
And somewhere it should be mentioned the CoM world is far more likely in the near future than BR if that's the focused time period, though you and I are discussing the comparison, not the justification of the films message. It certainly seems likely one of the reasons CoM is less stylized than BR (as if that's the goal). That shouldn't be confused with "B-film" visuals.

Finally, if BR brought dirt to the future, CoM just brought more. Another connection.
post #35 of 50
It would be nice to see an excellent story get more of a budget for better effects and design, but then again, more budget usually means more studio executive meddling, and "design by committee".

Of course, I think George Lucas proved to the world that a virtually unlimited budget with no one else to answer to, does not yield a Classic Sci-fi masterpiece.

I read one review which labelled Children of Men as a "Political Thriller", and that description appeals to me more than calling it a flat out Sci Fi movie.

Sorry for the rant, but I don't place Blade Runner and Children of Men in the same category.

-Ed
post #36 of 50
Thread Starter 
And sorry if I got out of hand. It might just come down to you thinking higher of BR than I. A comparison for me isn't saying as much.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Edwood View Post
I read one review which labelled Children of Men as a "Political Thriller", and that description appeals to me more than calling it a flat out Sci Fi movie.
One question though. I know you haven't seen it yet, but why retreat from the flat sci-fi label? Certainly it sounds like we both think much sci-fi ... isn't. It's usually primarily action like Starship Troopers, Fifth Element, etc.. But in the end ideas aren't solely sci-fi territory so all the genre has is a time (usually future) and/or place (often another world) as a unique characteristic. Just like Westerns. Its a simplified frame for commentary. So what is it you've heard that shifted it towards political thriller over or in addition to sci-fi? Do you think BR is sci-fi or a noir detective thriller set in the future? Is it a political commentary on slavery? If CoM is a political thriller (and I wouldn't characterize it as since I disagree with marvin over the focus and this certainly resembles Three Days of the Condor, Manchurian Candidate, etc. less than BR in story) what is BR? A film can certainly span genres, but what is sci-fi left with? I think Homeland Security in this film is the means, not the ends for instance

I understand you don't think CoM could possibly be another BR, but why not at least sci-fi as a catagory? It satisfies the only criteria that genre has, this is certainly a genre film, the design discussion isn't relivent here (La Jetée for example) and I think the focus would be far different is it was political commentary primarily. Or put another way is a film like 12 Monkeys a political thriller or sci-fi that uses politics to propel the story? 2010? Close Encounters? Even Blade Runner? Seriously unless you think the government control in Monkey, the slavery overtones of BR, the Soviet/US friction of 2010, or the military intervention of Close Encounters pulled those into the realm of politics I doubt you're going to have a problem here.
post #37 of 50
Just saw it. Awesome movie, like V for Vendetta with all the grit but more action and no stupid Wachowski Bros. effects, but simply great, engrossing cinematography. Nope, shouldn't even be classed with V for Vendetta. I can see some political overtones, but it's more of an apocalyptic imagination than pointed criticism. Great acting, too; it's one of the best movies I've seen in a long time (granted, I don't see that many). Still can't get over the 10-minute, one take climax...

I don't think anybody's mentioned this, but the soundtrack is just as much of a standout as anything else. Rolling Stones to King Crimson to real, not ersatz Hollywood classical? Cuaron's got great musical taste.
post #38 of 50
I saw this on Friday night. I'm pretty surprised at some of the early comments in the thread calling this a movie with a political slant. If anything, the message of the movie is that all political actors are just in it for themselves, regardless of which side of the spectrum they subscribe to. Even the most basic political questions are left ambiguous, e.g. was it the government who was behind the bombing at the beginning of the film? Or was it the Fishes after all, but without Julian's knowledge? (The latter theory is strengthened by Theo being in the coffee shop at that exact time, i.e. an attempt by the other Fishes to torpedo Julian's plan to use him to get Key to the coast by killing him.) Obviously Michael Caine's character is a leftist, but he's a pot-smoking hippie!

Anyway, I also think the comparison to Blade Runner's visual design is flawed. Obviously Blade Runner has a more sophisticated visual design, in line with its hardcore sci-fi and '80s "go big" sensibility, but Children of Men has much more artful cinematography and camera work, especially towards the end.

Apart from that, I quite enjoyed the movie. It's certainly worth the money. Is it better than Y Tu Mama Tambien? Personally, I think the answer is no, but I think most people would disagree with me. Obviously the director's trademark personal style is there, from the shocking opening to some of the human silliness (e.g. the golf ball in the car) to hitting the audience directly with things that happen. The movie has two real flaws, one being that it could use more character development, the other being that it still has Cuaron's quirky art film mentality, leading to an ending that satisfied art film lovers but probably won't satisfy a more general audience.

It's worth seeing.
post #39 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Edwood View Post
I read one review which labelled Children of Men as a "Political Thriller", and that description appeals to me more than calling it a flat out Sci Fi movie.
Science fiction doesn't need blasters and spaceships to be science fiction; it just needs a speculative reality based on extrapolation from current scientific knowledge...
[/geek]
post #40 of 50
i saw it and i thought it was pretty good

must say... the scene when they are walking through the military during the conflict just sort of made me feel like time stopped
post #41 of 50
I saw Children of Men finally.

A big meh. Pretty straight foward movie, what is shown in the trailers is pretty much the movie, story-wise. Had way too many holes in it (The premature baby birth that is just A-OK with zero medical treatment was just silly), and no real development in the whole gist of the infertility thing.

As for the political thing, it is more to do with attitudes towards immigration and population growth. I'd imagine the book would delve further into this issue. Historically, developed countries with xenophobic immigration policies like France (and to a lesser degree, Japan) have faced negative population growth, and only when immigration was encouraged, did the population grow again. I did find that part facinating, but not really enough to propel more interest in the movie itself.

The battle sequences were one of the best I've seen, though. Alfonso Cuaron should've just made a war movie.

-Ed
post #42 of 50
Saw it on Sunday. Interesting...more than a few holes, but still interesting. That's all I'll say right now about the plot.

I will say that Michael Caine is awesome. "It's the 'Strawberry Cough'!"

Yes, the soundtrack was good too.
post #43 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Edwood View Post
]The battle sequences were one of the best I've seen, though. Alfonso Cuaron should've just made a war movie.

-Ed
haha yeah id def go see that movie... even if the story was minimal
post #44 of 50
I wouldn't say that the story is minimal; I'd rather say that it is not spoon-fed to you. There are not a lot of exposition filled with lengthy dialogue that explains all the back-story. Rather, you have to pay attention to the ambient details in the background of any given scene, i.e., newspaper clippings, personal photographs, snatches of public service announcements, snatches of dialogue from trivial characters, etc. You have to construct the back-story yourself from these ambient details, but I prefer this type of story-telling to lengthy expositions because they usually slow down or even interrupt the pace of the movie.
post #45 of 50
Sid was awesome..... "gimme a sad face"
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