Amazing historical movie based on a true story. Main protagonist is a high-society British boy dropped into the harsh environment of Shanghai during WW2 and has to ensure his own survival.
Steven Spielberg delivered a very well made a mixture of the four cultures - Japanese, Chinese, British and American, with behavior patterns and nuances typical to each nationality. The magnificence of the Shanghai metropolis and the tragedy of the civilians facing the cruelty of wartime was remarkable.
However, the most remarkable thing in this movie is the boy Jamie Graham (outstanding play of young Christian Bale).
Having a rich imagination and wisdom, he tells to his mom that God, in his dream, was playing in tennis, and he assumes that if people can see God in their dreams, perhaps God sees humans in His dreams too.
Jamie not only has his own opinions, but he also has his own vision. While adults, using logic and statistics, calculating the potential outcome of the war on the number of people and weapons, Jamie notes that the war will be won by someone who has COURAGE and that COURAGE is a national value of the Japanese.
Separated from his parents by a cruel destiny, Jamie tries to survive his new situation. Hunger is a driving force for the boy, who looks for opportunities.
Gut' feelings or intuition is helping him escape from a big evil - a Chinese street boy - and to join a smaller one - an American pragmatist called Basie. Giving a portion of the rise to Jamie, Basie has a farfetched plan - to sell the boy but his plan failed. Jamie is observing and learning the Art of surviving.
Driven by a strong will to survive, Jimmy is getting a University of life from Basie. Death is all around, but Basie is teaching Jim ( his nickname for Jamie) to see opportunities even from the dead, whether it be an extra potato or pair of the golf shoes.
At a certain point, Jimmy even jumped above his teacher's head and saved lives of a British doctor and his patients.
We see atomic bomb’s explosion in front of Jimmy’s eyes. The boy amazingly compares the flash of it with the snapshot done by God.
The end of the movie is HAPPY - Jamie is reunited with his parents.
This movie a good recommendation to be watched by the whole family, and few times.
Director and Writer: Jaco Van Dormael
Protagonist: Jared Leto
Mr. Nobody is a bizarre mix of fantasy, sci-fi, drama, romance and spirituality.
In short, it's about a human and his choice, the choice that could change the life whether this or that way.
An old man has problems with his memory. With the help of a psychic, he travels into a number of scenarios of his life. This sets up his future, as he wakes up with different partners and in the different situations.
It could be explained by the theory that there are a few different parallel worlds where everyone has different lives. A little nuance in the situation influences the choice of a human being and the human is getting a new life scenario.
Another concept represented in the movie is "chose your parents" before you're born, so everything is defined by choices.
My favorite part is the futuristic element, because of the sci-fi innovative ideas, which are well-implemented into the movie.
This movie is about a fight between John Murdoch and aliens, who came to the Earth from outer space for their survival.
The Aliens are presented as entities with supernatural abilities, such as teleportation, hypnosis, and collective consciousness. However, in order to get through, they are hunting for humans' memories.
The aliens understand they will benefit from getting a variety of humans experiences. The daily implementation of their strategy is - to freeze humans in the city at 12:00 am sharp, to change an surrounding for each human, to send a doctor to make a new-memory-injection into each human's brain. The doctor is the only one who does these injections.
In accordance to the plot, John Murdoch has got the same super power as the aliens. The plot is built around one of the most mysterious matters for human kind - memories. A memory, in the movie, is shown as a liquid, which is a subject to be analyzed and to embed into a human or alien. (In accordance to New age knowledge human's memories of the current life belong to consciousness; the memories of the past lives- to subconscious. The both, consciousness and subconscious, are properties of our soul, and the access to our souls is given only to super power entities, such as God and his assistants).
I agree, that the assumption that a certain city on Earth has been taken under the control of aliens, is making for a thrilling effect. However, the implementation of this idea in Dark City is pretty weak. The aliens' intentions look like an expensive, absurd and improbable project.
In addition, there is an unwarranted violence from them; they have cruelly killed humans, which are valuable resources for them, without any proper reason. Although they were so powerful that they even could control the Sun, they use such a primitive weapon as a knife to murder people. The story could have been much stronger if there had been an explanation as to why John Murdoch and only him got the supernatural capabilities.
During the movie, I have been asking myself– what is a targeted audience for this play? Kids? Too much violence. Adults? Too many naive ideas.
The actors Tom Hanks and Leonardo DiCaprio have been playing protagonists so naturally as if they were that characters themselves!
I like the very beginning. TV watchers supposed to find out a true Frank among three men. I especially enjoyed the question from the interviewer regarding a CHOICE. The question has been addressed to the first Frank, the fake one. Unfortunately, Steven Spielberg decided to address to a real Frank a NEW question and missed an opportunity to make the play stronger by giving a "chance" to answer: " I didn't have any choice."
By answering that, the real Frank would have gained an extra dose of mystery, which is always good for a thriller, and he might have also gotten some additional sympathy from the audience. In short, it would have added a few cents to the character development.
That answer would have been a powerful attention grabber for the watchers, who would be waiting for an explanation, and the interpretation would come through the story itself.
Now, why didn't the real Frank have any choice?
This is what we see in the movie:
The boy was thrown into turmoil due to the divorce of his beloved parents. Thrashing between mom and dad, Frank, to avoid an emotional storm, runs away from both of them. After this point, he has been pushed to do what he could for survival, without being given any choice. The teenage boy started to face the cruelty of the materialistic reality - each independent step is costing MONEY.
Already, before his parents' divorce, we observe that Frank had a high self- defense "mechanism" – episode of his transformation into a school-teacher.
Using the inheritance from his father – the "mice pray" and the empty bank checks, Frank, thanks to his cleverness, is gaining success, ensuring his physical and emotional survival.
As a matter of fact, he faces a REAL SPIRITUAL CHOICE and hesitation of a decision in the end of the movie. Frank is supposed to decide - whether to continue with the FBI or to shift to the illegal "free style" life.
Director: Martin Scorsese
Protagonist: Leonardo DiCaprio
I got a link to Shutter Island (SI) via a review of the movie Lazarus Project, which was said to have similarities to SI. I agree with that from the point of the setting - the both movies (at least partly) are set in psycho clinics. However, the main idea of Shutter Island is close to Machinist (M).
In both movies (SI and M), the protagonist is someone who committed a sin. The sin is generated by taking the life of a human being. In the Machinist, the protagonist, Trevor, hit a little boy with his car and left him, without helping; In SI it's Teddy, who shot his mentally ill wife. Afterwards, as a payment of the sin, the both of them are hit by negative karma, which is reaching them in their present lives.
However, there are significant differences in these stories too.
The protagonist in the Machinist is the only one who pays the spiritual debt. Trevor is a very smart guy and he has been able to hide his crime from the society so that nobody knows about it.
In SI both Teddy and the society are guilty in his family's tragedy and they all pay for that. The sin of the society is not obvious. In fact, the society itself is blaming Teddy for the crime, avoiding to take direct responsibility for its own guilt. The society knew about the mental problems of Teddy’s wife. Teddy, actually, has been very busy serving the society at the best of his abilities - he had a very stressful job.
The negative karma is following the society and it is supposed to allocate enormous resources to keep Teddy in an isolated psycho clinic and to improve his mental condition.
Accepting its sin would bring the society to a true cooperation with Teddy and his own identity. Denying the sin is only prolonging a game between them.