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-   -   Movie of the Month-April, 2016: Punishment Park (http://www.movieforums.com/community/showthread.php?t=45149)

False Writer 04-15-16 08:52 PM

Punishment Park Review:

I guess I should start this off by saying that this review might be a bit skewed because I watched the entire thing with the sound and video out of sync. I didn't know the link you sent me was a download cricket and I was already halfway through the movie and just didn't really have the time to wait an hour for it to download and finish it. It was pretty tough watching it like that but I got the main gist of the film.

Anyways, away we go!

So Punishment Park is a documentary-style thriller about a group of young people—arrested for either draft dodging or protesting—being put through "Punishment Park" with a British film crew documenting everything. This film was made at a very turbulent time in US history, while the Vietnam War was passed its worst point, it was still going on, and there was still much political upheaval happening especially back in the US. This film understandably has a very anti-government message and Vietnam itself is brought up quite a few times.

There are a series of interviews with the prisoners and all of them are pretty much the same. They begin with the prisoner being tied up in a chair and being asked questions by the government officials around them. They then begin to go on a rant criticizing the government's ways, then everyone raises their voices until the prisoners are dragged away by the guards. I know it was probably very compelling to watch during the time of release, but I honestly found it a bit boring after the third or fourth interview.

Now onto the movies namesake, Punishment Park is an area in the California desert where prisoners are released and must walk many miles through the heat until they reach an American flag. They have a 2 hour head-start until the police start to hunt them down. I gotta admit that it was pretty neat seeing an idea like this coming from such an old movie. This seems to be the predecessor for other similar ideas (that were also more popular) from films/novels such as Battle Royale, The Hunger Games, and The Running Man. Watching it unfold was interesting but was constantly interrupted by the interviews I mentioned before.

The message of the film is pretty straight-forward, without spoiling the ending I'll just say that it tries to show how corrupt the government can be and how it treats its people horribly. Like I said, it was probably a lot more compelling at the time it was released. I'm not saying it can't be compelling today, but at today we know that the government hasn't gone the way that the makers of this film thought.

In closing, I thought it was a pretty interesting film, but like I said in the beginning the out-of-sync video did hinder my viewing experience. I'm gonna have to disagree with ya cricket that this is gonna happen if Trump becomes president. :p

Thanks for picking this cricket since, like with Citizen's, I more than likely would have never even heard of this movie, much less watch it! I'm very much looking forward to the podcast as I'm curious as to what their take on this will be.

<----- because I'm certain I would have enjoyed it more if it was in-sync. :up:

cricket 04-15-16 09:26 PM

Great review False Writer and thanks for watching!

I don't think something like that would happen with Trump as president. However, everything starts out as an idea. You never know.

WSSlover 04-18-16 06:10 PM

Re: Movie of the Month-April, 2016: Punishment Park
 
Punishment Park sounds like an interesting film. If it ever comes back to a repertory movie theatre in my area, I'd love to see it!

Citizen Rules 04-18-16 06:25 PM

Originally Posted by WSSlover (Post 1498228)
Punishment Park sounds like an interesting film. If it ever comes back to a repertory movie theatre in my area, I'd love to see it!
I doubt that it will. It's online if you want to check it out. Oh and I have not forgotten about it, I will be watching it soon.

WSSlover 04-18-16 06:56 PM

Punishment Park is online? Okay...Thanks.

Citizen Rules 04-21-16 01:11 PM

You Guys Don't Know What You're Missing!

I watched Punishment Park last night, this has to be the most unique film I've ever seen. It's not like a typical movie. Back in 1971 this was pretty cutting edge stuff. What a cool choice for MoM!

I loved the documentary style of film making, especially as much of the story is told through the eyes of a British film making team, who are filming the events that we see in the film. There's something about a British narrator that lends credibility to the film.

I expected this to be over-the-top, camp, in the same vein as:
Wild in the Streets (1968)

Or even like the ridiculous, but fun:
Gas! It Became Necessary to Destroy the World in Order to Save It (1970)

But no, this was for it's time a very hard hitting look at the social class struggle that took place in the late 60s-early 70s between 'the man' (the older embellishment) and the younger protesters (the baby boomer generation). Some of the things the accused agitators say in this film might seem outlandish, but there were young people at the time who thought that way. Especially over Vietnam and the carpet bombing campaigns in Indochina. Likewise the older generation who were represented by the government, were leery of young anarchist and of the communist threat.

This film is a time capsule of how the two sides felt about each other. This is the time when America seen the rise of radicalized militant groups like the Black Panthers and mass protestors, and feared violent over through of the government.

In today's world such events might seem preposterous, but in 1970 this film and it's subject matter was quiet relevant.

Punishment Park looks homemade, that's by design. The actors aren't polished, they look like people off the street, and that's a strength. Any serious film buff should watch this.

Excellent choice, Cricket.

Yoda 04-21-16 01:20 PM

Re: Movie of the Month-April, 2016: Punishment Park
 
Podcast Saturday! Looking forward to watching this in the next couple of days. Maybe tonight.

Citizen Rules 04-21-16 01:28 PM

A couple of interesting things I noticed, not complaints, but observations from a production stand point.

When the second black man an accused prisoner is being interrogated and the cops subdue him and one covers his mouth. Look closely at the make up on the cops forearms and hands. It becomes even more evident in the close ups.

Second, while the film has two opposing sides who yell and slander each other with wild accusations, take notice of how the board of interrogators take a different line of tack with one of the suspects. I'd say they were concerned about real world back lash if they didn't soft peddle what they said.

There's a subtle but efficient use of a certain sound effect that can be heard at different times in the movie.

cricket 04-21-16 04:52 PM

Glad it was worth your time, CR. I thought it would be, but I had the feeling you were skeptical going in.

Citizen Rules 04-21-16 10:46 PM

Re: Movie of the Month-April, 2016: Punishment Park
 
I was skeptical and I was wrong:p...the film was way cool. Weird though, I also had a playback problem, like False Writer did...Only my problem was, if I tried to pause or fast backwards the movie to see a scene again...the movie would freeze and I could not control it or even shut it off. It was locked up and I had to unplug the DVD to get it to play. But not a fault of the movie but just the way I was playing it (off a USB stick).

Oh, I thought the blond girl with the curly hair who was a popular singer, was a hoot! She cracked me up, with the stuff she said to the older lady with too much eye shadow!

Yoda 04-23-16 07:40 PM

Re: Movie of the Month-April, 2016: Punishment Park
 
Podcast is in the can! Good stuff. Might not get around to editing it for a few days, but should be sometime by the middle of next week one way or another.

Yoda 04-26-16 02:12 PM

Re: Movie of the Month-April, 2016: Punishment Park
 
Okay, might be slightly delayed still: I hurt my hand yesterday and while I can type and click a bit, it doesn't feel great. But I'm gonna try to get at least started on this today.

gbgoodies 04-26-16 03:08 PM

Originally Posted by Yoda (Post 1502450)
Okay, might be slightly delayed still: I hurt my hand yesterday and while I can type and click a bit, it doesn't feel great. But I'm gonna try to get at least started on this today.

Take care of your hand. It's more important that you let it heal properly. We can wait until your hand is better.

http://www.greetingsisland.com/image...soon-puppy.jpg

Slappydavis 04-26-16 03:47 PM

Don't stop 'til it's finished. Pain makes you strong.

(Also are you going to be on the DL now too? Are we going to have TWO high profile SP injuries in the same season? It's Chris Paul and Steph Curry all over again!)

Yoda 04-26-16 03:58 PM

Originally Posted by Slappydavis (Post 1502499)
Don't stop 'til it's finished. Pain makes you strong.
Pain don't hurt.

Originally Posted by Slappydavis (Post 1502499)
(Also are you going to be on the DL now too? Are we going to have TWO high profile SP injuries in the same season? It's Chris Paul and Steph Curry all over again!)
I was thinking the same thing, about the SCL! I think I should be fine in time for my next match, though (Thursday).

Yoda 04-28-16 02:28 PM

Re: Movie of the Month-April, 2016: Punishment Park
 
Okay, it'll be up soon! Would've been sooner but right after my hand felt better I got a sore throat and feel like I'm teetering on the edge of getting sick again. I did the basic editing though and just need to add a little production when I get home, probably this afternoon. Thanks for your patience, guys. :)

gbgoodies 04-28-16 03:43 PM

Originally Posted by Yoda (Post 1503833)
Okay, it'll be up soon! Would've been sooner but right after my hand felt better I got a sore throat and feel like I'm teetering on the edge of getting sick again. I did the basic editing though and just need to add a little production when I get home, probably this afternoon. Thanks for your patience, guys. :)

http://i.123g.us/c/gen_getwell/pc/121470_pc.jpg

Yoda 04-28-16 04:36 PM

Finally! Here's the podcast. Now I get to read all the posts in here! (I largely avoid them before, so I can talk about it relatively unaffected by other opinions.)

Another big thanks to Slappydavis/bluedeed (Eli/Brendan) for their insights.


The best way to get it is to subscribe with iTunes. The next best ways are to just download it with this link (or add the podcast feed into your RSS reader). Or you can just listen right now with this embedded player:



I'll see about getting this one (and all the others that follow) up on YouTube soon, too.

mark f 04-28-16 07:50 PM

If you guys think Punishment Park was twice as long than it needed to be, should have had interviews or that Watkins had a hand in the creation of the mockumentary, you need to watch his The War Game from 1965. It's 47 minutes and won an Oscar for Best Documentary Feature, even though it was not a documentary at all. Watch it at this link.
https://archive.org/details/TheWarGame_201405


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