Citizen Rules...Cinemaesque Chat-n-Review

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My heart leapt for joy as I scrolled down and saw the top of that pic. I knew exactly what it was. As many here know, I adore that film. It's in my top 10 and I'm so glad (though not surprised) that you had such fun with it. I think I probably agree with everything you said there but this. For me, this guy steals the film.



I love Junior. I had him as an avatar a long time ago.
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5-time MoFo Award winner.



Oh ya! great character, he cracked me up.

One thing I didn't mention was the experimental aircraft chasing Frankenstein's car. I had to slow frame the DVD, I thought maybe it was a remote control model because it flew dangerously close to the ground and the car. But it was the real deal! A very impressive stunt.




Master of My Domain
Hi Gatsby, I'm happy to have your opinion on it and thanks for stopping by .
Question: what about the the film's execution was plainly wrong? How would you change the film? I'm curious.
The satirical elements were weak, and for that reason the film felt like an excuse to show a bunch of crazy car races and bizarre situations.



I'm 3 for 3...that ain't bad

Birdman certainly is worth a watch. It held my attention and was interesting. I'm glad to see Michael Keaton in such a high profile film.




12 Years a Slave (2013)

Director: Steve McQueen
Writers: John Ridley(screenplay), Solomon Northup (Twelve Years a Slave book)
Cast: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Kenneth Williams, Michael Fassbender
Genre: Biography, Drama, History

Premise: Based on a true story of a black free man, Solomon Northup who in 1841 was tricked into traveling to Washington D.C. under the guise of acquiring honest work. There he was drugged and sold into slavery by con men. Solomon was an intelligent, educated family man of some wealth but because he could not produce papers proving he was free, he spent 12 years in slavery on Louisiana plantations.

Review: What an amazing film! It's not heart warming in fact it's bone chilling. The injustices and brutality of slavery is shocking to see. Even more so for a free black man who is ripped away from his wife and children in New York and sold into slavery. The real Solomon Northup after his 12 years in slavery wrote a detailed account of his time as a slave. This movie is then based on that book.

Chiwetel Ejiofor plays Solomon Northup. What a superb acting job he does. He could have played Solomon with rage, with broad movements and strong facial expressions. But he doesn't do that. We learn in the film that to survive Solomon must hide his intelligence and his emotions. There's one very potent scene where after being abused by a plantation carpenter (Paul Dano) he fights back. The punishment he received was too hard for me to watch. Chiwetel Ejiofor gives one of the most controlled, skillful performances I've seen.

Paul Dano who plays the vindictive and hateful Tibeats, gives new meaning to playing the heavy with realistic fervor. I wish he had more scenes.

Lupita Nyong'o who plays the slave girl Patsey also made this movie so memorable and believable. There's a scene where she risk a beating by leaving the plantation just to get a bar of soap. She pleads with the plantation owner when caught that she had to have the soap as she smelled so bad she made herself sick. So powerful.

What I admired most about this film was it's honesty in the story telling and in the production values. Another director might have over hyped it with too powerful of a music score or overly dramatic camera work. But the director, Steve McQueen keeps the production in sync with the nature of the story.

12 Years a Slave, is one of the most powerful films I've seen.

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Next time , be more specific.

12 Years a Slave (2013)

Director: Steve McQueen
Writers: John Ridley(screenplay), Solomon Northup (Twelve Years a Slave book)
Cast: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Kenneth Williams, Michael Fassbender
Genre: Biography, Drama, History
Length: 134 minutes

Premise: Based on a true story of a black free man, Solomon Northup who in 1841 was tricked into traveling to Washington D.C. under the guise of acquiring honest work. There he was drugged and sold into slavery by con men. Solomon was an intelligent, educated family man of some wealth but because he could not produce papers proving he was free, he spent 12 years in slavery on Louisiana plantations.

Review: What an amazing film! It's not heart warming in fact it's bone chilling. The injustices and brutality of slavery is shocking to see. Even more so for a free black man who is ripped away from his wife and children in New York and sold into slavery. The real Solomon Northup after his 12 years in slavery wrote a detailed account of his time as a slave. This movie is then based on that book.

Chiwetel Ejiofor plays Solomon Northup. What a superb acting job he does. He could have played Solomon with rage, with broad movements and strong facial expressions. But he doesn't do that. We learn in the film that to survive Solomon must hide his intelligence and his emotions. There's one very potent seen where after being abused by a plantation carpenter (Paul Dano) he fights back. The punishment he received was too hard for me to watch. Chiwetel Ejiofor gives one of the most controlled, skillful performances I've seen.

Paul Dano who plays the vindictive and hateful Tibeats, gives new meaning to playing the heavy with realistic fervor. I wish he had more scenes.

Lupita Nyong'o who plays the slave girl Patsey also made this movie so memorable and believable. There's a scene where she risk a beating by leaving the plantation just to get a bar of soap. She pleads with the plantation owner when caught that she had to have the soap as she smelled so bad she made herself sick. So powerful.

What I admired most about this film was it's honesty in the story telling and in the production values. Another director might have over hyped it with too powerful of a music score or overly dramatic camera work. But the director, Steve McQueen keeps the production in sync with the nature of the story.

12 Years a Slave, is one of the most powerful films I've seen.

Watch other films by the same director.. definitely watch "Hunger". Its great!!



I haven't seen 12 Years a Slave, but it sounds too brutal for my tastes.
I know my review might make it sound brutal but it's not one of those movies that shows a bunch of brutality to get a rise out of the audience. There was two scenes were slaves were beaten/hung. Other than that it's more of a quiet strength type movie. I hope I didn't give the wrong impression it's really an important film.

Watch other films by the same director.. definitely watch "Hunger". Its great!!
I hate to say this MovieGal, but I did start to watch Hunger but found it to disgusting. I had to shut it off. I'm sure it is a great film but just not for me, sorry.



I know my review might make it sound brutal but it's not one of those movies that shows a bunch of brutality to get a rise out of the audience. There was two scenes were slaves were beaten/hung. Other than that it's more of a quiet strength type movie. I hope I didn't give the wrong impression it's really an important film.

I might give it chance at some point when it hits cable, but I'm not likely to buy the DVD unless I find it at a garage sale for about $1 or less.



I'm trying to watch all the Academy nomiated for Best Picture films. Starting with 2014 and working my way back. So I will be doing reviews on newer movies. Well some oldies too.



Next time , be more specific.
I hate to say this MovieGal, but I did start to watch Hunger but found it to disgusting. I had to shut it off. I'm sure it is a great film but just not for me, sorry.

Steve McQueen's films to deal with brutality.. Its just the type of stories he seems to capture on film. In "Hunger", there is a powerful dialog between Bobby Sands and a priest. Just as in "12 years A Slave", between Eliza and Solomon. McQueen's films have very powerful dialog... thats what makes them so great!



Next time , be more specific.
I just looked at Steve McQueen's filmography he has only 3 full length features, so far, many more shorts. Have you seen Shame?
Yes I have.. and I know its a film Minio enjoys.... which I did enjoy it as well.... but "Hunger" is my favorite...



Master of My Domain
^^Mentalist with no soul^^
Thanks for calling me a magician! But I have to disagree with the 'soulless' part.



I know my review might make it sound brutal but it's not one of those movies that shows a bunch of brutality to get a rise out of the audience. There was two scenes were slaves were beaten/hung. Other than that it's more of a quiet strength type movie. I hope I didn't give the wrong impression it's really an important film.

I hate to say this MovieGal, but I did start to watch Hunger but found it to disgusting. I had to shut it off. I'm sure it is a great film but just not for me, sorry.
Agree with you about 12 Years. I hope you give Hunger another try in the future. I assume it was the 'dirty protest' you found disgusting? Maybe it's because we in the UK were so engrossed in that story at the time it was playing out all over the news that the film felt so powerful. It's a very good film, I think it's his best.



Good review, Citizen. "Powerful" is the perfect word to describe 12 Years a Slave. It's probably the most brutal, harrowing depiction of slavery I've seen on film.
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The Theory of Everything (2014)

Director: James Marsh
Writers: Anthony McCarten(screenplay),Jane Hawking(book)
Cast: Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, Tom Prior
Genre: Biography Drama Romance

Premise: A dramatized biography based on the life of Stephen Hawking, the world renown theoretical physicist, cosmologist, professor and author.

Review: Despite the fascinating subject matter of a genius who overcomes great physical obstacles to become one of the great minds of all time...the film fails to rise above mediocre. We never really experience Stephen's life. The film shows us snippets of it but fails to connect emotionally. Besides a few scenes showing him struggling, we never really get a sense of what his world of confinement must be like. Nor are we really ever shown just how amazing his mind is and the tribulations that it must have took to achieve such greatness.

The story plays out like a 'made for TV movie'. There's no real drama when he meets his future wife Jane. They meet and boom they're married. They have kids but we never find out what their family life is like. The movie glosses over all of this. The script is the real flaw here.

Both lead actors do a good acting job.
Eddie Redmayne who plays Stephen Hawking, does a lot of the contorted movements which according to the actor took great physical effort. Felicity Jones plays Mrs Jane Hawking. She too is a good actor but she looked way too young for the part, she looked 14. Even when many years had past in the film and they were older, she still looked like a teen. Boo to the make up department.

In the end I came to this conclusion: if there had been no Stephen Hawking and this film was made as a purely fictional film, it wouldn't even qualify to be shown on the Hallmark channel. Professor Hawking is a great man, this film however is anything but great.

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