Critique 3

I have watched and criticized Sunshine, it is not a final critique since my mentor told me to review my personal process of writing and criticizing, this will end up being my task for the weekend.

This is my critique on Sunshine:
(Sunshine (2007)

Sunshine tells the story about a not so happy future where our Sun is on his last days it is basically dying. The earth is starting to freeze and the hope was on a group of astronauts who were going to put a fusion bomb in the sun in order regenerate it. This is not the first attempt; there was a previous spaceship that lost contact seven years before that had the same goal. Things get interesting when the characters detect a signal from the lost ship and they decide to go check if in order to look for the crew.
The movie starts with a image of our sun a narration from the protagonist explaining the star’s situation, the movie follows this tone of the desperation to save the star, so much that the characters do not even have a perspective of going back to earth. One thing that Sunshine does often is to show the power of the star and how massive it is, there is even a character that is a little bit addicted to observe the star and it`s illumination. The director Danny Boyle has a unique style of a good photography in his films, Sunshine is not different, the spaceship design looks nice and it has a cyberpunk style in it`s interior, it remembers the ship from Matrix in some parts. The visual effects are not something impressive that made my eyes shine, it is something acceptable and common, the problem is the high quantity of shots from the spaceship and the sun, it is excessive. Sunshine shows the visual effects too often and they are just not that impressive to be shown off.
Sunshine tries to build an atmosphere of suspense and despair, the movie fails and succeeds in certain parts when it`s trying to create a mystery. An example of a failure is when the scientists decide to change the course to seek for the previous ship, instead of deciding by vote the crew does the math to figure out if it`s worthy to check it; and they do the only problem is that two characters do not share their observations in the scientific level and things go wrong. The movie also has scientific bright, the whole idea behind the rebirth of the sun and the way the spaceship works are convincing and seem realistic, the director even used advice from a former physicist .The success is in the beginning of the movie when they state that this is probably a one-way trip, it made me curious to know the resolution of the story. Another aspect that is partially well done is the dynamic between the crew the only two characters that have some depth are Chris Evans` and Cillian Murphy`s, the two actually have a tridimensional behavior by going from a fistfight to convincing reconciliations; the rest of the crew has their specific moments to shine but the director focused more on the two.
In the end Sunshine is a good experience but a mandatory one for sci-fi fans, it is interesting to see that to make a movie about the marvelous objects in space you do not need a super cosmic object and aliens, our own sun is fascinating object. The movie is not Danny Boyle`s best work but is not his worse, and for the Sci-Fi genre this movie is not transcendental, meaning that someone that is not into that type of film probably will not enjoy it.


My second critique, 2001 a space oddisey

I just watched 2001 and wrote a critique on it:

2001: A space odyssey (1968)

It is difficult to say what 2001: A space odyssey is about but I will at least try. The story begins with the chapter called The Dawn of Man where a group apes are following with their lives in pre-history and suddenly a monolith appears and the apes seem to worship it somehow and one of them has a glimpse of intelligence. A moment later the apes are eating other animals and murdering one another; from that point we can see that humanity has began, with intelligence and violence. The next events of the movie are in a distant future and American astronauts are discussing to go to an expedition to the moon to observe a mysterious crater, things happen and later there is a spaceship heading to Jupiter due to the discoveries made in the moon. Inside the ship there is the crew (obviously) and an Artificial Intelligence who or which (that thing is almost a guy) controls most of it. The computer is called HAL 9000, considered flawless and perfect for the mission.
2001`s artistic and classy aspect is present since the beginning, the Director Stanley Kubrick chooses to use classical in every moment that there is a shot of a landscape, or a planet, or a spaceship, or the apes or even nothingness; seriously, the initial “scene” is a black screen with classical music playing for two minutes at least, and this is a frequent aspect of the movie. Some people may think that is a boring aspect, which is comprehensible since is long, repetitive and monotonous; others might say that is a way of showing the beauty of the soundtrack or the shots were impressive at the time, (there is someone out there that liked those moments I am sure). I saw the slow paced scenes as a way for Kubrick to show off the special effects and soundtrack, besides the whole symbolical aspect of the movie, which reach close to the peak of a free interpretative story. Since the soundtrack was mentioned, 2001 basically set the standards of what a ton of sci-fi movies would use later, it is amazing just because it not only complements the scene at that moment but the scene actually complements the soundtrack, a perfect example is the initial two minutes where there is only classical music playing in the background, the tone goes from a great sense of achievement by humanity to a scary and weak feeling of darkness and loneliness.
The film`s technical details, that includes the visual effects, photography, art direction, costume design do not seem outdated, and I watched it on 2015 so probably it was a visually mind blowing picture when it was released. Most of the credit goes to the scenes inside spaceship, for example the spinning treadmill scene, a interesting detail is that Kubrick used practical effects to record that not C.G.I. The shots of planets and spaceships almost became a standard for movies about space exploration after that, even Star Wars has similar type of camera angles and environmental design.
One aspect that 2001 clearly does not show any special relevance is it`s characters and acting. Most of the dialogues are simple and monotonic; it just did not grip my attention. But for every rule there is an exception, and 2001`s most charismatic, intriguing, questionable character is the computer program HAL 9000 who is voiced by Douglas Rain. HAL is sarcastic, evil, and manipulative and it is just a voice; a computer voice has more humanity than any other character in the movie. HAL will probably creep you out, since he maintains a calm tone all the time, this is weird when he is basically killing people for pleasure, and he does that without facial expression. All of this may seem nothing special today because it looks common, what actually happens is that the character had such a huge impact in sci-fi narrative that it`s formula (of the computer as a villain) was used in many other movies after that. Kubrick created another character standard villain by just removing the body and keeping it`s mind.
The hard aspect of talking about 2001 is it`s plot, the story`s finale is completely symbolic and interpretative; there are multiple ways of seeing the event of the movie and to attempt to find logic in most of them. What cannot be denied is the idea of evolution and progress of humanity, from the dawn of man with the apes’ scene to the expedition towards Jupiter in the search for the anomaly. One of the interpretations about the sense of progress in the movie is the presence of HAL, since he is a new form of “being”, one that is only the mind not bounded by a body. The idea of progress may have been Kubrick’s attempt to promote the whole space race for the Americans, since the movie was released in the period of Cold War. But the “Pride of the U.S” is one of the many ideas present in the movie and unfortunately one of the few that is actually explicit. Towards the ending the movie loses it`s easily comprehensive aspect, since explaining what happens will make most people lose their interest for the picture I can only say that Kubrick tried to exemplify the limit of the human comprehension of reality.
2001 A space odyssey is definitely a classic Sci-Fi movie; it prepared terrain for what would be the genre for the next fifty years both the technical aspect and scenario. The movie is slow paced and might seem boring for some people, meaning that even being a classic and well acclaimed picture it still has it`s target audience. It`s complexity another factor that may limit the type of viewer, some people enjoy blowing their minds and others get angry because the production made something that seems senseless. What is undeniable is the fact that this movie was a innovative and revolutionary masterpiece, it raises a ton of questions and most of the Sci-Fi movies only raise one, WHO ARE WE? WHERE ARE WE GOING? WHAT IS OUR GOAL IN LIFE? WHERE DID WE COME FROM? .

Day 2, my “first critique”

I just wrote my first critique on the movie Primer (2004) proposed by my mentor. Although it needs to be rewritten in a more casual and personal way I had decided to post it here:

(The movie Primer tells the story of a group of inventors who are trying to come up with the next most innovative device in industry, a machine that can reduce the object’s mass, and suddenly they end up discovering a time travel method. The main characters Aaron and Abe see this as an opportunity to enrich themselves with stock investments, since they could travel back in time and purchase the correct stocks; and their main rule is to not interfere with their self-version of the past. The plot starts to develop itself becoming a thriller masked by complexity, lack of trust and the idea of: what would you do if you could go back in time?
The movie was a simple production in terms of budget and special effects, there is nothing to be considered a visual spectacle or an orchestral soundtrack, since is an independent movie and the first work of the director and writer Shane Carruth who had worked with mathematics and physics as a designer for a flight simulator and for his college major, those that probably gave him knowledge to produce the movie. When Primer lacks a technical and adorned details, it`s plot shines more than the necessary to make the movie not just entertaining, but also intriguingly gripping.
The movie`s the scientific details that the scientists give to explain and design their device is convincing enough to anyone who does not have in depth knowledge of complex physics to believe that what they are doing is totally possible and somehow real. The plot does not work linearly and since there are multiple timelines and multiple versions of the protagonists not everything is can be assured as a fact in the story, actually a great part of it might seem interpretative.
What makes Primer` brilliant is its complexity paired with its simplicity, what is even more impressive about it is its duration, 77 minutes. When I looked at the movie`s duration I thought it might not have enough time for the plot to develop itself, in the end I was mistaken .The complexity of Prime might seem as a defect, but for me it was a quality since the plot griped my attention fast and I did not fully understand it, it made me want to rewatch in order to fully comprehend the story; the movie makes you think even days about it and having almost have of the duration which most of pictures have.( congratulations Carruth, you found the recipe of rewatchability, fast and intriguing). When I heard that the movie was a thriller about time travel, I thought about a suspense version of Back to the future, and I was not just wrong, the fun in the movie is to speculate the order of events and try to discover which version of which character is the one in the screen.


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Day one of the “new project”

I had to change my initial senior project, I was going to biuld a paddle board of PET bottles, but I did not enjoy the direction wich the project was heading to.Insteas I have decided to do a list of Reviews and critiques of 20 undecided movies in order to improve my writing and critical skills in the área of cinema.
My mentor is going to be Ivan Salcedo, he instructed me to list my favourite 25 movies and to search for critiques of those movies.
I also have spoken with Dan Roe about other movie critics that I could be introduced to.