Sunday, March 27, 2011


After a week of film viewing, I sat this morning mulling over what had worked, and what had not, in each film.  I never go to a movie with the expectation of it being a masterpiece.  Instead, I go into it with my mind open to seeing what creative collaboration was birthed from the efforts of the writer, director, and all of the other talents who placed their imprint upon the production.  That's not to say I don't see and call a shitty production when I see one.  I so do.  But a shitty movie can be hugely instructive, so I appreciate those as well.

Here's the roundup (Spoiler Alerts):

Yes, we pretty much knew where the sci-fi plot was going to take us, and what ethical dilemmas that may raise.  But the premise and acting was still interesting, and visually, it was a fun ride.  Director Neil Burger actually gave the lighting in the film it's own story arc with the shifts when Bradley Cooper's character was taking the pill, and when he wasn't.  Also, the use of graphics/effects with the stock ticker on his apartment tin ceiling tiles, letters raining down while he whizzes through writing a book in four days' time, or the glitch in his character's time sequencing all lend to an uptick on the straight narrative form.  Some proactive camera work also lent to the film's message of being off kilter, playing with speed, POV, and time.  They used Fuji camera stock for the off-drug gritty life scenes, which always lends well to greens and reds, and gives a "photographic" and grittier feel.  For the on-drug, polished too-perfect scenes, they used Kodak to give a more luminous feel.  The RED camera was used for the ├╝ber fast street-tracking scenes, that lend to the feel of a brain on amphetamines.  There's even some questioning on the internet boards of whether the color of Cooper's eyes were enhanced to feed into the different modes of his body off and on the drug. In the final scenes, is it possible that they also had him in a wig to subtly suggest that the drug use is still in effect?  Overall, a interesting mix of the fun toys and tools of the storytelling and filmmaking trade. Once you have your story, dive into the filmmaking sandbox and 
see what toys can be used to take the premise to a new level, to build a new layer of the story.

Next up, Adjustment Bureau.


I had every intention of writing a dissection of Sucker Punch after seeing it this weekend.  But when I read this one, I figured, "Why re-invent the wheel?"  Read on: