One Minute Reviews by Kenneth Shinozuka

Read 'em anytime, anywhere.

Review Blog

view:  full / summary

Zero Dark Thirty: Review

Posted by Kenneth Shinozuka on January 27, 2013 at 6:45 PM Comments comments (0)


Zero Dark Thirty

Starring: Jessica Chastain (Maya), Jason Clarke (Dan), Kyle Chandler (Joseph Bradley), Jennifer Ehle (Jessica), Joel Edgerton (Patrick), Mark Strong (George), Chris Pratt (Justin)

Director: Kathryn Bigelow

Screenwriter: Mark Boal

Runtime: 157 minutes

Rated: R for strong violence, including brutal, disturbing images, and language



out of 100

The killing of Osama bin Laden struck a crushing blow to the authority and power of a terrorist organization, al Qaeda, that has taken over three thousand innocent American lives. This landmark moment in American history was the outcome of ten years of tireless investigation, or so we are led to believe in "Zero Dark Thirty," an accurate but emotionally shallow docudrama directed by Kathryn Bigelow. The overly journalistic screenplay, written by Mark Boal, portrays the difficulties that impeded the "greatest manhunt in history," but fails to strike an emotional chord with the audience or convey the moral consequences of the methods employed to assassinate bin Laden. While Bigelow acknowledges that torture was exercised to obtain crucial information regarding the location of bin Laden, the film does not illuminate the unconstitutionality of such interrogational tactics ordered by Maya, the CIA agent who led the operation. The screenplay intends to depict Maya as an unsocial monomaniac characterized by a domineering attitude and obsessive persistence, but Jessica Chastain's colorless performance conceals these characteristics with a vacancy that preclues the audience from developing any emotional connection with her character. The only expressions of emotion that Chastain ever exhibits, which are manifested in her protagonist's bursts of fury against the bureaucratic hinderances to the operation, are too brief and intermittent to fofer full insight into the complexities of Maya . While suspense grips the final thrilling twenty minutes of the film, when the team of Navy SEALs assassinate bin Laden, tension only punctuates “Zero Dark Thirty” in taut passages of crisp dialogue that highlight the urgency of Maya’s mission, rather than continuing or progressively escalating throughout the entire picture. The dramatically stagnant and often unnecessary scenes of narrative digressions and extraneous dialogues disrupts the otherwise effective fluidity of the film. The zero emotional involvement in "Zero Dark Thirty" acts as a supplemental flaw to the film's excessive runtime by over thirty minutes. 50/100

Films to See and Skip During Your "Staycation"

Posted by Kenneth Shinozuka on December 23, 2012 at 3:15 AM Comments comments (1)

Hello all,

Here's a list of films that you should definitely see or skip during your "staycation" this holiday season:

Films to See

Life of Pi

Director Ang Lee’s thirteenth directorial effort, “Life of Pi,” glows as an outstanding visual accomplishment, a testament to the director’s widely acclaimed aesthetic brilliance. The story he tells, adapted from Yann Martel's bestselling 2001 novel, depicts Piscine Molitor, who later adopts the name Pi, embarks upon his lifelong spiritual journey when he is exposed to four religions, Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, and his father’s Atheism, all at once during his childhood. His faith in God is tested when he and a Bengal tiger must survive over two hundred days in the Indian Ocean after their ship sinks, leaving them two as the only survivors. The compelling relationship between Pi and the tiger begins as a competition for survival but blossoms into a compassionate friendship where both depend upon the other for companionship and survival. The screenplay, while at times dull, punctuates moving scenes highlighting the solitude and hardships of a shipwreck with inspiring passages of hope. Cinematographer Claudio Miranda's utterly spectacular shots of blue whales leaping out of the ocean and of undiscovered, luminescent islands underscore the wonder of the sea even amid all its despair. Ang Lee's most recent composition of artistic melodies applies its visual mastery to convey greater themes of enduring hope and faith in the looming shadows of death. 91/100


Few films flow with such rich period detail yet possess the timeless quality of Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln,” a great ode to democracy that does not seek to glorify its subjects, but to depict them in their purest and often most devious forms. Daniel Day-Lewis inhabits the sixteenth president with uncanny ease, striving not to dignify his character to abstruse heights but to portray a man battered by family troubles and whose humble beginnings are evident in the many fables and parables he tells throughout the film. Yet the sometimes dense but often penetrating screenplay, written by a keen Tony Kushner, also searches for a facet of Lincoln that history has rarely illuminated. The Honest Abe that many of us thought we knew was a cunning politician who often used underhanded methods to procure the votes necessary to pass his bills, all of which would nevertheless go on to preserve the freedom of the nation. One of these bills was the Thirteenth Amendment, and its passage in Congress during the last four months of Lincoln’s presidency serves the central focus of the film. Spielberg’s quietly grand direction often illustrates Congress as an arena where partisan divisions have wrecked legislative deadlock and interfered with political decisions, a state that speaks to our own Congress today. The superb art direction and costume design bring period authenticity to a more modest America, an America that reminds us of the great leaders like Lincoln who protected the liberty of this nation at all costs. 97/100


This winter also marks the return of 007 in his best film yet, “Skyfall,” an exhilarating espionage adventure exuberantly enlivened by astonishing cinematography, exotic settings, and thrilling action sequences. Yet this 23rd installment in the 007 series is also darkened by themes of haunted pasts and somber yet superb performances by a cadre of outstanding actors that include Daniel Craig in his third stint as James Bond, Judi Dench as a beleaguered M, and Javier Bardem as one of the most memorable villains in Bond history, Raoul Silva. With shuddering conviction, Bardem vivifies the sadistic wickedness and haunting malice of his character, a former MI6 operative who seeks to disgrace and then kill M in revenge for her betrayal of him. As Bond pursues Silva, who leads audiences to electrifying fights in Shanghai skyscrapers and Istanbul rooftops, 007, now more human than suave or debonair, must confront his orphaned childhood, a haunted fragment of his past that torments his crumbling present. The removal of the excessive gadgetry that plagued newer installments precludes the action in "Skyfall" from eclipsing its numerous emotional attributes, one of which develops a bond - no pun intended - of trust and sympathy between M and Bond, the former of which often appeared to be little more than a stern chief of the latter. The roots of the series, many of which had been eroded by time, are recalled at last in “Skyfall,” which reintroduces Bond’s signature Aston Martin car and Walter PPK and revives several characters, such as Q, whose significance had waned as 007 aged. On the eve of Bond’s fiftieth anniversary, this gripping invigoration of the 007 series highlights James Bond as an eternal vehicle of entertainment that will thrill audiences for generations to come, rather than a remnant of the bygone era of espionage. 95/100


An exceptional political thriller that pulses with drama and exhilarates with suspense, Ben Affleck’s “Argo” engrosses viewers from its urgent opening minutes and firmly remains in their memories long after its profound ending scene. In 1979, at the height of Iran’s hostage crisis, CIA operative Tony Mendez planned a preposterous rescue of six American ambassadors, who, with Mendez, pretended to be a crew of Canadian filmmakers scouting for a filming location for their fake science fiction picture, “Argo” (hence the title). The absurdity of this idea, one that may seem as nothing more than a figment of Hollywood imagination, imbues an aura of farcical bizarreness exemplified by the film’s carefully interjected humor. This apparent lack of seriousness in the grim context of “Argo” ‘s story, however, does not undermine its sense of urgency. Chris Terrio’s masterful screenplay cleverly constructs a number of unexpected obstacles that Mendez and the ambassadors each must successfully overcome in order to protect the credibility of the CIA and far more importantly their own survival. Each viewer will come to experience not only a sense of taut suspense that will leap in his or her rapidly beating heart, but also a far deeper fear for the lives of these characters, whose loved ones, as the screenplay poignantly illuminates, may never see them again if they perish in the tremendously precarious operation. A feat of bold originality and stirring entertainment at their best, “Argo” captivates your mind with its crafty intelligence, seizes your attention with its immediacy, and captures your heart with its powerful emotional core. 99/100

Films To Skip

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Of all the cinematic journeys offered this winter, Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” the first of three films adapted from J. R. R. Tolkein’s 1937 novel “The Hobbit,” stands out as one of the most unexpectedly terrible. Failing to even touch the success of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, also directed by Jackson, this monotonous and unfocused trudge replaces the glorious flights of imagination in J.R.R. Tolkein’s novel with stilted passages of contrived dialogue and strained acting. While the sweeping cinematography by Andrew Lesnie at times captures magnificent panoramas of Middle-Earth, the fictional land where “The Hobbit” takes place, Jackson’s baffling choice to shoot the film in a 48 FPS (frames per second) format causes the set designs to appear dismally artificial and visually synthesized rather than realistic or immersive. The abysmally lethargic pacing is a product of unending scenes of insipid dialogue during which the screenwriters fail to develop any one of their banal themes, which include the importance of friendship and teamwork in the face of hardship. The “team” concerned in “An Unexpected Journey” is one that includes the Hobbit Bilbo Baggins (an unconvincing Martin Freeman), who is recruited by Gandalf the Wizard (a far more lighthearted Ian McKellen than the one in the original Lord of the Rings trilogy) to accompany thirteen blandly characterized dwarves on a journey to reclaim the Lonely Mountain from Smaurg the Dragon. Only Gollum (Andy Serkis), the creature from which Baggins steals the One Ring of invisibility, separates himself from the other indistinguishable characters as a captivatingly imagined, passionately performed coward who both loves and hates himself as a result of his corrupting ring. He at least makes this arduous trek slightly the worthwhile. 23/100

The Master: Long Review

Posted by Kenneth Shinozuka on October 27, 2012 at 12:00 PM Comments comments (2)


Hello everyone,

My latest review needed a longer length in order to illuminate all the outstanding aspects I found of the film. Thank you all so much for your patience!

The Master

Released  Friday, September 14, 2012

Starring  Joaquin Phoenix (as Freddie Quell), Philip Seymour Hoffman (as Lancaster Dodd), Amy Adams (as Peggy Dodd), Laura Dern (as Helen Sullivan), Ambyr Childers (as Elizabeth Dodd), Jesse Plemons (as Val Dodd)

Director  Paul Thomas Anderson

Screenwriter  Paul Thomas Anderson

Runtime  143 minutes

Rating  R for sexual content, explicit nudity, and language


    out of 100

The Masterpiece

Posted Saturday, October 27, 2012

The greatest films reveal human nature through insightfully drawn characters and thematic plots illustrated with a vivid emotional palette. In harmonizing with these criterion for mastery, Paul Thomas Anderson's fifth opus "The Master" resonates as a swirling symphony conducted with powerful direction, composed with resounding depth, and performed by a passionate orchestra of incredible actors.

This penetrating philosophical commentary illuminates a number of ideas on human relationships through the complexity of its characters, the most significant of which is Freddie Quell. In the aftermath of a traumatic Second World War, Freddie drifts from one temporary job to another with a vacant mind and a soul imprisoned by the psychological and psychosexual problems of his past. Drunk one lonely night, Freddie stumbles into the ship of Lancaster Dodd, a megalomaniac who welcomes Freddie into his religiously questionable cult, known as “The Cause.” Their first dialogue, in which Freddie divulges the darkest secrets of his past to an understanding Dodd, weaves motifs of sexuality and desire while also demonstrating a wide spectrum of profound emotion that will pierce the deepest fragments of the soul. Dodd and Freddie develop a close father-and-son relationship that remains vividly real, if at times unstable, because of the power of the actors who perform them. In one of the best incarnations of the year, actor Joaquin Phoenix breathes life into Freddie’s tumultuous emotions with a blank passion and a subtle conviction. Philip Seymour Hoffman imbues an air of pompous spirit into his darkly captivating embodiment of Dodd, vivifying the monstrous indulgence and fraudulence veiled by his character’s apparent benevolence. A third character, Dodd’s wife, Peggy, is performed by Amy Adams with a taut ferocity that captures her character’s dominance over her husband’s cult, and moreover, his fragile soul. Dodd and these two most devoted followers shape a compelling triangle of characters whose various relationships highlight their endlessly complex dimensionality and the mastery – no pun intended – of the actors who embody them. The skill of these performances lies in their ability to establish an emotional connection between the audience and such seemingly unrelatable characters, touching our own deepest desires and yearnings with theirs.

The vast canvas of the plot pursues a number of themes that Anderson illustrates with symbolic visual and cinematic strokes. Several incredibly profound parallels seamlessly interlace seemingly disparate scenes and exhibit Freddie’s development from confusion to self-discovery. Mihai Malamaire Jr.’s sweeping tapestries of ocean and horizon, accompanied by Jonny Greenwood’s alternatingly cacophonous and harmonic score, symbolize an ephemeral freedom and a lasting content that Freddie loses, searches for and eventually seizes. Even the most perspicacious of audiences may not understand the subtlety behind Anderson’s incredibly profound parallels at first, but when all the notes are assembled together on the gorgeous 70 mm film, the result strikes a euphony of transporting and utterly mesmerizing beauty. Confounding but dazzling, Paul Thomas Anderson’s masterpiece transcends intricate characterization and symbolic storytelling to arouse the deepest of emotions within its hypnotized audience. 89/100

The Bourne Legacy: Review

Posted by Kenneth Shinozuka on September 7, 2012 at 11:55 PM Comments comments (0)


The Bourne Legacy

Released  Friday, August 10, 2012

Starring Jeremy Renner (as Aaron Cross), Rachel Weisz (as Dr. Marta Shearing), Edward Norton (as Eric Byer), David Strathairn (as Noah Vosen), Joan Allen (as Pamela Landy), Zeljiko Ivanev (as Dr. Donald Foite)

Director  Tony Gilroy

Screenwriters  Tony and Dan Gilroy

Runtime  135 minutes

Rating  PG-13 for violence and action sequences



   out of 100

   Neither Shaking nor Stirring

   Posted  Saturday, September 8, 2012

The first three Bourne films quickly surpassed James Bond to become one of the greatest espionage series of all time, offering kinetic action, briskly paced plots, and a superb Matt Damon as spy-turned-vigilante Jason Bourne. But unlike the title of this mediocre fourth installment, "The Bourne Legacy" discontinues the series' legacy of excellence, failing to meet the high standards of a series that deserves so much more from such a pedestrian sequel. Under the inferior direction of Tony Gilroy, this un-thrilling thriller does not exhibit the qualities that sparked such intrigue in the first three Bourne masterpieces. In an unnecessary attempt to breathe renewed life into a series that never ran out of breath, the screenplay wallows in unoriginality with a vapid new character performed equally as vapidly by Jeremy Renner, whose decent but spiritless performance does not exude the vivacity nor pierce with the intensity of Damon's depiction of Bourne. With the exception of the riveting action sequences, the screen on your wrist will attract more of your attention than the screen in the theater throughout the film, especially during the monotonous stretches of narrative that seek to illuminate the disorganized plot. Thus, a series that had been reBourne with each installment may now be drawing its last breaths. 46/100

The Bourne Legacy: Review

Posted by Kenneth Shinozuka on September 7, 2012 at 11:55 PM Comments comments (0)

The Bourne Legacy

Released: Friday, August 10, 2012

Starring: Jeremy Renner (as Aaron Cross), Rachel Weisz (as Dr. Marta Shearing), Edward Norton (as Eric Byer), David Strathairn (as Noah Vosen), Joan Allen (as Pamela Landy), Zeljiko Ivanev (as Dr. Donald Foite)

Director: Tony Gilroy

Screenwriters: Tony and Dan Gilroy

Rated: PG-13

Rating: 135 minutes

Shaken and Stirred

The first three Bourne films quickly surpassed James Bond to become one of the greatest espionage series of all time, offering kinetic action, briskly paced plots, and a superb Matt Damon as spy-turned-vigilante Jason Bourne. But unlike the title of this mediocre fourth installment, "The Bourne Legacy" discontinues the series' legacy of excellence, meeting only the standards of a typical action film but not the high standards set by the original trilogy. Under the inferior direction of Tony Gilroy, this un-thrilling thriller does not exhibit the qualities that sparked such intrigue in the first three Bourne masterpieces. In an unnecessary attempt to breathe new life into a series that never ran out of breath, the screenplay achieves unoriginality with a protagonist that fails to match the complexity of Jason Bourne, a vapid character performed equally as vapidly by Jeremy Renner, whose decent but spiritless performance does not exude the vivacity nor pierce with the intensity of Damon's depiction of Bourne. With the exception of the riveting action sequences, the screen on your wrist will attract more of your attention than the screen in the theater, especially during the monotonous stretches of narrative that seek to illuminate the disorganized plot. Now, a series that has been reBourne with each installment may finally be drawing its last breaths. 52/100

The Campaign: Review

Posted by Kenneth Shinozuka on August 22, 2012 at 5:50 PM Comments comments (4)


The Campaign

Released  Friday, August 10, 2011

Starring  Will Ferrell (as Cam Brady), Zach Galifianakis (as Marty Huggins), Dylan McDermott (as Tim Wattley), Jason Sudeikis (as Mitch Wilson), John Lithgow (as Glen Motch), Dan Aykroyd (as Wade Motch), Katherine LaNasa (as Rose Brady), Brian Cox (as Raymond Huggins)

Director  Jay Roach

Screenwriters  Chris Henchy, Shawn Harwell

Runtime  85 minutes

Rating  R for crude sexual content, language, and brief nudity


    out of 100


Loses by a Landslide

    Posted  Wednesday, August 22, 2012


Partisan bickering, financial greed, and abysmal leadership have befallen both the U.S. Congress and the nation, a state of catastrophe that demands a subtle and insightful depiction from Hollywood, especially in an election year. Instead, Jay Roach has mutilated the compelling premise of "The Campaign" into an appalling political comedy that plummets to the nadirs of stupidity. Brief moments of hilariousness cannot eclipse the unfunniness of most of the attempted humor, which avoids biting wit for crass and raunchy gags that are far too dumb and overextended to add any intellectual or satirical commentary on its material. The virtually nonexistent plot bogs its main characters in cliches to prove its poorly intertwined and superficial platitudes. The result wastes the energetic performances of the well-matched lead actors, whose excellent comedic instincts and skills shine above all the other abysmal components of this film. Rather than illuminating the failed politics that have engulfed this country, this colossally misguided film skews such a momentous issue with an inappropriate tone of irreverence, leading viewers to lose interest in both "The Campaign" and the actual political campaigns of this election year. So this summer, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country by skipping this atrocious "comedy." 9/100

The Dark Knight Rises: Review

Posted by Kenneth Shinozuka on July 27, 2012 at 12:05 AM Comments comments (2)


The Dark Knight Rises

Released  Friday, July 20, 2012 (available in IMAX)

Starring  Christian Bale (as Bruce Wayne/Batman), Tom Hardy (as Bane), Anne Hathaway (as Selina Kyle), Joseph Gordon-Levitt (as John Blake), Gary Oldman (as Commissioner James Gordon), Marion Cotillard (as Miranda Tate), Michael Caine (as Alfred Pennyworth), Morgan Freeman (as Lucius Fox)

Director  Christopher Nolan

Screenwriters  Christopher Nolan, James Nolan, David S. Goyer, based on characters created by Bob Kane

Runtime  164 minutes

Rated  PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some sensuality and language


        out of 100



  Rises to Greatness

       Posted Thursday, July 26, 2012

In his first two Batman opuses, director Christopher Nolan reimagined the masked vigilante in an unprecedentedly dark depiction, transforming the banal and vapid landscape of the superhero genre with films characterized by narrative complexity, gripping action, and powerful performances. For the third and final time in his Dark Knight trilogy, Nolan has crafted both an exceptional blockbuster and a cinematic masterpiece, an instant classic that will be remembered for generations to come. Mounting a breakneck pace over 164 unforgettable minutes, "The Dark Knight Rises" captures your attention with brilliantly executed action sequences and an increasingly intricate and incendiary plot. Yet the evil here exists not in the villains but in the structure of a bleak metropolis decayed by lies and facades, a society whose moral degradation parallels the societal problems that face us today. When the fires of terrorism and social revolution engulf Gotham, the hope within each character - whose personal and moral predicaments are illuminated by a superlative cast - is tested time and time again but ultimately prevails, a motif of resilience that weaves through this testament to the enduring human spirit. When the ashes settle in a bittersweet conclusion to this outstanding achievement, a hero shall emerge triumphantly, dark in costume, a knight in valor, and the Batman forever, one who may not rise to the big screen again, but will always rise in our memories. 100/100

Would you pay for the tickets of three other friends at an IMAX showing? Yes

Would you work at the movie theater for two days with no pay in order to see this movie? Yes

How many times would you see this movie again? At least four or five times

Ted: Review

Posted by Kenneth Shinozuka on July 19, 2012 at 9:10 PM Comments comments (1)


Released  Friday, June 29, 2012

Starring  Mark Wahlberg (as John Bennett), Seth Macfarlane (as Ted), Mila Kunis (as Lori Collins), Giovanni Ribisi (as Donny), Jessica Barth (as Tami-Lynn), Joel McHale (as Rex), Sam J. Jones (as Flash Gordon/himself), Bill Smitrovich (as Frank, Ted's boss), Aedin Mincks (as Robert)

Director  Seth Macfarlane

Screenwriters  Seth Macfarlane, Alec Sulkin, Wellesley Wild

Runtime  106 minutes

Rated  R for crude and sexual content, pervasive language, and some drug use



              out of 100


Posted Thursday, July 19, 2012


The teddy bear has epitomized the toy childhood friend, a bedside buddy whose lovability fortifies children with security and support, however superficial they may be. Over the years, many films saccharinely explored a talking teddy bear, but none to the uproarious effect of "Ted," a hilarious comedy that elicits more eruptions of laughter than any other film this year. In the style of his most famed television series, "Family Guy," director Seth Macfarlane strikes one obscene note after another, but while some may shriek with stupidity, others harmonize to produce a composition that rings with humor. Macfarlane's decent direction, however, is certainly surpassed by his superlative performance as teddy bear Ted, whose hysterical raunchiness highlights him as the most indelible character of the year. Yet his believability would evaporate in an instant without Mark Wahlberg, whose excellent portrayal of Ted's owner vivifies a convincing and essential chemistry between him and his "thunder buddy for life." This often poignant relationship captures the emotional spectrum of the film when the trite platitudes of the screenplay cannot. Setting new standards for comedies, the guilty pleasure of the summer features a toilet mouth yet material that does not belong in any toilet, a classless film yet first-class nevertheless. 73/100


Would you gladly see this movie again? Yes



Would you pay for a ticket for you and your friend? Yes



Would you mop the floors for one hour at the movie theater in order to see this movie? No


Brave: Review

Posted by Kenneth Shinozuka on July 9, 2012 at 10:35 PM Comments comments (1)


Released: Friday, June 22, 2012 (available in Real-D 3D)

Starring: Kelly MacDonald (as Princess Merida), Emma Thompson (as Queen Elinor), Billy Connolly (as King Fergus), Kevin McKidd (as Lord MacGuffin and Young MacGuffin), Craig Ferguson (as Lord Macintosh), Robbie Coltrane (as Lord Dingwall), Julie Walters (as the Witch)

Directors: Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman, Steve Purcell

Screenwriters: Brenda Chapman, Irene Mecchi, Mark Andrews, Steve Purcell

Runtime: 93 minutes

Rating: PG for some scary action and rude humor


           out of 100

No Risks Taken

       Posted on Monday, July 9, 2012

The wizards at Pixar Animation Studios have coupled originality and perfection - from groundbreaking visual effects to vivid characters and poignant stories - to extraordinary results: twelve masterpieces that have garnered financial success and critical praise. The unlucky number thirteen appears to have cursed the animation studio's latest feature; while "Brave" may feature a female heroine and a fairy tale story for the first time in Pixar's history, its conventional platitudes, in addition to emotional and dramatic monotony, illustrate a lack of the originality, let alone perfection, that engendered such excellence in previous films. While children will laugh at the comical situations created by the mischevious but adorable toddler triplets, audiences of all ages will respond indifferently to their sister. Her rebellious nature and tomboy character may exemplify a departure from female stereotypes such as fragility, yet her superficial characterization is not a departure from the emotional calculation of most animated films, rarely illustrating the true bravery that gives name to the title. Though the visual effects and panoramic cinematography of pastoral Scotland will certainly take your breath away, the formulaic plot - which replaces Pixar's moving pathos with Disney's saccharine sentimentality - will not, even when the sterling directorial execution highlights nuance that furthers, if sometimes belabors, the themes of this film. Unlike the skillful archer at its center, Pixar's latest arrow misses its target for the first time, drawing from a bow that may have finally lost its magic. 51/100

Prometheus: Review

Posted by Kenneth Shinozuka on June 26, 2012 at 4:00 PM Comments comments (0)


Released: Friday, June 8, 2012

Starring: Noomi Rapace (as Elizabeth Shaw), Michael Fassbender (as David), Charlize Theron (as Meredith Vickers), Logan Marshall-Green (as Charlie Holloway), Guy Pearce (as Peter Wayland), Sean Harris (as Fifield), Idris Elba (as Janek), Rafe Spall (as Millburn)

Director: Ridley Scott

Screenwriters: Damon Lindelof, Jon Spaihts

Runtime: 124 minutes

Rating: R for sci-fi violence including some intense images, and brief language



out of 100

The God of Science Fiction

     Posted Tuesday, June 26, 2012

In Greek mythology, the god Prometheus thieved fire from the titans and bestowed it upon the mortal world, forever advancing the human civilization. Thousands of years later, Ridley Scott's immersive film experience "Prometheus" has kindled a blazing new fire out of the smoldering embers of the science fiction genre, just as he did thirty years ago in "Alien," the basis of his new prequel. The nuanced settings and magnificent art direction evoke a haunting visual grandeur and a mood that captures a grim sense of dread and fear. The result engrosses viewers in an indelible extraterrestrial world, strengthening the grip of a screenplay relentless in pace and intensity, although the sometimes extreme action detracts from the film's focus. Nevertheless, the screenwriting is characterized by insightful characterization; the seemingly stock characters of "Prometheus" gradually reveal multiple dimensions. The excellent performances in "Prometheus" highlight the characters' moral conflicts, complex facets, and unexpected decisions, all which shed some light on the philosophical questions raised in the film: Who are our creators? Are we alone? Is there a God? Because Scott poses these questions without providing answers, he intrigues us to complete our own puzzle out of the scattered pieces, at least until the inevitable sequel reveals his full vision. Until then, we embark on a journey to explore the beginning of an end and the end of a beginning, to discover if we are the alien or the alien is us, and to boldly go where no science fiction film has gone before.* 94/100


*Trekkies, anyone?