Author: Christina Tucker

‘Free Fire’ Sees Fear & Masculine Insecurity Beget Violence

Overview:  In 1978, a weapons deal in a warehouse quickly goes wrong, and a shootout ensues when everyone present tries to defend themselves. A24; 2016; Rated R; 90 minutes. “It’s too late, I’ve been insulted”: In 1978, a weapons deal goes wrong. There is no on screen information to give a date, time, or location. We can glean as much as it necessary from visual cues and exposition. Free Fire’s premise could be handled in many ways, and Ben Wheatley chooses an impressively subtle and character-focused exploration of violence and its causes. It is not surprising that the weapons...

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Colossal is a Monster Movie Rooted in its Protagonist’s Psyche

Overview: A woman in the midst of a difficult period in her life finds that her mental state has manifested in a monster that is wreaking havoc in Seoul, Korea. NEON; 2017; Rated R; 110 minutes. Attack of the 50 Foot Woman: Nacho Vigalondo’s Colossal largely exists beyond genre and plays with expectations in all fronts. It is neither a parody of the kaiju, monster movie genre nor a monster movie played straight. Not wholly tragic but certainly not laugh-out-loud funny. Colossal is rooted in a metaphorical concept: a person’s mental state has manifest physically. The way invading creatures...

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Ghost in the Shell is a Visual Spectacle With an Empty Soul

Overview: In a cyberpunk, futuristic Japan, a cyborg commander known as Major and her counter-terrorism unit Section 9 works to stop hackers and cyber-terrorists. Paramount Pictures; 2017; Rated PG-13; 106 minutes. Natural and Artificial: The 1995 anime film Ghost in the Shell, directed by Mamoru Oshii, is both beautifully animated and profound in its exploration of the human experience, pushing ideas about both technology and subjectivity to their extremes. If a third party can alter someone’s perception, memories, and actions—what constitutes one’s identity? It is a film that’s just as concerned with its main character’s psychology as with its futuristic...

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8 Anime That Deserve Live-Action Adaptations

American film studios have a less than stellar track record in terms of adapting anime and manga. Not only are the released adaptations almost universally disappointing (Dragonball: Evolution, Speed Racer, and even a straight-to-video Fist of the North Star movie have, probably for the best, mostly faded from public memory) even more have been in development for years, such as Akira, Death Note, Gunm, and Cowboy Bebop. In the past decade, studios have seen the lucrative and creative potential of comic book adaptations. To branch out more seriously into anime properties could be fruitful in many ways. That’s not to...

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The Original Star Wars Trilogy & Its Hopeful Hero

Throughout the month of March, Audiences Everywhere will be sharing appreciation for film trilogies, including personal reflections from our writers on some of their favorites. Today, we’re discussing a singular hero’s role in perhaps the quintessential movie trilogy: Star Wars‘ Luke Skywalker… “I’m Never Gonna Get Out of Here” He’s Luke Skywalker, and he’s here to rescue you. Capable but physically unassuming—Obi Wan calls him “little one”—with blond, feathered hair and a too-big tunic. He’s a talented pilot, good with droids, and too short to be a stormtrooper. If there’s a bright center to the universe, he’s on the...

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