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Children of Men


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Children of men is Alfonso Cuaron's (Great expectations, Y tu Mama Tambien, Harry Potter 3) latest film. It is very loosely adapted from a novel by P.D. James. In a future where all humans have suddenly and inexplicably become infertile; the worl has plunged into chaos. The only country that hasn't completely fallen apart is England. Clive Owen plays a former political activist who is asked to transport a pregnant girl to a place where she won't be used and abused for political purposes.

 

The striking imagery is what really stands out about this film. The England of 2027 looks a lot like the America of today. The homeland security department is a gestapo unit that treats all illegal immigrants trying to get into England as subhuman enemies. Cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki (The New World, Sleepy Hollow, all of CUaron's films) has helped make one of the most well shot movies I've ever seen. THe entire thing is covered in single long takes in a handheld, documentary style. There are 3 and 4 minute extremely complex scenes with explosions, special effects, and very intense acting that all take place in one amazing shot. This does more than just make me go "Holy shit, how did they do that?" It really draws you into the movie and feels completely different from anything else you're going to get in a multiplex today.

 

That said the story is engaging and it has a great cast. Michael Caine delivers one of my favorite performances he's ever done. The film leaves much unexplained and deviates greatly from the book (I hear.) When I saw it, I thought it was a bit lacking in the script department. The movie went through 4 different scripts and some script problems is the only thing keeping it from being a truly great movie IMO.

 

Absolutely worth seeing. I'll be seeing it again soon.

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I remember being on the science fiction thread and mentioning that although there've been some fairly decent sci-fi flicks in the past few years, I hadn't seen this decade's Brazil yet.

 

I have now.

 

Like Junker, I just have to mention the cinematography and the camera work in this film, it was phenominal. Cuaron does amazingly complicated and lengthy unbroken takes that would make DePalma jealous. Particularly impressive was a sequence towards the end which I'm pretty sure clocked closer to 7 or 8 minutes long (though I did note a couple spots where they might have been able to dissolve to a different take, but they're barely noticeable). If this film doesn't get an Oscar nom for its camera work and even its direction, there's no justice in this world.

 

There were quite a few other outstanding factors to this film (the only real complaint I could find was with effects but there isn't a whole lot of them anyway) but it's impossible not to mention that cinematography above all else.

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  • 2 years later...

Finally got around to seeing this with newt the other day.

 

This was great sci-fi, coming off District 9 and this gave me hope for the genre. really has fun with the Brazil-esque elements, and ill be damned if i didnt wish i had a friend like Michael Caine. sad i sat on this one, glad i finally caught it.

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How awesome was that major sequence there at the end with a steady-cam following the guy through an urban combat shit storm? Fuckin awesome, I say to you.

 

jesus, i just kinda sat there, like everybody else in the film, in awe of...them being in awe. that scene was amazing, almost laughed when the shooting started again.

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