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Children of Men
Review by Mr. Stinkhead

Children of Men was one of the hot Oscar®-buzzed movies last month. In America, it was kind of billed as an independent piece, however it was a lot bigger and polished than I expected.

It's 2027, and no children have been born for 18 years. The world is crumbling in the midst of mass infertility. Why continue on in the face of no hope? The despair of humanity waiting-to-die is present in the poor souls who occupy the crumbling world. Politics and domestic fighting break out everywhere, and world's youngest person was just stabbed. Clive Owen, as Theo, is tasked with escorting an illegal immigrant, Kee, past the oppressive police presence. The catch is that she's very pregnant, and ready to have a baby. Before too long, the police, the supporting army of rebels, and other dissidents are chasing after Theo and Kee, as they race for safety before the baby is due to arrive.

I'm sorry, that makes it sound like this Bruce Willis-esque beat the clock type thriller. It's actually a very intelligent movie about humanity; the intense action and harrowing setting merely give environment for the discussion to take root.

The best thing about this movie is the director's view of the future. It looks and seems real. By cleverly using disciplined special effects, camera tricks and extremely long takes, it's very easy to find yourself in 20 years in the future. I mentioned earlier that I was expecting a lower-budget. I thought everything would be blue-screened, and minimalist tricks would be used to transport the audience to the future, however it's not the case. Vast landscapes of decay, a cast in thousands, and impeccable attention to detail put you in the future without letting you get hung up on the fact that it's manufactured. By convincingly placing us in this world, we're able to spend time chewing on the ethical and hypothetical dialogue between the audience and the story-tellers, not between characters.

The action is heart-pounding. Explosions come out of nowhere, characters are picked off, the war scenes all seem real, but never overdone. I enjoy the fact that there is quite a bit of intelligence behind the movie as well. If you like 12 Monkeys, you'll enjoy this piece. Even though Children of Men is a little less "weird" for weirdness sake.

I enjoyed the story and the action, and overall, the whole movie that was presented. My only gripe is that I think it could have been just as strong, if not stronger if the film cut off the last 7 minutes or so. I think the filmmakers dilute their powerful ending too much.

The bonus features are great. I didn't watch the commentary yet, but the featurettes that explain how they shot the scene inside the car, and how they digitally added subtle effects was pretty interesting. One of the features is a sociological essay with many experts in the field, and I had a hard time staying awake through the accents and fancy talk. Seriously, I love a good conversation, but I think I was done for the night.

Children of Men is very impressive, and I recommend watching it. Note that it is not a fun-time Saturday afternoon flick. It's for when you're in a serious mood, and want to flex your noodle a bit.

Pick up Children of Men today from Amazon.com. Be sure to check out details on the Fan Summit, and some clips from the movie, located in our Children of Men thread




 
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