Children of Men

IntroMacGuffins

First popularized by Hitchcock, Merriam-Webster defines a ‘MacGuffin’ as “an object, event, or character in a film or story that serves to set and keep the plot in motion despite usually lacking intrinsic importance.” Basically it’s the thing that makes the movie go. For example, R2-D2 is considered by George Lucas to be the MacGuffin of the Star Wars films. But what of human MacGuffins? Anyone can be a hostage or damsel in distress, so lets look at some of the less than conventional living beings that have propelled a plot.

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IntroBadassWounds

So you’ve been shot/stabbed/eaten/burned/dismembered/amputated/face melted by an ancient artifact, what are you going to do next? If you answered, “go into shock while screaming like an asshole” then you’re probably on track. In the movies, of course, that’s a different story – people like to do cool stuff while dying in movies, act all badass for our amusement. Let’s look at 20 such fallen heroes. Spoilers should go without saying. But we said it. Right there. So no one can complain.

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Rian Johnson’s new film, Looper, is a pretty awesome time travel flick, one with as many elements that are clever and original as there are purposefully derivative and influenced. It’s the kind of smart and stylish sci-fi cinema we expect every once in a while on the festival circuit, like Sound of My Voice (which hits DVD and Blu-ray this Tuesday), rather than from a major Hollywood studio. Looper does fit the indie model, though, since Sony/Tristar picked it up for distribution only after it was done shooting, yet as Brian’s review of the film attests, we can still consider it a good sign for mainstream movies of this genre, and we can hope that Hollywood will see Johnson as the sort of directorial talent they need. But is it the best science fiction film since The Matrix? That’s a question posed in a headline from Time magazine yesterday, though its respective post doesn’t address such a discussion let alone attempt to answer the inquiry. Well, if we exclude superhero movies, animated features (Pixar, Miyazaki and The Iron Giant among them) and the Star Trek reboot, Looper is currently one of only two original studio films of its order to be battling for the status of best reviewed since the Wachowskis’ groundbreaking modern classic. The other is Alfonso Cuaron’s Children of Men.

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Children of Men

Traditionally — such a tradition has been built over the 6 week lifespan of this column — Scenes We Love takes a moment each week to focus on a single scene from a film that jumps right out at us, grabs our attention and simply won’t let go. This week brings us something a little different, courtesy of an email I received by a gentleman named Larry Wright from a site called Refocused Media. He’s created a 31 minute cut of Alfonso Cuaron’s Children of Men using only the scenes that are 45-seconds or longer. Why would someone partake in such a maddening project? Well, I guess you’ll have to read on and find out.

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Apocalypse Soon: Children of Men

The Mayans, the wise race of ancients who created hot cocoa, set December 21st, 2012 as the end date of their Calendar, which the intelligent and logical amongst us know signifies the day the world will end, presumably at 12:21:12am, Mountain Time. From now until zero date, we will explore the 50 films you need to watch before the entire world perishes. We don’t have much time, so be content, be prepared, be entertained. The Film: Children of Men (2006) The Plot: In the near future global civilization is on the brink of total collapse as the human race approaches extinction via a long dry spell of human infertility. There hasn’t been a human child born in almost two decades and the answer for our sudden inability to bear children has been an elusive scientific mystery in all those years. In this world of societal discourse and upheaval Theo Faron (Clive Owen) is an everyman with ties to an underground group of revolutionaries through a past relationship with the group’s leader Julian (Julianne Moore). Kidnapped off the streets by the group Theo is asked by Julian to help attain transit papers for a young woman and help see that she crosses the British border to safety. Asking no questions of what the significance of that particular girl’s safety is Theo agrees and along the way to the first stop on their journey their vehicle gets ambushed. Following that event Theo’s initially loose involvement in the situation becomes more important when he takes […]

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We all know the basic staples of the approaching end of days – zombies, aliens, nukes, robots, viruses, asteroids, global warming – all those good things. When a movie uses one of these go-to death-day scenarios we can’t help but to shell out the cash to watch it all go to hell on the big screen. However it takes some real brainpower to pull away from these apocalyptic norms, and when a movie does come along toting some hip new way for us all to die – even if said movie doesn’t pan out – you have to respect their willingness to get creative. Here are some movies that took a chance and gave us an end we’d never see coming.

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Awesome Camera Rigs

It’s hard to get excited about something as technical as that thing that makes cameras not fall down on film sets, especially these days, when you can make a successful film without even going through the effort of picking up a camera at all. Even if you are shooting a live action film, thanks to the realism of CGI, computers are now able to put a lens wherever you need it to be – this is why I think we need to take a second to celebrate some of the hard working pieces of lightweight metal that were behind a few of the more bitchin’ shots out there. These rigs got the shot done, computers be damned!

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Acclaimed visual auteur Guillermo Del Toro recently sat down with MTV cameras to have a chat about a number of topics, and during the discussion talk turned to Children of Men director Alfonso Cuaron’s upcoming astronaut thriller Gravity. Whatever Cuaron is doing while filming this one seems to be the talk of the town, as he couldn’t help but gush at how blown away both he and big-time director and technophile James Cameron are with the technical aspects of Cuaron’s production. Keeping up with the stuttered sentence structure and charming accent is a little rough when trying for a transcript, but I think I’ve pulled most of the money quotes out of the interview. Del Toro starts by saying, “I think what is incredible about what they did is, they talked to David Fincher, they talked to Jim Cameron… I connected Jim and Alfonso for that… And what Alfonso is trying, is so insane. And Jim said, ‘Well look, what you’re trying is about five years into the future.’ When James said that it’s too early to try anything that crazy… they did it.”

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When the calendar page turns to October, we Rejects have only one thought: horror. To celebrate this grandest and darkest of months, we’ll cover one excellent horror film a day for the entirety of the month. That’s 31 Days of Horror and 31 Films perfect for viewing on a dark, chilly, October night. If you, like us, love horror and Halloween, give us a Hell Yeah and keep coming every day this month for a new dose of adrenaline. Synopsis: Based on John Wyndham’s book The Midwich Cuckoos, this film tells the story of a small village in England in which everyone in town mysteriously blacks out. When they wake up, all the women of childbearing years discover they are pregnant. When the children are born, they are immediately seen as different. Each one has blonde hair and disturbing eyes. The kids grow at an accelerated rate, and they seem to have a psychic bond with each other. As the children get older, a professor in town becomes their sole teacher, and the town is acutely aware of their emotionless nature. Soon, they start to develop strange powers, including the ability to control the actions of others and bore into other people’s minds. After a series of deaths, the people in the village try to find a way to get rid of the children.

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The live-action Akira is close to having not one, but two directors. Will its wanton greed pay off?

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Just over 3,000 films were released in the past ten years. Instead of sleeping, Neil and Cole (with the help of a supercomputer) whittle that list down to the best 1%.

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cultwarrior_decadeinreview

This week’s Culture Warrior gives an exhaustive review of the decade that you won’t find anywhere else on the Interwebs.

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Akira2011

For a while we’ve thought that Akira was dead, but now his friends are resurrecting him and taking him in blob form into production starting in 2010.

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bluray-header

This week the world famous FSR Blu-ray column changes formats again. We told Exec. Editor Neil Miller not to do it, but he just kept saying “I’m the Boss, deal with it.” Hopefully you like it…

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DVDs I Bought This Week!

Rob Hunter loves movies. He also loves donating his extremely virile and viable sperm to ladies in need. These two joys come together in the form of cash money payments that he receives every week and immediately uses to buy more DVD’s.

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Timothy J. Sexton, who adapted Children of Men for the screen, is hard at work on the time-traveling thriller Time Crimes from this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Oh, and Logan’s Run. Wake up and smell the scifi.

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Children of Men: The Television Series

At the recent up-fronts for the Sci Fi Channel, producer David Eick, who was integral to bringing the brilliant re-imagining of Battlestar Galactica and the canceled too soon Bionic Woman to the small screen, announced that this project is in the works.

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published: 12.17.2014
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published: 12.15.2014
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published: 12.12.2014
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published: 12.05.2014
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