My Film Week in Review | 17 [Ft. Citizenfour]

Citizenfour  (2014) Dir. Laura Poitras

Edward Snowden Huffingtonpost Credit -

This topical and terrifying documentary was screened on Channel 4 just a few days after picking up the Best Documentary Oscar at this years Academy Awards and immediately you can see the quality and breathtaking importance of the story. Director Laura Poitras has made two other documentaries about American foreign policy, My Country, My Country (2006) and The Oath (2010), and Citizenfour represents the final part of the trilogy which tries to shine a light into the darkness of the war on terror post-9/11.

Citizenfour opens with an email conversation between Poitras and a man named Edward Snowden, who, in the off chance you live on the moon, is an ex-NSA surveillance technician who released massive amounts of information on how America and other countries have systematically recorded vast amounts of data from emails to phone calls and everything else you do electronically. The details of how they do this, along with the broad, unspecified nature of the recordings are genuinely scary, if not downright infuriating.

The centrepiece of the film is the interview with Edward Snowden himself, recorded over an 8 day period as they hid in a hotel room in Hong Kong releasing the information via journalist Glenn Greenwald. Snowden is articulate and poised, determined. He is everything a film maker would want in a subject for a documentary and considering his knowledge and position, and the subject matter, it is no surprise that Citizenfour will be regarded as an absolutely essential piece of early 21st century film making. After Snowden goes underground on his eventual journey into Russia, the film looses some of its direction and pace but ultimately you need some time to digest the scale of the information Snowden has released upon you. The film ends in a very interesting way, suggesting a battle cry for the people who believe in freedom to come forward and place their lives and careers on the line in order to expose the darkest elements in our “free” society.

9 hamsters, film rating system, 9 stars, 9 star film, movie rating, great film, exceptional, 9 out of 10, nine -



Deja Vu  (2006) Dir. Tony Scott

Deja Vu - Headstuff.orgAfter I watched this film I pressed rewind and watched it in reverse in a desperate attempt to unsee it… it didn’t work. The irony of watching a film called Deja Vu in reverse was not lost on me however.  I imagine if I ever get deja vu about this film it will be when my eyeballs have fallen into a blender.


2 Hamsters, film rating, 2 star film, 2 out of 10, hamster film rating, hamster stars, very bad film, rubbish, terrible two star review -




Edge of Tomorrow  (2014) Dir. Doug Liman

Edge of Tomorrow Poster - Headstuff.orgTom Cruise can still kick ass, regardless of his odd religious beliefs and ageing age. In Edge of Tomorrow he shows he can not only hold his own in an action film, which he has also proven in recent Mission Impossible films along with the surprisingly good Jack Reacher, but he can actually still bring a heartfelt and rich performance to a character that is deserving of a proper analysis. In Edge of Tomorrow Cruise plays Cage, a propagandist officer in an army fighting a seemingly invincible alien army which have decided to make Earth their new play thing. Cage is thrown into action in a big offensive against the alien hoard and is quickly slaughtered. However, rather than simply dying, Cage awakes to see that the same day has begun again, and only he knows he is now in a time loop. The alternative title is Live. Die. Repeat. and that is effectively what Cage does for the first hundred times, until he meets Emily Blunt’s character who went through the same time loop a few months previous. Cage begins training himself until he becomes a super soldier and along with Blunt they concoct a plan to destroy the aliens and save the day.

Based on Hiroshi Sakurazaka’s awesomely titled Japanese manga novel All You Need Is Kill, Edge of Tomorrow plays wonderfully on the idea of repeating the same day over and over. Taking influence from the likes of Groundhog Day was easy and director Doug Liman keeps each loop fresh and usually mixes it up with both essential narrative and easily approached comedy, however it is Cruise’s charm in the lead that keeps every loop fresh and watch-able. The film actually flies by at a great pace and while many of the plot points to do with the alien’s ability to change time are glossed over (and for good reason… they are fairly thin), each act still stands apart.

While in some ways Source Code failed where Edge of Tomorrow succeeded in terms of its charm and leading man, it at least shows a willingness by Hollywood execs to take chances on engaging and interesting science fiction stories. Edge of Tomorrow was initially a box office failure in America, however it was a huge success worldwide bringing in well over $100 million and earned a lot of critical praise along it’s way. Even though comic book films have hoovered up much of the revenue in Hollywood, Edge of Tomorrow proves that there is still an audience for inventive and intelligent sci-fi stories.

8 hamsters, 8 star film, 8 out of 10, eight out of ten, excellent film, 80%, great, 8 star, rating -






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