SPOILER ALERT: Colors of Arrival

The color gray is consider to be a dull color. It is neither light nor dark. It is often used to show depression. Many directors use colors to show emotions of the characters in a scene. However, Denis Vileneuve, director of the new movie Arrival, uses colors to hide the twist in the movie.

In the beginning of Arrival, the main character, Doctor Louise Banks, raises a child by herself. Then, after a short montage of the child growing up, the child dies. During the montage, most of the memories where happy and very colorful. However, when the montage shows the hospital, the color of the scenes goes from bright colors to dull grays. Afterwards, Dr. Banks has a short montage of getting up and going to work. The sky that day is very cloudy and looks like it is about to rain. One can infer that the director wanted to make the viewers think that Dr. Banks is feeling gloomy and depressed over her loss of her daughter. However, quite the opposite is true.

The viewers later find out that the visions that Dr. Banks is having are not flashbacks but flash forwards. The daughter Dr. Banks will have is the daughter of a man she has just met. She can see into the future because of the language an alien race has taught her. That is the twist and climax of the movie.

Now, Vileneuve used the color to make the viewers think the tragedy has just happen. If the viewers think that events happen in the past, they will not look in the future. If the viewers think that these past events are some montage of memories, they will not think that Dr. Banks are seeing these events in real time. The question I would like to ask is what ways did Denis Vileneuve use to hide the plot twist in Arrival.


Classic Max

When I first saw Mad Max: Fury Road, I was completely smitten with the movie. I believed that Mad Max: Fury Road was an instant action movie classic. Mad Max: Fury Road could even hold a candle to movies such as The Magnificent Seven, and Predator. However, after thinking this, I stated asking what made a movie a classic movie. I believe there to be two major criteria for a movie to become a classic, practical affects and a well-paced plot.

There is nothing more real than reality. In Mad Max: Fury Road all the vehicles were actually created in real life. Most of the explosions and the crashes were real and actually happened. Now in Predator, most of the effects were real. Now, that is not to say the Arnold Schwarzenegger actually threw a combat knife through a man. However, in one scene Arnold Schwarzenegger and his squad of men started shooting a mini-gun and other small arms into the rainforest. Those guns were real. Those were real bullets flying through the rainforest. The trees were truly exploding and falling. The reason both Mad Max: Fury Road and Predator did this because nothing is more real than reality.

A cardinal sin of movie making is making a two hour movie feel like a four hour movie. In The Magnificent Seven, the plot takes many twists and turns. However, I never felt like the plot was drawn out. Each new twist was refreshing and welcoming. In Mad Max: Fury Road, the plot was very linear. Then, at a vital point in the movie, they make a U-turn. Then watching the settings come back in reverse order was stimulating to the plot.

Therefore, with the criteria stated, Mad Max: Fury Road will become a classic movie. The movie’s special effects will age well because the special effects are mostly practical effects. The movie’s plot was well paced and did not bore most of the viewers. What criteria makes a movie a classic or instant classic?

World of Advantageous (Not the Best Title, I’ll Admit)

Throughout history, rulers and common men have been searching or trying to create an object called the Philosopher’s stone. The Philosopher’s stone is an object that creates gold out of iron. The Philosopher’s stone pops up in literature throughout the ages. The most recent time was in the first Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. However, the most miraculous action that the stone does is grant immortality. People are so fixed with cheating death that they do not ask about the consequences. This can be seen in two movie specifically, World of Tomorrow and Advantageous.

In World of Tomorrow people can upload conscience into a cube and their love ones can upload the peoples’ favorite books and movies. The loved ones can hear the people in the cubes. However, the messages the people in the cubes send are usually “God, Oh God no, make it stop, God, Oh God”. These people are surely suffering in the cubes. Instead of immortality becoming someone heaven, it became their personal hell.

In Advantageous, a person can have their conscience transferred into another body. If a person does not like their race, sex, or age, they can pay money and change his/her body. However, the person must take a shot every two hours in order to breathe, along with other symptoms. Although, some would save that even with the symptoms, the change would still be “advantageous” for that person. Pun completely intended.

So, in every movie that this class has talked about, there is always a horrible side effect to staying immortal. In World of Tomorrow, it is being trapped in a personal hell. In Advantageous, it is hazardous side effects that can kill the person trying to be immortal. In both instances, terrible situations happen to those trying to get personal gain. Or even more troubling is that the people know about the side effects. So I would like to know is that if society knew that prolonging life would have disastrous side effects, would you still put a love one through that to try to grant them immortality.

Keeping Up With David

In World of Tomorrow, there are many actions that people in today’s time see as controversial. One of the most controversial action was that of David. In World of Tomorrow, David is a brain dead human clone that is put into a tube and placed in an art museum. He does not talk or move. All he does is blink, stare, and age. Many people visit him in the museum. They talk to him but never want a response. When David dies, the museum quietly buries him without sending out news. People see this as controversial because they see a human being trapped for our amusement. However, this is not something new to humanity.

During the writer strike, a new type of television became popular. Of course, this new type of television was called reality t.v. In reality television, people watch average people live together. That is literally all that these people do. Keeping Up with the Kardashians is about a family called the Kardashians. The viewers watch the Kardashians live their lives and that is it. That is how that family became famous. Some people would argue that David is worse that the Kardashians because the Kardashians are not filmed 24/7. Yet, there is another television show that does. That television show is called Big Brother. In Big Brother the real people are just living together in a house and the contestants do not leave the house. Viewers can watch for 24 hours a day. All of them are David just with a larger tube. This is not just television that we see these concepts. In fictional movies like Edtv and The Truman Show have characters that viewers watch when they sleep so they don’t feel lonely. In The Truman Show, the main character Truman does not even know he is being filmed.

So, while there is controversy with David, this controversy might be displaced. Most people see this as a caged human being, yet they don’t see the caged humans right in their living rooms. So the question I would like to ask the viewer is not will we see someone like David, but when will we have David?

Wall-e: Fury Road

One characteristic of Max in Mad Max: Fury Road is his silence. Each sentence that Max speaks has a purpose. Also, every time Max speaks, his voice is barely louder than a whisper. Max is the literal interpretation of “action speaks louder than words”. In fact there is possibly only one character that we have talked about in class that talks less than Max. Of course, that character is Wall-e. There are many similarities to Wall-e and Max. Both Wall-e and Max use body language more than talking to show emotion. Also, both Wall-e and Max go on a long and dangerous journey because of compassion.

Max does not talk because he does not want to. When Angharad uses herself as a bullet shield, all Max does is give her a quite nod and a thumbs up. Then, when Angharad falls off the war rig and gets crushed by another car, Max tells Furiosa that she is dead with “She went under the wheels”. When Furiosa asks if he is sure, he just looks at her. However, Wall-e does not talk because he feels he can communicate better with body language. Wall-e uses facial movements and wails to communicate with the humans and Eve. For instance, Wall-e uses hand holding to show compassion to Eve.

Max and Wall-e are not only similar in their lack of talking. They both go on very dangerous journeys because of compassion. In Wall-e, Wall-e begins his dangerous journey by jumping on a rocket so he can be near Eve. Max, on the other hand, begins his journey by trying to leave Furiosa and the wives. However, Max comes back to help Furiosa return to the citadel, even though he already had the war rig to himself.

So Wall-e and Max are very different when looking at each one. One is a robot; the other is a human. One has dirt all over him; the other has sand all over him. One is animated, the other is Tom Hardy. However, both don’t talk very much. Also, both do dangerous journeys because of compassion. How else are Wall-e and Max similar?

Would the World Turn?

In Children of Men, one can see a lot of references to the past. However, there are not that many references to the future. In other words, the people that only really talk about the future are The Fishes and the government. The government has fertility test and The Fishes have Kee. One can see the references of living in the past and forgetting the future with the music being played and discussions from the characters.

In the beginning of the elaborate car fight sequence, there are many references about the past but not the future. For instance, Julian takes out a ping pong ball to do a trick with Theo. Julian even goes to say that she has tried this trick with hundreds of other people and none of the others have been successful at the trick. Then, within the next five minutes, Julian is killed off. With this scene, one can see that the past is important to these characters, mainly because they have little hope that there will be a future for any of them. But, the most influential line of dialogue in this scene is not spoken by any character in car, but comes from an asynchronous radio dj.

The very first sound that is heard in the car scene is that of a dj introducing a song. The dj has a monologue along the lines of This song is from 2003, a time where people did not know that the future’s end was right around the corner. This dj, an ordinary working class person, is basically saying that this is the end of times and there is no hope. This dj is stuck in the past and wants to remember a time that he wasn’t hopeless, even if that means forgoing the future.

In Children of Men, the people lose hope. They rather live in the memories of the past then see problems in the future. The people can’t see the future because the present is crumbling around them. A question that the viewer should think about is “Would the world really go to shit like this?” or more importantly “Would I become like this?”

P.S. I am sorry this is coming late. I had problems with my computer.

Who Is the “Good” Guy

Throughout the entirently of Snowpiercer we are shown many interesting characters. Curtis is a socialist minded low class citizen that inspires and is well liked by all the low class citizens. Namgoong Minsu is a loving father . Wilford is a mastermind when comes to both transportation, business, and leadership. Finally, Gilliam is a spiritual leader of the tail section and even the Curtis, who is the leader of the rebellion, uses him as council. Yet something has been bothering me after finishing Snowpiercer, who is the “good” guy?

Curtis wants everybody to be treated equally. He sacrifices his arm to save a child. He is the one chosen to lead the train by Wilford. However, Curtis sacrificed dozens of people to achieve his goal. Also, Curtis ate people and especially like the taste of baby meat. How can the man who ate babies and sacrificed the boy who thought of him as a father be the “good” guy.

Minsu is a loving father, a security specialist, and imperative for the rebellion to have any success. However, Minsu is also a krono addict. He makes his daughter a krono addict. Minsu dislikes living on the train so much, he builds a giant bomb that explodes and kills over nighty-nine percent of human life that is left on planet earth. How can this man be the “good” guy?

Wilford is the reason why any humans are alive today. Wilford designed the train. Wilford keeps both the engine running and the closed ecosystem of people alive. On the other hand, Wilford doesn’t see the lower class occupants not as people, but as tools. He uses children to keep the engine running. He systematically uses the lower class citizens to cause revolts so that the closed ecosystem of the train has a limited number of people. This makes sure that train can go on forever. How can this man be the “good” guy

Gilliam is a man that would sacrifice his own limbs to feed the hungry lower class passengers. Gilliam is a man that everybody listens to and respects. Gilliam is a man that would sacrifice his own people for the greater good. Gilliam is a man that uses his influence to help Wilford kill enough people to keep the train running. How can a man like Gilliam be the “good” guy.

Throughout Snowpiercer we see Curtis, Minsu, Wilford, and Gilliam suffer. Curtis ate babies. Minsu blew up nearly everybody. Wilford used child slave labor. Gilliam sold out his own people so that the train could be maintained. So who is this movie’s “good” guy?