Category Archives: peta
The Book of Eli ~ Every once in a while, actor Denzel Washington takes a side trip into science fiction or the paranormal and we get a terrific high quality genre film. The Book of Eli is one of them. This dark post-apocalyptic flick is filmed in sepia tones close to motion capture, adding an edge to every scene no matter what is going on in it. I think this technique was a good choice by the Hughes brothers, very stylistic.
The film opens with Denzel, as Eli, killing and eating a cat. While eating the cat, he offers some to a rat. There you go, the tone is set and the character defined. On the other hand, where’s PETA when you need them? Seriously I always like show over tell. Eli is real and alive in our minds after that moment.
Eli holds a book from ‘before’ that can change humanity, hopefully for the better. That book is, and spoilers, folks, The Bible. And those are only sarcastic spoilers as its identity, while not mentioned ’til halfway through the movie, is pretty obvious. If you can’t figure it out in the first ten minutes you’re not paying attention even though the flick makes it seem like brain surgery. Anyway, many blame The Bible for whatever happened to mankind while others see the book as a path to power.
Gary Oldman plays one of those men who seeks to take over using the words from the book and regularly sends his henchmen across the wasteland that was America to find books, specifically The Bible. And most books are gone, as they were all burned along with The Bible because that caused all this mess. Yeah, this is like the negative aftermath of Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451,” but it works.
Oldman is always amazing and always surprising, a joy to watch no matter what the role. Ray Stevenson of HBO’s “Rome” is his lead henchman and Mila Kunis plays the damsel in distress. Along with Denzel, all impress.
The Book of Eli is simple but powerful. Props to the Hughes brothers. And watch out for the very M. Night twist of an ending. Highly recommended.
Food, Inc. ~ I am never happy when confronted with propaganda presented by the Health Nazis but I always walk into such situations with an open mind. But I have to say that the hard-to-negotiate DVD menu and the lack of proper subtitles did not put me and Food, Inc. off to a good start. The film was based on two books, “Fast Food Nation” by Eric Schlosser and “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” by Michael Pollan, both leaders in the Health Nazi movement.
Director Robert Kenner begins by suggesting we have been hoodwinked by the traditional perception of farming, but have we really? Anyone who can read, use the internet or otherwise think and explore for themselves will tell you it’s no secret. There is no conspiracy here, except to the ignorant, otherwise the two books mentioned above would never have been published.
Kenner falls into the Michael Moore school of filmmaking – give your mission statement and then only present facts to back that up and nothing that disproves it. At least Kenner doesn’t set anyone up or make things up, and also unlike Moore, he’s a good filmmaker. His thesis is that fast food is bad. And over an hour and a half goes toward proving that. There is some hard to watch footage here and some rough knowledge but it’s a brutal necessity if we want to continue to eat as we do.
Also, added to the list of things that are bad should be money and technology. It should be noted however, without both of those, this film would not be possible, but they’re still bad. PETA, and the Academy, will love this documentary, and so will Michael Moore, I suspect. I also suspect that Mr. Moore has had his share of fast food as well. And there you go.
Year of the Dog ~ Writer/director Mike White runs hot and cold for me. While I kinda liked his School of Rock (probably more for Jack Black who was in his prime at the time), I absolutely hated his The Good Girl. The latter even put me off of Jennifer Aniston for a while. Even when White was on “The Amazing Race” with his dad I was rooting more for his dad than him. Hmmm, I guess I don’t even like him as a person. I guess that’s why I approached his Year of the Dog with trepidation.
We’re not starting off a good foot at all this time as I also dislike Molly Shannon, the film’s star. I thought her armpit-sniffing Superstar girl was one of the lowlights in SNL history, and she’s done little since to change my mind about her talent, or lack thereof. This flick does little to change my mind about Shannon or White.
What begins as a quirky drama about a socially inept woman coping with the loss of a pet becomes a long boring study of a mentally unstable woman obsessed with helping animals. If White wanted to give the SPCA and PETA a bad name, he succeeds. What could be heartwarming light comedy is ultimately more Good Girl than School of Rock. Don’t waste your time, Marley and Me this is sooo not.