Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Movie review: "Children of Men"

Ok, so, I haven't seen many movies in the theatre lately. I think I've seen three movies in the theatre in as many months. That's bad, y'all. I usually go the movies a LOT. It's one of my favorite things to do. But there just hasn't been anything that I've really wanted to see. I mean, there was Snakes on a Plane. Yeah, you heard me. I saw Snakes on a Plane in the theatre. And you know what? It was damn good! It was everything you could expect from a movie called Snakes on a Plane. And I expected...ok, not very much. But it was good fun. And then I saw some dumbass Horror Fest monstrosity. I don't remember the title, but rest assured, it fucking blew. Attention Movie-Making People: just because I like horror movies, that doesn't make me stupid! Stop thinking that you can toss some tits, ass, blood and wacky camera angles on film and call it a horror movie. That's not a horror movie, that's some creepy fetish film. Ugh, go indulge your misogyny elsewhere, some of us just like Halloween.

ANYWAY. Digression aside, I was totally psyched to see Children of Men. For several reasons: I LOVE dystopian science fiction. Seriously. Show me a crappy vision of the future and I'm RIVETED. Also, I want Clive Owen to be my baby daddy. DON'T JUDGE ME. Like you DON'T want him to father YOUR children. Whatever. I also love Julianne Moore, for totally different reasons. She's aaaaaawesome. And has the prettiest hair in Hollywood. And finally, slowly but surely, I'm becoming Alfonso Cuaron's bitch. He made the best movie I've ever seen about class issues and threeways, Y Tu Mama Tambien and also my favorite Harry Potter adaptation, HP and the Prisoner of Azkaban. He's an ass-kickin' filmmaker. So, my ticket purchase was assured.

So, I collect my dad (We'll call him "Homer." He'll like that.) and off we go. And let me tell you, Children of Men is AWESOME. It's one of the best movies I've seen all year. (I'm counting it in 2006 because that's when it was made.) The plot goes like this: In the not-too-distant future, women are intertile and no babies have been born for 18+ years. This throws the whole world into upheaval; violence and terrorist attacks are a daily occurence and are greeted with a resigned acceptance. Our hero Theo (Clive Owen) is approached by a former lover, Julian (Julianne Moore) with whom he shares a tragic past (Of COURSE he does!) and she asks for his help. Get a young refugee named Kee out of Britain. Oh yeah and Britain has closed it's borders, all immigrants are rounded up and shady things happen to them behind closed doors. The kicker? Kee is pregnant. WITH A BABY. And we're off! Plot achieved! And seriously, there is not a dull moment in the whole movie. It grabs you immediately with a gripping, chilling opening sequence and doesn't let up. All the actors give terrific performances. Clive Owen is wonderful as the weary Theo, who doesn't want to get involved, but steps up big-time. Michael Caine is a total hoot as Theo's stoner cartoonist friend, as sweet as he is funny. Lots of fun actors pop up in smaller roles: Danny Huston, a totally-unrecognizable Charlie Hunnam and Chiwetel Ejiofor (The Operative from Serenity). And the actress who plays Kee, Claire-Hope Ashitey, is absolutely great in a role that could have easily been one-note and tired. Oooh...the magical pregnant girl, who's only as useful as the sum of her parts. But the actress and the script actually let her have a personality. The plot is full of twists that I totally didn't see coming, lots of action, but also lots of character development. And plenty of somewhat-pointed commentary that could be easily applied to our current world, enough that I winced at several points during the movie. This movie pulls no punches, it manages to be gut-wrenching, but occasionally uplifting at the same time. Beat THAT, Night at the Museum. Shut up, Ben Stiller.

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