In Time – Review

Who wants to live forever? What if living forever came at a cost? Like, someone else’s life?

Thats the issue facing Justin Timberlake’s Will Salace in New Zealand born writer-director, Andrew Niccol’s In Time.

In time starts out like many sci-fi films, an almost blatant set up of the world the film is set in. In this dystopian future, time is litterally money, spend it wisely or watch as it runs out before your eyes. On top of that, in what i’m assuming is a ploy to have a cast of young, attractive actors, you stop aging at 25. Thats when your 1 year clock starts.

Justin Timberlake is Will, a 28 year old who lives in the ghetto with his yummy mummy played by Olivia Wilde. He and his best friend, Borel, Johnny Galeki (Leonard from the Big Bang Theory), work every day in order to get enough time to make it to the next… With a little on the side for the bar in Borel’s case. The major threat in the Ghetto is not the police (known here as Timekeepers), it is the mobsters known as Minutemen (yes, they really worked hard on names), led by Fortis, played by a ridiculously old looking Alex Pettyfer. Amanda Seyfried plays Sylvia Weis, daughter of one of the big wigs in New Greenwich (again, these names must have been so hard to come up with), Philippe Weis (Vincent Kartheiser). The only other character worth talking about is the head Timekeeper who is investigating a suicide that is thought to be a murder, committed by Will… Cillian (I can’t believe he doesn’t have a bag on his head) Murphy, who plays the highlight of the film as Timekeeper Raymond Leon.

Niccol is obviously a big fan of the dystopian, having written and directed Gattaca and S1m0ne, and in In Time he looks at the classic Metropolistion* concept of those down below serving those up above. The film also looks at themes of greed and selflessness and how they can become the exact opposite of what was intended. JT’s character realises that he can give all the time in the world but the higher-ups can never truly lose. His take on the value of time is an interesting one and it got me hooked when I first heard about the concept. The acting was average with as I said before, Cillian Murphy being the stand out for me. I question Sylvia’s character motives as she quickly shifts from the rich and well off to the Bonnie to Will’s Clyde. And yes, there is a resonating Bonnie and Clyde reference throughout the whole movie and Amanda Seyfried looks sexy with a gun.

With some funny one-liners and some nice sort of action In Time is a good fun movie… don’t go to see it if you want a super meaningful movie but if your up for a bit of ‘on the run fun’… in a similar vein as The Island, this is definitely a movie worth going to see.

In Time: Average

*Metropolistion – Reminiscent of the German Expressionism great, Metropolis… A New Word.

Advertisements

Contagion – Review

It all started with a bat.  Unfortunately, not of the man variety.

Be prepared to freak out a little more when your next cold strikes.  When it does, you’ll have Steven Soderbergh’s new biological drama Contagion to thank.  At the very least, shifty eyes will occur to the next poor sod whom sniffs or coughs.

The disease in question inflicts seizures, frothing at the mouth, and radical damage to the central nervous system.  The bodies pile up worldwide as an expert team of scientists and government officials frantically search for a cure, quarantine the infected and keep a population in panic from violently revolting.

The performances, as you’d expect from actors of this calibre, are fantastic.  Therefore this section is extensive, as is the star-studded cast.  First to the good.  Matt Damon as the immune average Joe whose family and life crumbles in a matter of minutes is touching, as the protection of his remaining daughter becomes the sole reason for existence.  Gwyneth Paltrow’s role as Damon’s cheating wife, illustrating the horrific symptoms as one of the first cases, is cleverly manipulated as the catalyst for the forthcoming events and ties it together seamlessly.  Laurence Fishburne plays Dr. Ellis Sheever straight laced and determined to bring the virus down, working alongside Dr. Ally Hextall (Jennifer Ehle) who sacrifices her own safety in the name of science.  In his desperation Sheever brings in Dr. Erin Mears (Kate Winslet), an expert on epidemics and refreshingly blunt.

Now the not-so fantastic.  Marion Cotilliard is Dr. Leanora Orantes, whose kidnapping is mainly the only significant event to happen to this character.  Unfortunately she is underutilised, and her storyline is left gaping open.  At one point I actively forgot the character existed, having not made an appearance on the screen for at least half an hour.  Jude Law makes an appearance as well as cockney Alan Krumweide, technologically rebelling against the scientists and touting his own remedy.  Found it impossible to warm to this character, even moreso as time progresses.  Maybe it was just the rotten tooth he was sporting, but there is something entirely unsavoury about him.

And I think that’s just about the lot of them.  Take a breath.  Continue.

Contagion hinges on realism.  The thrills come from the notion that this, should a similar event occur, could be the actual protocol.  Scarier still is the day count that appears in each new sequence, illustrating how quickly viruses can spread, and how rapid bodies pile up.

The cinematography is bleak and desaturated when the outbreak emerges, making it feel sterile and generally horrible.  Effective when what you’re seeing is mass graves and more people sniffling than a hay fever sufferer at Floriade.

About three-quarters of the way through the film loses its pace.  Loses something.  You start twiddling your thumbs and looking elsewhere.  I am aware that this film is not one resulting to cheap thrills or explosions to gain your attention, however the story needed to progress a little quicker.

By far the highlight of this film is its conclusion.  It’s realistic.  It’s not over-exaggerated, nobody screams in anguish or triumph.  The cycle is sewn up tight in a neat little package, bringing completion to the film by beginning it.  The initial symptoms are all ones we’ve seen and experienced before.  Coughing, sneezing, general signs that we are not perfect specimens.  God help the unfortunate individual who sees this film whilst afflicted with a cold.

You’ll be washing your hands a little more vigorously after this one.

Average

This review was by Danielle Muir.

Steve Jobs Dies, Aged 56

Former CEO and founding member of Apple died today at the age of 56. Steve Jobs was not only a technology expert, he was the CEO of Pixar Animation Studios and a member of the Board of Directors of Disney. He was also an executive producer on 1995’s Toy Story.

Apple released the following statement… Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Steve have lost a dear friend and an inspiring mentor. Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple.

Walt Disney Company president Bob Iger said… Steve Jobs was a great friend as well as a trusted advisor. His legacy will extend far beyond the products he created or the businesses he built. It will be the millions of people he inspired, the lives he changed, and the culture he defined. Steve was such an “original,” with a thoroughly creative, imaginative mind that defined an era. Despite all he accomplished, it feels like he was just getting started. With his passing the world has lost a rare original, Disney has lost a member of our family, and I have lost a great friend. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Laurene and his children during this difficult time.

Finally, visionary filmmaker Steven Speilberg stated the following about the founder of Apple… Steve Jobs was the greatest inventor since Thomas Edison. He put the world at our fingertips.

The world has lost a true visionary and a very talented man in Steve Jobs. His entrepreneurial skills allowed him to drastically change the world of technology and animation. Macs make the world go round.

Steve Jobs

1955-2011