Monday, July 25, 2016

Hollywood devotion for patriotism on film have brought us great films exploring the lives of heroes who protect the liberties of Americans. Movies such as The Hurt Locker, Black Hawk Down, Lone Survivor presents a powerful stories where soldiers have a basic task, which is protect civilians and stop the enemy.

In Michael Bay’s 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Bengazi he tales the tale of the attack in 2012 of the US embassy in Benghazi Libya. The city is named one of the most dangerous cities in the world, but still the center of operations of for CIA and the US government on Libya’s soil. The arrival of Navy seal Jack Silva (John Krasinski) brings two friends together Silva and James Badge Dale (Tyrone Woods), along with the rest of the marines are there for the protection of the ambassador in a non so secure compound where the operations takes place. At the same time a private military contractors are protecting “The Annex” a not-so-secret CIA outpost a team of private contractors.

The film focus on a single point of view of the story, but is not focusing of understand what really happen on this attack. Michael Bay do what he does best, deliver action and energetic scenes of conflict were the only common element is entertain.

When you first start watching this movie you noticed that the characters are weak, there is no real connection with the audience and the intention of critiquing the controversial events parallel to the attack were the US government failure to support their forces in Benghazi is just a glimpse of a few seconds scene.

The film intend to be like other more powerful films like Black Hawk Down and Lone Survivor but fail miserably but just presenting a action film with a sad turn of events. Biopic films require not only require good cinematography, good camera work, energetic editing but a good researched script.

In the last sixty years DC comics is been presenting stories of several superheroes but the most iconic of are Batman and Superman. Visual and metaporic expressions of America, on one side heroism caring the the human kind and the other the law by all means.

Batman vs Superman: The Dawn of Justice by Zack Snyder is the new exploration of the stories that the filmmaker Zack Snyder left after the events of The Man of Steel. The film starts eighteen months after the climatic battle between General Zod and Superman (Henry Cavill) that nearly destroyed Metropolis, and led to dramatic ramifications in the life of several people, including Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) an image America devastated by the destruction of NYC in the attacks of 9/11.

Clark Kent is now living with Lois Lane (Amy Adams) and she is one of the most successful journalist of the Daily Planet. Bruce Way is not longer living in Wayne Mansion but perhaps living in a most stylized house, paying tribute to Phillip Johnson “Glass House” still Alfred Pennyworth (Jeremy Irons) take care of him as well is his substitute to Robin, besides a butler he make sure that Batman equipment runs pristine, a more badass Alfred.

The story of Batman vs Superman explore the conflict of this two powerful and conflicted super heroes, metaphors surround the plot presenting these characters as gods, but with fears and weakness on the inside, the big establishment want them out of the picture, questioning their methods to solve crimes and protect the liberty of human beings. As an audience you feel that government cannot longer protects you, because constantly are trying to stop alternate forms of protection to citizen of Gotham and Metropolis. An illegal alien like Superman is perhaps the cause of the unprotected immigrants, great and iconic image where he saves a few people in a factory and later is surrounded by a group of latinos with painted faces like in the Day of the Death, but also Superman is affected by plots against him, perfectly articulated by people connected to big corporations and the government with the idea of shut him down. Superman is a threat to the country, but also a blessing for the people.

For Batman is the same problem, is juror and executioner. Police is afraid of him, because he represents the law. In a way there is a connection of the recent events involve cops and protest agains them. Batman is not an alien, but his image represents fear, control and lawless. He is no longer the superhero that everyone wants, he is the medicine for a chaotic Metropolis, similar to Detroit.

One of the biggest metaphor is Lex Luthor, a powerful millionaire who inherit his fortune thanks to his dad, he is a force of evilness who is able to drive Batman and superman into a climatic battle. He is bad mouth, egocentric and ignorant but ambitious, perhaps his similarities with certain real life politician is not far from the truth.

What lacks Batman vs Superman: The Dawn of Justice is the proper screenplay, the film have an interesting plot that brings all this stories together but the problem is trying to make this movie the device launch for a franchise that was never intended to make. The film get to the point that doesn’t make sense and falls terribly in the arms of impactful visual imagery to fill the void of a real plot development, some solutions to conflicts in the story are solved in a very elementary way.

If you watch Batman vs Superman: The Dawn of Justice the Ultimate Edition, you understand some of the confusing moments from the shorter version making a more complete explanation, but it will never erase the level of problems that this film have. The studio wanted to introduce all the characters of Justice League, but they never intended to fix the story of Batman vs Superman, a tribute that they deserve.

Hollywood is always been obsessed with the idea of remaking, repackage and reinterpret a film. Histories that been told by a filmmaker been reimagine by other filmmaker with the intention of make money and appeal to new generations. The experiment have worked and sometimes fail miserable creating a vortex of forgettable products. Films such as “Havana” a remake or reinterpretation of “Casablanca”, “Oldboy” adaptation of a successful Korean film, “Criminal” a american version of a popular Argentinean film is part of a long list but also there are remakes which includes “Planet of The Apes”, “Conan The Barbarian” to name a few represents that collection of films that none wants to remember. But on the other hand, filmmakers like Martin Scorsese have been successful remaking “Cape Fear” and also reinterpret the Chinese film “Internal Affairs” into “The Departed”.

The concept of telling stories is to express emotions empowering people making them dream, the audience wants that. It’s hard to remake and reinterpret a old film and make it successful, but attempts keep going.

Paul Feig decided to step in and reinterpret “Ghostbuster” with a female cast proving that is possible, only if you’re able to get a good cast and also develop a good story that perhaps is not going to make forget the classic film from 1984, but help you understand that we are ready for a new generation of this ghost chasers.

Dr Erin Gillbert (Kristen Wiig) physics professor of Columbia university is been approach by the grandson Ed Mulgrave (Ed Begley) of the owner of a mansion that seems to be hunted. She seems skeptical, because her early days she was involved in publication of a book that she and her co author Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy) about the study of the paranormal, Erin wants this book to be buried. But later she discovered that the book still available after Abby keep selling it as a source of money. Erin find that Abby continues her studies for the paranormal along with Dr Killian Holtzman (Kate McKinnon) where they developing technologies to find and catch ghost. Erin seems to be interested in going back to that field after all of them have a real encounter in a hunted Mulgrave mansion.

The real treat of this new Ghostbusters is the new cast which is presented with great chemistry in addition of Leslie Jones who is a scene stealer every time she appears. The script wrote by Paul Feig and Katie Depplod quickly gather this four women and Chris Hemsworth as their secretary into a down and dirty ghost chase and energetic encounter with the unknown as well the main villain of the film.

Paul Feig plays with NYC geography which for a real Newyorker like me bothers me a lot, you know where things are in NY but after you see the films annoys you. His approach to the Ghostbusters is fast, which is the same problem that you see in other reboots of films, you never take the time to breathe, everything needs to be so quick. Seen the partial original cast as a cameo is fantastic and that feeds the frenzy of longtime fans.

But unfortunately there is things that cannot be replace, Fall Out Boy song will never reach the level of Ray Parker Jr Ghostbusters, as well the visual tone developed by Ivan Reitman of the original film is not there, this new Ghostbusters is colorful, less scary, but very funny.