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Movies GF Movie Review Club - Children of Men

Impact

Well-Known Member
V.I.P.
Our first film to review is Children of Men (2006)



This one will go til next Thursday so try to watch before then and post your review in this thread. I don't care how you review it exactly, so long as you give it a rating out of 10. That way we can get an overall score from everyone.

I'll pick the next person to go at the end of the week, and then the week after they'll pick who they want to go next and so on. Any questions/suggestions about the rules ask in the other thread as this is for discussions and reviews about the current movie only.
 

KSpiceFantastic

Haters gonna hate.
Ok. Nice pick for the first movie! I have actually seen it before. May watch it again, but I initially watched it only a little over two months ago, actually. (Oh the irony!).

I might as well review it briefly now... since I may or may not have the time to watch it again before next week...

I will use spoiler tags for everything except for the score.

I loved it. The plot revolves the last woman who can reproduce in the world, and is absolutely riveting. I was at the edge of my seat from the beginning to the end. It felt like a classic chase movie like Duel at times. Clive Owen and Julianne Moore do a fantastic job acting and this film stands as one of my favorites from director Alfonso Cuaron.

Cuaron managed to take a seemingly post-apocalyptic city and make it drab and dirty both literally and figuratively but yet it still had personality. Not many directors can take so much life out of a setting and still have so much life left in it.

However, it isn't perfect. There are times where the film seems to stall at points, which takes the pacing off the train tracks, so to speak. Also, being a fan of the book, I was disappointed with the large amounts of changes. If it stayed closer to the novel, I think it would have been even better.

But still, if you liked this film, you should read the original novel. Great read.

Final Score: 7.5/10
Verdict: Worth a view!
It was a decent film, but to me, the pacing was off at certain points and it didn't stay remotely near the source material for me to be happy. However, the performances from Clive Owen and Moore along with the fantastic direction by Cuaron cause it is to still be on my top fifty films of all-time... despite being near 50 itself.
 

Crouton

Ninja
V.I.P.
Really good pick Lauren! I've seen this one heaps before, I'll try rewatch it before I post my review but if I don't have time I'll just go from memory.
 

HalfEatenSurprise

Registered Member
Just watched it via Youtube - Here's the review, it'll probably be shite - but meh -

Children of Men:
18 years since a freak incident of mass infertility struck the globe, the present day is shown to have devolved into complete anarchy. Control by those that have it, is administered with an iron fist - Basically, the world has gone to shit.
We meet Theo (played ably by 'mister stubble' Clive Owen), who it seems is privileged enough to be a British citizen, safe from Government officials who are subsequently gathering up aliens for removal from society.
However, that privilege soon becomes contested when he is forced with escorting Kee (A remarkable performance from Chloe-Hope Aistely) and her unborn child to safety.

The film's main strength is presentation. Under different circumstances this could have appeared to be just a run of the mill drama-cum-intelligent thriller - Yet, it's the presentation that is key.
Certain points of the film are utterly startling - such as the sudden explosion at a coffee shop early in - and others are decidedly tranquil - such as the characters silently walking around a farm being used as a stronghold for activists. The only sound being birdsong, and cows mooing - This contrast is effective at making everything seem so plausible, and a little nail-biting, while still keeping the film moving along.

I hate to refer to the actual camera work, but in this film it is remarkable. Exhibiting techniques that truly nail the tone of the film - be it shots taken from inside cars, enduring frantic twists and turns of the road. Or from behind trees in woodlands as if trying to insinuate that the characters are being watched -

And they are, avidly so - The people in this film are well created, and their personalities and 'life stories' mirror the tone of the film too. The tone of this film, in one word, being: Vague.

As I watched, this constant thought kept rolling around my head, 'What the fuck is going on?' Or at least, Why... - And often I found there to be no answer. At least nothing concrete. "Why is there violence?" Who knows - "Why are there chickens on those stairs?" Who knows - Even, "Why do those activists want the baby?" Who knows--- Nothing seemed to have a definitive answer, just a collection of untold 'maybe it's because of ?????' scenarios.

This is a major strength, also part of the presentation. The film expects you to make your own mind up, which is a clever thing to do - especially since the film is so believable. A lot of the time, a film like this will look staged (like V for Vendetta, for instance) yet Children of Men doesn't. I think the camera work is what makes it feel like this, you always seem close to the characters in some way, or at least Theo. As if you're sat next to them, or following behind. Trying to make sense of them, but never quite managing it.
It makes everything just that little bit more captivating.

As a dollop of entertainment, this presentational style and the relative frantic pace of the plot makes it a good piece in my opinion. It holds it's own against similar films, and quite probably dominates them. I enjoyed it a lot. -- I'm still thinking about certain bits of it now.

You'll like this, if you liked:
V for Vendetta
Watchmen
Munich

Summary:
A well constructed film. Unique in presentation, loaded with action and bolstered to a story worth knowing (and thinking) about - 9/10

-- Err... That's it, the majority of this is off the top of my head. *shrugs* - Is this too long? :S
 
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Impact

Well-Known Member
V.I.P.
Hey Halfie, can you put that in spoiler tags please. Just in case there are actually people who haven't seen it
 

HalfEatenSurprise

Registered Member
Yeah I realised I was being a mong... I sorted it out as soon as I posted it. Soz.
 

Bliss

Sally Twit
7/10

This was a very imaginative and suspenseful Movie. This was the first time I'd ever watched it and I'd never actually heard of it until this thread. I wish I'd seen it back when it came out.

The reason it didn't get top marks is because there were certain scenes that were a little too obvious. For example, I knew that Jasper wouldn't really have been dead in that scene where Theo walked in to his house. I knew there would be some sort of joint scream from them both.

A few scenes were a bit slow and boring but the chases, explosions and surprises made up for it.

It was nice to have a mix of serious and funny characters. It made the film easier to watch and less depressing.
I liked the amount of dogs in the film. I guess it was nice for people to have something to care for as they couldn't raise children. I wish that woman that helped Theo and Kee went in the boat with them. She was so sweet, clinging on to her dog the entire time.

My favourite scene of the entire film was when all those people were reaching out wanting to touch the baby. It was really moving. And the shooting stopped for that moment as they walked out of the building. Fantastic.

I like to think that Theo died. I think the movie needed him to die. He accomplished what he set out to do and it would have been a more powerful ending for him to die.
 

sunrise

aka ginger warlock
V.I.P.
Children of Men (2006)

Welcome to a dystopian future. A future where the world has undergone wars that have left millions dead and the human race unable to reproduce children. The land will be entirely familiar to you if you have played the game Half Life 2. It is a land that is controlled by the government and the police and if you ask questions you will either get no answers or simply wish you hadn’t asked the question to begin with. The story revolves around the day to day life of Theo played by Clive Owen who from all accounts just wants to live his life, hates where he is and just wants to get on with it. This is until her meets an old friend who asks for his help.

The land as I say is one of very little hope, the streets are merky and dark, rubbish litters the floor, all forms of transport are fitted with steel mesh a steel mesh for safety reasons due to rioting and people who are generally fed up with the war things are going. The films is based in the year 2027 but the film makers have gone to huge lengths to keep it as modern in the way we live now. People do not have hover cars, people do not have laser guns and forests still exists. Buildings that could be seen around central London still exist today and it is almost like a walking tour London.

As the story progresses it becomes very clear that in this environment you really can’t trust anyone with your life, everyone it seems even though you think you know them you do not. I would say the one hero of the piece who you really trust and like was the Michael Caine character, an elderly dope growing hippy who sadly meets his demise in a heart breaking scene.

I don’t want to say too much more about the plot of them film for fear of giving anything away if you have not seen it, it is a film that demands you pay attention to it, it demands a certain level of maturity and a mind to go along with it and make you feel for the people you are seeing. The one thing I will say is I didn’t care about the Clive Owen character, I don’t know why and it is not Clive Owens fault as he did a really good job I just didn’t care less about him, maybe you were not meant to but I get the feeling you were meant to, for me he just seemed to change way to quickly and unlike other apocalyptic thrillers and indeed in horror I just didn’t care and ultimately that is its main downfall because ultimately if I don’t care about the lead I really don’t care about the film.

The one thing I will say about it that made it stand out for me is you can tell it is a British made film, not just because it is set in London and filled with British actors but just the styling of it, there are no big speeches, there is no hero that will “save the planet”, even the ending is very much open to interpretation. I don’t want to ruin it but I will say this, if this had been an American film I think the ending would have been very different, not entirely bad but VERY different.

Over all I am glad I watched this movie but I won’t be rushing out to watch it again, because of this I can only give it five and a half out of ten.
 

Impact

Well-Known Member
V.I.P.
You guys write good reviews. I have no idea how to start so mine is gonna suck. Hopefully I get the hang of it over the next couple movies we do.

Even though I picked this movie, and I enjoy it, it was let down by a couple things. Like Amy mentioned, there are some places where it was too predictable for my liking. Also, it starts off seeming like it's one of those movies you're really gonna have to watch intently, but it lets down on that front.

I really enjoyed the originality of the storyline though. It was a new take on how humanity screws up their future and I think it was an accurate idea of how authorities could react in that situation.

Clive Owen pulls off his role fantastically. Before I saw this I wasn't really a big fan of his work, but it definitely made me appreciate him more.

My favourite scene is when Theo and Kee are trying to escape the building in the middle of a fight, and when everyone hears the baby cry the fighting just stops.

Overall enjoyable. The predictable parts are made up for my the action/fighting scenes. 7/10
 

Konshentz

Konshentz
I am totally slacking. It wasn't at my local Redbox or available on my Netflix, so I will attempt to watch it some other way. Is there any place to watch it online?
 
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