The Wandering Earth
In these weeks before the Oscar presentations, with few new releases, many of our theaters are as bleak as the political landscape. When suddenly China releases a sci-fi blockbuster where our sun is about to vaporize our solar system. The world unites and hatches a plan to move Earth to a new star, Proxima Centauri.
We chose to see the film in our largest IMAX theater in 3D. Rare for us, but a monumental film with incredible visual effects just demands all the bells and whistles a five story theater screen and a Dolby surround sound system can muster.
The production is world class and reflects the rapid evolution of the Chinese film industry. That said, some parts of the production wander into the odd to goofy section but overall it’s a unique, visually stunning story that will challenge the imagination.
It’s listed as Science Fiction. The language is Mandarin with English subtitles. The run time is 125 minutes.
Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga
The literal translation according to Google is “A girl saw it.” Obviously something is lost in translation. This is an unusual film on several levels. The director of the film states “it’s a film about a family, a community and a brother understanding the emotion about love”.
It’s our opinion there is a cultural/religious gap that keeps the LGBTQ conversation from an open and honest dialog. In any case, the film is both interesting and highly entertaining.
There is a great Bollywood production that opens the film. It’s classic, bawdy, colorful, semi-goofy and beautiful. That actually describes the movie in general.
There are several scenes that start to reveal some conflict but the story never really walks through that portal. Just as well. The film would be completely different if the subtle conflicts were confronted on screen.
This film is not rated. It’s listed as a Drama with a run time of a staggering 170 minutes. Hindi with English subtitles.
Tito and the Birds
Oy! This is a most unusual animated film from Brazil. It’s touted as a “boy- against- the-world” allegory about the far-right politics currently in control of Brazil society.
That would explain the darkly colored scenes, “seasick colors” and the distorted animation. The central theme is about a 10-year-old boy who develops a machine that helps humans understand birds. It was also the life’s work of his father, a scientist, banished from the family after a failed experiment. As an epidemic of fear takes over the adults shrink into lumps of “human rocks”.
Tito on the other hand believes he has the solution and following his father’s footsteps, develops another machine that captures the songs of doves that counteracts the paranoia consuming the nation. Pretty heavy stuff. We assume the message was a metaphor for the confusing ending.
Critics have been applauding the story, animation and the reflection on current generations and the society they live in. It’s all a bit tedious, macabre and esoteric for us.
The film is not rated. It’s listed as Action & Adventure, Animation, Drama with a run time of 73 minutes. We saw the dubbed English version of this film. The original is Portuguese with English subtitles.