Posts Tagged ‘2007’

Director: Michael Moore

After examining General Motors, the Columbine shootings, and the attacks on the World Trade Center, Michael Moore takes on the American Healthcare System with Sicko. Moore is at his best with this film that tackles a subject relating to every American citizen.

Moore begins by giving examples of families whose circumstances changed rapidly because of their insurance situation. The family which went from having a good house and being able to put their children through college to living in their daughter’s basement, as a result of medical crises. Then there were people whose insurance would not pay for treatment they badly needed, or would pay for only half of it. He also goes on to show a list of conditions, which would debar someone from getting insurance. Moore gives the viewer enough examples of failure and deception to weave a depressing film.

Later in the film, Moore takes us on a journey to see what the healthcare system in rest of the world is like. By visiting Canada, England, and France, Moore gives us a glance inside these countries, which have socialized medicine. You might feel the need to research one specific issue yet the movie stands as a conclusion in itself: the medical system in the US is targeted towards profitability and health is a business.

There are some very powerful moments in Sicko. It’s difficult to hear Americans talk about the death of a spouse, the loss of a limb, or their bleak financial outlook and not have some sort of reaction. The film has some amazing footage of care for people who genuinely deserve it, and a quiet scene at a Cuban firehouse that will move you.

All in all Sicko is a film that will depress you, will make you think and might even provoke you. In the end, if you ever learn something you have only a superficial knowledge of the problem. It’s a must watch to broaden one’s worldview and learn about issues that transcend politics.

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Director: David Fincher

David Fincher, in my opinion is a movie-making genius. He hasn’t made, what one would call, a LOT of movies, but each and every one he has made has stood out. I’ve seen all his full-length features to date. From Se7en to Fight Club. Now, I know many people will disagree with what I’m saying, but, in my opinion, Zodiac is his best.

In the late 1960’s through till the late 1970’s a notorious serial killer who called himself The Zodiac haunted the San Francisco Bay Area. It is not known exactly how many murders he committed. For the purpose of publicity, he used to mail letters and zodiac codes to famous newspapers in the city giving them information which only he could know, taunting the Police to carry out a mass investigation. Till date, the case remains one of the greatest unsolved crimes of San Francisco. The movie is based on actual case files, and adapted from Robert Graysmith’s Zodiac account books.
I saw Zodiac, in the dark confines of my room. It is a two hour thirty-seven minute movie. It felt no more than ninety minutes. I hold the background music as, perhaps, the most important factor in getting the viewers into the basic feel of the movie. Zodiac has got a blend of 60’s Jazz, Pop and Rock music. Even the closing credits have got music enough to make you remain seated and hear it out. It has a gripping background score. The film starts, and ends, with the same song. The song: Hurdy Gurdy Man. It is stylized, almost scary, along with a nod-your-head vibe to it.

The movie has an ensemble cast. With the likes of Jake Gyllenhaal, Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo, and Brian Cox, the acting is stellar. Ruffalo’s portrayal of Inspector David Toschi is the pick of the lot. Gyllenhaal, playing the role of Robert Graysmith, a cartoonist for the San Francisco Chronicle whose obsession with The Zodiac leads to the most striking amount of evidence in the case, carries on the express that he started with Brokeback Mountain. I have never seen Chloe Sevigny’s other avatar, but her coldness shines in every scene we see her. The whole 1960’s/70’s setting merely adds to the excellent screenplay. The film has a black imagery. The only clear amount of brightness we get is in the first five minutes, coming from a flashlight.

The dialogue is gripping. The delivery is perfect. The screenplay is sublime. Everything is just right. The cinematography, the setting, the direction, just fits right in. There was not a moment during its length that I looked at my watch or thought that it was long. It is edge of the seat stuff. The movie is perfect. I didn’t know much about the Zodiac killings till I saw this movie. It interested me enough to spend a day reading whatever I could find on the net. When a movie gets you to do that, it says something. For all that its worth, I cannot find a single reason why this movie was overlooked at the Oscars. If this isn’t Oscar material, I’m not sure what is.

By the time the movie ended, Zodiac left me stranded with a million random thoughts jumping in my head. It’s a thriller of amazing proportions. It just gets you. Whether it is Downey Jr.’s stylized portrayal of an engaged reporter, shifting to a drunkard who doesn’t really give a damn, or the very voice of the Zodiac over the phone. The opening sequence, 5 minutes long, only sets you up for a treat of a movie.

Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. Watch out for the opening sequence. It rocked me to my core. Highly recommended to anyone who loves watching movies. Thumbs up!