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Flash Movie Review: Snowpiercer

I am curious to know where it first began how the mindset of one being wealthy equated to being better than someone else. From various news and media sources I have seen, I definitely can see being rich does not mean one has good taste. When I see some of these celebrities in their massive estate mansions, I have to wonder do they really need all of that space and stuff. Seriously, how many bathrooms does one need in their house? Enough for a party of 25 being able to all go to the bathroom at the very same time with no waiting? My first experience where I saw a wealthy person exerting their so called power over another individual was with a distant family member. Because they were successful in business, aka making lots of money, they began telling other family members what they should be doing to get ahead in life. Though I was young at the time I was offended by the way they would talk down to people, treating them like they were ignorant just because they were not as rich. Success and wealth are not terms I necessarily use to denote financial status. A person who has close and long relationships with family and friends is a wealthy person to me.    POWER came to those who were wealthy in this futuristic science fiction film.  After an experiment failed to reverse global warming, mankind was virtually wiped off the planet. Only a small group continued to survive in a self-contained train that continuously circled the globe. Even though the passengers all suffered under the same horrific experiment, inside the train there still were divisions of class. And with class power was soon to follow. This film festival winning thriller gave me a fantastic ride. With Chris Evans (The Avengers, Captain America franchise) as Curtis, Tilda Swinton (Only Lovers Left Alive, Moonrise Kingdom) as Mason and Octavia Spencer (Fruitvale Station, The Help) as Tanya; the cast was well represented with abundant talent and star power; yet, I did not see any advertisements for this action movie. The story was interesting and easy to follow even with its surprise turns. I thought the look of the film was perfect in the way the viewer became a witness to the contrasts within the train. It was interesting how the few special effects were not very good; but it was okay, since this film was predominately story driven. What a pleasant surprise to watch a science fiction movie, having no prior awareness of it, that had a feasible story and was wildly entertaining. It really had a power over me and I was fine with it.

 

3 1/4 stars

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Flash Movie Review: Chasing Ice

Perched at the edge of the railing all we could see was the ocean’s slow rolling exhale along its surface. Walls of cold white ice surrounded us as they tried catching our eyes with a spark of reflective bright sunshine. In the still quiet I heard the sound of something cracking. It grew louder into an echoing rumble. Before me I saw a huge slab of white wall snap apart and slide into the ocean below, leaving a trail of icy crumbs. This was the experience I had in Glacier Bay, Alaska; witnessing the calving of a glacier. The idea that I may never see this part of nature again saddens me. Watching this documentary was breathtaking. I am a product of the creative left side of my brain working in tandem with the scientific right side; as I result, I had a deeper appreciation for the way this film handled the subject matter. National Geographic photographer James Balog founded the Extreme Ice Survey in 2007. Its mission has been to record the shrinkage of glaciers. There are 34 cameras stationed at 16 glaciers, taking photographs every hour year round. In this movie there was amazing, exquisite footage of James’ hiking along several glaciers, looking for the perfect setting for a photo shoot. As a visual experience I was enthralled seeing places I would never have the opportunity to visit on my own. Helping James in his endeavors were Svavar Jonatansson and Adan LeWinter. Director Jeff Orlowski did an admirable job just based on the working conditions alone. Once the photographs were compiled into a time-lapsed video it was startling to see the change in the glaciers’ sizes. There was no political agenda being fostered on the viewer; in fact, James used to be a skeptic of global warming. This film festival winner left me and the other viewers in the theater stunned. Something so simple as taking a picture made a profound impact on all of us.

 

3 1/2 stars

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