When you bring guns into any business deal and tempers flare someone will get shot in the face or leg or arm — oh wait, we still need that character so don’t write him or her out just yet.
Ben Wheatley’s 70’s arms deal gone wrong film, Free Fire losses temperament as its main characters become less intriguing and the whodunit plot becomes more like a who whodundid them wrong scenario. As entertaining as the movie was, this claustrophobic rampage of violence falls short of the gritty grindhouse films I thought it would emulate. Either give more grit or more story! Free Fire is like that happy medium, it pleases and disappoints but never truly fails to captivate.
With such a great setup and foresight into a hilarious event that happened the night before the big deal goes bad, we’re teased by the idea that at least a few of these miscreants have storylines worthy of a bit more fleshing out. Unfortunately, that’s when you enter into Tarantino Land and invite comparisons to exposition playout Wheatley would’ve love to avoid. The trailer alone had people biting at the bit for something Tarantino-like, which to its chagrin wasn’t the most desirable comparison to be had and proved not to have a real effect on ticket sales.
The great thing about the closed-in plot film is the development of all the characters involved. Getting to know what makes them tick, why they are in this place, and what possible benefits have they to get out of said situation. Knowing a bit of history into their motives adds suspense leading up to the big reveal.
What I enjoyed about Free Fire was what happened off screen the night before the group of domestic arms dealers gathered into the warehouse: One of the persons involved hit on the cousin of another guy opposite the deal. When she rejected him, the scorned gent smashed her face with a bottle; this was a genius setup to an awesome story. However, once the guns came out and everyone began shooting and hollering, this subplot got lost.
It was Mister Orange all along.
Mister Orange got shot early in Reservoir Dogs and spent the entire movie bleeding while everyone else mucked around suspecting and killing one another.
In this movie the big reveal — oh look, it was that person –played out more calmly than the stage presented. I felt nothing for any of the players involved and solemnly walked away from this film wondering how cool it would have been if I knew just a bit more about Justin, Vernon, Chris, and the cool Black Guy who looks a lot like Bernie Mac. I’m sure they had more interesting backstories than this movie had bullets.
Unlike it’s more popular comparison to The Blair Witch Project, Phoenix Forgotten navigates its way through the story using both found footage and documentary style interview segments to establish a distinct record of events leading up to the night three teens went missing from an Arizona desert.
At most, there was about thirty minutes worth of wandering around and getting spooked by random noises in the dark, which wasn’t more or less as entertaining as watching the Blair Witch trio lose their way in the woods.
Phoenix Forgotten approached it differently: tell the story of teens disappearance, then reveal their plight, which worked to present the kids lost as people rather than characters within a movie. I enjoyed The Blair Witch Project, but the payoff that was more memorable than the build up. In this instance, Phoenix Forgotten captured more of the intrigue surrounding the circumscribed event. This movie put me on edge of anticipation for the moment when these kids found what they set out in search of finding.
I did have to ignore the complete dumbfounded circumstances by which the discovery was made. Similar to the Blair Witch, there was a creepy old house in the middle of nowhere and there lurking in a dark corner with it’s back toward me was a figure who I thought was my friend, but no it was alien.
The Scoop Du Jour: Dispelling Belief
The final scene to this docu-found thriller (I dare not say horror) introduced a theory seldom used in films about aliens: Aliens relation to the Bible. Sneer as you like, but if you are (or claim to be) Bible literate and are familiar with the book of Ezekiel then you know about Ezekiel’s wheel. And again, it’s all in how you interpret the words. Some might say what Ezekiel depicted (condescending voice) was a misinterpretation of a vision set forth upon him by the Lord. While others read it differently— much like the events of March thirteenth and sixteenth of 1997 — it’s all in how you interpret what you saw and that may define what you believe.
We will never see aliens because they’ve already been here
Never fall down this rabbit hole. I mean really, seriously. After doing some research on this very topic, I found all crazy kinds of conspiracy theories and sites that are quite frightening.
From the pyramids of Egypt to the ancient stare gazing Mayans, and soothsaying Aztec we have long suspected that aliens have already visited the planet. In that case that they have visited our planet, it just might just take them forever to come back ’round these here parts.
That’s is if they care to come back.
Space man article here. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/alan-bean-aliens_us_58dbe6d6e4b0cb23e65d9a12
Alan LaVern Bean, is an American former naval officer and Naval Aviator, aeronautical engineer, test pilot, and NASA astronaut; he was the fourth person to walk on the Moon. Wikipedia
Moonwalker, Alan Bean, believes that if aliens have visited earth, they would have brought with them solutions to the many different problems we, the people of earth suffer from currently, like cancer.
Lee Speigel, of the Huffington post poo-poos this idea with questions: Why would they bring us a cure for cancer?
Okay, if you consider the universe and separation of dimensions by time and space, then there is a version of our species inhabiting one of the planets in a galaxy far far away. This species may have already suffered as we are suffering and yes, answered all the question we yet have not.
Bean could have easily said they’d bring with them a flying car, but a flying car isn’t as practical as providing a cure to a disease that kills millions every year.
Can we stop talking about traveling to other planets and start planning on doing so.
Everything thing we’ve learned thus far points to cryogenics and finding a way to preserve the human body over a long period of time. Where’s the tech for this?
There’s a report that we currently don’t have enough space suits at the ready for any space traveling and/or exploration. We’ve lost our adventurers spirit. The guy from Virgin Airlines (Brosnan), Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk; these cats all need to pool together their resources and screw the government by creating there own multi-billion space travel and exploration program. They can obtain the funds by promising the rich immortality. Kinda like that Passengers film. Even if they, the donors, are horrible people, don’t worry; those individuals are usually the first to die in colonization films.
Communication is the Key to Prosperity The Universe Will Find A Way
Arrival introduced this concept to many new moviegoers in 2016 when it presented the idea that language in itself is the best and most powerful element any burgeoning or existing society could use to further its existence in the universal. However, this message was also conveyed, quite heavily, in the movie Contact three years prior to the publishing of the short story “The Story of Your Life”. Jodi Foster portrays a scientist who discovers a signal emitting from out there somewhere in the universe, and it’s her mission and the objective of her team to decode the meaning.
Now if you compare the two stories, language is the key to prosperity. Contact make a lot of Biblical references, i.e. Ezekiel’s wheel. Once viewed by humans thousands of years ago was given to mankind as a gift of communication within this film. The same with Arrival and the language of the extraterrestrials. A linguistic decides on taking a chance to really communicate with Earth’s visitors and stops a global catastrophe. Acts of determinism.
A string of predestined events occurs beyond anyone’s control. Without a cause, there is no effect, and therefore we must act. Louise Banks witnessed the story of her unborn daughter’s life and in knowing so — her future— she was emboldened to do right for the good of everyone without changing that one thing that would cause her joy, sadness, and pain. Jodi Foster in contact lost her father when she was young and became obsessed with space travel and what’s beyond the stars. If aliens wanted to make contact with humans, would you think they already have? Or maybe they have but not with us in this sapiens form. Neanderthals existed for hundred if not thousands of years before the homo-sapiens, more than enough time to get to know your neighbors. Maybe they were unimpressed by what we had to offer and just left us to our own devices. Maybe technology is a gift from the universal collective and not of our own ingenuity. And just maybe, everything we know isn’t ever written in stone and it’s just fun to entertain the thought of the what the what?
Because it’s fun to imagine that there may not be more to a universal so vast. It’s why we tell stories, make movies, invent… things. It’s fun to think that there’s a hairy beast who’s about a hundred years old wandering the forests of American, humping bears and creating a subspecies of Sasquatchian Bear people. I see lights that look like a spaceship and always wonder, is this the night? Nope, that’s just a helicopter. But What if. That’s why the moon still amazes me every time I see it in its majestic wonder. How jealous I am of those who have ventured so far as to step foot on its surface.
So say what you will about the Phoenix Lights. Aliens. Ghosts. The Bible. Believe what you want to believe and enjoy piecing together the fragments to your own imagination.
The That and Other News:
Kurt Russell claims he was piloting a plane near Phoenix and witnessed the phenomena himself.