Tag Archives: Movie

Riveting Surrealism + Socio-Political Commentary | Short Film ‘I, Pet Goat II’

I must officially declare that I, Pet Goat II is the best animated short film I’ve ever seen. Never in my life have I been so intellectually and emotionally drawn to an animated short film, but I, Pet Goat II is a film that beckons for your complete attention. Don’t even dare attempting to multi-task while watching this film, because you will miss out on some powerful symbols that evoke theoretical thought and the abstract reality of “the fire at the heart of suffering.”

As I aforementioned, the film takes a look at “the fire at the heart of suffering.”  I, Pet Goat II truly captures some of the defining moments that shape our history, as well as socio-political messages that deserve hours of intense intellectual conversation. I could try to breakdown every aspect of the film’s message, but I’ll leave that up to y’all.

Many folks out there are dissecting this video and breaking down each symbol, but Andrew S. Allen over at Short of the Week sums it up best. He said,

“I, Pet Goat II is a difficult film to dissect, but I’ll give it a try. First, the story is less of a narrative and more like an interpretive dance of modern travesties—America’s war on terror, religious fundamentalism, militarianism in Aftrica, totalitarianism in China, and exploitation all over the world (some of which may seem a little heavy-handed to us Americans). It’s packed with loaded symbols used to remix pop culture into a new mythology complete with surreal landscapes and zany characters.”

The short filmed is by a new Canadian animation studio Heliofant  and it just proves that surrealism isn’t dead, it’s alive…and packed with riveting socio-political commentary.

©Jasmine McGee.ThinkSoul25. http://thinksoul25.com

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The Silence of Love: ‘The Artist’

I love the elegant sophistication of black and white films, especially films that come from the 20s-40s era (big time range, lots of good movies.) It’s not just the lack of vibrant colors that makes the B&W films so good, but it’s also the stunning simplicity yet intricate characters that makes the films warm my heart.

TCM is home to a lot of classic movies, but in 2011 Lithuanian-French filmmaker Michel Hazanavicius decided to bring back that classic era with his award-winning film, The Artist.

For months I had been wanting to go see The Artist,but I never could find the time (or someone to accompany me) to see the film. Part of me wishes I would have seen the movie when it first came out in select theatres, but I’m glad that I was finally able to buy it OnDemand and watch it yesterday afternoon.

The Artistis one of the best films I’ve seen in quite some time. I’m so in love with it…I’m going to watch it again, again, and yes, one more time…again. The film follows the riveting story of silent film star George Valentine (Jean Dujardin.) He’s got all the charisma, suave, and irresistible charm that makes fans go crazy over him. Oh, and he is extremely cocky, but it’s charming. It’s not the annoying kind of cockiness, it’s just this attitude of a 1920s Hollywood movie star.

George Valentine has got it all…until he meets Peppy Miller (Berenice Bejo.) This random beauty ends up bumping into him and they have this immediate chemistry that is unexplainable. Since the movie is entirely silent (except for a few moments of a dream and the end,) you truly get to experience the silence of love. Facial expressions and gestures between George and Peppy truly lets us know that there is some magical connection between them. Perfect strangers…love at first sight.

The film follows the story of George’s decline as an actor, which is due to the introduction of Kinograph studios deciding to make only the “talkies” (movies with sound.) Once a Hollywood hotshot, George is slowly becoming replaced by Peppy and her rising stardom. The studio drops George, picks up Peppy and she becomes Hollywood’s “it girl.” So throughout the film you get to see the striking contrast of his fall and her rise, yet still feel the unspoken love they share.

My favorite aspect of the film is truly silence. I’ve always enjoyed classic silent films, so the lack of sound didn’t bother me; the experience is enhanced. The facial expressions convey so many emotions, and Jean Dujardin is such an amazing actor. Honestly, the film had a lot of great actors, including the dog. George’s main companion through his trials and tribulations  is this incredibly well-trained Jack Russell Terrier, Uggie. The dog isn’t just an extra on the set, he truly is a main character in the film.

Oh I must also mention the film won three Golden Globe Awards: best actor, score and best motion picture musical or comedy, as well as numerous Oscars. Critics and awards don’t help me decide whether a film is good (okay, sometimes,) but honestly The Artist is just such an amazing film and I knew it was going to be stunning when I first saw the trailer.

The Artist the perfect combination of love, tap dancing, comedy, sorrow, redemption, and the ultimate reality of how powerful silence can be. If you’re looking for a great film to watch that stays in your mind and heart, then you should truly check out The Artist. It will leave you laughing, crying, nervous at a particular scene (I’m not going to include a spoiler,) and it will make you think about love at first sight and the reality of chemistry between strangers, especially non-spoken connections. Ah, the silence of love…

©Jasmine McGee.ThinkSoul25. http://thinksoul25.com

Awesomesauce | New Years End: BioShock Infinite Short Film

I never played the first BioShock in it’s entirety, but I always thought the game had an interesting plot, as well as graphics. I try my best as a gamer to stay aware of what’s coming out, so I like to keep my pulse all things gaming related.

Well one of the latest things I found was a pretty awesome live-action video called New Years End: BioShock Infinite Short Film. The short film takes place prior to the events in BioShock 1 and 2. I don’t know much about BioShock 1 or 2, but I will say the video was very cool. It made me actually want to maybe check out BioShock, especially the new one.

Watch the short film below.

©Jasmine McGee.ThinkSoul25. http://thinksoul25.com

Epic Movie Cliches | Jimmy Kimmel’s ‘Movie: The Movie’

When it comes to late night talk shows the only show I’ll watch is Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. His show has the best of comedy, great personable interviews, and awesome live music from the legendary Roots band. How much better can it get? Even if you don’t watch it for the interviews or the music, you can at least enjoy the awesome games & hilarious segments that bring the show to life.

Basically my stance when it comes to late night t.v. is that Jimmy Fallon is currently the boss (until further notice.) But it doesn’t mean that he’s the only late night talk show host on the air (even though I don’t dare bother to watch anyone else.) But I’ve passed by the Jimmy Kimmel show a few times, and every time I’ve turned to it I found myself coming in at the right moment; typically Jimmy Kimmel is the midst of showing some spoof that him & his crew put together. So the last few times I tuned into Kimmel’s show I ended up seeing a spoof, but his latest spoof Movie: The Movie I actually ran across on the Web.

You know how every movie has that epic cliche that makes it, well, a good or bad movie? Well, Jimmy Kimmel decided to put every single epic movie cliche into a movie spoof called Movie: The Movie. It’s got everything we’ve all seen throughout the history of cinema, and it reminds us why movies are simply awesome. The cliches work. We love them, we expect them, and sometimes we crave them. It’s totally awesome when a film is avant-garde and diverts from the cliches in order to evoke innovation, but sometimes it doesn’t hurt to add in a cliche.

When all else fails, you can always get that jock in the members only jacket to tell the guy taking his ex, “Hey, take care of her man….” Seriously, “that guy” is in almost every single love story or teen flick. But we need that guy, or else the movie wouldn’t be the same! I’m telling y’all, cliches work, and Jimmy Kimmel totally makes it a hilarious compilation in his short movie, Movie: The Movie.

©Jasmine McGee.ThinkSoul25. http://thinksoul25.com

Favorite Cult Classic | The Warriors

This past week has been quite hectic. Juggling schoolwork & a variety of writing projects, as well as managing this blog, have been crazy! But, I love the madness of it all. As a freelance writer, you become accustomed to numerous deadlines, projects, and reporting to various editors/project managers. So, I don’t stress over it. But I do think it’s nice to get off the clock and enjoy the day. So right now I’m contemplating whether or not I shall go to the movies.

I looked at the list of movies showing, and I was disappointed. Everything out right now seems so dull, so cookie-cutter, and lacking innovative excitement. What happened to the days of riveting excitement & unique concepts? Oh yeah, that’s right, those films usually remain in the independent film circuit and never make it to the big screen nationally unless they’ve got that Hollywood Appeal; tons of sex, violence, or long dramatic plots that are slightly confusing & often uncomfortable. The films out in theatre (unless it’s a mega action flick/superhero film) usually don’t catch my attention, which is why I prefer to curl up on my bed, grab a snack, and enjoy cult classics.

There are a lot of great cult classic films out there, but my favorite cult classic (and favorite film in general) is The Warriors. Its one of the few films that I’ve seen probably over 10 tens, and I never get tired of watching it. I mean, how you could? It’s got that awesome 70s New York gangster vibe, epic costuming, and it’s got some cult classic fight scenes. It may not be the greatest film ever in some folks opinion, but in my eyes it’s cult classic gold.

The Warriors is one of those films you have to see; it’s not up for discussion, you must watch it! Seriously though, it’s a great movie! I’m always amazed when I meet people in my generation (remember guys, I’m only 20) and they have no idea what I’m talking about when I mention the Cyrus saying “Can you diiiiiig it,” the Baseball Furries, or the Turnball AC’s. They usually look at me with such a dumbfounded look, and then I proceed to bring up the Rockstar video game The Warriors. Then they immediately get on board and begin talking about the video game, yet many of them had never seen the cult classic movie.

There are so many great moments from The Warriors that make it such a great movie. Not only do you have action, but it’s this edgy & compelling story of this awesome gang trying to get back home to Coney Island. They want to remain incognito after being blamed for the murder of Cyrus(leader of Gramercy Riffs), but it’s kind of hard to make it back to Coney Island when you’re wearing no shirts and leather vests. Yeah, that’s a sure fire way to be “incognito.” But it’s The Warriors, so you know they have to be strong, proud, and rep their gang to the fullest. Even if it means running into altercations along the way, but at least one of the Warriors, the leader Swan, finds love….

So you’ve got love (or least a one night stand/possible love connection,) awesome vests, fight scenes, and the coolest gang members ever; every member of the gang has a unique name. The Warriors is all about Swan, Ajax, Cleon, Rembrandt, Fox, Vermin, Snow, Cochise, and Cowboy doing their best to make it home safely, while trying to clear their name from the murder of Cyrus. But the radio DJ (whom I love to impersonate) doesn’t make things easier, she is the ultimate instigator. But you’ve got to love her sultry voice, and she is just one component of the film that brings everything together and makes The Warriors my favorite cult classic. “Warriors, come out to play-i-ay….”

Quotes from the movie

The Best Opening Ever!

Turnball AC’s

Baseball Furries

Nowhere to Hide

©Jasmine McGee.ThinkSoul25. http://thinksoul25.com