Movie of the Day – Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry

One of the things I love about Netflix, other than the obvious, is that they are able to feed my documentary cravings from time to time.  I talked about some of my favorite films of the past year back in January and I made sure to split the favorites amongst feature films and documentary films.  Ai Weiwei made it on the top ten list of documentary films for last year, a list that included several personal favorites and a few Oscar nominated documentaries.  Ai Weiwei stood out  to me the most for the topical reason of the current events that were taking place with its subject Ai Weiwei.  A political activist that was currently under house arrest by the Communist regime of China.  A dissident that dared speak out on a national level about his country and in doing so, makes him of the biggest, most powerful figures in China due to his international fame.

This documentary looked to highlight the man who dared to speak out against the government, an artist that uses his art to make a commentary on the society he lives in.  A daring and dangerous prospect since China doesn’t seem too keen on people speaking out against them, so utilizing his fame to cast the light on his country is a ballsy movie.  Never Sorry doesn’t shy away from getting at the core of this amazing individual, who’s work is polarizing and provocative.  You get to see a side of the country that isn’t seen by most people, as Weiwei exposes the hidden side of life and showcases it to the world through art and his recordings.

Below is an excerpt from my original review, hopefully you will take a look at this movie on Netflix Instant as well.

Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry is, by proxy of Alison Klayman, one of his best works.  A visual recording of what his life is like in an increasingly hostile government controlled country.  His character defines who he is, a man who doesn’t falter and never stops breaking the old ways and rules of the country.  His art, from breaking a priceless Han dynasty vase to painting product brands on the side of century old vases, shows a defiance, but calculated move to get people to pay attention to what he has to say.  Weiwei is often quiet and reserved in the privacy of his house with his numerous cats, but his actions are the loudest voice of dissent.  It’s the quiet, tranquil moments of Ai Weiwei’s life that highlight the stark reality he goes out and faces with the government when he leaves his house.  Tender moments with his loved ones are then dwarfed by police brutality and the threat of prison.

Full review here.


Top Ten Movie Presidents

So the debates happened the other night and I immediately tuned out to the platitude debate that would ensue.  So I turned on Independence Day so I can revel and yearn for the day when President Bill Pullman takes that stand and inspires us to beat those aliens and their fancy shields.  This led me to make up a list of my top ten favorite movie presidents because I feel they are way better candidates at this point.  So here you go folks, the most kick ass Presidents from movies.

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Movie Review – The Campaign

Gosh, just another movie from Liberal Hollywood trying to paint politics in a negative…Christ I couldn’t even complete my fake rant cause it just to insane to believe that politics have really come down to “this side does that” and “our side is this”.  It’s like taking that old standby joke of “white people do this” and “black people do that” to the extreme and politics has become a joke nowadays.  Well, much like The Daily Show, The Campaign is political satire film that hits a little too close to home when it comes to displaying the competitive world of politics.  Instead of pandering to one side of the political aisle, The Campaign wonderfully jerks off both sides of the debate with a scatter shot comedy starring Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis.

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Movie Review – Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry

I remember being in Beijing two months before the Olympics were to take place in the majestic city, one where economic boom was paralleled with a old way of life.  The Bird’s Nest was the crowning achievement of architecture in the bustling city, a gorgeous, twisted structure that was unlike anything in China.  Ai Weiwei was the idealist and artist behind the design of the stadium, a bear of a man who might seem imposing at first glance, but is soft spoken and kind.  His art and life are at the center of documentary by Alison Klayman in Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry.

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Movie of the Day – They Live

I am hear to chew bubblegum and talk about this movie…and I’m all out of bubble gum.  Never has a line seemed more perfect to open up a chain of ass kicking that ensues.  They Live is a cult classic…period.  Anyone you ask about this movie will remember 2 scenes from this movie that is essentially the crux of my post today.  But amongst the two iconic scenes in this movie, or the ones that standout to everyone, this is a subversive film that manages to blend politics, consumer consumption, greed and the brainwashing of the masses.  Plus loads of shooting, fighting and weird looking aliens.

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Movie of the Day – Sicko

I am not doing this post to make a political statement or trying to drum up some kind of heated discussion on the topic of healthcare in America.  I mean if people want to talk about it in the comments section, please feel free to do so.  What I am wanting to talk about today is a solid documentary film, that is what I want to do and maybe some personal commentary.  No matter what Michael Moore does, he always has his detractors.  Whether they launch into the man and his weight problem, call him ultra-liberal or disparage his films as being one-sided and sensational, I got to give him some credit with his skills in terms of getting us to talk about the issues.  It might be far too left leaning for me (I don’t affiliate with Democrat or Republican parties) at times, but you got to appreciate that this individual is going out and tackling the things that matter most to Americans and bringing it to light.  That is what a good documentary is, even if there is an agenda behind it, the mechanics and themes resonate.

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Movie of the Day – Syriana

I don’t know about a lot of people, or just people in general, but I love me some political thrillers.  More so, in the case of today’s pick, Geo-political thrillers.  Syriana is about as topical as film can get in our day and age.  Gas prices, petroleum and Middle East concerns all play a vital part in this big circle jerk of a political and economic issue we face today.  I will admit, I try and follow as closely as possible to world politics when I am not watching movies, but the world of oil and petroleum prices, production and their relation to the geo climate of politics in countries not the US, it’s all so damn confusing.   I guess that is why this movie is so damn good, it manages to at least present the complicated and global effect that politics and distribution plays in oil production.  So you learn as you are entertained!

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Movie of the Day – Idiocracy

I fear for the future.  It is a scary thought that this film   so concisely captures the essence of our future.  I would place this movie as one of the scariest films around, cause nothing is more frightening than real life and this isn’t far off the mark.  Leave it Mike Judge to become the soothsayer of our generation, not only for the working Joe’s and Office Space, but also for the common man that we might somehow evolve into through centuries of low IQ’s and lack of reading comprehension.  Idiocracy just might strike a chord with you, either because you are the people he is using as satire or for how eerie it is that might be right.

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Movie Review – The Island President

Global climate change is a particularly touchy subject, a hot bed of political grandstanding and a dog fight for people looking to hold nations accountable for their wreck-less polluting.  Some people will deny that global climate change is real and is a small problem compared to the other issues in the world.  But when you hear about a nation of the coast of India, that sits only a few meters above sea level, slowly sinking into the ocean, you have to wonder why.  The Maldives is an island nation, one where the real effect of global climate change is having the largest impact and that is the slow sinking of the majestic island nation.  A small country, one that doesn’t have so much political clout, has to face the stark reality of fixing the climate problem or face being erased from the map entirely.

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Movie of the Day – Catch a Fire

I typically try and stay away from political thrillers bit too much, usually because of the heavy handed tactics and message that is more or less bludgeoning you over the head at every scene.  I can understand the meaning behind it, I just don’t need to sit through a political debate for two hours when I want to watch an engaging movie.  There are some films that inherently use the political or social agenda to their advantage to make a statement, but too often films fall into this habit.  If a director can find a topic of interest and craft a film around a particular agenda or idea, I can appreciate the skill involved in it.  It becomes educational and entertaining while not diminishing the effective message or feel that they want to convey.  Today’s film is a touchy subject about the effects that the apartheid had on a nation along with the blurring of the line between terrorism and freedom fighting.

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