Drama // August 2017

Drama // August 2017

What happens when you fuse Lola Rennt with The Matrix and Tom Hanks? Find out in what can only be described as a modern epic. Out of Chile comes a film starring a local actors, a real treat from our friends way down south. All that and more this month on Netflix!

Where to Invade Next

Where to Invade Next

Moore attempts to show, not tell, his way through a handful of [mostly] European countries, showcasing, among other things, Italian labor practices (including paid maternity leave), French sex education, and French school meals - this contrasted with some of the worst that American cafeterias serve (sorry square pizza, it’s hard to compete with French haute-cafeteria-cuisine).

Ip Man

Ip Man

"The biographical-action-drama, Ip Man¸ takes a number of liberties in this slice-of-life piece during the 1930s occupation of China.  We briefly see the city before the war as home to many competing martial arts schools, something that I imagine is played up a little for the film, and Mr. Man is the somewhat aloof master who does not operate a school or generally get entangled in the affairs of the martial arts schools."

Shenzhen: The Silicon Valley of Hardware

Shenzhen: The Silicon Valley of Hardware

"Perfectly titled, Shenzhen: The Silicon Valley of Hardware covers the rapid advances in hardware development in a rather new Chinese megalopolis. This is the city of the notorious Foxconn facility and many of the locals interviewed are trying to change the global perception of their city. It’s up to you to decide if they succeed."

Top Gear // The Grand Tour

Top Gear // The Grand Tour

"On their new Amazon streaming video program, The Grand Tour, these English mates look like they are having way too much fun driving unlimited numbers of exotic cars and carrying out fiendishly concocted challenges. It’s like three adolescents with unlimited money, time, and driving licenses.  I suppose somebody has to do the heavy lifting, right?"

Iwan Baan: Ingenious Homes in Unexpected Places

Iwan Baan: Ingenious Homes in Unexpected Places

"Urban documentarian, Iwan Baan, explores how people from around the world adapt to their circumstances by organically building and shaping their communities to match the environments around them. Baan offers a view of a poverty that we do not often see, showing people that are proud of their homes, their businesses, and their accomplishments that the developed world often glosses over."

Pan's Labyrinth

Pan's Labyrinth

"What I loved about this movie is how well del Toro balances the violent realities of a war and the beautiful promises of a dark fantasy world to keep us on edge and thrilled throughout. Using his characteristic practical special effects and eerie set designs, del Toro’s style is perfected in this masterpiece."

Moana

Moana

"It’s truly an artistic masterpiece with vibrant colors, expressive animation, and effective visual comedy. Moana tells the story of an energetic young “princess” of a Polynesian tribe with a serious case of wanderlust. You'll even pick up some aspects of Polynesian culture during her journey!"

The Baader-Meinhoff Complex

The Baader-Meinhoff Complex

"Whilst drawing your sympathy at first, Baader's cause loses its focus, and through her character I began to lose track of which side I was on. But that’s the point. You can’t say that the film takes a side. Does this make it better somehow as an historical film? For me, almost certainly, short of making a documentary, though that could be (and often is) a lot worse, given that documentaries have their own agendas."

A Trip to the Moon

A Trip to the Moon

"The most famous image of the film pictured above is on screen for maybe only 10 seconds and then passes on to the gentlemen walking around on the lunar surface unrestricted by silly space suits – and Matt Damon had to make living in space look so hard. Basically the “astronomers” explore our astronomical copine and discover a small, easily killed, alien species. They are captured, kill the king, then take a prisoner back to Earth by… falling off of the moon…? 

The Returned

The Returned

"Les Revenants (The Returned) is about several deceased residents of a small village in the mountains of France who reappear one day with no recollection of their deaths. The series deals with the subject of death and grief, but without overwhelming the viewer. The story of these characters is both terrible and wonderful, and left me feeling quite conflicted. A grief-stricken person may wish for their loved ones to return home, but what would they feel if that wish actually became reality?"