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March 2nd, 2017

Hidden Figures (2016) and Lion (2016)

I still pay for this account, so i guess i should use it sometimes, huh.
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Everything about the movie fit into a nice neat package for me - nothing felt overly drawn out, nothing felt left out, and the pacing of everything felt exactly right.  The only real complaint I can lodge is that I've only ever seen Aldis Hodge in Leverage and his character in that was so drastically different than his character in this movie that it distracted me.  I guess if i wanted to nitpick, i could say that there were aspects that felt like they had dramatic potential but weren't actually dramatic, but that's probably because since this was based on real events, they opted to keep it more pure rather than exaggerate the drama, and given the choice between one over the other, i'll take pure over exaggerated any day.  Somewhere around the end of the movie, the question came into my head about whether Trump or other whites would look at this and deny that it happened this way, but i think it's more likely that they just wouldn't watch the movie at all.

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The first "act" of the movie was pretty great, the last "act" of the movie was similarly pretty great.  The middle part I wasn't into so much becuase the Saroo's conflicts - with Lucy, Mantosh, his family to a degree - all felt half-assed and I would have preferred that that conflict was dealt with either more deeply or not at all.  Not that it needed more time necessarily, but maybe it needed more weight or impact because ultimately it made the story feel like it was in a spin cycle and directionless rather than contributing to the end goal.  Unlike Hidden Figures i don't think i would ever feel the need to watch it again, but i'm still glad that I did because it's a neat story and they did a decent job in telling it.  Also, i wish that that main theme music was used about 50% of the time because boy did it get old.

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In general I get this sense that the film industry as of late has been trying to fill in some sort of void that's being left by the wake of the current political climate.  It's kind of like how there was an increase in positive military stories or superhero stories after the 9/11 attack and other signs of terrorism - an entertainment industry push for either some srot of escapism or some sort of perception steer one step at a time.  Both of these movies feel like they're designed to do a similar thing but with a different sort of message - one showing a historical example of racism at a time when racism is making some sort of comeback and is trying to push against that, and one that is deliberately designed as a movie for an american audience that has no american context whatsoever and is trying to create a sense of global versus national outlook of our worldview.  I dunno though, i might be reading that wrong.  I don't actually pay attention to movies a whole lot.

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