Fish and Cherries Productions

Creative content from a mad mind.


Reel Snippet – Das Boot: Director’s Cut

Das Boot: Director’s Cut is a movie well deserving of all its accolades. However, its greatest enemy is its running time, which clocks in at three and a half hours. The interactions between all the characters were great and I appreciated the sense of camaraderie during wartime, but it was about the halfway point where I realized that I didn’t remember any of their names and that was really distracting for me. They were likable, but after the fifth time I checked my watch, I really wasn’t that invested.

And that’s a shame because the tension aboard the u-boat is really great, especially near the end. I wrote a piece a few months ago about terror coming from people being trapped in environments that will kill them if they’re exposed and this definitely takes advantage of that near the end. People have also commended this film for its accuracy of depicting life and perils serving on a u-boat. I can’t really comment on this because I wasn’t alive when u-boats were in service, but if it’s true, that’s certainly great. Come to think of it, this movie really is a masterful work of art. The only problem here is me. I don’t always have the patience for long movies that move slowly, so who am I to dismiss something just because it doesn’t smash my own personal hurdles? Conclusion: it’s a great movie, just not for me. I’ll probably see it again if other people are watching it, but it’s not one I’ll seek out on my own.

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Reel Snippet – The Imitation Game

The Imitation Game is a great biopic about a great man and also a very poignant one. The movie doesn’t just focus on his breaking of the Enigma cypher in World War II, but also his struggles against the isolation of being homosexual and autistic (though the latter is never explicitly stated). In fact, Turing’s speech about the nature of the Imitation Game, known to us as the Turing Test, could very well be seen as criticizing how society treats those who think and behave differently.

On the subject of Turing, Benedict Cumberbatch plays the part of Alan Turing beautifully. There are some similarities to his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes and some may be tempted to say the two are the same, but that isn’t necessarily true. Holmes is a lot more smug in his attitude and dialogue while Turning seems legitimately oblivious to social cues, subtext, and interaction in general, which is why I drew the conclusion about his autism. My only real gripe is that Charles Dance feels a little underused. Then again, he represents only a part of such an involved, tragic story. With great acting, beautiful writing, and a heart-wrenching look into the mind of an ostracized man, this movie is surely worth a watch.
14 ponies reached

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Reel Snippets – The Wind Rises

The Wind Rises is a beautiful testament to all of Hayao Miyazaki’s finest storytelling devices: slow and steady pacing, beautifully detailed animation, contemplative and soothing atmosphere, and heartwarming moments found in life’s simplicities. Describing the movie is kind of hard because in truth, there’s no real focus. There’s no villain, no problem that needs the entire movie to solve, or really any one genre focus. It just explores ten years in the life of an upcoming aeronautical designer who is trying to make beautiful planes around the time of World War II when the Japanese are demanding fighter planes. The huge selling point really is the atmosphere as the entire film is like a dreamlike nature hike; Jiro, the protagonist, encounters something, dwells on it or solves the problem, and then the movie moves on. It’s not even bound by a strict story structure, like there’s an old German guy that sits by Jiro in a restaurant, says some cryptic stuff, hangs around for a few more scenes, and then just leaves the country, only to be mentioned once afterwards. He’s not even in a third of the movie. Normally, this stuff would drag down other movies, but that doesn’t even matter here because the movie is so beautiful in everything it does. The only downsides are that the pacing can be a bit too slow at times and Joseph Gordon-Levitt sounded really flat as Jiro, like his voice wasn’t expressive enough for voice acting. The entire film leaves the audience with a really heartwarming feeling, even though the ending has a melancholic and tragic undertone (which I don’t think is a spoiler because we should all know by now how the Japanese fared in World War II). If you have to compare it to Miyazaki’s other works, this is more akin to the slice-of-life style of My Neighbor Totoro and Kiki’s Delivery Service rather than the adventure style of Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away. As this is the final film of Miyazaki’s career, I can say that the note he ended on was as high as one of Jiro’s planes.

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