Amelia 2.0 Needed a 1.0 Readthrough

*Warning: Potential Spoilers*

Taking a story from the stage to the screen can sometimes be a great improvement, especially in a science-fiction story, when so much of the tale relies on visuals that just can’t be presented the same way onstage as they can when CGI is available. The story of Amelia Summerland from the Cedar Rapids play, “The Summerland Project”, could have been exactly that when reimagined into the film Amelia 2.0. In many ways, the film brought a greater depth to the story that is difficult to imagine being performed onstage to the same level of intensity. An interesting story idea is not, however, the only requirement for a good movie, and in order for Amelia 2.0 to really have taken hold of our hearts and imaginations, it needed a lot more work on the other story elements. Though the concept was a good one, less than stellar camera placement and coloring, as well as questionable shots that could only be described as the Sims games sending their love to Cedar Rapids and large bounces in the storyline, all add up to create a confusing mess that has a good story buried so far beneath all the problems that it will be difficult to fully appreciate them. Maybe Amelia 2.0 needs another upgrade to be completely accessible to its audience.

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The Big Sick is Sugar-Spun Sweetness

*Warning: Potential Spoilers*

The Big Sick is one of the many, many, many movies to have fallen victim to poor marketing choices, but it almost does the film a favor. The film was shown to audiences as a very fun romantic comedy, with an emphasis on the comedy since the lead actor Kumail Nanjiani is a well known stand-up comedian. While the film definitely is funny, and the romance between Nanjiani and costar Zoe Kazan is an adorably sweet one, the actual story gets deep in a way that I certainly was not expecting when I bought my tickets. A part of me assumed that it would be like any stand-up comedy show, just maybe with a story added to it (almost like a musical based around a band’s CD like “Tommy” or “Across the Universe”), but some well-rounded performances and the honesty of the humor that there was kept the story sweet enough that it could be a rom-com, but also deep enough that you don’t feel that the story is completely cliche and unoriginal.

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Dunkirk’s Art of Warfare

Before you can judge Dunkirk for everything that it is, you must acknowledge everything that it is not. Is it a great piece of cinematic work? Yes. Is it visually beautiful? Check. Does it know how to cause its audience the sweet annoyance of anticipation and fear? It does. But that does not mean it is perfect by any means of the imagination, and the most important thing you can know about this movie before you choose to sit down and watch it is that this is not a war movie by the most general definition. Christopher Nolan is an artistic director and one who thrives on the complexities in a story, not in the straightforward narrative, and he chose the Battle of Dunkirk specifically to reflect that. He tells the story the way an artist would, not the way a storyteller might, or even the way that someone present at the event itself might have. He took three different stories and wove them together to showcase the entirety of the battle in the best way he knew how, and while that makes for a great visual for all those who love film and its artistry, it might not always be the best way to tell the story of a battle we’re not always taught about in history class.

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Coming Up in August (2017)

It is almost time for the summer to draw to a close, and that means there are still a few more summer blockbuster films to catch before school starts up again. Sure, the sun may not have gone away, but wouldn’t you rather sit in the air-conditioning and relax instead of getting one more sunburn? Here’s what’s coming up for you in the month of August.

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