Monday, 22 February 2016

Movie of the year

If you are friends or family to the Gensemer family, you might have received our Dear Friends letter in early January. This letter includes events and experiences during the last year, described in accounts by each family member. Each family member also picked a book and movie of the year. This post is my review of each movie. I am also including the director of each movie and its rating on the Rotten Tomatoes website.

Arwin's(11 years) choice:

Field of dreams(1989), directed by Phil Alden Robinson.

This movie is about a corn farmer in Iowa, who gets notified by a strange voice that, "If you build it, he will come". The farmer later finds out that if he builds his own baseball field, the ghost of Shoeless Joe Jackson(who was banned from professional baseball in 1920 after the Black Sox scandal) will come and play baseball again. This movie also includes other famous baseball players.

Even though the movie is themed on baseball, it is also about magic and family togetherness, and has a good, warm feeling to it.

Rating: PG, due to "a bit of strong language".
Rotten Tomatoes ratings:
Tomatometer(critic ratings): 86%
Audience rating: 86%

Daniel's(13 years) choice:

Interstellar(2014), directed by Christopher Nolan.

Wikipedia calls this "[An] epic science fiction film". It is set far in the future, when humans are at threat from natural disasters that are wiping out crops. The main character is Cooper, a former NASA pilot who runs a farm with his daughter, Murphy, and other relatives. Murphy believes that there is a "ghost" haunting her bedroom and pulling books out of the shelves. During a dust storm, Murphy's "ghost" forms lines and bumps in the dust. Cooper later finds out that the lines are caused by gravity and that they are a binary code for a set of geographic co-ordinates.

Some critics rate Interstellar three out of five stars because some of the dialogue is hard to comprehend, but I like it because it is exciting and includes many scientific theories about black holes, wormholes, space and time. It is probably the best science fiction movie I have ever watched.

Rating: PG-13, due to swearing.
Rotten Tomatoes ratings:
Tomatometer: 71%
Audience: 85%

Wytse's(13 years) choice:

Song of the Sea(2014), directed by Tomm Moore.

This is a hand-animated movie about Irish myth. It also includes Irish settings and music. The story starts at a small island off the coast of Ireland, which is the home of a lighthouse keeper named Conor. He lives with his son Ben and his wife, who mysteriously disappears and leaves him with Saorise, their newborn daughter. Six years later, Saorise can still not talk and she is constantly being teased by her brother Ben. She is then found washed up on the beach, by their visiting grandmother. Granny declares that living on the island is too dangerous for them and starts taking them to the city.

The thing I like most about this movie is not the plot, but the animation. The animation makes it a very colourful and flowing artwork. It also has interesting references to Irish mythology such as Mac Lir the giant, Selkies, and Faeries. I think it is a good family movie.

Rating: PG
Rotten Tomatoes ratings:
Tomatometer: 99%
Audience: 92%

Nynke's choice:

Never Cry Wolf(1983), directed by Caroll Ballard.

This is a true story, based on the autobiography of Farley Mowat. It starts when a biologist gets sent into the wilderness of Canada on a government project to discover why caribou populations have been decreasing. He also needs to find out if wolves have anything to do with the problem, even though no one has witnessed a wolf killing a caribou.

One thing I have to tell you about is that this story has a sad ending, however, it features many amazing natural landscapes, and information that the biologist finds out about the wolves. It also depicts wolves as social, friendly, and helpful as a part of nature, unlike savage and menacing, which is the common view of wolves.

Rating: PG, due to "a few gross scenes".
Rotten Tomatoes ratings:
Tomatometer: 100%
Audience: 85%

Stephen's choice:

Selma(2015), directed by Ava DuVernay.

This movie is also a true story, a story about American history. It is about the Selma to Montgomery marches, a series of protest marches led by Martin Luther King, Jr., who is well known for having led many protests against racism and poverty. The Selma to Montgomery marches were part of the Voting Rights Act, an act that allowed black people to vote. They went along the 54-mile stretch of highway in between a small town in Alabama and the state's capital. The movie was based on F.B.I. accounts of these marches.

Rating: PG-13, due to violence.
Rotten Tomatoes ratings:
Tomatometer: 99%
Audience: 86%

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