As previously mentioned in a post, I have claimed The Raid Redemption to be one of my favorite modern martial arts/action films of all time. Last Tuesday, The Raid 2 Berandal premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and I was waiting that night for reviews of the film. I patiently waited until early morning the next day and finally…word came out. Suddenly, a flood of attention and hype came on other blogs and movie review sites appeared. Let the hype begin.
The Raid 2 Berandal is supposed to pick up immediately following the first film and follows the story of Rama, the protagonist, in his journey to take down the crime underworld of Jakarta, Indonesia while undercover. For those of you that have seen the first film, you will understand where I am coming from when I say it is not the type of movie you would watch for its story, its more about the action. However, from what I have read and heard, the plot in this movie is much more captivating in depth and expansive. The action scenes and stunt work is also supposed to be revolutionary. In fact, this movie has been called “one of the greatest action sequels since Terminator 2: Judgement Day”. That kind of comparison is something that you just don’t throw around. I grew up hailing Terminator 2: Judgement Day as one of the greatest movies of all time. I mean the last scene where Arnold goes down on the chain and sacrifices himself for the sake of humanity that was a pretty emotional and heavy scene. On top of that, the special effects James Cameron implemented where revolutionary in the sense that it added a new dimension to action films, CGI.
Being compared to the sequel of The Terminator is something that is extraordinary, but with these high expectations it opens up more opportunity for the movie to not live up to the hype or exceed the anxiety of influence of previous action films. However, on Rotten Tomatoes it currently has a fresh rating of 93% and seems to only be increasing. The only criticism of the movie that I have heard of is that for those that don’t really enjoy violent movies, it may be too violent for those kind of people. This also raises concerns for what kind of rating it will be given, an NC-17 or R? The Raid Redemption was released in the United States rated an R, and there has been talk that this sequel might have to cut out some scenes in order for it to get an R rating. Will these potential changes perhaps affect its performance at the box office or change the vision of those behind the camera? We will have to see as unfortunately it gets released in the United States in March, which makes me really sad. You can count on me attending the midnight premiere though. Here is the trailer released by Sundance:
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is not only a classic novel, but it has become the basis of a variety of movie genres, from horror to science fiction. The story of Frankenstein, a scientist who aspires to create life and when he does his creation fumbles out of his own control, has been referenced to and remixed in works of literature, movies, and popular culture. At the time of Mary Shelley, science was about to reach another revolution as the potentials of science weren’t quite realized to a majority of people. It was apparent though that science could intrude upon the beliefs of religion and ethics. Mary Shelley uses the idea of ethics and of the unknown potential of science to fuel the true horror evoked by Frankenstein.
The story of how this novel has gotten to the level of popularity it reaches today starts with the novel itself. The book at first got mixed reviews but over time it gained a following. At the turn of the century, the first film adaptation of it was made by Edison Studios in 1910 as a Silent short film. However, this would not get the reception that the Universal Studios’ version staring Boris Karloff would receive in the 1931 version. This movie solidified and introduced the horror genre to popular culture, while also setting up a kind of archetype for horror movies at the time. The idea of man playing God and the consequences that follow captivated the minds of audiences everywhere. This and the rest of the Frankenstein movies by Universal built upon this idea. These movies helped to build the idea of the mad scientist in the laboratory whose own creation spins out of his own control. Actually, Frankenstein brought the idea of one’s own creation being more than what the creator could handle, which has been an important staple in the science fiction world.
The ideas presented above have influenced a variety of famous movies, from action to science fiction. For example, The Terminator franchise builds upon the idea that man won’t be able to control its own advancements when it comes to robotics and computers. The idea that machines will rise against man creating a skull filled post-apocalyptic world terrified audiences upon being released since at the time in the 1980’s advancements were being made in computers. In Jurassic Park, man tries to play God again by bringing back dinosaurs through modern genetics in order to create an amusement park. In the words of Jeff Goldblum, “Uh…uh…Life finds a way.” Yes, yes it does, as then the dinosaurs escape and terrorize the island. Once again, playing on the potential fears of the time, as in the 1990’s advancements in genetics and cloning brought new scientific ethics to the field. These classic movies, just like in the times of Mary Shelley, is a response to potential fears at the time.