Movie Review: Gattaca (1997)

Never let anyone tell you that you can’t do something. There’s no “destiny”, you make up your own story. You have control over your own path.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Gattaca”.

Ever since he was a kid, Vincent (Ethan Hawke) has wanted to go to space. But due to his inferior genes he has been ineligible for the longest time to even take part in the program. But he finds a way to potentially achieve his dream when he gets to assume the identity of a genetically superior man (Jude Law) to get into the program. So now we have our sci-fi plot. And it is honestly pretty damn great. It explores the themes of humanity and ethics. It’s an engaging drama with a slight science fiction twist. The type of sci-fi here feels fairly believable, as if it could possibly happen in the future. But it’s mainly an inspiring drama about a man trying to achieve his dreams despite what some have told him, and I have huge respect for that. It’s a truly great plot.

The characters are fleshed out and quite interesting. Vincent has, despite his shortcomings, always hoped that his dreams of space travel will come true. And seeing his determination to make his dream a reality is kind of inspiring. And Ethan Hawke is great in the role. Uma Thurman plays one of Vincent’s co-workers that we get to know a bit throughout the movie. And Thurman is great in the role. Jude Law plays the “genetically superior” man whose identity Vincent assumes to make it into the space program. He’s a charming and fun guy with some okay dramatic stuff going for him throughout. And Law is great in the role. Then the cast is rounded out by actors like Ernest Borgnine, Xander Berkeley, Gore Vidal, Alan Arkin, Loren Dean, Tony Shalhoub, Jayne Brook, and Elias Koteas (and more), all doing very well here.

The score for the movie was composed by Michael Nyman and it was fantastic. It strikes a perfect balance of tense, inspiring, and emotional. It’s mainly based around strings which gives it a very beautiful sound. And it all works very well for the movie, elevating the already great scenes.

The movie was written and directed by Andrew Niccol (who also made the great “Lord of War”) and I think he did a fantastic job here. The way he manages to create a world that is familiar yet different is excellent, and he manages to keep a surprising amount of tension going throughout. I don’t mean edge-of-your-seat type of tension, but rather a tense feel of unease as Vincent tries to keep his real identity a secret throughout. The movie is also very well shot, it’s definitely what I would call visually arresting. And there are a couple of clever little details in certain shots throughout that I thought were nice touches.

This movie has been well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 84% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 64/100. Roger Ebert gave it 3,5/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,8/10.

“Gattaca” is pretty fucking great. It has a great plot, really good characters, great performances, fantastic music, and great directing. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Gattaca” is a 9,86/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Gattaca” is now completed.

I’m gonna say it once again… Don’t let anyone tell you what you can and can’t do. Write your own story.

Movie Review: Escape from New York (1981)

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Raise your hand if you like 1980’s/1990’s action. Okay, now let’s all sit down and relax… good. And while you sit down and relax, let me review a 1980’s action movie.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Escape from New York”.

The year is 1997 (Hey, the year I was born!) and the USA has gone to shit. Because of ultra high crime-rates, the entire city of New York has been turned into a maximum security prison. Then one night, the US president (Donald Pleasence) crashes into the giant city and gets captured by crazy people. So then a police chief named Hauk (Lee Van Cleef, R.I.P) decides to send in criminal & manly-man Snake Plissken (Kurt Russell) into the city to go in and save the president. The idea I personally think is great, turning a familiar environment into a hostile and dark place for the sake of entertainment… genius. Problem is that for some reason I never really felt invested in it. Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea and the pacing was very good, but I jsut didn’t feel that invested into it. So let me put it like this, the plot was good, but I didn’t enjoy it as much as I should’ve.

The characters in the movie are colorful, entertaining and Kurt Russell decided to try to do his best Clint Eastwood impression. And you know what? All those factors come together so well that I can’t really criticize it. Sure, it’s cheesy but it is also incredibly fun and entertaining. Kurt Russell in this movie is really good in this movie as the macho manly-man Snake Plissken. Is he cheesy with the Clint Eastwood voice? Yes, but I still enjoyed it a lot. And I can’t help it, whenever I see Lee Van Cleef on screen in a movie I just have to smile… I love that guy. And Ernest Borgnine is a million flavors of fun in this movie as well. Every character in this movie is entertaining and every actor does a great job.

Fun fact: the score for the movie was done by none other than the director, John Carpenter. And it is the typical synth-based sci-fi/thriller soundtrack that you would maybe expect at the time. Not that it’s a bad thing, I did rather enjoy the music in the movie. It fit in very well and was used to really good effect.

Like I said, this movie was directed by John Carpenter who delivered a very well-directed and tense style to the movie. However I feel like the movie could be a little brighter because a large amount of the time it was difficult to see. I’m not saying that it should be really bright and happy and colorful and such, I am just asking for it to be a little brighter so I can see the action going on. That is anotehr thing, the action… it’s fine. Nothing special, it’s fine action.

This movie has been pretty well-received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 84% positive rating. On Metacritic it doesn’t exist. Roger Ebert never made a review of it. But it does exist on imdb.com at least and has a score of 7,2/10. Weird, the movie only exists on two of my regular sites…

“Escape from New York” is a decent action movie with a pretty good plot even though I wasn’t very invested in it, it had fun characters, good music and good direction despite being a bit too dark. Time for my final score. *Cough* My final score for “Escape from New York” is an 8,88/10. It is worth buying.
Worth buying

Review of “Escape from New York” is completed.

If you look closely at the plot, you’ll notice that this movie definitely inspired parts of the game “Batman: Arkham City”.