Togo (2019) Film Review- How Historically Accurate is the Film? Is Balto a Fake?

Synopsis

Leonhard Seppala leads a team of sled dogs across the wintry Alaskan tundra in 1925.

Initial release: December 20, 2019

DirectorEricson CoreBudget: 40 million USD

Music composed byMark Isham

NominationsWriters Guild of America Award for Television: Long Form – Original

My Review

Togo was the first original Disney Plus movie I watched, and it set the bar high for any future original films. This movie is so well crafted, and it will have you both crying and sitting in suspense at several points throughout the film.

My favorite element of this film is the plot and storyline. There are very few movies that come full circle at the end, leaving the audience satisfied. However, this is DEFINTIELY one of those films. Every plot point and action came together beautifully, and the film led the audience down a constructed and well-organized plot. Every single scene fit in perfectly with the ones before it and after, and this created such a smooth flow throughout the entire film. Which created an overall environment for me where I forgot I was watching a film because I was sucked in and invested into the plot.

The other magnificent element of this film was the camera work and color grading. The film has an overall smooth and realistic look to it. The scenes in the Alaskan wilderness look so real and lifelike it feels as if you’re there in the snow with Seppala and his sled dogs. Every aspect of this film plot wise, visually, music, and editing came together flawlessly and compliment each other perfectly.

When I first saw this film and read its description I was immediately intrigued. I have been to Alaska and have volunteered at the famous Iditarod dogsled race, and while I heard Baltos name mentioned many times, I have never heard about Togo until watching this film. After watching this film, I immediately began researching its historical accuracy and found it was pretty much spot on. There are only two major differences between the film and real like that I could find. The first is that Leonhard Seppala had a young daughter in real life, which increased his desire for survival. The second is that in real life Seppala’s track with his team across the frozen sea was actually much more suspenseful and treacherous than the film showed. According to Seppala’s account, the rope connecting Togo to the rest of the team completely snapped and fell into the icy water. Togo bravely jumped into the water, grabbing the rope, wrapping it around himself, and pulling the team to safety. Overall, the film does an outstanding job of sticking to historical accuracy and this is something that goes extremely appreciated.

But that still holds the question of why Balto got all the recognition and fame while most people have never heard of Togo. In reality, Balto was the dog to complete the last section of the relay to deliver a medical serum and save a handful of sickly children. Therefore, at the finish line, Balto got all the photo ops and praise. That’s not to say Balto doesn’t deserve any recognition, in fact I’d say every dog and musher that aided in the relay deserves some. However, all the teams other than Seppala’s travelled an average of 31 miles each. While Seppala and his dog team travelled over 260 miles led by a twelve-year-old dog named Togo. Togo and his team faced the most dangerous treck and whether than any other team, and I believe this deserves lots of recognition.

My Rating

5 out of 5

I have not been this excited after watching a film in a long time. I highly recommend giving it a watch if you have access to Disney Plus. Especially so we can all educate ourselves on the historical serum run of 1925 and finally give Togo the recognition he deserves.


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FireFly lane (2021) review

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What Did I Just Watch? The Platform (2019) Analysis

Synopsis

Prisoners housed in vertical cells watch as inmates in the upper cells are fed while those below starve.

The Platform review: Angrily scratches the Snowpiercer and ...

Initial release: February 21, 2020

(Taiwan)DirectorGalder Gaztelu-Urrutia

Language: Spanish

NominationsGoya Award for Best New Director

AwardsGoya Award for Best Special EffectsGaudí Award for Best Visual Effects

My Review/ Analysis

Wow. There is a lot to this film. Overall, this film is making lots of statements on society and humanity. In the film, prisoners are kept in a cell like blocks with a roommate for an extended amount of time. Every day a platform full of food travels down the platforms from top to bottom. The more food the top levels eat, the less food there is for the lower levels.

The Platform (Netflix Movie Review)

The film is making jabs and comments on the society of the real-world, however; the filmmakers created a society all of its own within the pit itself. There is a set of rules to follow within the society of the pit. For example, each level has two minutes to eat as much food as they want before the platform will move to another level. If any food is kept on your platform and being saved for later, the people in charge will either freeze you to death or heat you to death until you return the food to where it belongs. Despite these strict rules, the citizens of the pit are free to do as they choose. There seems to be no repercussions for murder, or psychically harming another person within the pit.

There are 333 platforms in the pit, and with two people per level that equals 666 lives living within this hellish society. This is symbolic of the hellish society humans have created in the real world. The people in the film are very individualistic minded and are very little for one another. If everybody ate only what they needed, everyone would have enough. But the people in the pit seem to have very little regard for one another.

Trailer per The Platform (Il Buco): una prigione verticale porta ...

Despite those at the top platforms, having experiences life at the bottom, they still hoard food and hold no regard for those below them. Even though the members of the pit physically get to experience life at every level they still posses strong selfish actions when at the top.

Immediately this made me think of the recent Pandemic the world is facing. People hoard food and toilet paper, leaving very little for others. It was a scary parallel realization. The film is stating that as a society we only look out for ourselves, and the majority rarely consider how those around us are doing. While we don’t live in a pit like society, the film suggests no matter who is put in the pit the same pattern will occur over and over again. Those at the top will always take too much and cause pain and suffering for those below them.

Towards the end of the film the audience meets a little girl who is hiding in one of the lower platforms. She appears to be the daughter of the woman who rides down the platform every month looking for her child. The audience is told that they accept no kids to take part in the pit, causing the audience to believe the child was born within the pit. Therefore, making her a direct product of the pits society.

The Platform Movie Ending Explained (2019 Netflix Film) | This is ...

At the end of the film, the child is sent back up on the platform to serve as a message to those in charge of the pit. This suggests that the only hope for a change in society lies within the younger generations of the world. However, the girl in the movie has to go on this journey alone since she solely is the message. The girl represents the hope of humanity to overcome the darkest truths of human nature. The only hope for change is through youthful eyes and innocence.

My Rating

3.5 out of 5

I highly reccomend giving this film a watch. However, I don’t think I would ever sit down to watch it again.

Reasons to watch 'The Platform,' a Spanish thriller now on Netflix ...

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Newsies (1992) Film Review

Synopsis

In this musical, homeless New York City newsboy Jack “Cowboy” Kelly (Christian Bale) befriends two newcomers to his trade, brothers David (David Moscow) and Les Jacobs (Luke Edwards). When publisher Joseph Pulitzer (Robert Duvall) sets new rules that make it harder for the young newspaper salesmen to make a buck, the boys go on strike. Bryan Denton (Bill Pullman), a journalist who’s sympathetic to their plight, gives them some tips in public relations, as the newsboys’ battle grips the city.

Newsies (film) - D23

Release date: April 10, 1992

(USA)DirectorKenny Ortega

ScreenplayNoni WhiteBob Tzudiker

Music composed byAlan MenkenJ. A. C. Redford

My Review

This is a very lighthearted and enjoyable film. The actors of the movie all do such an incredible job, and it’s easy to buy into the world of the movie. I’m sure watching this production onstage or on Broadway would be a more enjoyable experience, but the movie is a close second.

Newsies (1992) - Rotten Tomatoes

For a Disney film, I was surprised by the amount of violence and ideas the film suggested. There are several times in the movie when the Newsies get a little rouged up on the streets of New York. However, the newsie strike is a historical event that led to lots of riots and rough housing, so I appreciated the historical accuracy of this movie. This is definitely an emotionally heavy film that will make you frustrated.

I was most curious to see Christian Bale in this film because I have never seen him sing and dance. I’ve seen him in a wide range of acting roles, and I wanted to see how he would live up to the hype. He is definitely not the best singer. But his dancing blew me away. In fact, all the dance numbers of this film are incredibly well filmed and choreographed. From an acting stand point Bale carried most of the weight. Bale plays the hero and protagonist of the film, and I found myself emotionally invested in his story from the very beginning.

Sometimes in this movie when the plot felt rushed, and my investment into the story lessened a little each time. I also wish there would have been more character development for the kids. There’s so much development giving to Bales character that all the others are pushed to the side. Another thing that drove me crazy about this movie was the forced relationship between Bale and his love interest. The audience saw no interaction between the two at all, and then the first scene we see between them Bale asks if she would miss him if he were to leave. This made no sense to me! Their relationship came out of nowhere and was completely forced since the filmmakers were trying to stick to the Broadway plot line.

My Rating

2 out of 5

Saving Private Ryan (1998) Film Review

Synopsis

Captain John Miller (Tom Hanks) takes his men behind enemy lines to find Private James Ryan, whose three brothers have been killed in combat. Surrounded by the brutal realties of war, while searching for Ryan, each man embarks upon a personal journey and discovers their own strength to triumph over an uncertain future with honor, decency and courage.
Image result for saving private ryan
Release dateJuly 24, 1998 (USA)
Budget70 million USD

My Review 

Image result for saving private ryan battle scene

By far this is one of the best war movies of all time. It’s hard and tear jerking to watch because of how accurate and life like the war scenes are. Something that really adds to the uncomfortable realistic feel of the film is the lack of music. It’s hard to notice when first watching the movie because as an audience member you are so sucked into the action. But if you pay attention during any battle scene, there is absolutely no music playing in the background. In fact, music is used sparingly and only when it adds to the overall emotional impact on the audience. During the bloody war scenes all the audience hears are bullets shooting, men screaming, blood gushing, and orders being given. This makes the audience feel as if they themselves are on the front lines with all the actor’s.

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Another powerful element of this film is the camera work. The cinematography is innovative and creative. However, it’s kept subtle to where you don’t remember your watching a movie on a screen. It feels as if your watching war history in person. A lot of the camera angles are kept eye level, or close to the ground, which adds to this effect. There are very little bird eye shots or hero shots in this film. Which would have only lost the audience’s personal connection into the film. This was a really impactful decision made by the cinematographer of this film.

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This film showcases the darker side of humanity. It allows audience members who have never been on a battle front a chance to experience the realistic horror and intense action. It allows us a look into a world not all of us are familiar with. That makes watching this film such a memorable experience.

My Rating

4.8 out of 5

I recommend everybody watch this film at least once in their life.