The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976) Review

Synopsis

Josey Wales (Clint Eastwood) watches helplessly as his wife and child are murdered, by Union men led by Capt. Terrill (Bill McKinney). Seeking revenge, Wales joins the Confederate Army. He refuses to surrender when the war ends, but his fellow soldiers go to hand over their weapons — and are massacred by Terrill. Wales guns down some of Terrill’s men and flees to Texas, where he tries to make a new life for himself, but the bounty on his head endangers him and his new surrogate family.

Release date: June 26, 1976

(USA)Director: Clint Eastwood

Story by: Asa Earl Carter

Film series: The Outlaw Josey Wales

Screenplay: Philip Kaufman, Sonia Chernus

My Review

The short and sweet intro to the films conflict at its beginning gave me the instinct that this would be a phenomenal film. That instinct was not wrong in the slightest. This Western film showcases almost every “stereotype” of a Western film, and it does so in brilliant ways. The plot kept me interested into the film’s story, and the film is full of dynamic characters that come to life on screen.

The editing in this film surprised me in a positive way. I noticed lots of cross dissolves in the battle scenes, and this added an interesting feel and look to the film. It helped the action new and exciting and avoided becoming monotonous. The limited use of music was something that stood out to me in the films editing. There are a lot of films whose musical score completely adds to the emotion and intensity that the audience feels. However, in with a lack of music in this film the filmmakers still excelled at investing the audience into its story.

As a character Josey Wales was extremely intriguing and mysterious. Right from the beginning of the film Josey gains the sympathy of his audience members. Throughout the rest of the film the audience witnesses Josey on a journey of revenge and self growth. Clint Eastwood brought the character to life and made it his own.

I was expecting the whole film to focus primarily on the conflict of revenge in its plot. However, the plot to this film was way more complex than that, and the intertwining of several plots and stories added a lot to this film. While this film had many of the Western film traits, it showcased them in new and innovative ways. For example, unlike most Western films, the Native Americans in this film are not the bad guys. In fact, the film helps she’s some sympathy on the heartbreak they endured.

My Rating

8.5 out of 10


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FireFly lane (2021) review

Synopsis: Tully and Kate meet as young girls on Firefly Lane and become inseparable friends throughout 30 years of ups and downs. First episode date: February 3, 2021 Network: Netflix Program creator: Maggie Friedman Executive producers: Maggie Friedman, Stephanie Germain, Katherine Heigl, Lee Rose, Shawn Williamson, Peter O’Fallon My Review: After watching the first few episodes of this series, I was not sucked into …

Alien(s) (1986) Review

Synopsis After floating in space for 57 years, Lt. Ripley’s (Sigourney Weaver) shuttle is found by a deep space salvage team. Upon arriving at LV-426, the marines find only one survivor, a nine year old girl named Newt (Carrie Henn). But even these battle-hardened marines with all the latest weaponry are no match for the hundreds …

Alien (1979) Review

Synopsis In deep space, the crew of the commercial starship Nostromo is awakened from their cryo-sleep capsules halfway through their journey home to investigate a distress call from an alien vessel. The terror begins when the crew encounters a nest of eggs inside the alien ship. An organism from inside an egg leaps out and …

5 Most Important Terms of Cinematic Language

The cinematic language of a film is essential to conveying the meaning of a film. Cinematic language is a from of storytelling told through camera movement, mise-en scene, cinematography, editing, sound, and anything else within the film’s frame. Needless to say a films cinematic language greatly impacts the viewers experience with the film.

The top 5 terms of cinematic language are as follows…

  1. Fade In/ Out

A fade in/ out eludes to a change in the narrative time of a film

2. Cutting Action

When a shot ends with a movement and the next shot picks up that same movement. A perfect example of this is in the film 2001: A Space Odyssey… when the bone is thrown in the air the shot cuts to a similar shaped space ship.

Match Cuts & Creative Transitions with Examples - Editing Techniques

3. Mise-en-scene

This comprises of everything within the frame of a film. Including lighting, setting, props, costume, and makeup within each individual shot.

Mise en Scène: 20 Script Elements Every Filmmaker Needs to Know

4. Content

This includes the subject of the film. Including things like characters, dialogue, themes, and symbols.

Normalizing Male Dominance: Gender Representation in 2012 Films ...

5. Form

Means by which the subject is expressed and experienced. Including camera movement, editing, pace, plot, and structure. The best movies will consist of form and content that either complement each other or intentionally clash in order to achieve a common meaning.

Film, Form and Function - Arts Matters

A helpful tip when making a film is that the more pattern and progressions that meet an audience members expectations ( or doesn’t in interesting ways) the more likely the audience member is to enjoy, analyze and interpret the work


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Eli Film Review (2019)

Synopsis

A boy becomes trapped in a haunted house while undergoing treatment for a rare disease.

Initial release: October 18, 2019

Director: Ciaran Foy

Budget: 11 million USD

Producers: John ZaozirnyTrevor Macy

Screenplay: Ian B. GoldbergRichard NaingDavid Chirchirillo


My Review

The setting and overall feel of this movie was eerie and mysterious. The filmmakers excelled in creating this atmosphere in every way possible. However, this movie felt like two different contrasting films in one and I felt there were inconsistencies with the story and characterizations.

My biggest complaint about this film was the lack of foreshadowing and clues given. Up until the last 30 min of the movie I thought the movie had a psychological approach of Eli’s mental state, and whether or not he was actually seeing things. I did not see the ending conflict of spirituality, nuns, and the devil coming into play.

The only foreshadowing I really saw was the disconnect between Eli and his father, making it apparent that their is some kind of strain on their relationship. It was also apparent that Eli’s mom was overly religious and that there was something off about the young girl who came to visit Eli. However, it was really hard to put these clues together in order to decipher the plot twist at the end of the film and it still totally comes out of nowhere.

The main inconsistency within the characters I found was the mother’s choice in trying to get Eli to leave toward the end of the film. She clearly is not aware that the Dr. will most likely kill her son in the third phase of her plan, but she transitions from desperately getting him to leave to convincing him to stay, and then helping him leave again. It was just too back and forth for me and didn’t stay consistent to the plot and her development as a character.

This film also had a lot of references to other well- known films. For example with Eli’s name being lie spelled backward I got very strong Shining references. And the whole plot twist of Eli being a spawn of Satan reminded me a lot of Rosemary’s Baby. Which felt a little predictable and unoriginal.

The camera work and transitions between shots was very visually pleasing, and I really enjoyed watching this film from a production standpoint. I really liked the use of mirrors and spirits to create an intense feel of suspense, and it definitely had me sitting on the edge of my seat. Overall, this wasn’t a bad film and all of my issues with it are plot centered.

My Rating

4.8 out of 5


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Lucas Hagar: The Influence of NArrative Storytelling on Documentaries

In a podcast with Film Riot, Lucas Harger talked in-depth about his filmmaking process as well as the creative cross between narrative film and documentary filmmaking. As a filmmaker, Lucas has been successful in crossing between editing both documentary and narrative stories to produce unique and creative content. According to Lucas, being able to create …


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Stargirl Review (2020)

Synopsis

A teen develops a budding romance with Stargirl Caraway, a free-spirited new student who makes a big splash on her first day of school.

Initial release: March 13, 2020

DirectorJulia Hart

Music composed byRob Simonsen

Adapted fromStargirl

ScreenplayJulia HartJordan HorowitzKristin Hahn

My Review

Overall, this movie is very lighthearted and enjoyable to watch. As a whole, the film was cute and not too predictable. However, it lacked strong character development and the music numbers were painful to watch.

I think the major reason the musical numbers felt so awkward was because the transition from a normal scene to a musical number was almost non existent. There was no smooth transition between the two which felt very unnatural. The actors also seemed very uncomfortable during these scenes, which was painful to watch. The songs were catchy, and I taped my foot along to the music, but watching it was the hard part.

Overall, the acting was good. Especially with movie mainly consisting of young actors/ actresses. However, I do think that Graham Verchere (Leo) was a lot stronger than Grace VanderWaal’s (Stargirl). I’m not sure if that’s becuase I was such a huge fan of the Stargirl book as a kid, but her performance seemed off and inconsistent at times.

One of my major issues with this film was the lack of development for Archie’s character. The audience was given very little background or information about him, and I know the book goes into a lot more detail. Because of this I felt a lack of interest and investment into his character.

I did thoroughly enjoy watching this film, and it definitely is not a typical cheesy high school movie. Which is something I greatly appreciated about the film.

My Rating

4.5 out of 10

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julie taymor: the cross universe of film and theatre

In a recent podcast episode with The Treatment, Julie Taymor discussed her new movie “The Glories” and how she uses storytelling to externalize what characters are feeling on screen. Julie Taymor is a Tony Award-winning director of both theatre and film. Her goal as a creative is to master the fantastical elements of the film …

r-e-s-p-e-c-t on a film set: advice from mimi leder

In a recent podcast with the Director’s Guild, Mimi Leder, an American director and producer, gave her best advice for keeping a healthy and productive film set. Mimi’s key piece of advice was to treat everyone with the respect that they deserve, and to always show them your appreciation. She pointed out that the cast …

The Peanut Butter Falcon (2019) Review

Synopsis

After running away from a residential nursing home to pursue his dream of becoming a pro wrestler, a man who has Down syndrome befriends an outlaw who becomes his coach and ally.

Release date: August 9, 2019

(USA)DirectorsTyler NilsonMichael Schwartz

Budget: 6.2 million USD

Box office: 22.8 million

USDNominationsDirectors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directing – First-Time Feature Film

My Review

This was a highly anticipated film for me, and I loved every second. This is a heartfelt story of a friendship that parallels the classic novels of Mark Twain. I was sucked into the world of the film seconds in, and I was sad when it was over. This film follows the bond between brothers and how far that love can carry you through life.

My favorite thing about the film was its lighthearted and inspirational feel. The movie is clearly not meant to be the most realistic, but its imaginative feel made the movie incredible to watch. The character development was also astounding, and I rooted for the two protagonists to live a life free of repercussions.

Peanut Butter Falcon has the perfect balance of suspense, comedy, and lifelike elements. This film was hilarious to watch at times, and often had me laughing at the screen. There were also times I found myself sitting on the edge of my seat, holding my breath in suspense. But overall this film reached down and grabbed a hold of my heart, truly touching me in every way emotionally possible.

The actors all did a phenomenal job in this film, and I loved every preference. Zach Gottsagen truly stole the show and held the film together. I know the writers of this film are close friends with Zach in genuine life, and they wrote this film for him to star in. Zach did definitely not disappoint, and he truly shined in his performance. Shia LaBeouf’s performances was phenomenal, and the bond between the two actors was hard to miss.

While the ending of the film was not the most realistic, it fit in perfectly with the imaginative feel defined in the rest of the movie. The ending scene truly was the last piece to the puzzle and had me smiling from ear to ear.

My Rating

9 out of 10

This is a film I could definitely watch repeatedly without getting sick of it.

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Hereditary (2018) Review

Synopsis

When the matriarch of the Graham family passes away, her daughter and grandchildren unravel cryptic and increasingly terrifying secrets about their ancestry, trying to outrun the sinister fate they have inherited.

Initial release: June 7, 2018

(Russia)Director: Ari Aster

Screenplay: Ari Aster

Nominations: MTV Movie Award for Most Frightened Performance

Awards: Gotham Independent Film Award for Best Actress, Bandung Film Festival for Imported Film

My Review

I have always been a tremendous fan of Ari Aster’s films, becuase of their ability to create suspense and leave a psychological impact on the audience. After watching Midsommar, I had high expectations for this film, and it left me slightly unimpressed. There was a loss of mystery in this film, and I found the plot was predictable at times. However, the film is very well made from a production standpoint.

Unlike Midsommar, there were times this film was not subtle enough in its clues. For example, as soon as they showed the doormat at Joans door step, and Annie stated that her mom used to make mats just like that I knew there was a connection between the two. Since I knew the film focused around Pagan rituals, I knew the two were related, and that Joan was up to no good. While I could not fill in all the missing details of what was going on. Enough information was spoon fed to me I didn’t really pine to figure out the answers.

The one scene that had me holding my breath in suspense, was Charlie’s death scene. I did not see that coming, and it was definitely heartbreaking to watch. However, the only other time throughout this film that I felt this way was when Steve throws the sketchbook into the fire. All the other climatic scenes did not fully have my attention. Especially any scene that involved floating.

When Peter wakes up in bed near the climax of the film, and his mother Annie clinging to the ceiling it terrified me. However, when she began floating around, it looked so fake to me I couldn’t take it seriously.

I loved the parallel of the model doll house in the film, and I wish they would have done more with it. It definitely created a sense to the audience that they were looking in on “dolls” living their life, in which they have no control in the events transpiring. I really liked this, and it made me sad they didn’t go further with it.

My favorite thing about the film was the camera work, lighting, and set design. It was truly a beautiful film to watch and they clearly put a lot of thought behind every tiny detail. The acting was also phenomenal. In fact, I forgot I was watching a bunch of actors on screen. The actor’s performance definitely made up for the lack of investment into the plot and storyline for me.

Overall, the plot of this film was unique and creative. I had a hard time getting invested into the film and I wasn’t too eager to figure out what was going on. I was just watching the film, and so I missed out on the psychological impact of the movie. However, I would watch the film again to see if there were any tiny details or symbolic meanings I missed.

My Rating

6 out of 10


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working with what you got: Advice from the creators of Faith Based

In a recent podcast with Film Riot, the creators of the film Faith Based (Vincent Masciale, Luke Barnett, and Tanner Thomason), gave constructive advice to filmmakers who think they need to wait till they make it into Hollywood to make their film. The filmmakers discussed how their original plan for the film was to shoot …

Aaron Schneider’s Directing advice from film Greyhound

In a recent podcast with Film Riot, Aaron Schneider discussed the things we were forced to learn while shooting Greyhound. Most of the films set was composed of green screens, which had its challenges. Schneider’s main advice is to come up with a detailed and set plan when working with extensive green screens and technology …

Humility and Confidence in Filmmaking- Quincy Ledbetter’s advice

In a recent podcast episode with Film Riot, filmmaker Quincy Ledbetter discusses his first feature film with Paramount and how he got to where he is today. Ledbetter’s key advice is that a filmmaker needs to find the perfect balance between confidence and humility. He went on to state that as a director it’s okay …

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The Pianist (2002) Review

Synopsis

In this adaptation of the autobiography “The Pianist: The Extraordinary True Story of One Man’s Survival in Warsaw, 1939-1945,” Wladyslaw Szpilman (Adrien Brody), a Polish Jewish radio station pianist, sees Warsaw change gradually as World War II begins. Szpilman is forced into the Warsaw Ghetto, but is later separated from his family during Operation Reinhard. From this time until the concentration camp prisoners are released, Szpilman hides in various locations among the ruins of Warsaw.

Release date: December 4, 2002

(USA)Director: Roman Polanski

Featured song: Nocturne in C-sharp minor, Op. posth.

Screenplay: Ronald Harwood

My Review

I’m ashamed to say that it took me so long to a watch this film. The Pianist gives its audience an entirely fresh perspective of what Jews faced during the Holocaust. This film touched my soul uniquely. If you have not seen this film, do yourself a favor and go watch it!

Most movies with a Jewish protagonist during WWII showcase what life was like inside of the concentration camps. However, in this film the audience gains knowledge of what life in the Ghetto was like and what life looked like for the Jews that worked outside of Concentration Camps. I loved getting a new outlook on historically accurate events, especially since this film is based on a true story.

Szpilman in his hiding place

The film centers on Wladyslaw Szpilman, a Jewish pianist living in Poland. As his family is being loaded up on trains headed for Concentration Camps, a Jewish friend of Szpilman’s who became a German Solder pulls him out of the crowd saving his life. The rest of the film follows Szpilman trying to survive in an empty ghetto, getting a construction job working for the Germans, and finally hiding out until the end of the war.

This is not a movie for those faint of heart. There is a reason they rate this film R. It’s emotionally jarring and hard to watch at times. However, for that reason I think it’s crucial for us to watch. The acting in this movie is beyond incredible. Adrien Brody, portrays the protagonist film, and his acting is one of the most believable performances I have seen in a very long time. Whatever emotion his character was feeling, I physically felt in my gut. In fact, there were several times I teared up alongside him. The acting along with the lifelike sets made me feel like I was watching a documentary on the actual family versus actors re-creating the historical events.

Szpilman wanders around an empty Jewish Ghetto after being separated from his entire family

I’ve heard people criticizing this film for having too slow of a pace. However, for me this just added to its realist feel. It felt like the film was occurring in real time, which added to its life like feel. I have nothing bad to say about this film. Have you seen this film? Leave your thoughts in the comments down below.

My Rating

5 out of 5

I would definitely watch this film again, and I highly recommend everyone watch it at least once in their lifetime. This film is available for streaming on Netflix and Amazon Prime as of the time I am posting this.

Wladyslaw Szpilman In Real Life

If you enjoy Holocaust centered films, check out my review on Life Is Beautiful. Another film centered on a Jewish family with a unique storyline and perspective.

https://cinematicgeekster.com/2020/04/26/life-is-beautiful-1997-film-review/


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Judd Apatow: The Role of improvisation in FILMMAKING

In a recent podcast with the Director’s Guild, Judd Apatow shared his advice for film directors. Judd had lots of brilliant advice to give, but the principal thing he kept reiterating was the important of improvisation in film-making. He expressed that throughout the entire film-making process he slowly allows the film to come to life. …

Control Your Property- Jim Cummin’s Advice On Distributing Your Own Film

Jim Cummings is an extremely unique director in the sense that he often heads up the distribution of his films and their production. In a recent Podcast with Film Riot, he explains to the listeners just how he goes about accomplishing this. To many filmmakers, the idea of overseeing the distribution of your own films …

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Life is Beautiful (1997) Film Review

Synopsis

A gentle Jewish-Italian waiter, Guido Orefice (Roberto Benigni), meets Dora (Nicoletta Braschi), a pretty schoolteacher, and wins her over with his charm and humor. Eventually they marry and have a son, Giosue (Giorgio Cantarini). Their happiness is abruptly halted, however, when Guido and Giosue are separated from Dora and taken to a concentration camp. Determined to shelter his son from the horrors of his surroundings, Guido convinces Giosue that their time in the camp is merely a game.

Release date: October 23, 1998

(USA)Director: Roberto Benigni

Featured song: La vita è bella

Awards: Academy Award for Best Actor

My Review

I have seen this film over five times now, and yet it remains in the list of my top ten favorite films. This film follows Guido, a Jewish Italian with a very whimsical and carefree attitude towards life. I like to consider this film being split into two acts- the first act follows Guido winning the girl and growing a family together and the second act follows Guido’s family in a Nazi concentration camp.

My favorite thing about this film is that the audience watches it through the eyes of Guido’s son in a way. Throughout their stay at the concentration camp, Guido makes it his goal to shield his son from the surrounding horrors. Therefore, Guido tells his son Joshua that it is all a game to win points, and that the first person to reach 1,000 points receives an actual tank. This allows Joshua to hold on to his childhood innocence, which is the strongest gift his father could give him.

Because of this, the audience is spared from seeing an excessive amount of the horrors going on in the camp. However, a lot of the horrors are suggested and as an audience member who knows the history of WWII and concentration camps, it’s easy to be aware of what is really going on. Even though the son remains clueless to the reality of his situation.

This is such a wholesome and incredible film that will truly tug at your heartstrings. Watching the love Guido shows to his wife and son is inspirational and moving to watch. The only negative thing I have to say about this film is that it starts off a little slow. However, once you get past the first twenty minutes it’s worth it. I love that this film takes on a different spin on telling a story about the Holocaust, and unlike most movies centered on concentration camps, it isn’t extremely gut wrenching to watch.

My Rating

5 out of 5

If you have not seen this film, I highly suggest finding it and giving it a watch. This is the film that will leave a positive impact on you forever.


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Too Loud For The Crowd?- Criticism On Nolan’s New Film Tenet

Christopher Nolan’s film “Tenet” has had a successful opening weekend. However, there is still much debate behind the sound-mixing of Nolan’s films and “Tenet” doesn’t appear to be any different. In a recent article with Indiwire, Zack Sharf explores the sound mixing of Nolan’s films and the reasoning behind it. Many people often complain that …

Jody Lee Lipe’s Advice on the Emotional Impact of Cinematography

In a recent podcast with Film Riot, Jody Lee Lipes gave some industry advice on conveying emotion through the eye of the camera lens to the audience. Jody Lee Lipes describes cinematography as the physicality of words in images, and the cinematography of a film can have a massive impact on the psyche of an …

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5 Things I’ve learned Since Making My First Short Film

We all have to start somewhere, and that’s okay. I recently just re watched the first short film I have ever made.. and boy was it rough. But it’s not good to be critical of our past works, because we have since grown and expanded our knowledge of filmmaking. I’m going to share with you 5 things I know now that I didn’t know when I made my first short film.

  1. The Importance of Having a Script

When I made my first short film, I did not know of plot points and the three act structure. If you need a tutorial on these things check out my blog post on how to write a screenplay here… https://cinematicgeekster.wordpress.com/2020/04/13/writing-a-screenplay-rules-and-format/. However, when I made my first short film, I didn’t even use a written script. Which I thought was okay because I was the writer, director, and cinematographer. The issue with not having a written script was that the actors did not fully understand what was happening until I gave them the rundown before each shot. It also strongly impacted the continuity of my film.

2. The Importance of Quality Audio

I knew nothing about audio editing when I made my first film. I did not understand that voice narration needed to be louder than any background noise and music. I also used my iPhone to record voice over narration, which was fine, but there was a lot of wind in the background. Looking back, I could have tried to clean up the audio in editing. However, since it was my first film I was editing on Movie Maker, I really should have just recorded in a controlled and quiet environment versus outside.

3. Don’t be Afraid to Re Shoot

In my first short film I shot each scene once and then moved on. I took no time to watch the scene I just shot and see if anything needed to be redone. I also had no idea what a safety shot was and how useful it can be when it comes time to edit. The camera work of the film was not bad at all, however, there were shots out of focus I could have easily fixed by re shooting.

4. Take Time Choosing Music for Your Film

One thing that drove me crazy the most when re watching my first short film was the choice in music. Each song I chose was extremely cinematic and dramatic. Which is fine, however, I filed almost every second of the film up with this kind of music. Because of this, the music lost all of its emotional impact since there was no clear drawn climatic moment in the music. It didn’t occur to me that not every single moment of a film needs to be full of music, and that it’s okay to have silent moments as well.

5. Don’t Skip Pre-Production

I had no form of pre-production when I made my first short film. I got my actors together, had an idea in my mind, and just starting filming. Spending more time in pre production could have easily avoided many issues in my film and I think overall it would have made the film flow better. If you want a rundown on what each stage of filmmaking involves check out my blog post on the three stages of production here… https://cinematicgeekster.wordpress.com/2020/04/17/the-3-stages-of-production/


Check Out My Insagram!

https://www.instagram.com/cinematicgeekster/


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Who Are The Film Critics? And Who Do They Represent?

Kate Erbland recently wrote an article for Indiwire discussing how both women, and critics of color are still extremely under-represented in the film critic world. She states that her article will probably appear familiar to those that read last year’s Thumbs Down Study from the Center for the Study of Women in TV and Film …

Ron Howard’s Advice on Being a Good Director

In a recent Podcast with The Director’s Cut, Ron Howard spoke to Jeremy Kagan about the relationships he builds with his collaborators, and the impact these relationships have on a film. He describes the mutual and respectful relationship he aims to develop with both his first assistant director and the cinematographer, stating that both the …

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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The Mule (2018) Review

Synopsis Broke, alone and facing foreclosure on his business, 90-year-old horticulturist Earl Stone takes a job as a drug courier for a Mexican cartel. His immediate success leads to easy money and a larger shipment that soon draws the attention of hard-charging DEA agent Colin Bates. When Earl’s past mistakes start to weigh heavily on …

Silence of the Lambs (1991) Review

Synopsis Jodie Foster stars as Clarice Starling, a top student at the FBI’s training academy. Jack Crawford (Scott Glenn) wants Clarice to interview Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins), a brilliant psychiatrist who is also a violent psychopath, serving life behind bars for various acts of murder and cannibalism. Crawford believes that Lecter may have insight …

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