5 Reasons Why “Captain Phillips” Was The Most Accomplished Film Of 2013

By Langston Teijeiro

Hello, fellow cinephiles. I hope that you are settled in after “12 Years a Slave” won the big award and “Gravity” became the big winner (7 Academy Awards). As we are preparing for another fall season, I figured it would be beneficial to take a trip back down memory lane as I explain why Paul Greengrass’ masterpiece (Bloody Sunday, United 93, The Bourne Supremacy, etc.) known as “Captain Phillips” was truly the biggest triumph of 2013. 

Though there are many more, here are 5 reasons why:

1) What Was Written:  As a screenwriter, I understand what it takes to make a film work behind the camera. Screenwriter Billy Ray’s approach was to adapt Richard Phillips’ memoir to an entertaining, thrilling, and thought provoking Docu-Drama. The script was a multi-layered examination of the 2009 event, rather than a dull lecture. This film was written with grace from beginning to end, making an intense, informative, and jaw dropping roller-coaster ride. Billy Ray’s writing efforts won him the Writer’s Guild of America Award in 2013, as well as an Academy Award nomination in 2014 for Best Adapted Screenplay. Well deserved, Mr. Ray…Well deserved.

2) What Wasn’t WrittenHave you ever heard the phrase: A screenplay is merely a blueprint? Well, it’s true. Nobody understands this concept better than masterful director, Paul Greengrass. With a resume that ranges from the critical acclaim of “United 93” to the commercial success of “The Bourne Supremacy”, Paul Greengrass’ approach to storytelling is recognized. Much of Captain Phillips was improvised, including the iconic line that first time actor, Barkhad Abdi, ad-libbed in, which is present in arguably the most iconic and powerful scene of the entire film. However, despite the power of that famous scene, the improvisation that captured my attention the most was the captivating ending in the infirmary on the ship.

 3) Technically, The Film Should Not Have Succeeded:  When one looks at the trailer for this film, it can be concluded that “Captain Phillips” is a typical, Hollywood propaganda piece meant to sell tickets and entertainment to jaded audiences. However, thanks to Scott Rudin, Kevin Spacey, Dana Brunetti, and Michael De Luca, this film is a golden treasure that embarks and captivates, rather than merely entertains.

 4) Launched Careers: It’s always a beautiful thing to see a pack of newcomers from Minnesota shine on a big screen and, at times, steal the show from a Two-Time Academy Award Winner. However, there is one Somali from Minnesota who completely nailed his performance. Barkhad Abdi shines in this epic with no prior acting experience. His menacing demeanor, facial expressions, and impeccable body language earned him an Academy Award Nomination, Golden Globe Nomination, Screen Actor’s Guild Nomination, and a British Academy Award win for Best Supporting Actor! Who is the captain now?

 5) Solidified Careers: What more can an artist do after they make history and pass their prime? Oh yeah, reach a second career peak. Throughout the film, Tom Hanks maintains a reserved, composed, and calm demeanor as the lead performer. However, in the third act in the lifeboat, Phillips’ composure runs out, and as the pirates are executed in a brilliant fashion, Hanks delivers in a way that no other actor could have. The ending in the infirmary shows Hanks’ prowess as an actor and he shows all of the reservation, composure, and calm being channeled through shock, distortion of speech, tears, and trauma. It’s the perfect examination of the human brain after it experiences a traumatizing occurrence which, in my opinion, equates to Hanks’ finest work to date.

With Henry Jackman’s score, Barry Ackroyd’s lighting, Greengrass’ brilliant ability to engage a story, and plenty of other technical challenges this film had to endure (Shooting in tight spaces, filming on the ocean, etc.),“Captain Phillips” diligently executes cinematic structures and formulas. However, it rebels in every way possible, making this film the greatest cinematic accomplishment of 2013.

Now all we can do is sit back, watch the news, and predict what story Paul Greengrass will grace us with next.

Langston Teijeiro is a 24 year old screenwriter based out of New York City and Los Angeles. He is currently in the process of planning his first directorial debut (Which he wrote himself) and should begin shooting Summer 2015. He was born and raised in Miami, FL, and graduated from Florida International University in August 2012.”

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Optimus Prime Fails to Let Awful Humans Die in ‘Transformers: Age of Extinction’

By Tara M. Clapper, The Geek Initiative’s Senior Editor. Initially published on The Geek Initiative

Optimus Prime makes a big mistake in the latest “Transformers” movie: he defends humanity. This installment proves even more regressive than “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen,” formerly my least favorite movie. Since the last film was tolerable and my husband is a fan of the animated “Transformers” series and movies, I decided to give the fourth installment a shot.

Typically I adore plots that involve characters defending humanity – whether it’s an alien robot like Optimus Prime, the president in “Independence Day,” or the god of thunder. Unfortunately, all of the humans in “Transformers: Age of Extinction” fail to prove they are worth redemption.

Not Dating Him, LOL! He’s My Dad!

The human side of the story begins in Texas, complete with idyllic sunset. There, we meet Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg) and his daughter Tessa (Nicola Peltz). But there’s a catch – the relationship between Cade and Tessa is ambiguous at first until we realize Cade is the widowed parent of Tessa. There’s nothing wrong with the age difference (it’s great to see a young parent who supports his daughter), just that it’s presented so you may first assume the two are dating. Additionally, Tessa’s uncle figure makes more than one creepy comment about her before their relationship is established as well.

Women Are Objectified Again. And Again…

Male characters objectify women throughout the film. We are led to believe this is pretty much their purpose in good old Texas, but the primary objectification occurs with Tessa as the subject…or rather, the object.

Tessa primarily serves as character development for Cade and Shane (Jack Reynor), her tan Irish racecar driver boyfriend. The two spend most of the movie fighting over what Tessa is allowed to do, who she belongs to, and who is worthy of protecting her. They seem to disagree with what the 17-year-old should be allowed to do with her body. Tessa, of course, just stays quiet except for the occasional ‘but daaad,’ and lets the men decide her fate in all regards.

There were also some fake bots that looked suspiciously like Arcee. Bumblebee refers to these fake bots as ‘things.’

Even when Cade tells Tessa she wasn’t a mistake (because she was unplanned), he makes sure to remind her that she’s the best thing that ever happened to him.

Tessa Is a Victim

Tessa serves as a victim in most of the film. She’s a victim of:

  • Her mother’s death
  • Her father’s lack of responsibility
  • An agent pointing a gun at her within the first 20 minutes of the film in order to make her father cooperate
  • Robots, robots, and more robots – somehow everyone else can roll out of the way but for Tessa, who remains paralyzed with fear
  • While restrained, she is nearly a victim of alien tongue penetration – yes, it really does get that rapey
  • Denial of education as she is rejected for a collegiate scholarship
  • Fear of heights, despite the male characters’ innate ability to traverse suspended cables in moderate winds
  • Men deciding who is responsible for her while she isn’t even awake

The Role of Tessa

If Tessa had a role other than victim or possession, her character might be redeemable. I spent most of the movie vacillating between ‘she’s already so weak, I hope they don’t fridge her’ to ‘now she’s just annoying; put her out of her misery.’ Not only did I lack sympathy for Tessa, she just seemed intentionally helpless. No wonder the men were fighting over who had to bear this burden of protecting the farm girl.

That’s the thing, though – in the beginning of the movie, Tessa finds out that she doesn’t get a college scholarship. She doesn’t even tell her father; instead, she starts to justify staying at home because no one else is there to take care of her father. He doesn’t even notice she’s upset.

At least she has a role – she cooks and makes sure he has food and she cleans the house. While it isn’t what she wants out of life, it’s something – except in true Michael Bay fashion, her house blows up less than 15 minutes later, leaving her without the backup role of homemaker.

Blatant Racism

The movie has a lot of white people in it and many Asians who fit neatly into stereotypes (especially martial arts master). Aside from a few random agents, the film contains no African-American actors…except for one. He’s just a tiny robot guy with a ‘black’ accent. He gets trapped and experimented upon and when a white man of authority is tired of hearing him complain about it, he electrocutes the robot to make him stop talking.

The little robot, meant to be comic relief, becomes free – and declares he’s “free at last” – because nothing says ‘it’s not racist, he’s just a robot’ like a racially exaggerated, electrocuted robot blatantly quoting/mocking Dr. Martin Luther King.

Confusion in Humor

At various points in the film, I think some of the characters’ misogynistic comments are supposed to be exaggerated; unfortunately, the blatant sexism taking place in the ‘who possesses Tessa’ trio makes it nearly impossible to tell exactly where the line is drawn – if there even is one.

Sexism in Language and the Vagina Monster

“Don’t bitch out on me.” This is one of the more disturbing lines in the film. What’s even better – Tessa’s father is the one who says it to her boyfriend. What’s more disturbing is that Wahlberg not only agreed to say this line multiple times, but brought his wife and children to the movie’s premiere.

Someone else gets called a bitch – this time by Hound (John Goodman). He lays out the curse while he’s taking care of a villainous vagina monster – that is a vagina dentata alien who offended him by ejaculating fluid onto him.

Michael Bay Films…Now With More Machismo!

I’ve heard it before. Us pesky feminists, always complaining about how women are treated unfairly when men endure so much. Well, Bay’s film has something to offend you as well, especially if you happen to be a less-than-perfect-looking bearded dude or a guy not working in a high level of government. Anything other than that – including a large chunk of the film’s demographic, I imagine – is a stooge. Several ‘normal guy’ characters (including male scientists) are portrayed as not manly enough.

He Who Has the Biggest Peen

So who actually gets to decide what Tessa does with her life and her body? Her dad. That’s because he’s the one who strokes the big giant penis sword first.

What I Liked About This Movie

  • Very occasionally, some women in the movie had heroic moments. Unfortunately, they were overshadowed by the rampant sexism of the males.
  • Dinobots and explosions are cool.
  • The poor editing was hilarious. One moment, Cade’s crying out about injustice and two seconds later a bad cut scene reveals his sudden serenity.
  • Despite being in a survival situation, Tessa is sure to find some time to make sure her nails are painted a trendy periwinkle about three-fourths of the way through the movie. Obviously she has her priorities straight.

Trivia – Possibly Unrelated, But I’m Thinking No…

Screenwriter Ehren Kruger once worked as an executive assistant at The Fox Network, also known as the company that airs Fox News and the company that canceled “Firefly.” Draw your own conclusions.

(Re-published with permission)

Hello, High School Flashbacks

Hello, Film Syrup viewers, we’re back! Film Syrup’s creative team: Paige Skelly, Roxanne Pfaus, Colleen Rowe, and our NEW creative accomplice – Sarina Penza! We have provided the following post and photos to recreate generally well known movie scenes and character interactions. It’s a reunion and you’re all invited:

Infamously horrifically portrayed, high school is often considered by many middle-aged bar goers at happy hour as a chunk of their prime years, while  others, tortured by the memories of themselves as the classic “geek,” pretend that it’s a portion of their history that’s unaccounted for. If you’re anything like me, you don’t care either way, but you expect the people who portray it to be so wonderful or so oppositely horrible to want to leave it behind and make new memories. As often is the case, logic is thrown out the window and run over by a steam roller when filmmaking is involved and stories have been and will continue to be created to exhibit remnants of these high school stories, whether they are exaggerated or completely made up. IMG_5529Among the high school movie classics, there’s a commonality for jealous or resentful friends to become murderers of the “Queen Bee.” It sounds extreme, because it is. Along with a setting and victim, this teen villain needs a weapon. For a sweet ending, the weapon in this case is a jawbreaker, (yes, the candy).

Pictures inspired by: Jawbreaker (1999), written and directed by Darren SteinIMG_5537On the left, our model portrays the originally innocent, “Fern Mayo,” (Judy Greer) who inadvertently walks in on “Julie Freeman,” (Rebecca Gayheart) portrayed by our model on the right, as she and her friends attempt to cover up the “accidental” death of the high school-famous, Elizabeth Purr. Fern makes a deal with the devil, Julie’s friend, Courtney Shayne, and trades her promise to keep their cover up a secret, so long as she becomes one of the most popular gals in school – ladies, I hope you are not taking notes.IMG_5533Fern Mayo renamed, “Violet,” is given this chance to surpass her role as a mousy “geek,” swimming helplessly at the bottom of the high school social pyramid, into the world that Julie Freeman and her friends control. For the first time in her life, Fern is making the decisions that lead other people to trip and fall before her.IMG_5596With this new found power, Violet has the world at the tips of her fingers, or perhaps, just a jawbreaker that is shaped like the world (It’s okay, sometimes people get confused about planet sizes. Astronomy isn’t typically a high school class). With this metaphor for power, the Jawbreaker, Violet sits on her throne, blinded with the power that her sweet tooth introduces her to. She just doesn’t realize that her throne is made of fake gold.IMG_5612Eventually, Violet loses the one true friend she might have, Julie, because of her obsession with being someone great – someone that people will remember.IMG_5611Regardless of what or who you want to be, you’ll always be the person you were before the facade someone else made for you melts like lipstick in the sun. It’s better to be just Fern Mayo than an accomplice to a murder. Choose the name you were given – if you resort to calling yourself a flower, there’s obviously something wrong with you. “I killed Liz, I killed the teen dream. Deal with it.” -Courtney Shayne (Rose McGowan) *** IMG_5650Surprisingly Jawbreaker isn’t the only movie where the protagonist is an accomplice to a high school murder. The infamous Heathers (1988) did it first. Directed by Michael Lehmann, Heathers follows a group girls, three who are appropriately named “Heather” and the other, “Veronica” (Winona Ryder). After one of the Heathers mysteriously commits suicide, there’s a buzz where this act of sadness becomes a craze, like a fashion statement would.IMG_5620Rudely absurd, this 80s flick is beyond ridiculous, especially when psychopathic J.D. (Christian Slater) comes into the picture. Why is everyone playing croquet when there are murders and faked suicides taking place? Here, we’ve replaced croquet with golf, modernizing the comedic aspects of the film, because regardless of what anyone says, this film is surprisingly, a comedy – well, a black comedy.IMG_5643J.D. definitely arises serious animosity between Veronica and the Heathers – or at least the ones who remain alive. Originally friends, these bratty chicks become enemies. What else is new?IMG_5678Watch out, Heather(s), with J.D. on her side, Veronica is unknowingly becoming the hottest murder accomplice in town. I wouldn’t get on her bad side.

IMG_5659The issue of Veronica attacking her friends becomes controversial, because the Heathers are typically horrible. With their feigned sadness and pouts, you start to hate them for their complete disinterest in the deaths of their friends and classmates, especially Heather Duke (Shannen Doherty).

IMG_5637Remember to keep your friends close, but your Heathers closer. *** IMG_5688With a lighter tone, we enter the world of the brave and the clueless. No, wait, it’s just the clueless. In the 1995 Comedy, Clueless, written by Amy Heckerling, rich and thoroughly aloof, Cher Horowitz (Alicia Silverstone) is obsessed with creating projects for herself to make over those who are, in her opinion, in need of extreme help.IMG_5732 IMG_5730Compared to the “teen dreams” in Heathers and Jawbreaker, Cher is much more open to helping others rather than screwing them over. Or really, in the case of those movies, killing them. She adopts confused, new girl, Tai (Brittany Murphy) as one of her projects – to re-do her shy, stoner girl “look” and make her into a member of the crowd. There is one aspect of Tai’s personality that doesn’t have to be redone for her to fit in: she is completely clueless.clueless 3While Cher dominates, it is not with vengeance, malice, or regret. Her original motives to impress her love interest and prove herself to him with charity work, something that he generally admires, turns into a mission that shows there are more depths to a seemingly clueless gal than expected.clueless 1 IMG_5695Although these girls aren’t very intelligent, they prove to be good people. Are these movies teaching us that you have to be mean, manipulative, and vindictive to resemble any form of a logical human being? Do we have a choice to be a clueless good-doer or an informed bitch? Just grab your furry pen and write a complaint, I guess. *** IMG_5757Cult classic, The Breakfast Club (1985), written and directed by John Hughes, should never be forgotten when referring to great setting-based high school films. The two female characters within the film, Claire (Molly Ringwald), and Allison (Ally Sheedy) are opposite poles with skirts on. Stuck-up, popular, Claire, and Grunge-inspired, introvert Allison are stuck in detention on a Saturday with their three male classmates.

the bfast clubThey’re portrayed as these female high school students who live in completely different worlds – Allison’s is painted black and Claire’s is showering her with diamond earrings. Criticized separately for being who they are, one assumes that the “perfect” high school female attraction would be a girl who sits at the median of their rotating spheres.

IMG_5769 IMG_5765After admitting to past offenses, getting stoned, dancing to a classic 80s playlist and requesting that the male “geek” write their papers as a joint effort, they eventually learn more about each other than they originally plan to.IMG_5799Don’t, Don’t, Don’t, Don’t forget about the basket case and the princess. Don’t you.. *** “This is what I know…I´m 25 years old and I have never really kissed a guy. A geek to the core, most of my childhood years were spent doing extra homework I requested from the teacher. High school was more of the same…IMG_5810I will stand on the pitcher´s mound for five minutes prior to the first pitch. If this man accepts my apology…I ask him to come kiss me…for my first real kiss.” (Never Been Kissed, 1999) Directed by Raja Gosnell, Never Been Kissed depicts the life of Josie Gellar (Drew Barrymore) and her return to high school at 25, as an undercover reporter for the Chicago Sun Times.IMG_5828Critiqued by the “popular” girls, Josie attempts to fit in by partying at the local venues where her classmates dwell, only to fully embarrass herself in front of everyone who matters for the success of her journalistic report. Her original objective becomes unfocused, but the result of her return to high school is unexpected.IMG_5871Initially, Josie’s high school experience (#2) isn’t successful socially. Her car is stolen by the “in” crowd, she’s repeatedly called a loser, is forced to wear a sombrero in her Spanish class as a result of her tardiness, and the list goes on like a consistent throb.IMG_5916With the help of her brother, Rob (David Arquette), who accompanies her on her trip down memory lane, Josie is accepted into the “cool” crowd, where prom costumes are styled based on Barbie-related wear.IMG_5926Regardless of her newly improved social status, Josie must still conform to popular norms, including beginning to ignore a classmate who was nice to her when everyone else treated her horribly.IMG_5930Kirsten (Jessica Alba), thinks that “YOU SO DO NOT DESERVE TO BE PROM QUEEN,” Josie Gellar. Which is probably a good thing…since you’re 25. Take it as a compliment and get back to your extremely legitimate job, leaving the ghost of high school past to perish in waves of forgotten memory behind you.

You should only return to high school in real life  when there’s a reunion or maybe not even for that. It’s a part of your past just like the period where you learned how to walk is. It happened, you learned “stuff,” -completely necessary stuff- and you moved on. For now, if you’re ever feeling nostalgic for unnecessarily small lockers, watch one of these films and reminisce. Stick to the films that preceded High School Musical – don’t be lame!

Team:

Writer/Photographer – Colleen Rowe

Stylist/Co-Photographer- Roxanne Pfaus

Model- Paige Skelly

Model- Sarina Penza

Help us to spread the word/contribute so that we can continue making future projects like this.

Man of Steel: A Spoiler-Free Feminist Review

By Tara M. Clapper, originally published on The Geek Initiative.

I’ll give it to  you straight: “Man of Steel” fails the Bechdel Test. Hard. There’s a lot of missed potential. Here’s a spoiler-free, feminist perspective on the movie.

Lois Lane – This version of Lois (Amy Adams) has potential. There aren’t too many character details that need to be changed to update the character. Her profession is still relevant; her personality is still independent and irrepressible. This movie confirms these facts before Lois encounters Clark (Henry Cavill). In the beginning of the movie, we learn that Lois served as an embedded journalist in a military situation. Sounds kick ass, right? Well, after it’s mentioned, this fact is forgotten.

Lois Lane’s Role In Plot – Aside from serving as Superman’s love interest, Lois helps Clark discover his identity and purpose. In this specific way, it’s nearly identical to the role of Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) in “Thor.” Beyond that, Lois does learn information key to the success of Superman and his human allies. However, instead of acting completely with this information in vintage Lois fashion, she just passes the info on to a (male) character, who then completes the task.

Once she uses her reporter skills to understand (extremely early in the movie) that Clark Kent isn’t a typical guy, she serves only as a love interest and a vessel for information. Her role becomes very passive as the movie progresses. As Superman’s quest for identity and monumental decisions take on more importance, Lois becomes a background character – yet her romantic interest in him grows.

While we do see Lois working as a journalist at various points in the movie, her accolades and experiences are not mentioned after the main action sequences.

And So She’s Damseled – Yes, even I wanted to see Superman rescue Lois as she’s falling in the sky. I was glad to see it once. But several times? It’s overkill. I actually feel like she was only falling from buildings and planes to remind us that she was still present, because the script gave her nothing else to do and no other way to again catch the attention of that handsome guy in the red cape. 

The Relationship – My husband didn’t like the progress of the romantic interactions between Lois and Clark and we had a debate about it. In this movie, Lois is actually present for some of Clark’s journey in discovering his identity. I felt that this strengthened the relationship and made me relate to both of the characters more, but my husband expressed a strong preference for the standard ‘double identity’ scenario in which Lois does not realize that Clark and Superman are the same guy.

I don’t think it works well in a contemporary setting, especially when we’re supposed to believe a Pulitzer-winning investigative journalist can’t figure it out. I’m glad they alter the dual identity thing in this movie and I think my husband’s yearning has less to do with nostalgia and more to do with patriarchal bullshit. I’m pretty much over comic book movies that exhibit this type of behavior and I’m very grateful that “Man of Steel” moved past it.

Bechdel Test? Nope. Despite several opportunities for the female characters to pass the Bechdel Test, they do not. Additionally, Superman likes to save people and he saves both males and females – and that’s great. During the movie, this theme is echoed when other characters act to save bystanders and colleagues. Unfortunately, only males get to be heroes in this scenario, and the victims in need of rescuing are usually women.

Villainous Female – There is one female villain in the movie. Faora-Ul (Antje Traue) is on Team Zod, and she kicks ass. She can hold her own against male and female opponents. Unfortunately, she’s the only woman in the movie that gets to exhibit any real physical power. And she’s a villain. So basically…this movie is just trying to tell me that powerful women are bad.

How Clark/Superman Treats Women – Clark is respectful to women in the movie (Minus Faora-Ul, but she’s out to kill him). His real struggles are with his own personal identity, some difficult decisions he has to make, and his human father, Jonathan Kent (Kevin Costner).

Maternal and Nurturing Imagery – “Man of Steel” featured a great deal of maternal and nurturing imagery towards the main character, who is depicted at different stages of life, and never without a mother figure. Clark is always the decision-maker (even when it’s him and his human dad), though women tend to take a passive role. That said, I wouldn’t say this imagery is negative; I just wish it was balanced with a more assertive female character or at least a physically intimidating female character who did something useful.

Three female characters are also portrayed as emotional, however I would argue that this is a positive trait of the movie. If anything, all of the male characters except Jor-El (Russell Crowe) and General Zod (Michael Shannon) were a bit too unemotional to be realistic.

The Penis Pods – At one point, some characters get put in pods in outer space. They’re shaped like penises. Flying dildos encompass the entire movie screen. Thank goodness I wasn’t watching the movie in 3D!

It was so obvious that most of the audience started laughing and pointing at the penis pods. Why were the pods shaped like penises? I’m not sure. It had to be intentional, though, because I can’t imagine anyone calling those things anything other than space dildos or penis pods. At that point, I was pretty immersed in the story, but the shape of the space pods ruined my immersion.

Female Soldier – There is one (token) female soldier. She gets few lines and they are always spoken to men. Her most significant line, of course, is about Superman. After she manages to survive (and I assume perform duties adequately) after a major catastrophic event, her male commanding officer does not congratulate her. Instead, he asks her why she’s smirking. I’ll let you guess why. It has nothing to do with the fact that she may have worked on a team who defends against alien invaders and everything to do with the male superhero who doesn’t even thank her for her service. And if she even had a name, I didn’t catch it.

I visually surveyed the audience at the theater. It seemed about 80% male, versus the 60% male audience I observed at “Iron Man 3″ and “The Avengers.” Yeah, Henry Cavill takes his shirt off. Yes, he looks great – but DC unfortunately hasn’t figured out something Marvel clearly understood with “Thor” in 2010 and the movies that followed: female viewers want more out of a movie than a good-looking guy, and they’ll pay to see a comic book movie at least once if you keep that in mind.

Overall, the movie could have been worse. The acting was top notch; Cavill’s portrayal of Superman is a careful balance of an homage and an original. The plot is easy to follow for a non-comic book fan and the first quarter of the movie is especially gripping. It blended lessons learned from “Serenity,” “Star Trek,” “Thor” and “The Avengers” (some of the plot comparisons are unavoidable) as well as “The Matrix” without borrowing too heavily from any one influence. However, you may want to take some motion sickness pills – the camera is constantly shaky to provide a documentary-style feeling and to blur out sub-par special effects.

Tara M. Clapper is the Senior Editor at The Geek Initiative.