• Member Since 1st Jul, 2012
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Avenging-Hobbits


A nerd who thought it would be cool to, with the help of a few equally insane buddies adapt the entire Marvel Universe (with some DC Comics thrown in for kicks) with My Little Pony...wish me luck

More Blog Posts1730

  • 96 weeks
    Perhaps I should undergo a reincarnation

    Its been tugging at me, but I've been seriously considering of reinventing my account.

    Basically, I'd create a new account, and then focus on that revised version of Harmony's Warriors I mentioned in my last blog post, and post it to that new account.

    Read More

    7 comments · 858 views
  • 105 weeks
    Rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated.

    First things first, I'm not dead.

    I've just been working on other things, and generally trying to collect my thoughts regarding Harmony's Warriors, since I've hit a horrific dry-spell.

    After much thought, and talk with the venerable and honorable nightcrawler-fan, I've decided it's best to do what's basically a low-key reboot/refurbishing of the Universe.

    Read More

    9 comments · 630 views
  • 120 weeks
    Happy 2017

    2016 wasn't that bad, now stop complaining and move on.

    1 comments · 596 views
  • 121 weeks
    Merry Christmas!

    Merry Christmas, everyone :)

    2 comments · 500 views
  • 128 weeks
    Spoiler Free Review: Doctor Strange (2016)

    Director Scott Derrickson, fresh off the success of such horror films as Sinister and The Exorcism of Emily Rose takes a wild and mind bending leap into the magical main stream with his entry into the sprawling, wildly beloved Marvel Cinematic Universe, Doctor Strange.

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    5 comments · 573 views
Sep
4th
2015

Review: Insomnia (2002) · 8:54pm Sep 4th, 2015

Made in the wake of Memento, but before his big budget Batman films, Insomnia catches Christopher Nolan right before his true rise to fame, and still experimenting with the tropes and stylings that would later define his work. As such, it feels a bit transitory, and while still a good film, is not quite as strong or as tightly wound as it could have been.

Set in the cold Alaskan wilderness town of Nightmute, Insomnia concerns Al Pacino's world weary LA detective Frank Dormer, who is tasked to investigate the murder of a local teenage girl. Over the course of the film, we see not only the effects of the Alaskan White Nights (a phenomenon where the sun refuses to set during the summer), along with Dormer's own past transgressions, have on Dormer's psyche, and how he slowly breaks down both mentally and morally over the course of the story.

Nolan is, and has always been, a great visual director. His use of intentionally disorienting editing, coupled with an intentional playing with stuff such as frame rate, color saturation, camera focus, and sound, help convey the steady breakdown of Dormer's mind as he goes day after day without sleep. He, along with long time collaborator Wally Pfister, give the Alaska wilderness a damp, cold sense of isolation and a lonely beauty to the mountains and dense forests and fog banks rolling in off the water.

Al Pacino gives a strong performance as Dormer, fitting into the role of the world weary and increasingly guilt wracked cop who accidentally shoots his partner while stumbling through the fog, hunting for the girl's murderer. This one act, coupled with a prior transgression (namely that of planting evidence to assure conviction of a child rapist/murderer), sends his mind and morals on a downwards spiral, and while Pacino executes it very well, the film has difficultly balancing our sympathies towards him, especially after he makes a deal with the murderer of the girl, a creepy and unsettling Robin Williams, who does a great job at counterbalancing with Pacino.

This film's major flaw though, is its story. Early on, we're told that Internal Affairs is on Pacino and his partner's back, and that Internal Affairs is going to investigate Pacino. However, we're lead to believe that Pacino is a straight arrow for almost the entire movie, which makes his paranoia over his accidentally killing of his partner, coupled with his efforts to blame the killing on someone else (namely Robin Williams), mean that we can't help but wonder why doesn't Pacino simply admit to his mistake, which would help avoid a lot of the problems he encounters throughout the story. We are eventually told why he was paranoid (the aforementioned planting of evidence), but since that revelation was placed so late in the narrative, it means that the plot comes across as more convoluted then it might otherwise actually be. Had the planting of the evidence been shown first, or at least more clearly hinted at in the dialogue, I feel that the film would have been far less confusing, and that it would have been a bit more easier to understand Dormer's actions.

As a fun asides, this film has several similarities to Twin Peaks, what with a small town in the Pacific Northwest (Washington in Twin Peaks, Alaska in Insomnia), is shaken by the brutal murder of a girl found wrapped in plastic, and then an officer from outside of town comes to investigate and goes down a darker path then he initially imagined. However, the difference is that Insomnia is a lot more emotionally distant from its characters then Twin Peaks, and lacks the supernatural Cosmic Horror elements that Twin Peaks had. Not that its a bad thing, but its an interesting compare and contrast.

But yeah, in the end, Insomnia is worth a watch, but at times can be a bit frustrating, if only because it plays its cards close to its chest, and deliberately keeps key aspects of character motivation mysterious and vague until much later in the story, therefore creating confusion where they might not need to be confusion, which works against it.

Had the twist involving the planted evidence been known to the audience at the beginning, thereby explaining about 99% of the morally objectionable things Pacino does, it would have been a lot stronger, as that element of confusion over Pacino's character and his motivations would have been absent, and it would have made it a better statement on how one who thinks himself pure can be corrupted, since we wouldn't be scratching our heads over why Pacino does what he does if he's supposedly innocent of anything wrong. Otherwise, we just end up thinking he's digging himself deeper into a hole he didn't even need to dig in the first place, which makes us loose sympathy points for him.

3 out of 5

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