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Badmovies.org Forum  |  Movies  |  Good Movies  |  Children Of Men (2006) « previous next »
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Author Topic: Children Of Men (2006)  (Read 2867 times)
Mr_Vindictive
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« on: April 03, 2007, 02:49:06 PM »




I've had P.D. James' "Children Of Men" on my bookshelf for quite sometime now after having it recommended to me by numerous people.  I've tried reading the book numerous times, but I just can't get into it.  It's slow, meandering, and ultimately boring.

Despite that, I've wanted to see Children Of Men for a while now.  I have utmost respect for Alfonso Cuarón as his previous films have been quite good.  I picked up the DVD on it's release date but didn't sit down to watch the film until now. 

Turns out that a boring book can become one of the best films I've ever seen.

Children Of Men takes place in the year 2027.  It's been 18 years since a child has been born as all of the women on the earth have become infertile.  Without a new generation, society has given up on life and has eventually crumbled.  America is no more, as are most of the other nations of the world.  Britain is the last surviving nation, and the proudly proclaim it.  Despite this, they too are falling apart. They corral up refugees from other countries and lock them in quasi-concentration camps where they are beaten and tortured.

The film follows a middle aged man named Theo (Clive Owen).  He is contacted by a female leader of a "terrorist" group (Juillane Moore) whom he has a past with.  She needs him to talk a powerful family member of his to give a transit pass to a young woman who is under her care.  The young woman needs to reach the coast as soon as possible, and it's a suicide mission without the proper papers as the young woman is a refugee. 

Theo agrees and is soon thrust into something much bigger than he could have ever imagined.  The young refugee is pregnant, and it will be the first child to be born in the last 18 years.  She needs to reach the coast to meet with "The Human Project", a rumored group of intelligent scientists who are trying to find out why the child epidemic is happening.

Children Of Men is one of the most entertaining, sad and frightening films I've watched in a long time.  The locales in the film consist of bombed out buildings and cities.  The military is everywhere, always looking for more refugees to lock up.  Society is falling apart.  It's the end of civilization, and nobody cares.  The most frightening thing about this future is that it is so damned plausible.  Everything in the film, aside from the child epidemic, hit home with me.  The shots of the bombed out cities instantly remind you of Iraq.  It's sad, but as I said, a plausible future.

I'm glad they went with Clive Owen as the lead in the film.  He's an underrated actor who can hold his own no matter what is happening within a scene.  There is about 10 minutes towards the end of the film with him running for his life during a massive battle between the military and refugees that is absolutely amazing.  It's obvious that he was not warned about where and when the explosions would happen.  Each time a gun shot hits close to home, we jump along with his character and truly fear for his life.  It's really saying something to have a film make you feel that much for a character's wellbeing. 

Well, now I'm just rambling.  I'm serious when I say this:

You should NEED to own this film.

10/10
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Mofo Rising
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« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2007, 03:27:22 PM »

I caught Children of Men in the theater, and if this was any other year where The Departed had not come out, it would have been my film of the year.  I think I enjoyed the sense of chaos each scene had, like you had no idea in which direction it was going to go.  This was true physically as well as story-wise.  Two of the best examples are the "ambush" scene and the final set piece.

Oddly enough, the movie reminded me of the game Half-Life 2.  Must have been all those decaying cityscapes.

I just recently read the book, and I actually enjoyed it quite a bit.  It's quite different than the movie, and overall a much more mournful thing than the anarchic movie.

But, yeah, I second the recommendation for Children of Men.
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Mr_Vindictive
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« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2007, 03:50:32 PM »

I meant to mention Half-Life 2 as well Mofo.  The crumbling buildings and the all watching eye of the military reminded me of City 17.
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soylentgreen
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« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2007, 04:08:18 PM »

I absolutely agree with your feelings on this film, Skaboi.  I was pining big time for it to get released here in the States and was not disappointed.  (Yes, it's very different from the book...Cuaron himself seemed proud of not having read it...gave him the guilt free chance to explore the core concepts of the story as he saw them...and that's to the film's complete advantage.)  I've been foisting this film on everyone I can, they just have no idea how good it really is.

It's really saying something to have a film make you feel that much for a character's wellbeing. 

...and that is the exact ONE SENTENCE summation of how studio-driven film projects tend to fail so consistently.
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Torgo
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« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2007, 10:47:39 PM »

this is one flick that's near the top of my must-see list.
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dean
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« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2007, 10:02:47 AM »


Great film, definitely one of my favourites.

There was one shot in the last siege scene where the entire thing was filmed in one shot, and my mouth just opened and went 'wow'.

It also really does remind me [of sorts] of Half Life 2, and makes me think even more that a movie based on that game, whilst hard, would be incredible to watch...

Got to love Michael Caine's character too, and some of the small details, like the graffitti on the wall near the train tracks saying 'could the last one alive please turn out the lights'

Very sombre film overall, and I'm glad it ended the way it did.  Doesn't pull any punches either in terms of how it deals with some of the characters.

Great watch and a must-own for me [just came out on DVD here]
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biff_debris
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« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2007, 07:04:40 PM »

I'm in complete agreement here -- Children of Men fires on all cylinders. Excellent pace, incredible performances all around, amazing cinematography and damned near perfectly utilized digifects meld into one hell of a flick. Yes, I got the DVD (which is sadly missing commentaries), and the OST disc is next =D
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Yaddo 42
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« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2007, 04:54:46 PM »

Watched this the other day, I liked a lot but was a little disappointed by the ending, I had a feeling it was going to end that way from early on.

The long takes and the confusion and terror of the ambush and the combat scenes were awesome, and really made the film work. Heightened the excitement without going the typical action movie route. This was violence with consequences and these people were not enjoying it.

Caine was great playing an older man whose youth would correspond roughly contemporary times, so the oldies music he latched onto would sound fairly contemporary to us. Good choices in the production, and in the way Caine played it. A mischievous guy rather than just a loveable old grouch or a bitter curmudgeon, you could see why he and Theo were friends.

The scene with Theo's cousin and the King Crimson music was an fantastic of sight and sound to establish the scene and mood for his character. Regal, distant, emotionally cold, and tragic all without a word of dialogue in that part.

I even detected a strain of dark humor in some scenes that was welcome. Like when "the" scene where different characters kept saying "Jesus Christ!", at that point what they were seeing would have been a miracle to them. Also when Theo kept saying, "She'll be okay." to reassure Kee after their travelling companion was removed from the bus, even as what we saw out the window told us the exact opposite.

I may have to buy this film just for the visuals. I just finished watching Curse of the Golden Flower, lots of well done CGI, saturated color visuals, and epic scale. Yet of the two films COM made the bigger impact visually and emotionally.
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Susan
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« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2007, 06:39:07 PM »

I really liked this one- i miss the "bleak" futuristic movies. And this one felt more realistic, not with everyone suddenly not being able to conceive but the whole stop on immigration. I kinda wonder if that's where we'll be headed if our population keeps swelling.

It really gave a sense of detachment, like his rich friend who looks out at all these things he's collected knowing that in 100 years nobody will be there and his response is simply 'i just don't think about it'. Which is really like our current way of thinking in how we look at global warming, overpopulation, recycling, pollution, ....oh well, not my problem. Of course here we have a look at what might happen to a society that has nothing to lose - no real future. 

Even in the end it was a mixed feeling of hope and hopelessness
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Bill C.
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« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2007, 08:49:11 AM »

I thought it was an incredibly well-done work, but wow it was depressing.  In much the same general vein as Michael Radford's 1984 was.  Yeah, it had a tiny tiny kernel of hope...albeit buried for the most part, to be fair.

Don't get me wrong--it's one of those films I'm glad I saw, but I'm not going to play my shiny new HD DVD of it into the ground either. :(
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Snivelly
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« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2007, 07:15:04 AM »

I got to see this one recently and it blew me away....I had read so many great reviews but I think they fell short of just how bleak and hopeless the whole movie felt.

I think what I liked best was the fact that Theo (Clive Owen) stayed true to his own character throughout.  Some scripts or directors would have turned him into a Rambo-wannabe, and he would have spent the second half of the movie with a gun in his hand, but instead he was just another person trying to survive the violence and chaos around him. 

I agree with Susan about the sense of detachment, and there was one scene in the building being bombed that made me cry. (I won't say what it was in case someone reading this hasn't seen the movie.)  I don't think a different ending might have worked as well, but I am going to get this book from the library now, and see what the differences were.  I plan to buy this one too, I think it's well-worth purchasing.
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Mr_Vindictive
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« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2007, 08:52:11 AM »

I got to see this one recently and it blew me away....I had read so many great reviews but I think they fell short of just how bleak and hopeless the whole movie felt.

I think what I liked best was the fact that Theo (Clive Owen) stayed true to his own character throughout.  Some scripts or directors would have turned him into a Rambo-wannabe, and he would have spent the second half of the movie with a gun in his hand, but instead he was just another person trying to survive the violence and chaos around him. 

I agree with Susan about the sense of detachment, and there was one scene in the building being bombed that made me cry. (I won't say what it was in case someone reading this hasn't seen the movie.)  I don't think a different ending might have worked as well, but I am going to get this book from the library now, and see what the differences were.  I plan to buy this one too, I think it's well-worth purchasing.

Glad you enjoyed it Snivelly.  I actually did get back around to reading the book and finished it just a couple of days ago.  Aside from character names and small details, it is a completely different story than the film.  It has it's own merits though.  Despite it's slow start, I was enthralled by the end of it. 
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"The greatest medicine in the world is human laughter. And the worst medicine is zombie laughter." -- Jack Handey

A bald man named Savalas visited me last night in a dream.  I think it was a Telly vision.
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