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Daily Film Beauty: District B13

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District B13: Manuel Teran (cinematographer) & Pierre Morel (director).

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David Belle, Bibi Naceri, and Dany Verissimo with a lot of guns in District B13.

 

Daily Film Beauty: Broken Flowers

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Broken Flowers: Frederick Elmes (cinematographer) & Jim Jarmusch (director).

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Daily Film Beauty: Alexander

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Alexander: Rodrigo Prieto (cinematographer) & Oliver Stone (director).

Below, the archers of the Persian army.

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The Imitation Game

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Co-stars Mark Strong (Moriarty in Sherlock Holmes) & Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock Holmes in "Sherlock"), © 2014 Black Bear Pics., The Imitation Game.

Co-stars Mark Strong (Moriarty in Sherlock Holmes) & Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock Holmes in “Sherlock”), © 2014 Black Bear Pics., The Imitation Game.

Do you know, this morning I was on a train that went through a city that wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for you. I bought a ticket from a man who would likely be dead if it wasn’t for you. I read up, on my work, a whole field of scientific inquiry that only exists because of you. Now, if you wish you could have been normal… I can promise you I do not. The world is an infinitely better place precisely because you weren’t.

***½

The Imitation Game tells the story of how one man changed the world for the better, but how he was a loser in his personal life. The tale unfolds in three periods of Alan Turing’s life: primary school, World War II, and when he gets robbed in the 1950s. Benedict Cumberbatch—the nerd god, “Sherlock”, Khan, the voice of Smaug and the Necromancer—plays Alan Turing in the latter two thirds of his life, while Alex Lawther plays the young man. This is not the first time Cumberbatch has played a closeted homosexual. In fact, he played one in a minor role in another film with Mark Strong. Actually Mark Strong, who plays MI6’s Stewart Menzies, played MI6 agent Jim Prideaux in that film, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

Unlike MI6 brass in that film, Alan Turing’s team of codebreakers includes a woman, Joan Clarke—Pirates of the Caribbean’s Keira Knightley. She shines as the moral compass of the film. Apparently Clarke’s real story was less sexist and zany than the film presents, but it would be unfair to criticize Knightley for the author or screenwriter’s storytelling licence. One of the cutest scenes in the film, when Clarke solves a riddle in a time deemed impossibly short by Turing, flies in the face of fact, but it was cute at a time when England was losing World War II and the codebreakers were getting no closer to cracking Enigma. Enigma being the German code used to contact their naval forces, and its cracking being the top secret mission accomplished by Turing and his team.

Keira Knightley in The Imitation Game.

Keira Knightley in The Imitation Game.

I wanted more from this well cast, enjoyable film. But it moved into the well tread territory of the obnoxious anti-hero, who is the only one who can save the day, along with the under appreciated woman, who faces huge sexism. The conquering on the Enigma code and winning of World War II while inventing the first computer should have been enough. Having to decide who lived and who died was more than enough. Unfortunately this movie went in another direction, so it managed only to be an above average flick instead of something truly special.

Daily Film Beauty: House of Flying Daggers

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House of Flying Daggers: Xiaoding Zhao (cinematographer) & Yimou Zhang (director).

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Daily Film Beauty: The Bourne Identity

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The Bourne Identity Oliver Wood (cinematographer) & Doug Liman (director). What I like best about this picture is the color palette. Is that redundant, color palette?

Clive Owen in The Bourne Supremacy.

Clive Owen in The Bourne Identity.

Daily Film Beauty: Clerks

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Clerks: David Klein (cinematographer) & Kevin Smith (director).

Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith, © Miramax 1994.

Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith, © Miramax 1994.

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