Title: Children of Men (2006) Directed By: Alfonso Cuaṛn Starring: Clive Owen, Julianne Moore, Michael Caine Rated: R Running Time: 1 hour 49 minutes (109 min)
Reviewed By: Torsten Kablitz (special guest DVD reviewer)
In the near future, the world has fallen into chaos. Women are infertile. And only England has any kind of government left, causing a massive flood of desperate and illegal immigrants to overrun the country. In this violent and tumultuous world a miracle occurs; for the first time in 20 years a woman is pregnant. But with all the different factions tearing at each other, will this miracle see the light of day? Only with Theo Faron's (Clive Owen) help.
Movie Review: I wanted to love this movie. But it just did not work for me. Maybe I just missed the point. Maybe I am not deep enough to see that the journey is more important than the destination. But, while perfectly executed and brilliantly filmed, the movie as a whole left me unsatisfied. Technically, I cannot fault the movie. Even worse, my arguments against it are what many people say are its greatest strengths. The fact that the how and why are left unresolved. We are just thrust into this world on fire without explanation. I enjoy the science in Science Fiction at least as much as the fiction. To me, it matters why women cannot become pregnant. I want to know why (or even if) the government is corrupt. For a dirty and gritty Science Fiction movie, this movie is surprisingly uncontaminated by science.
I have heard this movie compared to Bladerunner, and I would say that this is an unfair comparison. To me, Bladerunner is a more rounded movie, melding both its science and its story into a cohesive whole. If a plague during the 1920's had caused sterility amongst woman, Children of Men could have taken place then. I would compare it more to Gattaca.
Maybe I am just hung up on a technicality, but ultimately, without understanding the motivations of the characters and the forces aligned against them, I felt less and less involved in the story. We are told that the government in the movie is bad and that the path they must take is the only one. But is that true? Even in the movie, Theo says they should let everyone know about the miracle, but then we are told that this is a bad idea. So at the end, I am left wondering if everything they went thru meant anything, both to them and to me.
The DVD itself is fine. The picture quality is high with good color and black tones. The movie is also available is HD DVD. The typical DVD pause during the layer re-alignment is not placed very well and was quite noticeable. But that is a quibble. The sound quality is high, but there are some sudden jumps in volume that are unexpected.
So, if you loved the movie, this DVD may be a fine addition to your collection. Though, for a movie this popular, a special edition is sure to follow. If you agree with my movie review, there is no reason to see this movie again. If you have not seen it, you can always wait until it is free on cable.
The Extras: The extra consist of Deleted Scenes, Possibility of Hope, Children of Men comments by Slavoj Zizek, Under Attack, Theo and Julian, Futuristic Design, and Visual Effects: Creating the Baby.
Overall, the extras did provide me with a greater appreciation of the movie. I think if I really loved this movie, the extras would have held more meaning for me. As it is, the comments about the depth of the movie by Slavoj Zizek started to get annoying. But, the Under Attack and Futuristic Design shorts where fascinating. The movie does have some outstanding shots and scenes in it. Oh, the Deleted Scenes are a complete waste of space.
The Family: Not a hit with the family. After the movie was over, everyone expressed different disappointments.
Jenna (my wife) – Thumbs Down. I thought the last scene done with the soldiers rang "true" & the CGI was well done, but the rest of the movie didn't satisfy.
Kier (my son, 15) - Thumbs Down. Confusing, un-necessarily violent, and not even worth seeing twice.
And finally, my rating: 1 Star- Avoid at all cost 2 Stars - Only if you are forced to see it by 'friends' 3 Stars - Worth renting 4 Stars - Definitely worth renting, maybe even owning 5 Stars - Buy it, you'll love it. I bought a copy