In the forests of the Pacific Northwest, a father devoted to raising his six kids with a rigorous physical and intellectual education is forced to leave his paradise and enter the world, challenging his idea of what it means to be a parent.
Twenty-nine-year-old Ryotaro is underemployed, has no friends, hyperventilates and is awkward. Worse, he is also a virgin and never been kissed before. To remedy the situation he picks up a... See full summary »
In an alternate Japan, territorial street gangs form opposing factions collectively known as the Tokyo Tribes. Merra, leader of the Wu-Ronz tribe of Bukuro crosses the line to conquer all of Tokyo. The war begins.
Theresa, the shop keeper of the Ying Yang Sausages company realizes an enormous problem when she realizes she has Japanese competition called the Yang Ying sausages company. She and her ... See full summary »
A major hit in Japanese theaters since its release in June, 'Okinawa: The Afterburn' is the first documentary film to provide a comprehensive picture of the 1945 Battle of Okinawa and the ... See full summary »
Ben and Leslie Cash have long lived largely off the grid with their offspring - Bodevan, Kielyr, Vespyr, Rellian, Zaja and Nai - in a cabin in the mountains of Washington state. The parents have passed their ideals to their children, namely socialism (in its various forms) and survivalism. With the former, Ben considers most of western society as being fascist, especially corporate America. With the latter, he figures that no one will or should be there for you, so you better learn how to take care of yourself in all its aspects. As such, the children have been subject to vigorous physical training, know how to deal with minor bumps, bruises, cuts, sprains and even fractures, and know how to hunt, forage and grow their own food. The children are also non-registered home schooled, meaning that they have no official academic records. Ben and Leslie have tried to make the children critical thinkers, however within the context of their ideals. Beyond these issues, Ben and Leslie made the ... Written by
The necklace that Viggo Mortensens character wears throughtout the movie is the Norse God Thors Hammer. Thor was known for his mighty hammer that possessed many abilities. Archeological studies have found many Thor's hammer pendants in graves from around 9th-11th century in parts of Scandinavia and British Isles dating to the time of Viking raids and colonization. Some scholars believe that believers of the Norse gods began to wear the pendent as a display of faith to combat the Christian cross pendants worn by Priests who were trying to convert the pagan populations to Christianity. See more »
During the funeral scene, Dave and Harper (Steve Zahn and Kathryn Hahn) sit next to each other, and in between shots Dave's hand jumps from being behind Harper to holding her shoulder. See more »
[family gathers around the slain deer]
Today, the boy is dead. And in his place... is a man.
[rips off a bloody bite of the offered morsel]
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"Captain Fantastic" (2016 release; 119 min.) brings the story of Ben and his 6 kids. As the movie opens, we are looking onto the breath-taking landscapes of western Washington. The camera then zooms in on a deer, and before we know it, the deer is killed by a brutal knifing (with audible gasps in the theater audience). It turns out to be Ben's oldest son. Ben exclaims proudly "today a boy is dead, in his place is a man!". We get to know Ben and the 6 kids, ranging from 17 to about 7 or 8 in age, as they live completely off the grid. As we wonder "where is Ben's wife/the mom?", we learn that Leslie is in the hospital due to bipolar disorder. One day Ben drives into town to call the hospital to see how Leslie is doing... At this point we're not event 15 min. into the movie, but to tell you more of the plot would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.
Couple of comments: this is the second feature length from actor/writer/director Matt Ross, who previously directed the under the radar "28 Hotel Rooms". Here he brings something completely different, and a social experiment at that: what if you raise a family completely off the grid, in a utopian but clear anti-capitalistic setting, without any interaction with the "real" world, and what would happen if at one point those children are forced to confront the "real" world. Fascinating idea, and one that Ross examines quite nicely. The movie excels even more due to the performance of Viggo Mortensen, which is out of this world, but truth be told: the six kids are quite outstanding as well. The movie is pretty much perfect for the first 90 min., but then struggles to come to a reasonable conclusion, regretfully. There is also an outstanding score for this movie, courtesy of Alex Somers and performed by Somers and Jonsi (of Sigur Ros). Apart from the score, there are a number of other good song placements throughout the movie (but not Elton John's "Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy", if you were wondering). Can't wait to check out the soundtrack.
"Captain Fantastic" won Matt Ross the best director award in the "Un Certain Regard" showing at the Cannes Film Festival in May. The movie finally opened at my local art-house theater here in Cincinnati and I couldn't wait to see it. The Saturday early evening screening where I saw this at was attended very nicely, I am happy to say. It seems that, other than the gasps in the opening scene of the movie, the audience really enjoyed the movie. I know I did. If you are interested in a very solid family drama with a unique social experiment, you cannot go wrong with this, be it in the theater, on VOD or eventually on DVD/Blu-ray. "Captain Fantastic" is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
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