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Non-Review Review: Fort McCoy

This film was seen as part of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival 2012.

Fort McCoy is a mess of a film that manages to botch a fairly interesting and compelling premise. Though Eric Stoltz does manage to escape the film with much of his dignity intact, many of his co-stars are not nearly as lucky. Written and directed by, and co-starring, Kate Connor, the movie struggles to find any measure of tonal consistency, as the movie takes basic concepts like cultural identity and coming-of-age drama, only to mangle them by playing to extreme melodrama. Indeed, most of the movie’s problems find expression in a single awkward moment: following the death of one of their own, the German P.O.W.’s at the eponymous camp arrange a funeral profession, which Connor opts to film in slow-motion, treating us to the unintentionally hilarious image of a bunch of mourning slow-motion goose-stepping Nazis. It’s a scene that beautifully evokes all the sorts of complex emotions that Connor was undoubtedly aiming for, but also demonstrates that the film has absolutely no idea how to get them to work together.

The war at home...

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Caprica (Pilot)

Part of me wonders how a prequel television show is supposed to work. It’s worrying that the only other example which springs to mind is Star Trek: Enterprise, which suffered from failing to explore its premise for three years before finally engaging with the mythos in time to be resoundingly cancelled. I wonder whether I can sit down and watch a prequel day-in and day-out. In a way, no matter how good the show is, it has been spoiled for you. No matter how sharp a left turn the writers may stick into a particular episode, you just know they’ll have to straighten it out down the line. The very premise for Battlestar Galactica is a spoiler for Caprica: mankind is wiped out by the robotic Cylons, former soldiers and slaves who rose up and rebelled. As a result, there’s no suspense when Daniel Grayson finds himself up for a government contract or attempts to crack A.I. – unless the series is a gigantic red herring (and, though I wouldn’t put it past the creators, it is far too early to show their hand if it is), we know that his actions will create robotic killing machines made just a little too perfect.

Oh, the lawyer and the computer genius should be friends... oh, the lawyer and the computer genius should be friends...

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