Monday, April 24, 2017

The Lost City of Z explores the jungles of South America and the mind

Movie Title:
The Lost City of Z

Grade:  B+

Rating:  PG-13, 140 minutes

In a Nutshell:  This savage story features the true tale of Percival Fawcett and his dream to discover The Lost City of Z along the Amazon river in the early 1900’s.  

Also explored is what makes people tick, their dreams, motivations, and how they hold on to hope.

Based on David Grann’s best-seller The Lost City of Z, it has the look and feel of one of those old-time exploration dramas and will remind you a little bit of Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Uplifting theme: 
  • Hope
  • Discovery
  • “To dream, to seek the unknown, to look for what is beautiful is its own reward.” –  Nina Fawcett (Sienna Miller)
  • “We are all made of the same clay.” – Percy (Charlie Hunnam)
  • “A man’s reach should exceed his grasp.” - Nina Fawcett  

Things I liked:

  • Good for British actor Charlie Hunnam!  He did an excellent job in portraying a complex character who is brave, hopeful, and even reckless.  He also stars in the upcoming King Arthur: Legend of The Sword: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack movie.  He has been in several movies and TV shows, but people are just now starting to really take notice of his wide range of talent.  As the newest hunk to get attention, he doesn't take his shirt off in this film, but he does in King Arthur, ladies.
  • There is an interesting USA vs. England dimension as the two countries raced to explore and discover the world first in the 19th and 20th centuries.
  • Twilight fans of Robert Pattinson will see him in a new light if they even recognize him at all underneath all that beard and hair.
  • I loved that Percy became quite humble and respectful of the land and people he explored, as opposed to his contemporaries, both American and British who arrogantly called the natives "savages."
  • While Sienna Miller plays the dutiful wife, she also has some great moments when she reveals graceful wisdom and insight.
  • Spiderman!  Tom Holland, who stars in the upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming - The Art of the Movie, does a great job as Percy's eager son.
  • There's a smoky, old-fashioned air to how the movie is filmed that adds to the eery feeling.
  • At the end of the movie, text on the screen tells you how the story ended. 
  • It's a fascinating character study on what makes men cowards and others brave.

Things I didn’t like:
  • Some of the dialogue is pretty weak. The movie was written and directed by James Gray.
  • It drags on a bit.  Experts who like that might call it "methodical pacing."
  • It's really hard to avoid people suffering in a variety of ways in an exploration story like this.  Wounds, illness, fighting, drowning, being eaten by piranha, arrows, sacrifice, etc.
  • I never saw a single trailer for this movie before it played.  The marketing was extremely thin.

Interesting lines:
  • “All that matters now is the future.” – Percy
  • “Nothing will happen to us that is not our destiny.” – Percy
  • “Have fun and be bold.” – Nina  (that's the same advice I give my sons!)
  • “So much of life is a mystery, my boy.  We know so little of this world.” – Percy
  • “It’s not possible to choose a safe passage through life.” – Jack Fawcett (Tom Holland II)
  • “We’ve never let fear determine our future.” – Nina
  • ‘It’s his essential nature.  Who am I to betray that?” – Nina Fawcett (Sienna Miller) when she decided to let her son go on a voyage with his father
  • “Peace means only that nothing will change.” – Spanish guy at beginning
  • “Am I a fool to leave my family for this place?” - Percy

Tips for parents: 
  • Topless native women
  • Profanity
  • There are subtitles you’ll need to read to kids who can’t keep up.
  • Violence and brutality.  Some people die in horrible ways. 


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