Friday, July 19, 2013

Jason watches THE EAST

Damn, that's a pretty good movie, good characters, and especially strong female leads. Not that it's a "chick flick" but it definitely passes the Bechdel Test, early and often. Like...in the opening scene, and many times later. If this were its only good feature--that female characters hold their own dominate in a world of corporate intrigue, social activism, and radical anarchism--then the movie would deserve as much praise as the world deserves derision for making that seem like such a remarkable achievement. But there's a lot more to it. Sarah (Brit Marling) works for a secretive corporate intelligence firm. They specializing in "fixing" company's problems. A lot of them have recently had problems with a radical collectivist group called The East (as in, where the sun rises, their goal being to wake everyone up.) She's there to observe and collect intelligence on them. Their big thing is doing "jams"--expensive and dangerous pranks against corporate CEOs involving their own corporate evil-doing (in the opening scene we see an oil exec's house filled with oil.) Soon, Sarah starts to sympathize with them and realizes they aren't just angry rich kids attacking corporations because business is evil or profits are evil. These are companies that are doing real evil--poisoning the drinking water with their runoff, or selling pharmaceuticals that are known to be dangerous (and getting away with it because the possible side effects are listed in tiny print on the box.) That and there's a physical attraction to their charismatic leader Benji (Alexander SkarsgÄrd.) A smart thriller that kept me guessing until the end, and thinking about it afterwards.

Running Time: 116 minutes
My Total Minutes: 333,536
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