Universal Pictures Children of Men (Combo HD DVD and Standard DVD) In 2027 as humankind faces the likelihood of its own extinction a disillusioned government agent agrees to help transport and protect a miraculously pregna... more »nt woman to a sanctuary at sea where her childs birth may help scientists to save the future of mankind.« less
ALERT - You are ordering an HD-DVD item. This format can be played only in HD-DVD players (the discs will NOT play in regular DVD or Blu-Ray players). If you do NOT have an HD-DVD player, you should not order this item.
It's The End Of the World As I Know It--But Maybe Not...
K. Harris | Las Vegas, NV | 03/07/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Children of Men," by Mexican director Alfonso Cuaron, was one of the more unusual success stories of 2006. While not a blockbuster, by any standards, this unconventional film was all but abandoned by a studio that didn't know how to market it. Positioned for release during prime Oscar season, this is not a film that was backed as a potential nominee. However, as almost universal critical acceptance came rolling in--a smaller, but loyal, fan base discovered and embraced this movie. "Children of Men" ended up, therefore, with much acclaim and admiration, decent box office, a more widespread distribution, and 3 Academy Award nominations (Screenplay, Editing, and Cinematography).
In an interesting twist on the apocalypse drama genre, "Children of Men" presents a world that is coming to an end with a whimper as opposed to a bang. For there is no cataclysmic explosion forcing humanity to confront it's own mortality. No, in this case, people have simply lost the ability to reproduce--and the youngest person alive is now approaching adulthood. Of course, over the ensuing years (the film is set in 2027) of this ongoing tragedy, there has been an expected societal breakdown. Now, the streets of London are ravaged by terrorism and extremist groups are battling to overturn the complacent, and possibly complicit, government. While this may seem like a broad and epic canvas, "Children of Men" covers many weighty issues within the relatively straightforward story of its protagonist, Clive Owen. Owen, an ex-activist who is now somewhat disconnected, is drawn back into a world that he wants no part of. The unlikeliest and most reluctant of heroes, Owen confronts his own ideology and apathy when an extremist group introduces him to a pregnant teen. Fearing that she will be exploited, used, or otherwise politically manipulated by the warring factions--he decides to deliver her to a utopian (and perhaps mythical) society whose only interest is in saving humanity. Getting her free from the controlling clutches that bind her and crossing a country plagued by insurrection, "Children of Men" becomes a harrowing and brutal action picture with violence that resembles much of what we see on TV news today.
Owen has long been a favorite of mine. Having taken notice of him in "Croupier" (and if you haven't caught this great noir piece, please do), I have been quite impressed by his rise in mainstream films. He was so electrifying in "Closer" that I even forgave him for "Derailed." Here, he is the perfect antihero--and his evolution from a disinterested party to a rogue patriot is an indelible portrait of a man rediscovering a purpose and meaning in life. Julianne Moore, Michael Caine, and Clare-Hope Ashitey (as the pregnant team) lead an able supporting cast. The documentary feel of the film's action pieces suit the material well, and the conflicts are well staged and all too believable.
Now, there are many political debates to be started from "Children of Men" (none of which will I engage in here), but what I admired about the film's screenplay is how focused it is. Without being preachy or engaging in unnecessary "speechifying," this film plays as straight action. And while there is a "revelatory" moment near the end that almost goes too far (but is understandable within the context of the film), "Children of Men" allows you to draw your own conclusions. It just presents the story and leaves much of its interpretation up to the viewer. That, to me, is always a satisfying choice. Whether you view this film as action, sci-fi, political allegory, or a combination of all three--it's a worthwhile and entertaining film. KGHarris, 03/07."
allismile0 | Washington, DC | 10/20/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Children of Men just came out today in Spain and it is fantastic.
The story line is totally original and the acting is superb. Clive Owen is captivating as a man caught between his sorrow from his past and the hope for a new world future.
The basic premise is set in the year 2027 and 18 years ago women mysteriously stopped being capable of having children. Society has started to crumble because all hope of the future has disappeared.
Owen's character (Theo), an ex-activist, is pulled into an underground "terrorist" group that has found something that will bring hope to the world; but hidden agendas and distrust are threatening to pull the only hope left apart.
The cinematography and set designs are top notch, and with a supporting cast that includes Michael Caine and Julianne Moore- it only takes a great story to that next level of excellence.
Also the soundtrack is really well chosen and they use the music to great effect in some scenes; for example King Crimson's "court of the crimson king" is especially effective.
January 5th. I thought I would add that I just saw the movie for the second time today. The visual poetry and thought provoking ideas have stayed quite strong in my mind since I last saw it in October. The second time around the movie stirred up just as many thoughts and emotions as the first.
As some of the other reviewers has mentioned this is a very real feeling science fiction. The problems of tomorrow in this film seem to align itself with many of the issues that we are burying ourselves in today like our growing dependency on chemicals (many with unknown side effects), or the waste that we put in our environment, and last and certainly paramount, the decreasing faith we have of anything beyond our sciences in which we measure reason, and rely upon.
Children Of Men has become one of my favorite movies. And I hope that anyone with a thirst for thoughtfulness gets a chance to see this brilliant movie."
A bold departure for P.D. James (author) results in a stunni
K. Corn | Indianapolis,, IN United States | 03/20/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"While I loved the movie, I strongly suggest you read the book as well. There are differences between the two and, of course, verbal descriptions of characters' thoughts are often hard to reproduce on screen. Almost always, sacrifices must be made in the script - and this film is no exception. However, I DO feel the movie stays true to the INTENT and MESSAGE of the book and it is quite a wonderful film. It is futuristic and if you know anything about the author of the book on which this film is based (P.D. James) you'll know this isn't her usual mystery story. But it is one of my favorite works that she has written, telling of a time when people are infertile and of the hope that resides when there is a chance that someone can produce children again. The government gets involved and there are political messages and subplots, all set against a certain, dark atmosphere. This film will make you think and I actually find the possibility of a future where infertility is almost the norm not outside the realm of possibility. Even if you don't, the "What ifs?" will keep you interested in this masterful film and Clive Owen proves that he is becoming more interesting an actor as time goes on."
The Second Angel
Matthew M. Sanchez | durham, nc USA | 03/29/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The title of this review is taken from an excellent novel by Phillip Kerr. The book delves into AI and the possibility of it being the next step in human evolution, but more importantly (as I read it) it addresses the question of why we're here and what our purpose is here on earth. While Kerr acknowledges our evolutionary underpinnings, he more importantly addresses the responsibility we have for our children and the meaning they provide to our lives. The point of the movie, like the novel, is to delve into the way in which children provide meaning and purpose to our lives, and that if we continue to ignore our children's needs and to abuse and destroy our planet, that they, and thus we will cease to exist. The movie does an excellent job of making that point in a very matter of fact and non-preachy way. And while it's set in the future, it didn't have to be. Much of what the movie portrays, the ethnic cleansing, the refuge camps, the civil strife, currently exists in numerous parts of the world.
It goes without saying that the acting in the movie is excellent. Clive Owen and Michael Caine in particular, give fine performances. In addition, the way in which the characters and the script portray both the best and worst of humanity is truly astounding
All in all this is a very moving, thought provoking, and deeply meaningful movie, the message of which we ignore at our own peril."
One of my favorite movies of all time hits the spot on Blu-R
Onix Franceschini | 06/03/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Movie: The Apocalypse. A subject of many debates and dreaded talks. When will the world end, and how? No one will ever know, even though the Mayans had a good date for it (2012.) Children of Men is an apocalyptic thriller, but it differs from many of the ones out already. In this film, the apocalypse is brought upon us not by famine, or a plague, or the supernatural, but in the cease of human birth. The premise is of despair, and the film evokes it perfectly. Directed by Alfonso Cuaron, this films puts you in the middle of the collapse of unity in the world. Britain is the only place on Earth that is still under government control, and all of the illegal immigrants are considered refugees, which are being thrown into "fugee zones," reminiscent of concentration camps during WWII. Theo (Clive Owen) gets involved in a mission by a group of renegade fighters lead by Julian (Juliane Moore,) Theo's ex-wife, who want to help secure the first pregnant woman in 18 years, who also happens to be a refugee. With the help of his best and only friend, Jasper (Michael Caine,) Theo will do all he can to save the life of the girl, in the process finding redemption for the ghosts of his past. The events that follow are nail-biting tense, and one of the final scenes in the film, which is an 8 minute long shot done in ONE take, help secure the tension of the film. The vision that Cuaron puts on display is original and, in my opinion, amazing. You know it's the future, since you will see many neon signs and LCD displays all throughout the city, yet it's not too sci-fi, so you won't see flying cars or talking robots. Having this sense of realism mixed with sci-fi elements grounds the film, making it a more believable 2027. The visual effects here are extremely well crafted, specifically (minor spoiler) the birth of the baby. Also, add the amazing performances by Clive Owen, Juliane Moore, and Michael Caine, and you have a film for the ages. The Blu-Ray: Video: Man, as soon as I put this baby in my PS3, I knew I was in for a treat. The detail in the picture is outstanding! In the outdoor shots, you can see every branch in the trees on the outskirts of Jaspers house, and inside of his home, all of the objects are finely represented. I noticed some pretty deep blacks, and the colors are vivid and sharp. Even though this is a "cold" film, and the main pallete is "steely," when it wants to shine, it does. 5 out of 5. Audio: This mix is just bombastic and awesome! The opening bombing scene had some amazingly deep bass, and the unique alarms and music in Jaspers home did as well. This film excels in dialogue, and it was always intelligible. Pans and directionality are perfect, and I never had an issue with volume control, which was an issue I had with "The Incredible Hulk," which was also a Universal release. The film gave my bass a workout, so I say "Thank you, Universal." Another 5 out of 5. Overall, this film is one to be seen. After watching it at least 5 times, there were things that I missed from prior viewing. Watch and enjoy this stellar film, and reference quality Blu-Ray."