Two white photographers/abolitionists arrange Peter's posture as he sits in a chair. They ask him to turn his scourged back toward the lens, to move his face to the side. The lens pushes in on him, and a totem for the ravages of virulent racism engraved across his body comes into view. Peter asks, \"Why are you doing this\" The photographer reverently responds: \"So the world might know what slavery truly looks like.\" In a film that doesn't care much about the universally historic impact of the image known as \"Whipped Peter,\" the conversation is ironic. Because over 150 years later, we're still distributing depictions of the horrors of slavery, albeit, in the last half-century, through the power of the movies.
Peter's escape takes up much of the film's bloated run time as he traverses over hellish landscapes devoid of color, recalling the war-torn landscape of Andrei Tarkovsky's \"Ivan's Childhood\" and the apocalyptic flare of Barry Jenkins' \"The Underground Railroad.\" Unlike those works, frustratingly, \"Emancipation\" doesn't use the trek to flesh out these characters fully. Despite Foster's best efforts, Fassel remains a brooding, ferocious bigot who's a pale imitation of Joel Edgerton's humanist, multidimensional work in a similar role in Jenkins' miniseries. Peter veers closely to how Kasi Lemmons rendered Harriet Tubman in \"Harriet,\" he sees visions from God and experiences divine assistance in his pursuit of freedom. We also witness his resourcefulness as he evades his hunters through his intelligent tactics. But we do not get any sense of personality. Apart from his unflinching devotion to God and his family, what makes Peter, Peter Does he have a sense of humor A fond memory with his wife or a personal foible He speaks Creole. But other than that, he can only be described as nobly sweaty.
I haven't had cable in nearly ten years. No satellite dishes for me, either. If I want to catch something on television, I have to wait for the DVD or watch it through the display window at Sears. Which is okay. I'm not in a rush to find out what happened on Lost anytime soon. I'm content with waiting for the entire series box set to arrive sometime in 2012. Then, I'll eat it in one really big bite (if we're all still alive). Frankly, I don't think I could be a slave to the airwaves every day. It's easier for me to digest it all in one sitting. Who wants the weeklong anticipation of a cliffhanger eating at them I got enough of that torture when I was a kid. Lingering around the set for seven days to see if Fonzie successfully jumped over a bunch of garbage cans or a shark turned me into the stressed out mess I am today.
Observe and Report was able to pull me away from it for a short period, though. Thus lulling me back full circle: Movies, Tv, DVD, and movies all over again. It's a horrible little cyclical life. I don't want to go too much into Jody Hill's latest comedy, because there will be a full review up in the very near future. His The Foot Fist Way received a hearty Boo! here when it premiered last year. I wasn't expecting to like this new one very much either. But color me surprised. Observe and Report gets a solid Whoop-doo! It is one of the most original, unpredictable comedies I've seen in years. I don't think I've ever seen anything that is so truly funny, yet so heartbreaking and depressing at the same time. It's both brutal and extremely entertaining. Hilarious and oddly touching, this is Seth Rogen's best film to date. Beautiful and weird, it's one of the craziest capers I've seen in a long time. I loved every minute of it. And so will you, my Whoop-doo! Nation! 153554b96e