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  • They Both Die at the End – General Review
    Summer break is the perfect opportunity to get back into reading. Adam Silvera’s (2017) novel, They Both Die at the End, can serve as a stepping stone into the realm of reading. The pace is fast, action-packed, and develops loveable characters. Also, Silvera switches point of view each chapter where narration mainly focuses on the protagonists, […]
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    If there’s one book that I believe everyone should read once in their life, it’s my favorite book – Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi. From my course, Queer Literature under Dr. Bill Albertini, I discovered Emezi’s Freshwater (2018). Once more, my course, Creative Writing Thesis Workshop under Professor Amorak Huey, was instructed to present our favorite […]

Movie plot shot from multiple angles for unsuspecting audience

Akira Kurosawa did it with “Rashomon” and Quentin Tarantino did it with “Jackie Brown.” Even Bill Murray had his own experience of a multiple viewpoint story with “Groundhog Day.”

Many movies have explored endless possibilities with multiple viewpoints of the same event, but only a handful of films can do it without making it a terrible cliche. Desperately hanging from the outer rim of the bunch is this year’s first political thriller, “Vantage Point.”

The story of “Vantage Point” is straightforward and simple underneath its storytelling technique. The President of the United States is about to make a speech in Spain about the global war on terror. Just as he approaches the microphone, two shots ring out and the president hits the ground. There to witness the event among the crowd of millions is a group of strangers, each with a different vantage point.

Sigourney Weaver plays a network news reporter feeding live reports to the global media; Forest Whitaker plays an American tourist who thinks he caught the shooter on his HandiCam; and Matthew Fox joins Dennis Quaid in playing two of the Secret Service agents assigned to protect the president.

At the expense of each character’s story lies the slight demise of the film.

The more the filmmakers reveal about the plot with each story, the more absurd the gimmicky assassination plot becomes. After the second rewind effect that resets the pivotal 23 minutes to a different viewpoint, it’s easy to think of better ways to get the filmmakers’ point across. In doing so, they hide numerous plot holes that only become evident at the conclusion. Still, no matter how much the main story gets old after each retelling, director Pete Travis keeps things moving to deter us from any foreseen complications. With an impressive climactic car chase, it is obvious he was taking notes during “The Bourne Ultimatum.”

Sure, it’s easy to say, “it’s just a movie that was meant for entertainment,” but that quote is directly proportional to a viewer’s willingness and/or ability to suspend disbelief. Great movies don’t force you to do anything. Great movies are the ones that audiences inherently believe and relate to due to skilled craftsmanship and exquisite storytelling. While “Vantage Point” is a fun escapist thriller, it seems to have lost sight of what could have made it part of the handful.

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