Tag: Annalise Basso

Captain Fantastic

That’s right, there are two Captain movies this year. But Captain Fantastic isn’t a superhero in the normal definition of the word, but if you think about it, he is still a hero to the intellectual community out there.

Which you shouldn’t be thinking about yet, because this is the introduction.

I will note that this film has Viggo Mortensen penis in it, so for those Lord of the Rings super fans, this should really get you on board.

Family Funeral
And their outfits are even fantastic!

Ben Cash (Viggo Mortensen) and his wife, Leslie (Trin Miller) have decided to say fuck modern society and to live in the woods. In fact, they made this decision a long long time ago. And at this point, they have six kids. Bodevan (George MacKay), Kielyr (Samantha Isler), Vespyr (Annalise Basso), Rellian (Nicholas Hamilton), Zaja (Shree Crooks), and Nai (Charlie Shotwell). Unique names of course, so they can be unique people in the world.

Speaking of being unique, when I say living in the woods, I mean totally outside of society in Washington state. They hunt and grow their own food. They teach their kids to learn about the world, to be socialists, humanitarians, free thinkers. They train them to survive, to hunt, to build their endurance, to think through dangerous situations. They are teaching them many different languages and how to play many instruments. It is an intellectual smorgasbord.

And then Leslie dies. By her own hands, suffering from a form of PTSD after their last child died. And now they are in a strange situation. Because of how they live, her body is sent to her parents (Frank Langella, Ann Dowd), a rich couple who never approved of her life style choices and of course her husband. They are all the way in New Mexico and the father has threatened to take his children if he shows up, child endangerment laws and all, blah.

Fuck that. They are trying to give his wife a normal, casket, Christian burial. But she is Buddhist and had explicit instructions in her will, and they are not honoring that. So he has to load up their bus and take his family down to New Mexico, through civilization, where the hardest training is yet to come, for all of them.

Also starring Kathryn Hahn and Steve Zahn.

Learning how to break and enter into a house can be the difference between life and death, technically.

It is hard to classify Captain Fantastic into a few genres, it turns out. I called it a Black Comedy, but it really doesn’t even fit that bill, and Black Comedy is usually the “weird films that are uneasy and funny catch up” category. A serious drama, comedy, absurd movie maybe. Not Rubber absurd, but it just comes out with such completely counter culture points of right off the back it can take you by surprise.

None of the philosophies or ideas expressed in the film are new of course, they are just taking an idea to the extreme and seeing how it plays out. It leads to a unique film and one where the viewer is happy to take the journey.

The cast of characters is wonderful, with at least 4 of the children having pretty distinct personalities. It is harder for the youngest two of course. Mortensen plays a dad trying to do what he thinks is the best for his children, and it shows. The acting is phenomenal all around, with plenty of smaller amusing scenes and intellectual arguments to show the good and bad of their situation.

The ending is a bit weird, but he movie is entirely weird, so that shouldn’t be too surprising.

If you want an intellectual, weird, and slightly morbid film, Captain Fantastic is for you. If you don’t want any of that, then you might not like good films.

4 out of 4.


It has been a long time since I have seen a horror movie in theaters. Literally, this one coming out in April, is the first one to come out since the first week of January. That film was of course Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones, which literally came out on DVD before the next major horror movie in theaters.

It was a slow year, I guess.

So we got Oculus, a horror movie about mirrors. Cool. I hope it isn’t like Mirrors. I never saw it, but I did see a certain scene with Christy Carlson Romano from Mirrors 2. Okay, so scratch that, I hope it is similar to Mirrors 2.

Evil Starbuck? I guess that’s new. Definitely already scared going in.

Oculus is a hard movie to describe. So let’s just say it involves one family.

This family moved into a new house, but don’t worry, the house isn’t haunted. No, the dad (Rory Cochrane) gets a fancy antique mirror, and it starts to get him sorts of angry. There is a definite aura of bad in their house. The mom (Katee Sackoff) is starting to freak out. Needless to say, something bad happens, and the kids (Garrett Ryan, Annalise Basso) survive. The boy has to go to a mental ward.

Now many years later he is 21 (Brenton Thwaites) and his older sister (Karen Gillan) is glad he is back. Because now they can destroy the mirror. They know that the mirror destroyed their lives, so now they finally want to destroy it so that it doesn’t kill anymore. But first, they also want proof to show to the authorities. So they set up a series of cameras and tests to show the demonic powers of the mirror. No, don’t worry, this didn’t become a found footage film. Just a really fucked up one.

A fucked up film usually features a couple child actors, to maximize the fuckery.

Oculus is a strange movie. Did I already say that? Like, really really weird.

It doesn’t tell you the story in order, no. You get to see the story of the kids and their parents, spliced with the kids older and trying to test and experiment with the mirror.

Because of that, sometimes, it is really hard to follow along with the movie. Constant back and forth. Not to mention the whole point of the movie seems to be to confuse the viewer. The mirror shows you what it wants to show you. So every other scene has something not real occurring, meaning you never really know what is going on.

By the end, you know. Oh yes, you will know by sure. And it is kind of fucked up too. The film isn’t particularly gory and there isn’t a huge cast of characters.

So why the low score? Confusion level. It had an interesting storyline, decent characters, some cool stuff happen. But at the same time, I have no idea what was going on through most of it.

2 out of 4.