Film Club Review – Frequency
Frequency is an interesting little number in which, through some atmospheric anomaly, a man in 1999 is able to communicate with his father from 30 years early through a radio. And in doing so, the son is able to warn his father of his impending death the very next day.
Its a neat premise that adds a time travel element to the film without involving any actual time traveling. The really smart thing that the filmmakers did to tackle this premise was that two distinct timelines were occurring simultaneously. Instead of having the father’s changed actions in 1969 affect everything, it only affects the future based on that one action. Therefore, changes only happen once the father makes changes on his end which generate immediate change on the son`s end.
We get a clear picture of how this works when the father solders a message to his son on the desk, and his son watches the letters show up as they are written. I thought to myself “shouldn’t the entire message just suddenly be there?” until I realized what they were doing and realized how clever it was. This way they are able to keep a lot of suspense at both ends of the timeline.
Using this central idea, the movie is able to make use of it in a lot of great ways. For example, when the son, who is a cop, needs a suspects fingerprints which happen to be on his father’s wallet, he tells the father to hide it in the house, and finds it 30 years later. This movie is chalk full of little moments like that which maximize their use of the main premise. The ending (the climax I mean, not the incredibly lame and cheesy epilogue) especially is a great example of this, and was something I did not see coming. I actually said out loud “Whoa cool, I did not see that coming.”
Very good example of a different kind of science fiction story where characters are central, but the premise remains intact.
Review by Richard Iliff
Dog Day Afternoon
Dog Day Afternoon is a Sidney Lumet film about a bank robbery that turns into a hostage situation. At times I was a bit bored, having seen many robbery-type movies, but overall the movie is quite good. The acting and directing was great. And as can be expected from the director of 12 Angry Men and Fail-Safe, the movie was nicely intense at many times.
I think the parts that I enjoyed the most were when the movie danced on the line of satire. It wasn’t quite on par with Die Hard, but it reminded me of it at times with scenes such as the crowd being on Sonny’s side, Sonny tossing money to civilians, and one of the hostages playing with the rifle (which may have gone too far). I’m sure this fit in nicely with the politics at the time with many people having a low opinion of authority.