A Ghost Story Movie Review by Chinook the Ferret

ghost story

David Lowery’s supernatural movie “A GHOST STORY” unfolds almost entirely from the perspective of an apparition straight out of  “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown” with a billowing white bed sheet with two holes cut into it for eyes.  For some of horror movie fans who jump out of our own sheets watching movies like “The Conjuring” or “Poltergeist” you are not gonna get any “boo” scares here, no pun intended.  Like the ground  breaking  movie “The Blair Witch Project” you are going to leave this movie either hating it or loving it.    Perhaps what has drawn me to this movie is that as a grown man just turned 50,  like a child I still mourn the death of my pet ferret Chinook.  Perhaps because we are taught animals do not go to  heaven only people and the feeling of loss and loneliness is something that haunts us all.   What have I done with my life at 50? Will I see my pet Chinook in heaven?  Will I see my father?  My loved ones?  Everyone and every animal I ever love, will I see them when I die?  Will I be miss or forgotten?  These are the questions we all ask ourselves in the private thoughts of our minds because we all have roles to play in society.  The strong male that does not cry or mourn but at the end of the day, we are all human under the white sheet and afraid of the unknown.

There’s life in the dead darkness of those eye holes: black reflective pools on a pale expanse of linen, conveying more feeling than you might expect. The movie starts out very dry with some scenes dragging on.  I found myself thinking to myself, boring, I get it the couple is snuggling, the woman is eating pie, the dead character is lying there and these scenes seem to drag on making me bored because let’s face it we are all waiting for the big scare that Hollywood blockbusters put out, the big twist, the monster that jumps at the lens of the camera but there were none.  What gives?  This is intentional as I continue to watch the movie realizing the director’s intentions.  Time.  Forever.  Space.  I get it as our ghostly character stares on watching observing watching the life he once had gone on without him trying to connect, trying to understand, almost like in a dream state.

Knowing there’s a person under there helps. Has Casey Affleck, the actor that is deceased and our main ghostly character,  found a new way to make a blank sheet seem so expressive, to scrawl emotion across a blank sheet?  You felt the remorse, the loneliness, the confusion by the ghost.   We meet Affleck’s character as a man, alive but unnamed, composing sad-sack indie electronica in the cozy residential space he shares with his wife or maybe girlfriend, also unnamed and played by Rooney Mara as I remember her as the Nancy character from the remake of “A Nightmare on Elm Street”.

These main characters have barely taken shape when A Ghost Story makes its left turn into the unknown, beginning with a slow pan across suburbia at dawn, landing on the aftermath of a car crash that’s left Affleck’s bearded musician lifeless at the wheel. Minutes later, the dead man rises from the cold surface of a hospital slab, looking suddenly like a child’s scribbled conception of what goes bump in the night. Like a scene out of “The Ghost Whisper” the doorway, the light appears, giving the ghost the opportunity to cross over but instead the spirit is drawn back to his home, where he bears silent witness to the mourning process, caught in his beloved’s orbit like an invisible satellite. The years tick off, but the ghost stays planted, the environment changing around him, time passing as it does for the living—at an agonizing crawl at first, in the blink of an eye eventually. Occasionally, he makes the lights flicker or the china shatter. Mostly, he lingers.

The scenery and lighting of the ghost character are shot in a manner that seem very haunting to me.  Seeing the child-like Halloween costume ghost interact observing seemed silly to me at first, then creepy, then very haunting, and then very sad.   A movie that stir all these emotions is saying something because let’s face it, we all complain about remakes and Hollywood does not come up with any original matter, it takes this Sundance gem of film to restore my faith in film making.   The musical score like the haunting character was very moving and I already bought the soundtrack.   The movie left you feeling small in this universe, it made me very sad at my own grief and at the same time wanting to grasp onto to the “now”   What is the message out of the movie?  Perhaps, I need to be a little less harsh on myself, so I am not the next  Beethoven but everything has a purpose.  Perhaps this is the lesson we take from the movie, for me a small ferret named Chinook that came into my life, came into my life during the worst possible time.   This was Chinook’s purpose I feel and he saved me as I saved him and he has been gone now for 5  years:  I need to let go.  We all need to let go in life with a deceased love one, parent, or our beloved pet.  We need to let go in life to live and we  also need to let go in death for we are all here on this big blue planet for a life time but in reality, let’s face it, we all here for a brief moment in time.

A GHOST STORY OFFICIAL MOVIE TRAILER

 

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Posted in Clucko Films

Unable to Let Go of Chinook the Ferret

“I Will Never Forget You my FurKid, the closest thing to a Son, my Chinook… Chinook the Ferret”let-go
Unable to Let Go of you my Chinook
This is a old story I know.  I post these items on the Internet not for LIKES, COMMENTS, or SYMPATHY.  My posts do not get any views, I do not advertise them or promote them.  A paper journal when I am dead will wind up in the trash.  I have some comfort knowing you, your story, Chinook the Ferret will be out here in cyber space even if this web site ceases to exist, I am hoping this link will be pick up somewhere.  Silly, Dumb I know but it comforts me.  

My other half and I had a huge fight over packing your stuff away to help let go. I was being force to make a decision in 2 weeks and it has not come to pass.  I won this round again for you Chinook.  I will not pack you away.  I did compromise and put the reminders of you in one room of the house we do not visit often and never mention your name or the forbidden F-Word, not the word most would think but the word, FERRET.  I am drawn to all ferrets and feel this is my calling but I do not have the strength to be part of any ferret rescue.  You and your pal Nikomi’s deaths are reminded every time I go on Facebook or other social media and I see other people’s pain of the loss of their ferret and the grief comes in.  I have closed most of my accounts and will continue to do so.  Why bother if only to advertise your pictures on these sites not for comments but for views.

I have many stuff ferret animals, statues, books, DVDs and pictures of you in this room.  Your cage still remains stored away in the shred collecting webs and dust but it must remain.  Your carrier case remains too hidden in the closet.  I have your blanket, your death shroud and it still has a faint ferret musk smell, the last of your being.  A hair or too also lies in a Santa Claus hat you used to love to snuggle in.  This Santa Hat is a year round decoration hidden in one my drawers.  I almost came to a point of packing your stuff but I wanted to get a hope chest not some storage box and this is how our fight began.  Do not talk about it and hopefully my other half will let me have this small victory, a 5 year old victory.   I feel guilt Chinook.  I feel guilty moving on.  I feel guilty packing away your stuff. I feel guilty being happy.  I feel guilty trying to bond with our new pet, Caty, she is a lovable cat and you and the rest of the pets that pass after you would love her.  Your time here was short Chinook.  Only 5 years with me.  I like to think you were older when we found you as you had traces of gray  hair and had a full life.

I just do not want to say goodbye.  Our neighbor died this last month.  He had bad relations with his family and there was no one to mourn him just came and grab what they want and auction off his stuff. I remember walking through his house seeing his awards, framed licenses, even medicine bottles as strangers walk through his house making fun of your things, your dead pets that would put to sleep because the relatives did not want to bother.   This alerts me to find a resting place for you before your things, your ashes are thrown away without care when we are gone.  I am afraid of dying but welcome death if only to see you, praying our bond will be there in the afterlife, most importantly I am afraid of living.

 

Good bye for now.

Love Tim

 

 

 

Posted in Clucko Films

Super Ferret and his Superfriends

Visit the post for more.

Source: Super Ferret and his Superfriends

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Honoring the Chinook the Ferret Name

“A small ferret that existed on Earth for a brief moment then he was gone but has made an everlasting impact on my heart”

Source: Honoring the Chinook the Ferret Name

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San Andreas Movie Review by CHINOOK THE FERRET

The cleverest San Andreas gets is surrounding a guy nicknamed “The Rock” with a heap of falling boulders.

Dwayne Johnson aka “The Rock” who once went against “Seven on Nine” the Borg drone played by Jeri Ryan in “Star Trek Voyager” now faces off with earthquakes erupting along the San Andreas Fault.

Ray (Johnson) is an L.A. rescue helicopter pilot unafraid of jumping out midair to save damsels in distress, even when their car is hanging off a cliff. Things are arguably more hazardous back home where he has a rocky relationship with his soon-to-be ex-wife Emma (Carla Gugino); he worries about losing his daughter, Blake (Alexandra Daddario), to her mom’s new rich boyfriend. We have seen this once before in other disaster movies for example, the movie “2012”

Just like Wes Craven explained in his horror movie franchise, “Scream” there is a formula in order to survive a horror movie. There are also rules that Hollywood has yet to understand that makes a good disaster movie. The hero must die instead we have blockbuster movies that seem laughable when we should be scared. The movies just become popcorn movie entertainment without evoking any emotional response to the characters or the severity of the disaster unfolding before our eyes. For example in the movie “2012”, I knew right away who was going to die and who is going to be the hero, we all do, I do not have any mind powers to predict movie outcomes I have not seen.

Stephen King, horror movie author is best for breaking the rules. In his movies and books, he makes the audience relate to the hero and make us love him or her and then kills them towards the end of the movie or within mid of the story and there is always never a happy ending, sometimes but not always. Perfect example, is the movie “The Mist” where the hero (father) goes through hell and winds up killing his kid and friends and goes to kill himself only to find out he has no bullet. He steps out of his car to meet his doom with the looming monsters within the Mist only to find out the military has arrived defeating the creatures and gathering survivors. The father screams in anguish because we all know what he has done, why couldn’t he waited a few minutes later? It makes the story more personal when there is loss not just loss of buildings and landmarks.

While there are subplots largely inconsequential to the emotional core of the film, like a boy getting a crush on the daughter, at least he’s there for some of the scenes with true human peril. Some say this movie is horrible but to be frank, I had enjoyed the movie. As a big moviegoer, I know the Hollywood formula and knew before the lights went dim who the heroes are but sometimes you have to break the rules to get an reaction. I recommend seeing this movie just for the mere escape of everyday trails and tribulations. It is not going to win any Oscar for sure but you have to take these movies for what they are, pure blockbuster CGI special effects that will have you and your friend at Starbucks asking what was your favorite special effect scene?

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Ferret Out the Root Cause of Peer Pressure and How to Handle It by Chinook the Ferret

do not be a duck

Premature Sex?  Joining a gang?  Drinking and Driving?  Shop Lifting?  Doing Drugs? Joining in the racial, gender, class status. or homophobic slurs?  The list goes on.  Peer pressure made me do it.  I wanted to be accepted by my friends, I wanted to be the cool kid.  I wanted to be accepted by my  co-workers, for what-ever reason, I have heard it all and it is all bull, plain and simple.  I have lived an honest and good life never once joined the crowd.  Olivia Newton-John is my favorite singer, she was my favorite when I was in high school and still is today.  I used to be laughed out not listening to the current pop/rap star but I listened to what I wanted and worn what I wanted.

Fast forward, being a middle aged man, I will occasionally will wear my “Superman” t-shirt and will be criticized for wearing the shirt in public as I need to act my age.  I laugh at these comments, its a t-shirt for God’s sake, you see even the simple things not just the bad immoral stuff.  Yes, I will enjoy an episode of  “American Dad” instead of watching the news.  Why?  I am not a duck.  I am eagle.  I am who I am and make no apologies.  I have never been in trouble because of this simple advise my father told me.   “Do not be a duck and fly within a flock but be your own person and fly high in the sky like an eagle, majestic, and proud.”

The moral of this short article, it does not matter if you are 10 years old to be presented with bad choices from so-called friends or an middle age man/woman trying to get ahead in this unstable economy.

Thank You Dad.  Your simple words made me stay away from drugs and all sorts of trouble throughout the years as like many had many the opportunities to do some of the things I have mentioned.  Just be yourself make your own choices do not let your so-called friends do it for you.

Be yourself, do not make apologies for yourself, as you are unique with all your gifts and flaws.  Be majestic and proud.

We all miss your wisdom and smile

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Ex_Machina: Movie Review by Chinook the Ferret

Ex-Machina Like most, I wanted to go and see the new “AVENGERS” movie this weekend but instead was dragged to see “Ex Machina” a movie about a young programmer encountering a very charismatic Dr. Frankenstein-type genius set out to create the ultimate artificial intelligence in a form of a woman, every teenager’s fantasy, I am sure.  The young programmer is instantly likeable and as the viewer, we feel the dangers lurking in his surroundings, in the words spoken to him by our resident Dr. Frankenstein, Nathan. The scientist, Isaac’s Nathan, has brought the programmer Caleb (Gleason) to his remote home/laboratory in the forested mountains and assigned Caleb to interact with a prototype of an “female” robot, Ava to determine if she truly has self-awareness. The entire story is emotionally and geographically intimate, at times suffocating, unfolding in and around Nathan’s stronghold. Because the film is full of surprises, most of them character-driven and logical in retrospect, I’ll try to describe “Ex Machina” in general terms. Nathan is an almost satirically specific type: a brilliant man who created a revolutionary new programming code at 13 and went on to found a Google-like corporation, then funneled profits into his secret scheme to create a physically and psychologically credible synthetic person, specifically a woman. This is a classic nerd fantasy, and there is a sense in which “Ex Machina” might be described as “Stanley Kubrick’s Weird Science.”  But despite having made a film in which two of the four main characters are women in subservient roles, and making it clear that Nathan’s realism test will include a sexual component, the movie never seems to be exploiting the characters or their situations. The movie maintains a scientific detachment even as it brings us inside the minds and hearts of its people, starting with Caleb (an audience surrogate with real personality), then embracing Ava, then Nathan (who’s as screwed-up as he is intimidating), then finally Kyoko, who is not the cipher she initially seems to be. Likewise, “Ex Machina” is very much about men and women, and how their identities are constructed by male dominated society as much as by biology. Nathan actively rebels against the nerd stereotype, carrying on like a frat house alpha dog, working a heavy bag, drinking to excess, disco dancing with his girl in a robot-like choreographed routine, addressing the soft-spoken, sensitive Caleb as “dude” and “bro”, and reacting with barely disguised contempt when Caleb expresses empathy for Ava. It’s bad enough that Nathan wants to play God at all, worse still that he longs to re-create femininity through circuitry and artificial flesh. His vision of women seems shaped by lad magazines, video games aimed at eternal teenagers, and the most juvenile “adult” science fiction and fantasy. As Ava becomes increasingly central to the story, the movie acquires an undertone of film with Nathan as taking on the role of the abusive husband or father often found in such movies, Caleb as the clueless drifter smitten with her, and Ava as the damsel who is definitely in distress but not as helpless as she first appears. Garland’s screenplay is equally impressive, weaving references to mythology, history, physics, and visual art into casual conversations, in ways that demonstrate that Garland understands what he’s talking about while simultaneously going to the trouble to explain more abstract concepts in plain language, to entice rather than alienate casual film goers. What I got out of this movie is the gender roles thrust upon us as men and women.  Men are to be hard and not sensitive but the alpha dog and women even in this day of age are supposed to be all petite and helpless.  Even in today’s age, you still hear stories of woman’s equal pay and double standards.  This also plays for the men vs men element in the story as each man is trying to find their place in this world while there is always someone better than you.  The obvious element is the argument of artificial intelligence if it ever becomes a reality which I think we are heading there based on the latest advancements in robots in the retail and restaurant industry in Japan.  Google Japan robots and you will know what I mean.  This movie is science fiction something you might see in a prequel to Star Trek Next Generations with the birth of the android Data but where we all be in a few decades?  An excellent movie classic that will have the viewer guessing to the very end.  The ending is also very disturbing and plausible if Ava was real, getting the most obvious human element down to the circuitry.

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Dooking it Out with “POLTERGEIST” Movie Review by Chinook the Ferret

POLTERGEIST

“Dook Louder, I can’t Hear You. Yes, I don’t know, I don’t know”

I was disturbed and excited at the prospect of the new “POLTERGEIST”.  After all, let’s face it remakes are very hard for the director and for the actors because you are facing the fans of the original. The original “POLTERGEIST” is far one of my favorite horror movies and have watched the original at least 60 times over the years. I love the dialogue, the acting, the dark and gloomy effect of the Spielberg’s movie classic, which of course could not be done with the talent of Jerry Goldstein’s Original Soundtrack score with the soft lullaby and spooky sinister element in every scene and every musical note. When my nephew was older enough to watch scary movies, he and many of his generation did not like the original thinking the effects of the original are cheesy–and for today’s standards, maybe they are. I remember watching behind the scenes of the original and the special effects team made the ghostly figures and the flashing lights out of the house at the end with shining lights through a fish tank to give that transparent look. Genius and to think folks this movie was made before cell phones, analog television, the premise of the movie as the television networks went off the air at midnight and there was just static. I believe films are historical documents–I hate that George Lucas, for example, has corrupted his films with constant CGI updates. It’s as sacrilegious as colorization of old films. It’s like if Hollywood comes out with the colorization of Rod Serling’s “Twilight Zone”, I will just jump out of the window in disgust well may-be that’s a little extreme but you get the drift. The original “Poltergeist” succeeds as a great film due, in large part, to it’s unrelenting suspense–but, in equal measure, it relies on us to care about the family involved. I think the movie endures because it has heart and characters to actually root for. Craig T. Nelson and JoBeth Williams are great (and believable) as the parents affected. Their love for each other and their family, and their willingness to sacrifice anything for the safety of their kids is well presented and acted. Williams, in particular, has never been better. At first, she is your typical suburban Mom–but as strange things start happening, you see her confusion, her delight, her fear, her horror, her desperation and her heroic side. It’s a very nice underrated performance. And Beatrice Strait and Zelda Rubenstein both give richer, more fully realized performances. One of my favorite scenes is Beatrice Strait with the soundtrack of Jerry Goldstein in the background setting up the mood to a good old ghost story at the campfire, “some of us are just afraid to go to the light.” The viewer is like in awe as to say, “tell me a story” In the remake version, the plot is similar to the original, but the characters name have been changed, no longer The Freelings or is the little girl called Carole Anne but we are introduced to a new family, the Bowens. Carole Anne is replaced with a new character little girl called, Maddy. First turn off for this hardcore fan but I am continue watching with anticipation. The setting is takes place in today’s hardships not in the booming Reagan years but under the Bush/Obama years, the neighborhood in which they move to have foreclosures and the father is unemployed. For those of you that have not seen all 3 movies, scary elements from all 3 movies are placed in the movie, which I will not spoil here in case no one has seen the sequels. There is even a reference to Hooper High School, a salute to the original director, Tobe Hooper best known for directing the original “Texas Chainsaw Massacre”; yes we noticed and this was a nice touch.  The clown doll the focus point does not stay long in the movie like the original, which was another disappointment unlike the movie advertisements.   I think the problem with the original is there was no build up or anticipation to the scares. It started out that way with the baseball rolling down the hallway with no one there and it was like cramming in all the scares at once. Once the paranormal investigators are called to the scene, the lead investigator, Dr. Brooke Powell, decides to call the only person she knows that can help, Carrigan Burke; who happens to be Dr. Powell’s ex-husband. Carrigan arrives and explains that Maddy is a possible psychic, a reference to “Poltergeist II: The Other Side” and is able to communicate with spirits. Also revealing that the poltergeists are trapped and angry because only the headstones were moved to the new cemetery, but the bodies remained. They plan on using Maddy who is at her most purest point in her life to lead them into the light and free them from their purgatory. Unlike the formidable force of Zelda Rubenstein’s character in the original; the new Ghost Hunter TV celebrity character Carrigan does not come off believable as a psychic that can stop the poltergeists. Is the reboot a terrible movie, definitely not, it is definitely not the original, it does hold up on its own but not to the original. The special effects are impressive and the acting was very decent. Do I think you see this movie; definitely, it is a nice trip down memory lane for those of us that grew up with this movie and makes a nice afternoon entertaining movie for those who have not seen the original.

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“Where are the Horror Movie Villains?” by Chinook the Ferret

TEXAS FERRET

Horror movies have been around for decades from silent films ( Example, June 2, 1922 “Noseferatu”) to the silver screen. Universal Studio’s “Frankenstein” and “WolfMan” were made to scare us and for decades these movies have. These movies lost their scare factor as the years went by and you saw these Universal Studio movie classics in comedy movies such as “Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy… Frankenstein… Wolfman” etc.

George Romero’s “Night of the Living Dead” (October 1, 1968) was the turning point to horror along with other movie shocker such as “Psycho”.

As the years gone by, new movie pop culture characters were born to frighten us at first then as more sequels were made by the money-making Hollywood producers, these characters lost their scare value but amuse us, entertain us but no longer scary.

Hollywood saw a place for the horror-gene. I saw Wes Craven’s “A Nightmare on Elm Street” (November 16, 1984) when I was still in high school. The movie petrify me, it excited me; it opened my imagination. As the decades past, like many movie goers like myself come to love all the movie icon monsters.

Freddy Krueger- “A Nightmare on Elm Street”

Jason Voorhees “Friday the 13th

Ghostface- “Scream”

Michael Myers “Halloween”

Leatherface- “Texas Chainsaw Massacre”

Norman Bates- “Psycho”

Pinhead- “Hellraiser”

Charles “Chucky” Lee Ray- “Child’s Play”

You are never too old to play with dolls???

Scene from "The Curse of Chucky"
Scene from “The Curse of Chucky”

The list goes on but you get the drift. I am sure there are many other fiends not mentioned but these characters have become part of America pop culture. Remakes of these horror classics are being made and franchise cross overs like “Freddy vs Jason”, an awesome movie by the way except Jason was not played by Kane Hodder, another story and do not get me started.

What movie sequel do you have to look forward to nowadays? Nothing! Hollywood is coming up with remakes and granted fans like myself will be in line to watch these movies but they are never like the original and you are left feeling cheated.

Hollywood needs to go back to basics, enough with the special effects or nudity shots. After all, didn’t the characters of the “Scream” movies go over this? (The Rules of the Horror Movie) The writers of these movies know the problem but they kept on shoveling out the same predictable plots.

In “Freddy vs Jason”, when the character Kia meets Freddy for the first time, she is quoted as saying,

“So you’re the one everyone’s afraid of? Tell me something. What kind of faggot runs around in a Christmas sweater? I mean, come on, get real. You’re not even scary”

Hollywood needs to revisit these movie classics of our time, and determine what made them scary and come up with an original character. This horror fan is waiting for you to scare me one more time.

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“Heroes vs Movie Monsters in Cinema” by Chinook the Ferret

horr movie review

Good vs Evil

Everyone likes a good horror movie? You are always hate the person that runs upstairs to get away from the killer instead of running out the front door. The best quality in a horror movie is having chemistry between the actors, the actor playing the villain and the potential victim which turns out to be the hero or the female heroine. Everyone likes the underdog, rooting for the hero to live throughout the movie.

Many times, we find ourselves rooting for the hero and that is good writing, good directing, and most importantly good acting. Without the cat and mouse of the villain and the hero, the story loses interest for me.

Examples of good chemistry between characters, the good and the bad.

  • Nancy Thompson vs Freddy Krueger (original cast, the remake actors had no chemistry)

    “A Nightmare on Elm Street 1,3 and New Nightmare”

  • Laurie Strodes vs Michael Myers (original cast, the remake actors had no chemistry)

    “Halloween 1, 2, H20, Resurrection”

  • Dr. Loomis vs Michael Myers (original cast, the remake actors had no chemistry)

    Original “Halloween” franchise.

  • Alice vs Freddy Krueger (original cast, the remake actors had no chemistry)

    “A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors and 4: Dream Master”

  • Agent Starling vs Hannibal Lector

    “Silence of the Lambs” “Hannibal”

  • Ellen Ripley vs The Queen Alien

    “Alien” “Aliens” “Alien 3” “Alien Resurrection”

  • Charlie Brewster vs Jerry Dandrige “Fright Night” “Fright Night 2” original
  • Karen White vs The Werewolves “The Howling”
  • Donna Trenton vs Cujo “Cujo” Now that’s acting to have chemistry with a crazed dog.
  • Dan Gallagher vs Alex Forrest “Fatal Attraction”
  • Sidney Prescott vs Ghostface “Scream 1, 2, 3, 4”

We Need Another Hero

The strength of a strong hero character is just as important as the monster or the killer. It is the strength, the convictions of the actor and the energy brought to the performance that makes us root for the character.

What is your favorite character? Do not think of the movie, think of the raw performance of the character and the energy and strength they brought to the character. Did you feel the chemistry between the good and the bad?

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