Mortal Engines

Mortal Engines

DVD - 2019
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Hundreds of years after our civilization was destroyed, a new world has emerged. A mysterious young woman named Hester Shaw leads a band of outcasts in the fight to stop London, now a giant predator city on wheels, from devouring everything its path.
Publisher: Universal City, CA : Universal Pictures Home Entertainment, [2019]
Branch Call Number: DVD F MOR
Characteristics: digital, rdatr
optical, rdarm
surround, rdacpc
Dolby digital 5.1
NTSC, rdabs
video file, rdaft
DVD video
all regions, rdare

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MichelleinBallard
Jul 01, 2019

Post-apocalyptic fiction isn't so much about soothsaying as it is about the artist holding up a mirror that reflects the artist's particularized vision of the world in which s/he presently lives.

Present-day London is one of the most "diverse" metropolises in the world. For whatever problems it has, it is also a place many immigrants willingly risk life, limb, and fortune to move to in search of prosperity, security, and freedom.

On the other hand, so-called People's Republic of China (PRC) is a repressive and, comparatively, ethnically homogeneous country. Over 90% of the population is Han Chinese and in Beijing, the national capital, the population is more than 95% Han Chinese. In the two provinces with large non-Han populations—Tibet and Xinjiang—the PRC government has not embraced "multiculturalism" but has rather undertaken a campaign of repression and colonization to dominate and displace the non-Han population. The PRC government isn't all peace and love to Han Chinese who desire freedom, either—neither those in China (think Tiananmen Square in 1989) nor those in Hong Kong and the Republic of China (Taiwan).

What then should we make of the artistic vision of contemporary society as expressed via "Mortal Engines"? If there was any doubt, the DVD bonus features make it clear that freedom-loving, "multicultural", ethnically "diverse", anti-tractionist Shan Guo is a stand-in for China. London is a stand-in for, well, London.

However, the London in "Mortal Engines" is a rapacious entity apparently populated almost entirely by White people. I have no doubt if "diverse" Shan Guo was portrayed as an evil tractionist entity and White London was a peace-loving stationary society then some vocal segment of the chattering classes would be screeching about racism.

Some folks will, no doubt, think "Lighten up, Francis, it's just a movie." I am reminded of the words of Elmer Davis who was in charge of the US Office of War Information during WW II. Davis said, "The easiest way to inject propaganda ideas into most people’s minds is to let it go in through the medium of an entertainment picture when they do not realize that they are being propagandized."

k
kristenpfae
Jun 28, 2019

I really enjoyed this movie. I think it was pretty accurate to the book except the end but I like what they did with the end. Overall, I would watch it again!

d
Dlbrownlow
Jun 19, 2019

Great film. Sad that this didnt catch on with audiences. The movie is close enough to the book to not upset me.

d
DanielleMa
Jun 16, 2019

Great sci fi. Excellent film. A new idea for Hollywood. So nice to see that instead of all the remakes and prequels and part 2, 3 ,4 ……. etc.

r
rsyw
May 26, 2019

This was so good! If you're into fantasy, post-apocalyptic worlds, science fiction it's all there. Was super entertaining, although wished the plot was a bit more developed. There were some plot holes, and other characters who you never see again at the end with no explanation. Other than that very inventive and worth it just to see the CGI.

w
weeksworld
May 24, 2019

I guess you'll want to watch this if you: a) Like 'Mad Max', b) Like Steampunk, c) Like post-apocalyptic stories or d) Have nothing else to watch. If you checked off any or all of the above, then go ahead ... borrow this from the library but I wouldn't waste my checking account at Amazon for this. There's a game and a book on this? If you can get those at the library, you haven't wasted your money. See? You can get a review AND financial advice with these comments.

2
21221018293347
May 20, 2019

Great movie, great acting, great special effects. The movie follows the book quite well.

l
lyn059
May 19, 2019

Fantastic movie. We thoroughly enjoyed it. The special effects were breath taking. All the machines, cities, buildings, rooms were very detailed and creative. It's so nice to watch a movie without all the political correctness or political put downs. We need more movies like this. I highly recommend it.

r
Reianshitsu
May 18, 2019

A nice, clean movie with phenomenal special effects and a cool steampunk vibe. The plot was definitely similar to others, but it's really hard to find completely new ideas with as much cinematic history as we have. Still, in a time where every movie, even kid's movies, are riddled with perverse themes, graphic images, and foul language, Mortal Engines qualifies as extraordinary.

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marcos_santiago
May 17, 2019

When they told me the premise, I was 100% on board. I mean, in a far away future there are humongous machines that carry the cities of the old world, robbing and pillaging around a dying wasteland? I had to see that!!
Unfortunately, the treatment of characters and story lines is the definition of corny... instead of spending so much money in special effects (which are top notch), why not spend a little in a script re-write?
It had so much potential, too bad it ended up like this.

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ReadItOutLoud
Apr 07, 2019

ReadItOutLoud thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

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jimg2000
May 06, 2019

Intro at the opening:

60 minutes is all it took for the Ancients to bring humanity to the brink of extinction. Those who survived mobilized their settlements to begin life anew
upon a poisoned Earth. In the hunt for food and fuel, the weak perished, and the strong grew ever more powerful. Until a new age arose, the Age of the Great Predator Cities of the West.
===
You're just a skivvy from the lower tiers with no family and no prospects.
===
Now, she may look a little tatty around the edges, but she's a little ripper. So, who'll give me 12 quirkes? Eh? Oh, come on. Last chance to secure this genuine antique.
===
Trust me as you once did. I can save us both.
-Save us from what? The weapon's destroyed. The wall is still standing. You've failed.
Failed? You really don't know me, do you?
===
How can a society so advanced, so scientific, be so stupid?
-Well, no more stupid than people today. They just had far worse weapons
and far more sophisticated control systems.

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