The Register Forum

Disney Overlooks China’s Human Rights Abuses in New Film, “Mulan”

George Moscapidakis, Contributing Writer

October 10, 2020

This month you can stream Mulan, a classic Disney movie remade in live action. But by paying the $30 fee, you will also be putting money into the hands of a corporation that wants to appeal to a Chinese audience while sidestepping the prevalent abuse of human rights in China. The Chinese government has been guilty of a number of human rights violations, including moving Uighurs, the Muslim ethnic minority in Xianjiang, into internment camps and attempting to destroy the Muslim population in the regionーthe very place where much of the film was shot. The Muslim population living in the region are under constant surveillance, having to fight against the suppression of their language and culture, while also trying to avoid being sent to internment camps. The Disney corporation has put a price on silence and compliance with one of the most horrific cases of human rights abuse seen in recent years. 

“The Social Dilemma” Tackles Dopamine and Data in the Age of Social Media

October 8, 2020

On September 9th, The Social Dilemma hit Netflix. Diving into the darker sides of social media, the documentary dissects the constructed manipulation of the algorithms we all interact with so frequently, and the terrifying rise of surveillance capitalism. While its themes are familiar, director Jeff Orlowski manages to weave interviews with the reformed creators of these platforms and their far-reaching, unprecedented effects on the world, into a compellingly terrifying storm of ethical panic. The film sounds like a lot to take in, mostly because it is. Various experts who were present on the front lines of the development of these apps share their stories, detailing how the commodification of human attention and the interests of advertisers govern the design model of all the social tools we devote so much attention to. Among them is the driving force of the film, Tristan Harris, a former Google employee who pivoted to found the Center for Human Technology and focus his life on advocating for the regulation of these corporations. Harris and his constituents certainly provide a horrifying and comprehensive portrait of their consequences, among them misinformation, internet addiction, and political polarization. The “like” button, apparently originally intended as a modicum of positivity, has bred dopamine highs, a very tangible connection to the mental health of users, and has become a tool to harvest data. 

I’m Thinking of Ending Things: Male-Centric Plotline Leaves Much to Be Desired

I’m Thinking of Ending Things: Male-Centric Plotline Leaves Much to Be Desired

October 5, 2020

Two warnings for the reader before the review: It’s a difficult task for me to properly acknowledge my feelings about I’m Thinking of Ending Things without some plot spoilers, so if you wish to watch it with absolutely no prior knowledge of the film, I’d advise you not to read this article. Additionally, having not read the book it was adapted from (same name, by Iain Reid), I will review the movie as a standalone film.[pullquote speaker="" photo="" align="left" background="off" border="none" shadow="off"]... the plot itself is male-centric while pretending not to be...[/pullquote] There is good and bad to the new movie, I’m Thinking of Ending Things, which came out on Netflix in early September. The movie does well to accomplish both the point that it’s trying to make and the story that it’s trying to tell, and the acting is subtle and off-putting. The metaphors and imagery used are easy enough to grasp that, even if one doesn’t understand the full idea of the movie right away, it still draws you in enough to watch it to the end. The movie is directed and written by Charlie Kaufman (also responsible for the screenplays of other such ambiguous, mind-bending movies as Being John Malkovich and The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind).

Christopher Nolan's

Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet” Invents a New Narrative

October 5, 2020

As the first truly “big” movie to emerge in theaters since the beginning of the pandemic, Tenet seemingly carries the fate of the entire theater-going film industry on its rather wide shoulders. In either a stroke of perfect luck, or Nostradamus-esque foresight, it’s almost fate that Tenet would be a film to demand repeat viewings. It’s very possible that of every living filmmaker, no one understands the medium of movies more intimately than Christopher Nolan. Since 2006’s The Prestige, the established creative director has only continued to pursue some hypothetical white whale—his perfect movie where the only person with a hope of ever knowing the full picture would be himself. With Tenet, Nolan has finally sunk his spear into a concept deserving of not only of his time, but yours—a movie like you’ve never seen before. 

Never Have I Ever: Highly Watchable, Not That Original

Never Have I Ever: Highly Watchable, Not That Original

June 17, 2020

Never Have I Ever, the new Netflix series released at the tail end of April, tells a predictable, yet funny and entertaining story. The show was create...

Michael Jordan Documentary

Michael Jordan Documentary “The Last Dance” Is a Slam Dunk

June 16, 2020

Rating: 4.5/5 Falcons After the 2016 NBA Finals in which LeBron James miraculously willed the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 3-1 comeback against the seemi...

Ten Album Recommendations For Your Quarantine Needs

Ten Album Recommendations For Your Quarantine Needs

May 30, 2020

Leak 04-13(Bait Ones) (2019) - Jai Paul. In the early 2010s, Jai Paul was a rising star on the underground internet music scene, despite having only released a few tracks (namely jasmine and BTSTU) to the public. Fans were desperate for new music, and in 2013, Paul’s computer was hacked, and all of his songs were released online. After the leak, Paul completely disappeared from the public eye for six years, until last year when he officially released the leaked tracks in the form of this album. These often incomplete songs are ear candy, fusing together elements of R&B, electronic music, pop, Bollywood, and UK Grime. The fact that the tracks are unfinished does not take away their potency. The record feels strangely intimate, perhaps because the tracks were stolen from Paul’s computer while he was still crafting them. Fav tracks: Crush (Unfinished), Str8 Outta Mumbai, Zion Wolf Theme (Unfinished), All Night (Unfinished). Konnichiwa (2016) - Skepta Skepta has cemented himself as one of the most prominent British rappers, and Konnichiwa certainly helped him attain this status. On this album, Skepta centers his sound around hard hitting beats, powerful bass, and raw talent. On this album, we see Skepta constantly fighting to prove himself, voicing his need to separate himself from others and get ahead. Skepta comes across as very self assured and egotistical, however, he seems to remain self aware despite this. Both of these qualities make the album a very engaging listen. And not to mention, the skits on this album are actually entertaining and often funny, a rarity for many other albums that attempt to do the same. Fav tracks: Konnichiwa, Crime Riddim, Man EL MAL QUERER (2018) - ROSALIA The songs of EL MAL QUERER are rooted in Spanish Flamenco music from ROSALIA’s home country, but there is much more to this album than Flamenco. The album blends together Flamenco with experimental hip hop, pop, latin and electronic music, while the Arab influences of traditional Spanish music are also apparent. Much of this audacious fusion of genres can be credited to Spanish musician and producer El Guincho, who played an important role in the creative direction of the album. As a classically trained vocalist, ROSALIA’s vocal agility shines through bold songs with a heavy emphasis on call and response. Each song on the album represents a chapter from the 13th century novel, Flamenca, thought to be the first modern novel. Need I say more? Check it out. Fav tracks: PIENSO EN TU MIRA, BAGDAD, DI MI NOMBRE Goon (2015) - Tobias Jesso Jr. Listening to Tobias Jesso Jr.’s debut album Goon was what inspired Adele to enlist him as a writer on her record breaking album 25, where he would collaborate on some of the album’s biggest hits. On Goon, Jesso Jr. pairs his brooding lyrics with 70s style songwriting. The songs on this album are stripped back, with the focus on Jesso Jr.’s writing and his undeniable knack for a classic melody. He recounts past loves and experiences in a way that feels simultaneously nostalgic, melodically fun, and delightful. Fav tracks: Can’t Stop Thinking About You, Without You, Bad Words When the pawn… (1999) - Fiona Apple Fiona Apple’s new album Fetch the Bolt Cutters is now being hailed by many as her best, but her sophomore album, When the pawn… may be the most suitable introduction to her incredible songwriting talent. Apple was heavily influenced by jazz, and while this is by no means a jazz record (the album is also heavily influenced by pop and rock), the melodic freedom and complexity of the genre are evident in this album. With the help of production from musical mastermind Jon Brion, the arrangements feel lively and often graceful. The lyrics on this album pack a serious emotional punch, with lines as volatile as they are poignant, like the scathing “you fondle my trigger then you blame my gun” on the track Limp. Many of the album’s highlights come in the second half, as Apple becomes more vulnerable in her poetry. This body of work clearly explains the intense fascination that surrounded Fiona Apple in the late 90s.

Ferris Bueller: The Manifestation of the Fear to Grow Up

Ferris Bueller: The Manifestation of the Fear to Grow Up

May 27, 2020

Almost everyone knows about the 1980's film Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. The classic comedy clashes the mundane with the bizarre in an attempt to picture what ev...

“Tiger King”: The Story No One Could Make Up

“Tiger King”: The Story No One Could Make Up

May 27, 2020

Typically, when watching a documentary series, the show covers its last piece of material and footage somewhere around episode two or three, and then shifts its focus towards speculation. This is not the way Netflix’s smash hit Tiger King plays out. It is not until the very last episode that you feel you have perspective on the whole series, as there always seems to be another layer—and another guilty party gone unpunished. While most documentaries run out of steam when they run out of material, Tiger King stands apart as you realize you couldn’t make this up if you tried. While the titular Tiger King refers to the show’s famed tiger wrangler and less famed presidential hopeful Joe Exotic, the mullet-sporting personality only becomes a single pawn in a much bigger game. Instead, the seeming instigator of these events would be one Carole Baskin, a wildlife activist with a powerful legal team behind her. As she rails against Exotic for his breeding and sale of tigers, Exotic’s retorts begin to dip more and more into libelous territory, as he brings up the mysterious path Baskin took in obtaining her ill gotten fortune.

The film

A Look Back at “Groundhog Day,” A Film That Doesn’t Seem Too Bizarre Anymore

April 25, 2020

Rating: 3.5/5 Falcons Are you waking up each day only to relive the day before? Has your life blurred away from reality and into the song that neve...

Singer The Weeknd Breaks New Ground With “After Hours”

April 24, 2020

Rating: 4.5/5 Falcons  In an industry now dominated by rap, the genre of R&B has lost touch with much of what it once was. Far departed from t...

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