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Tuesday, December 2, 2014

"The Judge" - A Movie Review

Patrick Chen & Andrea Chiu

Most everyone likes to watch movies, especially Hollywood movies that have many special effects and exciting scenes. One day I saw a film review on the Internet and knew that The Judge was not your usual Hollywood movie. The review said that the movie was not as boring as its title but that it was “the trial of our lives.” Therefore, we couldn’t wait to see the film. One recent weekend, we went to Far Eastern Department Store VIESHOW to see it. 
Poster courtesy Village Road Show Pictures
One day, big city lawyer Hank Palmer heard the bad news that his mother had died. He returned to his childhood hometown in Indiana to discover that his father was an unpopular judge there. One night, Hank Palmer’s father went out to buy something. Accidentally, he bumps into a man who is later found dead. Soon, the police knock on the door; they suspect his father murdered the man. Now the mystery must be solved in court.

The main filming technique in The Judge is the use of close-up and zooms out. When Hank Palmer and his father are arguing, for example, the close-up focuses on their faces and records their changes in mood. When the audience is first taken into Indiana, the director use a zoom-in method that takes the audience from the wide prairie down a country road into a small town where children are playing. The director also uses zoom-out after the father argues with his son. Slowly, the camera moves from the car to the prairie, where we see them going in the opposite direction, away from the camera.

Our favorite aspect to this movie is the background music. In the beginning, as the camera takes us into Indiana, the song, “We’ll Sweep out the Ashes” by Gram Parsons, is clean and beautiful. Another of my favorite songs in The Judge is “Holocene” by Bon Iver. This song is so touching that I find myself crying every time I hear it. The Willie Nelson song The Scientist makes a good ending to the movie.

The Judge is a meaningful movie. It describes the conflict between our attachment to our family and our desire for justice. After watching this movie, I asked myself, “If I encountered the same situation, which would I choose, family or justice?” I’m still not sure of the answer. We liked The Judge very much and recommend that you see it, too.  

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