The Lost City of Z

Imagine a time where the idea of a lost city of gold was still a possibility. Places like Atlantis, El Dorado, Libertalia, Shambala, Iram of the Pillars… ok, at this point I’m listing the lost cities featured in the Uncharted video game. Still, the idea is quite enticing. The pull for most explorers are the ideas of vast wealth, unlimited power, immortality, etc. Spanish explorers scoured the Florida peninsula(before it was the U.S. of course) in hope of finding the fabled Fountain of Youth. Stories and myths from explorers and conquistadors has inspired countless stories that still sparks the imagination of people today.

At the dawn of the 20th century, a British explorer, Percy Fawcett discovers evidence of a previously unknown civilization and returns again and again in hopes of actually finding this lost city. This is the premise of The Lost City of Z.
This movie is not your typical adventure story. This is nothing like Indiana Jones, Tomb Raider, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World, Jules Verne’s The Mysterious Island, etc. I wouldn’t even classify it as an adventure. Not that it is boring, since it’s anything but. It’s the drama that unfolds giving us insights to the mind and the heart of Percy Fawcett.

We find early on that his father has tainted his family name through drunkiness and gambling. Percy Fawcett (Charlie Hunnam) has been presented with an opportunity to redeem the family name by undertaking an expedition to explore unknown territories of the Amazons. Leaving his wife (Sienna Miller) and children (Tom Holland plays his oldest) behind, Fawcett joins his army friend Henry Costin (an unrecognizable Robert Pattinson), a native guide, and additional men from a rubber plantation and journeys up an unexplored river in the jungle. After what seems to be a peaceful journey, the group is encounters hostile natives but before being forced to return Fawcett stumbles upon shards of pottery indicating the possibility of a highly developed ancient civilization, a place he refers to as Z.

Fawcett returns to home to present his findings only to come against ridicule from the scientific community who regarded the the indigenous people as savages. With the support of his wife and his companions, he is able to make more returns to the Amazon in hopes to be able to dig deeper into the Jungle and prove his naysayers wrong. The real Fawcett actually went on 7 expeditions whereas the movie only shows 3.


The focal point of this movie is the drama that unfolds between each exploration. The separation of family and personal ambition. Percy is driven almost to the point of madness to find Z, but he leaves behind his growing family. By being gone for extended periods of time(years). He even leaves again because of a short stint of serving in the first World War. All this culminates the tension he feels between being with his family and discovering Z.

The movie is well shot and well acted. Not a single talent is wasted and that is refreshing. I’m expecting big things from Tom Holland. He continues to impress me with his emotional range. With a compelling script and an unhurried pace, Writer/director James Grey takes us on journey of curiosity and obsession.

I can’t imagine most people enjoying this at the theater. There was one moment where my mind drifted off. However by the end, I wanted to see more. I do have to iterate that this isn’t Indiana Jones or Romancing the Stones. Despites a couple intense moments, there’s no major action set pieces. Except for the few intense momentd there’s no adventurous thrills. Nobody is swinging from vines. No hidden traps triggering shooting poison darts. Just the dramatic indepth look at Percy Fawcett.

Captain America: Civil War

What a way to kick off the summer blockbuster season. Marvel is on a hot streak and reign king of the cineplex when it comes to superhero flicks. We’ll see how it fares in the box office in the coming weeks, but I’m willing to bet that they will bring in some heavy numbers. Financial logistics aside, Civil War was a blast. There was a beautiful balance of action, plot, humor, and drama while still being enriched with character. Juggling a large amount of characters without the feeling of being overstuffed is a testament to the capabilities that the Russo Bros and Marvel Studios can bring. With each marvel movie that comes out, we are introduced to new heroes. First off, Chadwick Boseman blew my expectations for T’Challa, The Black Panther. From costume to character, the part is nailed perfect. Also, Civil War (re)introduces the famed Spider-man. Taking him back to his highschool years and already establishing his origins, so we wouldn’t have to slug through what we have already seen twice in 15 years. I have to admit, as much as I loved seeing him fight and being Spiderman, I really felt that they added him just because they could. Narratively speaking, the film would have flowed just fine without him, but it worked and it was still fun. There’s this lingering thought of “just how long until marvel runs out of steam?” Not anytime soon that’s for sure. Oh, and stay through the credits. I forget that there are actual people who don’t realize to watch it through. My #nobleopinion is if you haven’t already followed the marvel films in its sequence and this is your first maybe second, you may be out of tune in whats happening especially considering characters and overarching plot development. But if you have been following, then you will, at least should, love Civil War.