Breathtaking shots make Alpha a must-see


Movie: Alpha

Director: Albert Hughes

Starring: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Leonor Varela

Rating: 4 and a half stars out of 5

I didn’t know what to expect from Alpha – I thought it would be Dances with Wolves (1990) reworked, but poorly so. I quickly realised how wrong I was. This is a story about a tribe in Europe in the Stone Age.

Winter is fast approaching and the tribe must send their strongest warriors on a dangerous hunt for bison.

The chief’s son Keda (Kodi Smit-McPhee) is one of the youngsters chosen to go and his mother is concerned that he isn’t ready.

They set out and things go horribly wrong. The subtitled film opens with a scene where the hunting party forces a herd of bison towards a cliff at spear-point. It’s a pretty smart idea until Keda gets cornered by a lone bison and it tosses him over the cliff.

The graphics in this scene bothered me as the movement of Keda’s body through the air could’ve been made to look a little more natural.

Things take an artful turn, quickly. The shots that director Albert Hughes include all seem to be really large. If you watch this film on your PC and pause it at any point, you will have a stunning image on your screen.

Keda is thought to be dead, and his distraught father and the hunting party must leave before the winter snow sets in.

Keda is now alone in the wilderness. A ravenous pack of wolves rolls up on him and he’s forced to stab one of them, a wolf he later names Alpha.

Hughes uses a lot of long shots, showing just the silhouettes on screen and it’s a striking effect. He’s also paid particular attention to the grading of the images, giving them a slight tint reminiscent at times of films like 300 (2006). I also enjoyed how very little script there is in this.

Keda goes through so much in the wilderness with Alpha at his side.

Their stories intertwine beautifully as both are separated from their families and badly hurt.

Hughes makes use of an incredible shot towards the tail-end of the film, where Keda gets trapped under frozen ice. A long shot shows Keda submerged and Alpha on the surface, trying to break through by jumping up and hitting the ice. It’s a breathtaking shot in slow motion, and gracefully executed.

I could go on all day … go and watch this.

(Photo: Supplied)

  • Farage 'happy to have another referendum in 20 years'
    News
    Sky News

    Farage 'happy to have another referendum in 20 years'

    Brexit supporters have reiterated their "Leave Means Leave" message at a counter-rally to the "People's Vote" march in central London. Supporters of leaving the EU were addressed by Nigel Farage, and MPs Kate Hoey and Nigel Owen Paterson in a rally that pledged to "rescue Brexit" and express "support for the Brexit Britain voted for". The event, run by Leave Means Leave and thought to be attended by around 1,200 people in Harrogate, has branded the campaign for a second referendum a "losers' vote".

  • Dana White just gave a big hint as to Khabib Nurmagomedov's next opponent, and it could be a fight that's been years in the making
    News
    Business Insider UK

    Dana White just gave a big hint as to Khabib Nurmagomedov's next opponent, and it could be a fight that's been years in the making

    Dana White is already thinking about Khabib Nurmagomedov's next opponent, and it sounds like Conor McGregor will have to wait for his rematch. Speaking with ESPN, White hinted that he'd like to see former lightweight champion Tony Ferguson get the next shot and Nurmagomedov and his belt. While White didn't commit to the fight, it's no surprise that Ferguson is at the top of the list of potential challengers, as it's a fight UFC has been trying to set up for some time.

  • Strictly week 5: Everyone loves Carlton, but Seann and Katya are still the centre of attention
    News
    Yahoo Celebrity UK

    Strictly week 5: Everyone loves Carlton, but Seann and Katya are still the centre of attention

    Carlton from The Fresh Prince! Joe and Dianne's romantic waltz! Charles's killer street dance! Neil's Death Stare! – All of the scores and highlights from Strictly Come Dancing Week 5.

  • Strictly fans are all saying this about Seann's guitar
    News
    Digital Spy

    Strictly fans are all saying this about Seann's guitar

    "Anything to keep them apart"

  • Protesters Demand Referendum on Final Brexit Deal
    Storyful

    Protesters Demand Referendum on Final Brexit Deal

    Some 100,000 people were expected to gather in London on October 20 as part of a demonstration demanding a referendum on the final Brexit deal, UK media reported. BBC reported that Prime Minister Theresa May had ruled out such a vote. The UK voted to leave the EU in a referendum in 2016. A pro-Brexit rally, led by former UKIP leader Nigel Farage, was scheduled to take place later in the day on October 20. Credit: Robert Padron via Storyful

  • Chelsea analysis: Stop Eden Hazard, stop ‘Sarri-ball’ after Blues boss starts the wrong striker
    News
    Evening Standard

    Chelsea analysis: Stop Eden Hazard, stop ‘Sarri-ball’ after Blues boss starts the wrong striker

    Chelsea went from staring at their first defeat of the season to the feeling of euphoria as Ross Barkley’s stoppage time equaliser denied Jose Mourinho a memorable win on his old hunting ground. Standard Sport’s Simon Johnson was in attendance at Stamford Bridge today, and here’s his assessment of Chelsea’s performance. Chelsea's unbeaten start to the season is still intact, just, but their overreliance on Hazard was exposed today.

  • People's Vote March: 700,000 People Take To London's Streets In UK's Biggest Ever Anti-Brexit Protest
    News
    HuffPost UK

    People's Vote March: 700,000 People Take To London's Streets In UK's Biggest Ever Anti-Brexit Protest

    Nearly 700,000 demonstrators descended on central London to demand a second EU

  • 8 years ago William proposed to Kate - and this is exactly how it happened
    News
    Hello!

    8 years ago William proposed to Kate - and this is exactly how it happened

    Princess Eugenie's wedding, Meghan's pregnancy announcement and the arrival of the Duchess of Cambridge's new nephew - Prince William and Kate are celebrating eight years since their engagement! Although the pair didn't officially make the announcement until 16 November 2010, William revealed he proposed to his girlfriend of nine years while on a trip to Kenya with friends a few weeks earlier in October. In their first interview after announcing the engagement, William explained he'd planned it for a while and carried his mother's sapphire and diamond engagement ring in his rucksack for three weeks before proposing and was terrified of losing it. Kate called the moment "very romantic," before admitting it was a "total shock," but the couple admitted they'd discussed marriage with each other a lot in the previous year.

  • UK firms near point of no return for Brexit contingency plans, CBI warns
    News
    Reuters

    UK firms near point of no return for Brexit contingency plans, CBI warns

    Most British companies will implement their plans for coping with a disruptive Brexit by December if there is no clarity by then on how Britain will leave the European Union, a survey by a major employers group showed. The Confederation of British Industry said its findings showed how the lack of a breakthrough in negotiations between London and Brussels was endangering British jobs, investment and economic growth. "Businesses have displayed remarkable resilience since the referendum, but patience is now threadbare," CBI Director General Carolyn Fairbairn said.

  • Almost 700,000 march to demand ‘people’s vote’ on Brexit deal
    News
    The Guardian

    Almost 700,000 march to demand ‘people’s vote’ on Brexit deal

    Protesters march through London to demand a people’s vote on Brexit on 20 October. The centre of London ground to a halt as an estimated 700,000 people from all over the UK marched peacefully on parliament to demand a second referendum on Brexit. Addressing the crowds, which included dozens of MPs from all political parties, the TV personality and food writer Delia Smith said Brexit threatened to cause “unmitigated chaos”.

  • Cate Blanchett defends straight actors who play gay characters on screen
    News
    The Independent

    Cate Blanchett defends straight actors who play gay characters on screen

    Cate Blanchett has defended straight actors who play gay characters on screen. Hollywood has been increasingly criticised over the past few months for giving LGBT+ roles to straight actors, with Scarlett Johansson recently dropping out of playing a transgender character in Rub and Tug following a backlash. Blanchett, who played a lesbian character in 2015’s Carol, said she would “fight to the death” for the right to suspend disbelief and play characters beyond her own experience.

  • U.S. Mega Millions lottery hits record $1.6 billion after no winners on Friday
    News
    Business Insider UK

    U.S. Mega Millions lottery hits record $1.6 billion after no winners on Friday

    The next Mega Millions draw will be on Tuesday, after no one hit all of the numbers of 15, 23, 53, 65, 70 and the Mega Ball 7 during Friday night's draw. "Mega Millions has already entered historic territory, but it's truly astounding to think that now the jackpot has reached an all-time world record," Gordon Medenica, lead director of the Mega Millions Group, said in a statement. The current jackpot beats the previous record, a $1.586 billion jackpot for a Powerball drawing in 2016, said Seth Elkin, a spokesman for Mega Millions.

  • As royals visit Australia, calls for a republic return
    News
    Sky News

    As royals visit Australia, calls for a republic return

    Australia's prime minister has said he has no plans to hold a referendum on the country becoming a republic, and that he still supports the country's links with the British monarchy. Scott Morrison was asked about the issue as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex attended the opening of an enhanced Anzac Memorial in Sydney's Hyde Park, honouring Australia's servicemen and women. As the Duke and Duchess of Sussex continue their tour of Australia, the republican movement says the demand to cut the apron strings from the British monarchy is growing.

  • I am a terror attack survivor and this is how I am fighting extremism
    News
    The Independent

    I am a terror attack survivor and this is how I am fighting extremism

    The last time I heard the joy and laughter of my classmates was on the morning of 16 December 2014 in Pakistan. It had been a perfectly normal start to the day and my friends and I were joking around in a lesson and having fun. But just after 10.30am, everything changed. Six men – terrorists – broke in to my school and started shooting indiscriminately at my friends and teachers.

  • Emmerdale hints at double exit in 30 new spoiler pics
    Digital Spy

    Emmerdale hints at double exit in 30 new spoiler pics

    Are two characters about to leave? From Digital Spy

  • News
    Business Insider UK

    The Latest: Migrants wait to cross border with Mexico

    Thousands of Central American migrants participating in a caravan heading toward the United States woke up on a bridge that divides the borders of Guatemala and Mexico. The migrants have no fresh supplies of water or food and slept amid garbage that has piled up at the crossing.

  • 'It's a dark time': Fears Hong Kong is losing its freedom as China tightens grip on city
    News
    The Independent

    'It's a dark time': Fears Hong Kong is losing its freedom as China tightens grip on city

    When Britain handed Hong Kong back to Chinese sovereignty in 1997, it was agreed that the city would enjoy “a high degree of autonomy” for at least the next 50 years. For years the principle of “one country, two systems” has served Hong Kong well, as it continues to prosper as one of the world’s major financial and business centres, and retaining its own civil liberties, free press, judiciary and distinct culture – a stark contrast from the mainland’s authoritarian single-party communist rule. Meanwhile, the Hong Kong National Party – which argued for the city’s separation from the mainland – has been banned.

  • News
    Reuters

    African billionaire returns home unharmed after release by kidnappers - police

    DAR ES SALAAM/NAIROBI (Reuters) - Africa's youngest billionaire, snatched a week ago off the street outside a luxury hotel in Tanzania, has returned home unharmed after being released by his kidnappers, police said on Saturday. Mohammed Dewji, 43-year-old CEO of the METL Group family conglomerate, was seized as he arrived for a morning workout in Tanzania's commercial capital Dar es Salaam last week. Forbes estimates his net worth as $1.5 billion, making him Africa's 17th richest man and its youngest billionaire.

  • Any idea that a second referendum would be an affront to democracy died on Saturday afternoon
    News
    The Independent

    Any idea that a second referendum would be an affront to democracy died on Saturday afternoon

    It’s that what they made overwhelmingly, unavoidably clear is that they were asking for was the restoration of the most fundamentally important aspect of democracy itself. “They’ve got to be held to account,” said Ann Murphy, who had travelled from Coventry with her daughter, Samantha, and was there at Marble Arch at noon, waiting to march.

  • Panera is reinventing bread as 'healthy' as sandwich chains like Quiznos and Subways struggle to survive
    News
    Business Insider UK

    Panera is reinventing bread as 'healthy' as sandwich chains like Quiznos and Subways struggle to survive

    "People trust us to do the right thing," Hurst said, referring to why customers continue to eat Panera while sales slump at sandwich chains like Subway and Quiznos. "Our name is Panera Bread, so we've had this ongoing discussion: 'Is bread a problem?'" Hurst told Business Insider. On Tuesday, Panera announced it has begun labeling its bread to list how much whole grain is included per slice, roll, or bagel on breads made with more than 50% whole grains.

  • There's a battle brewing over Google's $1 billion high-tech neighborhood, and it could have major privacy implications for cities
    News
    Business Insider UK

    There's a battle brewing over Google's $1 billion high-tech neighborhood, and it could have major privacy implications for cities

    Sidewalk Labs, the urban innovation arm of Google's parent company, Alphabet, will soon build a high-tech neighborhood along Toronto's Eastern Waterfront. Sidewalk Labs claims the data will help them improve the community, but experts worry it could be used for financial gain. In response to this criticism, the company has proposed an independent trust that might ensure the fair use of urban data.

  • News
    Business Insider UK

    Snake names honor Darwin, fire god, Louisiana professor

    A Louisiana professor is in heady company, honored by having one of three newly identified species of snakes from the Galapagos Islands named after him. "They named one after Charles Darwin — that's a no-brainer — and one after the Greek god of fire, and one after me, of all people," said Robert A. Thomas , an environmental biologist and head of head of the Center for Environmental Communication at Loyola University New Orleans. In 1997, he published an overview of Galapagos snakes based on features such as scale counts, patterns and other shapes and forms.

  • Cars Plow Through Flooded Streets in Greater Doha
    Storyful

    Cars Plow Through Flooded Streets in Greater Doha

    Doha received nearly a year’s worth of rain on October 20, leading to flooding on roads and in buildings throughout the city. This footage shows cars moving through the flooded streets of Ain Khaled, an area southwest of Doha’s center. According to an Agence France-Presse report, Doha received an estimated 2.4 inches of rain that day, which is close to the annual average of three inches. Credit: @jincejoseph989 via Storyful

  • Centuries-old Sir Walter Raleigh 'self-portrait' discovered in the Tower of London, after visitors knock wall 
    News
    The Telegraph

    Centuries-old Sir Walter Raleigh 'self-portrait' discovered in the Tower of London, after visitors knock wall 

    He was the English adventurer, author and apothecary who was imprisoned in the Tower of London for 13 years and beheaded in 1618 for allegedly conspiring against King James I. 

  • Porsche 911 Carrera T will live on in next-generation
    News
    motor1

    Porsche 911 Carrera T will live on in next-generation

    The purist Carrera will return with a 992-Series body, we just don't know when.