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Category: Movies about amputees

Skyscraper (2018 film) [review]

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Skyscraper (2018 film) [review]; published October 15, 2019, 22:19; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=10255.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1571229128, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Skyscraper (2018 film) [review]}}, month = {October},year = {2019}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=10255}}


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This is a Skyscraper (2018 film) review seeing as if we have yet another CGI-altered actor - Dwayne Johnson - try to virtually embody the amputee role that should have been given, clearly, to a real amputee actor. Particularly for this movie.

I (ir)regularly review movies (that I come across) that feature (possibly faked or real) arm amputees. Readers of my reviews typically may get this wrong: but I am not reviewing a movie for its overall plausibility, or its overall entertainment aspect, or maybe its overall relation to contemporay culture generally, here. Here, I am specifically asking how the movie relates to the view of arm amputees in society and how it may influence such a view. I ask, what normative angle the film makers take and what normative views they pass on to the viewers. Given that virtually no one nowadays meets an arm amputee in a whole life time, virtually all "knowledge" of arm amputees they possibly have is obtained via media, so these film makers exploit great social power.

But this movie? Had me scratch my head, to be honest.

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Alita Battle Angel [review - SPOILER ALERT]

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Alita Battle Angel [review - SPOILER ALERT]; published August 10, 2019, 06:19; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=9815.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1571229128, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Alita Battle Angel [review - SPOILER ALERT]}}, month = {August},year = {2019}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=9815}}


This is a review of Alita Battle Angel [link] from view of a right below elbow amputee (see title of this blog maybe?). Herewith, I also issue a SPOILER ALERT.

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The Bad Batch (2017) - review of movie with main character as amputee [bleak authenticity via CGI]

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - The Bad Batch (2017) - review of movie with main character as amputee [bleak authenticity via CGI]; published September 22, 2018, 10:43; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=7931.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1571229128, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - The Bad Batch (2017) - review of movie with main character as amputee [bleak authenticity via CGI]}}, month = {September},year = {2018}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=7931}}


There is real life with amputation. Then, there is the crazy domain populated by villains and Captain Hooks, legends whose stereotypical simplification make one puke of repetitive boredom - even without a drop of empathy.

And then, there are visual tales.

One recent visual tale was Mad Max Fury Road, where Furiosa - a below elbow amputee - has her handicap become a focus if not the no-verbalized center of visual story telling. And while some internet aficionados try to downplay the fact that Furiosa ultimately is dumped by Mad Max simply because of her hosed arm, the visual imagery leaves little negotiation there, if one looks, if one regards, if one takes in visually, if one embarks on that journey that a visual tale wants to take you on. One can even quantify the disabled body part size in the visuals of the movie in relation to the rest. Ah, yes, I review such movies since a while.

And here?

Here we get a piece of great pop culture, totally out there, that also plays in a dystopian world or maybe future. And yet, it resonates entirely differently than just dystopian or otherwise. It could go down as a checklist, bleak and dry.

Spoiler alert.

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Kingsman: The Golden Circle [movie review]

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Kingsman: The Golden Circle [movie review]; published January 4, 2018, 14:28; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=7967.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1571229128, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Kingsman: The Golden Circle [movie review]}}, month = {January},year = {2018}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=7967}}


The 2017 movie Kingsman: Golden Circle gets it wrong again, and yet, it has so many critical new features we need to review these.

This movie has the capacity to inspire massive innovations, so it would be quite realistic to expect Disney / 20th Century Fox to also finance prosthetic arm development of their vision of what could be.

This then would not be new. Prosthetic industries seem to run after science-fiction role models, with the following examples:

  • Luke Arm [link]
  • Deus Ex Machina arm [link]

Now, this Kingsman: The Golden Circle movie features an amputee, just as the first Kingsman: The Secret Service movie did. There, a leg amputee was featured whereas here, we have an arm amputee with us.

Stereotypically, the arm amputee, again, is the villain.

Stereotypically, the arm amputee lacks assertion, self assertion or expression of relevant emotions, and ever so stereotypically, the arm amputee villain is killed in due process of the storyline.

Stereotypically as well, the actor himself is not an amputee - which, from view point of directing or producing and surely watching this movie, is definitely wrong. A movie industry that cannot rely on amputee actors for amputee roles clearly defies its purpose on more than one level.

However, one cannot say that lack of authenticity with respect to the amputee character is a valid point of critique in this Kingsman film. This is almost pure visual fairytale telling.

And despite all attempts to be ridiculous and detached from a real world, and despite the usual stereotypical placement of an arm amputee in this movie, Kingsman: The Golden Circle has cool gadget features, that some day we want to see on real prosthetic arms.

So the movie deserves a close look from viewpoint of arm amputee prosthetics despite the usual concerns.

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Captain America: The Winter Soldier [movie review from arm amputee view]

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Captain America: The Winter Soldier [movie review from arm amputee view]; published October 9, 2017, 19:20; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=7607.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1571229128, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Captain America: The Winter Soldier [movie review from arm amputee view]}}, month = {October},year = {2017}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=7607}}


"Captain America: The Winter soldier" (2014) raises a few - but not many - questions from a more specific viewpoint of the arm amputee movie goer.

I (ir)regularly review movies (that I come across) that feature (possibly faked or real) arm amputees.

Readers of my reviews typically may get this wrong: but I am not reviewing a movie for its overall plausibility, or its overall entertainment aspect, or maybe its overall relation to contemporay culture generally, here. I do review movies (that I come across) that feature (possibly faked or real) arm amputees. Here, I am specifically asking how the movie relates to the view of arm amputees in society and how it may influence such a view. Given that virtually no one nowadays meets an arm amputee in a whole life time, virtually all "knowledge" of arm amputees they possibly have is obtained via media.

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DJ Hookie [interview]

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - DJ Hookie [interview]; published October 3, 2016, 00:42; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=6350.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1571229128, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - DJ Hookie [interview]}}, month = {October},year = {2016}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=6350}}


While we wait for the self-imposed media hype to accompany the current deep societal misunderstandings that allow for "Cybathlon" to happen - an unbearably useless and utter waste of money inasmuch as most of the presented prosthetic arms there are concerned, not just because these arms are expensive but technologically wrong for any real physical work, perpetuating history since the times of the Carnes arm - we can refresh our minds with the ideas and attitudes of down to earth and real, socially well integrated people. Like, me : )

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Aurelie (above elbow amputee) in the "The Brand New Testament" (2015) movie - character and plot review {attention - spoilers ahead} [movie review]

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Aurelie (above elbow amputee) in the "The Brand New Testament" (2015) movie - character and plot review {attention - spoilers ahead} [movie review]; published January 25, 2016, 17:51; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=5617.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1571229128, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Aurelie (above elbow amputee) in the "The Brand New Testament" (2015) movie - character and plot review {attention - spoilers ahead} [movie review]}}, month = {January},year = {2016}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=5617}}


As attention catcher and cast into a totally stereotypical role in the movie "The Brand New Testament" (wikipedia | imdb), we have Aurelie – a CGI / mask made left above elbow arm movie amputee that mostly wears a passive prosthetic arm - as played by Laura Verlinden (who is an actress with both arms and hands).

Of course it is generally laudable to see an amputee character in a movie rather than having that type of disability nowhere, unseen, unheard. But then, having media constantly reiterating worn out old stereotypes hardly is cool.

And just as I also commented on Mad Max Fury Road, I also considered the attempts in Kingsman, or, Home of the Brave (2006), or, maybe in the ill-fated attempt for cinema titled "Hancock". See the introduction to my Mad Max review for an explanation of why, generally, arm amputee views (you surfed here, right? what was the title of this blog?) on arm amputee movies matter. Again: I am not asking so much whether a particular fairy tale, being told as a movie or so, is consistent in itself and represents a standalone piece of art, as such and regardless of the time and culture it was made in. Instead, I want to know with what type of stereotype here and now, in this day and age, we will leave the cinema - here, Riff Raff Zurich last Saturday - or movie watching experience. After all, all of these movies build on cheap stereotypes.

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Mad Max Fury Road - fictional arm amputee "Imperator Furiosa" played by Charlize Theron [review]

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Mad Max Fury Road - fictional arm amputee "Imperator Furiosa" played by Charlize Theron [review]; published May 18, 2015, 18:26; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=4762.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1571229128, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Mad Max Fury Road - fictional arm amputee "Imperator Furiosa" played by Charlize Theron [review]}}, month = {May},year = {2015}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=4762}}


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Again, the Punch & Judy department of Warner Brothers throws a faked disability, a faux handicap, at us, in their Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) movie, and again, we consider it, just as we considered the attempts in Kingsman, or, Home of the Brave (2006), or, maybe in the ill-fated attempt for cinema titled "Hancock". Hell, they even may get an Oscar for this faux arm disability centered charade!

And, yes, I do review movies (that I come across) that feature (possibly faked or real) arm amputees. Why, and from what angle? See, society shapes our perceptions of arm amputees, and while that may bypass your butt stone cold, I have to directly deal with the fall-out of that. With arm amputees being a real rarity in our society (link), the average person on the street will have had exposure to a lot more "on-screen" amputees -real or, mostly, fake - than actual encounters. Before meeting me as the single encounter, the average person on the street may have subliminally absorbed 3-4 movie arm amputees. So media matter in that they directly impact my own social experience. Clearly, that does not impact you at all - but may I add that it was you that came here to begin with, and, did you consider this blog's title? Also, I suffer from synaesthetic pain which directly affects how I feel also while watching such a movie.

So I am not asking so much whether a particular fairy tale, being told as a movie or so, is consistent in itself and represents a standalone piece of art, as such and regardless of the time and culture it was made in. Instead, I want to know with what type of stereotype you will leave the cinema. After all, these movies all build on stereotypes.

And in my everyday encounters, media stereotype priming may provide a somewhat dominant aspect in how the real life encounter starts.

It is a decisive aspect, really, and quite honestly, one has no control over that, neither you as the mostly un-reflected movie consumer, nor me, as the person that can only watch and see and not give any comment to prevent the unavoidable communication ship wreck from happening. A real minority of people may seem to have no relevant preconceived notions, such as maybe 1/400 or so - but by and large, everyone and their grandmother thinks the same idiotic stuff like, hooks are evil (and just why that is so totally fucked up can be read here), ""bionic" arms are cool" (and just why that then is so fucked up can be seen here, where it is explained that you fail the Voight Kampff test right then and there), and more.

And as we are visually being told in this movie about Mad Max and Furiosa, the female arm amputee is abandoned in the end, by Max, who walks out staring at her, without any further ado, with the handicap visually increasing and getting bigger in the camera focus - then, that is supposed to be cool, just because.. it is a movie that sends a message that we need, .. because it is "Mad Max", ... because it is Charlize Theron playing in it, ... or why? Of course you are free to interpret all kinds of stuff into this movie - I just looked at it and discussed what there is to see.

With such messages being told by mass media to the masses, it is a totally open question just "how cool" that really is, given that among all amputees, the suicide rate of arm amputees seems to be highest. Of course, "Houston, we have a problem". We have no lobby, as arm amputees, all we seem to be on that scale is clay type material for idiotic story writers. And while each and every other Hollywood blockhead character somehow stumbles into a "happy" ending, here for some reason, there cannot be any "happy" ending? A comprehensively "cited" "one armed dove hunt" as very clear indicator of what cultural aspects are the movie's center piece? A strong visual focus on simulating a disability with an amputated arm, while other aspects - red eyes in traveling in sand storm deserts - are entirely neglected?

With stereotypes being traded as such, this warrants a closer look.

So, what do they do there? Is this movie any good on a social and emotional level? And, before glorifying it just because [link][link] (they even write "watch Furiosa punch Max in the face, with her nubbins" which she really doesn't; she punches him with her hand while sticking the nubbins out in the air) - why not actually *use* our eyes, to look, to ogle, to view, and (in a more strict sense) "watch" it? It is so much a visual and so not much a verbal movie, so we (including you) really have to switch on our eyesies. Not assume, or make up, or invent. Just watch. What is there to be actually seen, what do they really show? Is this empowering or what does it really say, in graphic language?

Prosthetic arm - details, features

The prosthetic arm in Mad Max: Fury Road in essence contains a glorified claw.

It is notable that the usage of hooks and other non-human looks previously were used as elements of evil, and of non-humaneness [link]. The repeated medial distortion did have a serious impact as it deterred thousands of arm amputees from accepting a functional prosthetic hook and spawned a whole industry of rubber puppetry dubbed "bionic" hands [link] that cost our health and accident insurances hundreds of thousands of dollars - which would be alright were these hands even halfway "useful". But far from it, and not a word of apology of any of these media clowns.

Now here, a prosthetic arm is presented that hangs off the digitally edited screen appearance of Charlize Theron who appears to not contain a physical handicap herself.

CFCOVk2VIAAtpzh.jpg large

This arm here was called "Dayna's arm" simply because Charlize Theron's stunt double, Dayna Grant, was wearing it for the shootings.

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Kingsman - The Secret Service [movie with an amputee role, yet again]

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Kingsman - The Secret Service [movie with an amputee role, yet again]; published December 10, 2014, 19:19; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=3852.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1571229128, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Kingsman - The Secret Service [movie with an amputee role, yet again]}}, month = {December},year = {2014}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=3852}}


Always important to pay attention to movies with amputee characters that tend to shape the public perception - as one does have to deal with the fall-out of that.

For one, amputees are used or employed in an often-times stereotypical way in movies, not because there is anything about their personality.

Secondly, public perception of stereotypes as well as brands are known to change but only under very particular circumstances.

So we all remember when the science of conviction, branding, brand values and so on was part of academic psychology, right? And what it would require to effectuate a sudden or rapid change, not one slowly morphing over 15-20 years? Are amputees damned to live a life of "evil stereotype"? Are runners with blades suitable amputees, no lobby, no representation, to be safely cast (again) as baddies?

Now if it just was not for the year 2014 and some events down in South Africa; as it appears, the underlying comic book already contains the bionic blade leg character Gazelle and was written in 2012.

Personally I think it would be time to also introduce people wearing, say, a body powered arm or so, into at least the manually and mentally capable category of people.

Yes, we are the ones that can and do take focused photographs, too.

Yes, we can, we are not totally and completely disenfranchised, like, we would not be wearing butter on our glasses just all the time, or even calling that type of disarray a lifestyle.

No, things are different here, and why not make sharp and fast action in that direction some part of mainstream movie reality, too?

Otherwise you risk losing real amputees while perpetuating your own little crazy nonsensical world.

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Becker Mechanical Hand fans - Todd Lawson LaTourrette

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Becker Mechanical Hand fans - Todd Lawson LaTourrette; published June 17, 2014, 17:20; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=3286.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1571229128, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Becker Mechanical Hand fans - Todd Lawson LaTourrette}}, month = {June},year = {2014}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=3286}}


The portrayal of (possibly faked or real) arm amputees in movies matters. So, when I watched The Men Who Stare at Goats, the Becker hand did catch my eye [link]. I followed up on that.

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Review comment about "Born friends" Skype advertising video [arm amputee girls unite]

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Review comment about "Born friends" Skype advertising video [arm amputee girls unite]; published November 9, 2013, 07:14; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=2264.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1571229128, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Review comment about "Born friends" Skype advertising video [arm amputee girls unite]}}, month = {November},year = {2013}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=2264}}


So, according to the Skype video,

Sarah and Paige have been best friends since they were 8 years old and have shared everything over Skype. But the crazy part is they've never met in person. Until now.

 

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Chinese farmer makes functional affordable prosthetic arms [amputee driven innovation]

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Chinese farmer makes functional affordable prosthetic arms [amputee driven innovation]; published May 27, 2013, 04:42; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=1686.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1571229128, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Chinese farmer makes functional affordable prosthetic arms [amputee driven innovation]}}, month = {May},year = {2013}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=1686}}


The previously announced abandonment of any mechanical and body powered type of prosthetic arms and hands by major manufacturers has now found new suppliers.

It appears that on the planet that real workers live on (not the chee chee froo froo world where carbon yacht fan Max Näder reams insurances with Michelangelo ""bionic"" hands) amputees drive innovation - not Centri, Hosmer, RSL Steeper, Touch Bionics or Otto Bock. They would have mechanical drafts they could most easily use to build useful nice looking body powered hands. It is just not what they do. So that is where us amputees come in.

Latest video of a Chinese farmer. Very impressive.

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Iron Man 3 [discriminating content]

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Iron Man 3 [discriminating content]; published May 10, 2013, 06:05; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=1654.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1571229128, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Iron Man 3 [discriminating content]}}, month = {May},year = {2013}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=1654}}


Obviously, good action movies also contain (possibly faked or real) arm amputees,

Fiction movie Iron Man 3 (imbd | wikipedia), directed by Shane Black (wikipedia), with movie script written at least in part by Drew Pearce (wikipedia). The last movie with a similarly weird focus that I posted about was Hancock (2008).

The "good" guy - Iron Man by Tony Stark - works with a lot of highly sophisticated prosthetic add-ons in order to be invulnerable. Through a shell, or armor, or body casing, featuring lots of gimmicks, Tony Stark turns himself into "Iron Man", a soldier that can fly and fight really hard, and that is practically invulnerable (as long as his batteries do not run out).

The "evil" guys in this movie try to be invulnerable by altering their own bodies in a more biological way - so after injecting some stuff dubbed "Extremis Virus", they not only "heal" fast, they also grow back skin, limbs, anything. They become weapon-grade soldiers without extra batteries or extra weight to schlepp around. The problem that they have is that, eventually, the one or other "evil" guy overheats and explodes.

Now as we all know, of course, missing limbs can be either fitted with mechanical or even battery driven prosthetic limbs. Or they can be re-grown, transplanted, to achieve a more "biological" solution to fixing the absence of the missing limb.

Interestingly, two amputees are portrayed on the "evil" side. There are no amputees to be seen on the "good" side.

One is a woman that appears to be an arm amputee as consequence of some injury. She later gets herself injected with the "evil" stuff which grows back her limb (but does not heal her facial scar, funnily enough). The other is a girl that appears to congenitally miss part of her right leg, but she is also the daughter of the vice president of the USA, who himself supports the evil project - obviously to get them to "heal" his daughter from being an amputee.

What are they doing there?

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