Devil’s Knot

MV5BMjI2NzE3NTU1NF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNDAyMTkzMTE@__V1_SX214_AL_

4/10

So much wasted potential on a film with a great cast and one of America’s most perplexing court cases for the sake of revealing all the facts. Devil’s Knot is the story about the trial of The West Memphis Three. They were three teenagers who were accused of killing three little boys in the woods. The police department and the courts are using the boys as scapegoats because they are satanic living in a very religious town. I was very intrigued with the opening 20 minutes of this film. The way it is presented as a murder mystery really made me think they were going to explore more than just the three teenagers who were accused of this tragedy. Instead, it becomes a story about religion wars with both sides coming off as ridiculous. Both sides are in a tug of war battle to make the other one seem same, and that is what is the hardest thing to understand with why they made this film. It all just seems very pointless to me with so many better educated documentaries out there. It all is shot and played out like a movie of the week special. It makes me wonder how Director Atom Egoyan ever got such big name actors as Reese Witherspoon, Colin Firth and Mirelle Enos to be in this movie. Each of their performances are among the lone bright spots of this 103 minute film. Witherspoon in particular gives one of her top 5 performances of all time as a wounded mother of one of the three deceased children. It’s a shame that all of her hard work and prep in making this mother come to life is wasted on a movie that is earnest and cautious when it comes to it’s revealing of the town and it’s people.Firth is forced to sit and watch from the sidelines. It’s something that really decreases the effect of his character and the film at a time when it needs a saving performance the most. I think Egoyan had a shot to really make this movie into something that doesn’t echo that information already told by the documentaries and thousands of news reports. What we are presented is a film that is entirely pointless. Is it meant as a reminder of the events? There are much better explanations of this tragedy (See Paradise Lost on Youtube) that don’t dull down the events to compliment a boring movie. We learn nothing about the three men who were put through hell because of the different things they believe in. I would have liked some of that time to be shown on the things the men were doing the night of the murders. Devil’s Knot is something i wouldn’t recommend, and will totally never see again. It has no replay value because these are events i already knew before the film. I am not even sure if there was one time watch value now that i think about it.

300 : Rise of an Empire

MV5BMTEwNTU2MjAwMDdeQTJeQWpwZ15BbWU3MDk2Njc2Njk@__V1_SY317_CR0,0,214,317_AL_

8/10

The battle for Greece continues in this war epic to the 2007 original. Right off of the bat, i will say possibly the most blasphemous sentence to ever be said on this website. This film is better than the original. Rise of an Empire plays off better as an actual movie with a revenge plot storyline that the audience will eat up. In return, the characters are written with more depth and more humanity in this film. The main character is named Thermistocles, and he is an Athenian politician and general. At the same time Leonidas led the 300 spartans, Thermistocles is leading his naval army against the Persians who threaten to take over Greece. I enjoyed that they were showing both armies as they traveled at the same time to fight different sides of the Persian army. The film stars Sullivan Stapleton (Thermistocles), Eva Green and the returning wife of Leonidas, Lena Heady. Green in particular is the best part of this movie. The camera gives her the most screen time, and it is through this that we learn of her very disgusting past. She is after the Greeks for a reason, and will stop at nothing to achieve glory. Green’s dialogue and demeanor show nothing but her having the time of her life in this role. She is sexy, funny and VERY dangerous. It is her sex appeal that makes her at her most dangerous. She’s easy on the eyes, but bad for your health. There is one thing i can say in this review that i have never said and that is that this film has the greatest sex scene in a movie that i have ever seen. Not trying to sound perverted here, but it’s filled with so much passion and aggression that you can see so much of their war emotions coming out on screen. I did see the film in 3D and i have to say that this is one of the only times that i will say it is definitely worth it. My eyes had so much to focus on from falling ash to hundreds of daggers being pushed right in your face. The 3D is also big on pushing a movie that is twice as violent as the original. This movie is not afraid to show buckets of blood, and that is a good and bad thing. It’s good because these films should be brutal. Wars in films should never be PG-13 because of what our soldiers went through. They should be honored in a 100% honest telling. It’s bad though because most of the blood is CGI in this film and it looks horrible. My friend Ryan had an interesting thought. He wondered if the blood looked so bad because we had 3D glasses on and those are like magnifying glasses. I don’t know the answer to his question, but i do think the blood was one of the lone weak spots in the movie. The film also has it’s differences from what actually happened, but i am not going to get into that argument. After everything i said, i still haven’t mentioned the best thing with the film. The two 300 films have some of the best cinematography i have ever seen. Zach Snyder perfected it with the original, but director Noam Murro pushes it to the limit with beautiful sky shots, as well as far and away shots of the naval war scenes that really capture the bloodshed that is present. 300: Rise of an Empire isn’t the best movie i have seen in the first three months of 2014, but it is the most fun i have had at a movie. I think a lot of the problem with these reviewers is that they don’t give sequels a chance to succeed because sequels are mostly a money plot. I think any movie deserves a shot to shine, and if you give Rise of an Empire a chance, it will dazzle you with 100 minutes of powerful battles and characters fighting for the state of civilization. See this film at all costs in theaters and in 3D

Son Of God

MV5BMjA3NjQ2ODYwN15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNTQ0NDc2MDE@__V1_SY317_CR0,0,214,317_AL_

5.5/10

The spirit is there for an above expectations film, but the execution is a little underwhelming. Son of God is the latest Jesus bio flick about his presence in Rome with the apostles who he inspires. These kind of films aren’t my kind of taste in film, so i apologize for the review ahead of time. I will say that Son of God is probably the best holy movie i have seen since The Ten Commandments. It has a well performing cast, heart stopping imagery and a phenomenal score written by the great Hans Zimmer. With the imagery, there is no holding back in the camera shots of this film. They give you the kind of shots that will make you feel completely uncomfortable if you have any relationship to Jesus or religion. The biggest problem with the film? The first hour is INSANELY BORING. It just moves soooo slow, and it kills any motivation that the film has to bring in an audience that wants nothing to do with it. The second hour of the film is where the film starts to pick up, but it is a little late by that point. I once again explain that this will hurt the people with no interest in this film other than curiosity. The religious movie goer will feel inspired by every bit of this 2 hour and 15 minute run time. The villains are a little over the top with what sounds like 90’s bully lines. One line in particular was when Jesus was crucified and one of the soldiers said “Hey Jesus, i bet you can see your holy temple from up there”. Keep in mind that these soldiers are holy crusaders to begin with, so it’s kind of against their religion to make that kind of joke, but i digress. It’s lines like this and some of the acting that gives this film a stamp of corny. With some of the dialogue, it almost seemed like they were making two different films. Son of God is a film that i can recommend to the religious crowd. If you do not apply to this and want to see it, i suggest you wait till DVD. The theater experience was a little awkward at times for a guy like me. I was also amazed at how many trailers there were for holy films coming out. I knew about “Noah” and “Heaven is for Real”, but there were two other films coming out with similar premises. Hell, one even stars the Duck Dynasty guy who got kicked off the show. I can’t make this stuff up guys. I wait for Hollywood to approach me with a movie deal someday. My final stamp of approval, i can’t recommend Son of God since it was half good/half bad for me.

Non Stop

MV5BOTI3NzcxMjkzMl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMDY0NTQ0MDE@__V1_SX214_AL_

7.5/10 –

Liam Neeson stars in this thriller about a hijacked flight to London. Neeson plays a U.S Air Marshall whose cell phone is hacked by the person who threatens to kill a passenger every 20 minutes. First of all, this film combines two things that i enjoy. I have become a HUGE Liam Neeson fan. Pretty much to the point that anything the man comes out with, i will see it. I also enjoy the airplane genre (If there is one). Films like Flightplan, Passenger 57, Air Force One and Snakes on a Plane are ones i have always enjoyed. What makes Non Stop better than any of the films i mentioned is that it gives us characters that we can get behind and care what happens to them. It gives us an easy enough plot of a whodunnit with a surprise behind every corner. The ending will surprise 90% of the audience as even i got the prediction wrong . The twist gives us a back story that makes sense with our villain. It’s smart and most importantly, it’s human. The camera work is also something that is very attractive to this film. It’s very claustrophobic in which it gives us up close and tight shots that make us feel like we are stuck in a cock pit with Neeson. Those close camera shots also make the guessing game a lot harder for the audience as we get a lot of suspicious faces from the passengers on board. Julianne Moore is the lead female for the film, but i don’t think she is a huge presence here. Her performance is kind of on sleep mode as her character doesn’t have a lot to do. I was particularly fond of Michelle Dockery as the flight attendant, Nancy. For those of you Downton Abbey fans, you know her very well as Lady Crawley. This is the first thing i have ever seen her in, and i think she plays to the drama of a scene very well. She has the kind of eyes that really make you feel her pain. It also doesn’t hurt that i kind of have a crush on her (wink wink). The only problem i really had with the film was some of the things that the villain was able to accomplish. Make no mistake, there are things you will have to look the other way for in this film, but it’s nothing too drastic. I would have a couple of scenario questions for director Juame Collet Serra if i had the chance, but it’s just the critic in me nitpicking. Non Stop is a slow build Hitchcock-like suspense piece. It’s movement is a lot like the plain in which it’s gaining more height with each passing minute. It’s one of those films that will grab your attention and keep it as you want to figure out the big reveal before the ending. I definitely recommend it to everyone.

Pompeii

MV5BNDE2MTU3NzYwOF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwOTY4NTk4MDE@__V1_SX214_AL_

6/10

It’s always a rare happening when you pay the full $13 for a 3D film and see the movie in 2D. That is the problem i ran into tonight at the Chapel Hill Regal Cinemas. Midway through Pompeii, the crowd began to talk to each other as we all realized the screen wasn’t blurry when we took off our 3D glasses. One of the ladies ran out to the lobby to inform the manager. They did do the right thing and rewarded everyone with a free future 3D showing of any movie. Props to Regal Cinemas for doing the right thing, but i won’t be seeing a film i saw again just to get the 3D experience. As for the film, it was a lot better than i thought it was going to be. The story (For those who don’t know) is about the volcano explosion in Pompeii in the year AD 79. Kit Harrington plays a slave turned fighter who watched his Irish family die at the hands of Senator Corvus’s (Kiefer Sutherland) army when Kit was a child. Harrington is excellent as the main character of this film. He registers the proper emotions to show us that revenge is the only thing on his mind. That changes when he meets Princess Cassia (Emily Browning). Cassia and her family rule Pompeii and are doing business with Corvus so that he can invest in a new territory. The film is perfectly cast from Browning as a naive but powerful princess to Carrie Anne-Moss as her mother. Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje is by far the best part of the film though. He plays a slave who is the champion of the battle league that goes on between the prisoners. When the explosion happens, he turns into the biggest bad ass that i have seen in a long time. Adewale has been in some amazing roles, but i think this is his deepest one yet. His rivalry turned friendship with Harrington is what really gives the film a relating premise. The only problem with the casting i had was Sutherland. This just isn’t the right role for him. He does play the villain well as evidenced by his filmography, but his terrible accent mixed with his 2014 look just doesn’t fit. I feel they could have given the man some makeup or at least a wig to pull off the look a little better. The explosion itself happens with a half hour left of the 95 minute playtime, and it is easily the best part of the film. The first hour is ok, but it does kind of drag on with the business side of Pompeii’s community. The thing with these historical films is that you wait the most for what you already know is going to happen. This film had a ton of comparisons to the 1997 film “Titanic” that i won’t bore you with, but i was almost laughing by the time the corny ending hit. That is one thing i didn’t like about the film; the ending will make you role your eyes with this kind of film. Some of the impacting positives were the beautiful visuals and sets throughout the film. Director Paul Anderson really makes Pompeii the beautiful place it once was with colorful buildings and green pastures as far as the eyes can see. The fighting scenes were also nothing short of energetic. A film like this can take you out if the battles don’t do justice of ancient times, but Pompeii definitely brings it. Pompeii is a film that i recommend to the history buffs who like this sort of film. It’s not as good as 300, but it sure as hell is a lot better than this year’s Hercules. I apologize that i can’t comment on the 3D, but if you see it you are more than welcome to review it for me.

Winter’s Tale

MV5BNTMyNjI1NTM4N15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNjcwMzc1MDE@__V1_SX214_AL_

1/10

Oh Good Lord, where do i start? This film is by far one of the ten worst films i have EVER seen. There is so much for me to explain that i don’t know if i will get it done in one review. Colin Ferrell stars as a thief in 1914 New York who breaks into the house of a dying young red haired woman to steal her jewels, but ends up stealing her heart instead. Ferrell has been told his whole life to look out for a red head and that he will be her savior. So of course, there is only one red haired woman in the whole world, so it has to be her. STUPID. The acting in this film is severely awful and even comedic at times. Russell Crowe is the villain in this film as a demon thief who was once Ferrell’s boss. He is after Ferrell for reasons we never find out. He is a demon for reasons we never find out. That is one of the biggest problems with this awful narrative; it is nearly 2 hours long and we never find anything out. In my opinion, Crowe is a very overrated actor and that doesn’t shine more than this film. His accent alone couldn’t keep the theater from breaking out into loud laughter. (Spoilers) The woman ends up dying and Ferrell ends up getting beaten down by Crowe and his band of thugs. They dump him in the river and Ferrell ends up waking up in 2014 New York. The only explanation ever given for this is that sometimes miracles happen. This is by far some of the worst storytelling i have ever seen in my life. The only thing that can make something like this even worse is that it’s a deep obnoxious bore. As i said before, the movie is nearly 2 hours and you feel every single minute of it as it drags into a new year. I seriously thought it was 2015 by the time i left the theater. IT’S THAT BAD. The cinematography is something out of a 13 year old’s Mac computer. There are scenes with a flying horse (Whose name is actually Horse) that will make you think you dived into The Neverending Story or something similar. The dialogue is so bad that you will be bored out of the film by the 15th minute. It’s slow and just doesn’t work well with the story it is trying to tell. Everything i have told you is just build up to the actual worst part of this movie. What i am going to tell you is so bad that it has to be witnessed to see it. WILL SMITH CAMEOS AS SATAN. I am not lying at all. He stars as Satan with a filled in deep dark voice as his speech. It is by far the funniest thing i have seen in a long time. I literally couldn’t stop laughing in the theater which was garnering mean looks from the other watchers. Will Smith is possibly the last guy you would ever cast as Satan. I have to ask a serious question, what was the casting director thinking? It’s great to go for a big star, but i can name a million big stars that would be cast better than Smith in that role. I even like Will Smith, but not as Lucifer. AWFUL AWFUL AWFUL. Believe it or not, there are two good things to this movie (Besides laughter). It has a beautiful snow covered setting that really sets the mood for an old school eastern tale. It also has great wardrobe. The clothing is a perfect line for 1914, so kudos goes to costume designer Michael Kaplan for his beautiful vision. I couldn’t believe people were leaving the theater talking about how much they liked the movie. Art in general (Film, books, paintings) are based on opinion and i can respect that. I just don’t see how anyone could come out of this saying it’s a good film. That has to be the type who have never hated a film in their lives. To those people i say, hate a film, it will feel great. Shakespeare would be turning in his grave at this adaptation of his writing. I can’t possibly recommend this film to anyone. I guess it would be OK if you were in the presence of friends while having some drinks. It would be a fun film to sit down and just massacre. Winters Tale is one of the biggest disasters i have seen since “The Last Airbender”. Last year’s “Escape From Tomorrow” was bad, but i think Winters Tale is worse because it had a budget of 46 million dollars. Not recommended, but instead i will recommend an episode of Dawson’s Creek called “A Winter’s Tale”, it’s much better. I apologize for this review being outside of my typical fashion. I promise the next review will be much better. Apologies to my readers.

About Last Night

MV5BMTk3OTc4NDMzNF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNjQ2NzY3MDE@__V1_SX214_AL_

6.5/10

Possibly the early favorite for surprise of the year for me. I really enjoyed this remake of the 1986 story starring Demi Moore and Jim Belushi. In this version, Kevin Hart, Regina Hall, Michael Ealy and Joy Bryant star as two couples whose stories and growth intertwine. This film has a realism to relationships that i haven’t seen since 2006’s “The Break Up”. It’s harsh and realistic when it needs to be, and i appreciate that in a film. We have all been down the same roads that these people have been down. From the changing of who we are as people to pregnancy scares to being the idiot who says the wrong thing at the wrong time. Hart and Hall are amazing as an onscreen item. I think Hollywood has finally found someone who can match Hart pound for pound on the comedy that he drops to the audience. Hall is someone who takes every comedic punch that Hart gives her and throws it right back in his face. I actually thought she was the best part of this film. Ealy and Bryant are supposed to be the main characters of this story, but it just doesn’t work out that way. The audience will be more interested in Hart/Hall because they provide the film with it’s comedic tones. While on that subject, the film does have it’s comedy, but i was very surprised at how serious it became midway through. It has that perfect mix of humor and intelligence that you just don’t see in the romance department anymore. Christopher Mcdonald (Yes Shooter Mcgavin) even cameos in this film to give us a kind of father figure bar owner to Michael Ealy’s character. My only real critique about this film is that it has weird camera edits. It seems the scenes cut before the characters are finished talking. This leads me to believe that a lot of the film was probably improved with someone as comically gifted as Kevin Hart. There is also a weird scene midway through that reveals Mcdonald’s bar being financially in trouble and then nothing. It’s like it changes into a good fortune without telling us how he paid off that debt. About Last Night dives into a deeper territory by testing the limits of friendships and the responsibilities of finally growing up. Out of all the films i saw this weekend, i think it is the perfect date movie. I would recommend it to any couple who are in the mood for laughs, emotional roller coasters and surprisingly spirited performances. Kevin Hart fans will think this is one of his best roles to date, and they would be correct.

Endless Love

MV5BOTYzNDU1MzEyN15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwOTYwMTU0MDE@__V1_SX214_AL_

3/10

This remake of the 1981 deranged love story is anything but a remake. The 2014 version of Endless Love takes us on a completely different road than the original or it’s literature origins. Infact, the only thing similar to those two things is the title and two very small scenes. Everything else is a Dawson’s Creek style re-imagining of what is supposed to be a crazy story. Jade and David are two teenagers who meet during graduation, and David reveals that he has always had a crush on Jade. The two characters are about as emotionless as possible for a story of this magnitude. Jade is the most spoiled and defiant teenager towards her parents that i have ever seen. So much so that it makes it hard to believe this girl is going to school to become a doctor. David has no personality at all. He seems to be stuck between this blank face and a 360 turn in emotions which i will get to later. Every other character though, feels like a model of who they are supposed to represent. There is the snob father of Jade (Played by Bruce Greenwood), the rugged and rough father of David (Played by Robert Patrick) and even the rich mayflower setting. Don’t get me wrong, the setting is one of the only things i liked about this film. The background mixes with a nice folk rock score that perfectly sets the mood for the tale it is telling. Kudos also to the camera people in this film for beautiful shots and shading to represent the moods the characters are going through. The lighting alone is enough to raise the review up one point. The only problem with this setting is that we don’t relate well to the characters. Even David doesn’t seem like one of us. They have different morals and living than the typical viewer seeing this film. So it ends up giving us an anatomy of a stranger. One of the biggest things i look for in a film is my ability to relate to the characters. After seeing the trailer, i was very surprised with the kind of movie i got. I figured it was a remake of the 81 original, so we would get a story similar to 1994’s “Fear”. Instead, this story is a mushy bore that follows into the genre without ever giving us anything new. Midway through the story, the characters change without any warning. The father of Jade becomes a psychopath, and David becomes an emotionally damaged soul based on a frightening past. This happens without any warning what so ever. A couple of things happen towards the end of the film that turn it into an ABC Family movie of the week. The setups and outcomes are predictable and that is the most annoying part of the ending. You feel like you could have predicted what happened in this film just by watching the trailer. The women will probably want to see this movie, and that is fine. What i tell the female readers is that this film doesn’t add anything special. If you have seen one of these films, you have seen them all. I can’t recommend this film as a whole. It’s a book with a lot daring new ground turned into a Nicolas Sparks film. Thank God this love isn’t endless, and only goes 105 minutes.

Robocop

MV5BMjAyOTUzMTcxN15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMjkyOTc1MDE@__V1_SX214_AL_

6/10

Is it better to have a conscience when being a police officer, or is a blank slate the best way to go? This question is the focus of the newest Hollywood remake, Robocop. First of all, there isn’t going to be a lot of critique with this review. The Robocop franchise is ridiculous and possibly the furthest thing from realistic. It’s like reviewing The Fast and Furious films for realism. There are a couple of things i didn’t like about this film, but i will get to that later. Joel Kinnaman stars as Alex Murphy, a Detroit police officer who is left with damage to 95% of his body in a set up explosion. A corporate big shot (Michael Keaton) and a scientist (Gary Oldman) come up with an idea to put Murphy back on the streets with a robot suit that controls his actions. Kinnaman is decent as Murphy, but he isn’t given the proper development that Peter Weller had in the 1987 original. Kinnaman is a good enough actor to make us care what happens to Murphy, but it would be better if we learned more about who he is and what his actions are as a cop for arguably the most dangerous city in the country. The filming of Detroit is one of my biggest problems with the film. I understand that 90% of movies aren’t filmed in the cities they are portrayed in, but Detroit is one that is hard to fake. Everyone knows what you are in for when you travel there, so to see it as a beautiful lighted up town is almost comical. The movie was filmed mostly in Vancouver and that is understandable as it is one of the cheaper places to film a movie. Two amazing performances come in the hands of Keaton and Oldman. Keaton’s character change is the biggest one of the movie as we learn what his true priorities are. There is a calm storm to his actions on the exterior, but you know it’s all just waiting to blow. Gary Oldman is the best part of the movie for me. He is such a veteran of film that he can do roles like this in his sleep. The role he plays as Dr. Dennett Norton is written very one dimensional, but Gary puts a caring sense of Dr. Frankenstein in the object he has created. He cares for Murphy’s health, and that gives him more definition than the characters he is surrounded by.Samuel L Jackson cameos as a talk show host who comes close to stealing the spotlight at times. He knows more than the viewers he talks to, but relates to them as he only wants the best for America. The action in this film is top notch. There are a lot of fast pace chase scenes with vibrating camera shots to replicate machine gun fire. The new black suit is really cool, but i hope they revert to the old school silver if they make a sequel. The black is supposed to represent the modernization of the Robocop character itself. Overall, i would definitely recommend this film to Robocop fans and action lovers alike. I think it is only passed by the original Robocop (barely), but it far exceeds parts 2 and 3 by a mile. It’s a fun, action packed extravaganza that takes the best parts of 80’s action and 2014 cinematography and creates a hybrid worthy of the Robocop name. Well done Director Jose Padihla.

The Monuments Men

MV5BMjMxMjk4NTM1M15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNjg0MjQ3MDE@__V1_SX214_AL_

7.5/10

George Clooney stars and directs in this film about the real life story of the men who rescued and returned millions of stolen art pieces by the Nazi regime. Clooney might not be much of a factor in this film, but he sort of passes the torch to a dynamite cast that brings out the best in every kind of emotion. When i say that, i mean that i was surprised at how much i laughed through this movie. The film does have Bill Murray, John Goodman and Bob Balaban, but i didn’t expect that comedy would be at such a forefront in a film set during World War II. Murray is incredible. He isn’t given a lot of screen time, but he makes the most of a character that makes us laugh and cry as he feels the pain of being away from his grandchildren. Goodman, Matt Damon and Jean Dujardin are victims of a script that is jam packed with characters. They don’t receive enough time to shine, and are kind of backgrounds to the two best characters in the movie, Balaban and the always elegant Cate Blanchett. Blanchett is a victim of the Nazi’s when her brother is murdered in cold blood for discovering a couple of the locations where they store the stolen art. This puts Blanchett in a tight spot because she is the secretary (Forcefully) of one of the Nazi generals. Bob Balaban is by far the best thing about the movie. He is bright, bothered and above all else, charming. He brings a nerd quality that makes him stand out above other characters who are either quiet or the typical good looking Hollywood leading man. His sarcasm really brings out the best in scenes with Murray. The two are stationed on their own route together, and it’s during these times that you will get the best scenes of the movie. The problem with the characters that fall into the background is the fact that they don’t receive character build at the beginning of the screen. They are recruited by Clooney and just thrown into the fray. It would have been nice to know a little more about these people in their home lives. The movie is 1 hour and 50 minutes, but some of that time should be used to make us care more. Which brings me to my other problem with the film; it’s riddled in a slow movement. The first 80 minutes of the film move so slow that it will be hard to believe that it redeems itself in the final 30. Believe me, it all works out. The final few scenes will give you goosebumps at the depths that these monsters went to. The Monuments Men isn’t an amazing movie, and it doesn’t give you the intense warfare of Lone Survivor. The film does however give you an amazing historical insight (Pictures of the actual sights are present) mixed with actors we have known and loved for decades. What might surprise you is that i only recommend it to two types of people; historical buffs or fans of art. I think that anyone outside of these bubbles might get overwhelmed with the slow pacing. If this film sounds like your piece of art, give The Monuments Men a chance.

Enemy

MV5BMTQ2NzA5NjE4N15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMjQ4NzMxMTE@__V1_SY317_CR0,0,214,317_AL_

8/10

I really enjoyed this film about Jake Gyllenhaal playing a school teacher who discovers that he has a twin in the film business. Gyllenhaal once again teams up with Prisoners director Denis Villeneuve to bring a colorless and claustrophobic look at a man who is figuratively being pulled from the inside. I get the feeling that a lot of people who watched Prisoners will feel alienated by this film because it doesn’t lay the answers out as easy as Prisoners. This is a film that will slowly present you piece by piece of the puzzle, and they won’t all come together until the very last shot of the movie. This clearly isn’t a film for everyone, but i think everyone should give it a look because there is a lot of praise to be done in this 88 minute feature.I say that this film isn’t for everyone because it does have it’s moments that have to be left up to interpretation. The tone and soundtrack to this film are not only eerie and intense, but very unique. The twin storyline is something that has been done before, but in Enemy it is done differently. In past films of this genre, the two characters are made to be so different that they’re clearly obvious which one is which when on camera. In Enemy, Gyllenhaal plays two characters that are very much one and the same with the exception of their careers. The shooting of the face to face scenes is done well because it never shows both of their faces at the same time. I think if it did this, it would look hokey and the audience would have a tougher time taking it seriously.I also enjoyed the very bleak California setting. The colors to represent the backgrounds in each shot are given a kind of foggy feel to go with the moods of each doppelganger. It feels very much like a late 90’s David Cronenberg film based on it’s colorful textures alone. I do have a theory for how this whole story pieces together, but i won’t ruin it for those of you who want to check it out. I ordered it on Directv Pay Per View and that certainly helped with the theories i was gathering myself while watching the movie. It presents us with a 10 minute interview with Gylenhaal and Villeneuve after the feature is over. If you are going to check it out, i recommend this as the only way to go. It isn’t currently playing in any theaters, and i don’t know if the DVD will give you the kinds of clues and hints that the DirecTv version will. Enemy brought out everything i liked about independent features. Solid performances, heart pounding situations, and the option to always make you think.

Labor Day

MV5BMjMxODE0NTUxNV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNTkzNzY1MDE@__V1_SY317_CR0,0,214,317_AL_

7/10

I was very surprised in this film starring Kate Winslet as a mother who has her home invaded by a convict murderer (Josh Brolin) and the adaptations they face during this unpredictable event. Brolin is powerful in a role like this because he can show so much emotion without yelling. I really enjoyed the chemistry between him and Winslet. They are two people who long for each other after years of different loneliness. Director Jason Reitman shoots some beautiful hands-on shots when showing what is going through each character’s mind. I think a film like this could even work as a silent picture because Reitman is great at communicating with his audience. The film also takes place in a beautifully transformed 1987 Boston suburb. The film remains very truthful to the kinds of technology and food labels that were around in 1987, and no one appreciates that more than me. A movie can lose it’s focus for me if it has a cola can in the 1980’s when it wasn’t invented until 1995. Labor Day clocks in at 1 Hour and 50 minutes which might seem long to someone who knows the basic story, but it’s needed to show the advancement of relationships between Brolin and Winslet, but also Brolin and the little boy. Some problems i had with the film were few and far between. For one, there is tension in the final 15 minutes just because. From police officers getting a little too nosey for no reason to bank tellers asking Winslet what she is planning on doing with money she is taking out. It just makes the audience roll their eyes because there is no reason given for these things to happen. I also found it hard to believe that the police wouldn’t look at the cameras from the grocery store. On a news report, they say they knew Brolin was in the store, so why do they not look at the camera tapes to see who he left with? Wouldn’t the police watch those tapes and then find Winslet’s address? I also found it very far fetched that this movie and the relationships formed in 4 days. Loneliness is a frightening thing, but for a murderer who kidnaps Winslet and her son, this just doesn’t seem feasible to me. This may sound like i am complaining a lot about the film, but i promise that it’s better than 90% of the cliche romance pictures i normally watch. The ladies will love Labor Day, but i think even the guys will appreciate the powerful story being told here. Give Labor Day a shot. At the least, it’s a good date movie based on the relationship to root for in the film.