Noah

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5/10

WOW!!! So that just happened. After sitting through 2 hours and 15 minutes of Director Darren Aronofsky’s latest film, i can clearly say that this is the most extreme interpretation of any story in any book ever. I hate to say that i can kind of understand why the Catholics are so upset with this film. That’s not to say that i agree with them, but i get why they are mad. This film is INSANE. It’s like mixing the bible with the film Apocalypse Now. For those of you who thought Baz Luhrman’s Romeo and Juliet was an extreme adaptation, you now have no room to talk. Noah is the tale of Noah’s Ark and the end of the world. Noah (Russell Crowe) gets his family and all of the animals into this wooden ark and Noah is told to do this to survive the massive flood. In this film, Noah is a murderer, a bible obsessive to the point of pure insanity, and threatens to kill his son’s 2 newborn daughters. He even gets to the point of running through the Ark with a knife about to kill those babies. On top of all of this is the hypocritical point of view that Noah is doing all of this from the word of God, but yet lets thousands of people die in the storm because they supposedly ruined the world. Getting into a religion debate is the LAST thing i want to do in this world, but doesn’t it say something in the bible about forgiving? Apparently not because Noah and God are quite vengeful in this film to the point of water knocking off people hanging on cliffs. There are also rock people in this film that protect Noah’s family by blocking the people getting to the ark. The CGI on the rock people is absolutely terrible. It makes the movie seem comical at times when it’s not supposed to be. This is weird because the CGI for the animals in the ark actually isn’t too bad. They mostly use wide shots for these animals, and that is the right way to go about it. Already halfway through this review, i can tell you that there are just too many crazy things in this film. I might have to do an hour long video review someday Some things i did enjoy about the film was the fact that they did dare to do something different and entertaining for once. I just think they failed at the aspect of making it anything but comical. I also thought the cinematography was beautiful. Especially with the scenary and some amazing editing done during the symbolism shots. Noah occasionally has these shots when he is sleeping and hearing the word of God. The acting isn’t terrible either. I think Emma Watson and Jennifer Connolly are good without having to be the main focus of the film. Crowe is about the craziest choice you could have possibly have had from a guy who isn’t named Nicolas Cage. The film does start off kind of slow, but it’s in the 2nd hour that it really picks up. Funny enough, the ark takes off with about an hour left of the film, so you kind of wonder what they could do with that time. That is when all of the craziness erupts with six people stuck on a boat all turning on each other. The pacing of their actions made me feel like i was watching an HBO show because we are predicting what these characters will do before they even know it.The ending is weak because they go back on all of the insanity they have created for a cliche ending. Overall, this is the craziest thing i have ever seen for an adaptation. I think a majority of the good reviews is because it’s a story that people definitely weren’t expecting.To me, it’s very hard to take seriously because of the mind blowing events on screen. I would recommend this film only because there will not be anything like this for a LONG time. Wait till DVD though. If i have one big regret about this film, it’s that i didn’t have the option of having a rewind button to enjoy the laughter of the madness unfolding around me. Overall verdict – Better than Son of God, but only because it wasn’t boring.

Cesar Chavez

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6/10

Director Diego Luna presents us with a look at the Mexican revolutionary who fought for the rights of his people by building the National Farm Workers Association. Cesar Chavez was always someone who was soft spoken and non violent with the issues that plagued his people. It is because of that i think Michael Pena is both good and bad for the role. He definitely gives us the caring side of Chavez with workers and his family, but we don’t get to see much of what makes the character tick by peaking behind the curtain. Luna plays this film very safe and only includes the most important of situations by the title character. This is the kind of film in which you use 2 full hours to tell the story of his past, present and future. The film only gives us a brief rundown of the family Chavez came from, and the fact that they lost their land very early in his life. I really wish they could’ve used an extra 15 minutes to run down that history and show some of the struggles that his parents went through. The reason why i was against Pena is because the performance he gives is nothing special. It all seems like a very safe film that was played close to the script, and i like to see some breakout when an actor plays a historical character. I absolutely loved Forrest Whitaker In The Last King of Scotland as Idi Amin. It’s good because he makes the character his own, something Pena never does. The rest of the cast is kind of forgettable as well. America Ferrera is good as Helen Febela, Cesar’s wife, but she isn’t given enough talking time to make it memorable. Rosario Dawson, Wes Bentley and John Malkovich also all suffer from the same problem. I did however enjoy the cut scenes showing the black and white footage of the real Cesar Chavez. It was great to see what kind of demeanor he always presented himself in when around the people who worshiped him like a god. It’s kind of funny to see him praised by so many with the problems he faced with his own family at home. He and his wife fought for so many and this forced the kids at home to grow up a lot quicker. The relationship with his oldest son is one of the most time consuming that the film concentrates on, and that is a good thing. By the end of the film, his son has moved out and has no relationship with his father. I like to see side plots like that because it’s something different compared to the original reason why i wanted to see the film. Chavez passed on in 1993, but i think this film shows the kind of legacy that he passed on in so many of the businesses today. After watching this film, i can say that i think the higher ups of Wal Mart could take 100 minutes out of their schedule by watching a film about workers rights. Cesar Chavez is recommended for the historical buffs, but if you chose to skip it, you won’t miss much. I would much rather you watch an actual documentary on Chavez. I recommend Chicano! it’s a PBS documentary that is currently on Youtube.

Only Lovers Left Alive

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7.5/10

Dreamy and mesmerizing are the best words used to describe this film starring Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton as two vampires roaming the earth, and the love story between them that follows. The two lead actors play vampires better than anyone i have seen since John Carpenter’s Vampires (1998). They hate the existence that they live in, but they make the most of every situation. Swinton is very intelligent as she has read thousands of books, and Hiddleston is a 18th century musician who collects vintage instruments. He also uses the Tesla way of running energy through his house.The love story between the two protagonists is something that feels eternal. Their love has lasted for centuries and it shows. They seem incomplete without each other.
I have to speak of the two best things about this movie because they both play IMPORTANT parts in this film. The first is the score. This is a movie that feels like the music never stops. It is mostly instrumental, but it comes in the form of these dark but beautiful pieces that echo off the walls of every scene. I don’t know if a soundtrack has ever been this perfect for a film in terms of generating the kind of feeling that the actors are going for. The second thing is the setting of Detroit. This is absolutely brilliant. It is in Detroit that these characters can go unnoticed and live in silence.The long shots of downtown Detroit play so well with the mood already set by the soundtrack and the characters. As for the vampires, they aren’t violent and there is something i like about that. The film only shows them attack their prey one time, and i am fine with that. It’s expected in too many films that vampires are violent, so it’s nice to go against the cliche. If i have one problem with this film, it’s the pacing. The slow and uneventful periods are what might take someone out of this film. I think to fix this problem they could’ve cut down about 15 minutes in some random script time. A lot of that cut time would be in the beginning because it does get off to a slow start. In comparison to some of the other vampire film lately, this is a beautiful breath of fresh air. Director Jim Jarmusch has created some great characters with his 2005 hit Broken Flowers, but this film i feel is even better than that one. Only Lovers Left Alive shows him venturing into territory that he hasn’t been used to since his mid 90’s days. It’s nice to see the director still has it with a film that pushes characters first and actions second. I recommend this film for anyone who doesn’t mind a slow build. You have to appreciate this film for the relationship and not so much the kinds of actions you are used to seeing in the Vampire genre. Hiddleston and Swinton carry this film to one of the year’s best so far

The Muppets : Most Wanted

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7.5/10

During the first musical number of the film, Kermit sings about how sequels are never as good as the originals. While this wouldn’t apply to the 2011 Muppets film since that one is the 6th and this is the 7th of the Muppets films, this one nearly comes close to topping the 2011 Muppets. Most Wanted has most of the Jim Henson charms going for it. Creative lyrics with beautiful melodies that are composed by Christophe Beck. One thing you can always count on in Muppets films is that the songs will have you singing them for days and days. A couple of my early favorites are “I’m Number One” and “Stick With Me”. The films puppetry is also quite impressive again. The muppets are each given their own time to shine from the main story involving a kidnapping of Kermit to Walter, Fozzie and Animal figuring out a way to get him back. The storyline itself is enough to keep you intrigued while still giving you the subtle winks every time the outcome seems predictable. That is what makes Muppets films so entertaining; they aren’t your typical children’s films. I am 29 years old and have been a Muppets fan my whole life. Even as i get older, i find that these films still earn the $10 ticket worth. They are very minor reasons, but there are two things that keep this from equaling the magic of the 2011 film. The first is that i didn’t laugh as much during this film. I think there is nothing really wrong with that, but this film was filled more with it’s sentimental moments. When i watch The Muppets, i am in it to laugh. Most Wanted has it’s moments that will have you repeating the lines in laughter. I can just remember the first film being more quotable. The other reason is that the on screen charisma of Jason Segal, Amy Adams and Chris Cooper just can’t be matched by anyone in this film. Sure, Ty Burrell was born to be in a Muppets film, and Tina Fey is a welcome contribution even with a silly russian accent. But Segal was a fan, and you could feel that about that film. Burrell’s buddy cop moments with Sam the Eagle were by far my favorite parts of the film, and i would more than welcome a spin off film with just those two. Muppets Most Wanted is definitely a recommended film for an audience of any age. There is humor, colorful characters and touching moments. It’s a can’t miss for any fan who grew up watching the shows/films.

Divergent

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6/10

I liked this film a lot more than i thought i was going to. The Dystopian genre is really taking off in Hollywood, but this one stands out more than a couple dystopian films that are coming out this year. Divergent stars Shailene Woodley as Tris, a teenage girl who has to choose her future aspiration in a future world controlled by a brainwashing regime. The film is 2 hours and 15 minutes long, and i can safely say that i was entertained for the first 2 hours of it. It’s in the last 15 minutes that the film loses a little bit of it’s steam with a cliche outcome. The ending was weird to me because it almost seems like they went with an ending that could work whether this film gets a sequel or doesn’t do good at all and ends here. Either way, it works. Woodley is excellent in this role. She is young enough to capture a typical 18 year old’s emotions, but she is a good enough actress to channel adult like transformation. She really does transform before our eyes from a weak duckling to a full on fighting machine. Kate Winslet is also outstanding as the lady in charge, Jeanine Matthews. You can tell that Winslet is having a great time as a villain for once. She gets under your skin with smiles and soft speaking. Theo James is a little bland to me as Tobias Eaton, but i think the ladies will love him just fine. They give him the yawning scene of him taking his shirt off showing his tattoo so he and Tris can hook up yada yada yada. He just doesn’t do a good job displaying the emotions of the terrible situation that these people are under. I did enjoy some beautiful scenery which included a capture the flag game at night with the army training. The colors of this dystopian future really work with the wardrobe and emotional symbolism. What i found the most interesting about this film is that it kept me entertained for 2 hours with just building these kids into the soldiers they are born to become. It’s the training and the transformation of Tris that is the best parts of this film. I asked two teenage girls who were sitting 2 rows behind me if the film was a good adaptation, and they said they got just about everything right. They can’t speak for everyone, but that is a good sign for you the readers. Divergent is a film that isn’t as good as Hunger Games (My opinion), but it gives you better character building than that film ever could. I wish a lot of success for this film as i wouldn’t be against seeing the sequels. I just hope they keep out the cliche love dialogue at home. I realize it’s needed because it’s in the books, but i can’t watch those scenes without rolling my eyes. Divergent is recommended to anyone who is into this kind of genre. If you aren’t into books like these, wait till the dollar theater. It’s not essential to see it. Overall verdict – In the middle of the pack for the 33 films i have seen this year.

The Bag Man

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4.5/10

Somebody should tell director David Grobic that he has obviously watched a lot of David Lynch films. The problem is that he seems to not have taken anything from watching those films except a mysterious setting and characters that don’t add up to personable. John Cusack stars as a down on his luck kind of guy who is hired by Robert De Niro to deliver a bag. He is told not to look in the bag, but to just deliver it. If that setting sounds familiar it is because it has happened a thousand times. The film adds nothing to a premise that is growing literally by the minute. It’s sad that Cusack and De Niro have been demoted to these straight to DVD films because they can be two of Hollywood’s best with the right script. If there is one positive that i took from this film it is that it does indeed keep you guessing what is in the bag. It gives you an answer that is pretty basic with a finale that does up the rating a little bit with a swerve. The film also has Dominic Purcell who stars as a crooked cop. For those of you who know me, you know i love Prison Break, and it was great to see Lincoln Burrows and John Cusack go head to head. The biggest negatives i took away was a sloppy script, too long of a run time (108 minutes) and (Surprisingly) bad acting. Cusack and De Niro are obviously doing this for a paycheck and that makes sense because they are both on sleep mode. I appreciate Grobic’s attempts at a Lynch-like film, but he doesn’t have the intrigue or the dedication from his actors to pull off a Blue Velvet or Mullholland Drive. Pass on The Bag Man.

Under The Skin

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6/10

Truly the oddest film of the year i have seen. It’s got a lot of disturbing scenes in the form of Scarlett Johansson in the form of an alien who comes to earth to learn more about the humans she hunts. I say “hunt” because this alien attracts men while taking on the form of a beautiful woman. She brings them back to her apartment where they are all killed while under the sexual spell of Johansson. The idea itself behind Under the Skin is great but it suffers from a lot of the same sci fi problems that this month’s The Signal did. It has problems explaining itself, and maybe that is meant on purpose. You find out very little about the alien itself and why she is here to study these males. You never find out why these men are disposed of in a way that they are. The reason i kind of feel this is on purpose is because the movie has a couple meanings in the form of symbolism that i took from it. The first is that man is the most dangerous creature walking the earth. He is out for sex and doesn’t care who he hurts to get it. I don’t think a film like this can really be called feminism because the woman is clearly using the tool herself even if it is for death purposes. The second thing i took in the form of symbolism is that beauty is only skin deep. I can tell that the ladder is the thing this film was really going for, but it never fully commits itself in this direction. There is a scene midway through the film in which the alien picks up a man with a disfigured face. She continues to hit on him and shows more emotion in picking him up than she did any of the more physically attractive men. This is personally what i enjoyed most about the film as i felt it was heading in a direction that was more original and rare by today’s standards of good looking men and women in movie. The alien looks like Scarlett for a reason obviously and that is to prove how shallow these animals are. As i said before, it doesn’t fully commit itself to this direction and that is unfortunate. The last 30 minutes of the film are a scramble of a film that didn’t know quite how to end. It almost feels like the ending does nothing to add to the film’s originality because it’s the ending we were expecting in the first place. There are a couple other things i enjoyed about the movie. The movie is mostly a silent film with occasional dialogue being thrown in to get across the wants and obvious needs by her male suitors. It’s so hard for a movie to get across the points of it’s characters when there isn’t a lot coming out of their mouths, but Under the Skin made it work. This is by far Johansson’s best acting credit to date. In just a deer in the headlights stare, she makes the alien (no name given in the film) so pale and emotionless that we always prepare for the worst. We feel like these men are in for a world of pain that only we can see coming, but it never quite gets that horrific. SPOILERS – Some of the men are killed, but it only feels as bad to us because of Johansson’s powerful quiet demeanor. She is never too over the top while playing a character and a genre that she has little to no experience with. The camera shots are absolute beautiful and full of artful color. The fast paced shots of a motorcycle rider who is relative to Johansson’s character are done with the road underneath us speeding through quickly. It feels like we are chasing this man on a bike because of the absolutely brilliant and risky shots given. The location of Scotland is absolutely perfect for this kind of movie because of the foggy mist swallowing the forrest landscapes. It gives the area a sense of doom for the unknown that they don’t see coming. The direction is really hit and miss. The idea of the film is great, but it’s not amazingly executed by director Jonathan Glazer. Upon looking into it, he uses actual real citizens for shots of the alien in the mall and in a restaurant. This is brilliant because the star of the film has to react to the improv going on around her. His direction has pieces of miss because I felt like he had many great ideas, but got lost in some of the symbolism and that kept him from finishing a decent film. If the ending wasn’t so bland for me, i would’ve rated this movie a lot higher. It’s only an hour and 40 minutes, but you will be begging for answers by the end of the film, and it’s those answers that never materialize. I did enjoy Under the Skin, but i cannot for a second recommend this movie to a mainstream audience. Sadly, many people don’t like what they can’t understand in today’s society, so i can’t see this movie getting the world wide praise it kind of deserves. If you are curious for more things besides Scarlett Johansson’s nude body, give it a shot for her acting alone. It’s going to be unlike anything you have ever seen from her, but i think this film should be the cherry on the sundae for a great acting year for Johansson. Overall, the message of Under the Skin may go unnoticed by some, but the disturbing imagery and a mesmerizing performance from Johansson makes Under the Skin a haunting viewing experience

The Single Moms Club

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5/10

I didn’t like this movie at all, but i have to say that it is my favorite Tyler Perry movie. This means that this film had the least amount of things that pissed me off. Nia Long, Amy Smart and YES Tyler Perry star in this film about 5 divorced women who go through the struggles of raising children by themselves. I thought it was very honorable of Perry to cast himself in the lead male role opposite of the most beautiful woman (My opinion) in the movie, Nia Long. His acting is nothing less than creepy. This film could have easily been turned into a horror/suspense film because of the weird motions he goes through with trying to be with Long. It’s sad to say that he is the least creepiest when he dons a grey wig and women’s clothing. If you think i am saying this because i think Perry is a terrible actor, you would be wrong. I also thing he is a terrible writer. My favorite line that he himself utters in the film takes place when Nia Long calls his cell phone and they have a conversation. When it is over, he asks for her phone number. Ummmmmm maybe just look on the phone THAT SHE CALLED YOU ON!!!!!!! With my Perry frustrations out i can now focus on the movie itself. The film is funny because it’s very convenient. The characters go through THE EXACT SAME THING at the EXACT SAME TIME. They all find good looking men that like them AT THE EXACT SAME TIME. And what Tyler Perry film would great without racism? This film is weird with that subject though because sometimes it’s played for laughs and sometimes it’s played as a seriously disturbing subject. You kind of can’t play on both sides of the road on this one. You ask your audience to laugh and be angered when racism rears it’s ugly head. There are some great characters in the film that are led by Wendi Mclendon-Covey (Bridesmaids) and Cocoa Brown. Covey is given the deepest role as a racist white woman who makes the biggest transformation by the end of the film. She bickers a lot with Brown and it makes for some legitimately funny moments that even made your favorite film critic chuckle. Terry Crewes also cameos with his usual comedic schtick. I don’t care what that guy is in, he will always be funny to me. Beyond this, the rest of the characters are on sleep mode. One female even came close to topping Perry’s phone number line. She divorced her husband but is still living in a house that her husband funds. She is secretly seeing a guy behind her exes back, but he says that he will cut her off if he finds out she has a man. Cocoa Brown tells her that if he stops funding her that she can receive more money by taking him to court since she has custody of the child. She is completely shocked to find this out. DERRRRRRRRR!!!!!! The film itself clocks in at just shy of 2 hours, but i think that is because it has the deepest message of any Perry film. It’s about women who lose everything they know and because of friends they are given the power to stand back up. That message did kind of hit a soft spot with me as my friends have always been my rock. If i had the audacity to make someone sit through a Tyler Perry film, this would be the one i would recommend. For those of you who like his humor, wait till DVD. There is no reason to rush to the theaters when this will be a rental in 2 months……..trust me.

Need For Speed

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5.5/10 – (SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS) With the exception of Fast Six, this is the most i have ever had to suspend disbelief in a “Speed movie”. Need For Speed is the latest in a film genre about the machines men love and wish they had.It is an adaptation of the popular video game series. Aaron Paul stars as Tobey Marshall, a mechanic and driver who is given the opportunity to save his shop by racing against his arch rival for a boat load of cash. Aaron’s best friend is killed in the race, and he is to blame. He serves 2 years in prison for something that i honestly don’t understand how they pieced the blame on him. That’s exactly what ruins this film though, the fact that it has to brake every ten minutes for some other bombshell in disbelief. There were a couple of big problems that i had with the film that i will share at the bottom. If you don’t want to be spoiled, i suggest you don’t read it. Drive and Rush should have taught us that it is possible for this genre to produce good films. Those two show that the racing can be secondary as long as it has a great story to fall back on. In Need For Speed, the story is easily forgettable as we see beautifully shot chase scenes that will make the viewer feel the power of these muscle cars. The film also delivers two good performances by Aaron Paul and Michael Keaton. I had no idea Keaton was even in this film (Why has Hollywood been doing this with their trailers lately?), but he has the absolute time of his life as the organizer of the big race who hosts his own radio show. Keaton is quite literally off of his rocker in this role and i loved every minute of it. This film also had a pretty wide variety of cover songs that really set the mood for each scene. The best of all is a mellow cover of “All Along the Watchtower”. Beyond this, the film is lost in 2 hours of mediocrity. It has no chemistry between Paul and his female counterpart, it has a lot of awkward scenes just for the hell of it, and it is possibly the biggest insult to law enforcement. Overall, Paul has always had great dramatic chops, but he wastes it in terrible film choices like this. I hope his choices are better in the future. It will be hard to get out of the Jesse Pinkman typecast. Recommended to car buffs, but no one else.
Problems i had
1. While doing over 100 MPH on the freeway, a friend of Paul’s comes by with a gas truck. He fills up the car while they are driving at full speed. UMMMMM NO!!!! A car is already dangerous when it’s turned on while filling up. Multiply that danger by 50 when it’s going over 100 MPH.
2. The villain makes a threat to Aaron Paul on the radio show where he tells the world that he will give them 7 million dollars to make sure Paul doesn’t race in the final race. An issued threat would probably mean jail time for a death threat.
3. Aaron Paul has a friend in the film who steals 3 helicopters. He goes to jail for these acts and then manages to convince the guard to let him watch the final race on an IPAD. I can’t make this up people
4. (BIG TIME SPOILERS) The ending has Paul going to jail for 6 months for illegal racing. I guess they forgot eluding the officers multiple times, destruction of property, disturbing the peace, auto theft and assault during the final race. Smells like more than 6 months to me

Veronica Mars : The Movie

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6/10

The weekend’s best film is also the one shown in the least amount of theaters. Kristen Bell returns in the role she was born to play. She plays Veronica Mars, a small town daughter of the chief investigator and former Police Captain. As seen in the TV show, she is quite the investigator herself, and she returns to where it all started. Neptune, California has always been a place for drugs, violence and murder. The ladder is the premise for this film as Veronica’s best friend Logan is framed for murdering his pop star girlfriend. Veronica stays in town to help Logan in his journey to innocence. First of all, it was the fans of the series that attracted me to this film. The show was canceled prematurely after 3 seasons on the CW and it was the fans who funded the film so that they could finally get a fair ending. I think that is pretty impressive, and wish a couple of my cancelled shows had such a dedicated fan base. The movie itself plays like a CW TV show, so that should please fans of the series. It has all of the hip dialogue and sassy main character that would otherwise be lost in a genre that produces hundreds of these films every decade.It also has the trendy indie rock music that was popular for a show of this kind. I should know, i was a Dawson’s Creek and One Tree Hill fan. Every character is back from the TV show, but none are more appreciated than Keith Mars, Veronica’s father. The on-screen chemistry is one of the finer points of the film as Keith has always raised her on his own. He has tried to keep her out of the investigative world, but has come to understand that she is quickly following in her father’s footsteps.I was also quite surprised with how many celebrity cameos were in the film. Dax Sheppard is expected as he is the husband of Bell, but James Franco, Justin Long, Jamie Lee Curtis and Jerry O Connell are great as scene stealers. Franco in particular is the topic of conversation when he is seen in an internet video trying on tight jeans. The murder itself is studied and pressed quite well as a classic whodunnit? When the culprit is revealed though, it is a little lackluster. There is no chase scene or final fight between our protagonist and antagonist, so you are left wondering how this person could ever get this far with something as serious as murder. It is also tough to relate to some of the characters with their actions, but i do understand the interest here. Veronica Mars has a fan base that is undeniable, and it’s great that they got a film that can satisfy the cravings that were left abandoned in 2007. It’s just a shame that fans have to resort to a limited showing if they want to see their favorite TV show on the big screen. It is available on pay per view, so that should help some of you. I definitely recommend this film to fans of the show, but i think non fans will enjoy it as well. It does offer a nice 5 minute rundown of everything up to this point, so a guy like me wasn’t left scratching his head.

Devil’s Knot

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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

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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