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Son of God (2014)
a wonderful movie
I think that this movie is going to suffer because people are going to compare it to The Passion Of The Christ. Mel Gibson may be an awful person but he was a great director in that movie. Even so Diogo Morgado does a wonderful job as Jesus. He captures the man's love and compassion and spirituality to a t. The movie is very faithful to the details of Jesus's life from his feeding the multitude to entering the city on a donkey. This is truly a beautiful film to behold and I thought the special effects were great especially when it showed Jesus walking on water in a raging storm. The arrest, trial, torture and crucifixion of Jesus are chillingly reenacted. I wanted to thank the people who made this film for not dwelling on the scourging scene the way that Gibson did. Even so, one is appalled by the ignorance, hatred and cruelty of Pilate and Caiphus and the other so called "holy men". There is a scene where Pilates stooges beat many innocent citizens to death and his men overturn a wagon and kill a child so his parade can get by. As a final review, Roma Downey has a wonderful cameo as Jesus's mother. I was always a big Touched By An Angel fan. It is heartbreaking seeing her anguish as she witnesses his torture and crucifixion.
Grudge Match (2013)
Two aging lions who can still let out a mighty roar
On paper the premise for this movie would seem too ridiculous for words, a 73 year old man boxing a 67 year old man (Stallone and DeNiro's ages). However, I have to give the makers of this film just credit because they take this seemingly insane idea and make it work. So many people have commented that it was appropriate for Stallone and DeNiro to work together on a film like this. DeNiro won an Oscar for playing boxer Jake LaMotta in Raging Bull and Stallone played our most beloved movie boxer Rocky Balboa. Maybe they should have made this film back in the 1970s when both of them were in their primes! Stallone is basically playing Rocky in this film, a decent, honorable blue collar guy who is too proud to reveal he is blind in one eye. He and DeNiro are so funny to watch in their constant bickering, especially that part where they tear the studio apart in that computer simulation. I hadn't seen Kim Basinger for a while, but she still looks awesome and is really wonderful as the love interest of the two men (she is sort of the "Adrian" of the film). There are parts of this film that are sort of affectionate homages to Rocky. There is a scene where Stallone drinks a glass of cracked eggs and another where he is about to punch a side of beef but then his trainer tells him that is unsanitary and he only wants dinner (Alan Arkin has an amusing bit here as Stallone's geriatric foul mouthed trainer, he is supposed to be like Mick in the Rocky films). I really found myself rooting for Stallone's character because DeNiro, while doing his usual brilliant acting job, basically plays a horses ass! I didn't like that part where he endangers his young grandson I don't know how his son was so forgiving towards him. My other beef with the film is that training sequences that show the two elderly gents suffering the agonies of the damned seemed very forced (however I have to admit I thought the scene where DeNiro farted while doing sit-ups was very funny). Then ladies and gentleman we come to the conclusion, the great fight between these two old warriors. Will they remember to take their Geritol? It may be hard to believe, but the final fight is very exciting and realistic and like the bouts in Rocky. SPOILER ALERT Sly gets to win (duh doesn't he ALWAYS get to win) We see that the two men have laid their personal demons to rest and now have mutual respect for one another. Oh and by the way, sniff sniff, DeNiro hugs his estranged son and tells his grandson to call him "grandpa". What a happy ending. I have heard that this film is really getting slammed by the critics and I want to come to its defense. I also wanted to mention that you should stay for the closing credits because they have one last laugh in store for you. They try to get Evander Holyfield and Mike Tyson to have a rematch!
uneven, hard to follow but still a lot of fun
I remember reading James Thurber's story when I was a freshman in high school. I have to admit that Ben Stiller takes this beloved literary classic and gives it an amazing new twist. Stiller is an excellent choice to play Mitty. I have long been an admirer of his and I feel that he is like a modern day Jimmy Stewart. He has a wonderful, down to earth "everyman" quality that all of us can identify with. In his movies he is always the lovable underdog who seems so insignificant and yet in the end is the hero. All of us who have slipped on a banana peel and embarresed ourselves can identify with this wonderful thespian. What is remarkable is that as a director Stiller only gives a nod to Mitty's heroic fantasies, they flash very briefly. He dreams of saving a building full of people from a gas explosion and beating up his pain in the ass boss (who HASN'T daydreamed of that). However, in his effort to save his job and find a missing frame of film, Mitty turns real life adventurer (in the beginning he couldn't think of one "remarkable" thing he ever did in his life) We see him skateboarding through a volcanic explosion, surviving a plunge into a shark infested ocean and climbing the highest mountain in the most freezing cold. I love movies that try to be original and Stiller certainly dares to do that and it pays off wonderfully I just kept wondering what in the hell was on that Frame 25. Stiller's transformation from Marvin Milquetoast to Indiana Jones may not be the least bit convincing, or even make very little sense, but what the hell! Your entertaining us Mister Stiller and that's all that matters. Kristin Wiig, a wonderful comic actress and Saturday Night Live cast member, is really sweet as Mitty's fantasy love interest. SPOILER ALERT, after Mitty saves the day in the end and has the last word on the boss he hated, it shows he and Wiig together at last. I had that sense of disappointment I had in the end of Sleepless in Seattle, because I wanted to know if there was a happy end for both of them.
The Lone Ranger (2013)
This is the first movie I have seen in ages....
That I truly and absolutely despised! I haven't written a review on IMDb for almost a year now (I used to do one for every movie that I saw). However, I want to perform a public service for my fellow man and let unsuspecting people know not to waste their money. This movie is so bad it defies belief. You don't see it, you suffer through it. Clayton Moore and Jay Silverheels (the original Lone Ranger and Tonto) must be turning in their graves. Johnny Depp has probably put the nail in the coffin of his career. He has got to be the creepiest Tonto that I have ever seen. Armie Hammer is a wimp of a Lone Ranger. The two have no chemistry whatsoever. That defeats the whole purpose because the Lone Ranger and Tonto are supposed to have a bond of admiration and mutual respect. You see none of that here. I not only felt like going to the theater owner and asking for my money back, I felt like asking God for the two hours of my life back that I WASTED watching this abominable sack of dreck. It is that horrible. Johnny Depp should be ashamed of himself.
Lucy Liu makes this show
Bringing Sherlock Holmes into the twentieth century, that concept has been tried before so I cannot say that this new show is "original" but Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu bring interesting interpretations to the roles of Holmes and Watson. Actually, Liu was the reason that I tuned in to watch the premiere. I have been a fan of hers ever since I saw the Charlie's Angels movies and I thought if anyone can play a tough heroine who can hold her own against any man it's her. She does precisely that in the premiere that I saw. This series looks like its going to be very dark and its characters haunted and tormented. Holmes by his addiction and Watson over the guilt she feels about a patient's death. There was one scene where Holmes coldly deduces that is what her problem is. I wanted Watson to punch him out right there! Holmes has never been played as more of an arrogant self righteous ass then he is in this show. I predict that this show isn't going to last very long. Oh well, maybe Lucy can make Charlie's Angels 3.
People Like Us (2012)
Its not the Brady Bunch thats for sure
Michelle Pfieffer and Elizabeth Banks both give A+ performances in this movie and they both deserve to be remembered at Oscar time. It is a joy watching these two outstanding thespians at work. It is amazing the intensity and depth they bring to their performances. They bring these tortured characters to life and you feel their pain. When I was getting ready to write this review, my first instinct was to say that there wasn't a really likable character in the film. That instinct was wrong. Its not that the characters aren't likable, its just that they are flawed and in deep emotional pain because one man didn't do his job as a responsible husband and father and the pain he caused lives after his death. This is a very dark film, very depressing, gritty and true to life. No "Brady Bunch" happy endings here folks. Surprisingly, I think it makes it a better movie. The only major beef I have with this film is the character of the boy Josh. He is without a doubt the most appalling child character since Wesley on Mister Belvedere. I kept wanting one of the adults to give him a good smack in his little fresh, dirty mouth. I always hate it in movies when they show smart aleck kids who talk to adults more strongly then real life kids would dare do!
So this is how it ends
Armageddon, doomsday, the final apocalypse. Ever since the beginning of time man has wondered how it will all end. Another great flood, a nuclear war or in this case an asteroid. Filmmakers have always done their best to exploit this basic fear we have of the termination of our existence in movies like Fail Safe, On The Beach and The Day After. I put this film right up there with them because of the awesome performances of Steve Carell and Keira Knightley as our hero and heroine who we know are doomed from the start. I have always admired Carell as a comic (Get Smart, Date Night). However, he proves here that he can handle drama with the rest of them as does Knightley. They both have very powerful monologues in this film where they talk of their lonely lives. Its so ironic that they both find joy and love in life when they are on the very edge of death.
So thats why Abe was so good with an ax!
I have always loved history and Abraham Lincoln was always one of my heroes. Gee I didn't realize that he was this bad ass dude that went around whacking vampires! Shows you how little I know. Seriously, I like movies that try to cover new ground and be original and creative and the people that made this one really take the cake in that department, make that the whole bakery. I enjoyed the fact that they skillfully mix an original story with the known facts of Lincoln's life. For example, Lincoln did live in a place called Pigeon Creek when he was a boy; his mother did die when he was very young; he did work as a shopkeeper and have a friend named Joshua Speed and he had a young son named Willie that died in the White House. Like so many other horror movies, my complaint with this one is that it has so much gratuitous blood, guts and gore. What more then makes up for that, however, is a young actor named Benjamin Walker. He does an A+ job of bringing the 16th President to live. He convincingly shows Lincoln's humanity, courage and compassion and does as fine a job as any other actor who has played Lincoln in a serious movie. Critics usually don't give a lot of credence to horror films and the actors in them and thats a shame because in any other type of movie, Walker would be getting major headlines. Mary Elizabeth Winstead gives him able support as his wife Mary. She is portrayed as very loving, devoted and strong and that is wonderful because Mary Lincoln usually takes a character beating as a neurotic witch. The Civil War battle scenes in the movie are as realistic as any war between the states movie only its the vampires against the blue coats and the silverware wins (watch it and see). SPOILER I love how they end the movie with a little bit of irony. After Lincoln defeats the vampires, he and Mary decide to relax and celebrate, by going to the theater.
Men in Black 3 (2012)
chocolate milk and time travel
The original Men In Black was one of the few sci-fi movies I ever liked and it was because of the great chemistry and camaraderie between Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones. Fifteen years later, they still have it! I never saw the first sequel so I cannot compare but this is a great movie. Tommy Lee Jones has been a favorite of mine ever since I saw The Fugitive. I think he could walk on the moon without a spacesuit. Some people who have co starred with him have said he is not a joy to work with but he is a joy to watch. He is hilarious as Agent K. He is so deadpan and wooden he makes Jack Webb look overemotional! It is a perfect contrast to Smith's persona. This film was a little confusing because of the great shifts in time but its a lot of fun all the way as J travels back to 1969 to prevent his friend from being killed and the earth from being destroyed. I also wanted to mention that Smith and Josh Brolin (who has the bigger part as younger K) have great chemistry as well. Brolin has the mannerisms and speech patterns down so well it is almost spooky. SPOILER ALERT in "junk" movies like this you don't expect a lot of emotional moments, but there is in the end where young K kills the alien but not before the alien kills the officer that let them into the launch pad. It turns out the man was J's father and young Jay is right there to be comforted by the young K who erases the horrible sight from his memory (confusing right?) It is a wonderful way to end the movie
This movie was a refreshing change of pace in so many ways. So many comedies about women having a baby make it look like a wonderful thing, all peaches and cream. Well, this movie is different it shows the rough side as well, the mood swings, the throwing up, the peeing and farting we see it all! This movie has a great ensemble cast and they all get equal time and the stories blend together smoothly. I love the "rant" that one woman gives about how pregnancy sucks. I can imagine that something like that would get a lot of hits on you tube! However, as always its my favorite actress the lovely Cameron Diaz who steals the show with her beautiful smile and flair for comedy. She is always worth the admission to me. SPOILER I just knew in the end they were all going to go into labor at once and there would be a lot of slapstick getting them to the hospital. I also knew that one of them would have a medical emergency, a few moments of suspense and then every one would be all right and live happily ever after! Oh well, isn't that what going to the movies is all about.