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300: Rise of an Empire (2014)
99% blood splatter
The sheer awfulness of this movie is mind boggling. It's just too much focus on slashings and dismemberments and beheadings. In every other scene there is blood splashing across the screen.
The negotiation between and Artemesia is laughable as is the final showdown and hilarious one liner "You fight harder than you ...." There are a few watchable moments when there is a break from the mayhem. The background of Xerxes and Artemesia. What a pity with all the historical material they could have made it quite interesting without resorting to such gore and violence.
Sullivan Stapleton is a bit soft spoken and not too commanding as the hero Themistocles. Eva Green as Artemeisa is suitably deranged looking but what a degrading role for her.
"300" was much better than this. The violence wasn't from start to finish and there was a proper balance and a believable cast. Rise of an Empire is just too revolting even taken into account the genre.
OMG what a bore
This is a truly awful movie that cannot be related to on any level. A total waste of a famous cast. What an absurd story! A dying man uploads his mind onto a computer. Then some nonsensical fighting ensues between those who are for and against such things. Johnny Depp doesn't need to do such bad movies. Stoned faced performance by the way. Rebecca Hall too unattractive for the lead female. Morgan Freeman needs to display some selectiveness. Cillian Murphy and Paul Bettany don't know what you were fighting for.
This type of bad sci fi rubbish has got to stop. It deserves to be forgotten like it was never made at all. Makes Inception seem logical by comparison.
The 100 (2014)
Suffers in comparison to Lost plus the cast is boring
If you haven't watched "Lost" then this survive in the jungle/forest adventure would seem quite exciting. But for anybody who has seen Lost, this just seems so lame by comparison. The mysterious monsters, bunkers, injuries, smoke are very similar. I know they are working with a lower budget on CW than ABC but the main weakness is the cast in "the 100" has no charisma. Remember the Lost cast with the stunning Evangeline Lilly, the tortured hero Matthew Fox, the scoundrel Josh Holloway, the lovely Yunjin Kim the list goes on.
With all the attractive and good young actors and actresses out there how could they settle on this bland bunch. The Australian actors Eliza Taylor and Bob Morley are too plain and don't have the kind of faces you want to watch. Thomas McDonnell looks like he would rather be elsewhere. And the adults are kind of irritating too with Henry Ian Cusick from "Lost" who was the most irritating character on "Lost". Don't know who is fighting who about what. Just lots of punching and pseudo angst. And the hook ups don't have enough romantic background.
I'm surprised they renewed this one - it's no better than "Starcrossed" or "Tomorrow People" which were canceled. Usually with CW there is either an attractive cast like "Vampire Diaries" or a good story "Arrow" or good action "Nikita". "The 100" doesn't have either going for it.
Out of Reach (2013)
Brainwashing cult makes a good thriller
For a lifetime thriller this movie is quite good. A brainwashing business consulting cult targets a midlife crisis man. His wife battles to save him and their young daughter. It's quite plausible.
Good acting from the cast. The acting of Erin Karpluk as a wife dealing with her husband's brainwashing is quite good and she is suitably terrified and frustrated. Jamie Luner who seems to be in a lifetime movie every year is effective as the evil brainwasher. She is quite versatile and her eyes look really evil. Lochlyn Munro is good as the gullible husband.
Worth a watch.
The Last Ship (2014)
Timely especially with Ebola and a brewing Cold War going on
How timely this show is with the ongoing Ebola outbreak and the rising tensions between Russia and the West. The story is quite possible so it's exciting for that reason alone.
The production is well done for TV with a variety of land and sea settings. The cast is good too. Rhona Mitra is suitably intelligent sounding but not too pretty - so she is just right for the CDC scientist. The male leads look suitably military. Eric Dane is a convincing leader of his ship but my goodness he's aged since Gray's Anatomy. Adam Baldwin from Chuck is also well cast. Some flashbacks to their outside life as in "Lost" might help add depth to the characters.
One of the better action TV shows this year.
The Giver (2014)
The message is dated
The problem with this movie is that given that right now the world has so much war and disease, "The Elsewhere" isn't better than what's inside overall . So the whole premise that breaking out may not be such a good idea! The whole story is a bit nothing. Not having some get together at the end was an anti climax. That's the problem when a 90s book is made into a movie 20 years later.
Brenton Thwaites and Odeya Rush are the cute leads although she isn't that distinctive looking. The ending wasn't romantic since they didn't meet up again. Jeff Bridges sounded like Santa mumbling ho ho ho. Meryl's hair didn't suit her. Looked a bit like Angelica Huston. Katie Holmes had a sad expression on her face.
The production is quite good with an attractive society and some nice landscapes on the way out.
This movie is for fans of the book who want to see it on screen. Not a must see otherwise.
Magic in the Moonlight (2014)
Disappointing but still worth one watch
This movie is prettily filmed in the South of France and features a simple story about a middle aged psychic buster (Firth) and a young psychic (Stone).
There are some faults. Compared to 'Midnight in Paris' it isn't as magical or inventive and it isn't as funny as 'To Rome with Love'. There is too much dialog for Colin Firth. The ending could have been more clever - it fizzled out at the end. The age gap between Firth and Stone was about 10 years too much on the icky side. Stone's face wasn't pretty enough for the role. Some one sweeter would have been better.
A little disappointing but still worth one watch.
Into the Storm (2014)
No nonsense disaster movie - you get what you want to see
This movie doesn't waste too much time and shows you good solid tornado destruction set in a small town beset by a confluence of multiple tornadoes. Just enough background to figure out who is who and then you get what you came to see. The effects are well done and don't look fake. The cast isn't too famous but it doesn't matter it's all about the destruction. If you think you've seen enough from Twister, this one shows multiple tornadoes and the effects are better since it is 2014.
A low budget cast with a high budget production value make a watchable disaster movie.
Well done for this kind of movie.
Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
Visually spectacular, sometimes funny, unengaging characters
To start with the good points the effects and battles are quite visually spectacular. The out of place humor is funny now and then. But the characters aren't familiar so the don't end up really engaging the viewer. Can't feel for them. The first part of the movie was confusing figuring out who is fighting who for what. It all felt a bit pointless and silly after a while.
Zoe Saldana looks pretty slim. Chris Pratt the ordinary guy isn't charismatic enough to lead a movie. Just cause he shed a few pounds doesn't mean he's suddenly watchable. The silly creatures are tiresome after a while.
I don't think this one is that great despite all the hype and high production values. If you just forget about story and sit back and watch the visuals it's okay but it doesn't deserve any follow up.
Palo Alto (2013)
A few boring teenagers - a waste of time
The story isn't interesting. I'm afraid James Franco's story isn't unique or meaningful and should not have been made into a movie. A few teens taking drugs and acting out. An inappropriate relationship between teacher and student. A few meaningless hookups. Nothing much happens and the story or characters aren't interesting. There is a tendency to pay attention to whatever the Coppola family does on screen. Publicity follows. But take a step back and ask yourself what's the use of a good director when the story is so nothing? Jack Kilmer who looks like a lot like his mother Joanne Whalley gives an insipid performance as a uncharismatic and boring teen. To be fair he didn't have much to work with. Emma Robert's character is a bit more interesting but in the end none of the characters have any meaning.