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World War Z (2013)
What a Waste
To option this book and then make a film costing almost $2M per minute of screen time is criminal by Hollywood standards. No mention of Yonkers or the LOBO. This movie is flawed. I only hope Max Brooks was not only paid well but also retained the rights to option his title for a TV series.
Imagine a multi-season cable-length arc. Each season covers one area from his fantastic book. Yonkers I. Traveling North & subsequent "clean-up". The Air Corps crash and subsequent evasion. Intercut with stories from India, Jerusalem & Cairo, Cuba, and political (dis)organization. Conclude with the March Across America.
The only hope we have is that Spielberg also watched and learned how to not mess up Robopocalypse.
1 star for actually being made, another for Pitt as an actor, with 2 more for some nice shots and effects. Watch once and move on to something better - maybe even something by The Asylum.
The Purge (2013)
Interesting concept. Bad characters. Horrible rationale. Terrible dialog. Despicable rationale. Yeah, I referred to it twice. To any and all who actually paid money for this drivel, next time consider staying home to watch what SyFy is running as part of its animal-weather mash-up movie of the week. I would seriously consider allowing post-term abortions if we allowed children to act as those in the movie...and have blacklisted any and all credited and uncredited writers of this debacle. It gets a bonus star for Hawke & Headey grabbing some cash while having to do their best to sell this drivel to an audience. This must have been a Hollywood joke that somehow got made, and then turned a profit. Be wary of what else comes through this pipeline.
Taking Chance (2009)
Emotional, Balanced (If you Think)
Ignore the low scores due to ignorance and ideological venom (from both "sides"). This is a powerful film deserving of your uninterrupted time. Take 80 minutes to sit back, watch, listen, and think. You take the journey, and if you allow yourself to think, you'll see that it is balanced in its ideology and political history while never wavering from its message: Honor the dead. Follow a journey we have been denied since the media was restricted from showing the return of our fallen soldiers serving abroad. It is not intended to recruit you into the military, nor raise your anger against the government. It is meant to make you feel. For the dead and the living.
Focus on the Acting and the Dilemma
Please watch this movie while in a good mood. You'll thoroughly enjoy the terrific performance(s) by Sam Rockwell. Rockwell is Oscar-worthy. If not for Moon, it at least adds to his body of work. For someone wanting a tight story with a clear and clean beginning, middle, and end - I suggest something in the kids section. I enjoy movies that make me think and feel. "Moon" definitely succeeded. One could explore the nature vs nurture debate while also studying the interplay between each of the characters. Like most good sci-fi, it's more about psychology than lasers and aliens. The film definitely raises important questions about the individual and what we value in life. Work? Family? Self? Friendship? Duty? If you value your time, it is NOT wasted while watching and thinking about this film.
La hora fría (2006)
Characters and Pace Never Disappoint
Settling into the story, be prepared for a character-driven study, even hinted at within the movie itself. The acting is superb, the story intriguing, and the conclusion leaves you answering AND asking questions. The director brought it all together and made everything work. There are some drawbacks in terms of character/story logic - why wait so long to confront the Strangers? Would you believe Pedro's version of events? - but they do not take away from the experience of "living" through young Jesus and his video camera. It's one of those films for which I am BEGGING to be released on DVD in the US with a director's commentary. There HAS to be some importance to the character names - Jesus, Judas, Maria, Magda, Peter, Paul, Matt, Luke - even Paul stops by. Someone can take it and write a dissertation...if you do, please post a link. I've got more movies to watch and review...