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The Longest Ride (2015)
Nicholas Sparks + New Concept = "Great Movie"
It seems as though the last few Nicholas Sparks Movies that I have seen were very similar as far as the direction, plot and the endings were very predictable.
I was somewhat hesitant to watch this, but when I saw the trailer, the storyline actually intrigued me. I'm glad I went because this was one of Sparks's better films. Its not as good as "The Notebook" or "Dear John", but it's pretty close.
There were actually two love stories and I really enjoyed the format. I found myself more interested in the elderly couple's flashback scenes than the main character's romance. It seemed like their characters were more developed. The only problem I had with the "younger" couple was besides their physical attraction to each other and a mutual caring for other people, they didn't have much in common as far as interests and goals. I really couldn't see either party doing a complete turnaround as far as their personal interests.
The ending: I knew there was going to be a "twist". As I was trying to predict what would/could happen, I found myself going in different directions - Which was a good thing. I wasn't completely surprised by the ending, but it was still fulfilling.
Run All Night (2015)
Definitely Worth the Price of Admission
Unless this is the first time you're seeing a Liam Neeson movie, no-one that has seen this movie, should be giving it a negative review. Reason being, if your going to see a "Liam Neeson Movie", you know exactly what your getting into. This movie did not disappoint, as Neeson turns into a One-Man-Wrecking-Machine, complete with your typical car chases, shootouts,comical one liners, and evading the Police and the Enemy.
I'll give this an extra star, as Neeson meets a nemesis that is just as brutal, nasty, and skilled as he is.
The only part I did not agree with was at the beginning of the movie- There was a flashback scene, that basically told you the outcome of Neeson's character. I thought it was unnecessary and I'm still trying to figure out what the point of that was.
The Ending: Without giving it away, it was a little far fetched, but there was a meaning to it
Taken 3 (2014)
"Good Luck" in watching "Taken 3"
Liam Neeson reprises his role as Bryan Mills, along with Mills's ex wife, Lenore and his daughter, Kim, in Taken 3.
In a sense Lenore gets kidnapped/taken in this movie, and Mills is set up as the fall guy. Once Mills figures out he has been framed for a homicide, he sets out to prove his innocence and to extract revenge on the perpetrators.
Once that occurs, thats when this movie really really really(I said that 3 times) went over the top, almost to the point where it was beyond ridiculous. First of all, "The Crime Scene", for someone who got her throat slit, there was hardly any blood. Plus, when you actually thought about it, that was a terrible cover up framing Mills for murder by the assailants. Mills had an alibi, there was surveillance video which supported him, and there was little implication he could have been a suspect. Another point, why would it take a Law Enforcement Agency so long to find out someone's spouse has a high valued monetary insurance settlement taken out against there "loved one". That should be a priority in solving a homicide. I could go on and on, but I think you get the point.
The action scenes were the typical "Bryan Mills" car chases, eluding people, gunfights, and hand to hand combat. But, we were actually entertained in seeing Mills literally disappear into thin air(I'm not kidding).
Saying all that, it was somewhat entertaining, and when it comes down to it, that might be what its all about - entertainment.
The Best of Me (2014)
Unfortunately this got "The Best of Me"
I believe all of Nicholas Sparks's movies are based on his books/novels, and they mostly center around Romance, Passion, and Tragedy. Sparks must be running out of ideas because to sum it up, "The Best of Me" was wayyyyyy to long, very predictable, and monotone to the point that it was listless.
Due to the fact this movie was so drawn out, I had such a lack of interest, that while I was watching it, I was thinking about all sorts of things, like what I'm going to do the next day, what to pick up at the store. The producers dragged out the flashback scenes in a way that you had no idea as far as the direction of this movie. There was no correlation regarding the younger lead male character and that person twenty years later.
The ending: Even though I was half concentrating on this movie, I still predicted the outcome regarding the conclusion.
Nicholas Sparks has had some great movies "The Notebook", "A Walk to Remember", Dear John", but I would recommend taking a pass regarding "The Best of Me".
Non-Stop features Liam Neeson as Bill Marks, a Federal Air Marshal, who has his own personal demons. At the beginning of the movie, were introduced to Marks's mental and physical disorders. He conceals liquor in a bottle, appears to be a chain smoker, and his eyes are glassy and bloodshot.
Marks boards a plane traveling from New York to London, and his job is security/protecting the passengers aboard the aircraft. We see glimpses of different personalities and traits of several passengers, and we learn that one or more of those individuals is a terrorist.
As they had just departed, Marks receives a threatening text message and thats when this movie took off, as it was kind of like a "Who Done It - Mystery", which left the audience guessing on who could be the villain, Marks included.
When the passenger's well being were threatened, Liam Neeson turns into a one man wrecking machine, similar to the way he dealt with the enemy in Taken.
This movie was suspenseful, thrilling, and intriguing. Neeson was "PERFECT" for this part.
Was it realistic? "Heck No", Was it entertaining? "Hell Yeah"
Endless Love (2014)
Very Little Comparison To The Original "Which is Actually Good"
"Endless Love", is about two young teenagers who fell madly in love with each other at first sight.
The original "Endless Love", was an early 80's movie, which had a similar concept. This was a lot different than most reproductions of original movies, which is actually good, as the original "Endless Love", was nothing to write home about.
I'm not even sure why they had to have any correlation to the original movie, as this was a totally different plot than the original. But, for some reason they used some of the original screen names, and there was a fire, and the young female was riding on the handle bars of a bicycle, being driven by her boyfriend.
Both Alex Pettyfer and Gabriella Wilde give a pretty solid performance as the young couple. Pettyfer plays the sensitive boyfriend and he looked a lot more comfortable in this role than in his previous performance on "Magic Mike". Gabriella Wilde shows a lot of emotion, but she comes off as a little naive. I thought Robert Packer, who portrays David's Father, was the most convincing as a single parent that is very supportive of his son.
Overall, I'm glad this was not a replica of the original.
The Girl He Met Online (2014)
So Many Coincidences
The Girl He Met Online is a suspense/thriller starring Yvonne Zima as the girlfriend and Shawn Roberts as the boyfriend.
At the beginning of the movie, we get a glimpse of Zima's unpredictable behavior as she maliciously destroys her ex-boyfriend's townhome. Zima stole the show as she played the perfect female villain. She kind of reminded me of "the wicked evil woman" that was on a daytime soap opera, and you just couldn't wait to see what she would do next. She was cunning, calculating and ruthless. Whoever got in her way "Lookout", it was serious payback time. Zima played this character with the perfect temperament as she didn't get extremely vulgar, but you can just see her plotting her next move.
I have never seen a movie with so many coincidences. I thought that was good and bad. It certainly built some drama and had your attention, because those moments had you guessing what Zima's character would resort too.
Since this was a "Lifetime" Movie, I actually thought they may have Robert's character start a relationship with his (ex) girlfriend's mother. Thankfully, that didn't happen, as it would have ruined the whole movie.
When the movie was over, I asked myself this question - "If this was playing in the cinemas would I pay the price of admission to see this movie", and the answer is absolutely "YES".
Lone Survivor (2013)
Navy Seals are "The Best of the Best"
Lone Survivor is a true story based on Operation Red Wing, which was a military operation based in Afghanistan, intended to bring down Taliban Leader Ahmad Shah.
At the beginning of the movie we see glimpses on what it takes to become a Navy Seal. I believe that was actual footage of a BUDS Training Class. Too me, this was the most meaningful part of the movie as it somewhat dictated their character, intensity and drive.
Too become a Navy Seal, you have to endure a very rigorous and intense training program. During the first few weeks of training, the instructor's goals are to weed out the one's that don't belong.The instructor's have the attitude, "If your going to quit during training your probably going to quit during the heat of a battle".The very few that are able to overcome tremendous obstacles are the one's worth training.
You'll often here the phrase "Train like you Fight", and "Fight like you Train".
During the epic battle between the Four Member Seal Team against the hundred or so Taliban Militia, every one of those Seals just fought, fought and fought. They were all struck by gunfire, injured, outnumbered, but their was no quit in any of them.
It all reverted back to their training. If they weren't pushed to the max during their training they would not have been able to endeavor what they encountered in Afghanistan.
Death Ring (1992)
"I Knew it was Going to be Bad" "I Just Didn't Know it was Going to be that Bad"
When I looked at the credits, I noticed several popular names like Mcqueen, Norris, and Swayze. Unfortunately, they were all siblings of the more recognizable and much more talented actors.
Death Ring is about a sport where people hunt humans for pleasure and entertainment. It takes place on an island and Billy Drago is the promoter of the event. Mike Norris plays Matt Collins, who was an ex military- special forces unit, and also the winner of the survival of the fittest competition. Collins is the human prey in the manhunt. There's a reason this movie went straight to video "It sucked" - Plain and Simple.
The only positive thing I could say about this movie was the performance of Billy Drago playing public enemy #1 Danton Vachs. Drago was excellent in his role as the lead villain, as he kills a disrespectful guest with a fork, at the kitchen table as they were preparing for dinner.
There were so many incidents that were so ridiculous that you couldn't help but laugh.
When Norris is preparing to counter attack the hunters, he puts mud over his eyebrows and on his chin in an attempt to camouflage himself. Moments later, he gets confronted by a villain and he has no camouflage on him.
The Asian Hunter has three ninja stars as weapons. He gets a visual on Norris, and he throws the stars at him during three sequences. Each one of them barely misses Norris's head, but they each hit the dead center of a tree.
Drago has some sort of militia group guarding his house. Well, as far as their shooting abilities, the phrase "He couldn't hit the broad side of a barn", would be giving them too much credit. The safest place to be when they were firing their assault rifles was to stand right in front of them. Chad Mcqueen is flying a helicopter in an attempt to rescue Norris and his fiancé. Mcqueen is approximately fifty feet in the air, in a stationary position above the mansion. The Military Personnel are opening fire at the plane. That group couldn't put a hole in a stationary target thats practically right above them.
The funniest part was when one of the hunters is looking at a map in an attempt to locate Collins. It looked like he was reading a traffic map. O'k, he really has no idea as to where Collins is, he doesn't pick up any clues or prints, and its an island with no streets. What's the point in looking at a map? It certainly wasn't a map of the island.
I'm amazed that someone can actually write a script like this, proof read it, and actually go through with it.
The Fighter (2010)
"The Book was Great", "The Movie was So-So"
I'm a huge Micky Ward Fan, and before I watched this movie I was giving it at least a five out of ten, so my vote may be a little biased.
Before viewing the movie, I read the book. It was one of those books that when I started reading it, I couldn't put it down. In most cases the book is going to be better than the actual movie, and the reason why is the book goes into much more detail about his life story than the movie. Obviously the movie can't show every event, otherwise its going to be a ten hour movie.
Being a Die-hard Micky Ward fan, it was somewhat unussual watching someone else play him, and I had a hard time getting used to that. Saying that, I wasn't disappointed when I watched the movie. I thought Christian Bale did an excellent job in portraying Ward's half brother DickEklund, and Mark Walhberg was very convincing playing Micky. I didn't like how Ward's sisters were depicted. They were portrayed as being somewhat homely, unattractive and they didn't have any dialogue. Its almost like they were part of a posse. In reality, some of Wards sister's are very pretty.
The fight scenes were pretty good, although I thought they should have shown the Ward - Green fight which was the Friday Night Fight on ESPN. I thought that was the fight that actually turned the corner for Micky. The way in which Micky was able to come back and stop Reggie Green put Micky into prime time, and Reggie Green into retirement.
I would have liked to seen the Ward Gatti trilogy, but I believe they may save that for "The Fighter II".
All in all, I enjoyed it. Micky Ward was definitely a blue collar fighter, and he gave it everything he got, he earned every penny he made and he was a true fan's fighter. If you ever watch a Micky Ward fight you got your money's worth.
For all of the Micky Ward fans, buy the book, you'll enjoy it.