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As an attempted bible re-telling or it's own work - Just awful
This is one of the worst movies I've seen in years. For only a brief moment did I even care about the characters (the casting wasn't actually that bad), but the story was lost from the outset. If you are going to deviate so drastically from a traditional tale, then at least do a good job of creating something new and interesting. I watched this show with the full knowledge that the writers had used some artistic license, but I was not expecting such a horrible mess of a film. The special effects looked like something from the 1980's and whoever made the decision to portray the fallen angels as beings made from stone should be banned from Hollywood for life. And what was the point of the role of Methuselah in this portrayal? Just a strange, random and pointless character, contributing nothing but confusion.
As a 'science fiction' film, this movie is poorly done but the real tragedy of this attempt is that it lost almost everything about the original story. As a stand alone fairy tale, this film is utterly underwhelming, but as a representation of a tale from the bible it will just confuse people as to the original telling. This movie was a lost opportunity to explore the scriptures, the impossibilities and the doubts of the story of the ark. Instead it will just be lost in the annals of Hollywood detritus.
Road to Paloma (2014)
An thoughtful and spiritual journey through the desert
This is a great film for those who honor the journey. With a beautiful display of desert landscapes, this movie let's you feel the freedom of living life moment to moment. I don't think that the point of the story was to examine morality in any great way; aside from the pain of suffering loss and the injustice that often prevails. The film does a good job of contrasting the shortcomings of western culture with the simplicity of a more ancient one. As a result, you get a story of blended and contrasting themes, filled with the tension of an impending doom.
I enjoyed the characters as well. Jason M. created a lovable hero that is easy to empathize with. His friends and family all admire the depth of his character, drawing the viewer into their world. It helps that he's a good looking dude, with all of the swagger you could ask of a mystery rogue biker. It's hard to imagine a woman who would say no.
This movie won't rock your world or change your stance on anything. It's simply a great indie flick into a world that most of us will never see, with freedom that we will never experience. It will leave you with lingering images of endless highways cut through a land that would rather forget about us.
I would have liked to give this a higher vote, but it's just a simple story and I feel that it tops the scale of it's own potential. Otherwise, I didn't think that it lacked much. I'll be recommending it to friends who care about something more than the latest superhero flick.
This movie is the worst piece of American propaganda I've seen in years. It's completely unbelievable to the point of being almost unwatchable. I'm all for a good action flick, but this was just pure military hype. The plot is overly simplistic and the battle sequences are a complete joke. At no point did I believe that our Navy technology and pure bravado would be capable of outperforming superior alien technology, without major plot adjustments of course.
If you are 12 years old this might appeal, but otherwise leave it on the shelf.
The concept was bad and execution even worse. Do not waste your time with this movie as there are many better options to choose from.
The Place Beyond the Pines (2012)
Not exactly what I was expecting
This movie surprised me a little bit. While I was expecting Gosling's character to be fairly badass (which it was,) I was not expecting the curve ball that was thrown into the movie. As a result of this, the time scales changed, along with the focus of the plot. You really end up finishing quite a different movie than the one you thought you had started. It has an epic appeal in that sense (the running time is pretty long.) Despite this, the ending is fairly typical and wraps up the tension of the movie in a standard fashion. I appreciated this movie because it explored complex relationships, broken dreams and listless youth. It was well cast and I would recommend it.
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (2011)
Feel good movie but way too convenient
This is a nice little movie with charming, likable characters. The story is quite straightforward, if not a little predictable. While the premise is designed to make you feel good, it will not challenge you in any kind of way; it's not that kind of movie. The relationship that develops between Fred and Harriet is cute, but obvious from the outset so no surprises there. I wanted to give this film a higher rating for its effort, however I could not get past how convenient so many of the circumstances were for moving the plot forward. The point at which Fred hooks the would-be assassin with his fly rod, pushed this incredulity over the edge. Obviously this is a movie that is driven by romantic ideals, hoping to catch up the viewer in it's magic, rather than a film that captures any semblance of reality. Romantics and escapists: enjoy, Realists: beware.
The Karate Kid (2010)
A poor remake
I decided to watch this one so that my kids could see what we experienced with the original in the 80's. Even though Ralph Machio was moderately annoying even back then, the movies did define an era for many of us. Boy what a disappointment with this remake, on so many levels. Generally speaking, I have to say that the producers were trying so hard to copy the original that many of the scenes seemed 'forced'. Even when they were trying to add a variation, it failed to produce the same conviction. Here is a list of my issues with the film: 1. Jaden Smith is simply too young for the role. Between his meagre acting skills and the odd childhood romance, it just didn't work. 2. Jackie Chan seemed very hollow in this role and lacked his usual spark and enthusiasm. I'd say he missed the mark and the potential this role had for him. The scene where Dre discovers his master's past pain is particularly lame. It didn't pull any emotional strings. 3. Dre's mom was really annoying. 4. The general age group for the kids was too young and forced mature concepts that didn't come off as believable. 5. The producers should have 'made it their own' and deviated further, instead of attempting a sad copy.
I don't recommend this film. Go and rent the original if you want to feel the inspiration from a 'coming of age / kung fu / feel good' flick. It didn't even suck my kids in.
The Boat That Rocked (2009)
I had hoped that pirate radio would be something special. Instead it was completely benign and rather slow moving. It had a few charming characters but none of them displayed any depth and I was wishing I'd rented something else about 1/2 way through.. I don't recommend this show as anything beyond a mildly amusing and overblown take on little piece of pop culture history. This story could have been better told with some added character development and maybe a more realistic look at the government's opposition. It was really hard to take this story for anything beyond a little poke at the establishment. Seems to me that this could have been turned into something quite witty, charming and thought provoking. Instead it came off as really quite hokey and unbelievable. Better luck next time.
I'd like to thank Ben Stein for making this movie. I completely agree with the comments in the movie that each of our world views drives our scientific perspective. It doesn't matter which 'side of the fence' you sit on. I've heard some scientists say that observing nature caused them to see a 'creator' behind the creation, thereby causing a change in perspective. I've also heard it the other way around. The main thing is that any theory as to the origin of life requires a measure of faith. Ben is simply asking that we leave the doors open for scientists to look at all options. I don't care what his personal beliefs are, or whether everyone likes the package he put it in. His techniques are far less deceptive than the likes of Michael Moore. However I do think he made a damn fine documentary here. To the nay-sayers, I would say that Stein is not trying to make the case for I.D. -that would be a different movie altogether. I completely enjoyed it and was reminded how important it is to realize the value of each and every life. Let's not beat down every idea on the simple premise of its owner's ideology. Bullying gets us nowhere as a civilization.
Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)
unfortunate and overrated
I went to see HBII because of the high ratings it was receiving and because I like the character. Unfortunately I was very disappointed. Although HB's character is cool and well played, the supporting characters were too mellow in comparison. The villain wasn't particularly evil either and the golden army was really quite childish I thought. But those things aside, the whole story came off as quite cheesy and misplaced. It does not carry the kind of dark tone that the character deserves. I wouldn't recommend this film, despite it's obviously big budget, action sequences, occasional witty line and feigned attempt at greatness. Thumbs down.