Movie Review: Noah ***

movie noah

Noah” is a Russell Crowe movie based on the Bible story. Adam and Eve are banished from the Garden of Eden. Cain kills Abel, leaves the family and creates a huge faction based on conquest and pillaging. Meanwhile their other brother, Seth, has a much smaller sect lead by Noah. The people of Cain are destroying the land and encroaching on the peaceful existence of the people of Seth. Noah sees signs that he believes come from the Creator. The visions tell him to save the innocent creatures from a coming flood. Celestial water instantly creates a forest in the desert. Noah builds a vessel using the lumber from the newly created trees. He invokes help from the “Watchers” (who look like gigantic transformers made of rock). Together, they spend years building an ark. Two of each kind of animal from the earth and sky march, slither, and fly to the ark where Noah and his family find a creative way to manage the plethora of beasts in a confined space. It starts to rain, the Earth is flooded, almost everybody drowns while conflicts arise on the ark. There is a pregnancy, a prophecy, and a stowaway that create havoc during several months afloat. Noah becomes a crazy man trying to read between the lines of exactly what the Creator wants him to do while he questions his ability to follow through on his instructions.

I was impressed by the acting at all levels. Russell Crowe is great as Noah. The other characters are portrayed very well. The story is very well told, although it takes some extravagant liberties with telling and explaining  the familiar story. The fight scenes and the flood scenes are very good. There is a disclaimer during the credits that say that this is a work of fiction and that any similarities to any persons living or dead are coincidental. I was entertained. 3 out of 5 stars.

 

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Published in: on March 27, 2014 at 11:11 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Movie Review: Son of God *

movie son of god

Son of God is a telling of the Bible story of Jesus. A child is born and is said to be the Son of God. He recruits a variety of common people who join him to revolt peacefully against Roman occupation of Israel. He performs miracles and is loved by the people while teaching a new way to embrace and acknowledge God. His preaching of love and tolerance are seen as a problem to the Pharisees and Roman Prefect. He is convicted of blasphemy and is condemned to death with unforeseen consequences.

The movie takes on a huge subject but does a poor job of telling the story we all know. Each vignette is pieced together haphazardly telling some of the great Bible stories in an out-of-context manner. The great quotations are delivered poorly by poor actors with poor direction. I was expecting an epic movie but kept seeing parts of the movie that were taken directly from the TV mini series, “The Bible”. I didn’t feel connected to the movie or to any of the characters. The movie was rated PG-13, but could have gotten an R rating for the last 30 minutes of extreme violence. Uneven special effects and lack of character development made this a real snoozer. Only a few apostles are identified, while Mother Mary and Mary (Magdeline) played extremely small parts. This is the kind of film that would be OK if made for TV if it had a narrator to tell us what is going on, and why. It is not worth paying to see in a theater. People who know the stories will find this to be a tool to visualize them. Taken as a singular work with limited knowledge of the Bible stories would make this movie hard to follow. I didn’t like it. I was very disappointed. Wait to see it on cable. 1 out of 5 stars.

Published in: on March 10, 2014 at 2:08 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Movie Review: Non-Stop *****

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Non-Stop is an airplane hijacking movie starring Liam Neeson. An air marshal with a drinking problem is on board a trans Atlantic flight when he gets a text telling him that someone will die every 20 minutes unless a huge ransom is delivered electronically to a numbered bank account. Skepticism ensues until people start to die. The immediate deaths point to him as being the possible killer/hijacker. Word gets to his superiors that he may be involved, so he has to trust strangers on the plane to help him find the real criminals before the other passengers revolt and/or the plane blows up.

This movie is loaded with drama, action, suspense, and mystery. The story is very well told and easy to follow. The suspects are numerous. The acting is very good. I was entertained for the entire length of the movie and learned something about air marshals, airplane security, and hijack response protocol. 5 out of 5 stars.

Published in: on March 9, 2014 at 10:35 pm  Comments (1)  
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Movie Review: 300: Rise of An Empire ***

movie 300 rise of an empire

300: Rise of An Empire is a historic movie about the war between ancient Greece and Persia. It takes place at the same time as the original movie “300”, so it is not a sequel, but an expansion of the entire conflict. While the 300 Spartans are holding off the land invasion of the Persians, a sea invasion is also taking place. The Athenians are trying to unite all of the great city-states of Greece to combat the Persians with little success, so they fight them on their own using trickery and tactics to battle the much larger Persian Navy.

300: Rise of An Empire is a very violent war movie using battle graphics made famous in “300” with a lot of hacking, slicing, and bloody scenes. They utilize a lot of slow motion in the fight scenes. There are several epic motivational speeches. The story is very good. The acting is good, but few characters are memorable. I liked the movie and am glad I went to the midnight showing. 3 out of 5 stars.

Published in: on March 7, 2014 at 4:54 pm  Comments (1)  
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Movie Review: 12 Years a Slave ****

movie 12 years a slave

12 Years a Slave is a pre-civil war movie about slave life on a plantation in the deep South. Solomon is a free man, but falls victim to bounty hunters who kidnap him and send him to Louisiana where he is sold as a slave. His intellect, education, and true identity must be hidden under fear of retribution. Various forms of fear keeps all of the slaves in line, while a confidante is sought to help Solomon escape his masters. 

Based on a true story,  it may be a true depiction of how masters, slaves, and overseers interacted. It tells a tale of fear and abuse towards African slaves that was normal behavior by many white people in the 19th century. It is a very brutal movie with many disturbing and violently graphic scenes. It’s R rating is earned and is definitely not for the squeamish and not appropriate for children. The acting is superb and the story is very good. It has all of the elements of a great movie, and has many deserved nominations for academy awards. 4 out of 5 stars.

Published in: on March 2, 2014 at 10:53 pm  Leave a Comment  
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