Archive for the 'Michael of Back Seat Viewer' Category

Noah

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

***

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Noah

Knowing an apocalyptic event is coming, and all will be destroyed, could you still follow the word of God and do as he asks? In March 2014, we watched as Noah faced that very situation, and follow he did.

Directing this 138 minute action/adventure/drama is Darren Aronofsky.

Trying to keep their heads above water are: Russell Crowe as Noah, Jennifer Connelly as Nammeh, Logan Lerman as Ham, Douglas Booth as Shem, Leo McHugh Carroll as Japheth, Emma Wtson as Ila, Ray Winstone as Tubal-Cain and Anthony Hopkins as Methuselah.

God saw the earth was corrupt and violent, so God decided to cleanse the world with a great flood. Not wanting to wash everything away, God speaks to a man named Noah in a dream, showing him what will be and what he wants done. Noah is to build a boat, big enough to save the animals that God shall send to him. Following God’s wishes, Noah and his family start to prepare for the coming flood.

I have to say this is probably the hardest review I’ve had to write. Since I first saw the trailer I was stoked to see the movie. It was so big and powerful looking on the big screen, I was captivated by everything I saw. When the trailer was over, I no longer cared what I was originally in the theater to see, I wanted it to be Noah. Then, finally, all that time waiting… was over. I eagerly found my seat and wished for a fast forward button to magically appear to shuffle the trailers out of my way so I could finally witness the awe of Noah. Darkness engulfed me as I sat there in the theater, then… there was light. Pretty epic opening to the review huh? It only seemed fitting considering the subject matter, seeing as how Noah is a pretty epic story to be heard.

The first part of this review is for anyone that doesn’t care how accurate their biblical films are. With that being said, this film was so freaking good! The storyline starts off grabbing your attention and doesn’t let go. Before you know it, chaos fills the screen and you can’t look away. Yeah, I was entertained, not only did Crowe and Connely do amazing work here but Watson has shown she has the skills to make it past her Potter films and flourish in the industry.

The special effects were really cool and flowed smoothly, except out of nowhere amongst all this eye popping coolness you’re slapped in the face with crappy… stock footage? Really? Yeah but luckily it’s only a few spots, which made it stand out even worse. For me it was more of a “what the?” kind of spot in the film, but don’t fret because then the coolness is given back to your optical nerves. I really liked the play-through at first, because once it started it had a good pace and kept moving. Then it hits a lag that dragged it’s feet a little longer than it should and hurt the flow of the movie.

For those that are a little sensitive, there are times where you may have to look away, because it gets a little gritty. Giving the film a dark aspect, which come on, the earth is being flooded and lives are being lost. Kind of fitting for what it is. Also, Clint Mansell who did the music made something that was a perfect fit for the film.

Now as for the script, it’s a little preachy, but I’m sure you guested that it would be right? Which brings me to the part of my review for those viewers that want some biblical accuracy in their movies, or as much as can be done. I myself have enough bible study in me to be able to find a bible on the bookshelf. So, curiosity got the best of me and I sat down to read the story of Noah. When compared, well, the film did have a man named Noah that had a wife and three sons. He did build a huge boat that was filled with animals and there was a flood. Beyond that, I felt there was a lot of personal interpretation going on in the movie. Then again, when don’t you see personal interpretation in films. Isn’t that what movies are all about? While this is going on you have the push that vegetarians are good and meat eaters are bad. Mix it with the Humanism view it took, and the film might not settle well with some individuals.

So how do you grade something that as a film was really good, but as far as the subject matter goes… was questionable? Well I think Aronofsky said it best when he said “It’s a very very different movie. Anything you’re expecting, you’re wrong.” He was spot on with that comment because I expected… and I was wrong. Overall, amazing special effects and a great job by the cast. If accuracy isn’t a problem for you then it’s well worth the money, otherwise don’t worry about rushing right out to see it.

 

 

Rise of the Fellowship

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

***

It sucked!It'll be on cable.I liked it.It was good!It was awesome!! (Give us your rating!!)
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What do you think would turn four friends into adventurers? In December 2013, we were shown exactly what would do that: An epic quest!

Rise of the Fellowship

Directing this 92 minute adventure/comedy/fantasy is Ron Newcomb.

Some of the adventurous cast is: Justin Moe as Randall, Jayme Bell as Squirrelly, Cole Matson as Nate, Emma Earnest as Stacey, Jason Kriznarich as Joe, Drew Trementozzi as Thad/Gollum Kid,  Ron Newcomb as Stan, Pete Stephen Rourke and Wolf J. Sherrill as Baba Melvin Schnabel.

Randall and his friends have heard the greatest news in the world. There is going to be a Lord of the Rings online game competition. The game store Randall works at is hosting a smaller qualifying competition to see which team from their area will make it to the big competition. It’s an honor every team wants, and some will do anything to make sure their team is the one that makes it to the competition.

Unfortunately, due to a villainous plot, Randall is unable to make it to the qualifying competition, which leaves his team a man short and far from victory. Crushed hopes and dreams will soon lead these four friends on what will be an epic quest. One of courage, redemption… and of course, honor.

Some movies motivate us to do great things, while some movies inspire us to create great things. Here you have both in one package.

Now, I don’t know about you but I’m a Lord of the Rings (LOTR) fan, and well, after watching this flick I got the feeling that writers Christopher Bunn, Scott Mathias and Ron Newcomb are… really big fans. As we’ve all seen, sometimes when a great movie hits the media world we as viewers have been flooded with less than interesting carbon copies trying to tell that same tale over and over. Here you get something… well, different, which has a really cool playthrough. Now, by no means is this a serious film, but an adventurous, cheesy, fun, LOTR reference filled parody. So I can see this movie not being everyone’s cup of tea, but for gamers and/or LOTR fans, I’d recommend it for at least a one time watch.

Most of the cast does a good job, but yeah not the best acting from beginning to end. Something I didn’t know was this one is officially authorized by the LOTR brand, which I thought was pretty cool. There are some great LOTR transitions and references used throughout the film that make for some great scenes. Overall, if you’re not familiar with the whole LOTR thing you may not find much enjoyment here… and it also means you’ve missed out on a great trilogy. Which that makes me sad. Yet for the other 80% of the population that is familiar with the trilogy, I say grab some popcorn and give it a spin. It might even become your next precious.

 

 

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

***

It sucked!It'll be on cable.I liked it.It was good!It was awesome!! (1 People gave this 3.00 out of 5)
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JACK RYAN: SHADOW RECRUIT

What do you do when life throws you a curve ball? In January 2014, Jack’s curve turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to him.

Directing this 105 minute action/drama/thriller is Kenneth Branagh.

So some of the cast you’ll see is: Chris Pike as Jack Ryan, Keira Knightley as Cathy Muller, Kevin Costner as Thomas Harper, Kenneth Branagh as Viktor Cherevin, Peter Andersson as Dimitri Lemkov, Alec Utgoff as Aleksandr Borovsky, Gemma Chan as Amy Chang, Lenn Kudrjawizki as Constantin, Mikhail Baryshnikov as Interior Minister Sorokin and Colm Feore as Rob Behringer.

After his helicopter is shot down in Afghanistan, Second Lieutenant Jack Ryan is left severly wounded. During his rehabilitation, Jack meets Thomas Harper of the CIA, who offers him a job due to Jack’s ability to recognize patterns. Years later, Jack now works on Wall Street, watching the numbers, looking for any evidence that could lead to possible terrorist activity. That’s when Jack notices something funny going on with billions of dollars in Russian assets. All of the accounts Jack is watching can be traced back to a man named Viktor Cheverin.

Wanting to take a closer look, Jack hops a plane and travels to Moscow so he can audit Viktor’s secret accounts. After digging deeper, Jack realizes the situation is bigger than he thought. Now, Jack must figure out what Viktor is up to, and why, before it’s too late.

So, Tom Clancy fans, we get hit with another shot of Jack Ryan. The last time we saw Jack in action was in 2002’s The Sum of All Fears. The story-line was pretty cool, and carries a real life fear which adds to the film. The cast does a really good job and Branagh, who not only directs but stars in this film, did great pulling double duty. Now, Chris Pike is the fourth man to take on the Jack Ryan character and does a really good job. Since the character has been played by others, I gotta say Harrison Ford still reigns supreme as Jack Ryan.

While this is a good movie and pretty entertaining, it’s not the super hit I was expecting and waiting to see. Overall, it falls into the average good film category, with a good cast, story and play through. Yet, it’s missing something that would make it that blockbuster I was hoping for. So, it’s something you’re going to want to see, but it’s not really worth the money to rush right out for.

 

 

Out of the Furnace

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

****

It sucked!It'll be on cable.I liked it.It was good!It was awesome!! (1 People gave this 4.00 out of 5)
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OUT OF THE FURNACE

We all want justice in life, but how far should we go to find it? In December 2013, Russell had to decide what was worth losing to get what he wants: justice.

Directing this 116 minute drama/thriller is Scott Cooper.

Some of the great cast was: Christian Bale as Russell Baze, Casey Affleck as Rodney Baze Jr., Woody Harrelson as Harlan DeGroat, Zoe Saldana as Lena Taylor, Sam Shepard as Gerald “Red” Baze, Willem Dafoe as John Petty, Tom Bower as Dan Dugan and Forest Whitaker as Chief Wesley Barnes.

Brothers Russell and Rodney live in a town with little to no choices for work. Russell followed in his father’s foot steps and went to work at the steel mill, while Rodney went to serve his country. Small town life isn’t for everyone, and when Rodney’s through with his tour of duty he wants more for himself than a mill job. Russell always tries to look out for his brother, but in one ill fated moment his life is changed, taking him away from everyone he loves. When Russell gets back home he tries to settle back into his life and pick up where he left off, as much as he can. While Russell was away, Rodney started down a path he may not be able to come back from. One that will lead to nothing good, with the likes of a dangerous man named Harlan waiting for him at the end of it. Now, Russell has to make a decision, risk losing everything he has left to seek justice or let the police find it for him.

This was a pretty cool movie. Bale does a great job bringing emotion to the scenes. Not to say the rest of the cast didn’t, they all did great. I’m just not a huge Bale fan so I haven’t seen a lot of his movies. So to see him preform like this was awesome, compared to his other memorable roles I’m used to seeing, like Batman.

As always, Harrelson was crazy cool to watch, and Affleck kinda surprised me. The story-line was really good, it draws you in and keeps you entertained the whole time. It runs at a good pace with a few sharp turns here and there and a nice build up to the end. It covers family looking out for one another, and just how quickly things can change. It was just an average Joe movie, no feats of super heroics, or super fast car chases. An average guy that was scared, mad and hurting. Trying to find some justice, and the play-through matched perfectly. Overall, it’s well worth the money and time to go see.

Riddick

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

***

It sucked!It'll be on cable.I liked it.It was good!It was awesome!! (1 People gave this 3.00 out of 5)
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Riddick

After you remove the knife from your back, wouldn’t you want to find the owner and return their property to them? In September 2013, that’s exactly what Riddick wants to do, right after he finds a ride.

Directing this 119 minute action/sci-fi/thriller is David Twohy.

The cast trying to survive the night is: Vin Diesel as Riddick, Matt Noble as Boss Johns, Jordi Molla as Santana, Katee Sackhoff as Dahl, Dave Bautista as Diaz, Nolan Gerard Funk as Luna, Karl Urban as Vaakov, Conrad Pla as Vargas and Bokeem Woodbine as Moss.

Once the leader of the Necromongers, is now left for dead on a dangerous planet. Needing a ride, Riddick, activates an emergency beacon, that shows who is calling for help. This brings one ship looking to collect his bounty and another looking for information that only Riddick can give. Looking to get back to his home planet Furya, and to handout some revenge. With all that he doesn’t really have time to deal with the people on the ships, so he’ll just have to take care of them…Riddidck style.

I enjoyed the previous movies, just as I did this one. Yet, after such the killer story-line that was in The Chronicles of Ridick, this one fell short. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a cool movie and Riddick, still a badass. It just felt like a repeat of Pitch Black, with the same really good special effects. Cast did a great job and it’s a movie that I enjoyed watching. It just wasn’t the “awesome” movie I’d been waiting impatiently to see. In the end, I waited to see a “good” movie with a recycled story-line. That yet again, has a dangerous planet and a vast number of dangerous creatures, that our resident escapee must overcome. Either way, we’re still talking about Riddick, so catch the flick and enjoy his awesomeness as I did.

Paranoia

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

****

It sucked!It'll be on cable.I liked it.It was good!It was awesome!! (2 People gave this 2.00 out of 5)
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Paranoia

Who doesn’t want more, or to be better off? In August 2013, Adam wanted both, until he realized the price was too high.

Directing this 106 minute drama/thriller is Robert Luketic.

Filling in some talented cast spots are: Liam Hemsworth as Adam Cassidy, Gary Oldman as Nicolas Wyatt, Harrison Ford as Jock Goddard, Amber Heard as Emma Jennings, Embeth Davidtz as Dr. Judith Bolton, Julian McMahon as Miles Meechum, Lucas Till as Kevin, Richard Dreyfuss as Frank Cassidy and Josh Holloway as Agent Gamble.

After a bad decision, Adam finds himself with his back against the wall, and without a lot of options. Adam is pushed into a position to help corporate tech giant, Wyatt, win his battle for supremacy against his long time rival, Goddard. The longer their game goes on the more tangled the web of lies gets. Soon, Adam realizes he’s just another pawn in their game. Adam must figure out a way to free himself from the grip of both the giants using the rules of the games they showed him how to play.

If you have to spend an hour and some change watching two big name stars fight for power, who better than Ford and Oldman? Both stars did a great job showcasing their rivalry and building the tension. The story was really good, and had a great play-through, for the most part. It had some special effects that help make everything look cool and high-techish in scenes. The cast did a great job, and it kept my attention the entire time. I do feel like it went on a little longer than it should have. Otherwise, great entertainment and worth the watch.

Four stars for reminding me money only brings problems.

Turbo

Saturday, August 3rd, 2013

***

It sucked!It'll be on cable.I liked it.It was good!It was awesome!! (2 People gave this 3.00 out of 5)
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Turbo

We all have dreams we want to accomplish, right? In July 2013, Theo had a dream, but he was gonna have to move fast to pull it off!

Directing this 96 minute animation/adventure/comedy is David Soren.

Some of the talented voices you’ll hear are: Ryan Reynolds as Theo/Turbo, Paul Giamatti as Chet, Samuel L. Jackson as Whiplash, Snoop Dogg as Smoove Move, Maya Rudolph as Burn, Ben Schwartz as Skid Mark, Michael Bell as White Shadow, Michael Pena as Tito, Luis Guzman as Angelo, Michelle Rodriguez as Paz, Ken Jeong as Kim-Ly and Bill Hader as Guy Gagne.

Theo was a little snail with big dreams of winning the Indy 500. After a freak accident, Theo was left… turbo charged! Unfortunately, his brother Chet doesn’t like the new Theo, and wants him to hide his new found ability and just be a normal slow-mo snail.Yet, being different is what opens the door of possibilities to make a dream of Theo’s come true. Now, with the help of his new snail and human friends, Turbo just might have a shot at getting to the Indy 500. Racers to the starting line…

The animation was really nice looking, but I’m not a big fan of the style. Like the way the people look, body wise. Again, it was still clean looking and smooth. I thought the story was fun with a good playthrough. It’s a turbo charged snail, burning rubber at 200+ mph, with his own neon ground effects. You can’t help but laugh! For a high speed movie, it does drag a bit here and there. Overall, it’s a flick the family can enjoy.

It may not be as cool as the Indy 500 trophy, but Turbo does earn 3 stars.

The Purge

Sunday, June 9th, 2013

****

It sucked!It'll be on cable.I liked it.It was good!It was awesome!! (1 People gave this 3.00 out of 5)
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The Purge

 

Twelve hours of lawless freedom to release your inner beast, sounds great right? In June 2013, we get some insight on just how great it really would be.

Directing this 85 minute horror/sci-fi/thriller is James De Monaco.

The cast releasing the beast in this film is: Ethan Hawke as James Sandin, Lena Headey as Mary Sandin, Adelaide Kane as Zoey Sandin, Max Burkholder as Charlie Sandin, Edwin Hodge as Bloody Stranger and Rhys Wakefield as Polite Stranger.

The movie is set in the future where crime and poverty are at an all time high. The New Founding Fathers of America solved the problem with the purge. For twelve hours once a year, you can get rid of all the negative feelings (hate, anger & etc.). During the purge, even murder is legal. Only rules: You can’t use weapons past a certain Class and level 10 government officials are off limits. Not wishing to take part, James and his family just want to settle in for the night and let the purge pass, but when a wounded stranger is let into their home, things change. A purge group wants the stranger back or else. Now James must figure out how to survive both the group, and the lasting effects this night will leave on all of them.

Where many in this new dystopian society see the purge as a blessing, the less fortunate see this night as the nightmare it is, a government sanctioned thinning of the herd. This flick is such a possibility of reality, it’s a good fit for the horror genre. Even more so as we see that, even in the future, as long as it doesn’t effect you negatively, it must not be that bad of a thing, just look at the positives. This isn’t some hack ‘n’ slash horror movie but the storyline is pretty scary. Yet again, Ethan Hawke did a great job, along with the rest of the cast. Things can get boring when you cram almost a whole movie into one set location (like here in the house), but between the script, cast and action the play-through is smooth. I did wish it was longer. Some points could have been explored a little deeper. Overall I really enjoyed this thought provoking flick.

The Company You Keep

Sunday, April 28th, 2013

****

It sucked!It'll be on cable.I liked it.It was good!It was awesome!! (Give us your rating!!)
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The Company You Keep

Can you spend all your life running from a mistake made in your youth? In April 2013, we found out you may want to keep running, but life has a way of catching up with you.

Directing this 125 minute thriller is Robert Redford.

The great cast is: Robert Redford as Jim Grant/Nick Sloan, Jackie Evancho as Isabel Grant, Shia LaBeouf as Ben Shepard, Susan Saradon as Sharon Solarz, Terrence Howard as Agent Cornelious, Brendon Gleeson as Henry Osborne, Julie christie as Mimi Lurie and Anna Kendrick as Diana. With other great stars making appearances like Nick Nolte, Chris Cooper, Stanley Tucci and Sam Elliott.

In our youth we all make decisions, and depending on how strongly we feel, sometimes we take action. Back in the 70’s we saw a lot of groups take action, they were called activists. A few of these groups became known as radicals because some of their actions were illegal. Like, in this case, robbing a bank where an off duty cop gets killed. Not wanting to get caught for this crime the group known as the Weather Underground splits up and hides.

The members take on new names and scatter to different places, doing what ever is needed to stay off the radar. Since you can’t run forever, Sharon decides to turn herself in and pay for her crime which ignites a media storm. One reporter, named Ben, wants to get the scoop. What starts out as simple assignment quickly becomes his obsession.

The realistic storyline was very easy to fall right into and get hooked on. This was only reinforced with the great work done by the cast. It is a little slow paced but well worth the watch.