Movie Review: Noah(2014)

If you paid attention to my blogging last spring 2013 I only did Christian movie reviews. It was a lull in the blogging time for me and mostly poetry was what was keeping things going for me. I don’t think apologies work anymore for blogs. Writers of blogs always telling us what they wish they were writing or not writing. This is long overdue, but I am doing in anyway because I do have more afterthoughts of what this film means to the world, then perhaps any other movie that was seen on my spring vacation.


Cast: Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Ray Winstone, Emma Watson, Logan Lerman, Douglas Booth and Anthony Hopkins

Writers: Darren Aronofsky and Ari Handel

Director: Darren Aronofsky

Plot: Noah is the story in the book of Genesis showing the dark condition of humanity and God’s desire to destroy humankind because of the darkness that is in man’s heart. ‘Violence continually’ is how the bible describes it. Noah is seen by God as a righteous and blameless man that walks with God. Noah, his wife, and Noah’s sons; Shem, Ham and Japheth. God gives Noah 120 years to build an ark and the forewarning that He will flood the earth. It had never rained before in that time. In the end, only Noah’s family survives the flood as well as two of every kind of animal. God’s promise in the end of the story is shown by a rainbow showcasing God’s mercy and His intent to never again destroy humanity with a flood.


What’s more important than a film like this..

It is no surprise for any movie lover that more and more faith based films are starting to become mainstream. God’s Not Dead and Noah both released march 2014, as well as Left Behind(a remake starring Nic Cage) that got bumped to October instead. The Jesus film Son of God was also released and coming in the fall is the epic and much anticipated Exodus film by Ridley Scott and starring Batman himself as Bruce Wayne(Christian Bale).

Hollywood and all its influence always gives a skewed view of the faith. But at the same time they also can actually do a better job at it then most Christian films. Here’s why.
Usually they have money and more money to supply a better script and better actors and better visual effects. They also usually have a very non-traditional way of looking at things. Usually pulling writers who have mastered how to write a script more then masters of theology.

Noah had a lot of things that were not in the original story. And most of the critics had a massive problem with this. A lot of emotion and energy was released towards this movie from Christian people. Most of the concern was with the “accuracy” factor. Critics have listed off more the wrongs and the errors more then the bigger picture.

The foolish things.

God does not care about accuracy. I don’t think He cares as much about it then we would say He does. Are people coming to Christ because a pastor in a pulpit preaches the bible with 100 percent accuracy? Do people respond to what we would call “the whole truth?” I don’t think so. I think most of us believers are off a lot. And some people put their offsetting into books and claim that their view is the right one. More knowledge doesn’t always equal more humility.

Noah shatters this idea of perfect. And, yes, the inaccuracies so to say are not pleasant. The opening scene retelling the story of Genesis one starts with..’In the beginning was NOTHING!’ Caps lock just to make the point. That is not okay. The wicked guy that sneaks onto the Ark and gets killed by one of Noah’s sons’ all in a “you have reached your manhood” kind of way just adds to the chaos that got them on the ark in the first place.

The errors that we would say the film has kind of stacks up against the pluses that the movie makes. I think, overall, we need to chill on trying to present the facts in a right way. Yes, God does care about accuracy but He moves and acts, ‘In, to and through’ all of our attempts to tell a story. Because He doesn’t have perfect people running things. He has messed up, selfish, wicked people who think they have a grasp on what God is like. He uses these people to get as many human beings as possible as close to the light as possible. Therefore, Noah gets people thinking. It gets the discussion rolling.

Lastly, I would say, however, that the end of the film leaves you with this idea that man is pretty good and man will survive. Like most films that feature us broken humans that is the same sentiment that has attached itself to pretty much every film that it out there. Hunger Games, The Impossible, Cast Away, 2012, Day After Tomorrow, Independence Day..and the list goes on. Humans rule. Humans are the best. Humans can make it. Humans, given the right amount of plasticity around uniting together skills humans can do anything.

Noah ends with that sting. It ends with you feeling like you are not as depraved as the bible would say you are and God is not really as merciful as the Noah narrative really actually is. The fact that only 8 people survive shows us more of God’s goodness when no one was to be spared. We need both the goodness and the severity of the Lord. But still, it gets people thinking and I think it opens up a door for us to talk it out with everyday people. Don’t look for accuracy just look for anything that will lead people back to God. It really is that simple.

Key lines and moments:

“Strength comes from the creator.” Noah says, “I didn’t want to see anyone ruined by this world.”

Noah says, “I’m asking you to be a man and do what needs to be done.”

“The creator destroys the world because we have wickedness.”:

Noah says, ” We have been entrusted with something greater than our own desires.”

And lastly, “The choice was put in your hand if we were worth saving he chose mercy, Emma says to Noah, (He) chose mercy help us do better help us start again!”

Movie Review: Captain America: The Winter Solider(2014)

I really can’t believe it has been this long. I mean Captain America 2 is still playing in some obscure movie theaters around me but for the most part its time to wait for it to be released on DVD. It has been a solid 6 years now that Marvel has been releasing movies now more attached to Marvel as a studio. Of course there has been Superman, Batman and Green Lantern from DC Comics. But Marvel has really stepped it up ever since Iron Man and the Edward Norton Hulk.


Summer 2011 marked the first Captain America movie. I have to admit that I enjoyed it but the whole story behind Steve Rogers is not really that interesting. Its important but is not very interesting. Here’s why. We like Iron Man and Tony Stark because Stark is sort of a jerk, a genius, a billion dollars man and a womanizer. But what he is really known for and what makes him the most prominent in his business is his weapon making Stark industries. Here is a man who does not see the destruction of his ways..well until he gets forced to see it. Stark takes his bad boy, bad attitude, glamorous lifestyle and uses it for good. He gets the conviction and creates what everyone never would have thought he could have done. Bruce Wayne(Batman) does kind of the same thing. Both Stark and Wayne become self-made superheroes. However, Captain America is already sort of a good guy and loyal and is supposed to represent the sincere soldier patriot that we assume everyone is before they go to Iraq and Afghanistan. But this sequel plays it in a whole new and very non-boring way.


Directors: Anthony and Joe Russo

Writers: Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely and Ed Brubaker. Based on the comic by Jack Kirby and Joe Simon.

Stars: Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Anthony Mackie, Samuel L. Jackson and Sebastian Stan

Plot/Overview: Set some time after Iron Man 3 and Thor 2 and really very soon after The Avengers, Steve Rogers is adapting to life in Washington, D.C. Jogging around the Lincoln Memorial with elapsed time effect Steve meets Sam Wilson(a.k.a. Falcon) and introduces him to music he should listen to. Steve is also accompanied by Black Widow and that Cobie Smulders girl. Steve is thrown into his next mission in partnership with a bunch of CIA renegade types(meaning, they look like renegades). An apprehension of a ship taken captive by “pirates.” The plot thickens and turns against the ones you wouldn’t expect it. Nick Fury gets ambushed in his bulletproof car(which makes for an epic scene!) and almost dies. Steve soon discovers that he can’t really trust anyone. Up comes to the surface the Robert Redford guy(Alexander Pierce) who says, “to build a better world, sometimes means tearing the old one down, and that makes enemies..” Of Course this elicits Steve’s main line of the whole movie. He says, “I used to know what is right( or the right thing to do) but I don’t know anymore!” Essentially this is the good guy Steve questioning his moral compass and pressing the issue. It gets revealed that the Winter Soldier is actually Bucky(his best friend in life before he became Captain America).

Steve Rogers struggles to embrace his role in the modern world and battles a new threat from old history: the Soviet agent known as the Winter Soldier. I really think I even need to see this movie again. I saw it right when it came out in April and was watching in 3-D so some details have slipped my mind. In the end Falcon fights and the Captain lives on and the Winter Soldier is not dead. They really could make a third movie and I think they should.

The deeper meaning


I think comic books throw us off because we don’t expect them sometimes to point their fingers on deep political issues, but they can serve as very relevant pieces of art that expose our justice system. I think the whole idea of shield is similar to the idea of the P.A.T.R.I.O.T. act and Homeland Security and the NSA. It seems as if in order to keep America safe from terrorism that we have to develop these multidimensional secret teams and underground operations in order to “keep America safe.” Our secret torture of prisoners( or otherwise possible terrorist) in Guantanamo Bay. Its probably not so much of a secret now but it takes place. The C.I.A. and the US government has let the people believe a lot of things in order to always cover up what really is going on. S.H.I.E.L.D. borders the line of keeping people safe and protecting them with also possibly putting our “super” heroes in harms way or in a compromising way in order to keep people safe. Its a tension and its a reality.

Do we really need these super powered freaks to keep us safe. ‘No one does good, not even one!’ How can normal people with special abilities know even how to do the right thing? Sometimes, its because they are the only ones willing to do it. Captain America borders this line and question. Power hungry people like Robert Redford in this movie will always be fighting to tear down the walls of safety and the illusion of protection. Doing right becomes more of a personal, subjective conviction, rather then a general claim that we put up as people. Steve represents the good intentions of the military but the negative imprint it leaves on men and their minds and their families.

In conclusion, “its not freedom, its fear!” The building of a new world means that the system has to be questioned and tested. Aside from all of these political thoughts the action in this movie far surpasses most of the Marvel movies. And the scene in the elevator when Captain says, “before we start, does anyone want to get out?”

Who will do what needs to be done? Even if it means compromising what you believe to be right and wrong.

Everyone should see this movie..seriously see it.

Top Ten Most Memorable Movie Experiences, Pt. 1

In light of my last post and mentioning that I am setting aside some time to write some movie and television reviews I think it necessary and mostly for fun to tell some ‘ best of the best’ movie experiences for me. It would be accurate to say that I have seen over a thousand films in the past 6 or 7 years. Maybe in some circumstances that is not something to boast about. I think of in my adolescence that there was more the fear of not seeing something and not having anything to talk about( in terms of movies out). Honestly, the fear of missing out still is sort of part of my decision when it comes to exploring new television shows and movies. In terms of morally, I have not always made the best decisions in terms of what I have allowed my mind to see, but I do feel( at least if you are any kind of writer) that there can be a lot you can find in films if you are looking hard and close enough. Robert McKee in his book Story talks about how the movie experience is an investment for people. Why would people pay money to purposely stare at a black screen for two hours? Or rent a movie for 1.30 at Redbox and risk paying the late fees, or burn through five seasons of a television show in two weeks?

The very optimistic appreciation of the art answer is that there is always something to learn and experience if you are really looking for it. The overly simplistic answer is: people crave and are craving stories.

Stories that probe us and prick us. Stories that are not afraid to tell the truth. Now, yes, there is the entertainment factor and as much as Aristotle in Poetics, says that life cannot be exaggerated, it is usually always getting stretched for us. Essentially we claim to always want something different, or want to see something we have never seen before, but movies pretty much do the same four or five things over and over again and yet we always fall for it and always pay for it, and end up wanting more.

We usually always see some kind of scandal. Scandal that burns bright in front of our minds. Corrupt cop movies. Corrupted business people, leaders of nations and politicians all face threats that most of the time they bring upon themselves. We always see face paced action sequences and crazy fight scenes. And most always we see a love story of some sort. We see sacrifice and people making fool’s of themselves. Yes, even if the reason is just sex, people fight for each other. People lose their vocational positions, money and social status just to have someone they feel they can’t live without. All of these things are  in the shows we watch and in the movies we see. The question then becomes-what do we do with the lessons we learn in the movies? Do we take the lessons from the stories and apply them to our lives? If we look close enough we can see it and we can feel it, and essentially be changed by it.

Movie #10: Godzilla(1998 version)


I remember being officially 12 years old and seeing this film twice in the theaters. My movie friends( and friends too) Brandon and Brad went to this film. The first place we lived as a family in Fort Collins was on rockaway street right next to a movie theater. I spent more time walking over there to see whatever would be playing( of course nothing rated R because I was not 17). It wasn’t so much that Roland Emmerich’s version of Godzilla was so awesome. Ferris Bueller telling everyone that Godzilla is pregnant and blowing up Madison Square Garden is always an interesting twist to the end. I just remember being in awe of the action and the explosions. Maybe it was more exciting because I was only 12.

Movie #9 Planet Of The Apes( the Marky Mark remake) July 2001


The summer of 2001 is where the original title ‘The Ruckus Journal’ began. It was coined in the aftermath of the McCrew’s many adventures. It was the summer where myself, Andy, Isaiah and AJ all worked at McDonald’s. I was the forerunner of the group and the rest followed. AJ’s previous job was at a movie theater in Loveland and so we decided to go there to see this film. I just remember thinking: they better make a sequel. And I also thought that the kiss with the Ape was rather whacky but Lincoln’s face as an Ape, however, was a great way to end the movie. We all know now that ten years later they did do another Planet of The Apes but not with Tim Burton or Marky Mark. Leaving the theater that July night as a 15 year old, I remember AJ ‘s mom telling us ‘its just a movie’ almost to calm us down because our minds were so blown by this film. It was the experience of the film that stood out the most of all the movies we saw that summer.

Movie #8 Spider-Man( May 3,2002)


Most people would say that when you are 16 years old you are a little too old for dressing up, even if it is for your favorite movie. But age did not stop me when Spider-Man came to the theaters. My sophomore years of high school was my last year of ice hockey( I did not know it at the time) and so I was able to borrow the older version of the Spidey costume from Drew on my hockey team. I got the costume and bought the spidey gloves with the silly string shooters( also meant for little kids). I got a lot of laughs at school and especially my math teacher laughed really hard because I came to her class late and told her that I was out saving lives! The time for the movie came and we went to the Loveland movie theater. I remember seeing kids crying because the movie was sold out and I was giving out autographs while we waited in line. The most adrenaline pumped up moment, however, was that we were making so much noise going into the theater that they almost told us to leave. This film was so amazing because I think we all had wanted it for a long time and it was supposed to come out but September 11th happened and they had to re-shoot the end. For sure a pure rush to the head.

Movie #7 Matrix Reloaded( may 2003)


Junior year of Rocky Mountain high school was by far the most stressful year of school and especially the last few months. Somehow I convinced my mom to let me see Matrix Reloaded very late at night knowingly having to get up the next day at 7am. Anyone who is any kind of film critic will probably mention that the first Matrix did something very unique in its slow-mo, fast-mo camera angles. Leading up to the first Matrix many films had tackled action and explosions..especially in the nineties. But the Wachowski brothers did change the game a bit. Reloaded and its freaky crazy highway fight scene and Neo taking on a million Agent Smith’s..favorite parts. One of the best movie theater experiences of that year..for sure.

Movie #6 The Bourne Supremacy( Summer 2004)


I don’t think I appreciated the Bourne movies until years after they came out. The first time I really hung out with Nick Barrett we watched the first Bourne movie. To this day Nick is one my best friends and now we live only 20 minutes from each other. The Bourne movies really redefined not just action but action/drama and action that is driven by characters. What made Jason Bourne such an intriguing character was that it wasn’t so much that he could destroy anyone that came in his path it was that he represented something a lot deeper. Robert Ludlum( the novelist of the Bourne movies) was more showing us the corruption behind the system. The illusion that the government gives to us. That we are to trust the politicians and the CIA to protect us. In the name of keeping things safe they break all the rules in order to keep us thinking that we are fine. Bourne represents the experiment that is done with that illusion to it. It is as if the government leaders need someone to do the dirty work and if that person has a conscious then they won’t get it done. This is what makes it such a good character. Expose the system and destroy the illusion of safety.

That’s all for this first part…

Movie Review: How Do You Know(2010)

I remember watching as Good As It Gets years ago and thinking of how well written that film was and this day. 1997 was a power packed year of well made films( i.e. Titanic and Good Will Hunting). James Brooks(also known for Taxi and The Simpsons) is at his best witty self in this romantic, drama and comedy.

Director: James L. Brooks
Writer: James L. Brooks
Stars: Reese Witherspoon, Paul Rudd, Owen Wilson


Lisa(Reese Witherspoon) is a 31 one year old pro Softball player and receives the hapless news that she has been cut from the team. In the process of rediscovering herself she goes back and forth between two very handsome but different men. George Madison(Paul Rudd) who is a businessman and not an athlete and the 14 million a year baseball player, Matty(Owen Wilson). As time unfolds Lisa discovers which one of these men really love her for her. In the process George is being investigated by the government for fraud and other charges much to the chagrin of his father Charles, who has lied and cheated and put his son at risk. Charles, played by the great Jack Nicholson, is forced to try to do the right thing but seems to not find a way out of his own bad decisions.

In the past few weeks I feel I have seen some of the best films that I have seen in a few years. Starting with the Wallflower movie, Jack Ryan, another movie, and now this film. Here are some memorable moments. This film expresses the uncertainty that men and women face and feel when they are in the process of having feelings for someone. How do you know you are in love? How do you know you have what it takes to be the best for someone else? How do you know if you really don’t like someone and you are just afraid to express yourself to that person. George Madison is a man that tells people how he feels. Matty is a man who is to self-centered and to full of himself to really be able to give back. Lisa doesn’t know if she has what it takes to have the family life. Charles is just corrupted and doesn’t know how to tell the truth. I am sure there are more How do you know’s, those are a few.

Memorable lines and moments:
Lisa’s softball coach says: “Just because we field women athletes doesn’t mean we need to get girly when their time is up.”-

Lisa finds a stash of girl clothes and toothbrushes at Matty’s house which suggest that he has a hard time sticking to one person.

Matty says..whoa someone nuts is coming back to be more nuts!

Charles says,”Cynicism is sanity!” He also says, “Anger can be useful, watch out for the bitterness!”

On Lisa’s mirror is a quote: “Courage is mastery of fear, not absence of fear”

George tells his dad, ‘are you gonna make me literally run away from bad new!’

Lisa says, “My dad taught me never drink to feel better, drink to feel even better!” She tells Matty don’t ask me what is wrong with me and he says that is my preference!”

The therapist says to Lisa, after she asks for some very general advice. He says, “Find out what you want and learn how to ask for it!”

To many moments to capture how selfish Matty is but one is when George is in the house with Lisa and Matty comes home. He gets mad and tells her, “This is my place!”

She tells George, “what do you know except looking at me like you are Bambi!”

And the key line to the whole film is when Lisa says, “I don’t know if I have what it take for everybody’s regular plan, I have never felt that love, to be honest the baby thing..never. I am just good at this one thing..she says I think they are pretending..talking about babies and that stuff..”

She ends up with George in the end and that is a good choice. This film will surely end up in other reviews when talking about relationships. For now, I gotta this film.

Football Week

In light of the past two posts on reviewing Friday Night Lights I am declaring this football week. Every movie(or as many as can be seen). I am working on writing and filming a best of the best on football movies, documentaries,and television shows. I have come to realize that this is a massive undertaking because there are at least 50 some movies that have been made. So, it begins, this whole week I will be reviewing football movies(and maybe some other random movies in there to, since there has been so many recently).

Get ready to here from a person who is an expert on films and not football! But still be ready for it.


Movie Review: Abel’s Field(2012)

Well, to just clarify, I don’t even know if writing move reviews is my niche or my thing. I just know that I like and value films and tend to not watch movies to fall asleep but rather, I, value stories coming to life. It has always fascinated me that what you see on the screen comes from the imagination of one or several people. Without further ado, here’s another review.

Writer: Aron Flasher

Director: Gordie Haakstad

Abel’s Field weaves two main character(s) struggles to one very slow Tender Mercies style and pace. Open fields, calm guitar strums in the background and the sound of small town Texas oil rigs and football as religion.

Overview:Seth(Samuel Davis) is a struggling teenager who had the misfortune of his mom dying and his dad either a misanthrope or dead( I can’t remember). Seth has two little twin sisters to care for. Seth becomes a two job working man while in school. Seth gets bullied by the football team and blamed for starting a ruckus with the star quarterback. As punishment for getting a beating( the first injustice) he has to help the groundskeeper, Abel(Kevin Sorbo), with work on the sprinkler system. Homecoming is coming and it’s time to get the school ready for it.

In the process of daily working together Seth and Abel develop a relationship with each other that becomes to center of the film. Seth is trying hard as the priest of the church tells him, ” we all see that you’re trying..have you thought about asking Him?” And Seth’s ability to take on too much responsibility catches up with Him and moves him closer to a place of needing God. After working two jobs( car mechanic and stadium concessions) Seth starts to fall apart, struggles to forgive himself and struggles to believe God is good despite him losing his parents and his house. Seth also has a brother that doesn’t want to have anything to do with Seth. There becomes  else for Seth to turn to other than God himself. Abel tells him: “How you talk to God is nobody’s business but your own.”

Abels field

Seth becomes aware of Abel’s running syndrome and finds out Abel killed his own brother. I think the naming of Abel is parallel with the Genesis account of Cain And Abel (not the first time we see that in a story, a.k.a East Of Eden). Abel realizes he has to forgive himself just like the advice he gives Seth.

In a desperate attempt to get some extra cash Seth also tries to rob the school with special access he got from stealing a key. He ends up not going through with it in the end.

With all the clichés of any story there is that moment of the man on the floor crying out to God. Not saying that is a bad thing but it certainly keeps showing up in the films I have been seeing recently. Like I have said before this direct communication of God in a movie is more than a feature in the Christian genre, rather its the center of the stories. I would have to say that this film still wasn’t that bad to watch. It brought some insights on love and forgiveness. It ends with you thinking that blame of one’s self can only last so long. The way to freedom is the power of letting go that forgiveness offers to a soul. I would recommend watching this as much as I still am looking for a better way to communicate in films( but I think I will always be on the look for that).



Movie Review: Chronicle(2012)

Okay, again, thinking out loud with a tad bit of I SHOULD BE STUDYING!!! Yes, History 121 teacher, I feel I understand the factions of the reconstruction era and the social Darwinism of the time, just please roll the questions I know the answers too.

I saw this movie about three weeks ago and its the first time in years that I saw two films in the movie theatre in the same day, its about ten years since that has happened. So, needing to write about it has really been lodged back there in my mind with the random name of that Milly Vanilly guy and the capital of France!

Overview: three ordinary kids, one total outcast dork, one class president persistent guy and one kind of in between kid; all inherit, superpowers from some invasion in the forest. The narrative is told through the nerdy Andrew’s lens. He starts to document his high school experience, including the apocolyptic inheritance or transverance of power(made up words)!!

As school progresses so does their curiosity and their super powers. They begin to go from moving things with their minds and hands without touching, to flying to really being able to move things with their minds. Tragedy and the temptation to do more evil then good catches up with them. Andrew, who has an abusive dad and dying sick mother, starts to kill instead of channel his power some other way. The story takes a dark turn and ends with two of the 3 kids dying(Andrew and Steven)

This film was deemed as a cross between Unbreakable and Cloverfield. Unbreakable(which is due for a review) I just watched, after I saw this movie, and Cloverfield I did not like as much. The story of Chronicle was like Unbreakable but filmed like Cloverfield. The hand held camera effect mixed with the not from a comic book storytelling. Very nicely done, actually and very closer to original then expected.

The shaky camera effect only works if you have a good story. Which is why I think Cloverfield was so hard to watch, all the shakiness just made me sick and the beasts coming out of the shadows was not as horrific as I wanted. I was pumped because LOST was my favorite show at the time. As I had finished season 3 before it came out but Bad Robot’s production was not what I wanted.

Chronicle dealt with the evil within the man, and more so the evil with the teenager. Human nature is always being exposed and with the super hero narrative you have to reinvent ways in which the temptation to do evil more then good. I was thinking of Syler in Heroes, or all the other slew of evil men and women that start their lives off with good intentions. Chronicle was more of a snippet into the lives of the kids, then just sort of ended and that is what I like.

I give this movie a B for its camera work and creativity. Not what I expected but better then I expected.

Movies, Why Watch Them?

Okay, so maybe thought process while weblogging is not a good plan but that’s how I am rolling. This has been one of those creativeite posts that has been stewing in the deep recesses of my mind. Its going to take Piaget’s cognitive development stages and Freud’s unconscious doctrine to pull them out.

I have been a moviegoer for most of my life. I have only been very much more serious about wanting to actually learn from films and make them since 2002, and even more so since 2009. But it must get addressed with coherent reasons why one would spend time watching a film. I don’t mean a random redbox night here or there, or a movie when you get sick, I mean watching films to learn.

First, one must embrace art as form of education. Twisted and perverted and not always the best source but one at least must be convinced that it is a source. I read a recent stat in my Sociology book that said: people spend more time on tv and movies then they do on school, or about 64 hours. And listening to music and reading were the bottom of the barrel of night time past times.

If a person just is a bystander and wastes time on entertainment and has no intention of being provoked or moved by it they are still being affected. Impervious is only for the Freudian therapy sessions and all that later surfacing anxiety.(Thanks Psych teacher for all this info!)

The person that has a mind and sense is being affected and is learning from film. And if you aren’t watching films then you are listening to music, on youtube, on facebook, out at the store looking at magazines, exc. We cannot escape the voices, which is why its good and bad sometimes to have a sponge of an imagination.

Secondly, movies are made to appeal to the emotions. Guys just think then have to take a break and feel, and still figure out what emotion is what. Women can do both. Not just cook and clean but think and feel, cry and laugh at the same time. They can fix cars and write poetry at the same time. The film genre is all about using our fallen emotions and releasing their nuances upon us. Humans are prone to destruction and unhappy lives. The goal of the film is to capture this and enthrall the mind. Emotion is everything, so let it guide you. I think so therefore I am, rather, its I feel and I will remember what I feel.

Third and foremost: waste of time is only when you disconnect and just choose to not learn from what you are seeing. Yes, you can rent Fighting and waste two hours but even seeing something poorly done one can learn to not do that, or ask: why did that fail so bad?

Last, think of the investment. You spend 20 dollars on film and sugar and two hours sitting and watching. You drive to the theatre, you risk running into old friends and being caught(ha, ha!) and you invest yourself. Screen educate me, teach me something I do not know. The artist is the educator and so the audience is in receiving mode.

The crisis of originality comes from our demand to be fascinated. Even when we see the same things over and over, like fast car chases and love stories we still want something new when we are looking for it.


Movie Review: Safehouse(2012)

I should be writing this paper for school but I have to blog today. I was going back and forth as whether or not this film is worthy of a review but since I visited the nostalgic Palazzo 16(used to clean the bathrooms there in 06) might as well say a few things.

2 main thoughts: getting tired of Denzel and its not Bourne, so why bother? First, Denzel Washington has had a fantastic versatile career; but, not really? Hate to really shred an Academy Award winner but I am not gonna shred. Denzel has always been one of my favorites. I have seen a lot of his films and some of which are hard to see because of bad content. Book Of Eli to me was his last really good one but the old universalism in the end kind of made me not like it. I saw Unstoppable on my b-day with Zack in 2010. Turning 25 with Chris Pine and Denzel. Always been a fan of fast-camera moving Tony Scott and Mark Bomback as a screen-writer(Die Hard 4, Race To Witch Mountain) but Safehouse was ultra cliche and more of a replicate role then a new character. Denzel since Man On Fire and Deja Vu really has not changed at all. He is always smooth talking with one liners and delivering in that rye tone of sound that makes you believe he is more complex then what he is reading on paper. His complexity is what is compelling but only for so long.

Second thought, The Bourne trilogy can’t be the ultimate example of action films. Obviously, plenty of great action movies have had similar Bourne-eque characteristics. Die Hard came way before and took the ordinary man meets Terminator approach. Man verse the system in James Bond has also existed for decades. But what Bourne does do well in Ludlum’s writing is redefine human and redefine CIA.

Bourne humanizes what is the extension of machine like verse human tenderness. Jason Bourne is not just an amnesia victim he is a man afflicted by the corruption of the system. Between all three films you realize how much of a normal guy he is trying to be and how fallen the CIA really is. It hits that vein of injustice inside of you. It takes the over zealous 9-11 terrorist message into account and how far would we really go, as a country, to protect our own? And in this case, Bourne and the Treadstone project represent that license to kill. Bourne then is victim to compromise but in the process of this trilogy you are for Bourne getting answers not just sweet action shots. So many times action is devoid of characterization. Its movies like SWAT where everything just blows up and you don’t really care about the plot. In all the Die Hard films you sort of care about McClaine but not to much.

Safehouse in a nutshell was great action in a foreign land. Set in South Africa and an attempt to resurrect Ryan Reynolds from that horrid experience of Green Lantern, you get it that he is trying to prove himself to us again. Ryan is okay at his role in this film. He is an okay actor but the plot is overly drab and way to predictable. How many times do we have an inside guy like Tobin Frost(Denzel) get corrupted over money and expose the system he once worked for? Like Bourne but without me really caring to much. Like all the action films with no real substance in the plot line. Eagle Eye and even John Cena in 12 Rounds was more enjoyable.

Trying to capitalize on the title explanation. Essentially, no one is safe because no one can be trusted like Brian Cox in Bourne but really, it doesnt’ develop deep enough for you to get the notion that Tobin Frost can’t be trusted. Sorry guys!

 I am not gonna even do an overview because this movie wasn’t worth breaking down scene by scene. The Vow was more interesting to me. This film had potential but didn’t do much for me. How many times is this going to happen? Probably a lot, which is why Mission Impossible 4 has been the best of this genre in years and why Bourne Legacy will continue to shred all the action films to pieces. And if you are going to cast Denzel maybe ask him to play a different character then what we have been getting for the past five years.

Movie Review: The Vow(2012) And Thoughts On Love

This is a movie review and a reflection upon love at the movies and love in general. Life has been hectic and crazy with school. I have 5 classes right now and they all seem to be dominating, expecially my Psych class. Secondly, why do I go to movies alone, now? No, I do not feel alone or as if I don’t have friends I just treat it like escape and education all in one, and sometimes being alone is better for me to take it in, and if I feel like crying I am not embarassed( like we bought a zoo, totally some tears!)

I am driving back from St. Joe’s museum of crazy people(not the real name!) and I am thinking the movie theatre furtherest from where I live and on the way home would be the best place to see this movie. I figure on a Friday afternoon, who would I run into? And indeed, I was alone with a ton of other couples who were not.

I studdered when I bought my ticket and wore my Trader Joe’s hoodey over my head to make sure I stayed looking like an assaasin or an abandoned kid. I am ethnic(middle east baby!) so maybe that could fly!

And I really should have not felt so embarassed to be by myself. I saw Descendants, Margin Call, Safehouse, Chronicle and MI4(ran into some friends on that one) all on my own and Margin Call happened to be a huge waste of time and Safehouse, well was not Bourne, so let’s move on from that.

The Vow in its entirety was as an exceptional movie but also a Romantic Comedy, very typical, but a typical that worked this time. This film really, really moved me and I really was not expecting that. All my pretentions were actor/delivery concerns. Rachel McAdams, whom is one of my favorites with Morning Glory being one of my favorites of the past 2 years, easily. And as much as most people I know have a very sharp bipolarity towards The Notebook, she really ruled in that movie.

But Channing Tatum, he was more the concern of o, boy this could kind of stink. I never saw Dear John but knowing Nicholas Sparks I am sure it was good. Now, writing the book does not equal good acting. Because The Last Song, which has Miley Cyrus in it–was not very good. And mostly because its Miley, what more can you expect?

Channing Tatum is working his way up. He is becoming more prolific and pressing through the bad ones. I am remembering my 2006 days of working at the Palazzo 16 as a bathroom cleaner and wathcing She’s The Man, which was pretty horrific and he was sort of transitioning out of modeling into acting. Much younger at the time and looking to make a name for himself. Films like GI-Joe certainly don’t and did not make room for good acting. And Fighting is on my list for worst-films-of-all-time(hyphens not needed).

The Son Of No One, which I havent’ seen kind of looks like Vin Diesal’s A  Man Apart and could be a good gritty cop film because Ray Liotta is always busting people up and is very good at being disgusting.

Haywire looks like a minor role for him but now here we are at The Vow. Love is one of those themes that never gets old and is always trying to reinvent itself. Its also the hardest category, in my opinon. Because you are always having to portray the fight for love for a good hour and 40 minutes and then end it somehow with the RomCom kiss that also never gets old. Passive/aggressive also helps avoid some folderol plot lines that could create much adolescent disaster, even for adults.

The theme of amnesia is also not new which is why I had many doubts going into this one. But this film got me for sure and partly because I am a sucker for love, watching it by myself thinking I should have a girl friend and since Rachel McAdams is probably taken, not gonna happen any time soon. HA! There is humor in me, just letting some of it come out. But here’s the overview then more thoughts.

The Vow is about two fairly young people who fall in love very fast. Date quickly and get married somewhat quickly and give their wedding vows on the run in a building in Chicago.  “I vow to love you in all your forms”, Leo says…I vow to fiercly love you!” Both Leo and Paige fall very fast. 5 years of their lives go by and one night in the snow as they are leaving a date spot Paige takes her seat belt off to kiss her man and a truck hits the car and she goes flying out the windshield. Leo bangs his head but he had his seat belt on.

They get hospitalized and she wakes up with memory loss. Not permanent at first and not long term, she only really forgets the last 5 years. Leo is distraught, confused, hurting and now in a struggle to help his wife remember him.

The rest of the film is one big “fall in love with me again” ploy by Leo. Its step by step with all the right kind of conflict. The theme of fearing your past and rewriting it come up multiple times. As Paige has kind of blowhard parents that want the best but in their selfish conniving ways. They try to get her to live with them, they really don’t seem to like Leo and in the end gets  figured out that her dad had an affair and Paige doesnt’ realize it until the end of the film. Forgiveness and do overs certainly also comes up and I disagree with the horrid Rotten Tomatoes people that this film is overly sentimental and shallow.

Tatutm delivers better then I had expected. And Rachel McAdams always delivers, which is expected. Together they make a great team.

Love is tricky on the screen because its always a slew of overly cheasy films that ruin our hope for something new. Love is incredibly childish and adolescent like in many adult films. Some films take the lives of sitcoms like Seinfeld and recreate children as adults or adults who don’t want to mature and grow up. To often love is portrayed as not costing anything, not being worth a fight.

I appreciated Crazy, Stupid, Love, which I only saw the later half by accident but its notion of loving someone since age 11 or whenever Steve Carell got ice cream with his future wife. It was different and had much turmoil and conflict.

But golden lines in The Vow really kept me going into more reflection. “I will find my way back to you.”

“You did it once, you can do it again!”

Love cost something. Love always fights and never does give up. At the end when Paige says,  “thank you for always accepting me!” That is the key to the whole thing. Love does not demand that you change who you are, it simply fights for you where you are at. I strongly hate the cynicism but it needs to happen at times because we are to be challenged in films. If you are always watching, then you are always learning. And sometimes poor education takes place.

Tatum’s voice over is a little over the top and reminds me of Don Cheadle’s voice in crash because it sounds similar but its the classic way of telling the story, but can not be done well, so its not a dealbreaker for sure. 

Also remember, its not the Notebook. I was greatly wondering that. Its kind of the same but different times in life. The Notebook was the end of life and forgetting at the end what was once in the beginning. This is more aboiut just forgetting what has just been very new. 5 years is different then a whole lifetime. Sort of like when Source Code came out and you wanted to compare it to Inception. Not a fair comparison because they are different but with much similarities. Its helpful to treat each film as its own piece of work and let that speak to you while also using other films to aid in your understanding.

This is anti what I said but really funny review:

Love is always going to need to be redone and represented in new ways. I suggest you watch this movie and look for the nuance. Overbiting smiles are are a must and much kissing also a must but try to look and listen to what is being said. Fear of the past, fear of remembering and that gnawing ache to start over slides in between lines of cost and consequence.

Next time, I am taking a girl with me:)