Tuesday, February 25, 2014

3 Days to Kill movie review

The first look at this title 3 Days to Kill and the image they portrayed I did not think it was something I wanted to see, after all, I'm a little tired of all the guns and the needless killing shows out there.  But Sunday afternoon came with nothing really to do, so off I trot through the snow falling to see 3 Days to Kill.

What a surprise. There was a part of me that thought this might be misnamed and I think I was right, but I'm not sure what I would have called it. Yes, there was killing, but it was FUNNY.  I laughed so much through this movie, between people being shot dead, which in itself, shame to say was also funny for the most part.

Some scenes are not pleasant to look at, but so many were.  The Writer Adi Hasak (and others) did a great job of catching the comedic relief to the tension. The idea of this man who is dying spending time with his daughter, who is in total teenage rebellion, and who actually says to him "We have 3 days to Kill". And kill it they do.

Yes people die, but by killing the bad guys the good guy, Kevin Costner does super great as the old, dried up CIA agent who is dying is given an experimental drug and is saved. Hailee Steinfeld does great as the teenage daughter, who Ethan, Kevin Costner's character has not seen since she was little. She's mad, she's hurt, she's a 'teenager'.  Connie Nielsen plays Ethan's wife (they are not divorced) but its Amber Heard as Vivi the person who hires him to get the really bad guy who has nuclear weapons in a suitcase no less who is dramatic.  This movie is well casted. I never once thought, wrong person for this part, even right down to the smallest role.

I love plot twists, especially when I figure them out before hand, and I figured this one out.  Yes I knew they were all going to end up at the 'party' at the end and the resulting 'get the bad guy' ending.

No matter if there were killings, no matter what...chasing on a purple girls bicycle.  I laughed.  The juxtaposition of daughter vs the job was well written, well executed and everyone laughed. To see a different type of killing movie, then this is it.  3 Days to Kill is enjoyable - surprisingly.

3 out of 5.

Pompeii - movie review

I wanted to see Pompeii for a couple of reasons, one was it was filmed in Canada and had a lot of Canadian Actors.  Kiefer Sutherland and Carrie-Anne Moss to name two.  It is not often you go see a movie knowing everyone dies, and honestly I was interested in seeing how it was handled and how it would be done.

I enjoyed it. The writers, Janet Scott Batchler (and others) did a great job in weaving the historical event into a love story contaminated with greed and power of the times.  I loved the short history lesson of how the Romans in Britain destroyed villages etc. Watching the scene at the beginning of the movie when the main character Milo's father gets killed, and I had the thought 'power corrupts', as the Roman in charge, Kiefer Sutherland's character, Corvus, who of course shows up later as an adversary - still in charge, still in power. The first scenes really set the stage, how this young lad Milo escapes the massacre and becomes a slave and later a gladiator.

As a great gladiator he is taken from London, England, to Pompeii, Italy.  I loved watching the map unfold as they show is journey through the countries.  I think I do love looking at old maps, and noticing how the boundary lines of these countries are nothing like they are today, and wondering what they will look like 100 years from now.

Anyhow, Milo gets to help a lady, Cassia played by Emily Browning, with her horse. And the love story between the slave gladiator and the lady begins.  Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as the fellow slave gladiator Atticus who was to fight for his freedom and becomes Milo's friend plays an important role in the story too.

Mainly this is a love story (yes I shed a few tears at the end) which is going to end in disaster as the volcano erupts and Milo struggles to help save Cassia with the help of Atticus.  I think it is well done, not the greatest ever, but worth seeing. Those times were hard on the poor, the slaves, as the powerful had power. The higher in rank the more power you had. It reminds that a mean person, whether rich or poor is still a mean person, while a gentle, loving person is a gentle loving person whether rich or poor. We must always remember that and not brand people because they are in a powerful or not powerful position.

Thinking back what did I like the best, truly how the fighting combination of Atticus and Milo bet out the Roman soldiers. How I respond when the underdog beats the odds.  But, the heart strings at the love story was wonderful and made the story believable and workable. The last scenes were definitely well done. This movie combined technology and realism very well.

3 1/4 out of 5.  (Don't think I've ever given a 3 1/4 before).

Friday, February 21, 2014

Robo Cop movie review

Just a few weeks ago, I watched the old 1980's Robo Cop 1, 2 and 3 movies again.  At the time they originally came out I remember enjoying them, though now I was amazed at how 'cheesy' they were.  Not so the new Robo Cop.

This new Robo Cop is totally updated, the usual story, a cop who is badly injured is made into a Robo Cop by having the majority of him changed into a robot, a machine, which is computer driven. In fact there is one scene where you get to see him, his brain (altered with wires etc), his face, his heart and lungs and his right hand.  The rest of him is a machine.  It was quite a sight which left one a bit reeling.

The technology which is now in place since the originals were made was truly evident. The pace, the impact of the interactions plus the sets get and keeps one engaged with the process.  The actors all did their jobs very adequately.  It was not hard to 'like' and 'feel' for Joel Kinnaman who played Alex Murphy/Robo Cop. Gary Oldman as Dr. Dennett Norton, who had a heart and in the end helps Alex remain himself, Michael Keaton as the corrupt business man Raymond Sellars who only sees the money angle and not the human angle. 

I enjoyed this movie.  I found the pace was just right, I came away feeling like I can't wait for the next Robo Cop movie.  Joel Kinnaman made the Robo Cop believable. You were rooting for him to come out on top. You want him and his family to win.  A good remake.  

For an interesting adventure. Worth seeing.
3 out of 5.

Winter's Tale - moview review

Who would have thought that Colin Farrell could make such a wonderful romantic lead.  Whoever did the casting in Winter's Tale, knew something that most didn't.  If you want to see one movie which depicts a love story which totally embraces love, time travel, and mythology, then this is it.

What a beautiful story.  A thief (Colin Farrell) who has a fight on his hand with an old nemeses (a demon played aptly by Russell Crowe) has a beautiful white horse come into his life (Pegasus) and while he burglars a particular house falls for a girl who is dying.  She eventually dies in his arms, but not before the most wonderful love scenes of sincerity and joy have taken place. Plus lots of philosophy of life.

Then his nemeses sees him dead, except somehow he arrives not knowing who he is in our time. Here he encounters another person (Jennifer Connelly) who has a daughter who is dying from cancer. It is how this story unfolds and how although he thought he was supposed to save the original red haired girl, it turns out he can save the young red haired girl instead.  He also gets to destroy the demon, and flies away on Pegasus.  Sounds a bit much, but really it is beautifully done.  Akiva Goldsman who co-wrote and directed this movie has done a wonderful job of bringing a sensitive, hard to put into movie form story.  I believe he did it.  (I know many critics say it didn't).  But as I sat there with tears in my eyes (at the end) I was so glad I saw it and so did my friends who were there with me.

This is a beautiful love story, soft, gentle and leaves you with the feeling that love is real. Enjoy all of life fully while you can.  Go see this beautiful story.  The settings are wonderful. Especially those set back in time.  Oh yes, can't not mention Will Smith who has a small role as the 'Judge', (the Devil).  As usual he is great!. Plus Eva Marie Saint has a small role. Great to see her also.  A Winter's Tale, is definitely a winter winner!
4 out of 5.