Lone Survivor – A Movie Review

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Jul 152014
 

[imdb id=tt1091191]

 

We had the nephews over a couple of weekends ago, and got this movie from Redbox.

I’ve seen some user reviews comparing Lone Survivor to Saving Private Ryan. I’m sorry, but Lone Survivor, while a pretty good movie, is just in the same league with Saving Private Ryan.

The acting was not terrible, and overall it was a good story (based on a true story of course), but some of the dialogue was a little strained. The cinematography and sound design were excellent, and I believe it received a couple of Oscar nominations for these technical aspects. I can see why. Continue reading »

Hancock – A Movie Review

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Jul 092008
 

Hancock Movie PosterThere are heroes… there are superheroes… and then there’s Hancock. With great power comes great responsibility — everyone knows that — everyone, that is, but Hancock. Edgy, conflicted, sarcastic, and misunderstood, Hancock’s well-intentioned heroics might get the job done and save countless lives, but always seem to leave jaw-dropping damage in their wake. The public has finally had enough — as grateful as they are to have their local hero, the good citizens of Los Angeles are wondering what they ever did to deserve this guy. Hancock isn’t the kind of man who cares what other people think — until the day that he saves the life of PR executive Ray Embrey, and the sardonic superhero begins to realize that he may have a vulnerable side after all. Facing that will be Hancock’s greatest challenge yet — and a task that may prove impossible as Ray’s wife, Mary, insists that he’s a lost cause.

Genres: Action/Adventure, Comedy, Drama and Romance; Release Date: July 2nd, 2008 (wide); MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence and language.

Cast: Will Smith, Jason Bateman, Eddie Marsan and Charlize Theron

Director: Peter Berg

This was basically the Will Smith show again, just like “I Am Legend”. I thought Will stepped outside of his normal good guy role this time. His potrayal of an all around, highly intoxicated, grade A, professional as*hole was very good! His piss poor attitude was only out matched by his supreme arrogance! I thought looking into the mindset of a superhero who suffered from the same emotional pitfalls as other humans was definitely a different take than what we are used to seeing in typical superhero flicks, but that’s about it for the plot. The ending was mediocore! There was no real enemy here. They were their own worst enemies. And what was with the tornadoes during the fight scene, what purpose did that serve? I thought a super villian was about to arrive so Hancock and the blonde could team up to fight it.

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Oct 212007
 

The KingdomWhen a terrorist bomb detonates inside a Western housing compound in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, an international incident is ignited. While diplomats slowly debate equations of territorialism, FBI Special Agent Ronald Fleury (Jamie Foxx) quickly assembles an elite team (Chris Cooper, Jennifer Garner, and Jason Bateman) and negotiates a secret five-day trip into Saudi Arabia to locate the man behind the bombing. Upon landing in the desert kingdom, however, Fleury and his team discover Saudi authorities suspicious and unwelcoming of American interlopers into what they consider a local matter.

Director:
Peter Berg

Genre:
Action, Crime, Thriller, Drama

Cast:
Jamie Foxx, Chris Cooper, Jennifer Garner, Jason Bateman, Ashraf Barhom, Ali Suliman, Jeremy Piven, Richard Jenkins, Kyle Chandler, Frances Fisher, Danny Huston, Kelly AuCoin, Anna Deavere Smith, Minka Kelly, Amy Hunter

FBI Agent Fleury’s crew finds a like-minded partner in Saudi Colonel Al-Ghazi, who helps them navigate royal politics and unlock the secrets of the crime scene and the workings of an extremist cell bent on further destruction.  With these unlikely allies sharing a propulsive commitment to crack the case, the team is led to the killer’s front door.

This movie ends up feeling like an episode of ’24’. The cast are great though especially Piven and Foxx, but Cooper and Garner seem criminally underused in the film. The film is harrowing in parts and the scenes involving Bateman and the extremists are some of the most tense scenes seen .

The Kingdom is exciting, well acted and tense but almost ruined by the restless hand-held camera-work. I simply do not understand why some directors think that this technique adds anything to a movie. Presumably it is intended to replicate a documentary style by conveying a sense of urgency and excitement but the effect is simply headache-inducing.You get no time to focus on any one scene as the camera twitches from one angle to another.

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