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Saturday, December 13, 2014

MOVIE REVIEW: EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS










































From acclaimed director Ridley Scott (Gladiator, Prometheus) comes the epic adventure “Exodus: Gods and Kings,” the story of one man’s daring courage to take on the might of an empire. Using state of the art visual effects and 3D immersion, Scott brings new life to the story of the defiant leader Moses (Christian Bale) as he rises up against the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses (Joel Edgerton), setting 600,000 slaves on a monumental journey of escape from Egypt and its terrifying cycle of deadly plagues.

Director: Ridley Scott     

 Cast: Christian Bale, Joel Edgerton, John Turturro, Sigourney Weaver, Aaron Paul 

Release Date: Dec 12, 2014

Rated PG-13 for violence including battle sequences and intense images     

Runtime: 2 hr. 22 min.    

Genres: Drama    

Review:

Exodus: Gods and Kings is a throwback to the big scale biblical epics from the past.  Ridley Scott brings a sweeping grandeur to the whole thing but it never really gets its footing with any of the characters.  The film clocks in at nearly 2 and half hours, some of which is quite a slog, yet we never really get any real connections to the characters.  Christian Bale is fine as Moses but he doesn’t give the character any heartfelt drive to save his people.  As such Moses comes off as an annoyed nut whose just doing something because he has to.  At lease the script gave Moses a bit more of a tacticians mind as he plots his revolt that will lead to the liberation of the Israelites.  Rames, played by a guy liner-rrific Jole Edgerton, comes off as a bumbling buffoon all the way through.  There’s a little effort to give him a bit more depth but not nearly enough to matter in the long run.  The supporting cast is prestigious but underused and ultimately wasted.  The film’s lack of three dimensional characters is ultimately its biggest downfall.  Ridley Scott created a visual spectacle which is finely produced but it all feels hollow since we really don’t care about any of the characters, not the way we were supposed to at least.

C+

Cindy Prascik's Review of Exodus: Gods and Kings








































Dearest Blog, end of the year means burning that unused vacation, so today I found myself at a mid-afternoon screening of Exodus: Gods and Kings.

Spoiler level here will be mild, nothing you wouldn't know from the trailers.
Believing he's been called by God, Moses leads hundreds of thousands of Hebrew slaves out of Egypt.

Dear reader(s), in the interest of full and fair disclosure I'll note that to me the Bible is as real as a Twilight novel. I mean that not to insult anyone's beliefs, but to make it clear that Biblical accuracy or lack thereof is not why I hated this movie. I hated it because, to quote one of my all-time favorite reviews, it is "a lumbering bore."

Much has been made of all the white folks portraying characters who would have been decidedly un-white, and that does make it a bit hard to take the movie seriously. Sigourney Weaver as an Egyptian queen gave me a fit of the giggles that I almost didn't get past, and I'm pretty sure a servant girl was wearing one of Lady Gaga's wigs. Close-ups reveal French manicures on some of the women. (I'm not even kidding.) Accents are all over the place--hell, Christian Bale runs through four or five different ones himself--and the language is too modern to suit the movie's time frame. If Lord of the Rings bought its battle scenes at Wal-Mart, they'd probably look a lot like the ones in Exodus. Much of the CGI is laughably bad; in fact, the whole thing kinda looks like a regional theatre production of Jesus Christ Superstar. And if being bored to tears isn't bad enough, there's a boatload of explicit animal cruelty for your viewing pleasure, and a blustery score that occasionally goes all "NCIS terrorist cue." It's more than a little offensive.

Bale's Moses is an unsympathetic character, who, like Russell Crowe's Noah, comes off as cold-hearted screwball rather than a man agonizing over choices he must make for the greater good. Moses' "brother" turned nemesis Ramses, played by a barely recognizable Joel Edgerton, is a buffoon in enough guyliner for a Motley Crue video. Ben Mendelsohn turning up was a pleasant surprise, but that's about the only good thing I have to say about Exodus.

Exodus: Gods and Kings clocks in at a bloated 150 minutes and is rated PG13 for "violence including battle scenes and intense images."

Of a possible nine Weasleys, Exodus: Gods and Kings gets two. It's a trainwreck.

Until next time...



I am, in fact, too fast for love.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

MOVIE REVIEW: THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING







































Starring Eddie Redmayne ("Les Misérables") and Felicity Jones ("The Amazing Spider-Man 2"), this is the extraordinary story of one of the world's greatest living minds, the renowned astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, who falls deeply in love with fellow Cambridge student Jane Wilde. Once a healthy, active young man, Hawking received an earth-shattering diagnosis at 21 years of age. With Jane fighting tirelessly by his side, Stephen embarks on his most ambitious scientific work, studying the very thing he now has precious little of - time. Together, they defy impossible odds, breaking new ground in medicine and science, and achieving more than they could ever have dreamed. The film is based on the memoir Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen, by Jane Hawking, and is directed by Academy Award winner James Marsh ("Man on Wire").

Director: James Marsh     

Cast: Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, David Thewlis, Emily Watson, Charlie Cox

Release Date: Nov 07, 2014    

Rated: PG-13 for suggestive Material and Some Thematic Elements    

Runtime: 2 hr. 3 min.    

Genres: Drama    

Review:

The Theory of Everything is the type of Awards fodder you expect to see around this time of year.  It’s structured in a fairly conventional manner but director James Marsh keeps everything moving at a steady pace.  It’s a lovely looking film that carries some real heart with it.  Marsh allows his actors to really find their characters which they do in spades.  Eddie Redmayne is going to get the most accolades and it’s all well deserved.  He disappears into his role completely, mimicking every stage of Hawking’s disability while still conveying a sharp mind and wit throughout.  Redmayne’s role is the highlight but Felicity Jones performance really anchors the film.  She displays so many emotions over the course of the film.  The film doesn’t keep a storybook track for the love story; as such it feels much more real and packs a stronger punch.  The film is packed with emotion and it covers the gamut from inspirational to heartbreaking and back. 

A

MOVIE REVIEW: HORRIBLE BOSSES 2


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Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, and Charlie Day return for more employee revenge in this follow-up to the 2011 comedy. Sean Anders directs from a script by Anders and Jonn Morris. Having narrowly avoided prison following the antics of the previous film, Nick (Bateman), Kurt (Sudeikis), and Dale (Day) decide to go into business for themselves. When their breakthrough product, the Shower Buddy, catches the attention of a wealthy entrepreneur named Bert Hanson (Christoph Waltz) who offers to bankroll their initial production run, the eager inventors quickly move into manufacturing. Proudly filling Hanson's initial order before the deadline, they decide to surprise their key investor with the good news, only to get a nasty surprise: A shrewd businessman with a serious lack of ethics, Hanson announces that he is cancelling the deal. With no investors to keep the business afloat, the Shower Buddy factory will soon fall into foreclosure, allowing Hanson to scoop up the product at a fraction of the original cost, change the name, and reap the profits. Indignant, Nick, Kurt, and Dale hatch a plot to kidnap Bert's son Rex (Chris Pine) for a healthy ransom, paying a visit to criminal mastermind Dean Jones (Jamie Foxx) for a few pointers on the fine art of abduction. Needless to say, nothing goes quite as planned, and as the police launch an investigation into the elaborate crime, the hapless trio must once again race to stay one step ahead of the law. Jennifer Aniston and Kevin Spacey co-stars. ~ Jeremy Wheeler, Rovi

Director: Sean Anders 

Cast: Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, Charlie Day, Chris Pine, Christoph Waltz

Release Date: Nov 26, 2014

Rated R for Strong Crude Sexual Content and Language Throughout

Runtime: 1 hr. 48 min.

Genres: Comedy

Review:

While I enjoyed the original film, I was kind of disappointed it wasn’t an all out laugh fest.  The cast was great but I just felt the film was missing something.  I’ve rewatched it a few times and found it amusing but still lacking.  So while most people would say this is a pointless sequel, it kind of is, I was interested in seeing how the second go around would fair.  Thankfully the sequel delivered exactly what I was hoping for from the first film.  It’s a hilarious film that’s consistently funny with very few dead spots.  Bateman, Sudeikis and Day have much better chemistry this go around deliver hilarious performances all around.  We get extended cameos from Kevin Spacey, would have like more, and Jennifer Aniston, could have used less, which are solid but feel like they were tacked on to the original plot.  Chris Pine and Christoph Waltz are solid additions to the series with Pine bringing a douchtastic energy to his character which is perfect for the role.  Waltz on the other hand is rather underused, serving mostly as a plot mechanism and not doing much else.  It’s rare that a needless sequel surpasses the original film but that’s the case here.

A-
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