Sunday, January 11, 2015
Cindy Prascik Reviews of Selma & Taken 3
Dearest Blog, this weekend my cinema surprised me with three new(ish) releases. In an attempt at responsible behavior, I saw two of said new releases rather than just seeing The Hobbit again. Since I can be just SO responsible, you know it was always gonna be Taken 3 and whichever awards hopeful worked best with Taken 3, which happened to be Selma.
Spoiler level here will be mild, nothing you wouldn't know from the trailers.
First on my agenda was Selma.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. leads a march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, in an attempt to assure equal voting rights.
Well, dear reader(s), I don't really have adequate words for Selma, other than to say it should be required viewing for everyone, period. Based on actual events that are often difficult to watch, the movie still manages to entertain as it inspires.
The performances are extraordinary, with David Oyelowo leading the way in an Oscar-worthy turn.
Tim Roth is also especially noteworthy as Alabama Governor George Wallace.
The story moves at a good clip and is peppered with rousing monologues. There were times I actually jumped in my seat at the violence, even knowing what was coming. The movie's historical accuracy has been called into question a bit, but there's no denying Selma is a fantastic film with a vital message.
Selma runs 128 minutes and is rated PG13 for "disturbing thematic material including violence, a suggestive moment, and brief strong language."
Whether it wins any of the big prizes remains to be seen, but Selma is likely the most important movie you'll watch this year.
Of a possible nine Weasleys, Selma gets eight and a half.
Next up was the final (?) installment in Liam Neeson's Taken trilogy.
Accused of murder, Bryan Mills sets out to clear his name and protect his family.
So...you say "Taken 3" and people just kinda roll their eyes.
How many times can this happen to the same guy, right? If you're willing to suspend your disbelief, though, Taken 3 is self-aware good fun. Liam Neeson is in top ass-kicking form, managing lots of awesomely ridiculous escapes and delivering plenty of crowd-pleasing kills.
The rest of the cast--including Academy Award winner Forest Whitaker--is fine, but, if we're being honest, they could be marionettes for all it matters; it's Neeson's show and as long as he's outsmarting baddies and beating them to a pulp, you don't much care about anything else.
The movie has spectacular action sequences, well-choreographed fight scenes, a fair few laugh-out-loud moments, a satisfying--if predictable--final act, and is smart enough not to wear out its welcome.
With even half-reasonable expectations, you're guaranteed a fun couple hours.
Taken 3 runs 109 minutes and is rated PG13 for "intense sequences of violence and action, and for brief strong language."
If you're in the market for a bit of brainless entertainment, it doesn't get much more brainless or much more entertaining than this.
Of a possible nine Weasleys, Taken 3 gets six.
Until next time...