Movie Review: Assassin’s Creed

Back before my husband and I became parents, we had all the time in the world to play video games (him) and watch movies/T.V. (me), but now its a rare occasion, and typically only when it is paid for such as gift cards for his games or friends lending us movies to watch, etc. Makes us sound cheap, but it’s just not what we choose to spend money on anymore. Every now and then we get to combine our interests and spend time doing what we both like.

Assassin’s Creed was supposed to be that perfect mix. It wasn’t.assassin_s_creed_movie_poster_2016_by_fincher7-dad26yg

IMDb: Through Abstergo a company that creates a revolutionary technology that unlocks his genetic memories, Callum Lynch (Michael Fassbender) experiences the memories of his ancestor, Aguilar de Nerha (Aguilar Of Nerha), in 15th Century Spain. Callum discovers he is descended from a mysterious secret society, the Assassins and Templars, and amasses incredible knowledge and skills to take on the oppressive and powerful Templar organization in the present day.

IMDb Rating: 6.1/10

My Rating: 4.5/10

***SPOILERS***YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED***Read More »

Movie Review: Arrival

mv5bmtexmzu0odcxndheqtjeqwpwz15bbwu4mde1oti4mzay-_v1_sy1000_cr006401000_al_Hubs and I have been playing catch up on our movie watching. The Arrival movie was not one that I was particularly interested in, but hubby wanted to see it. Jeremy Renner is in it, so I figured I’d take one for the team.

IMdB: When mysterious spacecraft touch down across the globe, an elite team – led by expert linguist Louise Banks – is brought together to investigate. As mankind teeters on the verge of global war, Banks and the team race against time for answers – and to find them, she will take a chance that could threaten her life, and quite possibly humanity.

The above descripition is way more dramatic than I actually think the movie was, and I’m really not sure what chance they are referring to. Silly, IMdB. It could have been a decent movie, but it was ruined for me.

***SPOILERS***YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED***

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Movie Review: Deepwater Horizon

If you have never heard of Deepwater Horizon, then my friend, you live under a rock and/or are a vampire. If it’s the latter then I’m glad we’re friends. It was a strange coincidence that my husband and I watched this literally the same week I had a discussion board assignment on the tragedy. There was obvious dramatization to some of it and inaccuracies, but overall I really think this movie was very well done.

mv5botezndu0otgxm15bml5banbnxkftztgwnja0odm2ote-_v1_sy1000_cr006741000_al_IMdB: In April 2010, there is no oil exploration operation in the Gulf of Mexico to compare with the Deepwater Horizon oil rig with its size or sheer depth of its drilling. However, the project for the BP oil company is beset with technical difficulties to the point where the general operational supervisor, Jimmy Harrell, and his Chief Electrical Engineer, Mike Williams, are concerned potentially dangerous trouble is brewing. Unfortunately, visiting BP executives, frustrated by the project’s long delays, order curtailed site inspections and slanted system tests to make up for lost time even as Harrell, Williams and his team helplessly protest for the sake of proper safety. On April 20, the workers’ fears are realized in the worst possible way when the rig’s various structural and system flaws spark a catastrophic cascade of failures that would create a massive blowout and explosion that threatens them all, even as it also begins the worst environmental disaster in US history.

I’m not going to claim any spoilers because as a proclaimed above, the Deepwater Horizon tragedy has been deemed the worst environmental disaster in US history, so you can pretty much guess what happens in the movie. If you can’t, here’s some light reading for you: 100 Days of the BP Spill. I absolutely loved this timeline as it was part of the reading for my discussion board in my Social Responsibility in Business class.

Mark Wahlberg had a great performance in this movie, but let’s be honest, when does he not perform well. I wonder if he spent any time with the man he was casted to play, but if you watched the CSPAN coverage of the Senate hearings on this tragedy, you heard his story already. Mike Williams stood before a selected committee and recounted the night of April 20, 2010 when Deepwater Horizon exploded and 11 people were lost at sea. This courageous man did everything he could to help his fellow shipmates, but this incident could have been completely avoided had BP not been so greedy.

I was a little wary that this movie was going to be a big political circus, but it was honestly just the retelling of a man’s story with a bit of Hollywood dramatization thrown in. It will make you mad, I promise you that, but not for the wrong reasons. The families that have been torn apart by this tragedy, my heart goes out to them still, even seven years later.

It was a great movie to watch, but the idea that these people had to actually go through something like this is crazy to me. It was 2010! How can something like this still happen? I’ve read where they tightened the regulations on the blowout valve to hopefully avoid another tragedy like Deepwater Horizon. Any engineers out there that can create an even better failsafe? I challenge you!

 

Movie Review: The Girl On The Train

Baby spent the night with her grandparents, so mommy and daddy had a pizza, movie, wine and beer night. I’m wine, he’s beer. Overall, a very healthy evening. (Back to that whole: Weight Loss or Pizza bit.) It’s been a while since we have been able to catch up on the latest cinema hits, so this may be a bit late, but I had to share my feelings on The Girl On The Train. This may start to read like a rant, so you have been warned.

girl-on-the-train-new-trailerIMdB: The Girl on the Train is the story of Rachel Watson’s life post-divorce. Every day, she takes the train in to work in New York, and every day the train passes by her old house. The house she lived in with her husband, who still lives there, with his new wife and child. As she attempts to not focus on her pain, she starts watching a couple who live a few houses down — Megan and Scott Hipwell. She creates a wonderful dream life for them in her head, about how they are a perfect happy family. And then one day, as the train passes, she sees something shocking, filling her with rage. The next day, she wakes up with a horrible hangover, various wounds and bruises, and no memory of the night before. She has only a feeling: something bad happened. Then come the TV reports: Megan Hipwell is missing. Rachel becomes invested in the case and trying to find out what happened to Megan, where she is, and what exactly she herself was up to that same night Megan went missing.

***SPOILER ALERT***YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED***Read More »

Movie Review: Hell Or High Water (2016)

Hubs and I have been on a movie kick recently. We typically stick to the more popular movies being released, but when we came across Hell or High Water, we couldn’t help but appease our curiosity. Chris Pine, Jeff Bridges, and Ben Foster in a bank robbing film set in west Texas. What better cast could you ask for?mv5bmtg4nda1ota5nf5bml5banbnxkftztgwmdq2mdm5ode__v1_sy1000_cr006741000_al_

Following a series of armed robberies at a number of branches of Texas Midland Bank where very little money was taken, we learn that the motive of unemployed oil and gas worker Toby Howard (Chris Pine) and his brother — just released from prison — is to raise enough money to pay off the reverse mortgage that will forfeit their recently deceased mother’s ranch if not paid off. Oil was discovered on the ranch and in order to secure the future of his sons and ex wife, Toby needs $43,000. After two of the robberies, curmudgeonly Texas Ranger Marcus Hamilton (Jeff Bridges) and his American Indiana deputy partner pick up the trial and just miss foiling the next, and last robbery.

***SPOILERS***You have been warned***Read More »

Star Wars: Rogue One Review

Hubby and I had a mommy/daddy weekend over the New Year holiday, and besides actually spending the night out for the big ball drop, we also decided to see the new Star Wars movie. We are definitely Star Wars fans, but since Disney has taken over LucasFilms and has decided to release movies on or around our daughter’s birthday every year, we will consistently be late to the viewing of these movies. mv5bmjewmzmxodizov5bml5banbnxkftztgwnzg3otazmdi-_v1_sy1000_sx675_al_

Hear that Disney! Make the release dates later!

The basics of the movie are: In a time of conflict, a group of unlikely heroes band together on a mission to steal the plans to the Death Star, the Empire’s ultimate weapon of destruction. This key event in the Star Wars timeline brings together ordinary people who choose to do extraordinary things, and in doing so, become part of something greater than themselves.

***SPOILERS***You have been warned***Read More »

Movie Review: Alex and Emma

imageWe all find inspiration in the most inconspicuous ways. Actors who portray real life people will follow those characters around until they essentially become the person. Singers use their life experiences as well as writers, at times. Dancers use their emotions. Artists use their surroundings. We all use off the wall examples in order to fill the voids of our inadequacies and meet the needs of our muses.

When the muses find these holes in the creations we set forth to maintain, they demand we fill them, or face sheer and sudden annihilation. Whether that destruction be meaningless movements or portraits, or writers block, as I have come to know all too well. We must find the next foundation of validation for our work, the next fulfilling source of energy, in order to carry on the creation we have taken to task.

My greatest muse smiles irrevocably, whenever she decides to shut me down, on the movie Alex and Emma. I’m not sure if it is the basis of my second woman crush, Kate Hudson, which isn’t even based on looks, really. Don’t get me wrong, she is a beautiful woman and takes after her mother, but it is her personality and acting skills that I absolutely love! Don’t mind me with the personality bit. Typical woman answer, I know, since most men will tell you it is a crock, but I truly mean it. Everything she has performed in, I have absolutely loved!

“I don’t like tomato skins.” Alex and Emma

The above quote alone for me from the character Emma truly portrays her personality, and gives me all the more reason to love her! She perfectly demonstrates the term antagonist by being an un-moving control-freak, and overly anal-retentive. She is determined to make the main character see his own flaws and meet the expectations of their meet-cute. She gives Alex all the more reason to become the man she wants him to be, let alone the man he wants to be. She seriously steals the show in this contemporary romance that delivers every time I venture into the story of the two modern star-crossed lovers.

“Because I know the characters, and they tell me where the story goes.” Alex and Emma

The protagonist character Alex, played by Luke Wilson, nails the role of a reclusive writer with a romantically tragic past. Even with his monotone voice and, at times, maddening dialogue, his character shines through as a formulating author in the midst of his next novel and a love triangle he created for himself both fictional and real. His depiction of a starving artist sets the tone of his misled decisions and hits home within my heart.

“Every writer depends on the muses smiling down on them occasionally.” Alex and Emma

Ain’t it the truth? No matter your creative outlet, we have all faced bipolar muses on occasion. I know mine have hit more negatively recently which is why I turned to my proven source of inspiration, and heck, am even writing about it.

“-I, uh, you know. –I uh you, too.” Alex and Emma

So perfect! A beautifully scripted sentiment given to the audience to burst their hearts at the seams and drive us to root for their enduring love!

Moral of the story, my friends: find your muses vice and exploit it whenever they become moody! It just so happens mine is the movie Alex & Emma, and I’ll be watching until my muse breaks the dam on my creative flow.

Movie Review – “Lone Survivor”

Now, before I get into the actual review, I would just like to put a disclaimer that I typically do not like “war” types of movies, but because this was based on a true story/book, I really wanted to watch it. Plus, I really like Mark Wahlberg as an actor.

OK, review.

Lone Survivor was based on the life of Marcus Lutrell and his fellow service men during the “Enduring Freedom War” in Afghanistan, but specifically one mission “Operation Red Wing”. As the title shows, out of all of his fellow “brother’s in arms”, Marcus was the only one to make it out of the mission alive.

Before I go any further, I would like to thank every man and woman who has served in the military. Your courage, honor, and sacrifice can never be compared or repaid, but you are the people who keep this country “the land of the free”, and without you, we would become just like the countries you are commanded to be in so far from home. Thank you for all you do.

Back to the review.

The movie was about two hours long which I felt to be perfect. There is a lot of comparison to Saving Private Ryan with this film, but I just don’t see the correlation. Saving Private Ryan, albeit a good movie, was very drawn out and a work of fiction; this, my friends, is no fiction. This is the real life account of Mr. Marcus Lutrell, and he left nothing to be desired in his book and in this movie. I do not believe the movie could have been stretched out anymore than its current run time without losing the strongest emotion it brought with it. Watch it to find out which I’m talking about, but based on the title, I’m sure you can guess.

The movie’s cinematography was very well done; there was no guessing as to what was going on, or what anyone was thinking within it. What hurts me is the idea that I had never heard of this operation before, and am sad to say, I don’t remember the names of these gentlemen ever being mentioned. The idea that anyone can go through what Lutrell, all those that made the ultimate sacrifice on that mountain top, and their families back at home, went through, and I’m sure are still going through, breaks my heart.

Mr. Marcus Lutrell, I applaud you for the amazing work you have done with this book and film, and I can’t even imagine what you went through in order to put it all down on paper for the world to see, but thank you. Thank you for sharing not only your story, but the story of all those “frogmen” who gave their lives that day. (Lutrell makes a cameo on the movie, also, which I have no clue how he felt while doing so. I don’t know if I could handle it, but as a Navy Seal, I know this man has a stronger heart and mind than most in this world. Watch the movie, and you’ll see what I’m talking about.)

And to anyone who feels that this movie is just war propaganda, or as a very unintelligent critic said about this movie being “pro-war” and too violent, just what do you think these men and women are required to do over there in the mountains of a foreign country where most everyone hates you in order to get home to their loved one’s? Quoting Lutrell’s response, “No one is pro-war. Nobody wants war. It’s the most horrible thing in the world.”

Thank you, Mr. Marcus Lutrell and all of his fallen comrades, and I hope you know you all have this countries deepest gratitude.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire – Movie Review

Now I know I have done a lot of movie reviews lately, but this one is a must! I read the Hunger Games trilogy about two years ago now, and I love the story behind these books. It was my first adult adventure into the more sci-fi-ish genre, and I was not disappointed. (I read Ender’s Game when I was a young teen, but I don’t think I really grasped the concept of the books. Definitely worth a re-read, but I digress.)

Let me start out by saying that the first movie, The Hunger Games, for me was good, but not to the caliber that I was hoping for. So much was left out that it felt like a scratched CD, skipping vital scenes that built up the relationship between Katniss and Peeta, so with the story line of this first movie, I wasn’t really impressed.

Not to mention Jennifer Lawrence didn’t seem like an experienced actress, almost KStew status throughout all of the Twilight Saga. I just didn’t get the feeling that she really connected to the character or the story behind her. There should have been at least one scene off the top of my head where a friend dies in the games that I should have been in tears. I was sad, but I wasn’t sold.

My overall rating for the first movie was about a 3, but my love for these books is what made me hopeful for the next movie.

Now, Catching Fire.

For an adaptation, I was extremely happy with this movie! I absolutely loved it! J. Lawrence really has become a great actress, connecting to her emotions as the character. She really had me sold on so many scenes that I actually cried in the theater! Definitely an amazing performance leaving me with goosebumps!  There was one scene where Katniss, JLaw, has a mini break after someone comes back from being unconscious, and she is literally shaking through the entire scene! I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house! Don’t get me wrong, all of the actors of the movie were beautifully cast, but she stole the show, as it should be for any main character.

The fight scenes and setting were beautifully done, all of the “future technology” aspects seemed realistic. CGI really didn’t take a toll on the movie like a lot of fantasy/sci-fi genre movies do. Costumes, make up, the whole nine yards was perfect for this tribute (pun intended), especially the dresses Katniss wore for the beginning of the game! Perfectly designed to match the book!

Catching Fire was a fantastic movie and a great adaptation. There were a few things left out, and I wish they would’ve played up certain aspects a bit more, but a movie can only be so long! I would give the movie a 4 – 4.5! A must see!