Saturday, March 29, 2014

Noah

I have been looking forward to seeing Noah for several months and finally saw it last night. After watching it, I felt like I had been duped. I thought the trailer looked good, and I assumed it would follow the story of Noah from the Bible. The movie should have started by saying "inspired by the account of Noah."  I came away feeling like the writers and/or director were secretly trying to irritate believers.

Let me first say I was totally expecting Hollywood to take artistic liberties with the story but not to the extent they did. I've frequently heard people complain when a movie is made about a book they loved and it doesn't follow the story-line like it should. I now know how they feel.

I knew I was in trouble at the beginning of the movie when it showed areas of the earth men had destroyed and left desolate with tree stumps and small pools of polluted water. Right then my Spidey senses suspected a blatant environmentalist message coming, and the writers did not disappoint. 

I understand many people go to the movies just for entertainment's sake, and there are people who don't believe in God and think the stories in the Bible are mere fairy tales. Some of these people might think Christian critics are overreacting to the movie or are too critical. Perhaps I am but, if you are a Christian and believe the story of Noah, here is a list of doctrinal inconsistencies from this movie that may surprise or possibly offend you.

Warning! Spoilers follow!!

1. Methuselah appears to be more of a wizard than a prophetic patriarch. He helps Noah get answers from God by putting him into a drug-induced state so he can see a vision.

2. There are giant rock "angels" who look like mineral Transformers in this movie. They move and sound like the Ents from "Lord of the Rings." Apparently, they were fallen Angels who God cursed, and they ended up helping Noah build the ark. Who knew?

3. Men are evil in this movie and need to be destroyed, not so much because they are wicked, disobey God, and reject his prophets but because they eat animals and no longer take care of the earth.

4. Noah's sons don't have wives in this movie, and there is only one young woman (an adopted daughter) who boards the ship with them.

5. The king of the wicked men, Tubal Cain, is a stowaway on the ark and is aided by Noah's son Ham and nearly overthrows Noah.

6. Noah turns into a crazed man who is determined to kill the newborn twins of his son while on the ark, since he believes God wants the human race wiped out. He intends to let the animals repopulate and then he is to make sure the human race is extinguished as his family members eventually die off.

7. There was a short montage about the creation that showed the evolution process with animals and life forms progressing. Surprisingly, they later mention Adam and Eve were created in the Creator's image, and we didn't have to see them evolve from monkeys.

8. While there is reference to a creator, God is never mentioned in the movie.

I like all the actors in this movie, there were good special effects, and I was really looking forward to seeing Noah, but I came away let down. If I had to sum up my disappointment for this movie I would do so with the phrase "rock transformers". If you are looking for a sci-fi fantasy movie with no preconceived notions, I would give it 7 stars. If you want an account of Noah from the Bible, then I would give it 4 stars.

Friday, March 21, 2014

3 Days to Kill

I recently saw 3 Days to Kill and I thought it was entertaining. The movie got off to a great start and had more potential than it finished with. I enjoyed most of the movie but there were several things that bothered me about it. I will list them each below along with the percentage of how much they distracted me. There were many things that bugged me but I have learn to cut any movie that Luc Beeson is associated with some slack and just try to enjoy it. That being said, here were the five big distractions for me.


1) The scarf (10%)- Kevin Costner was good in this role but what's up with wearing the stupid scarf for most of the movie? He's a CIA killing machine and he wears a poofy scarf? One of my favorite scenes was when he finally changed clothes into a suit and ditched the scarf.

2) The birth scene (10%)- The movie showed the world's most unrealistic birth scene I've ever seen. The lady giving birth appeared to be fully dressed during her delivery. Someone said "here it comes" and then within 5 seconds they hand a clean dry baby who was born without an umbilical cord to a family member to hold. I'm not pitching for bloody or graphic birth scenes, but please don't insult me with such a simplistic attempt.

3) Passing Out scenes (15%)- Kevin Costner's disease causes him to pass out at the most inconvenient time. Each time he is about to kill the bad guy he would fall down paralyzed. The first time it made sense, the second time I reluctantly allowed it. The third time I felt like I was being abused.

4) The sexy CIA boss (25%)- His superior is a cocky girl who looks like she's in her early 20's. She is played by Amber Heard and spends more time dressing up and changing outfits than she does working. Her "cool" act is just way too blatant and I had a hard time with her.

5) The Daughter (40%)- The girl who played his daughter really bugged me. I think I saw her in Ender's Game too. I'm sure she will be in a ton of movies in the future. I don't care how successful she may become but I am not a fan. She just bugs me. It was hard to care what happened to her.

I know I am picking this apart and being critical, but if you can overlook the five things mentioned above then you may really like this movie. There is still some good action and humor. I still liked it and give 3 Days to Kill 6.3 stars.

Monday, February 24, 2014

5 More Short Movie Reviews

In keeping with the neglectful tradition of sharing incomplete and incoherent movie reviews, here are the last five movies I've seen. I've kept it short since I know you are busy.

42- This was a good movie but I was hoping to enjoy it a little bit more. It seemed to end very abruptly in dramatic fashion but I was still waiting for more story. Oh Well. I give it 7.2 stars.

The Saratov Approach- This wasn't really trying to push a religious message like one might expect and it showed that Mormon missionaries are normal people too (especially when they get kidnapped.) 7.3 stars.

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit- I'm always up for any Jack Ryan sequel, prequel, reboot, or whatever this movie was, but it seemed too fake in many scenes. It still enjoyed it but it could have been much better. I especially enjoyed Kenneth Brannagh as the bad guy. I wanted to like this movie more and was really looking forward to it, but it only gets 6.8 stars.

All Is Lost- I liked Robert Redford in this even though it was a slow movie with no dialogue. It could have used a tiger or a volleyball as a supporting actor. This movie reinforced my fear of the ocean and reminded me of the song from Water Boy "Water sucks, it really really sucks". 6.9 stars.

Enders Game- I never read the book, so I don't know what to compare it to, but I would have enjoyed it more if it weren't all kids in the cast except for a few adults. I felt like a chaperone at a junior high dance while watching this. I was also expecting more from Ben Kingsley than a 5 minute cameo. I also wish Harrison Ford would have said "Don't get cocky kid" at some point in the movie but he didn't. I give it 6.6 stars.

Friday, January 17, 2014

The Hobbit- The Desolation of Smaug

Last month I saw the Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, aka: Hobbit part 2 and thought I'd share a few insights. Overall, I liked it but there were just a couple details that I had a hard time getting over.

1) When the Dwarves are escaping from the Elves and floating down the river in their OPEN barrels there is a point when one of the barrels comes out of the river and then proceeds to bounce around and take out at least 12 of the Orcs that are hunting them. It looked like footage from a pin ball machine game. That scene was a little bit too much. I know the entire movie is fantasy and fake but that is pushing it!


2) The other scene was when the Dwarves are in Smaug's lair and he is chasing them around and they conveniently start up the bellows and prior gold smithing production and they have tons liquid gold flowing within minutes and Thorin hops into a metal pan and maneuvers it like a canoe on the molten gold without it burning him up. When gold turns to liquid it is hot right? Metal conducts heat right? Oh well.

It's been over 35 years since I read The Hobbit, so I'm not sure if either of these two specifics were in the book but they both left a bad taste in my mouth. If you are going to spend millions of dollars to produce a movie, why mess it up with dumb details that impair the movie's credibility?

I was reminded of this problem the other night when I watched Benedict Cumberbatch pretending to play the violin in the BBC series Sherlock. It's so good on so many levels, then they throw in a horrible air-violin performance. Even with his back turned to the camera it was obviously fake. This is one of my movie pet peeves that swill never go away.

Anyway, the Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug was still better than most movies and I give it 8.0 stars despite my nitpicking.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Red Dawn


I recently saw the remake of Red Dawn on Amazon streaming and I am so grateful I didn't waste time or money to see it in the theater. This was by far the worst movie I have seen in years. It made the original 1984 version, which was only mediocre, look like a masterpiece.

I felt insulted as I watched this fake, hard to believe, and sloppy movie about North Koreans invading the US. The enemy parachutes into a small town and quickly take over with little resistance except for a handful of teenagers who manage to escape into the woods. They end up fighting against the invaders and eventually defeat them with the help of three marines who show up towards the end of the movie.

I am a proud American and don't mind patriotism, but this movie was just stupid and embarrassing. My intelligence was insulted and I am now even stupider than I was before for sitting through the whole thing.

I give it 3.5 stars just because I was relieved to find out that Subway Sandwiches will be going strong in the event of a communist invasion against our country.
 
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