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Monday, October 22, 2012

Great character development

Safe with Jason Statham Luke used to be a cop until he discovered the corruption around him. He left the force to pursue cagefighting. But then a fixed fight went horribly wrong landing his opponent in ICU. Luke became a marked man. He rushed home to whisk his wife away, but the Russian mob got to her first. They warned him that anyone he talked to were also marked. Depressed, he contemplates suicide on the edge of the subway until he sees a scared little girl out of the corner of his eye. Mei has a knack for numbers. She is discovered by the Triads and used to memorize a code. The Russian mob tries to kidnap her but Mei manages to escape everyone and tries to disappear into the subway. Safe has a great storyline with good twists and well developed characters. I think they did an especially good job of showing the contrast between how Luke interacted with the dirty cops and mobsters and how he interacted with Mei.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Less than I expected

Chronicle Andrew’s mom is sick. His dad was a firefighter, now he’s a drunk. Andrew is considered a bit of a geek at school which is compounded when he decides to carry a video camera everywhere and film everything. His cousin Matt talks him into going to a rave. Then Matt and his friend Steve stumble on a strange hole. They talk Andrew into filming as they explore the hole, cave and what it contains. What is in the cave can’t be explained, yet gives them strange powers and brings out their dark side. Most of the movie is filmed from Andrew’s viewpoint—literally—as though he is filming the movie himself. As a result the story is raw and gritty. This filming style is not my taste and I found it rather boring. However, it is a pretty good illustration of the pent up anger kids can have if they face verbal and/or physical abuse at home and/or school. Especially if no one takes the time or energy to truly care.

I wasn't expecting it to be so good

Man on a Ledge A police psychologist is called on to talk a jumped down off the ledge of a hotel building. She doesn’t want to do it as she is drinking away the memory of a failed case. Curiously, the would-be-jumper has asked for her by name. Nick Cassidy was a cop until he was accused of a robbery. During his time behind bars he formulated an elaborate plan to clear his name. This plan includes a risky scheme to steal the attention of all New York while he stands precariously on the ledge of a hotel building while his brother sneaks around behind everyone’s back. This movie has some great twists, great acting, and a great storyline. I thoroughly enjoyed it and highly recommend it.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

An "anti-princess"

Brave Fairytales are traditional and nobody messes with tradition, right? Price Charming wins the hand of the fair princess and they live happily ever after. But Merida is a tomboy at heart with red unruly hair who loves riding horseback through the woods mastering an archery course. And the princes from the neighboring clans are far from charming. So of course Merida seeks out a spell to change tradition and of course the spell goes all wrong. In the end, the real question isn’t will they live happily ever after but who will learn from the experience. I am so glad Disney has created another “anti-princess” like Mulan. Not all girls have to love pink and fancy dresses. Some can wield swords or bows and fight for what’s right. There are a couple intense scenes that some may be sensitive too.

A good action movie with a romantic subplot

Killer Elite Assassins. Hired Killers. Some live on the rush. But Danny and Hunter were tired. They saw killing as just a job, not an identity, and they were ready for a career change. Unfortunately the man in charge wasn’t accepting their resignation—at least not until they did one more job. What they discovered wasn’t one last assignment, but a suicide mission. High-risk, high-profile, low success. There are a lot more people and organizations involved than they originally thought—organizations that aren’t supposed to exist. I enjoyed this movie and would recommend it to others, though some may not care for the romantic subplot. (No, Statham and DeNiro do not get together).