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Underworld: Awakening (2012)

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Underworld: Awakening






4/10





Starring:
Kate Beckinsale
Sandrine Holt
Theo James
Michael Ealy
India Eisley
Stephen Rea


Directed by: Måns Mårlind

Distributed by: Screen Gems






Prior to watching this flick, i had made up my mind that this is going to be a fully loaded action packed movie. While the movie didn’t fall short of all the action scenes, fights and stunts it did fall short with the purpose of it all, what some people call script.

As all franchise goes, studios have a saying "we aint gonna stop milking it, till all the milk is gone" (this is just me talking). Kate probably needed the money, maybe Contraband with Mark Wahlberg didn't pay the bills because all i saw was a serious looking lady walking up and down town, jumping here and there looking for something or someone as she is led by flashes (memory flashes).

The thing that gets me is when you put the story together is just a lame excuse to further leave opening to future installments. Based on a conspiracy (like all movies like this are), awakening tells the tale of the humans (us) coming to a realization of the existence of werewolves and vampires.

A purge was issued to purge the earth of these creatures and during the purge Kate was caught, imprisoned and frozen. 12 years later she escapes. She finds her daughter who is wanted by the Lycan... this is where i stop.

Underworld: Awakening is a 2012 horror movie and the fourth installment of the Underworld Series. Produced by Len Wiseman who has been with the series since its inception in 2003, and the movie has always starred his wife Kate Beckinsale as Selene a Vampire. It is the highest grossing of the underworld series and it was also a financial success of its own.

All the Underworld movies have not been able to score higher that 31% in Rotten Tomatoes all because the movie just don’t play to your intellect it is a movie you go watch and you make sure you leave your brain at home.

In this fourth installment the character portrayal by some of the other casts could use some work, but one thing i guaranty you is that the cinematography is excellent. The action scenes are bloody and enough stunts.

It was cool to see Selene's (Kate) daughter go postal, that i enjoyed.

The movie is made for the Underworld fans and will only appeal to them and the other viewers are not going to be having a good time watching a weak plot unfold.

The 13th Warrior (1999)

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The 13th Warrior






6/10





Starring:
Antonio Banderas
Diane Venora
Omar Sharif


Directed by John McTiernan


Distributed by Touchstone Pictures





Dark, gritty and enjoyably atmospheric.

Based on the novel Eaters of the Dead by Michael Crichton, 13th Warrior tells the tale of Ahmed Ibn Fahdlan, an arab ambassador as he travels to a faraway land on an errand for his king. Along the way, he encounters the men of the north - Pagan warriors who are enlisted by an oracle on a quest to save a kingdom from legendary mysterious creatures who consume every living thing in their path. Somehow, Ahmed is enlisted among them, becoming the titular 13th warrior.

The movie is arguably not as good as the book due to the fact the story was easier to follow in the book than on the screen, but the movie is one for the movie fanatics.

Crichton himself did some uncredited directing for a reshoot after Disney fired McTiernan.

John McTiernan who is known for his action films (Die Hard, Die Hard with a vengeance and Predator) made sure this movie will not be for the squeamish, as it preys on decapitation, blood and sword fighting.

The thing that jumps out at you while watching is the score. The music and sound effects capture the tone of the adventure and blends impressively with events.
The movie and production was so intense that two horses were injured during filming.

Antonio Banderas' performance in the movie dropped a little from the year before when he played Alejandro Murrieta/Zorro alongside Anthony Hopkins in the Steven Spielberg produced “Mask of Zorro” but kudos to the way he pulled his accent into play for the character and with the help of the script made his role stand out as an outsider among a bunch of ragtag north men warriors.

The movie also stars Omar Sharif from “Laurence of Arabia.”

With all the violence and blood that plagues the TV screen you would expect that the movie will be a commercial success, but it was not raking in far below 50% of its budget.


MEMORABLE QUOTE: Ahmed Ibn Fahdlan: Merciful Father, I have squandered my days with plans of many things. This was not among them. But at this moment, I beg only to live the next few minutes well. For all we ought to have thought, and have not thought; all we ought to have said, and have not said; all we ought to have done, and have said, and have not said; all we ought to have done, and have not done; I pray thee God for forgiveness.

The Big Year (2011)

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The Big Year





3/10





Starring:
Steve Martin
Owen Wilson
Jack Black

Directed by David Frankel


A movie cast of Steve Martin, Owen Wilson and Jack Black, may seem like a sure thing for a laugh and a sure cool comedy for the weekend, but I have to disappoint you, not even a smile can be gotten from this. The movie just keeps on dragging and still not breaking a comedic sweat at all.

These three comedians were tied down to a script that just didn’t break the ice when it comes to A – Movies, if this movie was a B – Movie it will have been better, because much will not be expected, but with a top class actors like this you expect nothing more than laughs all around, but what you get is laughs on a lack. Not only was this movie far from its ‘A’ class movie set, with a production cost of over $ 41 million. It was also a box office bomb, raking in nearly over $ 7.4 million.

Although the whole bird hunting scenery is quite captivating, the bird hunting thing itself was not. Directed by David Frankel, who directed ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ and ‘Marley and Me’, the movie is about a nonfiction book by Mark Obmascik and it refers to the annual bird – watching or “birding” as the movie calls it.

Lacking in fun, what will keep you watching till the end is to find out who will win the big year, between Stu (Steve Martin), a C.E.O. on the verge of retirement; Kenny (Owen Wilson), the reigning world record holder for bird sitting who is willing to risk everything even his marriage to defend his world record; and Brad (Jack Black), an office attendant whose obsession sparks conflict with his father.

The movie does have nice sights as you follow the bird siting, you get to see nice views, if for one thing the movie boast of that.
I don’t know if such games really exist where people go bird siting and you take down the birds that you have seen, and the person with the most wins, because to me to cheat is just so easy but again is my opinion. Big Year holds currently holds a 39% approval rating from critics in Rotten Tomatoes.

Well the movie has nothing to offer, but an hour of yawning, all three characters are woven around family, deceit, love and sacrifice but what it teaches you can be learnt in a good Sunday school class, so don’t bother watching go to church instead.

We Bought A Zoo (2011)

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We Bought a Zoo







5/10




Starring:
Matt Damon
Scarlett Johansson
Thomas Haden Church
Patrick Fugit
Colin Ford
Elle Fanning

Directed by Cameron Crowe

Distributed by 20th Century Fox



Directed by Cameron Crowe, this comedy drama family movie has all the fun needed to be a family movie but lacks the chunks that will make it a must watch.

Based on a book by Benjamin Mee, who, mind you is British and the whole thing happened in England. Although the story is set in England the movie got Americanized with the help of an all American cast and set.
That wasn't all that was changed, Benjamin's wife died after they bought the zoo not before (so the love story in the movie is just a Hollywood thing), and the kids were much younger.

Not that “We bought a zoo” was bad, it was just not that fascinating. The story is as simple as they come, man buys a zoo and he and a family made it home.

Matt Damon may be able to fool you as a concerned father of two, but Scarlet Johansson couldn’t fool me, how am I supposed to believe that this cute thing likes to get in the dirt with the animals?

Thomas Haden Church (Sandman in Spiderman3), pulled off a nice job playing Benjamin Mee’s brother Duncan, who tried to urge his younger brother to move on after the death of his wife. After much persuasion he did, the adventure seeker saddled on his car and drove around with a realtor till he came across a large field with a big house which happens to be a zoo and he bought it and moved his family there.

Along with him for the ride on this adventure is Rosie Mee his 7 year old daughter and 14 year old moody and annoying son Dylan. Benjamin is a 6 month old widower, who quit his job because everyone seems to pity him.

Hell! His boss begged him not to quit, but to be laid off instead so he can get gratuity.

But he quit and did as above bought a zoo, but it all kinda back fired, his son still was a mess and his life wasn’t getting any better, till the end when they all lived happily ever after (It’s a family movie).

Cameron Crowe, who directed, wrote and produced the academy award duo of JerryMaguire and Almost Famous, was the architect of this movie as he was both writer and director, he did well in the casting (well the casting crew did well) of Matt Damon as Benjamin Mee, as it was the best thing that happened in the movie.

War Horse (2011)

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War Horse (2011)







6/10




Starring:
Jeremy Irvine
Emily Watson
Peter Mullan
David Thewlis
Benedict Cumberbatch

Directed by Steven Spielberg

Distributed by Touchstone Pictures



I have seen many cool movies and War Horse is one but as for interest and fun while watching that may be on the shaky side, as the movie kinda drags sometimes as you eagerly wait to see what’s next.

My opinion of this movie is that Spielberg may not have put his all into the movie, having to sit through 2 hrs 15 mins, you start to get bored after going half way, and then the interest starts again towards the end.

Based on a children’s book of the same name, War Horse has something that catches my attention which is the set.

The set, was so well detailed you will actually believe this is World War 1, the script too has to be given credit as we get to travel on both sides of the battle, feeling joy, pain, loss and tragedy.

The story is simple, in Devon (England) a young boy named Albert Narracott (Jeremy Irvine), befriends a horse named Joey. During the War in 1914, Albert's father, Ted (Peter Mullan), sells the animal to the cavalry.

What follows are series of fortunate and unfortunate events in which Joey sees the war from nearly every angle. He will gallop under the noble Captain Nicholls (Tom Hiddleston), haul artillery for the Germans, brighten the days of an orphaned French girl (Celine Buckens) and end up stranded between sides in No Man's Land.
Joey reflects the times and peoples that me met during his travels.

The movie is what you make of it but you have to be proud of the cinematography, it was a masterpiece if am allowed to say so, the camera angles and some of the shots were so well done you have to dip your hat in appreciation, it was done by Academy Award winner for best cinematographer in Schindler's List and Saving Private Ryan (also Spielberg films) Janusz Kamiński, who works with Spielberg on some of his greats including The Adventures of Tintin.

War Horse became a box office success earning over $ 170 million and was met with positive critical reviews from notable critics. It was also nominated for six Academy Awards including Best Picture. It also got two Golden Globe Awards and five BAFTAs nominations, winning known. War Horse won film of the year in 2011 from American Film Institute.

War horse is a drama true and true with all the perfection of Spielberg to make sure that you enjoy the fun of your sit through.