Monday, January 27, 2014

Captain Phillips

Let’s begin this blog with the words “outstanding and excellent”!!  Have no doubt, this movie hits the mark for one that will make you sit on the edge of the seat the entire time.  Based on the true story of Captain Richard Phillips and his crew (of the American cargo ship, Maersk Alabama, who were held hostage by a small band of Somalia pirates on the Indian Ocean in 2009). The story is deeper than just a hijacking though.  The crew is in hiding while the Captain tries to talk the pirates into just taking their money and leaving.  The head of the pirates knows they are hiding and wants to find them. This is where the movie takes a turn – the crew kidnaps the leader while the pirates hold the captain hostage.  It’s a standoff.  The pirates want the money and will give back their captain for the release of their captain.  As it turns out – Captain Phillips is pushed into the life raft which is used for their escape.  The Navy SEALs are alerted and the race is on to save the captain before they kill him.  Stuck in the life raft – 4 pirates and 1 captain must come to some kind of understanding before they are all lost.   What I enjoyed about this film is the outstanding acting done by Tom Hanks who plays Captain Phillips and first time actor, Barkhad Abdi who plays the pirate leader, Abduwali Muse.  It gives you a lot to think about as you watch young men turn to a life of crime to survive and the bravery of the captain and his crew and our Navy who saved his life.  I can’t say enough about this film and one that’s not to be missed!!


Captain Phillips

Captain Phillips was one of the best movies I've seen in a LONG time!  And being based on a true story just makes it that much more powerful.  When I think of "pirates" I usually think of peg legs and eye patches and Jack Sparrow - this one was not a fairy tale!  All of the actors were great and made the entire experience feel so REAL to me.  I thought Tom Hanks really brought the role of Captain Phillips to life and Barkhad Abdi as Muse made me want to understand why the pirates were doing what they were doing.  You could tell that Phillips wanted to understand, too.  They don't have many options and that's why they do it.  That's what they know to get by - being a pirate and overtaking ships.  Whether it's right or not, that's their way of life, even though you could tell they weren't all comfortable with doing so.  It felt strange seeing Tom Hanks being the victim and getting roughed up and being in such a submissive role, but he never lost his cool and was able to keep calm and thinking clearly through the whole ordeal.  It was intense and it was action-packed without overdoing it.  This film was over 2 hours long, but there wasn't much I would cut from it, either - the opposite of a lot of movies lately!  I'm sure I'll be watching it again.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Runner Runner

This movie wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great, either.  Ben Affleck felt like the only thing that really “saved” this one for me.  He was good overall, and Justin Timberlake was, well, Justin Timberlake.  The story goes that Justin’s character is gambling online with his tuition money and loses – big.  After learning that he was cheated, what’s he do?  Heads to Costa Rica to confront the website owner, of course!  Really?  Yes, he does.  He then ends up working for the man and gets to see a whole new side to everything – and tries to keep from becoming as dark and twisted as the world he’s found himself in, along with not landing in jail or getting himself killed.  It has everything a movie like this is “supposed” to have – twists and turns, lies, cheats, FBI agents, sexy women, people that are always one step ahead of everything, etc, etc…  It just never felt that “real” to me – no connection at all.  It was fine for some entertainment, but definitely nothing to get too excited about unless you’re a big Ben Affleck or Justin Timberlake fan.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Lone Survivor

I just saw this movie in the theaters and there are no words to really express what a powerful, emotional, brutal, raw and heartbreaking film this is!  If you don’t know about it – it’s the story of the failed 2005 mission in Afghanistan of four Navy SEALS whose mission it was to find and capture a Taliban leader.  Things go horribly wrong when goat herders cross their paths and they have to choose what to do with them.  Also, the radio contacts with the base failed and they were left alone to face the Taliban by themselves.  As the title suggests, only one of them makes it out alive, barely, and that was Leading Petty Officer Marcus Luttrell.  This is his story of the fight for their lives and the death of his fellow SEAL mates and friends.  This movie is larger than life on the big screen and you witness the most extreme brutalness of the rugged country in which they were fighting in and what they endured.  It is heartbreaking to see the deaths of his fellow friends, Michael Murphy, Danny Dietz and Matt “Axe” Axelson.  As this movie ended, not one person in the theater said anything- there was just a revered silence for the men who lost their lives serving their country.  I believe this is an important film to see for what it stands for.  For more detailed information, you can also read the book with the same title. 

Monday, January 6, 2014

Despicable Me 2

I watched the first Despicable Me film and liked it a lot.  I’m usually pretty disappointed with sequels, but not this one!  It was great!  Gru is back along with his little girls and all of his Minion helpers.  He’s not trying to steal the moon this time, but after joining with the AVL (Anti-Villain League), he’s trying to defeat a powerful new super criminal named El Macho who has the power to take over and conquer the world with his mutating potions!  The girls are just adorable and the Minions are hilarious, along with all kinds of little things always going on in the background and little “jokes” not everyone might get, but they are really funny when they click for you.  Gru even has a love interest!  Who would have ever thought that after meeting him in the first movie?  This was just a fun, all-around enjoyable movie, especially if you like animation.