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Snowpiercer

Snowpiercer

(2013)
56 minutes ago via Rotten Tomatoes

What a beautiful South Korean science fiction action film based on the French graphic novel Le Transperceneige by Jacques Lob, Benjamin Legrand and Jean-Marc Rochette. Directed by Bong Joon-ho, and written by Bong and Kelly Masterson it was enjoyable, exciting and made me think regardless the shallowness in some instances and the unexplored possibilities this story offered. The film marks Bong's English-language debut; approximately 80% of the film was shot in English, and if you ask me, he did a really good job! Same goes for the film stars Chris Evans, Song Kang-ho, Go Ah-sung, Jamie Bell, Ewen Bremner, John Hurt, Tilda Swinton, Octavia Spencer, and Ed Harris.

Very unique story happens in the near future, where an experiment to counteract global warming causes an ice age that kills nearly all life on Earth. The only survivors are the inhabitants of the 'Snowpiercer', a massive train, powered by a perpetual-motion engine that travels on a globe-spanning track. A class system is installed, with the elites inhabiting the front of the train and poor inhabiting the tail. Watching this you are aware that something like this is actually possible, and the film engages you to think of those possibilities... especially when seventeen years later, in the year 2031, the tail inhabitants prepare for the latest in a series of rebellions. Guards arrive periodically to deliver protein blocks for food, and take some of the children. During the guards' next visit, Curtis leads the tail inhabitants in revolt, forcing their way through several train cars to the prison section. There, they release prisoner Namgoong Minsu, the man who built the doors dividing each car, and his daughter Yona. They offer him Kronal (actually industrial waste), an addictive drug, as payment for unlocking the doors...

I am so glad that in late 2004, Bong visited his regular comic book shop in Hongdae area, Seoul ... because if that didn't happened he would not noticed Jean-Marc Rochette's French graphic novel series Le Transperceneige! Bong finished reading the entire series while standing in front of the bookshelf, where he found it. Of course, at that moment he was fascinated by ideas of people struggling on the train for survival, and every cabin is classified in social stratification that he could not wait to show the series to his friend, fellow director Park Chan-wook, who loved it as well. In 2005, Park's production company Moho Films secured the screen rights to the series for Bong... and that is how we got this piece of futuristic art. The soundtrack was perfectly matched to the movie, and Marco Beltrami, who has worked on the likes of The Hurt Locker and The Woman in Black, managed to get the right ambient.
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Don't miss this one!

Thor: The Dark World

Thor: The Dark World

(2013)
1 day ago via Rotten Tomatoes

I watched the first movie and I didn't like it... I gave it 50% and I could not understand why I would even give it a go for a sequel! Thor in the first movie was a brain dead arrogant muscle guy who could not solve any given problem which requires intelligence involved, and I could not stand it. I am glad that, after a long delay, I sat down to finally watch Thor : The Dark World, a sequel to 2011's Thor and the eighth instalment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The film is directed by Alan Taylor, with a screenplay by Christopher Yost, Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely. This was completely different movie from the first one! It stars Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Anthony Hopkins, Stellan Skarsgård, Idris Elba, Christopher Eccleston, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Kat Dennings, Ray Stevenson, Zachary Levi, Tadanobu Asano, Jaimie Alexander, and Rene Russo. All of them did their job satisfactory under the solid directing of Alan Taylor.

In this story Thor must team up with Loki to save the Nine Realms from the Dark Elves led by Malekith, who is out for revenge and intends to plunge the universe into darkness. I have to say that I liked most of it! I didn't watch it in 3D, because I knew it that it was converted to 3D in post-production, and I don't think that would change my impression of the movie.

With the new team the franchise was revived! In this movie we have action, otherworldly grandiosity, romance, humour-above and beyond its predecessor's! Of course, there is always a lot to improve if we are picky enough, but I chose not to this time... because I enjoyed it!

The Bag Man

The Bag Man

(2014)
1 day ago via Rotten Tomatoes

This Bahamas/US action crime thriller directed by David Grovic is based on an original screenplay by James Russo and a rewrite by David Grovic and Paul Conway. They took their inspiration of The Cat: A Tale of Feminine Redemption by Marie-Louise von Franz, and the stars in the film are Dominic Purcell, John Cusack, Crispin Glover, and Robert De Niro.

The film has surprisingly negative reviews... but the story of Jack (John Cusack) was engaging, interesting and slow paced to enhance the nihilistic approach to life of the main character who lost a person he loved. I am not so sure about the character of Dragna (Robert De Niro) though! From the ridiculous name which is a mix of a male and female Slavic background name, it was difficult to take this boss seriously! Over the course of a long and violently eventful night awaiting Dragna's arrival, Jack's path crosses that of Rivka (Rebecca Da Costa), outstanding in this film, showing amazing ability to adapt quickly to different situations naturally and with ease!

It is a typical DVD movie to be enjoyed on a smaller screen with people who enjoy thrillers around you! But, after watching it, you will simply say... what's next? No high profile roles, no outstanding screenplay, nothing to remember the director for... simple one time watching movie!

The Book of Esther

The Book of Esther

(2013)
4 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes

As a Historian of Art and Archaeologist who had a special interest in Bible Archaeology, I really wanted to see what the end result of this movie is. The Book of Esther is a book in the Ketuvim ("writings"), the third section of the Jewish Tanakh (the Hebrew Bible) and is part of the Christian Old Testament. It tells the story of a Jewish girl named Hadassah and Esther. Esther became queen of Persia and thwarted a plan to commit genocide against her people. Inspiring story, definitely, and I was expecting an inspiring film, as well.

[img]http://images.static-bluray.com/movies/covers/66351_large.jpg[/img]

What I got was a B-grade Biblical movie with no zeal, no chemistry, bad acting, screenplay which had no inspiration or feel for a good dialogue and a directing by David A. R. White which reminded me on school plays for Christmas! If I have to look for a positive thing in this movie, I could find few minor things, and the only reason I stayed until the end is the actual background story - I wanted to see how much spirit this film crew can take out of it! I admit I was angry. Jen Lilley was Queen Esther and even when she tried the hardest that wasn't enough to be convincible. Joel Smallbone as King Xerxes was pathetic, and Thaao Penghlis as Haman reminded me on 1940's with his style of acting. The only brighter star was Robert Miano as Mordecai but do not get carried away - just enough to be mentioned as an actor. Why cannot those religious zealots find real professionals who can make an inspirational movie with passion and love... like they do not know those words at all?! It seems that the highest passion in real life of the actors appearing in this movie was to fake an orgasm, because they seemed incapable of anything close to the real thing.

If you want to watch a movie which can be described with one word - lame, you found a perfect choice!

Sparks

Sparks

(2014)
6 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes

This old fashioned classic pulp action super hero movie was directed by Todd Burrows and Christopher Folino and they leave no stone unturned in their ode to classic forties comic books. We have characters that smoke big time, masked heroes that used their fists and fell for dames while fighting crime, hard boiled cops, and the like!

Well, it was entertaining but flawed as well. The cast is the strongest part of the movie, especially Chase Williamson who gives a very strong performance as Ian Sparks, a young boy who lost his parents to a car wreck that occurred during a high speed getaway by some criminals. The story explains us that during the crash, a top secret chemical named "Red G" doused Ian, allowing him to live, and gave him remarkable powers of regeneration and near immortality. When we are mentioning a brilliant performances we cannot forget Lady Heavenly. Played by Ashley Bell of "The Last Exorcism". She managed to embody the role of Lady Heavenly while providing a very empathetic and charming portrayal as a heroine torn between her duties and her love for Sparks.

The mystery and most of the twists very difficult to follow, and probably you will have a tough time figuring out most of what was happening, until the finale. It wasn't a bad watch, especially since it garners a great supporting performance from Clancy Brown. "Sparks" is a very original and unique spin on the superhero film, and I highly suggest it for fans of figures like "The Spirit," and "Green Hornet."

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