Mini Reviews continue after that short break

Sorry about the long pause there, been busy outside of the internet, and on the internet. Lately I’ve been playing a lot of League Of Legends and DC Universe Online. Both of which are pretty good. Here is a few movies I’ve watched lately, one is funny, one is awesome and the other is just a paradox of misgivings.

These movies are 21 Jump Street, The Raid: Redemption, and Immortals.

21JumpstreetRaidImmortals

Posters for 21 Jump Street, The Raid: Redemption and Immortals

21 Jump Street

I was hesitant at first when hearing about how serious the show was compared to how the movie was being treated. Then after watching Brad Jones’ (found at thecinemasnob.com) review video on it, and the news of a previous iteration being shot down by Johnny Depp himself for not being funny, I figured to try it out anyway. As I am new to the continuum that is 21 Jump Street, I found it enjoyable, Hill and Tatum are a good match up, and seeing James Franco’s younger brother Dave was an interesting happenstance. The humor is definitely for older teens and Adults, as some of it is intentional sexual humor and drug content.

The movie itself at times is not taking itself seriously, which is good, because if it did, it probably would’ve been worse. There were times in the movie, where you would think a big action sequence would have a lot of explosions, as any hollywood movie usually is, you get 1, and only 1 in that particular sequence, and while it was likely to happen, all the other times the characters thought an explosion would happen (as in a hollywood movie it usually does), doesn’t. Which is likely due to the reality that the film brings with its action scenes. No overdrawn out dialogue moments with the bad guys, no implausible action scenes, and up to date, comedy.

Seeing Peter DeLuise  and Johnny Depp appear as the previous guys from Jump Street was a nice touch, although you can tell that Depp got his way in terms of his scene. As you may have heard, he had previously stated that he would only do a movie based on the series if it was a comedy and that his character (spoiler) would die. So yes, he did get his way. Apparently Johnny did not enjoy his time on set of the show. The movie is definitely worth your time if you’re new to the series or just didn’t want a serious movie out of it. Those of you who loved the series as it was, may not enjoy this movie, as it is a satire or almost blatant spoof on the series. I enjoyed myself, and would recommend it to those who want a good laugh who don’t mind the sexual and drug related humor.

The Raid: Redemption

What can I say, but a superb action flick with excellent fight choreography. No wire effects, not a ton of dialogue, just white knuckled, bullet grazing, hair-trigger action that is well paced and pretty close to realism as it gets. I do warn you though, if you do not enjoy foreign language films with subtitles, you might not enjoy this as much. The subtitles are quick, so you will have to be a fast reader to understand what’s going on. I don’t recommend for children, just due to the language and hardcore violence. This is definitely a movie for Teens and Adults who enjoy nothing but pure, uncensored action and a story that has elements that we’ve seen before, are put into a good mix and make the film great to watch. Another movie in which I watched Brad Jones’ review first, and saw the Rotten Tomatoes high rating and wanted to see.

Now the music, well suited for the movie and the collaboration between Joseph Trapanese and Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park. The music almost feels as if it’s a combination of Shinoda’s work with Linkin Park and that of Hans Zimmer’s work on the Chris Nolan Batman movies. That’s how good it is, and the movie doesn’t rely heavily on it, as the music is somewhat muted and sometimes has small gaps of very light tones, to let the movie’s own sound and ambiance flow through.

I don’t want to reveal too much about the movie, so I’ll give you a short synopsis that won’t tell too much. Basically a young police officer and his team of SWAT are sent into an apartment building to capture the local mob boss held up in it. The building is maintained as if it’s a fortress with lots of body guards, guns, other weapons to ensure no stranger is left alive. So a very daunting task to say the least.

I recommend this movie to anyone who loves action movies and martial arts films. This is something you should see, it is a limited release but AMC Theatres and the production company are expanding it, so if you have the chance to see it in theatres do so!

Immortals

(Warning, lots of spoilers and grievance ahead).

This movie I was interested in seeing as I enjoyed the production work on 300. However, while the visuals are beautiful, makeup, action, and choreography all fit the style of the movie, the writing and characters within are very 2 dimensional. This film had so much potential to be good, but I’m sorry to say, with the few A list actors in it, the movie fell short in my opinion. I am behind making changes of a story to make it seem more historical and make it somewhat realistic, but its hard to do such things with Mythos. With Greek Mythology, Theseus, the hero is known famously for slaying the Minotaur.

In this, the minotaur isn’t even mentioned by that name, but rather “The beast” and it was just a man in a hand-made bull head mask, which is fine if he’s the final boss of a game or a tournament, but in this movie he’s a small voice in a chorus. Granted he was pretty strong and had a lot of endurance, he is (spoiler) killed off rather soon in the movie, but I guess it was because of Mickey Rourke being the primary villain in the movie. A lot of what happens in the movie with the common man, Theseus and Hyperion, is done very well, especially Rourke’s portrayal of the homicidal King. John Hurt as Zeus’ human self fits the role of narrator and wise man. Stephen Dorff comes out of the woodwork as a supporting actor, and he plays his role perfectly, jovial, sarcastic, and very much like a guy you’d find at a bar eye-ing the beautiful women in the room. His character doesn’t give him much to explore, but he goes with it and makes the character a nice highlight in the movie. The actors at least did their jobs in the respect that they make you believe they are that character. It’s just the writing and story are very thin and diluted.

I can see why the movie’s title is called Immortals, because it has a double meaning, Hyperion was looking for a way to be remembered for all time by being the one who killed the gods and being the most important man in earth’s history, and Theseus being taught that being immortal is being remembered for their deeds, and not glory or simply winning. In terms of the greek gods and goddess, this is where the movie loses me. We are presented with Zeus, the all-powerful ruler of mount Olympus. No lightning, bad sign. Athena, goddess of Wisdom (Or lack there of in this flick), Zeus’s Daughter… (You maybe thinking right now “Wait, What?”) Yes, you heard me right, his daughter.

I was always taught that the Mythos kinda went Zeus is her brother, not father. Yes, all the other gods in this movie are referenced as Zeus’ children, and only one of them is called by a name, Athena. The others we can only assume are who they are based on their weapons and child-like versions of their normal personalities. Poseidon is in this movie, but we don’t know he is for sure, except for the fact he wields a trident. In terms of their fighting abilities, sure they’re badass, but we only see them fight three times, and even then one of which is Zeus punishing one of his own children using a fire-laden chain. The other is against the titans, and they are all the same design, just very dark, almost orc-like creatures that slay people.

What annoys me is the fact the movie completely disregards the titans as being the previous generation of gods to that of Zeus and the others, and just makes them mindless killing machines. I am a fan of mythology, and while I am open to new interpretations on these stories, I kinda wish they would’ve at least followed the stories somewhat and not just pull elements out of a few stories and just shove things in. Like the love story between Theseus and the oracle, this would’ve been something completely different, and it felt forced. I can understand if the supposed sequel that the movie was leading us into doesn’t happen, because unless they find a better writing team, it won’t go anywhere.

Dialogue, some makes sense, some make you wonder if the extras go “Wait, why are we doing this again?” In one scene we see Henry Cavil (Theseus) try to rally the remaining troops to fight Hyperion’s army, in a sequence that they tried to replicate from 300. However, part way through the speech, he kinda loses me. In the beginning of the speech, it goes well and then at the mid-point where he’s supposed to reinforce his position and make people want to fight, its like, “Huh?” This movie is just something to rent with friends and put on in the background of a party and not meant to be taken seriously. For me this is like 2 movies shoved together, one could have been over-the-top in the mythos and been more like the Clash Of The Titans movies of yesteryear. The other a character driven, somewhat historical and realistic piece that would make us think that these stories could have happened. The gods could have been an elite group of people who were basically untouchable and merely referred to as gods among men.

I’m not mad at the movie, just annoyed and dismayed at how wasted of potential it was. So I’ll move on and watch something else, hopefully I’ll have that Ghost Rider 2 review up, as I have not yet seen it and will do so, somehow. I’ll keep you posted, follow my Twitter feed for details.

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