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Noah (2014)

Noah Russell PosterNoah (2014)
Rated M
Starring Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Anthony Hopkins, Emma Watson
Directed by Darren Aronofsky

It’s pretty amazing that a movie like Noah even exists. A big budget retelling of a Bible story with big name actors and a special effects budget that would make a film student drool, directed by a guy best known for his quirky, arty films. Surely this is going to be a disaster. The Bible crowd will either love it or hate it and it’s going to be a tough sell to get anyone else even interested.

As an epic fantasy movie with Biblical allusions, Noah is a great film. As a Biblically faithful account of the life of Noah… Well it makes a good fantasy movie.

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47 Ronin (2013)

47 Ronin Movie Poster47 Ronin

Rated M

Starring Keanu Reeves

47 Ronin is the classic Japanese folk story of 47 samurai who are on a mission to seek revenge and restore the honour of their fallen lord… and some random white guy fighting CGI monsters. Somehow Keanu Reeves has got himself involved in this Westernised version of an Eastern story. Now, while I enjoyed this movie and thought it was a good way to spend a couple of hours in a cinema, it never quite manages to overcome to fact that there are two movies here trying to squish themselves into a space reserved for one.

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Coming Soon: Noah

Noah-PosterWhen I first heard that there was a movie being made about Noah ( the guy with the big boat in Genesis) my thoughts were some what apathetic and dismissive. My past experiences with the Bible being adapted for either the big or small screen have left me unsatisfied. They seem to fall into one of two camps: really faithful but dull or thought-provoking and engaging but theologically suspect. Sure, that’s my opinion – there are some adaptations that are well loved but do nothing for me. I’m a visual guy and would love to be able to see God’s word on the screen – but it has to be worth the effort.

Then the trailer for Noah came out last week. And i moved from apathy to cautious optimism. Could this movie be worth seeing?

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Thor: The Dark World (2013)

thor_the_dark_world_ver2Thor: The Dark World

Rated M

Starring Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Christopher Eccleston

Yeah, I was going to go see this. Never any doubt. I can count on one hand the Marvel movies I haven’t seen in the cinema (I’ll let you guess in the comments which ones they are). But how high were my expectations for Thor: The Dark World? To be honest, not very high. While I enjoyed the initial Thor outing, I thought it was a bit under-done and needed more time to develop its story. And while I love Christopher Eccleston, he didn’t exactly set the world on fire playing the bad guy in G.I.Joe. On top of that, I had successfully managed to avoid seeing a single trailer for this movie, which is a pretty big achievement these days. So I’m sitting in the cinema, very little idea what to expect, just a small flickering flame of hope in my belly. Enough already Joel – tell us what you thought!

I loved it.

I know I probably say this after every Marvel movie, but Thor: The Dark World has got to be one of my favourites so far. The special effects are grand, the action epic, and the dialogue witty. What more can you ask?

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Captain Phillips (2013)

captain-phillips-international-posterCaptain Phillips
Rated M
Starring Tom Hanks

When I think of pirates I either think of someone downloading the latest episode of Game of Thrones or Johnny Depp prancing around with a sword. So when I watch the news and hear stories of Somali pirates, my brain gets a little bit confused. It’s hard to believe that in the 21st century pirates are still a problem. But these pirates aren’t colourful vagabonds or digital thieves. They are dangerous men born out of desperation and violence. In Captain Phillips, when warned of pirates in the area, they don’t prepare for a revival of Pirates of Penzance. They are scared for their lives. And they have every right to be. Because Captain Phillips is the true story of a merchant ship that is boarded by pirates. And the reality of this situation makes this one of the most gripping thrillers I’ve seen.

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Jobs (2013)

jobsJobs (2013)
Rated M
Starring Ashton Kutcher

Maybe you’ve heard of this Steve Jobs guy. One of the founders of Apple Computers. There’s a good chance that you might be reading this review on a device that Steve Jobs had a hand in developing – just like I’m writing this on my Apple produced iPad. Some consider him one of the most influential people of our modern age. Whenever this man got up to speak, whenever he was ready to launch a new product, people listened. Crowds would gather to hear him talk about the new iPhone or iPod. He’d have the audience hanging on his every word and leave them with them giving him a standing ovation.

When he passed away in 2011, he left many people wondering what would happen to Apple without its charismatic front man. The Internet was flooded with words of tribute for this man, of how much he meant to people. But another question was lurking under the surface – what was Steve Jobs really like?

Jobs is the first of the Steve Jobs bio-pics to hit the cinema screen (there’s another one on its way written by Aaron Sorkin, the writer of West Wing and The Social Network). With Ashton Kutcher donning the iconic jeans and black shirt, this film attempts to show us the man behind the Apple logo. However, it feels like the creators of this movie don’t know the answer either – they can’t make up their minds if he’s a visionary creator or a jerk. And it’s this ambiguity that is the downfall of this film.

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The Wolverine (2013)

the-wolverine-posterThe Wolverine

Rated M

Starring Hugh Jackman

 

In case you missed the memo that comic book movies were big at the moment, Hugh Jackman returns to the screen as the hairy, bare-chested mutant with the metal claws – Wolverine. This is Jackman’s 5th time on the movie screen playing Wolverine, 6th if you include his cameo in X-Men: First Class (7th if you imagine that Jean Valjean in Les Miserables is actually Wolverine slumming it in 19th century France like I do). And to be honest, I hated X-Men: The Last Stand and Wolverine: Origins. HATED. But I wanted to give this new Wolverine movie a shot. By setting the movie in Japan and downplaying Wolverine’s healing factor, it certainly got my interest raised.

My verdict? I enjoyed The Wolverine. It almost got me to forgive the makers of these films for those last two stinkers. Almost.

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