Life of Pi

Starring: Suraji Sharma, Irfan Khan, Gerard Depardu, Tabu, Rafe Spall

Life of Pi could sometimes be frustratingly slow. Especially when it took a turn for the Tree of Life, with some existential moving bursts of lights in slow motion. However, no one can say it’s not a beautiful film, with spectacular visual effects and flawless CGI.

Ang Lee was able to adapt Life Of Pi into a movie that’s extremely accessible and easy to take in despite having serious spiritual themes.  In my opinion, sometimes spirituality, faith, and religion can be handled very carelessly in Hollywood. Most of the time believing in God is seen as a ridiculous joke, portrayed outlandish characters that throw God around as an excuse for their actions. Not ever religious person is like that and Life of Pi handled these themes delicately. It portrayed faith and spirituality for what it should be: a guide, a moral compass, hope for better days…

Held up by its two leads Suraj Sharma and Irrfan Khan, both playing the same character at different periods in time, Life of Pi combines remarkable acting despite complicated circumstances. This movie is a story about survival, and tolerance, and hope. It is not be as exciting as an action thriller, as bloody or gory as a horror movie, or have funny witty dialogue like a comedy. But what Life of Pi does is tell a fascinating story well.

This movie is absolutely gorgeous. Dare I say it blows Avatar’s visuals out of the water. Yeah, I said it.

 

Rating: 3 Stars

 

 

 

Red Dawn

Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Josh Peck, Josh Hutcherson, Adrianne Palicki, Isabel Lucas, Conner Cruise, Jeffery Dean Morgan, Will Yun Lee

My expectations for Red Dawn were…not high, to say the least. I went into the movie not expecting much. Or well, maybe an American version of  Tomorrow When The War Began (I know, I know Red Dawn is a remake). But the first thing I thought, once the movie was over was… “Well it could have been worse.”

When a gang of teenagers find their city is being invaded by foreigners, or in this case Chinese looking Koreans (we’ll get to that in a moment), they decide to take back their town…or whatever. Though it’s not an original premise, this movie could have been done in a fresh and new way paying homage to his predecessor. Instead, it contained shoddy acting, big gaping plot holes, and frankly 5 massively irritating questions:

1)      Why were the Koreans invading the U.S.?
2)      Yes the enemy soldiers dropping from the sky was cinematically beautiful, but where did they come from and how did they get there, and how did so many drop at once? And so slow? And in the middle of the day?
3)      Anyone else notice this movie was quick to get rid of (by killing or abandoning) all the minority characters? I mean I know this is pretty true of most movies today, but still it was BLATANLY OBVIOUS. That wasn’t really a question more of an observation, but it contained a question mark so don’t complain.
4)      Who’s bright idea was it to cast Josh Peck in this movie? The kid was irritating. In fact many of the kids were irritating.
5)      How did so many of the small group manage to kill so many of “the enemy”? And can one man really train all those kids that quickly (really, it was about 3 minutes of montage in the movie, that’s quick) to use guns, kill, trick, and make a stealthy get away? It’s one thing to shoot a gun and hit a target, it’s another to kill an actually human being while being shot at yourself.

The action scenes were great. Very well thought out for the most part and tension filled. But a movie has to be more than that. You can’t just blow up a bunch of stuff and hope the rest of the movie works itself out. Like that pesky thing called a plot. Also, you can’t turn one ethnicity into another ethnicity by renaming the characters, digitally changing the flag and calling it good. It’s insulting, and you know, racist. And while writing this, the movie actually just lost itself a half of point from when I started.

 

Rating: 2 Stars

 

 

 

 

 

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