Friday, August 15, 2014

The Expendables 3

My View: The Expendables 3 (2014) PG-13 Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone) adds to his band of mercenaries to take on co-founder of the Expendables, Conrad Stonebanks (Mel Gibson). Stonebanks has become a notorious arms dealer and is bent on wiping out Barney and his team.  If you liked the first two films of this series, I think you will be disappointed with this one. Stallone, who came up with the concept of the series and this storyline, has given too much screen time to the new cast members, most of which don’t have near the star power than the old-timers, Gibson, Arnold or Snipes. Also, this is the first film in the series to have a PG-13 rating (instead of an R), and the level of violence is so toned down that some of the battles could have been in a kid's film. The fun of this series is to see screen legends try to recapture their glory action days. Unfortunately, Stallone chose to give the new guys as much, if not more screen time, than the legends. My Rating: Cable  The Expendables 3 Website

My View: The Giver (2014) PG-13  In a world where there are no wars, conflict, racism or sickness, every member of society has a specific role. 16-year-old Jonas (Brenton Thwaites) has been given the job of being the Receiver of Memory.  Once again we have a Young Adult book that is so much better than the film. The lead, Thwaites isn’t bad, but much like the movie, is kind of bland and boring. Unlike The Hunger Games or Divergent, this film has almost no action and suffers for it. Jeff Bridges, who plays “The Giver,” is, as usual, superb, but even he can’t spice up this film. My Rating: Bargain Matinee  The Giver Website

Indiefest: What If  (2014) PG-13  Wallace (Daniel Radcliffe) hasn’t had much luck in love. He meets Chantry (Zoe Kazan), and they instantly become best friends. Too bad Chantry has a boyfriend as Wallace slowly realizes that she is the woman of his dreams. I loved this movie due to it’s great dialogue. The chemistry between Radcliffe and Kazan is impressive, and their bantering back and forth is what makes this film so much fun. The supporting cast is outstanding with Adam Driver as Wallace’s roommate / best friend and Mackenzie Davis as the crazy girlfriend adds a nice spice to the film. This is a romantic comedy that works, hitting all the right spots.    My Rating: Full Price  What If Website

Indiefest: Calvary (2014) R Father James Lavelle (Brendan Gleeson) is taking confessionals when a parishioner tells the Father that he was abused as a child by a priest and plans on killing the Father next Sunday. Now, will Father Lavelle die for someone else’s sins?  I loved the 2011 film The Guard, which starred Gleeson and was written / directed by the man who brings us this film, John Michael McDonagh. Unfortunately, this film isn’t on the same level as it doesn’t balance the comedy parts with the drama. It’s a rather depressing film with very few likeable characters. Gleeson is brilliant, but the script just doesn’t match his performance. My Rating: Bargain Matinee  Calgary Website

Indiefest: Land Ho! (2014) R Colin (Paul Eenhoorn) and Mitch (Earl Lynn Nelson) are former brothers-in-laws. Now, they are off to seek adventures in Iceland. This is a marvelous quiet, unassuming film about two men dealing with the aspects of aging. The chemistry between the two men is impressive, and the dialogue is natural. At times funny, this moving film is a joy to watch, and the scenery of Iceland is beautiful and breathtaking. It’s a film with not a lot of action, but it’s a fun ride. My Rating: Full Price   Land Ho! Website

Forgotten Film: Moscow on the Hudson (1984) R A Russian saxophone player (Robin Williams) for a traveling circus defects to the U.S. in the middle of Bloomingdales. After living in the tough winters of Moscow, you would think that Vladimir would find it easy to live in New York City, but he has a tough time adjusting to his new world. Robin Williams gives an outstanding, understated performance as a sweet, quiet man struggling to come to terms with his brand new situation. Two scenes stand out for me; Vladimir has a panic attack when he becomes overwhelmed by the excess of a grocery store, and, at a late night diner, people from different nationalities recite the Declaration of Independence. Added bonus is Maria Conchita Alonso is brilliant as the Bloomingdales saleswoman who takes Vladimir under her wing. My Rating: Full Price  Moscow on the Hudson Info

Weird Credits: From the credits of The Expendables 3: Russian arm precision driver

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You: Love Is Strange (2014) R After Ben (John Lithgow) and George (Alfred Molina) are married, they fall on hard times and have to live separately with friends which makes it difficult for them to stay married. This film has been playing to rave reviews and big crowds on the film festival circuit. 
Until Next Time!

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