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Flash Movie Review: Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters

My introduction to the brothers Grimm was through animated movies. I can remember being perched atop folded coats on my theater seat, so I would have a clear view of the movie screen. Cinderella dressed in her magical ball gown or the poisoned apple that induced eternal slumber for Sleeping Beauty were characters that amazed me, when I saw them up on the big screen. At a time before movie characters were marketed into every conceivable consumer product, I stored a variety of Grimm fairy tale characters in my imagination. Let me first say I am not a purist when it comes to keeping a story true to its original form. If the story can still be entertaining, I am fine with it. Unfortunately this abomination lacked the entertainment factor, besides a variety of other things. The movie updated the story of Hansel and Gretel by turning the brother and sister into adult witch hunters. Sure I get it, nearly cooked in an oven by an evil witch as kids; I could buy into their chosen profession. What I found out of character was having the two talking in a contemporary style, dropping the “F” word freely. It was foolish to have fairy tale characters from olden days swearing like thugs. Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker, The Bourne Legacy) was Hansel and we were led to believe he was a diabetic. He wore a special wristwatch that rang every 2 hours, reminding him to take an injection that would keep him alive. It was so ridiculous I knew the concept was only there to be used later in the boring story. Gemma Arterton (Quantum of Solace, Clash of the Titans) was the sharpshooter Gretel. The two were hired by a town to find a witch that was stealing children. What Hansel and Gretel found was a diabolical plot by the powerful witch Muriel, played by Famke Janssen (X-Men franchise, Goldeneye). In a nutshell the acting was miserable, the special effects were bland, the story was putrid and I resented the movie studio for tarnishing a classic tale.

 

1 1/4 stars 

Flash Movie Review: Taken 2

I was glad my dad taught me how to drive the year before I was scheduled to take driver’s ed in high school. Only one day practicing in a parking lot before we headed out onto the streets. When I finally took class I was the brakeman for the car. There was a poor girl in my group who kept sideswiping the safety cones. The instructor made her walk the driving course using one of the cones as a steering wheel. In this movie I would like to know how the daughter Kim, played by Maggie Grace (Lockout, The Jane Austen Book Club) was able to drive a stolen car better than Jason Statham in his Transporter movies. She had flunked the driver’s test twice prior. This was just one of the ridiculous events that took place in this low minded sequel. On a business trip to Istanbul Bryan Mills, played by Liam Neeson (The Grey, Schindler’s List), was surprised when his daughter and ex-wife Lenore, played by Famke Janssen (X-Men franchise, The Treatment), showed up to visit. Kim hoped the time together would rekindle her parents’ love for each other. However, she was not aware of the plan in place, hatched by the father of one of her kidnappers in the previous movie. Murad Krasniqi, played by Rade Serbedzija (Shooter, In the Land of Milk and Honey), wanted to take revenge on Bryan and his family for the death of his son. The movie was a disappointment due to the weak script and silly action scenes. There was nothing original here and I found it amazing that Liam’s character was able to kill so many people without even getting grazed by a single bullet. The saving grace was Liam doing what he did best and that was act. At his age to be considered an action hero is an accomplishment. I only wish he would be more selective in his movie choices, because after seeing this film I feel I was taken. ¬†Violent scenes with blood.

 

1 3/4 stars

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