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Flash Movie Review: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

ONCE again I was dressed up as a clown. I actually had no complaints about the costume; it was custom made using satin fabric. The buttons down the front were these big colored pom-pom looking things. Though the outfit was not made for me, it had been handed down; only a few adjustments were needed for me to safely walk in it. There was a cone shaped hat with another of those pom-poms attached on top that completed the outfit. I could only wear the hat for a short time before the strap holding it down on my head started to irritate under my chin. The first time the costume was worn by the original owner, they won a costume contest at a local theater. By the time I got the outfit, it was still in good shape. Why wouldn’t it be? It was handmade with strong stitching and detailing. You could not compare it to one of those store bought costumes for the fabric was thicker and it must have had better elastic because the cuffs of the legs still were able to hug my ankles, helping the balloon effect of the pants.     AFTER wearing the clown costume every Halloween for a few years I finally was able to pick out my very own outfit. The reason was due to me outgrowing the pants, both in length and width. I remember spending the longest time at the toy store deciding what I wanted to be. I looked at the popular outfits like a soldier and pirate, but it seemed like all my friends were picking those outfits to wear. Finally I decided to become an astronaut; I thought the white spacesuit was cool with its fake badges and big pockets. And of course the big feature was the helmet though I had wished the visor would have been real. You would have thought I would have been thrilled to walk the neighborhood in my new outfit but I did not experience that feeling. After wearing the same costume for a few years I was just getting to the age where I really did not care to go trick or treating anymore. It is a similar feeling to what I experienced watching this action adventure fantasy.     WITH the rumors possibly being true about Poseidon’s trident, opposing forces were in a mad dash to gain the powerful device. Starring Johnny Depp (Black Mass, The Lone Ranger) as Captain Jack Sparrow, Javier Bardem (The Gunman, No Country for Old Men) as Captain Salazar and Geoffrey Rush (The Book Thief, The Best Offer) as Captain Hector Barbossa; the best acting came from Javier and Geoffrey. In fact I could watch Javier if there was a spinoff to this film franchise. The reason being the story here was a hodgepodge. It did not help that I thought Johnny brought nothing new to the role; besides the script felt a bit tired with the same type of things seen in the previous films. Having said that, I will say I enjoyed the special effects in this picture and there were a lot of them. The majority of the scenes were action based, almost to the point of one after another after another. One other issue I had was the length of this movie; I felt it needed another round of editing. If you want light familiar fare to make the time go by then this newest installment might satisfy you; however, don’t be surprised if it leaves you wanting more. There was an extra scene at the end of the credits.

 

2 stars

 

 

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Flash Movie Review: Gods of Egypt

There is not a day or two that goes by where I do not hear or see in print the term “OMG.” Usually it comes from younger people, but I have heard folks older than myself uttering it. I am willing to bet some of the individuals who use this term are only using it as an expression of surprise or disbelief, not making a statement about their faith. There is another term, “God’s gift,” that I do not hear as much these days; it always had negative connotations associated with it as far as I could tell. When you heard someone say, “That person thinks they are God’s gift,” what was implied was that person thought they were better than other people. Have you ever encountered such a person? Unfortunately I have met more than my share of such people; I refer to them as demigods. This may be a broad use of the term for it could refer to that person who thinks they know more than you, always telling you what you “should” do; or it could be used for an individual who looks down at you, believing they are better or the things they have are superior to yours. I find it sad, especially when that demigod assumes they have more power because they think they are better. Sadly in my life’s experiences I have seen more corrupt people in positions of power than kinder ones. It bears repeating because I find it so true: absolute power corrupts absolutely.    DECIDING it was his turn to rule Set, played by Gerard Butler (Chasing Mavericks, Olympus Has Fallen), defeated his nephew Horus, played by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Mama, Game of Thrones-TV), who was the rightful heir. The city’s citizens would be subjected to a new period of oppressive dark times. It has been reported this action fantasy had a budget of $140 million dollars which I found absolutely startling. For that much money I expected to be wowed by the special effects that played heavily in this story. What I saw instead was cheap looking effects covering a poorly written script. With Brenton Thwaites (The Giver, Maleficent) as Bek and Geoffrey Rush (Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, The Book Thief) as Ra, I found the characters bordering on buffoonery. Geoffrey’s character and the place he resides in was ridiculous enough to make me wonder who would write such a character in that way. Now the fact this adventure film was not released early for reviewers, I did not have high hopes when I walked into the movie theater. However, I would have settled for a light fun fantasy picture with decent CGI effects; this film was boring in parts and in fact, it almost seemed as if it was pieced together in random order. If it is true what I read recently that the movie studio was hoping this film would kickoff a new movie franchise, then I am sad to say this fantasy really is a fantasy of the studio.

 

1 3/4 stars

 

 

 

Flash Movie Review: The Book Thief

Some people determine their wealth based on how many books they have in their possession. I can absolutely understand the concept. Books are portals that let me visit different lands, times and people. Sitting in a crowded subway car does not bother me; knowing that as soon as I crack open the cover to my book, I will be off on an adventure down to a place such as the Amazon River. Another benefit that comes with books is the opportunity to share them with someone else. One of my favorite date nights is going to a bookstore, where we split up and seek out books we think the other person would enjoy reading. I consider the act of reading aloud to someone to be a sweet, loving gesture. You can now understand why the title to this dramatic movie, based on the best selling novel, intrigued me. The book thief in this story was a young girl named Liesel, played by Sophie Nelisse (Monsieur Lazhar, Esimesac). Set in Germany during the early stages of World War II, Liesel was sent to live with foster parents Rosa and Hans, played by Emily Watson (War Horse, Breaking the Waves) and Geoffrey Rush (The King’s Speech, Pirates of the Caribbean franchise). As the horrors of war took place around her, Liesel’s love of books provided a safe haven for her and the people around her. Though I have not read the book, after seeing this film festival winner I have the urge to read it now. Besides the wonderful performance from Sophie Nelisse, I thought Geoffrey Rush did a great job with his role. The chemistry came across as lovingly real between the two of them. I did have some confusion on the circumstances that led Liesel to her foster parents, however. There were several other scenes that seemed rushed or without much emotional depth. This can be attributed to the script, for I found it to be uneven. Having the story told from a child’s perspective was something I found different then other films that dealt with the subject of Nazi Germany. One thing I found odd was the use of a narrator, especially towards the latter part of the movie where I felt the story was being quickly rushed to wrap things up. I liked parts of this film but the thing I really enjoyed was being reminded of a saying I used to hear when growing up–no one can ever rob you of an education. A few scenes had German spoken with English subtitles.

 

2 1/2 stars

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