Pride means you have a respect for yourself, a sense of happiness when you know you have done something good. There is another form of pride known as false pride. I find this version to be showy or more of a facade. The term “keep up appearances” comes to mind. Some years ago I taught aerobics in a small aerobic studio. The space had this old dark carpeting for the fitness floor and I had to stand on a makeshift wooden stage that was no more than 6 feet wide. We were situated above a clothing store on a busy commercial street. It was my job to be welcoming and upbeat even if there was no hot water or air conditioning. I could deal with stuff like that; however, I had a hard time working for someone who claimed to be a fitness professional but would use illegal drugs in their office. It was such a contradiction; all of the profits were going to their drug habit. I needed the job so I kept quiet, only coming in to teach my classes then leave quickly. After a while the situation began to weigh me further down; it was hard to put on this false front of a gung-ho, cheerful instructor knowing that there may not be enough money to cover my paycheck. Luckily I was able to find another job and resigned from the place. At least I was able to do it, but what about those individuals who have no choice? THERE are no murderers in paradise; at least that was what people were led to believe during the 1950s in the Soviet Union. But after Leo Demidov, played by Tom Hardy (Inception, Lawless), had to read the death notice to his close friend about his son; Leo knew something was not right. This dramatic thriller had a stellar class that really made this picture. Along with Tom there was Noomi Rapace (The Drop, Prometheus) as Raisa Demidov, Gary Oldman (The Dark Knight franchise, Harry Potter franchise) as General Mikhail Nesterov and Joel Kinnaman (Run All Night, RoboCop) as Vasili. This film had an oppressive darkness hanging down on it thanks to the cinematography and sets. I enjoyed all of this so much which makes me sad to say the script was the weak link. The story was ponderous with a few slow passages. As I sat through this movie I felt like there were all these cool puzzle pieces but they were not all fitting together. It seemed to me that there were too many story lines which made this film longer than it needed to be. All I can say is this film had a good front but once you got into it you realized it was not as good as it looked. Brief scenes of violence and blood.
2 1/4 stars
I have learned never agree or add my opinion to someone who is in the middle of a rant about someone close to them. Let them carry on with their derogatory remarks, their name calling and variety of colorful adjectives; unless you know the history those two share, it will be better to be the thoughtful supportive friend. Time after time I have seen where the individual says whatever they want about the person; but when someone else utters a disparaging word they will scold them, telling them not to talk that way about their friend or relative. In a way it is sort of comical to me. Though I have to tell you, the thing that really gets me is when newscasters are reporting on a suspected criminal and they interview a relative of the suspect. More times than not the relative will say something positive about the suspect, like he was a good boy or she always got good grades in school. First of all what does that have to do with the crime? I hope this does not sound judgmental but I cannot imagine what it must feel like for a parent who has a child that brings them heartbreak or trouble. Even when that is the situation, there still is some truth to that saying, “Blood is thicker than water.” Liam Neeson (The Grey, Taken franchise) played Jimmy Conlon, an infamous mob hit-man. When his estranged son Mike, played by Joel Kinnaman (Safe House, RoboCop), was targeted by childhood friend and mob boss Shawn Maguire’s, played by Ed Harris (The Abyss, Snowpiercer); son Danny, played by Boyd Holbrook (A Walk Among the Tombstones, Gone Girl); Jimmy had no choice but to protect his son. This action, crime drama had some well done chases and fight scenes. There was one particular chase scene that was intense and well orchestrated with excitement and thrills. Liam was not too different from his past tough guy with killer skill roles, though he was a little more broken with this character. To be honest I felt it has really run its course; it is time for Liam to do something different. Besides Liam the other heavyweight in this film was Ed’s character. I so wished the writers would have given the two more screen time together because it would have made this a better film. After a while I started to get bored with the same things happening over and over again. If the script had been stronger this could have helped Liam avoid what has now become another of his movies that had a disappointing opening box office weekend. There were scenes with violence and blood in them.
Does one’s love diminish by the amount of hair left on someone’s hairbrush? Does the amount of poundage on your significant other directly relate to the intensity of your love for them? The higher the number the less love you have to give? I have said before I believe our bodies are only being rented; what is inside of them is what counts, at least for me. It always amuses me when I hear someone say they do not like facial hair or redheads. Taking it one step further, I find it perplexing when someone makes a judgement based on a person’s ethnicity, race or even where they were born. What does that have to do with love? You will have to excuse me but I find individuals who lose their love and leave their mate due to illness utterly despicable. The essence of an individual remains the same as the body evolves through the years; those are my feelings. In this updated version of the 1987 science fiction film, you can see how love is stronger than any one body. After a suspicious explosion Detroit police officer Alex Murphy, played by Joel Kinnaman (Safe House, The Killing), had only one chance available if he was to survive. That decision fell to his wife Clara, played by Abbie Cornish (Limitless, Bright Star), who gave her consent to the corporation that would provide her husband with a robotic body, giving birth to a new crime fighter for the city: RoboCop. The only comparison I will make to the original movie is an obvious one; the special effects were better in this action crime film. I thought Gary Oldman (Lawless, Harry Potter franchise) as Dr. Dennett Norton and Michael Keaton (Jackie Brown, White Noise) as Raymond Sellars were the best of the cast. One of the issues I had was Joel Kinnaman; he did not have a powerful screen presence, coming across stiffly and I do not think it was due to his suit. The story had a satirical streak with the addition of Samuel L. Jackson’s (Django Unchained, Oldboy) character, talk show host Pat Novak. Along with a couple of twists in the story it pretty much was a standard good against evil plot. When this movie ended I did think about the advancements being made today in the medical field and wonder what will the effect be on humanity in the future. Will love wane based on the amount of mechanical parts a person has inside of them?
2 1/2 stars