She hung in the air without any wires or cables attached to her for an unimaginable long time. I stopped what I was doing to stare in amazement as she twisted and flipped her body around like an aerialist in a circus. When she finally landed on the ground, her two feet smacking the forgiving floor like suction cups, she raised her arms up in the air to a roar of applause. The newscasters were agitated with excitement as they repeated the words, “She did it! She did it!” They used her name to describe the move she had just performed because it was a brand new feat that no one had ever performed before. I happened to be channel surfing on the television and came upon her performance during a gymnastics competition. It was pretty spectacular I have to say and now anyone who uses that move in their gymnastics routine will always have it referred to as her move. It brought back a memory I had of the ice skater Dorothy Hamill when she first performed her signature move that is now and forever called the Hamill Camel. When I first got into aerobics I had dreams of branding my style because I used to choreograph every single move to the music I played in class. I thought it would be so cool to be known for something I was the first to do. BASED on a true story Cor Van Hout, Willem Holleeder and Jan “Cat” Boellard; played by Jim Sturgess (Cloud Atlas, One Day), Sam Worthington (Cake, Sabotage) and Ryan Kwanten (True Blood-TV, Mystery Road); decided they were going to do something that would change their lives forever. They were going to kidnap and hold for ransom Alfred “Freddy” Heineken, played by Anthony Hopkins (Hitchcock, The Wolfman), the head of the Heineken beer empire. No kidnapers had ever asked for such an astronomical amount of money before. This action, crime drama depicted the inside doings of this unbelievable plan. The best thing about this movie was Anthony Hopkins, though the writers did not give him much to do. I thought the rest of the cast was okay but on a whole the story lacked intensity, so I never felt connected to the characters. Another reason I may have not been drawn totally into this film was seeing Anthony’s character, this incredibly wealthy individual, not having any security measures in place. Maybe I am paranoid, but someone with that type of wealth cannot just live like an average person on the street I would think. As for the action scenes they had some excitement but I found the editing to be choppy. Maybe one was supposed to have a couple of beers before seeing this film.
My cousin’s real parents were a king and queen. She was switched at birth for protection. At least that was what my father told me and my cousins when we were small. Growing up in my family always involved the telling and listening of stories. Some were based on true facts, others were a total fantasy. The story of my father being hidden in the woods for safety as a baby was true; but that story about my cousin was not. She really was not a princess–though she would have enjoyed being treated like one. Our family stories truly provided the latest generation a history of their heritage. My love of stories is what attracted me to this animated movie. Based on The Guardians of Ga’Hoole book series by Kathryn Lasky, the movie was about brother owls Soren and Kludd, voiced by Jim Sturgess (Across the Universe, Cloud Atlas) and Ryan Kwanten (True Blood-TV, Don’t Fade). Kidnapped and forced into slavery by a group of owls who called themselves the Pure Ones, Soren’s only hope was to escape and find the owls of Ga’Hoole. From his father’s stories, Soren believed these guardian owls existed and could free all the enslaved owls. What made this film stand out for me immediately was the directing of the visually artistic scenes. Director Zack Snyder (Watchmen, 300) created a stunning movie that was different then the usual CGI animated movies. Besides the owls’ regal appearances and the use of slow motion in the action scenes; I enjoyed the choice of actors used to voice the owls, such as Helen Mirren (Hitchcock, Red) as Nyra and Joel Edgerton (The Odd Life of Timothy Green, The Thing) as Metalbeak. The story was weak due to its predictability, yet I still found the movie exciting. This film may not be suitable for younger children due to the fighting and killing that was shown. The threads of told past stories have woven a rich family history for me and now Soren will be part of his family’s stories.
3 stars — DVD