There has always been a curiosity inside of me to learn about a person’s childhood. It did not matter if it was a neighbor, a friend or a celebrity; I wanted to know what took place in their childhood that contributed to the person they were now. I never discriminated against anyone. Even a sadistic classmate was someone I especially wanted to learn about and see what caused them to be so mean. It was partially due to this curiosity that I started out my college years studying psychology, considering psychiatry as a future career. While taking courses in school I became particularly curious about the famous people we studied in my other subjects such as history and literature. Individuals like Queen Victoria, Charles Dickens, Catherine the Great and even Adolf Hitler were people I was so curious about that I would take out from the school library any biographical books about them. World figures like these individuals fascinated me to no end. Now here is where the writer in me came out; if I could not find or there was nothing available about the life of a historical figure, I would amuse myself by imagining their childhood. Maybe it was the influence of my psych classes but I would create family dynamics, possible heroes they may have idolized or historical influences; the who, when, what and where of my creations did not make a difference whether they were reality based or not. This pastime provided me much pleasure. I see from this dramatic movie I am not alone in the type of activity, where creative license was amply used to write about Jesus’ childhood. SEVEN year old Jesus, played by Adam Greaves-Neal (Sherlock-TV, All at Sea-TV), did not quite understand why he felt different from other children. His parents Mary and Joseph, played by Sara Lazzaro (Ten Winters, Andarevia) and Vincent Walsh (Saving Private Ryan, 300: Rise of an Empire), avoided telling Jesus about his birth as a way to protect him from the Romans. As I mentioned earlier the use of creative license did not bother me; I was curious to see what the writers had in store for young Jesus. What helped them was the adult actors who were cast. Besides Vincent there was Sean Bean (The Lord of the Rings franchise, The Martian) as Severus and David Bradley (Harry Potter franchise, The Holding) as the old Rabbi. The issue I had with the script was the lack of a better story. I mean there was my curiosity being piqued but for such a subject I felt it would have been beneficial if more emotions were involved in the story. It felt like one long, at times meandering, chase scene. Even the cinematography was poorly done, creating stereotypical shots like the sun’s rays bursting through a cloud bank. Once done I left the theater feeling unsatisfied, both my curiosity and movie watching sides.
1 3/4 stars
I believe one has to look at their past to see where they are going in the future. The opportunities are plentiful if one looks at the past generations of their family, besides learning some surprising facts. Since I look at the world as one large supermarket, I am always curious to find out the heritage of any new person I meet. Listening about their family’s roots only reaffirms my beliefs that we are all connected in some way. I used to fantasize about my deceased relatives, imagining elaborate scenarios for them regarding their professions, their neighborhoods, even their hobbies. Hearing about family members who fought in battles or others who were inventors, only set my imagination into high gear. I wondered if any of these relatives’ genes were flowing in my blood. Just take a moment and imagine you found out a relative of yours did something extraordinary in their life; don’t you think it would inspire you in some way? I had a relative who played the violin; so when I used to play the piano, I would pretend they were accompanying me. Something as simple as that made me work harder on my piano lessons so I would not be the one to make a mistake during our duets. One never knows how the actions of one relative can affect another. WISHING for something more in her life Jupiter Jones, played by Mila Kunis (Black Swan, Oz the Great and Powerful), was not expecting it would be in the form of the alien warrior Caine Wise, played by Channing Tatum (Foxcatcher, White House Down). Little did she know her life was about to drastically change along with her planet. The first thing that grabbed me in this action fantasy was the visually spectacular special effects. Set in the city of Chicago there was one particular outdoor fight scene that used much of the city’s skyline. Though Channing’s character always looked like he was ice skating, it was still pretty cool to watch on screen. Written and directed by the Wachowski siblings (The Matrix franchise, Speed Racer), the visuals were this adventure film’s strongest feature. I thought Mila and Channing had excellent chemistry, besides Sean Bean (The Lord of the Rings franchise, North Country) putting in a good acting job as Stinger Apini. However, I strongly disliked Eddie Redmayne’s (The Theory of Everything, My Week with Marilyn) performance as Balem Abrasax. It felt and looked so out of place compared to the other characters. Sadly the script was a mess that never lived up to the visuals. It came across as a mashup of several other films like Star Wars and The Wizard of Oz. If the Wachowskis wanted an epic creation here, I wished they would have created a script that made more sense.
1 3/4 stars