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Flash Movie Review: All is Lost

It was only on one flight where I thought the plane was in trouble and that I was not going to survive. The weather was storming through a major portion of our flight as we bounced around constantly. At one point the plane suddenly dropped in that roller coaster type of way for 3-5 seconds. Instead of my life flashing before me, it was several scenes of plane crashes I had seen in the movies. It figures, doesn’t it? Gratefully that was the only time where I even thought my life could end. I have, however, seen several people who were facing their own mortality. Each one of them was so courageous; I honestly do not know if I could handle looking at death the way they did. Death played a major part in this dramatic adventure movie. Robert Redford (The Company You Keep, Out of Africa) played a competent boatman on a solo trip somewhere in the Indian Ocean. When his boat was struck and damaged by an errant shipping container; he was left with only his wits, having to rely on creative means if he was going to survive the voyage. With very little dialog, Robert had to physically express all of his thoughts and emotions. It was a powerful performance that I felt would get recognized during the awards season. For his age I was impressed by several of his challenging scenes. Due to the lack of back story and dialog, I believe only a small group of people would enjoy this film. There were a couple of parts I found boring. This was the type of movie that critics will like more than the general moviegoer, I believe. The special effects were nothing that stood out for me, though I did find the storm scenes intense. If I were to sit and think about this film I am sure I could come up with some symbolism several scenes may have represented. However, that is not my style. My focus in watching movies is for the entertainment value, not debate the possibilities on the meaning of a scene. I have mixed feelings about this action film or maybe, I was just uncomfortable watching a man facing his own mortality. There was one scene where blood was shown.

 

3 stars

Flash Movie Review: Black Rock

When my adult eyes gazed at my former high school classmates, I saw images of their younger selves floating in front of their now aged bodies. The memories I had of each one hovered above them like a cluster of balloons that I could easily reach out and hold on to, reliving our times together once again. When I went up to my best friend from high school who I had not seen for all these years, our memories of certain events were different. I had no idea that some of my actions were as hurtful to him as his were to me. Whether I wanted to blame it on our youth or inability to communicate our true feelings back then; it did not matter for the damage was done. Within the confines of our high school class reunion festivities, we tried to figure out how our paths became unpaved and broken; but time had built a bridge that took us away from each other. This type of discord between friends was apparent in this movie thriller. Kate Bosworth’s (Blue Crush, 21) character Sarah tricked her feuding friends Abby and Lou, played by Katie Aselton (The Puffy Chair, Cyrus) and Lake Bell (It’s Complicated, What Happens in Vegas) into a weekend trip to a remote island off the coast of Maine, that they had visited when they were teenagers. The trip was intended to heal old wounds but when the three women met hunters from a nearby camp, their weekend of healing became a night of terror. I thought the set up for this horror film was okay, just not original. In fact, there was nothing creative about the story. The acting was marginal for the most part; however, I will say the fight scenes had an intensity that surprised me. The latter part of the film kept my interest with its action and sense of impending gloom. This movie would not be something you needed to go out of your way to see; but, if you had a couple of hours with nothing to do, it would be something to pop in and watch. There were scenes of violence with blood.

 

1 3/4 stars — DVD

Flash Movie Review: The Canyon

There are not words to describe the feeling I had as I stood near the edge and peered across the Grand Canyon. Nothing in my mind could be found to use as a reference point to compare the experience. The entire day was spent hiking; noticing how the light and shadows transformed the chiseled walls of the canyon from deep wrinkles to a blushing expanse. At the end of the day, returning to the hotel room, I discovered I had burnt the top of my head. My mind had been so preoccuppied with the extraordinary stimulation from the day that I forgot to put on a hat. It was worth it based on the memories I had gained that day. Seeing the Grand Canyon was the best part of this movie. Unfortunately, it was pretty much the only part I enjoyed. Eion Bailey (Fight Club, Almost Famous) and Yvonne Strahovski (Killer Elite, Chuck-TV) played newlyweds Nick and Lori Conway, who decided to honeymoon at the Grand Canyon. When their guide Henry, played by Will Patton (Remember the Titans, Armageddon) had an accident; the couple would need to muster up surviving skills if they wanted to get out alive. The action followed a standard template without any originality. I did not find the acting very good. For example, the honeymoon couple did not display the emotions one would expect from two people in love. If it was not for the setting, I would have fast forwarded some of the innocuous scenes. If you cannot find a travelogue to watch on the Grand Canyon, then you may want to rent this film. No one would fault you if you decided to watch it with the sound off. A few scenes with blood.

 

1 2/3 stars — DVD

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