The reviews of Promised Land are not an accurate account of the plot. The reviews make the movie sound more convoluted than it actually is.
Two employees of a natural gas company visit a small town to lease the various farmers' properties. There is natural gas far under their land, and it will require fracking to remove it. Then a representative of an environmental group comes to town to convince the farmers to NOT lease their property.
But that's not the entire plot.
Also, Promised Land is not the straight drama that you think it should be. Frances McDormand's role is quite humorous, and she detracts from the serious theme of the movie. She's channeling her character from Fargo, and her scenes just don't seem to belong.
The Impossible is the disaster movie that 2012 should have been.
Since The Impossible was filmed in Europe and Thailand and did not have an American studio backing and its director and producer weren't well-known, the film is playing mainly in art house cinemas. That doesn't mean it isn't exciting, or well-acted, or have lots of special effects and lots of extras. The Impossible has all that, but is just a better tale than your typical explosion CGI studio movie.
It's the true story of a family who vacation in Thailand over Christmas vacation 2004, and who are separated and injured and overwhelmed by the tsunami. One thing I learned is that the resort areas of Thailand never experienced the earthquake. The people just looked up from their places on the beach and saw the huge wave coming toward them. They had about 5 seconds to run.
The film is quite harrowing in places and the injuries and following surgeries are graphic. The Impossible is rated PG-13 but is not meant for young children.
The one detail I didn't like was the self-centeredness and negative horrible attitude of the oldest son, who looked about 12, during the first half of the movie. He changes his act, but only after his mother asks him to. The Impossible stars Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts. It has British, Thai, Swedish, German and American characters. The one major detail that was changed is that the original family was Spanish, but the family in his movie is British.
I've noticed that, for the first time in years, that many of the movies released between Thanksgiving and New Year's are still playing in many larger cities (fourth week of March), even if they've gone to the second run theaters. That's the way it used to be. I'm finally getting to see some of them.
For instance, in Cincinnati: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Dec. 14) Life of Pi (Nov. 21) Lincoln (Nov. 16) Parental Guidance (Dec. 25) Rise of the Guardians (Nov. 21) Silver Linings Playbook (Dec. 25) Wreck-It Ralph (Nov. 2) Argo (Oct. 12), Les Miserables (Dec. 25), and Skyfall (Nov. 9) finally left the local theaters in the past two weeks, but they are still playing elsewhere.
Some of you will wonder why I don't just wait to get the DVD, but I LOVE sitting in a large darkened theater and watching the movie on the big screen! I don't care how big and complex and loud a TV is, it still isn't the same as watching the movie in the cinema.
Escape from Planet Earth is the most frenetic kids' movie I have ever seen. But I guess when the voices are supplied by Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson and Brendan Fraser, you have to expect it.
It's a confusing plot about an astronaut, Scorch, and a mission controller, Gary, from Planet Baab who want to find out why any aliens who visit Earth never return. Turns out they are all being held prisoner in Area 51. One detail that disappointed me was that the Scorch and Gary release all the other aliens but after that you never find out what happened to them.
This film is also not attractive to watch. Neither the characters and background are "pretty" and bright, and add to that the activity everywhere all the time and it's just not the pleasant-est experience.
Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters is the dumbest movie I have ever seen.
It's also extremely violent.
Don't bother watching it, even if it comes to over-the-air TV and it won't cost you anything to watch.
One of my faves as it appears to start from the 'end' of the movie and progressively move to how the story began to help make it all make sense.
Its basically about a guy who has a 'short term memory loss' or lacks the 'ability to make new memories'.
The last thing he 'remembers' is the fact that his wife was killed by an intruder known as 'John G.' (and the beating he took during the assault is the reason for his condition) He has tattooed 'hints and messages' all about his body to help him recall what his mission is. And is ever-looking to find this 'John G'
The best (or worst) part about this is you never really 'know' how many 'John G's' he has killed (as he cant remember) - therefore making him the perfect assassin to be continually manipulated by other characters throughout the movie.
The twists and turns in the plot make it a bit difficult to truly grasp what really happened and its one of those movies that you have to watch more than once as something else 'clicks' each time you watch it.
Another thing that totally clicked the last time I saw it was the fact that it starred Carrie-Ann Moss (Trinity) and Joe Pantoliano (Cypher) - 2 of the main characters from the Matrix.
Side Effects is yet another movie where the synopses you read in the newspapers or Internet are NOT what the movie is about. The articles read like the movie is about a depressed woman needing medication for her illness, but the various pills she tries don't work. At the start of the story, this could have been the plot of a 70s PG-rated drama, or a contemporary Lifetime Original.
That's NOT the REST of the plot. Side Effects is a thriller about a psychiatrist investigating why his client has stabbed her husband to death. The plot gets more complicated from there.
The film is a little slow but entertaining.
Safe Haven is a movie that has been bouncing around theaters for months. It's based on yet another Nicholas Sparks movie, so of course it's set in the American South and the couple gets separated because one of them has a big secret.
It starts out a little nerve-wracking, then settles into straight romance, then gets really nerve-wracking in the end. But even so, it's not a completely satisfying movie--the characters never really seem to touch you and you figure out quickly who the bad guy is.
As for the plot--a woman moves to a small town on the Carolina coast (I think it's NC), gets a job at a diner, and meets a widower with a boy and a girl.
John Cusack's latest thriller, The Numbers Station, had very limited release. It played for one week in about 10 AMC theaters around the United States.
Despite its violence, conspiracy theories and somewhat confusing plot, it was an exciting movie. The concept of the movie was that the US started broadcasting secret number codes over shortwave radio during World War II, and those numbers are still being broadcast*. There are hired assassins and spies listening to these codes, and that's how they get their assigments, because they have a cypher to translate them.
The broadcast station where Cusack and Milan Ackerman are working is overtaken by a terrorist group.