Tag: forest whitaker

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

by on Dec.18, 2016, under Movie Reviews

Rogue One A Star Wars StoryThere aren’t a lot of films that effect me on deep emotional levels, the first Star Wars films did that for me when I saw them in the theaters and the countless times after. Episode VII had the opposite effect on me and I feared where things were going. Luckily Rogue One has restored my faith, and with my fear resolved I’m looking forward to what Episode VIII will offer.

By the way, I will not offer any spoilers here, there’s no way in hell I’m going to ruin this for you. You will have to see it for yourself to discover all the little nuances of it and there’s no possible way my words can do this film proper justice.

Rogue One is easily one of the best in the series, up there in terms of quality and depth as Empire. And while it’s a chapter in the greater story, it has an originality in it that’s unique as it feels more like a war film with a gritty, intense delivery you don’t normally see in the series. Among the many things great about this movie is what it’s about. The story revolves around one of the components in the Star Wars story in that it’s about how the rebels ended up with the plans to the Death Star. One of the discussions in the film when the plans are retrieved regards the sacrifice that was made to get the plans. This is the story of that sacrifice…

And it’s impactful with an expertly crafted, emotional story. I had to take some time to process it as I felt overwhelmed by it, in a really great way I might add. The visual quality of it had something to do with that. I saw it in IMAX 3D which was cool but is unnecessary, the film is amazing with or without the 3D. The effects keep getting better with some things that were so surprisingly realistic that it had me thinking about how they did it so the intensity of the suspension of disbelief knocked me out of the suspension of disbelief. Wow.

The acting is superb with all the actors completely going for it. Felicity Jones is the lead as Jyn Erso and played her role very well with a great balance of vulnerability, anger, determination, and passion while fitting into the physical demands of the film as well. Forest Whitaker was probably my second favorite in the cast as the unhinged rebel Saw Gerrera. Whitaker knows how to play a character that’s off-putting but still sharp. The rest of this amazing cast includes Diego Luna, Donnie Yen, Wen Jiang, Ben Mendelsohn, Riz Ahmed, Mads Mikkelsen, Alistair Petrie, and Alan Tudyk as the voice of K-2SO.

See this film in theaters while you can. And then see it again, I know I am.

reviewed by Sean McKnight

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The Last Stand

by on May.11, 2014, under Movie Reviews

The Last Stand is not a great movie, it’s not terrible, but it’s not great. This film marks the return of the former governator as the lead rather than just a bit role (like in The Expendables).

Ok, so the premise – Ahhhnold, is playing a former special force cop with a certain set of skills who now resides in a small town living the quieter days as the town sheriff. He has the usual small town goober side kicks and friends, which is of course where Johnny Knoxville comes in. Knoxville plays the town stooge with the extraordinary gun collection which Schwarzenegger inevitably needs when the bad guy fugitive on the run ends up traipsing through town on his way to cross the border.

The film actually has some gritty moments that add a compelling element to the film here and there. The action is what you’d probably expect; predictable, fun, big screen candy. The story and resolution are also the formulaic stuff action films like this are usually comprised of.

The actors are ok. It’s kind of fun to watch Schwarzenegger do his thing, the only drag is that he gets harder to understand as he gets older. Knoxville is kind of annoying after a short time in his one-dimensional character and delivery. Forest Whitaker puts in a competent performance but he kind of looks like he’s just channeling roles from his past. Eduardo Noriega is pretty good as the flamboyant and stylish bad guy.

If you’re looking for a no-brainer action flick, it’s worth a look see but don’t expect much in terms of originality or blockbuster deliveries, this one’s for the paycheck.

reviewed by Sean McKnight

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The Experiment

by on Apr.13, 2012, under Movie Reviews

The Experiment opens with a bunch of stock footage of varies species fighting with each other and other acts of violence. Which sets the stage for the premise – a group of men are chosen for a psychological experiment. The basis of this experiment is to recreate a prison environment with certain men as the guards and others as the prisoners. They have to co-exist for certain amount of days (14 I believe) and will be paid 14K for their participation.

The catch is, they have to follow the rules bestowed upon them by the organizers. Any violation of the rules constitutes the red light going on and the experiment ending with no payoff.

The premise is very familiar – trying to play with people’s nature and see how they’ll react. I didn’t think I’d be surprise and I wasn’t for the most part. What I found disappointing was the sloppiness of the timetable. It doesn’t seem to take long for a bunch of people who are supposed to be pretty average in terms of who they are to melt down and descend into chaos. Less than 5 days in fact. Really? Is it that bad in the fake big house you’re getting out of in 2 weeks? The lapse into violence, insanity and even rape (wow, the sex addict guy can’t go 3 days before he starts to rape inmates?) is just not very believable.

It also seems like the characters shift and intensify too quickly. Everything feels too quick in fact. The set up feels very set up unfortunately. There are some good actors in here too with Forest Whitaker as the lead guard going off his rocker with power and Adrien Brody as the gentle hippy that discovers he’s got a violent side. They both do well in there roles but some of the script makes their roles feel contrived. The lineup also includes Maggie Grace and Cam Gigandet.

I caught this On Demand, it’s worth a view to form your own opinion as there are some interesting aspects to the film, it’s not bad at 1 in the morning but I wouldn’t go out of my way to pay for it.

reviewed by Sean McKnight

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