Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Top Ten Movies to Look Out For: March – April (2014)

10 – God’s Not Dead (March 21)

Director: Harold Cronk
Writer: Hunter Dennis, Chuck Konzelman, Cary Solomon
Actors: Shane Harper, Kevin Sorbo, Dean Caine

I want to start off by saying that I’m not a religious woman. In fact, I was born into a Jewish family, I’m marrying into a Catholic one, and I’ve done more than my fair share of studying the eastern religions. Truth-be-told, I’m completely agnostic. I don’t believe proof exists that there is or isn’t a god, and so my only response when asked if I believe is: “I don’t know.”

Watching the above trailer and putting that together with the facts I’ve listed, you might wonder why I show any interest in this movie at all. It seems overly preachy and is obviously a very religious film. I would love to give some amazing philosophical reason, but I can’t. Although the philosophy aspect in the movie does appeal to my studious side, there is only one real reason why I very much which to see this.

Kevin Sorbo. Dean Caine. Come on! It’s Hercules and Superman! The thirteen year old in me, who watched “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys” and “Lois and Clarke” is fan-girling in a way that I can’t even describe. On top of that, the main characters name is Joss Wheaton. That is WAY too close to one of the best geek directors in the world. Maybe they were trying to appeal to the geek culture when they added up those aspects to create their film. I could be falling for some devious plot created by the money men. I find that I don’t care.

You don’t have to be religious to appreciate a good film, no matter what the subject. I really hope I will be able to call this a “good film.”

9 – The Railway Man (April 11)

Director: Jonathan Teplitzky
Writer: Frank Cottrell Boyce, Andy Paterson, Eric Lomax
Actors: Nicole Kidman, Stellan Skarsgard, Colin Firth, Jeremy Irvine

Although my heart doesn’t really lean toward war movies, or films based on true stories, this one does grip at me more than I expected it to. The acting, alone, portrayed in the trailer is enough for me to choke up, but it goes beyond that.

Vengeance is a concept that I’m very familiar with. I know what it does to a person, from both sides. When a movie deals in that kind of core plot, I find it very difficult to look away. In this case, the tale of the build up and actual act seems as though it will be going down a road that many films don’t take. It’s not the first I’d be lining up at midnight to see, but it’s something I wouldn’t turn down going to a matinee for.

8 – John Doe: Vigilante (March 21)

Director: Kelly Dolen
Writer: Stephen M. Coates, Kelly Dolen
Actors: Daniel Lissing, Jamie Bamber, Lachy Hulme

In my explanation for “The Railway Man” I mentioned that I understand the concept of vengeance. This movie expresses that concept in a vigilante method. Vigilante justice is a huge factor in most of the comic books I grew up reading. It’s no wonder that a movie focusing on that would draw me in.

To be honest, the whole thing reminds me a little bit of an England-filmed “Dexter.” I don’t consider that a bad thing. “Dexter” is a good show and there are very few English films, that I’ve seen recently, that I don’t like. I have to admit, I don’t actually know if the movie IS England-made, I’m just guessing from the trailer. I hope it is. I’ve found England-made movies to be less predictable to me, possibly because of the cultural difference across the pond.

7 – Boys of Abu Ghraib (March 28)

Director: Luke Moran
Writer: Luke Moran
Actors: Sara Paxton, Sean Astin, John Heard

I don’t discuss politics. It aggravates my family and friends. I won’t get involved in their squabbles over whether or not the president should do this or that, or what country is going to what war for what reason. I simply don’t discuss it. More often than not, people mistake that for not caring.

The big secret is that I do care. I care a lot. So much so that I have been an activist since I was fifteen. It’s something that very few people know about me. Why do I keep that to myself? Because I see no point in sharing my opinion with people who have closed their minds to change, or who would only react by screaming their own opinion back at me. A conversation should never be only about waiting for your chance to speak; it should be about listening as well. Hot-button topics get under people’s skin and prevent them from actually listening to anyone else.

Before I stopped discussing politics, there were arguments I found myself in where both I and the other person were on the same side of the argument without realizing it until later! So now, I don’t talk at all. I only listen, because someone has to. I still organize charities, protests, and petitions. I still anonymously publish my point of view in magazines and as a guest on other people’s blogs. Choosing not to speak never meant that I didn’t care or that I was inactive.

This movie seems to go into the politics behind torture. I won’t say whether or not I’m for the practice, but I will say that the subject interests me enough for me to want to see this film.

6 – Muppets Most Wanted (March 20)

Director: James Bobin
Writer: James Bobin, Nicholas Stoller
Actors: Ricky Gervais, Ty Burrell, Tina Fey

Oh, come on. MUPPETS! ‘Nuff said.

5 – Goodbye World (April 4)

Director: Denis Hennelly
Writer: Denis Hennelly, Sarah Adina Smith
Actors: Adrian Grenier, Gaby Hoffmann, Ben McKenzie, Mark Webber, Kid Cudi,

I love apocalypse films. I lean more toward Zombie movies in general, but I will watch any end-of-the-world movie I come across. “Goodbye World” actually seems to have a decent less-used devise. It’s like a mix of terrorism and electronic uprising. I look forward to seeing more on what it’s all about.

4 – Oculus (April 11)

Director: Mike Flanagan
Writer: Mike Flanagan, Jeff Howard
Actors: Karen Gillan, Katee Sackhoff, Brenton Thwaites, James Lafferty

At first glance, this seems like your basic every-day horror movie. I can’t really explain my intense interest in it, and I like to think it doesn’t just stem from “Doctor Who” actress, Karen Gillan. Something seems different about the plot; I don’t think I’ll be able to explain what until I see the whole thing.

3 – Noah (March 28)

Director: Darren Aronofsky
Writer: Darren Aronofsky, Ari Handel
Actors: Emma Watson, Jennifer Connelly, Logan Lerman, Russell Crowe, Anthony Hopkins, Nick Nolte

There are SO many reasons to see this film that I actively babble when asked why it’s on my list. If I ignore all other reasons, the trailer itself being the biggest one, then my answer can be given in two words: “Darren Aronofsky.”

Seriously, I have yet to see a Darren Aronofsky film that is anything less than epic. If he put out a film about a guy picking his nose, I would go out and watch it – and I bet it would be awesome.

2 – Divergent (March 20)

Director: Neil Burger
Writer: Evan Daugherty, Vanessa Taylor, Veronica Roth
Actors: Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Ashley Judd, Maggie Q, Mekhi Phifer, Kate Winslet

I can’t name the book as a reason why this movie has me waiting on the edge of my seat. I have plans to read it before I see the film-version, but I haven’t yet. What I have noticed, is that the majority of people who like the “Hunger Games” series and who’ve read “Divergent” love it. That’s the main reason I’m looking forward to seeing this film. It means I will force myself to read the books and I have very high hopes for both incarnations of the story.

1 – Captain America: Winter Soldier (April 3)

Director: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Writer: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely, Ed Brubaker, Joe Simon, Jack Kirby
Actors: Chris Evans, Sebastian Stan, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson, Dominic Cooper, Stan Lee, Anthony Mackie

Captain America is one of my all time favorite superheroes. Not only that, but I really love Chris Evans in that part. I think he pulls it off in a way that very few people could. This is one movie I might just hit the midnight showing for.

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