Movie Poster: Jason and the Argonauts

Jason and the Argonauts Movie Poster






Click here to buy your copy of Scott Nehring Good News Film Reviews
You Are What You See and learn
to change the world from your couch






Movie Trailer: The Square

Not a bad trailer. There some pretty big claims made. The footage I saw looked well done and the tone certainly worked. If it avoids the Coen Brothers' habit of falling apart in the end and has the nerve to make a moral statement like Body Heat this could be a good one.


video

Return to the movie trailers page





Click here to buy your copy of Scott Nehring Good News Film Reviews
You Are What You See and learn
to change the world from your couch





Movie Trailer: Easier with Practice

Attention everyone who has ever existed: I do NOT want to see a guy masturbating in an ad for anything. I don't want to see it anytime. Ever.

They put that shot in their trailer? This is what they're leading with?

If this looks good to you, knock yourself out. Me? I have a strict no-self-touchy policy that I will need to enforce in this situation.


video

Return to the movie trailers page





Click here to buy your copy of Scott Nehring Good News Film Reviews
You Are What You See and learn
to change the world from your couch





Movie Poster: The Body Snatcher

The Body Snatcher Movie Poster






Click here to buy your copy of Scott Nehring Good News Film Reviews
You Are What You See and learn
to change the world from your couch






Movie Trailer: Les herbes folles "Wild Grass"

And I thought I overused adjectives. The blurbs in this trailer are over the top.

"psychodrama, sex farce, tragedy, comedy" A description like that and it's French? Why not just splash the words "Nonsensical, pompous, self-indulgent, joyless" and be done with it?


video

Return to the movie trailers page





Click here to buy your copy of Scott Nehring Good News Film Reviews
You Are What You See and learn
to change the world from your couch





Movie Poster: Sullivan's Travels







Click here to buy your copy of Scott Nehring Good News Film Reviews
You Are What You See and learn
to change the world from your couch




Movie Trailer: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

I understand that I'm an old man now and this is geared towards people twenty-odd years my junior. I still have to imagine that even for the youngsters this looks like a thousand different kinds of stupid.

Michael Cera.

Seriously, this is the best your generation has to offer?

I like that movie where he plays Michael Cera. Yeah, that was a good one.

video

Return to the movie trailers page





Click here to buy your copy of Scott Nehring Good News Film Reviews
You Are What You See and learn
to change the world from your couch





Screen Shot: The One-Armed Swordman (1967)

The One-Armed Swordman movie still


Click here to buy your copy of Scott Nehring Good News Film Reviews
You Are What You See and learn
to change the world from your couch

The Carnival of Cinema: Episode 107 - Bloggerland

Welcome to this installment of the Carnival of Cinema. Every two weeks we get together to present the best film-related posts from around the world.

To submit your post please fill out the application form here.


MOVIE REVIEWS

Let's gets things started this week with some reviews:

First we have Nigel Beale of NIGEL BEALE NOT A BENE BOOKS giving us a critique of Ridley Scott's Robin Hood.

Next up, Gracchi from WESTMINSTER WISDOM reviews Igmar Bergman's Three Strange Loves.

Vaprak of THE CRITICAL CRITICS returns with a look at Iron Man 2.

FLICK FREAK Steve Logwood gives his thoughts on two short films Trunk and I Reveal.

The final review for this week comes from Dan of 100 WORDS OR LESS. This week he gives us his take on Shrek Forever After.


LISTS

This week we have some film-related lists that are of interest.
Lisa from GRANDMA'S BRIEFS offers a list of the "12 films that intersected with points in my life"

Another list comes from Chad Musig. He has a list of the 10 Hollywood Rescues to Die For. How does that work? They rescue someone and I die? For more go to FIRE SCIENCE SCHOOLS.


NEWS

For some film news check out Tom's post about Tribeca 2010 over at CELEBRITY MAGNET.

In other news, Bioware has announced that there will be a film adaptation of Mass Effect. FICTION TECHIE promises that Uwe Boll will not be directing.


The final piece of news comes from VIDEO DETECTIVE. Grease will be re-re-re-re-released this summer with a new twist. Grease will be presented as a sing-a-long in movie theaters.


FILM HISTORY

With his second post in this week's edition, Gracchi has a retrospective on Citizen Kane. Click over to WESTMINSTER WISDOM for the post.

If the best film ever made isn't your taste, maybe cheesy horror will satisfy your need to read.

Over at ABOUT.COM HORROR & SUSPENSE Bruce LeRoy has a brief history of 3D horror movies.


MISCELLANEOUS

This week in miscellaneous film-related posts...

From COMMUNICATIONS 3.0, Matt Eventoff writes about The Oscars and the Art of Public Speaking. If he's writing about public speaking on a site named Communications - shouldn't his last name be Event-on?

Next, Madeleine Begun Kane of MAD KANE'S HUMOR BLOG has a poem titled Chick Flick Flack.

The final post of the week comes from GrrlScientist. GrrlScientist of LIVING THE SCIENTIFIC LIFE discusses the Bechdel Test for Women in Movies. Have no idea what the Bechdel Test is? Click over to find out.


Thanks to everyone for their posts.


...and CUT and PRINT!


To submit your film-related post to next week's edition, FOLLOW THIS LINK.











Click here to buy your copy of Scott Nehring Good News Film Reviews
You Are What You See and learn
to change the world from your couch



The Carnival of Cinema is intended to increase readership and availability of a broad range of opinions. This wide selection means that not all opinions will be correct or stated well. The content on the sites linked to in this post are not the responsibility of Good News Film Reviews.

Movie Poster: The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!

The Naked Gun Movie Poster






Click here to buy your copy of Scott Nehring Good News Film Reviews
You Are What You See and learn
to change the world from your couch





You Are What You See is NOW AVAILABLE

You Are What You See: Watching Movies Through a Christian Lens is now available as an e-book. The paperback is released on June 10th.


ORDER YOUR COPY AT YOUAREWHATYOUSEE.COM


Click below to read some sample chapters from the book!

Chapter One: Sometimes You Have to Die Before You Can Be Reborn

Chapter Eleven: Christians and Culture: Backseat Driving on the Road to Hell

Chapter Twenty-Seven: Morality Points

You can find more on the site.


Don't forget to visit my Facebook page.



Good News Film Reviews

Mission: Impossible III (2006)

Reviewer: Scott Nehring


Mission Impossible 3 Movie PosterShould I see it?
No.


Short Review: The media reports of Tom Cruise’s kid’s feces being bronzed may be in error. As it turns out, it may have actually been the shooting script for this film.


Directed by: J.J. Abrams
Written by: Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and J. J. Abrams
Starring: Tom Cruise, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Michelle Monaghan, Billy Crudup, Ving Rhames, Maggie Q, Keri Russell, Simon Pegg, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Eddie Marsan and Laurence Fishburne


Rated PG-13 for violence, disturbing images and  sensuality.


Rent or Buy This Movie HereRent Mission Impossible 3


There are two big issues with this Tom Cruise movie:

1. Tom Cruise
2. The movie

My issue with Cruise is that he is Tom Cruise in nearly every movie in which he appears. He is not an actor. He is a personality. I'm not a fan of personalities.

Looking beyond Cruise, which normally involves simply standing up, you will find Alias and Lost creator J.J. Abrams at the helm of this project. This was his first feature film. I enjoy Abrams’ television work. His shows are vacuous and embarrassingly simple. His characters are emotional single-line caricatures but are given enough clever flints of dialog to make them likable. His shows are what they intend to be, disposable yet addictive fluff.

This film is just as disposable as Abrams' TV work. The difference is that this film actually prompts you to throw it away.

Where Abrams’ Alias can get you to suspend your disbelief so you’ll buy that Jennifer Garner can smuggle a XM8 Lightweight Assault Rifle in her camisole, his big fat McMovie can’t get beyond its own bloated subplots. This whole film is one big Alias episode without the benefit of Garner’s charm or Kevin Weisman’s (Marhsall Finkman) humor. Abrams goes so far as to insert, for no reason, Greg Grunberg (Alias’ Eric Weiss) into the first act. This would be like Leonard Nimoy striking it out on his own back in the 70’s but refusing to take off his pointy ears.

Absent the distraction of Jennifer Garner in a body sock shooting a TM-203 Grenade Launcher, Abrams' adoration of cheesy scripting is made just that much more obvious.

If you haven’t seen the film you may want to stop reading, I’m about to spoil the works. Although now that I consider my warning, I'm not sure that's really possible. Can you spoil trash?

The central point of the film is that super-spy Ethan Hunt tries to prove to himself (and others) that he can have a normal life with a wife and the whole shebang. All of this is wrapped up in a muddled plot which pushes Hunt to obtain “The Rabbit’s Foot”. This is currently in the pudgy hands of bad guy arms dealer Owen Davian (Philip Seymour Hoffman). Yes, the villain’s name is really Owen. Owen. "Oh, no here comes Owen." "I'm so scared of Owen!" Why not Melvin, or perhaps Irwin?

“The Rabbit’s Foot” is a toxin Owen is looking to sell to bigger badder guys. Actually, we’re never told what “The Rabbit’s Foot” actually is or why we should care. For that matter, we’re not given the identity of the bigger, badder bad guys and why they're so scary. Everything is nebulous, which means they are ultimately meaningless.

Owen, while performed well by Hoffman, is not an ominous figure. Since he and Ethan aren’t the focus, and the conflict between the two is not clearly established, the climatic scenes lose their wind. Any momentum found in the first act is spent halfway through the film because Abrams is too intent on wedging in a conspiracy subplot that the film simply can’t support.

Here is a heads up for all of the big time, huge budget Hollywood goofballs; If you have a big, fat McMovie, and you need to reach a broad international audience, the recipe is easy:
  • One clearly defined hero
  • One clearly defined villain (with a better villain name than Owen)
  • Make the villain more powerful than the hero
  • Give them a like goal
  • Let them have at it
What this does is create a firm central plot from which you can hang subplots and any other nonsense you want.

If you’re a fan of JJ Abrams’ work, stick with his small screen products. This film, while offering a few well crafted moments, will ultimately waste your time. If you’re going to do that, you may as well see Jennifer Garner kill a dozen guys with a flame-thrower while parachuting in a teddy.



Scott Nehring Christian Movie Reviews





Scott Nehring Christian Movie Reviews

Movie Trailer: Ondine

The ad is a little overly dramatic. It does a pretty good job of selling the movie though - at least it doesn't hurt it.


video

Return to the movie trailers page





Click here to buy your copy of Scott Nehring Good News Film Reviews
You Are What You See and learn
to change the world from your couch





Screen Shot: Ghidrah, the Three-Headed Monster (1964)



Ghidrah the Three-Headed Monster movie still


Click here to buy your copy of Scott Nehring Good News Film Reviews
You Are What You See and learn
to change the world from your couch

Robin Hood (2010)

Should I see it?
Nope.


Short Review: Russell Crowe goes from Maximus to Minimus.


Ridley Scott is a hit or miss guy. When he hits, he tends to knock it out of the park (Alien, Gladiator, Blade Runner). When he misses he lets go of the bat mid-swing and sends it helicoptering into the stands (Legend, G.I. Jane, Hannibal). In this instance, you want to make sure you're ready to duck.

Scott attempts to display “the real” Robin Hood by dispensing with all of that entertaining legend nonsense. This is as sensible as making Star Wars focusing on Luke Skywalker before the droids drop from the sky. The whole point of going to see a Robin Hood movie is to actually see ROBIN HOOD. Perhaps I’m just stilly that way. Instead of a movie about Robin Hood with his merry men and all of that fun stuff, Scott sticks us with an origin story for a franchise that will never come.

Scott, on one hand, wants to show the real Robin Hood, but then infuses so many ridiculous Hollywood cliché moments into the story that it saps the production of any sense of historical accuracy.

Robin Longstride (Russell Crowe) rises from common archer (a.k.a. disposable, faceless soldier) to become a consultant to the King of England. This amazing and illogical transformation happens in what is apparently the course of a few weeks.

Longstride and his men are lying, philandering grunts who are prone to violence. They steal from corpses, get drunk and fight. Fun guys. Longstrides himself impersonates a dead knight so he can con people out of their money. This plan lands him back in the knight’s hometown of Nottingham where he finds the knight’s wife Marion Loxley (Cate Blanchett) and the knight’s father, Sir Walter Loxley (Max von Sydow a.k.a. Brewmiester Smith).

Sir Loxley is devastated by the news of his son’s death. Well, he’s more troubled by it. Brewmiester Smith turns on an emotional dime and then happily offers to have Longstride pretend to marry Marion in order to retain their property rights. Yes, Loxley learns of his son’s death and in reaction offers the man who stole his son’s clothes a fine meal and tops that off by offering to let him have a run at his son’s widow.

Spoilers abound in the next paragraphs. You have been warned.

This kind of dissonance is littered throughout the movie. Marion survives an attack on Nottingham by French soldiers. During the raid she also dispatches a rapist by stabbing him in the neck with a hidden dagger. Other than this brief moment of sneaky self-defense, she offers no recognizable skill at arms.

Since she is a woman and Scott is an adherent to 1970’s feminism, Marion being a woman isn’t enough. She isn’t a real woman until she transforms into a man with birthing hips. This translates to Marion arriving at the climactic battle sequence dressed in full battle armor surrounded by orphans riding ponies. Yes, you read that correctly.

Does Scott explain how she could afford a full suit of armor when she’s cried poverty the whole film? Does Scott explain how a thin woman could move in such a heavy suit? Does Scott explain why veteran Medieval soldiers would allow her to enter the field of battle, let alone fight? No on all counts. She’s a manly woman now, and she’s come to kick some butt. It doesn’t matter if it makes sense, its accepted Hollywood sexist pandering.

The rest of the review is free of spoilers.


The previously mentioned contrivances aside, the actors are forced to recite dialog that does little beyond establish basic facts for the situation at hand. There is no deeper meaning to their words nor do they carry any emotional weight.

The thin dialog leads to stumbling character development which in turn gives the actors no footholds to explore their roles. Crowe ends up providing a mush-mouthed version of Maximus from Gladiator and Blanchett turns Maid Marion into Queen Elizabeth with muddy cheeks. If anything, this production may have you pining for their previous work, when they could display their talents in a forum that was worth of their effort.

The film isn’t a complete waste. There are many moments that are enjoyable and contain some worthwhile messages. Longstride is given plenty of lines defining self-determination and human freedom. These messages are lost however in the wandering plot and lose their impact. If you get bored you can look for these small kernels of meaning in this slop of a plot.

I wanted to enjoy the movie but Scott and co. wouldn't let me.




Related Reviews:
Russell Crowe movies
American Gangster (2007)
A Beautiful Mind (2001)


Other Critic's Reviews:
eFilmCritic
Roger Ebert



Click here to buy your copy of Scott Nehring Good News Film Reviews
You Are What You See and learn
to change the world from your couch



Movie Poster: The Abyss

The Abyss Movie Poster





Good News Film Reviews

Movie Trailer: Looking for Eric

Notice the opening, when asked to name someone they want to emulate the names Fidel Castro and Gandhi are tossed out immediately. This is a bit of (probably unintentional) social marketing reinforcement. The two men being listed next to one another without a comment on Castro's inclusion is an acceptance that he is someone worth emulating.

Since a public figure's history doesn't matter why not just name Pol Pot or Hitler why you're at it. Castro is a murdering thug. To hear his name so casually tossed about is sickening. If you're ignorant that's your issue, stop sharing it with everyone else.

Then again, this is a movie about a grown man who emulates a sports star. He wants to be like a man who plays a game for a living. Why not emulate someone who actually does something worthwhile?

Sheesh, this one has me sounding cranky.

video

Return to the movie trailers page





Click here to buy your copy of Scott Nehring Good News Film Reviews
You Are What You See and learn
to change the world from your couch



Screen Shot: The Wizard of Oz (1939)



The Wizard of Oz movie still


Click here to buy your copy of Scott Nehring Good News Film Reviews
You Are What You See and learn
to change the world from your couch

300 (2007)

Should I see it?
Yes, with caution.


Short Review: Unequivocally the only movie ever made about screaming, half-naked, greased up men that is worth seeing .



In a time where homes downwind of movie theaters have to keep their windows closed each weekend to keep the stench out; this film is still an invigorating change. Yes, the dialog is seemingly overwrought, and the production is crammed with so much testosterone the DVD boxes have beards. Then there is the fact it is filled with half naked guys. There are many reasons to mock this production. Regardless, Zack Synder offered the freshest, most visually striking film since The Lord of the Rings Trilogy was released.

There is one thing that ignites my respect and approval and that is creativity. The inventiveness of this piece makes this worth seeing. From its fully realized art direction to the carefully constructed script, to the effective score, this is one of those films that combine all aspects of film making into a unified and pleasing whole.

The film follows Spartan King Leonidas as he leads 300 of his best men to hold off a army of thousands coming from Persia. Persian King Xerxes demands Sparta bend to his will and Leonidas refuses to submit to another man. When Xerxes comes to slaughter the defiant Sparta, it’s a battle royale where all of the players are apparently popping steroids between takes.


Many will most likely brush this film off as being a simple minded “guy’s movie”. Yes, there is bloodletting, screaming and oodles of death. Don’t be fooled by this film’s oafish exterior, there is more going on than a bunch of guys in leather jockstraps sweating on everything. The piece has a great deal to say about the battle between the rational versus the spiritual.

The main thrust of the film is a violent defense of The Enlightenment (or as I call it “Hey God, look -No hands!" The 300 Spartans do more than defend Sparta from the hordes of Xerxes in this film, they lay themselves down in an existential war against mysticism and religion.

Embodying mysticism, the self-worshiping devil Xerxes who is intent on commanding the world. Behind the Spartans are The Ephors who stand for organized religion. The Spartans deny both and look to remain clear of their theological entanglements to live free in their own “rational” world. Of course, the Spartans retreat from their rationality once bad things happen but that’s expected. It is the modus operandi of the self-reliant mind to crack under pressure. We’re all about being free from God up and to the point things go to pot, then comes the eventual reconsideration of one’s intellectual/spiritual footing. Despite this film’s desperate clinging to this world it is forced (albeit quietly) to bow to the afterlife.

Beyond the apparent sanguinary elements, there is a marvelously constructed piece of film making to be enjoyed. Each frame of this film is a work of deliberate beauty. I cannot think of another film so dedicated to making each inch of the screen so vibrant. Director Zack Snyder’s work is a breathtaking, visual pleasure.

The screenplay is equally as strong. Deceptively guttural, the dialog is a testament to the economy of language. Each line means something. Even when the characters are throw belligerent retorts to their enemies it isn’t meant as a sly wink to the audience, as we have come to expect from Schwarzenegger and company, but a reinforcement of the Spartan philosophy. The few words in this film are carefully chosen. Even the narration is deftly woven into the piece with care.

I seriously enjoyed this film. I was expecting this to be little more than a flashy version of all-star wrestling. I was thankfully proven wrong. Men will love this movie. This, much like Fight Club, speaks directly to our masculine side without shame.


Cautions: This is an exceptionally violent film. Digitized blood splatters, innumerable impaling, slow-motion beheadings and corpses abound. There is also graphic sex and nudity. This is not - I REPEAT IN LARGE UPPER-CASE LETTERS THAT BOLD - NOT - for children.


Worldview:
As I mention above, the film essentially comes out in favor of The Enlightenment and "reason" over religion. As a Christian, how can I throw my support behind such a message, in particular one that revels in so much violence? Simple, Snyder is correct to put himself behind the Spartans.

The real Spartans were a brutish, fascistic lot. They had a code of conduct; heck, they had a code of existence. If you broke the code you were not allowed to play in their reindeer games. I see them as being the logical end of secular thinking. Without God, the perfection of mankind becomes the only reasonable goal. When you start talking about perfecting man its only a matter of time before you begin casting the hapless deformed babies off cliffs.

The battle of Thermopylae was a critical point in Western Civilization. Without it, none of what we have today would have been possible. It is one of those lynch pin moments of history. The only way to show this event is to back the Spartans. They were jerks, but they were right to push back against Xerxes intruding hordes.

Regarding the overt mind over spirit angle of the film. I don't find this offensive in the slightest. I want people to use their reason, to be thoughtful. I do not want people to define themselves by their religion or delve into mysticism. Religion is a problem, it gets worshipers to focus on process and symbols rather than the Truth and the Word of God. This in turn leads people to creating their own rules and regulations. It also leads to "us vs. them" thinking.

A film that pokes its finger, or in this case a sword, into the eye of religion - you're okay with me.
The Spartans in the film believed in gods. They weren't atheists. They simply didn't feel the need to worship a man or man made idols. In the film they fight against the old mystical thinking that still hinders many people in the world today. The sooner the ancient mysticism are vanquished, the better.



Related Reviews:
Zack Synder movies
Dawn of the Dead (2004)
Watchmen (2009)




Click here to buy your copy of Scott Nehring Good News Film Reviews
You Are What You See and learn
to change the world from your couch


powered by Blogger | WordPress by Newwpthemes