I know which one of the three new film I would like to watch this weekend. Unfortunately I’m trying to be the “good guy” and acquiesce to the needs and desires of my esteemed MovieByte Podcast co-host. Chad has absolutely no desire to see 300: Rise of an Empire. Of the three I think I would enjoy it the most. Mr. Peabody and Sherman would be my second choice I suppose. But this isn’t all about me (sadly enough).
New This Weekend
Starring Eva Green looking evil, ludicrously tall evil “god” king, water, ships, and slow motion! To be honest I don’t think the first film in this series is as great as many seem to think it is. That said I did enjoy it. Then again, part of the reason I enjoyed it as much as I did was because of Gerard Butler. Since his character is [SPOILER] dead, I don’t see how he’s going to be in this second film and therefore I’m not sure how much I will enjoy it. Then again, again, Eva Green looks appropriately menacing and terrifying. I expect this installment in the series to be about the same as the first — which is to say slightly better than mediocre and entertaining.
Chad, on the other hand would rather be horsewhipped than be forced to watch what he considers to be a monstrously terrible sequel to a terrible film in the first place. So alas, I won’t be watching this film this week methinks.
While King Leonidas and his 300 Spartans have their date with destiny at Thermopylae, another battle against the Persians is brewing, this time at sea. Themistocles (Sullivan Stapleton), a Greek general, sees the threat posed by the God-King Xerxes of Persia. He knows that he must unite all of Greece if he is to stand any chance of repelling the Persian invasion. Even if he accomplishes his mission, Themistocles must still face Artemisia (Eva Green), the ruthless leader of the Persian armada.
1 hr 43 min
R | Strong sustained sequences of stylized bloody violence throughout, a sex scene, nudity and some language.
Cast: Sullivan Stapleton, Eva Green, Lena Headey
Director: Noam Murro
Genres: 3D, Action/Adventure, Drama
See or not: Maybe
I suppose this film will be okay, I don’t know. It looks a little goofy and silly to me. It looks as if it’s trying to be something like what Pixar would put out (or would have put out back in the day) and trying to hard to do so. I don’t know. Perhaps I’m just a bit jaded or spoiled by Pixar or something like that. Part of me thinks that it could be fun. And Chad certainly thinks it’s going to be great, which is why he insisted on this film for the topic of the next MovieByte Podcast.
Mr. Peabody (Ty Burrell), the most accomplished canine in the world, and his boy, Sherman (Max Charles), use a time machine called the Wabac to embark on outrageous adventures. However, when Sherman takes the Wabac without permission to impress his friend Penny (Ariel Winter), he accidentally rips a hole in the universe and causes havoc with world history. It’s up to Mr. Peabody to mount a rescue and prevent the past, present and future from being permanently altered.
1 hr 31 min
Cast: Ty Burrell, Max Charles, Ariel Winter
Director: Rob Minkoff
Genres: 3D, Animated
See or not: Sure, go see it. It should be fine.
This film just looks stupid, with a lot of inappropriateness thrown in for good measure. Seriously, it looks way over the top in that way that I just find to be incompatible with my film watching tastes.
The Grand Budapest Hotel tells of a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel between the wars and his friendship with a young employee who becomes his trusted protégé. The story involves the theft and recovery of a priceless Renaissance painting, the battle for an enormous family fortune and the slow and then sudden upheavals that transformed Europe during the first half of the 20th century.
1 hr 39 min
R | Violence, Some Sexual Content and Language
Cast: Saoirse Ronan, Ralph Fiennes, Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, Jeff Goldblum, Jason Schwartzman
Director: Wes Anderson
Genres: Comedy, Drama
See or not: For my money, NO.
Still In Theaters
Non-Stop — PG-13
I liked this film better than I thought I would. I would say it was quite an enjoyable experience at the cinema, actually. It’s not going to be the best film you see this year, or probably even in the next couple of months, but it was quite a fun ride, even if it did have some flaws. Liam Neeson is a great actor and when you put a gun in his hands on a plane, well, things usually don’t work out for the bad guys, but they work out okay for us. That’s certainly the case here.
I wrote a review which you might be interested in, and Chad and I talked about the film on The MovieByte Podcast.
Global action star Liam Neeson stars in “Non-Stop,” a suspense thriller played out at 40,000 feet in the air. During a transatlantic flight from New York City to London, U.S. Air Marshal Bill Marks (Neeson) receives a series of cryptic text messages demanding that he instruct the airline to transfer $150 million into an off-shore account. Until he secures the money, a passenger on his flight will be killed every 20 minutes. The film reunites Neeson with “Unknown” director Jaume Collet-Serra and producer Joel Silver, and co-stars Golden Globe Award winner Julianne Moore.
1 hr 47 min
PG-13 | Intense sequences of action and violence, some language, sensuality and drug references
Cast: Liam Neeson, Julianne Moore, Nate Parker
Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
Genres: Action/Adventure, Suspense/Thriller
See or not: SEE
- Non-Stop — Review
- The MovieByte Podcast #81: Don’t Bad Guys Watch Movies?
- ‘Non-Stop’ Trailer: Someone Dumb Enough to Hijack Liam Neeson’s Plane
- 4 Clips from ‘Non-Stop’ Starring Liam Neeson
Son of God — PG-13
From what I can tell of the trailers, this film looks like a basic cable TV movie that someone decided to put up on the big screen. Also unfortunately, as a believer, it feels to me like it is awfully hard to depict the life of Christ on the screen without falling in to some sort of blasphemy or heresy pitfall(s). This film looks both like your typical cheesy Christian fair, and like it is taking liberties that ought not to be taken with the life of the Son of God.
That said, I may or may not see the film so that I can have a more informed opinion as to it’s merits or lack thereof. But I’m wary. I mean, just read the synopsis I’m pasting in below and tell me this thing is not filled with cheese, and someone’s very human perspective and idea of what Jesus’ life on this earth was.
Also, if you are a Christian as I am, you may want to read this article which I think has a very good perspective on the film.
This major motion picture event – an experience created to be shared among families and communities across the U.S. – brings the story of Jesus’ life to audiences through compelling cinematic storytelling that is both powerful and inspirational. Told with the scope and scale of an action epic, the film features powerful performances, exotic locales, dazzling visual effects and a rich orchestral score from Oscar®-winner Hans Zimmer. Portuguese actor Diogo Morgado portrays the role of Jesus as the film spans from his humble birth through his teachings, crucifixion and ultimate resurrection.
2 hr 18 min
PG-13 | intense and bloody depiction of The Crucifixion, and for some sequences of violence
Cast: Diogo Morgado, Greg Hicks, Adrian Schiller, Darwin Shaw, Sebastian Knapp
Director: Crispin Reece, Christopher Spencer, Tony Mitchell
See or not: Probably not
The Lego Movie — PG
This film was quite good. Well worth catching in the theater. I heartily recommend it. It may not quite live up to my beloved Wreck-it Ralph or anything like that but it is quite good. The characters are perfect, the story is solid, the laughs are all great and in good taste, and the bad guys are complex.
I wrote a review which you might be interested in, and Joe joined in with me and Chad on The MovieByte Podcast episode 79 to talk about it. They both liked it even better than I did.
Emmet (Chris Pratt), an ordinary LEGO figurine who always follows the rules, is mistakenly identified as the Special – an extraordinary being and the key to saving the world. He finds himself drafted into a fellowship of strangers who are on a mission to stop an evil tyrant’s (Will Ferrell) plans to conquer the world. Unfortunately for Emmet, he is hopelessly – and hilariously – unprepared for such a task, but he’ll give it his all nonetheless.
1 hr 35 min
PG | Mild Action and Rude Humor
Cast: Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell, Morgan Freeman
Director: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller
Genres: 3D, Animated
See or not: SEE
- The MovieByte Podcast #79: Spaceship!
- The LEGO Movie — Review
- ‘The Lego Movie’ Gets ‘Man of Steel’ Treatment
- 9 Clips and a Featurette from the Upcoming ‘Lego Movie’
- ‘The Lego Movie’ — Trailer 2
- Batman vs. Superman in ‘The Lego Movie’ Pre-Trailer Trailer
- ‘The Lego Movie’ Trailer
3 Days to Kill — PG-13
This one looks like a mildly interesting thriller that I sort of want to be good. But I have this feeling that it’s going to be pretty generic and not too great.
In this heart pounding action-thriller, Kevin Costner is a dangerous international spy, who is determined to give up his high stakes life to finally build a closer relationship with his estranged wife and daughter, whom he’s previously kept at arm’s length to keep out of danger. But first, he must complete one last mission- even if it means juggling the two toughest assignments yet: hunting down the world’s most ruthless terrorist and looking after his teenage daughter for the first time in ten years, while his wife is out of town.
1 hr 57 min
PG-13 | for language, intense sequences of violence, intense sequences of action and some sensuality
Cast: Kevin Costner, Amber Heard, Hailee Steinfeld, Connie Nielsen
Genres: Action/Adventure, Suspense/Thriller
See or not: Meh
The Monuments Men — PG-13
Unfortunately, having seen this film finally, I have to say this one is one to avoid. It’s quite a mess and the story never really gets off the ground. The script is a mess, the characters never establish any chemistry, it’s boring and sloggy, and the concept deserves far better. I gave it only 2 stars. Read my review for more details.
Based on the true story of the greatest treasure hunt in history, The Monuments Men is an action drama focusing on an unlikely World War II platoon, tasked by FDR with going into Germany to rescue artistic masterpieces from Nazi thieves and returning them to their rightful owners. It would be an impossible mission: with the art trapped behind enemy lines, and with the German army under orders to destroy everything as the Reich fell, how could these guys – seven museum directors, curators, and art historians, all more familiar with Michelangelo than the M-1 – possibly hope to succeed? But as the Monuments Men, as they were called, found themselves in a race against time to avoid the destruction of 1000 years of culture, they would risk their lives to protect and defend mankind’s greatest achievements.
1 hr 58 min
PG-13 | Some Images of War Violence and Historical Smoking
Cast: George Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Jean Dujardin, Bob Balaban, Hugh Bonneville, Cate Blanchett
Director: George Clooney
Genres: Action/Adventure, Documentary, Suspense/Thriller
See or not: Not
RoboCop — PG-13
I actually enjoyed this film a lot. I took the time to watch the original first and I was not too impressed. But I was pleasantly surprised with this new remake. It had a great story, great cast, great acting, and a lot of heart.
In RoboCop, the year is 2028 and multinational conglomerate OmniCorp is at the center of robot technology. Overseas, their drones have been used by the military for years – and it’s meant billions for OmniCorp’s bottom line. Now OmniCorp wants to bring their controversial technology to the home front, and they see a golden opportunity to do it. When Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) – a loving husband, father and good cop doing his best to stem the tide of crime and corruption in Detroit – is critically injured in the line of duty, OmniCorp sees their chance to build a part-man, part-robot police officer. OmniCorp envisions a RoboCop in every city and even more billions for their shareholders, but they never counted on one thing: there is still a man inside the machine pursuing justice.
1 hr 48 min
PG-13 | Intense sequences of action including frenetic gun violence throughout, brief strong language, sensuality and some drug material.
Cast: Joel Kinnaman, Gary Oldman, Samuel L. Jackson, Abbie Cornish, Michael Keaton
Director: José Padilha
Genres: Action/Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
See or not: See
- The MovieByte Podcast #80: I Wouldn’t Buy That for a Dollar
- RoboCop (2014) — Review
- The ‘Robocop’ Trailer Is Here
- RoboCop Trailer #2 - America is Robo-phobic Apparently
- The Revolution Begins Right now with New ‘Robocop’ Trailer
- 2 New Clips from RoboCop
Pompeii — PG-13
I have to admit, I don’t think it’s possible for me to be less interested in a film. This looks like a completely terrible tragic love story. I don’t get what the motivation is behind this thing, why I should care, who it’s supposed to be about, why I would care about these fictional lovers. None of it makes any sense. And man the trailers have looked so bad.
Set in 79 A.D., POMPEII tells the epic story of Milo (Kit Harington), a slave turned invincible gladiator who finds himself in a race against time to save his true love Cassia (Emily Browning), the beautiful daughter of a wealthy merchant who has been unwillingly betrothed to a corrupt Roman Senator. As Mount Vesuvius erupts in a torrent of blazing lava, Milo must fight his way out of the arena in order to save his beloved as the once magnificent Pompeii crumbles around him.
1 hr 38 min
PG-13 | for intense battle sequences, disaster-related action and brief sexual content
Cast: Kit Harington, Carrie-Anne Moss, Emily Browning
Director: Paul W.S. Anderson
Genres: 3D, Action/Adventure
See or not: Not