Posts Tagged ‘Battle: Los Angeles’

Today’s reviews are for an older movie I’ve just seen and an a newer movie I’ve seen multiple times and really enjoy.  The first is “Edge Of Darkness” (2010) starring Mel Gibson and the second is “Live, Die, Repeat: Edge Of Tomorrow”  (2014) starring Tom Cruise.
Edge Of Darkness  —  movie review
Edge Of Darkness” is a police / crime / mystery / revenge drama about a policeman whose daughter is shot/murdered on his doorstep as the father is trying to take his daughter to the ER.  At first, the assumption is that the police officer was the intended victim and the daughter an unfortunate accident.  The father shortly finds indications this is not the case and he begins to suspect the daughter was the real target of the homicide.  The father (Thomas Craven) is played by Mel Gibson (who is starting to look OLD) and the daughter (Emma Craven) is played by Bojana Novakovic / Gabrielle Popa depending on whether the daughter is old (Bojana) or young (Gabriella).  Blah, blah, blah…  Mel kills everyone and gets revenge.  The movie ends with a rather strange scene of the spirit of the daughter coming back to get the dying father and they walk down the hospital hallway into the “bright light”.
To tell the truth, I’d never heard about this movie before and did not watch the trailer until after I’d seen the film.  It (the film) was much better than I expected (despite the kind of lame ending).  Probably because I’m used to seeing Mel Gibson in rom-com kind of roles now that he’s gotten older, I don’t really think of him as the action / hero cop of his “Lethal Weapon” days.  He’s not that here (“Lethal Weapon” -esque), but he does have a few action scenes before the big shootout.  Anyway, the most interesting aspect of the movie was not the action or the police drama, it was the framing of the movie as a love story about a father and his only daughter.  This is initially done via family video tapes and then, later in the film, via (“Sixth Sense“) “I see / hear dead people” flashes by the dad.  I would say the movie almost over-hammers this point by going back to it again and again, but in the end, it worked for me.
Final recommendation:  strong.  I enjoyed the movie.  It has appropriate levels of action and the pacing seemed fine for the length (at just under two hours).  The movie is rated “R” for violence (and it is).  This is definitely not a “classic” for Mel or for the genre, but if you enjoy the “Deathwish” crime / revenge drama genre, you will almost certainly enjoy this addition to it.
Edge Of Tomorrow  —  movie review
Live, Die, Repeat: Edge Of Tomorrow” (the movie’s full name) is a SciFi blend of “Groundhog Day” meets “Independence Day” with a healthy dash of “Battle: Los Angeles” thrown in.  The movie stars Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt as the heroes / love interests.  Basically, Earth is attacked and Emily appears to have saved the day.  In reality, she hasn’t and Tom has to come behind her and finish the job on the nasty old aliens.  He does.
I did not see this movie at the theater and I regret it.  I was not a big Tom Cruise fan, so I thought, “I’ll wait for the video…”  This was a mistake!  This is definitely a movie which should be enjoyed on as big a screen as possible.  Oh well, my 50 inch screen from 2-3 feet away has had to do the job.  And, it has.  About a half dozen times (so far).  I have thoroughly enjoyed this film and it easily bears up to watching repeatedly.  Is that ironic, or what?  As usual, I digress…
Final recommendation:  Highly.  This is a very good to great SciFi movie.  It has an alien invasion, explosions, special effects, exoskeleton combat suits, action, humor, loud mouth Southern sergeants, a light touch of romance – everything!  And, it has them over and over again!  This movie made me go back and look for Tom and Emily in other movies and I’ve enjoyed many of them more than I did on first viewing.  I love it when a movie can completely change my perspective on one or two actors and this was one of those movies for me.
Now that I’ve effused, it’s not “really” a “GREAT” movie.  It didn’t win any Oscars and it’s not going to go down in history as a “classic”, but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it multiple times and could easily watch it again today (or in the near future).  If you like this genre (military SciFi / alien invasion / time travel paradoxes), you will love this movie.  Take it to the bank.
On This Day In:
2015 I Hope Not
2014 Study The Means Of Expressing Yourself
2013 That Stubborn Thing
2012 Like Mike
2011 Flawless Or Candid
2010 Browning…

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Today’s entry is about a book I read and a movie I watched a couple of weeks ago but haven’t gotten around to reviewing.  The book is:  “A Mathematician’s Apology” by G. H. Hardy, 1940©.  The movie is:  “Act of Valor“.
Hardy’s “Apology” is a quasi-autobiographic discussion of math, ideas and science.  Hardy has a self-deprecating style which almost reaches the point of false modesty.  During his lifetime, Hardy was considered one of the five most brilliant mathematicians in the world.  His love for his subject – math, not himself – is evident; as is his sense of loss when he realizes he is too old to continue productive work.  As difficult as this may be for some to believe (me for example), most cutting edge mathematics is done by those under 30 years of age.  In fact, it is almost parallel with the life of a world-class athlete – demonstrate early potential (pre-teens), exceed your peers at an early age (pre-20’s), make your mark (pre-30’s), then (if you’re lucky) find others you can mentor and teach (post-30’s).
But what happens when you don’t want to admit you don’t have it any move?  Does it make you bitter, or just sad?  Or maybe, a bit of both.  This seems to be the case with Hardy.  I found this book on the $2.00 rack at my local used-book store.  I opened it and read the last two paragraphs which have been previously quoted, see:  “Life’s Last Question” and “Something Of Value“.  As I don’t personally share Hardy’s value system for evaluating one’s life, it is difficult for me to appreciate the sadness his words seem to relate, but I have enough empathy for him to appreciate his sense of gradual dissolution and fade into the unknown (death).  And, it doesn’t hurt to be getting on in years myself.
The movie:  “Act of Valor” is your basic heroic action flick.  It’s claim to fame is that it uses some real-life Navy SEALs in the actors roles.  It is very gung-ho and American patriotic.  If you are into that (and I am), it’s a good action movie with bad acting.  If you can’t get past the “Rah-Rah America”, you’ll have a hard time getting through the bad acting to wait for the next action.  The special effects are just okay.  I liked the movie, but I can easily see why a lot of folks will not.  I got the DVD on the cheap, but I’d say most will wait another couple of months for this to move to TV.  To be honest, I enjoyed “Battle: Los Angeles” a lot more.  Just as much “Rah-Rah”, but much better acting and special effects.  Of course, “B:LA” was SciFi, not “made-up” battling terrorists.  Like I said, wait for it (“AoV”) to come to TV.

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