Posts Tagged ‘The Shoes of the Fisherman – movie review’

In the last couple of weeks I watched one new movie (“The Hobbit“) and two re-runs (“The Shoes of the Fisherman” and “Battle: Los Angeles“).
The Hobbit” is the prequel novel to the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy.  Actually, LOTR was not a trilogy.  It was a single LONG novel.  The publisher didn’t believe there was a market for a fantasy of such length (don’t you love experts), so they had Tolkien break the story up into three books.  I don’t recall the books standing that well as independent novels, so I guess it was lucky they’ve always been sold as a trilogy.  Anyway, I’ve watched LOTR multiple times and I read the books (maybe) ten years ago.  I read “The Hobbit” MANY years ago, probably thirty-five or so.  I enjoyed the Hobbit so much I bought the LOTR immediately, but then never read them.  Over the years, I’ve had to repurchase them at least three times, because I’d move and lose them or I’d loan them out and never get them back.
Back to the movie…  I don’t remember the book much…  Hobbit, dragon, special shirt, blue sword, orcs and a ring (“the” ring).  I’m told by fans the movie doesn’t really follow the book.  It both adds new bits and expands other bits.  Yeah, I get it.  You’re an expert and you were not really pleased…  Sorry.  Don’t care.  I really enjoyed this movie.  It’s a bit long and probably a bit too intense for small children, but otherwise, I thought it was really good.  If I have one regret, it’s that I didn’t make more of an effort to see it on the big screen.
There’s action, battles, heroics, and humor.  The humor is both physical and spoken, so you’ve got to both watch and listen.  The acting is good and the special effects are very good on the small screen.  (By small screen, I mean on our 48-inch, high-def home TV.)  You will have to pause every now and then (or have an exceptional bladder), but otherwise, I highly recommend this movie and I will definitely make the effort to see parts two and three at the theater.
I last watchedThe Shoes of the Fisherman” back in April of 2010 (see that review here).  I got it off the shelf to get myself in the mood for a nice long papal conclave.  For those of you not up to snuff on Roman Catholicism, when we need a new Pope (usually because the prior one has died), we hold a meeting of Cardinals called a “conclave”.  There, any Cardinal of voting age (under 80 years old) can vote to elect the person they feel should be the next Pope.  The conclave may be long or short and there’s no way to tell in advance how the Holy Spirit will guide the meeting.  Anyway, this is a movie I’ve enjoyed watching several times (I’ve probably seen it no more than a half dozen times in my life) and it always reminds me that my faith is a way of viewing our place in the world and in history and that it is not the “institution” of the Church.  I highly recommend this film too/again.
In real life, the conclave did not last even a week, so there was hardly much suspense from multiple votes.  In fact, the real conclave was shorter than the one in the movie.
The second movie (“Battle: Los Angeles“) is a well done military action film – the U.S. Marines versus an alien invasion.  Setting aside the plausibility of humanity being able to defeat a civilization which is able to move from solar system to solar system, the point is, do you enjoy watching the film.  I did (do).  In all honesty, I’ve watched this several times since getting the DVD and doing my second review (here) back in January 2012.  I initially reviewed the film after returning from my trip to Liverpool back in 2011 (here).  It’s still a terrific little action film (Ooh-rah!!) and it’s still highly recommended.  I haven’t intended to do it, but I guess I’m kind of setting a precedent of not reviewing a movie more than once a year on this blog – even if I’ve seen it more than that during the period.
By the way, I reviewed the film’s ranking on Rotten Tomatoes – it got a 31 rating; then I went to see it on Wikipedia.  According to Wiki, even though the film was roundly trashed by the critics, it did quite well at the box office and there is some discussion about making a sequel.  I can’t see how this really happens because the movie was borderline unbelievable, but if they can come up with a decent action movie, a Sci-Fi buff like me will normally shell out for the ticket.  I guess we’ll see…

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I took a couple of days off this week.  Just a little decompression time after working six days a week for the last three weeks.
I picked up a copy of “Avatar” and a copy of “The Shoes of the Fisherman“.  The first was a sci-fi movie which came out a few months back and was meant to transform the movie experience (because it was filmed and shown in 3D).  My DVD is not 3D, but I believe I enjoyed it more on the regular screen (TV) than I did at the theater.  Of course, the size was not as good, but the movie itself was more watchable for me – without the glasses or the distraction of flat 3D.
The second movie I watched was Fisherman, and it was (is) terrific.  It was movie of the year when it came out back in the 60’s.  It starred Anthony Quinn as a Russian archbishop who becomes Pope and who then turns around and pledges the wealth of the Church to help the starving Chinese.  This movie continues to touch me.  It leaves me wondering why our “real” Church can’t be more like Hollywood.  Why can’t the Church risk all it’s material wealth to help humanity?  I look at AIDS, starvation around the world, and so many other things the Church could do – not solve, but help with – and I have to ask why and why not?
I just finished the twelfth book in the Dresden Files series: “Changes” by Jim Butcher (2010©).  Dresden is a wizard who lives in Chicago.  This book is about him trying to assist a little girl who is to be sacrificed by some baddies.  There is a lot more to the story, but to say much more is to reveal good chunks of the story.  In any case, it is a good, fast, entertaining read and I highly recommend it.
Family Notes:
Today I spent a couple of hours looking at colleges with Sarah.  She has pretty good grades so she’s looking at some pretty elite schools: Princeton, Harvard, Duke, Penn, Stanford and Bowdoin.  Not really schools I would consider, but if she were to get in, I’d really try to see how we could help her.  Hil, of course, wants Sarah to go to DVC for two years to keep the cost down.

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