Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Movie Reviews: 47 Ronin and Non-Stop

Okay, I watched both of these last weekend and am just now getting around to reviewing them, so we'll call these mini-reviews. Probably not as much details as I usually do.


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47 Ronin


So I had two very strong opinions from family members about this movie. One brother loved it. The other hated it and thought it was totally stupid. It made me curious. So I had to be stuck home by myself for two days last weekend babysitting my niece. Therefore, I rented a couple of movies.

Plot: The story was actually really good. It was in the vein of The Last Samurai (though admittedly, The Last Samurai was much better). But think of it as the stuff of Japanese legend. It's about warriors, honor, tragedy, and doing something because it's right, even though it's ridiculously harsh.

While this seems like a typical oriental film, it's all in English, and it's not entirely realistic either. Because it's a legend, there's a touch of the fantastic (magic, witches, etc.) in it, which makes it more of a dark fantasy set in Japan. Interesting combination, I must say.

Film/Story Structure: One of the major problems was the setup. The first half hour of the film was downright boring, but that's because it took that long to get to the core of the story. Once it really got going, it was much better.

Acting: Okay, my buddy Keanu is often criticized for having exactly two facial expressions. While I don't necessarily disagree with that observation, it's never bothered me. He has an honest heir that just makes you like him. That said, neither he nor any of his co-workers were every going to get any award nominations for this film.

Effects: As with the acting, let's just call this a B movie and leave it at that.

Overall: I fell in between the opinions of my two brothers. I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it either. The story was really good, and I'm glad I got to hear it, but the film itself left some things to be desired.

Funny Story: My three-year-old niece watched it with me (i.e. played dolls and occasionally glanced up at the screen). When Keanu with his long hair and beard first appeared on screen, she asked if that was Jesus. I had to laugh.


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Non-Stop


I didn't get to see this in theaters, and I wish I could have. I loved this film, and it would have been all kinds of epic on the big screen!

Plot: Liam Neeson plays an air marshal who is afraid to fly. (Awesome right?) He finds himself on an international flight and starts receiving texts saying that if money isn't wired into a specific account, the texter will start killing one person an hour. People soon start dying, and Neeson can't figure out how it's being done. Meanwhile...they're on a flight!

Other Performances: Julianne Moore and Michelle Dockery both make memorable appearances. (I could have done without Julianne Moore's bug glasses, though. I think the eighties want them back. And it was kind of weird to see Dockery outside of Downton Abbey, but I thought she did a good job.)

Pacing: The tension was very high in this film. It was an edge-of-your-seat nail-biter. I couldn't look away from the screen. I thought it was fantastic.

Story: This works well because it plays on post 9/11 fear of flying, terrorism, fear, integrates technology with texting, and then there's the Liam Neeson action movie vibe that's been working for him for several years now. Not to mention, there are a finite number of people on the flight who might be in on the conspiracy, and the film keeps you (and Neeson) guessing about who it might be. Like I said, you can't stop watching it.

Overall: Yeah, don't have much more to say (I don't want to give any spoilers) except that I loved it. Highly recommended. Even if you aren't particularly into Neeson's action films, give this one a try. I think you'll like it anyway. :D

Has anyone seen either of these films? What did you think of them?

4 comments :

  1. Haven't seen Non-stop but i liked 47 Ronin.

    Aparajita @Le' Grande Codex

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    1. Glad you did! As I said, I really liked the story, if not EVERY aspect of the film. But you should try out Non-Stop. It was great! :D Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  2. This movie did drag on a bit, to the point where this movie felt a lot longer then it actualy was.

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