The Huntsman: Winter’s War
This was meant to be the prequel to the famed Snow White story. It stars Charlize Theron as the evil queen, Emily Blunt, the sister and equally evil ice queen, Chris Hemworth the Huntsman and Jessica Chastain as the love interest.
All the performances are actually well done and the special effects were pretty good. So why is the film getting panned by critics and industry insiders?! Apparently, something derailed the entire production back at the studio, ultimately causing the director and the star Kristen Stewart to walk, as in, away from the project all together.
Comments like “cheesy performances” and “clumsy filmmaking” and worse are making the rounds. At the end of the day, the movie left me wanting for more.
Oh my!! Punk rockers perform at a neo-Nazi “club” in remote Oregon only to stumble upon something they were not meant to see. It quickly becomes a movie of horror, a bloodletting thriller of survival.
It was often difficult to watch. The action was intense and unrelenting that made the film eerily watchable. There wasn’t time in the moment to process everything that was happening so it just unfolded ready or not, like it or not.
A big surprise was the unexpected appearance of Patrick Stewart as a really good bad guy. I left the theater exhausted and somewhat stunned.
Elvis & Nixon
“What?” was my first reaction to the movie Elvis & Nixon. I had forgotten The “King” actually did meet with President Nixon for about 40 minutes at the White House back in 1970.
Kevin Spacey morphed into his Nixon character, perfect casting. Paired with Michael Shannon as a believable Elvis. The actual conversation was never documented or recorded so the script was free to imagine what may have been.
There was also an odd, creepy undercurrent. Both men were clearly a few cards short, if you know what I mean. Yet there was enough quirkiness to make it a unique story to be sure.
This Norwegian film about the unstable mountains above Norway’s fantastic fiords created by glaciers thousands of years ago. They are moving, ever so slowly but surely, they are moving.
What makes this film work is the acting and the characters. These are nice likable people living in a safe affluent country surrounded but incredible beauty. This pastoral tone slips away when a huge chunk of the mountain gives way and crashes into the narrow fiord creating a massive tsunami wave.
This is a nail biting action thriller. It is well crafted and easy to watch. The English subtitles seemed easier to read than most. It was only in the theaters for a very short time. You can find it on line or pay per view.
Related Travel Note: At some point in life, a visit to the Norwegian Fiords is a must. The long days of summer is the best time to be there. It can be done by train or car but the water route is hands down the best option. There are dozens of fiords, Geiranger being the grandest. This movie experience was greatly enhanced having traveled to this unique part of the world.
Hologram for the King
Tom Hank’s character is the focal point for this unique story about a businessman, father and divorced husband down on his luck at the end of his career. He takes a tech job is Saudi Arabia as a last stand for success.
He struggles to adapt to jetlag, business and social protocols and a lump on his back. There is a goofy Saudi driver he befriends, a wild party at the Danish Consulate, several encounters with the locals including a female doctor.
It is a fascinating and relatively accurate peek at an unusual country from a different perspective. Ultimately uplifting.
Another Travel Footnote: John and I were among the first 1000 “tourists” given visas to visit Saudi Arabia many years ago. It was a fascinating experience but not for everyone.