Locke

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I have said this about a million times and those who have read my blogs know that I love a simple storyline and often think they can be the best, the writer can make them so complicated that they become unbelievable or confusing. I think that is where Transcendence went wrong because it made little sense and became unbelievable. Anyway the reason why I am talking about simple storylines is because I recently saw the film Locke, which has an extremely simple storyline, but it is unique and extremely well acted.

The basic plot is about a man driving home from work, he is a foreman on a record breaking building. This record is stated over and over again throughout the film and I wont spoil it by telling you what it is. The important part of the record is the fact that it is extremely hard to manage and Locke is the only man that can do it, it is also worth a lot of money and if there is the tiniest fault with in the construction then millions of pounds will be lost. You will see why this is important when you watch the film and I really hope you do because it really is a brilliant film.

It will take around an hour and half for Locke to get to his destination, if traffic is good and lucky enough as Locke enjoys saying “traffic is good”. This destination will change Locke’s life forever, in some ways this is brilliant and in some ways this is heart wrenchingly bad. The whole film takes place within Locke’s car and apart from a few views of the motorway that is all you will see in the 90 minutes of the film. On the way to his destination Locke will make and receive many phone calls, which will have a massive impact on his life. The calls will affect his family, his work and his colleagues in a massive way. There are many emotions shown on Locke’s face throughout the journey, some good and some bad. He feels anger, despair, happiness, relief, sadness, pride and excitement, which makes for a very interesting journey which will keep you on the edge of your seat.
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The Locke we see today is a different Locke from the one we would see yesterday because as he mentions “I am not quite myself today”. Every person he calls can sense this and eventually they will know why and as an audience you find out pretty quickly what is troubling him. We join Locke at probably the most pivotal point in his life and a time that could destroy what he has achieved so far. Yet Locke is in complete control of the situation and intends for everything to work out and I believe that he thinks it will. At some points he is so cool under pressure that you begin to think that he really doesn’t care about certain outcomes. His actions tonight are based on his childhood and the actions of his father and we see Locke looking into his rear view mirror on many occasions and talking as if he is talking to his father, who of course isn’t there. I believe that the whole thing could have been avoided had he made the decision to turn left at the beginning of the film instead of right, but would that have been the right thing to do? this film is all about doing the right thing.

Tom Hardy brings out a great performance and is the only visual actor throughout the film and everything is focused on him. Not once did I drift off because Tom hardy keeps you gripped throughout, which is very hard to do. There are a number of people talking on the phone, which sounds easy to act out, but I imagine it is a lot harder to portray emotion and make it believable when you cannot be seen. The actors on the phone really give you an image of what is going on there and you start to imagine what they look like, which keeps your mind active throughout. This as a I have said before is a unique film and was thought out by the director as he himself travelled down the motorway. I just hope his journey was not quite as dramatic as Locke’s.
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8/10

Transcendence

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I didn’t have any real feelings towards this film before going to see it, no real excitement or dislike for the film after seeing the trailer. All I knew was that I wanted to see it and that it was an interesting concept to deal with. There were some really good actors involved in the shape of Johnny Depp, Paul Bettany and Morgan Freeman. This was an unusual film for Johnny Depp in that his character was doing something unusual and amazing, but looked perfectly ordinary. He usually goes for the weird and out there type of character, not a scientist.

What does transcendence or transcendent mean?

(Of God) existing apart from and not subject to the limitations of the material universe. Often contrasted with immanent.

Beyond or above the range of normal or physical human experience:
the search for a transcendent level of knowledge

Surpassing the ordinary; exceptional, her transcendent beauty

All these definitions explain exactly what Johnny Depp’s character is aiming for, he Wants to play God along with his wife who wants to make the world a better place. Paul Bettany goes along for the ride, but he can see the dangers of such a thing. Is it good to play God? Should we be able to destroy diseases? Look at what has happened in recent years with medical developments, we deal with so many diseases which has led to population living well into their 90’s. Unfortunately the rate in which we deal with the body has surpassed how we can treat the mind meaning there is an increase in those with diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Should we play God?

Johnny Depp (Will Caster) has created artificial intelligence which can reason with human beings. This technology could change the world, curing diseases, increasing crop production, bring back forests etc.. there are some people that can see the dangers and kill Will with a bullet laced with radiation to stop this program continuing. His wife Evelyn Caster wants to keep him alive in one way or another so attaches him to the AI system, downloading his voice, memories, intelligence, emotions and physical appearance. This means when he dies he will live through this computer.
Transcendence 2014 - Johnny Depp HD Wallpaper
All seems to be working well, but then a computer can be destroyed therefore it would be easy for Will to die once more. The rebels have the same notion and plan to destroy the computer and transcendence at the same time. The good thing about being a computer is that you can go online and then you have as much space as you want and access to as much information as you want, which is where the danger lies. Will goes online and enjoys his limitless size and although he has good intentions he ends up taking control of those he is trying to help. Those he has helped to walk again, those that once were blind and can now see and even those close to death. He has also been able to create new life and not in the conventional way.

It is a beautiful idea, but the problem is the fact that things just happen without any form of explanation. Things are created at warp speed and literally out of nothing without ever explaining why? The rebel group without Paul Bettany (Max Waters) do not seem smart enough to take on this mighty power, so they too seem unlikely adversaries. Paul Bettany joins the rebel force after being kidnapped, but I can’t see why he was ever agreeable to Wills idea in the first place. Morgan Freeman sees through the idealism of transcendence and also joins the rebels who are more than willing to kill to get their own way. It’s all quite unbelievable!

The performances of each actor are really good and it was great to see Johnny without the make up and to show that he is a great actor. His wife steals the show however as the wife that can’t let go of the love of her life. Wouldn’t we all do the same if we could? I know I would. She takes a long time to realise that things have gone to far and tries to alter her actions, but has it all gone too far? There are so many questions to ask yourself during the film. I think good things could be achieved, but things just go a little too far too quickly.

Is transcendence possible? From the film you wouldn’t know as there are no explanations. Artificial intelligence has been something those with a technological mind have hoped for for many years. Films have had the idea since the days of The Terminator, which of course was ground-breaking. Many computer companies have their own AI section to help them understand their customers needs. They do not come in the shape of robots at the moment, just computer programs. Some of us have AI on our phones in the shape of Siri which recognises our voices in order to do what we want it to do. The technology started off quite pedestrian, but is getting better and better as time goes on. The aim is to have programs that can read text and understand it and then move onto understanding traffic in droid controlled vehicles. Will we one day be able to create the human brain? You’ll have to ask the likes of Google, Facebook and Microsoft for that answer.
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Rating 6/10

A pint of beer please barman.

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Wouldn’t you like to go where everybody knows your name? And a place where they are always glad you came? Well I most certainly would even if this place had an ex baseball player who saw himself as a bit of a Casanova or where a big guy sits all day drinking beer on the same stool or listening to a guy that believes he knows everything when in fact he knows nothing or maybe be served by a grouch barmaid that only needs to look at you and she is pregnant. There is also the simpleton behind the bar, the barmaid who quotes Shakespeare and is full of herself as well as the manager that can only date those on the millionaire list. You would also have to watch your every move and your every word around the psychiatrist who is just about as crazy as his patients. There is also the coach who has taken far too many hits to the head. I am of course talking about the series Cheers.

I always say the simple films or shows are the best and you do not get much simpler than a group of people sitting around a bar. You do on occasions see into their world outside the bar, but this is very rare. For most of the 11 seasons you see the same people in the same bar just living their normal day lives and drinking beer. They are not particularly exciting people but they all have their idiosyncrasies and now and then something slightly exciting happens there. Its just a look into human nature, relationships, stereotypes, personality and just a look into how the ordinary person lives. So who are the characters?

Sam Malone- Well he is the ex baseball player who ended up wasting his career due to a drink problem. The good news is the fact that he beats this addiction and confronts it by buying a bar called Cheers in the city of Boston. Another addiction is women and boy does he sleep with a lot of women during the 11 years of the show. He just cant help himself and lucky for him nor can the women. He is vain, arrogant, full of confidence, but not particularly clever although he is the guy that looks after his customers and sorts out their problems. He is admired by the men and fancied by the women, they live through him and wish they were him, but have to make do with being his friend. He has very lose morals, but often does the right thing in the end. He is a guy that you would be happy to call a best friend and the show revolves around him, oh and his hair.
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Diane Chambers- She is Sam’s adversary, a lady he spends most of his time trying to allure and get into his bed. She is the one that will not take notice, the one that thinks he is stupid, the one that is better than everyone and loves the sound of her own voice. She drives Sam mad in more ways then one and rarely can he understand her long and unnecessary vocabulary, but still he wants her. She is well spoken and from an affluent family who have provided her with a good education. She has a love of literature and dreams of becoming a writer although doesn’t quite have the conviction to do it. Her ego is extremely fragile and breaks on numerous occasions leading to floods of tears and public outbursts. She almost marries the Psychiatrist after finding herself in his sessions after a mental breakdown, but she is unlucky in love. She will annoy you, she will make you laugh, she will educate you, but one thing she will not do and that is get your drinks order to you without mixing it all up. She is of course a barmaid who is clearly not suited to her role despite all her grandiose achievements and opinions.
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Carla- She is Sam’s best friend who is as tough as an overcooked piece of steak that’s has been left in the sun and dried out for a month. She takes no prisoners and knows every insult known to man and will regularly tease those weaker then her. I warn you, tip her well or you might have a toothless smile in the morning. I would also suggest that you do not make eye contact because her children can be conceived at a blink of an eye. There are eight of the little cuties by the end of season eleven and when I say cuties I mean wild rabid animals. There is a soft spot or should I say a lust for Sam and she is not shy about talking dirty. Underneath that tough exterior there is a big heart and lots of fears as you will quickly find out. There is a belief in mysticism, fortunes and many superstitions. She is the life and soul of the party and a great deal of fun.
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Norm- “Afternoon everybody” “Noooooooorm” this is how almost every entrance is made by the big cuddly fella Norm. He is the jobless Bum who drinks beer all day without ever paying and grumbles about his wife Vera. Norm can never hold down a job although he is rather bright under that big mop of hair. He also loves his wife dearly despite all the bravado that comes from his mouth that states the opposite. This guy is happy to sit on the same stool everyday drinking beer and chatting away. There are moments outside the stool and they can be pretty exciting, but mostly he sits on his stool and drinks Beer. He has a special relationship with a know it all although he never likes to admit it. He is the constant that everyone works around, the familiar and the one that makes everyone feel safe,
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Cliff Claven- This is the guy that still lives with his overbearing mother despite approaching middle age. He is the proudest postman in the world despite not being very good at it. There are always efforts to try and be someone that he is not or at least portray this idea. The tongue of Cliff becomes completely twisted at the sight of a woman, leading to some very funny scenes and very funny conversations. If there is a useless fact to share and to share without any real substance then Cliff is your man. Cliff is the know it all and he shares his facts very regularly despite no one appreciating them. There is a sadness to Cliff and he only really becomes important when entering Cheers. Everyone pretends not to like him, but despite all his faults and annoying habits it is hard not to love him, He is my favourite character.
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Coach- He is the wise coach who often forgets what he is saying, lives in confusion and completely gets the wrong end of the stick. Coach is like the lovable Grandad of the group who everyone respects although no one will ever get a straight answer out of him. Sam has someone looking out for him and that is the coach and if there is a story to tell then coach is the one to tell it. The story’s are brilliant although don’t expect their to be a point and don’t expect the coach to remember why he is telling the story or how it starts and finishes. There have obviously been one to many knocks to the head over the years that have knocked out a few connecting wires.
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Woody- The small town barman who’s brain is as slow as a snail on Valium. He can never quite follow the flow of conversation amongst the group, but can quite often pull out a pearl of wisdom. There are numerous tales of back home that often lead to descriptions of weird actions with some kind of farm yard animal. When you hear of his home town you most definitely get the feeling that most of the inhabitants are related in some way. Woody is pure and innocent and can never tell a lie and on the few occasions he does it leads to massive pangs of guilt that almost eat him whole. This simple man just wants a simple life and has very few aspirations, but he is definitely one you can depend on as long as there is no thinking involved.
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Rebecca Howe- A loser in almost every way you can imagine. Whatever she touches seems to end in disaster leading to tears and numerous breakdowns. All she wants is a rich husband who can spoil her rotten and let her do whatever she wants. There are numerous attempts at finding this man that often leave her in compromising situations. She is of course a lady that catches Sam’s eye and she too like Diane spurns the numerous and clumsy advances from Casanova Malone. Her parents have no trust in her and feel that she cannot cope with life without making a mess of it and they are dead right. An allowance helps a great deal with the many rejections and catastrophes that she gets herself into along the way. Her and Sam become the best of friends even to the extent that try for a baby together. How do you think that works out?
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Frazier Crane- The Looney toon who is very much in the need of psychiatric help, which is great because he is a psychiatrist. Everyone at the bar gets a free session of advice whether they like it or not and quite often this advice leads to chaos. Frazier wants to be one of the guys, but doesn’t quite fit in with the rest. His relationship with Diane is a disaster, but then two neurotic people together was never going to work. Again we are looking at a very fragile ego which very often gets broken leading to some deeply humiliating scenes. There are a number of failed romances until he finds his wife Lillith, the cold, robotic emotionless woman that comes to life in the bedroom and is the only person to laugh at Cliffs jokes. Frazier is most definitely under the thumb with this one although he would never admit it. Frazier is the perfect form of opposition to almost every character, but he is soon loved by all once the pompous exterior is broken down.
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There are many bit characters along the way that return to the bar, but the main focus is on the trials and tribulations of the ones above and believe me there are too many to count. I love this show, which leaves me laughing, cringing, feeling sad, feeling happy and sometimes just annoyed. This is, as I have said before is about normal, well not normal, but erm.. about people in a bar and how Cheers is their safe haven and escape from the lives they lead.

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9/10

Divergent

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I always enjoy films that create an idea of Utopia where there are no wars and everyone is happy. Divergent is one of these films where an idea has been put in place to prevent wars and allow the human population to live free and happy lives within a faction. Unfortunately the people are not quite as free as they think they are as they are very much controlled by a big brother type group who try to make a better world by watching over and controlling those under each faction.

The film follows a family, particularly the daughter named Beatrice who comes from a political power, her mum and dad who are against the so called superior faction, Erudite. Erudite is someone with great knowledge learned or scholarly, which is not always the best type of person to rule. Erudite are the faction that want to take power, which leads to some interesting turns as the film goes on. Are their efforts of taking power for good? How do they intend to take power? We come into Beatrice’s life at the age of sixteen as she is about to be tested in order to find out what faction she will join, There are four factions….

Abnegation-”I choose to turn away from my reflection, to rely not on myself but on my brothers and sisters, to project always outward until I disappear.” This is the selfless faction who care for others and are incorruptible due to this virtue.

Erudite-”Ignorance is defined not as stupidity but as lack of knowledge. Lack of knowledge inevitably leads to lack of understanding. Lack of understanding leads to a disconnect among people with differences. Disconnection among people with differences leads to conflict. Knowledge is the only logical solution to the problem of conflict. Therefore, we propose that in order to eliminate conflict, we must eliminate the disconnect among those with differences by correcting the lack of understanding that arises from ignorance with knowledge.”

Dauntless- “We believe in ordinary acts of bravery, in the courage that drives one person to stand up for another… We believe in shouting for those who can only whisper, in defending those who cannot defend themselves.” This faction are the warriors protecting the people, but they have not been used as there have been no wars.

Amnity- “Give freely, trusting that you will be given what you need… Do not be angry. The opinions of others cannot damage you… The wrong is past. You must let it rest where it lies… You must no longer think cruel thoughts. Cruel thoughts lead to cruel words, and hurt you as much as they hurt their target.” This faction wants peace.

Beatrice takes the test and her results are inconclusive meaning that she is unique and does not fit into a faction. Divergents are to be feared because they are unknown and are to be eradicated from the planet in order to keep the people safe and the government in power. This being the case leads the tester to give Beatrice the Abnegation result and advises Beatrice to never reveal her result. Once testing has finished it is time to choose your faction and yes despite your test result you still get the chance to choose the faction yourself, but you run the risk of failure which will turn you into the scurge of humanity, the factionless. Beatrice chooses Dauntless after much consideration, of course this is a risk because she is a Divergent and if she is found out she will be killed.

As a Dauntless member she needs to prove that she can fight and control her fears, but these tests are difficult because her mind works differently to everyone else. Not only does she need to pass each stage, but she has to learn how to pass the tests without giving anyone the clue that she is a Divergent, which is very difficult. She does get help along the way, but will she be found out? There is also the acts of Erudite trying to take control. How will they do this? And will it be done humanely? How do you get everyone on your side? This I cannot reveal, but I will say that computers in the wrong hands can be very dangerous.
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I really enjoyed the film and the performances from all the stars were very good, but this is not a film about performances this is about the storyline and the idea of peaceful society. It is about belonging, it is also ruthless as failures are pushed out or killed. The people have been sold a lie and they are not quite as free as they think they are. This film is also great fun and makes you question yourself, would I dare to do that? How would I control my fear and what would my fear be? What faction would you belong to?

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7/10

classic Comedy

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laurel-and-hardy1Comedy has never been a genre of film that I have really liked, particularly modern comedy as it is quite often tasteless and crude. Comedy was great when the stars were Norman Wisdom, Abottt and Costello, Laurel and Hardy and Peter Sellers. I have loved Laurel and Hardy from a young age because for me they are the perfect double act. Slapstick comedy is hilarious, it’s the reason why you go to the circus to see the clowns. Amy and I went to see Cirque du Soleil last year and the clowns had us laughing out loud. Laurel and Hardy have the same effect on me and its not easy comedy to pull off especially to pull it off and make it look real.

Last night I saw a comedy short from 1921 before Laurel and Hardy got together. They both played their part in the film, but Laurel was the star. It was a silent film called Lucky Dog and the slap stick humour was hilarious. To know exactly what is going on without hearing any voices takes some skill and back then they had very few effects to use. I think Laurel and Hardy were far better actors then they have been given credit for and they were certainly great writers of comedy. For people to still love them now 60 years after their last film shows how good they were.

The flying deuces is a brilliant story of how Laurel and Hardy join the French foreign legion after Hardy is rejected by a beautiful woman. This leads to the funny scene where they try to commit suicide by throwing themselves in the river. We all know that they can never do anything right and suicide is another act that they can’t perform. They soon get talked out of it by a soldier and end up joining the foreign legion where of course all goes wrong. Even the silly act where Laurel bangs his head on the ceiling makes me laugh and its just so simple. How many double acts have we seen where one is more intelligent then the other, but not as intelligent as he thinks he is. Hardy is very pompous and laurel is like a little baby, but it’s such a beautiful friendship which continued off screen.

Together they made people laugh for around 30 years with their feature films and their short films. I love the short film where they babysit and everything always goes wrong. The song “go to sleep my baby” is wonderful. There is also Hardy’ s wife who scares the living daylights out of Hardy despite Hardy pretending he is the boss. Laurel is the unliked friend who always gets Hardy into trouble, which often leads to a broom across both their backsides.

Before Hardy’ s death they had more comedy planned, but sadly both suffered with bad health. Hardy was always a big man, but had to lose weight due to heart problems. He had a number of strokes before he died and only weighed 65kg which is ridiculously thin for someone his height. Laurel continued to write but he too suffered bad health meaning he couldn’t pick up his Oscar for his work in comedy. Danny Kaye another great comedy actor picked it up for him. Laurel died in the mid 60’s meaning it was the end of era. They are still loved by Americans today and I’m sure they have had a major influence on the comedy today.

Noah

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The animals went in two by two, Hurrah! Hurrah!
The elephant and the kangaroo, Hurrah! Hurrah!
The animals went in two by two,
The elephant and the kangaroo,
And they all went in-to the Ark for to get out of the rain,
And they all went in-to the Ark for to get out of the rain.

The animals went in three by three, Hurrah! Hurrah!
The wasp, the ant and the bumble bee, Hurrah! Hurrah!
The animals went in three by three,
The wasp , the ant and the bumble bee,
And they all went in-to the Ark for to get out of the rain,
And they all went in-to the Ark for to get out of the rain.

The animals went in four by four, Hurrah! Hurrah!
The great hippopotamus stuck in the door, Hurrah! Hurrah!
The animals went in four by four,
The great hippopotamus stuck in the door,
And they all went in-to the Ark for to get out of the rain,
And they all went in-to the Ark for to get out of the rain.

The animals went in five by five, Hurrah! Hurrah!
By eating each other they kept alive, Hurrah! Hurrah!
The animals went in five by five,
By eating each other they kept alive,
And they all went in-to the Ark for to get out of the rain,
And they all went in-to the Ark for to get out of the rain.

The animals went in six by six, Hurrah! Hurrah!
They turned out monkey because of his tricks, Hurrah! Hurrah!
The animals went in six by six,
They turned out monkey because of his tricks,

The animals went in seven by seven, Hurrah! Hurrah!
The little pig thought he was goin’ to heav’n, Hurrah! Hurrah!
The animals went in seven by seven,
The little pig thought he was goin’ to heav’n,
And they all went in-to the Ark for to get out of the rain,
And they all went in-to the Ark for to get out of the rain.

I have always enjoyed the story’s from the bible although I struggled with Christianity from a young age. I went to church every Sunday with mum up until the age of 15, when I was given the choice of whether I wanted to continue going to church and it was an easy decision not to. My Nan put together a reach out group for the family and the youngsters in the area which I loved going to because of the bible story’s, songs, quizzes and plays which were created, directed and written by my Nan. I was always ahead of everyone when it came to the quizzes. So although I no long follow Christianity I do still have a knowledge of the bible.
Russell Crowe as Noah in Darren Aranofsky's biblical epic
I knew before going to see the film that the story of Noah would not be followed to detail. The bible can be interpreted in many ways, but some interpret the story’s and God’s message in a way that suits them. The director definitely did this and also changed some important aspects of the word. I was very disappointed when reading reviews of the film that this was the case and so I went into the cinema with negative feelings.

The performances from the cast were brilliant and made this film a really emotional tale of a father’s love for his family, depicting his disgust at the sin of humanity and also the feelings if an ordinary man struggling to follow God’s word. I could really sense the struggles that Noah and his family were going through. Russel Crowe was a brilliant choice as Noah as a strong warrior fighting against sin and constructing the awesome ark that would be carrying the animals from earth to freedom. Jennifer Conelly always performs well and her role as a mother was difficult to play as she had to look out for her children, which could go against her husband’s role as the saviour and God’s commands. This is some power to go up against even if it provides her son’s with a happy life. Noah’ s wife wanted partners for her son’s although in the true story they were already married. This is one of the many inaccuracies in the film, which sort of sensationalized the story.
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The three sons looked rugged and almost caveman like as did the adopted daughter who was Barron and unable to provide them with children. They all had fights within themselves to either do the right thing by God or to do the best by themselves and their family. This is something that flows throughout the bible as man has to do right by God, which often means that they may suffer along the way. Even Jesus struggled as he knew he had to die on the cross, but as a man he feared this death and thought God had forsaken him. Ray Winston is the perfect enemy as Tubai Cain the leader of the sinful meat eating men who have provoked God to start life again. He is a man in God’s image, but has no belief that the floods will come . When they do he is only out for himself as the waters brush his men and women behind. Anthony Hopkins plays Mathusala with a very strong Welsh accent which seemed very strange and didn’t quite fit in with the rest of the cast. He came across as an eccentric wizard rather than a prophet and grandfather. There was a lot of fantasy in this film which is understandable as some believe the bible is pure fantasy.
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The watchmen which were fallen angels turned to stone were like characters from Lord of the rings supporting the idea of a fantasy film. These watchmen built the ark, which was like a big box as well as fighting man as they tried to enter the boat. It was a really disappointing view point and completely ruined the film in my opinion. The watchmen looked like creatures from the 80’s as did the flashbacks to the creation of earth.
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Part of the story is that man laughed at Noah for building the ark.They didn’t believe the floods were coming and that God wanted purify the earth of sin. Noah did not fight those trying to get on the boat like he did in the film and he didn’t believe that they would be the end of line . The scenes of Noah trying to kill his new born grandchildren were very unbelievable. I think this was mixed up with the story of Abraham where God tested him by telling him to kill his son Isaac. Abraham followed his God and went to kill his son before God revealed that it was just a test of Abrahams faith and he didn’t have to do it. I was pleased that God’s voice was not heard throughout the film as in previous films such as The Ten Commandments this has sounded pretty ridiculous.

Those with no knowledge of the bible are more likely to enjoy this film for film sake. The performances out shine the story itself because the word has not been followed. The fantasy aspect makes the story unbelievable and the graphics are very 80.s which is disappointing indeed. I find it hard to rate this film because I didn’t hate it, but I can only think of the performances as a positive note. I think biblical story’s have been portrayed far better on the big screen.
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Acting performance 7/10 film 6/10

Captain America: Winters Soldier

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Amy and I see many films throughout the year most of which we both want to see, but sometimes one of us wants to see a film more than the other. This was one of those occasions as we went to see Captain America, the old war hero brought back to life in the modern age to defeat the bad guys and work for Shield. I was quite surprised by the film and although I knew I wouldn’t hate it, I wasn’t that keen on seeing it, but I came out of the cinema having enjoyed an action packed film.

As a side thought, I did come out thinking about war veterans and how they cope after the wars that they fought in. Surely even Captain America would have been traumatised by some of the things he saw during WW2 as well as the events that have taken place since he was brought back. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is something that only really came to our attention in recent years, but research has shown that many war veterans have suffered once war is over. They often have flash backs, nightmares, feel depressed, turn to alcohol and some even attempt suicide. This is a major issue amongst American soldiers although it is obviously something that affects you whatever nationality you are. In 2012 more American soldiers died as a result of suicide then those dying in combat. To show it isn’t just modern soldiers affected, research shows that one in twenty WW2 soldiers suffered PTSD. 479,000 male war veterans who fought in Vietnam had PTSD and 610 Female war veterans suffered this disorder too. What causes it? Well research shows that those taken as prisoners during WW2 were less likely to suffer PTSD, this is because they did not have to kill any more. Killing another human being must be one of the hardest things to do and even as a soldier I suspect that killing is not what you want to do, but sometimes to protect your family and your country, you have to do it. As a military soldier you are likely to see dead bodies, be shot at, be sexually harassed, feel lonely, kill people, be ambushed, worry about family and get hit by mortar fire. How could anyone come back from something like that and not be affected in some way?

What happens to the soldiers when they come home? Well only fifty percent of those suffering from PTSD actually seek help and of the fifty per cent that do most do not receive adequate care for the disorder. Six hundred veterans were used for a study of PTSD and fourteen percent were suffering from the disorder. Thirty-nine percent abused alcohol and three per cent abused drugs. Many had symptoms of depression of which some committed suicide. How does a soldier go on with their daily life without adequate treatment or for some no treatment at all? Some will struggle to keep their family together, some will divorce, some will struggle to gain employment, which by itself would lead to depression. I know I am strange as many wouldn’t watch Captain America and immediately think of PTSD, but it should be thought about and war veterans should be acknowledged and helped. So next time you see Deer Hunter, Apocalypse Now, Platoon, Full metal Jacket, Saving Private Ryan or any other war film, you should spare a thought for those soldiers and see what you can do to help.

I hope those that wanted to hear about Captain America are still with me? I went to see this film having not seen the first film, which really didn’t matter as their were very few references to the first and when there were it was quite easy to piece the bits together. This was the same when I saw Thor 2 having not seen 1 and when I saw Ironman 3 without seeing The Avengers. Captain America always seemed to be the most boring Marvel hero, as he only really has his strength as a weapon although he can kinda fly with that shield of his. I soon changed my mind as I watched the film because plucking Captain America from WW2 is almost liking bringing an alien to earth because so much has changed over the last seventy years. I know my grandparents really struggle to keep up to date with all the latest technology, fashions and music. So to bring someone back without any time in between is a major challenge to his or her mind.
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There is so much action in this film, but there is still a great storyline to piece things together. Whether your bad or good, your goal is to get rid of the evil on the planet, but if you are bad this involves killing a hell of a lot more innocent people to achieve it. There are so many great characters in this film and they all work together brilliantly. Samuel L Jackson is Mr cool (Nick Fury) with his eye patch and dark clothing and he really is always one step ahead of everyone. Scarlet Johansson is great as Romanoff as she kicks even the biggest brutes ass. She too is also one step ahead of the enemy much to their pain and anger. Captain America has an innocence about him and is almost pure in the way he conducts his life where as others will beg, borrow and kill to get where they want to be. The most important part of this film is the corporation Shield and all I can say is that all is not what it seems in this quite complex story line. The enemy has his own story to tell even though he does not remember it as his life entwines with the life of the Captain. It takes Captain America and Romanoff to work it out, something that was long worked out by Samuel L Jackson.

There are fights, explosions, flying men, muscle men, deceit, lies, death and dodgy German accents, which make this film a thrill a minute. I didn’t yawn once and I didn’t drift off due to a lull in the story line. There are so many heroes in this film on both sides and there are also those that are weak and feeble. The link between Captain Americas previous life continues throughout the film as he marches through the modern world. There is no romance or very little which is quite refreshing really, but there are strong relationships and a type of love that friendships bring. There are links to Ironman and the avengers as you would expect, but this its not important to see these films first. Its a thrill a minute and easy to watch, so sit back and enjoy.

7/10

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