Mar 14 2014

Need for Speed

Tobey Marshall (Aaron Paul) is a life long street racer and car builder with one thing on his mind– revenge. Having been framed by an old colleague, Dino Brewster (Dominic Cooper), Tobey is out to destroy Dino’s rep and record and restore the good name’s of his friends and associates. This will of course involve a cross country race with a bounty on his head and a beautiful but not totally helpless blonde (Imogen Poots). Win the race, win the girl, and put Dino away for life, let’s do this, 1 2 3 GO!needforspeed Yup, time to suspend disbelief and just go for a ride, albeit a ride with the creative flare and panache of a 13 year old, but it’s a ride none the less. Oh did I mention Michael Keaton narrates the whole thing as a mysterious race promoter/podcaster? Yeah, that happens, and while that’s a moderately clever tool to mask the otherwise poor scripting and exposition, the hoakey factor ranks pretty high making for an idea germ that rides distinctly lower tier. But, assuming you can just stop thinking and just enjoy cars that go fast for two hours and ten minutes, this might just be the ticket. Need for Speed is rated PG-13.

Mar 7 2014

300: Rise of an Empire

Offering further explanation and depth to the political tides turning within the story of the 300, we meet warrior turned politician Themistokles (Sullivan Stapleton). Following Themistokles journey across Greece and surrounding territories the stage is set as Persian forces led by Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro) and naval commander Artemisia (Eva Green) march and sail closer still. Defending Greece will take a combined effort on all fronts, but is it already too late? 300rise Directed by Noam Murro and partially written by Zack Snyder, Rise of an Empire is an ambitious piece that strives for the look, feel, and texture of 2006’s 300, and for the most part mission accomplished. Pseudo film noir comic book stop motion blood spattering to the max certainly makes this 2014’s bloodiest major release to date, but in many regards makes this feel like a one trick pony. And, while it’s a little hard to digest the somewhat simpleton dialogue, our principals seem to recite their lines with such seriousness, that that in itself is an accomplishment. Totally gratuitous sex will keep the fan boys titallated, and setup for a part three seems inevitable. It’s big loud and unapologetic, hmmm, maybe a matinee for graphic novel fans? 300: Rise of an Empire is rated R.