Movie Of The Week

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is the final chapter in the epic tale that came before The Lord of the Rings Trilogy.  When the dragon Smaug is released from the Dwarf mountain, a new evil will rise to threaten all of Middle Earth, and everyone must fight.

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  • Exodus: Gods and Kings is the latest retelling of the story of Moses and the Hebrew exodus from slavery in Egypt.  But as with any retelling, small and large details have been changed, and director Ridley Scott has also taken creative license to bring us a very realistic story with a subtle delivery of the underlying religious tones.  Ridley Scott is a highly awarded director and has received Oscar Nominations for some of his most recognizable films: Thelma & Louise, Black Hawk Down, and Gladiator.  Scott also brought in some very big name talent for this film, even though they do not match the demographics of the geographical area where the story takes place.  First, our leading man Moses is portrayed by Oscar winner Christian Bale (The Fighter, The Dark Knight Rises, and American Hustle); secondly, Moses’ adoptive brother and antagonist is Ramses, brought to life by Joel Edgerton (The Great Gatsby, Zero Dark Thirty, and Warrior); and finally, the elder of the Hebrew nation Nun was cast to another Oscar winner who has also played a historical religious figure, Ben Kingsley (Ender’s Game, Iron Man 3, and Gandhi).  The first Hollywood telling of Moses, the Hebrews, and the Ten Commandments was by Cecil B. DeMille in 1923, but perhaps the most famous incarnation from Hollywood came in 1956 with the Oscar Award winning The Ten Commandments starring Charlton Heston.  The 1956 film won 1 Oscar and was nominated for Oscars in 6 other categories.  Unfortunately, I do not believe that the 2014 film will be quite as successful for several reasons.

  • Horrible Bosses 2 is the sequel to 2011’s Horrible Bosses.  All of the same characters are back for another crime spree, but not with the same directing team.  This installment is brought to us by director Sean Anders, who has already directed Adam Sandler’s That’s My Boy and the teen comedy romp Sex Drive.  But the best way to sell any sequel is to get the band back together; so we have Jason Bateman (This is Where I Leave You, Bad Words, and the TV series Arrested Development), Jason Sudeikis (We’re the Millers, the TV series The Cleveland Show, and the TV series Saturday Night Live), and Charlie Day (the TV series It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, The LEGO Movie, and Pacific Rim) all returning as Nick, Kurt, and Dale, respectively.  What makes this movie even more intriguing is that they also got all of their famous co-stars to return for the film as well, including: Jamie Foxx (The Amazing Spider-Man 2) as Mother F*****, Jennifer Aniston (We’re the Millers) as Dr. Julia Harris, and Kevin Spacey (the TV series House of Cards) as Dave Harken.  But to make a sequel bigger and better you have to have even more famous and fresher talent than you had before, so this time they called upon Chris Pine (Star Trek (2009), This Means War, and Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit) and two time Oscar winner Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained, Water for Elephants, and Inglourious Basterds).

  • The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part I is the first movie installment of the third and final chapter in The Hunger Games Trilogy novels by Suzanne Collins.  This film picks up exactly where the second movie Catching Fire left off.  Katniss Everdeen, reprised by Jennifer Lawrence (X-Men: Days of Future Past, American Hustle, and Silver Linings Playbook), has been rescued by the resistance and taken to District 13, the once powerful military district.  Up until this point in time, everyone has thought that only 12 districts existed in Panem, as very few people alive can remember that far back to before the last rebellion 75 years earlier.  As Katniss recovers from the trauma of participating in the 74th and 75th Annual Hunger Games, districts all over Panem are rising up in revolt against the capital protesting under the symbol of the Mockingjay pin worn by Katniss during the games.  Peeta Mellark, portrayed again by Josh Hutchinson (Red Dawn, The Forger, and Journey 2: The Mysterious Island), was captured by agents of the capital and now fills Capital TV with protests and pleas for Katniss to stop the rebellion and return peace to Panem.  But why would Peeta do such a thing, especially after all that he and Katniss had been through together?  Does he feel betrayed by the rebels and Katniss for leaving him on the island after the 3rd Quarter Quell?  Or is he being puppeteer-ed by the capital against his will to stand against Katniss and undermine her savior status among the people of Panem?