Tag Archives: Russell Crowe

Flashback Friday-Cinderella Man (2005)

Let’s be blunt. Life is hard. Sometimes we get knocked down. The question, is, when we are down, do we stay down or fight to get back on our feet?

In Cinderella Man (2005), Jim Braddock (Russell Crowe), is a boxer knocked down in a one two punch by life. First by injuries and then by The Great Depression. Unable to box for a living, he was forced to go on public relief and like many, fight for what little jobs there were to be had. Then he gets one last chance in the ring. There are many who doubt that this aging, injured boxer can return to his former glory days. But something inside of him keeps pushing him on. Can Jim win this one last battle or is he down for the count?

This movie is really quite excellent. The acting, the story telling and the visuals are spot on. It is also a reminder that despite the crap that life sometimes hands us, we can still get back on our feet.

I absolutely recommend it.

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Noah, The Flood That Did Could Have Been

The story of Noah is familiar one. Noah was told by G-d that he was going to create a flood to rid the world of those who had sinned. But Noah and his family would be saved by building an ark which would hold the world’s animals. After some time floating on the endless ocean, a dove was sent to Noah, a sign that that would waters would recede and land would soon be found.

Biblical epics have been a staple of Hollywood storytelling since it’s early days.   Transferring the story of Noah from the pages of the Bible to big screen would have happened eventually.

Directed by Darren Aronofsky,  co written by Aronosky and Ari Handel, Noah (Russell Crowe) is the descendant of Seth, the third son of Adam and Eve. He and his wife Naamah (Jennifer Connelly) have three sons. Shem (played as an adult by Douglas Booth), Ham (played by as an adult by Logan Lerman) and Japheth (played by as an adolescent by Leo McHugh Caroll). When Noah is given a message by G-d that the  flood is coming, he seeks out his grandfather, Methusaleh (Anthony Hopkins), for guidance.  During their journey, they find Ila, a orphan (played by as an adult by Emma Watson) who becomes their adopted daughter and the Watchers, fallen angels who become their helpers in building the ark.  But trouble comes in the form of Tubal-cain (Ray Winstone), a self proclaimed king who wants the ark for himself.

When making a biblical movie, Hollywood will inevitably come up against two barriers: the first being that the movie will never be universally approved, there will always be criticism. The second is that biblical characters, like mythical characters are often larger than life. We, as the audience know their story, but we do not know them as human beings, which allows the filmmakers creative license. That creative license may create controversy when a religious movie goer may disapprove of on screen depiction of the story and the characters.

One of the best elements of the movie was the strong female characters. With a rare exception, most of the women in the Bible referred to as the wife of ______ or the daughter of _______. She is not named, nor are we told anything about her other than she is someone’s wife or daughter. Naamah and Ila are both very strong and capable female characters, they are equal to the men as integral parts of the story.

The movie build up a steady pace up to the flood and then the problems start. The third act of the movie, when they are stuck on the ark, I had problems with. Frankly, that part of the movie could have been shorter, shortening the entire movie. Noah is not a bad movie,  but if I were the screen writer, I would written the third act differently.

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Something Super About Superman- Man Of Steel Review

What can I say about Man Of Steel? Other than its brillant and every comic super hero film from now on should have Christopher Nolan invovled with the production.

Man Of Steel completely reboots the Superman myth, starting with the last days of Krypton and the confrontation between Jor-El (Russell Crowe) and General Zod (Michael Shannon). The film then takes the audience to Earth with Clark Kent/Superman (Henry Cavill) having flash backs of his childhood while attempting anonimity. Daily Planet reporter, Lois Lane (Amy Adams) is investigating a series of UFO related incidents and the myth that this mysterious man has been helping people in their hour of need.

The movie is very good. Cavill as Superman/Clark Kent is a breath of fresh air, revitalizing the Superman mythos with renewed energy. Adams as Lois Lane is both traditional and modern in her portrayl of Superman’s other half. Rounding out the cast is Laurence Fisbourne as Perry White with Diane Lane and Kevin Costner as Martha and Jonathan Kent, Clark’s human adopted parents.

My only critique is that the fight scenes could have been cut down by a few minutes. Other than that, the movie was incredible and I hope to see a sequel in the next few years.

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