King Arthur: Legend of the Sword: A Review

How lucky are you that you get to read my review of a second movie this week. Not only that, it’s one that’s been out for AGES already. But anyway, King Arthur.

I was most definitely iffy about this one. But again, when you’re in a movie drought, you will take what you can get. It was certainly better than anything else there. (I refuse to see Aliens or whatever the hell it is). Also, I’m a big fan of the Arthur legends. Real talk for a minute? I’m also a fan of hot men, like Charlie Hunnam, taking off their shirts a lot on camera. They probably could have turned off the sound and I would have been fine with that too.

Anyway, this seemed like quite the different take than the other Arthur legends I’ve been aware of. I completely forgot that Uther Pendragon ever existed, despite watching the entire Merlin series, where Uther features most prominently. But I digress.

This tale starts with the takeover by Vortigern (I still hate Jude Law for some reason) as he kills his own wife (played by Katie McGrath who played Morgana in Merlin, I assumed she was going to have a real, evil role in this one, but no such luck) to gain power to eventually kill Uther. Arthur is a small boy and makes his way, not unlike the Disney Hercules, in a boat to be picked up by prostitutes. He’s raised in a brothel, knowing nothing of his true identity, and falls into the role of protector. Save the ladies, piss off the wrong guys, etc. As he’s trying to escape the Black Leg, he gets picked up and forced to try to withdraw the sword from the stone. (How is gets there is perhaps one of the coolest parts of the movie.)

SURPSIE AND AWE! HE DOES IT!

Then the rest of the movie is about Vortigern trying to kill Arthur to have all the power. Arthur gets assisted by a great cast of people, with awesome names like George, Wet Stick, Back Lack, Blue, and the Mage. Now, the Mage is just pure awesome. In another life it might be fun to be her.

The movie ends how you expect it to. No surprise there.

I had really low expectations going into it. The previews looked terrible, but I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. I think a lot of it had to do with the film score. Sometimes that can make or a break a movie.

If you’re looking for a cool rental and you like the King Arthur legends, this one shouldn’t disappoint.

The Mummy: A Review

It’s been a long while since I’ve done a review of any kind, so why not now? We’re in a bit of a movie drought right now since they don’t generally bring new films during Ramadan. We got lucky though (sort of), because they launched The Mummy midway through. We went to see it, not because we were that excited about it, but because it was something new to watch.

I think I’d only seen one of the Brendan Fraser Mummy movies, so I didn’t really remember anything about them to think about whether I was supposed to be comparing one to the other. The most I’d done with that series is hit the ride at Universal Studios. I remember it being super cheesy and a “we won’t take ourselves too seriously” kind of movie.

I have no idea what the hell happened with this Mummy movie. Tom Cruise was… Tom Cruise. He plays basically the same character in all of his action movies. This time he was also a grave robber. It was one part super cheese, thank you Jake Johnson (best known in my world for New Girl). The other parts were an attempt at something deep and serious – Cruise’s relationship with Annabelle Wallis‘s character; the danger of looming evil through Russell Crowe’s portrayal of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (honestly, it was so obvious and dull); and Tom Cruise’s asshole character having to come to grips with himself. [cue eye roll]

Speaking of eyes – the whole two irises in one eyeball was hella weird and gross.

The worst part? They have clearly left an opening for a sequel.

Movie Review: Concussion

American football has been a big part of my life since I was a kid. It was the only common ground I could find with my stepfather for a long while (well, that and golf) and even with my dad. When I lived 3,000 miles from my dad, I’d call him up on a Sunday during a Detroit Lions game (so sad me that I’m a fan of theirs) and we’d sit quietly while the plays were in motion and chat during the commercials and between plays about the game. Maybe not the most earth-shattering conversation, but it worked for us.

I did wonder about the players’ health when I watched the weekly recaps of the worst hits in the league. They have always made me cringe. I get that they’re padded up, but there are limits on what pads can do.

“Concussion” is all about what happens to players due to repeated hits to the head. The movie is inspired by the true story of the Nigerian American physician (who Will Smith does not resemble at all) responsible for the autopsy of former Pittsburgh Steeler Mike Webster in 2002. His obsession with why Webster died (not just how) led to the investigation of several other former football player deaths. He concluded that the deaths came about as a result of chronic traumatic encephalopathy – repeated blows to the head suffered during the game.

What struck me was the ridiculousness that it took a non-American who wasn’t even interested in the sport to do something beneficial for the players. It’s gross that we would be willing to sacrifice the lives of so many men for sport. It would have been one thing if the players had known what was happening to them and were willing undertaking the risk (still gross, but not as terrible). But the NFL was actively covering up research to that effect.

People harassed Dr. Omalu for conducting the research and pursuing the investigation. Still, with the support of his wife, he persisted. We are all better for it.

This is definitely a movie worth checking out if you’re a fan of American football. It really makes you think twice about the game. Will Smith turns in a somewhat convincing performance as Omalu. The supporting cast was really great – Alec Baldwin, Albert Brooks, and Gugu Mbatha-Raw were engaging, intense, and awesome to watch.

Not My Bidness

I love TV and movies. (Not as much as I love my books). The characters almost become real people to me. I love to watch series TV shows, so I get to see the characters evolve and watch as their relationships grow (as much as the shows allow anyway).

Naturally (or maybe unnaturally) this makes me curious about the actors who play them – what they’re like in their personal lives, whether they’re as funny in real life as they are on the shows, who they’re dating, etc. I get really hung up on the funny thing. It’s one of those things that I don’t think people can fake, so I’m always trying to find a way to prove that theory.

I used to love reading People Magazine, OK!, all the random rags that follow celebrities, get photos of them being “real” people, making up stories about them (like Jennifer Aniston getting married 7 or 8 times, the Obamas getting divorced because he’s gay, an so on). I was all over Kimye naming their kid North (still – seriously?), was heartbroken (twice) when Ryan Reynolds got married, following them on Twitter just to see if they’d say anything interesting that might give any kind of insight into what they’re really like. All I learned is that John Cusack is kind of out there.

I’m not even sure what got me thinking about it, but a few weeks ago I realized how ridiculous it all is. I have watched celebrity reality TV – Gene Simmons – The Family Jewels, Keeping Up With the Kardashians. It’s horrible, but you can’t tear your eyes away from it. I didn’t turn it on, but my stepfather really enjoyed it. It’s not real life. I don’t even know if the know what real life is.

The point is, it’s not my business. That Kim Kardashian was only married for 72 days or Britney Spears for 54 hours – that’s all their own shit. I can’t imagine what it’s like to live under the constant scrutiny. I would like to think I’d be the same person I am right now since I don’t tend to change much. (Seriously, I ran into a middle school friend after college and she commented on how I hadn’t changed… since I was 12. She’d probably say the same now and that was 20 years ago.) But, I can’t know that. I don’t think I have anything to hide, but Mr. Lyndsy may not want everyone knowing everything about us.

Being a celebrity doesn’t mean that their personal lives become our business. I’d be willing to bet my future lottery winnings that most people wouldn’t want to be watched 24/7, unable to do much of anything without some papparazzo following them, having everyone know when you have a pap smear or a prostate exam, speculating on your physical and emotional health.

So I’m giving it up. Hard as it may be, I’m no longer looking people upon IMdB to get whatever I can of their background (well, most of the time anyway, it’s not easy to break old habits). I don’t go to people.come to check out celeb photos. I don’t even think about picking up the magazines (not that I have a lot of access now anyway). If it’s relevant to the public sphere I’ll check it out. If not, it’s off limits.