Pompeii Review

Pompeii Review

Genre – Historically-based Fiction, Romance
Director – Paul W.S. Anderson (Mortal Kombat: The MovieDeath Race series, Resident Evil series
Cast – Kit Harington (Jon Snow from Game of Thrones), Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (LostOz), Emily Browning (Sucker Punch), Kiefer Sutherland (24), Carrie-Anne Moss (The Matrix), Jessica Lucas (Evil Dead), Jared Harris (Mad Men)
Alluring element – Jon Snow goes back in time a thousand years or so to rise against Jack Bauer and get the girl! 
Check it out if you liked 300Troy
SCORECARD (each category out of 10):
Plot – 7
Acting – 7
Representation of Genre – 9
Cinematography – 9
Effects/Environment – 9
Captivity – 9
Logical consistency – 8
Originality/Creativity – 7
Soundtrack/Music – 9
Overall awesomeness – 8

hush_rating_82

Pompeii is about Milo (Kit Harington), a Celt whose family and entire people were slaughtered by the Roman senator Corvus, played by Kiefer Sutherland. Milo is enslaved and turned into a gladiator. Eventually, he is taken to Pompeii where he meets the captivating Cassia (Emily Browning) and fellow gladiator-slave Atticus (Akinnuoye-Agbaje). Once Mount Vesuvius erupts, it becomes a race against the clock not only to save Cassia but to seek revenge against the corrupt Crovus. Pompeii is part love story, part political rebellion, and all parts natural disaster.

I am a big fan of ancient historical fiction, and to be honest, I was a bit worried about this film. Many times, films like Pompeii are a bit over-the-top; they are over-acted and rarely historically accurate. To say the least, I was pleasantly surprised with Pompeii. The visual world was captivating and, at first glance, I thought I was working my way through the Pompeii exhibit at the museum. In reality, the volcanic ash from Mount Vesuvius kept the town so well preserved that archeologists have been able to replicate the city of Pompeii with detailed accuracy. The movie paid close attention to these details of the city and this was heightened by the use of 3D which really made the world pop down to the street venders. The eruption of the volcano was on point and accurate in sequence. The only inaccuracy were the pyroclastic bombs and the dramatic tsunami which dragged a ship into the city. During the time of the actual eruption, there were warning signs days before the eruption and many people actually left before the volcano erupted.   The film didn’t touch on these facts, but it is forgivable because of the visual effects.

The dynamics of the characters were what I enjoyed most. While the plot was cliché and predictable, the character nuances and subtleties made up for it.  I really liked Cassia. Granted, she was a wealthy elite stereotype, but she also wasn’t totally naive nor a typical damsel in distress. Her parents also were likeable. They were present parents and good people. Her mother Aurelia (Carrie-Anne Moss) was a strong, charismatic woman who worked closely with her husband’s politics as Corvus has come to Pompeii to invest in the construction of a new arena which Severus hopes will continue to brings money into the city. Both Severus and Aurelia genuinely dislike Corvus who later find out he’s also come to Pompeii to scheme for Cassia’s hand in marriage.  The other thing I really have to give the movie props for was a lack violence against women used to garner entertainment. Corvus was creepy and gross without being over-the-top violent.

While there was a love story, Pompeii was more a story between Milo (The Celt) and Atticus, who was one fight away to winning his freedom under Roman law. Both lost their families to the Romans and are trying to maintain their identity while enslaved. The arena becomes their political battlefield as Milo seeks revenge on Corvus and by extension the Roman Empire. Atticus joins Milo as his faith in Roman law is betrayed. I don’t want to give away the rest of the story, but in many ways, this overpowered the love story. It may be unfortunate for the popularity of the film that Pompeii was seemingly marketed as a love story, because the film was prominently a historical and political plot. Though, I’ve been known to read too much into stories and may be reading more into the plot then I need to.

One last note of importance: the soundtrack was fantastic. It was emotional, engaging, and epic. The music enhanced the overall experience of the film and is something I’ll invest in to listen to later. Rotten Tomatoes only gave the film 29% rating, and critics were harsh. I, on the other hand, enjoyed the film. The storyline was simple, engaging, and oddly deep in its subtlety. The 3D didn’t sully the movie but rather enhanced it; I would highly recommend watching this film in 3D.  However, the story is strong enough that it will be worth watching at home if you can’t get to the theater.

Written by Jené Conrad

Monthly Movie Preview: February 2014

Hello, February!  This month in the theaters brings us a few action flicks, a few romance flicks and then there is The Lego Movie  Enjoy our previews and quit reeling over the Broncos.:

Feb Movie Preview

February 7 – The Monuments Men

Starring: George Clooney, Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, Bill Murray, John Goodman

Most of you have probably seen the ad for this movie A LOT.  You may even be sick of seeing the ads.  Nevertheless, I don’t think you can ever go wrong with a George Clooney movie.  Written, directed, produced and starring Hollywood’s most generous bachelor, The Monuments Men is based off the true story at book by Robert M. Edsel.  The story follows the Allied group of men in the Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives Program.  The previews don’t make it look much different than any other WWII picture that has come out lately.  However, I always love WWII movies, but for others the actors alone are probably worth a go.  Bill F’n Murray is one of the stars, and he always gets my vote.  – A

February 7 – The LEGO Movie

Starring:Chris Pratt, Will Arnett, Elizabeth Banks, Morgan Freeman, Will Ferrell, Liam Neeson, Alison Brie

Sporting an All-Star cast (both flesh-based and brick-based), The LEGO Movie is the first LEGO movie to hit the big-screen. Chris Pratt (Parks & RecreationGuardians of the Galaxy) plays the main character, Emmett, who is chosen as the Special, the lego capable of saving Lego World from the evil Lord Business, played by Will Ferrell. Lord Business’ aim is to stifle creativity by gluing the Lego world together. And somehow, Taco Tuesday fits in there. This movie looks hilarious, especially Will Arnett’s Batman. It will also mark the first time Batman is in a movie with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (hopefully not the last… still holding out for that crossover!). It’s my most anticipated movie of the month, bricks down. – S

February 7 – Vampire Academy

Starring: Zoey Deutch, Lucy Fry, Danila Kozlovsky, Gabriel Bryne, Sarah Hyland

OK, I’ll be honest; I’ve never read the books Vampire Academy is based off of.  Following the Twilight craze among teen and tween girls (and let’s face it, 50 year old divorceés) anything that was Young Adult fiction and vampires was doomed for me.  The Vampire Academy books (there are 6) have sold millions of copies and made the New York Times.  That being said, the story follows to besties who go to St. Vladimir’s Academy.  There is love, lust, teen angst and probably a lot of cheesiness.  But with the media circuit on the morning shows this week, the movie doesn’t seem that bad.  There are scenes I laughed at.  Out loud.  It may not be worth the trip to the theater unless you are 13, it’s your first date without a chaperone, and the guy you are dragging there with you thinks he might get to 1st base.  Otherwise, this might be perfect for 20 somethings to watch on Netflix, alone, and with tons of guilty pleasure.

February 12 – RoboCop

Starring:Joel Kinnaman, Gary Oldman, Samuel L Jackson, Abbie Cornish, Michael Keaton, Michael K Williams (Omar from The Wire), Aimee Garcia (Jamie Batista from Dexter)

Reboots have always been a mixed bag for people; we have a rose-tinted glasses about how we remember things. In the case of RoboCop, I have fond childhood memories of watching him fight crime with a gun that comes out of his hip. The general story appears to be the same; however, the times have changed and so have the messages this iteration brings about. Being PG-13 doesn’t mean the same thing it did when the first one came out either. Alex Murphy’s death already seems forgettable compared to the original but it won’t stop me from going to see it and enjoying every second.  RoboCop could also be the hero Detroit wants and so desperately needs.- R

 

February 14 – About Last Night

Starring: Kevin Hart, Michael Ealy, Regina Hall, Joy Bryant, Paula Patton, Christopher McDonald

Kevin Hart is really saturating the market right now as one of the few stand-up comedians that are regularly crossing over into movie comedy. Following up January’s Ride Along, Hart stars in a romantic comedy about two couples who try to play the game of love and not give in to another person. It’s based off a 1970’s movie, Sexual Perversion in Chicago. Anything with Kevin Hart and Regina Hall is bound to be hilarious, but I wouldn’t really go see it I can’t think of anything more creative to do on Valentine’s Day. Men who are forced to go see this will thank the stars that RoboCop comes out two days earlier. – S

February 14 – Winter’s Tale

Starring: Colin Farrell, Jennifer Connelly, Russell Crowe, Will Smith (the Will Smith)

Winter’s Tale is hard to predict.  It will either be a movie every couple who goes to the theaters on Valentine’s Day will see, or maybe no one will go see it.  Based off a novel by Mark Helprin, Winter’s Tale is a complicated story of a man, Peter Lake, played by Colin Farrell, who loves a woman, but gets trapped 100 years in the future trying to find her.  He also has a really cool pet horse.  Oh, and Will Smith is in it, although he isn’t in the previews.  Yeah, the Will Smith.  More than likely to be similar to The Time Traveler’s Wife, Winter’s Tale may be another one to watch on Netflix, alone, at home, in your flannel jammies, a box of tissues, and not wearing your bra. – A

February 21 – Pompeii

Starring: Kit Harrington, Carrie-Anne Moss, Emily Browning,

Pompeii could be a decent movie.  Don’t expect it to be timeless, but the poster is a little misleading.  The poster shows a lover’s embrace in front of the exploding volcano, maybe suggesting eternal love, no matter how creepy that really is.  But really, the preview makes it look like Dante’s Peak meets Spartacus.  Starring Kit Harrington, who also plays Jon Snow in Game of Thrones, Pompeii tells us the story of a Roman slave and gladiator who falls in love with a wealthy merchant’s daughter.  He must save her before the lava gets them; we probably know how that ends.  Well, maybe.  It’s genre is listed as “action/adventure”.  I have also read that the movie took so long to make not only because it is 3D, but also to make it historically accurate. I was really interested in the culture of Pompeii when I was younger, so that factual aspect really attracts me, but if it really is historically accurate, are the characters even worth getting attached to?  I’ll have to see it to find out. – A

February 21 – 3 Days to Kill

Starring: Kevin Costner, Amberd Heard, Hailee Steinfeld

Do you ever wish you had three whole days to do whatever you want?  For me – watch all the Star Wars films… three times…  While it’s not exactly the theme of 3 Days to Kill, it comes pretty close.  Ex-secret service agent, Ethan Runner (Kevin Costner), is pulled back into duty and given a special assignment.  To kill!!  His agreement to this killer task (PUN DROP) is given on the stipulation that his employers can cure a strange sickness plaguing Runner; a sickness that has left him with only three days to live!  Hence the “3 Days” to perform his task. Growing a budding bond between estranged father and daughter, conducting a killing spree and trying not to die of an unknown and crazy illness all within 3 days?!?!  Sounds like a movie to me!  Kevin Costner is making a comeback of sorts to the silver screen this year.  Following up from Shadow Recruit last month, Costner will play the lead in 3 Days to Kill and then star in Draft Day (stay tuned for April movie previews!), all following last year’s Man of Steel.  An acting veteran with this much energy in him is bound to deliver a good time on the big screen. – T

February 28- Non-Stop

Starring: Liam Neeson, Julianne Moore

Need a reason to see a thrilling movie this month?  Two words for you –  Liam Neesan.  One of Hollywood’s ultimate bad ass, action heroes will star in Non-Stop late this month.  As the plot goes, Bill Mark (Neeson), US air marshal, thinks it’s just another day in the life as he soars through the air on a transatlantic flight when he receives a perturbing text message from an unknown fellow passenger. The message – “I’m going to kill someone on this plane every 20 minutes.”  That is, unless Bill can wire $150 million into an offshore bank account before the flight lands.  Let the action roll.  As for us, the viewers, we’ll just kick back, eat some popcorn and watch Liam take us on yet another entertaining thrill ride.  This film brings a new and unexplored theme to the heist and thriller genre.  The Hush team is excited and in high anticipation for Non-Stop.  At the very least, it’ll be great to some sweet justice delivered by Qui-Gon Jinn.  It’s going to be the best airplane based movie since Snakes on a Plane!  (Only slightly joking…) – T

Written by Adrian PuryearSherif Elkhatib, Taylor Lowe and Robert Michael