Owen Wilson tries again to play a character in a dire situation (remember “Behind Enemy Lines”) and he conveys this fear and desperation extremely well. As Jack Dwyer, an engineer who has joined a multinational corporation after his own company failed, and is moving his family to an unnamed Southeast Asian country. As brave a front as he and his wife, Annie (Lake Bell), put up for their two young daughters, Lucy and Beaze (Sterling Jerins and Clare Geare), they know the situation is bad. Of course, it’s about to get much worse.
As “No Escape” begins, the Dwyers are landing, befriended on their flight by Hammond (Pierce Brosnan), a seatmate with the rough beard, fresh scars and randy cheer of an old post-colonial hand. A typical mysterious Brit who helps out from time to time through out the movie. When Jack takes a walk out of their luxury hotel the next morning, he’s caught in a clash between the police and mobs, then scrambles back minutes before anti-Western revolutionaries go room to room, slaughtering foreigners. From that point, the film is a series of fight-or-flight set pieces of the panicked family trying to stay alive. At every turn the family is in the militants cross-hairs, yet somehow manage to escape.
Though the plot is pretty thin, and somehow Hammond seems to turn up just when the script requires and improbable rescue, the movie zips along at a fairly fast pace and offers up plenty of scenes that have you laughing just from the implausibility of it all, yet you never really understand why these knife-wielding locals are so hell bent on revenge. All-in-all the movie was enjoyable for what it was, that is as long as you don’t read too much into it and just want to watch an escape by a hairs breath type of movie.
A frontiersman on a fur trading expedition in the 1820s fights for survival after being mauled by a bear and left for dead by members of his own hunting team. Inspired by true events, THE REVENANT is an immersive and cinematic experience that captures one mans epic adventure and extraordinary power of the human spirit. This movie is not for the faint of heart, there are some gruesome, bloody scenes that caused me to grimace along with the legendary explorer Hugh Glass played exceptionally well by Leonardo DiCaprio. Glass endures unimaginable grief and betrayal and sets out for revenge, but encounters danger and help along the way. I can certainly see why DiCaprio won an Oscar for best actor, even though his character spoke fewer than 15 lines of dialogue in English since his performance was largely physical. DiCaprio’s depiction of Hugh Glass was so riveting that you could almost feel his pain.
A vegetarian, DiCaprio was so committed to the role that he ate genuine raw meat in a scene that depicts Glass surviving off a wild bison’s liver. According to the actor, “I certainly don’t eat raw bison liver on a regular basis. When you see the movie, you’ll see my reaction to it (he vomits). It says it all. It was an instinctive reaction.”
The Martian (PG-13) is an epic tale of an American astronaut who, like a modern day Robinson Crusoe, learns to survive on a deserted planet (Mars). As Astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon), while on a manned mission to Mars is presumed dead and ultimately left alone on this vast planet, with only a meager supply of food and other essentials. Mark must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal Earth that he is still alive. My favorite quote as he stands contemplating his fate and what he needs to do, he matter-of-fact says, “I’m going to need to science the s*** out of this” and that is exactly what he does. It is thrilling to watch him struggle at making food grow on the hostile planet. The plot thickens as his crew is finally made aware that their team member Mark is still alive and that every attempt NASA has made to send help or rescue him has failed. So the team decides to return to Mars amidst insurmountable obstacles to save their team mate and friend. The Martian is an enjoyable movie that touches on the fears, triumphs and vastness of just what a mission to Mars might be like and Matt Damon is funny, witty and believable as an intellectual astronaut left alone yet against-the-odds isdetermined to survive his plight. Run time is 2 hours 14 minutes.