April 26, 2014, - 11:12 pm
Wknd Box Office: The Other Woman, Walking With the Enemy, Brick Mansions, The Quiet Ones, Under the Skin
Sorry for posting the rest of my movie reviews late, but because of circumstances I didn’t have time to finish them before the Jewish Sabbath began, Friday. One movie I really liked opening today at theaters. The rest? Eh.
* “The Other Woman“: Read my full review column on this piece of garbage. A dopey, stupid, rehash of “The First Wives Club,” this one advocates the violent poison of men. Disgusting and and incredible waste of time. Again, read my complete review.
* “Walking With the Enemy“: A moving, touching, fabulous movie regarding an incredible true life hero, Pinchas Rosenbaum, who saved over 1,000 of his fellow Hungarian Jews during the Holocaust by posing as a Nazi SS officer (he had Aryan looks) and infiltrating Nazis and their “Arrow Cross” sympathizers in Hungary. The ending of this film put tears in my eyes. Also, I learned about another saint like Raoul Wallenberg–Carl Lutz, a Swiss diplomat, who printed thousands of diplomatic passes making Hungarian Jews Swiss citizens in order to save their lives.
If you liked “Defiance” (read my review) or “Schindler’s List,” you will like this, too.
At first, I didn’t like this movie. The beginning is a little disjointed and maybe that has less to do with the movie and more to do with the noisy lady who disturbed my viewing of it. I felt it was laden with cliches from many of the Holocaust movies I’ve seen minus anything to make me care. But after the first quarter or third of the movie, it really moves along and is full of suspense. The end makes it all worth it.
Although the only big name in this movie is anti-Israel Ben Kingsley in a minor co-starring role, the actors in this movie are, for the most part, excellent, and I predict this will be a star turn for some of them, including and especially Irish actor Jonas Armstrong, who is terrific in the lead role as “Elek Cohen,” the character based on Rosenbaum.
Cohen, the son of the local rabbi in a Hungarian town begs his parents to leave with the family as they hear that the Nazis are invading Hungary and will soon be there. But his rabbi father doesn’t want to abandon his community, his congregation, so he insists upon staying. Soon the Nazis arrive and the Arrow Cross has already rounded up Elek, his best friend, and other Hungarian men, sending them to a labor camp, where several Jews are murdered. The Allies begin bombing the camp, and Elek and his friend use this as an opportunity to escape. They return to their town looking for their families and see that their homes are either destroyed or taken over by anti-Semitic Hungarians who were their former “family friends” and neighbors. They go to the Jewish ghetto, where all of the remaining Jews have been taken and learn that their families were taken by the Nazis and shipped to concentration camps, including Auschwitz and Treblinka.
One night, a Jewish girl Elek likes (the beautiful Hannah Tointon) is in the Jewish ghetto, and two Nazis try to rape her. Elek and his friend shoot and kill them and bury their bodies. But soon, they dig up the bodies to get the Nazi uniforms, and Elek begins infiltrating the SS and the Arrow Cross in town, learning where Jews are taken and so on and using the opportunity to save Jewish lives. All the while, a Swiss diplomat, Lutz, has enlisted Jews to operate his printing press to print diplomatic passes to save the remaining Hungarian Jews, as Adolf Eichmann (who is in this movie, too) has recognized the passes as valid.
As this movie is mostly based on truth, most of the characters in the movie are real life people, and at the end of the movie, we learn all of their fates. People clapped and cheered at the promotional screening I attended. And for good reason. But the one thing that bothered me is that while the movie depicts Catholic priests and nuns who helped Rosenbaum save and shelter Jews, the end of the movie, while showing their pictures, has a caption that says religious leaders of “all faiths” helped the Jews in this story. Um, sorry, but Muslims did NOT help the Jews in this story, or, in general, otherwise (but made up two SS units and had a religious leader, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, push the hastening of the Final Solution and its export to the Middle East). These were Catholic religious clerics who helped save these Hungarian Jews, and there is absolutely no legit reason to PC-ize and multiculturalize the story.
Rosenbaum was a hero and a tremendously courageous man, who saved so many in a time of great despair and tragedy for the Jewish people. Where are the Pinchas Rosenbaums of today?
Watch the trailer . . .
* “Brick Mansions“: This is one of the late Paul Walker’s last movies and it is typical of most of his straight-to-video movies–a disaster. It’s a bad rip-off of the far superior “Escape From New York.” Walker is a cop in Detroit in the future (well, 2018, so not that far into the future). A large swath of Detroit is a walled off section of the projects and other similarly afflicted Motown buildings is known as “Brick Mansions,” and is sealed off by military blockades, staffed with corrupt soldiers.
Brick Mansions is chock full of drug dealers, criminals, and other despots, and cops are afraid to go in. Walker’s dad has been murdered there by a “Tremaine” (rapper RZA of the Wu Tang Clan), a drug lord who rules Brick Mansions and has a Soviet nuclear rocket pointed at the rest of Detroit. (If Barack Obama had a son . . . .) Detroit’s Mayor recruits Walker to infiltrate Brick Mansions, bring down Tremaine, and get the missile deactivated and destroyed. His partner in this mission is a Brick Mansions resident who does all kinds of flips and gymnastics to escape Tremaine and his thugs.
Eventually, though, Walker realizes that Tremaine is actually a decent guy and so are his gang of fellow violent, drug-dealing criminals. The “real” bad guys here are actually the Mayor and Police Chief of Detroit, who actually killed Walker’s father and set up Tremaine. So, in the end, all of them (Walker and the thugs) join forces and take over Detroit from the evil White people. The end.
With vile movies like these, it’s not exactly a tragedy that Paul Walker won’t be making any more of them.
FOUR MARXES PLUS TWO OBAMAS
Watch the trailer . . .
* “The Quiet Ones“: Possibly the most stupid and least scary “horror movie” I’ve seen in ages. An incredible waste of time I really wanted to walk out of (and would have, but studios don’t allow me to post reviews of movies if I don’t stick around for the entire Gitmo torture session). Long, slow, boring, pointless, and just an amateur derivative of many other far superior horror films. I wasn’t scared by this movie, just put in near-sleep mode.
The story: it’s the 1960s, and an English university professor invites three of his students to help him monitor a possessed woman he has kept in a house for observation. The three of them monitor and film the woman, whom the professor does not believe is actually possessed because he does not believe in the supernatural. He merely believes she is mentally ill. And you know what happens. Or you can kind of figure it out, as you’ve seen this movie a gazillion times before, only done far better.
Watch the trailer . . .
* “Under the Skin“: I had mixed feelings about this movie. I mostly hated it because it is long, slow, boring, pointless, and extremely pretentious beyond belief. While I mildly liked the artful way in which the movie was shot and some of the avant-garde characteristics of it, those few and relatively tiny positive attributes do not override how horrible and how much of a waste of time this movie is. You’ll feel like you were robbed by a time bandit. Also, it had enough scenes of pointless male frontal nudity to last me a lifetime.
Scarlett Johansson plays an outer space creature who has come to Edinburgh, Scotland, apparently to target and kill men. She drives around town in a van, asking various men (including a man with a disfigured face) for directions, then entices them to come into her van. After that, she takes them to an apartment where she leads them into a sea of goo, where they cannot escape and ultimately die. She also murders a man on a seashore who tries to rescue a father who has been trying to rescue his son who went into the water to rescue his dog. She kills this man by hitting his head with a rock.
It’s like the worst “Twilight Zone” episode you could possibly imagine times 1,000 on steroids (and I love the “Twilight Zone” but definitely not this). Just awful. But more of the anti-male crap they are offering up at the movies these days. Feminists will love this. But for everyone else, avoid like the plague.
Watch the trailer . . .