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Movies for the Week of March 21st, 2014

God’s Not Dead
The Raid 2



Mike White: It’s the old joke of “I bet I know how this movie ends.”  However, I’ m not sure if I do.  I can’t really say that I’m that familiar with the story of Noah other than the way that Bill Cosby told it.

That said, I’m still probably going to see Noah when it comes to theaters because I’ve seen half of Aronofsky’s films theatrically and the rest on video.  Seeing them in the theater is the way to go, even if the subject matter doesn’t appeal.   He’s a very visceral director.  I feel his movies as much as see them.

I’m also hoping that he’ll show us if Noah had to take mosquitos two by two or if he had to figure out how to get sea creatures in the hull of his ark or if they were okay because of the flooding.  And, will we see a shot of a Unicorn left out in the cold?

Jillian Zurawski: “Makin’ movies, makin’ songs, and foighten’ round the world!” Russel Crowe is finally back sailing with his best bud Tugger! So, this appears to be set in midieval-ish times, instead of Jesusy times, so I suppose they COULD have just drawn inspiration and called it whatever. Curious to see if religious protests break out. I do always find it distracting when you have same actors coupled as they were in other movies. Not that it ruins the movie… can’t explain it, I’m just weird like that. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, Jennifer Connelly played Russel Crowe’s wife in “A Beautiful Mind”). Curious to why Noah goes all Brittany Spears and suddenly shaves his head. Other than that, my real criticism is all the blatant CGI animals. C’mon, Indiana Jones had a pit full of frakkin’ snakes. Ahh well. Being from the director of Black Swan, and having the cast that this does, I think this could be a good flick – as long as you’re not expecting it to be accurate to what’s in the Bible. That part may piss some people off.

south park russel crowe

Glenn Criddle: He looks pretty sprightly for a 600 year old. For what it’s worth I wouldn’t object to seeing this film this film. It looks pretty enough and there seems to be plenty of action and the story is fun enough, I enjoyed it as a child. Aronofsky is a decent director and although I’m not sure about Russell Crowe in this role I figure why the hell not. I do suspect the BS that has, and will, surround this film (including the ‘disclaimer’ released by Paramount) will overshadow any merits or otherwise this film may have and the audience will be divided not just down the Theist/Atheist line but down denominational lines too. It’s a provocative story to do in this fashion but as far as I’m concerned, I’ve seen religious based films before and enjoyed them well enough. If I don’t like this It’s not likely to be because of where the story came from so much as how well it’s handled.

Josh Hadley: The logistics of the ark story are ridiculous to begin with… the surrounding myths about the ark story are supercilious at best and the arrogance that any truth is contained within the ark story are ludicrous at their very core let alone on a surface level. As an adaptation of a FICTITIOUS book the same as any other movie adapted from a book, this movie still looks incredibly full of itself even on a storytelling level. The movie, from all outward appearances, is overblown and reeks of self-righteous motives that dwarf that of an average film. Darren Aronofsky has gone on record as being displeased with the film in it’s final form and yet with all of that religious peoples are already protesting the film as being labeled as fiction (they think it should be a “true story”) on top of cinematic “liberties” in the film which begs the question of just who was this film made for? Not me for sure and not religious people most likely.

Martha Page:


Alex Jowski: I’m going to see this purely because I am a die-hard fan of Darren Aranofsky and his visual style.  Thankfully this looks so far removed from the biblical tale I don’t have to acknowledge that I’m seeing a “religious picture.”  I don’t think it will be as over-the-top fun as that bad TV Movie about Noah where Jon Voight was fighting pirates.  Given how visually stunning this movie looks though I’m surprised it’s not a 3D release.  That would be a hilariously sardonic thing to do to the Christian audience – start releasing Bible Stories in 3D.  So now my mind is already shopping up how to adapt Andrew Lloyd Weber’s “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” in 3D with a visually unique director like Lynch at the helm.

mister X: i would seriously rather watch this animated gif for 2 hours than this  movie (based on the trailer)

sokko (1)


sabosizedMike White: Man, Arnold is looking REALLY old in this. Not sure why that is. He looked better in Escape Plan and The Last stand.  I’m not sure why David Ayer would want his star to look older than his 67 years.

With Ayer behind the wheel, I’m a little scared that this will end up like all of the rest of his movies, a variation on the same themes explored in Training Day.  However, the preview makes me think that it will be a lot more of the same. Dirty cops. Underhanded deals. Moody lighting.

Jillian Zurawski: SWEET! They finally made a sequel to Commando! No seriously, his name is even John in it! So it appears John Matrix changed his mind again & went back to the biz. Either way, it’s an Arnold actiony movie… count me IN!

Glenn Criddle: Well damn that looks like a whole lot of fun. Schwarzenegger looks like he’s actually back on form and thankfully there seems to be a tone down of his trademark puns which is quite refreshing. Yeah he’s getting a bit old to be the action star but looking at this he seems to be adapting in his roles enough to make it a little more convincing. I’m looking forward to going to see this at the cinema, it looks like a decent and suitably gutsy action movie from a classic action icon.

Josh Hadley: Besides the characters seeming to be archetypes rather than actual three dimensional people and the story coming off as a mish-mash a dozens of other action movies I see no reason that this movie needs to be. The cast is mostly made up of “actors” who can’t act (looking at you Sam Worthington) and veterans who simply need the money. Perhaps the movie will be a surprise and shock but coming from the writer of many a stock cop thriller I have my doubts.

Martha Page: This confuses me.  Why are the drug dealers kidnapping people?  What happened to that money.  Why does this old DEA agent speak like he has a mouthful of dicks?  I’m not on board for this one… sorry.

Alex Jowski: The music video for The Beastie Boys’ “Sabotage” was about some cops in the 1970s.  This movie, Sabotage, is about a cop in his 70s.  Okay, Arnold’s not that old (I think) but damn does he ever look it here.   The glory days of Arnold as a tough middle-aged action hero like in True Lies will never come back.  He looks like a retired state governor at this point.  Remember that Bud Light commercial that aired during the Super Bowl commercial where Arnold was playing ping pong?  He didn’t even look like the star of Predator anymore – but perhaps that’s the kind of work Arnold is best suited for these days , fun little cameos to homage his glory days.  The Last Stand was probably the last truly good film that could be carried on the aging shoulders of Arnold.

mister X: ya know what? i kinda dug that trailer…n’ it looks like a film that will use arnold in a way that won’t be laughable given his age/current body type

i DO have to admit…was hoping it was a feature-length version of this, tho:

God’s Not Dead

gods_not_dead_xlgMike White: Oh, Kevin Sorbo… Why are you in this movie?  This kind of Christian claptrap where the people of the dominant faith in America play the victim really turns my stomach.  After you’ve been forcefed Christian dogma — even as an outsider — you really get the taste of hypocrisy in your mouth.  Fuck this movie and fuck anyone who tries to force their beliefs on you — whether they’re Christian or Atheist.

Jillian Zurawski: Uhhh… 13 seconds in: Holy shit it’s Josh Hadley!

Glenn Criddle: Wow… What a crock of shit. This nasty little piece of propaganda not only misrepresents atheists as being ‘Angry at god’ (which seems odd considering as an atheist myself I simply don’t believe in any god), it seems to claim academics are rabidly trying to convert theists and it also simply repeats the talking points of the likes of the creation institute, Ray Comfort and Kent Hovind, points that have been debunked and explained and corrected literally thousands of times and yet somehow it’s like these people think they’re asking something that has never been considered by any atheists.

It’s tired, hackneyed crap that seems to be trolled out time after time as if it’s original with suspicious frequency, a frequency that signals either an attempt to convince by repetition or a desperate need to avoid the responses given time after time after time. This film will have the following 2 results….

  1. It will not challenge the people that believe this stuff already, they will be comfortable and have their preconceptions of atheism coddled for the run time and they can leave in the comfort that someone agrees with them.
  2. It will not convince anyone not of the above group. 

In other words it is simply something for the serious evangelical Christians out there. It’s nothing more than reinforcing misconceptions and tired old rhetoric. This movie may as well not exist, it has nothing new to say and what it does say is frankly rather self pitying and disgusting.

Josh Hadley: I would say this was simply a Trinity Broadcasting TV movie that somehow hornswaggled a budget but this looks to be worse than that… a TV movie that has a message it chooses to spread through fear and misinformation under the guise of a deep story. There is no story here outside of the message that the filmmakers are pushing the same as any other propaganda film.

Martha Page:



Alex Jowski: “Hey, I know we’ve already got Kevin Sorbo and Dean Cain on board, but if we can get one of those guys from Duck Dynasty to say that God’s awesome too then it’s a done deal.  How could anyone doubt us after that?!” You know what, if this was in black and white, directed by Frank Capra and had Jimmy Stewart as the young student fighting to prove his beliefs I would totally by it and the film would be an American classic.  But the days of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and It’s a Wonderful Life are a bygone era.   This movie will only lighten the hearts of dedicated Christians watching the movie to affirm beliefs they already have.  It doesn’t seem like a particularly enlightening project so why was this given a wide release?

mister X: soooooo…there’s THAT up there
hmm, how do i put this…?

i don’t have problems with either religious folks or atheists who treat their opposites with RESPECT and COURTESY-my issues kick in when either group starts talking in absolutes or FORCING their ideologies onto those they disagree with…which BOTH MAIN CHARACTERS DO IN THIS TRAILER. to me, this film doesn’t feel like a reasoned debate between viewpoints, it feels like 2 assholes trying to one up each other

The Raid 2

TheRaid2Mike White: The first Raid movie gave me a headache. It was nonstop fighting and, while I think I could handle that in a Jackie Chan or Sammo Hung movie, I felt like <em>I</em> was the one being beaten by the film.  That said, I’m glad that The Raid 2 trailer takes a little time before it gts to the carnage but I’m not sure if I could handle even trying to see the it.

Jillian Zurawski: First thought: Well, it’s got subs, so I’m assuming Martha wants no part of this. ;)  I have a feeling I’d get more out of this trailer if I had seen the 1st movie? I went ahead and looked up the trailer for it, and gotta say, it looks like something I’d enjoy. The majority of both trailers is primarily action scenes over musical score, so I’m assuming that perhaps the movies are driven more so by action scenes, as opposed to actual plot. From what they DO verbally reveal for “The Raid 2”, it kinda seems pretty basic along the lines of crime lord/hit movies, but not necessarily bad.

Glenn Criddle: I am so looking forward to this. The first film was quite breath taking with its amazing fight choreography and this looks fantastic as well. The story looks like it’ll be a lot of fun (yeah it’s a little done but what’s new) and it’ll be cool to see the first film expanded upon. Theres not many films I get overly excited about but this is one I can’t wait to see. If you haven’t seen the first one then go catch it before the remake comes out. If you like a bit of martial arts action then you won’t go far wrong there.

Josh HadleyThe sequel to Dredd sure looks funny… sorry, sorry, I had to make that joke. The movie looks like it could be okay but I have not seen The Raid so I feel I am lost in the story here as it seems to be a very close continuation. I will reserve judgement on this one until I see the first movie.

Martha Page: Ugh…. subtitles.
That’s a whole lotta violence.  And this guy is going in to prison to stop a bad guy.  It’s Indonesian Face/Off.  Not really my thing.  Sorry

Alex JowskiI loved The Raid.  It was one of the most energetic and impressive action movies I’ve ever seen.  This trailer definitely shows something epic, with the grand sounding classical music over the action scenes.   However the trailer doesn’t quite give me what I want with The Raid 2.  I’m hoping the movie will be everything I want but the trailer doesn’t tease me in the way that I want it to.  After this I don’t mind waiting to see The Raid 2 and that bothers me.

mister X: STILL haven’t seen THE RAID, but ppl whose opinions i respect have  vouched for it so i will…and if i dig it, i’ll see this too-it  definitely looks up my alley 

Next Week
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Don Hemingway
Island of Lemurs: Madagascar
Under the Skin

Leave your thoughts on this week’s trailers in the comments below!

About The Author
Matthew Coats
Matthew Coats
Formerly known under the pseudonym of Alex Jowski. Site owner, movie aficionado, and film school grad. Matthew Coats presents reviews, some written, some as vlogs, and some as weekly shows, for a variety of different movies and television shows. After years of struggling to get his own projects off the ground amidst the normal routine of living, Matthew Coats decided to create a site in order to share and promote movie reviews, video games and much much more from talented and original people all across the internet.

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