The Equalizer

I just finished watching The Equalizer and I think I’m going to have to buy this one!  While the film shares some similarities with Denzel Washington’s Man on Fire, this is definitely not the same film, Denzel plays a strait laced former black ops operator who is forced to use his skills to defend the innocent around him and protect himself.
The film starts out well, you get to know the key players and understand how they all play parts in the main characters life, the nice part is this is done in such a way that you don’t get bored, you stay focused and engaged in the film during this setup process.  This alone impressed me since I’ve seen countless films that fair horribly at this and loose me before I’m even half way though the film.
Once you reach the meat of the story you’re totally draw in, there is humor, drama, suspense, and action, and it’s all balanced so well that you never have time to dwell or burn out on one before your on to the next feeling.  Some of the things that happen in the film are a little over the top but not so much that you can’t believe it could happen, this is what I really like about this film, it’s a little over the top you grounded enough that you can believe that someone with the skills this man has could pull it off.
I’ve read some reviews saying that Chloe Grace Moretz was hard to believe, and I don’t see that in fact I think she did a wonderful job, so good in fact that I was surprised to see she was so young.  I really thought she was at least in her mid twenties, not 17!
Denzel Washington was perfect, he took the revenge seeking of Man on Fire and mixed it with the quiet cold efficiency of Jason Bourne and made the guy next door the most dangerous nice guy you’ll ever meet.  His ability to make you believe him is astounding, he can make you laugh in one scene then make you tense in anticipation in the next scene.  He really make this film.
The story was good, it was set up well and believable.  It moves along at a nice pace, not so fast that it skips over important things, but not so slow that you feel like it will never end.  I will say there one part that drew me out of the film, I won’t give anything away but I will say this, he walks away from an explosion that even if he had been able to survive being that close to it it would have at least knocked him down.  That is the only thing I didn’t like about this film, other that that I thought it was great and will probably end up buying it very soon.
So if you liked Man on Fire or the first three Bourne films, see this film.  You’ll really enjoy this film about a quiet and complex man doing what’s right with the skills he has.

Wisdom from a former 1%er biker

So a few months ago I caught my girlfriend cheating (and a few other things I won’t go into) and so I broke up with her.  I was mad, really mad, I felt hurt, I felt used, and wanted revenge.
I deliver newspapers and while I was waiting for my papers I was talking to a fellow driver who is a former 1%er motorcycle club member and telling him what happened and how I wanted revenge.  He listened and let me rant, then after a few minutes of my ranting and talking about getting revenge he very quietly said “have you ever gotten revenge on someone?” to which I replied I had and he asked “when you look back on it, how do you feel about what you did?”, and it was at that moment that I realized that I regretted ever taking revenge.  Sure it made me feel better at first, but in the end I regret ever doing it and regret the hurt that may of come from it.
When I told him that I regretted it he looked at me and said “I’ve taken revenge on a lot of people, and you know what it’s got me?  Life long regret, lost relationships, and once other people suffered because of it”.  And as he said these words to me I could see the pain in his eyes, and I knew he was right.  After a moment he looked me right in the eyes and said “I had a cellmate in prison tell me something and I wish I had listened to him sooner, he told me “a weak man seeks revenge, a strong man forgives, but a wise man try’s to figure out why he was hurt” you don’t have to actually figure out why you were hurt, but it’s the act of trying that can help you forgive and move on”.
These gentle and wise words, from a man who in another life would have put you in the hospital for looking at him wrong, made me step back and really think.  For the rest of the night I just thought about what he said, and by the end of the night I had calmed down and knew seeking revenge would only hurt me in the end.  And yes I was still mad, and feeling hurt, but the blood lust I felt was gone and I felt more at peace.
At first I didn’t really try to figure out why she hurt me, I just dealt with the pain and tried to get over that first, but once I had gotten over the pain I started to think about why she had done what she had done.  I’ve never come to an answer, I have some theories but I know I’ll never know for sure, and that’s alright because I realized that the simple act of trying to figure it out helps you forgive and move on.  I’m not trying to tell you that you have to completely forgive the person who hurt you, I know I never will never completely forgive my ex, but I’ve forgiven her enough to move on with my life, and in the end being able to move on is what you really want, because really what good would knowing why they did what they did do for you?  And even if they told you why they did it, would you really believe them?
Wise Words

Godzilla (2014)

Well I’ve seen Godzilla and I have to say I am not impressed.  Poor acting, so dark it’s hard to make out what’s going on, less than 20 minutes of actual screen time for the namesake, and a plot so ridiculous it makes your head spin.
The acting in this film makes you want scream, the best acting came from minor characters or characters that were only in the film for a short amount of time.  The film is really about two giant bugs that Godzilla has to kill, these bugs get more screen time than they should, and I mean way more screen time.
The characters are all so cliche that is makes your head hurt, and the fact that this film really has no plot and no sense of direction just makes it worse.  I never thought I’d say this but the original man in a rubber suit version was actually better than this.  Bryan Cranston (or what little of him was in the film) and tons of CGI do not save this film, no matter how much the people behind this waste of film wish think it does.

Lone Survivor

Recently I watched Lone Survivor and I was blow away.  Based on real events the film tells the story of a US Navy SEAL team sent to capture a terrorist only to be found out and forced to fight for their lives.  This is one of those films that draws you in and keeps you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end.  This was not the typical Hollywood fluff film, this was hardcore truth, and in my opinion one of the best military films produced in the past ten years.
The film is the adaptation of the book by Marcus Luttrell the man who Mark Wahlberg plays in the film.  Though I have not read the book, I have seen several reviews saying that the film holds true to the book very well, and Marcus Luttrell himself says the same so I hold this film in high regard for it portrayal what what happened.
The film isn’t made sappy with unnecessary music, or CGI, it’s just hard and gritty and takes you into the lives these brave men lived and make you understand that just because you don’t always hear about what happens you need to understand that there are people out there putting their lives on the line everyday.
Personally I think everyone should see this film at least once, even if your not into military films, just see it to have a real appreciation for what happens in war and understand that there is bad in the world but even in the worst moments good can prevail and you should always try to look for the good.
Now having said all that let me just say how good this film was from a personal standpoint.  For more than ten years I have had a deep seeded hatered of Mark Wahlberg, I just couldn’t stand him and would avoid films he was in as much as I could.  In the past few years I have softened up on him but still avoided his films to some extent.  This film has changed my mind on him, I can honestly say that I no longer dislike Mark Wahlberg and will be willing to give his films a chance, he’s done some great work in the past few years and this film is his best yet in my opinion.  So yes, see this film, I know I will be buying it in the near future.
Also while we’re talking about great work let give a shout out to the USO and donate some money to help them continue their great work, just click the USO image below to be taken to the donation page.