Safe House Movie Review Exclusive Denzel Washington Action Thriller
By James Rickman 3rd - www.iHumanEvolution.com
Safe House, the movie is an action packed thriller ride from start to finish. Denzel Washington does a great job as the rogue CIA operative, Tobin Frost. The young CIA operative played by Ryan Reynolds holds his own against Denzel. Lots of action, high tech gadgetry and thrilling car chase scenes in the movie Safe House. Reynolds known for his comedy movies breaks out of the box with a strong performance in this authentic and gritty spy thriller, Safe House.
I would describe the movie Safe House as a cross between; The Bourne Identity and Training Days. Nice relationship play between Nora Arnezeder, actress that plays the young CIA agents girlfriend. Nora did a wonderful job as the innocent, trusting girlfriend that gets saddened by learning of her lover, Ryan Reynolds true occupation as a undercover CIA agent. Watch my complete VIDEO movie review online …
The Grey is a rated-R movie that thrusts you into the personal life of Ottaway (played by actor, Liam Neeson); an Alaskan oil worker that is torn between faith in God and the harsh realities of life. The Grey is directed by Joe Carnahan. It is based on the story, Ghost Walker written by Ian Mackenzie Jeffers. The movie delivers fierce imagery and excellent dialogue that inspires personal reflection among audience members.
Liam Neeson’s character, Ottaway is a sharp shooter by trade. He works to protect the Alaskan oil workers from the savage wolves that scavenge food from the surrounding land. The Grey filmed on location in Smithers, British Columbia is a valuable movie that serves up thought provoking questions about living in the moment and enjoying our second chances in life.
The texture of this crisp story is gripping and authentic. The Grey challenges you to think about and notice the little things that we so often overlook in our daily routine. The movie drives home the significance of children and loved ones that brings us a sense of joy in our lives.
The Grey movie scenes are graphic but well placed to create a powerful message. Faced by a devastating airplane crash strewn across the landscape in the middle of no-where; Liam Neeson is supported by an excellent cast of actors led by Frank Grillo (as John Diaz), Nonso Anozie (Burke), Dermot Mulroney (Talget), Dallas Roberts (Henrick) and Joe Andersen (Flannery).
In particular, Frank Grillo does a fantastic job in portraying an ex-con who shares many qualities with Ottaway but their beliefs in religious faith are different. I believe Grillo may see an Oscar nomination for best supporting actor. His Al Pacino like acting style was a very strong complementing Liam Neeson with a great performance.
The Grey in many respects reminded me of “Deliverance, 1972”, starring Burt Reynolds and Jon Voight. The character development in The Grey is well done taking shape from the start with a hair razing plane crash that plunges you into the unpredictable wilds of nature. The seven men that survive the crash must fight to survive against all odds as they are hunted by a native pack of wolves. Each person that experiences The Grey will take away something different. It impacts viewers on a personal level.
In the movie, the wolves represent the brutal and unpredictable moments of living in a world that at times may thrust us into painful circumstances such as losing a loved one or struggling to do something we regret in hindsight. The special effects wolf animatronics are graphic, detailed and scary. Carnahan, the director did a great job of using sound to cause sudden reactions and jarring action scenes that kept me on the edge of my seat. My girlfriend jumped out of her seat several times clinging to my arm in fear. This is another reason I may see this movie a second time …ha, ha.
But The Grey goes well beyond just battling wolves it’s about the personal journey of each character, a culmination of their experiences in life that brought them to this point. I liked the powerful flash back memory clips that Ottaway had during tense moments as he searched for a reason to carry-on when faced by death.
A theme throughout this intriguing movie is introduced in a poem;
“Once more into the fray.
Until the last good fight I’ll ever know.
Live and die on this day.
Live and die on this day.”
The Grey addresses the issue of death, transforming it into a natural part of life. Something, we should not fear but embrace as a natural event. My favorite scene in The Grey is set with Frank Grillo (John Diaz), injured barely surviving a treacherous canyon crossing and unable to walk any farther. Grillo sits down on a tree stump in the middle of now-where with the wolf pack nipping at their heels in sub-zero freezing temperatures, he notices the beautiful mountains in the distance and proclaims that he will end his journey. John Diaz (Frank Grillo) decides his own fate and accepts death. His dying statement is that his life in the “civilized world” was not so glamorous so why not accept death there in the wilderness surrounded by the beautiful mountains of that day “...it will never get any better than this”, says Diaz.
In the end, Ottaway cannot escape his fear. He scrolls through the memories of past loved ones and experiences in his life; Ottaway chooses to fight and confront what life has forced upon him. Whether, it’s being unlucky or God’s will Ottaway must deal with the real circumstances of that moment. He will truly live or die on that fateful day.
Ultimately, the alpha wolf, a menacing pack leader comes face to face with Ottaway in the final scene. The Grey intensely reveals that both man and beast have a basic instinct to live. Ottaway stubbornly refuses to lie down when challenged by the terrifying wolf. Instead, Ottaway digs deep within himself for that last once of courage to keep going despite all his personal failures and regrets. I also saw hints in The Grey movie of Joseph Conrad’s, Heart of Darkness; a classic story that depicts the duality of human nature.
Each person will always be confronted in life at some moment with extraordinary challenges. Individually looking beyond the fray, we all must choose our fate according to our aspirations. Ottaway chooses the last good fight he’ll ever know.
The Grey is a movie that brings you on a journey that you will contemplate long after it’s over. It’s an experience that provokes you to take a closer look at yourself. The Grey is a necessary movie to appreciate life. It has a powerful impact both visually and verbally with strong content development. Checkout The Grey, its a powerful movie.
Movie Review Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows - published December 2011
Reviews by James Rickman 3rd. Director, www.iHumanEvolution.com
The new December 16th movie opened with a bang, literally as the story of Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows unfolded with all the wit, action and character intrigue to keep me comfortably engaged. The second movie in the Sherlock Holmes series starring Robert Downey, Jr. (Holmes) and Judd Law (Dr. Watson); it felt like I was curled up on the sofa at home reading a book. The supporting cast was superb including Stephen Fry (Sherlock's brother, Mycroft), Nommi Rapace (new love interest, Madam Siza, a gypsy) and Jared Harris (the evil, Professor Moriarti).
In particular, I thought Stephen Fry as Sherlock Holmes brother (Mycroft Holmes) added real value in the movie. His bohemian nude scene with Kelly Reilly (Dr. Watson's wife) helped drive home the classic Holmes family traits. Mycroft also added depth to the Sherlock Holmes character background. I suspect we'll see more of Mycroft Holmes in the next movie episode.
Warner Brothers Pictures Director, Guy Richie was brilliant in his development of Sherlock Holmes zany experiments with "urban camouflage" and other innovations. The witty charm and intellectual banter between Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson continues from the first movie with hilarious scenes. Even the "lost in translation" type relationship between Irene Adler (Watson's wife) and Sherlock Holmes grew into a vague tolerance between the two.
I was laughing so hard. I was on the edge of my seat in tears of joy during one scene where Sherlock Holms (Robert Downey, Jr.) refuses to ride a large black horse stating; "their dangerous at both ends and crafty in the middle...why would I want anything with a mind of its own bobbing about between my legs". The movie offers an abundance of delightful Holmes comedic logic. Sherlock ends up riding a tiny Shetland pony in a wonderful compromise as the group evades danger.
Robert Downey Jr.'s ability to morph the Sherlock Holmes character seamlessly between comedy, action and dysfunctional personal relationships is genius acting. In many respects, the role is custom made based on Downey's true life experiences.
The villainous, Professor Moriarti played by Jared Harris was equally believable and well done. Moriarti's shadowy chess game to profit from global war by selling arms to both sides is the height of corporate greed. The political game of assassinations and deception that Professor Moriarti plays is clever even out smarting Holmes at times.
The detailed set design, costumes and authentic feel of the movie is fantastic. The special effects are extraordinary with slow-motion and close ups that made me feel like I was inside the action myself. I would love to see this Sherlock Holmes movie again in 3D for an even better experience.
I thought the scene where Holmes goes with Dr. Watson to the gambling salon could have been shortened. In this scene Watson, on his bachelor party night gets drunk and gambles while Sherlock Holmes investigates clues that lead to his first meeting Madam Siza, a gypsy fortune teller. Holmes miraculously uncovers two assassin sent to kill Madam Siza that ensues into a wild chase scene. But it still held my attention despite the action overkill in this scene.
Ultimately, the Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows was a breath of fresh air. The ending was very well done and powerful. Not only did it resolve the latest Holmes mystery but it delivered an almost James Bond like escape ending that includes an improvised 1890's scuba snorkel. I loved this movie perhaps even more than the first. The End ?