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Movie Review – Three Average Movies That Have Some Memorable Moments for Moviegoers
Whale Rider – 2 stars (Average)
“Whale Rider” is the story of an 11-year-old Maori girl who must overcome the prejudices of her grandfather and tribal tradition to fulfill her destiny and become the leader of her ancient North Island Aboriginal tribe. from New Zealand.
Only the eldest son becomes the designated heir to pass on the timeless knowledge from one generation to the next, but “Pai” (Paikea played by Keisha Castle-Hughes) is determined to do so despite the odds.
Pai’s twin brother, who was supposed to fill the role of the next tribal leader, dies at birth along with their mother. His father is so upset he is leaving the island and the tradition behind, and it’s up to his grandfather Koro (Rawiri Paratene) and grandmother (Vicky Houghton) to raise Pai. His grandfather Koro’s belief system will not allow him to compromise centuries of tradition.
On the east coast of New Zealand, the Whangara believe their presence there dates back a thousand years or more to a single ancestor, Paikea, who escaped death when his canoe capsized while riding towards shore on the back of a whale.
It was not just a movie, but a real tradition. Because Pai was doing traditional Maori things that women aren’t supposed to do, the film’s cast and crew performed special Maori songs to ward off any bad luck that might arise.
Whale Rider will test your composure, melt your heart and make you want to scream. Child actress Keisha Castle-Hughes was nominated for a Best Actress Oscar for her incredible performance (won by Charlize Theron in ‘Monster’). Whale Rider has won 29 other awards and 28 other nominations.
The whales in the film were depicted using a combination of footage of real whales, life-size models with humans creating movement, and computer-aided assistance. Castle-Hughes said the key scene of the whale trek took place 15-20 miles offshore and was terrifying.
This movie should get a good rating rather than average (the script is SO good), but it suffers from poor sound management that makes it hard to follow at times. I would watch this movie again, which means something when I rate a movie as average.
Glory – 2 stars (Average)
“Glory” shows the bravery of the first company of all-black American Civil War volunteer soldiers as they battle the prejudices of their own Union Army and their enemy, the Confederates.
The 54th Massachusetts is trained and led into battle by Colonel Robert Gould Shaw (Matthew Broderick), a young idealist and abolitionist from a wealthy family. Gould, like the 54th, is pretty much suspended by all parties involved. He is supported by Sergeant Major John Rawlins (Morgan Freeman), the highest-ranking African-American soldier, and Private Trip (Denzel Washington), a runaway slave.
Washington won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor and a Golden Globe for his performance. Glory also won Academy Awards for Best Cinematography and Best Sound, Academy Award nominations for Best Art Direction and Best Film Editing, and Golden Globe nominations for Best Director (Edward Zwick), Best Music ( James Horner) and Best Screenplay (Kevin Jarre).
Glory is long overdue. America is full of people who want to take credit for things they didn’t do; it is good to see the credit and recognition given to Americans who have done something honorable with bravery.
Chris Rock: bigger and blacker – 2 stars (average)
This is a classic stand-up comedy routine at New York’s famed Apollo Theater by America’s Best Comedian of 1999, Chris Rock. Rock, who is billed as a comedian-only, actually delivers social insight and relationship truths wrapped in the word “fk” in what felt like 1,000 reps in 65 minutes on stage.
Chris Rock delivers his pointed opinions and the truth of his time in the cultural vulgarity that is common in the ghettos of the metro area’s African-American communities. Cut the tongue (ignore the delivery method) and Chris Rock is very impressive as a comedian and social watcher in 1999.
Copyright © 2008 Ed Bagley
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