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The Book Thief (2013)


The Book Thief Poster

The Book Thief (2013)

 

 

The Book Thief is a heartbreaking and heartwarming story of innocence, stolen.

I’ve always been drawn to stories about World War II.  Movies about WWII have a tendency to be very powerful films if done correctly.  I think that this is because it was such a hard and troubling time in the world when Hitler was in power.

The Book Thief Rush Watson Girl

The movie is based off of the novel with the same name by Markus Zusak.  The film is about Liesel (Sophie Nelisse), a young girl without a family in Nazi Germany during WWII.  She gets taken in and adopted by a couple who also hide a Jewish boy under their stairs.  With all of the terrible things going on around her, Liesel takes comfort in learning how to read.  She begins to read whatever books that are available to her.  Eventually she starts stealing books and sharing them with her new family.

The film was directed by Brian Percival and the rest of the noteworthy cast includes Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson, Ben Schnetzer, Joachim Paul Assbock, Kirsten Block, Roger Allam, Nico Liersch and Sandra Nedeleff.

The film was slower, but a true drama.  It depended solely on acting and story to get its point across.  Don’t expect an action-packed war movie.  However, a story about Nazi Germany during WWII is intense enough.  Although the story is pretty serious, I liked how there was a bit of humor thrown in to cut the tension and make it more enjoyable.

The Book Thief

The Book Thief had some similarities to the movie The Pianist (2002), except that it was not as intense.

I will admit, the touching story made me shed a few tears.  The movie does a great job of making you care about the characters.  The acting draws you into the story.

Geoffrey Rush and Sophie Nelisse both deliver genuinely heartfelt performances.  The presence of Rush was what was needed to make everyone act on a higher level.  He was the glue that held the movie together.

The set was a work of art.  Germany during the late 30s and early 40s was duplicated very believably.  That task could not have been a simple one.

The only thing that I thought was a little weird about the movie was the way that it was narrated.  The only explanation that I can think of as to why it was done the way that it was is maybe that was how it was narrated in the book.  Regardless, it comes off as a little odd.  The narration style does not seem to fit the type of film that The Book Thief is.

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I applaud the filmmakers for getting a movie like this one made.  In a movie world so consumed with special effects, action, sequels, superheroes, and unoriginality, The Book Thief is the type of film that we need more of.  It’s a genuinely refreshing story that takes plenty of risks.

I rate this movie an 8 on a scale of 1-10.

Buy, rent, or run?  Buy.

Lone Survivor (2013)


Lone Survivor Poster

Lone Survivor (2013)

 

You will laugh, and you will cry.  They live, they fight, and they die.

I was very excited to see Lone Survivor.  When I learned of the movie months ago, I knew it would be one that I had to see.  Recently, I heard from numerous people that the film was amazing, and that just made me want to see it more.  These days, if Mark Wahlberg is in a movie, you can basically expect gold.

Film Title: Lone Survivor

The film is based on the book with the same title which was written by Marcus Luttrell and is based on his true story.  It’s about a group of Navy SEALS on a covert operation in Afghanistan that goes horribly wrong.  Four SEALS are left severely outnumbered and outgunned and behind enemy lines.  Unable to make radio contact, they are forced to stand together as one and try desperately to fight the local Taliban for their survival.

The movie was directed by Peter Berg and the noteworthy cast includes Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Ben Foster, Eric Bana, Emile Hirsch, Yousif Azami, Ali Suliman, Alexander Ludwig, and Jerry Ferrara.

I had vaguely heard of the mission that was portrayed in Lone Survivor, but ultimately, I hardly new any of the details before watching the film.  I’m not sure how much of the story went by the book, and what was fictionalized for pure entertainment purposes.  I have not read the book, but it would be interesting to see how it differs from the movie.

Lone Survivor is a superb depiction of the camaraderie and brotherhood that is commonly found in the Navy SEALS.  The actors walked the walk, and talked the talk.  They were large, bulky instruments that were trained to kill and trained to survive.  They fight like soldiers and they curse like soldiers.  This film does not edit itself for a lighter rating.  It’s as real as I’ve ever seen.  Prepare yourself to be shocked.

Lone Survivor Barracks

This movie has some of the most insanely realistic and severely intense battle scenes that I have ever seen in a film.  Although I knew that I was in a theatre watching a film, it was as if I was watching real footage of actual soldiers at war, and not actors pretending for a camera.

Lone Survivor is a trip into hostile territory.  The movie reminded me of how I felt about Saving Private Ryan (1998) when I saw it for the first time.  It’s an epic achievement.  The film changes the way that you look at the war movie genre.  It raises the bar and leaves huge shoes to fill for any future war movie.  It’s a game changer.  I have a feeling that this movie will be hard to beat for years to come.  The genre has now been reestablished.

The cast was a force to be reckoned with.  Everyone was awesome.  Wahlberg stood out above the rest and he continues to add to the arsenal of reasons why I like him.  He has become one of my favorite actors.  He is a consistent entertainer in the movie world and that is a rare thing in this day and age.

Lone Survivor Wahlberg

This movie should be an Oscar contender.  It would be a crime if it didn’t win something.  It would be an excellent way to honor all of the Navy SEALS that fought for their brothers standing next to them.

I rate this movie a 9 on a scale of 1-10.

Buy, rent, or run?  Buy.

Note: Lone Survivor could deserve a higher rating, but it has to live up to the test of time before it gets one from me.

There was a bit of a disturbance in the densely populated theatre where I watched this film.  A man in the same row as mine was yelling obscenities during the first half of the movie.  He started to violently strike the seats in front of him before he was finally removed from the premises.  I was unable to give my full attention to the first part of the movie because of this distraction.  It was unfortunate, but when I watch the movie for a second time, my rating could possibly change.