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Taken 3

So the good news is that this one was actually a little better than Taken 2, though of course that's not saying much. But they moved away from the initial plot this time, which helped, except that also leads us to the bad news: The title is now completely wrong, since no one really gets taken this time, unless they mean in the sense of being fooled, like 'taken for a ride', though the 'plot twist' at the end is hardly a shock.

Liam meets Kung-Fu Panda.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, 2014 Edition

It's still the decade of the comic book movie, apparently, given that they've almost entirely taken over both the Good and Bad categories this year. On the plus side, I had more options for Good than Bad, though there also seemed to be a lot more movies I just couldn't bring myself to care about one way or the other, which isn't exactly an exciting sort of trend. But without further ado, on to the list all my twelve loyal fans have been waiting for.

The Good:

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: 2014 Style.

Into the Woods

Once upon a time, etc. Okay, yes, I was kinda stuck for an opening line. I like fairy tale mash-ups, but I'm not much of a musical fan in general, so while I was mostly pleasantly surprised overall, I also went in with pretty low expectations. And while Johnny Depp (The Lone Ranger) only really had one scene, thank goodness, I can't remember it without cringing and I'm not sure I'll ever get past that.

The Wolf. Remember, kids, never talk to strangers or Johnny Depp.

The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies

I'm wondering just how annoyed that guy I overheard after the first movie is, now that the trilogy is done and it's pretty clear that they should have stuck with the original plan and made two movies instead of three. I hate to say it, I know people are enjoying them and all, but this installment in particular didn't really do a whole lot for me.

The Arkenstone. We wants it, my preciousss...

Exodus: Gods and Kings

It's pretty useless to expect that Hollywood will get anything even remotely right when it comes to ancient Egyptian history, yet somehow I keep hoping. Granted, Ramses II doesn't really deserve the title of 'the Great', which is usual for rulers who give that sort of nickname to themselves like he did, but the amount of things they got wrong is still pretty breathtaking. I was really hoping we were done with the myth that everything in ancient Egypt was built by slave labor, but they didn't even manage to get that right.

I have no idea if it's historically accurate, but I loved the headdress.

Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part I

Apparently, thousands upon thousands of hours have been spent by various people on trying to create a definitive map of Panem, since author Suzanne Collins didn't provide one. Oversight, or clever marketing strategy? You decide! All I know is that when I went looking for a map because I was curious as to where District 13 had been hiding all this time, no two of them were exactly alike, like snowflakes.

The Mockingjay. There's a neat little animation of this after the credits.


I admit, I was a little nervous about this one, partly because of the run time (169 minutes is a considerable length of time to sit in even the most comfy chair), and partly because the previews were pretty vague. It seemed like I might be heading for some sort of terrifying hybrid of Transformers and Skyline.

A black hole. Technically you shouldn't be able to see it, but that's no fun.


No, not Nightcrawler of the X-Men, but that's okay, because it was still a good movie and he wouldn't really have fit in anyway. The premise does seem a little strange -- 'Nightcrawler' here refers to a sort of independent contractor who chases police calls and takes video of accidents and crime scenes so they can sell the footage to the news stations -- but it's a real thing that people do in large cities. Teleportation would certainly be helpful, but super powers are not required, just an incredible amount of nerve.

Lou realizes that he's forgotten to buy toothpaste.


This probably isn't the best movie to see the same weekend as The Book of Life, since it really was hard to switch gears and write this review. It doesn't help that I'm not entirely sure what to say about this one, either, since at times it was very good and at other times I found myself wondering why, exactly, they had put a particular scene in, as sometimes it seemed like they were just trying to be artsy or surreal or something.

Fury's crew in a rare moment when they're not all harassing each other.

The Book of Life

This didn't quite seem like a kids' movie, despite being animated -- after all, it's about people dying and going to the afterlife -- but kids' movie it was, and again I felt a little weird about being in the theatre. I really think it would have freaked me out a little when I was a kid, though of course I'm a coward.

I just had to use a picture of La Muerte's wonderful hat.
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