Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

We here at Trust the Dice would like to wish everyone in the U.S. a Happy Thanksgiving! For anyone outside of the U.S.: Happy Birthday or Happy Unbirthday as is applicable!

We will not be posting today due to the holiday, but on Monday look forward to the Top 20 Movies to Look Out for in December!

Monday, November 23, 2015

I Am Not A Hipster (2012)

Number Rolled: 4
Movie Name/Year: I Am Not A Hipster (2012)
Tagline: None
Genre: Indie
Length: 90 minutes
Rating: NR
Production Companies: Uncle Freddy Productions
Executive Producer: Fred Najor
Director: Destin Daniel Cretton
Writer: Destin Daniel Cretton
Actors: Dominic Bogart, Alvaro Orlando, Tammy Minoff, Lauren Coleman, Kandis Erickson, Brad William Henke, Michael Harding, Adam Shapiro, Tania Verafield, Eva Mah, Lisa Ogdie

Brook is in the middle of an existential crisis. After his mother’s death, he’s left questioning all his choices and paths in life.

Selina’s Point of View:
Hipsters grate on my nerves. I can’t actually offer an unbiased review of this film because I hated every character in it.

Growing up I was part of the grunge scene for a while. All I owned was like… flannel and worn-out jeans. Then I discovered punk and never looked back. Chains, spikes, chaos and songs with lyrics that meant something. I’m not talking about pop-punk… like Good Charlotte, either. I mean Bad Religion and NOFX. My particular brand of punk image had a touch of ska and a lot of geek thrown in.

Even though I was a punk, though, I understood the other groups. Goths, pops, rockers, hippies… they all made sense to me. Even after I graduated, when the emo thing took over, I didn’t like it but I understood. Hipsters? I don’t fucking understand hipsters.

I can get on board with the beards and even some of the music. That’s not my issue. The skinny jeans piss me off and look less comfortable than a bed of nails, but even that’s not my problem.

The hipster crowd seems like it exists so people can sneer and try to one-up each other. Everything is about just how singular it can be, how out of the norm. Nothing is good enough and if you think something is good enough than you’re an idiot. If you haven’t travelled outside the country than you’re sheltered. If you haven’t read this random book from the 1950s, obviously nothing you’ve read matters. Haven’t heard of that obscure movie that came out a few years ago that hasn’t played in any theaters and only six other people have seen? Obviously you only watch movies directed by Michael Bay (Pain & Gain, Pearl Harbor, Transformers). Getting excited about something? Well that’s totally taboo. Unless you’re at Coachella or something, you need to be dismissive of fucking everything else.

Fuck that and fuck them.

I get excited about way too much to get involved with that noise. I mean, for a week leading up to The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 (2015) I had several moments where I just wigged out and squeed for no reason. (I saw the film, it was AWESOME!!!!) Forget my dog. I get all proud-mama about her constantly. I just taught her to give me a pound when I say, “sup, dog?” My husband walked out of the room with a sigh when he saw it. I giggled.

What does any of this have to do with the movie?

Well, it’s called I Am Not a Hipster. So, naturally, every damn person in it is a hipster. As a result, I felt NO connection to the film at all. Fifteen minutes in, I was bored and I didn’t want to watch anymore. The plot wasn’t nearly enough to draw me back into it.

If you intend to watch this film, I recommend that you either be a hipster, or at least able to tolerate the culture. Otherwise, you should consult Cat’s point of view, because she’s likely going to be able to give a more neutral review.

Cat’s Point of View:
I’m not going to beat around the bush. This movie bored me.

I will admit that the soundtrack was pretty decent. I think the music helped glue this film together.  Without it, I think I would have found folding laundry infinitely more interesting.

Don’t get me wrong, though. The movie wasn’t horrible. There were flashes of brilliance, and moments that evoked emotion – but the rest of it felt like the film was trying to be too cerebral.

The moments I enjoyed most in the movie featured the main character together with his sisters.  I liked the dynamic between the siblings, and the scenes that elicited the most emotional response from me involved all of them together.

I did appreciate the fact that the lead, Dominic Bogart (Extracted, Mahjong and the West, 400 Days), is a musician – actually performing in the film. While I understand that not all actors cast in parts that require musical performance as part of the role are able to actually sing or play; I enjoy and connect better when it’s the real deal.

I was surprised to learn that this appears to be the sole film credit for the actress that played Spring, Lauren Coleman. I hope that we see her in other projects in the future. She has a lovely voice and I enjoyed her performance.

I’m not sure that I would recommend this film to others, unless I knew in advance that this was really “their thing.”

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 60%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 63%

Netflix’s Prediction for Selina – 4/5
Selina’s Trust-the-Dice Score1/5

Netflix’s Prediction for Cat – 4/5
Cat’s Trust-the-Dice Score3/5

The Random Rating: PG-13

Movie Trailer:

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Django Unchained (2012)

Number Rolled: 46
Movie Name/Year: Django Unchained (2012)
Tagline: Life, liberty and the pursuit of vengeance.
Genre: Drama
Length: 165 minutes
Rating: R
Production Companies: The Weinstein Company, Columbia Pictures
Executive Producer: Shannon McIntosh, Michael Shamberg, James W. Skotchdopole, Bob Weinstein, Harvey Weinstein
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Writer: Quentin Tarantino
Actors: Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington, Samuel L. Jackson, Walton Goggins, Dennis Christopher, James Remar, David Steen, Dana Gourrier, Ato Essandoh, Sammi Rotibi, Escalante Lundy, Don Johnson, Franco Nero, Jonah Hill

Dr. King Schultz is looking for a slave that might know where he can find his bounty. He meets Django while the man is being transported to his new owners. From there, they form a partnership considered more than strange for their time.

Selina’s Point of View:
This movie is awesome.

Of course, this wasn’t technically the first time I’d seen the film. My husband was watching Django Unchained one Saturday when I had to work. My desk and the TV are in the same room, so I had my headphones on to help me concentrate while I was writing. From time to time, a scene would catch my attention and I’d look up, zone in for about fifteen minutes then get back to work.

Long story short, I saw roughly an hour and a half of this film in nonconsecutive scenes about a year ago.

The first thing I noticed, after watching it in order, is that it makes so much more sense now! Scenes that I thought were really out of left field just clicked into place. Of course, that’s what happens when you watch a movie properly.

The acting in this film was outstanding.

Jamie Foxx (Annie, Horrible Bosses, Due Date) was ridiculous. Who would have known he could pull something like this off? He was incredible. Samuel L. Jackson (Kingsman: The Secret Service, Turbo, Avengers: Age of Ultron) transformed into a character so repugnant that it’s almost difficult to recognize him. Christoph Waltz (Carnage, The Zero Theorem, Muppets Most Wanted) portrayed Dr. Schultz in such a way that it was impossible to not get emotionally invested in him. Kerry Washington (Scandal, A Thousand Words, Lakeview Terrace) made for an ethereal and engaging love interest.

Finally, Leonard DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street, Inception, Blood Diamond) was out-right robbed. Do you know what award he won for his stellar performance in this film? A National Board of Review award for Best Supporting Actor. I just… no. I’m not going to get into my theories about the corrupt award ceremonies. We’re just going to move on and keep this about the film.

Quentin Tarantino (Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill, Natural Born Killers) delivered a fast-paced, deep, intense plot with incredible settings and acting that just can’t be beat. Not only that, he made a three hour film that didn’t make me feel like I wanted to bang my head against the wall out of boredom.

The man may have a screw loose, but there’s no doubting his talent.

Cat’s Point of View:
I’d heard good things about this movie – mostly praise, as I tried to avoid spoilers. The film also won an impressive stack of awards. I counted at least 52 awards on IMDb (not counting 2nd and 3rd place showings); and many more award nominations.

Just because a gazillion other people liked it, doesn’t always mean that I will. Though, with Quentin Tarantino (Grindhouse: Deathproof, Inglorious Basterds, From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series), I generally have an expectation that I’ll be entertained.

This film delivered with both barrels.

The only downside I have to mention about this film was just its length. There was so much landscape in this movie, both figuratively with the writing and also literally; so I understand that it couldn’t necessarily be short. It doesn’t really take away from it, though – and with the Netflix platform, it’s not like you can’t pause the movie and then come back to it.

The story was compelling in this period piece, and the actors really fleshed out their characters brilliantly.

I can’t envision anyone other than Jamie Foxx (The Kingdom, Law Abiding Citizen, White House Down) in the role of Django. I wouldn’t be surprised if Tarantino wrote the part for him.

My favorite character in the film, however, was Dr. King Schultz. Christoph Waltz (Inglorious Basterds, The Three Musketeers, Epic) was phenomenal in this role. I loved his sense of humor, intelligence, and even the clipped and precisely enunciated way he spoke. The character was endearing and interesting.

That’s really just scratching the surface. There were so many fantastic performances here. Leonardo DiCaprio (The Departed, Shutter Island, J. Edgar), Kerry Washington (Mother and Child, The Details, Peeples), and Samuel L. Jackson (Oldboy, Robocop, Kite) didn’t disappoint in the least. It’s amusing to note that Jackson got to use his “favorite vocabulary,” once more, in this film.

On a final note, fans of Sons of Anarchy (2008-2014) might recognize one of the actors here in Walton Goggins (Cowboys and Aliens, Lincoln, American Ultra). He played Venus Van Dam in the critically acclaimed FX series, and also Boyd Crowder in Justified (2010-2015). He’s slated to team up with Tarantino again in The Hateful Eight, currently expected to hit screens in December 2015.

I would definitely confirm that this movie is worthy of the accolades it received, and would gladly recommend it.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 88%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 91%

Netflix’s Prediction for Selina – 5/5
Selina’s Trust-the-Dice Score5/5

Netflix’s Prediction for Cat – 4.5/5
Cat’s Trust-the-Dice Score4.5/5

P.S. Short scene after the credits.

Movie Trailer:

Monday, November 16, 2015

After (2012)

Number Rolled: 49
Movie Name/Year: After (2012)
Tagline: N/A
Genre: Sci-fi & Fantasy (Netflix labels it Thriller)
Length: 89 minutes
Rating: PG-13
Production Companies: Quite Quick Productions, Seabourne Pictures
Executive Producers: Michael Gangwisch, Greg Ham, Scott Healy, Jason Parish, Chris Schmid
Director: Ryan Smith
Writer: Jason Parish, Ryan Smith
Actors: Steven Strait, Karolina Wydra, Madison Lintz, Sandra Ellis Lafferty, Jackson Walker, Chase Presley, April Billingsley

Freddy and Ana wake up to a strange new world after surviving a bus crash. They work together to discover what is going on, and how to overcome some daunting obstacles.

Selina’s Point of View:
After was an interesting film.

I found myself thinking it was longer than it was, but I wasn’t bored. I think that’s the first time that’s ever happened. Normally when I think a movie is too long it’s because I’d rather be staring at a wall than watching it. I think I was just tired though so, moving on.

We’re going to have to stop for a minute and talk about Steven Strait (The Covenant, Magic City, Sleeping with the Fishes).

This is my first exposure to Strait, and I was impressed. Yes, he had some weird facial expressions from time to time, but I found him supremely likable anyway. I believe he made a relatable and interesting leading man. I want to see him in more movies.

That being said, the movie had some great moments.

I knew the underlying plot about five minutes in, but they twisted it into something I actually became invested in. In fact, I wouldn’t even label this movie a recipe film. Although the initial plot is overdone, it certainly takes it somewhere new and fresh.

Critics panned this film. This is one of those times when I absolutely believe the critics are wrong. After was a great film that deserves more recognition than it has gotten since its release.  

Cat’s Point of View:
I was pleasantly surprised by this movie. I hadn’t heard of it before; though, when I saw that I recognized the lead actors, my curiosity was piqued.

The dice have been steering us to quite a few movies, lately, that are focused on a pair of characters. The previous films had a more limited setting, focusing in on just the characters. This film was a bit more expansive – the town, itself seemed to be a third cast member.

I was just as confused as the characters as to what had happened. I enjoyed putting the pieces together as they did – unraveling the mystery of how these two people’s fates intertwined and why. Kudos to the writing team, here. The dialogue felt natural, and the revelation of plot points felt like moments of discovery rather than something being shoved in my direction.

I liked the casting choices they made with this film. Steven Strait (10,000 BC, Stop-Loss, City Island) has this intensity about him which is great for roles such as warlocks and mobsters, and at the same time he’s able to pull off goofy so adorably.  His character, here, pulls from a wide range – and he was definitely up to the task.

One of my favorite guilty pleasure movies is Sky High (2005); which was his debut film. I can’t wait to see what he does in the upcoming SyFy Channel show The Expanse (2015-) set for release in December.

Then, of course we can’t forget his co-star, Karolina Wydra (Sugar, Europa Report, Incarnate). I remember her as the powerful and jealously possessive vampire, Violet, from True Blood (2008-2014). This role was a decided departure from that sort of personality. She tapped into a vulnerability in this film, and I think she did a spectacular job. I will have to go and look up more of her work.

All in all, I loved this movie. It kept me guessing, and drew me in as the plot wove together to reveal its secrets. I would definitely recommend this film.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – none
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 38%

Netflix’s Prediction for Selina – 4.5/5
Selina’s Trust-the-Dice Score4.5/5

Netflix’s Prediction for Cat – 4.5/5
Cat’s Trust-the-Dice Score4/5

P.S. Short scene after the credits.

Movie Trailer: 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Breaking at the Edge (2013)

Number Rolled: 80
Movie Name/Year: Breaking at the Edge (2013)
Tagline: The line between reality and insanity is as thin as a razor’s edge.
Genre: Thriller
Length: 85 minutes
Rating: R
Production Companies: Cinemarket Films, TinRes Entertainment, Vitamin A Films
Executive Producer: David Grovic, Jake Kennedy
Director: Predrag Antonijevic
Writer: Jake Kennedy, Nissar Modi
Actors: Rebecca Da Costa, Milo Ventimiglia, Andie MacDowell, Johnathon Schaech, Logan Browning, Brianne Davis, Louis Gossett Jr., Gabriel Macht

Bianca and Ian are trying to start a family, but it’s been difficult. A miscarriage led to the discovery of a chemical imbalance in Bianca’s brain. Now that she’s pregnant again, they are trying to make sure nothing goes wrong.

Selina’s Point of View:
The beginning of the movie did nothing for me. It had all the tropes you’d expect. There was the obligatory shot of a character taking meds followed by the overly used statement that “nothing can go wrong.”

Nothing tells you that shit is about to hit the fan more clearly than a character saying some version of “nothing can go wrong.” It’s like someone saying “we need to talk.” Nothing about that statement has ever been good in the history of ever.

Around a half hour in I suddenly became glued to the screen. I wasn’t sure what was real and what was in the main character’s head. It became more of an experience than just watching a movie for the blog.

Rebecca Da Costa (Freerunner, Treasure of the Black Jaguar, L.A. I Hate You) will likely never be a favorite actor of mine. A lot of what she did for this film felt flat and unbelievable. Milo Ventimiglia (Heroes, Gamer, Dirty Deeds) is another story. He is one of my favorites already, without a doubt. I consider him a highly underrated actor with extraordinary range. I think he should be a house-hold name and it bugs me that he’s not. He played the part of Ian brilliantly.

By the end of the film, my heart was racing and I couldn’t look away. That is exactly what you hope for when you choose to watch a thriller.

Cat’s Point of View:
I’ve been dying for this movie to come up on our random roll. The premise looked interesting; and let’s face it – it’s a Milo Ventimiglia (Pathology, Chosen, Tell) movie. We’ve established already that I’m a fan, yes? I wanted to like this movie; though I did my best to be objective as I watched. 

I wasn’t disappointed.

There were a few slow spots for me, but that didn’t take away from the overall experience. The plot kept me guessing, and was successful in its ominous atmosphere.

Back when we reviewed 7 Below (2012), I noted Rebecca Da Costa (Trick of the Witch, Mine Games, The Bag Man) was in this film. I have to admit that I was concerned, given that her performance in that movie had lacked something. I think it had to just be that movie. She did a bang up job with this one. 

Her performance was compelling and drew me in. I shared her worry and doubted some of my own perceptions.

The casting for the doctor was spot on with Andie MacDowell (Intervention, The 5th Quarter, Mighty Fine). She gives off this natural warmth that elevated her role in the film, even though it was small. Another familiar and interesting actor in this film was Louis Gossett Jr. (Shannon's Rainbow, Smitty, Pride of Lions). I enjoyed the small dash of levity that he brought to the otherwise serious movie.

Finally, of course, there’s Milo. His performance was on point, as usual. He has shown time and again that he is able to embody roles such as this and make it look effortless. I enjoyed my conflicted feelings elicited by his on-screen journey with Rebecca Da Costa’s character in this film.

If you enjoy suspenseful thrillers, I would recommend this movie.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – None
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 15%

Netflix’s Prediction for Selina – 2/5
Selina’s Trust-the-Dice Score3.5/5

Netflix’s Prediction for Cat – 2.5/5
Cat’s Trust-the-Dice Score 4/5

Movie Trailer:

Monday, November 9, 2015

Adventureland (2009)

Number Rolled: 94
Movie Name/Year: Adventureland (2009)
Tagline: Long hours. Low pay. High times.
Genre: Romance
Length: 106 minutes
Rating: R
Production Companies: Miramax, Sidney Kimmel Entertainment, This Is That Productions
Executive Producer: William Horberg, Bruce Toll
Director: Greg Mottola
Writer: Greg Mottola
Actors: Jesse Eisenberg, Kelsey Ford, Michael Zegen, Ryan McFarland, Jack Gilpin, Wendie Malick, Matt Bush, Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader, Martin Starr, Kristen Stewart, Ryan Reynolds, Margarita Levieva, Josh Pais, Mary Birdsong

James is used to not having to worry about money. When his father is demoted, however, he’s forced to put aside his hopes for a European vacation and an ivy league college and take up a job at a theme park.

Selina’s Point of View:
I’m a fan of Ryan Reynolds (Self/less, R.I.P.D., Green Lantern), so I’ve been interested in Adventureland for a while. To be honest, I also wanted to see how Kristen Stewart (American Ultra, Camp X-Ray, Still Alice) would do in a movie that wasn’t a crapfest of sparkly vampires. I really haven’t seen much of her in other parts, so I’m curious.

To be honest, I don’t think this was Reynold’s best work. His performance was a little flat. That could be what was called for in order to portray his character well, but he came off as boring to me.

Stewart, on the other hand, was a pleasant surprise. She wasn’t bad and it makes me wonder if she got her reputation for being so emotionless because she had to be to pull off the vapid and depthless character of Bella. She’s not the most amazing actress to ever grace the silver screen, but I don’t think she deserves the hate that she gets. In the case of any actor involved in the Twilight series: blame the writer, not the actor.

The movie was weird. Not a bad weird, just weird. I think that’s the general effect of starring Jesse Eisenberg (American Ultra, Now You See Me, The Social Network). He’s got the most spectacularly punchable face and he pulls off super awkward more than any other actor except, maybe, Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Kick-Ass, Neighbors, Fright Night).

I think the real issue, is that you have to be into movies like this to really enjoy Adventureland. It’s not exactly a movie for people just dipping their toe into the genre. It’s very geared toward teenage romance with just a little drama. I tend to prefer movies that involve a lot of anticipation and that make my heart jump. I’ve seen some romances that could do it, but not this one.

It wasn’t bad, and I’d even recommend it to some people. It’s just not for everyone.

Cat’s Point of View:
To be honest, I wasn’t sure if I was going to like this film. I’m not the biggest fan of Jesse Eisenberg (The Hunting Party, Rio, Night Moves). I do enjoy a handful of his movies, though. I was hoping that this movie might have comedy on par with his performance in Zombieland (2009).

Then, take into consideration Kristen Stewart (Into the Wild, Jumper, The Runaways). She is excellent in portraying morose and flustered. Her performance in the movies she is most noted for is rather one-note on that level.

Further, what was up with Ryan Reynolds (Safe House, The Croods, Woman in Gold) and the last mention in the opening credits? I digress. That really doesn’t have any bearing on the film, itself, after all.

Survey says? I bought what this movie was selling 106 minutes of nostalgia. This flick took me back to a time when we had a small amusement park in town when I was growing up. Sadly, it closed in the 90’s after a tornado literally bent the Ferris wheel in half.

Can we also talk about Em’s car??? It was a Pacer, of all things. The first car I remember my parents owning was a silver Pacer. For unrelated extra credit – can you name other movies that little bubble car has appeared in?

I must give kudos to the music department for this movie. The soundtrack selection was well timed within the film, and was a crazy eclectic mix. There were 41 songs from the 1980’s packed into this film. The Cure made an appearance, in addition to David Bowie, The Rolling Stones, Judas Priest, Whitesnake, and the Replacements – just to name a few. See if you can catch all the Easter eggs involving The Velvet Underground.

Sonic landscape aside, the movie was relatable. I liked the performances by Eisenberg and Stewart more than I thought I would. Their connection was there, and I didn’t feel like I was watching automatons.

Brace yourself for the bad pun – I enjoyed the emotional roller-coaster. It wasn’t a huge one that had me crying or clutching my chest or anything, but I did feel something.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 88%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 60%

Netflix’s Prediction for Selina – 4/5
Selina’s Trust-the-Dice Score3/5

Netflix’s Prediction for Cat – 3/5
Cat’s Trust-the-Dice Score3.5/5

P.S. There’s a commercial for the Adventureland theme park seen in the movie near the middle of the credits. There are also some very familiar names in the “Special Thanks” portion.

Movie Trailer:

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Outcast (2014)

Number Rolled: 90
Movie Name/Year: Outcast (2014)
Tagline: Legends are born in battle.
Genre: Action & Adventure
Length: 98 minutes
Rating: NR
Production Companies: Notorious Films, 22h22, Canal+, Media Max Productions, Yunnan Film Group
Executive Producer: Mark Canton, Marc Charette, Jean-Francois Doray, Mike Gabrawy, Andrew Mann, Li Qiyan, Mark Slone
Director: Nick Powell
Writer: James Dormer
Actors: Nicolas Cage, Hayden Christensen, Fernando Chien, Anoja Dias Bolt, Bill Su Jiahang, Jike Junyi, Byron Lawson, Shi Lang, Andy On, Yifei Liu

Seeing his death near, a king names his second son his heir to the anger of his first-born. The heir needs to find a way to be named king before his older brother can get his hands on him.

Selina’s Point of View:
This movie was a complete mess. I’m not even sure where to start.

I guess I’ll start at the single most obvious mess in Outcast: accents.

I’m thinking that Hayden Christensen (American Heist, Vanishing on 7th Street, Awake) and Nicolas Cage (Rage, Joe, The Frozen Ground) were supposed to be speaking in a British accents. I don’t know what accent they were actually speaking in, but it wasn’t British. I was practically raised by my very British next door neighbor. I know the accent well. What they were speaking was some kind of mix of British, Cockney, Irish, Scottish and… dwarven maybe? Some dialect of Ewok? At one point in the beginning I had to turn on captions because I had no clue what Christensen was trying to say.

Moving on, I’ll admit that many of the settings and props used were really well done. The makeup for wounds and scars was amazing. Even my high definition screen couldn’t find flaw with some of the work done. I want to meet John L. Healy (X-Men: The Last Stand, Eragon, True Justice) and his makeup department crew and shake their hands for what I saw.

Unsung heroes, the behind-the-scene crew of any film. I should really start mentioning them more. I have a cousin that does back stage stuff. I should know better.

I digress.

Although most of the settings and props were extremely well done, there were some… flaws. I mean, as audience members we know the knives in the scene are made of rubber, but it breaks the illusion to see them flopping back and forth.

Then there were the characters. Who has a perfectly quaffed Mohawk in the 12th century during the crusades? Why did Nicolas Cage suddenly turn into a pirate? Why is everyone in the East made to seem so gullible?

The plot devices were also an issue. We all know when something is a plot device, but that’s not all it should be. Plot devices lose their usefulness if the audience can count them as they happen. They’re supposed to be as seamless as possible as they move the story along.

Despite the many, many, many flaws… I enjoyed the film. Sure, I was mostly laughing at it, not with it… but enjoyment is still enjoyment. Watch it with friends, mock the accents, and hilarity is sure to ensue.

Cat’s Point of View:
I’d seen a few clips from this movie, but not even the full trailer, prior to its random selection. I thought it looked interesting (and hey - Hayden Christensen [Jumper, Takers, Shattered Glass] looks pretty good with that Mohawk, right?!).

Both Christensen and Nicolas Cage (Trespass, The Croods, Pay the Ghost) tend to be wild cards. Some of their films are fantastic – and the others have us asking ourselves why we’re watching to begin with.

The movie was laced with beautiful scenery, packed with action, and sprinkled with emotion and drama. The stunt work here was pretty cool, and the battle scenes weren’t’ too over-the-top with gore while remaining realistic.

I bought in to Christensen’s war-weary survivor of the brutal crusades, and his personal mission to battle his inner demons. I rooted for his hope of redemption.

There were a few things that bugged me in the film. This was 12th Century in the time of the Crusades – was English really that prevalent among the common populace in China, a xenophobic society with many dialects of their own? I know they likely made that choice from a logistics standpoint to avoid subtitles, but still. Also – king instead of emperor? Maybe I’m letting little things get to me.

Overall, I still enjoyed the movie and I’d even give it a recommendation.  In the meantime, I’ll just be over here with this Peter Cetera song stuck in my head.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 6%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 20%

Netflix’s Prediction for Selina – 2.5/5
Selina’s Trust-the-Dice Score3/5

Netflix’s Prediction for Cat – 3/5
Cat’s Trust-the-Dice Score3.5/5

The Random Rating: R

Movie Trailer: