Movies out today: Oscar nominees and unnecessary sequels

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Unbroken

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Unbroken follows the incredible life of Olympian and war hero Louis “Louie” Zamperini (Jack O’Connell) who, along with two other crewmen, survived in a raft for 47 days after a near-fatal plane crash in WWII-only to be caught by the Japanese Navy and sent to a prisoner-of-war camp.

While Unbroken is no doubt an inspiring tale showcasing the triumph of the human spirit, it had all the ingredients to be great but turned out to be merely good instead. With 3.5/5 from Kervyn, it’s still worth a watch for its strong dramatic performances and excellent, Oscar-nominated cinematography, even if it turns out to be a predictable story.

Taken 3

TKN3-002 —  Liam Neeson as Bryan Mills in TAKEN 3.

Liam Neeson returns as ex-covert operative Bryan Mills, whose reconciliation with his ex-wife is tragically cut short when she is brutally murdered. Consumed with rage, and framed for the crime, he goes on the run to evade the relentless pursuit of the CIA, FBI and the police. For one last time, Mills must use his “particular set of skills,” to track down the real killers, exact his unique brand of justice, and protect the only thing that matters to him now – his daughter.

Oh, Hollywood, what is with you and unnecessary sequels? Taken 3 is obviously just a cash grab, with a tired Neeson dragging the film through its tedious plot and past one dimensional characters. Kervyn gives it 1.5/5, and I recommend giving it a skip, unless you feel like being taken for a ride.

Pride

Mark Pride

Previously out on Cinema Nouveau, Pride is now out nationwide. Inspired by an extraordinary true story, Pride takes place in the summer of 1984. Margaret Thatcher is in power and the National Union of Mineworkers is on strike, prompting a London-based group of gay and lesbian activists to raise money to support the strikers’ families. Initially rebuffed by the Union, the group identifies a tiny mining village in Wales and sets off to make their donation in person. As the strike drags on, the two groups discover that standing together makes for the strongest union of all.

Charming and touching, with lovingly portrayed characters, Pride made Nick grin for days with its clever writing and genuine heart-felt moments. So much so that he gave it 4/5, and if you need cheering up then this is the movie for you.

Last Updated: January 16, 2015

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