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Movie Reviews: 2 Awesome Christmas Films

The much awaited Christmas season is upon us and with the holidays beckoning, it’s prime time to go out with your family, lover, or friends to see a movie or two. While I might not be able to tell you about all the movies showing at the different cinemas in Lagos, let me quickly talk about these 2 movies currently showing and see if you would love to check them out.

  1. ANNIE (2014 Film)

Annie (2014) is an updated version/remake of the 1982 version of the popular radio show, comic strip and Broadway musical. The 2014 remake set in modern-day New York and starring Quvenzhané Wallis was directed by Will Gluck who is best known for comedy films. It’s a 118 minute film which opened Friday at major theatres.

The 2014 Annie is the 2.0 version of the optimistic orphan. In this remake, Annie is not an orphan but an abandoned child holding on to the promise that her parents will be back for her.  Ironically, Annie’s optimistic spirit goes beyond the screen; as much as critics have bashed this movie with rottentomatoes.com scoring it at 29%, the movie has beaten all odds and did well at the box office; sitting on number 3 and making an estimate of $16.3M on its opening weekend.

Annie is played Quvenzhané Wallis, the Young African American beauty with enough charisma to burn and an exceptional ability to magnetize an audience’s attention. Wallis, the youngest girl to be nominated for the Oscars for her role as Hushpuppy in Beasts of the Southern Wild, is able to captivate not just the audience but Jamie Foxx who plays Will Stacks, the hard-nosed tycoon and New York mayoral candidate.

Wallis sings the popular “It’s a hard knock life for us” as she dances around Harlem where the movie is set.

The movie is co-produced by famous rapper Jay-Z, along with Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, who originally had spontaneous daughter, Willow Smith as the lead. However, Wallis does a remarkable job as her replacement.

Annie talks about foster families and social class in an interesting way and it is rated PG. It may not live up to the classic for some die-hard fans, but it’s an entertaining family film with good music. Overall, it’s a charming and entertaining movie for the whole family. I’ll score it 7 out of 10.

 

  1. HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF FIVE ARMIES

If you hate spoilers and do not wish to know about this film before you watch it, hit the back key now. But if you don’t mind, here it is.

For those who have been keeping up with this trilogy as it rolled out, not a lot has changed. “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” brings to an epic conclusion the adventures of Bilbo Baggins, Thorin Oakenshield and the Company of Dwarves. Having reclaimed their homeland from the Dragon Smaug, the Company has unwittingly unleashed a deadly force into the world. Enraged, Smaug rains his fiery wrath down upon the defenseless men, women and children of Lake-town. Obsessed above all else with his reclaimed treasure, Thorin sacrifices friendship and honour to hoard it as Bilbo’s frantic attempts to make him see reason drive the Hobbit towards a desperate and dangerous choice.

The 144-minute film was directed by Peter Jackson. However, the movie is so captivating that the whole 144 minutes fly by real fast. Rottentomatoes.com gives this movie 61% and it stayed  on top at the box office this weekend making over $90M. Faithful to its original tale, Smaug the dragon comes out of his layer and attacks the town although he is later killed. The dwarves take control of the ancient citadel of their forebears packed with a mountain of gold and jewels; battle arises when evil creatures arrive. The battle scenes remain epic with reminders for faithful fans on the armies taking the field in the two towers.

Though somewhat overwhelmed by its own spectacle, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies ends Peter Jackson’s second Middle-earth trilogy on a reasonably satisfying note. It’s a huge battle and everything that is promised. Five armies fight, and the battles are amazing. This film is more action and no walking around.

The movie is rated PG 13 and I will score it 8 out of 10.

About the author: Chris Bamidele is a passionate and unapologetic Nigerian, who believes in God and humanity. He is a writer, blogger, and an aspiring Television Director; and an optimist to the core. He blogs at www.chrisbamidele.wordpress.com and tweets @Chrisbamidele.

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Chris Bamidele is a passionate and unapologetic Nigerian, who believes in God and humanity. He is a writer, blogger, and an aspiring Television Director; and an optimist to the core. He blogs at www.chrisbamidele.wordpress.com and tweets @Chrisbamidele.

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