Crawl (2019)

Originally released on July 12th 2019

As someone who lives in South Florida, I found this movie absolutely terrifying at certain points while humorous at others. Haley Keller (Kaya Scodelario), a college athlete at the University of Florida in Gainesville returns home down south to get her dad before the hurricane hits. This hurricane in question, is a monster in itself. After being told that those in the area needed to evacuate because rescues would be near impossible, she and her father (Barry Pepper) end up in the crawl space of the house in Coral Lake.

Things take a turn for the worse. As it turns out, the crawl space has become feeding grounds for ravenous alligators. Who, mind you, are killing for sport and territory and not for food. They end up spending the rest of the movie fighting against alligators and then the elements before they wind up on the roof of the house, getting rescued at the end of the movie.

Minus the ravenous alligators, the plot was pretty predictable. The father and daughter duo have a tense relationship that shows major progress by the end of the film. Because of their tense relationship, it wasn’t hard to predict that they would make it out of there alive. From a Floridian perspective though, the movie missed a lot of points. It was just very obvious that the writing and mannerisms were chosen by people who aren’t from Florida. I had an inkling while watching the film; something was off.

A quick glance at the end credits showed that a lot of the work took place on a sound stage in Serbia, with exterior shots being filmed in Tampa Bay, Florida. Due to the nature of the film, I found this surprisingly morbid since it was sometime this year that a body was found in a lake in Tampa Bay; surrounded by alligators. Since I do not want to exploit this tragic event, I will not include names or extra details.

All in all, the movie was entertaining and at sometimes actually scary but that was about it. It isn’t a movie I would see again, since it could have easily created a craze of fearing alligators just as Jaws did pertaining to sharks.

Have any of you seen the movie? What did you think of it?

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Originally released in the United States on December 13, 2013

And the journey continues!

If you recall, we left our group of dwarves, one hobbit and a wizard at the end of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey as they had just managed to escape the Orcs. After a touching scene between Thorin and Bilbo, the credits roll and we are pushed forward into The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.

In this one, we meet so many fantastic characters. We get Legolas (Orlando Bloom); the prince of the woodland realm, Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly); the elven chief of the Mirkwood Guards, and Bard the Bowman (Luke Evans); the heir of Girion, the last king of the old Dale.

The movie begins by showing a flashback that details the ‘chance’ meeting between Thorin and Gandalf where we find out that Thorin has been in search of his father, and yet he seems to be the only one who believes him to still be alive. This scene is used to explain how they came to meet and how the group came to be and why a burglar was even necessary.

We meet Tauriel, the beautiful elven chief of the guard who is shown to not be like the other woodland realm elves. She seems to be compassionate, and actually wants to help Thorin’s group despite them being dwarves. There seems to be something blooming between her and Kíli (Aidan Turner) which I’m interested to see how this plays out in the next film.

We finally get to see Smaug in his purest form i.e trying to kill everyone. Before they get to him though, they have to find the keyhole to the entrance to Erebor and for a moment, all is lost when the sun sets and the group believes themselves to be doomed. Until Bilbo realizes the phrase was referring to moonlight, and not the sun. This begins the ending arc of the movie where they must fight the dragon, only for said dragon to leave and decide to attack the laketown.

This leaves Bilbo staring as Smaug leaves and he says “what have we done?” Which is really foreboding for what the finale of the Hobbit trilogy holds for us. Speaking of Bilbo, he’s been getting a lot of use out of the golden ring he found and since I don’t know much about the ring yet, I will leave it at that. I’ve noticed his usage, I know that it plays an important role later on, but right now? Just jotting down the fact he is using it a lot.

Overall, I think I enjoyed the first movie more than this one, but even so this movie was mesmerizing in it’s own right. I’m super excited to watch The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies to see how all of this comes together.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey came out in the United States on December 14th 2012

After many years of being told I should watch the Lord of the Rings movies (Referred to as LOTR from now on) I have finally started the journey. It is one that will be long, and undoubtedly painful at times. There will be spoilers throughout this series of reviews, so if you are like me and have never seen it before, you have been warned.

Bilbo Baggins is turning 111 years old, and he (Ian Holm) wants to write a letter for his nephew Frodo (Elijah Wood) to tell him of the adventures he took part in many years prior. These adventures begin with a wizard named Gandalf (Ian McKellan) who showed up at the door of a much younger Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) before having a rather odd conversation and departing. Not before leaving a sign on the door, mind you. And thus, Baggins ends up being the unknowing host of a dinner part of thirteen dwarves. The leader of the group is Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) who is the rightful king of the lonely mountain, the kingdom of Erebor that was taken by the dragon Smaug due to his love of gold. In the process of leaving their homeland and traveling, Thorin’s grandfather Thrór is killed by an Orc named Azog, who lost his forearm at Thorin’s hand and was thought to be dead. The adventure sounds simple in theory; get back to Erebor and defeat Smaug and retake the Lonely Mountain. In practice, they are dealing with obstacle after obstacle, battle after battle. Thorin at first is hesitant of Bilbo, because he is a hobbit and they aren’t exactly known for being warriors.

I’m not going to give you a play by play about the film because I really do believe it is something that needs to be experienced first-hand. It’s a long movie, 3 hours of building a world that you feel like you can just step right into. It is immersive and beautiful, and I found myself wanting to start the second hobbit movie right away. There’s something so peaceful about the universe, and it is so masterfully created that by the end of it, I was actually tearing up when Thorin and Bilbo embrace. It’s a heartwarming scene. Bilbo says something along the way of “I feel that the worst is behind us” and I really do want that to be the truth, even though I have a feeling that it isn’t.

I can’t get over how imaginative the world is, and how beautiful all of the scenes were. When they were in Rivendell? Beautiful. When they were being chased by Goblins? Stunning, despite how tense I was watching the scenes unfold. We also meet Golem for the first time, and we see that Bilbo now has a ring. Since I do not know what happens in the original LOTR trilogy, I have no idea if the ring he possesses is THE ring, but I’m interested to see how that plays out. I also really love the camaraderie between those in the party. Even when they find themselves in tricky situations, they fight together and never seem to give up.

Normally, I am one to stay away from incredibly long movies but I never really felt like I was looking at the clock to see how much time was left. The only time I did that was when I realized it was getting late and I had to wake up early the next morning. But since the movies are so long, I really have to schedule them into my day and plan it out strategically. The entire month of September has been planned for the LOTR movies and the subsequent reviews.

Have you guys seen The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey? What did you guys think of it?